| How To Stop Procrastinating & Stay Focused |

flatlay, business, working from home, entrepreneur, how to stop procrastination, freelance

There are days when I am the absolute queen of procrastination. A task that should take 30 minutes can end up taking 1 hour 30 mins because I simply can’t focus on one thing at a time. We’ve all been there & when your mind is struggling to stay focused it can be so difficult to get yourself back in the zone. 

Having been self-employed for the past year & a half, I’ve come to learn a few tricks that I’m forced to pull out of the bag when I’m struggling to get even the smallest of tasks done. Here are my top tips to stop yourself from procrastinating & to actually get sh*t done:

Make yourself a to-do list with small manageable tasks
If I feel like I have too many things to do I find myself procrastinating more. Ironic right? I feel overwhelmed & frantic so I end up trying to do too many things at once which means things are left half-finished and nothing actually gets completed. This can leave you with even more tasks to do the next day & so the viscous circle begins.
To avoid this evil procrastination circle it’s important to keep a to-do list. Work always seems less intimidating when it’s written down on paper. I always create little check boxes beside each task so that I can tick it off as I go along, but of course you don’t have to do this. Also, if I have any big tasks to do e.g. creating a marketing strategy for one of my clients, I like to break this down into smaller, more manageable tasks. As humans we tend to avoid the big tasks like the plague, but when it’s broken down into smaller tasks it becomes less intimidating and is much easier to complete.

Put your phone away!
I referred to social media as being the devil in my Top Tips for Working From Home post because it is so distracting if you’re trying to get work done. If I’m procrastinating you’ll find that at least 70% of the time it’s because of my phone. There’s times when I have to be on my phone for work but the rest of the time it’s just completely unnecessary. If you too are distracted by social media or your phone then you need to get it away from you. If you’re at home simply leave it in another room. Just make sure that it’s on silent so that you can’t reach for it or hear any notifications coming through. If you’re out of the house & it isn’t possible to leave your phone somewhere else, then you’re just going to have to exercise your own self-control (which is easier than it sounds!) Look at it this way, the more time you waste on your phone, (yes, I do mean waste) the longer it’s going to take to get your work done and you know what that means? You’re eating into your own free time later, when you could be doing more enjoyable things!

Take a break or take regular breaks between tasks
If you are really struggling to get into your work groove & nothing seems to working, it’s okay to take a break for a while. Go and watch an episode of your favourite show, go to the gym or just do what makes you happy for an hour. But just make sure you take a break that lasts no more than one hour otherwise you’ll find yourself not wanting to get back to work.
The other thing that you can do is make use of something called the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique uses evolutionary biology that is based around the length of time that our brains can fully concentrate on a task. It involves the use of a timer to break down work into intervals (usually 25 minutes long) before taking a short break. These working intervals are called Pomodoro’s. You can use this method by following the 6 steps below:

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes & set to work on your first task
  2. Stop working on your task when the timer goes off
  3. Take short break of 3-5 minutes
  4. Repeat step 1 another two times
  5. On your fourth pomodoro take a longer break of 15-30 minutes
  6. Once your break is over go back to step 1 & repeat


Listen to music

Now this method may not work for everyone because I know my partner can’t work with music in the background. However I find that when I have music in the background or playing through my headphones, that I am so much more motivated. I find myself getting so absorbed in my work that I don’t notice the time passing. If you can’t listen to music with lyrics then you can also try listening to instrumental music instead. You can find one of my favourite instrumental playlists here on Youtube.

Get in your most productive environment
There will be days when you can work anywhere because you’re feeling super productive & nothing will stop you from banging out your work. But on the days when you’re feeling less productive it’s up to you to put yourself in your most productive environment. Don’t sit in a room with a TV or any unnecessary technological distractions. Your most productive environment is personal to you. I am most productive when I’m working in my office (as long as the house is quiet) or in a coffee shop filled with other people working. Take time to discover the environment in which you’re most productive & work the hardest, then make sure that you’re there as often as possible.

Give yourself rewards
Give yourself something to look forward to & make it good. The catch is that you don’t get to reward yourself unless you get through everything on your to do list or until you reach your goals for that day. It’s tough I know, but if it’s really good reward then you’re going to work extra hard so that you can treat yourself later.

I hope that these tips help you out if you’re feeling a little (or a lot) unproductive. If you have any additional tips I’d love to hear them! 

| My Makeup Collection |

makeup collection, acrylic containers, beauty blogger

Being a blogger who writes mostly about beauty, my makeup collection is perhaps slightly larger than the average person. However, I am by no means a hoarder & I like to think I’m pretty good at keeping my makeup addiction under control, using up products & keeping my purchasing to a minimum.
I have always loved looking at people’s makeup collections to see what they have & how they store it. Beautifully presented makeup just makes me happy. So I thought why not show you exactly what makeup I have?

vanity area, makeup storage, interiors, decor

To be honest I am not completely happy with how my makeup is stored. My partner and I weren’t planning on staying long at this property but we ended up staying longer than expected & I just never got around to buying makeup drawers. But when we move I’ll give you all a storage update that is hopefully a lot prettier than my current one.

You’ll have seen this little corner of my room many times in my photos but you won’t quite have seen it like this before. This is my ‘getting ready’ corner. On the left hand side you’ll see my handheld mirror & 2 jars full of brushes (90% of which are Real Techniques – check out my Best of Real Techniques post) On the other side I’ve added some girly decorations to add a little bit more excitement to my vanity corner.

