Yoga - 3 poses to master

Monday, 30 January 2017

Last year I enrolled in two yoga classes at TriYoga, they were both so-so to me, but for some reason the second class really ignited a change in me. I’ve practiced yoga on and off for the past 4 years, but after the second class in October I was practicing at least three times a week. It began with a simple sun salutation (I) that was the homework of my class and then after that I was hooked. I’ve mentioned so many times that Sarah Beth Yoga is my go-to place for practicing on YouTube, for me personally she makes a great variety of videos that incorporate different types of yoga (Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative) and different lengths. Her teaching style is one that I can follow and I like her personality. So I began doing two 15-minute videos and then moved into 30 minute videos and then doing two 30-minute ones and soon my practice was up to an hour on the days I practiced. This month I’ve been taking part in the yoga challenge and I’ve missed about 7 days I think, but overall I’ve practiced yoga more this month than ever!

Practicing has been great and the one thing I love about yoga is that it makes me feel so graceful. I’m enjoying learning the routines and different names, but I also want to get some poses mastered by the end of this year (maybe even in the next 6 months, as I have no idea of how long it takes to master these poses). First of all because some of the poses look so cool and second because I want to see what my body can do!

Crow pose (Bakasana)


Crow pose Bakasana

I started to work on this pose late December 2016 and it has been so awesome seeing progress! It is a hard pose that requires a lot of arm strength so really I’m working on building that and making sure my form is correct. I’m taking it all bit by bit, but being able to hold the pose for 8 seconds feels like an amazing achievement! 

Wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)


Wheel pose Urdhva Dhanurasana


Even as a kid I’ve always thought this was an awesome move. When I first went to my TriYoga class she actually tried to teach us this, but it’s not something you master in an hour. It incorporates so much, arm strength and is also an heart opening back bend. 

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana) 


Warrior III Virabhadrasana

I can do warrior III on my right leg but my left leg is incredibly weak from a fracture from years ago that I cannot balance on it without support. I’m not sure how possible this is, but I would like to be able to manage this pose without support when standing on my left leg.


So that’s it for the poses I would like to focus on this year. Hopefully I can achieve some more, but I want these to be my main goals – anything else that comes along is a bonus.

Let me know if you have any fitness goals this year below in the comments.


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My current make-up routine

Monday, 23 January 2017


I tried to do this post back in 2016 but as I really wasn’t into blogging it just sat in my draft for a while (the only thing I’d written as the title). So I thought I’d give it a go again, it also made me revisit my 2015 post (My Daily Make-Up Routine + Swatches) and see what has changed and I’d say about 50% is the same. So we have progress and progress is good! As much hasn’t changed in terms of my tools, I didn’t go ahead and photograph everything, but I thought I’d share the new products that I’m now using.

Foundation


I think I’ve said this before in make-up posts, but I am far too lazy to wear foundation every day. I’d rather get 5 more minutes of sleep than apply foundation. However when I do, this is what I have been going for lately. I forgot to photograph my Becca Ever Matte Pore Perfecting Primer but this primer is magic! I picked it up when I was in NY in May and I have fallen in love with it, I do not know what is in it but I barely have to powder my face when I have it on. I’ll do a separate review on it but if you have oily skin I 100% recommend it. So on top of my primer I have been using these two. I still use my Smashbox Halo HD Foundation but I’ve given it a break for now. I have to mix my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation with this L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation because the EL is too dark for me and the L’Oreal is too light. I love the coverage of the Estee Lauder Foundation but I feel like it oxidises on me and so to prevent that I lighten to up with the True Match. I sadly picked up the L’Oreal True Match in a really light shade because for some reason I thought it was the darkest colour they had and someone was purchasing it for me America. Either way it still works out as I just mix them both together on my Beauty Blender Surface Simple and then I’m good to go. 

Eyebrows



I have used to many different products on my eyebrows but I think I have finally settled on the two products that I do like. The first is the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Espresso, before this I was using the Urban Decay Brow Beater in Neutral Brown £14/$20but I got through two of those quite quickly and figured I needed something more cost effective. So I picked up the NYX one whilst browsing the counter during my lunch hour. I purchased both the UD pencils in Sephora whilst on holiday and when I ran out I really didn’t fancy paying £14 for something that I ran out of so quickly. The NYX one is great and is a darker colour, which I like. I use the pencil to fill in all the sparse areas and draw a shape around my brows. I then use this Sleek Eyebrow Palette (before the pencils stepped in this was all I used), so to fill in any areas the pencil might have missed with the slanted edge of my EcoTools Brush to give my eyebrows a fuller look.

Eyes


Everything that I use on my eyes has changed from 2015 and this is because of new products that I found in 2016. I started to use the NYX Retractable Eye Liner instead of the Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer. There’s no real reason for this, I just fancied a change and I have a good NYX counter available to me. My mascara choices are as a result of my New York trip. I picked up the Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in a travel size when I was in NY and I loved it, so it was a no brainer to purchase the full size. The next mascara is MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash, I actually got this with a make over session that I had done with MAC whilst I was in NY. This really lengthens my lashes, so after I apply the Two Faced one for volume I layer this one on to make it look like I have lashes. Out of the two I’d definitely say the MAC one is my favourite and it’s still going strong since May! 




Finding the perfect liquid liner has been a struggle, I’m still not happy with the two I use as they can easily be removed by me accidently rubbing my eye! I use Soap and Glory Supercat Liner and the NYX Super Skinny Marker. I find the NYX one is perfect for creating the flick and then joining it up with the S&G that I will have used across my lid. The colour payoff for both is great but neither of them have the last power that I want.

Highlight
The final thing I’ll apply is highlighter and this is something new for me. I finally got my hands on the Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow Highlighting Powder and I love it. I’m still learning how to use it properly, but I love applying to the tops of my cheeks when I’m going out for drinks or dinner in the evening. The product is beautiful and feels like a real treat every time I open it up and apply it - my pictures just don't do it justice, but click the link for its beauty!

Blush & Bronzer
In terms of blusher, bronzer and lip colours I’m still pretty much using all the ones from my 2015 post, which includes the Sleep blush trio palette, ELF Baked Bronzer and the purple and plum lip colours. The only addition to my blush collection is Illamasqua’s powder blush in Thrust, which is described as a deep magenta pink. It’s gorgeous, but I do have to use a light hand to make sure I don’t go overboard.


So that’s it for my make-up! I’m happy that I’ve managed to stick with the good ones and change up some products. I’m still on the hunt for a good eyeliner, so I know I’ll be trying out some new ones this year. What are your make-up staples?

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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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