O is for Outfit of the Day

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

It’s starting to get warmer and that means that I can start to break out my summer clothes finally!  And with today’s Blogging from A – Z post being the letter O I thought that there would be no better opportunity than to share with you my Outfit of the Day!

I work in an office that is open plan and can either be really chilly or can be pretty hot depending on what the heating decides to do that day so layering is a must for days when I am in work.  And, even though the weather is starting to get warmer, there are times when the day is still pretty cold with a breeze that feels sub-zero in the mornings but by the afternoon can be fairly warm and pleasant.  Today’s outfit is perfect for the weather we are currently having.

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I love mixing summer dresses with items that are meant for cooler weather and today I have picked my favorite summer dress, a lovely tie dye strappy piece, which in summer I wear with bare legs and shoulders.  Today I am teaming it with tights, a t-shirt from Primark, a long cardigan from Asda and my favorite, sparkly sandals (which are jelly shoes!).

I love this outfit, it is bright and fun but comfortable at the same time and pared with my black cardi isn’t ‘over-the-top’ bright for work.  I am a huge fan of open cardigans too, they are the perfect item to layer and add to many outfits.  I like to wear mine over shirts and leggings, jeans and t-shirts, dresses, cute skirts and tops, the list is pretty much endless!

I bought my dress at a festival several years ago and wear it each and every year.  I have worn it with a turtle neck top underneath and thick tights and boots in the winter, and can transition it to summer wear by adding either a long sleeve top, t-shirt, vest top or nothing underneath it.  It works really well with several different cardis over the top too, from my chunky arran knit cardi to a pale pink chunky knit cardi that I own.  I love the colours of it as I can mix it with pinks, blues, purples and black and it still looks lovely.  I can dress it up or down depending on where I am going too!  It really is the perfect dress for me!

I got my jelly shoes in a charity shop last year.  They were brand new with the tags still on and cost me £2.00 which I thought was a complete bargain!  I love how comfortable they are and I have worn them with black skinny jeans and socks, shorts and dresses.  They look really nice with bare feet or with socks.

What are you wearing today?  Let me know in the comments!

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Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Consumption

In the lifestyle we lead today many of the items we come into contact with on a daily basis are designed to be used once and then thrown away, from plastic packaging to cups, bottles and food wrappers.  A lot of the waste we produce is made of plastic and with plastic being one of the biggest problems the environment has, it is one that we need to work on to reduce.  Today I am going to give you some easy ideas that you can choose in order to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we throw away.

When Shopping.

Take re-usable shopping bags with you, or re-use the plastic ones that you already have.  With many plastic bags only ever being used once, and for a total of just 12 minutes, it seems obscene to just use once and then throw away.

When buying tinned goods try to avoid purchasing those multi-packs that are wrapped in plastic to keep them together.  Instead, buy single cans where possible, or look for cans that are packaged together with cardboard as it is easier to re-cycle.

Choose loose veg and fruit where possible (it can work out cheaper too).  Buy (or make) some produce bags to put your fruit and veg in or just place them, loose in your cart.

Eating Out.

I always carry around a set of my own cutlery just incase I decide to buy food when I am out and about.  This means that I don’t have to use plastic cutlery that comes with many fast food items.  I have a small pencil-case that I keep them in and, once used I put them back into the case to be washed at home and returned to my bag.

Think about whether drinks you buy really need a straw.  Where possible, refuse the straw and if you really do need one, think about buying a re-usable straw.  I have stainless steel straws that are perfect for most cold beverages.

When I am in work, I make my own lunch at home the night before and pack it into a lunchbox that I can re-use time and time again.  This helps me, not only to eat more healthy, but to save money too, because I’m then not tempted to buy a pre-packed sandwich meal deal (with crisps and a bottle of pop).

Buy a re-usable travel flask or cup.  Most coffee shops will be happy to use your own cup for drinks so long as it is clean and in good condition.  Sometimes places will even offer you a discount if you use your own cup.  Or, if you have time, why not sit and enjoy your hot drink in the cafe in a proper mug?

At Home.

Cut down on your use of cling film.  Assess what you use cling film for and have a look on-line for other alternatives, for example, if you use cling film to wrap food items, why not give wax wraps a try?  Or for heating food in the microwave (or for covering leftovers) these silicone food wraps are brilliant.

