My Bathtime Routine

Winter really is the season of the bath. The nights are drawing in and the cold weather makes the idea of a warm, bubbly bath seem so much more tempting. It is time to break out the candles and face masks.

I am a big fan of the bath. Like lots of people, I find them a great way to relax on an evening and a good opportunity to do a little pampering. Another perhaps more unusual reason why I enjoy baths so much is that I can actually see what I’m doing! I am very, very shortsighted so being able to keep my glasses on is great and makes shaving my legs much easier and less precarious.

I would love to have slightly fancier bath and body stuff but, as PhD student, that isn’t really an option but you don’t need luxury products to get totally relaxed. In this post, I will chat all about my current winter bathtime routine.

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Ambiance

When it is bathtime, I like to make my bathroom a calm and relaxed place to be. I do a quick tidy up, get my towels all ready, and light a candle. This Oliver Bonas candle is in the Green Tea and Lotus Flower scent, which I love but warning – it can be overpowering in a small room.

Bubble Bath

Every bath needs some bubbles and my current bubble bath of choice is the Imperial Leather pearl rose and forget-me-not. Despite the name, this is not overly floral but the fragrance is pretty and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. This bath cream provides the bubbles and the luxurious bath time feeling we all want for only a couple of quid!

Face Mask

I am rubbish at remembering to use face masks so I find baths the perfect time to apply. I have very dry skin so I only use this L’Oréal pure clay detox mask on my T-zone. You don’t need to use much and it helps to keep my skin clear and blemish free.

Body Scrub

Honestly, I don’t really use body scrubs very often but this Scrub Love coffee scrub came in a recent BirchBox so I thought I’d give it a try. You don’t have to use it all at once as the pouch is re-sealable, which is useful. However, I don’t plan on using it again. It was incredibly messy and although it smelt nice (of coffee and orange oil) in the bath, it left my skin smelling like instant coffee all day long. Also, the scrub did not seem to improve the texture of my skin that much. So all in all – it is a pass.

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A Good Book

Whilst my face mask is doing its business, I like to relax with a book. I always have one on the go and I’m currently re-reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford Chronicles. Gaskell isn’t for everyone, as her books mainly focus on lower and middle class life in the North of England, but if you like nineteenth-century writers, like Jane Austen or the Brontës, give Gaskell a try.

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After the bath

I won’t bore you with the details of my haircare or shaving routine. After my facemask is off and I’ve caught up with the goings on in Cranford, bathtime is over. My after-bath routine can be described in one word: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

I first use the Le Petit Marseillais’ body oil with shea butter, argan and sweet almond oil. This is a French highstreet brand that I love and always get my mum to stock up on when she goes away. I’ve been using their shower gels and handwashes for years! They all have such beautiful fragrances and feel much more expensive than they are. After the body oil, I slather myself in Aveeno shea butter body lotion: this stuff has worked wonders for my eczema and dry skin!

Once all this has sunk in, I’m relaxed and ready to snuggle up in my dressing gown with Netflix. I’m currently re-watching Call the Midwife with tissues at the ready! To me, that is really the perfect winter evening routine.

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*links are for information only.*

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Unpopular Book Opinions

I just logged back onto my Lisabeth Westwood Twitter account for the first time in a year! I had a few notifications from people who might not have realised that my blog was on a hiatus. Back in January, I was tagged for this post by Lydia Wilkins and actually wanted to do the tag – even if it was 10 months late!!

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like? 

The Harry Potter series. I’m 27 so was the perfect age for the Harry Potter series when it came out in 1997 and I did read – and enjoy – the first four books. My favourite was the Prisoner of Azkaban. But the fifth one was just so BORING. I got the book for my 13th birthday and couldn’t get past the first 100 pages. I had completely stopped caring about Harry – honestly, I found him pretty irritating. I just didn’t really get the hype.

A book or series that you love but everyone seems to hate?

I wouldn’t say people hate her work but people make fun of me for reading Penny Vincenzi novels. She writes these huge novels following the lives of different women. They are my perfect holiday read – especially Forbidden Places, which is set in World War II and I must have read it over ten times. Such a guilty pleasure.

A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with, or an OTP you didn’t like?

