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My current Netflix binge list #2

11.16.2017


Stranger Things 2.
Okay, if you haven't watched the first series... where have you been - I promise this is a gooden. I'm gutted I haven't had the chance to watch this yet at the point of writing this. The binge for it is at the ready though. It's set in the 70's and a group of boys are on the hunt for their missing friend and stumble across the character Eleven and some dark forces along the way. 


Rick and Morty.
I remember the first time I noticed the first season of this on Netflix. I watched the first episode having no idea what to expect and what a cartoon it is. This is definitely something I recommend to others if you enjoy other adult cartoons like Family Guy. I can confidently say I've watched the first two seasons and honestly, it did make me laugh. If you can set aside the crazy storylines and clock onto the sneaky references they make in each episode you'll enjoy it. 


Power.
Sex, drugs and guns. Basically. There's 4 seasons of this show now. Each one that I've seen now just gets better and better. I'm yet to watch season 4 and I can't wait! James St Patrick (or known to some characters as Ghost) to the real world is known as a successful club owner. To a few he's known as the drug kingpin and the club is just a cover up. 


Peaky Blinders.
Out of all the other shows I've listed in this post. This is the only thing I haven't watched yet at all. It's been on my watch list for a while but I just haven't got around to watching it. A few of my friends have seen it and they talk highly of it. It's also different to other things I've been watching lately. It'll be nice to shake things up a bit!

What's on your watch list?



5 tips to help beat the post-summer blues

11.12.2017

I don't know about you, as lovely and picture-esque the late autumn/early winter months are. I sometimes find it hard to snap out of the summer blues and actually enjoy the winter months. I thought I would put together an inspirational blog post in hopes that it will help you.

1. Pamper yourself.
Going into the winter months, I find my skin loves to take a turn for the worst. Involving breakouts and dryness as my skin tries to adjust to the weather changes. Find yourself your favourite face mask, run yourself a hot bath (why not throw some goodies in there like bath bombs or bath salts for a relaxing treat!) and why not paint your nails - or even better, visit a nail bar for that extra pampered feeling! This is something that works so well on it's own, but by all means invite some of the girls over and have a catch up at the same time with a face mask and a cuppa.

2. Take a moment and go for a walk.
Sometimes life just feels like its passing us by before we know it. Once in a while I really do enjoy just going for a stroll. Quite fortunately I live near lots of green fields and woodlands and I enjoy seeing how the scenery changes colours when late autumn strikes. Try not to restrict yourself though! If you want to explore a new area then do it! Plan the journey then go and embrace it. Perhaps take a camera with you if you're into photography or make it another reason to take the dog out for a walk.

3. Get cosy.
There's nothing I like more than tweaking things around the house (or more specifically my room!) to help me feel happier as winter creeps in. This year for example, I've purchased fresh pillow sets and a duvet for my bed. Extra plump and fluffy to keep me warmer as the nights fall colder. Even a new duvet set can cheer you up! Don't forget candles, i'm a sucker for a candle. Pick winter scents (or do I dare say since it isn't quite December just yet - festive scents) and be sure to light them in the evenings too. There's something in the ambient lighting that helps me feel extra cosy and comforted in the evenings.

4. Start a new hobby - or pick up an old one again!
As the weather gets colder I find it easier to pick up my knitting needles and get practising with different knitted pieces I could make. This time of year tends to follow the trend of hats and scarves though but it keeps me inspired and wanting to make more to better my skills! Why not learn a new language for the new year, play an instrument, or take up general creative classes that can help!

5. Plan something to look forward to.
I'm not wanting to wish the rest of the year away, but there is absolutely no harm in making plans for next year so you have something to look forward to. Plan a holiday with a loved one, friends or your family. Think about how you would like to celebrate your birthday next year if you're celebrating a special one. Is there something on your bucket list that you hope to tick off next year? Do a little bit of brainstorming and get planning. As soon as you have something to look forward to, you will feel much better about the time you have to spend between now and then!


Holiday hair saviours - yes OUAI!

10.29.2017

This year I've really tried to take more interest in products that are truly suitable for my hair. Don't get me wrong I love a product or two. What am I kidding, I have probably have more products than shoes. I would find though that I never really found the right types of products for my hair type, or at least ones that didn't really give it a 'wow factor'. I knew I needed to find some cult hair products that would save my hair in the holiday sun and heat, especially when I would be by the beach!


I tried to focus on different products that would nurture my hair throughout the day. Focusing on categories such like; Pre-sun, pre-shampoo, and styling. Sadly I have the hair type, that if I don't use things like serum in my hair (especially with the heat and humidity in Mexico throughout the day and night!), I end up becoming Monica from Friends... 


Pre-sun products never crossed my mind before in all honesty. It would never really dawn on me how much UV can dry it out, let alone damaging factors from the salt water and chlorine. The Ultrasun Sun Protection Daily UV Hair Protector was a must. I'd whack my hair up into a bun or french plaits after spraying it throughout my hair whilst I was by the sea/pool. The benefit of using a product like this is that it tries to keep elasticity in your hair and restores some moisture and detangling nourishment to sun stressed hair at the same time. 

