Saturday, 31 May 2014

Hello June!

Yay the official summer months are finally here! (Although you wouldn't know it from looking out the window).
So here's what June has in store for me and what I'm looking forward to in the month ahead... This one's short and sweet.

1. Kosovo work trip. Yep work are sending me off again on another adventure next week for 5 days, although this time I'm not going on my own and will have some travel company so that will be nice. I feel really lucky to have been able to do a little bit of travel with my company this year, especially to places that I otherwise might not get the chance to visit. On a more shallow level, I will also enjoy the slightly warmer weather and the opportunity to browse in Duty Free at Heathrow.

2. Getting life back on track. I feel like I've developed a few frayed edges over the last 5 weeks or so and I need to regroup and pull everything back on track. A few things have gotten a bit disorganised and I'm finishing work each day feeling like I have a million things that need doing at home but not getting very much done. I have felt constantly tired and a little under the weather which hasn't helped either and has just left me feeling a bit bleh lately. So there are a few places I can start: I need a big tidy up and reorganisation in my bedroom and with my wardrobe. Never underestimate how good this can be for the soul. My floordrobe irritates me every time I have to rifle through for what I want to wear that day. Generally leading to me wearing 5 outfits mix and matched and on rotation. The next thing that needs immediate attention is diet and exercise. I had this in a good routine but due to holidays, hen weekends and general illness, for the last 4 weeks I have not been pulling my weight. Figuratively and literally. Time to sort it out and get less lazy. I'm sure my body will thank me for spending less time with the junk food and more with the cross trainer. Any ideas for continued inspiration? I'd love to hear them.

3. Summer officially starting. I am looking forward to spending more weekend time outside, wearing less layers and having more pub garden lunches. I do love the early summer, I think it's probably my favourite time of year, so I can't wait for it to come into full swing. It must have gone to my head as, dare I say it, I might even be convinced to watch some of the World Cup with the boyfriend. As long as cold cider or Pimms is provided.

So that's all for this one. I don't have many plans in place yet for June but I think that's okay. It will give me more time to re-focus on myself and feel like I'm back on my A game.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Week in Photos

So here's what I've been getting up to over the last couple of weeks, according to Instagram. Bumper edition.

1. Knowing that we were off to Center Parcs and would be spending some time in the pool and spa I went on the hunt for some new swimwear. I wanted pretty but functional, so I wouldn't have any mishaps in the water rapids.
2. I've been getting my fake tan on. I've used good and bad and a full post will be coming soon, but I always go back to this cheap but cheerful option.
3. Discovered a new favourite Starbucks drink: Refreshas. Probably definitely not worth the money but they are nice.
4. I spent a lovely long weekend on Brighton beach for my big sister's hen do. It was such beautiful weather for it and I really did have such a fun weekend and got some bonding time with my sister. Roll on the wedding!
5. My diet has really suffered from having a slightly hectic schedule for the last month. Less pizza must be consumed in June.
6. Finally re-organised my foundations and squeezed them all into this makeup bag. I need to remind myself I only have 1 face. I do not need all of this and cannot (I repeat, cannot) buy any new foundations for the foreseeable.
7. Scampi and chips on the beach. P.S. What you win by not getting sand everywhere you then lose in sheer painfulness on a pebble beach.
8. I have been wearing this bright scarf constantly lately. A strappy camis. Refusing to give in when it's still a bit rainy and grey.
9. Best tshirt ever. Fact. I am even wearing it as I type. It's from River Island and is the perfect level of slouchy without having to upsize. Good neckline too and not see-through. And only £12. I want more, but none of the other colours are for me.

10. Here I am on hen do night #1 with obligatory 'Maid of Honour' sash. Loved it!
11. Celebrating a friend's birthday with cocktails at our usual bar in town.
12. The wind is doing us no favours here but after Brighton withdrawal Mark and I popped to the seaside over the Bank Holiday weekend. We did chips and ice cream and a slush puppy, cos you have too. Also spent far too many pennies on the 2p machines and winning me a purple minion!
13. It seems like aaages ago now but I jetted off on my own on a work trip since my last update. It was really good but was happy to be home afterwards.
14. This was one of the few bits of 'organised fun' that we took part in at Center Parcs. Other than this we mostly cycled around exploring, enjoyed the outdoors, had fun in the pool, relaxed in the spa and drank lots of Prosecco. Bliss. It was so nice to just get away and have time to relax. I'm quite a naturally hectic person, so even at the weekends I don't really 'chill'.
15. As I'm sure you've noticed, I rebranded my blog. I Buy Pretty Things is no more and I am now to be found on all platforms as Girl Chat Blog. I really like the fresh new look and feel reinspired with my blog.
16. Have been doing a little bit of shopping. New Look sales are my weakness. But it doesn't count if it was already hovering in your 'wish list' at full price before it got reduced, right?
17. Self-indulgent instagram here because I liked the picture. This was hen night #2
18. We rounded off the Bank Holiday weekend yesterday with a trip to Westfield and of course a Pinkberry. Sadly they've done away with my favourite strawberry but passion fruit wasn't a bad replacement. The salted caramel one was so good too! I resisted any actual shopping (my debit card let out a sigh of relief because pay day cannot come soon enough this month) and we just picked up some new work bits for Mark and his new role at his job :)

Phew, that was a long'un. If you made it this far, well done! I won't leave it so long next time.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Welcome to Girl Chat

Hi everyone. Welcome to Girl Chat.

The new blog and all the stuff which accompanies it are finally up and running and I am really pleased with the result. As you can see, I've got a new layout as well as a new name and it all feels much more streamlined. It better projects what I want my corner of the internet to be.

