Life | Learning to say NO..

 

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When you get asked to do something, Possibly a meal or night out, Do you ever find yourself saying yes before you’ve even checked your bank balance to see if you can even afford this? Maybe you go ahead anyway because you don’t want to appear flaky or unreliable. no one likes a flake off. While you’re at the meal you can’t stop thinking about how you shouldn’t be spending what you can’t afford because you’ve already made another promise to someone else. The rest of the month you wish you had just checked your bank balance before agreeing to something. I hate to say it but You only have yourself to blame for this…

You will tend to find yourself in situations you feel forced into, giving up your free time to fit into other people’s plans, you will often find that some people take advantage of this and the minute you tell them you have something else planned, that’s when they put the guilt trip on to you. Because you are the person who goes along with everything – they don’t understand what could be more important than their plans right?

This is something I’ve been guilty of, Finding myself in situations I’ve felt trapped in. Trying to people please all of the time and agreeing to other people’s plans means you’re only doing yourself harm so adopting a more choosy approach isn’t a bad thing.

Why do some of us find using the word ‘No’ so damn awkward? Well, No, is a pretty powerful word and when used constructively, can free you of a lot of the BS. I tend to say yes too many things and feel almost guilty if I can’t cater to something when asked. I triple booked one day and ended up rushing from one appointment to the other feeling deflated and annoyed which meant I must have been rubbish company anyway. I came to the conclusion that I’d be more content if I stop trying to subconsciously people please and just start saying no. Not to everything of course, just being a bit more choosy.

What can you do to take action?

Think about it – Just take a step back so you can think a little first. Next time you’re being asked something, Ask yourself…Can I afford this? Do I want to spend my time doing that? Is this productive, Will this make me happy? Let that person know you will need to check your schedule/bank account first before making plans.

Make your own plans – this can be anything from joining a dance class/painting class to volunteering. This will give you more control over how you spend your time.

Make plans with your friends –
Take the reigns once in a while and plan something epic with your friends. This will prove to them and yourself that you’re not just a pretty face, taking the lead role in the group and carrying out a successful plan will give them more confidence in you.

Spend time alone – Alone time is a huge thing for me. Although I love spending time with my boyfriend/friends, I adore my alone time and find that this is my most productive time. I used to be almost fearful to be alone but now I’m comfortable with myself and look forward to these rare moments I spend alone.

Switch off – This can also disturb your alone time too. You get those people who simply cannot stop messaging friends, if you are the easy going one in the group then you may find yourself frequently being on the other end of endless messaging. Make a point of ditching the tech after a certain point in the evening.

Test out your magic word – This one may sound silly but it actually works. Start using the word NO. When you’re at work for, instance if someone is asking more of you than you feel you can take on (probably because you keep saying yes) then use this situation to politely decline. You won’t look heartless or terrible, if fact you will probably earn yourself some respect and in future, that person will be more thoughtful when asking you. Use this technique in everyday situations. I had the issue of taking on tasks at work even though I clearly couldn’t manage my workload and I would agree to these things in an all too happy manor. When you’re not able to follow through on promises then people start to tire of it , You will end up losing people’s trust and confidence in you. Being honest let’s others know you are in control and set’s their expectations for what you can manage/produce.

Don’t say no to everything of course. Just take back a little bit more control and I promise you’ll feel a ton better 😀

Beauty | Lancôme Visionnaire Nuit night cream

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The new addictions to my skincare have had me swooning! This night gel/oil is a texture that felt strange at first but I’m slowly getting used to and actually preferring over my other creams/Moisturizers. I have always used regular day cream in the night and not considered a night gel until now. I will never review something before using it for at least 2 weeks, I really wanted to share this with you because I’m so excited about it!

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The packaging is luxurious and comes with a little spatula for easier application, although I just apply with my fingers. My skin has never sucked up a product so fast, leaving behind a subtle sheen, The consistency is a bouncy gel, Very lightweight, super absorbent and silky. There is no sticky residue left behind and my face smells fresh with a hint of jasmine. I feel like it’s worked it’s magic over night, The thing I love about this mask is when I’ve gone to sleep feeling maybe not so fresh, I wake up with a radiant, glowing face. I don’t feel the need to apply a day cream as my skin stays super hydrated throughout the day.

