28 January 2016

Paper Chic Co Blog Planners

Paper Chic Co Blog Planners

Anything which helps to make me somewhat more organised in life immediately gets the thumbs up from me. Believe it or not I have always been pretty organised, although as time has gone by and my life has got busier some things have not got as much attention as perhaps they have deserved. One such thing is this blog here. Looking back over the last two years I have posted relatively regularly, in fact it has only been in the last six months where I have really struggled to produce three to four posts a week, although it certainly does not help that we are still stuck in winter which has made taking photographs of an evening pretty much non-existent. 

Nevertheless in a bid to become more organised of an evening (even though I cannot take my photos until the weekend) I have started using the Paper Chic Co Blog Post Planner* which has been pretty useful so far. Paper Chic Co is a brand run by the lovely Claudia from Beauty and the Chic, I have been a long time reader of her blog so I am delighted to hear that she has expanded her horizons. She has created some fantastic blogger friendly planners alongside options for everyday life too, they are well worth looking into if, like me you could do with a bit of help planning your blog content.

From using this during the week I can sum up the post I want to write whilst relaxing elsewhere instead of being in front of my PC. Due to the fact that I work in front of a computer at work for the majority of the day, it is very rare that I will find myself at mine come the evening. Whilst I don't write my whole post down on here I do tend to bullet point ideas, perhaps maybe even planning out how I will take my photographs on the weekend. Timing is somewhat of the essence at the moment as the short days only really give you few good hours of daylight in order to get a nice clear picture, therefore having an idea already planned out is so incredibly useful.

Claudia is working super hard on Paper Chic Co so it is only natural that I wanted to share this with you today in order to show my support. She runs a pretty fantastic beauty blog too alongside creating pretty planners so make sure you head on over to say hello.
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25 January 2016

Skincare Favourites of 2015

Current-Skincare-Routine-Day

As we hit the end of last year I hinted within my Beauty Favourites of 2015 that I would feature some of my favourite skincare products from the last twelve months. Seeing as February is almost upon us I thought that I would sneak this one in quickly, as I am not quite sure I could get away with this post any later. Long term followers here will recognise products that I have written about before, although that is in my opinion always a good thing as it just goes to show how much you can like a specific product.

Starting off with moisturiser I was delighted to discover the brand Yves Rocher last year in which I was able to try their Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Wrinkles and Radiance* duo which I really enjoyed using. Out of the two it was the night cream which I thought stood out the most, although that being said I thought the day cream was perfectly adequate for my skin type. Having since used these up I am extremely tempted to purchase them, although I am desperately trying to work my way through the skincare I currently have. If you wish to read more on these then head on over to my review of the Yves Rocher Day and Night Cream.

The Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner has been a long term product within my routine over the last twelve months. It is something which I have grown fond of, although don't expect to see immediate results as this is something which in my experience requires a bit of patience. I do have very little to compare this to when it comes to chemical based exfoliators and hope to this year pick up a few things in order to see if I do have better results. That being said this is extremely pleasant to use, it is kind to my skin and it does not cause any irritation. Over the time in which I have being using this my skin has looked clearer and brighter, therefore it is something which I always find myself going back to. 

Two further favourites of mine come in the form of the Liz Earle Instant Skin Boost Tonic which I have repurchased a couple of times and the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado which again I have picked up on more than one occasion. These are both delightful products and work extremely well on my skin, I cannot imagine not using these as I have yet to find anything which works better. The tonic is something which I like to use after I have cleansed, particularly if I have used a clay mask as it helps to hydrate my skin really nicely. Similarly the Kiehl's Eye Cream is a staple and helps to hydrate under my eye area much better than any other eye cream I have used. It is generally quite a thick product which is what I need as I am prone to dehydration in this area. 

Dehydration was something which I suffered from quite a lot last year, particularly as we headed into autumn. The Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum* luckily came to my rescue and really did help to alleviate some of that, in fact, having had such a good experience with this it has definitely made me want to look at Jurlique more in order to see what other products they have which may suit my skin type. The texture of this truly is beautiful as it glides onto the skin and feels quite cool to the touch. It sinks in very well and does not leave my skin feeling tight or tacky which is a relief as I had being using this of a morning before I put on my moisturiser and make up. 

