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February Favourites

Hope you’ve all had a good February? It seems ages since I wrote a Favourites post, probably because I got last months out really early and January is like the longest month ever. I’ve been trying out loads of new beauty products, I love spending an hour or two at my dressing table, playing around with makeup looks or styling my hair differently. I find it really therapeutic.

My February Favourites are mainly beauty items but there are a few random bits at the end. Let me know if you’ve tried any of the things I’ve loved this month.

February Favourites

Thanks to American English Seaberry Dry Oil  my hair has been frizz free and feels incredibly soft, it’s also given my hair a gorgeous shine. I’ve been using it as a heat protecting spray while using my straighteners or hair dryer, or on it’s own to make my hair look super sleek  This stuff is amazing and smells absolutely divine! It’s cruelty free and vegan too, so it’s suitable for everyone.

February Favourites

What can I say about the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Volume II other than it is stunning! There are four beautiful highlighting shades: Candlelight, Spotlight, Skylight and Daylight, the two lighter shades are just perfect to use as a highlighter on my skin tone. The darker two I’ve used on my eyes if I want to add a touch of sparkle. They are incredibly pigmented, so don’t go overboard like I did at first, and the powder is super soft. I’m so glad I took the risk buying it from the Tarte website as I didn’t pay any international shipping, and this is going to get a lot of use throughout the year.

The Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape has to be my favourite concealer, ever. It has amazing cover and conceals my dark circles and any blemishes incredibly well, I love that it has a huge sponge applicator so it’s super easy to use with just one swipe. I honestly didn’t think I’d love it quite as much as I do because it’s quite a heavy formula, but it doesn’t crease or dry out my skin at all. It’s worth every single penny!

February Favourites

I’ve loved using the Touch In Sol Flawless Skin Top Coat which is perfect for a natural, flawless looking complexion. I’ll add a few drops and blend it in with my fingers, as it reacts better to the warmth of my skin and I’ll get a more natural, glowy finish. The great thing about the Skin Top Coat is you don’t need separate products, it’s a three in one base: BB Cream, foundation and powder. It’s a lightweight liquid which doesn’t clog up your skin. I think this is going to be the one to use during the summer months, plus you can build it up to get the coverage you want and it doesn’t look cakey or too heavy.

February Favourites

Anything that promises to instantly boost the skin and I’m at the checkout before you can say Pixi Beauty. I’ve absolutely loved using their Skintreats Rose Flash Balm as a primer before doing my makeup and twice a week I’ve applied a thicker layer which acts as a mask, then just gently wiping it off after about five minutes. It contains rose extract and rose flower water, which are incredibly gentle on my skin, I know some people are sensitive to both of these. The balm is oil free and glides on beautifully without leaving any greasy residue, making my skin feel ultra soft and hydrated. It’s a great multi-purpose product that’s the perfect compact size for popping in your overnight bag.

February Favourites

I’ve totally fallen in love with the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. The bottle looks simple and clean, and has a easy to use pump, with a lockable cap. It’s one of those products that works on everything, and yes I do mean including stubborn eye makeup, it’s extremely gentle, so you can use it to take every last scrap of makeup off. It has a jelly like texture, which I found a bit strange at first, at the end of the day I’ve been massaging it into dry skin and it simply melts off any makeup, removing every bit of dirt and grime. It didn’t leave my skin feeling dry in the slightest. I’ll leave the link to my Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser review if you want to find out more.

February Favourites

I couldn’t let February pass without mentioning Valentines’s Day. We stayed at home, ordered a take away, opened a bottle of Prosecco, and watched a film, just the two of us. Adrian very kindly bought me this adorable Unicorn mug from Vinegar Hill in Hitchin, which I absolutely love! Isn’t it just the cutest thing ever. It now sits on my shelf alongside my collection of other cute, pink mugs,

February Favourites

The book I’ve enjoyed reading is 100 Pieces Of Me by Lucy Dillon, it’s a bitter sweet story that made me want to sort my life out and enjoy every single day the best I can, as if it were my last. It made me think about who was important in my life and all the things around me, were they part of who I am now or was I just holding on to bad memories and things I didn’t need anymore. It made me think about everything and everyone I take for granted, and anything that gave me negative thoughts, when I could have been surrounding myself with people and belongings that filled my life with joy. I have to say, this book probably had a bigger impact on me than any of the non fiction self care books I’ve read.

