Friday, 29 January 2016

January- What I Wore, Ate, Read, Watched and Used

Yea yea I missed the December Round-up, I'm such a rebel!
I was so late writing my November round-Up that the last one of the year has really crept up on me! 

In a nutshell, like all Decembers this one was busy busy busy! Christmas shopping and family time takes up most of December.  
I got absolutely full of chocolate  although I didn't eat nearly enough Turkey and I'm already craving more pigs in blankets.

January has been pretty busy too. We bought a new car, we attended a wedding show to get some ideas, and we went out for food a lot. There's big changes on the horizon so there's a few things up in the air but it's all very exciting. The wedding planning has started and there have been some great new product releases too - which will be on the blog very soon.

What I Wore-
It was weird that I was only watching the Labyrinth a couple of days before David Bowie died (Actually it's not that weird, I'm always watching that film because it's BRILLIANT!) It's so sad that someone as great as him has gone, he really did mean an awful lot to a lot of people I know. It was only right to wear my "You Remind me of the Babe" Labyrinth top that my brother and his girlfriend bought me for Christmas. I believe you can buy it at Truffle Shuffle.


david-bowie-you-remind-me-of-the-babe-labyrinth


What I Ate-
WAFFLES! I know January is about being 'good' but sometimes you just get far too tempted by a dessert don't you? These cinnamon waffles were from Black's Burgers and are topped with toffee sauce and vanilla  ice cream. Look how big they are! Incredible. In the background Sam's got a 'Biscoff Blow' which is a biscoff biscuit milkshake with cookie butter spread, popping candy and chocolate sauce. I've mentioned Black's Burgers before and I seriously recommend them if you're ever in Surrey.


blacks-burgers-epsom-waffles

What I Read-
Another shout-out to the Surrey Massive. Local celebrity Joe Wick's Lean In 15 meals is another thing I've mentioned lots in the past so I had to pick up his book for some more recipe ideas. It's got so many meals that are all good for you and quick and easy to make too. It gives me the excuse to eat burgers and waffles if I know I'm eating relatively well the rest of the time. 


lean-in-15-bodycoach-book
What I Watched-
I love the film Team America:World Police, it's the side of me that find ridiculously silly things hilarious. Of course as a huge West End theatre fan I had to make sure  I saw Book of Mormon which is written by the same people (who are also behind South Park). Some of the songs are shocking! I found myself gasping a lot but also laughing loads. It's very funny story on the Mormon religion and it points out a lot of the silliness behind the rules and how it all came to be. The songs are really catchy and if you're like me you'll be singing them for weeks afterwards. If you love South Park or Team America I really recommend you go and check this out - even if musicals aren't usually your thing. 


the-book-of-mormon-west-end

What I Used- 
I've recently been introduced to some lovely products from Neal's Yard Remedies. I've always noticed the pretty blue packaging and the gorgeous scents from the store but I've never actually tried anything out properly. I've been applying the 
Rehydrating Rose Facial Oil onto my skin after cleansing each night. I'm a big fan of face oils as I find it really soothing to smooth into my skin after a long day. This oil claims to restore radiance and nourish skin and I really think it's done the job. It's improved the appearance of my skin and cleared up dry patches and that's only after a week of use. My skin looks so much brighter and hydrated and I know my it's getting a whole load of goodness as it has 99% organic products. The oil really soaks in and doesn't feel too thick or heavy at all so it's fine to sleep in. I've got a lot more to share about NYR products so keep a look out for future posts. In the meantime have a little look at some products here, there are great offers on each month.


Neals-yard-remedies-rehydrating-rose-facial-oil


So 2016 is starting off to be a good one. Lots of planning and exciting things ahead and everything continues to be on the way up. With the long old January being over February will be about catching up with friends, pancakes and of course -Valentine's Day!




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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

My New Happy Plan

I admit I haven't been myself recently. The colder months always bring back some awful memories and the weather getting duller doesn't help matters. There have been a lot of personal things that have stressed me out and all the tiny bits that would just seem insignificant just top it off.