DSCN1894.JPG

The long white drawer is where I keep all of my hair stuff but the brown set of drawers underneath is where my makeup is kept! I’ll admit, before I start applying my makeup I always take out the products that I’ll be using & then I sit my bum on these drawers to do my makeup – can you tell that this was a thrown together makeup area?

acrylic containers, makeup, collection, storage

In each of my two makeup drawers I have acrylic containers to keep my makeup organised & pretty. Acrylic containers are my container of choice because I can see all of my products at one time & they’re also easy to clean. Although, the only negative is that they do show up all of the makeup marks!

I bought the acrylic container you see in the above photo from B&M (believe it or not) and is stored in my top makeup drawer along with my eye shadow palettes. This container is generally full of the products that I use on my face first (apart from the lipsticks, but I have so many that I couldn’t fit them into the one container!)

DSCN1916.JPG

At the very back I keep my face primers, which I have successfully whittled down to just two. TWO! (any recommendations for great primers are welcome.) I also keep my MAC Fix + back there to use before and/or after I finish my makeup. In the next compartment I keep all of my foundations, of which I only have 6, as well as my travel sized MAC strobe cream for that glow from within & The Body Shop Darkening Drops in case I have a bit of a tan & need to darken any of my foundations.

DSCN1914.JPG

In front of my foundations you’ll find all of my drugstore lipsticks which are predominantly Rimmel lipsticks (read my Best of Rimmel Lipsticks post) but there are also lipsticks from L’oreal, Ted Baker & Barry M back there too. I love that these acrylic containers have specific spots for my lipsticks – it makes my lipsticks look so neat & tidy which will always get a BIG thumbs up from me!

DSCN1915.JPG

Moving over to the other side of this container; I keep all of my eyeliners right at the back. I really don’t like to keep a lot of eyeliners because I just don’t see the need as I only ever use black or brown & it takes me forever & a day just to use up one eyeliner. That is why I only have 3 eyeliner pencils & 1 liquid eyeliner pen!
I also keep my mascaras back here & again its the same story – I never have more than 2 at a time – a waterproof & a non-waterproof one! You’ll also find my concealers next to my two tubes of mascara & in front of that are my bronzers & contour powders from Barry M, Sleek & Bourjois as well as my setting powders from MAC, Vichy & Bare Minerals. The two little pots you see there are samples of the Ben Nye powders in light pink & white because I wanted to try them before I bought the big-ass container that they normally come in. (Although Makeup Revolution have since released a white Bake & Finish powder so I think I’ll get that instead for 1/4 of the price!)

DSCN1910.JPG

Moving onto the second drawer of my makeup storage you’ll find two acrylic containers this time. The one in the above photo is the same container from B&M that you already saw but this one is the home of all my favourite kinds of products!

At the very back left side, although you can’t really see them, I keep all of my individual eye shadows. I don’t have lots of them, probably about 10 or so, as I prefer eye shadows in palette form. In front of that are all of my Makeup Revolution Blush Palettes (can you tell I’m a fan?) They fit so perfectly in this little spot & I still have room for one more if I want to buy another. Highly, highly recommend getting yourself a couple of these palettes!

DSCN1902.JPG

In front of my blush palettes you’ll find all of my MAC lipsticks as well as one lonely little Dior lipstick.  Don’t MAC lipsticks look so pretty side-by-side?! You can read about my favourites on my Favourite MAC Lipsticks post!

DSCN1919.JPG

To the right of my MAC lippies you’ll find my highlighters as well as any blushes I have that aren’t in palette form.  This little section includes highlighters & blushes from brands like MUA, Makeup Revolution, Topshop, Dior, The Balm & Sleek. I’m not completely happy with this little section because I’d love to be able to lay all of my highlighters side by side for easy access but unfortunately they won’t fit!

DSCN1921.JPG

Behind my highlighters you’ll find my lip liners. I like to separate them by brand so that I can easily find what I’m looking for. At the front you’ll see all of my MAC lip liners. I keep these at the front because they’re my most reached for liners. The formula is amazing – creamy, pigmented & lasts well on the lips. Next to that are some thick liners that I bought from Ebay (you can find them here) They’re not my favourite because they can dry out my lips from time to time but I do like the shades & generally they’re not bad when paired with a lip balm or lipstick, so they can hang around for now. Behind these I also have my drugstore liners, of which there are only a few from L.A girl, Rimmel, Maybelline & L.A Girl. I’d love some recommendations for great drugstore lip liners if you have any!

DSCN1900.JPG

Last but not least we move onto my last acrylic container. This one is from Clicks and is a lot smaller than my other containers but it’s perfect for storing 16 lipsticks at one time. This container houses all of my liquid lipsticks & glosses perfectly as well as my Christian Louboutin lipstick. My Louboutin lipstick takes pride of place in my makeup collection as it was a gift from my wonderful boyfriend & because it’s my own little piece of luxury. I’m not one for keeping packaging normally, but I just had to keep this lipstick in its box. I mean, look how gorgeous!
On the right you’ll see all of my liquid lipsticks & glosses. I have 13 liquid lipsticks in total from Sleek, NYX & Bourjois as well as my 5 mini liquid lipsticks from The Balm (which you can’t see in the photo). I also keep my lip glosses in this container but you can tell I’m not a massive lip gloss wearer from the fact that I only own two, total!

