29 December 2015

Aztec Mess in 2016



I, along with everyone else it seems, find the lull between Christmas and New Year a strange time. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I'm lucky that I managed to book this time off work so I'm still at home with my family which is great. But I do feel like I'm just slobbing around, I have eaten crap and drank what feels like endless bottles of wine. I just keep telling myself that the health kick starts on the 1st.

Christmas has been a lovely time with family and delicious food, reunions with school friends and more presents than I could have wished for. Including these gorgeous Kurt Geiger boots. I hope you all got spoilt this Christmas and managed to spend some quality time with friends and family.

While I've not got much going on, I've been planning some fun things for my blog for 2016. I feel like I got a bit lost with it this year and wasn't really sure where I wanted to take my content. Hopefully 2016 will see good things, I want to go back to my blog being my hobby and worrying less about the business side of things.

Some of the goals for Aztec Mess in 2015

1. Improve my photography and my writing skills.

I know I'm never going to be the best writer and I always want my blog to be written in a colloquial style as that's my favourite style to read but I think I can definitely improve and take more time when writing my posts.

2. Re-design my blog

I have had this design for quite a while, and I do still love it but I think it's time for a change. I just need to find somewhere that will do it for less than £50 ideally. Any recommendations would be great.

3. Only accept sponsored posts or PR gifts that are truly right for my blog

I found myself accepting PR gifts in exchange for a post without really thinking about whether it would have a positive impact on my blog. I think this is easy to do, all those emails offering you a freebie seem so appealing and exciting, but I know that some of the things I have accepted haven't been right and the posts don't seem natural at all.

Are there things you're changing for your blogs in 2016? Or anything specific you'd like to see change on Aztec Mess?

Tori

SHARE:

27 December 2015

Harry Potter World | Hogwarts in the Snow





I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, particularly of the movies. I mean, I love the books, but I read them when I was about 12 and don't really fancy re-reading them. But I can watch the films over and over again. So for my birthday Tom bought me tickets to Harry Potter world and I was SO excited! I decided to wait until winter to go because I wanted to go when it was all snowy and Christmassy. Even though I got the tickets in April and waited until November, I'm so happy I did. Everything was perfect!

I don't want to spoil anyones experience because I loved not knowing what was there because it made it so much more exciting walking round. But I will say that I can't believe how much detail goes into each set, there are things I hadn't noticed or seen in the movies. Each set like the Gryffindor common room, the Weasley's house and Hagrid's hut are there for you to see. 

I think my favourite part was the Great Hall and the model of Hogwarts Castle. Oh, and Diagon Alley! Obviously we tried the Butterbeer, lets just say...not for us. But let me know what you think!

I would 100% recommend going, I think it's a really reasonable price for how much you get to see. Hogwarts in the Snow is there until 31st January. 

Are you a big Harry Potter fan?

Tori
SHARE:

23 December 2015

The run up to Christmas 2015


Christmas 2015 has been a weird one so far. 

Lets start with the good.

I was so excited because it was mine and Tom's first Christmas together in our new flat, so we got to decorate it together. I absolutely adore our Christmas tree, we opted for a tall thin one as we didn't have heaps of spare room in our living room. I chose the theme of the tree which was copper and gold with a classic gold star on the top. It was super affordable but all my friends have commented on how nice it looks. In the future I will definitely want to include more of a mix of baubles rather than them all being the same, but for our first tree I'm so happy!


I also had two Christmas parties this year, one with my work and one with Tom's. They were both so much fun and left me with terrible headaches the day after!! I managed to find a different dress for each party but I stuck with the same makeup, a bronze eye with a Christmassy red lip.



I also got an amazing team lunch at Duck and Waffle. Although I say 'team' lunch, there's only two of us on our team!! The food was absolutely gorgeous, and the view was insane. I definitely got a little nervous in the lift though!


I've managed to come home pretty early this year as I took my nana to see Oliver Twist in the theatre and then work from home for a couple of days. It has been so nice to catch up with all my family and I'm seeing all my home friends on Christmas Eve. 


