I absolutely love this time of year. Not only is it a time for sparkle literally everywhere, (you should see my house, it resembles a grotto
The Grinch The Boy is THRILLED!) everyone is slightly drunk and very happy and to top it all off, you will be inundated with all the lovely end of year lists. Who didn’t love the Top of The Pops Chart of The Year every year as a kid?!? (I’m clearly showing my age…)
As the last few weeks of the year are my favourite time ever and I’m currently extremely excitable, I naturally had to join in with my list of the 10 things that I have loved during 2018. Let me know what you think. How different do your lists look?
1. Google Home Mini
Our Google Home Mini actually started off as a gift for the kids. They’d seen one at their Aunty June’s and loved being able to put Little Mix and the Moana soundtrack on whenever they liked, so when it was reduced in price over summer, (it’s usually around £50 but I picked it up for £40) I took the plunge and picked one up for them. I’m so glad I did!
Despite my lack of culinary skills, the kitchen is the hub of our house and this is where our Google Home Mini is located. We mostly use ours for listening to music during the day as we’re not really television people and we all love a boogie. But the kids have asked ‘her’ questions to help with homework, random things they’ve wanted to know (which saves me feeling embarrassed when I don’t know the answer!) and the time and weather.
My Top 5 Songs of 2018
- Finesse Remix – Bruno Mars and Cardi B
- Let Me Down – Jorja Smith and Stormzy
- River – Eminem and Ed Sheeran
- No Tears Left To Cry – Ariana Grande
- Havana – Camila Cabello
Initially, I was worried that my youngest wouldn’t be able to use it as she’s only 4 and her speech isn’t the clearest but she is a pro at using it now. In fact, she is forever showing interested visitors how to operate it. Unfortunately her proficiency at using the Google Home Mini has meant ‘her songs’ have been on repeat for hours at a time but she loves Queen, Elton John and Bob Marley so I can live with that.
2. Mrs Hinch
The world and his wife must have heard of the amazingly entertaining Mrs Hinch and her cleaning obsession by now. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while and I find her so inspiring. This year, I finally moved into my first permanent house of my own. A house that I have been able to decorate to my own tastes and make into a home for me and the girls. I’ve finally become houseproud. Mrs Hinch cleans a lot but if you actually watch her Insta-stories, the way she uses products and completes thirty minutes cleans mean that she makes cleaning achievable. Even for busy working single mums like myself. Does following her tips mean that my home is always Insta-worthy? Not at all. But a beautifully-scented and clean home is important to me, gives me something to focus on when I’m feeling anxious and makes me have a renewed sense of pride. I have to clean anyway, the fact that Mrs Hinch makes me smile whilst cleaning is an added benefit.
3. Born To Run Palette
There have been a few amazing palette releases during 2018, the Norvina, palette is definitely up there but my favourite release of the year has definitely been Urban Decay’s Born To Run palette. I’ve written a whole post on it so won’t repeat myself but it is truly amazing. It’s versatility is what sets it apart from the other palettes that I’ve bought this year and also why it’s made my Top 10 of favourites for 2018.
If you only have one palette in your collection (as if!) this would be a pretty good option as you can create so many different looks using it. I absolutely love this!
Zara is my absolute favourite person on Instagram. I love her combination of sharing her body positivity message (yes, I’m plus-sized and yes I can wear colour!) and just telling how it is as a busy mum. She’s never afraid to shy away from telling her audience exactly how she’s feeling and that reassures me that life isn’t always insta-perfect but that it’s still ok. Zara’s also pretty amazing at makeup and shares some drool-worthy eye shadow looks. Check out her blog here. You really must.
I really do not know how I survived without Zoflora. I literally use it for everything to keep my house clean and beautifully fragranced. Used near or diluted in my spray bottle – Zoflora has a million different uses. I’m tempted to write a post about it. I secretly thank Mrs Hinch everyday for introducing me to Zoflora! The Boy on the other hand may disagree as my cleaning product stash has grown exponentially.
At least with a Zoflora haul, it doesn’t cost too much and can be easily stored. That way I don’t feel too bad when I indulge in as many different fragrances as possible. That’s what I tell myself…
6. Cineworld Unlimited Pass
I think the idea behind this is genius! I love going to the cinema, I don’t love paying £10 a ticket every time I fancy going. This Cineworld Unlimited pass means that whenever I fancy seeing a film, I can just book online and go. Because it’s so easy, I’ve seen lots of films this year that I really enjoyed. I even braved going to the cinema by myself for the first time too. (Still can’t believe nobody wanted to come and see Mamma Mia 2 with me!)
Now before you say it, I don’t just love this blog because the blogger behind it is also a mixed-race woman called Naomi from Birmingham. I love this blog because it’s beautifully written. Naomi covers a range of topics including what it’s like to grow up when you’re of mixed heritage, which naturally I can identify with. As a fellow curly girl, I have loved watching her natural hair journey on Tralisty whilst dutifully taking notes about her routine. Plus anyone who loves Primark makeup as much as me is bound to be my kind of person. Check out Naomi and Tralisty here.
8. By Terry Baume de Rose Flaconnette Liquid Lip Balm
This product only arrived in my life last month when I received it as part of a birthday gift from my sister. From the first time I tried it, I was impressed. I’d been suffering from dry, sore lips and this By Terry lip balm has made a huge difference from the very first time that I used it.
The lip balm (and the accompanying hand cream) has a delicate rose fragrance, is incredibly moisturising and importantly, long-lasting. It’s really made a different to my dry, winter skin. The only negative thing that I can think to say about this is the price! The lip balm by itself is an eye-watering £32 which admittedly is a lot, but it’s so good that when it inevitably runs out (and that won’t be long with my daily usage!) I will definitely be repurchasing. I need to get saving.
9. Eness Argan Oil Body Butter
This was another product that I loved so much, I wrote a whole post about it so check it out if you want to find out more. I will add that this is the most moisturising and more importantly cruelty-free body lotion that I have ever tried. I’ve been using it ever since I bough it and I still can’t get enough of it.
10. Dr Marten Boots
In 2016, the girls and I went to a Black Girls Picnic in Birmingham and the event was amazing. We listened to poetry, inspiring music and took part in activities that helped to build our self-esteem. Nearly three years later, I still remember listening to a lady give an inspirational talk about confidence. Oddly enough, I don’t remember the exact contents of what she said, but I do remember her presence. I remember the confidence that she oozed and how comfortable she seemed in her outfit of a mini-dress and Dr Martens and I wanted to emulate that.
Finally in 2018, I finally had the confidence (and funds thanks to The Boy) to get my hands on a pair. After initially having to break them in, I couldn’t believe that they were so comfortable not to mention so easy to combine with outfits in my wardrobes that I them got another pair. Both of which are naturally covered in glitter. I’m still working on improving my confidence so that I can rock these boots with a mini-skirt. That’s obviously going to be my plan for 2019.
And there you have it! My Top 10 of 2018. What have you loved during the last year? Let me know in the comments below.
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