5 things I've learnt in lockdown

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Lockdown restrictions are slowly getting eased and things are going back to normal, or the 'new normal' that we're all living in right now. But as things have been going back to normal, I've been reflecting on lockdown, what I've learnt and how appreciative I am of that time. 

Lockdown gave a lot of us a chance to live a slower pace of life, spend time with our families, and appreciate our surroundings. Here are 5 things I've learnt in lockdown:

5 things I've learnt in lockdown

Appreciating where I live

I've lived on the Kent coast my whole entire life and I'm a beach baby to a tee. Nothing makes me happier than being on the beach, feeling the sand between my toes and hearing the sound of the waves ebb at the shore. I've always realised how lucky I was to be by the sea but with such a busy day to day life, working, running my baking business and trying to keep as social as possible, I didn't really take the time to spend days at the beach or strolling on the sands.

However, in lockdown where the only time we were meant to leave the house was for a walk, I spent a lot of my time outside walking on the beach. There are many different beaches within a 5-10 minute drive from my house and I spend a lot of my time exploring the quieter ones and finding hidden coves on the sands. I found myself falling in love with where I live over and over again. My home will forever be a happy place.


Being busy all the time isn't healthy

Something I didn't do often prior to lockdown was taken the time to relax or live at a slower pace. I was constantly busy working, doing my blog, doing my business, making plans, and really, always doing something. And, I never gave myself the right time to relax or take a step back from a busy life. But I've learnt being in lockdown and on furlough that not being busy all the time is healthy. It's good for my mental health and sanity really to have a little break.

I'm still on furlough at the minute and even though I'm trying to keep busy, I'm also trying to live a bit more intuitively and do with what feels right for my mind. This can be either having a full productive day or lying in and chilling.


Quality time is so important

Being shut in our houses for a few months really made me realise how important it is to keep myself surrounded by people I love. It was the weirdest few months not hanging out with my friends in person or seeing my work colleagues from day to day. I missed that much-needed interaction on a regular basis and when it slowly was allowed to come back, I appreciated it more and more.

Lockdown also gave me the opportunity to spend a lot more time in my house and with my family, which is something I wouldn't have got so much off in 'normal times.'


Spending excess money isn't necessary

Like any other girl my age, I love travelling, I love a day out in London, a trip to the theatre, meals out or a night out. However, something I learnt in lockdown is that even though, they are some of my favourite things to do, they aren't necessary. I was able to have fun with the simpler things; picnics on the beach, garden gatherings and just being with people, or talking over Zoom. It wasn't all about the 'fun activities', it's about who I spent my time with.


That I was one of the lucky ones

I'm fully aware that in lockdown, I was one of the lucky ones and I'm very grateful for that. I was able to move back home with my family in a house with a garden (that came in handy a lot in the first few months of lockdown.) I got furloughed so was able to keep an income during this whole period and I had people around me to keep me company. My heart went out to those who got laid off from their jobs or the many people who got and passed away from the virus. It's such a sad and unfortunate time and I cannot be more grateful for my health, my family and friends.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What did you learn from lockdown?

Thank you for reading <3

FulviSafe hand sanitizer and barrier cream review | AD

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Considering what's going on in the world at the minute, using hand sanitizer has become an everyday activity. I've always been a bit of a hand sanitizer weirdo, so in a weird way, I'm kind of liking everyone jumping onto the hand gel hype. When FulviSafe got in touch to trial out and review their hand sanitizer range, I jumped at the chance as I'm always keen to see which other ones are available.

What is FulviSafe?

FulviSafe is a hygiene product range designed to cleanse and protect hands from viruses and bacteria and kill 99.9% of germs with no alcohol ingredient. Their products include a hand sanitizer and barrier cream and are safe to use on all the family, even for small children. The main ingredient is Carbohydrate Derived Fulvic Acid and is clinically proven to kill germs effectively as alcohol-based sanitizers.

Hand Sanitizer

Packaging

The hand sanitizer's packaging is simple and the perfect size to take on the go. It has a secure cap that kept leakage to a minimum. There's not much I can really say about the packaging but I love how it's small enough to use in my hand luggage at the airport - and in any small bag.

