It's the first 10 Things of 2018, and I consequently had a moment of reflection, looking back at at the things that have been making me happy, from over eight months ago. It doesn't feel like I've been documenting this little 'happiness journal' for as many months, but I'm really enjoying keeping a little record here on BTB, and I really hope you're enjoying reading it.

Here are 10 more things that've been making me happy recently :)

one. // Celine. Other than to a few insta besties, this is the first mention of how I was utterly spoilt this Christmas, with a shiny, new Celine bag... I feel like the cat who's got the cream! My Celine Box Bag (I feel like she needs a name) is my pride and joy of the moment - I've never been one to splash out on 'proper designer' bags so I'm currently researching how to preserve it's beauty and keep it in good condition! Any tips welcome ;)

two. // Opportunities. I've had a couple of really exciting emails, that are in initial stages and I therefore unfortunately cannot yet discuss, that just sent my heart all a flutter when I read them! After quite a tough 2017, I'm hoping this year will deal me a better set of cards, and I'm looking forward to see what riches it has to offer.

three. // Songs. I've been listening to two feel-good songs lately - ILYSB Stripped (which I've already mentioned here) and The Weekend (only the Funk Wav remix). I'm usually quite an old soul when it comes to music, and have never liked anything that Calvin Harris has ever been involved in but I could easily listen and sing along with Sza in this one!

four. // Keeome. I picked out these sheet masks c/o Feelunique and using them has been an absolute pleasure. I didn't include sheet masks in my favourite face masks post this weekend just gone in fear of the post length getting out of hand but I really enjoy using them for hydration - of which this particular mask has oodles. I shared my experience in my Instagram stories recently, slathering my hands in all of the excess essence ;)

five. // Instagram. I've had so much love for my feed recently, and it's been utterly heartwarming. I love receiving your terribly sweet comments, messages and emails so let me take the opportunity to say thank you, for being one of the things that has made me happy - it means more than I'll ever likely be able to let on :)

six. // Asian cuisine. I've generally been incredibly lazy when it comes to a lot of asian foods (not so much Korean but Thai/Japanese/Chinese) - opting to eat out than to try and persevere with perfecting my own recipes. But alas that is currently in the process of change! We recently had braised pork belly with the creamiest of potatoes that suck up all the cooking juices, and siu mai dumplings - to die for.

seven. // Walks on the heath. We've taken Jasper out onto the heath lately, as it's slightly less muddy and the puddles no longer come up to your knees.. It's such a gorgeous spot for low-level lighting - we took this shot up there on my iPhone and it barely needed editing.

eight. // Skin. I suppose related to the Keeome sheet masks, but I'm typing this with my vanity mirror behind my laptop and it's reminded me - I'm so pleased with where my skin is at the moment! I'm sure it'll be irritatingly short-lived but it's looking clear and glowy, and I've been skipping wearing foundation, or really any concealer either, lately. A trivial matter but a little source of happiness!

nine. // Planning get-togethers! I do find as I get older, that it's easier to lose touch with people, and because of busy lifestyles and 'things cropping up', the periods between meeting can become longer and longer..

ten. // Bloggers. I've come across so many beautiful Instagram accounts lately, it's difficult not to try and mention them all, so I'll just pick two - @cynthialions and @ohuprettythings, if you're not already following, then hup two, on the double!

Let me know what's been making you happy lately, and hope you're having the most wonderful of days :)

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Face masks are one of my favourite elements of skincare, and whilst I've always opted for the easy, less messy option of a leave-on or sheet mask, I've more recently taken quite a fancy to the somewhat more traditional wash-off variety - of which I now have many favourites!

I'm asked, almost on a constant basis, which skincare products I use and love, and I'm not sure I've previously dedicated a post to face masks, so here we are today! Let me share with you some of my favourites, and just why I dote on them quite like I do ;)

The condition of my skin changes at the drop of a hat, whether due to the weather, hormones, 'that time of the month', or for no discernable reason whatsoever, and so my little collection of face masks have different purposes. I, generally, am looking for one of three outcomes when using facial masks - hydration, exfoliation/glow or skin clarifying, and have my favourites for each scenario.



One of the problems with being a perfectionist and a worrier, is getting too entangled in the 'everyday', to acknowledge and celebrate the small things - the little moments, the habitual, the miniature triumphs.

Whilst I'm still of course that perfectionist and worrier, my slow living journey and changes in my personal life have made me appreciate the smaller things a little more. I don't talk about this much online but I've been dealing with an ongoing family illness, and on the bad days, it can feel like such a strain on my emotions and be a bit of a struggle to get through the day. Breaking down my day, celebrating the small things and 'segmenting' have been a source of happiness for me, and whatever you're struggling with, large or small, it can be for you too :)



It's about time I spoke about quilted jackets, because you'll have seen them strewn across my Instagram enough times by now!

