Friday 5 May 2017

7 Things to Watch on Netflix This Month

 Martin and I got pretty bored of Netflix and committed fully to watching The Office. We tried really hard to find some gems in between, though and I think we succeeded! Definitely take a look at our seven picks to watch this month. 

The Fundamentals of Caring
Anything I see with Paul Rudd in it I’m instantly going to click on. (Even though he’ll always be Crap Bag to me). Selena Gomez AKA my ultimate girl crush, was a welcome surprise too. I loved this honest and genuinely funny story of a guy with no caring experience becoming a carer – in the same vane as Me Before You but less sickeningly romantic and weepy. 

Thursday 4 May 2017

Why I Don't Hate Instagram

dont hate instagram algorithm

Short answer: It's not that big a deal.

Yes, it's kind of annoying. Especially because it didn't need to happen - why ruin a good thing? But in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter, and it can easily be spun into a positive.


Tuesday 2 May 2017

Home Buyer Diaries #3: Post-Survey Stress

I've hinted in a few posts that we've found another house, but I haven't wanted to scream and shout about it because we haven't yet signed the contract. And, of course, based on our experience thus far we DEFINITELY aren't in the all clear. I'm still slightly aware and terrified that they're going to steal this one away from us, too. I literally couldn't even bear it.

The house is definitely more perfect for us than the house that we lost. (Everything defo happens for a reason!!). We really love this one - all stone walls, quarry tiles, spiral staircases and climbing flowers around the front door. Swoon. I cannot wait to be living in it and making it ours with all our furniture and paint and bits n bobs. Mr Puddles can climb stairs for the first time!


Friday 28 April 2017

What to Expect from a LUSH Interview & Recruitment Evening (Part 1)

I went to a recruitment evening at my local Lush Spa in Cardiff tonight. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, what to wear etc and it gave me so much anxiety in the build up, so I thought I would share my experience to hopefully help someone else! (FYI - dress was suuuuper casual and full of different styles which was great. Definitely wear something that reflects your personality and style and that you feel comfortable in).

I couldn't believe how LONG the queue was for the recruitment evening. Easily 120 people long and it snaked all along the high street. I couldn't decide whether that made me more or less anxious because it felt less "intimate" which is a good thing, but also the thought of having to do horrible group role plays in front of stranger and aaaall that competition was very nerve wracking. Especially because the majority of people were paired up in little groups of friends.

When we were let in to the shop around 7.30pm we all squeezed in and gathered around the manager who gave a little talk where she shared what she expected from us in terms of hours to be worked, permanence and the right attitude. We then split up into maybe 10 smaller groups and were assigned to different "areas" of the shop with a member of staff where we were given some  demonstrations of products, which I think most of us had seen a thousand times. I'm still not sure what the point of that part was because it took around 40 minutes. I think it was to show us how they showed and explained products, but considering that wasn't part of our interview maybe it was a little premature.

We then had to find a stranger to pair up with for the rest of the interview, with the intention of finding their perfect product. We had to ask lots of open questions to determine their skin type or favourite smells or their problem areas. This didn't seem to be observed in any way so I wouldn't worry too much about this bit - just try and genuinely learn about your partner.

I've got to be honest, here. I was lucky that my partner said she wanted a cleanser that was also moisturising and suitable for sensitive skin. I knew straight away that Ultrabland was perfect because I have used it. If I didn't know about the products as much as I do or if she had asked for a skin type or fragrance that I don't know about then I might have found this really difficult. They say you don't need to know about Lush products and ingredients, but I don't know what I would have done if I wasn't a Lush nerd...

We then had to queue for a REALLY long bloody time (like 45 minutes) for have our little one-on-one interview in which we had to explain why we picked the product we picked and talk a little about ourselves.  It was super informal and friendly so don't panic about being all profesh. I knew exactly why I picked mine and knew a little about the ingredients so I didn't find that too difficult. I think the most important thing is to be friendly, be confident and be yourself. The girl and I had a laugh about shoes and products and I talked to her like a friend which I think went down well. If you're a good fit for the company, they will know straight away. Even if your product knowledge isn't strong.

