Royal Blood ~ Alexandra Palace

11.28.2017

Last week the wait was over. The Royal Blood 2018 tour had reached Alexandra Palace in London. Scott and I ventured down there on the train not only excited to see Royal Blood perform, but the little piggies that we are - we wanted to get our hands on some fooooooood.

Quite fortunately we live in a location in which it isn't a terribly long journey to venture into London via the trains. In hindsight we wished we drove though, it wasn't particularly difficult to get to but with the cold winter weather we have right now, a cosy car journey home wouldn't have gone a miss! After chowing down on two fully loaded burritos (yes, we're still trying to get over our Mexico holiday blues!). We were ready to watch them perform! 


As expected, Royal Blood were absolutely amazing. Performing a good mixture of songs played from both of their albums. Having the whole crowd singing along and also as predicted, screaming for an encore right at the end finishing off with Ten Tonne Skeleton. If you want to listen to some music that's performed brilliantly live. Go and see Royal Blood. 

On a side note though, I do love to people watch whilst standing in a crowd of people. You find so many different types of characters. I suppose at gigs you have stereotypical types of people: 1. The hardcore/passionate fans - these types of people are singing every single song word for word as if they are the bands biggest and most important fan. 2. The drunken fans - those ones that probably wish they didn't get as drunk as they did at the start of the gig, resulting in them trying to dance off their drunkeness in hope they sober up a little. 3. The ' i'll film it all on my phone/ipad fans - I'm partial to taking a snap or two even if its a few seconds long of a video of  a song I love, but seriously you've paid to be there for the atmosphere, put the camera down once in a while! And finally 4. The 'I came here for my other half/friends' fan - the tag along that was invited for the great night out, doesn't know any lyrics or perhaps knows a few lines here or there whilst they're standing there. 




Manchester - better late than never!

11.27.2017

I completely intended on writing this post closer to the time but I just simply don't know where the time has gone! About 10 days ago I visited my cousin who's currently at university in Manchester. I asked her to show me some of her favourite places to go in the time that I had with her. Considering before this visit I had never been to Manchester before - I was pretty excited to see whats what. Due to bad traffic on my way up to her, I only had a full day with her before I was due to leave. First stop: Afflecks Palace.


Everywhere I turned there was something that caught my eye. The building has such character - don't forget each shop stall or coffee shop of course! The building had very much an indie-vibe to it which is something i'm not usually exposed to in all honesty! So everything had my attention. My cousin took me to one shop called Messy Makeup who feature henna art. Sadly this is something I couldn't possibly get away with for work but my cousin went right ahead.




Those that know me would know I love a good shopping spree! Some stumbling across this vintage clothes shop which had a Kilo Sale amused me. 1 Kilo's worth of clothing for only £15. Of course I was really trying to be on my best behaviour and i'm proud to say I managed to resist all purchases!

Something really did make me giggle on my journey to and from Manchester. A reminder that i'm becoming a full fledged adult - I was thinking 'what a lovely smooth drive' whilst on the M6 toll road. Even right now I find myself smirking... oh dear... 




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. 


Chilli B's | Hitchin


I love to find new places to stop and have a bite to eat. One place in particular that i'm noticing more and more little treasures in terms of places to eat and drink is in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK. I'm not from Hitchin myself, I would love to live here some day though! Such a lovely little town.

My boyfriend kept on talking about "this amazing place that made awesome sandwiches". For those of you that know me, i'm a big big fan of food. I'm always up for discovering new locations for a bite to eat. Besides, I needed to be the judge if this place really did have amazing sandwiches.

I liked the decor in Chilli B's. They had a clearly marked 'to-go' and dine in areas to order your food from. It's always a good sign walking into somewhere and they are genuinely busy catering for their lunch rush. My first impressions were.. "hm, this must be good?" Did you want to make a first impression? Click here to check out their menu!

Here's a little funny story... So it was only myself and my boyfriend sitting down to eat. Just the two of us. Two people that love food. Two very indecisive people when the menu looks too good to only pick one sandwich. So, that's what happened! We were so indecisive with which sandwiches we wanted to have we ordered 3 between us and shared them. The waitress made us laugh when she queried where the third person was that was joining us. We just admitted we ordered three sandwiches between the two of us. (yes in hindsight I was more than stuffed after tackling the last few bites I could of the sandwich) But Scott was right, the sandwiches at Chilli B's are great. One of my favourite things being that the menu is named after TV/movies. With their own comical sandwich twist! I had the 'Bacon Bad' - cajun chicken, bacon, mayo, toasted with melted cheese. All sandwiches served with a fresh dollop of coleslaw. Ah, so so good.




