New Home, New Job, New Location

I can’t believe I am going to write this but 2020 hasn’t been all bad. I mean it has been a total shit show let’s be honest but in the mix of it all, there have been some positives which I think is so important to focus on right now.

Let’s go back to June/July time; I was furloughed from my job where I had worked for 3 years and needless to say I struggled; a lot. It was so hard to not take it personally; to feel like I had done something wrong or was on the brink of being fired. I knew I was worth more than hanging around to see what would happen so I bit the bullet and started applying for jobs. I was so lucky to find one that I actually really enjoy, I know it’s a tough place right now for so many people. I started my new job in August and I love it, I get to work from home and my boss is the nicest person you could meet.

Fast forward a few weeks to the end of August and my boyfriend also gets a new job (yay yay) but this one had a catch, the job was in Staffordshire – a long cry from my beloved Essex; but only for a few months. So, I bet you guessed what happened next; we moved! Luckily, as I work remotely I was able to join him on this adventure and that’s the current situation; both with new jobs, in a new city in our very own little home, who would have thought.

The last few weeks and months have been crazy, a real mix of emotions but it’s so exciting and just goes to show that even in the strangest of times (I REFUSE to say unprece-*gags*) there are little moments of happiness and positivity that need to be remembered and cherished, no matter how big or small.

What are some positive things that have happened to you this year so far??

Natural Beauty: Coconut & Orange Deo | Guest post by To Be Natural Beauty

Hi everyone! I am B (to.be_natural_beauty) and I’m joining Hannah today for a much welcome blog collaboration. Hope you enjoy the topic

Some people call it eco-beauty. Some people call it a green luxury. Some may believe it is only related to products to use on your skin. Some believe that it goes from what we eat to what we wear. The fact is that it is all around us and nowadays it’s challenging to find someone who doesn’t care (in one way or another) for this topic.

I was 6 years old when I first started to look at natural beauty and my interest in it grew up together with me. Today, I am an aroma, massage and reflexology therapist in love with natural ingredients and their impact on our health and body.

Since I’ve started to make my own blends and natural beauty products, I saw that I had in hands the perfect opportunity to not only adjust my life to a more natural living purpose but also to integrate the zero-waste culture in it. The truth is that nature gives us all we need to live a healthy life and because of the way the society is structured we will always find something around us that is worth repurposing so, why not give it a try?

Let me give you an example: even though I have always tried to live a natural lifestyle, there were a few swaps that I have always struggled to do. Deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash I just couldn’t believe they would be as good as the ones we bought from the supermarket. And, to be honest with you, I was super scared of going out and suddenly the sweaty smell was coming from me… But, one day, we stayed at home and I decided to give it a try. And you know what? It worked! And today, I wouldn’t swap my natural ingredient deodorant for any other! Can you imagine the relief of knowing that you won’t stink but also that you are not using any chemical, no antiperspirant stuff on your skin? Trust me, that is gold! I’ll share the recipe with you so that you can try and let me know your thoughts:

Natural Coconut & Orange deodorant:

1/3 cup of coconut oil;

¼ cup Baking soda;

¼ cup arrowroot powder;

4 tablespoons of corn starch;

10 to 15 drops of Sweet orange essential oil.

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Mix the dry ingredients and add the melted coconut oil and the orange essential oil after. Put it in a repurposed deodorant container and you’re good to go! You can also find the video and the recipe on my Instagram page to.be_natural_beauty.

It doesn’t get any easier than this to be a natural beaut!

How to Care for Acne Prone Skin | Guest Post by The Makeup By Beth

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In regards to ance, it is usually deemed as breakouts of spots that are hard to get rid of and can be painful to touch. But it is so much more than that, when I was 13/14 I had the worst acne of my life. I was so frustrated trying these products that were pushed to teens that were the same age as me but cost a fortune and didn’t work. In the end I had to go to the Dr to get some proper prescribed cream to clear it. Now I am in my twenties, I still suffer with the odd bout of spots and skin issues. So in this post I want to show you how to care for acne prone skin.

