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.

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*

GlossyBox UK – November 2016

I’m really happy with November’s GlossyBox, especially after last month’s slightly disappointing box. Feel free to check out last month’s video to understand why but for this post, let’s focus on this month’s positives!
This month’s box is themed around preparing for the party season, with gifts to help with the run up to the Christmas parties and work events. In this month’s box I received five products and one sweet treat from Raffaello, which lasted for about five seconds after this photograph was taken. It tasted like a coconut, white chocolate, Ferrero Rocher. After some googling to find out where I could buy more, I discovered that they are actually made by the same company and can be found at a variety of stores.
Now, onto the contents of the box…
 
Wilkinson Sword – Quattro for Women Raspberry Rain Disposable Razors
Everybody needs a razor. And in a world full of choices why not have one that’s raspberry scented? Well, Wilkson Sword have the razor for you. To be honest, I think that this is a step too far and completely unnecessary but the Wilkinson Sword itself really is a great product. Offering a slick shave and smooth finish I have nothing negative to say about this item.
De Bruyere Beaute – Jumbo Eye Pencil in Bubble 07
This Jumbo Eye Pencil offers a creamy lightweight shade of eye shadow in a very usable formula. Although the shade is titled ‘khaki’ I would say that it is more of a shimmery grey shade with a brown undertone. Never the less the eye crayon is a great colour to be used on any skin tone.I chose to add a lighter basecoat to really make the colour pop. Long lasting, this product stayed on the eyelid throughout the day but was removed easily enough with my usual evening skincare routine.
Ruby Professional – Large Tapered Blending Brush
This Blending Brush from Ruby Professional is sure to be a great addition to my makeup brush collection. Although slightly lighter in weight than I would usually choose the brush itself offers a lovely soft head which effortlessly blends the De Bruyere Jumbo Pencil around the crease of the eye.
Nanogen – Root Boosting Hair Thickening Spray
This keratin filled spray promises to lift each root and thicken each strand. This is certainly something that I’ll try on my hair. Although I have plenty of it, the strands themselves are actually quite fine. I’ll be able to give a more detailed review once the formula has had a chance to make a difference.
111Skin – Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask
Saving the ‘best’ product until last,we come to the 111 Skin Facial Treatment Mask. This product retails at a somewhat steep £20 and offers one mask, to be worn for 20 minutes. ‘Filled with arbutin to brighten the skin, silk amino acids to condition and centella asiatica to stimulate collagen production’ this product really does make a difference to the skin. I left my mask on for a little over 20 minutes (to squeeze every pound out of my use) and could see a visual brightening to the skin almost instantly. Although £20 is quite an amount for a single use face mask, with almost instant results I completely understand the associated cost. Will I purchase this again? Possibly. Though I doubt I will be abiding by the three times a week recommendation I would be sure to use this mask again as a treat ahead of a special night out, or even after a long week in the office.
Thank you GlossyBox for such a great box this month!

First Day In A New Job

The first day in a new job can be daunting. Sometimes that only thing more nerve wracking is the run up to the main event. So many questions run through your mind. What should I wear? What should I take with me? Was I supposed to prepare something? These questions can be met with silence. Not the peaceful kind of silence, but the ‘what on earth am I doing’ type of silence.

I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve had six first days to date. From my first ‘proper’ job when I was sixteen to my latest first day in a new role about three months ago.

This blog post isn’t really about what I currently do for a job, or my journey in getting there, but trust me, I know the nervousness and frantic feeling that can encompass the days ahead of a first day. It’s surprisingly similar to the first day at school. No matter how many years ago this was for you, you’ve been there before… and you’re still living to tell the tale!

This post is to give you some tips and pointers that will (hopefully) ease some of the worries ahead of the main event. Here are Eight Top Tips to help you prepare:

1 Prepare Ahead of Time
Do what you can to prepare ahead of the day. This can be a simple task that gives you one less thing to think about on the day. You could prepare your lunch, put it into a lunch box and put it into the fridge. Choosing what you’re going to wear is also a great decision to make ahead of the day. Ironing your clothes and hanging them up so that they’re ready to go can save you a stressful thirty minutes in the morning.

2 Practice Your Route
You’d be surprised at how important this can be. I moved to a new city when I started my Internship a few years ago and decided to do this the day before I started. I’m so thankful that I did because had I chanced the journey the morning after, I would have arrived late and very stressed!

3 Research the Company
You’re likely to have started this step ahead of your interview, if that was the process. Your interview may have been weeks or even months ago, and a lot of this knowledge may have left your memory by now. Give yourself an hour or two to familiarise yourself with the company’s website, any recent stories in the news and any case studies on their website. You’re unlikely to be quizzed on this your first day, but there’s no harm in being over prepared, especially if your new boss is someone who likes to catch people off guard.

4 Take a Pad & Pen
Some companies are fantastic and will have your desk all set up, with pad and pen waiting. Others, are not so prepared. If you require a pad and pen to complete your work the company should provide this but don’t be surprised if this isn;t offered on your first day. Taking them with you will mean that you can start the day running, taking notes whenever you hear something that you want to remember.

5 Take Photographic ID
Usually you will be asked to take a form of identification with you. This could be a passport, driving licence or even birth certificate. If you’re asked for one, great, you;ll be able to provide them there and then.

6 Did They Ask You To Bring Anything Else?
Exactly as the question asks. Do you need to take anything else? If you can’t remember then a quick phone call or email to HR or your new manager will clear this up.Better to make a call and be reminded, then to turn up forgetting an important document that you need before you can start.

7 Relax the Evening Before
When you’ve done what you can to prepare take some time out to relax. How do you best do this? Take a bath. Watch TV. Spend the evening having dinner with your friends. Do what you can to relax and stay calm before you head to bed.

8 Be Confident
Guess what?… You’ve already got the job! That means that you must have done something to impress the company. Out of the many people that they interviewed they chose YOU. You can walk into your first day confident that someone chose you to be there.

Keep your head up, go ahead and enjoy your first day.

GLOSSYBOX UK – October 2016

I love the excited feeling I always get when I receive the month’s Glossybox. Opening the black postage box and finding the baby pink box inside makes the moment feel like a special day, where a gift has been delivered after being carefully selected just for you. Of course, the Glossybox isn’t exactly unique to me, but the moment still remains special. This month’s box was the usual pink box which when opened greets you with pink tissue paper and a beautifully tied black bow.

I was always the child who opened their Christmas present slowly, being sure to not rip the paper and this habit extends to the Glossybox. No amount of excitement could lead me to purposefully rip the beautiful packaging! Once inside I get the first glance of the products inside.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I always spend the days before my box arrives searching YouTube for the month’s UK unboxings. Surprisingly this doesn’t spoil the surprise.

This month’s box was guest edited by Estee Lalonde, a well know beauty and lifestyle blogger and vlogger. The pieces inside every box were approved by her. Estee even left her very own mark with an unknown bottle of sweet smelling shampoo for all to use. The only way to find out which brand this shampoo belongs to is to visit her blog for the grand reveal.

In all honesty, this month I wasn’t as overjoyed with the contents as I usually am. This may have been my fault. I only decided to resubscribe to Glossybox in the third week of the month. From what I received compared to what others received in their boxes I can only assume that as the main stock runs out the ‘best’ products are switched out for other gifts. Having reviewed my initial disappointment I now understand that this should have been obvious to me as I subscribed! I’m now back on the monthly plan, and eagerly awaiting my freshly delivered (fantastically packed) box of goodies this month.