Ever had one of those days where everything is going wrong but you're holding it together, then you drop your oyster card and it just makes you burst into tears and you can practically hear everyone around you think '...ok love, just pick it up'? That was how I was everyday. I knew the smallest thing would feel like the end of the world and I'd feel like giving up. To others it must have seemed like I was a right drama queen.


I needed to act on it and do my best to try and snap out of it. Now depression is an illness and I know you can't just 'snap out of it' but I believe you can take control of (at least some of) your thoughts and try to channel any negativity properly.


I thought about doing the 100 happy days challenge again. I really liked that and it was so nice to focus on the little things in life that made me happy. But then I don't feel like this happiness needs to be external, in this day and age that might be crazy to say but I don't need to share every thing that makes me smile to feel good. In the same way I have folders and folders of memories of my sons little achievements but very few are online. My happiness starts with me - as selfish as that sounds and it is my responsibility.

I decided that a lot of negativity needs to go. Surround yourselves with positivity and it's just infectious isn't it? I used to do this pretty well and I've been slipping lately. Life does that sometimes, you're dealt a few bad hands and you have to ... do something right that you do in cards when you have a bad hand. I really needed to take more care of myself and not let the bastards grind me down.

I started small. One of my resolutions is to take time for myself, I've always been guilty of doing too much and 'burning the candle at both ends' as my Mum would say. 


These are a few of the things I've been trying out....

Limit Social Media Usage
While I think the Internet and social media is an amazing thing I think it's to blame for a lot of arguments, paranoia and negativitySometimes this is down to carelessness, lack of thinking, sometimes over thinking. However, at times things are just posted to get a reaction and I just hate seeing it. I left Facebook for that very reason and I hate to see that kind of thing spreading onto other social media too.

I didn't want to delete any accounts, mainly because of my blog, but partly because running away from things never solves anything. 


At first I only allowed myself to post my own updates and take very little notice of anything else. It made me so much happier, I stopped worrying 'is that about me?' I stopped doubting my parenting and I didn't have to see so many nasty posts between people. Even when it's clear this person doesn't even know me and they can't be posting anything about me it makes me sad that someone feels the need to try and make someone else feel bad by posting sly digs. It was a waste of my time and energy and constantly seeing such negativity brought me down. Over time I've started scrolling through my feeds more and I think having that 'time off' was really good for me when I needed it.

Switch off
I also try to keep off my phone for a couple of hours in the evening. I've found the easiest way is to put my phone on charge in another room, then I'm not tempted to look if I hear it vibrate. Having my phone next to me at all times is an easy way to not only waste time but I found myself looking for things that weren't there. It means I go t to bed with a clearer head too as I don't have hundreds of silly thoughts going around in my head. 

Does a passive aggressive post on social media ever solve anything? 

Find a better way to vent
We've all been guilty of venting and possibly saying too much. I started thinking 'What will this Gain?' before speaking or posting anything online and if it wasn't anything positive I didn't bother. This worked well for a while but I found myself feeling like I was keeping things back, almost living a lie. For so long I had used social media to vent and now I had no outlet and I slipped up a couple of times. I vented all of my many frustrations in one picture and a couple of words. I'm now well aware of how damaging that can be as it was taken so many different ways when only I even knew what I was troubled with. I've since used a notebook as a journal to get my thoughts out and it's really helping.

I'm trying to stick to my online mantra of 'if it doesn't make a positive impact don't do it'  because I'd hate to cause anyone to feel bad for no reason, that's just not fair. I hate seeing women (and it is mainly women) against each other so often and I don't want to be a part of it if I can help it.

Think it Through
Of course there have been times where I want to vent my frustrations or even bring up my problem with the person involved but I try to think -
Why am I really annoyed?
Will this matter in a couple of days? 
Am I just having a bad day?

We live in such an instant age we often act without thinking. My Mum finds social media baffling. She said she used to write in her diary if she was annoyed at someone, then the next day they'd be friends again and she realised that what ever it was her friend did didn't actually matter so it was never brought up. She has a point. We see things that rile us and it takes a few seconds to tweet or text which can just exacerbate the situation.

