Sunday, 28 December 2014

On Christmas Day, Every Hour Is Happy Hour

 I was very much looking forward to Christmas this year.  I couldn't wait to go home and spend time with my family.  I had a little plan to take a picture every hour, seeing as I tend to take a lot of pictures on Christmas Day, I thought it would be something nice to look back on.  But Christmas Day did not go as planned.

On Christmas Eve I was working until 11PM so by the time I had everything packed and in the car it was midnight.  So excited to be going home I turned the key, and the car wouldn't start.  After turning the key a few more times then some shouting and swearing, I admitted defeat and phoned my parents to say I couldn't make it home.  I was so annoyed!! I hadn't been home in about a month.  What a time for this to happen!! Finally it was decided that my Dad could pick me up on Christmas Day.  So after some more shouting and swearing at my car I unpacked and went in to bed.

The next day, Christmas Day, was strange.  On Christmas Day I have always woken up in my bed at my parents house, then we would all drink tea and open presents. However this Christmas I woke up on my own in my flat, then watched the Gruffalo whilst waiting for my Dad to arrive.  It was a strange feeling.

My Dad finally arrived and he got my car working, so I drove home in my giraffe onesie and made it home about 11AM. Then Christmas Day sort of resumed as normal from then on.
Snapchats of the day.
Finally home in my giraffe onesie by the Christmas tree.
Christmas tree selfie.
I got some cute, cosy slippers.
Christmas dinner and lots of wine.
Time for some games!
Cups of teas and chocolate.
Finally TV and wine to finish off a lovely day.

Hope you all had a nice Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Traditional Christmas vs This Christmas

I love Christmas Eve.  It's just as good as, or almost as good as, Christmas Day.  The whole build up to Christmas is just so exciting!  My family seem to fall into the same traditions every year and I love everything the way it always is.

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Christmas Eve Morning

Have a little lie in.  Go shopping for those extra bits and bobs I need including the odd present (oops, always last minute) and food shopping.
Once the stressful part of battling the last minute crowds is out of the way it's time for baking!  Christmas cake, cupcakes and sausage rolls are the usuals, although I always like to make something a bit different each year.  I recall one year I made snowmen out of icing.

Christmas Eve Afternoon

Christmas Eve is nothing without a Christmas film and it's certainly nothing without watching The Snowman whilst singing along, usually to the dismay of the family.  Then I watch whichever Christmas film is on TV at the time.  Oops it's getting late now, better start wrapping the presents.  I am probably the worst present wrapper ever, and my presents always look like they have been wrapped by a two year old, but it's the thought that counts right?  Then it's time to do a bit of tidying.  Vacuum clean and make sure the house looks neat.  You don't want Santa to see a messy house.

Christmas Eve Evening

As long as I can remember my family have gone to midnight mass.  There might have been a time that I hated this in my teenage years, then there might have been a time that I skipped midnight mass for trips to the pub with friends, but Christmas Eve just doesn't seem right without going to midnight mass.  First we have a drink at home, or maybe go to a party and have a couple of drinks, then head on down to mass.  It's so nice with all the singing, and everyone seems so happy, it's a tradition I love.  On the way home, I look out of the car window and the sky always seems so clear, you can see all the stars.  When I was little I used to do the same thing, but look for Santa instead of at the stars.
Then it's time for bed.  Better get to sleep quick in case Santa comes, and we don't want to be awake when Santa comes.

This year is going to be very different I'm afraid.  This year I am working.  I don't start work until 3 PM so I will still carry out the same traditions to some extent with shopping, wrapping presents, baking and watching Christmas films.  But then I will head off to work and will not finish until 11 PM.  So no midnight mass or trips to the pub for me.  I won't get to my parents house until about 1 AM so straight to bed for me!  At least I will still get to go home for Christmas.  I could have been unlucky and been given a Christmas Day shift.

So that is my usual Christmas Eve traditions.  Do you have any traditions?

Oh and by the way, it's Christmas Eve Eve today.  That is almost as exciting as Christmas Day too!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Party #2 Cowboy Hat and Fancy Dress

Saturday night, another Christmas party.  This time there was a theme.  A Disney theme.  I had a couple of ideas including Ariel from Little Mermaid which is appropriate for my hair colour, or Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas which is a film I love.  But then I went and dyed my hair brown, and I really didn't have too much time on my hands.  In fact, it got to Saturday afternoon and I still wasn't completely sure what I was going to wear.  I took a trip to a fancy dress shop, spotted a cowboy hat and decided I was going to be Jessie from Toy Story.

