2017 - Hayley's Blog

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

2017

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2017
My new year's resolutions for 2017 was to network and make friends, to be more active on social media and mix up my content on my YouTube channel. I made a video in 2016 reflecting on my hopes and wishes for 2017.
Watch below
I'm pleased to say that at the end of this year. I've succeeded at all of these goals that I wanted to achieve. It's exceeded way past my expectations. 
In this blog post, I just wanted to reflect on this year and what I've learnt. 
At the beginning of the year, I found myself in a comfort zone of solitude. This was because a few connections in my life which I once had slowly started to fade. It's natural to outgrow certain people and I had noticed the disconnection the more I was going in my own direction of working on my passion which is YouTube and blogging. 
I've come to the realisation that my life purpose is different to everyone else. The people who love me will support me if I'm happy.
As soon as the clock struck midnight on 1st January I decided that it was time to say goodbye to the old connections and say hello to the new. I decided to join an activities group to help me meet new people. This is a group of people who meet monthly to make friends and do activities together such as drinks, cinema, photography and walks. I've met people who are all ages and from all walks of life. I went to my first meet up at the end of January just before my 29th birthday and I haven't looked back since. 12 months later I'm an event organiser.  This shows how much can change in one year. 
In 2017 I have been invited to some pretty cool blogger and PR events. This has introduced me to some lovely local bloggers and YouTubers. It was a goal of mine at the end of 2016 to meet people with the same passion for creating content as I do. When you are surrounded by people who understand it helps a lot.
When I started my blog and YouTube channel I had no invitations to any blogger events for about 2 years. However, over this past year invitations have slowly started appearing in my email inbox. I'm so grateful for the opportunities that I've received. I love providing interesting and cool content to share with you. I joyfully look forward to creating more in 2018. 
I celebrated BunnyMoonstone's 3rd birthday on the 4th July (click here to view the blog with my personal top 5 videos). 
My audience has steadily grown and I was thrilled to hit 400 subscribers by the end of July. It's disheartening growing a YouTube channel at times but at Prezzybox's Jingle Mingle event at the end of 2017 reminded me that slow and steady wins the race. I was able to look at my platform with fresh eyes and come up with a plan of action to drive what I have forwards in 2018.
A huge turning point for my YouTube channel was in February as an mobile app called Snizl invited bloggers to a tour of 4 hidden gems around the city. The reason why it was a turning point because it was different to any other video that I had filmed before. I was amongst a large group of people who I didn't know well at the time. I was visiting different places and trying to absorb all of the information. I had a lot of fun with vlogging the event and it made me film so many more the rest of the year. It helped me grow it confidence.
In May I completed VEDM (which is filming a video every day in May) and I was happy with myself for having a try at being a daily YouTuber. However after a couple of months and re-evaluating my content I decided to keep my personal favourite VEDM videos and delete the rest. This is because I want my content to be focused on quality rather than quantity. 
I wanted to acknowledge VEDM in this blog and in my 2017 video because it was a massive learning experience. I think it's helped me to become a better creator.
2017 has been a year of reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, practising self-love and pouring love and hard work into my content.
What's been your favourite video or blog post? let me know in the comments below.
My new year's resolutions for 2018 is to keep mixing up my content, collaborate with other YouTubers and bloggers (so please get in touch if you would like to do this with me).
I'd also like to upload more fashion and body positive posts on my Instagram.
So now it's time to shut the door on 2017 and I've made a little video reflecting on the year. 
I hope that you have enjoyed spending time with me as I have with you. 
Watch below.
It's going to be a big year in 2018 as I'm turning 30. Eeeeek!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Bunny Hugs,
Hayley
xx

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Christmas Questions Tag

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The Christmas Questions Tag
Hi everyone.
The Christmas Questions tag is going around at the moment. I wanted to fill it out with my answers.  If you would like to do this with me. Why not let me know your answers in the comments below.
What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
The Snowman. I've always watched this film this year time every year since I was a little girl. I love that The Snowman only communicates in music and animation. No words are spoken however the viewer knows exactly what's happening in the story. My grandad who sadly passed away a couple of years ago brought me a money Jar in the shape of the snowman when I was a child. It's very special to me and I like to have it out every Christmas to celebrate my love for the film and to remind me of my grandad.
Do you have a favourite Christmas song?
Darkness "Don't Let The Bells End" because of it's comedy value.
When do you put up your Christmas tree?
On the 12th December because it's exactly 12 sleeps until Christmas. I do this every year because it's tradition of my families.
Do you peak at gifts or do you like a surprise?
I always wait until Christmas day to open presents. I love waking up to nice surprises.
Who would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?
Taylor Lautner. I am and always will be #TeamJacob
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
I always love to have a advent calendar at Christmas. This year I've got my first AIRPURE scented tea light advent calendar which I bought from B&M bargains for  £3.99. I'm loving all of the festive scents. 
What will you be wearing on Christmas day?
I don't have to be anywhere or go out so I will be in my pyjamas all day.
What does Christmas day look like for you?
Get up about 10am. Put the kettle on, make myself and parents a cup of tea, open a few presents, eat breakfast, feed Magic, watch television, go back to bed for a nap, eat Christmas dinner, pick at chocolate and treats, drink alcoholic beverages and then fall asleep. It's the ultimate lazy day:)
Have you ever had any Christmas day disasters?
No
What would you like for Christmas?
I haven't asked for anything this year. As I'm getting older I realise that it's not about materialistic gifts. I want things that money can't buy like peace on earth, love and friendship.
What has been your highlight of 2017?
connecting and networking with so many bloggers and YouTubers this year. I love meeting like-minded people. 2017 video coming soon.
Will you be making any resolutions for 2018?
Yes, and I will be sharing my goals for 2018 coming soon.
🎁🎄MERRY CHRISTMAS🎄🎁
Bunny Hugs,
Hayley
xx

