Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Lent - Giving Up and Taking Up | Lifestyle

Traditionally Christians Fast for 40 Days and 40 Nights, starting on Ash Wednesday and finishing on Thursday before Good Friday. However, these days that is rare and people usually give up something small for the period of Lent leading up to Easter.
Over the years I've given up many things from chocolate to alcohol and even binge watching TV shows and playing video games for too long.

I've been thinking long and hard about what I'd like to give up for Lent and this year and I've decided on cutting my spending habits, particularly on junk food and unneeded treats, *cough* overspending on beauty products I don't really need. I'm trying to save more for adventures, trips away etc. So cutting my spending habits is something I'd really like to achieve not just for Lent but for this year too.

But Lent doesn't have to be all about giving something up, I've also been thinking of something to take up or achieve by the end of Lent. To keep the positive energy flowing and to keep me entertained when I'm not at work, I really want to get into running again. I recently downloaded the Couch25K App for my phone and treated myself to some fancy running gear so I'd like to make the most of those and go out, hit the Common and fields and go running! Couch25K is a Nine Week exercise journey so if I can reach Week 6 and still carry on after Lent, I will pretty proud of myself.

I'd love to know what you're giving up or even taking up for Lent.
Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

30 Things Before 30 | Life

You may have recently read my '25 Before 25: What I Achieved' post. Since writing up the results of that list I have been thinking of new and exciting things to add to my '30 Before 30' list and I think it's obvious once you have a look that I am thinking about doing more adventurous things. I'm really starting to love these lists rather than New Years Resolutions. I feel like aiming towards a certain age gives me plenty of motivation to complete and try new things. So why not have a gander at what I'm thinking about doing over the next 5 years:
  1. Learn to drive and buy a car
  2. Relocate back to the countryside
  3. Keep fit
  4. Keep growing my hair
  5. Get a tattoo
  6. Get Invisalign 
  7. Watch Game of Thrones
  8. Start riding DH
  9. Get a DH bike
  10. Participate in a DH race
  11. Sky Dive for charity
  12. Tough Mudder for charity
  13. Go on more adventures
  14. Spend more time with friends
  15. See a Canucks Game at Rogers Arena
  16. Go on at least 4 trips per year
  17. Ride on a Sleeper Train
  18. Go skiing/snowboarding 
  19. See the Northern Lights
  20. Visit Yellowstone Park
  21. Visit the Rocky Mountains; Canadian Rockies in particular 
  22. Visit the Great Wall of China
  23. Visit New York
  24. Visit Iceland
  25. Visit Vancouver
  26. Visit Prague
  27. Visit Disneyland California
  28. Take more photos
  29. Start an Adventures scrapbook
  30. Keep blogging
Have you created a list of things you'd like to achieve before you reach a certain age? Or is there one thing you'd like to achieve by your next big Birthday? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, 11 January 2016

