(...using lots of treats you can ~probably~ find in your kitchen cupboard or fridge)!

If January brings one thing (apart from Netflix binges, and unintentional Zara sale shopping)- it's usually the practise of properly taking steps to look after yourself. I'm not talking reinventing yourself, going on a thorough detox or diet or even a major health kick- but making little changes, small indulgences (perhaps picking up some more varied ingredients on a Tesco shop, ready for a new recipe) and putting in those small efforts that we're always told growing up, in order to beat those seasonal sniffles.

After being reminded of a couple of these throughout this month, I thought I'd put together a little tips post on some of the things that have inspired me to look after the skin-I'm-in more this month, all of which leave out any extra nasties!

Face full of veggies!
Natural Avocado and honey face mask

One of the easiest ways to unwind after a long day is a face mask, obvious right? However, not all of us have a pack, or bottle handy- so the next best tip is getting inspired by what's going on in your fridge! I took to pinterest and scoured the 'net for some favourite DIY face masks, and the two resounding natural go-to's seemed to be honey and avocado- honey being great for cleansing thanks to it's antibacterial properties, and avocado due to being packed full of amino acids (plus, it also is super moisturising)! So, before I knew it- I'd smashed an avocado, poured a dollop of honey into it (mixing it together well)- and had the ultimate easy-peasy facial for bath time!

Try a creative (and fancy) breakfast!
Acai Bowl

I'm no health expert, but after being a big Ella-lover for a while (#girlcrush), have fallen in love with her recipes; including her famous Acai bowl, which bought a refreshing update on my typical-winter Ready Brek breakfast! Now, although Acai isn't cheap, the benefits it's known for are pretty special indeed (think tonnes of antioxidants and vitamins, with minimal sugar)- and it can be used in so many ways as part of a healthy diet (think smoothies, breakfast bowls, milkshakes and cakes)- which make the investment really worth it. If you don't fancy going acai, there's loads of other ways you can experiment with breakfast- which I'm thinking of posting about very soon, so let me know if you'd be interested!

Drink, drink, drink!
Honey and hot water

So, as well as aiming to drink more water of late, I've also taken to adding a little honey and lemon to the mix (even better if it's Manuka honey- which boasts amazing medicinal properties and seriously helped improve a nasty cold of late)! This is probably the oldest trick in the book (it's what I'm always reminded of when I'm feeling a little under the weather)- and having a mug a day can help cure a sore throat, flush out any nasties and help build up your immune system- who'd have thunk it?

Born lippy!
Burt's Bees
As soon as the weather gets chillier, my lips take to drying out- which is definitely as glamorous as it sounds. Not only does it make lipstick look pants, but having chapped lips ain't a nice feeling- hence why moisturising them as much as your face is a big old tip (and something I'm prone to forgetting). Cue natures, 100% natural favourite lip balm (and, ahem, mine), Burt's Bees. Not only do they have flavours reminiscent of everything I've mentioned above (read: acai, honey and blueberry and dark chocolate)- but they also have a pink grapefruit flavour (which tastes good too- although TMI?), and coconut and pear- meaning keeping a smooth pout has never been so tasty (there's 9 flavours in total)! For more inspiration, check out this video too, and hit up their Facebook and Twitter for lots of lippy updates!


Post in collaboration with Burt's Bees


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4 Natural Ways To Look After Yourself...

Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did
(Hat: ASOS, Jumper: H&M, Jacket: Vintage, Jeans: Boden, Belt: Vintage, Boots: Zara, Bag: Baia)

Let's get one thing straight- it's cold outside. Really cold in fact- so cold that anything less than three layers is regarded as slinky (in my books anyway)- and the thought of going out without something that resembles a nana-knitted tea cosy on my head is considered somewhat of a travesty- meaning out come the cable knits, tights-under-jeans-combo (I won't tell if you won't) and the mother of all coats, the shearling-style (comedy) jacket.

Whenever anyone will wear a shearling jacket, the obligatory Del Boy jacket-joke will occur, and although I like to think it's a little more Harry Styles than east end cockney (oh the magic of skinny jeans and 2007-style winkle pickers)- comparisons are very much rife- and as long as it's not Bane minus the scary mask thing or that funny IKEA monkey then I'm happy- plus when it cost £20 at a market stall and keeps you warm then it can't be all too silly...

Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Sheepskin Jacket 70s What Olivia Did Zara Boots What Olivia Did

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Leave it out Rodney!

Favourite Salad Recipe What Olivia Did
I'm going to put this out there- I'm not a big salad lover. Perhaps it's down to not being adventurous enough, but to me a salad is always something I'd order alongside something else- sound greedy? The harder thing is, being the new year I see tonnes of healthy ladies embracing new green food trends, lapping up the veggies and juices- and I can't help but feel a little guilty...

