Beauty

BEAUTY | Rimmel Match Perfect and Lasting Finish Foundation and Fix & Perfect Primer Haul

Saturday, August 19, 2017

I recently found myself in a strange predicament and no one you would expect a "beauty blogger" to ever face. I was out of foundation (to clarify this means I had 3 in my make up drawer, 2 the wrong colour and one that was about to run out any day!)

One lunch time I headed over to Superdrug and checked out a few different brands but I find it a real struggle to get a good colour match.

Rimmel is a brand I go back to over and over again but I don't remember ever having a foundation from them.

I had watched a Zoella Vlog the week or so before and she had used the Rimmel Lasting Finish and it looked really good. It's not often I go for celebrity / big blogger recommendations and I do prefer to go off information from friends and smaller bloggers who are more my age and have similar skin type. (I'm an ancient 9 years older than Zoella)


It was 342 so what is a girl to do but to buy three things. I've been using a Laura Mercier Primer for quite a while now, I've been lucky enough to keep getting them in beauty boxes. It's one of the only items I love getting a repeat of.

Before I discovered Laura Mercier the Rimmel Fix & Perfect was my favourite drug store primer. I've tried a few including other Rimmel primers and I haven't liked them at all.

This primer is light and goes on really smoothly and I do think it helps to keep my make up on longer than without it.


The first foundation I chose was the Rimmel Lasting Finish, it has SPF 20 which is always a nice bonus and it's described as full coverage.

I have used this a few times and it's not heavy but it is a fairly full coverage and it's easy to build up for a fuller coverage without it going cakey.

In terms of colour matching, I picked Classic Beige. I find this does match me quite well. I'm happy with my choice and in terms of skin tone, it works well.


For my third item, I went for the Rimmel Match Perfect Foundation. This also has SPF 20 and is described as a medium coverage.

I would agree with this, it is also easy to build up to a fuller coverage if needed. I chose this one as I thought it would be better for every day make up than the Lasting Finish.





Life Style

BOOK REVIEW | On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I've followed Carrie Hope Fletcher for a while on YouTube even before I knew who her brother was. I found her through the black hole of YouTube suggested videos and it was the video of her cutting her long hair for charity that led me to her. 

As I love reading it was only natural that I would buy a copy of her book On The Other Side and wanted to include it on my blog. 


***POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW PHOTO***

BOOK REVIEW | On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher

The tag line "A love story like no other..." is fairly true and the book isn't like any other I've read or that I can think of.

In truth, I wasn't a huge fan of the book. It was odd but not in a good way. It wasn't terrible and some parts I really liked but would I read a second book if it became a series then probably not.

Evie seems to be a perfect human with no obvious flaws. When she dies a peaceful death in her 80s she doesn't make it to heaven.

Heaven isn't white fully clouds and there was no Saint Peter with his keys to the Kingdom, instead, heaven is the time and place you were at your happiest. (I adore this concept) For Evie, this was when she was 27.

At the age of 27 she's allowed to get a job and move into a flat but is given a time line of 12 months to get a better job and if she does she can stay in that life or she has to return home and marry the man of her mothers choosing. Her mum seems like a right bitch if I'm honest.

For Evie to get into her heaven she has to make her soul light enough to pass and with a little guidance from the ex-buildings manager, she discovers she has to put right three wrongs that occurred.

There are elements of magical realism that work so very well in this and are beautifully written. If you've read the book I'm thinking of how her daughter finds out about Evie's job. I also liked the giant cat and the way she passed into "reality"

Other elements I hated. The tree is where I'm going with this. I hate, hate, hated this. I don't feel like it was needed or added anything to the story and it was slightly disturbing. Although if the tree stays the storm concept worked.

I think Carrie shows real promise but this book didn't work for me. The perfect nature of a lot of the people, the imperfect people weren't rounded enough. I also hated the Surnames used. Thankfully she avoided my pet hate of alliteration but she stuck to a theme of seasons and weather. I'm not sure if I missed this being a key to anything but I found it unnecessary and I did wince a few times.

I also found it hard to place a time line on events as it felt like both the 27-year-old Evie and 80-year-old Evie lived in the present day. Event tracking back to if she died in 2017 and was 27 in the 1960s it didn't work for me. Maybe this is me being picky.