There are times when it's best to just 'shake it off', 'let it go' and other 2015 cliches.


Tackle things head on 
I've realised that when I really do have a problem it needs to be addressed. For a long long time I've tried to push thoughts to the back of my mind and distract myself thinking it would all go away. It didn't, suppressing thoughts can make them worse. 
There was a study where people who were told not to think about a white bear thought about it more afterwards then those who were allowed to from the beginning. 
Apparently we also seek more comfort food when we are trying to push back bad feelings instead  of accepting them and moving on 

Sometimes things will be tough. That's life and I need to do something about them and confront it. None of us can be upbeat all of the time - that's tiring and just plain unnatural!

Worrying does nothing, neither does running away so I try to think of the best case scenario and also the worst so I'm aware it could go either way and I'm prepared for it. It's a good way for me to focus on how to make positive changes too.

 A study has shown that 85 % of the things we worry about actually end up having a positive or neutral outcome.

Don't judge
Even if I'm trying not to vent online I know others still will - that's not a problem. But I have become more tolerable. It wasn't healthy for me to get so agitated by little things. Rather than getting offended by something someone says and just unfollowing I've tried to see the bigger picture. I have had a good old moan online and I'm not an awful person so if one person says something I don't agree with would I just wipe them out of my life completely? Of course not, you can't possibly agree with every single thing your friends say.

One update online can often make you feel differently about a person and that's just not real life - we all say or do things when we're having a bad day but that doesn't make us a bad person. I've given people the benefit of the doubt and if it's someone I'm close to and they seem out of character on  a regular basis I ask if they're ok rather than dismissing them. 

Smile
When I'm out I try to smile at every person I pass, at first it felt a bit weird but it's really nice when people do it back and it means I'm more approachable and it always helps to start a conversation.

Go for it

Sometimes it's tempting to cancel plans at last minute when you just aren't feeling it. Not for any good reason, just for feeling a bit 'meh'. We've all been there. Every time I've felt like this I've made myself snap out of it, get ready and go. I tell myself I can always leave and come home when ever I want.

Get organised
With wedding planning, blog planning, holiday planning and general busy lives I've got a lot of stuff up in the air and it all needs sorting out to make it easier to manage. Keeping tidy makes things easier and it keeps me calm when everything is sorted properly. I've just got to sort things one thing at a time so I don't get stressed out.

Learn from the past
This is so important. There is no point dwelling on the past. What's done is done, there is nothing we can do to change it, we can only learn from it.

Things can wait
I am guilty of giving myself a huge To Do list and getting annoyed at myself if it's not all done. That's how I run myself into the ground and then even when I'm relaxing I'm beating myself up because I didn't get around to ironing the bedsheets yet. I'll feel guilty if I'm sat eating a Dairy Milk watching Ex on The Beach when the oven really could do with a clean. When I find myself doing too much or worrying about things I tell myself it can wait and I'll work better in the long run if I take some me-time now instead. There is nothing wrong with treating myself, I deserve it. 


Wind down
I'm finding this one difficult, I admit. I have tried taking some time to be calm. Even in the bath I find myself either scrolling through social media even actual bath stuff 'masks, exfoliating, shaving etc) isn't real relaxing so I've tried to make sure I just lay down, take some breaths and just 'be'.

Be grateful
Along with getting my thoughts out in my diary I've started a Gratitude Journal too. I have to write about one thing I was thankful for that day. It can be something big or as small as 'it didn't rain so I didn't ruin my shoes'. Taking the time to really think about what made you thankful trains the mind to naturally be more positive and it puts things into perspective.


Move

Even if it's just a walk for half hour it always makes me feel better. It's another good way to switch off for a bit too. Just a change of scenery can improve my mood, even just into another room for a bit a yoga or stretching.


I think I just need to take a moment to think a bit more and the world -both online and offline,  might be a more pleasant experience.




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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

January Sale Haul 2016

January sales are a funny thing really. We all get so many lovely gifts for Christmas but when everything goes down in price it's all so tempting to buy more more more!

