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Happy Days

9 Sep

Bonjour mon amis, how is everyone? Do you ever feel wrapped up so tight in your little bubble you forget there is a world out there? I have certainly been in my own little world lately and ever so aware that i’ve my blog has been on the quiet side, so apologies for that!

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What’s happened in my world recently? Well I quit my full time job to go back to college, I wanted to study a HE Access to Art course for mature students which would bridge the gap between my last point of education and getting into university. However there is just NO help towards the cost of living if you’re a mature student doing a further education course. Cue major panic as there was not enough time left in the week to work and earn what I required to make ends meet.

I decided to try my luck and apply straight to university instead…simple right? WRONG! I sat my A Levels 7 years ago and although I was accepted into university when I was 18 the grade requirements have increased considerably since so I was nowhere near the entry level. So I waited for the clearance to open and started to enquire about a place, countless nerve racking phone calls later and after trying to send select portfolio pictures across by email I had a verbal offer!

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Literally could not believe it, I really thought I wouldn’t get into university and I had been offered a place only a few hours after enquiring about one. We should never underestimate ourselves! Then started the onslaught of filling out my UCAS application and trying to apply for my student loan. Thankfully because university is classed as higher education I qualify for a maintenance loan and grant so I can still afford to live!

There was still the issue of needing a part-time job however and I was being turned down right, left and centre as I am ‘over qualified’ for everything. This isn’t me blowing my own trumpet, this was the general theme of excuses I was getting when applying for bar work or waitressing. Lets face it i’m over 18 and you’d have to pay me minimum wage, that’s what the issue was.

So I sent my CV around to a few agencies with a cover letter and low and behold I got sent down the path of applying for Aldi’s head office. I secretly really wanted this job. It was 15 minutes in the car from where I live, it was Saturday and Sunday only and it was a massive cut above minimum wage. However I wasn’t holding out hope that i’d get it or anywhere near being offered it.

For this job I had to attend the agency to show I could spell, do simple mental arithmetic and use Microsoft Excell. If I completed all the above along with a short interview, i’d be sent to the assessment stage at Aldi. The assessment was a group of 8 of us and we had to complete several tests and activities. We could only be marked on how much we input as individuals but how well we interacted and communicated as a team. Eeeeeep.

This immediately put my out of my comfort zone, I am let’s face it a wallflower in some respects, I like to sit back and observe the lions fighting over the meat. Times like this though you have to push yourself and it paid off. Whether I got the job or not I survived the group assessment and felt that I had done better then I initially expected. The assessment consisted of; a scenario that needed to be discussed in a group, a listening exercise, an attribute test, a maths test (yes one question we had to divide 8 into 13453279 in our heads…), a spelling test, a priority test, a customer service role play with no prep time! and finally another group discussion.

I finally got offered the job after a further interview, so relieved!

Phew. Following that we got two new kittens! Awwwweh!! They’re little monkeys but so cute so they totally get away with murder. We named them Inca & Nala and they have settled in nicely.

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What else, what else let’s see… I guess also I felt like i’d lost my blogging mojo, if I ever even had it, but even if just one person reads and enjoys it then that is wonderful.

Looking forward to updating you all shortly as I start training for my new job and my first week at uni! So nervous but super excited!!!

Much Love x

 

Embracing Autumn

3 Sep

Hello wonderful readers. Are you in as much shock as me? It’s September already!! I will say in total cliché style that I don’t know where the year has gone. We’ve had a lovely summer and us English roses were very fortunate to have a heat wave in July.

Speaking of waves, it’s now time to start waving goodbye to our summer wardrobes, unless you’re jetting off in the next couple of months for a last ditch week of sunshine you lucky beggars! 

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This summer was all about embracing the new; pastels, prints, brights, and well colour… to my mono-boring clothing collection. I very happily adopted lots of new make-up, nail polishes, clothes, accessories and two kittens. Now it’s getting colder my mind is shifting to; snoods, boots, hot chocolate, coats and everything else in the quest for warmth.

However I still want to add some new so this is all about embracing Autumn.

I usually love wines, plums, warm greys and blacks and I picked a few items to mirror this in an outfit i’d wear back to college or university.

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My essentials clothing wise is the ability to layer clothes. Wearing some black ‘boyfriend jeans’, a short sleeved wine jumper with a ‘peter pan’ collar and warm grey ‘waterfall’ cardigan. I like to turn to warmer, richer colours and these reflect some items that would turn my head in a shop. The Jeans are multifunctional as is the cardigan.

