Valentine's Day Gift Guide - For Him

Valentine's Day Gift Guide - For Him

Valentine's Day will be upon us in just a few short weeks.

If - like me - this is the first Valentine's Day you'll be spending with a new special someone, then chances are you may be sitting there racking your brains about what to get them as a gift.

With this in mind, I decided to put together a small selection of gift ideas that may provide you with some inspiration.

1. Pampering: For our first Valentine's Day together, Boyfriend & I are going to be taking a trip to the LUSH Spa in Liverpool for a double treatment (don't worry, he knows we are already.) He works really hard in his job, and deserves to be pampered so I thought I'd take a chance and book us both in for something special so that we both get some "me" time but spend quality time together.

Having a spa day/break will help you both get uber-relaxed and wash all outside stresses away. There are so many wonderful spas and treatments out there that no doubt you will find one that suits both you & your boyfriend/husband.

2. Champagne: If he likes to indulge in  some yummy bubbles, selecting a really beautiful bottle of champagne/prosecco could be the perfect gift. Especially if it comes in one of those very chic and fancy wooden boxes or plush bottle-jackets. It's something you could share together to toast your relationship, or save for another special occasion.

Ps. Don't forget to save the cork as a keepsake of this special day!

3. Love Letters: If you want to create a really personal gift to give to him, then why not make a special token of your love that can be kept forever. Simply find a jar (mason/jam etc...) make sure it is clean, and fill it with pieces of paper that say something special that you love about your man. They could be attributes he has, memories of amazing adventures you've had together, or photos with captions. You can keep adding to the jar so that it is jam-packed full of love letters for him to look at.

4. Clothing: If you have been together for a little while and you are confident you could shop for your man, then clothing is a great option as a gift - especially graphic print t shirts. You can make the choice really personal to his taste, and he'll be really impressed that you've listened to him talk about his favourite band/TV show/film.

5. Books: Again, this gift idea will depend on how long you two have been together and how well you know his tastes. Even if you aren't sure what to go for, you can go in to your local bookshop and ask the staff what their recommendations would be. Keep a look out for book-signing events that may be happening in your area from authors he may like, or go to antique book shops or fairs and look out for a really rare book he may enjoy looking at. Then sit back and watch him smell the musty, aged scent of the pages, or cheekily flip to the back to read the ending.

PS. You could also write a personal message of love in the front of the book to make it really sentimental.

6. A Watch: He may not be in to jewellery, but having a classic, timeless timepiece on his wrist could make him feel extra-chic and professional. Buying a watch for him doesn't necessarily have to be expensive. There are some great ones out there for really reasonable prices that will instantly add a little something extra to his office wear/everyday attire. He could even keep it as an accessory he brings out on special occasions when he wants to feel dapper.

Ps. Some shops will even have the option for you to get the watch engraved with a meaningful message.

7. Plan A Trip: It doesn't have to be anywhere fancy or overseas. It could be a night recreating where you first met, or had your first date, or knew you were in love. Or it could be simply sitting down together and planning a special trip for later in the year. Either way, it'll be an adventure you can go on together and create new, happy memories.

Let me know your plans/gift ideas for Valentine's Day this year in the comments.


One-Handed Way To Make The Bed

At the end of last year, I decided I wanted to make a hair video on my YouTube channel...just different ways I have learnt how to easily style my hair for a general everyday look. 

After my enjoyment in making the video,and the reception it got, I decided it was time to do another "one-handed ways" video, this time on how I make the bed.

Making the bed was always something I found extremely difficult, but when I broke up with my ex a few years ago, I decided that there was no better time to find a way (we lived together, and this was usually his job.) 

I found a great deal of independence finding a way to do this myself, and if you are going off to university in September, hoping to move out, or even just want to tackle this too, then hopefully this video helps you.

You can do it!

Here are some extra hints if you're trying this for the first time: 

Bed Sheets

If you can, opt for a loose fitting sheet. None of this elasticated corners malarkey. The fitted sheets mean extra stress, whereas a loose sheet you can literally throw over the bed, and tuck in the corners/sides as you go along without having to be super-aligned with the mattress. 


Always try and use the bed frame to your advantage as much as possible. If you have a wrought bed frame like me, drape the duvet or duvet cover over the end and use this to help feed the cover on to the duvet or vice-versa (I do this in my video - click above for a more visual description.) I do find it easier to have the duvet cover hooked on to the sides of the bed rather than the duvet itself, but decided to switch round in the video to show what is - for me - the trickier option/

If you don't have a bed-frame to use, a set of chairs perching by either side of the end of your bed would work just as well.  Just use these to lay the duvet/duvet cover over and away you go.

