Shannon Michelle

Shannon Michelle

Beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger from the UK..

Saturday, 14 October 2017

VANILLA PUMPKIN BODY BUTTER | THE BODY SHOP REVIEW

There's no hiding that vanilla is one of my all time favourite scents, with pumpkin spice close behind, but when the two scents come together, oh my.

When The Body Shop launched their recent Vanilla Pumpkin range I knew I needed everything asap. The brand emailed me about their launch and all the products that were going to be on the shelves, as well as also kindly sending me their vanilla pumpkin body butter.

I've been a huge lover of The Body Shop ever since I was little, always going into the closest store near me and playing around with all their different body butters, body mists, you name it. But I honestly was the most excited I've been about their products when I heard about this range that they were releasing.

The body butter itself is an absolute dream. It's smooth and smells just like autumn baking and I'm honestly so obsessed with it, like picture baking your favourite Halloween goodies and applying that same scent to your skin, it's beautiful trust me.

I can always rely on products from The Body Shop to help my skin feel hydrated and soft, with ingredients such as Shea butter and different oils your skin is bound to be feeling the best it can be. The consistency of the body butter is fairly thick, but leaves your skin feeling unreal, so it's totally worth testing out. Since this range is special edition, it won't be in stores long so I suggest stocking up on the entire range immediately if you want to be adding a bit of pumpkin to your daily skin routine!

This scent is perfect to wear in the colder months, whereas sweeter scents are always my go to in the summer, but with the hint of spice that comes with this product, i'd say it's definitely only an autumn/winter scent. I also really struggle with dry skin as the weather gets colder so I know this body butter is going to help so much to make my skin feel hydrated all throughout the winter, if it lasts me that long that is!

Speaking of how long it will last, previous body butters that I've owned have lasted me so much longer than I imagined them to! A little goes a long way with this product so you should be good for at least a month or so if applying every day. The tubs are fairly big although you can usually get smaller versions which would be best to go for if you're ordering online and haven't tried it out yet. If you get the chance to, I highly recommend going into The Body Shop store closest to you and trying the product before buying it to see if it works well with your skin!

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this product other than I'm sad it won't be in stores for long, but you seriously need to go get it if you love the sound of vanilla, maple syrup, hazelnut and of course pumpkin.

Have you tried the vanilla pumpkin range?

Shannon
x

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

5 WAYS TO RESET WHEN YOU FEEL STUCK

Sometimes we have off days, sometimes we have off weeks and honestly, it's perfectly okay. Everyone experiences a little bit of down time every now and then, but in the end we pick ourselves back up again and get into the swing of things. It's completely fine to have time for self care, and to feel like yourself again so here are five ways to help you reset when you feel stuck and need a pick me up.

Make A List -
write a list of things that make you happy and do those things every single day or bring those things back into your life, whatever they are make sure you are doing your best to make yourself happier by bringing those things into your life even more. Alternatively write a list of things that are causing you stress, once you've written this list you'll probably feel more of a weight lifted off your shoulders and you can help banish them out of your life for good. Whatever it is that's bringing you down or causing you stress clearly isn't healthy for you and you need to do what's good for your health and get rid of any negativity.

Set Goals -
Think about the things that inspire you and help bring those towards yours goals. Even if they're small goals, any accomplishment shouldn't go unnoticed. Be proud of yourself and what you achieve, so make these goals regularly and you'll learn to praise yourself more. You could even begin to make a list of goals for every month and try to achieve everything by the end of the month, without it turning back on you and causing you any stress by trying too hard to achieve the goals that you've set.

Take It Easy -
Take more time to relax and have time for yourself. If you work long hours or are generally just a busy person and find yourself stressing over the silliest things, then you need to take a break. Run and hot bath, use your favourite bath bombs and have a pamper session, listen to some chilled out music and make yourself some tea and take that time alone to help feel better and forget about your worries.

De-clutter -
Take a day off or take a few hours out of your day to de clutter. Clean up your work space, your home and things like your emails and papers. If you need to de clutter mentally, then detach yourself from people that are bringing you down. Anyone who says things behind your back, makes rude comments or even if they're people you wish you never got involved with, just detach yourself from them slowly. You don't need people like that in your life.

Write -
Start keeping a journal of your day to day life. This will help you mentally, knowing what you need to be doing and also helping yourself keep track of what you've been up to if you want to look back on it. Commit to writing in a journal every night as something to keep your mind off of things. I find that when I spend time writing literally anything, especially my blog, it helps me detach from my daily life and have that time to myself to write whatever I want and forget about anything that's got me worried.

