If there’s one thing this gal bloomin’ loves about autumn (aside from, y’know, my birthday and the explosion of hideously beautiful knitwear on the high street) it’s the fact that it seems to be the season of self-care.
A time when we all retreat away from social events and go into hibernation. We light candles, take naps, roll ourselves into sofa forts, and actually take the time to a) relax and switch off and b) look after ourselves.
And I tell you what, I am all about that life.
So here’s some of my current fave under-£10 treats. The little things that make me feel like the most-content version of myself and take me on a direct shuttle to relaxation town, all without y’know, making my bank account look angry at me.
Because cosy afternoons always call for something chocolate-y and delicious and full of happiness, right?
I was recently sent the new Mars cookie collection for review and sweet diggity, they good – real good.
They come in three flavours – Bounty, Galaxy and M&M’s – and are the perfect little pick-me-up for when you just need to take a moment to unwind and focus on your sassy self.
Whilst the M&M’s ones are fabulous (double chocolate for the win), it’s the Bounty and Galaxy ones that really get me hot under the collar. The Galaxy ones because Galaxy is my fave chocolate so to have it bundled up in a cookie version is just wonderful and the Bounty ones because not only do they pack a very coconut-y punch, but they have a cakier soft bake to them.
If there’s one thing I want my boyfriend to bring me home on a miserable Monday – it’s these.
They’re available from Tesco and Sainsbury’s and cost £1.99.
It was only when Chris bought me a wheat bag (a bag of wheat – also known as a ‘wheatie’ – you whack in the mircrowave that essentially acts as a hot water bottle) for my birthday that I truly started to love them as much as the rest of the internet.
Why? Because he bought me one the perfect shape to wrap around my shoulders and neck – which, when you’re constantly sore and clicking and cracking because you spend too much time on your laptop is an absolute slice of heaven at the end of a long day.
I found this one on Amazon for under a tenner that’s the same shape as mine, and honestly couldn’t recommend enough.
As much as I like a fresh peony or vanilla candle, there’s nothing quite as delicious as a Christmas or autumn-scented candle is there?
Come at me cinnamon and apples and pumpkins and cookie scents, you ma gurls <3
Whilst the best budget ones I’ve ever snapped up were from a Yankee Candle outlet centre in the States (Caramel Apple Cake, anyone?) I did pick up some pretty dreamy ones from Sainsbury’s last week for £3.75 each – in scents ‘Cinnamon Sugar & Pear’ and ‘Spiced Pumpkin & Chestnut’. I’ve also heard very good things about Aldi’s candle selection at the moment, so go fly my pretties. Fly, fly, fly!
I know what you’re thinking, YOU WHAT?
Basically, this was a recommendation from my yoga instructor on helping with my sore neck and shoulders (but can apparently be used for other tight muscles around the body too).
If you roll a golf ball (or place it between yourself and a wall or the floor) on the area where you have tight muscles and start to work it, it’s honestly like having a free deep-tissue massage.
I do it once or twice a week on my bedroom floor to relieve tension and it’s meant I haven’t needed to see an osteopath since the start of the year.
I then finish off with my hot wheat bag and hey presto, I wake up in the morning like a new woman who’s ready to take over the world.
When you’re having a really long day in the office (but have I been here since 2011? Or since this morning? I cannot tell) there’s nothing like swinging via Boots or LUSH on your way home and thinking about the v heavenly pamper you’re going to embark on the minute you walk through the door.
Some of my fave budget I’M GOING TO MAKE MYSELF BEAUTIFUL buys are: LUSH bath bombs because I’m more basic than Taylor Swift (I adore the Comforter bubble bar which smells like 75647856 levels of heaven), Essie nail polishes because the colours and formula are far more superior than other budget brands (big up to shades Luxedo and Mint Candy Apple) and a good sheet mask (Boots currently do their own for a v respectable £2.50).
BUY A FILM
I know, buying a film in 2017 rather than just watching it as part of your Netflix subscription is just complete and utter bleedin’ madness, but hear me out.
The other week Chris and I paid to rent a newly-released film via our Sky package – it cost just under a fiver, so a bit like your modern-day Blockbusters, if you will.
We put our phones upstairs, lit lots of candles and actually watched the film (The Zookeeper’s Wife, in case you were wondering) from start to finish without distraction. And I tell you what, it was ruddy wonderful.
Often we’ll half watch a film whilst scrolling Insta or talking to the cats or y’know just pottering about doing general grown-up things, and we won’t entirely switch off and just enjoy it – but this way it felt like a real little relaxing date night.
See also: going to the supermarket and buying an old film for £3, or borrowing an actual in-the-flesh DVD from a mate.
What other budget self-care treats do you gals recommend?
This is a sponsored collaboration with Mars Cookies but all opinions very much my own.