But then, this is where the not so great part starts. If you read my blog regularly then you'll know that my Grandad past away just over 2 months ago. We are a really close family so it has hit us really hard. So as much as it's amazing being with all my family it's also really difficult because there is just a hole that can't be filled. It will be nice to reminisce on Christmas Day but I just have a feeling it could all get quite emotional, which isn't a bad thing, just makes me a little nervous. We just need to take each day as it comes. 

I am still excited for Christmas and I have twin brothers who are 12 and I can tell how excited they are so the magic is definitely still alive in our house. I'm going to get myself in the Christmas mood by re-watching some classic Christmas films and eating as much chocolate as I possibly can!

Hope you have an amazing Christmas and New Year

Tori 


SHARE:

22 December 2015

Winter Night In with the BFI Love Campaign


Cosy winter nights in are my fave over the Christmas period so when Plusnet got in touch to tell me about the BFI Love Campaign I was happy to get involved! They sent me this awesome box with loads of goodies for a winter night in. My faves are the face mask and the pop corn, both necessities for a night in. They also sent me the dvd of Casablanca which I have never seen, I'm excited to sit down and watch it because I've heard such good things about it.

Plusnet have paired with the British Film Institute to promote the BFI Blockbuster season. The BFI Blockbuster season, LOVE, runs until the end of December is a nationwide event to rekindle the nation’s passion for film and television’s most enduring love stories. It includes over 1,000 screenings at hundreds of cinemas, special one-off events, new and rare releases on DVD with content across social media and online.

The BFI player has some awesome films on it, some personal faves are Notting Hill, Bridget Jones Diary and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. So I'll be watching some girly films by the Christmas tree while painting my nails with some sparkle!


What's your favourite film for a cosy night in?

Tori
SHARE:

11 December 2015

Rose Gold Head Phones | Sudio




It's that time of year when everyone is thinking about Christmas and buying Christmas presents. So I'm here with an idea for you that would work for the men or women in your life, and it won't break the bank.

You may remember I featured some Sudio headphones before in this post. Well, they got in touch again to tell me about their new release and I thought it was the perfect thing to share with you guys in time for Christmas. 

These are white earphones with rose gold hardware. Yep, rose gold - every bloggers dream! These are the Vasa style and are 70 euros which is around £50. The sound quality is really good and one of the big selling points for me is the wire, which sounds stupid, but hear me out. I absolutely hate it when earphone wires get tangled at the bottom of your bag, Sudio do have a solution for this by providing you with a case - but I'm too lazy to use this. Their other solution is that they have made the wires flat and matte which means they don't get tangled half as easily as other style..I'm looking at you Apple. So for me they tick all the boxes, good sound, don't tangle, comfortable to wear and, lets face it, they are super pretty!

If you're looking for some new headphones for you or for a christmas present then I would definitely recommend these. And you can get 15% off with my code aztecmess15

Tori
SHARE:

20 November 2015

Decorating for Christmas!


LED Snowman - £9.99 Dunelm

I am so excited to start decorating our flat for Christmas, it will be our first time buying a Christmas tree and all the decorations. Ocean Finance got in touch about creating your dream home on a budget and were kind enough to send me some Dunelm vouchers. Dunelm is a really affordable shop and there are loads of options to give your home a pick me up. 


I absolutely love the Christmas section on Dunelm and I would really recommend checking it out. I can't wait to get to my nearest store and spend my voucher! I definitely think that snowman will soon me mine. I'm also trying to decide what height tree to get, we have super high ceilings in our flat so could go really tall but then we don't have huge amounts of space. So I'm just not sure!

Are you exciting to start decorating for Christmas?

Tori
SHARE:

16 November 2015

A fitness beginner



I always have such good intentions with fitness and healthy eating, but I seem to manage one or two weeks and then I fall off the wagon. Usually it's a night out or a meal out that makes me give up. Last week I joined Virgin Active gym near where I live and managed to go 4 times this week as well as going out on a night out. 