So that’s it folks! My whole entire makeup collection. You may or may not agree but I do think it’s pretty small for a beauty blogger but I like it that way because nothing gets neglected & things rarely go off before I’ve used them up! How big is your makeup collection? 

 

| Current Lifestyle Favourites |

DSCN1845.JPG

You all know by now that talking about all things beauty related is my favourite pastime but I do like to change it up as much as I can, you know  with variety being the spice of life & all that. What better way to bring a little change to Beauty & The Blouse than to let you delve into my current lifestyle favourites. That way you can see exactly what I’m watching, reading & getting up to outside of the blogging world, so without further ado, let’s get started:  

Peaky Blinders: I am so happy that I’ve finally watched this series (well, seasons 1-3 because 4 isn’t on Netflix yet.) A few months ago I had made my other half watch the first episode, but at the time he just complained about how it was ‘yet another gangster series’ – What can I say, I like them (and to be fair to him we had watched a lot of them last year!) But fast forward several months I sneakily put it on again & got him hooked enough so that we could keep watching & it was SO good! In a nutshell, it’s set in Birmingham in the early 1900s & is the story of a family of criminals who run the city & is set around their attempt to take down everyone who tries to get in their way. The acting in this series is unbelievable & although violent at times, the story line is great too. I imagine that a lot of my readers have already or are already watching this series, but if you haven’t add it to your list – it’s a good one!

The Night Of: So I just binge watched this 8 episode series over the course of last week and holy heck is it great! After hearing that it had won an Emmy Award & after reading the description, I knew I would enjoy The Night Of  because any series about murder & I’m sold (as psychopathic as that sounds!) It’s the story of a college guy who meets a girl, they go back to her house & long story short, she ends up dead but you have no idea how it happened & he is charged with murder but denies guilt. Sound like a hell of a story line? It is! I was completely hooked & I’m so disappointed that it’s finished. Seriously, give it a watch. It’s an unbelievably great series that will leave you hooked & dying (excuse the pun) to know what happened.

Old school R&B music: The past few weeks have been so crazy for me & I’ve had an absolute ton of work to get through. I love being busy so I don’t mind having a big to-do list but sometimes you need a little bit of motivation to get you through the mountain. Music is usually the best way to keep me motivated & I really enjoy listening to music while I power through my work. However, my iPod needed a serious update as I’ve been listening to the same music for far too long, so I took to YouTube & rediscovered all of the old R&B music I used to listen to back in the early 2000’s. You can find one of the playlists I’ve been listening to here. I’ve been that chick dancing at her laptop for the past week & boy, it makes working so much easier. Click the link, put your headphones in & go back in time – you’re going to love these tunes!

Eating well & training hard: Back when I wrote my goals for the month of January I had mentioned that I wanted to stick to my training & healthy eating plan. I’m still continuing with this & I’ve been eating well as well as training a lot in the gym & I’m loving it. I feel so much better and I’m starting to see the changes in my body which is making me even more motivated. My stomach is more muscular & doesn’t get bloated & I’m starting to see more shape in my arms & shoulders which I never had before. I said that I would get into my best shape in 2018 & I’m loving doing it (which is surprising from a girl who always loved junk food!)

Movie dates: My boyfriend & I have been going to the movies a lot recently & it has been so wonderful. We’re both big movie lovers so it is such a pleasure getting to spend quality time together on cinema dates. In South Africa they even have a Pizza Hut inside some cinemas so you order your pizza before your movie starts & they bring your pizza to you while you watch the movie. You can imagine how much I’ve been loving eating a big ol’ pepperoni pizza while watching a blockbuster movie. Delightful!

The Book Thief: I’m such a lover of curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea & a great book & just getting lost in the words. But I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been so busy recently that I really haven’t had the time to read much this year. Certainly not as much as I would have liked to at least! So with this in mind, I’ve been trying to make a much more conscious effort to read when I can. Even if it’s just half an hour here & there. I’m currently reading a great book called The Book Thief & while I’m not even a third of the way through this book yet, I already know that it’s going to be a great one. It’s written from the perspective of Death during World War ll & is the story of an albeit naive, young girl who has been sent to live with a German family where she begins to learn what it’s really like to live in Germany under Hitler’s rule. Well, that’s what has happened in the third of the book that I have read. It’s such an unusual read that is really well written & if a book can educate me at the same time, its always going to be a pleasure to read.

What are your current lifestyle favourites? 

 

| January Empties & Mini Reviews|

DSCN1822.JPG

The longest month of the year has finally ended & I can hear the sighs of relief. Holy heck January sucks when it comes to finances! With this new month comes a new empties post but it’s only a little one this time as I seem to take forever to use up products.

