It's Pancake Day!!...and yeah, I guess it's the 1st of May too but more importantly, make all those pancakes and eat them all today, nobody can tell you not to it's literally the day of Pancakes, haha!
Looking back to February I've got a few nice things to share about what we've been doing in our personal lives as well as some good old toiletries because it wouldn't be a monthly favourites without them!
My 24th Birthday!
I'll start off with this and get it out the way, on Sunday (27th Feb) it was my 24th birthday. I and my partner spent almost 5 days with my mum and dad at their house and had a great time going out on walks, eating great food, visiting National Trust places and we also went to Stonehenge and Longleat Zoo but I'll save all that for the full write up I'll be doing on each of those at some point.
I had a really lovely time and it was even more special to spend the time with my parents and the dogs as we only really get to see each other every few months so we always treasure those moments. I was very fortunate and got some lovely gifts that I'll share with you when I get round to it, but I just wanted to put it out there for you to know that I had a brilliant time and I really appreciated the time off.
One weird thing I've been experiencing is that the night before my 24th I couldn't shake the mental feeling of feeling really "old"...believe me, I'm more than aware that 24 is not old at all but it sounds like a grown-up age and one where you imagine big things to be happening to you. I started to feel that little crisis we all get every now and then that maybe I'm not doing enough or maybe I haven't progressed in my life as far as I would have wanted to at this point but then I reminded myself that I've got a wonderful partner, family and friends who all look out for me, I've got a secure job and this blog that although I don't get paid for doing, is a huge passion of mine and something that I'm always working on, obviously we're getting married next year and then looking to buy our first house so although I did feel a bit "old" and pressured myself into thinking I wasn't doing enough, I realised I'm exactly where I need to be and very fortunate to be in the position I'm in, then I got over myself and enjoyed my birthday!
I just thought I'd put that in there for anyone else who may be feeling like that, it sounds cheesy but it's true, everyone is on their own different path and we all do different things on different time scales, as long as you keep progressing (no matter how small a step) with the things you love and are passionate about then you'll end up exactly where you're meant to be, don't give up!
Dr. Organic Shea Butter Night Cream
This next one is one of the best face creams and the first night cream I've ever used! Last year I went up to Manchester to see my best friend Shannon and we went out on our usual day of TK MAXX bargain shopping, she's a bit of a queen of skincare and knows a lot about what's good for individual skin types whereas I pick up anything that says vegan, cruelty-free and smells good with no regard for if it's actually suitable for what my skin needs, I feel like this is out of ignorance rather than plain stupidity as my skin is very easy and doesn't flare up or give me too many issues so I can experiment with lots of different skincare without it upsetting my skin too much, but she highly recommended this one for me and I'm so glad she did!
This night cream is everything you're looking for in a simple, relaxed skincare routine where you can dab a bit of this on straight out the shower before bed and wake up with a smoother face and even skin tone.
This cruelty-free and vegetarian product has a whole host of organic natural ingredients such as; blackcurrant seed oil, avocado oil, mango and papaya fruit extract and coconut oil. With all these fruit extracts and oils poured into the mix you can imagine how nourishing it is to use, and I found that it sits quite stiff on my skin so I didn't need to use a lot otherwise it felt a little like I had a facemask on, but this only means I got to use it for longer.
From week one of using it, I saw a huge difference in my complexion both with how smooth and nourished my skin was but also how long-lasting the cream is too, it dried very quickly on my face which meant there was no oily texture leftover and in the morning once it had all soaked in, you're left with a very smooth face and I found it started correcting the redness around my cheeks as well, to not only give my skin a more hydrated look but also a more even colour too.
Looking on the Dr. Organic website it says that this cream is cruelty-free, doesn't use synthetic ingredients or preservatives and throughout their product range, they're cutting the use of palm oil, which is always great news for our rainforests and orangutan friends!
As I say my skin is pretty low maintenance but I did experience some slight redness and dry patches whilst the cream was on my skin during the first few days but that stopped very quickly, I'll leave a picture of the ingredients on here but do please check this product on their website for the full ingredient list before using just to check there's nothing that will irritate your skin.
As I mentioned at the start, I got this product from TK MAXX a while ago so I don't remember exactly how much I paid for it but I know it was somewhere between £5-£8 for the 50ml glass jar, I know 50ml might not sound like much but you really only need a little finger-tip dab on your forehead, chin, and each cheek so this could easily last a month being used once a day. I have seen it on the Dr. Organic website for £9.99 full-price and £5 in a sale so I think it's a really affordable addition to your skincare routine.
Manc Made Vlogs
This is a very different addition to my monthly favourites but one I hope you'll be really excited about. My fiancee Joseph is a bit of a content creator himself and has started a new venture under the name Manc Made Vlogs, this will consist of him videoing himself at gigs of both large and small scale bands, talking about who they are and showing some of their best bits, he also documents the journey to the venue (including what tubes/buses you might need to take), the venue itself and some helpful things in each venue's local area like pubs and takeaways.
I am really proud of him and how much work he puts into Manc Made, I think each video is really fun and informative and I think it will be interesting for a lot of people not just those of you who enjoy loud and rowdy gigs! We edit the vlogs as a team, so although they're not perfect I think they're getting better with each one, but each video is a fun, honest and concise look at the gig experience which I've said to him before is really important as there are a lot of people (me included) that used to love going to gigs and events but after the pandemic, the thought of that many people all crowded into a room together is a little overwhelming.
I'm hoping he'll also be a point of interest for those of you who had planned to go to your first gigs and events but the pandemic took that from you as well, so you can see that there are gigs still going ahead that aren't being cancelled that are still safe, fun, and accessible for you to go to!
Manc Made is pretty much all over the internet on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok, there is a teaser trailer up on each of those links and he should be posting out the full gig videos soon!
As I said, I'm really proud and I hope it turns into something positive for him as I don't think there are many people actually doing what he's doing which is documenting gigs and live events, showing you the honest performances as well as some local nightlife along the way to not only showcase great artists but prove that live events are back and we need to get out there and support them!
Let me know if you have a look and enjoy what he's doing, I want to drum up as much support as possible for him!
And that's it for last month! One other thing we did was stay up one night and watch The Super Bowl live between the Cincinnati Bengals and L.A. Rams, I have to be honest that I have no idea what's going on in American Football but we enjoyed watching it and I was rooting for the Bengal Tigers all the way to the end, but it wasn't to be! We also love tuning in for the Half-Time Show each year and this one was extra special as it brought some of the kings and queens of Rap, Hip-Hop and R&B together for one ultimate performance, if you haven't watched it, find it online now!!
I had a lot of fun last month and I can't wait to see Manc Made's progress over the rest of the year, but in March I'm looking forward to hopefully brighter and slightly warmer days as we head towards spring and summer!
My next post will be another book review on a chilling James Patterson novel, so keep an eye out for that one!