In the two weeks I’ve been using this I’ve noticed plumped, smooth, supple skin with improved elasticity. I’ve not stopped touching my skin. This product is expensive at £60 but you will be happy to know that A little goes a long way.

After 2 weeks of use I have noticed an improvement in my skin texture, my combination skin is hydrated where it needs to be and matt in my oily areas, glowing and Dewy. The quality of this product is on par with Energie de Vie mask. Both have a  similar effect on me. This is a product I will most definitely be re-purchasing and is my new favourite beauty sleep in a jar.

Health | Huel

I’m not one for cooking, I love food but trying to come up with interesting but nutritious meals daily is something I struggle with. It always ends up with me panicking at the supermarket and spending on over priced ingredients. My commute to and from work is a long one so the last thing I want to think about is what to cook in the evening.  I also care about my health and want to make sure I’m fueling my body correctly. So for the last 2 weeks, I have introduced Huel to my diet. The controversial meal replacement/supplement powder people have either been raving about or getting mad at. I like to think of myself as an open minded person and love trying new things. This product first got my attention with the slogan ‘The future of food’ and after doing my research into this powder I was excited to try it out. (Plus I got a free t-shirt which is pure win). 

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What is it?

From what I’ve read Huel contains all the proteins, carbs, and fats you need plus at least 100% of the European Union’s “Daily Recommended Amounts” of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals. So you know you won’t be deficient in any essential nutrients. Also contains less than a teaspoon of sugar per 2000 calories which is a miracle!

Huel contains a carefully chosen blend of Oats, Pea Protein, Rice Protein, Flaxseed, MCTs from Coconut, Sunflower Lecithin, a bespoke Vitamin and Mineral Blend, Vanilla Flavour and a Sweetener. ~Huel.com

So the idea is this, You get 2 x 1.71kg pouches 28 meals at 500 cals each. Cost per meal works out at £1.60. The more you pouches you buy, the cheaper each meal becomes.

I’ve been having Huel for breakfast, chicken and veg or salad for dinner then a Huel later on that day and maybe in the evening after the gym.

Taste –
The consistency is that of a protein shake and the taste isn’t all that bad, I ordered vanilla so I guess this stands out as the most prominent flavour to me. In other words it’s not bad at all. There is a plain version as well which can be good if you want a more savoury taste. The colour is a boring beige – the only thing that might make you feel icky. This is a healthy supplement though so no artificial colouring allowed.

How to use – I fill the bottle with water first then add the Huel, otherwise I find it doesn’t mix too well and clumps up so you end up with powdered ball chews…So yeah – Water first! Shake it all around, Using the plastic strainer that comes inside the bottle really helps to de-clumpify your meal.

Don’t make the mistake of eating just as much along with your Huel, that defeats the whole purpose AND you will most definitely put on weight. 2 scoops = 320 calories.

Pro’s – Save money, feel fuller for longer, cut out food prep/eating time, doesn’t go off, healthy!

Cons – You may get bored with the taste, not satisfied,

Verdict – It’s too early to make a decision on the overall effect but right now, I’m feeling pretty damn good about it, It’s almost become a religion to me….I have been trying my best not to sound preachy to my co workers/friends because that annoys the hell out of me…All I will say is, I’ve already changed my partners mind about Huel and a friend. The last 2 weeks I have noticed a few changes:

  • I am no longer as sleepy/lethargic as before. I find I can skip my ritual coffee most days.
  • I feel more motivated to go to the gym
  • I am losing weight – Seriously. You need to stick to an exercise and healthy diet though.
  • Versatile – You can add banana, cacao, coffee. The possibilities are endless. It’s a week in and I’m still not getting bored.
  • The convenience of being able to shake up the quickest meal in the world before I make the mistake of grabbing something not so good for me is another big plus for me.
  • Free time – Probably the biggest plus for me. Actually having spare time to go to the gym or blog in the evenings after work! I have blogged more in the last two weeks and it’s all down to the free time Huel has allowed me.
  • Less waste due to the minimal packaging

At this moment in time, I don’t believe Huel is a gimmick nor do I believe Huel is going to be a fad for me. I believe this is a solution for many of the annoying issues I and many others face each day. The fact I now have free time spared up each evening and morning is a godsend, Not reaching for the unhealthy snacks is another great effect. I’m also finding myself not craving the naughty stuff so much, the thought of having a whole pizza to myself now no longer appeals to me. I actually turned down a dominos the other day which for me is a shocking achievement. Huel is something I’m feeling pretty passionate about..which is part of the reason I wanted blog about it!