Here is my itty bitty selection of products that I finished up in January & what I thought of them:

Dexe Lip Balm in Pineapple
This was a completely random purchase from me but it turned out to be a great one. I love the EOS lip balms but they are so freaking expensive here in South Africa so there was no way I was repurchasing another one. But much to my delight, while on my way to the checkout at Dis-chem, I spotted these lip balms because their packaging is so like that of the EOS lip balms. The difference? These are R14.95 – that’s less than £1 compared to the R200ish for an EOS lip balm! What I love about the Dexe lip balm is that it’s entirely made of natural ingredients in the form of different oils & you know me, I love as much natural as I can get. The pineapple scent of this is delightful & it’s so moisturising on the lips while giving them a pretty sheen. I’ve already purchased another scent in this range & I’m totally converted.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Pads
Saying farewell to this product means saying farewell to the last of my Nip + Fab stash from back home. I bought these pads after getting hooked on the Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing pads when I lived in the UK but to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t blown away by these. At £15 they aren’t the cheapest for only 30 pads & with the more concentrated blend of glycolic acid, I expected more results. I liked to use them as a chemical exfoliation & I did feel that something was working when I used them (in the form of a light sting) & my skin did feel nice afterwards, but I just didn’t see a difference in my skin the next morning. I haven’t given up on glycolic acid yet because it’s benefits are raved about but I just wouldn’t repurchase these as I didn’t see enough of a difference. The hunt continues!

Supersalve Cell Care Oil
Supersalve was a brand that I had never heard of until I wandered into a random little health store & wallah! there it was. Turns out that they have a whole range of products which you can find here. This product is packed full of natural ingredients including avocado oil, calendula oil, lavender oil, grapeseed oil & tea tree oil & claims to do many wonderful things for your skin including:

  • Alleviate dryness, itching & flaking
  • Repair sun-damaged skin
  • Reduce age spots
  • Rejuvenate & regenerate cells
  • Soften & moisturise
  • Reduce stretch marks

That’s a list of pretty damn impressive things if I do say! I orginally bought this little bottle of goodness when I was going through my natural oil skincare phase but as it turns out, my face doesn’t like oils so I had to find another use for it. Turns out it’s a great body oil to lather yourself in at night – my skin felt so moisturised & it completely got rid of my dry, itchy skin. I can’t vouch for it’s age spot & stretch mark reducing properties but I did enjoy using this product. It also smells divine – you know that natural, essential oils smell? Yeah, just like that! Would I repurchase this product? Probably not, because it’s not easy to get your hands on but I would recommend it.

African Extracts Rooibos Pore-Clearing Face Scrub
Being a dry skin girl it is so important that I give my face a good exfoliation about twice a week to get rid of all the dull, dead cells that can turn into a flaky, ugly mess if I’m not careful. When it comes to face scrubs I can be quite fussy. I want them to be really gritty but with natural grit. By that I mean that I refuse to buy any scrub that contains little plastic beads as they go down the drain & kill marine life & I’m not about that life. If you want more information on this you can find it here. This African Extracts scrub doesn’t contain any cruel plastic beads and instead has that gritty, sugary texture which is why it made it into my bathroom cupboard & has been well loved since. I love that this scrub contains vitamin B3 & salicylic acid, is paraben free & is cruelty free & it left my skin feeling so soft & clean. I would absolutely recommend this scrub as it’s great for getting rid of dead skin at the very affordable price of R64.99!

 

| What I’ve learned from living in a developing country |

edited Untitled.png

So for those of you who may not know I’m originally from Northern Ireland but I moved to South Africa in 2016. It has never been my plan to settle here permanently but I really do love this country & I’ve learnt so much since moving here. 

If you’ve never been to South Africa then please add it to your bucket list of holiday destinations because it is a truly beautiful country with amazing people, delicious food, gorgeous scenery, a rich culture & there’s a hell of a lot to do here. Sadly however, South Africa is still classed as a developing country. While there are so many opportunities to be successful here & it really is an amazing place for business, there is still a high unemployment rate (26.6% of South Africans are unemployed compared to the 4.2% in the U.K) and there is a lot of poverty (30.4 million South Africans currently live in poverty). 

Having been born & raised in a 1st world country I’ve had to learn a lot very quickly since moving to a developing country & this has led to this blog post. I want to talk about the things I’ve learnt since moving here because it might make people who’ve only ever lived in 1st world countries think. This can be a touchy subject for some & I just want to throw a disclaimer out there that I write this blog post with no intention to offend or upset anyone. I am very grateful to come from a 1st world country & I am also very grateful for the opportunity I have been given to live in a developing country. 

Here is what I’ve learned since moving here:

We are so lucky to have our benefit system
As I mentioned South Africa is rife with poverty. 1 in 2 people here live below the poverty line. That poverty line is only R441 per person per month. Do you know how much that equates to in pounds? £26.42 per month! That’s only 88p per day! Can you imagine trying to pay for everything you need with so little?! It breaks my heart that so many people can’t afford what they need. In this country if you’re unemployed for any reason there is no help for you. You’ve got to find your way yourself. Now I know that there are many problems with our benefit system & there are many reasons why it frustrates those of us from the UK, but the long & short of it is that we are so lucky to have it because when we need it most, when there’s no income coming in – it’s there for us.

The NHS is a gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted
A lot of people have a lot of negative things to say about the NHS but unless you’ve lived in another country where they don’t have it, it’s difficult to see why it’s amazing. Here my partner & I pay an absolute fortune a month (about £240) in medical aid (medical insurance) which covers us if we ever need emergency hospital treatment. A lot of the time this only covers some of your medical costs & doesn’t include things like prescriptions, gp visits, dentist appointments, opticians – nothing outside of hospital care. Sometimes medical aid won’t even cover you if you get cancer! It’s insane! Do you know how difficult it is to pay that much money as a ‘just in case something happens to me’?! The NHS is a godsend & in my opinion is one of the best things about the UK. Everyone, including those who live in poverty, will always been seen by a doctor, will always be given emergency medical care & will always get their prescriptions because they’re free. In a developing country many don’t have that luxury.