...Sickening really isn't it?


I attempted to take a little look at the Lush sale but the website wasn't having any of it and there was no chance I'd be braving the high street for the sales - I've learnt my lesson there! 


I like to keep my sale shopping online. It's best for my sanity.


 I was given money for my birthday which I ended up spending on Mason and on Christmas presents (something I'm guilty of every year!) so I made sure I picked up a couple of treats for myself.


Now that's my sale shopping justified, let's have a little look at what I picked up, shall we?


january-haul-2016-philip-kingsley-origins-opi-toni-guy

There were so many beauty products that were miniatures for hanging as tree decorations/presents so they were bound to go into the sales so I kept my eye on a few. Take the packaging off and they have nothing to do with Christmas and it's just a great affordable way to try out some mini products.

I've wanted to try the Philip Kingsley Geranium & Neroli Elasticizer for a while so when I saw the duo set I had to pick it up.  With the words 'award winning' and 'adds elasticity, manageability, bounce and shine' it sounded like it was worth a try - especially a the set was reduced to £9! My hair is always lacking volume and feels a bit flat and this treatment changes everything! It's worn before shampooing and conditioning and it seriously does the trick. I haven't found anything like it before so I'm so glad I picked it up. It is definitely a product that is well worth repurchasing.

I've mentioned the Body Coach several times in the past. Sam did his 90 day plan last year and lost so much weight on it. It's far from a fad diet and he creates incredible recipes that don't take long to cook at all. I had to pick up the Lean in 15 Book to get some inspiration and I've already tried out a few new meals using this.  

I picked up a pair of leggings from H + M for everyday wear. These are nice and thick so don't go see-through so are great for the price (£7.99) They fit brilliantly apart from the tiny tiny foot-hole, I have to really wriggle it in and out and there have been moments where I've thought I was going to have to live in them. Hopefully they loosen up a bit over time. 

Sam bought me some jeans for Christmas but he seemed to think I was the size of a  toddler (I'll try to take it as a compliment..) so they had to be returned and they didn't have my size in so naturally I spent the money on some new Carvela shoes instead. They are so pretty and sparkly and make me feel like a princess! I love Kurt Geiger and Carvela, they are such good value for money and are excellent quality. I actually dread to think how much I've spent on their shoes over the years!


carvela-kimchee-heels-champagne


I needed a new diary and I found this Every Day Matters Diary on Amazon. It's perfect for me, I'm trying to make a point of seeing the best in every day and this has quotes throughout and a section at the end of each month to help you look back and see what you're thankful for. I might have to write a separate post on this, I think it's great! 


received a mini  Toni and Guy Glamour Firm Hold Hairspray in a beauty box a while back and I thought it was great so I had to pick up a full sized can when I saw it on offer in Boots for £4.99. It holds so well and doesn't make my hair crunchy. This can had a limited edition Sophia Webster design which is really pretty too.

I needed some more Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturiser and for a couple of quid more I could try out the Ginzing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser, Drink Up Intensive Mask and Modern Friction with this Origins Shining Stars set. I'm already loving Modern Friction, it makes my skin so smooth! 

january-haul-2016-this-works-dream-sleep-origins-opi-toni-guy

The OPI Nail Envy nail strengthener was on my Christmas list and I can see why it wasn't given as a gift as a bottle of nail polish need looks like much - even if it costs £20. So I planned on buying myself a bottle. Ever the bargain hunter, when I saw that the OPI Strength is in the Pair Duo was just over £20 which gave me a pretty pink coloured version to try too, of course I went for that one! I really notice the difference when wearing this stuff, my nails aren't particularly weak as such but I'm not going to turn down something that makes them stronger. Breaking a nail is not only painful on the finger but painful on the heart. That is deep man. 

I've heard some great things about the Dream Sleep range from This Works. Infused with 100% natural essential oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Chamomile it claims to help you get a relaxing nights sleep. This was another product I saw had a mini christmas gift decoration available so when my beady eye saw This Works Dream Team reduced in the sale I thought now was the time to try the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray along with the Deep Sleep Stress Less which is an oil you apply to your pulse points to breathe in as you drift off. The nights I've used these I've slept like a baby. Now this could be because it was after having a couple of days of illness so I needed it but the scent is really relaxing and I love it whether 'it works' or not.



