Sunday, 30 August 2015

Lifestyle | Adventures Down South!

So this week I finally got to get away from it all and go on a little holiday down south to Guildford! (That's in Surrey for those of you that don't know, (don't worry, i didn't either at first)).

My sister was at university down there, so we decided that before she came back home, i'd pop down for a few days to do some exploring!

First, lets talk about the commute... People in London Victoria bus station are mean!

I don't know if it's because I'm used to friendly Northerners who say hello to everyone they meet, irrelevant of whether they know them or not, but I was definitely not feeling that vibe there! Not to mention the lady in her mobility scooter who decided to stop, complain about something, then proceeded to reverse into the reams of people behind her trying to get to their connecting coaches... According to my sister, I managed to witness every type of person you could meet in London in the space of 10 minutes.

But once i'd met my sister at the other end, everything seemed much brighter!

Every one seems to walk everywhere in Guildford, which for those of you that know me, understand that this is foreign to me! So what they do, so that you can cut through the train station instead of having to lug yourself all the way around town, is they give you this thing called a bridge pass. What is basically is, is a little slip of cardboardy-plastic that means you can walk through the station (or over the bridge), and get out the other side, without buying a ticket! Nifty eh?

So the first night was pretty relaxed. Hannah and I went out for dinner at TGI Friday's and had a catch up on each other's lives, then we came back to her room and watched some movies. Now as she was a student, (I say was because technically when I went down she was, but now she's home she's actually finished her degree), I got to stay in student halls and see a little bit what life would be like if i'd have gone to university. To summarise, the take-aways get dropped off at the other end of campus, the kitchen is literally so far away, and I can't seem to understand why anyone would want to transport their food 5 miles between cooking and eating (clearly i'm exaggerating), and if you have a ground floor room, it is absolutely essential that you make sure the curtains are drawn when you are coming out of the shower!

On day 2, Hannah decided to take me around the shops in Guildford, which are pretty similar to the ones in Leeds, but it was in Guildford where I was on holiday, so it was better. I bought a couple of make-up bits i'd been dying to try, and we treated ourselves to some new clothes from Urban Outfitters! I classed mine as a necessity as that morning I realised the only 'outerwear' type thing i'd brought down with me, excluding my coat, was a Harry Potter Gryffindor hoody which i'd travelled down in! Therefore, I definitely had to buy a new cardigan!

Later that day, once we'd got back to her room, caught up on Coronation Street, and rebooted ourselves, we went out for dinner with one of Hannah's uni friends, and my best friend Emily, who also went to university in Surrey! The Nando's down there had just had a re-vamp, and the open day was that day, so we went there to have yet another catch up, and some food! 

Next up, it was time for pudding. We were all really full after the Nando's, but before I went down, Hannah had told me about a place called Creams, which was literally a dessert restaurant. Everything on the menu was some form of pudding. Literally  everything! 

One portion of one of their puddings was the equivalent to a main course, but as I was on holiday, and at times I can turn my stomach into a bottomless pit, I just about managed to force down a slice (slab) of cheesecake and a scoop of ice cream. (The waffle was my sisters, but I could have definitely eaten that too).

Day 3! My absolute favourite day of the whole time I spent there! Hannah and I went to the Harry Potter Studio tour!

It was truly one of the best days ever! A little bit of me thought that it may ruin the magic, knowing everything behind the scenes, but it didn't, if anything it made it more magical!

I won't bombard you with pictures, because I don't want to spoil it if any of you are going, but it's brilliant! 

Conveniently, at the end of the tour, you're led right into the gift shop, so it'd be rude not to spend any money, right?

After getting home from what can only be described as the day where it was officially confirmed that I am not a muggle, it was quite late, so we ordered a chinese. For those of you keeping count, that's 3 meals out and a take away in as many days... Do not tell my bootcamp instructor!

The next day was all about the travel back up north. So armed with snacks, my headphones, and a phone charger, we got on a coach at 10.50 to start our 7 hour journey back home! After about 30minutes into the journey, I fell asleep anyway...

So if any of you want a more detailed blog about the tour, do let me know, I just didn't want to let out too many spoilers!

2015 | August Favourites!

Another month down, already! August has been so busy, but i've still managed to pull together all my favourite things from this month!

So, some of you may know this, but earlier this month we had a bath reinstalled at the house! We've been living with one of those massive walk in showers, and some days, it just didn't suffice with the relaxing factor! So obviously, when the bath was put back in, I had to get myself some bath bombs from Lush!

My favourite is definitely Frozen! (The blue one) It fizzes like a mad woman and has glitter in it. Play the frozen soundtrack in the background and you're basically Queen Elsa!

The larger pink one is a bubble bar. A little less fancy than the bath bombs, but they provide so many bubbles, it's brilliant!