I was lucky to be invited for a trial shift which is the next stage of the interview. I'll do a little part two on this once Saturday has been and gone - I think that's the hard and scary bit. Wish me luck, guys!!


Tuesday 25 April 2017

Staying Sane While Being Unemployed

stay sane tips unemployed

I've been unemployed pretty much since July, when I quit my job in a makeup shop because I graduated from Uni and was going on to bigger and better things. Lol I'm dull.

I've had a few "self employed"/freelance jobs in the mean time that have tided me over for a few weeks. So I've managed to support myself for a little while but I've had no long term, steady and stable employment. I'm skint and bored and feeling pretty shite about myself.

In the TEN MONTHS (omgod my life sucks) I've been on-and-off out of work, there's been a few little things that have kept me sane. Ish, but not really... If they can help anyone not feel as depressed and dejected as I have these last few months then they are worth sharing.


Thursday 20 April 2017

This Time Last Year...

It's absolutely RIDICULOUS how much my life has changed in the last 12 months. Like a scary stupid amount. I dunno, maybe on paper when I write this down it will just look stupid and a normal amount of change for most of you but there are 2 important points to note:

1) I hate change of any kind. I use the same bowls and spoons etc for my breakfast and would rather not eat than use anything different. OKOK?
2) When you're in Uni, after the initial move obviously, things don't really change that much. You're doing the same course with the same people in the same city (generally).

So yeah. I was wondering what I would have been up to this time last year and it was just the most bizarre feeling. I feel like I'm a character in a book but I've just hopped out of one story and into another completely different only semi-related, more boring book. Like the dictionary but with all the cool letters missing. (I'm obviously talking about Q, X and J, duh).


Monday 17 April 2017

Stop Hating On "Faking"

Self-tan. Lash strips. Coloured contacts. Acrylic nails. Hair extensions. Hair dye. Lipstick.

What do all of these have in common? They're all fake, of course! And pretty fucking awesome ways of making ourselves look more like the way we want to look for a little while. Yes, I absolutely adore having a tan. But do I want to be tanned while rocking my favourite jumpers and boots in mid-Winter? Not necessarily. I am currently loving having pinky-purple hair. Would I want my hair to naturally be that colour and stay that way my whole life? (Maybe…)

If you’re reading this, then odds are you are in the lifestyle/beauty blogger community. Hi there.

We are a bunch of people that LOVE make up and celebrates the different products that help us to express our personality, bring out the things we like most about ourselves and hide what we don't love, be it with glitter brows and purple eyeliner or simply concealer and mascara.

And no one says anything. No one judges. We’re all “You do you, boo” and “YAS QUEEN SLAY”. (Aka a collection of my least favourite phrases to ever be spoken on earth and that make me want to peel my skin off).

how to wear denim dungarees spring fashion
how to wear denim dungarees spring fashion


Friday 14 April 2017

Cruelty Free FAQ: What's the deal with Parent Companies?

about cruelty free parent companies

There are a lot of questions to verify whether a brand is cruelty free. Animal testing is illegal in the EU so it's not a case of asking "Do you test on animals?" Because a brand can say omg no we would never do that (*unless required by law in countries that we can make a lot of DOLLAAA). And technically they aren't lying. You have to think about where their ingredients come from, where the brand chooses to sell their products and who owns the brand.


Monday 10 April 2017

Cruelty Free Brand Focus & Favourites: GOSH Copenhagen

GOSH Copenhagen, I think is such an underrated brand at the "drugstore". When I first decided to go cruelty free and researched which brands were cruelty free that I could afford, GOSH popped up on my radar. They pride themselves on being very trend focused and creative at affordable prices. What more could you want?! I also love the fact that they are a family-run brand founded in Denmark and still produce their products in Denmark 50 odd years later. Us bloggers love anything scandi, amright?

