Friday, 20 February 2015

Wish List // Victoria's Dress

I feel ridiculously old now, my prom was 13 years ago! In my day job I’ve come across a lot of young people who are planning their proms and a big thing is the dress. When I had my prom, firstly proms weren’t such a big thing back then and secondly I really didn’t like school so I did go to my prom but made very little effort! I had my hair all pinned back, did makeup myself and worse a very plain purple dress. I don’t even have a photo to share with you all! I was also a bit of a tom boy back then so getting dressed up was a pain in the back side!

However nowadays it’s a different story, I wish as an adult I had some fun balls or proms to get dressed up for as I am seriously suffering from a lot of dress lusting lately... I don’t think being laid up for 3 weeks with bronchitis has helped, it’s given me a lot of time to mooch at pretty dresses on my ipad whilst tucked up in bed!

I recently came across the website ‘Victoria’s Dress’ which is full of beautiful wedding dresses, evening dresses and prom dresses (A lot of which happen to be on sale right now!). I am seriously swooning right now!

Above are a few of my favourite dresses from their website, the yellow one reminds me of belle from beauty and the beast, best Disney movie ever. The cobalt blue dress is just stunning and screams class at me, and the skirt on the peach one is just way too pretty. My ultimate favourite one has to be the mint green dress, I love the pastel shade, the gorgeous skirt and the beautiful embellished top. To me it’s the perfect mix of modern vintage, is that a thing?! It’s definitely my dream dress! 

Now would anyone like to invite me to something where I can swan around in one of these beauties?!

Overcoming Anxiety

I’ve never shared this on here before but a few months ago I was diagnosed with anxiety. My mum was really ill in hospital at the time and I wasn’t coping very well. I ended up having a massive panic attack at a friend’s party. I’d never had one before and it was the weirdest feeling. It felt like my heart sped up out of nowhere and I just could not grasp any breath. It was after that, that I decided to visit my doctor and received my diagnosis.
I wasn’t sure what to think when he first said the word anxiety. I had heard it thrown a lot at the time and felt it was a bit of a dramatic trend for young people. How dumb was I. looking back I think I’ve suffered from it for quite a while. I don’t think anxiety is necessarily a bad thing, a certain level of it is really good for us. It’s what spurs on our adrenaline and keeps us going. It’s not healthy though when it inhibits your life and prevents you from being yourself and being able to get on with daily tasks. This is how it got for me, I lost motivation, I felt empty and I just didn’t feel like myself. I’ve been on medication for a while, which has really helped, but I’ve tried a few other ways to try and help reduce my level of anxiety and have found them to really work. I am definitely by no means a medical expert and anxiety affects everyone so differently, but I thought I would share what helps me in case it may be useful for someone else…
Delete Facebook off your phone – I’m a serial Facebook snooper, I can spend hours mindlessly browsing through Facebook, but I know I’m not the only one! Let’s be honest though, all you’re really doing is wasting time, catching up on gossip and comparing your like to everyone else’s highlight reel. How does any of that make you feel good? It doesn’t, so delete it! I now go on Facebook once a week, check my notifications and that’s it. I feel so much better for it and am learning to use my time more wisely.
Cut out caffeine – I was a complete coffee whore! No joke, I would have 2 cups of coffee before I left for work, about 3 in the first hour there and then at one an hour for the rest of the day. Looking back that’s insane! I would spend my whole day wired and then stupidly wondered why I couldn’t sleep at night! I feel so much better for giving it up, I’ve replaced it with fruit teas and a chamomile tea before bed. I am much calmer, I’m not spending my whole day feeling tired and I’m sleeping much better.
Get Creative! – I find getting crafty and making things very therapeutic. As well as making jewellery for my shop ‘Pearl Divine’, I’ve started joining in with craft swaps and I’ve also recently come across adult colouring books which are ace! I think it allows your mind to focus on something and I always feel great when I’ve completed something.
Talk to People – I’ve barely told anybody about my anxiety but I have spoken to three of my close friends about it. I regularly check in with them and they have been amazingly supportive. It feels good to talk and get it off my chest.
Improve your sleep routine – I used to average about 5 hours of sleep a night. I would stay up ridiculously late every night, making no allowance for getting up early. I now try for 8 hours of sleep a night even if that means forcing myself to go to bed! Life is so much clearer after a good night’s sleep!
Exercise – go for a walk, run or cycle – get moving, head to an exercise class, whatever suits you just do it! Get those endorphins pumping and you will feel so much better for it.
I still have good days and bad days with my anxiety but I am feeling more in control of it now. I guess the moral if this post, the one thing I’d like people to take from it is to make sure you take the time to switch off and look after yourself.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Chemist Direct Haul

