New Year's Resolutions

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Well it’s that time of year again. The time where I lie to myself and pretend I’m going to be a better person when in reality, all I’m going to do is eat copious amounts of crisps and maybe get out of bed before 12pm. Despite the obvious lies I’m about to tell, I will do my best to make 2016 a good year and maybe one day, I’ll see 10am on the weekend. Okay, let’s get into the – lies – New Year’s resolutions.

Starting the resolutions early by doodling a quick picture.

1. Be Healthier

The crisps I just mentioned clearly contradict this resolution but there’s no harm in trying is there? 2015 was the year of fruit, occasional workouts, crisps and soda so 2016 will be the year of more fruit, more workouts, less crisps and less soda. I make no promises in those workouts but one sit up a day is better than none.

2. Save More Money

I did really well at saving money in 2015 but then I went shopping in October and I haven’t seen that money since. I’ll be 23 in 2016 so I guess I should be an adult and save for boring things like car repairs, houses and washing up liquid. Life was so much more fun when I was saving for shoes.

3. Plan Ahead

Organisation and I sometimes cross paths but for the most part, we’re in completely different forests. I have tried to plan ahead with meals, days out and general human related things but I’ve pretty much failed every time. In 2016 I want to know what I need to buy from the shop rather than wandering around aimlessly and I want to know what time I need to leave the house by in order to get a full day trip in. Oh my goodness have I just become an adult?

4. Draw More

I almost achieved this in October but then I had to start a new job in November and discovered I no longer had time for such frustrating tasks. Now that I’m beginning to get my body used to waking up at awful times in the morning, I have a bit more energy at night to put into drawing. By the end of 2016 I will be the next Van Gogh (i.e poor, earless but talented).

I think 4 resolutions is a good stopping point. It’ll be a miracle if I even manage to stick to one of these but as my sketchbooks lay empty and my kidneys remain sore, I think some of these things need to be done. 2016, the year I become an adult while still looking like a 14 year old.

Oxfam Unwrapped Gifts

Sunday, 27 December 2015

I was taught very little about poverty while at school. Of course it was briefly touched upon and I went to school around the time those “Make Poverty History” bands were popular but as teenagers, we weren’t really bothered about the lives of people we didn’t know. We were aware that not everyone had enough food and water but it never really registered with us. High school was more about silly teenage drama rather than selfless acts of kindness.

Now that I’m fast approaching 23 years old, I’m more aware of both my surroundings and the places beyond. I can’t relate to poverty but I'm beginning to understand it. The idea that there are people with absolutely nothing while I have everything I’ve ever wanted and more still completely baffles me but I’m now realising I can be part of the solution as opposed to the selfish problem. With that realisation in mind, I jumped at the chance to work with Oxfam on a post that really registered with me.

Oxfam Unwrapped gifts makes a huge difference to the lives of people who otherwise go without the little things we take for granted. Simple things like soap are a common feature in most bathrooms but in poverty stricken countries, soap is a luxury that not many have.

It still amazes me that something I use after every trip to the bathroom is not something everyone can easily access. Soap and good hygiene in general has the power to cut down the risk of disease and in turn, limit the amount of disease related deaths. Buying soap for £5.00 (that’s the same price as a large tin of chocolate in various supermarkets) will not only help a family desperately in need but it will also provide them with education on hygiene and how to keep their family safe from illness. To give a gift of soap for £5.00 please click here.

While something as small as soap can make a huge difference to the day to day living of a family, there is something else that can also enhance their quality of life. I’m used to petting goats in zoos but for a family in need, they can be used for so much more. Oxfam aims to source local, fully vaccinated goats in order to give a family a source of income. The goat’s milk can be sold at market and as the goats breed, the kids can be passed on to other vulnerable families. Business training is also provided along with the goats so the receiving families will be able to support themselves and potentially help others. To give gift of a goat for £25.00 please click here.

Now this thing may not be so glamorous but it’s a necessary thing in countries where droughts and floods are frequent. In order for people in poverty stricken countries to have a healthy, balanced diet, they require crops and an Oxfam “pile of poo” can help small scale farmers achieve just that.

The weather in third world countries is unpredictable and providing a family with a blend of manure and organic fertiliser as well as training on growing crops, makes things that little bit easier for them. One in eight people go to bed hungry every night but with a “pile of poo”, we can cut down this number and give people a meal to look forward to every day. To give a pile of poo gift for £9.00 please click here.

I know this post is a bit beyond my usual frivolous blabbering but hopefully you’re just as determined as I am to make a dent in the fight against poverty. A goat, soap and a pile of poo may be small gifts to us but they have the ability to change someone's entire life for the better. I can't think of anything more amazing than that!

Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Oxfam but I am not being compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and I believe this is a really worthy cause.

YSL Rouge Rock Lipstick Review

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Bad blogger alert! I’ve barely even thought about my blog in December and I blame my complete lack of energy for it. Spinning on my chair and staring at a computer screen all day at work has left me wanting my bed as soon as I get home. Blogging has had to take a back seat for now thanks to my inability to balance anything in life. How other full time workers manage to juggle blogging and all the other adult things they have to do is beyond me. I can barely keep my eyes open!

YSL Rouge Rock lipstick

Alas, I have completely digressed on what I actually planned on talking about today. This post shall now focus on a lipstick from this point forward. The lipstick in question is from the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture: The Mats collection and is called ‘Rouge Rock’. I didn’t intend to buy this but my other half discovered a Boots gift card lying around and I decided I absolutely needed a new red lipstick.

Usually I gravitate towards red lipsticks with strong orange undertones but this time around, I went for a full on red. I wanted something that would make me look like I had been drinking blood all day; I’m possibly taking the “vampy red” a bit too literally here. Rouge Rock fit my blood drinking requirements and as a result, was swiftly purchased.

YSL Rouge Rock lipstick swatches

I assume “The Mats” implies the lipstick has a matte finish however, I’m not entirely convinced by this. Rouge Rock applies and wears like a very creamy lipstick which throws the matte claims right out the window. The creamy texture does mean the lipstick glides onto your lips with ease and refrains from completely drying them out.

Annoyingly my lips have been hideously dry for 2 months now and I have taken a few gambles with wearing Rouge Rock during this period. Usually dry lips plus a bold lipstick equals utter mess on my face but I’m pleased to say, Rouge Rock did well at not emphasising the Sahara desert that is my lips. Of course Rouge Rock did cling to a few patches but for the most part, it did well at not displaying how much the cold weather affects a place I’d rather it didn’t.

YSL Rouge Rock lipstick

The only issue with Rouge Rock is the fact it gets all over your glass, food, other half, pillow and dog. This is probably a result of the overly creamy formula so reapplication is required often. You should probably tell your other half to stay clear of you while wearing this lipstick unless they really want to look like the Joker that day.

While I may have a few too many red lipsticks as it is, I’m rather pleased with my Rouge Rock purchase. As I’ve got a rather pale face and somewhat black hair, Rouge Rock and I get along like a house on fire. It may be a fairly standard red lipstick but the luxurious packaging, creamy formula and the fact I bought it with a forgotten about gift card makes it so much better!

Yankee Christmas Eve Candle

Sunday, 13 December 2015

While the Christmas decorations remain in the cupboard, the Christmas candles are out in full force. After overindulging in the Yankee Christmas Cookie candle last year, I decided to purchase the larger size along with a small Christmas Eve candle.

Yankee Candle Christmas Eve candle

The debate as to whether we will be getting a real tree this year is in full swing so, until that decision is made, I do have something that smells Christmassy to keep the festive spirit alive. I picked up Christmas Eve over all of the other Yankee Candle Christmas scents mainly because the other scents – excluding Christmas Cookie – smell like public bathrooms.

Christmas Eve is a beautiful blend of berries, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s warm and comforting and fills the air with that cosy, Christmas scent. Admittedly I wasn’t overly keen on the scent when I initially smelt it in the jar but it’s incredible once lit. I have it burning right now and it’s making me want to watch a ridiculous amount of Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate after hot chocolate.

I may be a bit of a Scrooge at times but this candle has given me that fuzzy Christmas feeling. I’m one step away from dressing up like Santa and throwing sweets at strangers. What on earth has Yankee Candle done to me?

Edinburgh Winter Market

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Before the Forth Road Bridge closed for the remainder of the year, my other half and I crossed the now defunct metal structure in a bid to eat some waffles. We were also planning on doing some Christmas shopping but for the sake of this post, let’s focus on the waffle eating.

Edinburgh winter market

The waffles in question were located in the Winter Market that seems to be scattered across Edinburgh city centre. We ignored all of the rides due to the ridiculously powerful wind and the ice rink was completely out of the question; some of us aren’t graceful enough for such slippery fun. A few stops were made to gawp at the rides but I tended to use those stops to remove the hair that the wind had thrown into my eyes and mouth.

We did also visit a few stands all in the name of obscure Christmas shopping. Annoyingly the people my other half and I have on our Christmas present lists are horrific to buy for so absolutely nothing caught our eye. I did enjoy the little wooden pig though but who on earth would I give a wooden pig to?