I wanted to write a blog post about what I've done so I can try to motivate myself. I have been going to classes which I have found really helpful because I book myself onto them so I don't feel like I can drop out. Also I am a gym newbie so I find it a bit over whelming, so having someone telling me what to do and how long I should be doing it for is really helpful.

Monday
1km on treadmill 
2km on bike
20 weighted squats
15 weighted walking lunges

Tuesday
60 mins pilates class

Wednesday
2km on treadmill 
2km on bike
30 weighted squats
10 arm raises
20 bicep curls

Sunday
60 mins pilates class

I'm sure to a lot of you who go to the gym regularly this isn't a lot, but I'm doing my best! I need to up my cardio, but I'm so unfit that after 2km on the treadmill I am literally struggling to breathe. I've found pilates really good as I have a really week core aka NO abs! So this has been great at helping focus my energy on my core. I have an abs class tonight which I am very nervous about!

Healthy eating seems to be much easier when you're doing exercise as I feel like I don't want to ruin all my hard work in the gym by eating rubbish. But I haven't had a perfect week, I went out on Thursday night and had prosecco and had some pizza on Friday night but other than that I have been eating healthily. Yesterday I went to Tart in Clapham and had the most delicious goats cheese and chorizo tart with broccoli salad, it was amazing. I would fully recommend checking out Tart if you live near Clapham.

My aim for this week is to spread out my exercise a bit more, as you can see last week it was all focused in the beginning of the week. 

How do you keep motivated?

Tori
SHARE:

14 November 2015

Sharing the love

After my last post and last nights awful news I didn't really know how to blog even though I'd been planning to all week. I have decided to spread a bit of positivity and share the blogging love. I haven't done one of these posts in a while and I just wanted to share some of my favourite blogging girls.




Lyzi has such a varied blog that you could never possibly get bored. There are fashion posts, food posts, lifestyle posts, personal posts. You name it, it's probably there! I love Lyzi's attitude towards everything, her post on things to be grateful for really resonated with me. Even when things are awful and you feel like nothing is going your way, we should learn to appreciate the little things.




Okay so, girl crush alert! I am obsessed with Lindsey's style. I am not a girly girl who can pull off the little tea dresses or body con dresses so I really admire Lindsey's fashion sense. She describes her style as 'Scandinavian minimalism' which I think sums it up perfectly. 



Helen, The Lovecats Inc

Another style inspiration! Helen has impeccable taste in clothes, I have been following her blog for a long time and have loved seeing her style evolve. Helen has a knack for integrating expensive, designer pieces into a wardrobe full of high street pieces.



Ella, Ella Masters

Ella is probably one of the most talented people I follow. I have her 'don't be a prick' print on my wall above my fire place. If you haven't look at her art work before then do it now! Alongside her amazing art she also runs a pretty awesome blog. Ella has had a tough time recently losing her mum, as I've been going through a similar thing it has been comforting reading her posts. Seeing how it has motivated her has kick started my motivation again.

Twitter | Instagram


Rosie, A Rosie Outlook

I feel like I've been reading Rosie's blog forever. A bit like Lyzi's blog, I feel like there will be something for everyone as there are such a variety of posts from food to fashion. I absolutely love reading posts about her days out with her adorable dog Bodhi!

Twitter | Instagram

I hope you've found some new reads. I know this post may still seem a little irrelevant compared to what's going on, but I think sharing love is only ever a good thing.

Tori

SHARE:

24 October 2015

Saying Goodbye

I find my last post almost ironic. The quote I used;
 'I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness'
It turns out, I'm not in charge of how I feel. Almost a week ago my family had to say goodbye to the head of our family. My Grandad. 



I count myself lucky that I was extremely close to my Grandad, he wasn't a grandparent I saw three or four times a year, I saw him almost daily until I went to uni. I feel lucky that from the age of two until about six I lived with him and my nana. I feel lucky that we had our time alone on the drive to and from nursery and then when I was older, on the drive to and from school. I feel lucky that my family refer to me as his 'golden child' because he was always so excited to see me. I feel lucky that I had him as a part of my life for 23 years.

