Monthly Favourites | November 2014

It's that time again, time for another Monthly Favourites! I didn't do a one in October because I got to the end of the month and couldn't think of anything I'd been loving, so this month I've been writing down little notes as they weeks have gone by so that I wouldn't get to writing this post and have nothing to write about again! So here goes...

My first favourite is a Nail Varnish from The Body Shop. I have the Top and Base Coat Colour Crush Nail Varnish and it is the best I have ever used. It does exactly what it says on the packaging and makes my Nail Varnish Colour so much longer lasting. I did a Haul post about a load of products I picked up from The Body Shop here where I wrote more about this Nail Varnish so check that one out!

My next favourite is another Nail Varnish! It's from E.L.F cosmetics in the Shade 'Smoky Brown'. It was an absolute bargain because this colour was being discontinued so I don't know if it will still be available but it was only £1! Pair this with my Body Shop Top and Base Coat and I have a combination that goes with everything and lasts for couple of weeks.

E.L.F Cosmetics Smoky Brown with The Body Shop Top and Base Coat
I'm loving the Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick in Caramel this month. I won't lie, it's staying power isn't great so it needs applying multiple times throughout the day. The packaging isn't great either but as an everyday lipstick, for popping to the shops it is really good. It adds a bit of colour and shine to my lips, is really moisturising and it's made it into my favourites because it is the bargain price of £1.99! I know some people would rather spend more money and by one really high quality product, but who doesn't like choice? At this price, you can definitely afford to buy a couple!

Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick, Caramel
My next favourite is a TV favourite. I'm a Celebrity came back this month and it's a sign that Christmas is coming! I absolutely love I'm a Celeb and every year I say I won't get addicted to it but each time I am hooked. It's one of those programs where I go out of my way to try to be able to watch every episode! I end up changing my mind on who I want to win multiple times as the show goes on but I think there'll be a King of The Jungle this year and not a Queen. I won't commit to a name just incase I change my mind again haha!

Finally my favourite, favourite of all. My Girlfriends. It's really hard for us all to get together at the moment, with everyone being spread across the country at work, university and college, and everyone is so busy so meeting up on a date we can all do is almost impossible. This week five out of the six of us managed to meet up ( If you're reading this Alex - we missed you!) and we went for a little meal out to Frankie and Benny's - I say little but three courses later it was actually a pretty big meal. It was great to catch up and see them all!

L-R: Robyn, Myself, Abi, Bridie, Alice

So that's it, another month gone, and another favourites done. I can't believe it's basically December already and in another month's time it'll be a whole new year! Time flies....

Love Hannah x

My 100 Things | #5 Get A Job

The title of this post is pretty self explanatory but the fact it is appearing on my blog now, shows I have achieved something I thought would take much longer! I HAVE GONE BACK TO WORK!!!! I'm excited, can you tell?

I used to have a job at my local newsagents. I worked there for just over a year, and in April I decided it was the right time to leave so I could concentrate on my exams before I moved away to Uni. It was definitely the right decision for myself and I don't regret because if I hadn't of had my stroke the plan would have come together perfectly. Obviously when the Stroke struck in July, I was left without the chance to go to Uni for a year and without a job. Definitely not the plan!

When I realised I was having a year out, getting a job at some point was a top priority so I could fund my year out, and get back into a routine. A job would help structure my week and give me something to do. Also, it's just a good feeling when you are spending money that you've earnt so this was a big incentive for me to get a job when I felt I was ready.

Earlier in the month I went into the shop where I used to work (I get on so well with everyone I worked with so I always go back in to say hello when I can) and saw an advertisement for a job in the window. I had no intention of applying for a job yet but when I saw the advert something told me I had to get my CV sorted and apply. I spoke to my Mum and Dad about it and they said I should go for it.

So I did.....and I got the job! Post stroke it is absolutely ideal - I'm working there two days a week, I can still attend all my appointments, all the activities I do with the stroke association and have a life! I'm working a few hours on Mondays and Tuesdays and I'm loving being back!

I won't lie, it's pretty tiring, and if I wasn't working somewhere I love as much as there I think I would have given up already - and I've only been back three weeks, haha! But fatigue is a big after effect of stroke and I'm getting used to how it effects me in everyday life. I have a nap when I come home from work before my tea and a nap solves all problems so it's working out ok!