I know these were pretty simple tips, but maybe try adapting these however you want and adding them to your day to day life. You need to find what works for you and take things slow. If you're confused about what you're doing career wise, relationship wise, or life in general, or if you're upset about anything then I hope these tips helped you one way or another. 

Shannon
x

Sunday, 8 October 2017

HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT COSY DAY AT HOME IN AUTUMN

Is there any other excuse better than "because it's autumn" when you feel like getting all snug with the fluffiest of pyjamas and the warmest of blankets? Honestly, I love autumn (surprise, surprise) but seriously, I find nothing more comforting than long walks, walking on crisp leaves and taking totally aesthetic photos, then coming home and running a bath with my favourite lush bath bomb and reading a book from the Harry Potter series, putting on my pj's and making myself a coffee. I sound so basic, wow.

So here's a list of essentials that I recommend for the most perfect autumnal cosy day at home:

Flavoured Coffees -
I love playing around with different coffee ideas and flavours in the colder months as it's acceptable to drink bucket loads of coffee to keep you warm, obviously.. Adding flavoured syrups or a few spices to your coffee can make drinking it so much more enjoyable. I'm currently obsessed with adding 1 tsp coffee, 1tsp cacao powder and 1tsp coconut sugar to a mug, filling it with boiling water and adding a splash of vanilla almond milk. Honestly do yourself a favour and try it, I swear you'll want to thank me later for blessing you with this creation. It's truly like heaven in a mug. You can find a lot of coffee syrups in supermarkets and you've probably got a lot of spices already sitting in your cupboard calling your name. Maybe even go full on DIY queen and make your own pumpkin spice mix with different spices that you own. I've also found that when making coffee from home, I have to use decaf coffee as regular caffeinated coffee gives me headaches. Turns out I prefer decaf so much more and I love drinking it in the evenings knowing that I won't be up for hours struggling to sleep because I've got such a buzz from regular coffee. I definitely recommend switching to decaf if you just enjoy the taste of coffee without needing that coffee fix to keep you going.

Read Outside - 
If you enjoy reading in your spare time, or hey even if you don't, take a good book and a blanket outside and read no matter what time of day it is. If i'm honest, I feel like I don't do this half as much as I wish I would, but it's something that I find so peaceful and relaxing. I love reading the Harry Potter series this time of year because there's something that just screams autumn when I think of them. I can't ever seem to get enough of the series, so reading any of the books outside this time of year sounds perfect. I really want to find some new book suggestions, so if you have any please feel free to leave a comment with a few reads you love.

Bake Something Comforting -
I've always loved baking but something about this time of year makes it a million times more enjoyable. Throw on a playlist full of jazz music and get some candles burning and you have a perfect autumn day. I love baking pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, anything pumpkin you name it. If you want to be healthy this time of year and find that you're always surrounded by things packed with sugar then you can easily alternate pretty much any recipe into being much healthier by switching up the ingredients or by playing around with the amount of sugar / different ingredients that you actually need. Find what works for you and it will probably turn out delightful.

Halloween Movies -
I love love love this time of year as it allows you to binge watch all the halloween movies, scary or not it's always fun. Get together with some friends and make a night of it by making some fun halloween snacks and throwing on some classics like Hocus Pocus (forever a favourite!). If you're into scary movies then I recommend watching "Don't Breathe", "IT", "Annabelle: The Creation" and "The Conjuring 2" I love all of these movies so much and you're bound to love them too as the story lines for all of them are brilliant.

Take A Bath -
If you buy a selection of Lush bath bombs, you're bound to fall in love with taking a bath every now and then, especially when the weather isn't very pleasant. I love how Lush bring out different ranges depending on the holiday seasons and I absolutely love their Halloween collections every year. I personally love taking a bath in the evenings on a rainy day while reading a favourite book. To make it even more cosy, light one of your favourite autumnal candles!

Comfy Pajamas -
I love getting out the shower/bath in the evenings and throwing on the cosiest pajamas I own. So many stores bring out adorable autumn / christmasy style pajamas around this time and I always want to buy everything to get me feeling cosy and wanting to lay in bed watching something on Netflix. I love throwing on pajamas that feel smooth and fluffy, they're without a doubt the best to lounge about in. You could even be that little bit more extra and chuck on some fluffy socks to get you feeling the absolute comfiest.

Light A Candle -
Or light ten candles, whatever makes you feel at home! I love this time of year as I can light candles all day every day and make my home smell lovely 24/7. As we all know, Bath & Body Works have the best autumnal candles, I just wish it was so much easier to get hold of them in the UK as I'd be lighting every single one of them any time I possibly could. Personally, I love candles that remind me of baking on a cold day with hints of cinnamon, pumpkin or vanilla, so I need to go on a huge hunt to buy the biggest collection of these scents.