Other things that didn't work is that her boyfriend sexuality is mentioned fleetingly, he's bisexual and this is never mentioned again. I mean it really doesn't need to be mentioned again but why mention it if it isn't going to be important. I mean those last few chapters and it could have been perfect. I could almost fanfic rewrite a few chapters and I've just thought of a brilliant new ending but do you need to be a fan to write fanfic?

I didn't hate it, I laughed in part. Some concepts showed real promise but I don't know if it was edited badly or time was short but some of it just didn't work.

It's rare that I would write a review of a book that I give less than 3 or 4 stars to but I felt like I needed to get some of the things I'd been pondering off my chest.

Would I recommend this book - Maybe? Are you a CHF fan? If so then yes.

Would I read other books by the same author? Maybe, if they are in the same series. I don't think I would but with new characters and a different theme then yes, I wouldn't write off reading more.

Rating out of 5 - 2.5. I've thought about this a lot and for me, it wasn't awful and there was no point where the book was making it to the did not finish pile but I just didn't get that buzz of I don't want it to end. I don't feel like I can round it up to three.

Lifestyle

LIFESTYLE | Wax Melt Addiction - My 3 Most Used / Bought Products

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'm no stranger to wax melts and I've been buying the traditional Yankee Tart's for a number of years. 

I've recently discovered electric melters (technical term I'm sure). I've always been a little wary of candles, as much as I love using them. I do worry I'll forget about them or a freak wind will send them flame towards something flammable and I'll burn my house down. 

Tea lights under a wax melt I was a little more comfortable, especially as they tend to only have a couple of hours burning time. I feel a little safer using the electric ones as there is no flame to worry about and I'm happy to have them in a room I'm not sat in. 

I've been buying melts from various places and trying different scents to see what works for me as I normally only buy outdoors scents. I have been impressed with the Tesco own brand melts but I've run out of them or they would have been included. They do a range for the electric burners (melters) which I didn't like as much the ones that are like the ones pictured below are nicer and are under £1 each. 

Yankee Candle - Simply Home

This wouldn't be a post about melting wax without giving a mention to the Yankee Wax Tart. These have been a staple for years. There seems to be an unlimited range of fragrances and I do think they have a good throw to the scents. 


 I do stick to clean and outdoorsy scents such as clean linen, soft cotton but my favourite scent has to be sage and white tea. I have never smelt anything like it before and if I could only smell one scent for the rest of time I would choose this. I've googled just now and I can't seem to find it anymore on the Yankee website or any other website which I'm hoping is a mistake as this is my last one. I have tried a few different scents and have a berry one on the go at the moment. I do keep thinking about being more adventurous but I know what I like and often go back to my favourites.



Home Inspirations by Yankee Candle

I've recently been to my local supermarket to buy some more of the above melts and they have disappeared from the shelves and have been replaced the Home Inspirations range. 


Initially, I was wary. Did I really want a pack of 6 of the same scent? If I'm honest, no I don't but I feel like I picked scents I like and will enjoy using and by being in the packs they are easy to store and by having a few different packs in I can use them as and when rather than having to keep using the same one over and over again. 



Local Market

I noticed this stall at my local market a number of weeks ago, selling a range of candles but they have recently moved to a different pitch which I walk past most Saturdays and I noticed they have the wax melts. 

They have a huge range of scents and I really struggled to pick my favourites. They are 5 for £1 or 12 for £2. 


They seem to have scents that cover most peoples tastes and at their prices, I decided to try some scents I wouldn't normally go for.



 For my first purchase, I went for:

  • Dewberry
  • Blue Sky
  • Lavender
  • Lavender and Lemon (now discontinued) 
  • Coconut
  • Black Cherry



The following weekend, I went back and bought another 12, just as I was leaving the stall I spotted a Satsuma scented melt and it smelled amazing, so I decided to buy another 5. The man on the stall said I could have 6 as we'd been chatting which was lovely of him and I did double check with him.


The scents I bought that week were:


  • Mango
  • Satsuma
  • Pink Musk
  • Coconut
  • Fresh Linen
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Apple
I tend to use 2 or three of these at a time and I'm currently burning mango and lemon and it is a perfect combination. I want to buy more but from what I've shown is only a small selection of what I own. 


As this is about my most purchased products I didn't include some of the other brands I use but I think I need to give an honourable mention to "A Wick and a Prayer" I'd been recommended this brand before and when I was away in March I picked up a couple of their bars. They look like bars of chocolate but don't try eating them. I picked up Black Peony which is a little strong but I do like it and the Gin and Tonic scent which I have really enjoyed using. I do use these sparingly but they are well worth looking into.



