Growing Up!

Do you ever think back to when you were much younger, in school playing with your friends and learning how to spell, with not a care in the world? Well, I have been doing this a lot lately, and can’t help but wonder why.

When I was younger (or when we were younger), I was always so keen to become an adult – being old enough to drink, buy a lottery ticket and other such fun things(!). But now, having lived as a grown up for at least 12 years (give or take), I wonder why I was in such a rush!

My boyfriend and I moved into our first rented home together in October last year. Whilst this has been a fantastic time for us both, it has also brought to light what being a grown up really means i.e. freedom, responsibility, stress.

We are both in full-time jobs earning a decent wage, yet every month we barely have enough money to be able to enjoy the freedom that being a grown up brings. We could be going out for dinner, to the cinema, or just for a drink somewhere, but instead we have to check what money we have available until the next pay day. What’s worse, is that we both work long hours, and don’t see too much of each other throughout the week and so once again we don’t have that opportunity to spend quality time together. Of course, the time where we do see each other is made special since it does not happen too often.

Growing up also has a lot of heartache along the way. Who would have thought that finding love could be so soul-destroying. When I was 16, I was convinced that I had found the love of my life, the man I was going to marry. Better yet, he felt the same way, and when we were 17, he proposed to me. I could not have been happier! But, less than a year later, out of the blue, I had my heart well and truly broken/stamped on/crushed when the love of my life no longer wanted to be with me. I never realised how much one person could hurt me, and affect my confidence and insecurities so much. That was 10 years ago, and that hurt has stuck with me since then. Despite the fact that I am extremely happy in my current relationship, I still always have a nagging doubt in my head that I am going to be hurt again, that I will suddenly not be good enough and that he will decide to leave me. Maybe that’s something I should seek help about, I don’t know. But the fact remains, that first rejection has, and probably will always stick with me, whether I want it to or not.

Now, to end this post, I should really talk about some of the positive points of growing up!! One of the best moments of growing up was passing my driving test and getting a car of my own. No one can describe the amazing feeling of being able to have so much more freedom in your life – not having to rely on your parents to drive you places. Just grab your keys and go! This has to be one of the best parts of growing up!

Being independent. I first moved out of my parents home when I was 25. I went off to university a couple of hundred miles away, and had so many different emotions about making the move. Could I cope living away from home/how would I cope financially/what if I didn’t make any new friends? This was a great experience for me! I loved the feeling of being independent, not having to answer to anyone if I wanted to pop out and eat whatever I wanted without anyone breathing down my neck. I made so many fantastic friends whilst I was at uni, and had an absolute ball. I ended up moving back home after, until I could get myself a job and afford a place of my own. When I first moved back home, I would never have expected to meet my partner so soon after moving back. And now, we have our own place (rented for the moment), and I absolutely love it. My family aren’t too far away, which I really love. I am a big family girl, and would not want to be too far from my family, so this place is perfect! We live with my partner’s two dogs, which again has been an experience for me – being responsible for my own animals. I had pets when I was younger. but of course I always had the help of my parents, whereas now it’s solely up to us! We hope to be able to get a mortgage some day and have a home that we can actually call our own, but for the time being this is our perfect little home.

Growing up is a rollercoaster of emotions. I can only hope that as the years go on, I learn how to deal with the highs and lows, and grow as a person too.

Very late update!

Hi everyone,

I have already given myself several slaps on the wrist because of how late this blog is! It has been a rather busy few weeks since my last blog, and I just have not had the chance to sit down and give you all an update!

First of all, I have a job!! Unfortunately it is a temporary position for 6 weeks, but the recruitment agency I have registered with are hoping to have a steady stream of temporary vacancies coming up soon, so hopefully they will keep me busy for the forseeable future 🙂 I started last Monday and we (there are 14 of us temping there just now) had a very full on week of training. Thankfully it is all coming together now, and we all seem to be getting into the swing of things. It’s a shame to know that once we’ve settled into the place, we will all be moving on, but temping also has its perks!

