Saturday, 31 December 2016

My Plans For 2017


Well 2016 has just flew in... I cant believe this is the last day of it. What a year it has been!!

A lot of things have happened in this last year, some good and some bad but I am leaving the year on a high.

So many firsts happened in 2016. I set up my first blog, my first nephew was born, I met so many amazing people and for the first time in years I felt genuinely happy.

But what are my plans for 2017...

1. Lose weight

I have said this for years but my head is finally in the right place and I have all the motivation and support I need. I have always been a big girl and thankfully my weight has never held my back, but these last couple of months I have started to struggle with sore knees and a sore back so I have to make this my year to shed the pounds.

I had a very traumatic event happen in 2016 because of my weight and I never EVER want to be in that situation again. I want to be able to hold my head up high knowing I am a better person because of past events.

2. Getting my health back on track

My head has been all over the place this past year and that is due to a lot of different things. I never speak about it but depression and anxiety ruled a lot of my past year so I want to work on putting myself first and taking control of this.

My physical health is terrible too. I suffer with an auto immune disease and it is all over the place, so I need to work hard on getting it under control this year.

3. Focusing on my Blog

I am loving my little blog but I really need to get myself out there more, I have met some amazing people through all the different media outlets but I want to meet and get to know so many more. I really want to work hard and take my blog to the next level. I want to post more regular and have a more scheduled approach to everything.

My snapchat, Instagram and blog are going to be the three platforms I work on the most as these are the ones I find most enjoyable.

4. Become more organised

If any of you know me in real life, you will know I am ALWAYS late... it doesn't matter how early I get up or how well I think I am prepared I always manage to be late. So in 2017 I want to plan everything a bit better, know where things are without getting into a panic and have my s**t organised.

5. Have fun

Finally I want to just have lots of fun. I want to look back at the year and think to myself I really enjoyed everything I did and wouldn't change a thing. I want to go on lots of day trips, make lots of memories, play silly games with my cousins, laugh until tears are streaming down my face and just life my life to the fullest.

So my question to you is... what are your plans for the coming year? Do you make resolutions or do you prefer to just take each day as it comes?

What ever you all do I hope you have a fantastic new year and an amazing 2017 

Lots of Love...

Victoria xx

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Ballymoney - Shop Local this year


I was recently contacted by Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce and asked if I would like to go around some of the shops in Ballymoney on a Saturday to see what they have to offer for Christmas and to see what all the little town has to offer to everyone.

I have lived in Ballymoney all my life so I had a good idea of most of the shops. However like most towns shops come and shops go so there is always that new shop you haven't been in before.

I try to shop local as much as I can as it is soo important to support the little family run business' that have been here for years. It is such a competitive world we live in today so I'm guessing it can be hard for them to stay afloat.

I was told that me and the lovely Louise would be going round the shops and then there would be a Santa parade in the town at 1pm. I was soo grateful to have been asked to cover this.

So my first stop of the day was John Laverty Optician. On arrival I was greeted by Michelle who asked me to go over to a little desk and we talked threw how my eyesight had been and if I was looking for a change of glasses etc. We then had a look at some of the frames and I was pleasantly surprised at just how many big brand names they stock, such as ray ban, lacoste, Chloe, joop. The frames are all laid out beautifully its so easy to see them and they are not all cluttered.

I tried on loads but settled on 5 different ones I liked. I have had the same glasses as 1 year so I'm thinking about a little change. Michelle was super helpful and really knew what styles suited my face shape. She made the experience really relaxing.

Lorna the optician then called me for my eye examination. I was led into a spacious little room where I sat on the seat and the eye test began. Michelle is so down to earth and we had brilliant wee chats which put me at ease and made the experience much more enjoyable.

There was a slight change in my eyes, so I'm glad I got the eye test :) When I came out of the room Jonnie from fUSe fm and Louise were waiting. I showed them the glasses I had picked out and got there opinion. We narrowed it down to two frames and I'm still deciding which one I like best.

The staff in John Laverty Opticians could not have been nicer from the minute I walked in the door to the second I left I was really taken care off. They all are soo knowledgeable and nothing is too much bother for them.

After that we went for a little bite to eat in Ground. It is soo nice in it, nice and spacious with lovely decorations. The smell of coffee as soon as you open the door just hits you. Then my eye found the buns and cakes... oh my goodness they are soo appealing I didn't know what to choose. I finally decided on a snickers slice and a smoothie. Again the staff are all so pleasant and all had a smile on their face, which makes for a better experience.

The food was soo tasty and the manager even came over with complimentary Christmas goodies for us to try... I left with a full belly and a happy girl.

Next up we went into The Candy Store to see what goodies they sell. I was literally like a kid in a sweet shop! They have everything you could EVER need .. all the old fashioned hard boiled sweets, the jelly sweets, chewy sweets, American candy ... I didn't know you could get so many different sweets. They also have gluten free candy which I thought was a brilliant idea.