Beauty

BEAUTY | Purederm Exfoliating Foot Mask, Is it Worth it?

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

My feet are the most neglected part of my body. I hate my feet and while I have good intentions to use foot creams I rarely bother. 

A few years ago I received a food exfoliating mask from a blogging event and it was a revelation. I had nice feet for the first time I could ever remember and I did repurchase that brand at least one. That was the Footner brand and it has an RRP of £19.99 (It is often on offer but still £10 plus) I know it works so I would buy again but the cheapskate in me doesn't want to spend that money too often. 

A couple of weeks ago I spotted Kelly from Big Fashionista had used the Purederm and it had worked. 

Purederm Exfoliating Foot Mask

I'd always been put off buying the cheaper brands in case they were a waste of money. The Purederm cost £5.70 from Amazon.

My feet are bad. I took photos but I can't bring myself to put them on the internet. If you really want to see I can send them to you but trust me, you won't like them.


Inside the pack are two liquid filled booties and you will need scissors to get into them. One thing I hadn't realised is they come in different sizes. I got the regular and I had to rip the top a little bit to get my size 7 feet in them. Next time I will look out for large ones but if you are a size 6 or under these should be fine.


What happens next is you sit for 60-90 mins and do nothing. Don't try and walk in them as they are a little slidey.

Then you wash your feet and wait. Be patient as it can take up to 7 days before you get any peel. My feet became very dry and uncomfortable before the peel started.

It does say not to use moisturiser or pick at the feet (I know ewww). I noticed peeling on day 7 and the urge to pick was strong.

Day 8 I decided to soak my feet and got my foot file/pumice stone on them. This aided the peel and my feet were no longer sore. I also did a foot moisturising mask as I couldn't take the dryness. I did the same again on Day9 but didn't moisturise after.

As I mentioned my feet are awful with thick cracked heels so if your feet aren't too bad I would probably say skip this as per the instructions.

Day 10 - My feet are still peeling slightly but most of the worst skin has come off. Personally, I think I need to move into deep moisturisation as my heels are still very dry but I am going to wait a day or two until the peeling has fully stopped. They are not sore or openly cracked anymore and this is why I think I need to start moisturising to stop this happening.

Would I recommend this product? A huge YES!

Can I offer any advice? Yes, check the size you're ordering. Follow the instructions. Be patient and enjoy the peel. Also, don't do it if you need to wear open shoes within the next fortnight. Get used to wearing socks, trust me this is needed to contain your own peelings (ewww again).

I want to do it all again and I'm not fully out of the peeling stages. They do recommend waiting a couple of months before using again and I am going to try and stick to this as they are a chemical peel.

Since buying I have discovered they sell a similar product in Primark for £4. I have bought one to see if the ingredients are the same. If they are I'm going to stock up while they have them in as they are the cheapest I've found.

I'm going on holiday in November so I'm planning on doing this process again in September or October so my feet are nice and pretty (they will never be pretty, who am I trying to kid) ready for the sunny Lanzarote climate.

Have you ever tried a product like this? How did you get on?




Life Style

Goals | Update 7 - July 2016 Goals Update

Sunday, August 06, 2017

If you’ve been following me since the start of the year you will already know that I’ve set myself goals rather than resolutions this year.

As the months go on I’m going to be amending and tweaking things as they still don’t feel perfect but I’ve split my goals into 4 areas Blog, YouTube, Social Media, and Life. I’m also having one blog or social media focus point each month.



I don't feel like I've been keeping up with these posts which fit in with one of the goals. I guess it's another thing to work on. 

I'm going to work through my list of categories and update how I'm doing or feeling about them. 

I feel that I'm focused more on social media rather than my blog or YouTube channel and it might be time to switch things up a bit for the second half of the year. It's AUGUST! How did that happen? 

Blog
Consistency – I'm going to say this is a little bit of a fail. I did manage to blog 6 times. Since I've been on holiday I've not really had little motivation and I have all the ideas but I haven't spent the time to write posts or take pictures. 

In August I want to set time aside to plan the posts and spend time over each weekend taking pictures. 

Engagement – I haven't been engaging with blog followers. I've had comments but I haven't read all of them yet or replied to any. How can I expect people to read and comment if I don't reply? I have plans to spend one day a week where I sit down and reply to comments. 