What’s the one thing you’ve done during February that you’ve really enjoyed?  it can be anything at all.

 

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Random Acts Of Kindness

Does it have to be someones birthday or Christmas to show a simple act of kindness? Even the smallest thing can make a big difference to someone’s day. Think of all the lovely things that people have done have for you, that moment of joy which put a smile on your face.They will almost certainly work for other people too, some of these random acts of kindness may seem small and they are easy to forget when we’re rushing about, getting on with our own busy lives. The world would be a lot nicer place if we were kinder to each other and smiled a bit more, instead of having a face like thunder just because we’re in a bad mood. I include myself in there as I can throw the biggest strops going, just ask my husband. I’ve been making every effort to simply smile when I’m out and about, even to complete strangers in the queue or waiting room, because I know they will have gone away having a moment of joy during their day. Very often, they will smile back to, so the kindness is returned.

Simple Acts Of Kindness

Send a hand written letter – as well as receiving a letter, why not include a motivational card they can pin in their office to make them smile every day

Compliment someones work – if you’ve enjoyed what a person has written, give it a like, retweet it or leave a nice comment. A few words of encouragement can go a long way to making someones day.

Offer to make a cup of tea – on a break at work, why not offer to make your colleague their favourite hot drink, or make one for your mum who’s been busy at work all day.

Love an outfit, let that person know – doesn’t have to be a friend, it can be a complete stranger, believe me they will go away with a spring in their step if you tell someone their outfit looks good

Hold the door – sounds simple enough, but the amount of times people have gone through the door in front of me and just let the door slam shut

Recycle your old magazines – take them to a DR’s waiting room, this will bring a smile to more than one persons day

Help someone in a supermarket – maybe that person can’t reach the top shelf, offer to get a product down for them

Give up your seat to someone who may need it – maybe they are elderly, pregnant or disabled and can’t stand for very long

Remember the assistant who helped you – did they go that extra mile to assist you as a customer, let them or their manager know, we’re all too ready to make a complaint, but when was the last time you praised someone who works in your favourite store?

Acts Of Kindness

Listen – another simple act of kindness, but could mean so much to someone who needs to talk through their problems, the smile on their face afterwards will be one of relief and make their day seem a little brighter

Offer to do the shopping – OK, I don’t mean a full weekly stock up, but maybe a neighbour or family member can’t get out through illness or they’ve just had a baby and would really appreciate a pint of milk and loaf of bread. The secret bar of chocolate hidden at the bottom of their bag for them to find could be enjoyed even more.

Share your loyalty points – don’t have a loyalty card for the store your in and never likely to, maybe the person behind you in the queue has and those extra points will help them towards their next money off voucher

Send a thank you card – been given a lovely gift for a special occasion, send a little note instead of a text, it’s much more personal

Make a memory book – know someone who has lost a loved one, use a notebook or scrap book and add photos of that person, ask friends and family to write a few lines about them.

Offer to babysit – maybe the new parents haven’t had a night out since the little one came along, they will really appreciate some time alone together

Call your mum or best friend – for no other reason but to see how they are, honestly this will make their day

Bake a bit extra – make a few extra of your favourite cookies or brownies, take some round to a friend, neighbour or family member, believe me, they will thoroughly enjoy them

Remember to say Please and Thank you – no really, those little words can often get forgotten when we have a million and one things we need to do buzzing about in our heads or running late for an appointment

Don’t forget yourself – having a bad day, do what ever you do to recharge your batteries, spend five minutes reading your favourite book, start watching that series you’ve been meaning to for ages, lock yourself away in the bathroom for a long hot soak, Look in the mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are!