Out of the few gift sets I've now found at least 5 that I will be purchasing a full size version of. They are such great ways to try out products without spending too much on a full sized product.

I'd love to know if you've picked up any treats to beat the January blues a bit... link me up!




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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A Temporary Engagement with Gemporia

I got engaged in November (did I mention?!) and although Sam sneakily got me to measure my ring size one day while shopping it was actually over a year before he bought the ring and it turns out my fingers have shrunk since then!



My ring is a little on the large side and needs to be sent off to be re-sized. Over the Christmas period I didn't want to part with it as I was seeing family who would want to hear all about the engagement so I made do with some tape wrapped around the inside to make it a bit more snug. Not the most 
comfortable but hey, it did the job.


gemporia-engagement-ring-diamond-morganite

I'm aware I can't do this forever so the time has come to send it away for a few weeks. My finger feels bare without it so I decided I needed to find something to wear in its place.


Now, this is by no means a replacement, emotionally nothing will take the place of my engagement ring but I wanted something that was equally pretty and great quality too. 



gemporia-ring-diamond-morganite

Gemporia is the perfect place for a piece of jewellery that's unique and interesting, made with beautiful gemstones and really affordable too. They don't pay for store rental so they can really keep the costs of their pieces right down, they are roughly 57.5% cheaper than the high street jeweller. There's no big fancy box (though there is an option to purchase one if you so wish) so they are a great place to treat yourself without spending a small fortune. 

gemporia-silver-ring-diamond-morganite

As you scroll through the website you are spoilt for choice there's a wide selection of gemstones such as diamond, ruby, emerald, morganite, opal, and topaz. And you can narrow the search down by the metal you are after, gold, rose gold, white gold,  silver, platinum and titanium to name a few.

gemporia-affordable-engagement-ring-diamond-morganite

It can be a bit worrying buying a coloured ring, you don't want something that looks like it's come out of a cracker. Even the most expensive coloured stones can look really cheap but there's some gorgeous Ruby and Sapphire rings for less than £200. 

I'm wearing a morganite and diamond sterling silver ring which is seriously sparkly! I love how it twinkles in the light. It has a similar 'cross-over' style of band as my ring which is why I picked it. It's going to be perfect to wear even when I get my engagement ring back too!


Ordering online can be a tricky business. I like a website to have all the information that's needed and Gemporia have detailed pictures along with really helpful videos of the rings so you can get a really clear idea of what the rings look like up close and see how they catch the light. I found this so helpful when choosing my ring. Along with customer reviews you can get a really good idea of what you're going to receive in the post.

gemporia-affordable-engagement-ring-diamond-morganite

If you've just got engaged and are in the same position as me this is a great place to go to keep your ring ringer... erm, warm..? while your engagement ring is in the shop. 

It's also the perfect place for presents, I'll be looking back over the site nearer to Mother's day and when I need wedding or birthday gifts. 


or even treat yourself to something beautiful - I know I will be!



*this was kindly gifted to me but all views are 100% my own




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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Farfetch Curates Design

I’m no stranger to the Farfetch Website, where there’s hundreds of designer brands in one place I can’t stay away for long. All the greats are there, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Prada, DKNY, Sophia Webster... there's so much choice it's incredible. 

farfetch-curates-design-book

I can spend a good couple of hours browsing the site, even just window shopping and adding product after product to my Pinterest Wish List board - oooo! Can you add Mulberry’s to a wedding list…?!

farfetch-curates-design-book-vivienne-westwood-gift-wrap

Anyway, I was kindly sent a great coffee table book from the guys at Farfetch which is perfect for any design lover or arty types. 


farfetch-curates-design-book-interior-fashion

Farfetch Curates Design employs the talents of world renowned design writers, while retaining a fashion-trained viewpoint that is signature to the Farfetch brand mixing travel, fashion and interiors .