Swap plastic dish brushes with wooden ones.  I really like the design of this one, not only can you re-cycle the whole thing but, you can re-use the handle and buy replacement heads for it.

Be mindful of what you throw away.  Where possible re-cycle.  In my area, we are lucky enough to have a re-cycling collection each week that runs alongside our normal refuse collection.  I have 3 containers – one for glass, plastic and metal and a bag for cardboard waste that I put on the kerb weekly for collection, however, even if you don’t have this sort of scheme running where you are, you can still re-cycle.  Look online for your nearest re-cycling facility and sort your waste, dropping it to the centre weekly.

There are so many other ways to reduce the plastic that we consume daily, these are just a few ideas to help you along the way.  What other ways can we reduce plastic?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

N is for Netflix

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

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Todays post is bought to you by the letter N and the topic Netflix!

I don’t really watch tv, I haven’t seemed to even switch the box on for such a long time so when I got an offer sent through to my inbox for a 30 day free trial of Netflix I didn’t really see the point in signing up for it.  This was 4 months ago and I now subscribe to the service monthly.  So, “what changed?” I can hear you all ask… well, one evening I didn’t really have anything to do and fancied sitting and watching something, anything and couldn’t find anything that I fancied watching on “normal” telly so I had a look on-line at what I could find on Netflix, saw that they still had Gilmore Girls on there (which I had watched parts of previously) and decided that I would use my free trial to watch the show from the beginning, then the plan was to cancel.

I watched the whole of Gilmore Girls (all 7 Series, 153 episodes) and then I saw that they had an extr a seriesfor the Gilmore Girls called A Year in the Life.  By this point I was nearing the end of my free trial so decided to stick with it and finish watching this show.

In work one day I overheard someone talking about The Umbrella Academy (on Netflix) so I then thought I’d watch the first episode to see what it was like… I was hooked and have since completed the first series and am anxiously awaiting the next series.

And now I have watched the following…

  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Orphan Black
  • Black Mirror
  • Consumed
  • Girlboss

And I have a to watch list that keeps on growing steadily….

What series have you watched on Netflix?  Do you have any suggestions of things I can add to my list of things to watch?

M is for Morning Skincare Routine

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today, as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I am sharing my Morning Skincare Routine.  I wrote about my Evening Skincare Routine at the start of this challenge (as my letter E post).

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My morning skin care routine is a lot different to my evening routine and I like to focus on cleansing and preparing my skin for make-up preparation if I am going to work, or just cleansing my skin when I am at home.

I like to start my morning by applying a creamy cleanser, I find the Soap And Glory Peaches And Clean Deep Cleansing Milk to be really good for my morning routine as it doesn’t dry my skin out and leaves my skin soft.  I usually apply this product to damp skin with my hands and use my Facial Brush if I need extra exfoliation.  I remove the cleanser with my facial sponges.  I will use a flannel to remove if my skin is looking a bit dull as it can help to boost the skins circulation and help to further aid in exfoliation.

I use B Pure Micellar Oil to remove any residue left on my skin from the cleanser.  As this is oil based it really helps to moisturise my skin while removing any impurities.  I use tissue to blot my skin to remove any excess oils that are left over from the micellar oil.

Once I have finished cleansing my skin I then use this moisturiser from Tesco, it is a light moisturiser which absorbs well into my skin and contains an SPF.  This moisturiser doesn’t leave my skin greasy or any residue on the surface of my skin which is perfect for days when I want to wear makeup.

If my skin is starting to look and feel dry I follow my moisturiser with Superdrug Calm Skin Hydrating 2 in 1 Serum and Moisturiser, which I tend to apply on weekends rather than work days.  If I do use this on days when I intend to wear makeup I will apply the serum and then let it sit for around 10 mins (perfect coffee drinking time!!!) then I will blot my skin before adding a primer to my skin.  It’s not that this serum is oily or leaves much of a residue but in the past, when using different serums I have learned that my makeup doesn’t last as long if I skip the waiting and blotting step.

What is your morning skin care routine like?

 

L is for Life (A Day In Mine…)

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today’s post topic starts with the letter L and today I will be sharing with you what a typical week day in my Life looks like!

