11 Things I’ve Learnt After My 1st Year Of Driving

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Driving was such a massive part of my life last year, and the freedom of finally being able to drive myself around and have my own independance has been a massive part of my life ever since. So, as I recently celebrated driving for a year, I thought I would share 10 things I’ve learnt over the last year of being on the roads.

1. Learn how to drive when you’re as young as possible as you have the time and the brain quickness to be able to pick driving up easily. Even though when I learnt to drive I had work, A-Levels and driving as well, i’m still so glad I did it then as I  would’nt have the time to do it now. It’s given me so much more freedom and has helped me transition into adult life.

2. There are so many crazy drivers on the road, and people that make stupid decisions it’s unbelievable. You really do have to have eyes in the back of your head and watch out for everyone, at all times and predict what they might do, and even then sometimes you can’t believe the decisions people make on the roads.

3. Having a car is at times like having a baby, as it constantly needs attention and love. Whether that’s keeping it clean, putting oil and water in it, paying for petrol and then any repairs that need doing along the way. However, if you buy a car that’s a bit newer you can avoid a lot of random big repair costs and save money in the long run.

4. Nine times out of 10 things that happen aren’t your fault, like someone scratches your car in a car park, or someone swerves into your lane. So, if you ever do have an accident don’t automatically take blame just because your a new driver. Remember your young and have quick reactions, and also you’ve had the newest training as older drivers have got into bad habits and don’t always do everything right.

5. Black boxes can be really annoying, especially when you’re running late or having someone right behind you as you’re doing the 30 speed limit. However, they are so worth it when after a safe, accident free year of good driving your premium can go down by 500.00.

6. Motorways really aren’t that scary as they seem, as long as your savvy about how you drive on them. Lets face most new drivers have to stick strictly to the speed limit so that means that we have no chance of competiting against the cars that have power and can do well over 70mph. So, stick to the left lane when you can and think about where you’re going and what lane you need to be in, and you should be all good.

7. Going on a road trip is one of the best things you can do in your first year of driving, as you can put your skills into practice once you feel confident on the roads. The best way to do it is to get one person or a group of friends you love to spend time with, make a really good playlist to listen to and some snacks and your complete. Oh and also a sat nav so you don’t get lost and stressed out too!

8. Be savvy about where you buy petrol from and which garages you get repairs done at, as not everywhere charges the same for the same thing. I always go to Sainsbury’s for petrol, if i can, as it’s cheap and lasts a long time, and with garages I always get at least two quotes for a repair before I choose which one to go for, as you can save so much money.

9. You will get prejudice as a woman when you have a car, as some men assume you know nothing. So expect looks when you go and fill your car up with fuel or your water washers at the petrol station. However, i would always recommend you take someone with you when you go to a garage for the first few times, as you may be charged more or taken advantage if you don’t know what you want. So make sure you’re clear and know what you want and you’ll be fine.

10. Having a stable, steady income every month makes it a lot easier to pay for your car and your bills to do with it. I have a part-time retail job, and I work set hours every week, so I know when i’m working. That helps me to budget for the month and know that all my bills are covered.

11. It’s the best thing you can do and it honestly has given me so much more freedom. It  makes life so much easier and even though it is expensive, its worth every penny to have a car and i feel so lucky everytime I drive it.

Are you learning to drive? What things have you learnt since driving?

Rachel x

TKMaxx Beauty Haul

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Beauty is a topic I don’t talk about very often over on this blog, however I do actually really love trying out new products and finding new amazing hidden gems. So, when I headed to Home Sense on Monday, which is just the home, beauty and stationary side of the whole TKMaxx empire, I loved searching the shelves to pick up a few new beauty bits. To be honest it’s very hit or miss as to what you will find, as it’s always different everyday with new stock coming in. But this time round I found some great little gems that I thought I would share with you in a beauty haul.

Catwalk TIGI Hair Mask

Haircare is something I’m constantly interested in. I love trying out new things and finding new products which will really look after and my nourish my long hair. To get my hair in bouncy curls, I have to curl it with straighteners, however this can damage my hair a lot particularly on the ends, so I was looking for a good hair mask that can be a treat for my hair a couple of times a week to give it some moisture and make sure it’s healthy after all the heat I put on it.

So, when I saw this Catwalk TIGI one I picked it up straight away, as it smells amazing with an oatmeal and honey scent (it sounds horrible but is actually so good). It’s also quite an expensive and luxury hair brand, and I got it for a really affordable price of 7.99 instead of over 20.00. I’ve only used it once so far, however I’m already in love with how soft it makes my hair and it really restores the ends.

