2017.

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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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BEST IN BEAUTY 2017.

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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 :)

SIMPLE WARM BRONZE HOLIDAY MAKEUP 2017.

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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!

10 THINGS THAT'VE MADE ME HAPPY #9

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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!



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6 WAYS TO SET UP YOUR SPACE FOR BLISSFUL SLEEP FT. ZONESLEEP

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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!

3 MORE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR WINTER.

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winter-photography-tips-barely-there-beauty-blog-flatlay

A   S N A P   H A P P Y   W I N T E R

Winter always brings the perpetual problems of shorter daylight hours and less sun to utilise, which can make blogging photography a tad tricky.

Last year's tips for brighter Winter photography was so popular and received such lovely feedback, that I wanted to supplement it today with just a few more tips, including an update on my photography style, and a handy little gadget that's entered my life! Hope you enjoy :)

7 WAYS TO UNWIND THIS WINTER.

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R E L A X ,   R E V I V E ,   R E C O N N E C T

As the year comes to a close, it's not at all uncommon to feel the 'afterburn' of whatever else onerous, tedious or trying you've had going on in your life. And what with the lack of sunshine to brighten your frame of mind, your winter mood can quickly snowball (ho hum ;) from almost jovial, to having a severe case of the winter blues.

If, like me, you feel like your mood suffers with the failing light, then I hope my seven ways to unwind help you feel a little more like yourself this winter :)

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2017.

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Hello December!

To mark the first of the festive month, I'm here today with my*bumper* Christmas Gift Guide 2017!

Last year's post took me such a long time, but I had the most lovely comments and feedback on it - so thank you! This year's has taken me even longer, but I wanted to try and get a great mix of less-common picks, some luxury, a lot affordable, for him, for her, for the foodie, for the slow-liver, for yourself? ;)

(I tried to include a mixture of price points in each category, but, as with last year, I've added a Stocking Fillers section towards the end for some smaller items :)

I really hope you find an idea that you've been hunting for!

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