Scent and texture 

I have to admit, I wasn't the biggest fan of the scent when I first used the sanitizer as it's quite unusual. However, it's a thousand times better than the typical alcohol-based sanitizer scent. It reminds me of quite a musky, wooden scent and is similar to polish. It's a very distinctive scent that after a while, I got immune to.

The texture of the sanitizer is my favourite thing about it. It is a water-like texture in appearance and once applied, feels like a gel-like consistency on the skin. It sinks into the skin super quickly and my hands feel really moisturised and clean after use. I'm in love with how quick it's able to dry and how it also doubles up as feeling like a moisturiser, rather than drying out my hands.

Lasting effects

The hand sanitizer scent lingers on the skin for a while and after it has sunk into the skin, my hands stay soft for a long time. Even when I use it multiple times, my hands still feel incredibly soft as if I've applied lotion, rather than hand gel. 

Comparison to other hand sanitizers

I'm definitely converted to this brand compared to other hand sanitizers. During this time, I've been using a lot of different sanitizers, and often than not, they always leave my hands feeling dry or sticky. However, FulviSafe is nothing like that - it's moisturising, smooth and my hands aren't left feeling uncomfortably sticky (basically a win, win.)

FulviSafe hand sanitizer and barrier cream review | AD

Barrier cream

Scent and texture

I also got gifted the barrier cream to review and honestly, I'm in love with it. It's designed to use as both a hand sanitizer and moisturiser (which is basically my idea of heaven). The scent of the cream is similar to the sanitizer but slightly more toned down and has the same lingering element.

The texture is beautiful. If you think of a dreamy hand lotion texture, this is it. The cream is really soft in texture, blends easily and dries really quickly, which means no stickiness whatsoever. The scent lingers on my hands for ages afterwards and I can't help but think it makes my hands even cleaner. 

Overall thoughts on the cream

The cream is a brilliant asset to your typical hand sanitizer as it's lightweight, quick to use, smells lovely and lasts for ages. 

The FulviSafe hand sanitizer and barrier cream have become my new favourite handbags essentials and it feels good knowing, I'm putting a safe product onto my skin every time I wash my hands. It's easy to use, dries quickly and really effective.

Find more about FulviSafe products here and treat yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you tried this range?

Thank you for reading <3


5 affirmations to say every day

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Affirmations are something I love to practise and one of the things which really helps my self-confidence and mental health. It may be a simple thing to do but the effect of words is a lot more powerful than you think, especially if you say it regularly. If you're having a bad day or need a little boost, here are 5 affirmations that may be able to help.

5 affirmations to say everyday

'I am good enough and I am worthy' - Often or not, my confidence or bad mental health days are due to me feeling not good enough or not worthy enough in many situations. And unfortunately, it's a feeling a lot of us have by comparing ourselves to everyone else. This affirmation will instil the fact that you are good enough, you are worthy of every ounce of love you receive and you're uniquely you.

'I am strong enough to get through this' - You've gotten through tough days before and you can get through them again. You're stronger than you think and any curveball thrown your way can be overcome. Believe in yourself, take it easy and take the time for you. This is an affirmation I use quite a lot when life seems to be impossibly hard.

'Everything is possible' -  Your dreams are never impossible and you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. When life pans out and you see everyone else achieving different things, it can be hard to not compare. However, everything you would like to do with your life is possible whether it's travelling the world, starting a business or being promoted in your job role. 

'You are the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.' - I particularly love this one as it reminds me of the positive impact I've had on my loved ones' lives and the same impact they've had on mine also. Even if today, you feel like the worst person in the world, trust me, there are people around you who adore you for your good heart, happy smile and amazing personality.

'I am a 10/10' - Self-confidence comes from within and believing you're a 10/10 is a huge step in boosting your confidence. Everyone deserves to feel a 10/10 and honestly, they are a 10/10. Repeating this phrase will help the confidence build in your soul until you start to realise how great you really are.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other affirmations do you say?

Thank you for reading <3

Wild natural deodorant review | Gifted

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I have said for a long time and in many blog posts, that I'm trying to make more ethical and sustainable choices in my everyday life. I've come across many products since making that choice and one of them is the Wild refillable deodorant. I was so thankful and excited when I got gifted this deodorant - and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you.