25 Things Before Twenty-Five: What I Achieved | Life

So my 25th Birthday has been and gone (last month, if you weren't aware). Way back in 2013 I set myself 25 things to achieve by my 25th Birthday. Did I achieve them? Well personally I think I did preeetty well considering my lack of motivation and main focus towards work rather than play over the last year. So here's everything I managed to achieve from the list :)
  1. Learn to swim - this was top of my list and after just a few lessons and a lot of coaxing myself into the deep end I pretty much achieved it. So I may not be the strongest but I get the gist of it and it really did help me on two Beach holidays!
  2. Take a nail course - this is an oldie. I actually ended up working in a nail bar and for Models Own for 6 months so got very familiar with all sorts of nail art. Note: I have no time for it anymore.
  3. Make my own quilted blanket - Not so much quilted but I got seriously into crocheting last year so much so that I made myself a gorgeous patchwork blanket
  4. Make one homemade dish a week - One thing I really slacked at was cooking a full meal at home from scratch. I relied heavily on ready meals and cereal or toast for dinner. Pretty uncool. But since investing in a slow cooker and soup maker I'm super happy with all the delicious meals I've been creating from vegetable curry to potato and leek soup!
  5. Sell my crafts online - My plan was to set up an Etsy to sell my crochet creations but work somewhat took over. However I started selling to close friends and colleagues and now I am thinking about adding an Etsy into the mix for 2016!
  6. Lose weight and keep fit - An ongoing progress but one thing I really wanted was to tone my bum and thighs. Two areas I really struggled to love. I am not the gym kind of girl. I absolutely hate exercise unless it involved something fun and outdoorsy but believe it or not I really enjoy the cross trainer and weighted squats!
  7. Grow my hair long and keep it long - If there was one thing I really regretted, it was cutting my hair too short. And by too short I mean THAT Rhianna/Victoria Beckham asymmetric boy-cut. Since then, 2012 to be precise I have wanted my hair to be long and floaty again. In 2014 I took using heat out of my styling regime and started using Coconut Oil as a leave in treatment once a week. I reintroduced using a blow dryer but on a cool setting in 2015, simply because my hair was taking half a day to dry. Since then my hair has grown so much. It currently sits just about my belly button/half way down my back. I couldn't be happier. My next aim is down to my hips!
  8. Overcome my fear of eating in public - Eating in public and even eating in front of people was something I struggled with since I was a child. And something my mum and even doctors couldn't really understand or help me with. It was only when I was 21-22 that I realised how underweight and unhealthy it was to be this way. It took years of support and willpower to get out and eat even the smallest meal in front of someone. I still have bad days, as everyone does I'm sure, but knowing if I wanted to I could pop out for a bite to eat or even a coffee really does make my day.
  9. Make some friends - One of the biggest things affecting my life at the time was making friends. With my social anxiety putting me at rock bottom I rarely left the house and once moved to London I didn't really know anyone. However, I stepped out of my comfort zone and with the blog managed to meet a few incredible people and make a lot of friends. Bringing me to my next point...
  10. Make some blogging friends - Yep. The close bond I have with even just a handful of blogging girls makes me so happy. It feels like we've known eachother for years!
  11. Get my dream job - After two years of slaving in a role of the company that I absolutely hated. I managed to progress. So it may not be the dream job after all but I am so happy with it and know it will open many doors for me in this company and indeed others.
  12. Buy a DSLR camera - One of the things I really missed about college all those 9 years ago was photography and it's something I wanted to get back into for a while. So I dived into the deep end and treated myself to a Canon 600D and I love it. I've even added a few lenses to the kit for outdoor and wildlife photography. I also recently received a GoPro Hero+ Session for my Birthday so I'm really looking forward to getting out and about with both cameras and capturing beautiful things.
  13. Go to Harry Potter Studio Tour - I have been not once, but twice since writing this list. And gosh darn, do I love it so much which leads me to my next HP themed item to tick off the list...
  14. Go to Florida - Yes! Back in September I headed to Florida for two weeks of sun, sand and theme parks. Disney, Harry Potter, rollercoasters and waterparks! I had the time of my life and couldn't fault it. I loved it so much I am already planning my next trip back for 3 weeks of fun!
  15. See Beyonce live - I've wanted to see Beyonce live for many many years and finally in 2013 and 2014 I managed to do just that at two sets of her World Tour seeing her in London's O2 Arena. Honestly, it was the most moving concert and I bawled my eyes out at times. For a girl heavily influenced by Rock and Heavy Metal, Beyonce has got me through some pretty hard times.
You can read my 30 Before 30 list here.. Who knows maybe I'll achieve all 30 over the next 5 years!
Have you been enticed to challenge yourself for good things by a certain age? I'd love to know so send me a link to your post or comment below with one thing you'd like to achieve by your next Birthday!

Friday, 30 October 2015

5 Things This Week #1 | Life

Hey everyone! I am back. It's been a long time and so much has happened, I'll probably go into depth at some point. However until then I thought I'd ease myself back into this with a little update of my week and the first in my Feel Good Friday feature. I've been thinking of new ways I can incorporate some positive thinking and share more life posts with you all and thought some Feel Good Friday posts would be great. I'm not sure how far I'll go with this, but this week I thought It would be nice just to do a small update of the things that have made me happy this week :D
My last full week in my current job
Yes. This has been the longest working week of my life. Probably worse than waiting for a holiday. I've been so impatient but I'm so happy to say that next week I will be training to work in a completely different role in the company. Half excited, half completely terrified! More to come on this at a later date :)

THAT episode of The Walking Dead
Picture this: I was at work on Monday evening, minding my own business casually scrolling through Twitter when someone tweets the most blatant spoiler to ruin the whole episode for anyone not watching in real time.
One word. LIVID. I had to tweet my frustration.
I did end up watching the episode and the persons tweet was correct to the episode. However, I do have my own theory on what has happened and I think a few others probably have the same if they're smart. No spoilers here. If you want to discuss, tweet me ;)

Catching up with friends
I've been feeling so overworked lately. It's been so refreshing to be around friendly faces and to talk about things other than, er, work. Okay the weirdest yet most delightful moment was probably a first meet with a person I have been in contact with for such a long time. Years in fact. Wandering around London and generally having a giggle at everything. More times like this needed.

The Martian at the cinema
A spur of the moment thing. As Madame Tussauds was so busy we decided to head to the cinema and watch The Martian. It took us long enough to find one in central London with a showing on a Wednesday afternoon, sort it out guys. I've been out of the loop with movie releases (except for Star Wars, obviously) so it was really good to watch a new film. Sci-Fi and centered around Matt Damon, you can't go wrong really.

