Sunday, 29 January 2017

Redefining My Personal Style

All images taken from Pinterest
This topic is something I've been giving a lot of thought to lately - what does your personal style say about you? 
'Personal' style is just that, how we dress and style ourselves says so much about us as people.

For me personally, I feel like I've lost my way lately. Fashion has always been something I've been truly passionate about - and is really the reason I started a blog - but at the moment I'm really struggling to define my own style. Whereas once I found it so easy to throw together an outfit, and could honestly always say I knew exactly what suited me, these days I feel like I'm feeling my way in the dark and nothing quite fits.

When I envisioned my blog, I pictured mostly fashion related posts with lots of outfit photos, but I quickly realised that that wasn't going to be right for me. It could be because there are so many other fashion bloggers out there whose flawless, effortless style shines through and I just felt like there were already plenty of people who could do it better. Or it could be a lack of confidence; these days I just don't feel like my outfits are cutting it, it's almost like I've lost my mojo when it comes to styling myself.

Having said all that, I do still have a strong sense of identity, my taste hasn't really changed over the years even if my outfits don't always reflect it. I definitely still know what I like and my wardrobe consists mostly of pieces that fall within that style, but I've definitely noticed some changes in the way I shop and the way I dress.
As I've grown older my taste has definitely evolved, and I'm leaning more towards comfy-casual than glam-luxe these days, I also try and use the 'quality over quantity' mentality rather than buying 40 outfits from Primark on a Saturday. 

The photos above are heavily inspired by my general style, I like a beachy, casual look with a boho twist, and these are best how I would describe my own general fashion sense. Skinny jeans, crisp floaty tops, quirky tees, chunky knits, simple dresses, hats and an addiction to boots.

I need to tailor my wardrobe to include basic pieces that make me feel good about myself, that can be easily interchangeable and will last and stay looking good for many seasons to come, but I also want to step out of my comfort zone once in a while rather than always falling back on my failsafe of jeans, boots and knits!

How would you define your personal style?


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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Talika Cosmetics

Every once in a while I venture from my tried and tested beauty favourites and try something new, and it has to be something preeeeetty special to find its way into my regime. 
I'm not someone who regularly mixes up beauty products, and I tend to stay loyal to the items I know work for me and have stood the test of time. But now I'm opening my arms widely to the newest member of the gang; Talika

Talika is (like all the best cosmetics) a French brand that began in 1948 and originated by focusing on the growth of eyelashes and brows, and has since evolved to become a leading skincare company.
I stumbled upon them by chance when I received the 30ml Photo Hydra-Day Hydration Treatment in Glossybox one month, and from that point onwards I was completely hooked. Having always favoured a light and non-greasy day moisturiser that absorbs quickly whilst leaving a bit of glow, this was right up my alley and is without doubt one of the best moisturisers I've ever used. It really plumps up my skin and provides the perfect base for my make up. 
When I spied a few Talika products in TK Maxx, of course they had to find their way into my basket!
I repurchased the 50ml Photo Hydra-Day Hydration Treatment and decided to sample a few other products from the same range; these products use energy from natural light and contain hyaluronic acid which work deep within the skin to reduce dehydration. 
The Photo Pure Scrub is said to neutralise toxins and reduce sebum to leave the skin softer, more luminous and mattified. It really leaves my skin feeling smooth and fresh, and isn't rough like some scrubs. I use this a few times a week in the morning before the moisturiser, and they really are the dream team!
Retailing at £39 on the website the Photo-Hydra Serum doesn't come cheap and luckily I nabbed myself a bargain! This is said to refresh and replump the skin and I can already feel an overall improvement in my skin's texture. I've always been on the fence when it comes to serums but so far this is a welcome addition to my skincare routine; I've been using this before the moisturiser in the mornings.
Finally I picked up the Photo Pure Foaming Cleanser. I was really torn between buying this and the Photo Gentle Cream Cleanser but I generally prefer a foaming cleanser as I find they leave less residue on my naturally oily skin and help dry it out a little. This leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean and soothes any redness I have.

I got a such a bargain with these products and can definitely see me continuing to re-purchase them, I'm so fussy when it comes to skincare and very rarely find an entire range I really like that works so well with my skin.

Have you ever used anything from Talika?

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Saturday, 21 January 2017

Less Is More

Images from Pinterest
Whenever I go and stay at hotels, I always feel a sense of calm surrounding me. 
Until recently I wasn't sure why that was, and assumed it must just be the change of scenery, but having thought about it some more I've now realised it's because in a hotel room, you are surrounded by very few possessions. Generally, you only take the minimum of what you need for your stay, and the rooms themselves are designed to feel that less is more. 
Basically, there's nothing there that isn't essential.