I've got a couple of items on my '100 things' list planned to be ticked off soon so I'll blog about them when they happen! I think they may be some of my favourite!

If you're reading this and thinking what is she going on about, check out my first blog post here where it's all explained and read some of the things I've got up to already here!

Post again soon!

Love Hannah x

Haul | A Little Bit of Lush

I never used to visit a Lush store because I always found the smell very overwhelming, but that isn't the case anymore and I can't walk past without having a nosey at all the new products. I recently visited the store in Lancaster, when I was visiting my friend Alex at her University there.

I don't just love the products at Lush but I love, love, love the appearance of the store. It makes them so easy to smell....and much easier to buy!

Whilst I was busy being hypnotised by all the bath bombs, Alex was being shown some new products by one of the Sales Assistants. She was super helpful and really recommended trying the shampoo bars. A friend of mine loves these but I've always been a bit sceptical so I've never bought one, but she let us sample them on our hands and the bar did actual lather up like a liquid shampoo would! I was pretty impressed.

I've only ever bought bath related products from Lush and this time was no different. Here are a couple of products I tried for the first time:


Type: Bath Bomb

Price: £3.50

This bath bomb is pretty big and, depending on how you want your bath, I don't think you'd have to use it all, so I split it into two. I'd bought it because I thought it smelt amazing and because the little signs lush use to describe their products said there was multiple colours so I was very intrigued. But I'd buy it again because it was both of those things and more! It was like a fireworks display in the bath! I think it's a very festive product and will be buying it over and over again.

Also, I was able to break it up and use it more than once, which makes it really good value for money!


Type: Bubble Bar

Price: £2.75

I like a bubble bath to be just that....filled with bubbles! The Candy Mountain Bubble Bar claimed to do just that and didn't disappoint! I used it all in one and crumbled it under the running water. My plan was to split it into two uses but it was a bit too crumbly to keep for another use and the shape made it a bit awkward to split so I just chucked it all in in one go. It created loads of bubbles, and left the water really soft.

Once I kept putting things in my basket I lost track and here are the rest of the products I've squashed into my bathroom cupboard:

L-R: Phoenix Rises, Creamy Candy Bubble Bar, Luxury Lush Pud, Shoot for the Stars

Type: Bath Bomb
Price: £3.35

Type: Bubble Bar
Price: £2.75

Type: Bath Bomb

Type: Bath Bomb
Price: £3.50

I absolutely love Lush Products. They're great for your skin, made of natural ingredients and a proportion of the profit goes to charity. Some of the bath products I do think make having a bath an expensive treat, but I buy a lot of the products that I can split up and use more than once! I think that's going to be possible with nearly all of these - they're going to last me a while!

Thanks for reading!

Hannah x

Skincare | The Body Shop Haul

Recently my friend's Mum had a Body Shop at Home party and I got invited to go along (thanks for the invite Abi and Ann if you're reading this!). I've never been a big buyer of stuff from The Body Shop - not because I don't like it but I feel like some of the products they sell are a bit over priced for what they are. But I really enjoyed the party, and the 'Body Shop Consultant' (posh job title alert!) was really helpful and gave loads of great advice so I ended up buying three things. I then came home, regretted not buying a couple of products, went online to get them, and the spending spree just spiralled out of control! In my defence, there was a sale on....but anyway, I thought I'd share with you a few of my indulgences!

(Clockwise direction from left) Nail Colour Crush: Top and Base Coat, Honeymania Soap, Mango Shower Gel, Wild Argan Oil Shower Gel, Warming Mineral Face Mask, Wild Argan Oil Miracle Solid Oil, Bath Lily: Coral, Travel Size Coconut Shower Cream, Rainforest Shine Shampoo, Rainforest Shine Conditioner, Blackhead Remover Tool, Nail Art Tool 


I picked up the Warming Mineral Mask at the 'Body Shop at Home' party I went to. My friend had a facial done and this was part of it, she handed the product around and told us to put a little bit on the back of your hand and rub it in. I fell in love. It's super relaxing because it warms up on the skin but doesn't get too hot or burn in any way. I use this product everytime I have a bath,generally once a week, (don't worry guys - I shower inbetween!) because the steam and heat really help it out.
It's £10 for 100ml and a little bit goes a long way so it's good value for money

I'd heard great things about the Wild Argan Oil range and I'd read a lot of positive reviews on it. I really regretted not getting the Miracle Solid Oil from the party so decided I'd go online to get it. Whilst I was there I read a bit more into the whole range and got the shower gel as well. I haven't used the shower gel yet but it smells amazing and it was only £4.

