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.

Welcoming 2017

Happy New Year to you all!

I  hope you all had a wonderful evening bringing in 2017 however you chose to do so. I spent the evening at The Comedy Store in Manchester with one of my best friends. As two singletons we had an incredible evening of belly laughing, pizza and Prosecco at midnight! If you’re ever in Manchester you should be sure to catch a show.

I wanted to write a short post to say a huge thank you to all of you who have been reading my blog since I started in September. I finally made the decision to get my blog up and running and have had such a great time in the few months that I’ve been online. This year I endeavour to keep up with both, producing interesting content that you want to read and engage with. I’ll be setting some specific blogging goals in a future post but for now I just wanted to extend a special thank you.

If you’re reading this, then you’re amazing!

Love Naomi x

 

P.S. If you haven’t already, check out my latest post: What I Learnt in 2016

 

 

DIY Christmas Decorations | BLOGMAS

I should start this post by declaring my inability to think up anything craftily creative on my own. The below Christmas decorations were truly inspired by Tesco who unexpectedly tweeted me last week asking how my Christmas decorating was going.

My Christmas decorating follows the same course as most other people. See. Buy. Hang on the tree. In my twenty-something years of Christmases I don’t recall choosing to make a decoration of my own. Quite possibly when I was a child and the teachers somewhat foolishly let us loose with coloured paper, glitter and scissors. But never in my teens or onward. As I say, I’m not naturally creative. I find it difficult to switch off and let myself ‘do’. Give me a PowerPoint presentation and I’ll blow you away. Give me a spreadsheet and I’ll add formulas to make a twenty minute process take a swift few seconds. But leave me alone with a craft box and I’m lost. Extremely lost. So when Tesco tweeted me out of the blue I decided that maybe December 2016 was the year that I finally gave the right side of my brain a chance to excel itself. Judge for yourself how my afternoon of DIY went, but I’m pretty proud with the outcome.

The Tesco Living website has a number of options suitable for those of all abilities. I chose the Easy DIY Christmas Decorations page and was truly surprised with how such an easy bunch of decorations could turnout so well (again, that’s for you to truly judge!). So here goes:

Gingerbread Garland- A Christmas garland that looks good enough to eat.

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What You Need: Brown Felt, Red Ribbon, Red buttons (optional), Scissors, Gingerbread Template

This gingerbread man garland was the easiest of the decorations that I chose to make. With only a few materials needed to create this feature it works out to be very inexpensive. I chose to glue the individual men to the ribbon rather than threading them through the felt as suggested on the website. They’re currently hanging proudly above the fire place and will stay there for all to see.

Star of Wonder- Beautiful hanging decorations that shimmer in the twinkle of Christmas lights.

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What You Need: 8 x Clothes Pegs, Glue, Varnish or Spray Paint, Coloured Ribbon

Again,this festive item only requires a few materials. Each star is made up of eight clothes pegs that are gingerly stick together with a glue of your choice. I used an all purpose craft glue rather than splurge on a wood glue that I wouldn’t have any other use for and it’s held together rather well. The website suggests that you use varnish for the finished look but I chose gold spray paint which catches the light well and sparkles on the tree.

Snow Glows- Battery operated tea lights transformed into stylish snowmen.

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What You Need: 2 x Battery Powered Tea Lights, Festive Ribbon, Black Paper / Card, Red Pom Poms, Black Marker Pen, Scissors, Glue

These smart snowmen were the fiddliest of my crafty makes. Fiddly but still very easy to make. Adding the glittery scarves was the trickiest part of the make but I achieved this by poking a small hole into the ribbon at the back and hooking it onto a small plastic knob on the tea light. I then added a pea sized amount of glue to keep it secure.

Creating your own Christmas decorations is not only a great way to save money over the festive period but it makes a fabulous change to the usual decorations you’ll in stores. Why not try adding a thread of uniqueness into your home with these decorations from Tesco Living.

If you do give these easy decorations a go I’d love to see how you get on! Leave a comment below or share a picture with me on twitter (naomiophia_).

 

 

*This post isn’t sponsored in any way. All opinions are my own*

Collection Velvet Kiss Lip Cream

Collection Cosmetics are a  beauty brand, established in 1987, with British heritage. The brand is well known for being one of the high street’s best Fast Moving Consumer Goods forerunners in beauty. Fashion focused and leading  the market at an affordable price, Collection Cosmetics is a must for those interested in beauty. As a multiple award winning brand the range ‘is made up of a core range of essential ‘canvas’ products and trend-led ranges for a more dramatic seasonally-inspired look.’

Although Collection Cosmetics don’t advertise themselves as a vegan brand, you may be interested to know that they do not test on, or instruct any third party to test finished products on animals.

At only £2.99 per lip cream, the Velvet Kiss Collection offers a well-matched alternative to the more expensive products on the market . Though a lip cream rather than a lipstick, this collection does well to rival the choices from NARS, MAC and Too Faced. Granted, at just six shades the range of colours to choose from is less varied than some of the larger brands but with shades ranging from nude to a classic deep red, the collection has something to offer to all.

