The Full Agenda

Monday, 27 July 2015

So after posting The Incomplete Agenda and The Incomplete Agenda – Review, I am now back with my final six goals thus I present The Full Agenda. I’m still working on (I worked out this morning) and learning from the first set of goals, but I think it’s time for a new set just so things don’t stay stagnant in my life. I’ve been thinking about these since the end of June and as I’m starting my new job tomorrow, I thought now would be the perfect time to post these goals up.

  1. Body Happiness - Sounds a bit fluffy doesn't it? But because I don't have an ideal weight I'd like to be (honestly I don't have any idea what 11st or 20st looks like), I just want to get to a place where I'm happy with my body. I know what I want my body to look like, but I also want to ensure I'm not killing myself to get there. So yup in the next 6 months, I’m aiming to get to a place where I just feel a lot more comfortable in my skin. 
  2. Save at least £1000 - I'm not great with saving. I can save, but I just don't do it regularly enough. With the new job I've decided I want to save a decent amount of my wage, just so I know I have something for me in case I decide to just pack it all in and go travelling, or in case I just want something extravagant. Or obviously in case of an emergency. So the minimum I've set myself is £1000 until the end of this year. Could be a good thing considering I've decided I want to go to New York for my 25th birthday! 
  3. Make arrangements to move out - Yup, I need to flee the nest. So next year I'd like to move out. Whist I know I know it's not going to take me bloody 6 months to you know convince myself, I want it to become a priority for me. Ideally I'd like to move out of the country, but one step at a time eh? I'd just love to experience London life, without my mother breathing down my neck. 
  4. Make a measurable difference in my new job - This one is hard to quantify as I haven't started the job yet. But I guess within the next 6 months, I want to have contributed something good that has actually added to the business I'll be working in. I guess really only recognition from others or myself is the only way I can actually measure this, but after having such a hard time at my old job, I just want to know that I'm doing something right. 
  5. Eat 3 pieces of veg and/or fruit every day - I'm always trying to be a better eater, but I struggle with my old junk food ways so badly. 3 pieces a day isn't much, but it's something I know I can manage, and hopefully once it becomes a habit I can start to increase that. I'm really excited about this goal, but also scared. It's the easiest to fail for me because I'm shockingly bad at incorporating healthy foods in my diet, but also because it's a daily thing I have to do. But I'm determined to do it! 
  6. There’s one more - I have one other goal, but it's actually something I want to keep to myself. Especially after having a chat with a friend I had not spoken to last week, I’ve realised there's a lot of work I've got to put in. Whilst it'll be scary and possibly lonely to do, hopefully it'll give me a better sense of self. Anyway I better stop babbling, especially as I'm leaving you in suspense. But I do have a 6th goal that I'm working on :) 

Those are my goals for the next 6 months. I thought of these towards the end of June, but really I'm only starting them this week so wish me luck! I seriously cannot believe how quickly the year is going :(

 Have you reviewed your New Years goals? Or have you set yourself any goals for the end of the year? I'd love to hear them!

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A Birmingham Adventure: My Brother's Graduation

Thursday, 23 July 2015

So two weeks ago my wonderful, yet more than anything annoying, sibling graduated from the University of Birmingham. Yep we both decided to study in the city of Birmingham, except you know he went to the better uni. We actually had one year where we lived in the city together (different flats obviously) so we did see each other often. So after 4 years of what he would call hard work, he finally graduated and I took the day off, work up earlier than I even do for work (not that it made a difference, we still got there by the skin of our teeth) and went to see him graduate!

It was a great ceremony and the hall was beautiful. The hall actually belongs to the University of Birmingham, and with them being a rival to my uni (I jest) I did feel a little triumphant sitting there being an Aston Alumni. Anyway I do love graduations, I find they are a bit like airports, just full of genuine emotion. So many proud parents, cheers, and tears! I snapped some pictures, but truth be told I didn't actually get any good ones of my brother or anything else really, but I thought the hall was so pretty that I just had to share!

(I took because I thought the crest was pretty)

It was lovely to see Birmingham again and I got to see the outside of my uni and some of the places I used to go when I as uni there. I didn't feel sad because most people will know that uni wasn't the best time of my life, but it was still nice to go back for the day. It also reminded me that it's been 2 years since I graduated, wow wow wow. Kind of a good time for me to be starting a new job and well hopefully my career!

