30 January 2016

My 2016 Memory Jar

I meant to get around to writing this post before now but, you know, life gets in the way and all that so at least i'm getting it up before the end of January... just. I've always wanted to do this but just never done it, so this year i decided why not? I'm starting myself a 2016 jar, which is going to be somewhat of a memory jar, i think. Anything exciting i do this year or memories i want to keep, memorabilia etc will be housed here. I've seen a lot of people do this and end up with a really cool keepsake at the end so i thought seeing as i'm hoping to be moving into my own house soon, and by soon i mean in the next couple of years, i thought this would be something i could keep and put in my new house to remind myself of this year. There is always that fear that i live a really unexciting life so i will have nothing to put in it but if that's the case then so be it and i'll just keep it until i fill it up.

So far it's housing some glitter, which i added to ring in the new year and to signify the celebration of the new year and if you look very closely there is also two pennies. I found one on the floor in the Tesco car park in December 2015 and the other on the footpath in Cambridge in January 2016 so i'm keeping them as my lucky pennies to start my jar of with some positivity. 

We'll see how this goes but i just like the idea, and maybe i'll revisit it at the end of the year and see how i got on?


23 January 2016

What's Happening to my Feet? #1

Ever since i've worked in retail everyone said that i'd have problems with my feet and with my legs, but honestly i've rarely had any issues. Occasionally my feet are a little achey if i've had a particularly busy day but otherwise my colleagues have been shocked at my lack of ailments. I've worn the Clarks 'Frothy Soda' shoes for almost my entire John Lewis life which, in retrospect, where probably not the best shoes for someone who spends at least 50% of their day on their feet, walking on very hard flooring. Anyway, over the last couple of months i've had increasing pain in both of my feet. It started out as a little ache and has grown to be actually quite painful, sometimes making it hard to even walk by the end of the day.

So before anything else, after consulting my mother we decided maybe it best that i invest in some new work shoes with a thicker sole and a bit more support. I settled on the Clarks 'Griffin Mia' which is perfect as i actually can't wear shoes without a strap or a T-bar. They're so skinny that they just fall out of regular ballet pumps, so these fit the bill plus i've always had a love for loafer style shoes which often have what i would describe as the fuzz on the front. Not the technical term, but i have no idea what it's actually called. Anyway, these are much more comfortable and definitely give me some more support.

Both my parents actually suffered with Plater Fasciitis, which is a disorder that results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot caused by Risk factors such as overuse such as from long periods of standing, an increase in exercise, and obesity, in the past couple of years. So my mum suggested that maybe i also try these arch support innersoles in my shoes to see if they helped with the pain, as the majority of my pain was in the arches of my foot. It transpired that it really did help one of my feet but really inflamed the other. I ended up walking with only one in, which i felt a bit weird about as i wasn't sure if it would be injuring something else as i was sort-of lopsided. However, it made walking at work so much easier so i kept it going but made an appointment with a podiatrist too.

About two weeks ago i visited a chiropodist and podiatrist, but i'm not really sure what the difference is, to get some advice and to see what she would say. She looked at everything from my feet to my knees, hips and even my shoulders. She observed that i was definitely out of alignment and that my calf and thigh muscles, including my achilles tendon, where very tight so suggested some stretches to help loosen them up as that will knock on to my foot pain. She also said that one of my feet is definitely flatter than the other, which is probably the main reason i'm experiencing the pain. She asked lots of questions about where i work and what sort of shoes i wear, what floor i walk on, etc and she built up a pretty good picture of what the issues are and how to help.

What she suggested was actually that she order me in some specialist innersoles that she will fit to my feet and that are basically unique to my feet. They're pretty pricey but if they're going to help then i'm all for it. I actually had some regular innersoles in my shoes anyway so she fitted some foam to them to sort of mimic what my new innersoles are going to do and to see how i get on with them so she knows how to create my new ones to target the correct areas. I've been wearing them for a couple of weeks and i'm definitely not having half as many issues and they're very comfortable so, so far, it's looking good. I thought that maybe when i have the new ones fitted i'd come back and update you as it's quite expensive and people might be in the same position as me and want to know if it's all worth it. For now, although my feet aren't 100% they're definitely seriously improved.


