As you'll have probably guess by now, Iceland was one of my favourite trips so far and on our final day, Jess and I had booked a tour of the Golden Circle. I know a lot of people like to drive this themselves and I imagine you see a lot more of Iceland's beautiful countryside when you do but as we didn't have a lot of time and neither of us have a great sense of direction when in a car, we booked a tour with Gray Line. We were picked up directly from our hotel and got on a coach with the other people on the tour and although it was a very long day with lot's of long coach journeys and pretty crappy weather, it was such an amazing experience and I'd definitely recommend it for anyone visiting Reykjavik. 

Despite the fact that I moan and whinge and bitch about Instagram on almost a daily basis, I do love it and along with Twitter, it's the platform I use the most. Not only do I love editing my own photos and posting them onto my not so themed page, I love scrolling down and seeing the perfectly taken images, the neatly arranged flatlays and the droolworthy breakfasts in bed. For me, Instagram can be used as an escape from the woes of daily life and I don't know about anyone else, but I feel like the 'Gram is in it's own little fluffy bubble where nothing ever goes wrong in our lives and everything is just fine and dandy. Of course, we all know too well by now that Instagram is not a social media platform that's representative of real life and for the most part, we choose to share only our highlights and that's totally fine. We're not under any obligation to share photos of us wiping Nutella from our mouths after we scoff that crepe and we definitely don't have to share photos of us in the bath shaving our legs after we post that amazing bath bomb photo. So here's my Instagram vs my real life and I hope it gives you a lil bit of a giggle and shows that a single perfect photo is not representative of reality!

  INSTAGRAM                               VS                          REAL LIFE

Instagram is famous for the flawless selfie. I know when I'm scrolling down my feed and I see images of these simply ethereal beings I just want to scream "HOW" and then I look at my own selfies. I am a self-confessed selfie queen and I take selfies quite often (read: throughout the day, all day , every day) and let me tell you that a lot of work goes into the photos of my own face. On Instagram, selfies appear to be effortless; one quick snap and a little bit of a pose and there you go. WRONG. I think I speak for all selfie-ers when I say that you take 300 average/awful selfies for every banging one you post to Insta and I assure you my camera roll looks like this for every upload. There's a lot of "hmm that's my bad side", a bit of "OMG PLEASE TELL ME I DON'T LOOK LIKE THAT" and a hell of a lot of "why the f does my fringe do that?!" A moment of silence for all of the time we've sacrificed in order to get a truly great Instagram selfie.

INSTAGRAM                               VS                          REAL LIFE

Wouldn't it be lovely if our houses and bedrooms stayed as bright and as tidy as they look on Instagram?! Thank the lord for the brightening tool and VSCO filters ey?! According to Instagram, all of our houses are flooded with natural light, everything is placed perfectly around our rooms all the time, we don't have piles of clothes on our floors and we definitely look super cool whilst lounging in bed right....? The photo above was taken on a pretty grim morning. I wish I could wake up with beautiful sunlight flooding through my windows with my perfectly placed duvet and throw around my laptop! It's so funny how much a bit of re-arranging, brightening and filtering can do for a photo and after two quick seconds, my photo and my bedroom look much more Instagrammable. I always see bloggers posting "before" Instagram photos on Twitter and it never fails to make me chuckle!

INSTAGRAM                               VS                          REAL LIFE

On Instagram, our pets look like the cutest, most innocent little cherubs ever and Harry is the perfect example of this. On the photos I post of him, it looks like butter wouldn't melt and that he's the laziest, sweetest dog in existence. Oh how wrong you are! The photos I post of him are quickly caught when he's having his least dopey moments and most of the time you'll find him laid in less than flattering positions like the photo you see on the right. I'll usually find him eating something important (ahem, like a passport) or ruining something I've made and he's usually behind any household disaster (such as eaten carpets) that I tweet about. You may remember the photo I posted of my French toast breakfast the other day? Literally 3 seconds after I took that photo, this little bugger jumped on my bed and knocked my cuppa all over my toast and I had to start again from scratch but I left that bit out of my post!

INSTAGRAM                               VS                          REAL LIFE

I've travelled quite a lot over the past year and have done some really exciting things, all of which have made their way onto Instagram. However, what doesn't get posted on the Gram, is every hour I work to be able to afford these things. I work in a fast food restaurant and although I absolutely love my job I can assure you that I don't look anywhere near as glam in my cap and shirt as I do in my Instagram mirror selfies but just because I don't post it on social media doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. We can sit and scroll through people's travelling photos but at the end of the day we don't know how hard they work to achieve these Instagrammable moments. I work over 45 hours a week in my two jobs plus the countless hours I put into my blog and let me tell you it is not easy and it's certainly not glam!

Hopefully this has given you a little bit of a laugh! It can be easy to feel a bit crap about your own life when everyone else's looks so effortlessly perfect but in reality, no one's life is as glam as it looks on social media!

On that note, make sure you're following my Instagram! Search "saltandchic" or click here.