Think I was disorganised?  I then ironed a white shirt, went to put it on and realised it had a huge stain down the front.  Massive fail.  But finally I decided on an outfit, even if it did look like I had gone to the minimal amount of effort.

Blouse from Primark, shoes and trousers from New Look, and hat from local fancy dress shop.  See! My hair is brown! I still don't expect to see myself with brown hair everyone I look in the mirror, it feels so strange!

Now the Christmas parties are over I can focus on my last few days at work before I get a couple of days off for Christmas. Yay!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Party #1 Sequins and Silver

Friday was the evening of my work Christmas party. As per usual I left it until the last minute to get a dress.  I was starting to panic when at the last minute I fell in love with a dress from Warehouse on the ASOS website which you can find here.

This dress was perfect for me.  It is covered in sequins, and I am in love with sequins at the moment.  It was the perfect fit, leaving a little bit of room around the waist for food and drink, and was the perfect length.

It was a good night with lots of yummy food, including a lovely Christmas dinner, plenty of drink (perhaps a bit too much), and a good deal of laughter with some dancing to finishing the evening off.  Not leaving out the part where we went into town after, I slipped in a puddle of drink and now my knee is purple and very swollen.  So accident prone.

Al in all a lovely evening and I am now feeling even more Christmassy.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas Nails

It was my work Christmas party last night and I thought I would do something different with my nails.  I had a little idea in my head to create Santa nails, and that it what I did.  They're not perfect but I think they are pretty good!

To create this look I used Maybelline Colorama French White 51, Mavala Rouge Rubis 385 and OPI Gaining Mole-Mentum.

What are your favourite nail designs this winter?

Friday, 19 December 2014

Love The Skin You're In, Scars And All

This is something that is very personal to me.  Everyone cares about their looks one way or another, myself included.  But not everyone looks perfect.  In fact, no one is perfect.  I am going to share something that happened to me.  I have only ever told one person this story, and not the full story.  So for the first time I tell this story... it's to the world.  Scary huh?

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Four years ago I had an injury.  I won't go into the full details but I was basically dropped onto my face.  The damage was pretty bad.  A few teeth were broken in half and the damage to my face itself was bad.  If anyone knows me well they know that I take pride in my teeth.  I didn't spend seven years of having braces for nothing.  My teeth were perfect in my mind, so for this to happen was catastrophic for me.  As for the skin itself, your face is the thing that everyone sees.  To have so many physical injuries and imperfections was heart breaking to me.  This may seem pretty vain, but these were my initial thoughts.

On the way home from the hospital I remember stopping at the shop so my mum could go and get all the prescriptions for my painkillers and antibiotics.  I of course stayed in the car as I didn't want anyone to see me.  I remember a group of teenagers walking past the car, stopping, pointing and staring.  It was possibly one of the worst feelings in the world.  I didn't know where to hide, I had no where to hide.  So I closed my eyes and pretended they weren't there.  I should have told them to eff off if I could speak at the time.

Fast forward to four weeks later, the awful teeth problem was fixed, and the facial wounds were healing nicely.  I went back to university for the first time, feeling terribly nervous as I still couldn't speak properly. I had a lisp for months, and I still can't say some words properly to this day.  I felt sick stepping into class, wondering if anyone was going to judge me on my new looks.  Of course it went fine which gave me a little step of confidence, no one said a word.

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That was back in 2010.  I still have scars on my face.  Luckily they have faded somewhat but you can still see them.  The scars are on my chin and under my nose.  I feel self-conscious of them.  Since the injury  I had never been out of the house without make-up, afraid of people seeing those ugly scars.  Recently I have been able to step out of the house without make-up on, just a few times.  The scars are part of me now, I am used to them and I don't care what anyone else thinks.  Although sometimes the scars do flare up and turn red, this is when I feel self-conscious.