What random acts of kindness have you done that’s given someone a moment of happiness?

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Victim Or Survivor Of Sexual Abuse

One minute and twenty seconds. That’s all the time you gave me before slamming the phone down. I’d waited all those years to ask you just one question “Why?” I was feeling really strong that day, but it still took every ounce of courage to pick up that phone and dial your number.

Tuesday 4th July 2006 was supposed to be our day, a day for us to talk. Thinking about it now, you only came round to make sure I’d not told anyone, still trying to control me. You’d definitely not come to visit out of guilt. If only I’d realised that back then.

I’d not seen you both since the end of March that year, after I began having counselling, which had opened “Pandora’s Box” and brought back memories that I’d blocked out for so long.

So when you arrived on that Tuesday afternoon and he appeared behind you in the door way, I froze. May be you felt the need to bring him along as back up, in case I started asking awkward questions.

You both sat down and that’s when I started to panic. I had flash backs of those awful nights in your house, scenes that I couldn’t handle reliving.

I wanted to ask you both to leave but nothing came out of my mouth.

I was just frozen with those images in my head. I felt the fear all over again, I was physically shaking. I felt trapped and couldn’t bear hearing his voice or having his smell only a few feet away from me. I couldn’t even look at the both of you. The fear I felt was so strong that I had to send a text to a Adrian, asking him to come in straight away, luckily he was only working in the garden. All of a sudden there was another voice in the room. I had never been so glad to hear Adrian’s voice before. From that moment on I wasn’t trapped and alone with just you and that man, the pair of you trying to intimidate me.

Victim Or Survivor Of Sexual Abuse

All those times I wanted to say stop but was too scared. The times I just lay there with my face in the pillow, crying hoping it would be over. Breathing in his smell that was suffocating me. You were the adults, you knew it was wrong, yet still you carried on. Not just once, but over a long period of time, I should have spoken to someone back then, I stayed quiet through fear. The fear you put into me by telling me all sorts of things would happen to me if I told anyone what you were both doing.

That Tuesday in 2006 was the last time I ever saw you. I never did get any answers to all the questions I wanted to ask.  Up until now I have always blamed him for what happened, and thought of you as a victim too. Now I know that you were as much to blame, if not more. You should have been there to protect me, the one person who should have been there for me, but you let me down in every possible way. You not only allowed him to do what he did, but you were there in the room each time it happened.

I’m not sure what sick pleasures you both got out of what you did, but I do know it wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t to blame, I was just a child. You robbed me of an innocent childhood, one That should have been filled with love, support and encouragement, a time that I will never get back.

I do believe there is a name for people like you but it certainly isn’t Mother. You stopped having the right to be called that the day you willingly made the decision to do what you did. Mothers should protect their children, no matter what. You failed as a mother. Thank god you didn’t have any more children so they didn’t have to suffer the same way as I did.

I’ve seen you both now for what you really are. You made me feel dirty, an object you could both pick up and play with when it suited you, then stick me back in my room when you’d finished. All alone and feeling scared.

I wanted to tell someone but couldn’t, so I kept quiet. After all, a child puts their trust in their mother and believes what they tell them, don’t they? No wonder I was a frightened little girl.

 

HE told me he’d never been asked to do anything like that before and he only wanted to show me the facts of life.

He was asked!!

He was insinuating that YOU had asked him to do it, wasn’t he? Did you? Even if you hadn’t, you still willingly went along with it.

I’ve felt angry with you for so long and tried to block out what happened, to forget what you put me through. I hid your dirty secret, until many years later.

I was a grown woman in 2007 by the time I reported it to the police and I had to relive every single, tiny detail, and explain everything you and my stepfather did to me. They believed me and were able to gather enough evidence to take it to court, which I’m so thankful for considering it was a historical case. Unanimously, a jury of 12 found you both guilty of all charges and you were given a prison sentence. That, I believe, is what they call justice.