 

It is important to still follow the standard skincare routines so cleanse, moisturise, exfoliate and wear SPF, but when your skin is spot prone you have to do these things a little differently. Always pay attention to your skin and how it reacts to certain products too. As this will obviously be the indicator of what needs to be removed or replaced in your routine.

Cleansing

 

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You should alway start off daily skincare by cleansing. With cleansers they take away makeup residue, remove toxins and get rid of the build up of oil. Of course with oil and makeup residue, when they sit on the skin they clog the pores or even make your pores larger in size.  I like using foaming cleaners personally but here a list for you to take a look which one you may prefer! Remember it’s all about looking at what works for you. Another favourite cleanser of mine is a balm cleanser I use for double cleansing and that is Clean It Zero Balm. 

Moisturising

You need to moisturise obviously so your skin doesn’t dry out or become flaky. The best route to go down with moisturisers is to go for ones that are non-comedogenic (won’t sink into pores) and are oil free. One I would heavily recommend is Cetaphil Daily Defence with SPF. It’s a two in one product, you can get this product without SPF too. I have used both and recommend them. 

 

Exfoliating

This step IS NOT one that should be done daily, roughly 2-3 times a week works perfectly when it comes to exfoliation. Overdoing it will cause your skin to be stripped of it’s oils, it also becomes dehydrated and causes more acne. Aim to use one with salicylic acid as that ingredient is one used to treat breakouts. The one I recommend is Paula’s Choice Liquid Exfoliator or The Ordinary Peeling Solution.

 

Sunscreen

Sun protection is essential. Sun damage is no joke and causes a matter of issues from collagen damage (you’ll age harsher and quicker), dark spots and rough patches. When out in the sun you need to wear SPF and even SPF on the lips is advised. You can pick up cheap lip balms that will protect you in the sunshine. In regards to sunscreen, with acne prone skin it’s advised to go for creams that again are non-comedogenic. Cerave has a cream that is fragrance free and also oil free. This can be bought under £10 from superdrug!

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One word of warning with SPF, do NOT wear it if you are going to be doing any flash photography, you’ll look like Casper in the photos. Obviously sun creams are designed to reflect light away so of course you will get flashback in photos. It would be best to use a foundation with an SPF in. The one I use is the Maybelline Urban Cover. 

 

Other causes of acne

 

If you have a period then you’ll 100% experience an increase in spots. Because of the hormones, your glands produce more oil which causes clogging of pores and getting breakouts. Also, for teens it’s hormonal too. Once again their glands produce excess oil also. 

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Diet is also a contributor, personally if I eat rubbish, which I have been doing during lockdown, my breakouts are more frequent. Chocolate is a curse for my skin, but I do love to eat it. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, we all hear about how water clears up your skin but the reason behind it is because when our skin is dehydrated it will overproduce oils. Water helps with the build up of oil and gets rid of old skin cells. 

If it ever becomes unmanageable, feel free to see your Dr and see what they say. But firstly try to make changes where you can and see what happens. Perfect skin doesn’t happen overnight! 

Thank you to Hannah for allowing me to guest post on her blog! If you would like to check me out, here are my links:

 

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

 

themakeupbybeth x

 

I’m making a YouTube channel

Hello my loves. Today I am coming at you with some very exciting news; I’ve made a Youtube channel! This is something I have wanted to do for such a long time and if this lockdown/Covid situation has taught me anything it’s that life is short so go out and do what makes you happy. I love this blog more than anything and I feel like the next step up is a Youtube video; but don’t worry, I’m not abandoning my little corner.

The first video is going up tomorrow at 7:30pm and I’m hoping to post content that is very similar to the posts I write; so think blogs, hauls, skincare and beauty etc. You can find my channel here and I would be so happy if you’d subscribe.

I’m so excited for this new adventure and can’t wait to see where it leads me. See you over there at 7:30 tomorrow!

