23 August 2020

Skincare update | Beauty

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Well it wouldn't quite be my blog unless I didn't do a Skincare update at some point no would it?! In the past I have spoken a lot about streamlining the types of products because I personally find the less I use, generally, the happier my skin is. However I feel like my understanding about "skincare" has really changed in the last 6 months because now my skin does have different needs and instead of blindly just trying random things I actually wanted to do a bit more research and lets face it, recently we've all had a lot more time on our hands.  

This post I am just going to highlight some key changes that I have made that I personally feel have really benefited my skin and to start with something that isn't hugely ground breaking but something I feel that everyone should do if they wear make up is the double cleanse method! I know it may seem pretty obvious but I just didn't realise that I would need to do another cleanse after my first. I use my favourite cleansing balm product to melt all the make up away but as soon as I started using something more moisturising and generally creamier after I had wash off the balm my face started looking much fresher. Not only does it get more make up off I found that my skin felt more hydrated after the second cleanse and over time it really does look a lot clearer and less congested. I am currently using Liz Earle cleanser for the second cleanse but I will probably swap this to something else once I have finished it. 

I bought Caroline Hirons book Skincare, my god! If you don't follow Caroline on Instagram but love skincare then you need to sort it out! I didn't realise I needed this book in life life quite as much as I did until it turned up. If you want a no bullsh*t, honest and understanable approach to skin care then you need this book. There is so much marketing jargon surrounding the beauty industry and it's hard to know what you should actually be buying or what your skin type even is so this book helps put it in a way that is accessible for everyone. It's also worth noting that Caroline includes products from all different price points so it doesn't feel like you have to spend excessive amounts to still get great skin! 

Through reading Skincare I have swapped my product range up a little for a couple of new products, you know I may have moaned a little about my ever aging skin which causes me a little stress, not gonna lie, well now I have taken the plunge and bought Paula's Choice 1% Retinol. Vitamin A and Retinol are scientifically proven to reverse the signs of ageing so I knew this was exactly what I needed. This product is pricey for the volume you get however, I really have noticed a difference with some of my forehead lines and texture of my face! If you don't know my skin is pretty haggard due to years upon years of acne so there's a lot of damage there which is why I wanted this type of product to just help me not look as battered. I went straight in with the 1% personally, my skin didn't react negatively to it because I have used varying acids in the past however it's always recommended that you start with a low percentage. As I am in my 30s I use this product 3 times a week in the evening and started to notice a difference after 2 weeks 

I also added The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum into my routine, I have actually seen this type of product increase in popularity but after reading the benefits, it seemed like a great addition. Niacinamide is know to help retain water within the skin and I have quite dehydrated skin but it's also good for people who suffer with acne and whilst my acne has gone I do still get some cystic spots on my face. I tend to use this when I've not used the retinol because I don't want to use too many strong products on my face at one time! 

And finally, SPF! Seriously, I have thought that SPF in foundation is enough but over time I knew I needed to add something a little better and now I am using the new products mentioned it's absolutely essential! I bought The Body Shop's Skin Defense factor 50 SPF and it's pretty bloody good! 

Quick Tip - SPF goes on AFTER your moisturiser before your make up! 

For now, I am really happy with my skincare routine but I think I may still add a facial mist, ya know for that hydration honey!!!! 
16 August 2020

House Plant Edit | Home

Plants, crazy plant lady is the new "crazy cat lady" though personally I don't understand why women (interesting) have to be considered when they either love cats or plants but that's a whole other discussion I don't have the energy for.

I don't know about you but during lockdown as I was spending more time on my phone I noticed that I was getting targeted by a lot of ad for plant websites and like everyone else because we were all spending so much time actually in our homes day to day getting a new plant to spruce the place up a bit became a great idea

We have had random plants in the house before but they were too low to the ground which meant the pooch could nibble on it all day long, it was a nightmare so we just agreed to not buy any more. However the more plants I saw online the more I really wanted one but I just had to figure out the correct height for the planters. I actually discovered an article which linked to these gorgeous Terrazzo Plants from, the measurements were perfect and not only did they look great but I personally think for two of them the price is fantastic.

We then had to figure out what types of plants to put in them, now me and the boyf have quite different tastes in stuff sometimes and when it comes to plants he likes to go for the more fun options so we settled on the Dracena for him, which is actually the same species at the one we had before. It's a plant that when I saw it in the garden centre I was a bit "meh" about but we agreed we'd each pick a plant. However when I got it home and in it's little planter I actually really started to like it and it seems to be doing well with some new leaves sprouting.

The plant I wanted was a little trickier to get a hold of, I fell in love with the Calathea (lead picture), there are several different varieties of Calathea but it was this specific one I absolutely needed in my life and it turned out I wasn't the only one. This gorgeous plant kept coming into stock and then selling out by the time I wanted to buy it, I almost settled for a different plant but I am so glad I didn't because I am OBSESSED with this beautiful thing!

I do still have my small peace lily but I think she isn't very happy right now, she is very small and the leaves don't look too healthy, that said I think it has been a great as a test and learn kinda plant (poor thing) because there have been times when I have clearly overwatered it, under watered it, put it in direct sunlight on my balcony (which is a no no) pruned it incorrectly and yet she still lives. It's all a learning curve, so my Calathea is a thirsty gal and needs more water than you think, I only try to do it about once a week but when I started to notice one or two leaves curling I did a quick Google search and it actually said she wasn't being watered enough. Gave her a huge watering and within a couple of hours those leaves had flattened back out and she was happy.

