Saturday, 26 July 2014

10 ways to feel happy every day

Sometimes the littlest things can have a negative impact on our emotions and leave us feeling down. With a few small changes you can overcome the negativity and feel healthy, happy and cheerful every day.


Even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing, smiling tricks your brain into thinking that you are happy and has been scientifically proven to improve your emotional state and make you feel happier. Even when alone make sure you have a big grin on your face!

Start the day right

Rushing in the morning can set the day off badly. Make your breakfast and lunch the night before and prepare your clothes and daily essentials. Get up 15 minutes earlier to allow yourself time to wake up properly and mentally prepare for the day ahead.

Practise gratitude

Take a moment to list all of the things that you are thankful for, sometimes it really is the little things that make a difference. Try thinking of 3 things that make you happy each morning or write a list of positive things that happened during the day before bed.

Give a compliment

Be kind and compliment someone new each day. Being nice will not only make someone else feel good but will also leave you feeling better, and you may even get a compliment in return which is a bonus.

Take the stairs

Exercise releases endorphins which make us feel good. Small changes such as taking the stairs, getting off the bus a stop early or going on a short walk at lunchtime can count towards your recommended 30 minutes each day and make you feel happier.


Mess and clutter subconsciously make us feel stressed. Take some time to have a clear out and create space. Whether its spring cleaning your house or organising your work desk. Decluttering will provide a feeling of accomplishment and create a positive environment.

Take a break

Sit quietly for 15 minutes or take a short walk, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Make sure all other thoughts are pushed aside and focus on what you can hear, smell and feel. This short meditation exercise is a quick way to relax and recharge when you’re feeling stressed.

Sing and dance

Singing and dancing are associated with being happy and joyful. Similarly to smiling our brain associates these activities with being happy which will automatically enhance your mood. The dancing will release the same feel-good endorphins that we experience when exercising.

Try something new

Whether it’s a new breakfast option, a different drink to your usual coffee or an alternative route home. Variety is key and it’s important to mix things up and break the routine. If you’re feeling adventurous why not sign up for a new class such as cooking, gardening or learn a language.

Switch off

Most of us are constantly surrounded by technology and it can be hard to escape. Try spending at least 1 hour a day without it. Turn off your phone, computer and appreciate your surroundings. Relax in a bubble bath, read a book or enjoy some delicious food.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Summer Wishlist

Summer has got to be my favourite season. The sun is shining, the weather is warm and if you're lucky enough you get to jet off somewhere exotic for a relaxing, beach holiday. 

Unfortunately I am not one of those lucky people and have had to make do with sunbathing in my back garden - although the weather so far has been pretty hot so I can't complain too much!

Although I won't be travelling anywhere out of England this year, It hasn't stopped me from dreaming of sunset beaches and tropical temperatures... and creating a wishlist of amazing items that I would want if I was going somewhere nice...

Here's my summer wishlist!

Holly xx

and not forgetting beauty...

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Going blonder

After having dark hair for so long I decided it was time to go more towards my natural colour which is dark blonde. It has taken a long time for the colour to grow out and fade but with the help of the summer sun and L'Oreal's new sunkiss jelly I was finally ready for a trip to the salon.

I wanted some subtle golden highlights through my hair and a good couple of inches cut off of the ends - which due to not being cut for a long time were in desperate need of it!

At first the stylist was unsure about the highlights as the colour would look much lighter on the fresh hair at the top of my head compared to the coloured hair at the bottom, but after testing some colour we decided it would be fine and the end result turned out even better than expected :-)

To finish the look my hair was cut and styled with some loose beachy waves which gave a lovely texture and completed the summery look I wanted.

I am so happy with my lighter hair and have bought the John Frieda Go Blonder shampoo, conditioner and mousse to help enhance the colour and keep it in good condition so look out for a review on these soon!

Have you gone from dark to blonde? Can you recommend any good products for lighter hair? What summer styles are you loving?

Holly xx

Friday, 4 July 2014

L’Oreal Paris Casting Sunkiss Jelly

My hair has been died brunette for as long as I can remember and very few people know that my natural hair colour is actually dark blonde. I decided that it was finally time to go back to my natural colour and have been attempting to get my hair lighter so that I can achieve a summery, golden, sun-kissed glow.

L’Oreal’s new sunkiss jelly looked like exactly what I needed to give my hair a helping hand and for £5.99 it wouldn't be the end of the world if it didn't deliver the results promised anyway, plus I love every other product that I've used from the brand.

The jelly is so easy to use, you simply apply it to wet or dry hair and style as normal or for better results you can apply heat with a hairdryer. Either way it leaves hair soft and tinted, and not greasy or hard at all which is what I expected.

I am pleased to say that after just two uses my hair is looking lighter and has a lovely blonde tint all over. With the help of the sun which also naturally lightens hair I am slowly getting closer to the golden colour I want and have also booked an appointment at the salon for some subtle blonde highlights to complete the sun-kissed look.

If you wish to lighten your hair I would recommend this product, I will definitely be re purchasing when I run out. Now all I need is a good tan so that I can at least pretend I have been on holiday!

Have you tried the sunkisse jelly? What did you think?

Holly xx

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


June has been a beautiful month. The weather has been fantastic and I have been making the most of it by relaxing in the garden with a good book, having coffee and lunch dates in the sun and going for walks in the park.