The Miracle Solid Oil has on the packaging 'for body and hair'. I've not used it on my hair but have used it a lot on dry skin and it is really helping so it was worth spending the £8 it cost me.

I think that this is the best Top and Base coat I have ever used. I'm usually pretty lazy and skip this stage of the nail painting saga I usually go through (I always end up smudging them). Now I've got this I never skip this step as it's saving me so much time because my nail polish lasts so much longer because of this! I love, love, love it! I don't usually spend a lot of money on Nail Polish and this was £5, so more than I would usually spend but it does a lot so pretty good value for money in my opinion!

I also ordered a nail art pen (in the first picture) as I like doing fancy designs on my nails but always find it quite tricky so hopefully this will help. This too was £5 (this was a little bit pricey I think but it's not something I'll need to buy again).

So, the above are probably my favourite few things from what I picked up.

I won the Mini Coconut shower cream, usually £2, and the Bath Lily (I never knew they were called's a very fancy name), again usually £2, in a little game that The Body Shop lady ran at the party!

My shopping spree also includes a Rainforest Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, perfect travelling size, each £2, a 'blackhead' remover tool, yet to try this as it looks very dangerous and a lot more scary than it did online, this was £4 (also I cut myself getting it out the packaging so I feel like this may be a sign of things to come!), honeymania soap, £2, got this purely because I thought it looked cool, and a Mango shower gel, £4.

So that's it, my very first haul done. Hope you enjoyed this post!

Thanks for reading, have a good day!

Hannah x

My 100 Things | #41 Win a Prize on a Slot Machine

Never in my 18 years of existence have I ever won a prize on a slot machine, so when I added this to my list I felt like it was in the hands of the slot machine rather than myself but would give it a go anyway!

When I was down south last month I went to the amusement arcades on the beach front - a UK holiday essential for my family. I remember going so much when I was little and my Grandma always used to empty her loose change from her purse and I would spend it all on the slot machines.

I was tempted to one machine by a five pound note dangling from the end. I have since realised it was probably glued down as it didn't budge but at the time I could have been sure it was moving so kept putting my change in. I swapped £2 into 2p pieces and spent them all. Some also fell out the machine and I kept putting them back in all in an attempt to get the £5 note.

In the process of doing this the keyrings that were on the top of the coins kept working their way forward and one dropped out. I'm counting this as the toy I wanted to get even though they aren't very big they are still a prize - I don't want to push my luck and try for something else. Anyway, in the efforts to try and get the £5 note, I spent so much money I ended up getting three keyrings! (They're The Simpsons and I'm note a massive fan of The Simpsons but who cares, it's still a prize!)


So, there they are, my three keyrings - not one but three!

And....another thing ticked of my 100 things list! I'm working through them now so will keep blogging about them!

Thanks for reading,

Hannah x

P.S If any of my friends are reading this you may get one of these as your Christmas gift! How lucky would that make you? Haha!

P.P.S If you want to look at other posts related to my '100 Things' list - click here

Life | Stroke Update

A lot has gone on in the past month, and the post I wrote about my involvement with the stroke association was really popular, so I thought I'd do a bit of a stroke related post to update anyone who wants to know on life right now.

October 25th marked three months since the stroke. If someone had said to me when I was in hospital that three months down the line, I would have progressed like I have I'd have said 'no way'. I was pretty positive in the hospital, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, I just had no idea how long the tunnel was. I guess that's the thing about stroke, it's just so unpredictable, you can't put a timespan on recovery.

But this month has marked quite a few milestones in my recovery.....

1) I'M DRIVING AGAIN! I can't even begin to explain how much I've been waiting for this time to come. I remember telling people in hospital how much I would miss driving, and I've always felt so dependent on my friends and family since I came home to take me places. I didn't realise how much I used my car until I couldn't anymore. It's taking me a while to get my confidence back but I know I'll get there.

2) My Occupational Therapist has stopped visiting me at home. She helped me learn how to do everyday house things, like making a cup of coffee, and opening the milk, and taking things out of cupboards. Not being able to do these things was initially very frustrating, and even though I learnt to adapt, it was thanks to my OT that I got back into doing things the way I always would.

