Sunday, 12 September 2021

Bumbling About in Brighton and South Downs *Ad Gifted

At the beginning of June, me, the husband and hound set off on another trip in an epic Bumble Campervan!

Having visited The Peak District, The Lake District and The New Forest on our previous bumble adventures, we thought it was time we head somewhere a little different so for this trip we ventured to Brighton and the South Downs!

As usual, we had hardly any packing to do as Bumble Campers provide everything you need for the perfect camping trip! On board we had:

- big plates, small plates, bowls, cups ad cutlery for two people
- kettle pan set, chopping board, knife, jug, tin, opener, spoon
- self-lighting camping stove and two gas canisters
- sofa/bed with storage, a table. rear kitchen with sink & tap
- powered coolbox, on-board power, inverter, USB/aux-in stereo
- campsite guide & discounted rates for 100's of campsites
- blackout blinds, camping chairs, safe for cash, passports/wifi

We found the perfect camping spot called Southdown Way Caravan & Camping which gave us the best of both worlds; being close to Brighton but also the South Downs scenery. 

One of the beauties of a Bumble camper is the fact you can drive to your destination and there's minimal unpacking to do. Say farewell to deciphering which tent pole goes where, instead Chris and I were wondering- shall we set the bed up now (which is super easy to do) or enjoy the van as a seating area for a while? 

We opted to set the bed up ASAP as it was lovely just laying and admiring the views. The bed itself comprises of the van table transforming into part of the base of the bed and the futon mattress unstraps and roles into place- simple! Chuck on some snuggly bedding and you're good to go!

Another thing to note is Bumble Campers are very much dog friendly, which means your four legged friend can also come camp with you! Harry pawsitively loves coming away with us, enjoying the different sights and smells and it's an adventure for him as well as us too!

So what next? On our first night it only seemed right to enjoy some beverages that had been nicely cooling on our journey down in the van's fridge, play cards and enjoy the gorgeous sunset.

And to finish off an already perfect evening, we snuggled down in to watch some good old Netflix in the comfort of the van. 

The following morning we woke up bright and early and thoroughly refreshed after a comfortable nights sleep in the van. The next thing to do was sort breakfast!

Equipped with a fridge teamed with bacon and eggs, I got to work making a breakfast of champions ahead of a day out in Brighton. Having a kitchen station at the back of the van is so handy and practical. There's no fishing around on the floor of the tent to find all your cooking equipment.

Once fed, we packed up the van and headed for a day of adventure, stopping off first at the Jack and Jill Windmills in Clayton. 

We'd seen the windmills in the distance from our campsite and were intrigued to go take a look. They were a lovely sight to see and if we'd not had Harry with us we'd have taken a look inside. It's also a great stop off point if you're walking to Devils Dyke- somewhere I'll mention later.

The views from the hill of the windmills was also spectacular. Here we could see the gorgeous landscape of the South Downs.

Next up we headed into Brighton for the day. One thing I will note is check where to park ahead of your visit if you're in a camper. There's plenty of parking but a lot of car parks had a height restriction which limited where we could go and meant we were driving around looking for a parking spot for longer than we'd have liked. Brighton was a cool place to visit and there's so much to do, so much so that I forgot to take photos!!! I'd recommend a trip down The Lanes and a visit on the Pier as just some of the things to do.

The next day we headed to Devils Dyke for a spot of walking and fresh air. It's a real beauty spot where you can admire the Sussex countryside on dedicated trails.

After admiring the stunning views and enjoying a lovely walk, we headed off to find the Ouse Valley Viaduct.

Located between Haywards Heath and Balcombe, Ouse Valley Viaduct offers quite the dramatic view. A structural marvel, the viaduct was originally built in 1838 to carry the London-Brighton line over the River Ouse.

It has been estimated that around 11 million bricks were used in construction. Once a treat known only to locals, it is now an Instagram hotspot! Visit early or later for a quieter experience and bring your camera!