I haven’t done a good old haul post in forever! I haven’t had a massive shopping blow out in ages, don’t get me wrong I still am a shopaholic but my spending has been a little here and there rather than one big haul!

So when Chemist Direct recently got in touch and offered me £50 to go mad and purchase whatever I would like in their online store, I got ridiculously excited! They have a huge range of beauty, hair, body and health products at pretty bargainous prices. I spent an evening browsing the site and ended up with £569.75 worth of items in my shopping bag. Whoops! I ended up going on a bit of a cull and getting it down to £60.50 with postage and packaging.
So here is what made the cut...

Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Natural Bronze Tanning Lotion – I love the smell of this stuff and I don’t know about everyone else but I’m feeling ridiculously pale and pasty this winter so anything that will add a hint if colour is a must for me right now!

Bare Minerals Nude Beach Glimmer Eye shadow – I have used this shadow before and recently ran out. It’s such a pretty shade, I may do a separate review on this at some point.

Garnier All in One Skin Perfector BB Blemish Balm in Medium – lately I have been using BB creams instead of foundation, I find it a lot lighter on my skin and can’t wait to give this one a whirl!

Carmen Copper Curling Tongs – I’ve recently had 3 inches chopped off my locks so it now rests on my collar bone. I really like the messy hair look, you know that tousled beachy hair style, and I’m hoping these curling tongs will help me achieve that!

Beckhams Signature for Her 75ml EDT Spray – this could have gone terribly wrong as I had never smelt this scent before, but I wanted a new perfume so I thought id risk it! Cue, sigh of relief when it arrived and smelt lovely! I’m not sure this scent would be for everyone as it’s quite a musky manly one but I quite like that about it!

OPI Muppets Most Wanted Gaining Mole-Mentum Nail Lacquer – such a pretty colour!
Inecto Pure Coconut Oil Conditioner 6 pack – err yeah, 6 whole bottles, I know that seems a little excessive bit I find coconut conditions work wonders on the dry ends of my locks!

Have you tried any of these products?

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentines Day: My One True Love in Life

Happy Valentine’s Day you beautiful people! I hope you are all feeling happy and loved whether your single, married, engaged or whatever!

As today is the day that’s hallmark stamped for love, gooeyness, hearts and flowers I thought I would dedicate today’s post to my one true love. Nope, fear not I have not gone crazy and met a boy or my dream man Chris Hemsworth in the last few days and declared my undying love. Nope, I am talking about my bed. Yes my bed, you read that right, I have to say it was a close call between my bed and peanut M&M’s (yum yum!) but my bed won out!

It’s my favourite place on earth, especially during these cold winter months. It is ridiculously comfy and cosy. I think my love for it has expanded lately with the recent present of an electric blanket. I don’t care if this makes me sound insanely old but it really is the best invention ever! I can’t believe I’ve never had one before.

So because of said electric blanket I now have a quilted mattress protector underneath it which just adds to the comfy factor. I then have a duvet and multiple blankets thrown on top... I can’t explain how good it is!

Oooh and to top it all off? The joys of being single means it IS ALL MINE! I can sleep in the middle and starfish and I don’t have to share it with anyone else!

Screw you valentine’s day!