Another 'pre product'. Pre shampooing treatments. The Philip Kingsley Coconut Breeze Elasticizer. Firstly can I just say how amazing this smells?! I would want to use it simply for the scent and the treatment being a bonus! It's literally the smell of summer - if you like the scent of coconut. Depending how intense you want this product to treat your hair, depends on how you should use it. In my case, I would dampen my hair and spread it throughout and leave it for say, 20 minutes before I intend on washing it. If I wanted something more nourishing than that, I would put it in my hair to wash out the following day. This is an absolute must if you are putting your hair through stress.

Recently I've decided that I want to use less heat on my hair if possible. So styling it becomes more of an interesting task. Especially with the humidity of Mexico and the dull weather back here in the UK. The Morrocan Oil Intense Curl Cream  I thought this would be perfect for me to try to encourage my natural curls to come back again. I definitely notice a difference in my hair when I use this in my hair. It keeps the curls looking shiny and feeling soft whilst fighting frizz - yes! 


Finally there's these two bad-boys. These were completely impulsive purchases all encouraged by (believe it or not!) ASOS. I tend to browse the beauty section of ASOS from time to time just to discover new brands that appear on the market to me.  OUAI - pronounced like 'way' is a product that not only wants to look 'instagramable' but actually effective to use in day to day hair. I thought I'd give the hair oil and wave spray a try. Considering how many times I read the reviews and product description and kept them in my saved items basket, I just decided to bite the bullet. The hair oil can be used on damp or dry hair, perfect for combating the frizz. The wave spray was something that I was curious about. I've tried many a wave/salt spray in the past (i'm a major fan of beachy hair!) but been left a little unimpressed. What I love about the OUAI wave spray is that it smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling soft and weightless. Whereas some wave/salt sprays smell weird and even leave my hair feeling like its full of product. I can't wait to try out more OUAI products in the future. 

Mexico

10.26.2017


So a week ago today, I returned from a well overdue (and definitely needed!) holiday in Mexico with my boyfriend. There is something about having a holiday planned for this time of the year. You are not only able to have something to look forward to throughout the year, but you can also cling onto the last bit of warmth and daylight before the winter months settle in.

We stayed in Riviera Maya for two weeks at the Sensimar Seaside Suites & Spa. My boyfriend and I wanted to really make this holiday special since it was our first holiday together! (Plus with having the intentions to move out from still living at home, we knew that we might not be able to afford it for a little while after!) It was an amazing resort with the sea within close reach which also included free to use kayaking gear and snorkelling equipment. It was perfect for Scott whilst I could sit in the sun with a book!


So two weeks on a long haul holiday, how do you keep the balance between relaxing but exploring? This was something that Scott and I debated about even before we left for our flight to Mexico. The last thing we wanted was to come home and feel like we had done so much that actually, we felt like we didn't have a getaway at all. Neither of us had been to Mexico before too, which made us feel like newbies in the world of excursions and exploring! We had actually stumbled across someone on the beach who also promoted excursions to tourists rather than just relying on TUI. Not that there is a right or wrong way to book and plan your holiday. This is how we chose to fulfil our holiday. After conversing with him we knew that for the kind of things we wanted to do were best booked through him. We decided to book the excursions as we went along with the holiday rather than all at once for the time that we were there.


If you want culture if you're planning to visit mexico yourself, I would really recommend you visit a temple. The 3 you'll come across when doing some research will be Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba. Depending on what kind of activity you expect from your day, pick wisely. As of recent, Coba is the only temple you are allowed to truly explore and physically touch. Whereas Chichen Itza (being classed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World - a definite must if this is something on your list of things to do!) and Tulum are now a little more restrictive to preserve and protect the land. Either way though, i'm sure you will find the experience as educating about the Mayans as I did. We were also fortunate enough to explore Mayan land not only on foot, but kayaking, swimming in cenotes, zip-lining and abseiling. Not forgetting a spot of lunch with traditional Mayan food with the locals.


Dolphin Discovery was the second excursion on our list of things to do. It was an amazing day of not only swimming and interacting with Dolphins, but we also got to swim with Manatees and Sea Lions (er my new favourite animal!). Swimming with dolphins has always been that type of activity that I never really feel like its the morally right thing to be doing. I had an experience before when on holiday with my mum in Cuba. We went swimming with dolphins but they were effectively in what seemed like a metal cage in the sea. Nothing was obviously wrong with the dolphins, but it really played on my mind that they were in there. This on the other hand felt completely different, those thoughts never even crossed my mind once we arrived!

The interaction we had with all of the animals was fun and really good! You could also tell these animals were loved, nurtured and definitely well fed. Something that made the day even more enjoyable. Other than falling in love with sea lions, a highlight of my day was being able to float around in the water with manatees and feed them endless amounts of lettuce! I'm sure I was a manatee in a previous life... Their agendas are basically sleep and eat!