What are your current skincare favourites? 
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21 January 2016

Testing Testing #2 Makeup and Skincare

New-Stuff-edited
Over the last few weeks I have being making a conscious effort to go through the makeup and skincare products that I have accumulated. Whilst I do not entertain quite the amount as some beauty bloggers I have seen, I was starting to feel more than a little overwhelmed. In a bid to be more minimalist, not just in the wardrobe department but in my daily life too, I made the decision to get rid of a few things which were either too old or which I simply didn't like. 

This has allowed me to get started on a few new beauty items which is quite exciting, as after all, being a beauty blogger one of the main things I enjoy is trying out new products as you just never know when you will discover something amazing.

New Stuff 3







The Maybelline Master Sculpt* was a product which I saw featured across a variety of blogs last year when it first launched. To be honest with you I have always been a tad sceptical about high street contour and highlight products, although I am becoming more open minded as time goes by as the high street really is starting to expand in this area more lately. Whilst I have yet to try this I am looking forward to giving it a go very soon.

From Eyeko both the Fat Liquid Liner* and Me and My Shadow Cream Eye Shadow* have made their way into my life. As someone who is never one to pass up the opportunity of trying a new liner I have to say that I do quite like the Fat Liquid Liner as it is incredibly pigmented and durable, meaning it lasts really well throughout the day. Whilst I do think I prefer their Skinny Liquid Liner on a whole, I did find this to be a nice alternative for days when I want to create a more dramatic finish. That being said, whilst my experience with the liner has been great I wasn't too keen on the cream eye shadow which I found to be quite dry to apply. Perhaps in hindsight I may be being a bit too critical as I am comparing it to the likes of By Terry, although the Kiko versions are fantastic for a fraction of the price. The shade I received was Quartz which despite being the Pantone colour of the year I can't agree that it is mine, at least not where my eye shadow is concerned. Quartz in itself is very pretty however because it is quite a salmon toned pink I find that it just doesn't suit my skin tone. 

New Stuff 2

The next brand is a completely new one to me as up until a couple of months ago I had never heard of ReCover Cosmetics. The ReCover Correct and Conceal Concealer* is a product which requires further testing from me as I have only recently started to use it, therefore look out for this being featured again in a month or so. What I can tell you though is that the shade I have is the light option which in all honesty isn't that light, although I do note that they are releasing a shade lighter early on in 2016 which I think is a good idea. 

As I make my way through my skincare the latest brand which I will be trying out is Medik 8. They were kind enough to send out to me quite a few of their products so I am really looking forward to seeing what they do have on offer. Generally speaking whilst trying out new skincare products I do like to only incorporate one or two new ones, this is so my routine isn't interrupted too much. The first product I decided to try was the Medik 8 Clay Mask* which so far I really quite like. The mask first and foremost is extremely gentle and does not dry my skin out, it has quite a medicinal scent to it which I like and it is light in texture and colour. 

The Medik 8 Glow Oil* is the latest release from the brand, it aims to help with dehydration, visible signs of ageing and to add more radiance to your skin. Due to its lightweight texture I can use this of a morning time before I put on my moisturiser which is really nice as typically with these types of products I can find that they can be a bit on the greasy side. This however is not greasy in the slightest, in fact it hardly feels like an oil based product at all. Currently I am in the very early stages of trying this out so I do not want to commit to anything as of yet, although if you have tried this yourself then I would be really interested to hear how you have got on with it. 

To round things up I have Pro Blending Fluff Brush* from Crown Brush which has arrived at just the right time as my eye shadow brushes in particular are a bit on the sparse side as I only have two that I use regularly. This doesn't exactly stipulate what it is specifically for on the website, although it does mention contouring and highlighting. To be honest I think I'll use it as an alternative to my MAC 217 which tends to be a bit a bit grim looking come the end of the week. As I pop on my eye shadow for work tomorrow morning I will be reaching for this, I am really curious to see how it works for me as I haven't had any new brushes for a little while now.

