3 tips on how to survive a long-distance relationship

Since graduating from my History degree in Hull last year, I have moved back home to live with my parents while completing my Masters degree in Journalism.

This has meant that I don’t get to see my boyfriend of three years as often as I’d like, as he is still studying in Hull while I’m 120 miles away…

Rather than seeing him multiple times a week, I have had to settle for a brief monthly visit. Living apart from my boyfriend has shown me that communication is essential in a long-distance relationship.

Here are my tips and advice on how to make it work for you:

Tip 1: Text everyday!

This doesn’t mean harassing the other person with multiple texts all day, and getting angry when they don’t reply immediately to every one of them. However, make sure to text the other person at least once a day to ask them how their day went. This way you will feel more involved in each other’s lives, as communication is essential!

Tip 2: Always have a date in the diary for when you will next see each other.

Having a date set in your diaries will give you both something to look forward to. I try to not go more than four weeks without seeing my boyfriend, which works well for both of us.

Tip 3: Schedule regular FaceTime calls.

This is an essential for me as I tend to grow tired of texting, and much prefer to talk on the phone or ‘face to face’ via FaceTime. My boyfriend makes sure to arrange a time where we are both free to talk, and catch up on each other’s lives for at least an hour. Texting is not enough to maintain a long-distance relationship, if you don’t have FaceTime or Skype at least make the effort to talk on the phone!

These tips alone won’t guarantee a successful long-distance relationship as they require perseverance, but if you make the effort to communicate with each other then it’s a good start!

Long-distance relationships are still very new to me so if you have any other tips please comment down below, as I’ll take all the help I can get!

Ruby Ray x


September Favourites


These are the items that I was loving in September! There is a bit of a recurring theme in this months favourites, as I went a bit Pumpkin Spice crazy! I always look forward to when Starbucks start selling their Pumpkin Spice Latte every September and it seems that other brands have caught on to this trend to, not that I’m complaining!


Starting off with the pumpkin spice theme, as soon as I saw that The Body Shop were doing a Vanilla Pumpkin range I had to get my hands on it. My favourites from the range have to be the Vanilla Pumpkin Body Butter and Shower Gel. The Vanilla Pumpkin range has a very autumnal scent, perfect for this time of year and also leaves your skin feeling super moisturised- win win! Again when I came across the Pumpkin Spice Limited Edition Baileys in Tesco I simply couldn’t leave without it. My favourite way to drink this is by making my own version of  the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte at home, by following a recipe on the Baileys website. Having it on its own over ice is also delicious!


My next favourite for September is the Loreal Paris Lash Paradise Extatic. I purchased this mascara as it closely resembles the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, which I have always wanted to try out. This mascara is great if you love to add volume to your lashes, as it is very buildable.


September was the month that I started my Masters degree, so I decided to treat myself to some Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones and a posh new water bottle from S’well. The Beats headphones have a 40 hour battery life, so I’ve been using them almost everyday and I still haven’t had to charge them, which is amazing! The water bottle is also very aesthetically pleasing, but highly functional as it keeps my water super cold on my long 9-5 days at uni.

Thanks so much for reading, hope you enjoyed it!

What were you loving in September?

Ruby Ray x

Trip to Amsterdam 2017

Earlier in the month me and my friends went on a 3 day trip to Amsterdam.  I thought I would share some of my favourite photos from the trip and a bit about what we got up to on our girls weekend away!


When we arrived in Amsterdam we were all in shock at how short the flight was at roughly 45 minutes, from Manchester Airport! This makes Amsterdam the perfect destination for a quick girly weekend getaway!

Of course the first thing on our mind when we arrived was food, and seen as we were in Amsterdam, this had to be frites (chips)! We then made our way to the Bloemenmarkt, which is Amsterdam’s floating flower market. The flowers and selection of cacti made for the perfect Insta post.

Our hotel was located in the Museum Quarter and I would highly recommend the Cityden Museum Square Hotel Apartments to anyone who wants to visit the museums, such as the Van Gough Museum and the Rijksmuseum, as these were a quick walk from our hotel. But most importantly, the Amsterdam sign is also situated in the Museum Quarter which gave us plenty of photo ops.