However! When in Amsterdam I tried a pretty special salad (at a brunch place, of all places)- and I think I'm nearly a convert. Ok, it had meat and cheese in it (baby steps), but it was filling, pretty healthy and most importantly, delicious. I swiftly tried to remember the key bits in it, and have recreated it slightly differently here, as it's too tasty to forget! I'm certainly no whole foods expert (ironically, my favourite thing to buy in Whole Foods is, ahem, their brownie) but this salad is filled with tonnes of yummy things, and doesn't leave you feeling peckish afterwards- so no need to tuck into a big sandwich too ; )

Favourite Salad Recipe What Olivia Did For one slap up bowl you will need:
- Selection of your favourite leaves
- 3 Spring onions
- 5 Cherry tomatos
- 1 avocado
- Some ready cooked chicken
- 1/2 Courgette - 1/2 block of halloumi (or less if you're being good)
- A big handful of mixed grains (anything from quinoa to bulgar wheat works well, you can even use seeds for crunch)
- A drizzle of olive oil
- Pinch of pepper

1. Pop your greens into a big bowl. Slice your avocado, spring onions, pre-cooked chicken and tomatoes and lay on top of the leaves.

2. Slice your halloumi into small rectangles, and pop a little olive oil into your pan. Fry the halloumi for a couple of minutes each side until golden and browning, and remove from the heat.

3. Next, slice your courgette (you can either do rounds or lengths) and pop into your pre heated pan to fry. This will take a little longer than the cheese so be patient (but do keep checking them). If you want them softer, add a little more oil, but they're quite nice when they still have a bit of a crunch.

4. Once your courgettes are done, add them and the halloumi to your salad, and finish by sprinkling your grains over the top and a pinch of pepper if necessary! Enjoy!

Favourite Salad Recipe What Olivia Did

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My favourite salad recipe!

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(Coat: Warehouse, Jumper: Vintage, Skirt: ASOS, Bag: Vivienne Westwood, Shoes: C/O Cath Kidston for Gola)

After seemingly dressing relatively sensibly so far this winter (and not having much time to don the 'hive) last Sunday, on a particularly grey morning I made the effort to put a spring in my step (with added nude tights, for anyone fearing for my temperature wellbeing) and head out dressed as a member of the Royal Mail (or as I mentioned on Instagram, Alex Turner circa Cornerstone). Taking sartorial nods from my dear friend Lucy, I made sure my shiniest attire was out in full swing- and if there's one thing I can assure you, it's that primary brights can instantly chirp up even the dullest of days- especially when you throw some pretty floral trainers into the mix!

On our agenda was a walk along the Kings Road, which did mean I was suitably overdressed in a sea of chic beige and grey cashmere's and attracted a few interesting second glances- something to do with the beehive you say ; )? Nonetheless, Joe and I weaved in and out of some favourite shops (resisting lots of beautiful transparent goodness in Muji) before picking up lunch in the shape of school-trip-style packed rolls for the train home (SouthEastern journey's have never looked so glamorous) and venturing back to our neck of the woods- not bad for a Sunday morning! .

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and here's what I wore...




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Spring in my step

My Camera Kit What Olivia Did
(My OM10- which I vow to use more in 2015- there's something so rewarding and satisfying about developing film, so I definitely want to do that more)

If there's one question I'm asked more than anything- it's about what I use to take the photos on my blog. Now, there's no secrets- we're all friends here, right? Everyone has a different eye for things, so no two pictures will ever be quite the same- but seeing as y'all asked (and usually very nicely) I thought I'd share my weapons of choice, and why I love them!  I know that the camera isn't always the most important part of this blogging process (hence why I've never spoken about it before), and providing you know your equipment and the best way to edit what you shoot (something I'm still mastering), you can create beautiful images with a complete mix of kit, so never feel restricted to one camera or another- it's all pretty personal. Anyway- less of the chitter chatter, let's get snap happy!

My baby: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
My Camera Kit What Olivia Did
Until June I used the Canon 550d to shoot, and although that is a great camera (and certainly more affordable), I'd been saving up and looking to upgrade for a while. In June this year on my birthday I was presented with this bad boy (to which I nearly cried I thought it was a magical hallucination) care of Joe, and it pretty much hasn't left my side since. It's an amazing piece of equipment, which I still don't know the half of (this year I vow to learn how to utilise it to it's full potential), and has changed the way I snap (and film) for the better.

The lens: Canon 50mm 1.8
My Camera Kit What Olivia Did
No secret to any bloggers out there, this lens graces most cameras- and if you're after a budget lens that does a blooming great job then this is a great option. It's a prime lens, so it does mean you have to take a little trek back when you want to snap your dinner (as it's quite zoomed)- but offers pretty amazing bokeh and quality for such a reasonable price (it usually retails around £80) and is a fantastic all round starter lens for anyone wanting to step up their quality a little.

My iPhone
My Camera Kit What Olivia Did
Although I don't use this for blog images (although I'm sure it could be done in some capacity- especially if you have the 6), I use my phone for everything I upload to Instagram, and it does a bloody good job at it too. Although I wave a few magic filters (ahem, apps) over the pictures too (see: Afterlight and VSCO Cam)- getting the right light (natural, if possible) and tapping at the screen wildly until things are in focus are my two main tips- but I'm sure I could do another post in itself on composing a half decent phone snap...