Have you tried any of the above products?
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19 January 2016

My Invisalign Journey | ClinCheck and Tray 1

Invisalign-Journey
You may remember that I am currently undergoing Invisalign treatment at the moment, where, over the course of the treatment I am posting my progress on here in order to document and share with you my experience. As I write this I am due to start tray eight so I am a little bit behind schedule, however I plan on catching up now that I have some images to show you from the ClinCheck appointment I had back in November. There was a bit of a delay in getting the link sent over to me as I didn't get this until the beginning of December, however I didn't really want to skip the step by step progress as such so held off in order to post this in the correct sequence.

In my previous post I discussed how my first appointment had gone. I had undergone several or more impressions in order for my Orthodontist to get a visual of the shape of my teeth so that he was then able to send the visual off to America in order for my treatment plan to be processed. After a couple of weeks my treatment plan came back which was in the form of a video which showed how my teeth would move over the given time period allocated to me.

As you may be aware Invisalign works by a series of aligners which you change every two weeks. My treatment plan is devised of 23 trays making this a total of 46 weeks, although my Orthodontist has stressed to me that sometimes this can take a little bit longer as everyone has a different experience.
Invisalign Journey

The above images are print screens from the ClinCheck video as I was not able to find a way to share the video itself on here. Nevertheless, as you can see my teeth to begin with were quite crooked, the most noticeable being the front left as it crosses over the front right quite a lot. This in particular always showed up in photographs, hence why I never smile with my teeth showing. There are some other areas too such as the top row where one sticks out on an odd angle and also the bottom row where overcrowding has caused my bottom tooth to twist inwards.

There's a fair bit of correction to do which will occur gradually over the best part of the next year. Whilst it may initially seem like a really long time I can honestly say that time is already going by so fast that come the third week in February I will be moving onto tray ten. The below image gives you a rough indication of how my teeth with move throughout the treatment, where starting off with tray one you can see that by the time I reach tray ten (twenty weeks in) that there is will already be quite a difference.

Invisalign Journey

When I first started tray one back in October there was initially very little to remark upon, other than the fact that I had to get used to something foreign on my teeth. The aligner was tight for the first day but it wasn't too uncomfortable, however next morning when I removed it to eat breakfast I did notice a dull ache which had not been there the day before. Removing the aligner itself I have found quite easy and it has only got easier the more often I have done it, the same goes for putting it back on as it tends to just click back into place. 

You must wear each aligner for two weeks before you move onto the next, therefore I find it important to jot down the dates in which you change them over, as before you know it you can easily start to forget which week you changed it. When cleaning my aligners I tend to rinse them with cool water and then brush them gently with a tiny bit of toothpaste. My Orthodontist has advised to do nothing more than that as you can discolour them if you start to use anything like mouth wash to rinse them.

Eating hasn't caused me any real issues if I am honest as unlike traditional braces I am able to take these out when I eat. The only thing I have to ensure is that once I have eaten I then clean my teeth straight away, this includes flossing as I don't want to have trapped food between my teeth, especially whilst wearing the aligners. Not least is that pretty gross but it can also lead to decay much quicker. 

Wearing these to work was the thing I was the most worried about, although I shouldn't have worried as nobody even noticed that I was wearing them. Brushing my teeth however at work was pretty alien to me, although it has become somewhat second nature now.

For now that's my latest update on my Invisalign Journey, however I will write up the next post soon to explain how I have got on as switching the trays over has been interesting! My next post will look at trays 2, 3 and 4 so if you want to hear more about my experience then please do pop back soon.

I was given the opportunity to enter a competition to win Invisalign back in February 2015 where I am delighted to say that I won. Throughout the course of my treatment I will be writing about my journey as part of the rules of the competition. My treatment is free, courtesy of Oasis Dental Care however my opinions and my shared experience of my Invisalign journey will all be that of my own.
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17 January 2016

Favourite Eyebrow Products

Eye Brow Products

It has only been the last year where I have found myself taking care of and paying more attention to my eyebrows. They have always been quite thick and I have only ever plucked them to keep them maintained to the best of my ability, however having now experienced both waxing and threading I have seen first hand just what a difference professional shaping can do. 

