Friday, 30 May 2014

May


































You know when you print out a lot and your printer over heats, and it has a mini meltdown? I went through something similar this month. I've been umming and ahhing about writing this post, and even considered pretending May was amazing for me, filled with lots of exciting adventures, but then that wouldn't be fair on you.

I've suffered from anxiety since I was around 16 but it's always been in the background and has never completely took over. Everything that made me me, bubbly, happy, outgoing, was polarized  At a time when everything seemed to be going my way, everything I'd worked towards was starting to materialize  I felt like  my world was crumbling and I couldn't control it. When leaving the house I had to set a timer on my phone for when I would be back, and constantly look at it to reassure myself. I lost interest in everything I loved doing and had a passion for as I was so exhausted from having multiple panic attacks a day. That included blogging. My friends and family knew something was up when I isolated myself through frustration and fear. After two weeks of telling myself it would pass, I decided I needed to take action. 

Raised in the Beyonce generation, I'm used to throwing my hands up, shouting "I'm independent"  and earning my own handbags. Asking for help felt like I was loosing some of my independence, but I've now discovered it's the complete opposite. Being able to ask for help is taking things into your own hands and not let things take over your life. After doing a bit of research I decided to pop along to a Cognitive Behavior Therapy session. I'm going to do more on it after I've finished the sessions, but the improvement in one week is jaw-dropping. One common misconception about anxiety is that it always means someone is in too deep. I myself thought that it was a sign of weakness and meant I couldn't cope, which terrified me. Turns out anxiety doesn't necessarily have any connection with stress for some people. What I've been experiencing is a reaction to certain situations, and my body has just gone on overdrive, forgetting about thinking rational. Yes, for some people these actions are triggered by stress, but there are a number of additional factors that play a part, including low confidence and just your general personality. CBT changes the way your body subconsciously reacts to situations and alters how you process thoughts. After just one introductory session, I've been more like me than I have been for a month or two. I've felt like my old self again, bubbly and full of determination. 

I know that is quite heavy for a monthly catch up but this is all that's happened. It took over my life, but hopefully not anymore. I was really nervous about posting this because  as I said, I didn't like admitting something was up, but anxiety is something that will affect the vast majority of people, regardless of their circumstances and background. I'm not pretending that everything is going to be perfect and that I won't have anxiety once I finished CBT, because I will. It's apart of me and is just something I'm going to have to deal with. I am so happy and relieved I took the first step to getting some support. Whilst before I felt frustrated at my behavior and scared about my life falling apart, now I'm optimistic and positive. I am determined to not let anxiety change my life, affect the way I live my life and burn me out like it did this month. You will never be able to control what you think, but you can control how you deal with those thoughts. Fingers crossed I will now start dealing with them in a more productive way. 

If you've had CBT or been through something similar I'd love to hear your thoughts.
xoxo
J
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Monday, 26 May 2014

The Recycling Bin #4



In a desperate effort to de-clutter, I'm making it my mission to use up products and not waste any. Lucky for you, this means some lovely empties posts. 

I'm really trying to experiment with more brands and products for my hair. One range I am so happy I discovered is the Neal & Wolf Ritual Range. The shampoo smelt incredible and really made my hair feel like I'd just stepped out of the hairdressers. I'll definitely be repurchasing when I'm in need of a new shampoo. I quite liked Diptyque shampoo, it is ridiculously hard to find online, and wasn't anythnig special at all. I am planning to repurchase their Fresh Body Lotion though! I have never had so many compliments from the scent of a body lotion. It was so long-lasting and luxurious. Something I will always repurchase is Lush's Snow Fairy Shower Gel. I always stock up over Christmas so I can enjoy it all through the year. I've also finished Baylis & Hardings Beauticology Gingerbread Cupcake. I've said this before, but they've changed the formula of this, and it's not as good as it was Christmas 2012. I don't think I'll be as excited for it this year.