7:00am.  I wake up and reach for my phone to catch up on some blog posts from my favorite bloggers, respond to any comments I may have received and check up on my Instagram and Twitter.

7:30am.  I get up and start getting ready for my day.  I wash my face, brush my teeth and decide what I am going to wear for the day if I haven’t picked out an outfit the night before.

7:45am.  I put on my makeup and sort my hair out and spritz myself with my favorite perfume (incase you are wondering its Yardley English Rose!)

7:50am.  I wake Roxy up.  She’s a typical teenager trapped in a dog’s body and hates the mornings!  She would stay in bed if I’d let her.

7:55am.  We head downstairs and I let Roxy out into the garden to do her thing.  I put the kettle on and prepare my lunch for the day.  Once the kettle is boiled I make myself a coffee and fill my flask with coffee to take with me to work too.

8:10am.  Usually by this time I am ready for a hit of nicotine (I know, it’s bad and I’m slowly weaning myself off of cigarettes and onto a vape…)

8:20am.  I drink my coffee and start the hunt for my car keys and other things I will need for the day.

8:30am.  I say goodbye to Roxy and head out of the house and to my car to start my journey to work.

8:45am.  I arrive at work and park in the usual spot.  At this point I will have another nicotine fix before heading in.

8:55am.  I get to my desk and fire up my pc and log myself in to the system.

9:00am.  While my pc is loading all the software I use I check what work has been allocated to me, sort through it all and place it in piles from highest priority to lowest and in order of geographical areas.  (The work I do covers the whole of Wales and gets processed in order of area types.)

9:10am.  Once I’m logged in to my pc and all the software has loaded I check my emails and respond to any that I need to, otherwise I read and file them away into their relevant folders.

9:20am.  I start the work that has been allocated to me.

10:00am.  Breakfast!  I bring Weetabix to work with me that I eat at my desk as I work as I really struggle to eat breakfast any earlier, it makes me feel a bit sick if I eat too early.

11.00am.  Break time!  We don’t have a proper break allocated to us except for a lunch break but we are allowed to make coffee/tea whenever and at this time I tend to make myself a coffee and have a snack (usually a piece of fruit) at the same time while I work.

1:00pm.  Time for lunch.  I bring sandwiches with me and will eat them while I read something I have downloaded to my Kindle or I go out for a walk with a friend.  I find that this “time out” can really help me to re-gain my work focus and boosts my energy for the afternoon.

1:30pm.  Time to return to my desk.  I re-check my emails and respond if needed and then I re-check my work allocation to see how well I have progressed and to alter my priority if needed.

3:00pm.  Coffee time.  By this time I really need a caffeine hit and I will treat myself to a snack of some description, sometimes this will be a yoghurt, other times crisps or a piece of cake.

5:00pm.  I work through until 5pm most days, though we do have flexi time available to us which means that I can accrue time if I work earlier or later which enables me to leave work from 4pm onwards.  Usually, though, I work from 9 – 5 as I find these hours suit me the best.  I close down all of the applications that I have been using and log off from the system, gather my things and start to walk over to the car park to retrieve my car.

5:05pm.  I reach my car and start my journey home.

5:25pm.  I arrive home.  Roxy has usually only just woken up and will greet me at the door stretching and yawning.

5:30pm.  I get changed out of my work clothes and into home clothes (jeans and a hoodie or t-shirt).

5:40pm.  I let Roxy out into the garden and put the kettle on to make a coffee.

5:45pm.  I make a start on tidying the house and wash up my lunch box and flask for the next day.  I might put a clothes wash on at the same time and put the hoover around or sweep the floors if needed.

6:00pm.  I drink my coffee and sit down to catch up on the blogs I follow, respond to any comments and work on my blog schedule and any up-coming posts that I need.

7:00pm.  Dinner time!!!!  Both Roxy and I eat at the same time, she has her food while I have mine.  I usually opt or something easy for me, usually something with toast, pasta or rice.  Roxy always has the same food she always does, dry kibble!

7:30pm.  I clean up from my dinner and make another coffee.  I then head to my front room and settle in for the night with a tv programme or Netflix.

9:00pm.  Shower time.  I like to have a shower at this time as it means my hair can dry naturally, I find that it is easier to style if it air dries rather than using a hair dryer.