I will be sure to write a follow up post to update you on any changes that may occur. Have you guys tried it and do you think it could be the future of food?

All views are my own. This is my honest opinion.

Beauty | YSL Rouge Volupte

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I remember the first luxury lipstick I bought. I was 19 and was finally offered a full-time job, I’d had my eye on a YSL lipstick for a while, I also thought it was ludicrous to be spending money on something that expensive but I had put money aside for it and off I went to buy it. I’m not sure why I chose the most garish colour of lipstick, It didn’t go with my skin tone or hair at all, you live and you learn right? After parting with £26 I walked out of the store feeling so excited, I was proud of my little YSL shopping bag and couldn’t wait to get it home and check it out. Since then, my love affaire with high-end cosmetics has continued, I know what I like and would rather save up for that product than purchase an alternative.

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It was my birthday last month and my best friend presented me with this beauty (pic above) in my perfect shade (perfect beige no 3). She is my P I C when it comes to makeup shopping, we have similar tastes and go a little insane when surrounded by cosmetics…

One thing i love about Rouge volupte is the ornamental packaging, It looks so elegant sitting on your dresser next to your trinkets but because you will always want to wear it out, it will probably remain in your bag 🙂 If I could describe the consistency in three words? Creamy, glossy, hydrating. This lipstick is of high quality and doesn’t have that typical lipstick smell/taste. It has a watermelon scent – Lovely! It’s also the most weightless lipstick I’ve used, almost like a lip balm.

This shade is the perfect peachy mauve, it’s warming with the right amount of pink/brown ratio, lovely for all seasons, a nice change to the gothic plum we all got used to over the colder months. This is the perfect everyday to-night lip colour that I’m sure will remain a staple in my make up bag.

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Beauty | Wake up with Lancôme

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My skin hasn’t been the best since moving cities, the change of water has wreaked havoc on my skin. Working in an office and not getting enough sleep could also be to blame. The texture has completely changed and it was getting dry and patchy. My usual coconut oil treatment didn’t sort it out either so I thought I’d give my skin some loving.

Inspired by asian skin care rituals and developed in Lancome’s Korean labs, Energie de vie is Lancome’s latest offering and has the beauty world raving. Korean woman are known for their beautiful skin, this could be due to the 10 step skin care regime trend – yes 10, sometimes more! However, that would be a little overkill for me. I wanted a no fuss product that offers something a little different from the usual cleanse, tone and moisturize routine. This pearly lotion apparently helps you to better absorb your serum and moisturizer so I thought I’d give it try. The range contains natural antioxidants such as lemon balm, goji berries and gentian root extract to energize your skin and leave you with a brighter, more awake complexion.

The consistency is oily,  like a serum with a watery texture. Oily on application but is quickly soaked it up leaving my skin with a subtle sheen. I did feel like it would have a citrus scent, that’s probably down the green colour, However this has a lovely, delicate floral scent. Maybe a little bit fruity.

Use after cleansing and before moisturizing or applying serum, .I was using this completely wrong at first! Pour a small amount into the palm of your hand and lightly press to your skin – Simple.

A little goes a long way, I feel like this is a step that is not necessarily needed in my skin care regime but is something I hadn’t tried previously and I’m currently enjoying. I feel more refreshed and my skin feels less dull, super hydrated and conditioned. It’s refreshing to use a product that is so light and gentle on my skin. This lotion makes my skin feel good each morning and is an overall enjoyable experience and after a week of using it each morning, I’m finding my skin has a little more glow. If you are looking for a product that delivers ultimate hydration and adds something different to your skin care regime then I would highly recommend this.

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Nuxe haul

 

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We all need a little luxury in our lives, Nuxe is a brand that evokes feelings of summer nostalgia and makes me feel truly special. Small details make the Nuxe brand stand out, as it is one of the more natural brands, I don’t feel half as bad for covering myself in their oils, balm and lotions!

