Monday, 31 March 2014

Week in Photos

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So here's what I got up to last week according to Instagram.

1. I picked up a small New Look order that I'd made before the weekend. I couldn't resist the Harry Potter jumper, even if it was from the kids range.

2. Lazy Starbucks on a Sunday before I popped back home to spend the day with Mumma bear.

3. I wore my new gingham shirt for a day of interviews at work. Interviews are exhausting. The shirt was a winner though.

4. Obligatory weekly trip to Pret. There wouldn't usually be much to say here but I tried their duck wrap for the first time and it's my new favourite. Delicious.

5. I am incapable of putting hair rollers in like a normal person. They just don't stay. And the effects had disappeared after about 10 mins, so it was kind of a waste of time. I'm tempted by the Enrapture heated ones, especially for the fact that I won't have to pull velcro through my hair any more. Ouch. Are these worth the money? 

6. I love reading the free Stylist magazine every week during my commute. Although there were a few statements in this week's issue which really wound me up, I really enjoyed the pages of uplifting quotes they included. Some good 'words to live by' phrases, especially if you're having a bit of a pants day.

7. On Saturday we went to Greenwich, hence the photo of me in front of the Cutty Sark. I've never been before and absolutely loved it. It felt like we weren't in London (probably why I liked it so much) and it was a lovely low-key sunny day out. I was amazed by the stunning view of the city up by the GMT line too. Wow. It was like civilised London tourism and I definitely recommend it, whether you're just visiting the city for a couple of days or you live in London.

8. Mum started a new job a couple of weeks ago so for Mother's day I bought her some matching Cath Kidston bits to take to her new office.

9. Like I said, I spent Sunday at home with my mum and step-dad, chatting to them and pottering about and generally having a nice time. I don't get to spend many Sundays at home so really appreciated the extra time to sort my life out. Oh and do some ironing. Not so fun. I decided to burn one of the huge candles I got for Christmas whilst we had Sunday lunch. It smelt lovely (if not a little strong) but the 'soothing' crackling sound it supposedly made actually just sounded like white noise to me. A bit annoying.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Sit Back and Take Stock

I am generally a glass half full kind of girl. Not annoyingly happy, just generally positive. That said, just like anyone else I do have my 'down' days where anxiety gets the better of me or I just can't seem to shake the grey cloud that's following me. And on days like that sometimes it's best to just have a nice hot shower and go to bed with a book. Close that day and bring on the next, hopefully feeling better.

I had one of these days last week and, during my commute home and the aforementioned hot shower, I did a lot of thinking and came to the conclusion that now might be the time to sit back, take a little time and re-evaluate things.

Source: If this is yours please let me know and I'll remove/credit as appropriate!

Since graduating from university back in 2012 I have been on a pretty fast-moving travelator (you know, like those annoying ones in the airport that go slower than the average walking pace?!...Only, mine is faster).

I was really lucky and got an internship almost straight away after finishing my final exams. I paid my dues working for free (as unfortunately is the norm these days) and was lucky enough to then be offered a full time position at my company, doing something that I love. Fast forward another 9 months or so and I was promoted to the position that I am in now, with added responsibility and higher expectations. All fab, right? Right.

Sometimes I feel a bit like I'm on a hamster wheel. Moving fast but not really making any ground. 
Obviously I know this isn't really true as I am working hard to build my experience and knowledge, and hopefully my career.

But when you sit back and think that, despite that, I still can't afford to move out of my parents' house, nor do i get much time to invest in other interests. It does make you question it.

No job is perfect, and the grass is always greener. I am lucky that I do a job which I ultimately really enjoy. Not every day is a picnic, and some are downright shit. But that's always going to be the case.

There are some things I would like to improve on or change, and these will require some long-term thought on what changes I want to make and how I am going to make them. When is the right time to seek fresh opportunities? I'm not sure.
Some of these thoughts were triggered by a couple of my colleagues leaving recently, which makes you think of all the other possibilities out there and pastures new. But the grass isn't always green and tasty in someone else's garden.