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A London Adventure: New Look Wireless 2015 + Gender Pacific

Monday, 20 July 2015

I thought I'd continue with the London "Adventure" series because I have gone to two London based events in the past two weeks. I booked to go to Wireless back in January/February and I could not believe how quickly it came around! So yep two weeks ago I headed there with some friends, and although we were late so I ended up missing Fuse :(  I did get to see Duke Dumont and had a really good time! I'm not the biggest Drake fan, so not gonna lie I did head to the back half way through the set as I was tired of being pushed. Aside from that it was so good and such a lovely summer day. I didn't get that many pictures though, I just ended up having too much fun.

The day after that, I ended up going out for my friends birthday dinner and what I think is a pop-up restaurant. It takes place in the upstairs part of The Haggerston Pub  I did not know what to expect from this but I had such a great night. I'm not going to lie, I didn't think much of the food, so I won't even go in to it. But the entertainment was amazing, I think it was more because I didn't expect any entertainment and like I said above, I didn't know what to expect. It was just all so random and I won't be able to do it justice with my explanation, all I can say is a drag mermaid parading around singing songs. It was just bloody hilarious. You can find out more about it here, but I'm not sure if it's still on/ how long it will be around Whoops scratch that, it's done, it finished the weekend just gone.

The pictures are a bit pants because if you hadn't noticed, it was so bloody dark in there and I was sitting in the most awkward place! 

So yes these have been two great things I've managed to attend this month. I'm trying my hardest to just do more around my city. Is there anything you think I should see/go to?

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The Incomplete Agenda - Review

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Back in January I posted The Incomplete Agenda, which includes six goals I set myself for the next six months. After six months I said I'd review them to see how I got on, I haven't looked at these in  a while although I've remembered them all, so it'll be interesting to see what I wrote and how far I've come in terms of progression for the goals.

Back in January I posted The Incomplete Agenda, which includes six goals I set myself for the next six months. After six months I said I'd review them to see how I got on, I haven't looked at these in a while although I've remembered them all, so it'll be interesting to see what I wrote and how far I've come in terms of progression for the goals.

These were the goals that I set myself:
1. Talk kindly to myself
 2. Put make-up on at least 2 times a week
3. Exercise in the morning at least once a week
4. Turn my laptop off at 10pm every day
 5. See a dermatologist and get a skin treatment
6. Save 12% of my income every month

THE GOAL -  Talk kindly to myself 
The update – I have made great progress with this and as a result I have seen a lot of good things happen to me. I know there’s a lot of things out there on positive thinking and in most situations it can help, but I’ve found even if I’m not being all upbeat and positive I can still be nice to myself. I think one of the moments that stick out in my mind is when I was applying for my new role, I was asked to do two tasks in a short amount of time and I really felt the pressure. Instead of being hard on myself about feeling so overwhelmed, I basically coaxed myself into a state where it was okay and that I was perfectly able to deal with this. There have been other times as well when I’ve felt overwhelmed by situations, or just had really down days where I haven’t berated myself. Instead I’ve talked to myself like a friend would and settled down with a good TV show.
Going forward - I'll continue to do this because if I'm honest it's been one of the best things I've done to aid my recovery. Putting myself first and just talking to myself as a friend has helped me make some good decisions for myself.

THE GOAL - Put make-up on at least 2 times a week 
The update – This was going well but I have been slack lately. I have enjoyed it; however, I haven’t actually been getting up early to do my make-up. More like waking up at the same already late time that I do and decided that I want to wear make-up. Nevertheless I’ve enjoyed applying it and feeling confident in my appearance when I do.
Going forward  - I love wearing make-up but most of the time I really am not bothered because I prefer sleep over it. On the weekends I’m fine with applying it. I think this goal was good for me and will definitely help me going forward for the new job; I definitely want to be feeling confident in my appearance for the first couple of weeks. This also helped me to just get to grips with what make-up bits I use and what I need/want.

THE GOAL - Exercise in the morning at least once a week 
The update – Yeah fail. I just did not manage to do this more than 10 times. I know in 6 months that’s pretty terrible. Every time I planned to, as in you know when I decided I’m going to bed early, I’d be up until like 1 am. I just hate going through a day without any sleep, and waking up in the morning is super hard for me.
Going forward -  I will try and work at this more because I often don’t exercise in the evenings because I’m out or tired. But yup this is still a work in progress but something I definitely want to make a habit.

THE GOAL -Turn my laptop off at 10pm everyday 
The update – I have been so good with this, I can only think of a handful of times when this hasn’t happened. I was quite strict on myself with this and I liked doing this, it gives me a 1-2hour window of doing something else. Some nights I don’t even turn my laptop on because I get in late or I just have other things to do. For the past two months my laptop has been playing up, so I really haven’t even up for the battle of keeping it on past 10pm anyway.
Going forward  - I'll definitely be sticking with this as it's great to just switch off. Even though I still have my tablet or phone, I don't do have as much aimless browsing as I do when I'm on my laptop. Instead it gives me time to read.

