Lifestyle, Travel

Hello 2017

It’s rather delayed (in fact, we’re nearly at the end of January), but it’s never too late to make a few resolutions!

Entering into 2017 was lovely. I spent it with some of my best friends eating loads of cheese and drinking all the champagne… always a good start. After midnight, we all sat round and decided to write down our resolutions and then share them with each-other. It was really motivating to see what others were going to try and be pro-active about and what they were going to make more time for in the year ahead.

I thought I’d share the ones that I made because not only is it a useful thing for me to be able to look back on, but it might motivate you as well!

1. Stop being so hard on yourself!

This is something that I’m really awful at doing. I over-think and over-analyse a lot of aspects of myself, which can mean that sometimes it really gets me down. Being in my third year at Uni, I knew it would be difficult and so before I had even started to get stuck in, I had that voice in the back of my head telling me to try harder and what I was doing wasn’t good enough. We’re told throughout our academic lives that we need to be the best and compete with loads of other people for what we want; whether that’s a job, a place at university or anything else we’re passionate about. It’s amazing to try your best, but it’s also vital to remember that you’re human and you’ll be faced with things that you find a bit difficult. Finding things difficult is NORMAL, it doesn’t take away from your intelligence or your worth so give yourself some credit.

2. Read more!

In this case, I don’t mean Uni readings… although, I guess that’s important too; I’m however referring to more recreational reading and reading for fun. I absolutely love the feeling of finding a book that you have to tear yourself away from. I’ve always loved reading and would make sure that I made time for taking that down time and getting stuck in. As of recent, I have definitely been slacking on that and so I’m going to invest some more time into reading books that I really enjoy.

3. Strong, not skinny

Over Summer 2016, I joined a gym at home and was absolutely loving the routine and the aspect of challenging myself. I liked to see the progress, not only in terms of my body changing but also how it mentally benefited me. Taking the time out of the day to just go to the gym, have my music on and focus on myself for an hour or so was really refreshing. I also started to become more familiar with equipment other than the treadmill – although it took time for me to pluck up the courage and just get stuck in with it. When I first walked in and saw all of the machines I felt so overwhelmed… but it’s okay to ask what’s what because everyone there has had that feeling before; ‘what the hell does that do?!’. Keeping the gym up was something I doubted when I came back to Uni, but I have joined a gym and have been loving it – so I need to keep this up!

4. Save money but don’t neglect yourself

This is a big one for me. I feel as if I have really up and down relationship with saving money. In Summer, I had two jobs and was saving the money really well, because I needed it for a trip to Canada. I would tell myself that I could treat myself whilst I was there and so to step back from the make-up and clothes. I was really happy because I managed, and I didn’t go mental buying everything in sight – this means it is possible. Despite this, I’m still a firm of believer of being able to treat yourself and this doesn’t mean splashing the cash on something massive, but instead allowing yourself some little treats such as a nice bath bomb from Lush when you’re feeling a bit down or going to eat at your favorite restaurant. Be mindful of money but don’t disregard the little things in life that you enjoy.

5. Be more consistent with my blog posts

Easier said than done when I often feel as if I’m drowning in work but, like the ‘read more’ point, I want to do it because I enjoy it. I absolutely love writing and always have done but all that I was really writing before were essays and other assignments and I mean, they’re not that enjoyable to write because they are structured and are marked against a strict mark-scheme. I thought I’d start writing a blog because it allows for that creative output and I find nothing more enjoyable than jotting down all of the ideas that I have. I also love photography and the photo side of blogs is essentially what people look at first before they get down to reading a post and so I’d love to practice my photo taking and perfect the art of flat-lay. Anyway, I’m going to try my best to make more time for writing as life ain’t all about essays.

6. Travel

In 2016, I was lucky enough to be able to visit two countries that I’ve always wanted to – The USA and Canada. In April, I went and met my dad out in New-York and had the most amazing time (Travel: New York Part 1. & Travel: New York Part 2.). I would love to go back some time in the near future because it’s such a beautiful, vibrant and lively city with so much more to experience. I went to Montreal in August and had the best time venturing around and meeting new people; it was so lovely to be shown around by someone who had experienced actually living in the city and by the end I really didn’t want to leave because I felt so at home. I’d love to see more of both of those countries, Inter-rail around Europe and also visit the beautiful white sand beaches of Bali, Thailand and Cambodia. We shall see.