Our last day in Amsterdam was dedicated to shopping, as Amsterdam has a Brandy Melville, so I may or may not have picked up a few bits…

IMG_2593 Bloemenmarkt


fullsizeoutput_31 The balcony at our hotel room

fullsizeoutput_34 Exploring Amsterdam on a canal cruise

fullsizeoutput_33 Stroopwafel donuts *drools*

IMG_2689 Exploring the streets of Amsterdam


fullsizeoutput_28 Vondelpark


fullsizeoutput_30 Before we went to the Ice Bar!


IMG_2731 Obligatory picture with bridge

Strolling around the streets of Amsterdam you can never get bored, its rich history and culture means that in almost every street there is something to gaze at and admire. Its the perfect destination for a chilled weekend away with friends!

Trip to Rome 2017

I recently returned from a 5 day trip to Rome to visit my bestie, Gigi from Uni, who was studying there on her year abroad. I thought I would share some of my favourite photos of the city and what I got up to there.


On my first evening in Rome, my friend Gigi took me out for a night on the tiles. She has lived there for 6 months now and wanted to show me what the night-life is like compared to our usual stomping ground Hull, where we both went to uni. After a long day of travelling and partying under the light of the moon, till the early hours, we wearily made our way home to Gigi’s apartment on the bus. So far I had experienced all the typical modern attributes of any capital city and it was on the bus home that I got my first, magical glimpse of the Colosseum. It was crazy to look out the window of our bus and see such an iconic piece of history, something that was a regular occurrence in Rome…

thumbnail_IMG_0822 The Pantheon

thumbnail_IMG_0807 Trevi Fountain


The Vatican



“The Wedding Cake”



Piazza Navona

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 At the Spanish Steps

19126328_10210056678193514_1570693644_o Roman Forum


thumbnail_IMG_1016 Aperol Spritz!


thumbnail_IMG_0830Caramelised fig gelato!

I recommend anyone to visit Rome who loves experiencing history and culture, it has become my favourite city. I couldn’t have done it without my best friend and amazing tour guide, Gigi; I would have been lost without her!

A rather large clothing haul!

Clothing Haul

Recently my shopping habit has got a bit out of hand… I can’t seem to stop myself from buying new clothes! I’ve got a few holidays coming up so I’ve used that as an excuse to justify my spending.

 Starting with these flatform espadrilles from JustFab at £35, which I think will be absolutely perfect for my upcoming holidays! They give you height, without the pain of heels, which is just what I want when strolling around in the evening on holiday!

 Ok I have no excuse for these, apart from that these are possible the cutest trainers I have ever seen! These Stan Smith Comfort Dot trainers from adidas are £70 and are great for jazzing up a casual outfit with a fun print, but are also super practical.

 Next up I got these two denim skirts as I am currently experiencing a bit of a denim obsession! The black skirt is from New Look but I ordered it off the ASOS website, and it was a complete bargain at only £19.99! The blue denim skirt is from H&M at £24.99, I absolutely love wearing this skirt with my new adidas trainers. H&M also have a great selection of colours, I love the look of the pink one!

I also bought a couple of jumpers, which I know seems strange for this time of year, but trust me in England you always need them as it gets cold at night. I bought both of these jumpers from H&M and I have really been enjoying wearing them while revising for my exams to stay cosy and comfortable!

 I love the clothes in Next, though sometimes they can be a little out of my price range. These beauties however, were very reasonably priced so I knew I had to get them as the quality of the clothes from Next are great. The gingham cami was only £16 and the t-shirt was only £10!

 Now for stripes! I have so many striped tops but, I decided to inject some colour this time. This unusual blue and pink striped tee from Topshop was £14, and this red and white one from TK Maxx was a bargain at under £5. My wardrobe can always do with a colour injection and these two do just the trick!

 I also got these two pretty tops from H&M that are going to be perfect for summer! The white crop top was £9.99 and I got the red floral top in the sale, so I’m not sure if it’s still available.

