101 in 1001 XXV

I'm not entirely sure why but February has been an incredible month for meeting my targets. It's amazing what an extra day can do! 

#17 Visit my brother in Manchester
Junkyard Golf UV room
It's funny because "Visit my brother in Liverpool", as he then was, was in my last 101 in 1001 for the entire 1001 days. That's nearly three years in which I didn't once venture up north to visit him. Since I learned to drive 8 months ago, I've been three times. It's amazing what driving can do! This month we hit up Junkyard Golf Club for some pop-up mini golf fun! 


10 beauty brands I need to try

I've been pretty active on Instagram lately (you can find me here) and I find myself saying "I really need to try XYZ" time and time again. In fact, I've created a little hitlist, if you will, of brands I need to try in the next year. 
Best beauty brands to try


Southern Cemetery, Manchester

Last week I visited the University of Winchester to talk to a lecturer about my masters degree. I was worried that my teaching degree might not be accepted as an adequate "related subject" for an MA in death. Luckily, the lecturer was really positive, recommending some summer reading and even said "I'll see you in September" so that sounds promising! The next day, I was travelling to my brother's in Manchester and happened to drive past Southern Cemetery. Well, you know me. I couldn't resist! It's research for my degree, I swear!
Southern Cemetery Manchester



city guide bruxelles
Kat's photos from Brussels makes me want to visit right now! 


The Smuggler's Cove at Albert Dock, Liverpool

My little sister is now 15 (they grow up so fast!) and she recently messaged me on Instagram to ask if I'd go shopping with her to buy her first high-end make up products. As she lives near Liverpool, I don't get to see her too often but I had already made plans to visit my brother in Manchester so figured I could nip across the M62 while I was up that way. In the end, our brother and dad came too so we had a nice little Bedbug Family day out!  Liverpool Cathedral

Sponsor Shoutout // The Vegan Taff

Come on, that blog name alone is enough to make you check it out, right? As you'd imagine from a blog called The Vegan Taff, Kelly is a Welsh blogger and a vegan, with a blog that covers beauty and lifestyle. The name alone isn't the only reason you should take a peek at Kelly's blog though. I've compiled three reasons that will get you clicking that link. Spoiler alert: If you love nails, you will adore her post!

Nails Inc. Charlotte Street
Don't say I didn't warn you! Kelly's Manicure Monday series is to die for. I'm insanely jealouus of both her nails and her polish collection! What I really like is that Kelly doesn't just stick to one type of nail (unlike me!). One week it might be a vampy burgundy but then you'll have a pretty pastel the following Monday. You never know what's coming next but you know it will be gorgeous!


Junkyard Golf Club, Manchester

While visiting my brother in Manchester last week, he told me about a pop up bar called Junkyard Golf Club with two mini golf courses made up entirely of salvaged materials. After grabbing food in Almost Famous- as is becoming our Manchester tradition- we headed next door to experience Junkyard Golf for ourselves.
Junkyard Golf Manchester


Beach Wish List with House of Fraser

Spring is definitely on the way and I'm already thinking about how I can spend warmer days chilling at the beach. I have something of a formula when it comes to packing for the beach so I've teamed up with House of Fraser to build this ultimate beach wish list! 


Benefit x Starbucks #BestFriends

Oh man, you should have seen my delight when this package popped through the door! Benefit and Starbucks teaming up for a collaboration? What could possibly be better?
Benefit Starbucks Collaboration


Review // The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

Remember how I said I was going to try more hand creams? Well, as luck would have it, just after I wrote that post, I received this Hemp Hand Protector from The Body Shop. This hand cream is one of their bestsellers but it's been given a limited edition makeover by street artist EINE, all for a good cause.
The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector EINE Change

Before and After with Simply Be

Before and After pictures are everywhere on social media these days and it's practically impossible to avoid them. Just as you get out of the "New Year, New Me" malarkey, you're straight into "Beach Body Ready". Yuk! Simply Be are counteracting this with a really positive blog post (featuring yours truly) to discuss why it's important that women love their bodies.

As part of this campaign, allow me to elaborate on two things I love about my body:

Extreme hourglass figure


Nails // Essie Chastity

When I last visited my nail salon, it was a sunny day and starting to feel like spring, so I decided to go for a pretty pink colour. I chose Essie Chastity as I loved the shade it looked in the bottle. Surprisingly, it was a completely different colour on my nails but I think it might be my favourite yet!
Essie Chastity Swatch
Chastity is a bright Barbie pink. It's super opaque with a glossy finish, which is amplified with the top coat, so they certainly stand out! I've only had this shade on for a couple of days but I've received so many compliments on my nails already and I can't stop looking at them.

I'll definitely be choosing Chastity again in the future. A new favourite for sure!

Buy Essie Chastity here

Affiliate link has been used in this post

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram


5 best openings in literature

Back in September, I shared my top five book endings. I suppose it's only logical to follow that up with my favourite book openings, so I'm not entirely sure why it took me 5 months to think of it! As with before, these are the top opening lines based on the books I've actually read so don't get all offended because A Tale of Two Cities isn't on here.
Best openings in literature


#TheStableWassail // Pizza and Cider at The Stable, Winchester

Being a blogger in Hampshire has some unique challenges. We're close enough to London that it's very possible to attend blogging events that usually take place there, although the train fare does add up, but there are very few events going on locally. Lana at Fashion Fake decided to solve this problem by hosting her own event in Winchester for us Hampshire bloggers.
Blackberry and Jazz Apple Cider
Jazz apple cider


Review // Lush American Cream Hair Conditioner

When I wrote my 7 beauty products I will always repurchase post, I realised that my (very old) review of American Cream conditioner wasn't accurate. For one thing, it was a very brief review, with a terrible photo, but I also disliked it and was adamant that I'd never repurchase. Evidently that's changed over the past 18 months as it's now pretty much my favourite conditioner ever. Definitely time to write a revised review!
American Cream Hair Conditioner Lush Review

Valentine's Day at Lush Southampton

Every year, I look forward to the Lush seasonal releases and Valentine's Day is no exception. They always manage to pull out the cutest products and I was very pleased to be invited to Lush Southampton to find out more about the latest collection. Lush The Kiss Lip Scrub


Valentine's Day with Firebox // Play It Safe or Take a Risk?

