Tuesday, 23 May 2017

LIFESTYLE: Fitbit Charge 2 HR

Before I owned my Fitbit I thought I was getting (on average) enough steps in a day. When I was bought a Fitbit as part of my leaving gifts from my last job I was shown just how wrong I was! The suggested number of steps you should be hitting per day is 10,000 and I wasn't getting close to that which is unsurprising for someone who has what's technically a "desk job". 
Some days I won't even reach 5,000 and that's with walking around the Hospital (I now work in a Hospital) as much as I can. I've tried to up my water intake over the last few weeks which inevitably means more trips to the loo..! But even this isn't helping. 

I try to walk as much as I can outside of work, but let's face it at the end of the day I really don't want to go out for a walk, I just want to relax! I'm trying to find ways to increase my activity during the day and Furniture at Work are doing the exact same with their campaign sharing some easy "Office Yoga" moves to help desk workers be more active during the day. 


In our Hospital we have a Physiotherapy Centre which, once a week, puts on a Pilates class and as a team we are actively encouraged to attend. I'm going to go this week and see if that increase in structured activity helps. We've also almost finished the gym at the bottom of our garden so working out at home will be easier too. 

I've also set the notifications on my Fitbit so that if I don't move a certain number of steps in an hour it will buzz to tell me!

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

BEAUTY: What's going to be the Summer 17 beauty trend?

Being a beauty blogger there is no hiding from the latest beauty trends that are posting about throughout the year. I go through phases of really enjoying makeup and thinking about what to reach for each day, to just not caring as long as my eye bags and red cheeks are covered. When I first started beauty blogging, way back nearly 8 years ago, I used to love looking out for the newest products and buying into the latest beauty trends.
 Ellisons have recently published an e-book all about the beauty trends for the coming season. They are predicting; 
  • Matte lips will be replaced with a glossy look.
  • Eyeliner will go from perfect to a smudged look.
  • Finally, skin will be all about the dewy finish.
Are these trends that you will take on board?

For me there are three other trends that have recently (or not so recently) been bought into the spot light that I will be carrying on into Summer 2017. The trends may have been around a while and not new to some at all, but I've recently got my hands on the products!
  • Warm coloured eye-shadow.
    • I think the trend here for me started when the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette was being posted about everywhere! I've recently bought a warm palette from BH Cosmetics and it's a trend that I can't see me giving up any time soon.
  • Nude matte lips
    • I really wasn't interested in the nude matte lip trend at all, especially as it was so over-hyped. Then I tried the By Chloe Ferry Matte Lipstick and the colour "Envy" is just perfect, great for work and also great to wear with the warm coloured eye shadows. Apparently Chloe is famous for being on TV but I have to admit I have no idea where she's from but I love the fact her products are vegan and cruelty free! 

  • Correcting Concealers
    • Years and years ago when I was having one of my first melt downs over my red cheeks I was told about correcting concealers. No one had ever mentioned them to me before and they weren't widely talked about so I pretty much ignored it. I still wouldn't use a green concealer but I am a big fan of the under eye ones. Recently I picked up the LA Girl yellow concealer and I am really happy with how it helps to (almost) get rid of my eye bags!
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Saturday, 6 May 2017

BEAUTY: Peel off blackhead mask



If you haven't heard of one of these masks then where have you been?


From the Instagram and Facebook videos to the numerous bloggers and their hilarious videos of peeling off the mask. These masks a huge at the moment and being the type of person that will stare at a nose strip analysing what's been pulled out of my face, I bought one. 


Rightly or wrongly I've picked up one from eBay for around £3. Searching online and doing as much research as I could there wasn't really a clear winner and I'm pretty sure they are all the same but have just been white labeled. 


Anyway, I haven't used a pore strip for weeks so this nose is really ready for a mask. Let the pain commence.