Hannah X

My Favourite Books | Guest Post From Ginger Blogger

Hey everyone! My name’s Meg and I’m so excited to be guest posting on Hannah’s lovely blog! I have my own blog over at Ginger Blogger (link – www.gingerbloggerr.wordpress.com) and I love blogging so I’m very honoured and grateful to have this opportunity. This is actually my first ever guest post and I thought it would be a nice idea to tell you my personal favourite books. I feel like you can tell so much about a person by their favourite books so I thought it would be a nice idea for my first every guest post. I’ve got quite a range of fiction and non-fiction books here but I feel like that sums up my personality quite well.

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So my first fave is the fiction book Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. This is the first book in a trilogy and it’s set in the beautiful and hot Singapore. It’s a love story between Nick Young – crazy rich and Rachel Chu – an intelligent American-Chinese New Yorker. I think I love it so much because it’s got everything I want in a book – it’s funny, it’s romantic and it’s also a bit of a tear-jerker! I think I read a review for it somewhere saying that ‘it was the perfect beach read’ and honestly I think that sums it up perfectly – providing loads of gorgeous settings and making me want to travel. It was also recently turned in to a film last year and that is equally amazing – although it is quite different to the original novel.

Moving on to a more sobering read is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I don’t think this could be more different from Crazy Rich Asians. This non-fiction book is about the life of Dr Kalanithi – it’s such an interesting read from the perspective of a doctor who becomes the patient. Dr Kalanithi develops stage 4 cancer and it’s just such a good read. This review is definitely in no way shape or form doing the book any justice but I honestly just would say read it. As the book moves on it retells the story of him finishing training and his daily life as a doctor before becoming the patient but as I say, just read it.

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Another one of my fave books is I Am Malala by Malala Yousafazai. I remember reading this maybe 5 years ago I think and like When Breath Becomes Air it’s just stuck with me ever since. The book begins in Pakistan when Malala was shot in the head in her teenage years and follows her life and desire for female rights and equal education. It’s such an inspiring book and I would recommend it.

I’m currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and that’s quickly becoming one of my favourite books. It’s a fiction book but it’s written from the perspective of death which I know sounds a bit confusing and I was a bit confused but I was just drawn to it and something just kept me reading. It’s in a completely different style to anything else in this list and it’s also set in Germany in 1939 before World War Two so a completely interesting time in history.

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Lastly, one of my all time favourite books is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. After watching the film countless times I actually read the book and just loved it. If you don’t know, it’s the travels of a recently divorced New York woman as she visits ItalyIndia and Bali. It’s so fantastic and I think the reason I love it so much is that its just so real and raw and full of such amazing experiences. The book just makes me want to travel more and more and in terms of giving it a read, it’s such a nice, easy to follow yet powerful read and i’d 100% recommend you give it a go.

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So that’s it – 5 of my favourite books… I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found some new books to add to your to be read and if you’ve read any of these books leave a comment and i’ll reply back on my own account.

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I just want to say another big thank you to Hannah for letting me guest post – I really appreciate it! If you’d like any more book blog posts or to see anymore from me you can check out my lifestyle blog here (link – www.gingerbloggerr.wordpress.com) and my instagram here. (link – www.instagram.com/gingerbloggerr)

 

What Life In Lockdown Has Taught Me

Hey love bugs, how are ya? No, seriously, how have you been? Lately things seem to be all over the place; not just here in the UK but The World. This pandemic has changed so many things and while it started off with messages of spreading love and kindness it feels like the last few weeks have been a mixture of anger, hatred and a lot of anxiety.

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While the UK’s fight with Covid19 is far from over, the easing of lockdown has made me look back over this whole situation. It’s been a real rollercoaster of so many emotions but it has also given me the biggest life lesson and that is the simple fact life is too short. Now I know what you’re thinking; ‘Hannah, how are you only JUST realising that life and time is precious’, don’t worry, I haven’t spent my whole life ignorant but the last few months have really make it so much more prominent.

Our everyday life was taken for granted, from popping into the shop for some snacks to cuddling a loved one or hopping on a train to work. One day we did it and the next we couldn’t and that is terrifying. We are learning how to be in our new normal and I don’t know about you but I would give anything to have it how it was and to slow it down; I mean we are already in June!