Recently, I've felt that this is a strategy I should be adopting in my own life. I have far, far too many possessions - most of which I don't need and some that I don't even want but keep out of a sense of obligation. I always think how much happier I'd be if I had less clutter, both physically and mentally.

Clearing out both my mind and also my material possessions is a goal for 2017. 
Consumerism is at an all-time high and I think so many of us buy things without even realising why sometimes, just because it's available at our fingertips.
Black Friday and Boxing Day sales no longer hold the same appeal for me, gone are the days where I loved nothing more than being in a busy shop hunting for bargains. While I'll always love shopping (I'm not exactly going to start living like a nun) I definitely think I need to scale back on my lifestyle and the amount I own.

Do you feel like you have too much 'stuff'?

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Saturday, 14 January 2017

January Highlights

Well somehow we seem to already be halfway through January...this year is going to fly by in a blink of an eye! But before I get all depressed about how quickly life goes, I'm instead going to focus on the positives this month has brought me so far. 
January can be such a dreary month, it's nice to remind ourselves it's not all bad!

This month I've tried to show myself a little self-love, so that's meant not making any unnecessary plans I don't feel like doing, and instead having as many Lush bubble baths as humanly possible. 
I've been working through my stash and so far used Twilight, Intergalactic and Milky Bath, while catching up with The Crown on Netflix and re-watching Homeland - sooooo good! 
I've also started giving meditation a go - it's something I've needed for a long time to try and quiet my mind and stop my thoughts, and so far I'm finding it much easier and more beneficial than I thought. I've downloaded 'Headspace' which is 10 minute sessions, and I'm really enjoying it so far.

I've tried to catch up with friends as much as I can without compromising on me-time. A good catch up can cure any blues, and with my January bank balance looking less than healthy, we've been making the most of the great outdoors and going for lots of walks, as well as having some yummy food (and an amazing afternoon tea). As usual I'm snap happy over on Instagram .

I put my Body Shop voucher to good use and finally treated myself to the Hawaiian Kukui Cream I've been lusting after forever, as well as the Spa Fit Smoothing & Refreshing Body Scrub that has also been on my radar (now out of stock after the sale) and I love both so far!

Finally I've been driving all over the place for work as usual, and we really haven't had much in the way of snow up here! Sometimes I think I'm the only person who doesn't actually like snow (I worry about loved ones travelling!) but it sure does look pretty! Driving back from a meeting the other day, I drove along a road that looked right out of a Christmas card with snow capped mountains, it was beautiful. 

How are you finding January so far?
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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Ted Baker Treasure Chest

Ted Baker is one of my favourite brands, their underwear is second to none and don't even get me started on their PJ's! 
I've been lusting over their range of toiletries ever since they came out, but have never bought any, so my bargain of the year was definitely this 'Take A Bow' Treasure Chest that I managed to pick up for half price in the sales.
Every item is beautifully designed in Ted's signature floral style, and the pastel colours with rose gold lids are to die for and will look gorgeous in any bathroom.The chest contains 7 items, 4 of which are full size so it's definitely great value for money. I've always been undecided about which range I prefer so I was pleased as punch to find both in this set and both smell equally incredible.

Have you tried anything from this range?
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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Strategies to Simplify Your Life

As soon as 2016 began drawing to a close, I started to think to the year ahead and what I want to achieve - one of the biggest things I need to get on track with is simplifying and decluttering my life. 
I find it so easy to get bogged down with life in general, as well as allowing clutter to build up both at home and in my mind which makes me feel irritable and impatient.

So with that in mind, I thought I'd list a couple of simple 'life-admin' tasks to help keep things easy and a bit more organised in 2017:

Throw Out

* all socks/underwear that have holes, saggy elastic or are just generally past their best. I find my dressing table drawers are overflowing with tatty underwear that get in the way of all my much nicer stuff. Just getting rid of these frees up so much room.

* any ornaments and knick knacks that do nothing except gather dust. Quite often I keep unwanted gifts out of obligation and bits of tat out of sentimentality, but really they don't serve any purpose. Getting rid of these gives everything a much cleaner, fresher feel and gives you more room to put the things you really love instead.

* all old make up you don't use, tatty make up brushes and make up/medication past their sell-by dates need to go in the bin. Not only are they taking up valuable space, they're also most probably pretty unhygienic. Washing brushes and make up bags is boring but necessary to stop spreading germs all over your face too.