So, these are the main things that I want to try and focus on and strive for in the new year. January is nearly at an end which is absolute madness and I end University in May so I’m praying it doesn’t go too fast! In the mean time, I’ve got lots of goals to focus on.

L x

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Beauty, Lifestyle

Bloom: Navigating Life & Style

I’ve got to start off by saying that Estée LaLonde is one of my favourite bloggers, and has been since the ‘Essie button’ days. I first discovered her Youtube channel through her blog as I thought if I loved reading her posts, odds are I’m going to love her videos as well. I hate to ‘blow my own trumpet’, but I was right.

My favourite kind of videos are Vlogs, I guess that’s just the nosey gal inside of me really showing. Estée’s vlogs on her channel Everyday Esteé and I love seeing what she gets up to in London especially with her amazingly beautiful greyhound, Reggie.

When I heard that Estée was going to be releasing a book I was so excited! I love reading lifestyle and beauty books but almost felt like Bloom would be even more interesting because obviously I am familiar with the content that she produces and really love her style. I can hands up say that I finished this on Christmas day, which is when I received the book as a gift. The book covers so many areas such as beauty, food and interiors, but the bit I loved the most was the part where Estée wrote about her personal experiences and life in general. It just felt so honest and I couldn’t help but become enthralled within her writing. There are so many positive messages about being more understanding and considerate of your own feelings and having more self-love, which are things I struggle with – as I know a lot of us do.

The amazing thing is that you’re able to overcome them, and I just really love how the way that Estée did that was by throwing herself in at the deep end and pursuing something that she really enjoyed. It’s hard to be brave and challenge yourself but it’s even harder to look back on things and regret that you never tried!

I absolutely loved Bloom and the message it puts across and would urge you to give it a read! It’s far more than a lifestyle book with the beautiful imagery and pretty coloured pages, it’s a really inspiring and fab read.

Well done Estée!

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L x

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Lifestyle

Third year of University

When people ask me what year I’m in at Uni, it’s still weird when I answer ‘third’. I mean, I don’t feel like a third year, I still don’t have a clue what I want to do after I finish my course and I still consult google for how to cook most things, but I guess that’s okay. I think the pressure of the word ‘dissertation’ can sometimes get into my head, but it’s just a matter of telling myself not to worry and that everyone works at different paces.

Comparison is something that all of us do and I’m terrible for it, but it’s okay not to know what you’re doing next and it’s normal to get stressed. What I do know is that I’ve met some amazing people and for my third year I should embrace that and not let the workload drown that out.

There will be tears along the way but at the end I’ll have a dissertation that I wrote (even though I’ll probably never want to set eyes on it again and it’s only appearance will be when my mum drags it out to show family when they come round).

But nevertheless, here’s to third year.

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Beauty

The Skin Detox

I’d put it out there and say that masks are one of my favourite skincare products. I usually pop on a face mask when I’ve not had a particularly great day, and instead of sitting around sulking about life, I run a bath and decide to give myself a little pamper. I have two masks that I use on rotation which are both really amazing at clearing the skin, and making it feel super clean. They’re both different in terms of consistency and ingredients but both do an amazing job and so I’ll talk you through them!

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The first one that I absolutely love is Lush Cosmetics Mask of Magnaminty.  Firstly, I’ll start off by saying that Lush do the most amazing face masks full stop and there’s such a wide range that will cover any skin concerns that you may have, whether it’s dryness or acne. Most of those masks are fresh and so you have to keep them in the fridge and use them up quite quickly, this one however, has a fresh version and a self-preserving version. It’s vegetarian approved, contains peppermint oil to stimulate, marigold oil to nourish and even has little primrose and aduki beans exfoliate when you wash the mask off. It also contains honey, which is antibacterial meaning that it’s a great for tackling those spots that suddenly appear out of nowhere.