During the first few weeks of lockdown I found myself reaching for photos and videos of loved ones so I could feel like they were close. This really highlighted to me that I don’t document enough; which is also a weird thing to say coming from a Photography grad. I have promised myself that I am going to take more time to capture the little moments that are normally missed. The moments that would almost be forgotten. I want to be able to look back on as many memories as possible; so I hope my friends and family are ready for their close up haha!

It’s also given me a nice little confident boost because life is way too short to be worrying about what everyone else is doing and thinking. I do often worry about what people think of me; like when I started this blog or when I upload new content online but you know what, who cares. I love doing it, it makes me happy and the people that matter to me are so supportive so that’s all thats important. There are so many things I still want to try, like Youtube, but the worry of judgement puts me off; but I am determined to push those feelings aside and give it a go! I’m actually grateful that being in lockdown has given me that realisation.

So here is to better days; to making the most of every situation no matter good or bad.

Hannah X

Easy Lifestyle Changes You Can Do In Lockdown For A Happier You | Guest Post From Alisha Valerie

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Hello my lovelies, I really hope that you’re all having a wonderful day and start to your week so far! I’m Alisha Valerie, a full-time blogger and social media influencer from Merseyside UK. I’m also a Wiccan and being a Wiccan, of course, believe in the law of three and changing the simplest things in your daily routine can really have a massive positive effect on your life and mental health so I wanted to share some easy lifestyle changes with you all for a happier and healthier you.
x | Make an effort to put your phone away whilst with family members and friends, or whilst in lockdown make the effort to get in touch with family members and friends – it doesn’t take thirty seconds to send a quick text which will brighten someone’s day.
x | Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if possible.
x | Create a morning routine that you can look forward to every day. Check out my latest morning routine as a fulltime blogger by clicking here.
x | Create a calendar or journal with sections for work, life, exercise and fun – and make sure that you fill it in every day.
x | Drink more water and eat more fruit.
x | Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You’ll only waste your money and buy crap you want but don’t need.
x | Always keep healthy snacks to hand. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are always great and will boost your energy.
x | Make an effort to smile more. Speaking with a smile with automatically make you feel better and put out positivity into the world.
x | Don’t put things off, and make sure that you reward yourself for finishing big tasks. Even if it is only loading the dishwasher for the third time that day.
x | Create a daily positive playlist to listen to every morning. Check out local bands online and find new music to listen to.
x | At least once a month, step out of your comfort zone and try a new recipe.
x | Before you fall asleep each night, visualize tomorrow’s success.
x | Express gratitude daily. If you follow me on Instagram then you already know that each day I express my gratitude on there.
x | Don’t be scared to ask for help when you need it, and be there for those people who ask you for help.
x | Don’t waste TV time. Yes we all want to get comfortable and binge watch our favourite shows but for just five or ten minutes, make the effort to stretch or do arm-chair exercises whilst watching TV.
x | Spend as much time in nature as possible. We all can’t go camping etc right now so why not simply walk your dog, have your lunch outdoors in your garden, or read outside. These little things can really improve your mood and mental health.
I’d really love to know your views about including these easy lifestyle changes into your every day so please get in touch with me on one of my social media pages and let me know your thoughts? Thank you so much for Hannah for letting me host a guest post on her website, it means the world to me. I’m sending you all so much love, happiness and positive vibes!
With love, Alisha Valerie x

Pamper Night Essentials

I love a good pamper night and feel like I am doing them every week at the moment so I thought I would share a few of my essential products with you.

I don’t know about you but I haven’t really worn makeup at all the last few weeks but I still go in with a double cleanse. I start off with some micellar water which I feel like everyone uses but if you’re looking for a good one, I can’t recommend the Nivea one enough, it dries so quickly and doesn’t leave your face feeling sticky at all. Then I go in my long time love, the Lacura hot cloth cleanser and I work this in with my Foreo which is another staple that I can’t go without. Together, this combo gently exfoliates my skin and leaves if feeling cleaner and looking brighter.