* paper clutter - bills, receipts, bank statements and old magazines. I find doing these electronically saves me a lot of hassle, but if you prefer hard copies of important paperwork, keep on top of them and shred anything with details on you no longer need.

Donate

* furniture and homeware pieces you no longer need or that don't suit your home anymore, sell them on local pick up sites for a bit of extra cash or take them to a charity shop. Failing that, upcycle them for a whole new look.

* have a big clear out of clothes and shoes, if you haven't worn it for a year you probably aren't going to! And if you're keeping things because you used to love them, or because they hold happy memories but don't really suit you or make you feel great, then get rid. Again charity shops and places like TK Maxx are always grateful for any donations, and all that room in your wardrobe feels amazing.

General Life Admin

* unsubscribe from all those annoying emails you signed up for aaaages ago, that clutter up your inbox and you NEVER read. Having to delete pages of junk mail is boring and wastes time - one quick click on the unsubscribe button and they're gone for good.

* get rid of store cards you don't need or want - keeping them on just in case you 'll use the points up at some point is a waste of time; mostly they're just a temptation to make more purchases to justify them and the savings you do end up making are actually tiny.

* when you have time, sort out any direct debits you're making and figure out if you actually need them. Get new quotes for phone bills, car insurance, TV packages etc. I'm kicking myself for the ridiculous phone contract I took out and counting down the days until I can get rid - always shop around for the best quotes and save yourself some cash in the process.

Have you tried any of these?






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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Lush Boxing Day Sale Goodies

So, the last scandal of 2016 - the Lush Boxing Day Sale!
From looking at Twitter it seems to have been the topic dividing bloggers all over - to queue or not to queue?!
This was actually the first year I'd even attempted the sale, and I tentatively logged on mid-morning to find I'd been allocated 75000th in the queue, so needless to say I wasn't expecting much!
By the time I got on (around 8.30pm) non surprisingly there wasn't much left, but I was still able to pick up 3 bath bombs I've never tried, so I was pretty pleased with that.

As these are all Christmas stock I obviously can't link to them now, but I got my mitts on
Northern Lights, Golden Wonder and Shoot For The Stars which all look and smell absolutely amazing! 
It looks like my January will be filled with lots of Lush bubble baths, which sounds perfect to me.

Did you pick up anything in the Sale?
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Monday, 2 January 2017

2017: Goals

Happy New Year everyone!
I think I'm on the same page as most people when I say 2016 wasn't the most fantastic of years in general, although it certainly wasn't all bad. But now it's time to look the future and hope that 2017 holds more promise.

Over the years I've tried and failed to make and keep New Year's Resolutions, but I hardly ever succeed. So this year I've decided to not put so much pressure on myself and to instead aim towards a few simple goals for the year ahead, rather than making a fixed promise I probably won't keep.

Here's what I hope to achieve in 2017:

Be Better With Money
This is my main goal; I'm generally terrible with money. I'm lucky enough to earn a decent wage but by the time payday comes around I'm scraping around, and I'm never quite sure what my money has gone on!
I want to try and spend less than I put in, so I've got some money left over every month rather than each month being like groundhog day. My goal is to be able to afford my own place and I'm well on my way, but I need a final push.

Think Less
I'm a chronic overthinker and it rarely does me any good. This year I'm really going to try and worry less about things I can't change, and stop over-analysing every little thing I say and do. I used to be a very positive and happy-go-lucky sort, and I think time, life, people, my job etc have slowly worn me down, and I want to try and be a little more manana about things outside of my control. I need to learn to take things as they come and accept things happen for a reason and will happen when the time is right, rather than being despondent about why things haven't worked out for me. 
This will be the toughest goal for me for sure.

Keep Active
I'm not even going to go there with joining a gym or taking up running, because I've done it before and not stuck to it. Instead I'm just going to try and maintain what I've done for the last few years and be as active as possible; keep my steps up throughout the day, go for plenty of walks and take the stairs wherever possible. I'm lucky enough to live in a beautiful area where there are thousands of places to walk.

Less Phone, More Living
Another biggie; I want to switch off a little this year and use my phone less. I'm too heavily reliant on it and scroll through various feeds right up until bedtime. I'm never going to be able to stop so there's no point banning myself, but I definitely want to read more books and watch more films this year, and switch off social media earlier at night.

Be Kind To Myself
I'm pretty awful to myself in general, I'm overly critical, tear myself to shreds and neglect my own needs so much. This year I want to get a little more sleep, drink more water (I've come on leaps and bounds with this in the last 2 months), schedule in some pamper time, spend time with positive people and stop punishing myself constantly.

What are your goals for this year?
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