Hmmmmm. The one that came straight to mind was Bella and Edward from the Twilight series. I was talking about this last night actually! Maybe it was just that the character development wasn’t particularly strong but the fascination with Edward never made sense to me.

A popular genre you hardly reach for?

Crime? I did like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo triology as I though Lisbeth Salander was a really interesting character (great name too!). Other than that, I have zero interest in reading about murders and dectectives.

A popular or beloved character that you did not like?

The Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes.

A popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?

The whole girl meets bad boy and falls in love but gets hurt. Then she realises that her one true love is her sweet, shy best guy friend (who has – of course – been secretly in love with her since they met).

A popular series that you have no interest in reading?

Game of Thrones. I tried and failed to read the first one. I feel the same about the TV series too – there’s too much drama. It also gives out the wrong impression about the Middle Ages: it wasn’t an inherently violent period.

What film did you prefer to the book?

Trainspotting! I read the book when I was seventeen and travelling to a university interview. Irvine Welsh is a great writer and I’ve got a lot of his books but the Danny Boyle film is so so good. Ewen McGregor plays Renton perfectly and the soundtrack is excellent.

Hiatus

I have not been at all active on here or on Twitter for the past month and I think it is likely to stay this way. I have decided to have a semi-permanent hiatus on blogging. I enjoyed elements of blogging but I have to concentrate on my PhD. I’m leaving the door open to start blogging again in the future but this looks unlikely to happen any time soon.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my blog, spoke to me on Twitter, and met me in real life!

What I think about blogging

It is a Sunday evening. I’ve had my dinner, I’ve got a glass of red, and I’m thinking about blogging.

I started blogging in May as I was looking for a hobby that didn’t require any money and that I could do from the comfort of my living room. But, to be honest, I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.

It goes through peaks and troughs: sometimes I am at every Twitter chat in existence and I read lots of other blogs but I’m currently in a bit of a slump. I’m feeling similar with YouTube – I subscribe to a lot of channels and I used to really love catching up with videos but, more and more, I’m finding myself to be frustrated or bored with the content. This is partly because I have a very strict budget so can’t buy many clothes or new beauty items so huge hauls aren’t interesting to me and I end up thinking ‘Who needs this much stuff?!‘.

With my own blog, well I don’t think I have much to say. I never found ‘my niche’. I’d really like to write more about my PhD and life as a researcher but I know that isn’t interesting to everyone. Plus readers who are within the academy tend to want to put a blog to a name and I use a pseudonym. So I feel a bit lost and it is making me not want to write.

Going to the Bloggers Blog Awards was such a good experience. I loved meeting other bloggers and everyone was so friendly, yet it didn’t leave me inspired, more frustrated with my lack of committment to my blog.

What does this mean for the Lisabeth Westwood blog? I’m not sure yet but I’m not ready to quit. I guess just watch this space.

My Lazy Saturday Photo Diary

I have been a busy bee over the past few weeks! The academic year is well under way and I’m teaching (!) so I’ve been a bit lax on the blogging front. So rather than not posting, I thought I’d do a bit of a photo diary of my Saturday.

9amLisabeth Westwood coffee

My day began, as all my Saturdays do, with a cup of black filter coffee in bed. I like to chill out with a coffee and a book to ease my way into the day.

10amLisabeth Westwood coffee tshirt

I then got up, ready, and dressed. I love this t-shirt, my friend David bought it for me years ago but it does mean that lots of people stare at your chest trying to read it!

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I went for pretty minimal make up. Look at the state of the blusher – I think I’ll have to invest in some new stuff soon!

10.30am

I had decided that I wanted to have a cooking marathon so I settled down with my cookbooks to find some recipes to try. This beef dish looked so great and pretty easy but I ended up being boring and making spaghetti and meatballs instead!

11am

Having seen the state of my make up earlier I decided to treat myself. I headed to Superdrug picking up the MicroEyeliner and a lipstick in 05 from Rimmel – it is a lovely dark pink shade with a hint of shimmer. And I got a translucent powder for £1. Being a PhD student I don’t often get to buy make-up so I got over excited and swatched pretty much every lipstick they had on my hand.

12pm

The recipe I had chosen for lunch came from the Meatless Mondays cookbook which has LOADS of recipe ideas. They tend to be more indulgent side than the Madeline Shaw but I found a recipe for Tuscan bean soup. Doesn’t look very good but it tasted delicious!