Netflix Series that should be on your next TV binge list

4.14.2017


13 Reasons Why
As i'm writing this now, i'm currently watching this. I won't tell you what part i'm up to because A. I haven't finished this series yet. B. I would hate to give away any of the story so far. and C. Isn't this piece of writing meant to encourage you to watch this? You might have noticed that 13 Reasons Why has grabbed quite a lot of social media attention. The main factor that people are taking away from this series is how it shows you the insights and thoughts of Hannah a high school student who commits suicide through 13 pre recorded cassette tapes. For the most part, other than it's story line, it's got people talking about suicide and how its a real thing that shouldn't be over looked especially when people are at a younger age feeling like they have no place to reach out to. Please, if you're out there and you feel like you can't talk to anyone about your feelings, don't suffer alone. Someone will be happy to listen - why not talk to the Samaritans - they'll listen to you.  or call (free) 116 123 if you're in the UK. 


Riverdale
After the death of one of the 'rich and popular' Blossom twins on the 4th July in the small town of Riverdale - where everyone knows everyone - an investigation arises into what happened. The series starts in September, its the beginning of the new school year the mysteries begin to unveil. It's refreshing watching a series that has quite a few fresh faces. You might have recognised from the image above or the trailers that Cole Sprouse is a star of the series. You definitely don't think about the ol' Tipton Hotel whilst you're admiring this different type of character. I'm really into this right now, it's a shame the episodes are on a weekly release! I'm hooked!


Stranger Things
If it's not enough that this TV series that is based in the 80's was nominated for 2 Golden Globes, perhaps knowing the 2nd series is on its way to us! "In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a peculiar incident starts a chain of events that leads to the disappearance of a child - which begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community. Dark government agencies and seemingly malevolent supernatural forces converge on the town while a few locals begin to understand that there's more going on than meets the eye." oooooo. Get watching!


Pretty Little Liars
Okay so this isn't a Netflix Original Series. BUT I'm going to be a little shocked if you haven't at the very least heard of Pretty Little Liars. The saddest thing about that is that the final ever season is on it's way on the 19th April this year and i'm not mentally prepared for it to be over forever. It all starts from when four friends in a town called Rosewood stick together against an anonymous threat which wants to reveal their inner most darkest secrets when they try to unravel the murder of one of their best friends. I'm not going to lie, I've probably watched every episode so far numerous times because I cant get enough of how gripping the story line becomes. Each season will leave you wanting to know what happens next. 

#ManicureMonday ft. Vanity Beauty Academy

4.10.2017


Having nice hands and nails might seem like a luxury to some, but to me - it's a necessity for a great first impression. Plus who doesn't like to receive compliments about their fab set of nails!

I've always struggled with my nails in the past. They're pretty frail, thin and snap easily. Boo! So normal nail varnish is something that never lasts more than a day on me without chipping off like old paint. I envy anyone that I see pick up a bottle of Essie/Barry M/etc etc because no matter the brand, nothing lasted on my nails. (So many pretty colours *sob sob*).

I then got to know about gel polish, something with a little more structure to it to guarantee a longer manicure finish than regular nail polish. I'll be first to say I've never really been a nail expert at the time nail polish was just nail polish and that's the same for gel polish too. (I'm so sorry to any nail technicians out there!) Its not until one of my colleagues at work explained it all to me in terms of different types of products and how to care for you nails I began to realise how little I knew. I was recommended to go to Vanity Beauty Academy in Hitchin, Hertforshire, UK.


I've been to nail bars in the past, in all honesty - Vanity Beauty Academy is by far the best one I've been to. It's worth the trip to Hitchin rather than just going to a local nail bar in the town I live in. Upon arrival you can sense the pride in this independent business, not only in the decor, but of all the ladies that work there. Besides who could turn down a cup of tea the the cute little mugs they have?! (I love a cuppa!). 

Prior to the first time I had my nails done at Vanity Beauty, I had never really experienced nice nails. Seems dramatic doesn't it? I never used to get compliments on how nice my nails looked and no one used to ask me for the name of the place that I'd get them done. Without wanting to sound cheesy, I do now and my nails make me feel girly and proud! 