Since having had my brows shaped by someone who actually knows what they are doing, I can honestly say that I now have a whole heap of enthusiasm about them, because for so long I was at a loss as I found them quite difficult to get even by myself. Over the last year I have been using a few brow products and have enjoyed using them so much more now that the shape is good, therefore I thought it was ample time that I sat down and wrote about some of my favourites. 

Eye Brow Products
There are of course many types of brow products on the market these days, although in my experience you do tend to have to shop more high end in order to find a decent shade range because I have yet to find any high street brand which offers that. From powders, pencils and gels there is something I think for everyone, it all comes down to finding out which you prefer to work with as some of them can take a little more time than others.

Eye Brow Products

Pencil

Starting off with perhaps the easiest to work with I have found only one pencil that to date I have really liked, although I must admit I have not tried many of them at all. The Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil was originally a pr sample sent to me, however I have since repurchased this twice. It is a fantastic product and it is so incredibly easy to use, the only thing that let's this down is that the shade range is extremely limited. This isn't a warm brown at all which makes it ideal for the brows, if you haven't yet tried this one then I would highly recommend checking it out for the price, as at £8 I think it is one of the best products that Soap and Glory have to offer. 

Whilst the next product isn't necessarily a pencil I think this is the best category to include it within. The Suqqu Liquid Pen* is incredibly fine and precise, it is however not very pigmented (in my experience), which depending on the nature of your brows may or may not be a bad thing. For instance my brows are relatively thick, however at the ends they do need help, the same applies to the very beginning of my brows where there is one which is slightly more sparse than the other. This product is ideal for the start of my brows as it is very light and can be built up without ever going over the top. Having said that I personally wouldn't use this for the end of my brows as I simply cannot build up the colour enough. 

Powder

When I say powder this covers the product above which is the Illamasqua Brow Cake and typically any suitable eye shadow. For me powder is probably the most natural looking, with a pencil being the second most natural. Upon comparison against the other two types of brow products that I am covering I do tend to find that powder is more difficult to be precise with, although this could be down to the tool that I am using rather than the product itself. Nevertheless there are a wide variety of options out there as more often than not you probably already have a suitable eye shadow at home which you can use for your brows, I think it is well worth looking within your make up collection before you head off to buy something specific. 

Gel

If you had asked me last year if I would have been using a brow gel for my brows I would never had believed you. Gel products have always been pretty difficult for me to use, I have almost given up with gel liner, therefore the thought of a gel brow product being able to win me over was just never on the cards. That being said since I started using the Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in 'strike' I have not picked up any other. This product is my all time favourite as it allows me to create a really neat finish which not only looks natural but also stays in place all day. Being a gel this is very pigmented so you do only need a small amount, although this sure does ensure that it will last you a rather long time. 

Whilst we are on the subject of brows, if you do have any recommendations for tools to use I would really like to hear them as I am looking to purchase a new make up brush for my brows specifically.
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14 January 2016

Elemis | The Face and Body Edit

Elemis Luxury Skin and Body Traveller 
When you find yourself wanting to start off a blog post with somewhat of an apology it doesn't necessarily bode too well. Having not posted for a week I have felt as thought this space has been neglected, although it had been out of my control due to a number of ongoing computer issues. As well as that, those of you who follow me on instagram may have seen that I had being feeling pretty down in the dumps lately which did not help matters. A big thank you for all the super kind comments to those that left them, they meant the world to me and helped to put a smile on my face. 

It goes without saying that when you are feeling down a little treat can help to make you feel a bit better, therefore the arrival of the Elemis Luxury Skin and Body Traveller* from Debenhams could not have turned up any sooner. 

