Photograph-a-holic's style diary



I feel in a bit of a daze of late.  It’s kinda swooped up on me, slapped me in the face whilst simultaneously throwing me in a choke hold.  I don’t know if it was hitting another birthday; albeit they’ve never affected me before, or something else.  31.  Thirty-funkin-one.  Geez, is this where I’m supposed to be in life at 31?  Really?  My baby ticking clock hasn’t hit me, but my life one has, and damn has it knocked me off my feet.

Last night whilst out to dinner with some awesome friends, I made a wish whilst blowing out the birthday candles, and it’s big, and it’s huge, and it’s daunting.  I’ve read enough psychology books to know if you’ve got a big fat goal you break it down into bite sized chunks, I get that.  But this, this just seems epic, like I could be chewing for a lifetime and still never get there.  It’s scary stuff.

*Types “life mentor” into Google and hits return*


Shake that derrière!

I’m going against all of my natural winter’s instincts of hibernation and sloth-like-existenceness, and pursuing ripped buffness shedding those extra few pounds.  I generally get those strange looks, that’s not abnormal, but my exercise regime works for me.  Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, and a couple other gym classes/running/dance classes thrown in during the week for good measure.

It’s all about finding a routine that works for you.  I’ve found two gym classes I absolutely adore, Nuffield’s All Over Body Workout on a Saturday morning (10.30am, not too early, it is the weekend after all – but not too late you still have the whole rest of the day), and Body Balance on a Sunday evening.  Balance is great for clearing your head of the week’s stresses, (kinda!) ready to start all over again on Monday morning.  During the week?  I try and go every other day, but I’m not too precious.  I don’t dictate to myself what I have to do, if I fancy a spinning class, I’ll go spinning, if I want to get those lovely endorphins flowing and challenge the lungs, I’ll go running, if I want something a little calmer and re-stretch those muscles, I’ll go to another Body Balance class.

The point being, I don’t set myself into a routine I’m going to get bored of.  Whatever exercise I fancy on the day is what I’ll go and do.  Mix it up a little, as long as you’re regularly moving that body of yours, it’s better that spending every night sat on the sofa right?  And don’t get me wrong, I love LOVE my sofa day’s, but I don’t feel guilty ever for having them.  They’re my down time, not the norm.

Having said that, if someone wants to give my a shot of motivation for tonights class and wake up my sleepy head, I’d be eternally grateful 😉

Hello : October

Credit: here.

October, where did you come from?!  You’ve completely snuck up on me with no warning and taken me off guard.  The heating is now on, the layers are being wrapped around me tightly, when the work hours finish my mind instantly wonders to sofa slumbering and warming, comforting food.

But there’s not too much time for squidging up in warm cozy nooks, October is also the month of birthday celebrations.  This year I hope to enter a new age in a relaxed, loved, simple kind of way.  BF and I are meeting after a far too long a gap for copious amounts of cuddles and cocktails, and an explore of Bath and thermal pools when we can tare ourselves away.  A small intimate dinner date with close friends to seal the deal when I return, and that’ll be me, another year older, another year of finding myself.

At the age of (almost) 31 I’m approximately 3,724 miles away form where I thought I’d be, and it’s only in the last few days and months I’ve felt I know truly where I want to be.  That place is scary, it’s filled with uncertain challenges, but it also feels right and where I belong.  I’m scared to take the steps I know I need to walk, but I’m petrified to remain in my current life.  It’s had it’s time, but it’s now time to add itself into my memories for new days and journeys ahead.

You have no idea what you’re wishing me luck for, but I’ll take all the luck that’s kindly offered into my next chapter…

Insta-Food : September

Roasted butternut squash soup with added smoked chilli flakes for extra kick, with garlic ciabatta // Natural yoghurt, blackberries, raspberries and (homemade) killer granola // Sushi // Smoked bacon, asparagus & poached eggs with tonnes of cracked black pepper – sometimes simple is best // Pork & apple sausages with smashed baby potatoes with garlic, rosemary and lemon // Take out // Chilli prawns with garlic flatbread // Fruit snack // My latest addiction, Crunchy Nut Clusters // Smashed potatoes with garlic, rosemary and lemon with roasted shallots and tomatoes // Baked potato with crème fraîche mushrooms // Starting to find my love for autumn with apple and cinnamon muffins

When I’ve got my stressy pants on, one of the first things to go out the window is my regular eating.  Time for home cooking seems to evade me, and grabbing on the go starts to take it’s tole.  However this month, I’ve started to take the reigns again and get my regular eating habits back, which in turn has helped rid those little over jean bulges that had started to creep in.

