My top 10 moments in 2016

Monday, 16 January 2017

I was originally going to talk about the things I learned in 2016, but I realised that would mean delving into some bad stuff and possibly offering advice on things I probably haven’t finished learning yet. So instead I decided to go with all the good things that happened in 2016! With it being “blue Monday” I thought it would be apt! I hope everyone is having an okay day today – personally I don’t believe in this “most depressing day of the year” crap as I guarantee you I will have more during the year!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this month and it’s mainly because you of YOU app (I think I discovered this gem early 2016 but it's faaabulous), two of the tasks were to talk about the good things that happened in 2016 and thank 2016 – I did both and I’ve decided to share ten of them with the world wide web. Before I move on the list, I wanted to touch on gratitude lists and how great they are. It’s a wonderful exercise and you’ll be surprised at how much you’re grateful for once you start to write – all the good things just start to multiply. It’s just one of few things I’m going to do this year to be more at peace with myself and I encourage you to do it too – reading back on them is great you’ll immediately smile and it’s an exercise that only strengthens your resolve.

 Here are my top 10 moments in 2016:
  1. I visited New York! - I remember being in primary school and secondary school and watching everyone go on amazing holidays to America or other destinations and I never did because my family just didn’t have the money for any holidays. Most people I know have visited America loads and last year I was finally about to tick a state off and I loved it, not just because I can say I’ve been but because New York was an amazing city and I have so many wonderful and random memories there. My birthday night was particularly crazy but it’s what made the whole experience so great. It’s also great because so many TV shows are set there and I’ve been to Times Square guys and it was frikkin awesome. For me going there was also like yay little old me who couldn’t ever afford to do any of this can do this now 
  2. Quitting a I job, I hated & landing a job with lovely people  - There’s not much to say to this but wow, so much relief. I hated my last job and now I’m in a job (granted it’s a contract role, so it’s due to end soon – sob) that I enjoy, I have great people around me and it has introduced me to the life of contracting. Yes I took a step down for it, but it looks great on my CV and the pay is amazing and I work with really supportive people, it has been such a boost to my confidence! I was unemployed for a month whilst I quit my other job and was waiting for my checks and stuff to go through for my current role – man it was a long (and poor) month 
  3. I came off my anti-depressants! - I’m still deciding whether this is actually a great thing but the fact that I did it is a win. I’m not anti-medication but I have been on them for about 3 years and things were going pretty well for me when I decided to come off them, and I wanted to see what life was like without them. I wasn’t on a particularly high dosage or anything but the side effects were super annoying, but I’ve been off them for about 4/5 months and I don’t feel that different so yay!

  4. My third nephew was born. Thanks to my sister I am now an auntie to 3 boys – in July the youngest was born and he’s a frikkin joy. Having been around all 3 of them when they were born I can safely say number 3 is the easiest and quietest bubba ever and his smiles melt my heart. I think I’m more smitten with him because I know my sister won’t be having anymore! All my nephews mean SO much to me – just the other day the oldest said I was his best friend!
  5. I saved money! I’m aware that I’m going overboard with the exclamation marks in this post, but this year I managed to save loads and spend loads. Before I always saved and then spent it like two months later, but last year (well the second half of it anyway) I saved and didn’t fritter it away. I even opened up an ISA for the savings – hello adulthood! I even loaned money to members of my family and it felt bloody good to be able to do so and not struggle because I’d bloody saved, and my family could totally tell I’d done a 360 with money. It feels great to know that I have something stashed away in case of any emergencies 
  6. Yoga – I really got into yoga this year, before that my relationship with it had been off and on. Last year I took two classes at Triyoga (one around February, the other in October). The one in October despite me not actually enjoying the teacher that much, really ignited something in me. She taught us a sequence and had us repeat it 5 times at home and with that I was off. My favourite teach is Sarah Beth on YouTube I’ve been following her for about 3 years and did her videos on and off but since October I’ve been doing her videos nearly every day. Although I do take time off when it’s that time of the month because I PMS so bad beforehand and have zero motivation for life, let alone any type of warrior. This month I’ve been doing her 30-day yoga challenge – fab but I’ve had to push myself to do it even when I haven’t wanted too 

  7. I visited 5 new cities in Europe. I went on a 13-day trip in September and visited Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Florence and Budapest. Amsterdam, Rome and Florence were my favourites. I have a soft spot for Italy (I moved to Milan for 3 months) and Amsterdam was just so beautiful! I feel so lucky to have been able to see so many beautiful places, it was a busy but lovely break
  8. Realising I’d had enough – this one is a bit personal but at some point, in 2016 I realised I’d had enough with someone who just made me feel uneasy around them, I found I was being an edited version of myself because they put me on edge. Manging my depression and anxiety is not an easy day to day task and I didn’t need someone constantly trying to drag me into a series of negative thinking, so I had to stop being friends with that person, sadly some friendships can just be harmful 
  9. I lost some weight! Oh the struggle with weight loss, it’s forever a struggle and I’m still here eating all the veg in order to shift those pounds. But last year I managed to lose some and this year I’m putting in the work to make sure the rest of it goes! 
  10.  I finished my CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions – the finishing part isn’t so much the top moment it’s more the things my CBT made me realise. I had the best therapist and he really helped me to sift through all the thoughts I had of myself and make sense of them all and change the negative ones. The beginning of the year was exhausting for me because I was doing all these experiments we’d set out for me and dealing with what I knew would be the end of my job, but my therapist really helped me transform negatives into positives. I won’t pretend it was all so rosy, as it was fucking hard and I did just break down in tears in his office one day when I realised just how badly I’d been treating myself. But it was also hard in the sense that I was putting myself into situations that I would typically shy away from, but it helped me to grow as a person. The exercises we did together are now recorded in what I call my therapy diary and I have the skills and exercises to use in the future and I do use them, not as often as I should but I do. This by far, was one of the most important periods of 2016 for me – self-awareness is important