Elemis Luxury Skin and Body Traveller









Elemis has been a brand that I have wanted to explore more of in the last year due to the fact that I am a huge fan of their cleansing balm, I have always wondered what other products they had to offer. This travel set is a wonderful stater kit in my opinion as it gives you an insight into the brand as well as some pretty generous sizes of some of their best known skincare and body products.

First and foremost I could not fail to mention the beautiful travel bag that comes with this set. It really is perfect for storing your beauty items, especially if you are travelling as it is nice and compact but big enough to store everything you may wish to take with you on a weekend away. The quality of the bag is really lovely too, I like that it is simple in design and that it is white as it makes it feel really quite luxurious. 

Elemis Luxury Skin and Body Traveller

House within this kit there are seven products, those being the Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil which is a brand new product to me. In the past I have seen a number of Elemis products mentioned however this is one I had not heard of so I am very keen to give this a road test in the near future. The Soothing Apricot Toner is indeed a product I have read about and naturally find myself curious about, it is after all another skincare item to try, plus the decent sample size will ensure that I can test this out for a reasonable period of time. 

The Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules have incredible reviews online from what I have seen and really do stand out as quite a unique product, so much so that I definitely want to feature these in the future. The next two products are both products which have been on my list of skincare items to try as again I have read very good things about them. Both the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and the Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream in conjunction with each other really do sound wonderful. I have a strong feeling that when my current duo run out I will be turning to these straight away.

Finally the British Botanical Body Cream and the British Botanical Shower Cream round up the kit by focusing on the body. With it now being winter and quite cold one may find themselves very reluctant to sit lathering on the body lotions after they have just got out of the shower, however it is important to remember to keep our skin hydrated in order to keep it in tip top condition.

The majority of these products are all new to me so I am really looking forward to having a bit of an Elemis marathon within my beauty regime. 

Have you tried Elemis?
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7 January 2016

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette
When I first found out that there was going to be a collaboration between one of my favourite make up brands and Gwen Stefani I was extremely excited, not least because it would mean that a new Urban Decay Eye Shadow Palette would be making its way onto the scene and into beauty bloggers wish lists everywhere. 

Growing up I was always a fan of Gwen Stefani, her quirky unique, yet polished appearance has always been something which remained in my mind. Whilst not all of her music has been to my taste over the years I will always be a huge fan of No Doubt and Don't Speak; it's a 90's classic! Going back to the make up of course Gwen has always looked immaculate. Her make up has always remained relatively neutral over the years, although sharp eyebrows, a bold lip and black liner have for me been her trademark.


Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette

The Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette was something that I thought long and hard about buying because it does contain a lot of neutral shades. Of course being a neutral lover I am not in short supply of those, although the added element of a couple of bright colours did have me worrying slightly as I wasn't sure if I would be able to make use of them. Having said that the whole presentation of this palette and indeed the quality which I knew would be present, having used Urban Decay for a while now was the deciding factor for me.

In terms of packaging this is most certainly one of my all time favourites to date, if not my favourite. This for me just embodies everything about Gwen from the black, white and gold casing to the shade choices and names given to them. The palette is quite a sturdy little thing too, it is very well made and robust, although I won't be testing its durability any time soon what with it being a limited edition and all.

There is quite the array of shades within the palette, all named after various songs or meaningful things to Gwen herself. Out of the fifteen eye shadows in the palette there are twelve which are brand new to Urban Decay, making it a must for any die hard fan. As you can see below most of these follow the nude spectrum, there are some beautiful shades for highlighting the brow bone and inner corner such as Blonde, whereas I adore Punk and Anaheim when creating a more sultry smoky eye. The quality of the eye shadows is always something I look for in a palette, especially when you're paying more money.  Overall I have to say that this one does not disappoint.

There are a couple of shades which are more sheer than I had imagined, Baby and Pop being an example of that, however all of the others are fantastic and have very good colour pay off; particularly Blackout and Danger.

