The Importance of You

Time at evenings and weekends are becoming more and more valuable to me. The Monday to Friday rat race can be a hard slog at times, but having an evening of pampering to yourself can be that one reward at the end of a long week to look forward to.

My pamper evenings tend to take place on a Sunday evening and consist of a warm, bubbling bathtub, a room of scented candles and a chance to finally paint my nails.
There’s a fantastic quote from Eleanor Brownn, a Self-Care Expert, Speaker and Author, which goes a little like this: “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” I find this quote quite profound. So often we spend our time thinking of others. Asking ‘what can I do?’ ‘How can I support you?’ Offering to lend a hand so that the other person’s burden is light. But what about us. By us I mean me. Me and you. What about ourselves? From a young age any good parent teaches you the importance of putting others first. Treating others as you would like to be treated if you will. These are valuable lessons that everyone should learn and live by. But there’s another important lesson that we so often forget to pay attention to: The Importance of You.
Focusing your attention on others is a wonderful privilege that can fulfil many people. But humour me for a moment. Take a second to think of yourself as a barrel. A barrel full of good deeds, intentions, and time. Every time we step out and spend a moment on someone else you open the barrel stop and out flows some of these elements. There’s nothing wrong with this, and I hope it doesn’t come across like I am discouraging emptying your vessel into a pit of nothingness. It’s nothing like that at all. The point that I am trying to make is that none of us have an unlimited amount of time, or patience, or good practices. I would like to think that I spend more of my life giving to others than myself. But that barrel will soon become empty if we do not take time out to restock the barrel.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that once the barrel becomes dry there is no more that you can give.

So how do you ensure that you always have something to give? By taking time out to focus on the importance of you. Set some time aside every day, or one a week if that’s more realistic for you, to do something that will restock your barrel. Half an hour in the morning to read a chapter in your favourite book. A Wednesday evening spent painting your nails. Or a Sunday morning jog that you’ve been meaning to do for the past few weeks. For me it involves taking my camera and going for a walk somewhere scenic. A couple of hours spent with only nature as company is the perfect environment to relieve the stresses of life and focus on something other than the busyness of life. Why? Because realising the Importance of You means giving back to yourself that which you have given to others.

Sanctuary Spa 2 Day Moisture Shower Oil Review

A spa in a jar? I think this product comes pretty close. Packed full of a calming mix of scents and a formula that warms to your skin as soon as it makes contact… This moisturising oil literally warms to your skin. As the moisturising oil pours into your hands, it warms up as you lather it onto your skin. The feeling is just like that of the products used during a spa massage and takes you there for a brief moment.

The instructions guide you to shower first and then smooth the oil onto your skin. Leave for a couple of minutes to allow the oil to seep into your skin, and then wash off. Alternatively you can add it to your bath and enjoy the product a little longer. The fragrances sit on the skin allowing you to breath in the wonderful aromas.

I choose to use this product every other day as a treat to the skin. It re-energises me first thing in the morning, or relaxes me last thing at night. If I’m making time to treat myself with a bath then I’ll put a good dose into the water and allow to soothe my skin throughout.

As part of my body skincare routine I moisturise twice daily and so have relatively smooth skin, but to give this product a fair trial I used this one evening and then went to bed without moisturising. In the morning my skin was smooth but not moisturised enough to not have to apply my usual layer of creme, so for me the two day moisture isn’t something that I benefited from. For someone who doesn’t already have a body moisturising routine then the effects would likely be surer.

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Though I personally couldn’t use this as a sole means to moisturise it certainly has a place in my routine. If, as directed, you leave the oil to rest on your skin for a few minutes, or bathe in it, the scent will stay on your body throughout the day. For me, this oil is less about the moisturising effect and more about the spicy fragrance, soothing oil and moment of spa like relaxation you experience during its use.

 

Out of 5 Star Rating

Look: 4*

As with all Sanctuary Spa products the packaging is simple yet attractive. The bright colour of the oil is enticing and looks great on your bathroom counter. At £7 I’d like a glass bottle.

Feel: 5*

This smooth and warming oil feels exactly like an oil used during a spa massage treatment.

Value:4*

If used a couple of times a week in the shower the oil should last you for a few months meaning that the £7 price tag could come down to less than 20p a use. Looking at it as a £7 product I don’t love the price, but in terms of cost per use this is actually very good.

 

Overall Rating: 4*

 

Have you tried the Sanctuary Spa 2 Day Moisture Shower Oil yet?