 Finally, my boyfriend was lucky enough to get us tickets to Radio 1’s Big Weekend, so I bought a denim jacket and some accessories to complete my festival outfit! The choker is from Missguided it came in a pack of three, but I only bought it for this choker with the stars. I also picked up a bum bag from ASOS for £12, as this is a festival essential to ensure you can dance to the music without having to carry a bag. I also got a denim jacket from Zara which was £25.99, as everyone seems to have one at the minute and is the perfect jacket for Summer. I wore this outfit for the festival and I would 100% recommend getting a bum bag if you are attending any festivals this Summer!

Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments if you have been feeling spendy lately and what bits you have your eye on!

Ruby Ray x

April Favourites

April Favourites

These are the items that I was loving in April. I received a lot of new items at the end of March, for my Birthday, which quickly became my favourites for April!

thumbnail_FullSizeRender (1)

Makeup and skincare wise, I bought this Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask from The Body Shop, which I featured in my Birthday Haul. The mask is more like a gel than a cream, and it really lives up to its description as ‘bouncy’. When you scoop the mask out, with the spatula provided, the gel immediately bounces back into shape -it’s so cool! I’d never used an overnight mask before, and I was worried that my face would stick to my pillow as I was sleeping. If you use a light layer however, it soaks into the skin and doesn’t stick to your sheets at all! Next up I decided to try these Simple Micellar Cleansing Wipes, as I love micellar water and hoped that these wipes would be ok to use on my sensitive skin. The normal Simple face wipes leave my face feeling red raw, when I remove my makeup, however the micellar wipes removed my makeup without causing irritation. They get a thumbs up from me!

Also featured in my Birthday Haul, was the set of 3 NYX butter glosses. Out of the 3, I have been loving the shade ‘Creme Brulee’ the most! I’m not usually one for lip glosses however, the butter glosses go on smoothly and don’t leave your lips feeling sticky which I can’t stand! Creme Brulee is the perfect nudey pink for everyday wear.

Old Skool Vans

Again, these Vans Old Skool Trainers were featured in my Birthday Haul, and they have quickly become my new favourite trainer in April. After watching Tanya Burr’s ASOS haul I was inspired to purchase some fishnet socks from H&M, to pair with my Vans. I got a black and white pair, and I think they look super cool. I have to say I didn’t think I could pull them off at first, but they look amazing with black jeans and a t-shirt.

I have saved the best till last this month, as my next favourite is the bake at home Millie’s Cookies from Iceland! When I saw these I had to get them, as I was so intrigued as to whether they would live up to the Millie’s Cookies from the store. They were so easy to make, just pop into the oven for 10-15 mins and boom you have Millie’s Cookies at home that taste just the same! I chose the white choc cookies as they are my favourite, but they did have a selection including milk choc. I was planning on taking a picture of the cookies, but me and my boyfriend devoured them before there was even chance- woops!

Thanks so much for reading, hope you enjoyed, be sure to comment below with you favourites for April.

Ruby Ray x

Birthday Haul- 2017

It was my 21st Birthday in March and I have decided to share with you what I got for my Birthday!

I took a trip to Manchester with my Mum, Dad and boyfriend for shopping, food and drinks to celebrate me turning 21 and I picked up a lot of stuff. 2

First up is clothes and my favourite present that I received this year. My Mum and Dad treated me to a leather jacket from AllSaints, which I have wanted for so long now but had been making do with a £5 jacket from Forever 21. It feels amazing to finally have the perfect leather jacket as it goes with everything I wear, I never want to take it off! The leather jacket I chose is the Black Balfern Biker Leather Jacket, I definitely recommend this if you are willing to invest in a leather jacket!

 Seen as it was my 21st Birthday I decided it was time I retired my 6 years old Converses and invested in some new trainers! I had been wanting the Vans Black & White Old Skool Trainers for ages and I thought they would be the best replacement for my Converses. I had only planned on buying one new pair of trainers, but when I found a pair of floral, beaded, white trainers from Steve Madden I couldn’t resist. They are the Marcelo trainers and I found them for £29.99, however I was unable to find them on the TK Maxx website.