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette

Overall I would have to say that this gets a big thumbs up from me. At £40 I truly do think that this is great value for money as you are getting a rather great set of versatile eye shadows all enclosed within a stunning palette. This palette would make a wonderful introduction to the brand, not least a pretty awesome gift for any Gwen Stefani fan.
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4 January 2016

What I Received For Christmas

What I Received For Christmas

It only seems like yesterday when I had broken up from work for Christmas, yet here I am, the night before I return back to work writing about what I had received from my family this year. I had to scroll through my blog archives to see if I had ever written a post like this before, where it would appear that I had not. In all honesty I was in two minds as to whether I was going to write it, I think some people either love this type of post, whereas some are not so keen. Personally I like them, which is why I am writing it. I always find it fun to see what people got, a bit like I enjoy seeing people's excited faces when they're opening their gifts on Christmas morning. 

I am always so very grateful for the things I receive, although in truth I think that when it comes to Christmas I enjoy the gift giving more than receiving; it leaves you feeling all fuzzy inside! So whilst I am at work, sitting in the office and dreaming of coming back home to my cosy bed I will get down to business and share with you a few of the things I received this Christmas. 

It is never quite Christmas in my household without a bit of Soap and Glory. In previous years I have tended to pick up their big gift set that goes on offer, however for the last two years I hadn't because it had being taking me so long to use the stuff up. Therefore to receive the Soap and Glory Bright and Bubbly set this year was wonderful as my supply of the pink stuff had almost been spent.

Speaking of pink stuff, I was super delighted to receive a new bottle of LUSH Snow Fairy as last year I missed out on picking some up. In all fairness I usually pick up the smaller one as I think it is expensive for what it is, therefore to receive the larger version this year made me super happy as I now won't have to be as frugal with this one as I have been in the past.

It is no secret that I am a huge Harry Potter fan, in fact I do believe my mum had being spying on my blog as it wasn't so long back when I featured this gorgeous box set within my Christmas Harry Potter Gift Guide. Sticking with books for one more moment I also received The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This was a book that I had not heard of before, however I am already one hundred pages in and I am hooked.

With the release of Adele's single Hello, I knew immediately that I would have to pick up her album 25. Naturally I was told to hold fire on this as my family were struggling to think of things to buy me this year. This was the one gift I knew about and I have being listening to this, alongside Sam Smith all day whilst I have being catching up on some blogging.

What I Received For Christmas

Before the run up to Christmas I had expressed my wish for a new setting powder as my current and only one is running quite low. My friend a few months back had picked up the bare Minerals Mineral Veil and had recommended it to me. This of course coincided with the release of the bare Minerals Deluxe Finishing Powder in the collector's edition presentation box. Yes it's a bit glam but I personally love it, I love the fact that it is refillable so that I can re-use it once I run out of the product as I can simply buy a new one to pop in. 

Having never tried anything from Ted Baker before, I was really quite pleasantly surprised to receive this lovely gift set full of an array of body products. I am really looking forward to trying these soon in order to see what they are like, I'll also be saving the box for storage as it has the most beautiful design on it. 

Finally I have a new cup and coaster because I am after all an avid tea drinker; this lovely little set is from Boofle which I admit to being quite the fan of.

So there we have it, Christmas and all the madness that goes with it is most certainly over for another year. It is now the time for getting back to work, looking after ourselves and loved ones as well as having lots of fun and laughter.
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3 January 2016

Favourite Blogs of 2015

Favourite Blogs of 2015

Last year I decided to share with you my Favourite Blogs of 2014 as throughout the year I enjoy reading so many different blogs by a variety of different people; it felt only natural to share them. Therefore in order to round 2015 up nicely over here I wanted to follow that tradition and share with you today my five top blogs from the last year. Of course I read a huge variety of blogs and there are so many more than this that I should mention, which is why that I am making a conscious decision to share the blog love a little more in 2016.

Today I am introducing five blogs to you, five blogs which I adore and all have their own unique style and of course gorgeous ladies behind them.

Thumbelina Lillie is run by Megan who has to be one of the kindest, sincere bloggers that I have come to follow. She is building a wonderful space on the internet which is full of life, fun and lots of beautiful photographs to boot. As an active blogger within the community I think Megan is doing a fantastic job balancing her work, blog and indeed university. Thumbelina Lillie is most certainly a blog to check out in 2016 if you haven't already.