I’m soon(ish) to move (again), and I hope to get some ‘how to’ recipes up for some of my favourite foods (expect simple, no fuss, full of flavour food that won’t use up every pot in your kitchen).  I currently have the world’s smallest kitchen (seriously, I put the chopping board down on the worktop, and I loose my worktop altogether) and whilst I’ve thought about it, my knickers would soon become twisted with frustration again trying to cook AND get some awesome photo’s in zero space.

So, in the mean time, with my focus on starting to love my arch enemy winter, it’s going to be all about finding some warming autumn recipes.

Follow me on Instagram! @529scout

September Beauty Favourites (and not so favourites!)

September, what a complete mixed bag of highs and lows in the beauty sphere!  I’ve finally gotten around to trying most of the Soap & Glory products I’ve been bought, as well as one that’s been tucked at the back of the beauty/toiletries/make up cupboard since I bought it (at least) six months ago.  Tut tut me.


Ojon Shine and Protect Shampoo & Conditioner – 6/10: After reading Lily’s review about the Dry Recovery version, I was super excited to try this.  And well, it was ok, I guess.  It smells kinda nice, cleans my hair nicely, but that’s all I’ve got.  It’s ‘nice’.  And for a top end priced shampoo and conditioner, I want to climb Kilimanjaro, shinning locks swishing, yelling “well look at me and my bouncing, shining, luscious brunette waves – I bet you wish you had this shampoo and conditioner set! ha”  But I don’t, I just say it’s pretty nice.  It does what I expect of pretty much any high street shampoo.  I’ll happily use it up, but my hard earned £££ will be entering someone else’s hands next time.

Grab it!

Soap & Glory’s The Righteous Butter9/10:  This was originally going to hit my ‘Ditch it’ category.  I don’t choose ‘favourite’ body bits when I’m moisturising, when I moisturise, it goes top neck to toe, and everywhere in between.  And with this product, a lot goes a little way!  It kinda sunk in a bit too quick for me, and it has the usual Soap & Glory smell, which was just a bit strong for an all over dousing and got up my nose for the rest of the night.  If you’re a huge fan of the smell I’m sure you’ll love it, but I’m a creature with a delicate nose, and my delicate nose wasn’t feeling it!  However, it redeemed itself in two ways.  Firstly, my skin did actually feel lovely and smooth the next morning.  Secondly, whilst it just got a bit annoying applying it all over when it sunk in so quick, as a hand cream I LOVE this!  It’s been demoted from an all over body butter for me, and is being well and truly kept as a hand cream on my desk, and I’ll probably buy another for the bedside table!  None of that horrid greasy hand cream business here, 60 seconds and it’s sunk straight in and I can fiddle around with my hair again to my heart’s content without filling it full of cream that has no right to be there.  It’s a keeper.

The Aromatherapy Co’s Peppermint, Tea Tree and Lavender Foot Balm10/10:  In advance, I’m sorry.  But I’m also gutted too, and I’ll be using this sparingly.  THIS I bought in TK Maxx around 6 months ago, and has only just been tested!  THIS I come to find I love.  THIS can only damn well now be bought in New Zealand & Australia (and some select places in Asia).  So if you’re in that neck of the woods, oh so lucky!  (And you know, if you want to hook me up with some more…)  Put your hand up if you take super regular care of your feet too, and don’t leave them to get a bit dry/rough/unloved at times… I don’t see many hands.  This is like an easy little miracle in a tube, all whilst giving you that awesome tingly refreshing feeling as only tea tree and peppermint can.  Super thick, you spread the balm on and leave.  After a few minutes, my feet are miraculously soft, and feel like I’ve covered them in some sort of liquid talc.  You know how your face feels when you put a make up primer on, that super delicate, my face has never felt so soft kind of way?  Yeah, well that, on your feet!  My next trip to NZ, I’ll be testing the luggage weight limit stock piling on these!