Monday, 11 December 2017

Adagio Festive Teas Review

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Adagio Festive Teas Review
I find so much comfort when it comes to drinking a hot mug of tea or chocolate during the winter months. It helps me to survive by warming up my whole body.
If you have been subscribed to me for along time then you will know that I'm a huge tea fan. I love trying and testing festive flavours this time of year. What are you favourite festive beverages? Let me know in the comments below.
A tea company called Adagio got in touch acouple of weeks ago and kindly sent me a PR package full of teas and teaware in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own  I have been trying and testing all of their festive teas and gift sets. I'm here to share my thoughts with you so let's take a look. 
The first product which I received was Holiday Cheer which is a gourmet collection of 30 tea bags in six festive flavours. The flavours are Pumpkin Spice, Candy Apple, Gingerbread, Candy Cane and Cranberry. 
This is retailed at £14. The packaging is sophisticated and sleek. I love when you open the box to reveal 6 divided compartments which holds each sachet of the 6 different flavours. You get 1 tea bag per sachet. The tea sachets are colourful, bright and festive. I think that these would make fantastic stocking fillers for friends and family (if you don't want to gift the box to one person). My personal favourite festive flavours are Candy Cane, Pumpkin Spice, Candy Apple and Gingerbread.
The next product is "Candy Cane" (Spice Jubilee Bags). This attractive tin holds 15 pyramind tea bags. Retailed at £6. When you open the tin on the back of the lid is a beautiful candy cane montage. I love that I can reuse the tin for storage. Perhaps I'll use this to store my christmas decorations when I put them away after New Year.
The next product is Stocking Stuffers which has all the flavours from Holiday Cheer but they are presented in small tins. I think these are cute and would look lovely in your kitchen cupboard. This giftset would make a lovely present or as a stocking filler. 
If you don't like tea bags and prefer loose tea then Christmas Teas is available in a box of four sachets of Candy Cane, Chestnut, Gingerbread, Chestnut and Candy apple. Retailed at £6.  I love the logo of the baubles on the front. 
After I visited BlueBirdTea Co opening back in October (click here to read the blog post). I didn't manage to buy a loose tea infusior. Adagio kindly sent me a teapot called IngenuiTEA which makes brewing loose tea so easy. Retailed at £18. It's a great device which I now can't live without. I've been boasting about this product on my Instagram story.
The instructions are to add loose tea leaves, pour hot water and let the tea brew to your personal strength. When ready, simple place it ontop of your cup. The valve at the bottom will release causing crystal-clear tea to flow down. The filter retains all of the tea leaves. The ingenuiTEA is super easy to clean. It's BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
Adagio have a beautiful glass cup and saucer set. Retailed at £8. There is something so authentically pleasing about brewing tea in a clear cup so you can see the tea infuse the water. This is going to make some wonderful photographs for my Instagram. Stay tuned.
I feel that Adagio are a brand which make delicious tea, have beautiful packaging and teaware.
I hope that you enjoyed my review. Let me know in the comments if you have tried Adagio teas before. I would recommend them.
Bunny Hugs,

Hayley
xxx

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Why I Love Shopping Local. Small Business Saturday

