2016 | Year in Music

I have a soundtrack for everything. My Spotify has a selection of playlists curated by me for each and every occasion, memory, holiday, year, genre, artist – you name it!

Throughout the year I add current favourite songs into one playlist which becomes a sort of time capsule. I see many blog posts using Instagram to sum up the blogger’s year -which certainly is a good indication of what each of us got up to in 2016 – however, for me it’s all about the tunes:

Okay, not every single song brings back a poignant memory, but scrolling through I am reminded of the highs and lows of 2016: the deaths of David Bowie and George Michael, a very difficult time at work facing redundancy, the relief of keeping my job, our honeymoon (particularly blasting out Austra when driving over the Golden Gate bridge and hearing JT on the radio whilst cruising around Hawaii), falling in love with Gilmore Girls (Carole King and Sam Philips of course), and finding out we are expecting our first child.


These are memories that will be infinitely linked with these songs. In years to come, I will always associate certain songs with a particular bar in Vancouver – as if I was sipping an ice cold beer right there and then (currently dreaming of having another once our new addition is here).

It’s said a picture says a thousand words, and that may be true, but for me a song says even more.

Happy new year all!


PS I will be back very soon with my favourites (beauty and lifestyle) of 2016!


Fresh Start, Fresh Rules…

Let me be very honest here – blogging the way I have historically just does not work for me. I work full time, I have other hobbies and interests, and sometimes all I want to do during my free time is curl up on the sofa with a sharing bag of crisps and binge-watch Netflix.

What I mean is, life takes over and it’s hard to find the time to sit down with my laptop and blog.

I tried the whole scheduling thing: I had a well-intentioned calendar of blog posts to write and bumper photography sessions of self-made stock photos. It was the pitch perfect blog planning situation but with one massive problem: I lacked the time and motivation to see it through.

But I love blogging! I love having my own little space on the net to voice my opinion on products and to feel as if I am a part of the blogging movement. I don’t expect or particularly want to be the next big blogger on the scene. I doubt I will make a penny from this site. But that’s beside the point: I want to blog and I enjoy it.

So here is how it is going to go: I will blog when I can. I will mainly focus on simple, single product reviews as this is the easiest thing to jot down quickly when the opportunity arises. Yes, it might be a little niche at times but if you’re looking for a straightforward, no BS review on that new drugstore nail polish then maybe VIVIFY.com is the place to be.

When and how often? I’m afraid I don’t know. Of course, there will be the odd travel, food, lifestyle and fashion post chucked in for good measure! I’m just going back to my old Tumblr routes (where VIVIFY originated) and focusing on my strengths: honest, to-the-point, single product reviews.

Be sure to follow on bloglovin to ensure you never miss a post. It will be unpredictable and spontaneous (all the things the blogging advice guides say not to do!) but it will be honest and to the point. I’m excited to finally breathe some life back into this blog and I hope it can live up to its namesake – to make life interesting.

Blogmas Day 6: Winter Essentials

We’re approaching the depth of winter and so here are my essential items to survive enjoy the cold.

Warm scarf

Winter fashion is my absolute fave and this is possibly all down to the humble scarf. From skinny ones to those almost like blankets, you will never find me without a scarf at this time of year. I keep a small suitcase full of them which comes out each year. My favourite is red tartan which I like to pair with my leather jacket.

Protecting lip balm

As someone who gets chapped lips very, very easily I need to take a good lip balm  with me absolutely everywhere I go. I also keep them scattered around the flat. I am slightly addicted and my favourites are the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream and the more budget friendly Carmex Original (but do give the lime flavour a try). The thing I like about Carmex is that is almost stings. It’s pleasant though and really feels like it gives protection.

Hot cup of tea

Green tea. Chamomile tea. Peppermint tea. Any kind of herbal tea for me please. Teabag left in the mug and make sure it’s a large one. Thanks.

Cosy jumper

Pair this with a scarf (see item one) and I am ready to take on the winter world. My favourite this year is my mustard one, £7 from Primark.

Chunky boots

You need sensible and comfy shoes, especially for snow days (if we are ever fortunate enough). Mine are from ASOS and were about £30 but are sadly no longer stocked.

Relaxing bubble bath

So after a long day tramping around in your boots and scarf why not run a long bath, add some dead sea salts to relax those tired muscles, and then a dash of bubble bath. I like the pepper and ginseng flavour from Radox.


Blogmas Day 3: My favourite thing about Christmas

Yesterday I described my least favourite thing about Xmas so it’s time to be a bit more positive and talk about my favourite thing regarding this time of year!

At Christmas time I love being surrounded by loved ones and having a good old catch up over Xmas Dinner (yes, I did capitalise dinner as it is a thing ok?)

It’s all about flowing wine, lively conversation and turkey with all the trimmings! Now this might sound strange but pigs in blankets are possibly the best thing in the world and I actually buy in bulk to store in my freezer before the shops stop selling them…

Am I saying my favourite thing about Christmas is pigs in blankets? Perhaps.


Blogmas Day 2: My least favourite thing about Christmas


Ok, I’m not being negative here – but there is one thing I hate about Xmas: the commercial propaganda surrounding the whole thing.

Just look at the TV right now: most ads would have you believe that unless you cook the biggest turkey, buy the most expensive gifts, and have the most amount of people over on Xmas day, then you have failed Christmas.

This is not the festive spirit nor the true meaning of Christmas.

Now, I’m not going to lie, we all like presents and stuffing ourselves with Xmas dinner, but it seems the shops really take advantage of this. There is just too much pressure to have the perfect day.

I saw an article in a supermarket magazine once about a Christmas prep timetable. It was absolutely ridiculous. It included things like getting up at 6am to put the turkey in and spending the night before peeling carrots. It was aimed at housewives and I think it was a little insulting to suggest they should be slaving away in the kitchen whilst everyone else had a rollicking good time. It’s OTT things like this that annoy me at Christmas.

Not everyone can be as fortunate as us at this time of year. I like to make a donation to Crisis, a charity which supports the homeless, towards their Christmas campaign. For £22.29, someone in need gets a bed, food and a whole host of other comforts on Xmas day. Of course, there is work to be done all year around so they also receive tailored advice which could change their lives for the better. Donations can be sent via their website.

So whilst you’re whizzing around your local shopping centre trying to find the perfect presents for your loved ones, please spare a thought for the real meaning of Xmas (which is certainly not generating profits for commercial organisations, some of whom do not pay their fair share of taxes – but that’s for another post).

And don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have that elusive “perfect day”.


Blogmas Day 1: Christmas Decorations

DSCN3248Living in a modest town centre apartment means we don’t have much space to store copious amounts of Christmas decorations, so when the festive time rolls around we have our 3ft tree (from my childhood) with a bunch of seasonal paraphernalia from The Range.DSCN3211.jpegA particular favourite of mine are the battery operated LCD lights from Primark. One set progresses through a pattern of different colours (£3, requires 3 AA batteries – not included) and the smaller white ones are static (£1.50, requires 2 AA batteries – again, not included).DSCN3208Where do you get your Xmas decorations and when do you put them up? Send me your pictures/links!DSCN3240xoxoxo