Since the injury my jaw clicks a lot.  This is only a minor problem but sometimes I get jaw pain too.  Maybe I should have had an x-ray at the time.  I have scars inside my mouth and sometimes they open up, when this happens sometimes they bleed.  I hate it when this happens as it is so painful, sometimes I wake up with blood around my lips from the scars that have been bleeding in the night.  Maybe I needed stitches.  My nose is wonky.  When I compare photos from before the injury to now, my nose has changed and it is slightly wonky.  I don't know how this happened, I don't remember injuring my nose.  My lips are also slightly wonky and misshapen which is understandable considering the injuries.  However this is so slight that it is probably only noticeable if you study my face very closely.

Then there's the problem with the teeth.  Now, I have a massive fear of going to the dentist.  At the age of 24 my Mum or Dad still have to come to the dentist with me and I shake with nerves.  However, no matter how many times I visit different dentists each year, they just can't get my teeth right.  They are now slightly wonky, they aren't perfectly white and sometimes they hurt.

These are all minor things.  You probably can't notice them from far away, but I see them every day.  It could have been much worse.  I could have broken any bones in my face, or fractured my skull or even had a brain injury.  I got off lightly and was lucky.  I am still in one piece.

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There is a message to this long-winded story.  I have spent all of this time hating the way I look.  Ranging from thoughts of hoping my looks would get better, to thinking I will always be ugly.  Instead, I should have been focusing on learning to like my looks.  I will never say that I like the scars and imperfections on my face, but I have learnt to accept them.  They are part of me and who I am now.  I like the way I look.  I know this all sounds pretty drastic.  If you were to compare a photo of me from before 2010 to a picture of me now, I still look like the same person overall.

I just think that why waste my time being unhappy on how I look, if I can be out there being happy and having fun with new experiences.  These vain worries of mine are so minor compared to some people out there.  Why worry about what is on my face when there are others who have injuries and illnesses that are one hundred times worse than mine.  When you put it like that, I feel guilty for worrying about a few scars on my chin.

I like the way I look and I feel great about that.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Yearly Summary 2014

I have been reading blogs on what other people have achieved throughout the year, and this has got me thinking.  What have I achieved during 2014?  I cannot think of anything.  Not one single thing.  Has this year really been that meaningless?
Honestly, no, I don't think this year has been meaningless.  It's been a completely stress free year, full of smiles and laughter, and that feels awesome!
I have gone through the photos on my phone from the year and have selected the best ones to sum up my year!


I have come across this picture of me wearing a beard.  I cannot for the life of me remember why on earth I was wearing this beard, but I like it. This beard has definitely made a reappearance at other points throughout the year.


I went to the gym a lot.  It was time to get serious about fitness, and I have come so far since then!  My body looks so much better now I have gotten into a proper gym routine.


One heck of a St Patrick's Day party ensued, meaning lots of fun. and lots of beers.  Being drunk in London in the middle of the day is really quite strange, you step out of the club and you're like woah, it's still day light.  I love how friendly everyone is to each other on St Paddy's Day.


In April I must have overindulged on alcohol as pretty much every week I have pictures of nights out or lots of drinks.  Oops.


In May I brightened up my wardrobe, swapping my usual all year round dark and dingy colours for brighter colours.  I also dyed my hair this lovely colour.  May involved a week long holiday to Ibiza which was exactly what I needed, sun and relaxation.  We ended up at an awesome hippy market where there were loads of cool bands playing.  It was such a cool place.  I loved every second of Ibiza and would definitely go back.  The beaches were lovely.


Since I don't have a garden in my flat, when the sun started to appear I spent every possible moment at my parents house making the most of their garden.  I really wanted a tan!


The month I turned 24.  It seemed so old!  A few days after my birthday I packed my bags and jumped on the place to Barcelona.  I had never been there before and loved every second of it.  A few days in, we boarded the train and headed for Benicassim where we camped for a week and went to the music festival.  Camping in Spain in July was HOT. The festival was so, so good.  Then after we headed back to Barcelona for a few days to recuperate.  Such a good holiday!!  I had the time of my life.


This month seems to have been the time of pulling funny faces in pictures meaning very non-attractive pictures!  I found this picture from a night when I found a vase of roses in a bar and insisted on having my picture taken with the flower.  On this night we went for drinks with a friend that was leaving, there was lots of craziness that night.


I got pierced.  Now that's a funny story.  One Friday night after a few drinks one of my friends decided that they were going to get a piercing the next day, then another friend decided to go along too.  Then I was like hey why not, I will come too.  You can tell which is the new piercing in this picture from the redness and slight swelling.  This is the least I have ever thought about getting a piercing, such a spur of the moment thing!