3) I skipped with my Physios. I think that doing this helps improve my balance and my speed at walking. I can't remember the last time I skipped so skipping down the hospital corridors was a pretty funny occasion.... Hopefully, I'll be seeing my phyios less and less now - they're absolutely lovely, but the last physio session will mark a big milestone in my recovery!

Stroke survivors I've spoke to and people who work with them have always said that the small little achievements are the most satisfying. I never really appreciated this until this past month. In hospital I was very keen on looking at the big achievements...walking, driving...etc. But this month I have achieved something that I had never appreciated before.....I have painted my nails! Woop woop! My co-ordination and grip have improved enough for me to be able to hold the nail varnish, and then put it on my nails without it going all over my hand! (In fact I think they're neater now than they were before!)

Now to some other news....When I first had the stroke the hospital took about twenty-five blood samples and a couple came back with some results that they wanted to explore further. I went to a hospital appointment a few days ago they told me I have a property in my blood that means it's prone to blood clotting - hence the stroke. At the moment, I'm undergoing more tests so just waiting for the results of those. The specialist I saw apologised for giving bad news about the condition I could potentially have but I've been waiting for news about the cause of the stroke for so long, I didn't mind that it was bad was news! I've been desperate for news!  

I've also been back to the Stroke Clinic and they gave me an appointment for January - longer than the usual six weeks I'd been expecting so they were definitely pleased with the progress. They did the tests they had done in hospital and my strength had improved in my left leg to be almost equal with that of my right! Woohoo! There was still weakness in my arm and hand, and I didn't do as well as I'd hoped when they tested my co-ordination but it was much improved!

So I think that's all for now. I say all but actually reading back it's actually been a very busy month! I've got so much on the horizon related to my recovery and so much I know I can achieve given time.

Thanks for reading. If you're reading and you are a young stroke survivor, or just a stroke survivor, I'd love to hear from you and about you're experiences so feel free to comment!

Hannah x

My 100 Things | #26 Play Crazy Golf

Almost everytime I go on holiday in the UK I've played crazy golf. A recent trip away was no different. The hotel we stayed at had its own little adventure golf course so I challenged my Mum and Dad to a couple of games and won both. We therefore had to have a third game because Dad wasn't happy with losing, so I let him win the third game just to shut him up!

Here's a few pictures.....


When I first had my stroke my therapists said doing things with both my left and right hand, would help the signals from my brain improve, and therefore my grip, co-ordination and movement would improve as a result - Holding the golf club was great therapy. Also, I'm super competitive so this was so much fun!

Well, that's another thing crossed off my 100 things list and another blog post.
Short but sweet, hope you liked it!

Hannah x

Halloween Fun | Pumpkin Carving

This year I went all out and carved two pumpkins for Halloween - I know what you're thinking, I live life on the edge, right?! Anyway, I carved one at home with my Mum and the other at my friend Alex's, as I spent Halloween with her at her Uni Halls.


Due to my dodgy hand, and the use of sharp tools, I thought it'd me safest for my mum to help me with this. I picked up the most enormous pumpkin from a nearby garden centre for the bargain price of £3. It was super heavy so Dad carried it for me, but he isn't very strong either so we had to buy it and go back to the car before we'd even picked up anything we went there for!

Anyway, I went for a very simple design. I'm not exactly a pumpkin carving pro and with this one being so big, I thought simplicity would look best. Also because my pumpkin was super huge, it took me ages to scoop out all of the middle, but I got there eventually and here is how the whole thing went:

Drawing on my design
Removing the lid
Scooping out the centre
Carving out the face
Geoffrey the Pumpkin


I spent Halloween weekend at my friend Alex's Uni Halls in Lancaster. It was great to catch up with her, as we've only spoke over Skype since she went and we used to see each other all the time. Anyway, her parents grow pumpkins in their garden (their garden is huge!) and they visited the previous week so took her one along. Myself, Alex, our friend Alice, and Alex's flatmate Jemma, decided to me a bit adventurous and carve both sides of the pumpkin, with pretty detailed designs - it seemed like a good idea at the time but was much harder to do than the picture we copied made it seem!

This is what the finished, lit up, pumpkin looked like:

Except pumpkin carving I didn't do a lot for Halloween, except spend it with friends, but I had a great time and hopefully next year I'll be spending it at uni, so hopefully it'll be just a good or better!

Hope you enjoyed this post :)

Hannah x