We are born into a country of wealth & opportunity
Here’s a little story for you to explain what I mean by this: it’s common in South Africa to have a helper, or a cleaner as we’d call them in the UK, who cleans your house for you. We have a helper called Teresa who works for us 4 days a week & she’s a lovely woman who is originally from Malawi in South East Africa. She moved from Malawi to South Africa which meant leaving her daughter behind (she lives with her grandmother) because they had no money in Malawi & she wants to save enough money to take care of her family. She has worked for us for almost a year & during this time she hasn’t been able to see her daughter. Helen was born into a very poor country with little opportunity so she had to leave those she loved the most in order to take care of them. In the UK we are born into a country that can offer us so much & we really take that for granted.

There is so much more that I could say on this but these were the biggest points that I wanted to share. My advice is to travel the world as much as you can, especially if you can’t or don’t want to live in another country for a while. Travelling is one of the most enriching experiences & it will truly make you a better person. Those of us from 1st world countries are really so lucky & blessed compared to so much of the world. Don’t take it for granted! 

| 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me |

DSCN1794.JPG

I’ve mentioned a bunch of times on my blog that I love to learn about people, their life & their personality. Call it nosiness if you may but I’m incredibly interested in people & what makes each of us different. That is why I have been absolutely loving the ‘5 random facts tag’ that’s been happening on Instagram recently. If you haven’t seen this yet (I’m not sure where you’ve been!?) but it’s essentially where you post 5 random facts that people may not know about you on your Instagram stories & then tag others to do the same. Simple right?

It was this trend that inspired me to continue this trend & to give you a more in-depth look into what makes me unique by giving you 20 random facts about me that you may not know!

Fact 1
I was born without a thyroid. Crazy right? Thyroids are pretty damn important things & for whatever reason my body decided it wouldn’t make one. It happens to only 1 in every 40,000 babies born in the UK so it makes me pretty unique.

Fact 2
I pride myself on my ability to eat a sh*t tonne of food in one sitting. For someone so slim, I can pack it away.

Fact 3
I’ve been in 2 flipped car crashes. I wasn’t driving when either of these happened but they were pretty hectic. I’ll never forget the sound of the metal crunching & I’ve been such a nervous driver ever since. I like to think I have one heck of a guardian angel watching over me

Fact 4
I am addicted to crisps. I can eat a share bag of crisps in one sitting without any problem at all. I don’t know why they even bother to call them share bags! They are my kryptonite.

Fact 5
I have lived in 3 different countries. I was born in the Northern Ireland then I moved to Scotland at the age of 18 to study. I now currently live in South Africa & have done for a year & a half.

Fact 6
I don’t really like children who aren’t family. (I feel like such a bad person even saying that!) I do want kids of my own someday but I’m just not in any rush to have them because I know how demanding they can be & how much my life will change once I have them.

Fact 7
I have an allergy to face paints. I can’t tell you how much that destroyed me as a kid. (I did still get my face painted now & again but I paid for it in the form of the red, painful skin afterwards)

Fact 8
I am so particular about the way things are organised. My wardrobe is organised by ascending length (e.g. strappy tops followed by short sleeved tops followed by long sleeved tops)

Fact 9
When I was at school I really wanted to go on to study psychology so that I could become a criminal psychologist but my careers teacher talked me out of it. Part of me wishes that reincarnation really does exist so I can follow that career path in my next life. Shame on my old careers teacher for talking young, impressionable people out of their career choice.

Fact 10
I am a feminist. I know that people tend to flinch when they hear that word nowadays because of the negative connotations but I am proud to be a woman & I will continue to do my part to fight the fight for equality.

Fact 11
I am someone of two extremes. I’m so relaxed in my every day life & not much worries me yet I’m such a wimp & I’m scared to do a lot of things. I know how confusing that sounds!

Fact 12
I hate tomatoes yet I love tomato ketchup & pasta dishes with tomato based sauces. To me they taste totally different!

Fact 13
I’m made up of 80% leg. I’m 5 ft 8 & yet I wear a 34″ inside leg jean. My dad is 6 ft tall & wears the same length of jeans as me! It makes jeans/trouser shopping really quite difficult sometimes.

Fact 14
I’m both an introvert & an extrovert. I’m very outgoing & chatty & make friends easily but I also really enjoy time by myself & I feel exhausted if I’m around lots of people for long periods of time. Typical qualities of both personality types.

Fact 15
I am a Harry Potter nerd. I grew up watching it & reading the books & I’m pretty sure I know most of the lines in every movie. I’m dying to go to the Harry Potter Studios in London.

Fact 16
I can’t cook much but I can make a damn good lasagna & I can also bake pretty well. My brownies are what I’m known for.

Fact 17
I grew up with most people thinking I had some form of eating disorder (even though I ate like a tank) & being really nasty towards me because I was always naturally so tiny. I never did have an eating disorder & I never wanted to be so small. It still affects my self-confidence even now but thankfully I’m okay with it most of the time.

Fact 18
I like to think of myself as mildly psychic. When I’m dreaming random scenarios pop up in the middle of my dreams & they come true. It’s not deja vu because I remember them when I’ve woken up & I can remember it happening in my dream when it happens in real life

Fact 19
I love animals so much that I can’t watch animal movies/documentaries because I couldn’t handle seeing an animal left alone or hurt. Animals are such a gift so it breaks my heart seeing them alone or hurt.