The most talked about night of the month.  The night we went out dressed as pirates.  I was super excited as I love dressing up.  I wore a black bralet under a white shirt with a red skirt.  I added a belt which I tucked my sword into.  My black boots were perfect for this outfit and the pirate hat and eyepatch finished the look off. (Oh the state of that mirror.)


Remember, remember the 5th of November.  I love firework night!! This is my favourite night of November.  We went to the local park where they were having a firework display, it was such an awesome display and I watched in amazement.  There was a fair and we drank yummy hot chocolate in the cold.


The month of Christmas jumpers!  December has been fairly dull but with a couple of Christmas parties coming up it is sure to liven up!

All in all, an awesome year!!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Four Most Used Hair Products

My hair is my favourite thing about me.  It has always seemed so healthy and nice looking.  But years of dying and straightening had taken it's toll and it got to a point in the spring where my hair was looking a little dull and excessive amounts of hair seemed to be falling out every time I touched it.

Back in July I made the decision to grow my hair, and I decided that I was going to take it seriously.  No more dying, and no more straightening!  I prefer my hair short and red, so this has been a real challenge.  I haven't touched a single drop of hair dye and well, I have straightened my hair, but only the bare minimum.  The last five months of no hair dying has been so tough.  Each time I go in to the supermarket I eye up the hair dyes before reminding myself NO! The roots, don't get me started on those light brown roots!

So what products have I been using on my hair?  There are four main products that I have been using.

Renewing Moroccan Argan Penetrating Oil

I randomly picked this up in the supermarket when looking for a hair oil before dying my hair.  I immediately fell in love with it.  Firstly it smells so good!!  I could smell my hair all day.  I apply this to damp, towel dried hair.  I then comb it through and blow dry.  This oil makes my hair feel so soft and creates a little shine.  My hair is no longer dry and feels so silky.  I will purchase this time and time again.  My hair has never felt so soft!

Batiste Dry Shampoo - Cherry

My Mum once told to never use dry shampoo as it's bad for your hair.  I honestly have no idea how true that it.  But I didn't listen to her and went ahead and bought the stuff anyway.  Then again, and again.  I first bought dry shampoo went I went to a festival and felt like it really freshened up my hair.  Now I use it in between washes.  I don't wash my hair very often.  Only once, or twice a week.  Gross I know.  I do have some excuses though.  Firstly, I have my hair up in a bun every day for work.  Newly washed hair and buns just don't go well together. Also I have such a busy life and... ok yes I would get time to wash my hair. Maybe I am just lazy.  Anyhow, using this dry shampoo in between hair washes gets rid of the oil leaving it feeling fresh and cleaner.  The cherry flavour smells good too.  Just make sure you massage this product through your hair!! The first time I used this I didn't and ended up with grey looking hair.  Not a good look!

Head & Shoulders

I use this product as I feel it is one of the few shampoos that gives me a thorough wash.  It smells so good, my hair smells like apples!  My hair feels so clean after using this product.  If I have been adding a lot of hair spray to my hair styles I feel that this product completely washes that out.  I will always have a stock of this shampoo.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo

Babies can use it.  So can I.  Don't you just love the smell of baby shampoo?  I feel like this stuff gives my hair a good enough wash.  I give my hair one wash with Head & Shoulders first, then Baby Shampoo for the second wash.  Another plus of using this is that I get shampoo in my eyes all the time, with this product I don't get that awful red eye puffy look after my shower.  I am sold!

Can you recommend any hair products to me?

Sunday, 14 December 2014

This Weeks Loves

It's been a pretty unadventurous week for me.  With working, being really ill and working night shifts this week seems like a blur.  So today I bring you the things I have been loving this week.

 1. Christmas jumper and pyjamas combo.  I have been living in this sort of wear all week.  Feeling ill and wanting to keep warm has left me with no option but to don the Christmas jumper and pjs.

2. Messy hair is allowed for sick days and snuggling in bed.  Oh ok then perhaps I have the messy bun look at work too but it's dark in the mornings.  Poor excuse.

3. 'Tis the season to be sparkly with OPI Nail Lacquer Gaining Mole-Mentum.