Valentine's Day is just a few steps away and Firebox have got you covered, whether you want to play it safe or take a risk. Their Valentine's gifts are split into two categories so you can decide whether to buy a fail-safe treat or try something a bit cheekier. To help showcase this unique approach to gift buying, Firebox very kindly sent me an example of each option. Valentine's Gifts Firebox


7 beauty products I will always repurchase

It's rare that I repurchase beauty items. There's so many amazing products out there to try so why would I limit myself to the same products every time? Despite this, there are a few very special items that I return to time and time again.
Beauty products I always repurchase


Hampton Court Palace

As a kid, I was fascinated with the Tudors. I absolutely loved all of the Horrible Histories books but The Terrible Tudors was my favourite by far. (Later in life I took a Tudor history A level but the less said about that, the better) My grandparents took me to Hampton Court a few times and I still have really strong memories of how much I loved it there. For years, I've been meaning to return and this week I finally managed it. Only it was entirely as amazing as I remembered. Hampton Court Palace


Non-Romantic Valentine's Day Reading

Romance has never been my thing, in life and in literature. I'm more drawn to darker themes surrounding love- jealousy, obsession, vengeance. Throw in a tragedy or two and I'm all over it. So this Valentine's Day, I've compiled a list of my favourite books that centre on the theme of love without being schmaltzy.
Non romantic Valentine's books


Review // Diptyque Vanille Candle

Call me a candle snob but I am all about Diptyque. They may be expensive but my God are they worth it! One of my favourite scents is vanilla, so after finishing my Feuille de Lavande candle, I decided to try the Vanille one.
Diptyque Vanille Candle Review


Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Surely I'm not the only one who leaves everything to the last minute? Present buying is a nightmare for me because I think I've got loads of time and then, before I know it, there are only 3 days left and I've bought nothing! Thankfully there's still over a week before Valentine's but, if you're disorganised like me, here are some last-minute ideas that can be picked up on the high street or delivered in super quick time.
Last minute valentine's day gifts

20 more facts about me

I swear, every year these posts get harder and harder. I like to think I'm an interesting person but it's so difficult thinking of unusual facts. This year, I've decided to go down more of an anecdote route. I was a strange child. 

1. I've already mentioned that my childhood hero was Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, but I also idolised Mama Cass.
2. Somewhere in my house is a fragment of towel that once belonged to wiL Francis. Don't ask.
3. When I was 3, I contracted a rare skin disease called Henoch-Schonlein purpura. It must have had quite an impact on Baby Becky as I have six separate memories from this time.
4. Speaking of memories, my earliest memory is visiting Majorca with my parents in 1991.
5. Hundreds of people have seen me in my underwear.
Hula hooping in York



Simple cinnamon bun recipe
Olivia's cinnamon bun recipe looks amazing! 


Why you should never censor yourself as a blogger

When I first started blogging, I was eager to be liked. I'm not a very confrontational person in the first place, so I just went along with what I thought was expected, too afraid to stick my neck out if I disagreed with the crowd. But somehow, and I'm not sure when or how it happened, I've realised that I no longer care. Of course I want to be liked, that's human nature, but I don't want that to be at the expense of sharing my opinions, even if they are unpopular. Yes, I'm sure there are people who don't like me because of it and I know I've lost followers after expressing certain opinions, but that's not important to me anymore. The benefits I've gained from being unashamedly me have been worth way more than followers or popularity.
Sharing controversial opinions on a blog


Review // Tangle Teezer

Having heard such great things about the Tangle Teezer, I knew I had to try one. My hair is so thick and, as it's curly, it gets tangled really easy. Apparently this tool removes tangles easily, without any damage, so it sounded like the answer to all my prayers. As luck would have it, my Secret Santa gift from Natalie was this pink and purple Tangle Teezer so I finally got to try it out and see what all the hype was about.
Tangle Teezer Review


Nails // Essie Comfy in Cashmere and OPI Matte Top Coat

After 3 weeks of almond nails, I've decided that I absolutely love them. Yes, they're taking a bit of getting used to and yes, I keep ripping my clothes but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to take for such an elegant shape. I chose to stick with this shape and plumped for a grey shade on them this time. It's still a little bit too early for pastels!  Essie Comfy in Cashmere Swatch

Charities of the Month // Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support

Usually, it takes me a little while to consider which charity I'm going to feature each month. This month, however, I didn't even need to think for a second. January has been a hard time for so many people. Of course we've lost some of our greatest talent in the past 30 days- David Bowie, my idol Alan Rickman and now the sad news that Sir Terry Wogan has also left us- but there are also many others, not in the public eye, who are learning to live in a world that has changed, all because of cancer.
Cancer charities UK


Review // La Roche-Posay Micellar Water

Continuing on my exploration of micellar waters, I decided to crank up a gear and splash out on some La Roche-Posay. I've never used the brand but have heard fantastic things from other bloggers so I was super excited to try it.
La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Review

Why I'm ending my sponsorships

In 2013, I decided to start offering sponsorships. Back then it was kind of the done thing and I suppose I was emulating all these other bloggers I admired. But over time, things have changed and I've decided to stop offering sidebar advertising.
Sponsoring on blogs

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