Now, I've been on some adventures down south earlier this week, so I thought i'd treat myself to a few beauty bits i've wanted for ages but held back on buying.

There will be further reviews on these products, but for a first impression, they're pretty great!

The Collection eyebrow palette comes in Brown and Blonde, as I have fair hair, I chose the blonde. Inside each, there are 3 different shades, an angled brush and a 'clear brow mascara'. I usually go for the middle shade for day-to-day make up, and set it with the mascara, and it really does last all day!

I also purchased Benefits They're Real Mascara in Brown. I love the original, and I've been wanting to try a brown mascara for ages too. Brown mascaras really work to bring out your eyes, especially if your eyes are green, hazel, or brown (obvs). While i've been wearing this, I haven't needed to wear any eye liner, as it really opens up my eyes, where as a black mascara can make my eyes look quite small! It cost £19.50, but I definitely think it's worth the price tag!

Earlier this month, I received an email from Topshop saying they had added more items to the sale. I didn't want to buy anything in particular, but I thought, as I'd just been paid I might have a quick look.

I found these! They were £45 originally, but in the sale I think they were £15?! I'm a sucker for a bargain! They're a perfect fit, so if you buy them, you should go for your normal size. I wore them out the other night, and I had them on from 6pm - 2am, and my feet didn't begin to ache once! I could walk normally, no one had to wait for me to catch up because I was going too slow, and to say they're caged, my feet never got cold!

You go Topshop!

Now, the most exciting part of this month (which will be talked about on the blog in due course), was my visit to the Harry Potter Studio tour with my sister. I won't spoil it, (although, in my next post there will be plenty of pictures!), but I picked up this Pygmypuff keyring to go on my car keys, and I just love it! A fluffy pink key ring to go with my pink car!

So there's not many, but they are my favourite things from this month! Let me know in the comments anything you've been loving that you would recommend!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Lifestyle | Let's talk about First Dates

 First dates ay,, we've all been there!

After being single for a while, I thought maybe I should put myself out there for a bit...see what happens...

Now I met my ex through my brother, because they were friends and they worked together (yeah it was a bit awkward), so i've never really been in the dating world. Most of the time, I think it's safe to assume that that was a good thing.

But where do you start? I'm always busy at work, and my social life isn't exactly buzzing, so obviously the right thing to do was to go for a dating website, more specifically, Tinder. Yeah I know, don't judge me!

So Tinder. You swipe left or right whether you like someone or not, and no-one knows which way you've swiped on them unless you've both swiped right, meaning you like the look of each other, and this then allows you to talk to each other. Sounds simple, yes?

Well it is. Maybe too simple. 

You get chatting with someone, everything seems to go well then, boom! Dick pic, in your face... Or the guys whose first message is 'Sex or pics'. A personal favourite, 'Do you like dragons?' ... 'Because i'm gonna be dragon my ball across your face later'...

So those guys are pretty much a right off straight away. 

Then there's the ones that you get talking to, who seem alright, who suddenly decide that they want you to be the new mother to their two children, and want you to get married and be a stay at home mum, baking apple pies and changing shitty diapers. Yeah, bye!

Then we move over to the select few you dare to give your number to. The one's who seem normal, who you have a normal chatty conversation with, who will randomly send you a dick pic when you're innocently sat in the lounge eating your spaghetti bolognese, watching tv with your mum. 'So do you like animals?' 'Yeah I really like cats....' Hmm he must have sent me a picture of his pets... Nope! It's a dick pic!

Or, there's the guys who you have nice chatty conversations with who just stop replying, or you leave the staff room to do a root colour, forgetting that you haven't replied to a message until weeks later when you see that there message is still chilling there, without a reply, but by this time it'd just be awkward if you responded... yes it does actually happen.. Sorry Thomas!

But then there's a handful and by handful I mean a maximum of like, 2-3, who you actually think you might be interested in, and with the back up of a friend sat a few tables away, you agree to meet for lunch/ a drink.

Let me introduce you to a few of my first dates; NB Not all of these have come from Tinder, that was just the start point for this blog!

Mr 'I'm Better Than You Because I Have A Degree'

So it seemed to be going well, but then he asked me about my job, so I obviously replied saying that I was a hair and make up artist...

'So you don't have a degree?'


'Did you not get into uni?'

I never applied...

'I think you should do a degree, there's plenty of at home courses you can do, but there not as good as going to a real university, but at least it's something and you're not just stuck being a hairdresser'.

He walked home. Alone.

Mr 'So You're Coming Back to Mine right?'

I never actually went on this date. Because in the whole run up to it, this guy was suggesting that we 'skip the dessert and have pudding back at his'. 

How about no.