On to skincare, and sadly I've finished an entire routine. When I was a teenager, I swore by Simple, and recently went back to it. We get so bogged down in scientific technology, what's the it ingredient or the best way to cleanse, we forget the basics that have stood the test of time. I used Simple Vital Vitimin Foaming Cleanser, Simple Pore Minimising Toning Cleanser and the Simple Replenishing Moisturiser. Going back to basics has really helped my skin, and stopped it getting overloaded. No doubt I will repurchase Simple products. I always seem to go back to them. One product I wont repurchase is the Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It. It can be used as either a mask or a scrub but I dont like it as either. As a scrub its too thick and as a mask, it just doesn't do anything for my skin. Always one to end on a high note, a product I consider a holy grail, the Elemis Fresh Skin Skin Glow. It is the perfect consistency, and the abrasiveness is just about right. I'm so sad I've run out of this, and I would repurchase but I have some others I need to use first. I don't think it's going to be long before I'll be reunited though.

Have you tried any of these products?
xoxo
J
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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

5 books in 5 words



As a book worm, I'm not really sure why I don't do more book reviews. Well I do, I can't review things without spoiling them ever so slightly. I really want to work on getting my old blog mojo back and get a greater variety of posts up, so I've come up with an ingenious compromise. In one post I'll review 5 books, but I only have 5 words to express my opinion with. Now I may be good, but I don't think even I can tell you an entire plot in so few words. Let the challenge commence.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Addictively gripping but disappointing ending.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
Slightly humanising lawyers.  Page turner

The Secret Shopper's Revenge by Kate Harrison
Chick Lit with some bite.

Murder on the Home Front by Molly Lefebure
Real War-time medical Sherlock.

The Obelisk by Howard Gordon
Cross between Homeland and Argo.


Have you read any of these books?
xoxo
J
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Monday, 19 May 2014

Space NK Haul




Space NK Gift With Purchase's are my down fall. Suddenly my wishlist becomes a reality and I get to come home to a delivery that rivals Christmas. I've literally only just unpacked my goodies and haven't tried anything yet, but I thought it was only fair to show you what made its way into my shopping basket.


Encased in a lovely tote bag was an amazing GWP, so amazing that I really can't show you each thing. With a Laura Mercier Highlighter, Hourglass Primer and Diptique candle just three off the many products in the GWP, my beauty product cravings have been satisfied. For now. 

Did you get the Space NK Gift with Purchase? What did you get?
xoxo
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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum

Fragrance (*) - £43


A while ago I was exceptionally lucky and won a Nuxe Gift Set from the lovely Katie. As a complete fragrance addict, it was amazing to get my hands on the new scent from Nuxe, especially as it's perfect for summer. If like me your dreaming of escaping abroad, a bottle of this may be the quick fix!

Inspired by their cult Huile Prodigieuse, the packaging is reminiscent of the product. With a beautiful amber ombre bottle and gold top, it reminds me of tans and summer sunsets. Instantly you think of a warmer climate and a chance to getaway. Appropriately, the fragrance is a floral oriental and very warming. Not usually a fan of oriental perfumes, the floral notes lift it make it lighter than you would imagine. With top notes of Orange Blossom and Tangerine, the initial impact is quite exotic, which develops into a unique scent when the base notes of Magnolia, Rose and Gardenia are fully appreciated.  Like all my favorite perfumes this too contains a heart note of vanilla, my signature scent. More long-lasting than the majority of fragrances I've tried recently, it's rare that something still has a strong impact on you hours later. Somehow Nuxe have bottled the scent of summer holidays, with coconut milk, beaches and relaxing. How they have done it really doesn't matter, the fact is that they've somehow managed to chase away my blues at not going away this year. SAD be gone!

What products remind you of summer?
xoxo 
J
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Monday, 12 May 2014

No. 7 Peony Petals Blush Palette


Blush Palette - £12



I've never really been that bothered by No. 7. I've been shopping at Boots as long as I can remember, but for some reason it's only been this year that I've had a play with their higher end brand. In an attempt to find some more spring-appropriate powder blushs, I recently picked up this palette from my local store.

The packaging really appealed to me. It feels like a high-end brand, shiny and sleek, but is also durable, and not overly bulky. Let's not kid ourselves though, it's really the product design that caught my attention initially. Although a beautiful floral design, it's not so intricate that I feel like it would be a crime to use it. At least I can be reassured that this won't end up unused gathering dust. The palette contains two highlighters and a beautiful pink blush. The highlighters have a stunning sheen to them, and although there is glitter, it won't make you look like a glitter ball. With a golden and a peachy pink shade, there is something that would suit any glowing spring look. The blush is matte pop of pink, ideal to give a delicate flush. Suited more towards the fairer skin tones, it makes healthy spring skin look easy, and really wakes up dull complexions. Of course you don't have the use highlighters and blush separately, you can just swirl your bush around all three and get a beautiful luminous pink shade. The staying power of all three are around the 6 hour mark, making it the perfect every-day blush this season. This has very quickly become my go-to blush and has definitely made me want to try more from No. 7.