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Now what pamper night is complete without a face mask? (the answer is none) My recent love is the famous pink clay mask from Alya Skincare*; there are actually no words to describe how good this is. You can either use it all over your face or in certain areas if you just need a little boost. It dries so quick and washes off like a dream and trust me when I say it leaves your skin glowingggg! I used to stray away from clay masks as I didn’t like the agg/mess of washing them off but this has encouraged me to give them another go.

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After I have done a mask, I like to make sure that I go in with a strong moisturiser and the one I have been recently using is the H2O Ultra-Hydrating Water Gel from Antipodes*. It smells like roses which is actually one of my favourite smells and this leaves my skin feeling incredible! I suffer from dry skin so this has been a life saver lately and I can’t recommend it enough. It also makes my makeup look a lot nicer because there are no dry patches for my foundation to cling too. An all round winner!

What are your pamper night essentials?

Hannah X

*All products marked have been kindly gifted to me on a pr basis but all opinions and feedback are my own after own use.

Easter Baking

Happy Easter! This is a bit of a weird one isn’t it but I still wanted to celebrate so me and my sister, Holly, whipped up a batch of chocolate brownies. Okay they were a Betty Crocker pack but they were still so tasty.

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We placed out all of the ingredients and got all of the utensils; it was actually so easy as all we needed was an egg, some vegetable oil and water. As soon as we opened the mix I was drooling, it smelt so chocolatey and honestly, I was tempted to have a little taste. Is that weird? Oh well. We then added the wet ingredients and gave it a good mix; we did find that we had to add a bit more water than they stated as it was quite dry and clumpy. It still smelt amazing.

We lined a tin with some baking paper and poured the mix into a preheated over for 2o mins. They said the brownies take 20-25 mins to cook but we kept checking on them and found that they took a little bit longer. We did the good old knife test to make sure they they were still a little bit gooey in the middle. By this point, I had licked the bowl and the spoon – the perks of your sister being vegan; no need to share. 

In the spirit of Easter, we also got some Galaxy Enchanted eggs for decoration to go on top so we added these once the brownies had cooled down so that they didn’t melt and voila!

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I can confirm that they are as good as they look. Crispy on the outside and nice and gooey in the middle.

Happy Easter!

Hannah X

Tips for staying motivated while working from home

Tips for staying motivated while working from home

Wow, it has been a hot minute since I have posted on here. There has been so much going on in the world which has left me feeling a bit unsure as to what to post/share but I didn’t want to completely give up on my blog so here we are.

Like a good few of you, I have been working at home for the last few weeks and while it’s been great to roll out of bed, throw on some loungewear and be good to go, I do find it a lot easier to lose motivation then I would if I was working in the office. I do however have a few tips to stay motivated and make sure the days are productive as possible.

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Get up and dressed – while the temptation is so real to stay in your pjs in bed, the simplest thing to do is to get changed. I find that this completely changes my mind set and gets me ready for the day. Although has anyone noticed they don’t own nearly enough loungewear pieces. I also make sure that I make my bed and do a good skincare routine before setting up my laptop.

Take regular breaks – I find it so easy to just continuously work but to make sure that you don’t burn yourself out it is important to make sure that you take regular breaks and give your eyes a break from the screen. I usually use my lunch breaks to go for a walk or do a workout video. I have really been loving RWL and pure gym’s ones on Instagram as they are only 30 minutes but make me feel so good and keep my going for the afternoon.

Log off when you normally would – Okay, this one is difficult because there are times where I will work a bit longer to get something finished but it is vital to log off from work in the evenings so that your mind can focus on something else and it means that you have had a long enough break for the next day so you can give it 100%

Stay connected with colleagues – I work with the best bunch of people and we always make sure that as a company and within smaller teams we have regular video calls. It’s a great way to keep communication going throughout the business but also a good chance to check in with everyone and make sure they are okay. It also breaks up the day and brings back some kind of normality to see their faces.

What have you been doing to stay motivated and productive? I’d love to know!

Hannah X