Fact 20
I’ve had the same best friend since I was 4. That’s a friendship of 21 years & by today’s standards that longer than most marriages!

I really hope that you all found this post interesting & that it’s helped you to get to know me a little better & also that it didn’t put you to sleep! 

 

 

 

| The Top Tips for Working From Home |

DSCN1765

For those of you who don’t know I’m an entrepreneur & have been for about a year & a half. I don’t talk much about what I do on my blog so I’ll give you a quick, little glimpse into my working life. Essentially I am a brand & marketing consultant which means that I work with small-medium sized companies to help create & build their brand across their website & their social media – I’m the chick behind their marketing strategies & campaigns. I absolutely love what I do & I’m so incredibly passionate about it! 

But being an entrepreneur or working from home isn’t as easy as some may think. You’re one person & you’re in charge of everything! This means that it’s you who has to plan & structure yourself, it’s you who has to set your own goals & it is your responsibility to keep yourself on track & motivated while being a team of people all in one & while doing a million things at once.

With this in mind, I asked over on my Twitter if you beautiful people would like to hear my tips for working at home & 100% of you said yes! So your wish is my command & here is my tips for working from home!

DSCN1760

Tip 1: Buy a diary & plan every single day
This tip is so incredibly important & I just can’t stress it enough. When I started off as an entrepreneur I made the mistake of not using a diary or making lists of what I had to do for the week. Since I’ve stuck to doing this I can’t tell you just how much easier my life has become. I bought a pretty diary (because a gal needs pretty things) & every Sunday I plan for the things that I know I need to do during the week & then every evening I also write down what needs done for the next day. Being able to do this stops you waking up every morning not knowing what to do that day so instead you can enjoy your morning coffee while knowing exactly what you’ll be doing once it’s finished. Also, ticking off your to-do list gives you such a satisfying feeling because you know that you’re being productive & getting things done.

Tip 2: Change up your environment 
Your home is where you eat, sleep, relax & it’s the place where your ‘stuff’ is, so sometimes it can be difficult to get into your rhythm & it’s easy to get distracted by cleaning or playing with your pets or your favourite series on TV. If you’re spending too many days of the week working from home, you can also start going a little stir-crazy & begin to feel uninspired. That’s why it is so important to get out of the house & work somewhere else every now & again, even if it’s just once a week. This can be a coffee shop, a library or a park – it is entirely your choice! I personally love going to coffee shops to work as there are other normally people working or having meetings there so it’s a more motivating environment (and you never know who you’ll bump into that can help to grow you business.) Just get out of the house!

Tip 3: Get dressed 
When you work from home it’s far too easy just to stay in your pyjamas all day but it really helps if you make the effort to get out of them. When you get up, get showered & dressed it makes you feel like you’re getting ready for your work day & can be surprisingly motivating. I normally always put on gym clothes because I go to the gym on most days (and not to mention they’re incredibly comfortable) but you can put on whatever you want. Even sweats! You’ll feel like less of a slob & surprisingly more motivated just by getting out of what you slept in the night before!

Tip 4: Social media is the devil
For most people being on your phone or social media during work hours is a no-no but when you are self-employed you don’t have a big ol’ scary boss looking over your shoulder to tell you off. It’s up to you & you alone to control your time on social media. When you get a Whatsapp message or a notification or you hit a brain-block, it’s very easy to pick up your phone & get absorbed into the world of social media. This wastes time, is counter-productive & quite frankly won’t pay the bills (unless like me you have to spend some time on social media for work.) Limiting your time on social media is so important during work hours so either set up time limits on your internet browser (yes you can do that), block them all together (yes you can do that too) or use good old fashioned willpower. And do not, I repeat, do not download Candy Crush!

Tip 5: Know when to stop
The problem with working from home is that it can be too easy to just keep working & working. We don’t leave the office at 5pm every evening so when you’re absorbed in your work time can pass so easily & before you know it, it’s 9pm & you haven’t moved for 12 hours (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean.) Setting yourself a deadline to get things done is very important & as long as it’s not urgent, it can wait until the next day if it gets too late. Work life balance is incredibly important for your health & well being so working all day & night isn’t going to help matters – it will leave you exhausted, unable to concentrate & can seriously affect the quality of work you produce. Give yourself a lunch break & switch off at a reasonable time to recharge your batteries – your loved ones need some time with you too!

Tip 6: Start your day off well
When you start your day off in a tizzy, stressed or worried it affects the rest of your day & how productive you are. I love to start the day by going to the gym, listening to a motivating podcast or even just having a quiet moment to myself with a cup of coffee. Whatever the best way to start your day is, try to do this as often as you can. It puts you in a good mood for the rest of the day & will make a massive difference to your productivity.

Tip 7: Keep reminding yourself how lucky you are
My last tip is simply this; we are the lucky ones who get to work from home. It can be easy to get bogged down with the list of things you have to do that is as long as your arm. Sometimes you’ll wish that you had a team of people around you even just to talk to. But we need to remember that there are many people out there who would love to have this opportunity but can’t for whatever reason. As entrepreneurs we design our own life – we design our own working patterns & we decide how our day looks from the moment we wake up. Let that empower you & get you pumped because working from home is SUCH a pleasure that we shouldn’t take for granted!

I really hope that these tips helped those of you who, like me, are business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers or work for a company who allow them to work from home. If you have any other great tips, please feel free to share – after all, sharing is caring!