Wild natural deodorant review | Gifted

The concept

I've never heard of this kind of deodorant before it landed on my doorstep. Previously, I've seen eco deodorants but nothing like this. Wild is a refillable deodorant. The deodorant comes in the post with a case and the option to refill it with compostable refills.

I love the concept behind it as I'll always have a case to carry around,  there is no waste involved and you can refill the deodorant with a variety of different scents.

Price

With any good quality product, the price is a little more expensive and that goes with Wild, however, it's completely worth it. I have the assurance of knowing I'm putting a natural product on my skin and it's good for the planet. It's not as cheap as your high street deodorant, but worthwhile in the long run for different reasons, and if you like a little splurge, it's the perfect product.

The starter kit is £12 for 1 case, 1 refill, and joining their subscription service. The one off-purchase has a case and 3 refills for £25 or there's the option of 1 case with 5 refills for £35. 

Wild also gave me a code of  'Della10' which will give you 10% off your order.

Packaging

The kit that I received came in a cardboard box which easily slotted into my letterbox and contained the deodorant case and its refill. It's presented in a compact way, and the actual case is super cute. It looks pretty, better than your usual deodorant design, it's the right size to bring on the go but also contains enough product to last a long time.

The scent and texture

Going onto the actual product, I absolutely love it. The deodorant can come in a range of scents and I chose 'Coconut dream.' I'm a big lover of coconut fragrances as it reminds me of a holiday so I thought it was the perfect match. The actual scent is very subtle but has the flavour of coconut running through giving it the apt name. I like that the scent is subtle though because that way I have the assurance of knowing it's a natural product for my skin and is aluminium free.

The texture is different from my usual roll-on deodorant. Unlike usual roll-ons, it's not wet in any way and I don't need to leave time for it to dry. Instead, the texture is wax-like, similar to a solid shampoo which you need to work into the skin, rub it in slightly and allow it to settle in. I like that as again, it feels natural and it's perfect if I'm in a rush as there's no 'waiting for it to dry' timeframe needed. 

Wild natural deodorant review | Gifted

Lasting power 

Considering the different texture of the deodorant, I was pretty nervous about how the deodorant would play out in the day, especially with the hot weather we've had lately. However, after trialling it and getting used to the best way to apply it, for instance, I can honestly say it lasts as long as a usual deodorant.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I've fallen in love with the Wild way of life. The product is of great quality, it's natural, eco-friendly and I love the application/lasting power. It may be on the pricier side, however, the quality and overall experience of the product makes up for that.

If you're interested in trialling out Wild deodorant, use my code 'Della10' for 10% off online.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Have you tried any exciting eco-friendly products lately?

Thank you for reading <3

Current favourite skincare products and routine


Well hello to you my reader chums! I'm not the biggest skincare guru in any sense and it's not something, I've taken the time with other the years, however, I've now turned more attention to a routine. I was always that girl, who would wipe off my makeup, cleanse and moisturise, and that's about it. I'm very lucky in the fact I've always had nice and normal skin, and it wasn't an issue for me growing up.

However, blogging about beauty, I have dabbled into a lot of different skincare over the years, trialling out various products and see how they work for me. I've finally got to the stage in life where I've found a routine I love, with products that are equally as great. 

The past few months, my skin has been flaring up and I think it was due to stress, hormones and honestly, my diet. Using these products that I'm about to mention has put things back at bay and given me a routine I'm excited to use on a daily basis. 

Embryolisse foaming cream-milk cleanser

The first part of my morning routine is to use a cleanser and my go-to is the Embryolisse foaming cream-milk cleanser. I got gifted this a while back and fell in love with it since the first use. The cleanser's consistency is really thick and you only need a little as it lathers up like an absolute dream. The product feels incredibly soft on the skin, washes away easily and leaves my skin feeling ultra-smooth.

I love the fresh scent it has and the luxurious feel of the product. You can find my full review here.

Embroyolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate

After cleansing, I love to give my skin a rich moisturise and find the matching moisturiser to the cleanser does the trick. I was also gifted this product a while back and couldn't be more thankful. The product is incredibly thick and leaves my skin feeling really nourished. Despite the thick consistency, it blends into the skin incredibly quick and honestly, I'm obsessed. 