For me, they're one of my most worn pieces from the wardrobe. Versatile, somewhat warm - a great chuck-it-on-as-you-run-out-the-door kind of jacket. 

I've been wearing mine incessantly (with quilted boots today because more is more..). In fact, I've rather created myself an autumn uniform.. I've found myself living in a rotation of jeans, boots and Bretons lately (I say 'lately' loosely because it's more like 'forever' ;)

CASTELLA CAKE (카스테라 / カステラ).


Hello 2018! First blog post back after the new year and I thought it apt to share a recipe ;) Although this cake looks modest and unembellished, once you've tasted it, you'll know it needs no adornment. And not that this is at all my main focus, but it's pretty healthy going for something this moreish, so no need for any new-year-fuelled guilt!



Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018!

It definitely does not feel like 365 days since the start of our current year - time seems to be speeding up before my eyes! I love to look back upon the year and remember what has changed, what I've accomplished, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and take a moment to reflect.

R E F L E C T.

2017 has brought many milestones, like the opportunity to travel to many new places and moving houses.

BTB has gone through a big change too - and it's by no means yet a finished result! I've varied the content a lot more, and added many more lifestyle, wellness and style posts, that have had such wonderful feedback from you, so thank you so much for embracing the change in path we've taken here. I couldn't be more appreciative to have such a lovely bunch of readers - each one of you are the very reason that BTB is possible. I'm so excited to bring you new content for 2018 - and of course I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you're enjoying :)

T H I N G S   T H A T   H A V E   M A D E   M E   H A P P Y. 

I started my 10 Things series, in which I document the little things in life that have made me happy - I adore it, and thoroughly encourage you to join me in the new year :) In the spirit of that, I wanted to share a few things that have made me happy in 2017 (as well as some things that are welcome to stay behind as we venture into 2018!):

Gardening. // I have utterly loved the effect gardening has had on my wellness this year, both out in the garden and indoors with houseplants. It's arguably one of the best hobbies, if not the best, that I've taken up in recent times and I can't wait for the new planting season to come around again in the new year. I've got more fruit and veg in mind, and I'm going to be putting a lot of love into my peonies to see if I can squeeze some more, fat, fluffy blooms from them!

My photographer. // I need to give F a big big thank you for being my personal photographer, and being so patient with me during blog shoots, especially when it's not something that he really enjoys. He's been the biggest sweetie, being supportive of my insecurities and encouraging me to try being in front of the camera for a change, even when I make him retake photos that end up being slightly different iterations of the same view.. :p It's thanks to him that I've been able to share posts like this one from Petersham Nursuries and this one of a recent trip to Bath.

BTB. // I never appreciated, when I first started haphazardly uploading blog posts, that what started as a coping mechanism/hobby through a difficult time would flourish quite like it has. BTB has given me so many opportunities, that I'd otherwise have missed, and allowed me to meet so many lovely people - readers and brands alike! Maybe most importantly, it's allowed me to find something I love - a priceless feeling - and to explore, indulge in and grow my joy for photography, and collecting memories.

Being a little easier on myself. // It has to be said, mostly with F's help, I've been a little kinder to myself in 2017, as far as appearance goes. I've only said a few words on Perfectionism but it's something I really struggle with day to day, particularly regarding a dislike for my appearance. But I think through a focus on wellness over more trivial attributes, I'm (slowly) learning to change my priorities and not worry so much about being the same size or shape as everyone else.

A N D   W H A T   I ' D   B E   H A P P Y   T O   L E A V E   B E H I N D !

And from the great to the somewhat grinding! I recently watched Patricia Bright's video on the trends that need to be left in 2017, really quite amusing, so after we've just had the things that I've loved throughout 2017, let's share (a very much tongue-in-cheek list of) what I'd happily leave behind ;)

Men calling me 'Mate'. //  I don't know quite what it is (maybe an indication of poor manners???) but calling me 'mate', especially within the first few exchanges, is an instant indication to me that I'm not going to want to be friends ;)

Annoying food trends, hipster, Instagram or otherwise induced. // Activated charcoal ice cream. No carbohydrates (why are we vilifying sandwiches? It's a well known fact after all that everything tastes better between two slices of bread ;) Matcha, gross.

Gucci Gang. // I'm stealing this one from Patricia because I don't think there's a single day that passes I don't see that Marmont bag or belt on Instagram, and the Gucci logo plastered over my screens.. I must be one of the only bloggers not to own one.. Here's to an absence of logos for 2018!