What I'm trying to conclude is that sometimes you just need to take some time to sit back and take stock.
Everyone has rubbish days every now and then. Sometimes they should trigger us to have a think and re-evaluate things. Re-affirm to yourself that you can alter the path if it isn't working for you any more, or that you are on the right one if you just stick with it and make a few tweaks in direction here and there.

At the end of those crappy days though, have that hot shower, tuck up in bed, chalk a line under it and start fresh tomorrow. Even if bigger changes are needed, you can approach the next day knowing that you've identified some things to alter for the better and that you're working on it. That's all you can ask of yourself.

Then you can get back to being a glass half full :)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Week in Photos

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So here's what I got up to last week according to Instagram.

1. The weather was sunny (as opposed to now...) so I re-found this top that I bought for the office last summer.

2. Granola for my at-desk breakfast every day. I think I prefer muesli so won't be buying that one again. Bit too sweet and heavy for me!

3. I had an hour to kill waiting for my boyfriend after work one evening and ended up wandering around Tesco discovering the bits you don't normally buy. As well as a couple of things from the clothing section, I picked up Cadbury's new offering as I was intrigued. Verdict = SO good.

4. The dress I had bought online for my sister's wedding arrived (I'm a maid of honour!) and I was really excited to try it on... but sadly I don't think it's 'the one'. Most importantly, I can't breathe in it (too many McDonalds?) but there's also just too much material in the bottom half and I wanted something a bit lighter and more floaty. The search continues. My only definite requirements are purple and floor length. Any suggestions?

5. I went for a stripey top (of course) and some acid green leopard print on Saturday. I know this scarf isn't everyone's taste but I love it!

6. A foot-long sandwich definitely didn't come before that cookie...

7. On Saturday Mark and I had a date night at Prezzo and it was really lovely. We eat out a lot together but we don't have designated 'date nights' very often. The food was delicious and the wine was lovely. Oh and the company wasn't too bad either. Thanks Mark!

8. I bought this Revlon Matte lip pencil in 'Audacious' back when they first came out, wore it that evening for cocktails and haven't worn it since. I have no idea why because I wore it on Saturday night for our date and loved it. My new favourite 'going out' lip product. It's a lovely orangey red shade that feels much more fun then your classic red lip for me. It's staying power was good and most importantly it wore off well and didn't leave me with a silly lipstick rim by the main time dessert came. Might pick up a more day time shade too...

9. Another snap from Saturday (what can I say, my weekdays are boring). Mark photobombed a quick photo I was taking before we left.

What did you get up to last week?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Week in Photos

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So here's what I've been up to this week according to Instagram.

1. The milder weather meant I could ditch my wool Zara coat and get my mac out of the wardrobe instead. Think it's too soon to properly pack coats away for the season yet though.

2. My Davina McCall 'Fit in 15' exercise DVD arrived and I gave it a try for the first time. I haven't tried out all of the workouts yet, and obviously haven't used it for long enough to tell you if it gives good results, but so far I love it. I think it's a really good concept and the workouts aren't boring or too easy/impossible. Plus I love Davina. If you want to know more here's the Amazon link.

3. You know how you have some clothes you never wear and you're not sure why, but you always just glaze over them in your wardrobe? Yeah, well that's this shirt. Nice enough work top from Next but I feel like a sack of potatoes in it and it was static to me all day. Might be one for the charity shop bag.

4. Lunch in Wagamama. Duck gyoza have to be ordered every time, they can't be beaten! I also tried the Teryaki noodles with beef which was tasty, but impossible toe at such large pieces of steak without a knife!

5. Gym gear. I dragged myself onto the cross-trainer and felt better for it. Much more pleasant experience than my outdoors run, and I went for just a long but probably put more effort into it.