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Why I Love Shopping Local. Small Business Saturday
I wanted to share with you in today's post why I love shopping locally. The reasons are because it boosts the local economy, it helps support entrepreneurs in your area and you can buy some quirky gifts for yourself or loved ones just in time for Christmas.
My hometown Nottingham is a wonderful city full of independent shops and businesses.
I was thrilled to receive an email invitation from It's In Nottingham to Small Business Saturday on the 2nd December 2017.
Small Business Saturday celebrates Independent Businesses all over the UK.
Click here to view a directory of all of the small fabulous businesses here in Nottingham.
It's In Nottingham had a fabulous afternoon in store for east midlands bloggers. We visited 4 of the best independent businesses in the city.
We met outside of Boots in Intu Broadmarsh at 11:50am then all headed to Made In Nottingham which was our first stop.
Made In Nottingham
Made In Nottingham is a department store inspired, created and crafted by the city's wonderful talent.  Over 40 local designers and businesses showcase and sell their wonderful creations here.
We had a look at the shop and what caught my eye was The Nottingham Candle Co. They make 100% natural soy candles in a wide variety of scents. Click here to be directed to their Etsy store.
I'm obsessed with candles this time of year (especially sweet scents). I love creating a cosy atmosphere in my home. This year I have an Airpure Scented Candle tea light advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. No amount of candles in my possession is ever enough for me.
All bloggers got to make a Small  Saturday Business UK badge and I added mine to my shoulder bag which has quite the collection of badges campaigning for a variety of causes. I'm a true horoscope of Aquarius as I'm always campaigning for something.

We departed from Made In Nottingham about 1pm and made our way to the second stop which was Malt Cross.
Malt Cross
Malt Cross is a charity-run bar and eatery with deep woods and period features. Bloggers were invited to sit upstairs in a VIP area filled with cosy chairs and cute wooden tables. It's In Nottingham provided bloggers with festive photo props so we could have a giggle and take selfies for our social media channels. Click here to view on my Twitter a selfie with my favourite prop.
We were warmly welcomed with a warm glass of mulled wine. This was a great opportunity to talk to bloggers and vloggers while we waited for afternoon tea.
Our afternoon tea shortly arrived and the plate stands were jam-packed full of tasty sandwiches, scones and a wide variety of cakes. I liked how there were loads of options to pick and chose from.
The afternoon tea was delicious but I couldn't finish it all. My favourite cake was the lemon as it was beautifully moist and sweet. I'll definitely be returning again for another visit.
Then we headed off at 2pm to our next destination which was Studio Chocolate.
Studio Chocolate
Studio Chocolate is a beautiful studio space for chocolate making. 
We were welcomed with a glass of prosecco on arrival by Ellie Wharrad who is the founder of Studio Chocolate. Bloggers had a little look around the space. I love how it was decorated with a white and silver theme for Christmas. It looked so festive and pretty.
Chocolate making and tasting is such a fun activity to do especially if you are with a group of people. This is perfect for a hen or birthday party. 
The group of bloggers were divided on to two tables. We all sat down and in front of each seat was a Studio Chocolate apron for us to wear.
First of all, we had a taster session. Ellie talked us through the progress of chocolate. We tried a raw cocoa bean (which I didn't like.. ew), dark chocolate (nice), milk chocolate (yummy) and white chocolate (delicious). It was amazing to taste the difference from cocoa bean to chocolate.
 We were each provided with a small plastic tray of empty chocolate truffles and piping bags with a variety of delicious fillings. I filled my chocolates with pumpkin spice, cherry, caramel and chocolate
We sealed our truffles with melted chocolate and then covered them with even more chocolate. By the end of the session, I completely forgot which chocolate has what filling but that's part of the fun as it makes a nice surprise when you eat them. To finish our truffles off we dusted them with an edible shimmer and packaged our chocolates to take home.
Then about 3pm, it was time for the last stop which was Beauty Temple. 
Beauty Temple
I've visited Beauty Temple before as this venue held the preview of Nottingham Fashion Week (Click here to read the blog). I've also attended one of their monthly pop up parties (you get a mini treatment, canapes and cocktails).
I like visiting the Beauty Temple because it feels luxurious and relaxing. On arrival, we were welcomed with a glitter bomb cocktail and we were booked in for mini treatments. I was given 2 mini treatments which were a mini makeover with Delilah products (I love Delilah as they are cruelty-free and have the prettiest eyeshadows) and a glitter ball hand massage. I never knew how tense my hands were until they were massaged. The oil had sparkles in which made my hands look like Edward Cullen from the film Twilight.
I'd like to thank It's In Nottingham for organising and showing me around some amazing independent businesses in Nottingham. Click here to view Nottingham's independent areas. I'd like to thank Made In Nottingham, Malt Cross, Studio Chocolate and Beauty Temple for the taster session, treatments and workshop.
All bloggers got given a goodie bag at the end of the afternoon. It was full of goodies from Independent business. Shout out to
@Grayandbullopticians
@thetreatkitchen
@thefocusgallery
@homemadecafe
@thebeadshop
@madeinnottingham
@maltcross
@dukkigifts
@deviantangelemporium
@studiochocolate
Watch the vlog below on my YouTube channel
Bunny Hugs,