 

 

 

Review | Celltone Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment

DSCN1753.JPG

As a dry skin girl I have very high standards when it comes to a moisturiser & I’m not an easy woman to please. When I finished up the last of my moisturiser I fancied trying something new & went on the hunt for a new product I could fall in love with. So while shopping in Dis-chem I came across the brand Celltone.

Being from the UK I’d never heard of this brand before & the reason for that is because they are a South African company who only sell here. Celltone became well known because they use snail gel extract in their products which has been known to soften, smooth & anti-age the skin – all the things I want & need. 

Here’s what I thought of their Daily Moisturiser & Xtra Hydrating Treatment:

Daily Moisturising Facial Lotion

What Celltone claim

‘Celltone Daily Moisturiser contains a medley of oils, Argan, Calendula & Olive. It contains UVA & UVB sunscreen filters. Enriched with Anti-Oxidants and Vitamins A, B3, C & E to soften & moisturise the skin. Snail Extract enriched. Paraben & perfume free.’

What attracted me to this product was the amount of natural oils that are in this moisturiser. I’m a firm believer in using as much of what mother nature gave us as possible so I always love to see products filled with natural products & without parabens. This product also has SPF 15 & protects against both UVA & UVB rays which is so important for keeping our faces fresh & young.
When I first opened the box I was so shocked at how generous Celltone are with the amount of product they give you – there’s a whopping 125ml of product in that bottle! After trying the product I realised why this is the case – it’s a very thin moisturiser & I tend to use a full pump with every application. Which brings me onto my next point, it has a pump! Woohoo! I don’t know what it is about beauty bloggers & pumps but we just love them for how easy they make using a product.
While this moisturiser has a thin consistency it still moisturises my dry skin really well without making it look greasy. In fact, it leaves my skin looking healthy & glowy. It also sinks in super fast which makes it the perfect moisturiser to apply before putting on your makeup!
I also wanted to note that Celltone is against animal testing. It’s so difficult to find companies who don’t test on animals these days & I like to buy as many animal testing free products as I can. Thankfully I’ve found one!
The only negative things I have to say about this product are that I would have loved a higher SPF than 15 and also the scent isn’t my favourite. I love natural scents but I find the rose scent of this moisturiser a little too much as I’m not such a fan of rose scents. I don’t find it offensive, it’s just not my favourite.

DSCN1756.JPG
Xtra Hydrating Treatment

What Celltone Claim

‘A superior hydrating treatment cream made for face & body providing an invisible mesh on the skin. The mesh releases hydrating agents bringing moisture to even the driest skin. Soothing BCA Blend (Bisabalol, Calendula & Allantoin) – known for its soothing properties has been added to assist in relieving discomfort of dry skin. Beautifully silky emolients may increase aquaporin synthesis & therefore improve the water channels into the skin’

I don’t know about you but that description sounds like witchcraft!
I bought this moisturiser in addition to the daily moisturiser as I prefer a richer moisturiser in the evening & also on days when my skin is extra dry. This product is of a much thicker consistency which you can (hopefully) see in the photo below:

DSCN1758.JPG
Left – Daily Moisturising Lotion. Right – Xtra Hydrating Treatment

While this  product is of a much thicker consistency than the daily moisturiser it still absorbs quickly into the skin & leaves it feeling so hydrated. I really loved how my skin felt after this product & it got rid of any dry patches I had. I was initially worried that such a rich moisturiser would clog my easily clogged pores but thankfully its full of non-comedogenic ingredients that haven’t left me with breakouts. While Celltone call this a treatment rather than a moisturiser it can still be used every day as a moisturiser & it contains SPF 15 so it can be worn during the day on extra dry skin days too.
Like the Daily Moisturiser the Xtra Hydrating Treatment is scented but it has a much more subtle rose scent along with that ‘face cream’ smell so its much less offensive which I prefer.

The Final Verdict

These two products were the first that I ever bought from Celltone & I’m very much enjoying using them in my daily routine. It’s great to have found an affordable brand that’s full of natural ingredients, is paraben free & that is against animal testing. I’ll definitely be trying a few more of their products because I really am impressed!

| January Goals |

flat lay

Well here it is, 2018! Can you believe it?! I just can’t believe that people born in 2000 are now turning 18 and are legally allowed to drink. I feel like the years are passing by so fast & I’m getting old a lot quicker than I’d like.

But no one wants to listen to little old lady over here so let’s move swiftly on. With this new year comes new goals for the year. I don’t believe in the whole ‘new year, new me’ thing but I’m still a believer in setting goals. So let’s get right into my goals for the month of January!

Goal 1: Book my first smear test

So in November last year I turned 25 & where I’m from this is the first year that you are requested to go for a smear test. However since I now live in South Africa it is up to me to find a gynaecologist & book my test myself. I won’t deny that I’m nervous to get my first one as I don’t know what to expect & of course I’m worried that it will be painful. But with that being said I do know how important it is that I get one. There are so many stories out there of women who have had lucky escapes only because they religiously go for their regular smear test so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Goal 2: Save where I can 

So you may have seen my tweet (if you’re not following me on Twitter then you can follow me here – I know, shameless self-promotion, right!) that I have booked to go home in April & I’m so excited that I could squeal. By this time I won’t have seen my family in 9 months & I won’t have been home in almost a year & a half so as you can imagine it’s well overdue. With this trip coming up I want to save where I can not just this month but also for the next few as I’ll need plenty of money while I’m there to go on lovely outings. And with the Rand to Pound conversion I’ll need to save as much as I can!