If you are trying out doing this for the first time and used this video to help you, let me know how it went in the comments below.

Good luck! 


The Healthy Ginger: Keeping a Food Diary

If you read my 2014 New Year Resolutions post, then you will know that this year I am making a conscious effort to be a healthier person. This means cutting back on the naughty treats, eating a more well-balanced diet, and upping the exercise regime. 

Boyfriend - being as supportive as always - said he would help me in this goal. So, for the first step on this epic journey, he set me the task of keeping a food diary. 

As a record to show what I am eating on a weekly basis, and where I need to improve/change.

Often, during the day, I will subconsciously reach for the snacks. And when there is a LOT of chocolate in the house, this is a very bad thing. Before I went back to work I could attack the stash at regular intervals. But since keeping my food diary, I find myself making a conscious effort to choose the healthier options. There's something about keeping a running record of what I have eaten that makes me want to prove to myself that I can be healthier. 

Looking back at what I have eaten so far is empowering. I have in no way deprived myself of anything. I'm still having my daily chocolatey treats, but I'm doing it now in moderation. And because I'm going to be sharing my weekly diary with Boyfriend, it's giving me a sense of achievement. 
I won't do this every week, but I just wanted to share my first week of Food Diary with you lovely lot. 
13/01/14 - Monday
.Caramel Latte 
.500ml water
.Bowl of nut & seed muesli w. semi-skimmed milk & linseeds
.Coffee w. coffee mate
. 3 Quality Street 
.Peach Yogurt
.3/4 banana
.200ml Chocomel 
.500ml water 
.Chicken breast, chopped tomatoes & pepper w. rice
.1 piece of chocolate cake 
14/01/14 - Tuesday 
.Coffee w. Coffee Mate
.Bowl of nut & seed muesli w. Linseeds & semi-skimmed milk 
.Caramel latte 
.4 Chocolates 
.1 pint water 
.1 banana / 5 table spoons mango & vanilla yogurt 
.Coffee w. Coffee Mate 
.1 pint water
.Mug of Milk 
.2 pints water 
.Minced Meat, Pepper, Onion, Ham, Chopped Tomatoes, Grated Cheese & Pasta
.4 Chocolates
.1 pint water 
15/01/14 - Wednesday 
.Caramel latte 
.Bowl of nut & seed muesli w. Linseeds & semi-skimmed milk 
.Caramel latte 
.4 Chocolates
.Banana & Honey sandwich on white bread 
.5 tbsps mango & vanilla yogurt 
.1 pint water
.1 pint water 
.Coffee w. Coffee Mate
.200ml Chocomel 
.Earl Grey Green Tea 
.Cumberland sausages, potato wedges, peppers, onions, passata, Tabasco, mushrooms 
.1 pint water 
.3 chocolates
16/01/14 - Thursday 
.Caramel latte 
.Bowl of nut & seed muesli w. Linseeds & semi-skimmed milk 
.Caramel latte 
.4 Chocolates
.1 pint water 
.4 tbsps Mango & Vanilla yogurt & 2 tbsps of Mango, Papaya. & Passionfruit yogurt + 2 bananas 
.1 pint water 
. Coffee w. Coffee Mate 
.Hot dog wrapped in bacon with BBQ sauce and cheese w. Chips (Half bun)
.Glass of water 
17/01/14 - Friday 
.Caramel Latte 
.1 piece of toast with lfs. 
.100g mini eggs 
.Bowl of nut & seed muesli w. Linseeds & semi-skimmed milk 
.1 pint of water
.Caramel latte 
.Coffee w. Coffee Mate 
.Breaded chicken, half burger bun, mayonnaise, salad & small chips 
18/01/14 - Saturday 
.Caramel latte
.4 chocolates 
.Coffee w. Coffee Mate 
.1 pint of water 
.1 Poppadum, rice, keema naan bread, chicken tikka pieces in mango, almond & cream sauce 
.1 pint of water
18/01/14 - Sunday 
.Coffee w. Coffee Mate
.Vanilla latte x 2 
.Pint of water 
.2 Poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, English muffin, 2 slices of ham, chives & 2 portions of black pudding 
If you are looking to be healthier in 2014, then I highly recommend going on a Food Diary journey too. Even if you are just wanting to change one thing in your lifestyle, like drinking more water, doing more exercise, or cutting down on ice cream....The sense of satisfaction and achievement that you'll gain when you get to the end of each week and see how well you have done will be amazing! 
If you are starting a Food Diary journey too, let me know in the comments.There will always be somebody here to support you in your 2014 Healthy Quest. 
Good Luck!
Psst....Keep an eye out for more Healthy Ginger posts. I'll be sharing meal tips, my new exercise regime, and other pieces of advice


Tailor Made Massage at Lush Spa Liverpool | Just Add Ginger

Tailor Made Massage Lush

As part of my Christmas present from Boyfriend, I received a voucher for a Tailor Made Massage at the Lush Spa in Liverpool. I naturally carry a lot of tension in my back, neck and shoulders due to my posture, and have been in need of a good massage for a long time now, so you can imagine my absolute delight when I found that hidden amongst my other wonderful gifts. 

Plus, I am a HUGE Lushie, so any excuse I have to go back in to Lush is a bonus. 

I have been to the Lush Spa twice before for The Comforter (you can read my review of the treatment here) and have bought the Tailor Made for both Boyfriend and one of my other good friends before, so had a general idea of what the treatment would entail. But still, as I walked in to the spa ready for my massage I was filled with that sense of wonderment and anticipation again.

My massage therapist Emily, sat me down and offered me a glass of water as I filled in the consultation form. She answered any questions I had, and we discussed where I needed the focus to be on. Having such a calm and cheerful massage therapist put me instantly at ease.... I'm not going to lie, the thought of somebody working out my knotty back was making me feel a little anxious.  

The first thing we did after filling in the consultation form was go over the several options of massage bar there were for the treatment. 

I decided to go for the Hottie massage bar. Yes. I was mainly tempted because it looked like a giant bar of bubbly chocolate, but it also smelt delicious too. For an intense treatment like the Tailor Made I didn't want to go for too potent a scent. Hottie had a definitive smell to it (a combination of spicy and creamy,) but it wasn't over-powering. 

Emily then explained what the treatment would entail, going through how she would work on any areas of extreme tension and "knotti-ness." She made it clear that at any point, if she was applying too much pressure, I should tell her, and she would make sure I was comfortable. 

Emily then produced a Big Blue bath bomb, plopping it in to a jug. Immediately billowing clouds of delicious- smelling steam erupted in front of us. Emily showed me in to the treatment room, emptied the jog in to a box under the massage table, and left me to get ready for the treatment surrounded in lashings of Big Blue dry ice lapping at my legs. 

As with The Comforter treatment, I was given plenty of time to get ready. Because Emily was going to focus on my back and shoulders, I was able to keep my leggings and socks on. Once I was nice and comfortable tucked under the blanket, I called Emily back using the little hand bell left for me on a table next to the massage table. 

And so began my descent into a dream-like state. As soon as the massage began, hushing wave noises and softly-playing sea shanties kissed my ears.

As with The Comforter, the massage was so well choreographed to the music that it felt more like a dance. And because I grew up in a house where sea shanties were plated on a regular basis (Papa Ginger has a very folk-y taste in music,) I found myself humming (quietly) along to some of the melodies. 

Tailor Made Massage Lush
Sorry for the blurriness again....but I love the way the bed was lit so had to get a picture!

The rocking and rolling motions Emily used on my back during the massage really did make me feel like I was floating out to sea. And what I really appreciated was that she made sure that at all times I was comfortable. This was never an issue. I was so comfortable that my left arm - which is normally so stiff - was dancing about to the music!

30 minutes seemed to fly by, and, after the massage was over, I was given time to relax, and then get ready at my own pace. Which was important. After every massage I have been to at Lush I have been so relaxed my legs have turned to jelly. Getting ready in a rush is not an option.

When I finally came out of the treatment room and in to the country kitchen area of the spa, Emily was waiting for me with a smile and a cup of tea. 

"Would you like some rum in it?" I was asked. 

Who could resist? 

Emily also handed over the Hottie massage bar and explained hat I could take it home with me so into my handbag it went. What a lovely additional extra!

A cup of tea with a shot of rum, cheery chit-chat with Emily and two biscuits later and it was time to say goodbye to the Lush Spa again.