THE GOAL - See a dermatologist and get a skin treatment 
The update – This did not happen. I just kept forgetting about it and when I did remember I just lacked the funds. I did however look into it, so at least I know where I’m going to get the treatment done
Going forward  - I will certainly get this done within the year, so I'm not too worried about it.

THE GOAL - Save 12% of my income every month 
The update – Yeahh I did this for 2 out of 6 months. The rest I probably saved odd bits and other months I made it by with the skin of my teeth, or by borrowing. I did manage to save a good amount but I know I can do better
Going forward  - With the new job I’m definitely going to be saving a little bit harder, I know it’ll be easier as I’ll be earning more. However if I did keep it at the same amount I’d still be making it a challenge for myself.

So that’s it – my review of my 6 goals for the past 6 months. Did you set yourself any New Year resolutions? Now may be a good time to review them and see if they need tweaking. In the mean time keep an eye out for the next 6 goals I’m going to set myself. I’ve been having a real think over the past month and I think I’ve finally settled on them.

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A London Adventure: Borough Market + Patty & Bun

Friday, 10 July 2015

So I've decided I need to see more of London and I decided to make Borough Market my first stop. I also made time to check out a burger place that's been on my 'to-eat' list for a while.

I don't have that many pictures I'm afraid! I didn't realise that Borough Market was only a food market, so once I did I decided not to snap as many photos. I did end up getting two bits to take away with me though -a spelt and cheese bun and a cheesecake brownie, both were absolutely delicious!

 We ordered some smoothies from here - I had the Pineapple, Apple & Mint one which was so refreshing. It makes me want to add mint to my smoothies now. My friend had the Acai one which includes Apple, Kiwi, Acai Berry and Banana.

 This wall was so lovely, but so hard to get a picture of because people kept walking past! It gave me all sorts of feels to read what people wanted to do before they died.

Next was Patty and Bun . I'm a burger gal through and through (and it shows). So Patty and Bun definitely had to be on my list.

I ordered the ‘ARI GOLD’ Cheeseburger which is/contains: Beef patty, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickled onions, Ketchup, Smokey P&B mayo, Brioche. I also ordered the Chips with the Roast Chicken Mayo & Chicken Skin Salt and the Coleslaw.

My thoughts? It was good. I wouldn't go running back though. But I would go back to try some of the other burgers. The burger was juicy and the bun was soft. As you can see from the picture it's not the most perfect looking burger(which means it is meant to be perfect tasting IMO), everything is overflowing and just looks like juicy burger heaven. It was nice, but it just lacked any flavour. I also ordered the coleslaw which I thought was okay but nothing special. The chips were yummy though, although I did not enjoy the salt thing, I'm not a huge fan of salt so that was really a silly thing for me to order! I defintely do indeed to go back and try the chicken burger.

I still have a couple more burger places to check out, but could do with a couple more recommendations. What's the best burger place in London?

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Boots Haul

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

 I know, I know - another haul?! But this is actually a recent haul as opposed to a bunch of stuff from last month!

I ran out of a lot of things in June, so for me it was about stocking up. Then I spotted some offers on the website and I just couldn't resist getting my hands on some more bits and pieces.

Botanics Shine Away Mattifying Day Cream SPF15 50ml - £4.99 (currently £3.33) & Botanics Triple Age Renewal Firming Night Cream - 50ml - £8.49 (currently £4.24) 

Day cream - I've talked about this cream here and it's a staple in my routine. It is lightweight enough for my skin and contains an SPF. It sinks in straight away and I'm able to pop on a primer and put my make-up on pretty much straight away. I basically live for this moisturiser and do not feel the need to try anything else. If you're looking for an inexpensive, yet effective moisturiser for oily skin then I really do recommend this!

Night cream - I don't remember the last time I used a night cream, but for the past 3 months or so I've just been using my morning moisturiser as a night cream. I use serums and oils at night so I've never really felt the need for a night cream. Especially because my skin isn't dry. However because I wanted my day cream to last longer and because I wanted to try out a new night cream. I like using this because much like the day cream, it's lightweight. It is in a different range, the aim with this is to firm the skin. I don't really have any problems with lines or anything but I just wanted to try something different.

Botanics Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream - 15ml - £8.99 (currently £4.49) 
As Boots were doing some offers on their Botanics range I decided to have a nosy around the other ranges that they offer. Ever since I tried the Balance Me Eye Cream from my July Birchbox I have 'ummed' and 'ahhed' about getting an eye cream. I know that they are not a necessity, and are often just simply over priced moisturisers but I really felt like I saw a difference when I used the Balance Me one. I decided to pick up the eye cream as I feel like my eye area is becoming really dark. I've been using this for a week now and I've not noticed anything really, but will continue to use and hopefully feedback! 

