One of my favourite things about having a smartphone is all the amazing apps that are available; from budgeting to finding the nearest public loo, apps are a lifesaver more often than not. I last wrote a post like this in 2016, so I thought it was time for an update to share what my favourite apps are in 2018.

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LIFESTYLE | TOWNFISH
This app is still in its beta phrase – and I’ve been helping to test it out – but so far, it’s been super useful for me when I’m in London. Relying on locals, the app lists all cool and quirky events going on in the city and is really great if you’re in London at a loss of what to do and need to find something pretty damn quickly. You can also ask questions or ask for recommendations, and the app shares blog posts like where to celebrate pancake day in London or free things to do in the city. Keep an eye out for this app for when it launches properly.

BUDGETING | MONZO
I recommended this app in 2016 but still find it totally relevant. With this app, I have my own (funky pink!) prepaid card to help me budget my money. Whenever I get paid, I now top up the card with whatever essentials I need to spend money on that month; petrol, parking, food shopping etc. Anything left over in my bank account I try to save. It’s useful because the money I need is already set aside so if ever I’m skint, I don’t have to panic about important things like that. It’s really popular too – I see people coming into work and using their own Monzo cards all the time!

FITNESS | 30 DAY SQUAT CHALLENGE
Paired with taking up Pound Fitness again, committing myself to the simple 30 Day Squat Challenge will ensure that I will have the best bottom ever pretty soon..! (Hopefully)

DRIVING | WAZE
The satnav in your pocket! I adore Waze, a cute satnav driving app. I still use my actual satnav for long journeys but Waze is ideal on a day to day basis as it updates as you’re driving to reflect traffic and suggest other routes to take, you can send ETA’s through it (quite possibly my favourite part), ‘bib’ your friends when they’re online and earn points with the more you drive. So useful. Plus the avatar’s are really cute. Mine is a little zombie because I’m forever doing early morning delivery shifts at work and therefore driving half asleep in the morning looking like a zombie.

LIFESTYLE | STRIDES
A new year means a new you, but for those of us who don’t bullet journal, keeping a level head and remembering all our new year habits is hard. I’ve started using Strides, which is a basic little app that records your new habits. It’s very satisfying to hit seven days in a row or being able to look at the calendar to see more green (completed) than red (failed) dates. I use mine to track eating vegan, learning Romanian, doing exercise, hitting my daily water intake goal and not speaking to my ex, ha. It has really helped to motivate me and for anyone struggling in the new year, even beginning to record one small habit can help anyone keep a level head or routine when everything feels too much.

MONEYSAVING | CHIP
Another money saving app is Chip – something I’ve blogged about so many times because it’s just that amazing. Since using downloading it, I’ve saved nearly £300 without even realizing it. The app links up to your bank account and judges your spending to work out what can be saved each week – so it will vary from a couple of quid to £50! And, if it’s too much, you can cancel the withdrawal. It’s such a smart app and it’s the only way I’ve ever managed to properly save. If you’re interested, you can use my referral code JLB3BY to earn 1% interest on all your savings. 1% might not seem like a lot, but every little helps. Plus, since you save so regularly, the interest will soon build up. You can read about the app in more detail here.

What are your favourite or most useful apps? Let me know!

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Single or not, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself. Even if you’re not in a relationship, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t receive gifts – Valentine’s Day is the day where you show appreciation for the most important person in your life and in all honesty, this person should be YOU.

There may be a lot of pink involved (hey, who doesn’t like overly feminine fluffy pink heels? Oh, okay, so not everyone likes them, but this is my wish list at the end of the day), but I’ve still compiled a small wish list/guide of some things you can buy for yourself (or hint at your other half to buy) as a treat this Saint Valentine’s Day.

Who said you had to rely on cupid to do all the dirty work for you?!

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ONE | VICTORIA’S SECRET WICKED UNLINED UPLIFT BRA, £38.89
This beautiful beautiful bra from Victoria’s Secret is exactly the kind of subtle but luxurious thing to treat yourself with. Even if no one will see it, the pink ivory design with velvet is what dreams are made of. I don’t know about you, but if I’d be wearing this out in public I’d pair it with jeans and a really soft oversized jumper for the ultimate feminine feels.

TWO | H&M’S SANDALS WITH FEATHERS, £34.99
Unpractical? Sure. But who says waltzing around the house in these pretty fluffy heels in just your underwear (or maybe a matching silk kimono) won’t make you feel like a million dollars this Valentine’s Day? If you are in a relationship, complete the look with lashings of mascara to create vintage lashes and a plump red lip. If you’re single? Do it anyway. We’re women. We don’t dress up or wear make-up for men. Single or not, these heels will certainly make you appreciate yourself (and feel feminine and sexy).