What is one of your cosy day essentials?

Shannon
x

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

MY AUTUMN GOALS

As Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, I always feel like I want to achieve a lot by the time it's over, whether that's pumpkin picking or hosting a Halloween party. I love being able to wear cosy jumpers all the time and it pretty much being 100% acceptable to wear any kind of comfy clothing all season without judgement. So whip out those leggings, throw on a big jumper and slip on your ugg boots, it's autumn baby.

Bake pumpkin pie
Since only trying pumpkin for the first time about a week or so ago and suddenly developing a connection with it that I never want to let go of, I now have a sudden need to bake everything with pumpkin in it. As pumpkin pie is a huge autumnal classic in the baking department, I definitely want to be like the majority and get my baking game on.

Have a scary movie marathon -
Okay, this is not just an excuse to be lazy all evening (okay maybe it is), but I really want to get together with a few friends or my boyfriend and have a scary movie marathon with all the Halloween favourites. I love a scary movie, so autumn is a great time to use having a scary movie marathon as an excuse because duhh, it's Halloween season.

Make pumpkin spiced granola -
This one is so basic of me, but since I always love having granola for breakfast, it only seems right to make it pumpkin spiced for this time of year, I mean who wouldn't want a breakfast that reminded them of all things cosy? I can't wait to make the biggest batch of this and live on it literally every day for the rest of the season.

Carve pumpkins - 
Believe it or not, I didn't carve a single pumpkin last year and I don't know why, but this year I am most definitely going to grab all my family and persuade them to carve pumpkins with me like we used to.

Host a Halloween Party -
My family always used to throw the cutest Halloween parties years ago and we haven't had one in so long, but this year I definitely to get all of our family and friends together and have a great night with the spookiest playlist and the best costumes.

Buy new boots -
I love wearing cute little booties this time of year, it makes any outfit look autumnal, especially with a scarf thrown in too! Since I practically live in my converse, it makes a nice change to switch things up a bit in Autumn/Winter with a pair of boots that can go with literally anything and look adorable. I also really want to get hold of some knee high boots too as they always look stunning.

Make a scrapbook -
Since I find myself inside a lot more during the colder months, it allows me to have more time to get creative and the one thing I've wanted to do for what feels like forever is to make my own scrapbook. I love looking back at memories, so making a scrapbook not only gets me to be creative, but to also be able to enjoy looking back at photos and other memories that I can cherish forever.

Go exploring -
Although I said I find myself indoors more in the colder seasons, I still love to have fun outside on the days where it's slightly chilly and crisp outside. On days like this I always want to just grab my camera and go exploring with some friends or family and go exploring in places like the woods and have a mini photoshoot in the leaves.

Burn new candles -
What's autumn without candles? I love cosy smelling candles with hints of vanilla, pumpkin spice or anything else that makes me want to wrap up in a blanket and embrace autumn while reading the harry potter books and eating pumpkin bread. I also love having a candle burning whenever I'm baking or while I'm writing a blog post as it makes me feel at home.

There's probably a ton of other things I want to do this season that I can't think or right now, but these are the main things I've got my heart set on for the following months. Have a great Autumn!

What are your goals this season?

Shannon
x

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

9 AUTUMN / HALLOWEEN DIYS YOU NEED TO TRY

I've always been a pretty creative person, so when I see DIY's on Pinterest or on some of my favourite blogs, I instantly feel a sudden need to get into creating it myself. Now that Autumn is among us, there are so many Halloween DIY ideas that I've found and really badly want to try. I might even try creating my own Halloween crafts and share them with you soon!

Anyways, here are some really interesting and festive DIY ideas for you to try out, maybe even try making some with friends and make a day of it! These ideas could be great for Halloween decorations especially if you're planning on hosting a Halloween party this year. Or if not, these would still look adorable in your home or in blog posts as props etc..

Easy DIY Halloween Mason Jars - momendeavors
Pumpkin Tree Stump Welcome Sign - view from the fridge
DIY Autumn Leaf Fairy Lights - wallflower kitchen
DIY Fall Dreamcatcher door wreath decor - DIY show off
DIY Halloween Glassware Decals - sugar & cloth
15 Best Painted Pumpkins - this mama
How To Make Easy DIY Pumpkin Spice Soy Candles - holly habeck
Ghost Tablecloth DIY - oh happy day
Fall DIY Wood Sign - how to nest for less

I love all of these ideas, but I can't wait to make the autumn fairy lights and the mason jars!

Will you be trying any of these DIY's?