6. Mark and I have been toying with the idea of going to the USA on holiday, just throwing around abstract idea and destinations. We've finally settled on some real plans though and are both super excited (having never been to the US before). It feels much more real when you buy travel books. The trip will have to wait until May 2015 though due to the cost and saving up enough to not have to miss out on anything we want to do. That there was a proper adult decision, going with our heads instead of our 'let's do it now because we both really really want to and screw the cost' hearts. 2 week road trip featuring Las Vegas and California :) Will definitely be blogging when we get nearer the time. Next May seems aaaages away now but I'm sure the time will fly.

7. Sunny Sunday called for a picnic in the park. I love Waitrose lunch options, just so many yummy options! We finished it off with huge ice creams from the ice cream van in the park.

8. I wore my ASOS boucle cardi on Saturday for a little wander round the shops. I tried to take a spontaneous 'let's just take a quick snap of us' selfie before we left but it turned into an epic phone photo session because Mark looked like a creep in every shot and we got the giggles. This was the best of the bunch.

9. I was greeted by Meggy, one of our Jack Russells when I returned home on Sunday. She didn't realise I was home and when she saw me she got all excited, chasing me round my room. I took out my phone to capture the cuteness...And she promptly sat down and just stared at me. For ages. Obviously didn't want her photo taken that day!

What have you been up to?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Beauty Haul

I took advantage of the 3 for 3 offer in Boots at the weekend and, despite not needing a single thing, bought myself a few treats.

Foundations are one of my favourite products to buy because although you don't get that instant and obvious gratification with something like a lipstick, the possibility of finding a new perfect base is pretty exciting (well, for me anyway...). I went out on a limb and bought my first ever Bourjois foundation, the 123 Perfect, but the jury's out. I need to give it a few more goes but so far it is a bit too matte on application and really clings to any dry patches. The search continues.

I decided to repurchase Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer on a whim. I know everyone (and I do mean everyone) loves this concealer but I bought it when it first came out and was not impressed at all. In hindsight the shade I'd bought was too dark so went for the right one this time. I'll let you know the final verdict, but the coverage seems good. (As if you need me to tell you that...everyone reading this probably owns it!)

This L'Oreal lipliner in 'Always Toasted' mentioned by Anna here. I searched in a couple of Superdrug and Boots stores to look for this. So either Anna's blogpost spread the word far and wide or it's just a pretty popular shade anyway. It's not quite as light/nude as I would like and it isn't an exact match for my lip colour. But despite that it is still a nice colour to pair with the pinky nude lip products.

Sticking with lips, I repurchased the Seventeen Mirror Shine lipstick in 'Beehive'. This was also mentioned by Anna and really is one of those perfect, easy wearing ones that everyone can get away with. I dug out my old one when I got home (garish blue mirrored packaging? Nice) and I swear the two are slightly different colours, despite being the same shade. Has anyone else noticed this? Seems a bit odd! And I think the older colour is nicer.

I wear black liquid eyeliner every single day and, although I do have my favourites, I like to see what else is out there. This Bourjois Mega Liner is the felt tip pen than has a squared end and, although I'd seen it in the shops, I wasn't persuaded until I saw it mentioned by Lily Melrose here. Having worn eyeliner on a daily basis for a long time now, I don't struggle too much with achieving the look I want but I thought this might make application pretty foolproof. I was wrong. Despite Lily's ravings, I just cannot get on with this and it makes it so difficult to achieve any sort of neat line. This will be banished to my makeup drawer for a while after spending a lot of time wrestling with it on Sunday morning. I much prefer the Bourjois Liner Feutre pen. Anyone else tried the squared one and got on with it? Maybe I'm doing it wrong!

And here are the boring bits which usually get left out of posts like this but I thought I'd include them this time so I could note the following...

Elvive Fibrology Shampoo and Conditioner is something I'm undecided on. This is actually a repurchase and I'm still mid-way through my first bottles of this stuff. Elvive makes some great promises with this range and I had high hopes but...I'm just not sure it's doing anything. But as I've been styling my hair differently in recent weeks I can't decide if it's made a difference or not. Anyone else bought this and noticed some pumped up hair volume?