Evoluderm Micellar Cleansing Water 

Michellar waters are a product I kind of fall in and out of love with. When they find became popular in the UK I loved the L’Oréal one, however over time I found it easier to use a cleanser that removed my makeup at the same time. But recently I changed up my face wash and couldn’t use it to remove my eye makeup anymore, and I needed something better than just a makeup wipe.

So, when I saw this micellar water I thought it would be perfect for what I wanted, as the French beauty products are supposed to be really good and I knew that it would make sure all my eye makeup was fully removed before I headed to bed at night. I’m so glad I bought this product as I absolutely love it. It works so well on my makeup, doesn’t sting or irritate my eyes at all and is just a dream product for 2.99. I will definitely be keeping the bottle for this and trying to hunt down some more once this bottle is finished.

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Urban Studio Contour Brush

Contouring is something I love to do to really complete my whole makeup look. It just gives your face so much more dimension and definition, which you can’t get without doing a bit of contouring. However, it can be really difficult to get it right, and I know I’m still trying to master it after around two years of doing it in my everyday makeup routine. I think a lot of it is down to the product and the brush you use. I think I’ve got the product covered with the Kate Moss contour kit from Rimmel, however I needed a better brush. So, when I saw this small rose gold one I instantly knew I needed that in my collection.

What drew it to me was at first the beautiful rose gold colour, which I just can’t get enough of, but also the shape of the brush. It’s such a perfect shape to fit right under your cheek bone and make sure all the product is in the right place, and then the wider bristles helps you to really blend it all out. I love this brush and can’t wait to carry on using it to help me master contouring.

Home and Body Co. Body Conditioner

This a new product I’ve never seen before, and was more of an intrigue buy than anything else. When I saw it I thought it looked really interesting and I’m never giving my body enough love and I’m always forgetting to properly moisturize every night. However, I thought by doing it in the bath that might solve my problem.

I used this for the first time last night and it smells absolutely amazing. Tea tree and mint are both really good natural plants to use on your skin and make it feel amazing. My skin was super soft afterwards, but I feel like you would get through the whole pot quite quickly if you used it everyday. So, I think this is going to be a going out pamper treat for me, to make sure my skin looks and feels amazing when I’m going on a night out.

Have you ever bought beauty products from TKMaxx? Have you found any holy grail products you cant live without?

Rachel x

The Casual Spring Pastels

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Dressing for Spring is something I’ve been waiting for such a long time. I can’t wait to finally be able to put those thick knits away, say goodbye to those winter scarves, hats and gloves, and say hello to my spring wardrobe. As the weather has been getting slightly warmer in the UK, I’ve been starting to piece together some fresh spring outfits, mixing some of my classic spring pieces from the last few years, with a few of my new favourite items thrown in to.

This everyday casual, spring pastels look is a perfect example of this, as it mixes a pair of my classic, go-to black high-waisted jeans from M&S, along with my gorgeous blush pink trench, a spring cotton shirt and tied it all together with my new beautiful pair of grey suede knee-high boots. This is my favourite look for a casual day out shopping, or heading out for a coffee date. The mix of the light pink and blue pastels pair perfectly with the classic, chic black and the texture of the suede boot. Altogether the whole look just oozes my sense of style; classic colour blocking with a bit of texture thrown in there too.

THE BLUE PASTEL SHIRT: This is a piece I’ve had for while but I still love it just as much as when I bought it. It’s a classic buy from Topshop in the Tall section, and is the perfect fit for me. I have a long body so sometimes finding shirts that fit in all the right places and that’s also long enough, can be difficult.

I love to bring this out every spring/summer as it’s a really light-weight cotton, so it keeps you cool in summer and warmer in the early spring season. It looks perfect paired with so many different colours and can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for a casual everyday look paired with converse.

THE BLUSH TRENCH: This trench is one of my favourite pieces as soon as springs starts to roll around. I bought it to wear for one of my best friend’s weddings last year, and fell in love with it straight away. It fits like a glove and is a perfect statement coat to wear for spring. I always love a good trench at this time of the year as they still give some warmth, but are also still light and can instantly look so chic. This one is a purchase from Debenhams last year, and was around 40.00, however pastels are really big again this spring/summer 18, so I’m sure there will be lots of similar ones across the high-street.