They are probably at the mid-higher end of brands at Boots and Superdrug - more expensive than your Rimmel or Make Up Revolution. Their products are real quality though, in my opinion and I have encountered very few "misses" in their range. The packaging is sleek and mostly monochrome which is very welcome amongst the often gaudy or tacky-trying-to-be-current packaging you often see in Boots.

GOSH cruelty free makeup foundation highlighter eyeshadow brow gel


Friday 7 April 2017

Taking the Pressure out of Blogging

 In September/October my views were at an all time high, I was gaining loads of followers and people seemed to really, genuinely be enjoying my content. I was absolutely loving it.

But most of you will know, sticking to a strict posting schedule of three posts per week minimum is hard graft. Because what non-bloggers don't see is the brainstorming to make sure you don't run out of content ideas, the photography and struggling with bad lighting in early-winter and WTF do I even take a picture of? They don't see the scheduling tweets (which is fucking boring as anything), keeping your insta and twitter fresh and interesting, while obviously engaging with others. And don't even get me started on a theme. KILL ME.

I burnt out. I'm not ashamed. I'm not proud, obviously, but it took a decent blogging break to pick up steam. I'm not going to be the person that says "I want to get back to why I started blogging", because I never intended for my blog to be somewhere I posted whatever I want whenever I want. I never wanted it to be a fancy, glossy, magazine blog or even somewhere semi professional. I just start things and I like to put 100% into it which is great and I love that about me. But it is draining.

When I decided to write something (anything...) again, I loved it. But I instantly thought okay what am I going to post next, can I get it out by Thursday? And I instantly hated blogging again. So I didn't post for another 10 days which felt so wrong and alien. Over the next few days I started jotting down little bits that I would write about when I had time, and before I knew it I had three semi written posts.

I for sure want to post every week. It's not my style to be inconsistent and just give up and not post for ages, I like a routine. If I have an extra post, I'm going to put that up too, but if I don't that's okay. We are bombarded with posts all day every day on Twitter and Bloglovin, nobody is going to miss my post that particular Thursday. It's just a fact. And more importantly, my life won't fall apart if I only post once a week, or even if I can't be arsed and don't post at all.

I'm seeing so much blogger burn out where bloggers aren't having fun anymore. For many this is a job, but for the majority of us it's a hobby. HOBBIES ARE MEANT TO BE FUN OK?

So I'm not going to kill myself over checking every sentence to see if it's gloriously witty, filled with the latest fad words and phrases (you will not catch me saying "on point" or "slay" or *insert generic word here* AF - no offense to everyone else, it's just not me) . I'm not going to stress wondering WILL PEOPLE LIKE THIS POST? If you do, you do, if you don't, it obviously mattered enough to me to write about it so FU. (Joking, I love you).

But yeah. Rambles rambles. I hope you are excited to join me on this new un-journey of getting back to basics and posting fun stuff when I feel like it.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

OOTD: Finding Myself Again in Spring

Do you have any idea how happy I am that it’s springtime? I know it’s not very “blogger” to prefer another month to the pinnacle of life that is OMGAUTUMNILOVEAUTUMN but sorry. I just do.

I love sunglasses and iced tea. I love wearing no tights. I love cherry blossom trees, tulips and daffodils. And I love pink lips, messy hair and glowy, no-makeup make up. I just think I become more myself in spring. Especially when it comes to my personal style.


Monday 3 April 2017

Budget Cruelty Free Skincare? Superdrug Vitamin E Range Review

superdrug vitamin e eyecream toner exfoliator radiance moisture cream night cream micellar water review
Superdrug is my saviour any time I need them. Despite being cruelty free for over 2 years, it's STILL a difficult journey at the best of times. Made more difficult again by being, first a student, and now unemployed. Sucks to be me. A heinous lack of funds means that experimentation is impossible and I'm limited with the brands I can afford to use.

So, not sure what toothpaste to use? Superdrug own brand. Ran out of shampoo last minute? Superdrug own brand. Can't afford a new facial cleanser? Superdrug own brand. I bloody love them. Not saying all products are OMFGTHEBESTEVER but they do in a pinch and some are fucking awesome. 