9:20pm.  If I’m not in my pjs by now then I normally climb into them now!

9:30pm.  I head back downstairs and will make another coffee or make myself some squash.  I will work on my blog a bit more or continue to watch my tv show.

10:20pm.  I let Roxy out into the garden so she can do her biz while I check the fridge for sandwich options for the following day.

10:30pm.  I’m head off upstairs and check out my clothes for the next day.  I like to have an idea of what I could wear before the day arrives.  This little habit stops me feeling anxious in the morning and having a panic about what to wear!

10:40pm.  I’m ready for bed.  I like to lay and read for a bit before lights off as it helps me to sleep.

11:00pm.  I check that my alarm is set for the morning and turn out the lights, snuggle up to Roxy and we both drift off to sleep.

What does your typical day-to-day life look like?

K is for KonMarie

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today marks the 11th day of the Blogging From A – Z Challenge and that means today’s corresponding letter is the letter K.  Today I am writing about the KonMarie Method and why it didn’t work for me.

I’m sure most people have heard of Marie Kondo and her book “Life Changing Magic of Tidying” which was published in 2016 with a follow-up book “Spark Joy” following in the following year, 2017.  Since then there has also been a programme “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” which is available on Netflix.  The method that Marie Kondo teaches, fondly referred to as KonMarie, with regard to our stuff and things, is to hold a “tidying festival” and go through our belongings in a set way, starting with clothing and ending with kimono (miscellaneous).  It involves piling all the items together that belong in each category, so for clothes you would gather every item of clothing you own, from jumpers, underwear, sportswear, hats, gloves, shoes, boots, into a pile and start going through them.  That sounds easy enough, but you have to hold each item and thank it, decide whether it sparks joy or not and then discard any item which doesn’t leave you feeling joyful.  Then you need to fold the items you will keep in a certain way and put them away.  Not only will everything you own, eventually, spark joy from within but you end up with a nice, tidy home with space for everything you own.

This sounds like a really good way to decide on what to keep and what not to, but for me, well, I started with my clothes and got rid of a fair amount of things which didn’t spark any sort of feeling for me at the time.   I did end up with a really tidy home which was a positive outcome, and my book shelves and drawers, cupboards and wardrobes never looked more organised and tidy.  But, what didn’t work for me started further down the line, a few months later.

I found that, even though I had willingly gotten rid of things and had this whole neat space around me, I started to regret getting rid of things.  It started with a coat that I had got rid of.  Admittedly, I had not worn it for a year or so but I missed it being there, ready to reach for whenever I wanted it.  Then there were books that had gone that I suddenly wanted to re-read, decorations that I wanted to put out and vases that I no longer had that would have been useful at the time.  I found that “joy” for me, is a pretty subjective feeling.  One day I can really love something, and the next it just be forgotten about, then I will re-discover it and love it again, and this goes in cycles, happening to all of my belonging, not just clothes.  And for this reason, Marie Kondo and the KonMarie method really didn’t work for me.  Not just that, but all the things I said goodbye to, have pretty much been replaced with similar items as time has gone on.

Have you tried the KonMarie Method?  Did it work for you?

 

What is Bohemian Style?

Bohemian style, in terms of interiors, is bright, patterned and full of visual interest.  The style is laid back, with elements from different cultural backgrounds – think Indian, African and Egyptian, all blended together.

The styling of an interior is often bright and richly coloured with decorations of wood, brass, silver and gold.

Furnishings are often decorated with throws that are patchwork, crotched, embroidered and in jewel tones.

Mirrors are used, not just as the typical place to check yourself out, but to bounce light around and to add interest to areas.

Contrasting textures are used, suede mixed with velvet and leather, faux fur and satin elements, all added to play with the senses.

Furniture tends to be ornate, low, carved coffee tables, sofas with intricate designs up the legs, beds with fabric swathed across four-poster struts.

The bohemian style lends itself nicely to artists and creative types who want to surround themselves with items that inspire.

I think I could fall into the Bohemian style, that and being a Maximalist!