Finally the most boring purchase, Right Guard deodorant. These are my go-to deodorants these days. I always buy them on offer (because, call me tight, but I begrudge paying normal deo prices!) and I like to alternate between these two for ultimate freshness. Strangely though, deodorants are something I do quite like buying and trying new ones of so if anyone has one that they swear buy for staying dry then let me know. After all, the hot months are approaching!

Who else has been taking advantage of the 3 for 2 deals and stocking up on a little more than they need?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Week in Photos

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So here's what I've been up to this week according to Instagram.

1. Had a casual week in the office as my colleagues were in Miami (jealous, me?) so defaulted to stripey tshirt.

2. Picked up the latest Glamour magazine and finally bought a subscription to the magazine. I buy it every month without fail, so god knows why I didn't do this sooner. The free lip liner I got with this one? Crap. Will be using the H&M 25% off card though!

3. I've had my eye on the ASOS boucle 'blazer' for a while and finally bought it as it's in the sale and had an extra discount, so I paid around £12. It arrived today and although I really like it, I would say that it's certainly not a blazer (more of a cardigan, as I expected), and it's not worth the original price. It is a bit boxy and I imagine the material will stretch out a bit, but for the discount price I'd go for it as it is really nice :)

4. Yummy tomato, mushroom and garlic risotto with a poached egg on top.

5. I finally got to go for an outdoor run on Sunday. Wow, I have become unfit. And I clearly didn't stretch enough afterwards as I have been so stiff since then. Positive/mixed review on the Forever 21 activewear that I wore. Post to come...

6. You may have seen my tweets, but on Saturday I was so excited to meet and feed to lemurs at a local zoo. I think I'm going to write a whole post as it was so lovely and we got so many photos from it, but here's a taster.

7. Room reorganisation was on the cards, as a proper Sunday task. I bought some new storage, reorganised the ones I had a threw a lot of stuff away. Tidy room, tidy mind :)

8. Relaxing with wine, takeaway and the Walking Dead on Friday night with Mark. Bliss.

9. Feeling nostalgic and summery, I went back to my MAC Face&Body foundation at the weekend. I really liked it applied with this different brush, and despite the long-lasting tacky feel that it has and that I still do not like, I think I quite liked it.

What have you been up to?

Friday, 7 March 2014

It's Friday! Smile.

It's Friday and the sun in shining. I have a feeling it's going to be a good weekend :)

And I'm not even clock-watching at my desk this afternoon (which makes a change at the end of the week). That vitamin D has magic powers.

I have a pretty good one planned, hopefully you guys do too! See you on the other side.


p.s. Those clouds up there. London sky, taken from my office window. So much prettier when the sky's not leaking.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Week in Photos

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So here's what I've been up to this week according to Instagram.

1. Wearing the lipgloss pencil I picked up from Kiko cosmetic's new store in London. Such good value stuff, I'll definitely be picking up a few more bits next time.

2. On Saturday Mark and I took a trip to Westfield where I bought some boring basics and the PERFECT jeans. Watch this space...

3. Cracking out the sleeveless shirts for work in the hope that it might make summer come more quickly.

4. Can't do a trip to Westfield without a Pinkberry to round off the day. Always strawberry flavoured frozen yoghurt and fruit toppings. I tried their new cookies and cream flavour...not good at all! It tasted like Nesquik cereal.

5. Stripey weekend outfit of the day. Becoming a habit.

6. My new active wear arrived from Forever 21 and I love it. Such good quality, especially for the value! Definitely the best of the bargain exercise clothes that I've seen.

7. Sad face as I left Mark and headed back home at the end of the weekend.

8. One of my work colleague's left on Friday so we went for some leaving drinks as his send off. I am sad to see him go, we keep each other entertained with silliness at work!

9. A bit of Sunday evening reading. Glamour went super-sized for the month!

What have you been up to lately?