 I received a lot of make up for my Birthday from friends, family and I also bought some myself, which means I’ve ended up with tons of new make up! From one of my best friends I received an Essie nail polish in the shade ‘eternal optimist’. This is her current favourite shade as it is a gorgeous muted pink. I can’t wait to try it out on my nails! Also from my friend I received the stila convertible colour dual lip and cheek cream, in the shade ‘peony’. I had wanted to try this blusher for ages as I love cream blushers, and this one gives such a healthy glow to the cheeks. My boyfriend must have been examining my blog for ideas for my Birthday present, as he did very well this year! I’ve always wanted to try some of the Jeffree Star cosmetics and he picked for me the skin frost in the shade ‘ice cold’. I absolutely adore this highlighter it’s extremely pigmented and the pan is huge, so I can see this lasting me a very long time. Even though I had received so much make up from friends and family already, I couldn’t resist looking for some discount make up while I was in Tk Maxx. I found a set of three NYX butter glosses, in the shades ‘crème brulee’, ‘angel food cake’ and ‘ginger snap’. I love my soft matte lip cream from NYX, so when I saw these I had to buy them.

Skincare wise I received a few face masks, one from the brand Oh K! which was a gold dust hyrdrogel mask and also the Garnier moisture bomb tissue mask. I love sheet masks as they are perfect for keeping your skin hydrated without the mess. From the Body Shop I also picked up the drops of youth bouncy sleeping mask, this is a mask you leave on your skin overnight, which I thought would be cool to try out. My friends also got for me the obligatory bath bomb from Lush, they chose the twilight bath bomb which will be perfect for a relaxing soak. Finally, I had been after a new fragrance to wear everyday for uni, that wasn’t too expensive. After looking through the numerous weird and wonderful scents by the Library of Fragrance, I finally settled on ‘Fig Leaf’. I love the scent of fig, and as these are singular scents you can layer them with others and there are certainly lots to choose from! Also on the website it recommends different scents that layer well together, so I may have to invest in some more to create my own unique scent!

Beauty Haul

I also received some homeware bits and bobs for my Birthday, the first being a pineapple photo frame from the brand sass&belle, from my parents. This is such a cute little photo frame, now I just need to find a photo from by Birthday to go in it. My parents also got me a dog picture colouring book, titled ‘Keep Calm and Colour Dogs.’ This is great for me as I love dogs and colouring, so the two combined is great! My mum found this on the ASOS website. Continuing with books one of my best friends Lucy, bought me a cocktail recipe book, called ‘The Little Book of Cocktails’. I cannot wait to try these recipes out with my friends in the Summer. Also from my boyfriend I received a book called ‘The Elements of Journalism’, this is because I am starting a Masters in Journalism next year and this book is going to be very helpful!

As you can see from the picture I have a love for Cacti! I’ve had some from Ikea that have lasted me 3 years, but are sadly starting to look a bit sorry for themselves. So I picked up a new cactus from Next of all places. I really like this one as it comes in a stylish silver pot. My friends obviously also knowing my love for all things cacti, got me some cactus tea lights from the Range! These are so adorable and there is no chance of me killing them, which is a bonus! I also bought a Yankee Candle in the scent Cappuccino Truffle, as coffee is one of my favourite smells.  Finally from Oliver Bonas, I got this cute heart trinket dish to put my jewellery on in the evening, so hopefully there will be no more panicking the morning after a night out, trying to locate my jewellery!

  Homeware Haul

Thanks for reading, hopefully this will give you some ideas for presents if you have any Birthdays coming up!  Let me know in the comments what you would like to receive for your Birthday!

Ruby Ray x

March Favourites



Sorry that this month’s favourites are super late, the end of march and beginning of April has been really busy for me as it was my birthday, and with my dissertation and uni work I haven’t had much free time for blogging! So here are my beauty and random favourites for the month of March, some of them new purchases and one an old favourite.