Smell wise there isn't really anything significant to report but the consistency is really thick, thicker than any other mask that I have used. I guess it has to be to pull as much as it says it will out of my skin! 


Immediately after application it's a little cold (?) like most masks and I can feel it tightening already, especially on the edges where the product is a little thinner. 









I've just peeled it off and to be honest with you, this first go has left me a little underwhelmed. There was no real grand reveal and my nose looks the same. However, there wasn't as much pain as people made out and there was a little bit of dirt on peeled off piece of mask. 


Here's the up close gross photo: 


Not as much as I was expecting to be honest with you, which is a shame. Although after speaking to people on social media I think I may have put too little product on. 

I hope you've enjoyed the close up of my eye bags and uneven skin :) 


Sunday, 30 April 2017

LIFESTYLE: Night in over nights out, always!

Since moving into our house we have both been really keen to start hosting evenings in with our friends. There's a gang of us and whilst it was OK having everyone at the flat, things never seemed that relaxed as we were all crammed into a small space.

Saturday night, the AJ and Klitschko fight, would be our first night hosting our friends in our house. A date that had been in the diary for weeks and one we've been really looking forward too. This tied in really nicely with an email I received all about chill.ie 's campaign looking at night in or a night out preferences.

There is no question about it, I am a night in person. Every single time. 

I didn't go away to university, I stayed home. I don't drink so much prefer being around my own people in my own, less busy, environment. 

As a group we decided on pizza and one of the guys had a 50% off discount code which made the overall order a much easier bill to swallow. 


I was really pleased that the main event of the boxing actually started at 10pm and we weren't kept waiting for hours and then all asleep when the main event started. It meant we had a great few hours with friends and Sunday wasn't a right off. Although, not such a bad thing with a Bank Holiday Monday following. 

Talking of Bank Holidays, the last one - which wasn't that long ago - we bought an outdoor fire pit. 

This is hands down one of my favourite house purchases, but with the clear risks associated with owning one we double checked our home insurance to make sure that the back garden was covered(!!), it's so different to insuring just the contents of a flat. 

For hours we sat outside burning logs we bought from Homebase and also the sticks we had cleared from the garden the week before. Endless fun and I would highly recommend if you have the space! 

Are you a night in or night out person?



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Sunday, 23 April 2017

LIFESTYLE: Changes


Another month has passed since I last opened up blogger. In recent weeks, months and even the last year I've come to realise that really do not give any care to the numbers side of blogging. If people want to comment and read then that's amazing but I'm not going to fight for it anymore. It's just not what I started this for. I still enjoy taking photos but for "normality" there's a photo of my current view and a fuzzy "real life" webcam shot to show the OOTD! 

So I guess we go back to the dear diary format, where I type like I am having a conversation with whoever is reading. If you want the glossy editorial content, you aren't going to find that here. I've really loved the recent trend of vloggers and bloggers my age acting like adults again and loosing the "perfect" glossy filter on their lives. There is a place for that and there are people who will still love that content, I'm just saying it's not for me.


I started writing this post two weeks ago and I can't remember where I was going with it so maybe there does need to be a little bit of planning! I think I was going to "update" (like everyone has been on edge wondering where I've been ha) on what's been going on. 

At the end of February I handed my notice in at a job I'd been in for three and a half years, a daunting experience and one that took a little while to come to terms with. I'm not very good with change usually, but I took the leap and I now work in Marketing at a Private Hospital. So far, so good. I'm really happy with my new role and everyone around me. I've even had the chance to observe operations! Not going to lie, I loved wearing scrubs.

On the same day that I had my last day at my previous job, we finally moved into our house. Nothing like doing everything in one weekend for someone who doesn't usually cope well with change! Hmm! Living in our house is amazing and we are loving having a garden, especially all his creatures that have come with it. 


The other topic I want to cover is the snap General Election that has been announced. All I want to say on the matter is USE YOUR VOTE. 