16 January 2016

New Year Lip Wardrobe

I thought i'd share with you my lip wardrobe for the new year, as i didn't really share my festive lip wears this year. I rarely get to wear lipstick these days as i just don't get the time to reapply in my current job and there's just something about the air that melts all make up off, so you end up with that annoying line of lipstick around the edge of your lips. Hopefully, soon, i'll be getting a job which means i can actually wear lipstick to work!

Especially as our 'Winter' has only just about started, i'm sticking with the berry tones this new year. My go-to shades are classic purple-toned berries, pinky reds and deep, classic reds with a few pinks thrown in for good measure. I just don't really do nude lipstick as my pale complexion just doesn't really allow it, but i do enjoy wearing a creamy, light pink like the YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Rose Caresse.

My absolute favourite lip colour is the Mac lipstick in Rebel which i love for evenings out and daytime too if i dare to wear. A real luxury, however, is the Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Bright Plum 101 which is similar in shade, as you can kind of see above, but it's not as matte - the mac offering is a satin finish - it has a bit more gloss and it's not quite as deep, but is a really special product.

When it comes to red, i'm lusting after Mac's lipstick called Mac Red which is a satin finish, my favourite, but for now i'm loving the retro Topshop's Lip Polish in Harness which i'm not even sure if they do anymore but it's really red, really moisturising and nice and glossy. When i'm not wearing the classics, however, i do enjoy a dirty, brick-red too. My most loved are Chanel's Rouge Coco Lipstick in Suzanne and Mac's Captive and Craving.

Considering it's looking like January and February are going to keep cold, i'm not complaining as it means i can really stretch out wearing my favourite berry lipstick shades while i can.


13 January 2016

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

During these harsh Winter months, when the whether is finally deciding to cool down, my skin cries out for moisture. During the rest of the year i do moisturise but only at this time of year do i really need to think about adding as much moisture as i can into my skincare routine.

Last Christmas my mum bought me an Origins face mask set, similar to the one they have out this year, which included this little beauty. I originally thought that i might be a bit too much for my combination skin, but actually it drinks it up. Although it's an intensive mask there's something about it that's so light. It's got a gel-like consistency, which makes it somewhat cooling, and absorbs into the skin super quickly. It's so soothing and almost instantly can you feel your skin becoming hydrated and by the morning my face looks moisturised and plump.

I highly recommend you give this a go if you're a dry skinned beauty, but even if like me you're erring on the side of combination this might just help with any dry patches you have. I apply it all over my face but it could definitely be placed just where needed.


9 January 2016

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector

When i visited Florida this past Summer, this little item was at the top of my to-buy list. Before i went i went i'd been watching Youtube videos and reading blog posts about how popular it was, and how it was basically out of stock everywhere so i was fully prepared not to get my hands on it. I had three separate Sephora trips, to two Sephoras, during my two week stay and it wasn't until my last visit that i finally found it. I'd already been to the Mall at Millennia once, at the very beginning of trip without any luck. I then visited the Florida Mall in the middle of the trip, but when we visited the Mall at Millennia nearing the end of the trip they had just had delivery and had completely stocked shelves so i was very lucky.

The packaging for this pressed shimmering skin perfecter is particularly beautiful - the rest of the range comes in satin finish black boxes but the Jaclyn Hill version comes in a coppery, rose gold box with what looks like embossed rain drops all over it.

Champagne Pop is described as a 'soft white gold with pinky peach undertones' which, i would say, is a perfect description. On me, as you can kind of see from the pictures above, is looks very gold toned on me which i thought wasn't really working for me but if i really blend it out into just a touch of shimmer it can be a really special touch to my cheekbones. The texture is beautiful, it's super blendable, soft and finely milled. If you've used the Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfecter before then you know how lovely these products are, but this particular colour is just something special.

If you really can't get your hands on this one, or you fancy something a little pinker toned then the shade Opal is kind of similar to this one and maybe worth checking out.


6 January 2016

3 Ways I Use Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

This is one of those products that doesn't really look like much but actually it can be a real life saver this time of year. Multi-tasking beauty products have become a huge market over the last couple of years, with Eight Hour Cream being one of the originals.