Superdrug Vitamin E serum

If my skin is feeling a little drier than usual or I fancy an extra step in my morning routine, I'll add a serum after the moisturiser. I love Superdrug's Vitamin E range; all the products I've used have done the job - and they're so affordable. I particularly love the serum as it smells divine (like coconuts) and blends on the skin so easily.

Zelens Daily Defence SPF

Call me naive, but I only learnt that you need to apply SPF separately to moisturiser onto the skin as the SPF in moisturiser/foundations isn't as effective. With that, I was straight on Cult Beauty and bought myself the Zelens Daily Defence. 

I've used this every day for the past few weeks after moisturising and before makeup application and I love it. Despite the small bottle, the product comes out pretty thick, and I only need the smallest amount to go across my face. 

Garnier's Micellar water

At the end of the day, its time for makeup removal and my staple product has been Garnier's Micellar water for years and years. I don't use it all the time now, however, it's an easy fix to taking off makeup. Makeup removes like a dream, and I love to use my reusable cotton pads to wipe it off with. You really can't go wrong with micellar water!

The Ordinary Squareline cleanser

I've heard too many good things about The Ordinary products and after getting my hands on one of their cleansers, I can see why. I've been using the Squareline cleanser as a makeup remover and cleanser. Most days in lockdown I haven't been wearing makeup so I can cleanse and carry on with the rest of my routine. However, on the days I have been wearing makeup, I like to use this to wash it off with and then cleanse again. 

The product itself is heavy in consistency and once warmed within my hands, it easily rubs into the skin for a deep cleanse. I apply it onto dry skin and wash it off with warm water. It's really easy to take off and I've found is actually a pretty good makeup remover as well (bearing in mind, I only wear light makeup.)

Pixi Glow Tonic and Pixi Retinol Tonic  

The Pixi tonics have been raved about on the internet and beauty community for the longest time - and it's taken me until now to give them a go. I can completely get the hype as I've fallen in love with these products.

As my skin had been playing up, I was recommended to try the Glow Tonic and the Retinol Tonic and use them on alternate days - and so far, it's done the trick. My skin has improved a lot! I like to apply each tonic on either a cotton pad or cotton ball and sweep all over the skin. This may sound weird, but when it's sinking into the skin, it really feels like it's doing something. 

I'll then go in and moisturise again to complete my nighttime routine.

I hope you enjoyed a little insight into my favourite skincare products at the minute. What products have you been using?

Thank you for reading <3

10 reminders for when you're having a bad day

Well hello to you my reader chums! Having a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month is okay and totally natural. We all have times in our life when things are hard, whether that's because you've had some bad news or really, you're just not feeling yourself. As JessieJ once sang 'it's okay, not to be okay.'

If you're having a low moment or a bad day, here are 10 reminders for you.

10 reminders for when you're having a bad day

This too shall pass - This has become one of my favourite phrases and something I first learnt from a pal of mine who told me it when I was going through a really hard time. Now, whenever I'm having a bad day, I like to repeat it to myself. I know deep down the hard times will pass and it will get easier. The cloud will lift and things will get back to being okay.

It's okay to have a nothing day - I'm one of these people who always feels like I should be doing something, otherwise I feel like a failure. However, over time I've learnt that it's okay not to always be busy and if I'm having a down day, I don't need to be productive. I should take it easy and enjoy the nothingness, to give my mind that time to recharge and feel better.

You've fought hard days before and you can do it again - This point is so important. Everyone has been through hardships before and if you feel this time, that things are even harder, just remember, you've had the strength before - and you're strong enough to do it again.

You are so loved - You are loved by so many, your family, your friends, your work colleagues and whoever you surround yourself with. It may not feel like it right now, but know you have a support network around you that love you dearly.

Have patience - This is so important. When I feel down or my mental health has taken a turn, I want to feel better instantly and put pressure on myself to get to that point. But there isn't a rush, if you're not feeling okay, take the time to focus on you, and slowly, you'll get there. Have patience.

Social media isn't a true reflection of someone's life - When I'm having a down day, I always find myself scrolling endlessly on social media, as it's a mind-numbing thing to do. But, the problem with that is, I often see loads of happy photos and videos of people living their best life and in turn, it makes me feel worse. If you're scrolling, try to remind yourself that what you see online is only a small fraction of someone's life. They have down days and hard times too.