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

I think that's it for now, who knows when I'll hit publish again. Hopefully soon because I've got loads of really under talked about products that I really love, DIY updates and decor things I'd love to talk about and well... my sister is due to have her second baby in two weeks - so there's that too! 


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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

HOME: Decorating and finding the right lighting

Hi, Hey, is there anyone still here? You may have noticed from recent posts and my social media that we are finally in the process of moving into our first house! Only 7 months after purchasing. You can see what the house looked like back in this post.  The plan to update monthly on renovations quickly became so unrealistic, but that's for another post. For now I am focussing on the decor and accessories in our bedroom. 

Before this room was bright yellow with a horrible green carpet, now it's a beautiful grey with a silver carpet and I just can't wait to get in! 

The picture above is how the room looks right now, all we have moved across is our cabinets (which we plan to change soon!) and the new pillows and duvets creeping in the bottom of the photo. We have gone with darker curtains to contrast the carpet and I think I want to get some statement lights to go on the bedside table. But nothing too statement because I now use a daylight alarm clock.

Working in an Energy Consultancy has made me really pie hot on what lightbulbs are best for being environmentally friendly. Especially as the trend at the moment is for really elaborate light bulbs and decorative filaments. 

The Lighting Superstore recently emailed me regarding this very same issue. It's so important to share the knowledge of just how much better LED lightbulbs are for the home. Not only do they have a longer lifespan, but they use 90% less power than a normal lightbulb and customers in work have seen huge savings because of this. If it's good enough for their business, it's good enough for my home. 

They don't have to be ugly either, I'm going to order two of these for our bedside tables. I love the tripod look in lights and the hooded design, is that the right term?

The above is our lounge! Yes more grey, but in our defence the flat we have lived in for 5 years is full of magnolia and the house before we got our hands on it was all yellow. 

Our sofa is going to sit in the middle of that wall so we can make the most of the view out of the french doors and I'd like to have a floor lamp to the left. There is a running copper theme throughout our house, this was 100% down to me and it's a colour I loved before it was popular, and I've found an LED copper lamp on The Light Superstore - here.  I like that this is simple and won't over take the room, but that it is also adjustable! 

To prove that there is some part of the house that is pretty... here's the fireplace. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing parts of the house and trying to find my new "filming spot", old school youtube anyone?

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Collaborative post - but I am far too excited to share our house now! Did I mention this has taken 7 months?!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Lifestyle: Finding tradesmen for our house rennovations





Renovating our house has been the single most stressful event we have experienced as a couple. From an initial view to be in within three months of purchasing, we are now eight months down the line and we are still not in.

Our house no longer looks like the mess above and I will be doing a reveal video/blogpost soon. Things all got a bit overwhelming and the monthly house updates just had to stop. 

One of the trickiest parts of renovating a house was finding trusted tradesmen to complete the jobs that we just couldn't do. There are lots of means of finding tradesmen and we relied heavily on word of mouth, however have been left a little disappointed with some of the contacts that were passed on. 

If you don't have links to such contacts you can use a service such as Bidivine, an online (and really simple) way to get in touch with the professionals of services you need.







The process is so simple and surprisingly accurate. You are asked a series of questions before getting to the part where businesses can provide a quote. Perfect for transparency and they can't turn up without claiming they know what the problem is. 

There's a huge range of services on offer from Tennis Lessons to someone to put up furniture!

I really like this, especially as sometimes you just can't guarantee who is going to turn up  and you can leave reviews about their service. 

Now to book that removal van... 