What Easter Means to Me

Easter is a perfect time to spend with friends, family and loved ones. It’s a time of Bank Holidays, sunny days, and let’s do absolutely nothing days. But it’s also a time of reflection. A time to look back and be thankful for what we’ve had. A time to look forward and plan for the days ahead to be even better.

I’m a terrible Christian in the sense that I’ve never completed a successful Lent. In fact, I don’t even pretend I’ll try anymore because I know I’ll fail. But imagine if we took that attitude to every decision in life… who’d ever achieve anything? Yet, as another opportunity to make a success of Lent passes I wake up with a fresh sense of determination to not let another day go by where I don’t try, just in case I don’t quite make a success of it… whatever ‘it’ is. Today I’ll reread my 2017 Resolutions post as a reminder of the goals I set for myself this year. I’m on a mission to not let another day shall pass without working towards achieving what I purposed this year to be!

So, as I prepare for a day full of celebrations, family and most probably far too much food, I hope that your Easter Sunday will be full of love, laughter and an opportunity to achieve what you were put on this planet to do.

Temple Spa Nail Treats Review

For years I wished I was the girl with perfectly manicured nails every day. Beautifully filed, always painted and never chipped. That dream quickly faded when I totalled up the cost of having my nails done twice a month (they grow very quickly!) and once that reality hit home I started my search for a nail varnish that would last on my nails, while not chipping after just a day or so.

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When I first tried the Temple Spa Nail Treats I first fell in love with the wide range of colours but as I looked further into the products and the brand itself I knew that these nail varnishes would be in my collection for a long time to come.

Temple Spa themselves are a British skincare and beauty brand that sell exclusively at Harrods and online. Though British their products are inspired by the Mediterranean and pack full of quality ingredients. If you’d like to know more about the company, I reviewed one of their face masks and went into further detail on the detail of the company there.

Picture1The nail varnishes are actually called ‘nail treats’ as they don’t just colour your nails, but give your nails a spa experience with their professional nail formulations. The nail colours are a treatment for the nails and provide an intense, quick-drying, high gloss colour whilst allowing the nail to breathe. Packed with vitamin E and calcium pantothenate, they’re free from the usual nail polish nasties.

Picture1My favourite colour to wear at the moment is this beautiful shade in which easily made it into my March Favourites.

And now to the important question… how long do they last on your nails? If you have a busy lifestyle where taking an hour out for your nails to dry is a real treat, then this could be the deciding vote for you…Well, I’m happy to say that they last a long time! If you’re willing to paint your nails how they should be painted (base coat, colour, top coat) then you should see at least 5 days worth of wear out of your nail treat. Should you then add a quick top coat every other day, you can see the colour last on your nails for a good week. I don’t know about you, but this was a game changer for me. Nail varnishes that I’ve used the the past will chip after just a couple of days, even with a base and top coat but I just don’t have time to repaint my nails more than once a week!

At £10 per nail treat they’re sat at the top end of the pricing spectrum but considering how long the polish lasts the price is well justified.

So, if you’re a busy, on the go kind of girl who loves looking well groomed but without spending too much time or money then the Temple Spa Nail Treats could be the perfect product for you.

 

Have you tried these nail treats before? Or do you have a favourite nail varnish collection that you’d recommend?

 

 

 

The Girl’s Guide to Car Safety*

Let’s be honest, many sectors of society grow up within the confines of personal stereotypes. For women, we can be seen as the weaker sex, somewhat materialistic, and terrible with cars. But who says we need to live within these restrictions!

I grew up with a fascination for cars. When I came of driving age I was fortunate enough to be able to take driving lessons and then pass in a car of my own. Though the story isn’t always the same for all of us, the joy of being able to drive, and the freedom that comes with driving is something that most people love about having that pink driving licence. The freedom to take off and explore is an amazing gift that comes after the hard work of learning to drive.

Yes, we’re taught how to drive from A to B, but unless you have a mechanic for a friend or family member, the lessons tend to stop there. Throughout my 7 years of driving I’ve had to learn some lessons the hard way, and others (thankfully) through others. So, if I can be a part of helping you to avoid some potential issues with your car then I am more than happy to be of service! And these aren’t only tips for those who have a car of their own. If you know anyone who drives, they should be aware of these things too: if their car is safe, then your journey should be safe too.