4. Clinique Airbrush Concealer in fair, because every day can't be a perfect skin day.  This is my go to concealer at the moment,

5. Cold days = Hot Chocolate.

6. Saturday night out in London.  Got to love a bathroom picture.  I love, love this playsuit from Zara.  It's the perfect fit!

7. More glittery nails.  Can't get enough of the stuff!!

8. Frosty mornings and freezing evenings mean my selection of hats are out!

I hope you have all had a good week!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Moisturise This Winter

It's winter, my legs are hidden by trousers and are long forgotten.  Those pale limbs are hidden away, never to be seen again until the tiniest bit of sun shows itself and thus, moisturising goes right out of the window.  At work I seem to be washing my hands more than ever (I work in a hospital.  Winter = More sick people) and my hands are becoming rough and parched.  That awful winter cold has left my lips feeling chapped and dry.  But I'm not here to tell you how important it is to moisturise.  I am here to tell you which moisturising products I am using at the moment.

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

I love Burt's Bees products.  You can really smell the peppermint in this lip balm, it smells lovely and gives my lips a little tingle.  This product makes my lips feel very soft and nourished.  My lips were feeling very chapped and rough after a cold and this lip balm helped to sort them out.

Burt's Bees Hand Salve

Another Burt's Bees product.  This product is particularly for dry hands and it does makes your hands feel very soft and moisturised however I feel that it takes a very long time to absorb into my skin.  This product smells of lavender, I am not normally too keen on lavender smelling products but I really like the scent of this one.  This product can feel a little bit oily once applied but if you have the patience it does eventually soak into your hands to leave them feeling smooth and supple.  This is a moisturiser that I use at night time before going to sleep when it can fully absorb into my skin.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula

This is my go to product at the moment.  I use it everywhere - arms, legs, hands and all over the body, except my face.  This moisturiser is super moisturising and leaves my skin feeling amazingly soft.  You don't need to use much of this product as it is very thick but absorbs into the skin quickly making it feel very smooth.  The only thing I don't like about this moisturiser is the smell.  It is fragrance free and I can't describe the smell but I'm not keen.  I can totally look past this though as it is super moisturising and good for my skin!

Johnson's Baby Light Oil Spray

What? Baby oil?? I hear you asking.  Yes, baby oil makes my skin feel amazing and super soft!  I use this after getting out of the shower whilst my skin is still wet.  I only use a tiny bit so my skin isn't too oily and it absorbs very quickly.  You can also buy the non-spray stuff and pour a little bit into your bath which is what I used to do back when I had a bath (although be careful if you put too much in as it can make the bottom of the bath a little slippery).

Garnier Intensive 7 Days Lotion

I have been using this moisturiser for years and will continue to use it for years.  Whilst I feel that it isn't quite as moisturising as the Palmer's Cocoa Butter, it still does it's job very well and smells so, so good.  This product is for very dry skin and does leave my skin feeling very soft and supple.  A ten out of ten for this moitsuriser for me!

Lola Rose Energising Rock Crystal Hand Cream

I keep this moisturiser in my work bag so I can use it throughout the day whenever I need to.  This hand cream smells amazing and is very nourishing.  You don't need to use a lot of this product and it moisturises very well.

Burt's Bees Honey & Orange Wax Body Lotion

Another from my friend Burt, did I mention that I love Burt's Bees?! This product feels so soothing and hydrating.  I love the way this moisturiser makes my skin feel.  I do dislike the smell of this.  This is the sort of moisturiser I opt for if I am spending a night alone and only use on my legs and feet due to the smell.  However, disregarding the smell I really do think it is a good moisturiser that makes my skin feel absolutely softened.

Satsuma Body Puree

My favourite thing about this lotion is the smell.  It smells oh so good and orangey, so yummy!  This product does moisturise my skin however I feel as if it may be a little watery and not so good as other moisturiers.  This lotion makes my skin feel soft and absorbs well.  This works well as a daily moisturiser but not for very dry skin.

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Moisture Melt

The smell of this oil is so, so good and coconut-y.  At room temperature this product is solid, but once warmed it turns into a liquid that absorbs into the skin leaving it feeling so soft! I use this after showering and once dry my skin feels amazing and completely moisturised. On the bottle it says intensive hydration and soothing and it does just that!!

What are your favourite moisturising products?