Have you tried this palette? What's your favorite spring blush? Any No. 7 recommendations for me to try?
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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Run Blogger Run: Listening To Your Body

Last week I said normal blogging was going to resume. That has failed massively again this week, but I do have a good reason. Just over two weeks ago I went out for a run and for the first time in a very long time, my ankle started to hurt. I simply put it down to the chilly weather, but when the same thing happened again I knew something was up.

If your new to my blog you might not know that 3 years ago I basically destroyed the right side of my right ankle and tore everything possible. To make matters worse, A&E didn't deal with me very well because it was a Saturday night, so I went a long time without proper treatment. Whilst I've had an operation and a ridiculous amount of physio, clearly it's still not completely there. Luckily a trip to the physio reassured me nothing major is wrong now. The pain I'm experiencing is purely down to over-using it without building it's strength up. When talking about my plans to run the Manchester 10K in a fortnight I was quickly given a stern talking to. Whilst I've managed to get my stamina up to around 4 miles, I've not been stretching my ankle properly to warm it up and cool it down. Combined with suddenly running reasonable distances on it, and it's all a little bit too much for my very weak ankle. The way he explained it was, I've been starting a car from stationary to 3rd gear immediately, with no 1st or 2nd gear transition, you damage the engine.  I guess my ankle just went into shock from no running to suddenly running.

Sadly, I decided it was time to stop before I injure myself again.  Whilst 10K isn't much, continuing the way I have been will inevitably result in undoing all my hard work, and injuring my ankle. On my physio's advice, it seems silly to push my ankle to breaking point, and cause myself to go through all that rehab again. Initially I was really sad thinking my runs had been wasted, but now, not so much. Running 4 miles, is 4 miles more than before. Clearly I am capable of running, I just need to do it properly. At the end of Summer I want to start hockey again because I miss it so much, so from now to then I'm going to really work on building some strength in my ankle, improving its stability and more importantly, stretching. If I've taken anything from this, it's that you shouldn't try and rush your progress, and even more importantly, you shouldn't skip warming up or cooling down afterwards. You do actually need those middle stages, as annoying as they can be. Although you might feel like your not doing anything, you need to let your body adjust to the upped tempo, or reduced in the case of cooling down. You don't go into a gym and lift the heaviest weight without developing some muscle, it takes months to get to that stage. If I start strengthening now and gradually upping the intensity, hopefully I'll be ready for next season.

I would love some tips on how you warm up or cool down!
xoxo
J
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Monday, 5 May 2014

Lush Fair Trade Foot Lotion

Foot Lotion - £9.25


One of my biggest summer stresses are my feet. After being hidden away all snug through autumn and winter, they finally get their moment in the spotlight come spring and summer. Sadily, I tend to neglect them quite a bit during the colder months, and are left in need of some TLC before I can wear some summer sandals.

I discovered Lush's Fair Trade Foot Lotion way back in 2010 in Florida of all places. After stomping round the theme parks all day in the baking July heat, my feet were really aching, and I was searching the mall for something to help comfort them. Thankfully, the Lush assistant was as helpful there as they are here, and immediately directed me to this tub. 4 years on and I've re-purchased it ever since. The refreshing pink lotion has a subtle creamy peppermint fragrance, and the colour alone is enough to make me use it. Not only does the cream contain coca butter to moisturise your feet, but tagetes oil comforts them after a hard days work whilst the peppermint oil cools them down and prepares them for another day. Easily absorbed, a tub lasts so long, and nothing has ever compared to it. It's perfect for hot summer days, but a firm favorite of mine all-year round, particularly after the gym or a night out in the highest of heels. One word of caution, make sure you pop a pair of oldish socks on after applying the cream, otherwise you may end up with pink stains (that come out in the wash) on your carpet or sheets.

I've not heard much talk about this cream, but it's definitely one of Lush's unsung heroes. Have you tried it?

xoxo
J
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