 Readership ­­– I don't know if this is worded correctly anymore. I've checked my analytics and this month I've had more visitors than the last few months and while it will be nothing compared to some blogs. I bet my monthly figures are less than some peoples daily visitor counts. I'm happy and I don't feel like I need to do anything different on this one. 

YouTube
 Replying to Comments – Nope, Nope and Nope again. I haven't really put out much content this month. Again since holiday, I haven't had any motivation. I did film a lot on holiday and all this content went out but while I did film a few videos I haven't edited any or put anything else up.  

 Build my audience – I hit a mini milestone as mentioned above, I don't get all that many views but this is something I want to work on and as I've said above in the blog section the2nd half of the year needs to be spent on content creation rather than social media stats

 Reduction in posting – Nailed this one. Not exactly as planned but I'm 100% posted less!!! 

Social Media
Growth 
My social media stats for July are:

YouTube30060.00%
Google+42685.20%
Bloglovin61381.73%
Pinterest119979.93%
Facebook73598.00%
IG SW115877.20%
Instagram202389.91%
Twitter352393.95%






I'm really happy with these as while I have tried to focus on these, I've also felt like I haven't worked all that hard. What also pleases me is that I've hit some mini interim targets

I finally got to 300 on YouTube. I actually hit this twice as I reached it and within about 5 mins it was back to 297. 

My main Instagram reached 2000! I find it really hard to get to round numbers on Instagram, as soon as I get close people unfollow. I've been told IG has a weekend clear out of spam but even so it's been a toil! I did work at building my followers and it seemed to fly past 2000 into the 2030's but it's dropped again. I haven't posted as much in the last few days so I'm happy to stand the loss.

Twitter which to be honest I tend to leave alone reached 3500. I did a little bit of work to hit this but in general, I leave it alone. People seem to find and follow me. I'm guessing there is a lot of spam accounts in that number but I'm not knocking it! 

One thing I have noticed is more and more blogger opportunities only seem to be open to people with a 10k social media following. I can never work out if this is 10k total on Instagram and Twitter or combined and I guess it probably varies depending on the PR. but across all of these social media, I've almost got 10k. I know that won't count but it's another nice little mini target 

Google Plus 

Other than sharing my posts there I haven't done anything with it. Not a lot else I can say

Interaction 

Life
See my friends more – I don't think I've seen my friends this month. So I need to work on that. To be fair I've been ill a lot of the month. I went on Holiday (have I mentioned my holiday at all?) in June with an ear infection and I'm still not right

 Go back to the gym – I did manage to do this. I went twice and did a Zumba class each time. Then I got ill again so I'm planning another try at this in August. 

New Job – Still haven't done anything about this. A few months ago I updated my CV but that's is as far as I've got

Read more – Yes I've been reading. I've read about 3 books in July. Mainly chick lit and I've bought a few books. I'm currently reading Hidden Figures and I'm enjoying it and want to see the film. One of the other books I've read is On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher and I really didn't enjoy it. It was a little strange and I really don't know what I make of it. 

Start a 2nd blog – This needs updating as technically I started this December 2016. It's about Slimming World and I don't want to promote it here but if you want the link, tweet me or follow my SW Instagram account seeingspots_sw and you can keep up to date. I rejoined SW 5 weeks ago and I have been updating that blog. I'm trying to do a weekly post after I've been to class. 

Next month's Social Media focus

I'm not sure if I want to concentrate on the big number and get them to 100% or focus on the low numbers. As I've said a few times from now till the end of the year is content creation. 

Blog / YouTube Schedule

I'm going to aim for one or two posts a week on each platform. 

Social Media Goals


Lifestyle

YouTube | Month in a Minute - July 2017

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

I say this in almost every post but where is this year going? July has been and gone and Hello August! 

Last year I started making these short youtube videos "Month in a Minute" Inspired by Sian from Helpful Mum who has been making these videos for a while. I love the concept which is to record a couple of seconds each day and at the end of the month, you will have a minute of footage.

Since I got my new phone which has the memory card concealed / not easy to access I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't want to record 2 seconds a day on my camera but after a chat in a Facebook group, a few of us committed to try and make a video for July. I've watched Sian's video and 2 others have said they are in the stages of editing/uploading so that will be something to look forward to watching later.

I found a video editing app in the play store to edit on my phone and it was super easy but it has their watermark on my video which I hate but I'm going to leave it for this month and try and work on something better for next month. Any recommendations are welcome.