Finally Xel-Ha (pronounced like shell-ha) was our last trip. It's a natural aquarium in which you can snorkel through rivers/mangroves, swim with stingrays, interact with dolphins and experience true exhilaration with Adrenalina. Sea water meets natural river water as your snorkel and experience life under the surface and swim with the sea life. There is so much you can do within the water park, including a few optional extras on the side (at an extra cost). We chose to experience the Adrenalina water boat ride and also an attraction called Sea Trek between our ventures in the water around Xel-Ha.

In all honesty there are so many things you can do when staying in the area of Riviera Maya. I wish we had the time and money(!) to be able to do it all. The benefit of this though is that if we were to ever visit Mexico again in the future, there would be different excursions for us to experience. Besides, why would you spend a lot of money to also spend no time at the hotel? More of a reason to grab my self a bevvy, grab my book and relax in the sun either by the pool or in the sea.




A master class with Kat Von D

9.23.2017


So for those of you that aren't already aware. A new Debenhams has opened up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and oh yes, it features Kat Von D makeup and we couldn't be anymore excited about it. You can follow their Instagram page to keep up to date with all things makeup.

After numerous visits and a few desired purchases later, Laurel from the Kat Von D counter invited me to a makeup master class. It was all about a smokey glam look, my favourite thing about this though - was to be able to see the new product releases!


Laurel (pictured on the left) and Hayley (on the right) were there on hand to demonstrate the products to create the glamourous look with a few tips and tricks along the way. I hadn't realised before that there are quite a few products within the makeup line that can actually be used as multi purpose products. Ideal for creating many makeup looks without breaking the bank.

'Lock-It' crème concealer - blend on top the lids for an ideal eyeshadow primer
'Everlasting' lip liner  - perfect to use on the eyes too. Laurel really recommended the shade 'Skully' for a real 'black-black' pigment to use with a smokey eye.
'Metal Crush' eye shadow - the shade thunderstruck doesn't only look amaaaaazing as a pop of brightness in the inner corners of the eye but also on the cheekbones too!

A bold lip and some false lashes later, the makeup look was finished. It made me realise how easy it can be to create looks like this when you don't necessarily need to have every product under the sun in your makeup bag. I honestly couldn't wait to get home and try out some of the makeup i had purchased myself.


If you ever want to find some makeup inspiration or just love the Kat Von D makeup range like I do. You can follow Laurel and Hayley's Instagram pages (just click their names).

It's okay to have an 'off-day'

4.17.2017

It's completely human to feel that once in a while, there'll be a moment that you feel a little bit blank and that's not necessarily a bad feeling. Sometimes I just can't put my finger on it. We wake up, following our usual routines and then there's one day that just feels a little off. Our bodies feel like something is wrong, we just need to keep telling them that nothing is wrong at all. 

I mean, speaking for myself... I find that when i'm having an off day my motivation is reduced dramatically. Just to clarify it doesn't mean i'm necessarily feeling sad. I'm just not interested in doing anything. The worst part of that though is that  I really want to be doing something to make an attempt of making my day better. You just need to remind yourself to not beat yourself down when you aren't rushing to the first opportunity to take your mind off how you're currently feeling. If it means you stay in your pj's accompanied by your duvet and TV. Then roll with it. You aren't a bad person for not seizing the day. 

I think there's times we don't really focus on the fact that our minds are sometimes running a mile a minute. It almost seems normal. We aren't programmed to run like that, there needs to be a moment when our minds need to push the pause button. I can only assume that the pausing sensation treats everyone differently each time. Don't deny the fact that you feel this way, embrace it and use it as a chance to truly listen to yourself, or perhaps talk to someone that lifts your spirits. not feeling particularly chatty? Make yourself a mug of your favourite hot cuppa, get cosy and indulge yourself into a feel good story. 

I say that we should listen to ourselves, but please don't over analyse why you're feeling this way. You'll only anchor yourself down rather than lift your mood. There are a few things you remember when you are having an off day. 

No ones life is truly perfect. Everything you see on social media doesn't really represent what you can see on people's newsfeeds. Think about it, people will always want to show off a positive moment on their Instagram pages or Facebook statuses. Happy perfect photos. No one's lives are really as picturesque as they seem. 

If life was always easy, you would never truly appreciate the good times. It's okay to feel sad if things don't feel like they're going right. Sometimes it does feel hard to feel happy when you're down or feel like things aren't going the way you planned. You can learn from this moment though, improving your future self. 

It's absolutely okay to cry. Don't ever feel like you need to hold yourself back by bottling up your emotions. You don't even need to feel like you should justify the reason for crying either. I have my days where I just want to cry. No reason. I feel like I need to let go through tears. Always know that you can confide in someone. If there's really nothing to say, watch a film that can encourage those tears, I always reach for a film that I know is a tear jerker but actually, lifts my mood a ridiculous amount.

Right now, I can honestly tell you that today, I'm having an off day. I'm about to get dressed but that's only because I need to leave the house soon. Oddly whilst writing this, I am telling you honest words but it's an interesting feeling actually having to take your own advice into account. I'm sure you can relate to this, since i'm sure that at least once in your life you have given advice to a friend and also asked for advice in return. 

Just remind yourself that this isn't you everyday. This is normal. Like I said, It's okay to have an off-day. 


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