Edinburgh winter market

While we avoided the majority of the food stands I did feel my feet trying to walk over to the cheese stand. Usually when I visit the Winter Market I’m in the middle of a “my body will go on fire if I dare have dairy” thing but for once, my skin was fine and I wanted cheese. I refrained from letting my feet take me to the cheese stands as knowing me, I’d choose a delightfully stinky one that would make me want to throw up whenever I opened the fridge.

There was one food stand I of course allowed myself to engage with and that was the waffle stand. Every year I visit this one specific stall and I’m always tempted by the apple strudel but the waffle is where it’s at. While my other half and I were supposed to share a waffle due to visiting David Bann’s restaurant later in the day, my other half brain farted and ordered 2 waffles. I of course didn’t complain, I don’t like sharing waffles after all. We did also have a hot chocolate each but obviously, the waffle covered in vanilla sauce is far more important.

Edinburgh winter market

What I’ve done throughout this post is made it sound like I am a total waffle obsessed human and now I’m slightly worried by the fact I’m craving such sugary delights. I’m just happy we managed to get to Edinburgh the weekend before all hell broke loose and the place I live in was cut off from the rest of Scotland. The road that leads me up north is also shut due to flooding, are the people of Scotland trying to contain me in one area? Send help!

Lush Haul

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

While the rain drenched the whole country last weekend my other half and I had a solid plan in place that was not going to be ruined by a bit of water. The giant puddles that delayed traffic for an hour tried to stop us but when I want to go to Lush, you can bet your bottom dollar I am going to Lush. We may have had to fight some large crowds and drink a hot chocolate really fast but we managed to make it through the Edinburgh rain to the Lush store. You gotta try harder than that weather!

Lush haul

As usual the store was absolutely mobbed which meant we were stuck in the same section for a good 10 minutes. Fortunately the majority of things we needed just happened to be at the back of the store but the size of every Lush shop I’ve been in always annoys me. Expand your premises for the sake of my sanity!

While we were stuck at the back of the shop we were approached by a sales assistant (who I believe was called Gayle) who probably thought we were really confused by the concept of shaving cream. While speaking to her the issue my other half had with Ultrabland came up and after deciding that perhaps he’d accidentally received Ultrabalm, the sales assistant hit us with a random act of kindness and gave my other half a tub of Ultrabland for free. I had no idea Lush had started to introduce this in their stores so it was rather sweet and totally unexpected.

Lush Dirty, D'Fluff, Ultrabland

Once Ultrabland was placed in our basket we started to focus on the necessities. I was there solely for another tub of D’Fluff but I almost completely bypassed it in favour of something else. Fortunately I found my brain and D’Fluff was firmly placed in the basket. My other half also required shaving cream – despite his patchy attempt at facial hair – so Dirty was picked up as well.

While my other half pondered over which shaving cream to purchase I decided to try a sample of Celestial. I was in dire need of a new moisturiser so it only seemed fitting to buy a tub of Celestial. My decision to place the tub in our basket may have been fuelled by the fact my other half was paying but let’s ignore that detail!

It did take an awful long time for my other half to choose a shaving cream so I also had time to ponder over Pumice Power. My feet are getting rather icky thanks to all of the heels I insist on wearing so hopefully Pumice Power will help them out. I always ignore my feet when it comes to pampering sessions so Pumice Power should encourage me to pay attention to the poor little things.

Lush Pumice Power, Dirty Springwash, Celestial

Once we managed to break free from the one section at the back the rest of our shopping was a breeze. A large bottle of Dirty Springwash - the best shower gel ever – was picked up and Snow Fairy was considered. In the end, I chose to be good and refrained from buying more shower gel but knowing my Lush oriented mind, I’ll place an order online for a bottle or 7.

The last thing on our list was the regular bar of soap for my dad. The majority of the Christmas soaps weren’t really doing it for us so we decided to get him another block of Reindeer Rock. He seemed to enjoy the last block he had so I imagine he’ll be happy with the same scent again.

Lush Reindeer Rock, Outback Mate

While we were sniffing the soaps I noticed one called Outback Mate. My brother is coming home from Australia for Christmas so it only seemed fitting to pick up a small slither of this soap for him. I’m not sure about the rules of travelling with soap these days so I figured a small amount should get him through the short period of time that he’ll be home for.

Phew, that’s one more Lush haul done and dusted. I was quite proud of myself for not setting foot into Lush for a few months but let me tell you, it was getting hard. The problem with products is they run out and you have to replace them which makes a Lush ban rather difficult. Come to think of it, I’m about to run out of my body lotion…whoops!
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