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Teaming with some classic Doc Martin boots and a novelty bobble hat. I love my hats, I have a small knitted horde of them they’re cute, comfy and practical in the colder months which is perfect for me as I get ear ache very easily. The boots will be a great companion for my warm tootsies all I need is some fluffy thermal socks!

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Keeping all your supplies handy in a black leather crossover bag, lets face it us girls like to carry around a lot of crap. Double that if you’re going to college or university as you have books and supplies and all sorts! A big bag for me is a necessity and I really like this one as it plays on the school satchel style. As far as the ring goes, who doesn’t like a statement pieces of jewellery.

My make-up palette will consist of browns, coppers, plums, berry reds and blacks. Here is some of my wishlist items.

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I really want to pick up the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk, followed by the infamous Kate Moss Lipsticks in the shades 107 & 111, I will be purchasing the MUA Chocolate Box shadow trio and the Sugar Plum Kohl Liner by Sleek – look at the swatch! So pretty!

What are your autumn essentials this year?

Much Love x

 

Budget Beauty #1 – Natural Collection Blusher

29 Aug

Welcome back lovelies! Some of you may or may not know that I am re-entering the scary world of education in 3 weeks time! Eeek!! That’s right, i’m off to university which means student lifestyle and budgeting….sad times. 

With all that in mind, I have decided that I really need to embrace my thrifty side and seek out all things beauty that will fit into my shoe-string budget.

For the wedding last month, I was on the hunt for a new blusher. Now I know what you’re thinking, I say budget blusher, you say Sleek right? Let’s face it, it was first to my mind also. However they’re £4.99, not breaking the bank I know and they’re super pigmented for the price but I thought I would try do one better.

One of the make-up counters I always seem to walk past in Boots is the Natural Collection counter. This is Boot’s own brand of make-up and if I summed it up in 3 words from first impressions it would be cheap, unattractive and unimpressive. However I have eaten humble pie as far as this brand is concerned.

Natural Collection – Blushed Cheeks – Peach Melba

The first thing I would like to say about this blusher is the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. It’s in the same faux pas category as the Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush packaging – not pretty. However for the very attractive price of £1.99 I am so willing to look past that, after all never judge a book by it’s cover!

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The blusher is available in 4 different shades, each all a variation of a pinky nude: Peach Melba, Rosey Glow, Pink Cloud & Dusky Pink. I chose Peach Melba as the initial swatch seemed to compliment the warm undertones in my skin. Since I purchased this I have not used another blusher! I am incredibly fair skinned and I often find most blush looks really awful on me, it either doesn’t suit my skin, doesn’t blend well or looks cakey!

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This blush creates a really natural glow that sits really softly on the skin, it is well pigmented so you don’t need a lot to create the desired effect but it’s easily build-able so it would suit darker skin tones too!

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Have you tried any of the Natural Collection range before? What other beauty budget brands would you recommend?

Much Love x

P.S Generally there is an offer with this range to buy any 3 products for £5.00! Definitely reason to go investigate! x

Love the life you live, Live the life you love

20 Jun

Sometimes I find life can get so hectic, so stressful that I get completely wrapped up in the one thing that’s not going right at the time which makes me feel incredibly negative, but who isn’t in the same boat with me on this?!

That negativity is easily spread and sometimes I find it extremely hard to not let it taint the rest of my thoughts and mood that day. I think we all need a reminder of what good things we have in life, in what ways we are truly blessed and that luck, fate, destiny, god (whatever you want to call it) is really on our side.

If anyone was to ever ask my advice I would tell them that life is meant to test us. Bad things do happen to good people, but in bad situations good people better themselves in order to deal with it. Bad things happen to teach us life lessons and experiences, they help you appreciate what you have and make you learn to love it all the more.

You may feel pretty average, a home, a job, married with 2.4 kids maybe..you maybe be wondering what’s so great about all of that, you’re just the same as the majority of the world population. Some people would give their arm and a leg just to have that i’m sure. Some people don’t have a home, some people are discriminated against and can’t find work, some people spend their lives alone longing for a life companion and some people can never have kids. Just remember what riches you have in the things you take for granted day to day.

How would you feel if one day you woke up having lost everything? Life can give with one hand but take it with the next but instead of crying because it’s over, smile because it happened. Appreciate and love what you have for the time you have it because, sadly, nothing lasts forever.

I truly believe that life throws curve balls to people with the inner strength (perhaps undiscovered) to deal with it and throw it back with greater force.

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Food for thought x

Inspiration

19 Jun

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Inspiration – in·spi·ra·tion (noun)

1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.

2. The condition of being so stimulated.

3. An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.

4. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.

5. The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.

6. Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.

 

in`spi•ra′tion•al, adj.

in`spi•ra′tion•al•ly, adv.