The cost of having gels done with Vanity Beauty Academy costs me £25 a time. The fabulous thing about this is that you aren't penalised if you want to explore creativity. Love a bit of nail art? Fancy a different type of texture? Like a plain colour across your fingers? It's £25 and you'll love it, my nails usually last me at least 3 weeks without chipping - what more could you ask for? (At the moment i'm obsessed with their new work that they're uploading to their Facebook page (click here). You can see snaps of my nail artwork on my Instagram, but for now you can admire some of the recent work that you'll see on their social media. 

Photos are not mine. They are from Vanity Beauty Academy

Vanity Beauty Academy offers other treatments than just nails. You can explore what they do if you click here! 
Are you a beautician yourself? Maybe you want to become one? Want to expand your qualifications or learn a new skill? Vanity Beauty Academy offer more than pampering - have a look at their website or give them a call! Click here <<

Want to see more on their social media?

Facebook: Click here
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Website: Click here



I gave up dairy for a month and this happened...

3.27.2017


Going into the new year I wanted to give something a try that could potentially change my lifestyle. If it worked and proved to be better for me, I wanted to keep at it. I'm still trying to keep this mentality but for now, I can tell you how this went for me. I understand my experience won't be the same for everyone. At least this will give you a little insight.

Week One.
Like any new idea, I was in the right frame of mind and ready to tackle what was ahead of me. No dairy, easy! I could just research into alternatives and substitute products so I didn't have to miss out. Technically I didn't have to feel like I would be missing out because milk products weren't a large chunk of my dietary intake. I quite enjoyed products like almond and coconut milk already. My cravings started towards the end of the first week when I wanted things like yogurt and chocolate. Other than that I found removing dairy from my diet was easy if it was an optional product to start with. I didn't have much interest in finding dairy-free products of items I had already lying around the house.

Week Two.
During my dairy free adventure I thought I'd explore the world of soya. The only thing I really knew about this product was that it was a common alternative for dairy. I wish I read into it more beforehand. I discovered that soya gave me skin problems. I reached out to my boyfriends cousin who is a happy vegan for advise. I never thought that soya could upset the hormonal balance with your skin. Funnily enough, hormonal spots were quite an important factor in why I decided to avoid dairy. If I drank too much milk for example, I would break out and my arms would also come out in an acne like condition. Bye bye soya.

Week Three.
Honestly, I felt a little knocked down by the state of my skin on my skin. I was still quite happy having no dairy, but now I didn't feel inclined to try new alternatives. My enthusiasm towards this challenge had faded quite dramatically. My skin was still unpleasant, although it was now on the mend of getting back to it's usual state. The only soya exception I allowed myself to cheer myself up was the Quorn picnic eggs - damn they're good.

Week Four.
By the final week, I think I had already made my decision in terms of how I would continue this no dairy lifestyle choice. Considering I don't have much dairy as it is, It's no harm to either continue having milk when perhaps its the only option available, or just picking a good alternative depending on the drink. If there is a percentage of dairy in a ready made product (ie pasta etc.. ) then it's not an issue with moderation. I generally don't think my skin at the moment can handle a dramatic hormonal imbalance in comparison to what it would usually be familiar to. I think a healthy mix of exercising and eating everything in moderation or giving the opportunity to a non-dairy alternative a chance as and when is the best lifestyle choice for me.

Have you given up dairy before? What was your experience? 

Spring yourself into these 5 simple lifestyle changes

3.26.2017

I love the winter months in England. Don't get me wrong i'm a summer-baby and i'd pick the sun over the snow any day. But there's nothing quite like layering up those cosy knits and spending time by the fireplace. It's time to snap our mindsets out of hibernation mode now. Now the clock's have gone forward, I've put together this post to just do that for you. 

1. Drink more water.
I for one can drink water like there's no tomorrow. My 'thing' at work is to carry around my 2.2 litre water bottle to keep hydrated. By all means, don't feel like you need to take a page out of my crazy book, but have you considered how much water you're drinking everyday and if you're even drinking enough? I'd always recommend to drink a glass as soon as you can when you wake up (kick-start that metabolism!) a glass before meals and finally right before you go to bed as your bare minimum. There's no harm in carrying a bottle around with you. Keeping hydrated is so good for keeping your brain alert and healthy. Wash away those toxins and feel refreshed. 