The Lovecats Inc is an inspiring blog to me and is ran by the oh so lovely Helen; of course any blog with the name cat in it will have my immediate attention. Helen works full time and pretty much blogs full time as far as I can see, what a woman! Her content is incredible and I adore her photographs which always look so well presented and effortless at the same time. From blog tips to fashion outfits and more beauty products than you can shake your MAC 217 at she has it all.

From Roses is a blog which has flourished over the last year into one of my up-most favourite sites on the internet. Written by Rebecca it has stunning imagery, well thought out posts and a style that I just personally adore. Her commitment to blogging and the quality of the content is one which I find so inspiring, I would love to meet Rebecca and go for a coffee, not least so she could share with me her photography tips...ok I confess, it was definitely so I could meet Bella. 

Cocochic has to be another firm favourite of mine this year, this girl just has it. That girl is of course Stephanie, who has princess hair as far as I am concerned. Her posts are always incredibly helpful and well planned; it is no lie that I have many of them bookmarked for future reference. She to me comes across as so incredibly humble and funny too, she is just lovely and it is well worth checking out Cocochic in 2016. 

Cider with Rosie has been a blog which I have read now for a very long time, it was one of the first ones I discovered back when I very first started out. Rosie's blog is for me just beautiful, everything about it just makes me think of family, love and happiness which, when it all boils down to it is surely what we all want from life. The photography on Cider with Rosie is full of beautiful sharp images, there's lots of nature alongside which is something I would really like to bring onto my blog this year as I'm a country bumpkin at heart too. 

So there we have it, five incredible blogs which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading over the last year and will continue to do so into this year. 

Let me know your favourite bloggers in the comments below, it is a great opportunity to discover some new ones.
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2 January 2016

The Best of 2015

The Best of 2015

Before I get swept up into the new start that 2016 brings I wanted to look back on 2015 and share with you some of my personal favourite blog posts. I don't have one of these uber fancy blog designs which shares my previous content therefore it often can fall by the way side as people rarely browse the archives any more. That being said if you are an archive browser then high five! I love doing that myself.

January 2015 saw lots of new posts as so often the New Year can sprout lots of new ideas. One of my favourite posts to write and one which so many of you seemed to enjoy too was my 'Things I've Learnt About Blogging', thank you all for so much positive and interesting feedback in the comments on that one. 

February saw me attempt to be more upfront and personal with you guys, where if I am honest this is something I failed to continue throughout the year; I hope that this year whilst still blogging about beauty I can make this more of a personal blog too.

During March I moved house and boy oh boy was that a stressful time! I also discovered a skincare duo which I came to adore from an unlikely brand and I also shared with you my Mac Lipstick Collection, which I must say now needs updating since I picked up Rebel.

April  was jam packed with beauty, which in hindsight I do wish I had mixed things up a little! Having said that if you are a big fan of Soap and Glory like me, then I most certainly had you covered. 

May saw me start to try and mix up my photos a bit, I think I even started to use a bit of the old marble effect backgrounds here. I reckon 2015 will forever be known as the marble year for bloggers. In my personal life May also saw me leave a company where I had being working for the last seven years, it was very strange but oddly relieving too. 

June saw the start of my exam period at university which was incredibly stressful and busy. I am extremely glad that it is over now, that is until the LPC. One of my favourite discoveries in June were the beautiful illustrations by Ellen McCrimmon, I highly recommend checking them out. 

My birthday month of July finally saw me heading off to the British Grand Prix which was amazing! I also started a brand new job which somewhat promoted my 'Interview make up' post.

As we headed into August and indeed the remainder of the year it became apparent to me that my work and blog balance was quite simply all over the place. This is still something I am getting to grips with, but do hope that when we get out of winter that I will at least have more daylight on my side to take blog photos in the week instead of having to rely on the weekends. During August I did discover one of my all-time favourite fragrances, that being Thierry Mugler Alien*, in fact I loved it so much that I have used it all up and now need to buy a replacement.