THREE | MISS DIOR EAU DE PARFUM, FROM £52.00
I’m not one who’s big on perfume, but I found a tester of this in the new issue of Cosmo and was impressed – especially since the design of the tester resembled the way you spray perfume (very smart advertising). This fresh rose-like scent (can you tell I’m not very good at describing the scent of things?) is really rather feminine without being too overbearing, and is perfect for this time of year as we transition from winter to spring.

FOUR | LIME CRIME’S M$LF VELVETINES SET, £24.47
Lime Crime is a brand that’s been on my radar for a while now, not least because they’re a) entirely on brand right now and b) entirely vegan too, so I’ve just been looking for an excuse to treat myself to something Lime Crime. This cute – and somewhat edgy – set of lipsticks includes four neutral shades, perfect for ‘a modern woman on-the-go’. Oh, and M$LF stands for Moms I’d Like to Follow – now I’m no mother, but I can understand the hard work that goes into raising a child, so if buying this set is showing my support for hard working mum’s everywhere than that’s certainly an excuse to drop money on this. And if nude colours aren’t your thing? You can mix and match with other shades too.

FIVE | LUSH’S WHOLE LOTTA LOVE BUBBEROON, £4.75
It’s a bubble bar. It’s designed like a heart. It’s Lush. What more do I need to say?!

SIX | SOPHIE KINSELLA’S SURPRISE ME, £7.03
And finally, there’s no better treat than a good book. Paired well with a bubble bath (and Lush’s Whole Lotta Love Bubberoon!), make sure to take time for yourself this Valentine’s Day and get lost in a good book. Surprise Me tells the story of happily married Sylvie and Dan who panic when they realize just how long they’ve got left in their happy marriage; sixty eight years to be exact. To keep their relationship fresh and spontaneous, they decide to create little surprise for one another. But of course, life isn’t that simple and soon enough a scandal from the past is uncovered…

If you’re single and dreading Valentine’s Day this year, or even if you’re in a relationship but you’re other half isn’t great at buying gifts, without a doubt take note of this wish list. From a plush velvet bra to a book you won’t be able to put down, take the matter into your own hands make sure you get at least one thing you want this Saint Valentine’s Day.

What do you think? Will you be treating yourself to anything from this list? Let me know!

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Mental health is an extremely important issue in our day in age, especially when we live in a world where people are lonelier than ever despite having the whole world at their fingertips via a phone or laptop. Luckily, this is where Mental Snapp comes in.

Mental Snapp is a brand new app which bridges the gap between modern technology and mental health. In a nutshell, you use the app on a daily basis to record your feelings by filming videos simply just talking about your feelings and how your day has gone. It’s a great way to get in touch with yourself and is a modern take on checking in on how your doing and feeling.

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The videos are entirely private, but depending on what tags you use, the app comes up with responses and prompts for what to record next. You have the opportunity to rate your mood, name your feelings and add a subject area regarding what you are recording about, be that stress or how well you’re sleeping.

It’s a new way to journal on a daily basis, which is perfect for people with not a lot of time or who are too forgetful to keep a diary. Although you don’t have to use the app daily, you can add reminders and this can be another way to get a grip on your mental health by sticking to a routine.

By tagging videos and adding summaries, you can also view an insights graph which shows you an easy to understand analysis of your feelings. It’s a bit like an online bullet journal!

The prompts are a great idea too. If you feel like you’ve had a pretty average day and don’t really know what to talk about, choosing a prompt is another great way to self-improve also. You can remind yourself of ways to improve your motivation, or talk about the qualities in friends or family that make you feel appreciated. There’s also an SOS section which I love. Here, you can choose prompts to help you next time you’re close to a break down or having a bad day. This section almost makes you become your own therapist as you answer questions about who to reach out for in a crises or what you can do to help yourself calm down.

PERSONAL USE & THOUGHTS
I’ve been using Mental Snapp for a few weeks now and what a difference it has made. Although I have yet to remember to record daily, I have found the process of filming a quick video at the end of my day relaxing and somewhat comforting. I could compare it to talking to a diary or even a friend in an informal way; a gentle recap of my day’s events.

Looking back over my videos has been eye opening too. My videos began with me feeling quite down and heartbroken at the end of my last relationship and I’ve noticed that gradually I’ve begun to look just a little less upset and a little more, well, positive. It’s not a big difference, but it’s the kick I need to know that I am going to be okay.