Shannon
x

Monday, 2 October 2017

AUTUMN PLAYLIST 2017

Jazz music is my absolute favourite and nothing says Autumn to me quite like Louis Armstrong and a cup of coffee to get me through the chilly days. I wrote about my Autumn playlist last year and it became one of my most popular posts, so I thought why not share this years one too! If you're looking to discover new, slightly chilled music with some old classics thrown in then this playlist is perfect for you.

  1. The best you had - Nina Nesbitt
  2. Make me (cry) - Noah Cyrus
  3. Why - Skinny Living
  4. La vie en rose - Louis Armstrong
  5. Impossible year - Panic! At The Disco
  6. Love me or leave me - Little Mix
  7. Burn - Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) 
  8. My girl - The Temptations
  9. Can't help falling in love - Haley Reinhart
  10. Dream a little dream of me - Ella Fitzgerald ft. Louis Armstrong 
  11. When I look at you - Miley Cyrus
  12. Like a fool - Keira Knightley 
  13. Only you - Selena Gomez
  14. Ever since New York - Harry Styles
  15. Versace on the floor - Bruno Mars
  16. Giants - Ella Henderson
  17. Moonlight - Ariana Grande
  18. Issues - Julia Michaels
  19. Shadow - Luxtides
  20. Control - Etham 
  21. Emily - Matt Wills
  22. After Rain - Dermot Kennedy
  23. Havana - Camilla Cabello
  24. Say my name - Alex & Sierra
  25. You will be found - Dear Evan Hansen (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  26. The night we met - Lord Huron
  27. In my dreams - Ruth B
  28. Hey believers - Peter Bradley Adams
  29. Hollow body weather - Field Division
  30. Cherry wine - Overcoats
  31. I don't want to change you - Damien Rice
  32. Little lover - Broadhurst
  33. Everglow - Coldplay
  34. There she goes - The La's
  35. Clean - Taylor Swift
  36. Lover dearest - Marianas Trench
  37. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something
  38. Feels like home - Diana krall ft. Bryan Adams
  39. It's only a paper moon - Ella Fitzgerald ft. The Delta Rhythm Boys
  40. How long will I love you - Jon Boden
I couldn't recommend listening to this playlist while baking some lovely autumn goodies enough as it is has the perfect mixture of genres thrown in, so hopefully you'll love it as much as I do.

Let me know if you know any of these songs and if you do, are any of these some of your favourites? 

What's your must have song on any autumn playlist?
(mines "dream a little dream of me")

Shannon
x

Sunday, 1 October 2017

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN SPICED COOKIES (VEGAN)

Yesterday I decided to experiment with a new cookie recipe I created. I haven't baked cookies in what feels like forever, since I've been vegan in fact, so way over a year! (honestly i'm shocked too). Since it is officially autumn of course it was only right to make them pumpkin spiced for all my fellow basic ladies out there, including me of course. Let's be honest though, what says autumn like pumpkin spiced scented everything? so why wouldn't you want to bake these cookies and make your home smell beautiful?

I did originally intend for these cookies to be well, like a classic kind of cookie, but instead they turned into rock cake kinda things which I'm not complaining about at all. Like I said, I was experimenting with the recipe so a few mistakes were likely to be made and it may have been because I made the cookies a little too big. I recommend if you want to make these smaller and save the amount of time you want to bake them for, as obviously the bigger they are the longer they will take to cook in the oven, then scoop only about one tablespoon of mixture onto the tray. Or if you want them to turn out just like mine then follow these exact instructions below!

Yields: 9     Cook Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:
 - 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup vegan butter (can be subbed for coconut oil)
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate, chopped (or sub for a handful of vegan chocolate chips) 
- 2-3 tsp mixed spices / pumpkin spice 
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder 
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat your oven to 170 C. 
2. In a large bowl, cream the caster sugar and vegan butter together until smooth.
3. Sieve the flour into the same bowl and add in the pumpkin puree, mixed spices, salt, vanilla, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until completely smooth, making sure there are no lumps from the pumpkin puree.
4. Add the chopped up chocolate bar (or chocolate chips). I used the "Nutty one" from Conscious chocolate to add more flavour and a tiny bit more crunch from the walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts and hazelnuts that are in the bar. I highly recommend using this as it makes the cookies taste so lovely, but chocolate chips would taste just as great.
5. I sort of eyeballed this, but add about 2 tablespoons of the cookie mixture onto a parchment lined baking tray and place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Keep them in the oven longer if you want them more crispy, but I thought they were just right and slightly softer.
6. Finally take them out of the oven and place the cookies onto a cooling rack for about 10 minutes to toughen up a little bit more before serving!

Let me know if you plan on making these yourself as they are perfect for a cosy autumn movie day and a hot chocolate. 

What's your favourite thing to bake in autumn?

Shannon
x