Friday, 13 February 2015


The Bloggers Snail Mail is now officially one year old!! I can’t believe I’ve been running this project for a whole year! I have had so much fun organising this project and chatting to lots of new lovely bloggers, I really hope you get as much out of it as I do.

Welcome to the Spring round, so here is how it works:

A quarterly gift exchange where you can meet other bloggers from around the world and spread a bit of positivity! People get paired up in March, June, September and December. During the sign up period, every participant will be paired with one other new participant and you’ll spend a few weeks becoming BFFs (i.e. reading each other’s blogs, sending happy e-mails, you name it!). After that, you’ll send your partner a gift from your country that you think they may like from the info you now know about them. There’s a £5 limit on the gifts to make this project as affordable as possible. Be as creative as you can and make it meaningful! Motivate them, tell them all the beautiful things you learned about them, and make them feel special! We could all use a little encouragement, especially from our new friends. Also, each package should include a postcard (or a letter if you can’t find one!) with some motivating love or positive words of wisdom written all over it.

So to sign up for the ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ you just need to send an email to, title it ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ and include in it your name, where you are from, and you blog! Sign ups will be open until the Friday 27th February. I will then randomly match you all up aiming to make sure you are with someone from another country or at least in another area from you! I will then let you know by Monday 2nd March who your partner is and you then have 4 weeks to get to know them! So the week of the 30th March, you can then send your new buddy their Snail Mail!

Once you receive your gifts, write a blog post about your experience, sharing what you gave, received, and learnt through this being part of this and meeting your new pal.

If you want to tweet about this project, use the hashtag #TheBloggersSnailMail, You can also tag me @GemmaMarieJames and ill retweet your post, so everyone can share your experience!

Please only sign up if you definitely are willing to take part and if you want to be matched with someone from the same country as you to save on postage then please let me know!!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

DIY: Valentines Jam Jar Tea Light Holders

Have you heard of the Jam J-Art Campaign yet? The idea behind the campaign is to get people to be more creative and recycle jam jars, you can find out more on their website which is here.  The folks behind Jam J-Art recently sent me 2 jars to play with and I decided to focus on a valentines theme and make some cute tea light holders. 

Here is how to make your own...

What you’ll need...

Jam Jar
Small hearts cut out of tissue paper
Mod podge
Paint brush

How to do it:

Make sure the jam jars are super clean and ready to go. Cut small heart shapes out of tissue paper. I used a variety of colours as I wanted mine to be bright and fun but I think if you went for just one colour that would look fab too!

Next paint the mod podge onto the jar in the place you want to stick a heart. On one of my jars I just went for a central line of hearts around the middle of it and the second one I added more hearts in a more random pattern. Paint over the heart with the mod podge once you have placed it to seal it into position.

Let it dry for around 12 hours and then place your tea light into the jar and light it!

I am so in love with my cute jars! I think they look really fun and they are so simple to make. What do you think of them? 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Single Girls Guide to Valentines Day

Being single on Valentine’s Day can sometimes suck! You get all the loved up couples rubbing it in your face and you often end up feeling more single than ever. Well I’m here to tell you that we single girls can have a bit of fun ourselves on cupid’s big day, so here are 5 suggestions for the single girl on Valentine’s Day....

  • Forget the stress of getting ready for a big date, let’s face it, it is stressful finding the perfect outfit and getting your hair just right. Instead make V Day all about YOU! Crack open a bottle of wine, run a hot bubble bath then throw on a onesie and indulge in some chocolates.  PERFECT!
  • Grab all your single pals and head to the most romantic restaurant in town. Who says you need to be in a relationship to enjoy and yummy candle lit meal?
  • Throw a slumber party for all the single ladies! Watch funny films make cocktails, laugh a ridiculous amount!
  • Send yourself some flowers, make then anonymous and spend the whole day who querying who sent them to you! Who doesn’t love a mystery and it will make all your boring coupled up friends a little jel.
  • My personal favourite, star fish in bed! Enjoy having the whole bed to yourself, no sharing!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Valentines Cards for the Non Soppy!

valentines cards

Now I am not a hearts and flowers kinda girl, I love it happening to other people but when it happens to me... I cringe! Bad right! I love a guy with a sense of humour and this relays into valentines cards. Yes I am ridiculously single but a girl can hope a card may arrive for her! I have seen some cards that aren’t all kittens and roses and that have made me proper laugh out loud so I thought I would share them with you!
Are you sending any valentines cards this year??

