Supporting Small Businesses Safely

blog, budget, essentials, finance, instagram, life, lifestyle, lockdown, reflection, social media, socialdistancing, trend, twitter, UK, Uncategorized

Whilst the enforced closures of theatres, cafes, pubs and other venues is a welcomed step in the right direction to getting us through Covid-19, the decision has left businesses and those that support them looking for ways to adapt.

As someone who is taking social distancing seriously *click here for previous post*, I am aware that many shops and venues will struggle to cope with closures and want to find a way to support them safely during this time.

The Milking Parlour is a Yorkshire based ice cream shop that my family and I have loved since moving up here. Based in the quaint market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, it is the must visit location in town! This family run business offers a whole host of flavours, changing on a regular basis. Seeing on their Instagram account that they were moving to takeaway only, like many others, we felt it was only right to take a trip this weekend. milkingparlour

Anybody who knows the area will know that even on the rainiest of days, Kirkby Lonsdale is a bustling location with locals and tourists alike making use of the dog friendly pubs and cafes. Today, the town felt quiet. Signs in shop windows told of closures lasting indefinitely. It was a sad sight to behold and I suspect that this is a small representation of the nation for the forseeable future.

For many, switching to takeout only isn’t an option but for The Milking Parlour and others that remain open, this is the time for us to turn up. Concerns about social distancing have been addressed clearly on the sign post outside asking for customers to patiently wait and limiting numbers of people in store at one time. These are easy requests to adhere to and in doing so, not only are you keeping yourselves and those that are serving safe, you are able to continue to be there for those who need us.

When this is all over, I have no doubt that we’ll all be wanting to get straight back to normal life. Spending weekends at our favourites restaurants, going to the theatre and alcohol fuelled nights out are going to be that much sweeter, but we must do everything in our power to ensure that they can survive these times in order to thrive later.

I strongly hope and believe that this unprecendented journey we are on will lead to a new way of life for many of us. Appreciating the small businesses who take time to care for their customers, the arts industry who provide us with a much needed escape and the bigger brands who chose to make staff welfare a priority. So if you’re going a little stir crazy and are safe to take a quick trip out, why not make it to your local bakery or coffee shop for a takeout?!

In order to limit contact and allow these businesses to remain open, for now leave the reusable cups at home, pay with contactless card where possible and head straight back home. Let’s get this over with as fast as we can so that we can make way for a better way of living!

Sophie x

Why It’s Time To Start Social Distancing.

budget, essentials, finance, life, lifestyle, lockdown, news, question, socialdistancing, UK, Uncategorized

Over the last week, life in London has been pretty much thrown into turmoil. We are living in unprecedented times and there seems to be a lot of confusion as to where we go next. Whilst I don’t have all the answers, I have made the conscious decision to take part in social distancing and here’s why you should too…

Social distancing requires as many people as possible to put measures in place to slow down the spread of Covid-19. By avoiding pubs, clubs and social gatherings, we are helping to delay the spread of the outbreak.

I have seen many young, fit and healthy people on social media in the last couple of days continue to defy government advice. I find it ironic that we are so quick to criticise our government when they fail to speak out on climate change and other large social issues but refuse to make positive changes for the masses during a global pandemic…

We are not doing this for ourselves but for the good of those who are likely to require medical intervention. We all know how much pressure the NHS has been under in recent years and in order for those who need help to receive it, we need to control the rate of transmission.

Social distancing is not something that we all have the option to actively partake in. But if we do, why shouldn’t we at the very least give it a go? For the sake of missing a few weeks of normality, we can choose to stay at home and protect our nations most vulnerable people. It’s about your parents, grandparents, family who suffer with chronic conditions or friends with asthma.

This isn’t about buying into mass hysteria. The shops will remain open. Having a twenty pack of toilet roll isn’t going to save your grandma when her lungs give in!

If you have the option to work from home, consider this a luxury. There are many of us for whom this isn’t an option. We face financial difficulties, job losses and an anxious wait to see what the Government will be able to offer us. By all means support small businesses but do it in a safe way, consider buying vouchers or ordering online where possible.

I think at this time, it is most important to acknowledge those who continue to provide services for us all whilst dealing with the same mental and emotional pressures. Emergency service workers, small business owners, retail and care workers, delivery drivers and postmen, bin men and every other industry worker who is continually showing up for us all.

The biggest thing I have noticed in the last few days is how each one of us is facing our own struggle or financial dismay as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. Whatever career we have or place we reside, these are uncertain times and it is ever more important that we make decisions for the good of each other. We will come out the other side of this. By acting now through social distancing, we can slow down rates of infection and speed up the time that this pandemic will take from our lives.

Here is a link to the latest government updates for those in need of employment guidance.

If you’re struggling with your mental health or just need a bit of extra support, this page from Mind Charity is full of useful information.