Mr ' I've seen your face on Tinder so i'm going to assume that I can sit down next to you'

So I was waiting to have a meeting with someone about joining the Fellowship of British Hairdressing. And some guy, who I didn't even recognise, decided to announce to the whole of Starbucks that he'd recognised me from Tinder, and decided to have a seat... 

The most awkward part? When the guy I was meeting turned up from the Fellowship, he stayed there... Sat chilling there like a third wheel on something that could have potentially been a turning point in my career... Bit invasive to be honest!

Mr 'I'm so casual and laid back, and i'm going to talk all night about my kid and my ex girlfriend who's a psycho bitch'

The dinner was fine. The atmosphere was okay. The fact that he talked about his son didn't even bother me, who doesn't like it when someone is open and honest? But going on, and on, and on, and on, about his ex girlfriend (who he was SO over by the way...), just wasn't cutting it. So I mentioned that maybe we should change the subject, to which he agreed. Which lasted for about 10 minutes...

Don't get me wrong, some first dates go well (obviously, or everyone would be single). In my experience, ONE of my first dates have gone well, but then I caught a bug the day before the second date, and well... that's a story for another time.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Lifestyle | British Military Fitness

This post is coming to you today because i'm pretty sure that i'll wake up tomorrow morning and not be able to move. I well and truly had my arse handed to me today in the shape of a British Military Fitness class.

Now, i'm not the most fit person in the world. I'm the one weezing at the back ready to crack out my inhaler, so the thought of going to one of these classes terrified me a little bit. Going alone made it even worse! (My friend Pete was supposed to come with, but i'm not one to hold a grudge).

So the class was taken by Luke and Ritchie, and they split you up into colour groups, based on your level of fitness. There's blue, red and green, ranging from less fit to most fit, respectively. There was nothing lower than blue... I checked...

The warm up lasts for 10 minutes, and in these 10 minutes, you will definitely go from thinking 'oh I can do this, this is fine!' to, 'If I run fast enough do you think I can leg it back to my car before they notice?' NB no, I couldn't, because they keep your car keys safe in their massive rucksack in the back of their van.

Then you split off into your ability groups. Being a blue, you do get it easier than the other colours, but there were points during this workout when I thought I was going to vom out of my nose, where I contemplated lying down on the ground to wait for the world to swallow me, some bits i'm not quite sure I remember because you concentrate so much on not falling over, everything else just happens around you. But at no point, did I want to quit. You are surrounded by people there to spur you on, instructors who will shout at you, but in a nice encouraging way so that you don't want to curl in a ball and cry, and that just makes you feel like you could go on forever... I mean i'm pretty sure my legs would give way at some point give that it was a struggle to drive home, but you get the point right?

The best bit? The end. Not because it's over, but because after all that exercise, it's actually okay for you to lie down on the floor (aim to avoid dog poo, but to be honest at that point you're kind of past caring). You spend a good 5 minutes lolled on the floor, doing stretches, but mostly just lying there, and the sense of relief you feel at the end because you've actually done it, you made it to the end with out dying, or crying, makes you feel so good about yourself!

Whatever your fitness level, you can do it. They don't shout (much), they don't make you feel like rubbish if there's something you can't do, and it's just good fun!

*Snaps for Emily for not crying*

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

MakePals by EmScissorhands

I'm back again! For the second time in 2 days!

The reason for this post is to bring you an idea that's been floating around in my head for a while now, and it's time to share it with the world!

 It's called 'MakePals'. It's a play on words you see, it's a Make-Up Pen Pal.

The general gist is that you are paired up with a MakePal based on some different factors, whether it be your location, your skin type, your age, and every 3 months, March, June, September and December, with the budget of £20, you send each other  a package of beauty products you've been loving!

If you're paired with someone with a similar skin type, you can share products you think help your skin, or if you're paired with someone from a different country you can share products from brands that you might not get in their country.

So, if this sounds like something you're interested in, or you just want more details, send me an email and i'll send you the questions you need to answer to get you paired up with someone as soon as i can!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Lifestyle | Saturday Nights and the Single Woman

Welcome to another post for my Independent Ladies series!

I'm not sure if I mentioned that it was going to be a series, but it is.... Well it is now anyway...

Now before people get high and mighty on me, like you did with my 10 Things I've Learnt While Being Single post, this is not me a) Having a dig at relationships or b) Man-bashing because I hate all men everywhere. This is simply a post to uplift other women, support women, and put my womanly stamp on the world by telling you what I, a single woman, do with my life, okay?

So, it's Saturday night, you're not working this weekend, so you want something to do right? I work every other weekend, and i'm always picking up extra shifts, so when I actually get a saturday night off, I basically have no idea what to do with myself. I don't have a partner, so I can just arrive home and be all 'so what are we doing tonight?', because i'm not going to get a straight answer from my cats. (No I am not a crazy cat lady, I just like cats...). But do you know what, this literally means that the world is my oyster. Obviously it'd be impractical to jump on a plane and jet off to god knows where, because I start work at 7am on a Monday, but you get the idea, right?