Additionally, seeing how tired and just downright sad I looked to begin with has given me the confidence to take back control of my life. I don’t want to be that person anymore. My relationships, my ex boyfriend – the things that happen in my life may affect me as a person but they do not define me or define my feelings. Downloading and using this app has helped me get a grip on my mental health and helped me realize that it’s time to take back control of my feelings with help Lexapro.

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In this day in age – when therapists are expensive and our online lives force us to feel lonelier than ever – Mental Snapp is the app we need to take back control of our mental health and help us get a grip on managing it.

My only small issue with the app is where the videos are stored – I found quite quickly I was unable to record more videos unless I free’d up some space on my phone. Anyone with an iPhone will know how irritating this is – and how easy it is to run out of space – so although I don’t know much about phone storage, perhaps it would work out better if the videos were stored in the app only so that it doesn’t affect how much space is needed on your phone.

The video lengths are bite size at two minutes long – which I kind of like. It took me a while to get used to how short they are and for my first few videos I didn’t get to get in everything I wanted to say. I think this is a good thing though as it cuts out the cr*p so to speak – you get right to your point talking about your day. If you want to record a longer video – a ramble about your feelings perhaps – there are other ways to do this.

It does feel a little weird filming yourself at first. Of course confident vloggers likely won’t experience this, but it’s comforting to know that the videos are entirely private to you. You don’t even have to watch them if you don’t want to.

Still, overall, Mental Snapp has quickly become one of my go-to apps on my phone and pretty much does work like a personal diary or therapist in your pocket. It’s such a smart idea and I’m really glad that such an app was developed.

Would you use an app like Mental Snapp to get to grips with your mental health? Let me know with a comment!

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Is it me or did January totally drag this year? I spent most of January ambling along, not always quite sure what day it was and focusing my time on blogging/re-evaluating my love life. But with February now landed, I’m starting to get back in the swing of things at last. Here’s what I’m excited for this month.

THE MOVIE
Game Night is an upcoming black comedy/mystery movie with an all star cast (Jason Batemen, Rachel McAdams, Sharon Horgan and Lamorne Morris to name just a few). The movie is set around a group of friends who’s usual game night turns into a much more sinister murder mystery night. It looks hilarious but intriguing too, despite the fact that it hasn’t been heavily advertised as of yet. I think the cast will really make this one.
Game Night will be released on the 23rd.

THE TV SERIES
I mean, it isn’t new, but Jane The Virgin is finally being uploaded back on Netflix again (though it seems weekly rather than in one go!). If you haven’t seen it: great, you’ve got a whole lot to binge watch and catch up on. If you have seen it, you’ll know how addictive it is and if you’ve missed crushing on Rafael and pining after Petra’s wardrobe like me, Netflix will be your first port of call this January.
Jane The Virgin is available on Netflix now.

THE BOOK
Everyone has heard of – and likely read (or watched the movie adaption of) Me Before You. But this month brings the third book in the trilogy along; Still Me. I’m certainly intrigued. I liked the second book, After You, and I’m still as curious to see how (SPOILER ALERT) Louisa Clark’s life moves on after Will. But I do find it sad that the story is no longer centered around them. Still, it should be an interesting read as we discover what happens when Louisa arrives in New York for a whole new adventure.
Still Me will be released on the 25th.

THE EVENT
F*ck Valentines Day. Single – or not – there’s always plenty of fun non-conventional things to do come the 14th. Swap Netflix and cuddles/chill for Gin = isn’t Gin just the answer to everything? Instead why not try Mr Fogg’s Gin Safari (even the name is awesome), which involves a tuition on gin, botanicals and tonics and gin tasting in the quirky location of Mr Fogg’s Tavern in London. Totally fun to do as a couple, and totally non-corny and not at all romantic.

ANYTHING ELSE?
Veganuary may officially be over but I’m here to praise veganism. If you made it through the whole month, well done! You may be itching to get back to eating meat (I gave up to be healthy but the one thing that made me stick to Veganuary the first time around was the idea that I’d be going to Pizza Hut to celebrate once it was up!), but you don’t have to fall entirely off the wagon. You’ll be pleased to know there’s such thing as a flexi-vegan, and those who aren’t vegan are always surprised at just how laid back the whole thing is. Being vegan isn’t about giving up meat for life and that’s that. It’s about simply trying your best. Having a meat-free Monday is a good start, or even just allowing yourself just one cheat day a week. If you’ve enjoyed giving up meat and dairy but aren’t quite ready to commit to it for life, ease yourself in rather then going back from one extreme to the other.

What are you looking forward to this February? Let me know!
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