Best Bits of January flatlay lifestyle favourites

I haven't written a lifestyle favourites in quite some time, because I wanted the blog to have more of a beauty focus, but I think it's nice to get to know the blogger behind the blog. It's something that I've been thinking about a lot lately, and why would I want to cut something out of the blog that I enjoy? So you can expect to see a sprinkling of lifestyle coming back to Behind The Scent - I like to think of it as my own version of indulgent lifestyle, i.e. all the things I enjoy doing to treat myself. There'll be a whole lot of gin and cocktails, amongst things like afternoon teas and photo diary-style travel posts. 
On a personal level, I really love reading lifestyle favourites posts like this back and remembering the things I did. I'm going to be talking about some of the blogger events I've been to, as well as other things I've loved during the month, like books, TV and films, as well as giving a bit of love to some of my fave bloggers too.
What I Did In January
So Christmas happened (obviously), and the with that brings that awkward time where you don't know what day it is between Christmas and New Year. I spent New Years (as well as a good week after) with my family as they had a longer holiday, so I hibernated away, inhaling panettone, lebküchen and Quality Street. My January wasn't as exciting in terms of going out and doing stuff, however towards the end of the month, it started to pick up with a couple of events and seeing friends.

Best Bits of January Estee Lauder Debenhams Event

Debenhams/Estée Lauder Event
This month saw the first official blogging event of 2017, and it was the turn of Debenhams to host, with Estée Lauder. In one of only four workshops in the country, there were experts from the US and Paris along with their imaging suite to take photographic samples of their consumer's skin. This helps to analyse geographical trends, and to assist with the creation of new base products. Ever wondered why shades vary in the same foundation in different countries? It was really interesting to see this side of product development, and I also got colour matched to a foundation and discovered a few new products too, which I'll be waxing lyrcical about (I've fallen head over heels for the brand) in a future post.

Best Bits of January Danique #IndieBlogs Event

#IndieBlogs Event
The last Saturday of the month saw the #IndieBlogs event, organised by Laura to showcase the best of Leicester's Independent businesses, inspired by the lovely Sammy (photographer at IsoElegant) who wanted to spread the word about new Leicester printing company, Matin Prime. We started off the afternoon initiating Selina and Victoria into the Leicester bloggers gang with an obligatory cocktail at 33 Cank St, and then set off on our trail. First stop was Divine, a boutique dress store located on Silver Street. Once you get past the prom-style diamante dresses, there are actually some really beautiful gowns that would be perfect for bridesmaids and balls alike. All the alterations are included in the price too, and as someone who is 5 ft 1, alterations are gonna be needed so I don't drown in a floor-length gown. Or more likely trip over it, which I'd do anyway if I had too many wines...
We also paid a visit to Lanes Fine Jewellery on Loesby Lane, which is a lovely, boutique jewellers, specialising in diamonds. It is such a friendly, welcoming place, which caters for all budgets and can create something bespoke. Fun fact - they're the official jewellers for LCFC! We also headed over to Danique Hairdressing, which is always a pleasure. We actually had the team at our #EastMidsMeetUp and also paid a visit during Laura's previous meet-up - she loves a good surprise event! They kindly gave us a couple demos showcasing the fab new highlighting toner sprays from Label M, as well as their Braid Bar. It definitely got me thinking about what I could do with my hair, as it is long enough for most braids and it just looks that little bit more put together than a classic pony or pineapple bun.


We also popped into Gelato Village for some some good old gelato (and boy is it good!). I chose Salted Caramel, Almond Val di Noto and Meringue & Sour Cherry for my tub (you can choose up to 3 flavours and I usually get the mini tub for £3.95 - they're bigger than you think!), and it did not disappoint! The Almond Val di Noto was my favourite and had beautifully delicate flavours of the highest quality almonds, orange and Bourbon vanilla (a type of vanilla, not Bourbon the alcohol, disappointingly!). It didn't quite beat the greatness of my all time fave flavour, Hazelnut, which sadly wasn't on the menu that day!
It was high time for another drink, and we took a bit of a walk to the West End Brewery on Braunstone Gate, a venue that was new to me. This played host to the first Thirst Media tasting, and this time it was the turn of beer, rather than wine. I don't drink beer all that regularly, although I do enjoy it, and it was nice to find out a little bit more about it thanks to the expertise of Laura and Selina. We got the chance to try a few different types, including IPA, stout and copper, with the rich chocolatey flavours of the stout and the fruity IPA being my personal highlights. The West End Brewery actually brews their own selection of ales onsite, which makes it unique in the city, and it's a really lovely venue with quirky little details. We even noted how great it'd be to host a meet-up there... You'll also be seeing many of the places we visited in Leicester travel guide-style post very soon, watch this space!