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

LIFESTYLE: How to get the left over wax out of a candle

The art of burning candles is something that I have only recently got into thanks to the girls and their passion for Yankee Candles. Who knew candles were so much more than just lighting them! Sweet & Salty Caramel has by far been one of my favourites, so much so that it's the first candle that I have ever used up completely. 
I was annoyed at how much wax was still left at the bottom of the glass jar and with the price of these candles being on the higher side for my liking, I didn't want to waste it. So I got straight on iMessage to Shelley to find out what she did with the millions of amazing candles she owns. Turns out that it's pretty simple.
 *Carefully* fill the jar with boiling water.
With the darker coloured candles you will see a little separation in colour at the top of the water but this didn't affect the scent of the wax left at the bottom. 
 The remaining wax will float until the top after a few minutes.
Remember that the wax will be so hot so I used an oven glove because, ouch. The happened much more quickly than I expected, I thought I would have to leave this for at least 30 minutes to release the wax, but this was done after about 3-4!
Using a spoon poke out the metal wick holder.
You don't have to bother with this step if you aren't going to reuse the wax, I wanted to use the remaining wax as a melt in my burner. Although this does create a hole in the middle which made getting the wax out of the jar really easy.
Pour out the water and remove the wax.
Don't make the same mistake I did and leave the sink covered in wax, try having some hot water already running or pour the water into a container you are happy to throw away. I really wanted to keep the glass jar for cotton wool storage but there is so much wax residue inside. No matter how many times I've repeated this method the glass jar still isn't clean. But I have managed to get four good sized melts out of what was left! 

Monday, 30 January 2017

ANIMALS: What would I feed my dog?

As the date to move into our first house draws closer, the more time I am spending wondering if we will ever find that four legged dog friend that will fit in our lifestyle (and that won't make Matt have an asthma attack!). 

I already know where his/hers cage would go, where I'd keep the lead and have pictured our daily routine over and over again. But one thing I am still unsure of is what I would feed it. I had always been bought up with family feeding their dogs the standard dog food but recently my eyes have been opened to the world of raw feeding. The dilemma is since going Vegan - could I do it? 
Indy - Charli's Puppy!!! 
There are so many different options for dogs food to consider; raw feeding, the generic popular brands (which I wouldn't ever feed my dog, heard too many horror stories) and natural dog food. Ultimately I know it's going to be down to the dog that we adopt that will decide, so I've been reading a fair few feeding guides and wanted to share what I had learnt below.

Protein

It's widely know that protein aids growth and repair and it's an important energy source for everyone, not just dogs. In dog food this is usually sourced from meat and fish as it is the most natural and digestible form for canines. However this can be expensive so there are cheaper dog foods with vegetable protein and there are some vegans will choose this over meat sourced protein. 

Fats & Oils

These are important for dogs as not only are they a source of energy but they also keep the dog's skin and coat healthy. I'm part of a dog walking group on Facebook and there are regular discussions around what oils owners feed their dogs. The most popular are omega 3 and 6 and are usually added into the food. 

Fibre

There is some debate around the benefits of fibre in a dogs diet however, it's widely believed that it helps to aid water absorption and prevents diarrhoea. Fibre can also do the opposite and prevent constipation by drawing water into the digestive system.

Minerals

Something which I am already aware of with Bertie and Rocky, each have mineral supplements and a salt lick. In dog food this is often referred to as "ash" apparently because of the way that its nutrient content is measured. Important minerals for dogs include; calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. 

Vitamins

Again, something I am used to with Rocky in-particular as guinea pigs need additional vitamins. There's a trend for dog food to be cold-pressed now because there is a difficultly in preserving vitamins when you heat food to high temperatures. 

Darlow - Cardiff Dogs Home
As I will be adopting a dog, most likely from Cardiff Dogs Home, a transitional period between foods will be needed. At the home they are fed on very bland food to be on the safe side, unless there are known health issues. It's suggested that you follow the method of a 75:25 split between the old food and the new. Keep it like this for a couple of days, before changing the split to 50:50 then 25:75 old to new.

We are having a huge kitchen so our dog will have their own cupboard and I can't wait. There will be numerous airtight containers of food and treats. Unless we go down the raw feeding route and then it is recommended that you buy a separate freezer!
If you own a dog I'd be really keen to here what you feed it. 

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