Nine months. That’s all you served for the crime you’d committed against your own daughter. In that time I hope you finally faced up to what you did and stopped convincing yourself that you hadn’t done anything wrong.

Even though some of my family supported you through the court case, believing you were the innocent party and that I should have kept my mouth shut, I know that deep down in my heart I did the right thing and that you got the punishment you deserved.

I hope you feel guilty and ashamed of what you did.  I hope it eats away at you every single day and every waking moment.

I hope you have to look away from every reminder of me because it makes YOU feel guilty, dirty and disgusted with yourself because of what you did to me and how you made me feel for so many years.

You’d betrayed me. You’d let me down. You made me feel as though I was the bad person.

I’m not scared or frightened of you anymore, I don’t feel the anger that I once felt towards you, in fact I don’t feel anything. I am not a child anymore, I’m not someone you can control. And I’m certainly not a victim. I’m a survivor.

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Hellos and Goodbyes I'm Making In 2018

I never have been great with time keeping. If I tell someone I’ll be ready in 5 minutes, it usually means I’ll be at least half an hour later. That’s probably why I’m writing this post in February and not the first week in January when everyone else was putting their’s up. If I’m totally honest, what with one thing and another going on at home, I really haven’t felt like thinking about the year ahead and making goals for myself or my blog.

It took a phone call, a book and 12 minutes of a film to make me realise what’s important in my life. Well actually the combination of all  three that sent me into sheer panic and asking all sort’s of “What If?” questions. Half way through the film the female charactor talks about having her dessert first, then her main course, she goes on to explain that an asteroid could hit the earth or she could die without ever having had the one thing she really wanted in life. At this point, I had absolutely no idea what the film was about, assuming it was just a love story between a young couple. It wasn’t until much later on that it all became clear. The film is called Remember Me.

Which brings me to the reason why this post has the title it does and doesn’t include the words Goals or Resolutions. The minute I write those kinds of list I start to put too much pressure on myself and feel like I’ve failed if I don’t achieve them. When what I want to be doing is appreciating what I have already and enjoying things right now, there in the moment. I’m grateful for everything I have in life, from the husband and family who are always there for me to the everyday things like a bed to sleep in and enjoying a home cooked meal.

Hellos

Accept myself for who I am

If you’ve read my About Me page, then you’ll know I suffer from a disability and need to use a wheelchair. Truth be told, I need someone to push my wheelchair, even after many years of living with this illness, I still find that hard to deal with. So you can guess how upset I was that I had to turn down a lot of events and social activities, simply because of the complex symptoms that come with a rare neurological disorder.

Find My Confidence Again

The whole reason I started my blog was to post outfit photos because Facebook wasn’t exactly the place to put them. I’m not saying that there will be a fashion post every month, far from it, but I absolutely love styling up an outfit. Most of my clothes are bought from Ebay, Charity shops or reduced right down in the sales, I love finding inspiration on Pinterest and creating a look using my bargain buys. Last year my confidence got up and left the building, possibly social media making me feel like I should dress a certain way or that I wasn’t trendy enough. All credit to the people who can carry off an alternative look or even tuck a jumper in a certain way and make it look cool. On me, it just looks fake, like I’ve tried too hard.

Reconnect With Old Friends

I know friendships drift apart and lives take us down different paths, and I’m fine with that. It’s usually when a friend has a baby and start mixing with other parents who they’ll have far more in common with. You see, I can’t have children, so I have it in my head that they will no longer be interested in what I’ve done. I know that sounds silly, so I’m going to make every effort to message people I’ve lost touch with and spend more time with people who are already in my life. Which reminds me, I have quite a few penpals I need to return letters to.

Try Something New Every Month

I know, it totally contradicts my “no goals” policy for this year, so I’m not going to beat myself up if I miss a month I was 16 when I finished my first crochet blanket, and I was so flippin proud of myself. Since 2016, any new skills I’ve learn have all been blog related, slightly chuffed with myself for figuring out something on WordPress or my way around the camera settings. Yes, blogging is my hobby, but I’d like to try some different things too. I may start with something easy like making a savoury dish instead of baking my usual cakes and biscuits.