Quick Tip: it's better for your plants to be underwatered as opposed to overwatered but the best way to find out is to physically sick you finger into the soil and if the top 1-2 inches are dry, time for a drink!

I only have a slight problem now, is that I want more but we live in a humble home so we don't REALLY have room for more...perhaps another one won't hurt...
9 August 2020

Life After Lockdown | Lifestyle

As the ease of lockdown continues I can't help but feel a little anxious about it all. I know that I am probably in the minority of people who genuinely has enjoyed this lockdown period, there are several people who have said they have too but as soon as McDonald's or Starbucks opened they have been queuing up ever since. I don't blame them for doing something that brings them a little bit of joy during all the uncertainty but I just don't understand the big rush to go back to that life. I know I adapted a lot quicker to lockdown than most, I loved my new routine of not leaving the house at 6:40am every morning to return home at 7:30pm or 8:30pm, all of a sudden I was home and could have breakfast in the morning or take the pooch for his first walk before work, I could actually cook dinner at a normal time again.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that COVD-19 is a positive thing because it's not, it's heartbreaking and painful, I wish it didn't take a Pandemic to make us to look at things differently. 

I have probably been the most engaged with my friends, family and life in general in the last 4 months than what I have probably been in the last 3 years which definitely made me think about the changes I want to continue once lockdown is actually over...

- call my family more
- call my friends more
- spend less time in shops
- spend more time with actual hobbies such as embroidery and this blog
- Walk my dog more
- Work from home more
- Spend more time walking in nature 

I have very real anxiety about not being able to hear the birds when life goes back and I know it's a little silly but I find it incredibly comforting when I wake up at stupid o'clock and they're all I can hear. 

Sometimes it takes something major and dramatic to make you realise what you have been missing in your life 
2 August 2020

Loss | Lifestyle

Family is a funny thing, it's complex, rarely perfect and it's different for everyone. I suppose this post is more for me than anyone else because sometimes it is hard to process the loss of a family member, especially when there are added layers to the relationship anyway. 

I lost my Grandad at the age of 11, it hit me really hard, it was the first death I had experience and it pretty much shaped my teens, for years I really struggled with his loss. A few years after his death the breakdown of our relationship with my Nan (his wife) started. I'm not going to go into the details because I don't want to and I don't see the point in bringing it all up again, but we kinda became estranged from her. We would pick up on little developments in her life but contact was nonexistent. 

Couple of weeks ago we found out that she had actually 2018, only found out because my dad checked the death register when another estranged family member could(should) have told us...

I was surprised at how I felt about it all, while I probably hadn't spoken to my Nan in maybe 10 years, I was pretty cut up about it and I guess I still am because I'm writing a bloody blog post about it to try and process it. I did cry over it, but the reality is a part of me felt like she died all those years ago because she just wasn't in my life. Then when we found out more about how she died and all of sudden I thought about how she might have felt or what she experienced. It's difficult because internally I am battling between rational thought vs emotion

Rational thought : My nan hasn't been in my life for so long, she wasn't particularly the nicest person and whether she is dead or alive it has very little impact on my day to day 

Emotion: I still have some wonderful memories, I spent a part of my childhood running around her garden and just being in her house and she was still my nan. 

That's the thing about loss, the impact varies so much between each person and for me, in this case the pendulum swings wildly between rational thought and emotion. I still don't know how I feel about it all, but I think that's ok...
26 July 2020

Life Update | Lifestyle

It's been a while since I last came on here but now feels like a good time! In January I wrote one post which ended...

" 2020 will be a year of doing things, travelling more, doing more for others, spending quality time with friends and family but no doubt the year will have things planned that will change the course slightly but I want to be able to adapt and not take it all so personally. I want to read more poetry, visit more art galleries and just learn more about art and culture in general. I am feeling quite optimistic about the new year because it feels fresh, I'm not going into the year with a weight hanging on my neck." 

Who would have thought in less than 3 months a pandemic would break out and result in a lockdown situation.  It's crazy to think about it really, even when COVID-19 was just starting to be reported on the news I definitely didn't think it would ever be that serious. I could never have envisioned that I would have to spend months at home, not going to shops, not commuting into London for work, not seeing my friends or family properly, not travelling anywhere! However that's what it became and you know what I actually really learned to love it, I'll write a separate post on the positive things I will take from lockdown.

I definitely do want to start blogging again but there's also part of me that just can't be bothered, I think it's mainly because the way I think of blogging has changed. I did want to work with brands and was so excited when I was gifted things, I never wanted to make money from it but I did want brands to acknowledge my little part of the internet and over time that got less and less! Towards the end of last year I did enjoy the route my blog was going down it definitely felt more "me" but life does get in the way and I can't priorities my blog the way I did like 5 years ago and that's ok, it's a frickin' blog no one is putting pressure on me to do it! Hell, no one is even reading it so why I do I care so much if I haven't done anything for a week or so!?

Looking back on my last post, I actually think I have managed to succeed in some things I outlined, such as "quality time with friends and family" I have never face timed/called my loved ones as much as I have done since we were locked down, it's been really lovely and it made me realise that this is something I must continue.

So anyway, a small quick update from me and I hope I will continue to write more on this little space of the internet but who knows...