So what do these changes mean for you, the reader? In one way, not a lot. I will still be blogging about the same things I have been for the past 6 months or so, mixing up shopping posts, life updates, weekend adventures, makeup or skincare spotlight pieces. And everything in between.  So content-wise I haven't changed.

However, I am planning on posting more and putting more time into my posts and the accompanying photography. Hopefully. Time is that ever-elusive commodity, so we can't make any promises, but now that I like the feel of my blog a whole lot more I feel more inspired to fill it with lots of content. Content which has the right 'feel' to it. I want this blog to be full of all the things you would chat with friends about.

Secondly, all my social media usernames have now been brought in line with my new blog name. So if you followed me before on Twitter or Instagram then you will still be following me, I'll just be under the name 'girlchatblog'. I'll be keeping my old Twitter name active for a while though for anything that slips through the net.

So that's it, I'll keep this one short and sweet. If you're a regular reader then have a click around and see what's new. I've added a couple of pages and included all my social media and contact links so it's all a bit more user-friendly. Of course, if you notice any glitches then please let me know.

Otherwise, I'm really pleased with the new name and the new look and I hope it makes it a more friendly blog read for you :)

What do you think?

Monday, 12 May 2014

Blog Rebrand

I have had a blog rebrand on the brain for a while and I'm finally taking the plunge and changing the name of my blog so that it is more in line with the direction of the content that I want to post. With that change I will also be giving my layout a fresh new look which I am quite excited about. Now I just need to make sure my content and photos can keep up! I will also obviously be updating my various social media accounts to come in line with the new blog name, so I am under the same username everywhere. That way everything slots together nicely, I am easy to find on more than one platform and it all comes together nicely in my brain :)

I'm announcing this before the big change for 2 reasons:
1) To let any regular readers know that in a week or so my blog will be going invisible for a few days whilst I make the relevant changes. I haven't disappeared into the ether and I will be back :)
2) A new name and new avatar/profile photo means that I will most likely pop up in your twitter/ Instagram feeds and you'll be like 'erm who is that?' Well if that's the case...IT'S ME! So please don't delete me thinking I'm a stranger invading your timeline. I will pop a post up on here as soon as the changes are done though so I can introduce you all to the new look for what is currently 'I Buy Pretty Things'.

So that's all I needed to say really. Here's to much more blogging in the future!
See you on the other side.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Beauty Haul

I did a little bit of shopping in Boots the other day, fuelled by the fact that I had run out of a few items, but also by the fact that Boots had some offers on. But then, Boots always has one offer or another running.
Here’s what I got:
My night cream just ran out, which was long awaited because it was a bit pants to be honest. I bought this Nivea Rich Moisturising Day Cream to replace it and, although it isn’t a specific evening formula, so far it has seemed pretty good at moisturising more deeply.
Toner is something that I don’t go wild about, I just want it to feel refreshing and to have a nice clean scent. The Nivea Refreshing Toner fits the bill and was inexpensive, so a winner all round if you just want something functional like me.

The L’Oreal products were slightly more unknown territory. It’s not one of my go-to brands, except for the L’Oreal Superliner which I used to use religiously. Fed up of having liquid  eyeliners transfer, smudge and flake away before it’s even home-time, I decided to go back to my old faithful. The L’Oreal eyeliner line-up is slightly more confusing these days though, with 3 products that all ultimately look the same. I bought the Black Lacquer as it looked most similar to the old packaging I used to buy, with the blue font. It is a good eyeliner and it out-performs the felt tip pens but sadly it’s not ‘the one’. 

On a whim I then opted for the Telescopic mascara which I am still yet to try. Finally is a product that I had really high hopes for but am really disappointed with. The L’Oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint was, on paper, everything I look for in a foundation. Light weight, long-lasting, water based formula, and a matte-satin finish. Unfortunately the result on my face was not the same. At only 20ml it is a pretty stingy offering and ends up at the expensive end of the high street brands. The colour range is also not great. I bought the lightest shade and, although this was okay for me it would be too orange toned for people who are actually fair-skinned. The formula is not long-lasting enough for me and doesn’t wear well on my skin, leaving me looking a bit washed out and shiny. Not a great one for me. I’m sure I’ll bring it out for a bit of air time every so often but it is definitely not a contender for everyday wear. Not for me anyway.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Hello May!

Yes I'm a little late to the party on this one but I AM here so that's what counts. In my books May is the perfect spring to summer month, so here's what awaits...

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1. Three day weekend. Need I say more? If every weekend was three days the long the world would be a better place. A day for fun, a day for bits that need doing and a day for relaxation. Except I ignored the last two and just did the first this time around.

2. I am off to Center Parcs next week and cannot wait. Yes it a holiday in the UK and yes it might be rainy and chilly, but I don't care. I haven't taken a single day of annual leave yet this year so we are just looking forward to having some outdoorsy chill out time together.We will be bike riding but we're also booked into the spa, so I think we've found a balance. Now I just need to decided what spa treatment to treat myself to.

3. The day after we get back from forest living I will be straight off to Brighton for my sister's hen do weekend. I've never been on a hen do and am quite excited, also obviously because it's extra special as it's my sister. I missed her last trip home so am looking forward to seeing her. And we never get to spend a night out together so it should be fun. Fingers crossed for no rain and the outfit I have in my head will not go well with soggy weather.

4. Busy month at work. I probably end up saying this every month, but it really is a busy time at work for me at the moment so what with having time off I will have to be on top of it all. I did get a little pay rise at the very start of the month though, so I will be doing a silent yay me and using it as motivation to power on.

5. Finally I am hoping to get back into fitness. I picked up a bit of a fitness routine a couple of months ago but over the last 3 weeks it has fallen apart due to work trips, other commitments and not being that well. I want to pick it back up in May. Need to be in shape in case I do ever get that holiday abroad this year. Naturally, I have bought myself new sports bras as motivation...