I had always heard of Eight Hour Cream but never jumped on the bandwagon and tried it. I never really understood the whole multi-tasking product thing and, honestly, i just wasn't sure how it was going to work for me. Now, i'm sure i don't use it for as many things as some people but i love how it fits into my routine.

The main three ways i use Eight Hour Cream is on my lips, under my eyes and on dry skin. I suppose the last two are kind of the same thing, because i use this under my eyes in the Winter when they become dry, tight and sometimes sore and the results are dreamy. I use my under eye cream first, which is the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avacado, and then last of all i add a good dollop of Eight Hour Cream over the top. It just totally sorts any dry, tight-ness out plus plumps up the skin in the process. Everything just feels moisturised and smooth. The same really goes for the rest of my dry skin, sometimes i put it on my elbows, sometimes i put it on my feet, i have also been known to put it on my collarbone as when i wear my perfume there too often, it dries my skin out plus elsewhere on my face too. Again, it just keeps everything hydrated, stops my dry skin getting too advanced, and stops any rashes breaking out too.

I think the main reason a lot of people use it is for their lips, as an overnight intensive lipbalm. It's moisturising properties really are a dream and they keep any dry, cracked lips at bay and if they've already got to that point then they're it's also great at healing anything sore lips too.

If you haven't given this a go, then i highly recommend you at least try it once. I know it's not for everyone but it really is a good, worth-the-money product. I personally prefer the fragrance free version, but a lot of people enjoy the herbal scented original too.


2 January 2016

My 2015 Instagram Round-Up

I thought considering it's finally the new year, that i'd reminisce and round off 2015 by taking a look through my Instagram from the past year. I love that you almost have a picture diary of your year, through Instagram and it's lovely to be able to remember things that maybe i otherwise would have forgotten about. 2015, although a good year, wasn't so much a stand out 12 months. Nothing happened that was particularly notable but nevertheless it was a happy year. Maybe look through these pictures and remembering will remind me of memories i've already forgotten about.

The year started off as it meant to go on, really, as my love for beauty has just continued to grow this past year. It began with a good-sized beauty haul, as i decided to take a trip to Cambridge and just have a splurge. I can't explain it, and to people who aren't into beauty like i am they think it's mad but a friend recently said made a great point: some people like buying shoes, handbags, home decor, alcohol, food, well i like buying make up.

The weather was also something to document at the beginning of the year, with a spot of snow and some beautiful sunsets spotted on the bus ride home. Don't get me wrong, getting up at the crack of dawn, leaving home in the dark and getting home in the dark can, sometimes, be a little bit shit but sometimes it can also be a real blessing. Sitting by the bus window, watching the sun rise, watching a curious cat hop his way through a field of cows, watching bunnies race through the grass, watching the snow fall, honestly sometimes it can be really quite beautiful.

A trip to London also ignited my love for the city. I hadn't visited London for a good while since leaving university, when i visited a lot, but when i took the trip with a friend - had a good shopping trip, and took my first trip to Ed's Diner, it really found my lost love for just having a stroll through what always will be, to me, a really beautiful capital city.

I just had to take a picture after i'd had my hair done, that day, because he curled it and put it into a sassy quiff and i just loved it. I took some pictures on my camera too, when i got home, and i still use it as my Facebook profile picture. It's been a real process growing my hair and it's still not where i want it. It just seems to grow to a certain length, and then give up.

I have a feeling this was my first Chanel palette that i bought, evidently i've bought three since then and now own four. I just love the quality, the colours, the packaging, the brand, and really they are a special luxury item. They're something i cherish and imagine i'll keep for the rest of time - even if i use them up, or don't and they go all weird.

I took this one at Belton House, near Grantham, on an Easter Monday walk. I'd just had my birthday and it was a beautiful, Easter day. It's days like that that remind me to enjoy the little things. Sometimes i think i really can't be bothered to go for a walk, or leave the house or whatever, but when i do i really appreciate it and enjoy myself.

This was taken at my Birthday meal at Zizzi's, in Cambridge. Not to sounds too mushy but it felt really special to have all my lovely friends around me, they'd all taken time out of their days, come straight from work some of them and it was just so lovely. They gave me gifts and cards, some even handmade and it really meant a lot to me.