Goal 3: Stick to my training & healthy eating plan

In December my boyfriend & I decided that we wanted to become super healthy & get in the best shape of our lives. We’re both slim people so we’re not doing this to lose weight. Instead we just want to tone up more & to feel even better on a day to day basis. When you eat crappy food it just leaves you feeling bloated, tired & crappy & who really wants to feel that way. So we’ve gone pretty extreme & cut out junk food & instead our plates are now filled with chicken or fish, veggies & rice. We’re also cutting down on red meat (I can tell you I’m already missing steak & lamb chops) while going to gym & doing high intensity workouts 5 days per week. 2018 WILL be the year I get into my best shape but for now January will be able adapting and focusing on sticking to this new lifestyle.

Goal 4: Get better at getting up early 

I don’t know about you but I was always one of those people who had to have 9 hours sleep every night in order to function adequately. The problem (and the blessing) of being an entrepreneur is that you can sleep as long as you like because your working day is how you want it to be. I’ve decided that I want to become a 7am riser so that I can get on with my work earlier & then close my computer earlier so that the rest of my day is my own. I will no doubt be exhausted for the first week of this but like anything else, it just takes a little routine & I’ll soon get used to it. Time to become the early bird!

 

 

| November Empties |

DSCN1724

Another month means another empties post & this one is jam-packed with products. I always find that when you use up products it’s either a feast or a famine – you either use up nothing or use up everything all at once. I even have makeup items in this one which very rarely happens. Looks like I’m going to have to go out & do some shopping to re-stock my bathroom cupboard!

Here’s what I used up in the month of November, what I thought of each product & whether or not I would repurchase it: 

The Body Products

Nivea Rich Moisturising Body Moisturiser
It’s rare to hear of a woman getting into a product because her boyfriend introduced her to it but as rare as that may be, that’s the case with this product. My boyfriend has always used this body moisturiser but I had never tried it until I had ran out of my own moisturiser & instead had to use some of his. Since then this has also become my everyday body moisturiser. Johannesburg has a very dry climate which leaves every inch of my skin feeling dry & in need of some serious moisturisation. This moisturiser does an amazing job at giving my skin a deep moisturisation & keeping it hydrated for the entire day & not to mention it’s also very affordable. I have already repurchased this!

Mitchum Advanced Control Deodorant Invisible Solid in Powder Fresh
I know I know, who really wants to hear about deodorant so I’ll keep this short & sweet. This is the only deodorant I use because it keeps me fresh for the entire day & has a lovely scent. I use the solid version because I don’t have to wait for it to dry. This deodorant also lasts FOREVER. This has already been a repurchase for me.

The Skincare Products

Simple Soothing Facial Toner
I didn’t actually finish this product & ending throwing 1/3rd of the product because toner just doesn’t seem to agree with my skin. I had purposefully bought this alcohol free toner because I’d heard it was best for my skin type but I think it was the product that was causing breakouts for me. Personally, I don’t feel the need for toner in my skincare regime & I’m yet to find one that agrees with my skin. I won’t be repurchasing this.

Nu Skin Moisture Restore Day Protective Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin
I mentioned this product in my previous skincare haul post & I’ve got to say that I enjoyed it. I was surprised by how small the bottle was when it arrived but it lasted about 3 months with daily use. It’s such a lightweight moisturiser but moisturised my dry skin really well without getting greasy or oily through the day. I would repurchase this product.

Nu Skin Rejuvenating Cream
Again this product featured in my skincare haul. I enjoyed this product because it was so lightweight & worked well as a night time moisturiser. I used this product during the winter months & I feel that I could have used a slightly richer cream at this time of year as Jo’burg sucks every bit of moisture out of my skin. During the summer time I think this would have been rich enough but for winter I had to pack this on to keep my skin moisturised through the night.

The Makeup Products

LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation (Shade Natural)
I raved about this product in my current beauty favourites so I’ll keep this short & sweet. Basically I love this foundation. It’s lightweight while offering high coverage which you all know that I love. It also has a dewy finish which again I love but it’s absolutely essential that you set this foundation otherwise it will be sliding all around your face. I’ve already purchased this foundation & it’s already on the go because it’s found itself into my favourite foundations category.

Vichy Dermablend Foundation (Shade 25 Nude)
Again this is another foundation that I’ve raved about & I am so glad that it’s finally come to South Africa – and just in time too because I’d just finished the last bottle from my UK stash. You know a product is really good when you cut it open to make sure you use it all up! This foundation offers some of the highest coverage I’ve ever experienced from a foundation while being incredibly lightweight & easy to blend. Again this is another foundation that you absolutely have to set but it’s a wonder product that I’ve already repurchased.

Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder in Medium Brown
Here’s another product that unfortunately I didn’t get to finish because it completely broke on me. I was pretty disappointed because I hadn’t even made much of a dent in it! I absolutely love the Freedom Brow Pomade & initially bought this for my no-makeup makeup days when I wanted my brows to look as natural as possible. It was great for achieving a really natural look for the brows but I just think I’m over using powders for my brows so I didn’t reach for it very much. But for such an affordable product, it’s pigmented & easy to blend! I wouldn’t repurchase this just because I prefer cream eyebrow products.