Explore New Places

One of the benefits of being married (amongst many others) is that I get to share good times and bad with another person. Adrian and I have visited a lot of places during the time we’ve been together, but there are so many more we’d love to explore. cities, seaside towns, museums, parks or gardens, it really doesn’t matter as long as it’s a new place to visit.

Remember To Read Those Books

Every night before bed, I’d pick up the book I was reading at the time and get through a couple of chapters. Over the last few months, I’ve slipped back into my old ways and watch YouTube instead. That’s all fine and dandy, but I know this has an effect on how well I sleep, whereas reading a book helps to relax me. Plus. I’ve learnt a lot through reading a book.

Being Grateful

I am incredibly lucky to have all the things I’ve got. I’m not talking about how big my makeup stash is, or having a wardrobe bursting with clothes, although they do come into it. I mean those every day things I take for granted, a cosy bed, having a nice meal, a hot shower in the morning, a cup of my favourite tea.

Hellos and Goodbyes, Outfit Of The Day

Goodbyes

Pressure

I’m not going to put pressure on myself to reach a certain target before a certain date, I’ve even ripped the stats page out of my diary. I’m not going to lose any sleep if I’ve lost followers over night, after gaining 10 the night before. I’m also not going to apologise if my post goes up on Tuesday, instead of a Monday. I’m not the sort of blogger who has followers that are waiting at a certain time, on a set day to read my latest post. It’s only me who puts the pressure on myself to get things done, all the time I’m missing out on being me. Unless something has a specific deadline, real life or blog related, then I’m just going with the flow and taking each day as it comes.

Stress and Worry

I worry far too much about every little thing. I get frustrated really easily, then I get angry with myself if I can’t do something, then I start worrying I’ve over reacted and end up crying. Then I’ll have to hunt for the cat who went running for cover. I’m going to start listening to my relaxation apps again, making time for me again, pamper nights, filling in my scrapbooks or colouring. You know the drill by now. I’m going to enjoy life the best I can.

I am a hoarder. I have this policy where I’ll “Put something to one side, You never know when you might need it.” Doesn’t matter how many times I try and declutter, it ends up cluttered again. This stresses me out then I get extremely frustrated because I can’t find anything. It’s time to get ruthless with everything I have, do I use it or need it, will I ever need it, if not then it’s going to charity or being sold.

Negative Feelings

I’m feeling great right now, even on days when I feel physically crap, I’m still feeling positive about life. Yes, I have daily struggles, but there’s plenty of other people that do too. I need to tell myself that something’s gone well rather than thinking of the negatives, I need to step back occasionally and remind myself of everything I have got and everything I have achieved in life so far, I need to focus on my own life and taking better care of myself, not worry about what other people are doing. I’m not going to let self doubt creep back in, like it did in 2017, so what if things don’t go quite according to plan, I know I WILL do better next time, but I’ll never know unless I try, will I?

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January Favourites

January isn’t my favourite month of the year after the excitement of Christmas now it’s time for things to start to get back to normal. It’s been a quiet few weeks, although I did celebrate my birthday on the 5th which was amazing. This year I’ve set myself a few goals and they’re clearly written in the front of my journal. Some of them are a little out of my comfort zone, I think it will be good for me to push myself and learn some new skills, so watch out for a blog post coming soon. I’m also keeping a weekly log of things that have made me feel good, something that’s gone well that week or something I’ve just generally enjoyed using. Hopefully by doing this it will help me feel much more positive and stop those negative thoughts that creep in every so often.