2. Make your meals fun looking and colourful.
I'm not saying strict diets are in order. Even I have a little attention span for boring-ass diets. Add more fruit and vegetables into your meals. Forget the nutritional benefit for one moment, make your meals more colourful and tasty! It also goes towards that oh-so-important 5 a day!

3. Catch those ZZZ's.
If you happen to find the secret to getting a great night's sleep, please do let me know. Sleep is essential to your immune system, metabolism, memory, and overall vital functions. Trying to improve my sleeping patterns was one of the main reasons I purchased a Fitbit last summer. Track my sleep and see where i'm going wrong in creating a better sleeping pattern. Just be sure to try and get your 8 hours and you'll be feeling goooooood in no time. 

4. Move those feet.
I'm not saying join a gym. You should consider different ways of keeping you active. Go swimming, wipe the cobwebs off your dusty bike, or even go for a walk. What can you do that will take up just half an hour of your day? Got a project you're working on that involves quite a bit of physical effort? Go for it. 

5. Not reached for it since last Spring? Time to pass it on.
Have a sort through your wardrobe. Create a pile of clothes you wish to sell if you wish to make a buck out of your unwanted clothing items. Another pile should be designated to donating towards a charity shop, just because you don't find it of any use now, doesn't mean someone else wouldn't be better off without it either! You'll feeling much better and refreshed once you've had a sort out. 


Tail Of Lions

3.21.2017


It's a little belated, but on January 31st I went to the Electric Ballroom in Camden with one of my best friends Roma to see Alex Clare's Tail of Lions tour. If you aren't familiar with Alex Clare, i'd be almost certain that you would have heard this song of his from his first album.. [Too Close - 2012]



It honestly felt long overdue [the Tail of Lions tour] and Roma and I were more than excited. I love the pre gig buzz you get. Binge listening on music, following everything on social media and nattering away with those around you that are also excited like children going to a friends birthday party. Roma and I have managed to go to 2 out of 3 of his tours, I can vouch for the both of us in saying that we're a little gutted that we missed out on the first tour! 

It was by far his best tour yet though. I even enjoyed watching his instagram posts and stories [click]  after the tour was finished in the UK. I managed to take some photos from our evening on my Sony Xperia Z5 phone that i've uploaded onto my flickr account. I absolutely loved the greyscale theme with the photos and artwork for this tour and album, so I continued the theme over to the photos I took with the help of VSCO's X6 filter. 


The absolute highlight of my night (other than singing all the words with my AC gal next to me) was right at the end Alex said that he'll be hanging back after the gig to talk to people etc. It wasn't the case that I thought he wouldn't once everyone started to leave, I just couldn't imagine there being enough time for him to (quite literally!) talk to everyone.

So imagine my excitement right... I'm in the queue where you can have a chat with him, have the option to buy some merch and potentially get it signed. Grinning like there was no other expression that could be left on my face. Grasping onto Roma's hand to we don't seperate in the queue.. We're at the front.. we're ready to get some merch.. then we're told the card machine had gone down! Ah I was gutted. But not wanting to give up the opportunity to have him sign something I asked if he would happily sign my phone case! I was back to grinning stupidly and feeling all giddy in no time!

I just hope the next tour isn't as far away as the gap between the last two! 

Head over to my Flickr account to see the photos I took of the night. If you have Flickr too - hit that follow button so I can return the favour and also check out your portfolio! 



You can find Roma over at Intricate Trinkets ~ Hair. Trinkets. Life

I'm calling it Lifestyle, my style.

3.13.2017

Well it's been a while again, hasn't it? I guess you could say my blog has been on a hiatus since October '16 but in all honesty, it feels like it's been so much longer than that. A few months before my blogging became less apparent I wrote this post here. It appreciate it if you have the time, give it a read.  I began doubting myself and what I was writing. It started to feel nothing like myself at all. I originally started blogging to express myself in the world of beauty. After time, it seemed like if your blog didn't "fit in" with not only the content, but even down to what you use for your background in your photos, your blog wasn't good. 

I've taken a step back from blogging over the past few months, I think in all honesty I needed it. I didn't want Beautiboe to completely shut down and gather dust so I decided to keep it's instagram account going. I always had it in my mind to start blogging again, but I definitely fell out of love with it no matter how much I wished it wasn't true. It's pretty easy to get stuck in a rut and quite challenging to snap yourself out of it. In my case, once again I had my girls and my boyfriend giving me the boost I needed to consider thinking about new content. This lead me to think about the different mindset I need for this blog. 