So, let’s go back to the basics and talk tyres. When you’re sat in the comfort of the car it’s easy to forget the fact that the only thing making contact with the road is your four tyres. They’re crazily important, so how can you look after them and make sure that they’re safe? Here are 3 important things to look out for with your tyres…

The Right Tyre

The first thing you need to be sure of is that the tyre is the right one. It sounds so simple that many people don’t consider this. Ensuring that you have the right tyre for your car is absolutely essential. A good car garage will be able to source the perfect tyre for your car with only a few key pieces of information, and many will fit them for you on site. Some companies, such as Point S, can even locate a tyre for you via their website. All you have to do is type in either your car registration number or tyre size to look up the choices of tyre brands available to be reserved for a fitting at one of their branches. You can book your car tyres at Point S with their simple reservation system… All from the comfort of your own home.

Tyre Pressure

You can’t always tell whether your tyres are adequately inflated just by looking but under-inflated and over-inflated tyres are something that you need to monitor. Having the correct tyre pressure will reduce the risk of you losing control of your car. Even if the results aren’t so drastic, you could be making irreparable damage to internal build of your car… which could mean large amount of money needing to be spent at a later date. For the sake of a few minutes, you should be checking your tyre pressure on a monthly basis.

Tread Depth

The tread depth on the tyre relates to the distance between the top of the tread to the grooves in a tyre. The more tread, the more grip your tyres will have in wet conditions. Though we’re in the beautiful Spring months if you live in Britain like I do, you’ll know all too well how quickly the rain can come, so it’s important it is to check your tread depth on a regular basis. The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm which is the absolute minimum that they should be. Generally the recommendation is to change your tyre when the tread depth reaches 3mm, which could already be affecting the safety of your car. Again, a fantastically easy way of reserving the correct tyre for your car is to visit the Point S website.

So how do you measure the tread depth? You can either purchase a tread wear indicator or use a 10p piece. The distance from the edge to the raised dots is perfectly sized at 1.6mm. Place the coin inside the tread, if the dots disappear, your tyre needs changing.

 

So there we are, quick and easy tips for taking care of your tyres in just 3 ways. Let’s break the stereotype that ladies don’t know much about cars… It doesn’t have to be complicated.

 

*This post is in collaboration with Point S Tyres. All words and opinions are my own.

No Regrets

I used to be the person who would sit back and cringe at the memories of things I’d said or done days, weeks, or even months before. The choices that I’d  made would sometimes play on my mind in my waking and sleeping hours. Had I made the right decision? Should I have taken that opportunity? Why on earth did I say ‘yes’ to that?

Some decisions seem right in the moment but then the gift of hindsight pays a visit, and you realise that the decision you thought had been carefully considered may not have been so well thought through. That pro-con list should have had one more pro on it, for instance.

After years of being ‘that person’ I became content with the fact that some decisions once made cannot be reversed. A word once said, cannot be taken back. But that’s okay. If in the moment the choice to do something or not was the right choice for you, then a change of mind later on doesn’t make that an action to regret. Instead the memory becomes a lesson to be learnt. The next time you’re asked the same question or given a similar two options to choose from, you’ll have previous experience to guide your response.

No regrets, just lessons learnt.

What’s in My Makeup Bag for Spring?

I love Spring! And with each new season I review what products I use, making sure that things like my foundation will withstand the changes in the British weather. Spring means warmth, sun rays and the start of a ‘glowy’ t-zone so I like to make sure that my makeup can work hard to keep me looking fresh.

The ten minutes I spend creating this everyday look each morning is a time of peace and quiet for me. To appreciate the day before and to focus my mind of the day ahead. My everyday look needs to keep me throughout a long day at work and possibly on to the evening with just a quick top up.

To see how I use this makeup I created a much requested video tutorial. Now, let’s get stuck into my makeup bag…

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FACE

Primer- Lancome Effect Miracle, 02

Foundation- YSL Le Taint Touche Eclat, B70

Highlighter – TempleSpa Glint Shadow Concealer, Medium-Dark

Blusher- Lancome Blush Subtil, 022 Rose Indien

Shimmer- Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick, Gold Bronze (Alternative from Collection)

EYES

Contour & Eyebrows- Makeup Academy Pro-Brow All in One, Dark

Eye Shadow- Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow, Cedar 19

Eye Liner- L’Oreal Paris Superliner Blackbuster, Intense

Mascara- Maybelline Great Lash, Blackest Black

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LIPS

Lip Pencil- Kiko Milano Smart Lip Pencil, 711

Lip Creme- Collection Velvet Kiss Moisturising Lip Cream, Caramel 02

Many of these products are to be found in my March Favourites and I posted a review last week so you can check that out for further details. I’ll also be posting full reviews of some product over the coming weeks so make sure you’re subscribed and don’t miss them!

Believe & Achieve

“If you believe it, you can achieve it.”