THE JEANS: I’ve spoken so much about these already, so I’ll make this one short and sweet. These jeans are the best ones I’ve found on the high-street for my body shape and budget. They’re super good quality, have a really good fit and are just the perfect pairing to any outfit, whether night or day.

THE BOOTS: These are my favourite piece from the whole entire outfit, and also my newest purchase. I’m really into knee-high boots at the moment, as I love how classy they look and they’re so super versatile for autumn/winter and spring/summer, as you can pair them with jeans, skirts and also dresses. These were a great buy from River Island back in February for only 40.00, down from 60.00; as I think they were trying to clear some of their winter stock. However, I think these are super spring appropriate too, as I love how classic and chic grey is and how comfy they are to walk in, and on your leg as well.

Are you looking forward to styling up some spring outfits? What are going to be your key pieces for this season?

Rachel x

Easter Rocky Road Recipe

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Baking is something I really love to do to relax and spend time being creative in the kitchen. As easter is coming up and it’s all about enjoying the sweet treats, I thought I would get baking and make some of my own. So, i’m sharing a super yummy and amazingly chocolately rocky road recipe, which is an easter themed version of the lovely Tanya Burr’s recipe.

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What You Need:

– A Saucepan    – A Spatula or Wooden Spoon    – A Glass Bowl    – A Square Tin    – Grease Proof Paper or Tin Foil    – Weighing Scales    – A Rolling Pin            – A Sandwich Bag

For The Rocky Road:

-150g Butter    -350g Dark Chocolate     -4 Tablespoons of Golden Syrup    -250g Plain Digestives

For The Topping:

-100g of Mini Marshmellows     -90g of Mini Eggs    -50g of Melted Dark Chocolate    -3 Cream Eggs    -Small Bronze Honeycomb Decorations


1.Line a square tin with grease proof paper and measure out all of your ingredients.

2. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup together in a bowl, over a saucepan of boiling water on a low heat.

3. Put the digestives into a sandwich bag and bash them with a rolling pin until there is a mix of crumbs and pieces of biscuit left over.

4. Pour the biscuits into the chocolate mixture and stir in the mini marshmellows.

5. Pour the mixture into the tin and make sure it’s completley even.

6. Cut the cream eggs in half and position across the top of the rocky road, as well as the mini eggs and any other chocolately decorations you want to add.

7. Melt the 50g of chocolate in a bowl above a saucepan of boiling water on a low heat, and then use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate on top of the rocky road.

8. Put the rocky road into the fridge for at least 2 hours, however leaving it over night is also a really good idea.

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Are you going to be doing any easter baking this weekend?

Rachel x

4 Pre-Summer 18 Trends

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Images Sourced From Pinterest and WGSN

March is the first month that we start to see peaks of spring and summer start to come out, and it always gets me excited for the warmer months ahead. By this time I’m starting to get bored of winter fashion, wearing jumpers and boots all the time and having to always think about a coat. I just want to be able to wear jeans and sandal’s, throw on a dress and a jacket and just head out for the day, without the worry of the cold weather. So, to start getting your spring/summer style juices flowing, I thought I would share 4 pre-summer trends, which you can start to incorporate into your style now and also through the summer months.

RUFFLES: These were a massive trend last spring/ summer and they are having another big comeback. They work best when you keep them simple, on the trims of tops or dresses and look gorgeous on sleeves. They look so feminine and really add a fresh, spring like vibe to your outfit.

LACE: Every spring/summer lace seems to be in trend in some way, however this year it’s all about doing it head to toe. So, whether that’s wearing a fully lace dress or two lace separate’s, to create the all lace illusion. However, you have to really careful and pick your colours and style’s carefully. So think about pairing light neutral shades together, but focus the darker shade on the bottom half, such as a white lace top but a blush pink shirt. Again this looks so youthful and fresh and something I love to incorporate into my summer wardrobe.

EMBROIDERY OVERLAY: Embroidery has come back to clothing with a bang, and this year it’s all about over lays. So, wearing a black vest top with a sheer, embroided lace top over it, or an overlay of embroidery as a feature on a dress, top or a skirt. It looks lovely in so many shades and is available in multiple styles, you just need to find the one that’s right for you!

CUT OUTS: Lace year it was just starting to come through with the cold shoulder top trend, however now it’s all over the body, with cut outs on the arms, neck, waist and stomach. However, you need to play it carefully and make sure you pick an item that still looks classy and chic. You want to look on trend and also up market, not on trend and slightly trashy.

What trends can you not wait for this Spring/Summer?

Rachel x