July started with having my hair done. I had it cut at the end of June but she couldn't do my colour at the same time.

As always there was lots of shopping, trips on public transport and it seemed to be a month where fireworks went off almost every night.

My local town centre also hosted an event every Saturday including the Bloom festival which celebrated them partaking in the city in bloom competition ( we are a town but too populated to take place in the town in bloom category so we go in the city one as it goes on the size of the electoral roll or something like that) There was also a vintage car show and Pride celebrations. Sadly those clips didn't import and I was so excited to get a video up I forgot to go and look for them. I might try and redo the video in the next few days and add in a new version but for now, I'm happy with my little 60 seconds.

July was also a month of Love Island. Admittedly this was a 7 week long series but I missed so much of it and colleague got me hooked and I spent a weekend catching up and watched about 22 episodes in three days. I did skip loads but at the end of those 3 days, I was hooked. 



If you make Youtube videos I'd urge you to have a go at making these. They are so lovely to look back on and 2 seconds a day really isn't much of a commitment. They also upload to youtube extremely quickly which is always a bonus and they are amazing to look back on and they are the only type of my own videos that I like watching back. 

Month in a Minute

If you have made one of these videos make sure you join in the linky on Sian's blog x

Lifestyle

FOOD & DRINK | Enzo's Blogger Event

Monday, July 24, 2017

Last week I was invited to a blogger event at Enzo's Manchester branch which is on Fountain Street in the city centre. (down the side of Primark) 

I hadn't heard of them before but looking at the website and seeing Pizza and Coffee I was excited. What I also liked was the story of how Enzo's came to be. I will leave you to read that for yourself on their website if you're interested. 


There is a fairly decent sized outside seating area at the front which would be lovely on a sunny day and a bright modern but with a bit of a retro vibe interior.

I did walk past a couple of times as it didn't look like an event, event. I went and found another blogger I knew who was going and we walked in together. I'm glad I didn't go in alone as I would have ended up sitting on my own until someone else I knew arrived.  


Luckily Rachel did know some of the others who were already seated so we joined them and then the lovely Claire arrived and joined us. I love meeting new bloggers and catching up with people I've not seen for a while.


I think we were all very taken with this sign and you'll be seeing it across most peoples posts, It's already on my Instagram account.



We were welcomed with a glass of Prosecco and then we got to try a few different slices of pizza and a bowl of pasta. The pasta wasn't for me, I can't put my finger on what it was I wasn't keen on but I'm a much bigger fan of pizza than pasta anyway.



The first two slices were Vegi Deluxe and one I didn't catch the name of but it has onions and chillies and that was amazing. I could have happily eaten more of it. Looking at the menu I suspect it may be the Enzo Royale which also has bolognese base and pepperoni.


We also had the chance to try some bread twists which I didn't take pictures of them7, they had chilli flakes and tasted extra nice when dunked in a balsamic and oil mix. 

As well as regular and cheese garlic bread I also tried Schia Bread, which is flat bread with red onions, rosemary and sea salt and I will be ordering another one od these. I did also try a piece of the vegan garlic bread which I think I preferred to the regular garlic bread (which was very nice) 


They brought round quite a lot of food and it was very had to resist, as you can see I had quite a lot of food. All in the name of research. 

Two of the pizzas I did resist were the Lasagne pizza and Nduja which has dolcelatte, nduja, toasted walnuts and rocket. I opted for the Enzo Royale instead and the Nduja just didn't do anything for me but it looks pretty impressive.


I had fully decided I was full and happy and ready to leave when they brought round slices of the Pesto Deluxe. I was happy to resist. I've never been a huge fan of pesto and it was covered in Rocket which I really dislike. (It tastes like fish to me - I've been told I'm wrong but each to their own)

When they said feta, I knew I had to try it. I've recently discovered how insanely good feta is on pizza and the rocket was just garnishing so I shook off the rocket and this has to be my pizza of the night.

The pesto and feta just work, I always ask for a very light covering of tomato sauce on pizza if I know they are being freshly made and if I'm honest it's all about the cheese for me.

I think I might have just had bad pesto before as I really did enjoy this and now all pizza's should be topped with it.

Looking through the menu there is an extensive drinks menu from coffee, teas and the usual soft drinks to a range of ice teas and a whole hot chocolate section. They are also licenced if you fancy a pizza and a tipple.