My cousins and I have lost the best Grandad we could ever ask for. My nana has lost her husband. My mum and uncle have lost their dad. And my aunt and step-dad have lost their father-in-law. But my Grandad created a strong family and I know we will all be there for each other. We have each other to muddle through this horrible time. We can cry together and we can reminisce together and we will be closer because of it. 



Rest in peace, Grandad. You will be missed forever.

Tor 
SHARE:

11 October 2015

Re-evaluating.


I've spent today nursing a pretty bad head after a few too many glasses (bottles) of prosecco last night. To try to aid my pounding head I put on some Jack Johnson and got lost in Ella's blog and instagram We Need To Live More. If you haven't read Ella's blog, I highly recommend it. She makes me want to live a better lifestyle. Be healthier. Be happier. I know some people will say it's all just hippie talk but I genuinely think changing my lifestyle could change my happiness. 

I am happy, but I'm also an anxious mess a lot of the time. I've learnt to manage it, but it's still there everyday and is just something I am going to have to live with. I've come up with a few things I would like to change, that I wanted to write down to try to motivate myself.

1. Give being vegetarian a go.
2. Start running again. 
3. Wake up 10 minutes earlier everyday.
4. Keep writing this blog.

These may seem like small goals, but that's okay. I want to be doing things that are positive for me, and maybe if i'm healthier then my mind and body will both be a little happier. Obviously this doesn't include drinking so much prosecco that I can barely function the following day. I haven't really explained why I've chosen these things, but I will keep you updated in a couple of weeks and let you know how I've got on.

Do you give yourself little goals like these? Share yours in the comments.

Tori
SHARE:

8 October 2015

What I eat in a day #1


Breakfast
Greek yoghurt with raspberries and honey
English breakfast tea


Snack
English breakfast tea
Tunnocks caramel wafer


Lunch
Carrot and coriander soup
White bread roll with butter


Dinner
Spinach, homemade guacamole, chicken and chorizo

I really love seeing what people eat in a day, I don't know why - i'm just really nosy I guess. I have been watching Lily Melrose's vlogs and really enjoying them, she often shows supermarket hauls and what she eats in a day. So I thought if I liked reading these kind of posts then maybe some of you guys would like reading them too.

This 'what i eat in a day' was from a day when I was working from home so is not quite the same as a normal work day. I started off my morning feeling sorry for myself because I didn't feel very well so I ate some yoghurt and raspberries in bed with a cup of tea. Usually I would add some granola or almonds in with this but I didn't have any.  About midday I had a cup of tea with a Tunnocks caramel wafer, this is one of my favourite chocolate  treats. Along with Tunnocks teacakes and galaxy ripples.

For lunch I had soup and a bread roll. I always crave soup when I don't feel very well, this was a Co-op carrot and coriander one and was delicious! I also love white bread but it generally makes me feel really lethargic, so this bread roll was a bit of a treat. I'm poorly dontcha know?!

For dinner I made a chicken and chorizo salad with some homemade guacamole. Homemade guac is becoming a bit of an obsession of mine. I take half an avocado, mash it up, add some chopped up tomatoes and onions, a splash of tabasco sauce and some chilli and garlic seasoning. So good.

What do you think about these kind of posts? Should I continue?

Tori



SHARE:

6 October 2015

Five Autumn Essie Nail Polishes


Blue - Mind Your Mittens
Burgundy - Bordeaux
Grey - Chinchilly
Lilac - Warm & Toasty Turtleneck
Gold glitter - Rock at the Top

Inspired by Helen from The Lovecats Inc post on her new Essie purchases, I thought I would pick out my five favourite Essie A/W shades. I am a huge Essie nail polish fan, pretty much my whole nail polish collection is Essie with a few from Topshop and Rimmel in there as well. They last so well on my nails, used with a base and top coat they can last up to 5 days which is amazing.

