WEEKEND RITUAL #21 : Turning Twenty-Two!

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It's been a week of cocktails, brunches, dancing, and realising just how truly wonderful my friends and family are [cliche I know, but there's no time quite like a birthday to make it hit home just how lucky you are]! Having spread the celebrations over the last week and into the next one I think I've truly made the most of having an excuse to celebrate [read : eat/drink/spend in excess]. So today, a quick snapshot into my week[s] of FUN.

THE HIGHLIGHTS : Jen and I caught up at Manchester Mexican Lucha Libre [think : aloha-print tables, zesty cocktails, The Beach Boys on repeat] - where we ate, talked, and laughed ourselves silly over tacos. And on Thursday I saw in 22 with a view - sipping cosmos from Manchester's sky-high cocktail bar Cloud 23 [well-worth queuing for the soaring views out over the city]. Yesterday I headed over to Liverpool for some culture-vulture fun at the Tate, cocktails and gnocchi c/o Gusto, and retail therapy [Harvey Nichols' Beauty Bazaar is Merseyside's makeup Mecca, go].

I was super lucky to receive so many amazing presents from my family and friends, and I've listed some below because personally [and purely out of nosiness!] I LOVE finding out what people were gifted - and who knows, maybe it will inspire your future gift-hunts [or wishlists]!

Whistles Fleet Large Tote Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red The Secret History by Donna Tartt ASOS Oversized Knit Scarf When It Happens To You by Molly Ringwald Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Iraklion Q&A A Day 5 Year Journal Sony Overhead Headphones Whistles Shiny Croc Credit Card Holder Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Madrague Vogue On : Christobel Balenciaga by Susan Irvine M&S Luxury Dressing Gown Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

Next week is set to feature yet more fun, but as for today, I'll be having a much needed day of relaxation. Post-brunch/bubble bath I'll be playing with my new toys [especially those beauty bits] - and there's almost certain to be a facial/mani on the cards, followed [naturally] by cake and fizz!

Re. my 'read a book a week resolution' [see here] I recently devoured Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things [thanks to Jen for the recommendation!] in the space of two days. It was such a refreshing and inspirational read and I would highly recommend it to anyone going through a change in circumstances or in need of a pick-me-up. The book is a compilation of Agony Aunt style letters - and even though many of these present quite unique and unusual situations, it is in Cheryl's replies that the magic happens. Every one is super relatable [and sometimes all you really need is that one sentence to help you see things a little clearer or through a more positive perspective]. In case you're having a bit of a déjà vu moment re. the name Cheryl Strayed - her memoir Wild has recently been adapted for film and stars Reese Witherspoon!

& To everyone who wished/tweeted me a happy birthday - a MASSIVE thank you to you all!

G x

If you fancy peeking into my life/beauty world some more, find me on Twitter and Instagram.

 + I completely forgot to share this rather wonderful commentary on less-is-more beauty from Maison Ellis last week, so sink your teeth into it today. Thought provoking stuff. + + One for the history buffs - the changing face [literally] of historians. + + + This amusing piece on where the cast of Girls would hang out if they lived in London had me laughing and nodding in agreement. + + + + 22 Extremely Satisfying Things That Can Only Happen After Age 22. Thought Catalog, you did it again. + + + + + And here's a link to my January playlist - the tunes I've been loving this month.