Reve de Miel lip balm, an unusual texture, a little bit gritty and white at first, almost cakey until worked in.  It’s easy to use too much, a little bit goes a long way so use sparingly – you only need a teeny tiny bit!  The balm isn’t sticky or greasy, the sheen left behind is so subtle, it’s almost matt.  A fresh hint of lemon makes up the scent, reminding me of Citrus Segments sweets I used to eat when I was young.  I have started applying this at night before bed and now wake up with lovely soft lips.

I first learned about Nuxe when a colleague of mine started wearing The Prodigieux le parfum, I was entranced by this beautiful warm fragrance. This fragrance is delicate, summery and lightly scented – not to dissimilar from the oil.  With Orange blossom, mandarin and rose notes, it is definately one of the more unusual fragrances. It’s unlikely you will find many people wearing the same perfume as you.  Personally, I don’t think the perfume lasts too long which is a shame. To increase the longevity, I spritz the Prodigieux le parfum after applying the Huile Prodigieuse, I find the scent lingers a little longer.

Huile Prodigieuse – The superstar of the Nuxe family, an all-rounder, to be used on the hair, face and body. This bottle carries some impressive stats , the ingredients are 98.1% natural with 6 precious plant oils and also contains vitamin E. This oil leaves my hair feeling shiny and silky and is a great finishing touch to my daily routine. I wouldn’t apply on the roots though unless you’re going to use as a hair mask pre shampooing. I have also applied the oil to my face and body but it’s so nice, I almost don’t want to use it on my body! find the dry oil penetrates my skin quickly leaving behind a sheen. The scent is a much lighter version of the perfume and I find wearing the perfume and oil together compliment each other really well.

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A new start

2016-03-29 07.37.32 1Taken at the London Holi festival 2015

I’ve not posted in so long. Winter hibernation happened, So did a bunch of other stuff…

A few months ago I decided enough was enough. My situation wasn’t the worst in the world but it wasn’t too good either. I was working in a job I HATED and not living at all. My boyfriend was living in another city and because I worked in retail, it meant I couldn’t see him most weekends. My job involved me pretending to be overly positive and often false to customers to try to make them buy clothes, standing in uncomfortable shoes all day while staring longingly out of the window with a glazed look in my eye. How many times can you tell a customer a dress looks amazing on them? I felt uncomfortable doing this. I often felt guilty for encouraging people to spend money on something I didn’t really believe in, When I would begrudgingly repeat the unnecessary product knowledge I’d learned to a customer, I would notice an irritated expression hidden with a smile – The kind you pull when an overpaid charity fundraiser jumps in front of you on your lunch break and just won’t take no for answer…

It’s amazing how upset pure boredom can make you. It got to the point where I would leave work and walk home crying, Yes, shamelessly wailing like a banshee! The daily cry fest was the highlight of my day because it was the only time I could let the feels out. It all seems so small and silly now but it was a really depressing situation at the time…If it wasn’t for the fantastic, wise, genuine and funny work mates who uplifted me then I was headed for a breakdown for sure..

One evening after work, after walking home with a face worthy of ‘the cry face of the year award’, I sat down and wrote out my notice – I don’t always recommend doing this – I didn’t have another job to go to but I was extremely low and saw no other way out, Though I can tell you that taking action and gaining control of the situation was such an empowering feeling. I had 4 weeks to make the career switch. I began revamping my CV and feeling more confident, thanks to the voluntary work I’d taken on earlier that year. I started applying every evening, choosing that over going out and socialising. Then like magic, I got three interviews in a week! Some were nerve-wracking and so awkward I’d rather strip naked and run down a busy street than sit through them again. Then I got a bit better at interviews and went for one with a company that seemed too good to be true so I left the interview trying to push it out of my mind. The same day, I got a call from that company offering me a  job! I was so happy I cried again but this time for all the right reasons! So here I am, in lovely Bristol 🙂

Moving Cities and switching careers has been stressful but challenging and exhilarating! The whole experience has taught me not to wait around and that taking risks is sometimes a good thing. If you are stuck in an unhappy job or toxic relationship/friendship then remember – You hold the control to change your situation. We limit ourselves and that’s exactly what I was doing for all of those years, Give your energy to the right things, don’t let anything or anybody dim your light and be sure to make living your first priority.