I love how all my favourite colours have wintery sounding names, I think Essie names are always so cute. So starting with Mind Your Mittens, this is a gorgeous dark teal blue, I don't really like lighter blue nail polishes, but this one is lovely. Bordeaux is my classic burgundy shade that no A/W nail polishes choices should be without! Chinchilly is a really sophisticated grey, I think grey can sound pretty dull and boring but I think it's very chic. Warm & Toasty Turtleneck has possible the cutest name ever, it's a dusty purple which I would describe as an A/W take on a lilac. Finally is the star of the show Rock at the Top, now I know most people might save this until Christmas but during Autumn I like to put this gold glitter as an accent nail, often on my little finger and it looks so nice!

What are your favourite A/W nail polishes?

Tori

SHARE:

30 September 2015

Happiness





Sometimes I can get stuck in a funk when I'm in a bad mood for absolutely no reason, and I try to remember that sometimes it's the little things in life that can make you happiest, whether that's a cup of tea on a rainy day, an oreo ice cream in the sunshine (omg it was delicious) or even bubbles! 

I was kindly sent a 'happiness pack' by Viking recently which promised to make a 'glass half empty' person into a glass half full! There was a little bubble making pot alongside some other goodies including yummy teas and biscuits and a lotto ticket, which unfortunately didn't win anything for me. When I opened it I started blowing bubbles in the office and we all thought it  was amazing, something as simple as a few bubbles seems to make people so happy! I'm so sorry there aren't any photos of the other little goodies, but I ate/drank them all before I got a chance!

Then a week after I was out in Stratford with all my family and my dad bought my sister and my little cousins a giant version of my bubble pot. All the adults tried to pretend we were too grown up and sat watching...but that only lasted about 5 minutes, we all had to have a go. It was even making all the people watching smile (until the bubbles started getting a little too close for comfort and nearly bursting over their heads..).

I think it's important to remember that just taking some time out to yourself to relax is really important and can have a huge impact on your happiness. And if in doubt just buy yourself a bubble machine and you'l be giggling away in no time.

What little things do you do to get yourself out of a funk and back into a good mood?

Tori
SHARE:

29 September 2015

Being a tourist in our own city






London is an amazing city, but I tend to stick to the area I live at the weekends and don't venture into central that often. But on Saturday my mum came to London which was the perfect excuse to be a tourist. We booked tickets for an open top bus tour which was so much fun  and the weather was perfect for it. 

We booked our trip with Original Tours and went on the red tour which takes you past all the classic attractions including Big Ben, the Tower of London and the Shard. Even though it seems a bit of a cheesy thing to do, it was actually really fun. It also reminded me of the episode of Friends when they go to London.

Once my mum left Tom and I went to the Olympic Park to watch the England rugby game with some of my friends. It was so much fun, the atmosphere was amazing. I definitely want to get down there again to watch another game at some point. 




It was so nice to spend the day being a tourist in our own city. It has made me want to make the effort to explore more often. But I know that next weekend I'll probably spend the whole weekend in my flat! 

Tori
SHARE:

27 September 2015

Beauty | MAC Mehr Lipstick




My first beauty post in a while! It has been motivated by this gorgeous MAC Mehr lipstick recommended by my pal, Dani. She always has such fab lip colours so when she let me try on her lipstick I knew I'd like it. FYI in this photo she is wearing MAC Diva which is another lipstick on my wishlist!

To be honest, I probably would never have picked it out as I think it looks a little dark in the tube. But it was love at first swipe. I haven't heard much about this lipstick shade from other bloggers so I wanted to draw your attention to it! It is a matte shade which I really like, it lasts really well and I only need to reapply it after eating. Most of my other neutral shades are creme sheen which I do like, but I find they don't last quite as long. It's a perfect day to day shade, I think the slightly darker shades are actually much more flattering than lighter pinks. 

What do you think of this shade? And let me know what other MAC lipstick shades I need to try!

Tori
SHARE:
© Aztec Mess. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig