| Current Lifestyle Favourites |

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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? 

 

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| 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me |

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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! 

 

 

 

|My June Goals |

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I just cannot believe it’s June already – where is 2017 going?! I’ve been feeling a little out of sync because it is at this time of year that I’m usually getting excited for the arrival of summer but instead it’s my first year in South Africa where we’re now going into Winter. It’s all very strange! Although, in reality, South African winters are something similar to Irish summers so I really can’t complain.

I have decided that at the beginning of every month I will post my goals for the month ahead as I think it’s important to reflect on our lives & to try improve them wherever we can. These posts will also allow you, my lovely readers, to get more of an insight into my life so that you can get to know me that little bit better.

My goals for the month of June are as follows:

Goal 1 – Have a digital detox

Being an entrepreneur I spend a lot of time on my computer & unfortunately this just cannot be avoided. However recently I’ve been finding that I spend between 6-8 hours on my computer a day & then in the evenings I’m on my phone browsing social media & messaging friends & family. While I know that technology has become an essential part of our lives & is an essential tool in the business world, I just don’t want to spend my entire days wasted on it. What kind of life is that!? So in the month of June my goal is to become aware of my digital time & limit it to my working hours. Once I shut my laptop for the day – my phone will be switched off too.

Goal 2 – Write my wedding speech

So my darling sister is getting married in Italy next month & I couldn’t be more excited. By the time the wedding comes around I won’t have seen my family in 7 months so you can only imagine how much I’m looking forward to being reunited with them! Even though my sister didn’t ask me to, as her sister & only bridesmaid, I felt that it was important that I speak at her wedding. I have been putting off writing this speech for a while, but now that the wedding is next month I think it’s time that I get started so that I have plenty of time to perfect it.  While I am not a confident public speaker, & I am almost certain that I will be shedding a tear or two during my speech, I know that it will be more than worth it to see the smile on sisters face.

Goal 3 – More quality couple time

My boyfriend & I are both business owners which means that we both work from home a lot & we don’t ever really stop working. Recently I’ve noticed that we’ve both been quite consumed with our businesses & that we haven’t been spending as much quality time together as we normally do. This month I want us both to find that balance again & to take more time out to go on ‘date nights’. Making a success of yourself is important but spending time with the one you love is more important.

Goal 4 – More ‘pamper’ time

This point leads on from the previous one – I’ve been working from home a lot & I’ve been so busy with business this past month that I just haven’t been taking care of myself the way I normally do. Lately I’ve only been wearing makeup once a week, I mostly have my hair up & only style it approximately once a week & I haven’t been treating my skin to my usual weekly face mask. While to some these may seem like trivial things, to me these things are important as I always like to take care of myself. When my skin is looking good, my makeup is on & I’m having a good hair day the world is just a better place & I’ve not been pampering myself enough with these things. This month I want to go back to the more glamorous side of me.

Goal 5 – Write in my diary more

I’ve kept a diary on & off since the age of about 14 because for me it is the best way to spill my heart out & get everything off my chest be it good or bad. My bestie bought me a journal just before I moved out to SA so that I could document my journey & I have only been writing in it about once a month. Too much happens in one month to just update it once every 30 days & I want to keep a better record of my time here. We’re only young for so long & how wonderful would it be to read back on my life when I’m an old lady & remember everything I went through & all the adventures I had in my prime.

What are your goals for the month of June?

My Current Lifestyle Favourites

 

Lifestyle Fave

I thought it was time that I posted something a little different than my usual beauty posts & let you see more into the life of me, Megan, the girl behind Beauty & The Blouse. So today’s post will be all about my current lifestyle favourites including what I’m enjoying doing, reading, watching & drinking.

What I’m enjoying:

Reading I love reading, I always have, but over the past couple of years I’ve found that I was reading less & less. In the past 2 months I have made a concerted effort to make sure that I take time out of my day to read & I feel so much better for it. I am now giving up unnecessary time on social media to benefit & grow my mind. Sitting down in a quiet room with a cup of tea or coffee and pouring over an open book is one of life’s little pleasures & I am so glad that I have started doing this again.

Learning Spanish After moving to Johannesburg and finding that almost every person I meet can speak at least 2 languages, I felt that it was time to grow myself & learn another language. I did study both Spanish & French back in my school days but over time I had forgotten most of what I had been taught so I decided that I was going to learn Spanish because I think it is such a beautiful sounding language. After doing a little research I discovered DuoLingo – an absolutely fantastic language learning app that can teach you a range of different languages. It teaches you how to read, write & speak Spanish in a fun way & I must say that I am picking up the language fairly easy with the teaching methods they use. And did I mention it’s a FREE app!? If you want to learn a new language I really recommend downloading DuoLingo!

What I’m reading: 

The Secret This book is fantastic. I have never been one of those people that loves to sit down with a self-help book, it’s just not my thing & I never enjoyed reading them. However, since I turned entrepreneur these kind of books are so important for self development & this one has been recommended to me several times. After finally listening to those around me and reading this book I feel like my life will never be the same again. This book is based on the law of attraction & teaches about the power of positive thinking to attract everything that you want in your life. I am aware that this is a controversial read but I do believe that our minds have much more power than we are aware of & that is why I believe that The Secret can work.

What I’m watching:

Narcos I have been watching this Netflix Original series this week & both I & my boyfriend have been enjoying it. It’s a series about the life of drug lord Pablo Escobar & is an exciting watch full of crime & conspiracy.  It does have a lot of subtitles as most of the time the actors are speaking Spanish but if you don’t mind reading subtitles this is a good watch!

Luther I just recently finished watching every season of this series & I just had to tell you, my lovely followers, about it. If you haven’t yet watched Luther and you love a crime series full of tension & excitement – watch this! It is exceptional & I found myself looking forward to watching it in the evenings. I found this series really quite creative compared to a lot of other crime series out there & many times I found myself very tense while watching it. The seasons are very short so you can binge watch & get through it very quickly & trust me, you WILL binge watch it.

What I’m drinking:

Nescafe Cappuccino sachets I am a big coffee lover! There is nothing like the smell & the taste of a cup of coffee in the morning to wake you up & get your day started. Lately I’ve been having these Nescafe cappuccinos as a treat on weekends & they are an absolute delight to drink! If I’m drinking coffee I’m usually drinking a cappuccino so I like to think of myself as a little bit of a cappuccino connoisseur & I must say that these sachets make some of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever tasted. They are however a little pricey at R59.99 for 10 sachets which is why I drink them as a treat but a treat they certainly are.

 

What are your current lifestyle favourites?

My Emigration Experience

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As you may have seen in my ‘About Me’ section I emigrated to South Africa in September 2016. I know that others out there have also emigrated or are maybe thinking of emigrating so I wanted to tell you a little about my experience.

I grew up in a small town in the North of Ireland where everyone knows everyone’s business and almost every day involves the same mundane routine. Growing up I never felt like I belonged there, I always felt like I wanted to live somewhere else & get away from those small town opinions & routines. Then in 2015 I met the person who was about to change my life forever. By complete chance I met an incredibly handsome & charming South African man who was working in Ireland for 6 months. After a whirlwind romance he had to travel back to South Africa, much to my heartache & dismay.

Then several months later I decided it was time to travel to South Africa to visit him where I completely fell in love with its beauty. From that very first trip I knew I was going to do everything in my power to move out there. On my arrival home from that first trip I sat my parents down & I told them that I was in love with a South African man (who by this stage was my boyfriend) & that I was going to move there. I know that I broke their hearts right in that moment.

Fast forward 6 months later & my visa finally arrived in the post accompanied with a lot of relief. At this point I would like to say that visa applications are not easy.  They require so many checks & so much documentation & it is both a stressful & exhausting process which is why I was so relieved to have it in my hand. 1 week after my visa arrived my bags were packed & I was ready to travel to the airport. But first I had to tackle the goodbyes – out of the whole moving process, that was the hardest part. No matter how old you are & how mature you believe you are, saying goodbyes are never easy. They are especially hard when you say goodbye your parents – the two people who raised you with all the love in the world & whose life revolves around their children.

After the emotional hurdle that were the goodbyes & after the long journey from Ireland to South Africa – I had arrived & I was ready to start my new life. My transition process wasn’t as difficult as the transition that others may have faced as my boyfriend is here which meant I was never alone & he has been an amazing support through this whole process. When you move to a country far away from your own it is so important who you choose to surround yourself with. Thankfully I had my boyfriend, his family & his friends who I get along with so well & every single one of them welcomed me into their lives with open arms. I was so lucky in that aspect!

Moving out here has changed my perception of the world. Coming from a small town where people are happy to live ordinary lives to then moving to a place where people strive to succeed & achieve something in their life makes you think about what you want from your own life. This shift in thinking led me to start my own business – something which I never thought I would do at the age of 24. Starting a business in a foreign country while you’re still learning about the culture & market isn’t easy but boy is it exciting.

One of the biggest hurdles for me has been the massive cultural change. The Irish culture & the South African culture are incredibly different. South Africa has many different cultures & even has 11 official languages. For a small town Irish girl that is a lot to get used to! But once I had gotten used to, I learned to love how culturally diverse this country is, it’s what makes South Africa a beautiful & unique country. When you move to another country it is essential that you are open to the culture & adapting to it. After all, you are the foreigner in this situation & you are moving to their country so you must be willing to accept & take part in it.

One other big hurdle I have had to face is being without my family & my close friends. Most of the time I am able to go about my day-to-day life without pining for home, but other times emotion can hit you square in the face & suddenly I feel incredibly homesick. I find it difficult no longer have ‘girl time’ over wine with my best friends or when I miss my family that I can’t just call round for a cup of tea & a chat. But when you emigrate these are the things that you must accept. I have found that keeping in contact with my family & friends enough but not too much is the best way to handle it.

So would I recommend emigrating? Absolutely yes. We as humans are not caged birds but we’re made to fly. Emigrating & experiencing a new culture shapes you as a person in whole new ways. It teaches you about people & cultures around the world but more importantly it teaches you about yourself. Believe it or not, my relationships and my communication with those I have back home have improved massively. When we are surrounded by the people that we love we somehow take them for granted, but when you are suddenly separated by continents you appreciate & love those people infinity more.

My top tips for emigrating:

  1. If you don’t know anyone actively go out & try to meet people. Join clubs, groups, go to gym classes – anything that allows you to interact with people!
  2. Don’t Skype/call/message your family or friends constantly, especially when you are already homesick. It doesn’t help & it doesn’t make you feel better. Instead, put your phone to the side & keep yourself busy – you’ll soon stop thinking about them so much.
  3. Don’t get frustrated when people don’t understand you. I know that I have quite a strong accent & sometimes people find it difficult to understand me. Just be patient.
  4. Learn all the emergency numbers in your first month there – you never know when you’ll need it.
  5. Keep a travel journal – it’s a good way to get all of your emotions, thoughts & feelings out & it’s also a wonderful keepsake that you can read decades from now.
  6. Learn the culture! This is one of the most important things you can do. You must know what is acceptable & what is unacceptable in the new country you are in. You don’t want to upset or offend anyone!