Sounds amazing, but does it work in practice? I believe that it does but it’s not a magical formula. Believing that you have a Lamborghini won’t result in you waking up to a sparkly new car on your driveway. But if you have a goal, a hope or a dream, believing that you can achieve is the first step to you actually achieving it.

When I walk in to a job interview I believe that I’ll get it. I’ve never been described as cocky, but confident. Confident that the hard work I’ve put in, and the work to follow, is more than enough for me to achieve what I set out to get… the job. That attitude has worked until now and I believe it will in the future. When you believe that you can, you carry yourself more confidently, you speak more confidently and ultimately, you are more confident.

Easy for me to say? Maybe. But I haven’t always believed that I’d achieve what I set out to. The biggest tip that I could give is to ‘fake it until you make it’! Or to tell yourself you believe you can, even if you’re not 100% there yet. Over time you’ll be convincing yourself less and actually, truly believing that you can.

No matter how big the dream, or how unrealistic the goal, be confident that you will achieve it. Believe and you will achieve.

 

March Favourites

If I could put a month of 2017 so far into my favourites I’d happily add the month of March. We’ve seen the start of Spring, which brought a breakthrough of flowers, lighter evenings and a new energy to make the most of each day.

I don’t regularly post about my favourites, and haven’t done so since December, but I thought the month of a beautiful seasonal change deserved a celebration of what I’ve enjoyed using this month. It’s been a month of the hecticness that comes with starting a new job, but I’ve been regularly using my favourite products to brighten up the working days. So without further adieu, here are the things I’ve been loving throughout March.

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

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It’s a beauty classic that needs little introduction. In fact, this mascara has been in and out of my makeup since I was a teenager, when I first started rocking the bold eye. At under £5 it’s a really low priced addition to your makeup collection and will see you through from day to night. This is my everyday mascara that separates lashes and makes them bold without weighing them down. I always buy the ‘Very Black’ mascara which truly makes those lashes stand out.

Seventeen Shimmer  Block

Now that our days are being graced with the UK sunshine I want my face to sparkle with it! I was the girl that would only use the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick until last S3997229_t3b55b3f6ummer but now that I’ve found this inexpensive option I don’t anticipate going back anytime soon. It’s long wearing, with a variety of shades which allows you to highlight or bronze appropriately. And for the savvy beauty shopper, it can also be used as an eyeshadow or brow bone highlight. Though the Seventeen version is no longer available at Boots, their Collection Glow Block is another great product, at only £3.99.

Collection Velvet Kiss- Caramel

9038556430366I would review the whole Collection Cosmetics Velvet Kiss products over and over again if I didn’t think you’d get bored but I think my previous review will suffice if you want a full collection overview. It’s safe to say that I’m sold on these products. At only £3.99 this nude lip colour is a great addition to the everyday make up look.

Temple Spa Nail Varnish

Another group of products that you’ll hear me talk about on multiple occasions. The TempPicture1.pngle Spa Nail Varnish collection has a range of colours that they call ‘Treats’. And they really are a treat for the nails. The varnish is packed full of Vitamin-E and calcium which strengthens the nail under the beautiful colours. The nail varnish is also free of 5 nasties (formaldehyde, camphor, DBP, toluene or phthalates) for those of you that are concerned about these chemical bases. Quick drying and glossy, the Temple Spa collection is now my go to nail varnish that, with an application of base and top coat, leaves me with that manicured, chip-free look for at least 5 days. My favourite colour of the month has to be Positano, a bright pink that stands out in the spring sunshine. Though if you follow me on Instagram you’ll already have known that!

Glamour Magazine

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Glamour Magazine is nothing new. Having launched in 2001 Glamour has been the biggest-selling women’s lifestyle magazine in the UK and in Europe. Now as someone who loves a bargain, and fresh from the Saving Season, it was the now £1 price tag that caught my eye… That and the beautiful Jourdan Dunn gracing the front cover. And the content is as captivating as the cover. With content covering the usual fashion and beauty pieces, it also offers some ‘deeper’ content such as the interview with Jourdan Dunn. I tend to skip through the bits my mother would frown upon and stay engaged with the rest!

Early Mornings

Though not technically a product, in fact not at all a product, but still something that I’ve really learnt to appreciate this month. I’ve been making a concerted effort to drag myself out of bed by 5:30 am, giving myself an hour and a half to have some surprisingly productive me-time. I plan to write a post on learning to be a morning person where I’ll talk about the journey to actually enjoying getting up so early, but for now I’ll just let you know why I love them. Firstly, it’s the only quiet time I have in a day. The house is quiet, the demands of the day haven’t yet started occupying my attention and I manage to achieve those tasks that I’ve been meaning to do for a while! I exercise, brainstorm blog ideas and read a good book. Anything that allows me to enjoy the calm before the somewhat anticipated storm of the day.