Shameless clickbaiting. // Of course I understand that we all want people to read our content but using personal or health related titles for financial gain.. I don't have many words for! I actually very much enjoy reading personal posts, and have experience myself of family illness, mental illness etc and I hate to see the topics maltreated. I saw a fairly popular blogger recently advertising a new blog post on Instagram, saying how personal, touching, important, intimate it was - and it turned out just to be clickbait sigh. About a topic close to my own heart too. I don't want to name names and create drama but they've gone down in my estimations! Let's all hope for less of it next year :)

Desaturation. // And changing colours in editing. To the point where I spend several minutes trying to Google the gorgeous, dusky rose lipstick I spotted on someone's Instagram, only to find it doesn't exist, because it's actually a bright red.. :| Distinctly nonplussed. I'm the first to raise my hand and admit I play with the saturation of my own photographs, but I'm fed up with the trend in editing of taking all the colour out of everything!

Bigger, better. // I feel like I sometimes can't help but succumb to this, and that's feeling as if you need to have big plans, a big wallet, a big number of followers, etc. Just taking blogging as an example, I feel as if the community has lost some of it's intimacy and naivety that I loved. That you're no longer able to blog simply about the 'mundane', and it's all now vlogging your incredibly expensive holidays, having plans, parties and places to be everyday, making sure you own the latest trends, and shoe-horning your creativity with regards to content, to gain more followers and be popular, rather than posting what you, yourself, enjoy. (or, to even go as far in the opposite direction and be so 'indie brands' and 'alternative' that it's almost post-ironic.. ;) Whilst the world around us pushes big, let's celebrate the small. What are my plans this NYE? F and I are going to enjoy it together, just the two of us. No parties, no show of popularity, and, in a somewhat backwards Cinderella-like manner, I might even have my jim jams on as soon as the clock strikes 12 ;)

I hope, whatever you're doing tonight, that the New Year brings you peace, wellness, love and good health :)

I'll be signing off now until next year, I've got some content that I can't wait to share, and I really hope you enjoy it.

See you in 2018!

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Now that the year is coming to an end (and where on earth did that go?), it's the perfect time for a favourite of all favourites. Today, I've got the well-loved, newer and old, that I always come back to, the skincare, makeup and bits and pieces that I rely on - the Best In Beauty 2017!

Hope you enjoy :)



Last year, I couldn't help myself but opt for a classic red lip for the festive period - and might I add, Rimmel's Take The Stage performed beautifully!

This year (and now I'm starting to sound like Wham), I've chosen to sport a simple, warm eye, pared with a really gorgeous lip colour that's new to my collection. To celebrate the direction in which I'm headed when it comes to beauty and makeup, I wanted this look to be effortlessly laissez-faire, and be quick and simple to apply.

Read on for more and I hope you enjoy!



one. // The Greyhound - we recently went for another meal and each time I return, I rekindle my love for the place. Especially at the moment whilst it's utterly bedazzled with Christmas decorations, every beam trailing with sparkle, like Santa's foodie grotto.

two. // F sending me snaps of the fattest, most deliciously chubby squirrels from Sherwood Forest :)

three. // Wandering around Henley at this festive time of the month.

four. // The beautiful light in the golden hour before the sun sets. (Not to mention the most wholly incredible sunset we had today in Henley/Wargrave - sherbert-y orange, melting into candyfloss pink clouds and a warm, lavender perimeter).

five. // Christmas cooking on the TV. I can't say I'm a big fan of watching television in general, but Nigella's Christmas' have always been somewhat of a family tradition at home - her Christmas kitchen is just everything I imagine the festive season to bring!

six. // Crisp morning walks in the woods.

seven. //Winter traditions. Toasting marshmallows on the fire, making homemade mulled wine and hot apple and cinnamon, putting up the tree!

eight. // Masterchef the Professionals! F and I's favourite hour of the evening to settle down with, with a bowl of Jude's ice-cream to share.

nine. // Omorovicza's Hungarian mud, that's been keeping my horribly temperamental skin in check this winter!

ten. // Bloggers. Magda's festive feed - so Christmassy and cosy.

Let me know what's made you happy recently!

Don't forget to follow on Bloglovin! 






As a nest-featherer (and a very temperamental sleeper), I'm the biggest advocate for treating your sleeping space as your sanctuary.

My focus on slow living and simplicity this year has made me want to bring a clean, cosy, homely feel to our space, and focus on wellbeing, not only in the day, but through the night too.

I've got 5 little tips for setting up your space for a blissful night's sleep, and giving your bedroom a snug, comforting feel - hope you enjoy!
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