Best Bits of January Flatlay TV Film Theatre

What I Watched & Read in January
Theatre | I went to the theatre twice this month. The first was a ballet production of Romeo & Juliet at the Y Theatre with my pal Emmie, which was a first for me! I'm no dance expert (unless I'm 5 wines in and the 90s classics are on) but it was interesting to see how they took the classic Shakespeare tale and interpreted it through movement. The theatre was intimate with a minimal set, and with no dialogue, the first half was a bit of a blur, and quite hard to tell who was who at first! I was transfixed watching the dancers glide across the stage in a flurry of graceful steps, but I'm in no real position to judge technical ability or choreography, so you can check out Em's review here for that.
I also went to see The Woman In Black at the Curve Theatre, and it really surprised me! Having only recently watched the film, I found myself drawing parallels between the two and I was intrigued to see how they'd bring it to the live stage. The production sees protagonist Arthur Kipps retelling his story in a performance, with the help of The Actor. The Actor took on the role of the young Mr Kipps in their performance (confusing right, we were watching a performance of the two characters putting on a performance), and Mr Kipps became the voice of the other characters. The lighting and special effects really added to the spooky atmosphere, and the element of comedy and lack of soundtrack made the jumps even more unexpected. I would definitely recommend going to watch it!

Best Bits of January Flatlay TV Film Theatre

TV | I finished watching Friends With Benefits on Netflix which I enjoyed. It follows two friends, Ben and Sara, who are casually hooking up whilst attempting to (disastrously) date other people. It got axed after the one season, which I'm kinda sad about it as it has that easy to watch, New Girl Vibe. I also finished watching The Crown, which I enjoyed for its cosy Downton Abbey feel, and although I felt like the latter half of the series wasn't wasn't quite as good, I'm eagerly anticipating season 2! I'm still loving Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which has new episodes of season 2 being released on Netflix every Sunday, and we can't forget the remake of The Worst Witch on iPlayer, which brings back aaaalll the childhood feels!
Films | I've made it my vow to watch more films this year, and in January I managed to watch 3 (that I actually paid attention to, I'm not counting the ones on tv that I have as background noise). The first one was Monte Carlo, which was a whimsical tale of mistaken identity where Selena Gomez gets mistaken for an heiress, and gets flown to the South of France in her place. I actually really enjoyed it, and it also has Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl in it! Next one was The Duff, a high school rom-com where a girl gets told she's the Designated Ugly Fat Friend by her jock neighbour. Unsurprisingly, in the quest to transform her, they end up falling for each other. It's predictable but still a cute watch. The last film I watched was Woman In Black, as I knew I'd be seeing it at the theatre and wanted to refresh myself. My goal for next month is to switch off the technology and watch at least one film per week!
Books | Fleur de Force's second book The Luxe Life had been sitting on my bookshelf since my birthday and I hadn't properly picked it up to read yet. It's a nice one to flick through, with a bit of beauty, fashion and some nice recipes. The imagery is beautiful, but I didn't find it overly inspiring; something I often find with lifestyle/coffee table books - I rarely pick them up again for a re-read (with the exception of How To Be Parisian, because the girls in it are my spirit animals and why am I not in Paris RN?). Over the Christmas break, I started reading Spark Joy, the follow-up to Marie Kondo's The Life-changing Magic of Tidying. I'm about hafway through and enjoying it - this time it focuses more on practical tips, so I'm sure it'll come in handy as I attempt to declutter my life this year.
Blogger Love
Lastly, I wanted to end this post with a couple of ACE bloggers who created some of my fave posts and videos this month. I'm going to start with the lovely Charlotte from Colours & Carousels, whose blog I've been addicted to. I absolutely loved her Must Read Books for Bloggers post, which has given me a wishlist the length of my arm of reads to help up my blogging game. Something that also struck a chord with me was Emmie's Positivity Project (and no I'm not biased because she's my Partner In Crime!). Inspired by an article in Glamour Magazine, she's created a 17-strong list of small changes she can do to make this year more of a positive one! Lastly, my gorgeous friend Izzy has just started her YouTube channel (go subscribe to her here) and she's already BOMB at it, not fair right? But seriously, she's hella funny and a BABE and a half. Trust me, you'll love her!
What has been your highlight of January?