After I’ve used it, my skin always looks brighter and feels refreshed. It also doesn’t make my face dry and the exfoliating seeds don’t irritate my skin due to the marigold oil which protects and soothes. I leave it on for about 10-15 minutes and it doesn’t really ‘dry down’ in the way that some other masks do, which indicate when they’re ready to wash off, but 10-15 mins seems to do the trick. To wash the mask off I find that using a warm flannel is the easiest way to do it. I’ve splashed water on my face to wash it off but then all the water drips down my arms, there’s primrose seeds everywhere and frankly, I’ve ended my pamper session feeling pissed off and so I’d stick with the flannel.

It comes in two sizes, 125g which is £6.25 (This is the size I have and it’s lasted me for ages) and 135g which costs £10.95. It also smells great, minty as the name would suggest.

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Then we have the Clear Improvement Origins mask which is an active charcoal mask with a main focus to clear pores. Bamboo charcoal draws out all the impurities which are clogging your pores (clogging is a horrible word) and clay and Lecithin dissolve all of the bad stuff that’s lurking within. The skin can really easily become congested through wearing make-up and even being outside due to environmental pollutants and so by using this mask and having all of that drawn out, it makes the skin appear brighter. This mask is really powerful and I find that it can be quite drying in certain places such as around my nose and above my eyebrows and for that reason, I usually avoid those areas. I do however, love it for targeting any breakouts that I’m having because it seems to tone down redness and reduce the swelling of already existing spots.

I get a warm flannel, ring it out and then place it over my face for 20 or so seconds to open up the pores. Then, I use a flat, pointed foundation brush to evenly cover the areas I want to and allow 15 minutes for it to dry. This one is very different from the Lush one because you can definitely feel it drying and getting tight on your face, it also means that when someone talks to you whilst you have it on, you seem to do an odd robot voice to avoid moving your lips. Maybe that’s just me. To remove, I again use a warm, wet flannel to gently wash it away and then once it’s all off, I’ll splash my face with cold water to close the pores. I’ll also whack some moisturiser on afterwards so that the skin doesn’t feel too tight.

It comes in a 100ml tube which I much prefer to a tub because it’s easier to apply to your fingers or a brush and then apply. You can get it for £24.00 which isn’t the cheapest but it does do a fantastic job. I have however, seen that Loreal have brought out a Clay Detox mask which looks really similar and is a fraction of the price. I’ll definitely look into that one because if it’s as good, I’ll grin and bear the tub it comes in because who doesn’t love a bargain.

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Thank you for reading! Those are my favourite two masks for giving my skin a good ol’ detox, what are yours?

L x

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Lifestyle

Banana & Peanut Butter protein shake

Second year of University complete and what an amazing year it was, spent with some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. However, uni can be hard sometimes, not only the workload and deadlines that all seem to be in for the same day *i’m not bitter at all*, but also in terms of lifestyle. I had a gym membership but exam stress and long library days meant that my visits were a bit patchy and I wasn’t really being that healthy at all. Long story short, copious amounts of cheesy chips were consumed and I’m surprised I didn’t actually turn into a Tesco meal deal.

Now that I’m back at home, I have decided to set myself some goals in terms of eating healthier and also going to the gym as often as I can. I’ve started going five times a week and at the moment I am really enjoying it, so hopefully I can keep this routine up! I usually go early in the morning and when I get back, I’m not overly hungry. However, I know it’s important to give your body the nutrients it needs after exercise and so I’ll make myself a protein shake and then I’ll have my actual breakfast a bit later. It’s super quick to make and tastes amazing so give it a try!

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What you need: 

A blender
1 Banana
2 tablespoons of oats
1 tablespoon of peanut butter – chunky or smooth
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder – I use Protein world but any will do the trick
250ml unsweetened almond milk
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of maple syrup
A handful of ice

Method:

It’s super simple to make, literally just grab all of the ingredients and pop them into your blender. I always put the almond milk in first because that way, the peanut butter is less likely to stick to the sides of the cup! After you’ve added everything, just blend it up until all the ingredients have been broken down and a liquid consistency is formed.

Serve & Enjoy!

L x

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