Amy x

Since I started living alone, I've been baking a lot. I'm not someone who likes to sit around and do nothing when I'm by myself and as much as I love snuggling up in front of the TV with a takeaway and a cuppa, I much prefer to do it when I have someone to snuggle up to. Baking is something that's become a real hobby to me whether I'm following a recipe out of one of my favourite cookbooks or creating something myself and my latest creation attracted quite a lot of attention over on Twitter. I created some simply beautiful Kinder Bueno Brownies after I failed to find a recipe for them anywhere online and oh em gee they are good! So many people asked me for the recipe so here it is in the form of a blog post - happy baking guys!

Do you ever just see an outfit online when you're "window shopping" that you know you just have to have? Well this coordinating set from ASOS was one of those moments for me. I was browsing ASOS as you do, with no intention of buying a thing and I somehow stumbled across this set and after continuously imaging myself wearing it for a good half an hour, I caved. You know when you just sit and convince yourself that you need to spend money when you absolutely know that you don't need to spend money? Yeah, that happened. Anyway I have no regrets about this purchase. I love co-ords for when you want to look kinda smart but kinda casual and that's what this two piece definitely achieves. Formal but laid-back trousers and an oversized jacket teamed with scuffed up trainers is the perfect "inbetween" outfit for when you're just unsure how smart you want to be, especially when teamed with a slouchy tee.  
Last year was the year that I eventually started trying more and more new beauty brands, breaking free of my habit to stay with the same ones continuously even when they weren't working for me. I finally tried some different foundation brands, I tried facial oil which was something I'd thought would never come within a mile of my face and I made some discoveries about my skin, hair and general health that I never would have without branching out into some more brands and products. Here are some of my favourite brands from 2016 that I definitely want to see more of this year!

We all have that one piece in our wardrobe that we have a genuine emotional attachment to don't we? You know the ones. The piece that we've absolutely worn to death, the piece we've avoided putting in the washing basket for longer than we want to admit just so we can wear it again, the piece that when we think of throwing it away, it genuinely hurts us. You're probably thinking about yours right now as you read this and for me, my most loved item of clothing has to be this pair of black skinny jeans. 

As I mentioned in Friday's post, after Christmas my mum and I were lucky enough to be sent off to Paris with La Redoute and it was definitely well needed after a pretty tough year. My mum had never visited Paris before so it was the perfect getaway for us and we did it in style. We started off the trip with business class Eurostar tickets (which I will never get over the novelty of - little old me in business class!) and arrived in Paris totally chilled out after being treated like Queens, complete with little face cloths being handed to us and a three course meal. 

The day after Boxing Day, my mum and I were sent off to the wonderful city of Paris courtesy of La Redoute to explore the French delights in December and visit the amazing Parisian Christmas Markets and after a pretty tough December and a distinct lack of Christmas cheer, let me tell you it was well needed. I'll be writing a separate blog post all about what we got up to in the city but for now I wanted to show you what was in my suitcase. I love dressing for city breaks and La Redoute kitted me out with some simply wonderful pieces to take with me, perfect for looking chic in one of the most fashionable cities in the world and even though I struggled to get them all in my little case (read: I had to sit and squeeze my suitcase for a full ten minutes before it would zip up), these outfits couldn't have been better for my time away.

So here we have it - the start of the sale purchases blog posts. I got a bit spendy on Christmas Day and made some sales orders (obviously with the excuse of "well it is Christmas") and unfortunately I loved everything I ordered and couldn't send anything back. What a shame ey?! Anyway this simply beautiful green dress was one of the first things I clocked in the ASOS sale and I'll admit I was unsure whether I'd like it. As someone who's quite petite, I do struggle to get midi length skirts and dresses to sit right on me but when this one arrived, I just fell head over heels for it.

I'm not really one for New Year's Resolutions but since I started my blog I've been making them more and more. Have I actually stuck to them? Well, that's a different story but considering that I'm entering 2017 in a totally different place to where I entered it, I feel like I need some resolutions and goals to keep me motivated after a particularly crappy year. I've achieved some wonderful things in 2016 and visited some truly amazing places but I've also left an unhealthy relationship, left university and ended up in the "what the f do I do with my life" phase and it's been a pretty shitty time in my life. I want 2017 to be about me, about allowing myself to grow and evolve and most importantly, being happy. Here are some of my resolutions that I'm trying to stick to to bring more happiness in 2017.

Christmas is officially over, the big man has been with the gifts and now it's time to start thinking about the next festive event. New Year's Eve is one of those nights where you cannot be overdressed. Everyone gets totally glammed up and there phrase "less is more" goes out of the window - more is definitely more on the last night of the year! I've teamed up with ASOS for the perfect festive going "out out" look and let me tell you that I've never been so obsessed with a dress in my entire life. Just look at it. As soon as I put this amazing piece on I felt like a million dollars and I wanted to hit the dance floor there and then, even if it was 10am on a Tuesday morning! I cannot wait to wear it to actually go out with a statement smokey eye, nude lip and my trademark tousled waves. 

Layering is a key part of my winter wardrobe. I still want to look and feel stylish as much as possible over the winter months whilst still keeping warm, especially considering I've been on a few winter trips this year too so have had to think about what to pack. This coat from Coast is a new addition in my winter wardrobe (like I needed another coat I know!) and I can't get over how much I love it. The grey and white stitching teamed with the elegant fit and the silver fastenings mean it's a super chic piece to layer and is definitely one of those pieces that is going to be able to be worn season after season.
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