Thursday 26 June 2014

Five ways to combat stress

Stress is something that the majority of us experience at some point or other. With our demanding lifestyles and busy schedules it can often be hard to find ways to relax. Common symptoms of stress include mood swings, insomnia and overeating which can all contribute to the problem and make it worse. Here are some simple ways to reduce the effects of stress and help you to live a more relaxed and stress-free life.

Diet and Exercise

Regular exercise and healthy eating are proven methods for boosting your mood. Even small changes such as taking a short walk, eating fruit and vegetables and drinking more water will make a noticeable improvement. Try getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, snack on fruit and add vegetables to each meal. Cut down on caffeine and fizzy drinks and aim to drink two litres of water or herbal tea each day.


Stress often makes it hard to sleep and causes tiredness and low energy levels. Having a hot bath with aromatherapy oils followed by a gentle stretching routine before bed can encourage relaxation and aid sleep. Cut down on caffeinated drinks and replace them with warm milk and chamomile tea which are renowned for their sleep-inducing abilities. Be sure to avoid eating three hours before bed to allow your digestive system to settle and prevent it from disrupting your sleep.


Bottling up emotions can often seem like the easiest option, however doing this leaves issues unresolved and causes stress levels to increase. Phone a friend for a chat or arrange to meet up for a coffee where you can vent and share advice. If you would rather speak to someone professional find a councillor or support group in your area, or see if the issue is something your doctor can help with. Simply talking to someone can make you feel happier, even if a solution is not achieved straight away

Focus on the positives

Trying to remain positive and push the negative thoughts aside can seem impossible when you’re stressed. However focusing on a future event, such as a holiday, or something that makes you happy can lift your mood and help you to combat your troubles. Plan a treat for yourself at the weekend, such as going for a nice walk, buying something new or taking time out to read a book with a cup of tea. Arrange to see friends or family who make you happy and try to do something little that makes you smile every day.


Meditation techniques such as deep breathing, rhythmic exercise and yoga have been proven to activate the body’s natural relaxation response and boost both your energy and mood. Try a calming yoga sequence from one of the many videos available online, or look for class in your area. Simply spending 15 minutes each day being alone, still and focusing on your breathing will re-charge your batteries and lift your mood, leaving you feeling calm, composed and stress-free.

Holly xx

Images sourced from Vogue, Tumblr, Sweat the Style and Net-A-Porter.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Super easy Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies

Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies

This simple recipe makes quite possibly the most delicious, sickly and indulgent brownies I have ever tasted and to make them even better – they are gluten free!

After recently deciding to go wheat/gluten free for personal/health reasons I was at a bit of a loss about what to do about a birthday cake. Every supermarket cake I looked at contained wheat and gluten and ordering a specially made cake without these was out of my price range.

As someone who has a huge sweet tooth and counts cake among my list of favourite foods, going without a birthday cake was not an option! After discovering hundreds of delicious and simple-looking gluten free recipes online I decided I would make my own!

I would describe myself as an amateur baker to say the least - which is probably why the ‘cake’ didn’t turn out quite as expected. However my baking did not go to waste as I ended up with the most delicious and indulgent chocolate brownies I have ever tasted (if I say so myself!) and they were a big hit with everyone who tried them.

If like me you love chocolate and want to try an easy-peasy recipe - this is  definitely one for you :-)

The chocolate frosting and buttons were originally planned for decorating the cake but were not needed in the end.


Dark chocolate 180g
Butter 120g
Caster sugar 150g
Cocoa Powder 50g
Eggs 3 (beaten)
Vanilla extract 1 tsp


Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2.
Grease a 20cm cake tin and dust with cocoa powder.
Melt the chocolate and butter.
Mix with the sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes.
 Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting up and serving.

The chocolate brownie before being cut.