Hayley
xxx

Friday, 1 December 2017

Sampling The New Winter Menu At The Walton Hotel

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Sampling The New Winter Menu At The Walton Hotel
On Thursday 30th November at 7pm I was invited to sample the new winter menu at The Walton Hotel
The Walton Hotel and restaurant is nestled on the edge of The Park Estate and the building has been welcoming in Christmas for over two hundred years since it was originally built as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Newcastle. This year however the atmosphere is a little more special as the restaurant has been fully renovated to bring the style and feel in line with the rest of the Grade two listed building. 
There will be a selection of festive tipples in the bar and for those who have an appetite after a busy day of Christmas shopping or perhaps a special meal in the restaurant with their loved ones, the restaurant is the perfect refuge from the hordes of Christmas shoppers or evening revellers. Dramatic dark colours adorn the walls alongside rich wood panelling and sumptuous leather banquettes. Gilt edged mirrors and paintings accent the walls whilst chandeliers create a warm glow.
To complement the new look interiors the restaurant has also launched its new festive menu which will be served throughout December. Guests can enjoy mouth-watering dishes such as a starter of duck liver & orange parfait, toasted brioche, fig and plum chutney and pea shoots, or pan seared king scallops, creamy cauliflower puree, cauliflower beignets, black pudding crumb and pan jus. Followed by mains including roasted belly of pork, black pudding bon-bon, creamed potatoes, red cabbage jam and Walton apple & cider jus. For dessert the tempting dishes on offer include double chocolate fudge nut brownie, warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream and also tartlet au citron, raspberry coulis and raspberry sorbet.
Bar manager Rory has created some special Christmas cocktails to toast the festive season in with, which include White Russian- Kahlua, vodka and cream, Spiced Apple Martini- homemade spiced schnapps, apple juice, lemon juice and agave syrup, Espresso Martini- Vodka, agave syrup, Kahlua and espresso, The Democrat- whiskey, honey, peach, and lemon and The Walton Winter Cup- Pimms, rum, and ginger ale.
Operations Manager Paul Stafford said: “Christmas is a really special time at The Walton as now decorated the rooms feel so festive and cosy. We really think that people will love the winter menu as there are some really tempting dishes and the restaurant and rooms provide a festive haven to escape the crowds and relax and celebrate the festive season in beautiful surroundings.”
Me and my guest checked in at Reception and the receptionist took our coats. We were given a tour by a lovely member of staff called George. We were shown around the private dining room, lounge rooms, restaurant and newly refurbished hotel rooms.
The Walton Hotel is a stunning. I love the inviting and cosy atmosphere due to the dark interior, log fires, fairy lights, chandeliers and massive 15ft Christmas tree. 
We were welcomed into the dining room and shown to the bar where we got to pick a festive cocktail to taste. I chose a Spiced Apple Martini which went down rather smoothly. It was fruity and delicious. Recommended.
Then we were escorted to our table to make our food selection from the winter menu. Lydia served our table during our stay. We took awhile deciding what to have as all the food sounded amazing from the menu. We eventually made our 3-course dinner selection and chose a bottle of red house wine to go with it. All of the food on the menu is comfort food at it's finest.
For a starter, I ordered the Spiced Courgette Fritters with a creamy Tzatziki Dressing. It was delicious and cooked to perfection.
Moving onto the main course I went for the Mediterranean Vegetable Wellington served with slow roasted tomato sauce, sweet potato fries and wild rocket. I've never tried a vegetarian Wellington before and It was yummy. I'd definitely order this again when I next pop in for a visit. When I cut into the Wellington it was jam-packed full of vegetables and melted cheese.  I poured the entire minature saucepan of slow roasted tomato sauce over the top of my dish as I personally enjoy mixing food and sauces together.
The Wellington was served with sweet potato fries and they are my personal favourite to order at any restaurant. I was thrilled that they were crisp on the outside and smooth on the inside because it's just how I like them.
As me and my guest were tucking into our mains it started to snow outside which made us feel quite excited for Christmas.
Then for dessert I had the hot fudge brownie served with chocolate sauce and ice cream. This is food porn at it's finest. I was full from the previous two courses but my sweet tooth always makes sure I have room for dessert.
Everything was cooked to perfection. The wait inbetween meals was the right amount. The staff were attentive to all of our needs.
My evening at The Walton Hotel was a wonderful welcome to the start of December. I'm looking forward to putting my Christmas decorations up within the next 2 weeks but I don't think they will be as extravagant as The Walton Hotel though as they how to do Christmas to a whole new level.

Thank you for inviting me to come and review the menu. I'll pop back for a visit sometime in the near future

The restaurant is open seven days a week from Monday to Friday between 4.00pm-10.00pm and Saturdays from 12.00pm until 10.00pm and finally Sundays from 12.00pm till 6.00pm including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year so to book your Christmas meal please visit www.thewaltonhotel.com or call 0115 9475215.

Check out The Walton Hotel's social media channels below
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Bunny Hugs,

Hayley xx