Moving on to my January Favourites, I have a right mix of beauty and lifestyles, so let’s get started.

january favourites, anatomicals puffy the eye bag slayer

Even with the best will in the world there are some nights I just cannot sleep, no matter how good my bedtime routine is. well, ok, so it’s probably down to staying up til the wee small hours, drinking and chatting with my friends. This doesn’t happen too often but when it does I look piggy and bleary eyed the following day. These Anatomicals Puffy The Eye Bag Slayer are the first eye masks I’ve tried and oh my word, they are amazing. They are shaped to fit under and around the outer corner of each eye, after leaving them on for about 10 minutes any puffiness has disappeared. Of all the under eye gels I’ve tried for tiredness, these beat any of them, hands down. They feel so refreshing and cooling on my skin, they almost have the same effect as putting a few ice cubes under my eyes. I think I’ll cry if Anatomicals ever discontinued these.

January favourites, lee stafford coco loco dry shampoo

January has been a month where I’ve not felt like doing much with my hair, to be honest an extra 10 minutes snuggled in bed in the mornings felt so much better than washing and styling my hair every few days. I discovered Lee Stafford CoCo LoCo CoConut Dry Shampoo by accident while shopping for a few other beauty bits. This is now an essential for one of my “I can’t be bothered” days, it doesn’t leave my hair looking all white and powdery and it soaks up any greasy areas at the roots, without leaving it feeling dry. My hair feels soft and looks like I’ve spent a bit of time styling it as this dry shampoo adds some volume. Did I say, it also smells amazing too.

January Favourites, Ted Baker Body Spray

Even on the days I’ve been at home I still like to spritz a light fragrance to make me smell nice, especially after my morning shower. I’m also one of those people who adds a few squirts when I get into my pyjamas at night. The fragrance I’ve been using through January is the Ted Baker Body Spray in Blush Pink. This has a really pretty feminine smell, with soft florals and notes of jasmine, sandalwood and musk. I felt dressed and ready for the day, even in an old t-shirt and leggings.

January favourites, Where's The Unicorn

Yes, I know I’m an adult but I’ve literally had so much fun with this book, I think it was one of my favourite presents I received for my birthday. Where’s The Unicorn is a brightly coloured book and you need to find a collection of unicorns as they travel around the world. If you loved Where’s Wally (or Unicorns) then you’ll love this book as much as I do, just no peeking at the answers at the back.

January favourites, Barry M Molten Metal nail paint Ice Pink

I love Barry M nail paints and have probably worn the shade Ice Pink from the Molten Metal Collection for most of the past month. It applies beautifully and lasts really well before any chips start to show. I wore this shade all over Christmas and have only just stopped applying it, I think it’s such a gorgeous colour. I’ll definitely be digging this out again during the summer months when I’m applying a bronzed makeup look.

January Favourites, The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner

I’m already obsessed with The Body Shop’s Vitamin E range and recently picked up the Hydrating Toner with my loyalty points. Having dry sensitive skin I always have problems finding a toner that doesn’t leave my skin feeling as though it’s been completely stripped of any moisture. I’ve seen loads of people raving about this one, now I can see why. It’s super gentle and refreshing on my skin, removing any traces of makeup or cleanser. My skin feels extremely soft afterwards and it’s even helped clear up any blemishes I’ve had. This may be one of my January favourites, but I’m definitely repurchasing this and adding it into my skincare routine.

January Favourites, Anatomicals Cruisin' For A Snoozin' Sleep Balm

I ran out of my usual sleep spray and saw the Anatomicals Cruisin’ For A Snoozin’ Sleep Balm whilst on the ASOS website. I’ve been using it every night since as it has a wonderful relaxing fragrance including Lavender. Rosemary, Ginger and Lemon. The balm comes in a tiny tin and you take a small amount and gently rub it into your temples to help get you get in the mood for sleep. I think between the smell and the gentle massage movements it helped me switch off to anything I may have had on my mind before going to bed. I’ve also been taking it with me on journeys to use if I feel a bit anxious and honestly I’ve found it really helped settle my nerves and feel a lot calmer.

Well that’s all my January Favourites for now. I completely missed last months but still had some wonderful makeup favourites over Christmas.

What have you been loving this month?

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