It's like I had an epiphany. Lifestyle, my style. I can write about my interests, but i'll make my blog my own. It doesn't have to be like the other blogs. It doesn't need to have a same content theme as other blogs. Don't get me wrong i'll always enjoy reading those blogs myself(!) but I want to be able to write about my interests in beauty, fashion, my hobbies, travels and photography and so much more. My way. 

It's a shame something like social media which allows us to be able to express ourselves in many forms and connect with others on such a magnificent scale, can also have the opposite effect and make you feel alone and pessimistic. 

Watch this space... 


MAKEUP 101: 5 tips to get the most out of your makeup sponge

3.12.2017

Left - dry Real Techniques sponge + Right - damp Real Techniques sponge. 
I guess there's no definitive way of using a makeup sponge, at the end of the day use it how you wish. This post is here to help you get the most out of your makeup sponge/beauty blender/etc! There'll be a day that I splurge out for a Beauty Blender but before that time comes, i'm using (and would happily recommend) the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.  

1. Don't rub your skin with the sponge - stipple/dab! 
What you'll find with using makeup sponges is that for a most even coverage you apply the liquid foundation (for example) in a dabbing motion. You'll actually get more coverage with less product, plus it'll be easier to cover areas around your eyes and blending your jawline. 

2. Dampen your sponge with water.
I've always been told I should dampen my makeup sponges before applying base makeup products with them. When using the sponges dry, you end up using more product because the sponge begins to absorb the liquid upon application. Plus using a damp sponge will leave you with a beautiful dewy finish which is easy to cover with powder for a matte look.

3. Wash your sponges after every use. 
Just like makeup brushes, these tools should be washed regularly. Otherwise the tools simply become homes for bacteria to live in. The thought of applying bacteria to your face on a daily basis is so not ideal! Errr hello breakouts!

4. You CAN actually use a dry makeup sponge.
You see and hear everywhere that you should never use a sponge dry. I personally wouldn't recommend it for base makeup ie: foundation and concealer. But you can actually use a dry makeup sponge to correct mistakes that you make with powdered makeup like bronzer and blush. By using a dry sponge you can actually diffuse the intensity of the power you have just applied. Unlike using liquid products with a dry sponge, the powder wouldn't be absorbed into the sponge. 

5. Use your sponge with a light hand. 
I find makeup sponges are great for really blending in foundation well onto the skin. The best technique i've found is to gently stipple the sponge over the skin. If you are using the sponge too heavy handed you'll find that the blending of the liquid foundation is harder, plus you might be leaving the texture of the sponge on the surface of your skin. 

I hope this helps anyone that might have questions about using makeup sponges! Do you have any tips? Share them with me! 


MAKEUP 101: When should you throw away your products?


Have you ever noticed on the labels of your beauty products and cosmetics, there's a little symbol letting you know how long the product is good for until it expires? You'll find these kinds of symbols on products like makeup, hair care, nail varnish (and remover), perfume and other cosmetics. Don't expect it to expire and suddenly look like something equivalent to spoilt milk. 


You see the little tub that's opened with a number and a letter stamped on the front? That's the symbol you need to look out for, but its what's on the symbol that you should take note of. You'll either see an M - for months or Y - for years. The number displayed in front of it is simply the quantity of time. in this case with my nail varnish remover in the image above, I should dispose of it after 30 months from it being opened. 

Ever thought about how long you should keep your makeup for? You can always refer to the individual packaging on the particular product. 

Mascara - 2 or 3 months (Unless the formula becomes clumpy, then throw it away!)
Foundation/Concealer - 6 to 12 months if it's a liquid form! 
Eyeshadow - 2 years
Lipstick/Lipgloss - 2 years for lipstick/1 year for lipgloss
Nail Polish - Up to 2 years (Throw away once the formula becomes gloopy or thicker than normal!)
Perfume - 8 - 10 years if kept in good condition - If it has changed smell or lightened in colour, it's probably expired. It's best to keep bottles of perfume out of direct sunlight. 

I know it's hard to part with some products, especially if it doesn't feel like you have had the products as long as you actually have! It's best to dispose to prevent bacteria irritating your skin or causing breakouts!





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