So that was our trip to Brighton and South Downs in a Bumble Camper! It was lovely to explore some of the south of the UK and I'd love to head back that way for more walking in the future. The camper van experience was wonderful as ever and I can't rate Bumble Campers enough. If you haven't tried one yet, do it- you won't be disappointed, especially having used a Bumble Camper since 2017 myself!

Have you been to Brighton and South Downs? Let me know where I need to visit when I next go!

* I was very kindly asked to photograph of the Bumble Camper van in exchange for a gifted trip. I was not asked to write a blog post but I wanted to because I love this brand so much and think you guys will too!

Sunday, 2 May 2021

The Retinol Revolution


Skincare is something I've become more passionate about since entering my thirties and with that retinol has become a huge part of my skincare routine.

So what is retinol? Retinol is also known as vitamin A which helps to speed up skins healing, prevent breakouts and build up the immunity of your skin. Retinol also promotes natural moisturising and helps to promote and maintain a healthy dermis and epidermis. All of these properties help to make your skin look smoother, give a better complexion as well as help with anti ageing. Who doesn't want that in their lives!?

There are various price points for retinol products on the market but the one I've found works for me as well as being very reasonably priced is The Ordinary . They strive to make their products exceptional as well as sensibly priced which to me is a no brainer and I've certainly seen the benefits!

Retinol 1% in Squalene

When I began using retinol I started off with a low percentage as it can cause irritation and peeling whilst your skin builds a tolerance so I began with the 1% in squalene. I used it 1-2 times a week and initially I did notice that my skin felt a bit more sensitive than usual but I could see an improvement in fine lines and pigmentation in my skin. With having an oily complexion I was also worried that this oil based treatment would worsen by condition and break me out but it did quite the opposite and for the first time in my life I could use an oil on my skin! I used the 1% for a good eight months before stepping it up to the next level.

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

The next level I used was in fact retinoid rather than retinol as retinoid is stronger and with it being in emulsion this product was oil free. The great benefit to this was I found it sunk into my skin a lot easier and was very light weight. 

Being a higher strength than the 1% I was previously using and having built up a tolerance to that, the 2% Retinoid continued to improve my skin's signs of anti aging and the slight rosacea I have on my left cheek. I used this for four months this time before adding in a 5%...

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene

I've been transitioning into the 5% retinoid for a few months, using it in between the 2% and I can definitely feel the strength with it being over double that I've been using before which is why I'm easing into my skincare regime gradually.

I've also gone back to the squalene solution which is the oil as whether it does or not, it *feels* like it works better? Whether that's the case or if it's a subconscious thing I don't know but again this is really helping with my rosacea and continuing to improve my skins appearance. It definitely looks more glowy and feels very soft too. I'll be shortly phasing out the 2% and using 5% all of the time!

So that's my retinol revolution. Since using it in my skincare routine I have 100% noticed a beneficial difference to my skin with it reducing fine lines and signs of aging, improving the texture of my skin and the pigmentation too. I would definitely recommend it and starting off slowly too. If you're after more of the science behind retinol, The Ordinary has plenty of information on their website which will explain far better than I can!

Have you introduced retinol to your skincare routine?

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Don't Overlook The Classics When Defining Your Style

It’s not uncommon for lots of us to think that in order to be unique in our style choices, we need to do everything completely differently. People want to be noticed for being who they are and having a certain style about them.

When people want to try something new, it’s not uncommon for them (or us) to ignore everything that works and try something very new and there's nothing wrong with that. You never know it could set a trend, or it might just leave you feeling a little lost and directionless...

This second option is one I hope we can all avoid and don’t be afraid to keep hold of the classics when defining your style. If you're wondering how, here's a few little tips and tricks that I hope will help.

Classic Jeans

Classic jeans can be a tremendous aid in helping you have something that will go with every outfit, and that will be suitable for a range of weather conditions. From denim jeans that are plain or those that have subtle patterns on them, to stonewashed jeans that bring with them their own styling, or white jeans that help you look brilliant in the summer, this has been considered a staple for decades, and they’re not going anywhere soon. You just can't beat a good pair of jeans that fit you well and make you feel amazing too.