farfetch-curates-design-book-interior-fashion-shop-style

It offers an edited perspective on all that's happening in the field of global design and features a series of Curators from around the world from Canda to Berlin, Chicago to Prague. It combines fashion with interior and architectural design and is so full of inspiration beautiful photography and sketches. If you are moving house or redecorating this is bound to give you some stylish ideas. The sketches are seriously impressive!


farfetch-curates-design-book-interior-fashion


I was also sent some brightly coloured gift wrap designed by  Vivienne WestWood herself. That is bound to impress and turn even the most boring present something special. Perfect for any fashionista, I'm sure you'll agree!

You can pick up the book for £16.99 at the Farfetch website and while you're there I wouldn't blame you if you spent a while having a little browse through the rest of the site too!



*I was kindly send this for review purposes but all thoughts are my own



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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

No7 Foxglove Nail Colour

I'm still on my search for the perfect pink nail polish. During a recent 'I'm just going to do some Christmas Shopping' trip I couldn't help but pick up a little treat for myself...  it always happens.

While taking a stroll past the No7 stand this magenta shade just jumped out at me. Though not literally, that would be weird.

no7-foxglove-stay-perfect-nail-polish

Foxglove is great for the very welcomed transition from Winter to Spring - yes, I am jumping the gun here but for me, after Christmas it's officially the countdown to some sunshine! *smiley sunglasses emoji*

This colour moves on from the deep berry tones we all love in the colder months and gives it a bit of a lift.

no7-foxglove-stay-perfect-nail-colour

I absolutely love it.

I found it really easy to apply, and after 2 coats it had a beautiful sophisticated finish. 

boots-no7-foxglove-stay-perfect-nail-colour

It lasted 5 days with a top coat with no chipping at all. It's rare that I have to remove a polish without any signs of wear at all. It really does 

Stay Perfect... gettit....

It's only £6 and if you've got a No7 voucher it works out to be a total bargain!






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Monday, 4 January 2016

Lush Yoga Bomb


So did you manage to nab anything in the Lush sale? 
Ever since I braved Westfeild the year it opened on Boxing Day I've vowed to stay away from the sales straight after Christmas but I do have a little look around online.

After a bit of planning I thought I'd try and pick up a gift set or two, half price gift sets in nice boxes tempt me far too much! But after trying throughout the day to get on to the website I gave up. 

I was just being greedy really. 
I didn't need any Lush bits at all as I had a lovely selection for Christmas from a couple of my besties. Enough to keep me in relaxing bubbly bliss for a good few months, that's for sure.


lush-yoga-bomb

One of the products was the Yoga Bomb bath bomb. I'd not tried it before but the description of the perfect 'calm in your bath' and an 'ideal atmosphere to lie back and contemplate life' sounded wonderful.


After dropping in the bath it starts to foam and turns the bath a golden colour 
-ever so slightly resembling an unhealthy wee...

Calming ingredients such as sandalwood oil and ho wood oil promote relaxation and the fine glitter surrounding you makes it like you're bathing in liquid gold.

It made some beautiful patterns in the bath and I was mesmerised! A sun-like shape was made which made me think of the film 'Tangled' 



"And at last I see the liiigght....."



lush-yoga-bath-bomb-review

Even the bubbles it created left behind hexagonal honeycomb shapes. I found myself in a trance watching it the whole time, that's possibly why it feels so relaxing.

As you reach the centre of the bath bomb it releases pretty purple and turquoise swirls into the bath which meant I was oooh-ing and ahh-ing like I was watching a firework display.



lush-yoga-bomb-bathbomb-review

After the bath water is emptied it left the bath sparkly which is nice 'til you have to clean it. Sam said it looked like someone had murdered Tinkerbell.

My skin was left feeling so soft but the scent didn't really linger. I was covered in subtle flecks of glitter which would be fine to go out in, I'm always a little bit wary of glittery products, the disco-ball look doesn't suit me. 

Overall a winner, a £3.95 firework display in your bath is a total bargain if you ask me.





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