September, October and November all seemed to fly by. Like I mentioned before I have really struggled with balancing work, life and my blog and really do take my hat off to those who have being working full time and who also manage to blog regularly too, it is no mean feat.

Finally December rolled around and with that a much needed break. The last half of the year had being incredibly busy, stressful and emotional and I was ready to get in my bed and not emerge until two weeks later. Naturally of course I have ended the year with my Beauty Favourites of 2015 which is always a treat to write, whilst tomorrow I will be sitting down to write my bloggers of the year post; I am so excited!

Once again thank you all for being there and reading my little space on the internet throughout 2015, you guys truly are the best. 
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1 January 2016

A Fresh Start in 2016


2016 New Year
Well it is safe to say that I personally find myself feeling very happy to be leaving 2015 behind. There is no denying that it was a pretty tough year for me, both physically and mentally. My course that I was studying was incredibly intense; give me a three year degree over the Graduate Diploma in Law any day. What with studying and working two jobs at one point I felt myself burning out, all whilst trying to keep this blog ticking over. My exams came and went and I ended up failing a couple which for me was devastating. Up until this point I had never failed anything in my life before and if truth be told it was a hard thing to come to terms with. I actually found out I had failed them the day I started my brand new job, I remember reading the results on my phone after a great first day as I walked to the train station and I cried, yes cried on my way home on my own. 

It wasn't just the fact I had failed, it was because I once again had to sit down and study. I knew deep down I was tired, I needed a break and that I simply just did not want to ever look at a law book again. Despite all this I have now passed my course, thank goodness and things are very much on the up. Having said that 2015 for me will always remain as being a super stressful year. In respect of A Little Boat Sailing, I also wanted to achieve a few personal milestones which unfortunately I did not manage. 

This brings me onto 2016, whereby instead of jumping in with the old cliché 'new year, new me' and all that jazz, (although there is nothing wrong with this at all), I thought I would address a couple of my own personal ambitions for the year ahead. 

  • Last year I said I would start YouTube, well that was a big fat fail. In truth I didn't feel ready and I just have not had the time. Having said that I have started being more talkative on Snap Chat so if you want you can follow me on there at 'littleboatsails'. In 2016 I am quite simply just trying to build my confidence and in some weird way I feel like doing simple things like a quick video on snap chat helps.

  • Take better care of my body. Yes this sadly means that I need to cut back on the chocolate, however it is all for a good cause. I only have one body and only I can look after it. My plan is to start off bit by bit, drinking more water, eating healthier and finding an exercise routine that I enjoy so that I won't be so quick to give it up.

  • Blog more consciously. This is a funny one as sometimes I can feel myself falling into a trap and blogging because I have to publish a post for a certain deadline or because I feel bad due to the fact that I have had a particular PR sample sitting around too long. In 2015 I felt as though my readership dropped off a bit and do you know what, I think that this is because my content was not as good as it had been previously. Despite my pictures improving, my content on a whole to me has been a bit lack lustre.

  • Towards the end of last year I got back in the car after not driving for a while. I will be honest and say that I don't have much confidence when driving, although this is improving more and more each day. This year I would like to be able to drive myself all the way to work as I currently take myself to the train station and back each day. The drive is about 45 minutes and the traffic can be pretty busy in the direction I need to head, however I know that once I have done it once I will be able to build on that; I just need to take the first step.

In writing this post I have purposely not set myself loads of goals and targets as I think this can more often than not set you up for failure. We all put a lot of pressure on ourselves at this time of year to become something which is probably unobtainable, nobody is perfect which I guess is what makes us all so darn unique.

On that note I wanted to end this post by wishing all of you a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year. This year is time for some nice changes and of course hard work, although I know that we are all more than up to the challenge. Thank you all so very much for reading my blog throughout 2015, it really does feel a bit mindless in a way to say it like that because it is something you see a lot of, however I truly do mean it; thank you. There are some changes coming in the next month or so, when I can finally get my act together on a new blog name for this place.

Ideas on a postcard anyone? 
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