Recapping those moments only make me more determined to push myself a little further this year, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come but I still know that I have more in me. What were your top moments in 2016?

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ASOS Beauty Calendar 2016 - reveal

Monday, 9 January 2017

Happy 2017!

I know we’re in 2017 but, I thought I would kick off the month by rounding up all the products I received in my ASOS Beauty Calendar last year – I was sharing a lot of the pictures over on my Twitter and Instagram, but it was such a lovely calendar to have that I had to share it on my blog. I will have to make a mental note to myself to share this in November this year but until then, here are my thoughts about the calendar and a full list of everything I received.

ASOS Beauty Calendar 2016 front

ASOS Beauty Calendar 2016 open middle

ASOS Beauty Calendar 2016 back with list of products

So first things first, the calendar was £50 but I think the goods retail over £200 altogether. It’s a mix of make-up and skincare and other bits and you have 24 days to open. I was shocked at the size of the calendar – it was so large. The design is lovely and stuck with the key trends of 2016 by using marble and rose gold for the lettering. Neither of these two are trends I’m crazy about but it was nice to see popular trends reflected in their design. Around the rim of the box they had printed logos of all the brands they included and the back of the box listed all the products inside. I did a brief scan on the ASOS website when I purchased the box to see if I’d like some of the stuff, but didn’t read it all as I didn’t want to ruin my surprises! To be honest with you though, when it came to opening the box I’d forgotten everything I’d read anyway! I’ve taken pictures of the products and listed them all below – enjoy!

ASOS Beauty Calendar 2016 all products

Products in order of day received:

  1. Amie Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish
  2. Batiste Stylist XXL Plumping Powder
  3. Burt's Bees Tinted Balm (Rose)
  4. Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
  5. Dermalogica Clear Start Foaming Wash
  6. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleaning Pads
  7. Egyptian Magic all purpose skin cream
  8. Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm
  9. Glam Candy I Hydrate Your Face Moisturiser
  10. Jane Iredale Smooth Affair
  11. Murine Bright & Moist Eyes
  12. The Green Balm Multi-purpose calming balm
  13. DIY nail down 
  14. Nude by Nature Transulucent loose powder
  15. Purity 3-in-1 cleanser for face and eyes
  16. Sleek Matte Me in Birthday Suit
  17. Toni&Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray 
  18. Yes to Cucumber Soothing Face wipes 
  19. Cowshed Soothing Hand Cream
  20. NUXE Dry Body Oil
  21. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer 
  22. Monuskin Firming Fiji Facial Oil
  23. Model Co Lip Enhancer
  24. Lottie London Mirror

Overall I loved this calendar! It was such a delight to have and I loved sharing it on my Instagram stories and snapchat, I had so many friends ask me about a certain product or say that they have a certain product and they love it. The only products I am not fond of is the DIY nails (too much faff for me) and the Yes to Cucumber wipes (I hate the smell of cucumber) and out of 24 I think that’s excellent! I’d only tried one item from the box before (Balance Me Wonder eye cream) and I was happy to have it again. Everything else was completely new to me and will be something I’ll be trying out throughout the year. 

When it came to picking a calendar, I thought at first I would choose one from a brand i.e NYX but then opted against that because I really didn’t want 12 eyeshadows and lipglosses, so that’s when I went looking for one that would allow me to try a range of brands. This ASOS one was a great introduction and worth the money. I already have my eye on my calendar for this year and hopefully it will be the Look Fantastic calendar, I follow the brand on Instagram and they did a reveal for their calendar every day and it looked very awesome. For now, though I’d certainly recommend the ASOS calendar. That and a chocolate calendar – it makes the December mornings much more bearable! 

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9 awesome phone cases

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Although I’ve searched for phone cases during the year, I thought with it being gift giving season I would share some of the beautiful and cool (i.e Harry Potter related) phone cases I have found. I think phone cases are a really nice way to show your style or personality and sometimes they can just be so refreshing and inspiring to look at. Mine currently is a PU leather case with a dream catcher, it has such lovely calming colours on it and really just makes me smile when I look at it. I have a Samsung S6 Edge, so it was one of the things I had in mind when I went hunting for phone cases, as a result all of the cases are available for iPhones and some Samsung phones!

