Wow! I can barely contain my excitement that we’re finally into December! I love Halloween, I love autumn, and I love spring but nothing compares to the cosy, warm and safe vibes that only Christmas can bring. Last year we spent our Christmas Day just the two of us as we weren’t able to go and see our parents and although we still had a lovely relaxed day we both wished we could have been with our family, so this year we’re all getting back together and I just can’t wait!
Anyway, I want to talk about my favourite things from last month and there are quite a few different ones, I got my first ever piercing (…sort of), I’ve found some new favourite haircare, fitness accomplishments and some new favourite albums in the mix as well, let’s get going!
For some, this happens when you’re a very young child but I attempted time after time (it must be at least 3 times) during my childhood to get my ears pierced and a mix of laziness and school meant they never stayed permanently but that all changed on bonfire night (5th November) when I finally decided enough was enough, I wanted to put pretty jewels on my ears and went and got them pierced at a lovely piercing place in Bromley called The Belly Bar. This is more of a shoutout to them than my ears because they made the whole process quick, simple and pretty much painless!
Excuse the stupid picture but I can’t take serious ones and I thought a close up of my ear might look a bit weird but yeah…this is my ear! I’ve had them pierced for almost a month and there's been no sign of redness or infection the entire time.
I’ll do a quick review of the piercing experience I had if you’re thinking of getting a piercing or are a bit nervous. At The Belly Bar they made it so easy! Because it was just my ears they saw me straight away and I didn't even need to book an appointment, the entire process took about 15 mins, the piercing shop is spotlessly clean and sterile and they use needles instead of piercing guns which the lady explained to me gives them a more precise piercing hole, it stung a bit and I won't go into too much detail for those of you who are a bit squeamish but as I keep saying it was very quick and the woman was lovely and kept things nice and calm.
For both my ears pierced it cost £35 which seems to be about the price so it wasn’t too bad, they also give you free aftercare in the form of this anti-bacterial bottle that you squeeze onto a cotton bud and gently run around the edge of the piercing both on the front and back of your ear. For the first three weeks, I was doing this twice a day and now I just do it once a day, it seems to be working well and as I say I’ve got no infections, redness or swelling and the piercing shop said it should be fully healed in around 3 months and then I can swap them out for other pairs!
The Belly Bar had a huge variety of piercings to choose from in lots of different sizes but I went for these small gold ball-studs as I thought they would be the easiest to keep clean and would stop my hair from getting caught in it.
All in all, I love my earrings and I’ve already asked for more for my birthday once my ears have healed, I’m also thinking next year I might get a couple more ear piercings as well…but time will tell for those! If you’re thinking about getting your ears pierced I would say go for it, find yourself a brilliant place like The Belly Bar and you’ll have no problems at all.
Andrew Barton Ultimate Blonde Hair Care Duo
This one was a bit of a surprise as my mum found these in TK MAXX one weekend and just saved them for the next time we met up. I struggle to find “professional” haircare products that are still vegan and cruelty-free but Andrew Barton does it all!
Specifically for blonde hair, this shampoo and conditioning duo is really luxurious and moisturising, it says it contains argan oil and chamomile, because of these lighter ingredients it doesn’t have a huge scent but you can definitely smell the light sweetness of the chamomile and it is a nice smell for the evening showers that I always have. The consistency is quite loose so you don’t need to use much as it lathers up really well which meant both bottles lasted at least 3 weeks but the conditioner lasted a bit longer as it’s a bit thicker. I’ve been using a brush in the shower now, when I condition I just brush my wet hair which helps to de-tangle and contain the frizz, I’ve seen this make a huge difference and with the super moisturising conditioner in this duo, my hair looks really thick and silky once it was dry.
As I said, this was a gift from my mum but I’ve had a look on the website and you can buy the duo for around £4.99 for each bottle so I think for a supposed “professional” hair care product, it’s a very reasonable price, but I certainly think the results are of a really high standard and I’d be happy to buy it again. I’ll leave a picture of the ingredients here so you can check there's nothing harmful to you.
But obviously, the thing I am most impressed about is that their products are vegan and cruelty-free and made in the UK. At that professional/salon level that Andrew Barton sits at, I find it difficult to find brands that are vegan and cruelty-free and don’t contain a lot of harsh chemicals especially as this one also caters to non-natural blonde hair to keep dyed hair looking bright, moisturised and natural! Andrew Barton does loads of different products for almost every hair colour and texture and I’ll certainly keep a lookout for their other products in the future!
Conqueror Challenge Medal
In my September monthly favourites of this year I spoke about the Conqueror Challenges and how I’d managed to achieve the 21-mile English Channel virtual walk, well now I’ve managed to achieve the 26.2-mile Athens walk! I think the Conqueror Challenges are a brilliant idea and for someone like me that isn’t that crazy about exercise this really makes me want to get out there walking, build up my miles and achieve these amazing medals! This Athens challenge replicates the journey of the original Olympic marathon through Greece and even features a Google Street View so you can see exactly where you would be walking in Athens. My favourite part of the challenge was when the route takes you through a small area on the coast called Mati which funnily enough was the area we stayed in when we went to Athens in 2019!
The Athens challenge costs £25 and really you’re just paying for the medal and shipping but I’ve really enjoyed earning these, I’ve never had any sort of medal for sport and especially ones that are as cool as these!
In the centre of the medal that little coin comes out just to hold and it’s a really cool touch, the medals are always made of metal and are really high quality (it also means a lot to me that they’re not made of plastic). Next, I’m planning to do the Angkor Wat challenge through Cambodia where you can see temples and jungle through Street View! I’ll keep you updated when I earn another medal!
And that’s it for this months favourites, I also wanted to talk about some great albums that I’ve been listening to this month, they’re not obscure and unless you’ve been living under a sound-proof rock you’ll probably have at least heard about them! I’ve been loving Red (Taylor’s Version), before Folklore, Red has always been my favourite Taylor Swift album, it’s so heavily country and full of really lyrically beautiful songs that I listen to over and over again but this updated version is even better because it features so many new songs! I’ve been loving The Lucky One from the original album and Ronan and All Too Well (10-min Version) from this new update, I never really thought I’d enjoy a song that goes on for THAT long but Taylor Swift is such an amazing song-writer that you almost need 10 minute songs for her to really get all her feelings out on each song, I’d take 10 minute songs all the way through the next album!
I’ve also been loving Silk Sonic’s debut album ; if you didn't know Silk Sonic is the combination of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak and it’s everything you could want from a 1970’s funk album made in 2021, my fav song from that is Skate.
And finally I couldn’t leave out one of my biggest inspirations; Adele and her new album 30. I really didnt know what to expect and as soon as she brought the album out there was so much wining and petty hate all over the internet about how “depressing” and “sad” the album is…I’m sorry, have you never listened to Adele before?! Personally I think this is the best album she’s ever made, it combines Jazz, Lo-fi, ballads and her still beautiful silky voice into another great record. My favourite song is My Little Love which features her son talking on it, it’s such a beautiful song!
Well, that was November and all that’s left to say is LET’S GET CHRISTMAS ROLLING!!