I am still trying hard to keep myself fit and motivated. Last week was kind of an epic fail when it came to my exercise and eating habits. I think just being back at work after a while threw me completely out of my routine! But I am back on track this week, and decided to try swimming again. I haven’t been swimming for years, and because I can be prone to sore knees and a sore back, I thought it would be a good form of exercise for me. So my plan is to go swimming twice a week after work – this may change when I change jobs thought, depending on the time I get home. It takes so much longer to get home when I work in the city centre – the travelling is just a nightmare 😦

I’m also doing a lot better with my food habits this week. I did take nice, healthy lunches with me all week last week, but found I was very prone to bingeing when I got home simply due to being tired and having no energy at all. I’m doing so well, that I even avoided having one of the FREE cupcakes that were being handed out at work today!! I think I may have been the only person in the entire building who resisted the temptation 🙂

As I sit here, yawning my head off, I forgot just how sleepy I used to be after I’d been swimming – is it simply because it’s exercise? Or is there another reason why swimming in particular always makes people (me) very very sleepy??

Anyhoo, I do apologise that it is such a short post, but I promise my next post will be more exciting, and with more to talk about 🙂 xoxox

Found my motivation

Hi everyone!

Since making my new year’s resolution to get healthier/fitter and lose weight, I had been struggling. I think with the general lack of motivation and the fact that I was constantly feeling very low didn’t help me one little bit. What I desperately needed was *cough* a kick up the arse! *cough* – or in other words, to find my motivation, get my mind in the right place to stick with my plans.

Well I am glad to say, I seem to have found it! Rejoice!!! I decided to buy an outfit in the size I would ultimately like to get down to and now have this hanging on my wall in my room. I never thought something so simple would work, but it seems to be doing the job of stopping me from bingeing on junk food or having a lazy day. When I look at that outfit now, my mind keeps telling me “you will fit into those!” It’s not even a “special” outfit, we’re talking a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. But just to see the size of my target outfit compared to my current clothes is really spurring me on 🙂

As I am a very organised person, I made a spreadsheet (come on, who doesn’t love a good old spreadsheet??) where I have all my stats listed and I can really keep track of what I’m losing/what I still have to lose. I’ve also planned all of my meals for the week. I was never keen to plan a whole week’s worth of meals before, because I’m the type of person that can change my mind at the last minute of what I actually want for my meals. I will admit I have switched a few meals around, but otherwise I have stuck to the plan perfectly. I’ve also reduced my portion sizes, going to the extreme of marking one of our dinner plates into sections to help me keep my portion sizes right! Also, I live with my parents at the moment, so if I’m lucky enough to have my mum make my dinner, she can use the plate as a guide too 🙂

I’ve also made sure that I have been out walking every day, and have managed at least 45 minute walks, with my mum and our dogs tagging along too. I am starting slowly with the exercise, and hope to build up to using our cross trainer and I’m also going to invest in a kettlebell to use regularly.

I haven’t had any fizzy juice or chocolate for a few days now, and I can’t even say I’m missing them right now. I mainly drink water throughout the day, but usually have a small glass or fresh orange juice with my lunch or dinner. I am a sucker for Bacon Tasty’s from Asda, so I bought some small freezer bags and have managed to get 10 small portions of these set aside as a snack if I am craving something sweet! If I’m honest, I could easily get through 3/4 of a bag of those before, so this is huge progress for me! I am also going to allow myself a day at the weekend where I can be less strict about my food and treat myself, for example if I fancy a takeaway, I will do this then. After all, everyone has to allow themselves a foodie treat every now and again right?

So things are definitely looking up on that front 🙂 I will be weighing myself once a week (each Saturday), and will update this blog every so often with my progress – it’s not going to turn into a weight loss blog though!

I am hoping to blog again next week with an update on the never ending job hunt!! There may be some good news on that front soon, but I don’t want to jinx anything, so I will leave it until I hear news 🙂

For now though, I will say goodnight, enjoy the rest of your weeks, and have a fantastic weekend!!! 🙂 xoxo

Job Hunting Frustration

Hi everyone!

I promised a blog post today, and it may be a little bit late, but here it is!