THOSE Drake memes
Yep. They really have been a highlight for me this week. If you haven't seen them, where have you been? Under a rock? Sharing them back and forth has put me in hysterics so massive kudos to all of the smart arses behind those. Just go through the #HotlineBling hashtag (or look through my Twitter, I've probably RT'd them all) when you get a chance, you will not regret - except if you're like me and literally spend your whole lunch break creasing.

What has been your highlight of this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

East Meets West: Asian Beauty | Guest Post by Luxamundi

Today we have Elina from Luxamundi guest posting and the topic is Asian beauty. Elina is a freshfaced beauty blogging new to the blogosphere so lets welcome her with open arms! I for one am excited to learn something new :)

I wanted to say a big thank you to the lovely Tamsyn for asking me to guest post on her blog, I feel really honoured to be featuring here!
Anyway, I wanted to talk about a beauty topic that is close to my heart, which is Asian beauty, specifically products and trends that come to us from Korea and Japan. As someone who comes from a Chinese background, Asian trends have always been interesting to me but it’s only as I’ve gotten older that beauty has come to the fore and I’ve been paying attention.

I’m not the only one though who notices. Brands across the west sit up, make notes and produce their own versions that are more catered to the Western sensibilities.

I am really happy that the attitude towards skincare from Asia has come across here. There still is a difference in the way we approach makeup, but the importance of good skin has translated across the cultural divide. Double cleansing, oils, and sheet masks, these things which we now factor more regularly into our routines, have been a standard in Korea and Japan for years. Since these things are a norm there, more advanced technology, new ingredients and delivery systems have been introduced. Oils? They’ve moved onto jelly oils and mist oils. Spritzing toners? That’s your pre-moisturising; you need to get yourself an essence for after you spritz. Asian beauty is never ready to sit on its laurels; there’s always time and constant strive to create the next best thing. Over here, we have to sit tight and wait until someone makes a version for us, or try our darned best to get our hands of the good stuff.

So, which brands and things should we be trying to get? Well we’re not completely ‘dry’ over here. We do have access to some brands, but more from the premium side of things. I remember celebrating when Cult Beauty started stocking Mizon. We just don’t have access to the other budget brands that compete with the top-end in Korea and Japan (makes me wish there was a ‘Koreatown’ in London!), which is a shame because products from the lower end are just as high-tech. Of the brands that have got physical store presence here, you should take a look at the following:
Suqqu: if you’ve watched Lisa Eldridge, you’ll have heard of Suqqu. You will then have looked at how much their brushes are, and had a mini heart attack. Save your money, because….

RMK: Their brushes are amazing. If you don’t want to hand over £100 for a Suqqu brush, then head here. When I was in Selfridges and bought their blush brush, they asked if the Suqqu counter had directed me there. Apparently, if Suqqu is out of stock, they send you to RMK, so make of that what you will. Their brushes are softer than soft, and with good care, will last you years.

Shu Uemura: everyone (but me) swears by their eyelash curlers but you’ll be surprised by how good their foundations are, and their skincare isn’t to be sniffed at.

Now for brands I think you should be looking at, but are much harder, if nigh impossible to find in the UK. If you someone you know is going to that part of the world, then beg or bribe them to pick some stuff up for you! Also, across the pond in the US, they have a lot more access to J and K Beauty, so hit up some of the stores there if you can; buying from the source is cheaper, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
Missha: Their Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence is a beauty staple for me. It’s often compared to the SKII Facial Treatment Essence that Cate Blanchett swears by, but at a fraction of the price. They also do some ampoules (more concentrated versions of serums), all at fantastic value.

Heroine Make by Isehan: Yes it’s an odd name, but their mascaras are simply amazing. You’ll have seen raves of the Fairy Drops Scandal Queen, which I actually don’t like that much. Instead, I swear by the Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, and the Make Volume and Curl. These are super waterproof. I’ve bawled my eyes out to films in this, sobbed my way through onion cutting, and they do not move whatsoever, and keep my lashes gravity-defiant. They’re lightweight and not as thickening, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a more reliable mascara. I paid £12 for each from Japan, and frankly, they outclass all other high-end mascaras I’ve ever used.

Other Brands: All of them? Joking, there’s too many. Ones I think you should try are Laneige, Etude House, and the Ceramidin line of Dr Jart, which is brilliant for winter months. There are plenty more, but these are the ones that pop to mind.

In all honesty, you’ll be hard-pressed to find bad products, they’re all great quality and suited to different budgets. If you have any suggestions, or just want to talk Asian beauty, then please do drop me a line, I’m always more than happy to chat about it anytime!

Thank you once again to Tamsyn for letting me guest post here, hope I’ve converted you to Asian beauty if you hadn’t already!

A big thank you to Elina for contributing to this weeks guest post. It was great reading about Asian beauty brands. What did you think, could you be converted to Asian Beauty brands?
If you aren't following Elina, head over to her blog now and make sure you're up to date with her Twitter and Instagram!

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