On the way out I noticed these flapjacks and they looked exactly like the ones at my old high school. You might think that's a bad thing but my school's flapjacks were amazing and I'm not just saying that becasue my best friends mum was the dinner lady in charge of making them.


Tram and weather dependent (they've been suspended again at the time of writing) I might be popping back into Enzo today for a coffee and a cake in the outside area.

I've also noticed they do vegan nights which look like could be a good night out and I noticed a poster for live entertainment on Fridays after work.

I was invited to Enzo and received the food and drink in exchange for a blog post, as always all views and opinion's are my own. I would recommend trying Enzo's and I will be back as I need to try a breakfast pizza and I want a square of that flapjack!



Lifestyle

PLANNING | The Ginger Cat co Haul and Comp Win

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Ginger Cat Company's stickers. I've been buying them on and off for the past few months, I'm not as good at using them in my planners but I do keep buying them. 

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

In June they celebrated their birthday by holding a number of giveaways and I was lucky enough to win one of the prizes.

I'd also placed an order using the very generous birthday discount code so my prize and purchase all came in one package. It was like Christmas.

My prize was a pencil case, a set of coloured pencils and a cat greetings card colouring in pack. I'm excited to get colouring in and send some to my friends.

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

I bought a mix of bullet journal functional stickers as well as days of the weeks stickers, monthly calendars and date boxes.

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

As well as the stickers I bought I also got a free birthday sheet which I'm going to save for my birthday week next year.

As well as this kit I also grabbed a few more colourful sheets including a Cinema boxes set, I don't go often but I love this style of box to record my trips.

My current planner is undated so the bow date stickers will come in handy and the birthday balloons will be a nice way to records friends special days. The first time I saw these was on a sample sheet and I wasn't keen but I decided to use it and loved how it looked in my planner.

The ginger cat co - sticker shop haul

The final set is a mix of cute stickers including the book lover stickers which are adorable, but first coffee and other coffee saying which might be an ill timed purchase as I have been thinking about cutting out caffeine but I'm going to cut down not cut out and I couldn't resist the cat stickers.

The small sample sheets from a couple of other shops that provided stickers to the first x number of people who bought in the birthday sale. I'm not sure if people got full sheets as well but I placed my order at the very last minute so I didn't expect any birthday extras the discount was enough.

I have bought from a few other shops but in my experience the Ginger Cat Co have always arrived very quickly, There is also a facebook group which has a nice mix of people in it and I'm sure other shops have that as well, but I've found somewhere I love and I'm a little afraid of shopping else where. I know I should try other shops but for now, I'm really happy and I need to get sticking and planning with these and the many other stickers I own!



Lifestyle

Lifestyle | Mindfulness and Me

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Earlier this week I went on a work course which was all about health, lifestyle and energy. I really didn't know what it was about but it has to be one of the best course I've been on through work.

Now I don't really talk about work on the blog and I guess this isn't really about work as it was an external company that ran the course and work just paid for it.

I realised by battery levels are more like a 2 out of 5. I spend my work day in the wrong "zone" and I need to do things about it.

Throughout the session, we had a sheet with traffic light signals and after each part of the session we wrote down thing we were going to start doing, anything we wanted to continued doing and things we were going to stop doing.

If you've read my last post about why I haven't been blogging much you will see that I've been ill and run down and stressed for a while now.

The course was on Tuesday and as I write this it's now Thursday and I've already made a few changed. I'm hoping these are sustainable and after only 2 days I managed to sleep almost a full night, minus a 3 am wee break but I didn't fall asleep on the loo and I did get right back to sleep.

Changes I'm planning:

Eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking. The course recommended this for me it will have to be within 3 hours due to commute but I have had some form of breakfast before 9 am all week. I just  need to make sure I do it at weekend as well

I've been taking in Skyr Icelandic Style yogurts and having one before 9 am where I can. I really enjoy these as they are not as sweet as many yogurts and they are high in protein and help to keep me fuller.




Use an app such as Headspace - I have downloaded it and done the first two meditations. I'm going to look into some other apps before I buy a year subscription so if you have any recommendations let me know.

Start a positivity / Gratitude Journal-  for a while I have noticed people posting their three positives for the day on Facebook and we talked about this, it was agreed putting pen to paper makes us connect with what we are saying more. I have dug out the journal I won from Beth a while ago and started it. My plan is to write my three positives for the day and a quote. I used to keep a quote journal but it's been lost/packed away and I have no idea where it is. This way if it does turn up I can transfer the quotes to it/I'm kind of keeping a new one.