Simple Jewelry

Don’t be afraid to wear simple jewelry and don’t feel forced to reinvent the wheel every time you try to accessorize. A simple watch with a leather strap can be nice, you don’t have to spend hundreds on a beautiful stone-studded watch or one that shines like the morning sunrise in order to feel confident. Having a statement piece that defines you but is rather simple can also be a good place to start, such as wearing a simple necklace with your name on or a signature ring you feel helps represent you. Little simplicities often speak the loudest, so don’t feel as though you’re ‘going without’ if you enjoy them.

Comfortable Flat-Foot Shoes

No matter what shoes you enjoying wearing when going out or when trying to put your outfit together, don’t be afraid to reach for you flat footed shoes that are comfortable and that help you feel confident no matter where you walk. Many times we feel that unless we wear ‘the perfect shoe’  it somehow denigrates our fashion sense, but what if the perfect shoe were that we were happy to wear? As you can see, sometimes dressing for yourself is the most worthwhile thing you can do.

I love a good shoe but if it's not comfy, I won't wear it on a day to day basis! Or if I do pull out that pretty pair that aren't comfy, I'll complain all day and wish I'd gone for my flats!

Anyway, I hope this has helped to show that don't have to overlook the classics when defining your style. Classic never dates and I guarantee you'll get more wear out of it too!

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Live Your Best Life | Confidence Boosting Tips That You're Bound To Love

Confidence is a trait that we all aspire to have, but building it can be incredibly difficult - especially if you have faced a series of knocks to your confidence and esteem in the past. It's something I certainly struggle with but I'm determined to overcome my worries. You deserve to feel confident in all that you do - whether that means you hold your head a little higher when giving an important presentation at work or start smiling when you see your reflection as opposed to searching for flaws.

With that in mind, here are some confidence-boosting tips that you can use to start living your best

Begin celebrating the little quirks that make you who you are as opposed to picking them apart. For example, if you have a particularly loud laugh, think about how laughter is such a great way of expressing yourself and sharing joy with others instead of trying to tone it down. Embracing your quirky personality and individuality will in turn boost your confidence.

Shake up your wardrobe and find clothes that you love instead of wearing what you think you should wear. For example, just because a particular style of clothing is popular doesn’t mean you have to wear it - especially if your personal style lies elsewhere. Focus on outfits that make you feel comfortable or express your personality - confidence will soon follow when you do. For me this jumpsuit from makes me feel snazzy as hell!

We often look and feel our best when we are well-rested. Therefore, you should focus on getting plenty of sleep and taking a break whenever you need one.

Develop a skincare routine that deals with any issues you may be facing - whether you are battling acne or looking to fight signs of aging. Thankfully, there are loads of anti aging skincare products on the market that can help you obtain a natural, youthful glow that is sure to boost your confidence. Remember, as with any routine - it’s important you stick with it. You can’t apply a little moisturizer one day and expect your skin to look great for the rest of the month.

Practice giving yourself small compliments throughout the day - whether that means you compliment yourself on a job well done at work or celebrate whenever you have a perfect hair day. The kinder you are to yourself, the better as it means you will stop seeking validation elsewhere - as you already have it within yourself.

If you’re struggling to voice your opinions at work, assure yourself that you got that job for a reason. You are no less qualified than anybody else in your position - and deserve to have your voice heard. Do not let others sow seeds of doubt within your head - as you know your own skill set better than anybody else.

If you’re looking to feel more confident, you need to challenge yourself. Try to do one thing each day that lies outside of your comfort zone, as this kind of risk will allow you to realize just how great you are and give you a much-needed boost of confidence - even if it doesn’t always work out in your favor. Don’t let your worries stop you from trying something new - especially if it relates to something you’ve always wanted to do!

The final thing I'd recommend is doing what makes you happy. If that's dancing in front of the mirror and singing to your favourite songs- go for it. At the end of the day, you do you and being your authentic self will always boost your confidence rather than trying to fit in or be what you feel others want you to be.

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