LIFESTYLE | How to unwind after a long winter day

The colder it the weather, the stronger the gales - the moodier and more tired I become. That's just the way it is. What do they call it, the winter blues? More like winter greys and greiges and graphite darkness. On days like these it's important to know how to unwind. Here is how I do it.

It took me absolute ages to find these 80p Penguin Classics! Shaun says they have them in every Waterstones but I ain't believing that - they definitely are not in the Walsall one and I'm not sure they are in the Birmingham one either because I just could not find them. I finally discovered them by chance in Grand Central's Foyles! They have the prettiest books there - I swear they choose their stock by how pretty the cover pages are.  

I have been on a roll with my DIYs, haven't I? There's something incredibly therapeutic about creating things. I am fully aware that the £50 worth of spray paint would get me a brand new chest of drawers but that wouldn't be half as much fun! Check out my most recent projects: vintage apothecary posters with frames (here), quick & easy steam-punk style planters (here) and cactus terrariums (here).

I've always been a massive fan of skin oils and this new discovery of mine has quickly climbed to the very top of my favourites - Michael Lorin Reed's Gold Serum (click here) is a serum developed by a Manhattan-based dermatologist. The key extracts of sage, juniper and citrus give the oil very strong relaxing scent and they are also, as you'd expect, very effective ingredients. Exactly what my skin needs after a long day at work.

I don't need a good night's sleep, I need the best sleep possible. Without that I will be grumpy and snappy throughout the following day - which is pants, to say the least. When I'm struggling to fall asleep (not that often anymore - touch wood - but still happens) I either use Frankincense facial mist from Neal's Yard Remedies (see here) or Mio Liquid Yoga Stress Free Space Spray (click here - or you can also try it as a part of the Sleep Better kit here). The space spray is particularly effective because you can spritz it directly on your pillow and just face plant right into it, mmmm.     

What do you do to unwind after a long stressful day at work?

BEAUTY | Deborah Lippmann's Roar

Although I have only just published my top 5 picks in the world of berry nail polish, I might have changed my mind already. Can we make it top 6 and add another colour, please? Because this Deborah Lippmann nail polish in Miss Independent is just way too beautiful not to have a mention!   

The new collection Roar by Deborah Lippmann has some beautiful, oh so beautiful shades in it - one of them being the gorgeous deep wine colour that is Miss Independent and the other which caught my eye is She Wolf - a warm greige with a hint of nude. And have I mentioned how pretty the bottles are? Too pretty not to be under this year's Christmas tree. Just saying. You can get the whole collection here on Look Fantastic.

DIY | Vintage apothecary posters with frames

Let's proclaim this the weekend of DIYs - because that's what it's been for me. Lately I have been fully immersed in the DIY section of Pinterest searching for everything rustic, industrial, apothecary and steam-punk. That's what the cold winter evenings are for, right? A big cuppa of Russian Caravan tea (my favourite from Whittard's - see here), a little bit of summer reminiscing in the form of Stevie Nicks and the smell of spray paint and black soil under your finger nails. Today I'd like to show you my most recent project - these awesome vintage apothecary posters, all framed up!

What do you need?
✓ vintage posters (you can get these on the internets but I picked mine up from Paperchase & Urban Outfitters - they cost anywhere from £2.50 to £5 when buying on the high street)
✓ planks of wood (mine are from B&Q are the whole 2.4m plank was about £2.50 and one was enough for 2 posters)
✓ paint of choice (I used Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture paint in Graphite - click here - don't forget to pick up a couple of smaller pots to test the shades rather than going for the big one straight away, trust me, it's worth it!)
✓ finishing wax of choice (I used the trusty Rust-Oleum again and my wax was the dark one - click here - don't skip this step because that's what adds the lovely rustic texture to the paint)
✓ some vintage drawer labels (mine are from E-bay - click here - and they were £2.50 for 10, plus they come with screws too)
✓ glue gun (mine is off E-bay for £3.99 - click here)
✓ string
✓ old vintage dictionary (if you want to go the extra mile to make it super swanky)

Now you have your posters, you need to get the planks and cut them in the right size. I believe that my posters are the standard poster size so about 50cm in length should be just fine. I did 51cm just so there was a little edge to them. Paint them to your desired finish - I was going for rustic, slightly worn off paint. Glue the planks to the posters with a glue gun. Glue a piece of string to the top. Then measure the centre of the bottom plank and screw in the labels. To make them look extra fancy you can cut out your label from an old dictionary. I picked 'optic' and 'anatomy' for mine! And voila, you're done! 

I'd also like to credit Shaun for the incredibly professional mastering of the glue gun. Well done kid!