 

 

 

My Current Favourites

bargain, beauty, celebrity, essentials, life, lifestyle, makeup, review, skin, skincare, trend

Everything is my favourite at the moment, even the word itself. So I thought I’d share some of my current loves with you all. From television to skincare here are just a few for you…

faves-SQScream Queens – I absolutely love this TV show! I’m watching along weekly in the UK so no spoilers please!! From the cast to the scripting this show is everything I love, but what else would you expect given that it was created by American Horror Story genius Ryan Murphy?! Despite the name it really isn’t particularly scary but it can venture into the gory zone on occasion. The show is set in a sorority house controlled by Queen bitch Chanel (Emma Roberts) and sees the cast being slowly picked off by the ‘Red Devil’. Jamie Lee Curtis is amazing as the slightly crazy, hard-faced Dean Cathy Munsch. Basically if you like pretty clothes, dark comedy and plenty of cliché rich white girl jokes then you need Scream Queens in your life!

faves-cliniqueClinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil – This stuff takes my makeup off in seconds. It’s amazing. I was using the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm but found that it often irritated my eyes, not enough to put me off using it but enough to make me want to explore other options. So I did my research and found the Clinique one to be a suitable alternative. I have found that whilst this is a great first cleanse you really do need to go in with a second one to get that fresh, clean skin feeling. For this I have been using an Elemis one (review coming soon). The Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil is perfect if you’re in a rush but want to avoid face wipes. 3 pumps for a full face of makeup, a warm flannel to remove and you’re done in seconds. Love. It.

faves-coatMissGuided Padded Faux Fur Hood Jacket– When it comes to jackets, I think I have a serious issue. I just cannot get enough! I feel like I need to have a different style for every occasion (funnily enough my mum disagrees). My justification for this most recent purchase however is that I was seriously lacking in the hood department. This jacket is sooo warm and the giant hood makes it perfect for walks in the rain (a must when you have two dogs). So that’s my reasoning, and I have donated an old one to charity in exchange which is a great idea if you want to rid yourself of a little shoppers guilt. On a side note I just have to say how impressive the MissGuided delivery service is, this arrived next day despite the fact I ordered after 8pm. They also have a great returns policy and bonus points for the 20% discount!!

Adele 25 – Despite spending hours and I mean serious hours attempting to buy tickets to her tour *to no avail* I have made the mature decision to forgive Adele. This new album might actually be my favourite of all her work. Hello is of course the ballad of the year but for me the number one song on 25 is When We Were Young (the video above), I bloody love it! I like the mix of uptempo and slow songs and basically I am just one of millions of passengers riding the Adele train right now.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – I wrote about this in a blog post which you can read here. I won’t bang on about it, but I have just been loving using this to apply my concealer recently. I cover the sponge in setting spray, wait a couple of seconds and then lightly bounce it over the concealer until it has fully blended. This is particularly great for the under eye area and once set with powder there is definitely less creasing than when using a brush. Brilliant and affordable at just £5.99, what more do you want?!

What are your current favourites? Beauty or random I would love to know so please do share them in the comments. Or you can tweet me @sophieaiken.

Sophie xoxo

Boomtown Festival – Faves & Fails

beauty, essentials, festival, hair, makeup

Time for the usual excuses, life got busy and the blog took a backseat for a while, but I’m back in the real world and ready to tell you all about my trip to Boomtown.

Last week I went to Boomtown festival in Winchester with my friends from uni, its a 4 day festival and it’s insaneeee. I’ve been before so thought my packing game would be on point…it wasn’t!

The Fails

  • There were two nights when I would have sold my soul for a warm jumper, I was colder than Queen Elsa herself!!
  • Lipbalm, something that I carry in every bag and pocket in my daily life. This was by far my biggest fail, lipstick did me no favours, in the end my lips were so dry and sore I had to leave them alone completely. Big mistake, will NEVER happen again!!!
  • I think I packed a little too minimally when it came to makeup, I could have really done with a dark brown eyeshadow or crease colour just to add a little dimension. I ended up keeping it pretty boring and that wasn’t the intention.
  • A festival essential is glitter, I had bought a couple of pots from eBay with this in mind but couldn’t find them anywhere when it came time to pack. As a result I had to rely on others, luckily the girls didn’t let me down and there was plenty to choose from but it’s always nice to have your own.

The Favourites

  • I absolutely loved using my Maybelline Master Drama Khol Liner in Purple Light, it’s a beautiful vibrant, slightly metallic bright purple colour that applies evenly and gently on the waterline. I loved this buttery eyeliner and can’t wait to get more use out of it!
  • I took a travel size Batiste Clean and Classic Dry Shampoo with me and it was a total life saver! After a couple of rainy days my hair was looking less than fresh and ended up in a ponytail but this was perfect for refreshing the roots and fringe. A must have at any festival!
  • Travel size packs of wipes are everything when the toilet roll is gone. Festival toilets are notoriously vile so the quicker you can get in and out the better. Having a small pack of wipes in your bag is a real comfort.
  • Hand sanitizer needs no explanation. I took the Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel which has a lovely strong scent and leaves your hands feeling clean without the sting you can get from other brands.

What are your festival fails and must haves? What do I need to make sure I have with me next time? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @sophieaiken

Sophie xoxo