Top 10 Things I Can’t Live Without

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Top 10 Things I Can’t Live Without

  • Roxy – my dog is with me pretty much all the time, except for when I go to work (and I would take her if I could!) She is by my side all the time and is a great source of comfort and companionship.
  • Coffee – I can’t function in the morning without a good, hot, strong black coffee to wake me up.
  • Filofax – I would forget everything if I didn’t write it down!  This reminds me of all those dates I need to remember as well as being a note keeper and helps me to schedule my time effectively.
  • Phone – I’m not sure that many people would be able to live without some form of communication device….
  • Laptop – the way I pay my bills and write blog posts, it’s definitely a must on this list!
  • Hair Dye – having hair that is a dirty blonde that is now leaning heavily to grey I find this an essential!
  • A good pen – if you have ever written with a cheap, scratchy pen then you will understand this!
  • Kindle – I love reading and being able to have so many books to read and carry around is amazing!
  • Car – I don’t really live far from town but public transport can be a bit hit and miss and a car saves me so much time and stops me having to lug heavy shopping bags home on the bus!
  • Bed – I love my bed, its comfy and lovely, warm and cozy and there really is nothing better than climbing in to it after a long day!

J is for Jewellery

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You can find information about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge here or read the rest of my A to Z posts by following this link.

Today’s post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is the letter J, the topic I have selected to write about is Jewellery.

I own a LOT of jewellery; from watches, bracelets, bangles, rings, necklaces, earrings, ear cuffs, anklets, toe rings and other body jewellery.  I have jewellery made from beads – wood, glass, plastic and shell, feathered jewellery, jewellery made with shells, sparkly jewellery, big statement pieces and simple, silver pieces.  Some of it gets worn daily and other pieces I dust off for special occasions.  Today I am going to go through how I wear some of it and what sort of things I wear those pieces with.

Simple jewellery I class as fairly plain pieces, such as fine silver chains with a small pendant on, plain bracelets, and elegant rings get chosen for occasions where I would be dressing more formally, such as interviews, black tie events, or where I would be wearing an outfit that is dressy.  I like to wear a necklace with a single pendant on it, small stud or hoop earrings and a single ring.  I wear my watch and a single bracelet or cuff on the opposite wrist to my watch.

For day wear I will wear a few necklaces layered up – a choker style, a chunky pendant and my favourite silver chain, a few bracelets and my favourite rings.  This look seems to work well with most of my clothing.

For a party or other event where there isn’t a formal dress code I choose my jewellery depending on what I am wearing.  If it is summer and I am wearing a maxi dress and sandals I often reach for more eccentric jewellery – a shell choker, something feathered or tasselled and throw on a heap of casual beaded bracelets.  I choose bright earrings to complement or contrast with my clothing or makeup and make sure that they are fun and casual.

If I wear a v neck top that is plain then I layer my necklaces and will choose a longer necklace style that reaches past the v of my top.

For a plain top I will choose a bright necklace in a contrasting colour or something sparkly that will catch the eye and add interest to my outfit.

If my outfit has pattern or detail around the neckline or all over then I go for something that is more plain or a beaded style that complements the colours of the top.  Often I will choose earrings and bracelets in similar tones to the necklace.

If I choose a t-shirt or round neck top then I like to layer necklaces and play around with different textures, layering beads with chains and cord styles.

In winter when it’s all about thick jumpers and being cosy I like to wear more chunky jewellery with neutral tones.  I like to wear a short necklace over a polo top, under a v neck jumper; this can help to break up block colours and adds a bit of fun to a plain outfit.

I have spoken a bit about earrings and I have a few rules about which earrings to select.  I have 3 piercings on each ear and wear a pair of studs in 2 sets of holes and the other ones I change depending on what I a doing or where I am going.  I wear studs or plain, small hoops for any formal events and for any other occasion I will either match my earrings to similar tones or colours in either the outfit or to together jewellery that I am wearing.

I have my lip pierced and I always wear a ball stud in it.  I did wear a hoop of a bit but I found that I was forever clipping it with my tooth which wasn’t ideal.  I also have my nose pierced and mostly wear a fine silver hoop in it.

I love to wear ankle bracelets; I have a dainty silver chain with a heart on it that I wear most of the time though in the summer I will wear a woven, friendship band style bracelet and if I am wearing flip flops or thonged sandals I like to wear a toe ring on each foot.

Whatever jewellery you choose to wear, have fun with it and let it complement your outfit!

What sort of jewellery do you wear?  Do you have any styling tips?