(Going from L-R)
  1. The Muggle Struggle is Real - This one has to be my favourite. I love to say “the struggle is real” but I think it’s about time I started saying this. Although it will just be lost on everyone who isn’t a Harry Potter fan. 
  2. Always - I really like how simple this one is, the writing looks like something that could actually be a tattoo. I think the case is a lovely reference to HP without being so obvious, you’d only know if you know, you know?
  3. Harry Potter Map Quote - This case is also highly contested to be my favourite, the Marauder's Map in Harry Potter is one of my favourite magic items and I love this nod to it. The colours of the case are also really lovely too. 
  4. White Chandelier - I think this case is really dainty and lovely, I think if you’re looking for something that will suit most people this is the case. I feel like most girls would like this because the design is simple but also chic. 
  5. More Issues than Vogue - I just love the statement on it and I’m sure most girls can relate to this. The case has lovely colours and patterns running through it and is quite trendy in my opinion. 
  6. White Marble Initial - Although I’m not the biggest fan of marble, I really love that engraving on this and I LOVE having personalised things. I think this is the perfect gift for any girl, as the contrast between the marble and the bold engraving just screams chic and it’s a real statement piece but also quite subtle 
  7. Harry Potter - I just had to throw in another HP case there, this one is just simple but I think it’s great for HP lovers. I think must like no.2 it has a really lovely simple touch to it 
  8. White Marble Mandala - The intricate design on this is what drew me to it, the black really stands out against the white and emphasises the detail in the mandala. It’s an inoffensive and simple case that I feel would suit most girls 
  9. Wildflower Quote - The final one is more girly but I love it, the flowers and the quote are just really cute and I think it’s nice to spot people’s phone cases on the tube and see something that’s bright and makes you think

I’m definitely getting myself some HP ones in a bit because I think they are absolutely brilliant. Hopefully you’ve seen something here for yourself or as a little gift for someone.

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Skincare hero - The Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist

If there’s one thing I’m always searching for in a skincare product, it is the ability to inject some life into my skin. I want all the brightness because I just feel like my skin is dull and lacklustre. To tackle this issue, I decided to pick up The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Energising Face Mist. I’ve actually used this before, probably about 3 years and found it to be a god send then too, I think the issue I have with this and loads of products is I expect it to give more and more glow, whilst I’ve probably reached the ultimatum level of impact that product can do. But anyway, The Body Shop states that the product is:

  • For dull, tired, grumpy skin 
  • Vitamin C rich camu camu from the Amazonian rainforest, Peru and it; 
  • Refreshes and enhances natural radiance
The Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist

The Body Shop Vitamin C Energising Face Mist

I picked this up before a 13 days holiday that involved me travelling to 5 different cities ( 5 plane journeys + train journeys) and I knew the constant travelling wouldn’t be kind to my skin, so I just wanted to ensure I was feeding it with good stuff in my skincare routine. I used this as a toner and only that, on the website it does say you can use it on the go, which I take to mean over make-up as well, however I don’t think I would put this over my make-up as feel it can be quite tacky and doesn’t spray evenly enough for me to regard it as setting spray.

So I use this in the morning and sometimes in the evening, it’s been a week and a bit since I’ve gotten back from my holiday and I just feel that my skin just looks revived. My skin is less dull looking to my eye and just looks healthier. The application is quite smooth, but as I mentioned before it’s not an even spray so I do 3 pumps and then spread it over my face with my hands, then give it a minute to set in. It does feel a bit tacky upon first touch but once it settles it is fine, however over make-up I’m not sure how you’d remedy the tackiness as I wouldn’t rub my face if I had foundation on.

I definitely think it’s the perfect pick-me-up product for your skin and can easily be added to your routine because of the easy of product. With Autumn coming up, I feel like my skin is going to need all the moisture and radiance and I think this nifty bottle is a great way to ensure that. Being a vitamin C product, the brand have decided to ensure it smells of ALL THE ORANGES, this doesn’t bother me too much as once the spray settles into your skin you can’t actually smell it – but seems like a waste to just an orange fragrance to a product because it’s got all the vitamin C!

I think the retail price is also great you get 100ml worth and this can last you well over a month and half if you’re using it once a day. I like to compare it to my La Roche Posay Serozinc, that retails at £7.90 - £9 and is 150ml, whilst the TBS product is more expensive it serves a different purpose and has more ingredients. They are in a similar bracket to each other and although there’s less in the Face Mist, they are so close in price that I think it makes them comparable. I’m happy to pay around the £10 for toners so I really think this one is a bargain, especially as it is multi-use and can be use over make-up (if you choose). Also as this is 100ml if you're travelling with just hand luggage this is perfect as it meets the requirements. 

So good points:
- Makes skin radiant
- Easy to apply
- Budget friendly

So that’s my review on what I’m hailing a ‘skincare hero’ – I thought this might be a great thing to share especially as it’s getting colder in the UK. I’m not really trialling anything new on my face at the moment, but if I find another little gem, I’ll be sure to share.

Happy Autumn! Are there any skincare heroes for you this autumn/winter?

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