My skin was, in a word, BLOODY AWFUL. (Soz ok 2 words). Big, painful breakouts all around my chin/mouth/lower face and I had a huge amount of texture on my cheeks, my face was constantly discoloured and I had vicious dry patches all around my nose and mouth. Don't I sound a gorgeous picture? I tend to get oily up between my brows and around my nose with dryness around my mouth and chin so I find skincare hard to get right at the best of times, especially on a budget.

I've used six different products from the range with varying results. All products I used were £2.99 and I think all products are around the same price. Read on for a little review of each product and whether I would repurchase.

Toning Facial Mist - I used this as I use any toning sprays, after cleansing and  miceallar water but before my moisturiser/oil and eye cream. This one feels nice and refreshing on the skin and didn't break me out, but it also didn't really do anything else... Will probably be nice to use in the summer to take away any icky sweaty face feeling but other than that I'll pass. I'm in a committed relationship now with my old fave, the Tropic Skincare Vitamin Toner*. Would definitely not repurchase.

Night Cream - This is a weird one because I don't find it as rich as I normally find a night cream BUT I really like it. It's not too heavy and I don't find myself waking up with a lot of excess oil as I often do (ew?). I really like how it makes my skin feel but I can't say it did much for my dry patches. If you're looking for intense hydration ONLY I'd probably pass but otherwise I love it and have already repurchased.

Micellar Water - This is one of my favourites from the range. I haven't been wearing a lot (if any) make up recently so this has been enough to clean my face in the evening. It removes make up pretty well - not as well as the Garnier one, but using an extra cotton pad worth is a small price to pay for an affordable cruelty free option! It leaves my skin feeling soft and clean and quite hydrated. I didn't use it for a few days (because I ran out of cotton pads and I'm disgracefully lazy) and my skin really broke out, I have had only a very small number of spots since using this so it's obviously doing something right. Have already repurchased! 

Eye Cream - I really begrudge using my pricier eye creams for a bit of moisture before concealer so thought I'd try this one out and it's okay! I can't say I notice a difference in the appearance of my eye area when I tried using it before bed as part of my skincare but it works well enough before concealer (particular quite thick ones like the Collection Lasting Perfection that had a tendency to look a bit cakey on me). I have quite mixed feelings about this, and actually feel a bit indifferent so I'm not sure I'd bother repurchasing but not a definite no.

Facial Scrub - I'm not going to beat around the bush here. This is my favourite exfoliator I have ever used. Ever. I love how thick and coarse it is with the oatmeal like texture, but it still manages to feel soft and moisturising as you rub it on. My skin feels like silk after using it and it worked well with the moisturiser to clean up marks and blemishes from previous spots that had been there forever. I HIGHLY recommend this and I will 100% repurchase.

Radiance Moisture Cream - Where has this been all my life? This is a much newer purchase than the rest so I'm still playing around but it is bloody beautiful. It's a bit like what I imagine MAC Strobe Cream to be like but obviously I haven't used it before. It is stunning alone on the skin to brighten your complexion on a no make up day, or underneath foundation for a bit of radiance. It leaves my skin feeling SO soft and pretty. It is a massive winner for me and I can see it becoming a real spring/summer staple. I know it's early days but so far I would absolutely repurchase

Overall, I'm pretty impressed! There are a tonne of options and I think there are probably a few hidden gems if you have a little rummage around. Even though I wouldn't necessarily recommend or repurchase some of my choices, none of them were actually *bad*. I'd say the range is absolutely perfect for a student or someone without problem skin that doesn't particularly like/need to spend a lot of money on products. It's also almost ALWAYS on offer for buy one get one half price or 3 for 2 so you can get a few products for a around fiver. Bargain! 

Quick side note: I know not everyone classes Superdrug as cruelty free because of their parent company, but if you've read any of my previous posts about deciding to go cruelty free and information that you might find useful, you'll know that it's my personal choice to support brands that are cruelty free even if their parent company is not. So that's up to you.