I had been wanting to try out Maybelline’s Baby Lips for a while, but I had put it off because I already own so many lip balms. However, this month I found the Baby Lips Dr Rescue in the shade ‘Pink Me Up’ reduced to £2 in Savers and decided to try it out, and it has become my favourite lip balm. I love the pink tint it gives to my lips, and the tingly feeling from the menthol in the lip balm also feels amazing. Next up and also from the drugstore, is the L’Oreal Brow Artist Xpert in the shade ‘Cool Blonde.’ After recently dying my hair slightly pink, I felt that my Anastasia Dip Brow in the shade Blonde, was a bit too warm toned for my new hair colour, so I went to Superdrug in search of a new brow product. I wanted something more ashy and this one from L’Oreal seemed to be the only one I could find. I didn’t have too high expectations for this, after being so used to using my dip brow, however I’m really impressed with the colour and application of this brow product! It actually reminds me of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, as it has a very similar pencil. The spoolie is also great to keep the brows looking natural.

This month I also decided to treat myself to one of Benefit’s boxed blushes, as I have never had one before and have heard such great things. I wasn’t sure which shade to go for at first, but I decided on ‘dandelion’ as I felt this suited my skin tone the best. The Benefit blushes are super expensive at £24.50, however if you want to treat yourself it’s a good investment and the packaging looks really pretty on my dressing table.


The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) is a recurrent favourite of mine. Its the only treatment I have used that seems to reduce my spots, without scarring. A little goes a long way with this product, so at £15.50 it’s totally worth the money! Recently I had been after a nice body spray to use after the gym, to help freshen up and my friend had recommended the Ted Baker body sprays. I opted for the Pink Body Spray and unlike the cheaper body sprays you can find in the drugstore, this one has a long lasting fragrance that could easily pass for an expensive perfume!

Cocktail Desserts

Now for a couple of random favourites, I have been loving Mr Kipling’s Cocktail Fancies! I’ve always loved French Fancies, so when I found these cocktail flavours I had to try them. They have Mojito, Raspberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada which is definitely my fave flavour. Continuing with the cocktail theme this month, I also picked up these fizzy prosecco and cuba libre flavoured sweets from Lakeland. They are by the brand Sugarsin, and although they are slightly more expensive at £2.99 a pack, the prosecco ones are 100% worth it, if you love prosecco like me!

Thanks so much for reading, hope you had a great March and be sure to comment below with what products you were loving last month.

Ruby Ray x

My New Hair!

Bleach Blonde Hair

I got my hair done the other week for my 21st Birthday, as a treat to myself and I have to say I’m loving it! I had my hair bleached all over and the bleach is sooo itchy on your scalp, then I had a milkshake toner on top which really helped to condition my hair and also gave it a purple/pink tone. I was in the hairdressers for about 4 hours, but it was definitely worth it, it feels so great to have a change after having the same colour hair for years now!

For the cut I had a bit taken off the length as my hair grows super fast and a few layers put in! I am absolutely loving styling my hair now, its so quick and easy.

I’m trying to limit myself to washing my hair no more than 2x a week, as I want to ensure the toner stays in for as long as possible, although I’m going to get it topped up again soon.

Let me know in the comments what you think of my new hair!

Ruby Ray xx

Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee is one of my absolute favourite flavours, I love coffee ice cream, coffee chocolate and of course coffee cake! Me and my housemate decided to have a go at baking a coffee cake for my 21st Birthday, as it’s my favourite, and I have to say it turned out amazing!

The recipe was from my housemates recipe book, and it’s really easy to follow. Be sure to give it a try yourselves, if you love coffee as much as me!

Coffee Cake  

Coffee Cake Recipe


  • For the cake:
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 175g self-raising flower
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tbsp coffee powder, mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water and cooled
  • For the icing:
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar

Method:   Coffee Cake Mixture

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Grease two 17cm round cake tins.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla and whisk for 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface.
  6. Sift in the flour and baking powder.
  7. Fold in the flour and then add half of the coffee mixture.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and smooth the top.
  9. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. For the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together for 5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
  11. Add in the remaining coffee mixture and mix.
  12. Spread half of the buttercream evenly on the flat slide of one of the cakes, when the cakes have had time to cool.
  13. Place the second cake on top of the other cake, flat sides together and spread the remaining buttercream on the top.

Coffee Cake Ingredients

This cake turned out great, thanks to the help of my housemate! It also went down a treat with all of my friends, who are coffee lovers like me. I will definitely be making this cake again, as cake tastes so much better than shop bought, when you make it yourself.

What is your favourite type of cake?