These are parrots that live at Johnson's of Oldhurst, a really cute farm that had an amazing farm shop that sells everything you could imagine from homemade sausages, pies, cheese to bakeware, sweets, vegetables, pastries, everything. They also happen to house some strange animals like these parrots, some crocodiles and alpacas.

I did a lot of food instagramming towards the end of the year, the top being a dinner with my favourite girls, after work, at All Bar One in Cambridge. I hadn't had a churro since a holiday two years before so this was a decadent treat and the other is from a work friend's birthday dinner which i went to the day after i landed from Florida, which was so lovely see all my friends after three weeks away and we went to Vodka Revolution in Cambridge, too.

This beautiful maypole is something i stumbled upon in Liberty's on a trip to London to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum. I just thought it was a beautiful site to see in the middle of busy central London, and bustling Liberty's.

I couldn't not have a snap from my Summer holiday to Walt Disney World on my instagram, could i? I took this watching Wishes the Fireworks show in Magic Kingdom this year, and it just doesn't look real! It also feels like a lifetime ago since i was there, but it was only four months.

I told you, more foodstagramming. The top is at Prezzo, in Cambridge, for another dinner with my best girls. We tried to have a monthly dinner before they both went off to university, leaving me behind! The bottom is a little restaurant in Covent Garden, London, called Joe Allen. Lizzie, one of my friends who i was having the monthly dinners with, is at uni in London and found this restaurant on an app. It was really strange, on some back street in Covent Garden and kind-of underground but the food was delish and the prices were good too. We had cocktails and a good catch up.

Also while in London, i took another stop at Liberty's to see their seasonal blooms because, i mean, what's a trip to London without going to Liberty.

More dinner and drinks after work, this time for the Vodka Revs Tuesday Quiz. We had 2-4-1 pizza and cocktails, and took part in the quiz coming fourth which i didn't think was too bad for us. It's just so lovely to have a group of workmates that i enjoy spending time with outside of work too.

More rain, this time sitting in my car waiting for the bus on the way to work - no surprises there.

Christmas time is now my favourite time of year, i've always loved it but i used to be such a Summer person. Now, i'm all about Winter, the snuggly jumpers, boots and Christmas lights. This year, the Grand Arcade shopping centre in Cambridge has these cute flying reindeer inside and there's also a huge Santa's sleigh too. As for me, this was just a peek into my Christmas decor and it was really nice waking up to a Christmas tree peeking through my curtains.

We had our work Christmas lunch at the beginning of December, where we play games, drink prosecco and eat a proper Christmas dinner all while at work. It's nice to get some time off of the shop floor to spend with my lovely work family. They even had a game this year, that meant if you sat on the chair with a golden star on the bottom, you got to go home for the rest of the day! Sadly, i didn't win. There's also a snap in there of some of the Cambridge Christmas lights, i just felt extra festive this day and i love me some Christmas lights.

Yet another food picture, but this time i was reunited with one of my best friends as she spends most of her year at University in Canterbury. We went for a morning in Cambridge, where we had some lunch, had a wander in the shops and generally just had a good catch up. This snap is from Cote Brasserie which i had never eaten at before but was actually really delicious!

Lastly, here is a snap from my annual trip to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. I'm pretty sure i've been going to the show since i was about six and next year is there 40th Bithrday. We usually go the weekend before Christmas and it just makes me feel extra Christmassy.

Finally, is an annual picture of my Christmas tree which was lovely, as always, this year. We love a mix and match kind of tree, full of multicoloured lights and ornaments plus we have a lot of old baubles with some new, which i really like. By this point too i'd put most of the presents i bought for my family under there too which makes it look even more festive.

In the middle there is another evening out with my work family, we all wore Christmas jumpers and just had a good natter and made our own festive quiz as the Revolution quiz master didn't turn up.

Lastly, here is a snap from my Boxing Day walk at a local country park. Everything looked pretty grey but these little red berries were hanging on for dear life and they were a burst of colour against the still, grey sky.

So that is my 2015 Instagram round up, and i actually really enjoyed doing this. Hopefully i'll remember to do it for the years to come, and i also hope i do lots of exciting things in 2016 to instagram and share. What was your favourite thing to instagram in 2015?

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