Ditch it!

Soap & Glory’s The Scrub of your Life & Flake Away1/10:  Now, when I want to exfoliate, I want to exfoliate.  I haven’t found an exfoliator yet that you actually use in the shower to work, and this hasn’t either.  Nowhere near enough scrub to actually exfoliate your skin.  Yes, both did leave my skin feeling smoother, however that wasn’t down to the ‘scrub’, it was down to the slight residue it leaves on your skin.  I’d be fine with that, if I didn’t actually want to exfoliate and give my skin a good kick up the derrière into life again.  If you want some gritty bits swishing around your skin, give it a go, if you want to exfoliate, put your money somewhere else.

CK One Shock for her5/10:  It actually pains me to do this.  I love LOVE LOVE this smell.  For daytime, I’m all about the sweet girlyness, to which this is bursting.  AND I like the simple, chic, modern bottle (I think I have a theme running).  So where’s it all going wrong??  It’s got zero staying power.  When I spray it, I adore it, and so does anyone else who’s wafting passed me at the precise second I spray.  But after that second has passed, that’s it!  No more lovely, sweet, girly smell!  Sniff myself as hard as I might, I can’t smell it!  And I’ve never received a single compliment whilst wearing it (even when getting a big squidge from BF – and he’s not afraid of a compliment in the good smell department).  Woe is me and my CK One Shock.  If this came in an eau de parfum I’d give it another chance, but if I buy a damn good smell, I want to smell damn good.

Have you tried any of these?  What did you think?

September’s most AWESOME blogs…

September’s been all about finding myself some sort of routine again.  I’ve been all out of sorts of late, and I’ve felt it physically and mentally.  So the gym schedule has been penned in my diary, no more snaking on the go and making REAL food again, taking down time of absolute nothingness, and remembering to do ONE THING AT A TIME!  Yeah I can multitask, name a woman who can’t, but juggling 38 balls all at once gets somewhat a little stressful.  I see you nodding in agreement.

So, it’s time to start holiday saving, making some of the recipes I’ve been pinning like a crazed pinning machine, and updating and warming up that wardrobe of mine.

  1. I REALLY want to start making some video diaries.  I love watching other people’s, I must get over my fear on learning how to edit them.
  2. Sophie Dahl is just beautiful…
  3. I need to find out if this granola is as killer as it states, after making my first batch, I can confirm it certainly is!
  4. I absolutely adore the little love stories on this blog.
  5. Leather, studs and lace, what’s not to love?!
  6. I never thought I’d say it, but I want a black panther tshirt.
  7. Love black and white, love simplicity, love beautiful handwriting.
  8. Must. Be. More. Brave. With. My. Lip. Colour.
  9. This totally inspired me to get more crafty.
  10. I soooooooooooo hope these brownies taste as jaw dropping good as they look!!
  11. As if I didn’t already want a holiday badly enough… So, so jealous.

How’s your September treated you?

Sneak Peak : Oversized ASOS studded clutch

Oversized studded clutch/ASOS

Getting all winter ready, I decided I needed to order my first snood.  Which I’m now totally in love with, and am now of the complete bewilderment why I’ve only ever entertained the idea of scarves before, all that flapping around material – not any more!  But anyway, I digress.  Whilst navigating my way around ASOS, it’s difficult impossible not to get a little way too sidetracked, which I MIGHT just have done, again.

I’m both feet, hook line and sinker into the studded trend right now, and I’m a sucker for an awesome clutch anyway, so I had no hope when my eyes laid my eyes across this.  AND it’s currently in the sale.  AND it’s going to unknowingly teach me the hard lesson of not carrying my entire life in my handbag.  (I’m not the only one who does that, right??)