I also didn't know that The Candy Store make up hampers to suit your budget, so you basically tell them how much you want to spend, what you like/don't like and they make up a lovely hamper for you. Perfect for that hard to buy for person at Christmas time.

Across the street now to Bumble and Bee. It is a child's clothes shop and I had never actually been into it, so I was thrilled to open the door and see so many nice bits and bobs. They have so many different brands and clothes to fit children from premature to older babies. They also stock tights, hats, gloves, welly boots, Christmas outfits and much more. If you want that something different for a child this Christmas then I would definitely recommend going into Bumble and Bee.

The next stop on my tour of Ballymoney was the lovely Bella Mia, a jewellery and gift store. I have been in here numerous times but didn't realise they had an upstairs to the shop. Its maybe a good job I didn't know that though as when I went upstairs the sparkles and bling had me wanting everything. My Christmas list has now doubled in size lol. They have loads of different brands on offer and have something to suit everyone.

Not only do they have a huge selection of jewellery they also have hangbags, scarfs, gift cards. It is such a brilliant shop with very pleasant and helpful staff. I was made to feel very welcome and the girls were soo nice asking if I needed any help etc.

The store itself is soo modern and fancy inside. Really well laid out with glass shelving and accessible tables all the products are easy to see and you are not afraid of knocking something over.

After all of these lovely shops it was down main street to Top Ten Hairdressers, where I was greeted by Aaron. He really knows his stuff, he has such a brilliant knowledge of the products and of the shop itself. He told us that Top Ten have been in business for 47 years. I think that in itself says soo much about the shop.

Aaron then showed me some of the new products they have in store and when I asked him about their GHD range he was able to tell me soo much information on the product. You could just tell how passionate he is about his job and his love for the customers. I will definitely be going in to Top Ten to get my hair done in the future.
Finally on my tour of Ballymoney we stopped into A Bite Above, which is a family run café. I have been in here many times before and have never had a bad experience. From the second you walk into the café you are taken care off. I must admit I was stuffed from my food earlier but did manage to squeeze in a little burger. As always the food was top quality and served with a nice side garnish and sprinkled with herbs. They really do take care in their presentation.

If you are ever hungry and want something that is tasty and wont break the bank then A Bite Above is definitely high on my list of places to go.

I had such a fantastic day in Ballymoney. I walked away with a really happy heart knowing that I live in such a beautiful and pleasant little town. The staff in all the shops were so passionate and knowledgably that it wasn't just going shopping it was a truly special experience.

I would really ask all off you lovely people to try and shop local as much as possible not only now at Christmas but the whole year round. Yes its easy to order of the internet and have it delivered to your door, but the buzz and feeling you get from shopping local is one I want you all to feel.

Lastly I want to say a massive thank you to Ballymoney Chamber Of Commerce and all the staff from all the shops I visited. You made me a very happy girl this Christmas.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this little post, it was one very close to my heart as Ballymoney is and always will be my hometown... If you want to know anymore about anything mentioned above you can find me over on facebook, twitter or Instagram

Lots Of Love...

Victoria xx

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Cream Trio

Hello Again :)

When I was asked if I would like to try some of the Crabtree & Evelyn Christmas range I was delighted as any products I had tried of theirs before I had always been impressed with. I had a look at some of them items in the range and new what I would like to try.

I don't know about any of you folks, but as soon as the colder weather comes my skin goes crazy dry. My lips, face, and hands are always the worst. I literally feel like sandpaper.. how attractive!

Soo... when I opened up the package and seen that I had very kindly been sent out the hand cream trio I was super happy. Be gone sore peeling hands :)
The packaging is just beautiful, it has a real old fashioned Christmas look to it. I was impressed before I even tried the hand creams.
There are different trios all with different scents, I was given the pack which contained La Source, Gardeners and Caribbean Island Wild Flowers. The colours on each of the hand creams is nice and matches the name with La Source being blue, Gardeners being a copper and Caribbean Island Wild Flowers being white.
The scents are all divine.. they are really strong but not over powering. On application the creams are rather thick and silky but they rub in really easily and absorb fast. The were not at all sticky or gooey which can sometimes happen with hand products.
My favourite would have to be the Caribbean Island Wild Flowers. It has an earthy smell that's woody and perfect for this time of year. The Gardeners cream has a nice lavender scent and the La Source is really fresh, almost like a sweet smelling aftershave.
All 3 creams are a decent size at 25g and priced at £15.00 for the set I think this is fantastic value as you are getting 3 good sized creams.
If you are struggling for present ideas for your loved one this year, I would highly recommend this Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream trio. Every one of the creams smell outstanding and who doesn't love soft hands :)
You can pick up this gift set HERE or why not have a look at all the other gift set with lots of different scents to choose from.
Lots of Love...
Victoria xx