I want to say "thank you" to Boyfriend for giving me the gift of Lush and Tailor Made. And to Emily for being a kind and conscientious massage therapist. I enjoyed the treatment so much that I am already thinking about going back again. For anybody who suffers from tension, is susceptible to knots, or just needs 30 minutes of relaxation, I can't recommend the Tailor Made massage enough. It's not just a massage, it's an experience.
Ps: Tailor Made retails for £40.00. Fir further details on the treatment, or any other Lush spas have to offer, click here

Ginger's Tips: Top 5 Tips For Living With Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend

A few months ago, Boyfriend and I made the decision to live together. 
It wasn't something we took lightly. 
There were many conversations had in the lead up to the final decision to take the next step in our relationship.
For those of you who may be at the stage where you are ready/want to move in with your other half, here are my top 5 tips that I think are really important to remember when you live together for the first time - especially at the beginning of the process.
1. Compromise
Living together can be really fun, but also a bit stressful. 
If you disagree over something living-related, you need to find a compromise. Don't let issues linger otherwise it could end up in a full-blown row.
 It's also really important that you both feel ready to live together too, & make the time to talk about it before you move in so that you iron out any differences in lifestyle that may be there & find middle ground.... Even if it's just deciding what side of the bed to sleep on!
2. Communicate 
Communication is the most important part of a relationship - especially when you live together. 
You may come home stressed at work, be upset, or just need your own space. But if you don't be open, honest and talk about how you're feeling, it could get in the way of your relationship and tension will rise in the house/flat. Share what is bothering or upsetting you and work together on how to solve/rectify the issue.
3. Give Each Other Space
Just because you live together it doesn't mean you need to spend 24/7 together. 
We all need our own space once in a while & it's important to keep this up when you're living with your other half. Don't forget your friends or to take time just for you. This will not only mean that both you and your other half get the time you need to do your own things, but it will also make the time you do spend together that extra bit more special. 
4. Work As A Team 
Homes mean housework. 
It shouldn't be up to one person to do everything. This is where points 1 & 2 come in. 
I know for us I'm in for longer than The Boy during the day so I take charge of most of the laundry & day to day bits but he does the bins because I HATE doing them. Housework should be shared so that one person in the relationship doesn't feel like they have be lumbered with everything to do. Particularly the more heavy-duty tasks like hoovering or mopping.
5. Enjoy It 
If you're moving in with your special girl/guy you're more than likely heard over heels in love. 
So enjoy it. 
It's a big step to take and if you're ready for it, embrace what a special time it is and don't take each other for granted just because you see each other everyday. Let the time you have at home be happy and chilled. Don't bring outside stresses into your relationship. 
And remember, it's good to talk. 
And laugh.
I also asked The Boy for his perspective on moving in together...
"Just because you're living together doesn't mean you have to stop trying. You should continually seduce your parter: Cook meals....run your partner a bath..... Be thoughtful & do special things to show how much you care."
Are you thinking of moving in with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Or have you just moved in with your other half?
Leave any questions/tips you have in the comments below.


Ginger's Fashion: Turning Twenty Seven

Last week, I turned the big 2-7!

I am now officially in my late 20s.

I always have mixed feelings when I know my birthday is coming up. One half of me is really excited to be getting older. With each year I feel more mature, wise....like I can conquer the world that little bit more. But on the other hand, getting older means more responsibility and more having to act like a grown up.....

...Even though I think I am quite mature, there are times when I still act like a big kid!

I had already had my big birthday night out on the 3rd January with the Boy, Sarah, & her other half (you can see my OOTN/FOTN post here.) So on my birthday, the Boy & I went out for a romantical dinner for two at our new-discovery of a restaurant - Yukti.

But not before I was woken up in the morning to the sound of party poppers and several whoops of glee from the Boy as I jumped out of my skin!

Because we were going out shortly after I got in from work, I wanted to keep my outfit quite simple. I picked up this skater dress from Primark a few weeks ago. It was a bargain at £5, and the shape is really flattering. Whenever Primark bring out a new design of skater dress, I go and pick one up straight away because they are so versatile.

I didn't want to do heels, but decided on a pair of wedged furry ankle boots I'd picked up from New Look in the Autumn. They have unbelievable grip, and are super-snuggly and comfortable. I haven't had a chance to wear them loads yet, but I can see them being my go-to boot when I'm looking for a "casual-but-you-can-dress-them-up" shoe.

Instagram: Gingerjax

Floral Skater Dress: Primark 
Dogtooth Coat: Primark 
Leggings: Dorothy Perkins 
Stacking Rings: H&M
Furry Boots (out of photo): New Look

This birthday was so amazing and special that I didn't want it to end. I'm already planning to have a "Queen Birthday" in July....exactly 6 months after my January birthday....so that I can keep up this excitement. 