Thursday 30 March 2017

The 4 Tiny Steps I'm Taking to Improve My Life This Year

steps to improve wellbeing
You may or may not have read my post about my fears that I peaked in school and my teenage years were the best of my life. That was a depressing realisation for me and it went hand in hand with the niggling voices in the back of my head telling me that I am currently not at all the person that I want to me or, worse, the person that I know I am. I've lost a bit of myself in recent years. 

Monday 27 March 2017

Shit I Got No Time For: Road Rage Edition

My original Shit I Got No Time For post is one of my most highly viewed posts and you miserable bastards loved it too. So time for round two. Ya ready?

I have a terrible temper in my day to day life. I'm not proud of it, it's just a fact. I am an all round terrible person...  I'm even worse on the road. EVERY ONE MAKES ME ANGRY.



Thursday 23 March 2017

36 Hours in Gibraltar: What To Do

mountains rock gibraltarmonkey mountains gibraltar rock

Martin and I had wanted to go on a weekend away in lieu of Valentines and anniversary celebrations to use the money in a way that we would enjoy more than two £50-60 "date nights". We also had a voucher that we needed to use ASAP, so when we saw return flights to Gib for £50 each from Bristol we booked without thinking! We were only away from Tuesday evening to Thursday evening, so it was a super brief trip but a few people had said that, really, 2 days was all you need to see the main things. And I pretty much agree!

Monday 20 March 2017

What If I Peaked in School?

Image may contain: ocean, sky, twilight, outdoor, water and nature

This thought fucking terrifies me. It is one of the saddest things I can think of for myself.

I was actually talking about a boy I went to school with who was incredibly intelligent and could have gone on to do amazing things - pretty much anything he chose to do. But he didn't. "It's sad he kind of peaked in school," I said to a mutual friend of ours.

I could be totally wrong here, about both of us. I'm almost sure I'm wrong about him but me? I'm not so confident. I think I peaked in school. In almost every aspect of my life. I'm not saying I loved school and looked forward to it every single morning to fill my brains with more (often useless) knowledge. I actually used to pretend to be sick pretty often to not be forced to go. I don't even know why I did that, because I had so so so many friends. Lovely friends who I had such amazing times with. We had so much fun and they really shaped me as a person - for better or for worse.


Tuesday 7 February 2017

Meet Mr Puddles

So if you read my babbling about where I've been and why I've been absent from blogging recently then you'll know we gots ourselves a lil' kitty.

LOL ignore Martins pants - at least they're clean...
Say hello to Mr Puddles.
AKA horrid little furball that bites my elbows and sleeps in the kitchen sink.

We didn't plan on getting a cat at all. We're only in a teeny flat (for the time being) so it made sense to wait until we moved into our own house to get a pet. But Mr Puddles found me and I just couldn't say no.


Tuesday 31 January 2017

Home Buyers Diaries #2: Gazumped & Heart Broken

stone beach wales llantwit major

I've banged on in about half a billion posts (like my last post and my rambling about being a grown up)  how Martin and I are looking for a house. Which is really cool and exciting and it is pretty much all I think about at the moment. So we found our dream home - a little "character cottage" with a huge stone wall, original fireplace and a cute little garden in my favourite village close to my parents home. 

They accepted our offer and we got a good price - yay! The estate agents rung us EVERY SINGLE DAY asking for updates that we gladly gave. Admittedly, we were slow throughout the process but it wasn't entirely our fault. Any other first time buyers (I hope) would agree it's such a stressful, confusing process, unless you're lucky enough to have a "hassle free mortgage" and have an easy time with a mortgage.

We struggled to get a mortgage because life hates us. But we managed it. We got our solicitor. We booked our surveys. We saved the money. We told our letting to start showing our flat again. We had our quotes for contents and building cover. We had made a list of all the furniture we were buying and had even picked the wallpaper. We were fucking ready.