As you can see from the title of this post, I am having a very frustrating time when it comes to job hunting. I have applied for soooooo many jobs now, and I can’t even begin to describe how soul destroying it is when you hear nothing back from these places. I know that most companies have too many applications to deal with, but it really would be nice to at least have a final yes or no. I’ve never really found it difficult to get a job before, and I do have a lot of skills and experience which have always gone in my favour, but this time it is becoming a bit of a chore! But, I am trying to keep positive, and I’m carrying out job searches and applying for several jobs every single day, so something will come up soon I am sure of it 🙂

Speaking of positive thinking, I have noticed that so many people have been suffering in January from the winter blues. My family have seemed so miserable, and the negative thinking I am around every day can get quite hard to bare at times. I try to be a positive person, and keep myself upbeat, but when you are surrounded so much by negativity from family and friends (and an anxiety disorder on top of that), it really does rub off on you! I try to do what I can to help, whether it’s just helping out around the house, or treating my parents to a little something – literally a “little” something, as I’m out of work right now! 🙂 I also try to keep my own space, my bedroom looking as nice as I can, keeping it colourful and happy. I feel like this makes me relax a lot more when I’m in my room and can actually help with my anxiety a bit too.

On another rather random topic, I have to comment on a show I watched tonight for the first time – Cheapskates. I am very much a believer in saving money where you can – times are hard right now and I totally understand that… however, that show took being a cheapskate to a whole new level! I sometimes comment on the fact that my dad and granddad are cheapskates – they don’t like to fork out a lot of money to get better quality items, and in return they end up with something cheap that will not last. But that is like talking to a brick wall! But this show, involved a woman who had one lightbulb in her home….1 bulb! Which she would carry from room to room, to save on electricity. She would turn the TV off during commercials, used the dishwasher to “cook” a lasagne…words fail me. I think the thing that got to me most was that none of these people were broke – they all had decent jobs with a good wage coming in – one woman was in fact a millionaire! Yet they all went to these extreme measures to avoid spending money. Each to their own and all that, but surely there comes a point where you just can’t be enjoying life to the fullest when you are worrying so much about money. Sometimes you just have to say “life is too short” and stop worrying about the little things! (Yeah, makes total sense coming from the girl who would worry about every little thing she can think of!!!)

But hey, that’s just my opinion, and if these people are enjoying their lives and are happy, then who am I to say anything about it 🙂

Oh, before I end this blog post, I just want to do a little mention of someone who I admire so much!! If you haven’t heard of her, her name is Tanya Burr – she is a fantastic YouTuber/beauty guru/person in general. Anyway, the lovely Tanya has just launched a range of nail polishes and lip glosses which are available on Feel Unique.com – I was so excited for these products to be released, and knew they were going to be fantastic because Tanya is just so passionate about everything she does! The colours are just stunning, and I cannot wait for my purchases to come!! So if you haven’t already seen her videos, please YouTube Tanya Burr and have a browse – she’s such a lovely, cheery person, and will surely put a smile on your face if nothing else 🙂

So with that, I am going to end this post, this very random post! I will try to be more organised next week, and not leave a longer spell in between my blog posts again 🙂

Goodnight all 🙂 xox

Feeling productive

Hi everyone!

So it’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog post, and I thought it was time for a little update on what’s going on in my life…

This week, I finally got to see my personal tutor at uni to discuss me taking a year out. All it took was completing one little form, and that was it! My year out is now official. A year out should really be an exciting opportunity for most people, however for me that’s just not the case. I have been suffering with anxiety for the last few months, with financial worries on top of that – not a great combination! So my year out is going to involve me working – when I actually get a job. I have been applying for jobs every single day since the New Year and so far have had a massive 0 interviews! I am trying to stay positive about it though, and hope that someone will just see my talent shining through and offer me work 🙂 Well, one can only dream.

With the paperwork completed yesterday, I moved all my stuff back home! Can I just say that I am quite impressed that I managed to fit everything into my room at home. I have a tiny (no exaggeration there!) room, which had bags and boxes full of my stuff overflowing in it today. But I spent the entire day organising everything, and it looks fab now!! I have to say that I LOVE the drawer organisers from Ikea – I think they are called SKUBB? You get 6 in each pack (2 of each size) for £6, so they are a bargain too. I have them in almost every drawer now and they just make life and organising so much easier. If you haven’t already figured it out, I am a bit of an organisation freak – I just like everything to have a place, and to stay in that place until I decide to move it. That’s not unreasonable at all is it? 🙂

So a very productive day was had today.