Getting a sassy strap
My Camera Kit What Olivia Did
Not essential by any means, but after being introduced to Colibrí- it was hard to resist one of their beautiful straps to accessorise my camera with, as they are absolutely stunning (as well as being durable, thick and incredibly well made). The perfect Pinterest style addition to any photographers neck, and a pretty lovely gift for anyone with a camera as a BFFL.

The vlogging mini: Canon S120
My Camera Kit What Olivia Did
After being recommended this by the lovely Hannah (and knowing it's the secret weapon of many Youtubers), I decided to invest in this little Canon as a tiny accomplice for my vlogging attempts and something a little smaller to pop in my bag (anyone with a Mark III will know it's not an, ahem, light camera). Although it's not the most advance of cameras, it's the perfect little digital number- and films in good quality meaning I can film with both cameras and not see too much of a difference when viewed in HD. Plus, it's great if you're heading out for dinner and don't want to get any funny big-camera-snappy-looks (technical terms ladies and gents).

The photographer boyfriend (hohoho)
Joe! 2 Although John Lewis haven't quite cottoned on to stocking these yet, I think I'd honestly be pretty lost without Joe helping me out with my photos (although my pals do do a great job too). I know the whole 'photographer boyfriend' thing is a bit of a gross cliche, and he definitely does way more than just traipse around with me firing commands at him (hohoho again), but he's the most patient (and bloody talented) other half I could ask for- and I'm a lucky gal indeed to have him willing to watch me goof around in front of a camera and then document it on everything above.

P.S I'm also currently saving up for a new lens so any amazing suggestions would be much appreciated, especially lenses that are great to film with!


If you're feeling spendy...




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My Camera Kit

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Join us at #TheBloggersMarket!

So, here's a little somethin' somethin' I'm excited to share! If you like bargain shopping, freshly baked gorgeous cupcakes, girlie chit chats and afternoons in London- then you best keep next Saturday 31st free from 11-5pm (even if it's only for half an hour)!

Some of my best pals (Carrie, Dunya, Kristabel and Lucy) and I will be hosting a little 'Bloggers Market' in the gorgeous Camden Foundry, tucked away in The Stables Market- it's a hop, skip and a jump away from Chalk Farm and Camden Town Tube- but all details can be found at the event page here (where you can also RSVP, to let us know if you'll be coming)!

As well as some seriously sassy new and pre loved bargains (ranging from shoes in a size 5-8, accessories and clothes from a size 6-14) and prices starting from 50p- there's some perfect weekend treats to be had, including the chance to indulge in getting a new hair style from Hair by Joël (perfect for any Saturday night plans, non?), hot tea and fresh cupcakes from Lena Rose Bakery- as well as catching up with some girlie chats (with silly blogging anecdotes a-plenty)- we hope you can make it! I know it's not close for everyone, but hopefully if this goes down a treat we can plan some more fun things in the future too! : )

Fingers crossed we'll see you there!

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The Bloggers' Market

Meringue Girls What Olivia Did Boden Meringue Girls What Olivia Did Boden

Now, this post is certainly a little overdue- but I couldn't help but share this over here (even if it was a little before December)! Way back before my New York visit (a day before, in fact), and on the morning before a fun old shoot with Carrie and Reem- Joe and I headed over to Broadway Market in East London for a morning of getting to know two of London's foodie favourites, The Meringue Girls (a.k.a Alex and Stacey). I won't spoil too many secrets as to what we got up to as you can see everything here (although you can guess it involved sugar, baking a certain egg whited pastel treat and minimal finger licking)- but I thought I'd share a few snaps from the morning, as it was such a treat getting to meet the uber talented girls (who, may I add, are incredible food stylists too- #lifegoals).

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Meeting the Meringue Girls...

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(Dress: River Island, Bag: Lulu Guinness, Boots: Zara)

I'll admit it, I'm not very good at getting dressed up. On New Year's Eve I opted for pyjamas and the worlds cosiest dressing gown, on Christmas day I was in my pyjamas by five (which, I'm sure applied to a fair few of us)- and on my first ever night 'out out' at university, I wore a duffle coat and loafers- it's safe to say I didn't make many new pals that evening (something about looking like Moss from the I.T Crowd, you say?) If I ever do search for the perfect 'occasion' dress it usually has to be a) something I can wear with tights and b) something that'll be fine during the day with a biker jacket- and that, I have found, can be unusually tricky to find.

Queue this River Island dress of dreams, snapped up swiftly after spotting it on Harley Viera-Newton (serious style kudos to her) and my new 'perfect-for-everything' dress, which has already had a fair few outings. On top of that, it's now half blooming price in the ASOS sale (you lucky buggers) so if anyone ever feels the need to turn to tights and loafers for a night out- this will be the perfect partner (and perfect for swishy-dancing too)!

River Island Floral dress What Olivia Did River Island Floral dress What Olivia Did Zara boots

and here's what I wore...




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Night on the town

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 23 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

WHERE TO REACH OLIVIA

Saving Up...

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