Overall I really enjoyed trying out these lip creams. Although matte on the first application, the creams are moisturising on the lip. Upon application you’re also greeted with a sweet scent that takes me back to my childhood weekends eating sweets such as Parma Violets. Unexpectedly, the formula feels different between the shades. The red (Rosie) goes onto the lip easily with its thicker consistency, without streaking whereas the orange shade (Mango) seems slightly thinner and requires a couple of layers before the pigment pulls through.

swatches

This week I’ve been religiously applying the Caramel (nude) shade. I’ve searched for many months to find the perfect nude. For some, finding the right nude can be a simple task but for myself, and I would include others with black skin, the hunt can be a difficult one. Many nudes are too cold and make the skin look dull or grey but this shade is warm enough to be applied liberally,without the worry of being left looking ill. This will most definitely stay as my go to, every day shade. On the contrary, Cotton Candy is a physical symbol of my journey into finding a nude lip product. The base colour is cool, almost a blue, and so will never compliment my skin tone. On lighter skin I’m sure this shade would compliment an every day makeup look but unfortunately for myself this is a shade I will never get any use out of.

The other shade I am undecided about is Mango. Though I believe this is a versatile colour that I would wear throughout the warmer months I don’t feel that this fits within the collection. The nude, pink, berries and red all sit extremely well together. The colours compliment each other well and can be found in collections from any other brand. The Mango shade is the rebel of the pack. On its own it makes sense, a bright alternative to the usual safe shades, but as a group it feels mismatched, as though it doesn’t belong.

Having tested the products for a few weeks now I would offer a glowing recommendation of the collection. This isn’t a long wear lip cream and so you will need to apply it a couple of times throughout the day on order to keep the colour bright but don’t let that deter you.  The Mango shade is a personal gripe of mine that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the collection. At £2.99 per lip cream you can purchase the whole collection for under £18 for which you’d receive little change after purchasing one of the higher end lip products.

If I could only purchase one it’d be the fantastic nude (Caramel). If I had a choice of two I’d include the classic red (Rosie) every time. And if I could only have three I’d refuse to answer because I just can’t choose between the two beautiful berry shades (Mulberry and Blackberry)!

All shades can be found at Boots and Superdrug. More information about Collection Cosmetics can be found on their website.

Office Heel Collection – The Work Edit

New Look. KG by Kurt Geiger. Next

Shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes,shoes. I love shoes of all shapes and sizes. There’s no discrimination here. Shoes with a purpose are my absolute favourite and maybe this is why I chose to show my office heel collection first.

I work in quite a corporate environment with many men in suits and polished black shoes. Although I love working in this type of workplace, it could be quite boring if my day didn’t start with spending time on myself, choosing the perfect outfit for the day. In fact, the only thing I find more joy in at 6am is selecting the perfect shoe to accompany the outfit.

I don’t know what type of environment you work in but I think there are some general considerations that can be taken when choosing the appropriate shoe for work. (Disclaimer: I may have made one of these words up!):

Suitability: First and foremost, your shoe should be appropriate to the environment that you’re working in (although this shouldn’t limit your style). This doesn’t mean that your shoe choice needs to be boring but there are some shoes that won’t be appropriate in all situations. For example, open toes in the deep depths of winter when you have to trudge through the snow to get from the car to the door. Or a skyscraper heel with a 4 inch platform and silver diamante crystals. Though only a little over 5 foot myself, this shoe would not be appropriate for shuffling across the office floor. Similarly, if you spend your whole day standing, or running after children, you should consider your heel height more carefully. Though I may sound older than my years let me tell you- comfort is king!

Steve Madden


Walkability: Very important! Ask yourself: can I walk in these shoes? I’ve stepped out of the house a number of times in a pair of heels that I could walk in so gracefully that I could have taken on Sandra Bullock’s role in Miss Congeniality. However, walking on the cushiony carpet of your bedroom is very different to trying to make your way across the office hallways that could be used as an ice rink after hours. I remember wearing a truly stunning pair of high court shoes to work in my first week of joining the company. I teetered around, having to take three small steps to a normal person’s one. I really couldn’t walk in them. It was quite embarrassing really. Especially when I had to ban myself from going to the bathroom for fear of staring in my very own version of Bambi on Ice right in the middle of the office!

A little tip to look out for- if you’re new to wearing high heels then choose a shoe with an ankle strap. This will help to support your ankles throughout the day and make sure that your foot stays comfortably in the shoe.

KG by Kurt Geiger



Personality: Though there are some sensible considerations to be made when choosing the perfect shoe, don’t be limited by what you think you should be wearing in the office. Why not take a step out? (No pun intended). My favourite pair of ‘out  there’ shoes are my bright blue heels from M&S. I held onto these, not brave enough to wear them into the office for a while, before daring to be different and wearing something that was sure to turn heads. These are the shoes that I have had the most compliments from and I really do enjoy spending the day in them. They always brighten up a black skirt or trouser set and can be used to venture out of the office and into the evening for after work socialising.

Marks and Spencer
But most of all, choose a shoe that makes you happy to be wearing them. There’s a reason that Marilyn Monroe famously said ‘Give a girl the right shoe and she can conquer the world’. These beauties are my Bond Girl shoe. If I was ruling the world, these are what I would be wearing!
Marks and Spencer
Why not come over to my channel and have a look at my full collection.