It has been great having so much free time although I have been a little bit bored simply because I am used to always being on the go and doing something. I have started looking for a part time job to keep me occupied (and fund my uncontrollable spending habit!) so I am hoping something comes up soon.

Good things this month have been celebrating my birthday and receiving some amazing gifts, enjoying the warm weather and attempting to get a tan, going on a day trip to visit my grandma and having some nice meals out with family and friends.

I am so excited to go to Wireless festival at the beginning of July so I really hope the weather stays warm for that.

What have you been up to this month? Any exciting plans for July?

Holly xx

Swimming time, summer salad, pink shellac nails, new shoes, yummy breakfast smoothie, walking in the sun, selfie, new house CD’s, soup, salad & bread.

Eggs and avocado on toast = my favourite lunch, peppermint tea in the garden, porridge with blueberries and honey, my gluten-free birthday brownies.

A nice pub lunch with the sister, our delicious strawberry and chocolate milkshakes.

Birthday gifts: ASOS handbag, H&M dress, Rituals spa set, Body Shop shower gel, H&M ring and OPI nail polish.

Amazing birthday gifts


Me on my birthday night out

Helen, Ruby and me after a few too many cocktails

Follow me on Instagram @misshollyamber

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Five ways to combat stress

Stress is something that the majority of us experience at some point or other. With our demanding lifestyles and busy schedules it can often be hard to find ways to relax. Common symptoms of stress include mood swings, insomnia and overeating which can all contribute to the problem and make it worse. Here are some simple ways to reduce the effects of stress and help you to live a more relaxed and stress-free life.

Diet and Exercise

Regular exercise and healthy eating are proven methods for boosting your mood. Even small changes such as taking a short walk, eating fruit and vegetables and drinking more water will make a noticeable improvement. Try getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, snack on fruit and add vegetables to each meal. Cut down on caffeine and fizzy drinks and aim to drink two litres of water or herbal tea each day.


Stress often makes it hard to sleep and causes tiredness and low energy levels. Having a hot bath with aromatherapy oils followed by a gentle stretching routine before bed can encourage relaxation and aid sleep. Cut down on caffeinated drinks and replace them with warm milk and chamomile tea which are renowned for their sleep-inducing abilities. Be sure to avoid eating three hours before bed to allow your digestive system to settle and prevent it from disrupting your sleep.


Bottling up emotions can often seem like the easiest option, however doing this leaves issues unresolved and causes stress levels to increase. Phone a friend for a chat or arrange to meet up for a coffee where you can vent and share advice. If you would rather speak to someone professional find a councillor or support group in your area, or see if the issue is something your doctor can help with. Simply talking to someone can make you feel happier, even if a solution is not achieved straight away

Focus on the positives

Trying to remain positive and push the negative thoughts aside can seem impossible when you’re stressed. However focusing on a future event, such as a holiday, or something that makes you happy can lift your mood and help you to combat your troubles. Plan a treat for yourself at the weekend, such as going for a nice walk, buying something new or taking time out to read a book with a cup of tea. Arrange to see friends or family who make you happy and try to do something little that makes you smile every day.


Meditation techniques such as deep breathing, rhythmic exercise and yoga have been proven to activate the body’s natural relaxation response and boost both your energy and mood. Try a calming yoga sequence from one of the many videos available online, or look for class in your area. Simply spending 15 minutes each day being alone, still and focusing on your breathing will re-charge your batteries and lift your mood, leaving you feeling calm, composed and stress-free.

Holly xx

Images sourced from Vogue, Tumblr, Sweat the Style and Net-A-Porter.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Super easy Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies

Gluten-free Chocolate Brownies

This simple recipe makes quite possibly the most delicious, sickly and indulgent brownies I have ever tasted and to make them even better – they are gluten free!

After recently deciding to go wheat/gluten free for personal/health reasons I was at a bit of a loss about what to do about a birthday cake. Every supermarket cake I looked at contained wheat and gluten and ordering a specially made cake without these was out of my price range.

As someone who has a huge sweet tooth and counts cake among my list of favourite foods, going without a birthday cake was not an option! After discovering hundreds of delicious and simple-looking gluten free recipes online I decided I would make my own!

I would describe myself as an amateur baker to say the least - which is probably why the ‘cake’ didn’t turn out quite as expected. However my baking did not go to waste as I ended up with the most delicious and indulgent chocolate brownies I have ever tasted (if I say so myself!) and they were a big hit with everyone who tried them.

If like me you love chocolate and want to try an easy-peasy recipe - this is  definitely one for you :-)

The chocolate frosting and buttons were originally planned for decorating the cake but were not needed in the end.


Dark chocolate 180g
Butter 120g
Caster sugar 150g
Cocoa Powder 50g
Eggs 3 (beaten)
Vanilla extract 1 tsp


Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2.
Grease a 20cm cake tin and dust with cocoa powder.
Melt the chocolate and butter.
Mix with the sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes.
 Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting up and serving.

The chocolate brownie before being cut.

The recipe can easily be adapted and you can add other ingredients such as hazelnuts, almonds, cherries or chocolate chips if you choose. They also taste delicious served with a dollop of cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Holly xx