Thank you to everybody who made my birthday so fabulous! 

If you would like to do a What I Got For My Birthday post, let me know in the comments below.


2014: New Year Resolutions

2013 really was an amazing year. I learnt so much about myself. Became more confident. Became stronger. And met some wonderful people along the way. 

For this year, I wanted to continue on my voyage of self-discovery and make some resolutions that were just for me. I'm not ashamed to admit that I do stress a lot about things in my life. I get anxious. I get worried. And sometimes with a bus day-to-day schedule these things are inescapable. So by making a few "Me Time" resolutions, I can make sure I remember to take time out from the craziness of life, and have some time to refresh.

Exercise: I can't tell you the last time I went to the gym. Bad, I know. But now I have joined the gym (I got a year membership for my birthday,) so there is no excuse. Even if it's just once or twice a week, I'm going to make sure I get some quality workout time in to each week. 

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: Currently, the house looks like an explosion in a chocolate factory. There are piles of boxes, packets and tubes everywhere. Over the holidays I have put on a few lbs, and it has got to me. But instead of diving in to a massive diet, I'm going to take it slow. Cut out the chocolate-gorging, drink more water, do more home-cooking and make friends with the fruit bowl. A healthy diet will not only help my body feel better, but make my mind clearer too. 

Schedule: My blogging of late has become a bit erratic. I tried to fit uploading posts in between a jam-packed schedule and this meant that everything became out of sync and spontaneous. It's my January mission to find a scheduling system that works for me, and stick to it throughout the year. I love my blog-baby. It's my escapism. I need to claim that back. 

Love: Love is really important. I want to make sure I take as much time as I can to show the special people in my life how much I love them. Even if I don't get to see them that much, the time we do spend together I want to be super-special so that even when we aren't together, they know how much they mean to me.

What are your resolutions for 2014?


Ginger Vlogs: Festive Frolics

This Christmas was probably one of the best - but most chaotic - I've ever had! Boyfriend finished work on Christmas Eve for the festive break, and there was not a day that went by where we were not doing something, going somewhere, visiting someone, or travelling to do one of the aforementioned. 

It was busy, busy, busy, but I loved it. 

The Friday after Christmas we went down to visit my family and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take my camera and capture some of our "festive frolics" across the South of England. Capturing memories like this is wonderful because in days/months/years to come, I can look back and remember what an amazing moment in time it was! 

What were your Christmas/ December highlights this year?

Ginger's Fashion: My Birthday OOTN & FOTN

Next Thursday, I will be turning the grand old age of 27!

So, in honour of becoming part of the "late 20s" club, on Saturday night, me, Boyfriend, Sarah (salocainwonderland.co.uk) and her other half went out into town to see Pirates of the Caribbean at the Liverpool Philharmonic, and have some celebratory beverages too. 

Lace Skater Dress: ASOS
Skinny Belt: ASOS
Stacking Rings: H&M
Pearl Bracelets: A Gift

Because over the Christmas period I had put on a couple of extra lbs, I wanted to wear something I felt comfortable in, and my dress from ASOS (which you can find here) made me feel like an absolute glamour puss!

Hair & Make Up: Blossom Hair & Make Up 

I was very fortunate to be having my hair and make up done for me as a Christmas/Birthday treat, and had really specific ideas about how I wanted everything to look. I am a big fan of neutral eyes, huge cat-eyes and lashings of mascara when it comes to make up, and Beth from Blossom Hair & Make Up made me look - and feel - like a flawless Hollywood Ginger Princess. 

Hair had to be big bouncy and beautiful. And because I am a huge fan of braids and can't really do them myself, Beth incorporated one into my hair for me (Lauren Conrad style.) 

 What's your instant go-to feel-good look when it comes to hair and make up?


A Post-Festivities Catch-up


This is the first opportunity I've had to sit down and write a blog post since just before Christmas. 

And now it's 2014!!!!! 

Happy New Year Everybody.

The last few weeks have just been a complete blur. From Christmas work parties to seeing families (both Boyfriend's and mine) to more parties, and copious amounts of food I feel like I haven't stopped. 

Any of you have a crazy-busy Christmas too? 

Even though I haven't been able to put up a post lately (due to aforementioned craziness) I did manage to get up some YouTube videos. So, if, like me, you are still in a post-New Year haze and fancy watching my latest uploads, you can check them out below:

Got a YouTube channel too? Don't forget to leave your links in the comments so I can check them out!

Wishing you all all the best for 2014....Let's make it a good'un!