So those are the things that I’ve been loving throughout May. What have you enjoyed using?

When To Leave A Job

Should I leave my job? It’s a question that many of us ask on a particularly bad day in the office.

According to thebalance, on average, we stick with the same employer for 4.6 years while those of us in our earlier career years are likely to change employers every 3.2 years. I’ve had two jobs with the same employer over the last two years. I’m fortunate (some would agree) to work for a company that sees the value in allowing their employees to challenge themselves in new roles when they have delivered in the current one, but not all employers offer the same flexibility. The reality is that though you many be able to change your role a couple of times, many of us will come to a point where the business just doesn’t offer what we want out of a job or career anymore. So, when do you leave a job?

In my own experience I believe there are five key things to look out for when making that final decision to hand in your notice and bid a fond farewell.

You’re Stagnating

This is a really simple one. Are there any opportunities for you to advance? This doesn’t just apply to those working in the corporate world with clear advancement progressions mapped out for them. Whilst I was paying my way through University and working in retail, I wanted to move up to Supervisory level and then on into Management before I’d finished my degree. It applies to us all. If you are interested in advancing your career then you need to be in a company that has those opportunities available to you. Whether a large or small organisation, if you don’t have the prospect of moving forward, you’re standing still.

You’re not Learning

Usually when you start a job there’s an expected learning period. Even if you’re a seasoned professional in your industry you’ll need to learn about the business, their working style and their challenges. Once you’ve picked up these important pieces of information, the challenge of the role kicks in. You could be working with a high volume of work, to tight deadlines or with complex data. You might not be learning new skills every single day but you should be growing in your development and being encouraged to stretch yourself. Sometimes you have to put your head about the parapet for these additional project type opportunities and if you’re doing that then you’re more likely to feel satisfied that you’re continuously learning. However, if these opportunities aren’t available to you then you may be at risk of stagnating, and need to look elsewhere for a greater opportunity.

Recurring Redundancies

You may think ‘I’m great at my job, they won’t put me at risk’ or ‘I’m invaluable, I’m not going anywhere’. Who am I to say that this isn’t the case? Rather than evaluate how much worth you’re adding to the company and whether you’re likely to be the next person being asked to leave, I’d rather look at the effect of recurring redundancies. I’ve worked for a company who believed that the best Christmas present is putting a portion of the workforce at risk of redundancy. Who needs a White Christmas when you have the prospect of not being able to buy your loved ones presents right? Whether the thought of being made redundant scares you or not, the trail of worry, negativity and unease that’s left behind often brings the ‘vibe’ of the business right down. If you’re a part of a business that continually puts its employees up for redundancy you need to consider whether you want to work in this type of environment. While restructuring can offer a chance to step up into a new role it can also show signs of turbulence ahead. To the tune of The Automatic: What’s that coming over the hill? It’s a restructure, it’s a restructure!

You’re Not Happy

We all have days when anything from the sofa to a wild adventure would be preferable to turning up to work that day, but there’s a difference between having an ‘off day’ and being continuously unhappy in your job. No one knows you and how your work environment affects you more that you do. Whether you’re just starting out in your career, or you’ve been in it for many years, it’s important to realise that your job is just that… a job. You have a personal life, relationships and hobbies. You need to look after your physical, mental and spiritual well-being also. If your job is detracting from these other areas of your life, and you’re not only unhappy at work but it’s making you unable to enjoy the rest of your life then you need to consider whether this job is healthy for you.

It’s Time to Go

Given that many of us spend 40 hours a week in our jobs (around 172 hours a month and 2,064 hours a year) you owe it to yourself to evaluate whether you are getting what you need to out of your work. Sometimes, even after deliberating and looking for the above tell-tale signs, the only thing you really need to know is how you feel. Does it feel like you need to go? Is this feeling nagging you during the day and keeping you up at night? Only you know how much more you can take of your current work environment. Be honest with yourself, when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.

Some of us will be working until we’re in our seventies. There will be many times that we need to take a moment to evaluate our jobs, whether they’re helping or hindering our progression and whether they’re having a positive or negative effect on our lives. Maybe you can live with the effects of these tell-tale signs. Maybe you can’t. Remember that it’s your own personal career path with decisions along the way that only you can make.

I hope you found this post useful. If so, please follow for more regular content and free alerts for when a new post is uploaded. 

 

Photo Credit: career-intelligence.com