1.30pm

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Then it was Bake Off time. I love it when they do the historical episodes so I chilled out with some cookies and a cuppa. That show is proper comfort watching, it just makes me happy.

2.30pm

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I got given loads of books when one of my friends left Leeds and they are all easy-going, romance-y type novels. So I picked one of those up and huddled down on my sofa for a good couple of hours reading.

4pm

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But then…I had to work 😦

6pm

After I did a couple of hours work , I called the boyfriend and watched 10 Things I Hate About You. The soundtrack to that film is pure 90s perfection and I have a bit of an obsession with Julia Stiles’ films like Save the Last Dance.

My day was not exciting but that is honestly what I do on a weekend by myself. I usually save up all the fun stuff for when my boyfriend is visiting but I do enjoy staying at home reading and making lots of food.

 

My Day at the Bloggers Blog Awards

So my first blogger event was the Bloggers Blog Award on Saturday 1st October!

I was very nervous as I wasn’t going with anybody and I had never met a blogger in real life before but it was SUCH a good day. The awards were organised by Hayley at Tea Party Beauty and she did an amazing job! Everything ran so well and was a lot of fun so props to Hayley!

The day started off in a very relaxed way. I read a book and had a coffee in bed until it was time to get ready. I wore a Zara tartan dress and my favourite black leather boots from Office: it was nice to get dressed up for a change! My weekends tend to be more of stay at home, make loads of food, and watch TV kind of days so I was so excited to be out and about.

The awards took place in Canal Mills in Leeds so it was super convenient for me. I felt a little bit guilty because some people had come from hundreds of miles away and I had just popped in a taxi. The venue was really cool and there was tons of space, and they seem to do lots of different events there so I’ll definitely check it out again.

Lisabeth Westwood bloggers blog awards

When I got there, we had a couple of hours to grab some drinks and mingle. That was the bit I was the most nervous about as I had to just go up and chat to strangers but everyone was so nice! I met loads of amazing bloggers who were so interesting, wrote really cool blogs, and lots of them were there by themselves too so we ended up making little groups. As I write under a pseudonym, it was quite weird to have to introduce myself by my blog and real name! I met lots of really friendly and welcoming people but big thanks to Arash, Amy, and Becky for chatting to me when I was all alone!

The awards themselves were great: well done to all the people who were nominated and those who won! I took the opportunity to shove a cupcake in my face without anyone seeing me – it was lemony and delicious. I managed to not get buttercream on my nose or cake in my hair: winning at life.cupcake-wine

After the awards were over, it was time to do some more chatting and then draw the raffle. I didn’t win anything and there were so many good prizes 😦 I’m so envious of the person that won the Urban Decay lipstick case, I would have never had to buy a lipstick again!

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Not my lucky numbers

The event came to an end and a bunch of us went to the Belgrave Music Hall for burgers and a beer. I had such a great day and evening – it was totally non-scary and I will definitely be heading to some more bloggers events in the future and next year’s awards!

 

I’m an Auntie!

In the early hours of Sunday morning, I became an auntie for the first time.

I have an older sister and for years neither of us were keen to start a family. But, all that changed this January when she announced that she was expecting! She had a little baby girl who came right on time and is the smallest, sweetest thing in the whole world. Am I a tad biased? Absolutely.

My sister and her boyfriend live in Brighton which is a long, LONG way from Leeds but I wasn’t going to miss the chance to meet the little one. So, I coughed up a hideous amount of money for a day return and spent 9 hours of yesterday on a train but it was totally worth it for my first cuddle.

I’d never held a new-born before and she is so tiny that I was afraid of hurting her. But I got used to it and we had lots of cuddles without her making any fuss. I can’t wait to visit in a few weeks with my boyfriend who is similarly unfamiliar with children and I can pretend to be all knowledgable.

When I was a child, I didn’t have much to do with my aunts and uncles. They either weren’t around very much or had their own grandchildren to look after. I don’t want that to be this case with my little niece: I’ll be the one dragging her round castles and trying to teach her French and Latin.

I wish I could show you all photos but her parents want to keep her off the internet so you’ll have to take my word that she is insanely cute. Can’t really believe it, I have a niece!!!!