Make Gin Fridays a more regular thing - Myself and a colleague have an odd gin Friday when we need it / special occasions and we both really need it. It might have been a bit of a joke but we do need to spend regular time out of the office. I'm not sure I can afford a Gin and lunch out every week but I'm going to see if she wants to do the odd Starbucks lunch / other places and make sure we book it in. Even if it's once a month plus special occasions.

We've made a good start and had a Gin Friday this week, we also had lunch out as it's been a tough old week so food and gin were essential.



Stop eating my lunch at my desk -  I kinda like eating at my desk. I get to do a bit of blogging / I can watch Love Island. I am trying to spend half my lunch away from my desk and on days where I have watched LI I will move away from my desk!

These are a few of the things that I'm starting to work on. There are a few other things on the list but I haven't really look at them yet.

Watch this space, I'm aiming to do updates on changes I'm making and how I'm feeling over the coming months.

Life Style

LIFESTYLE | Why I Haven't Been Blogging as Much

Monday, July 10, 2017

I was I looking for a snappier title the "Why I Haven't Been Blogging as Much"  but let's call a spade a spade.

Over the past few months, I've felt ill. Nothing I can put my finger on. Ongoing cold, chest infections, ear infections with a few days of feeling ok. Only for the cycle to start again.

I feel miserable and I'm sick of turning down social occasions but what is worse a lot of the time I've felt ok but by the weekend I'm so run down I have to cancel last minute and I'm always the one who plays hell when people flake at the last minute. I've taken to telling people to plan without me and if I'm up to it I'll let them know last minute. Which I also hate but I just can't commit to anything at the moment.

Just before I went on holiday I finally gave in and went to the doctors, only because 1. I was due to fly and I knew it was a full on ear infections and 2. It was a bit of a cry for help. Sadly as I can't
explain how I feel any more than I feel ill. It isn't much help.

That doctor gave me a course of antibiotics but all the time on holiday I was poorly. I keep randomly falling asleep. When I wake up I have no idea where I am or what day it is and it's very scary. On one occasion I fell asleep walking down a set of stairs from the roof terrace to the main living area. Luckily I had my parents either side of me shouting to wake me up. I safely made it downstairs and slept in a bed for 6 hours. I found if we had a bit of a trip out in the morning I'd sleep all afternoon.

Now I'm home the random sleeping has abated a little but I've fallen asleep at work, on the tram and missed my stop. Luckily I was on a tram where the last stop was only 2 stops down the line but it meant tea was ruined and I got shouted at. I got told to buck my ideas up by my dad. I didn't do it on purpose. I don't know how to make it stop. I'm now setting alarms at 5 min intervals to keep me awake all the way home but I need to change the alarm tone as I think I'm becoming immune to it.

I did go back to the doctors the day after I came back and saw the practice nurse. I don't feel like he took me very seriously and said there was no sign of infection. He was assuming I don't go to bed early enough for the sleep thing, but I go to bed between 6 pm and 9 pm most nights, occasionally it will be about 11 pm but I don't really consider that all that late. No antibiotics needed but he did give me a nasal spray as I was bunged up.

He agreed to send me for a blood test to see if there was anything else they could see but I've been back for the results and all he said was my sugar levels were too high but not indicating diabetes. I need to get my sugar levels down (AKA Diet) and there was a slight abnormality a liver enzyme but nothing to cause concern or need medication for. I then had a coughing fit and he sent me on my way with another prescription for antibiotics and said he wants to repeat the blood work in September.

What I have noticed is my sleeping is getting worse, last night I went to bed at 9 pm Started to watch Love Island and I fell asleep within 30 mins. I woke up within 90 mins I know this as I'd put my TV on a timer and my tv turned off a couple on mins after I'd woken up. More sleep but awake at midnight - too hot, sleep wake up 1 am - too cold, sleep, wake up 2.30am no idea where I am. Sit on the edge of the bed knowing I need the loo but not being able to get up. 3 am. Go to the loo.  3.30am Get woken up by dad. You're asleep on the loo go back to bed. Sleep, wake 4 am - too hot again. Do i  get up, sit on the edge of bed not being able to get out of bed. sleep repeate a mix of previous till 9 am when I gave up and get up. 12 pm arrives and i'm asleep on the sofa! Is this pattern happening all the time and I just don't remember it? What is wrong with me.