You're not a burden - Repeat this one 1000 times. If you're having a bad day, please know this. The people you love are there to confide in and they want to help you. A problem shared is a problem halved. Talking about what's going on can really help you feel so much better.

Stop putting pressure on yourself - Life can be busy and there can be so many things you want to do and achieve asap. But, when you're having a bad day, try and put these worries aside and focus on no1- your mental health.

You're only human - Humans make mistakes, humans mess up and most importantly, humans aren't happy all the time. We have bad days and that's okay.

It will get better - Time is the greatest healer, trust me on that one. Even if it doesn't feel like that now, things will get better and you'll be back to yourself in no time.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other reminders do you have?

Thank you for reading <3



Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Well hello to you my reader chums! Some of you may or may not know that I run a home baking business with my twin sister Maria called Twinnies Bake. We started the business nearly 2 years ago now and it has been the best decision I've ever made - and I love doing it. We sell a range of products including our beloved brownies, celebration cakes, cookies, and much more. We also offer a postal brownie service all over the UK!

Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Baking is one of my favourite hobbies and I feel so thankful to turn it into a little business with my twin sister by my side. Something I've tried to do in my everyday life is to be more eco-conscious with what I do and what I purchase. I've begun purchasing reusable products to use in my everyday life - and I have started to look into ways to do this for the business. When Lil Packaging contacted me to talk about this subject, it seemed like a perfect fit, and here are a few eco-friendly changes I've made and will continue to make for the business.

*This is a paid collaboration with Lil Packaging.*

Buy products in bulk 

Our orders can fluctuate from week to week and this depends on what ingredients we need to purchase. Since the pandemic, shops have started to sell bigger packets of flour, icing sugar, etc and I've been utilising this as much as possible. When I buy in bulk, it means less waste as it's only one big bag rather than a few small ones and it saves the petrol of going back and buying more - as it lasts longer.

Packaging our brownies correctly

Finding packaging for our brownies has been something we've tested and trialled over the years to find the right packaging for us. I'm fully aware that packaging means waste so we like to think carefully before we buy. We've predominately bought boxes that were cardboard and recyclable on Amazon and been using them to dispatch out our orders.

However, when Lil Packaging got in touch, I felt like all my packaging prayers had been answered and they were exactly what we were missing out on as a business, especially when it comes to being more sustainable. The company sells a whole range of eco-friendly packaging for multiple different uses. For my business, we use a variety of boxes including specific postal boxes for our brownies, regular-sized boxes for local deliveries, and boxes large enough to fit our celebration cakes - and they do a range of everything. And, it's all plastic-free; the perfect way to implement sustainability into our small business. Reducing plastic is one of my biggest goals as a whole in my lifestyle and for the business - and at Lil Packaging, they do just that. It's a plastic-free and ocean-friendly brand - and if you know me, I love to support any business with those ethics.

Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Recycling the waste

Running a business can mean a lot of waste from different food items, especially as we use a lot of different chocolate products, that I find myself binning so many things. However, I always ensure to recycle everything correctly to reduce the amount of waste that can go to landfill.

The ingredient shopping process 

Being eco-friendly in the business is all about the little things and shopping for ingredients and the way I do that is one of them. As we're only a small business and work from a home kitchen, we don't need truckloads worth of ingredients so we typically go to the local supermarket to stock up. We like to work our orders on a weekly basis so I'll designate one day to go ingredient shopping as it saves petrol and the need to go back and forth - and time. I think this is important as it reduces the amount of pollution we create, and although this may be small, it's an important factor.

Whilst I'm shopping, I'll bring enough bags to make sure I have enough space to carry everything home. It's all about the little things when it comes to reducing plastic waste.

Conserving water

I can assure you that running a baking business creates a lot of mess in the kitchen and that means washing up quite frequently is inevitable. When it comes to washing up, we like to do it in a way to not waste too much water and work effectively - in order to do our bit for the environment.

Eco-friendly changes to my small business | AD

Delivering process

Similar to the shopping process, I like to do everything in one smooth sweep. We typically like to arrange delivery times to customers accordingly so we can do it all in one go and visit the post office on the same trip. That way, it'll limit how much time we're using the car and traveling around - and lower our carbon footprint.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Is there anything else you'd suggest to be more eco-friendly?

Thank you for reading <3