The recipe can easily be adapted and you can add other ingredients such as hazelnuts, almonds, cherries or chocolate chips if you choose. They also taste delicious served with a dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Holly xx 

Tuesday 10 June 2014

New in Beauty

Throughout May Feel Unique had some great daily deals. I took advantage of the ‘50 for £5’ offer and bought three great products: L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil, L'Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Magic Touch Instant Blur and Weleda Skin Food, all of which are usually priced at around £10 – so I got three for £15. Bargain :-)

Along with these I also made a couple of purchases at Superdrug and Asos

Here’s what I thought…

I am a huge fan of hair oils, however I'm always sceptical about trying new ones in case they weigh my hair down and leave it greasy. This oil is the opposite of that and feels light and nourishing with a delicious scent. I have been applying between washes and my hair feels moisturised, shiny and overall in better condition. I love L'Oréal hair products and am yet to try one that I don't like. I would definitely recommend this oil if your hair is in need of a little TLC.

After seeing the adverts for this cream promising a clear and more radiant complexion I decided to give it a go. It works like a primer - which I don’t usually use – and is applied before your foundation and base. It really does blur out imperfections and creates a smoother appearance while also helping make-up last longer. The tube is pretty small so I’ll probably save it for special occasions such as nights out. Although I wouldn’t pay full price (around £11) for it, I think it was a bargain for £5.

Dubbed as a ‘skincare staple’ by numerous makeup artists, I was keen to try this miracle cream. For some reason I thought it was a face cream, but it is actually for dry skin on the hands and body. The texture is thick and moisturising, and absorbs more or less straight away leaving skin smooth and soft. I would probably use it more in winter when my skin is dryer, but I imagine it would work well on sunburn/sun damaged skin too. It's another product that I probably wouldn’t buy at full price, however if my skin was in real need of rescuing I may reconsider.

I decided to try B Replenished Facial Oil after reading the great reviews and also seeing that it was recommended by the Daily Mail. So far I love it. I have been applying it after showering daily and can already see an improvement in my complexion. The oil claims to hydrate the skin with its ‘powerful antioxidant-rich formula,’ and I would definitely agree. My skin appears to be clearer, more even and my pores have been reduced. I am hoping to see further improvements with continued use :-)

Personally, I think this lip balm is the BEST one I have ever used - and I have tried a lot. It is so nourishing and smells delicious. I am a huge fan of anything vanilla flavoured and this balm smells good enough to eat. The texture is so thick and creamy, and really moisturises the lips. It stays on for ages and has the added bonus of being SPF15 making it perfect for summer. I would definitely recommend this product, your lips will love it too.

So that’s my month of beauty buys, have you tried any of these products? What have you been buying this month?

Holly xx

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Today is my 23rd birthday!

I'm sure that each year goes by more quickly the older I get which is why it's important to be happy, enjoy every moment and make the most of the time you have, because life is just too short!

I started the day with a delicious birthday breakfast of blueberries and Greek yoghurt followed by banana and peanut butter oatmeal - SO yummy but now I am stuffed!

The weather is pretty miserable so I am hoping that the sun will make an appearance, but I refuse to let the rain spoil my day regardless :-) 

For the rest of the day I am chilling at home and baking a birthday cake before heading out for dinner with my family this evening. I can't wait to open my presents! I've planned a night out with the girls at the weekend so the celebrating will continue then!

Have a fabulous day everyone :-)

Holly xx

Me & my sister on my birthday last year

Blowing out my candles

Tuesday 3 June 2014


My college course is finally complete and I can celebrate my freedom! The past seven months have been both stressful and enjoyable, and now that I am not overloaded with essays and assignments I’m not quite sure how I am going to fill my time.

Apart from finishing final pieces of work and getting my portfolio sorted, this month I have been enjoying the numerous bank holidays and one week of warm weather we had – which was unfortunately followed by thunder storms and cold temperatures - but fingers crossed we will have a nice, hot summer.  I'm definitely focusing on healthy eating and working out so that I can get decent abs for bikini season! (A girl can wish lol).

I had a mini beauty splurge and took advantage of Feel Unique’s great offers - reviews to come shortly! I’ve also been making arrangements for my birthday which is tomorrow! It always comes around so quickly.

What have you been up to this month? Any exciting plans for June?

Holly xx

Workout time, Spinach, egg & mushrooms yummy! Beauty purchases, Pretty flowers.

Home-made veggie soup – my favourite! Pretty spring peonies, Loving mango & lychee green tea, Google on Audrey Hepburn’s birthday.

Pre-workout – attempting to get my abs in shape for crop-top season!

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