My priorities during my year out of university are:

1) To get a job and start earning a good wage. I also want to pay off some of the debt that I have accumulated from being a student! Just a heads up guys – credit cards are BAD! They are the root of all evil! 😦

2) To enjoy my own company and get to know myself a bit better.

3) I hope that I can find the love for my course again. I completely fell out of love with it toward the end of last year and just had no motivation whatsoever to continue on with it. So I do hope that will come back before the year is over. If not, I may have to re-evaluate that :/

4) And lastly, my New Year’s resolution which was to get fitter. I have been doing really well sticking to my healthy eating plan so far, just having a couple of days “off” to enjoy myself! I have a couple of exercise challenges that I am going to start very soon, so I shall keep you updated on how that goes. Me and exercise don’t usually go together, but I need to get my backside moving, so I will just have to suck it up 🙂

I know it’s not really much of an update, but nonetheless it was needed!

I’d love to know how your New Year’s resolutions are going, if you are still keeping up with them? And I would love to hear from anyone else who has taken a year out of college or university! What did you do in your year out? Travelling/working?

For now though, let me leave you with my favourite quote of the day:

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly” 🙂  xoxox

Shopping

Hi everyone!

I hope 2014 is treating you well so far?

I went shopping today! Ok, so I only bought 3 things, but I thought I would do a little blog on what I got and what I think of them. Can I just say that I have never done this kind of thing – beauty blogging. I am very much an amateur (as if you can’t guess!), so this is simply me giving my reviews of what I have purchased.

Ok, so the first thing I want to mention was actually a present I got for Christmas. My best friend got me the Benefit Groovy Kind-a-Love gift set. Firstly, I LOVE Benefit’s packaging!! The tin looks like this:

Benefit gift set

 

Just lovely! 🙂 And inside, we have:

Benefit Gift Set

 

Lots of little miniature goodies! If you haven’t seen this set, it comes with the Porefessional primer, Benetint, Dandellion and Gimme Fever blushers, a blush and eyebrow applicator, They’re Real mascara and four eye shadows, which are just stunning! I have now used everything in this set and I just love it, it is a fantastic gift for anyone to get a taste of Benefit products. For me, this is the first Benefits products I have owned, so was very excited when I opened my present! A special mention to the Porefessional, which is fantastic at diminishing pores. I have a lot of open pores on my face, particularly by the sides of my nose, and when I have this on they look so much better, and my skin looks that little bit more flawless. I would definitely recommend trying this out if you are worried about pores.

The next product I want to talk about is the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light foundation. I have been desperate to get a better foundation, but I’m the type of person who like to finish a bottle before I move on – waste not want not and all that jazz! I had read/heard some great reviews for this, so I really wanted to give it a try. I was a little bit apprehensive at the price of this (£28.50), as I’ve been used to drug store foundations. I spent a bit of time with one of the Estee Lauder consultants making sure I was getting the right shade for my complexion (I went for Intensity 1.0). This foundation is just lovely!!! It is a light foundation (does what it says on the tin), has great coverage and it looks very natural when applied. You don’t need to use a lot of product to get good coverage either, so it will last.

The next two products I purchased are from the Collection range (used to be Collection 2000). After hearing so much about the Lasting Perfection Concealer, I just had to get it and see what all the fuss was about. Really, at a mere £4.19, it really can’t go far wrong! I got it in shade 3 – Medium. This concealer definitely earns the great reviews it has had. It does have great coverage! I tend to have days where I get really bad blemishes, and this covers them up so well (I am currently having a few bad blemishes days, so it’s a great test for the concealer!). It doesn’t appear cakey at all on my skin, and it stays in place all day! What more could you ask for? I also purchased the Collection Bronze Glow in shade 01. Sunkissed. I haven’t heard/read anything about this bronzer, but I thought it looked rather lovely, so wanted to give it a try. It looks like this (with the Lasting Perfection concealer beside it):

Collection bronzer

 

I tried it out on my skin today, and it is lovely. It has a nice but subtle shimmer to it, which just gives you a lovely glow. I don’t use a lot of bronzing powder, but I will probably use this a lot as it looks so nice on the skin! It was around the £4 mark also, so once again I am not going to make any complaints about it at that price 🙂

So those are my reviews of what I bought, I hope they may be useful to some of you. As it is my birthday next week, I may be doing a bit of shopping after that, so I may do a haul blog, or maybe even a haul vlog! So watch this space – if I do a vlog, I will post a link to it in this blog.