It is clearly defined what Inspiration means, but what it is to each of us is undefinable. What we draw inspiration from is different for every single person, whether it be words or a picture what is agreeable is it comes in many forms.

For me, it is not a resource I find easily accessible. I can be starved for days, weeks, even months without so much as a snifter and yet sometimes (rare times I must admit) I can be so inspired I do not know how to handle the fire.

I often find that I ponder the dilemma of how I can make my old friend Inspiration visit more often. Discovering new things or even rediscovering that what you already love is the easiest solution, but, when you find you’re struck with it unexpectedly and you have a real serendipity moment – that for me is the real icing on the cake.

A question I pose to all my readers, What inspires you? and how do you retain that feeling?

We all come different walks of life, we will have encountered lots of different people, lots of different things but in the case of Inspiration we have one common goal. For me..Inspiration comes from the beauty of nature. If ever you look for inspiration to create, look to the mother of all creators. Everything so intricate and delicate but fiercely beautiful. I never feel more at home then when I am at the beach, the serene water, freshness of the air and my toes buried in the sand is my little piece of heaven.

I would love for you to share with me anything that inspires you, whether it be a link a photo a motto…anything.

Thank you x

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Starting Again

14 Jun

I am very much the type of person to play it safe. The general life motto is

“Stick with what I know because that means I can’t go far wrong, right?!”

Not a great attitude I must admit…

For me I have never had much direction in life, I started off by wanting to be the lady in the shop who kept all the money – a get rich fast scheme from an early age! Of course one has no concept of business or costs and profits at 5. 

Then over the years, various phases brought various other career options into the limelight, I love animals – what girl doesn’t?! With the weekly episode of Animal Hospital I had set the heart on being a vet!…until that episode where the arm goes up the cows butt and does not even stop at the elbow, maybe being a vet wasn’t for me after all (definitely not). 

The genetic talents of my family deemed me to have an artistic flair and I flourished in GCSE and A Level Art, painting and drawing I found was expressive and exciting but I was always incredibly critical of myself and rarely did I produce anything I deemed as good. My dad was very much a influence on my choices, he always insisted that I must achieve more then he did at my age. As much as I love Art, he always enforced that painting pretty pictures would never result in a sound career with the supportive salary.

Dreams crushed. 

I just didn’t know what to do after that. Through the advice of my Art Teacher I applied for a Foundation Art Course at college, I hoped it would open my eyes to medias and skills i’d not had the chance to work with previously and possibly careers that would utilise and stimulate my creativity.

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This is me painting in Art at Sixth Form.

College turned me down, I was deemed as too narrow minded as my work showed a small skill set and again I was left with my conscious’ cruel words –

“I could have told you that wouldn’t of been accepted on that course, why did you even bother” …

I picked myself back up and pushed myself to go to uni on the first course that sounded remotely interesting. Needless to say I couldn’t hack it… I had gone to uni for the wrong reasons…lesson learnt!

I have flitted from job to job since, taking what was convenient or paid well but ultimately when it boils down to it what i’ve learnt above all else is you spend the majority of your time at work and the people you work with, if you don’t enjoy what you do then it saps your time, energy and most of all your creativity. Life is far too short to be stuck doing a job you despise with no promotional aspects at 25.

“So do something about it…” I hear you say, well that’s what my boyfriend kept saying too. It’s not as simple as that though, one can’t just wave a magic wand and life will roll over and give you everything you want. I am a responsible person, to me I can’t just quit work to head back into education…i’m not that selfish.  I have responsibilities, bills, a home, a car and lots of other things that require money to keep and make work. Surely I can’t just rely solely on my other half to support me?

“Why worry? he said. Just do something for you, we’ll be fine.”

It’s hard I know, lots to think about but worrying about all the ifs and buts and what not’s is A) going to give me a headache B) make me feel it’s unachievable and C) give me some premature wrinkles…they’re coming anyway, why invite them any earlier then needs be?

So…I did it. I took the plunge. I went for an interview for an Access to Art course and got snapped up by the lecturer!!(Insert cheesy dance here because it totally made my year!). 

I finally feel that this is my time now, time to immerse myself in things I love, reignite my passions and discover new talents. From here I intend to do things properly now, I have seen first hand what kind of industries I could venture into with the right portfolio and skills…certainly there are viable careers for artists!

To anyone who reads this thinking they can’t, believe me you can. When the time is right the opportunities will fall into place and you will find doors open to allow you to make the transition. Whether it be back to education like me, or a change in career, travelling, settling down – whatever…leave the doubt at the door.

I promise you won’t need it where we’re going.

Much Love x