No7 Extreme Length Extend Mascara - £12.95 (although I got this for half price because they were doing an offer on No7 products) 
I have found a new lengthening mascara to love. Previously I was using Rimmel Last Accelerator Endless Mascara but I ran out of it so I really needed a new one and spotted this as something I could get as part of an offer from Boots. I'd never heard anything about it, but it said it contained fibres, something that the Rimmel one also has too, so I was sold. This is so good for lengthening. Mixed in with my other volumising mascaras, my lashes look so thick and long. The only "bad" thing I have to say is, it's a tad pricer than any of my other mascaras.

The main reason I purchased from Boots was because I wanted this foundation. I ran out of my Smashbox Liquid Halo Foundation and tbh I have way too many expenses this month to spend £28.00 on a foundation. I'd tested this one out a few weeks ago and decided to give it a go. There really isn't much available in the "drugstore" for women of colour, aside from Sleek (I have used a foundation from them before), so it really was left to No7 to fill my budget friendly need. I really like this foundation, it actually stays matte for a long time. Much longer than my Smashbox foundation. It's medium to full coverage and I find that two pumps gives me a coverage I'm happy with. I think this foundation is a tad too dark for me, but I can just mix it with a light mac foundation that I own, however I'm not 100% sure it is too dark. Overall I'm really happy with this foundation and I'm happy I have manged to find one that isn't over £15. Only thing I will say is this foundation as a funky smell when applied, but that does go away after 2 minutes or so.

This was just a repeat order and I finished my beloved eyeliner, along with the moisturiser and foundation #thestruggle. I love this stuff and just go through it all the time! 

So that's my lovely order from Boots. I'm really happy with what I got and for once I've actually used everything and I actually like everything. I'll hopefully follow up with a review of any products I feel I should share with you. 

What new skincare/make-up bits have you purchased recently?

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July Book List.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Another month, another book list. So it has come to be expected that I always be one book behind. The book that has been left behind is Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. I did start to read it but truth be told, my mind was just not in a learning state when I picked it up.

I loved Eat. Nourish. Glow. it wasn't anything groundbreaking, although I did find the information about gluten interesting as I didn't really know why there was this sudden gluten free craze. The book just really made me remember how important wholesome food is and since then I've really been trying to incorporate more veg into my meals. If you want a light yet informative approach to healthy eating I would really recommend this book.  The next book I read was Brick Lane, this book was okay. It follows a female character from Bangladesh who moves to England, Brick Lane to be precise. There's a story but it's just not my kind of story. This book is one of those I can appreciate for the cultural theme that runs through it, but not much happens if I'm honest. It is interesting to see how the UK might be viewed from those who have just moved here. This book did make me want to see more of London though, so I definitely have to visit Brick Lane this summer (nope I've never been). The final book I read was Dare Me, I have mixed feelings about this book the suspense it created with what happened just wasn't enough for me, I didn't particularly care for what happened or the big reveal. I was mainly interested in the cheer leading and the almost warrior style approach the book displayed towards it. The darkness of the characters and I guess the darkness of teenage girls was also something that really interested me. This book had such a great theme of intensity running though it and it was very electrifying at times.

(sorry for the awful picture, I just could not get this right)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - I heard so much about this book last year, it was everywhere. I of course had a list to get through but now I'm finally read to get my fingers stuck into a long story. I've heard that this is a bit slow to start off with, so no doubt I'll be extremely bored to start off with but I'm looking forward to it. I actually remember being told by someone that the book is good they just don't like reading it because it's too hard to hold it with one hand whilst commuting. So the book has always stuck in my head because of that. I know the plot of this book briefly and it sounds interesting, not my usual thing , but because it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014, yeah I'm a sucker. 

When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan - I got this after reading about it in the Stylist magazine but truth be told I'm not sure why I actually wanted to read it. I had it sitting my my 'save for later' basket and then it came up on Amazon Daily Deals so I quickly snapped it up for £0.99.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick - As part of my whole reading books about depression I had this in my 'save for later' basket, so when it came to picking some books to read I decided this seemed like a good one for this month. It's written by the same guy who wrote Silver Linings Playbook. I haven't read the book but I love the film, so I'm interested to see how I'll find this book.

Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss - This is on the list again because I do want to read it, and quite frankly I need to read it.

So that's it. I'm really hoping that I get through all of these books these months, however I do know that The Goldfinch is quite a hefty book to get through. 

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