So, yeah, that’s about it from me for tonight. I hope you enjoyed reading this and hearing my reviews! I will speak to you guys soon 🙂 x

Hello 2014!!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you all had a fantabulous Christmas and New Year! I have to say, I had a very quiet Christmas and New Year, but enjoyed them both very much.

So now, it’s that time of year again where we all make New Year’s resolutions that we will most likely not stick with for the next 364 days of the year! 2013 was not a great year for me. Uni had been very hard, I lost some people who I thought were my friends (not sad to have them out of my life though, I must admit!), my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer (he had an operation though and has now recovered, and it looks like they got rid of all the cancer – yay!), I put on quite a bit of weight, and I ended the year with pretty bad anxiety issues and also retaining my single girl status! I am a firm believer in new year, fresh start however, and have my resolutions ready and raring to go. So here they are:

Stop looking for love! – I have been single for almost 9 years now after my ex-fiance broke it off, it was very upsetting and completely out of the blue so I did take it very badly. I am the kind of feel that has felt like I’m not complete without a significant other in my life, and I have been on dating sites/gone on blind dates to try and find Mr Right. Well, after having a couple of “close-calls” last year, where I thought things were going well – then the guys turned round and basically said they couldn’t commit to being more than friends, and me being hurt again, I have decided that I need to take time out from looking! I have deleted my accounts from the dating sites. I want to learn to be happy on my own, and intend to do some soul searching this year instead…see my next resolution.

Year out – I have officially told my university that I need to take some time off from my course, due to several reasons! Around the middle of January, I will be moving back home and looking for work. My plans for this year out are to work (obviously, as I just said that!), do some soul searching and “find myself”. I feel like I completely lost myself in 2013 and I don’t really know who I am anymore. I know the kind of person I would like to be, but I need to discover who I am, and experience living like a single girl! Maybe even go off exploring on my own (when I am working!). I don’t have many friends, in fact I don’t have any friends at home who are single, and so I don’t see them often. So, if I want to explore I really should enjoy doing it, whether I have someone to go with or not! I have wanted to visit London for so long, so maybe I can accomplish that this year?

Get fit and healthy – Ok, so this is always one of my resolutions, and I have never stuck to it. However, I am now the heaviest I have ever been and if I am completely honest with you, I cannot stand to look at myself anymore. I should not be the size I am, it doesn’t feel right and my health is suffering because of it too. So I need to get serious about this. I plan to start exercising 5-6 days a week, taking it easy to begin with. Maybe just making sure I go out for a walk every day, then build up exercising gradually. I feel far too embarrassed to go to fitness classes just now, but would like to start going when I have lost a bit of weight. I also intend to start cooking regular healthy, homemade meals. I have never been a big cook, and I am a picky eater too, so I would like to discover some tasty yet healthy recipes I can enjoy cooking. I plan not to weigh myself every week, I will maybe try to do this either fortnightly, or once a month, and I will also monitor my body measurements too. This time next year I hope to be a much healthier, lighter woman!!

Fun one 😉 – One that I have chosen to do for fun this year, as I am a big photography geek, I am going to be doing a Photo-A-Day challenge, which I will be posting on my Instagram and Tumblr pages. I usually always have a camera on me everyday anyway (you just never know when you’re going to have a great photo opportunity!), so I thought this would be a nice fun challenge for me to start.

So those are my resolutions! I really hope that this time next year I can look back on this and say “yes I accomplished everything (or nearly everything) I wanted to.”

I’m sorry I didn’t do my vlog for Christmas – I would like to attempt vlogging at some point, but maybe now just is not the right time for me.

I hope you all had fantastic Christmasses and New Years, and I would love to hear what you got up to, what you got for Christmas, and what your resolutions are for this year.

For now, take care and I will speak to you all very soon 🙂 x