Even when you decide you want to do something, you don't know what that something is. Do I want to do something alone? Do I want to ring round all my friends and see if they're doing things I can mooch in on? Do I already have plans? (Probably not), or should I make plans for future Saturdays I have off?? So here's a few ideas, that will fit into all the above categories. Brace yourself, it's gonna be wild.

Going out

Whether it's with your mum, your sister, your friend, what a better excuse for a catch up than going to see a movie? Or a pub dinner? Or even to the cinema? It doesn't need to be a wild do just because it's a Saturday night!

Going out out

Everyone knows the difference between going out, and going out-out right?

I'm always a fan of a night out. Especially now that the people I work with make the effort to invite me out (one guy even organised a whole night out for me when I first started so that I could get to know all my other work mates).

The best bit though? For me anyway... the getting ready. I love getting all glammed up, choosing my outfit, my accessories, my make-up. Then when you look at yourself when it's all come together and you have one of those 'Dayymmmm guurrrllll' moments? Yeah, they're my moments.

When you actually go out, you just have fun! I'm all about the fun. Life's too short to not make it fun. So if you want to wear heels that are sky high, that you know full well you'll take off 5 minutes into the first bar because you feet are killing, so what? Just do it!

The key is to make sure you're with a group of people you trust, and that you'll all look after each other, and the night will be what you make it!

How about just staying in?

No i'm not a prude. I'm not boring, or lazy. Sometimes, after a long week at work, I just want to put my pyjamas on, watch a DVD and order a greasy take-away. So many times people have thought i'm rubbish because they'll invite me out and i'll turn down the offer because I just want a night in. Am I bothered? Maybe a bit at first, but 4 wontons down and I don't even think about it anymore.

Why not get the girls (or boys) together and have a night in together?

Whatever it is, it's your Saturday night, so do whatever the hell you want with it? Go wild, stay in, invite the neighbours tortoise over for a movie night. Just make sure you're weekend is well spent, and you're looking fresh as a daisy for work on Monday morning!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Lifestyle | Dealing with the Thoughts of Small Minded People

Two essential songs that you need to be listening to while reading this post...
1) Shake it Off - Taylor Swift
2) Who's Laughing Now - Jessie J

Not only do these two ladies epitomise the definition of 'Girl Power', but they are also the perfect songs to syke you up to deal with other people's negative thoughts.

Now, today's post was going to be a summer look-book, but firstly, the weather hasn't exactly allowed me to wear the outfits i'd chosen, and secondly, I feel like I need to make this point before I go any further with my blogging/vlogging. 

Those of you that know me are aware of the reason why I left the salon I worked at to be a support worker. To summarise for those of you that don't, I came home feeling miserable every day because the environment I worked in was so negative and awful that it drained the life out of you. Me and my collegues, (some of which still work there), were treated like rubbish for a less than minimum wage. I had to get out.

So you could say I was used to dealing with negativity. But entering the world of blogging was a whole new story.

You get bombarded with negative comments from people that don't even know you, and those that do 'know' you (i use that term loosely), think it's okay to judge you, and degrade you in front of others.

Let's give you a few examples.

On one of my blog posts where I posted a picture of my body, I received a whole host of negative comments. I'm too skinny, i'm promoting anorexia (what even...), and that I was ugly... even though they haven't seen my face...

Another example. My ex manager thought that it was okay to tell one of my best friends that still works in the salon, that I was unqualified, I couldn't do what I was claiming to do on my Facebook page etc, and that I wont get anywhere in my career now i've left that salon. That tiny salon that no one knows the name of...

Now I wont lie. It upset me. Because it's a natural reaction to someone being nasty to get upset. But what I have learnt, is that the opinions of those people don't matter.

I've been reading Carrie Hope Fletcher's book, an coincientally, i'm on the section about bullying. And what she says is exactly right. It's not you that's the problem, it's them! The people that know you are clearly jealous of what you're acheiving, or they wouldn't be wasting their time trying to convince other's that their small minded opinion is right. And the people that don't know you obviously have nothing better to do than sit behind the protection of their computer and send nasty comments, so just leave them to it!

I don't write this blog or make my videos expecting everyone to like them. I don't need hundereds and hundereds of views and subscribers to make me happy. I write it because it makes me happy. An if my writing can help or inspire just one person, then i'll be pretty chuffed with what i've done.

I've got so many things in the making to look forward to, and so much stuff to share with you all, I simply don't have time for people's negativity, and neither should any one else! The block button is there for a reason and it'll definitely come in handy!

The people that try and drag you down are the people that are already below you. Just bear that in mind.

Those that mind, don't matter. And those that matter, don't mind ~ Dr Zeuss