But we had a phone call on Monday morning saying they had decided to start showing the house again, had put it back on the market and accepted another higher offer. This was after calling them from the mortgage advisors office on THURSDAY EVENING and telling them everything was good. That was our last hurdle and we were ready. "That's great" they told us. So we paid for our survey.

How, in the space of 2 days, can it go so downhill? How can they go from constant communication to conveniently not telling us they were accepting other offers. We would have matched the offer. We would have bought our completion date forward. We would have literally done anything they had asked, but the point is they didn't even fucking ask.

They call this gazumping. Which is a stupid name and I don't think it even begins to cover how heart shattering it is. But yeah, our almost first home is no more. Someone else is going to be living in it in a matter of weeks and it makes me feel sick with sadness.

BUT. It's so important to think that everything happens for a reason. Everyone was so nice on Twitter when I tweeted about the experience, and people said the same thing had happened to them before they found their dream house. I truly think everything happens for a reason, and I can only hope that come June/July, Martin and I will be sitting in our perfect house so relieved that this happened.


Thursday 19 January 2017

Since I've Been Gone (and Why I'm Back)

(I can breeeathe for the first tiiiiime)

It felt so unnatural logging into blogger and creating a new entry. Like, what? How is that possible? I went from writing three times a week with my views, followers and engagement at its highest ever to literally nothing. Nada.

I haven't posted since October, have tweeted a handful of times and haven't even read any of my favourite blogs. What happened? I DON'T EVEN KNOW.

I for sure didn't "fall out of love" with blogging because I dropped off the face of the earth during a time I was IN LOVE with it. Everything just seemed to happen at the same time and life just got hectic so blogging (accidentally) took a back seat. So here's everything that happened while I was away and kind of accounts for where the fuck I went:

My laptop broke. With all my pictures and documents and eeeverything. It's still broken now and I hate writing on Martin's. It's ginormous and not at all portable, and all the stock photos I had taken were lost.

 I got a lil' kitten. I'm planning a whole post introducing Mr Puddles and the story of how I got him, which is kind of a not-so-funny story of accidental cat burglary and/or saving a kitties life. (I prefer to think of it as the latter). He's satanic and horrid but also the sweetest little boy and I wub the little floof. 

I started a new job. And left that same job. The job was all consuming with12 hour days and always on call. I was a personal credit agent, by the way, which is a job I've done on and off for a few years. That's basically a fancy way of saying "debt collector" minus the stereotype of baseball bats and fear... It took over my life and I'm thinking of writing a new post about "life as a debt collector" if anyone would be interested. It's fucking weird.

We went to Spain. Martin was invited on a "business trip" sort of thing to Almeria and on to Alicante and I went along for shits and giggles. He only ended up doing maybe one days work and we had SO much fun shopping, exploring and eating too much tapas in the sun.

I cut all my hair off. (See above) This doesn't explain why I've been gone because it took at most two hours out of my life BUT it's still worth knowing. I cut a whole foot off my hair to donate it so it's a a pretty short bob at the moment and I love it!

I got a new job. Some of you may have seen on twitter but I'm now the editor of which is a website startup and I think it's got a really bright future! I work part time doing this at the moment and I'm loving it.

We went to Edinburgh twice. One of the times we drove, too, which takes about 11 years but it was really lovely to go up twice in such close proximity, which we never do, especially for the first visit which was for Martin's brother's wedding in a candlelit cave which was just gorgeous. But that took a big chunk of my time.

House hunting shit got real. I babbled about the trauma and decisions in this post about house hunting but we have found our dream home and we reeeally want it. We had our offer accepted but on my self employed/freelance income, even though it is enough, we are struggling to get a mortgage. So, yeah, majorly stressed right now.

SOOOO as you can see. life has been preeeetty busy. I can't say the last 2 or 3 months have been particularly enjoyable either, and they just sapped all the life and energy out of me, not to mention the creativity and inspiration. I still don't feel particularly inspired and the thought of having to take blog photos especially in winter makes me feel physically sick. If any homies want to help a girl out and be her personal photography holla at me.

I'm back, bitches.
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