Thursday, 5 February 2015

January's Health and Fitness Roundup

This is a completely new kind of post from me, a monthly health and fitness update! I don’t usually share this part of my life on here but I’m hoping that by recording it regularly it will keep me motivated and on the straight and narrow!

I have been over weight for a long time, I have an under active thyroid which doesn’t help matters but at the end of the day I have eaten way too much of the wrong things and don’t move nearly half as much as I should! I have finally reached a point over Christmas where I can’t bear to feel bloated and uncomfortable with myself. It definitely affects my confidence and self esteem and I don’t want to live like that anymore. So this isn’t a new years resolution, I think there a load of pants, this is all about a permanent life change. I want to feel fitter and healthier, I want to feel confident in my own skin. So each month I am going to share with you all how I am getting on, so here goes...

To sort out my diet I have signed up to weight watchers, I have followed their programme before and have really enjoyed it and always seen results. By going each week to get weighed and recording everything I eat on their phone app, it really helped to keep me on track. I don’t find weight watchers limiting, or feel that I am ‘dieting’, I can eat anything I just need to track and stay within my allocated points! I’m not going to lie though I have derailed a few times this month as it was my birthday near the beginning of the month and I’ve had numerous celebrations involving food and drink. I’ve also been a bit poorly for the last week or so have been a bit lazy with food prep but I’m determined to get back on the wagon!

Boot camp x10 sessions
Rowing x2 sessions (3 hours)
Yoga x 1 session
Step aerobics x 1 session

I’ve gone from very limited exercise to doing something every other day at the least over January. I signed up for boot camp, which is basically a circuit’s class 3 times a week. I decided to sign up for the morning sessions which start at 6am (yes it is ridiculously early!) but I have found it a great way to start the day and have to admit I really enjoy it! It’s different every session and is a great mix of cardio and weights. I definitely have seen my fitness improve and I have signed up to keep going in February!

I also go rowing (out at sea) once a week for 90 minutes which I have been doing since I was about 14. I love being out at sea and it’s a great exercise for your whole body. It’s been cancelled a couple of times this month due to the weather so I’ve not been out as much as I like.
I’ve also tried to throw in a couple of other classes but have found it pretty exhausting so this is something I might try again towards the end of February and I don’t want to overdo it.

Chest:   -1”
Hips:  -2”
Thighs:   left -2” Right -1”
Bottom: -2”
Arms:  Left -1” Right -1”
Waist: -2.5”
Weight loss this month: 7lb
Total Weight loss: 7lb

I am pretty chuffed with this month’s progress! On average I’ve lost 2 inches all over and I’m 7lbs down! Over all I need to lose 4 stone, I am hoping I can achieve this by the end of the year. I am off to Australia in November and would love to be able to wear a bikini! 

Monday, 2 February 2015

Motivational Monday // February


Welcome to Februarys motivational Monday post! If you caught my changes post a couple of weeks ago you’ll know that I have decided that instead doing a motivational Monday post every week I will not only be doing them on the first Monday of every month. They are one of my favourite posts to do and remind me to take stock and appreciate things a hell of a lot more, I find them therapeutic. However I was getting a bit bored of doing weekly ones and wanted to break my blogging habits and shake things up around here a lot more!
Today’s quote is all about taking charge of your own happiness! It is true, so many outside influences can impact our lives but at the end of the day we are in control of how we react to things and how we feel. So it’s up to us to choose happiness! I am determined this month to wake up each morning and decide to be happy. To try and smile more, laugh a hell of a lot more and just be a jolly old soul! Happiness spreads happiness and I love seeing other people with smiles on their faces!
Happy Monday lovelies!
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