If I go out on a Saturday and I mean just a walk around town, I can't get up on a Sunday and I do nothing. I feel like I have no life. I get home from work, have tea, read blogs, watch TV then sleep. I can't risk going out after work in case it wipes me out at work the next day.

With all the going on I haven't had time for blogging. My YouTube channel has been ticking along as I filmed lots in advance and I managed to film while I was away.

Safe to say I'm feeling very sorry for myself. I now have a barking cough and I'm annoying everyone around me with the sounds I'm making!!!


As well as all this we've been having wifi issues. We have virgin super fast which only works when it wants to on one device at a time!

Apologies for this being so whiney but sometimes it's cathartic to pour it all out.

I do want to try and improve my health and I'm a member of a gym but I haven't felt up to going. I went back last Wednesday and did  Zumba class and it was great and I'm hoping to keep going to that. I just need to make sure I've had a quiet Tuesday and Thursdays planned. I'm also going back to Slimming World. Don't worry this isn't going to be a SW blog and I know this may lose me a number of friends but I wanted to mention it. I'm not a diet bore and I don't want to talk about it 247. I want to crack on and do it. I want my all come back normal in September and I want to be able to go to events again and no be wiped out. They are exhausting enough when you are well. I've got tickets to CFF and accommodation booked. I want to be able to play out on Saturday night and not take to my bed and think I could have done this at home! Someone remind me to book a train ticket and I've got a holiday booked for November and I want to not sleep through that one!!


I want to feel more like me even if I have no idea what I feel like. I want my blood tests to come back "normal" I don't care about losing weight. I admit I'm a couple of stone above where I tend to sit and those plane seats were more uncomfortable than normal but I won't be letting it take over my life.




Other than mirror IG selfies these are then only photos of me from holiday and I hate them, I feel that I look really sad and if i'm honest a bit poorly so I guess they are a true reflection of the time. 

Lifestyle

TRAVEL | 3 THINGS TO DO CARTEGENA

Monday, July 03, 2017

I've recently returned from a trip to Spain and one of the many things we did was to visit Cartagena. I have been to this city around 7 years ago but last time we stayed around the large El Corte Ingles which is a large department store.

This time we entered from the different side of the city and parked in an underground carpark which was along the sea front. 

While I didn't spend very long in the city these are my three recommendations. If you've been recently let me know what you would recommend as I really want to go back for a long weekend. 

Number One - Visit the Port Area

Cartagena is also a stop for cruise ships so for a lot of visitors they don't get a choice but to visit this area. 

I love to look at boats and while I was there I was lucky enough to see the new superyacht, that is on its final fit out alongside its sister ship the much smaller but no less swanky yacht.


There are also a number of sculptures along the port side and I really like this about Spain and I know a lot of other cities do it but as I visit Spain the most I associate it with them.  


The port side isn't the only place for art with this amazing tail poking out of the water. The is also the Naval museum which we didn't do this time but it is on my list for my next visit. Near our car park was a few bars and we had a drink looking out over the water picking out our imaginary yacht.


Number Two- Go To The Roman Theatre Museum 

This is the closest I came to visit this museum and it might seem strange to recommend it, it was one of the reasons we went to Cartagena, sadly we decided it was just too warm to visit and we decided to spend out time elsewhere. It's said to have seated 6000 people and as you can expect it isn't a place for someone with mobility issues as there are a lot of steps. There is also an interactive element to the museum with a lot of buttons to press and displays are in English and Spanish. 

Number Three and a sneaky Four - Shop & Drink Cortado

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post there is a large department store but we explored the side streets and discovered a number of shops that I was familiar with. 


I found Sephora, but it was closed and not open for a few weeks which was a little bit heartbreaking but I'm guessing this saved me at least 100 euros. We spotted a lot of the usual store we'd previously seen in the shopping malls but we did find a Sfera which we hadn't found before (I did see a concession in El Corte Ingles in Alicante a few days later) 


After a hard day of sightseeing and shopping, we stopped for a cortado which is an espresso with hot milk and my favourite way to drink coffee but I have it with milk as they sometimes make it with hot condensed milk and that way really isn't for me! 



I may have only spent a couple of hours in the city but it has left a lasting impression on me. It felt like a smaller, calmer, safer Barcelona and I'm longing to spend more time in the city.



Instagram