Thursday, November 28, 2019

Breaking Out Of Blogging Slump

Falling into a blogging slump can be so easy, but breaking out of it… not so much. There can be any number of reasons why we fall into a lull in the first place, which unfortunately means there is no single, quick fix answer when it comes to breaking out of it.


 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1QI6Z-zxMIacQsTnDVFMceDBXv0tMM9CM



In today’s post I’ll give a couple of tips for guidance, for things that I do when I need to pull myself back into a routine – which admittedly I myself have fallen out of this week.

Read old posts
Having a little read back over your old posts can not only help you feel a little more motivated, but it can also help give some inspiration when it comes to what to actually write about.

Do you have a previous post about a life development or topic that has since changed or developed? Did you review a product which you now have an update on having used it longer? Did you get something else from that brand? Do you have some old seasonal content that can be revamped and posted again?

Read other blogs
If your own content doesn’t give you any joy, reading other blogs could help ignite a little spark of inspiration for a post of your own. There is a lot of content that you could put your own spin on or may have a totally different take on.

Just make sure you credit where the inspiration came from. For example, my self-love tag referenced both the blog I’d got the idea from, and the original blog that person got the inspiration from.


Take the Break
Sometimes you are tired, busy, have something going on in your personal life or quite simply don’t feel like writing anything. That’s absolutely fine. Think about it, we don’t go to work solidly through the year, we have weekends, we take time off for holiday, heck sometimes we fall unwell and have some time off to recover.
Blogging is no different. You can expect yourself to keep the same momentum all the time, like with anything you need a break from time to time. If you’ve already got to the point where you’ve barely posted for weeks or even months, a little more time isn’t going to hurt your blog.

Start writing Every time an idea or a fragment of an idea pops into your head, write it down. Heck, set it up as a draft post if you want.

Slowly add to it and expand it, and eventually you’ll get a full post. There is no need to force yourself to sit down for hours on end just to get a post out. You won’t enjoy it, and that will probably come across in your writing.

Write about the little thingsYou don’t need to write a post solving every problem under the sun. You can write a post about absolutely anything. 

What are you watching at the moment? How do you spend your free time? What is your daily routine? What products are you loving right now? What do you eat during the week?
It’s simple little posts like that, that will help you get back into the swing of writing again, and hopefully, get you back up and running.

Remember why you started 
Perhaps looking back at why you started blogging in the first place will help inspire you? Did you do it as a creative outlet, to pass time, to document something in particular? Or even to get over or help with something going on in your personal life?

Whatever the reason, looking back may help. Heck, it might make a good post! 

Remember, there are no rules when it comes to blogging. No one is making you stick to schedule, or post specific content. You set your own rules for what you want for your blog. 
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Saturday, November 23, 2019

One Month In │ A Fresh Start



Now, I know this is probably more suited to my monthly lookbacks, but I’m feeling really positive at the moment, and wanted to share my moment.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1S1nGK2z0Vim3q8zQwQUnh5mUDmH1CEEy
 
It's not been a secret, especially for those I'm close with that my work life has been bleeding more and more into my personal life. The reason behind that is fairly straight forward; I was spending 35 hours a week, sometimes more, stuck in a place I didn’t want to be. That's a lot of hours to spend not being happy, and so it really isn't a shock that it started to impact other parts of my life.


 


Constantly feeling exhausted after a normal day’s work (bearing in mind I work in an office environment), to the point that I would fall asleep on the sofa every evening meant I didn't want to do anything. I felt too drained. My usual hobbies were cast aside, with no motivation to pick them back up. Even something as simple as having a movie night was a struggle, because I couldn't even pluck up the motivation to choose something to watch. That's the thing, when you start to get low, you lose your fire, your mojo it’s hard to get it back.


 


We all know it can be much easier said than done when it comes to getting your normal self back. To getting back into the swing of things, to get back to managing what would usually be simple everyday tasks. So I decided to draw a line in the sand and try my best to do better, to feel better.


 


My biggest step started a month ago, when I walked through the doors of a new job. I'm took the biggest drain of my emotional resource and I've got rid of it. 35 hours a week is too long to be unhappy.


 


Since moving job I feel like a different person… or more, I feel more like myself again. I’ve come to terms with the fact that a lot of what I experienced in my old job from certain people was nothing short of bullying. Yep, I’m going to call it what it was. At the point you do something, and then feel you need to ask me if we’re “still okay” you’ve clearly done something wrong that you feel bad about and want me to alleviate your guilt. So no, we are not okay.


 


Since moving I’ve found my new team to be friendly and welcoming. There is pretty good banter, but everyone seems to have found that balance that means the team is still productive. My ideas are welcomed and valued, and a lot of the time utilised which has done wonders for my self-esteem.


 


From what I can tell so far, we’ve got a really good boss who genuinely cares about her team. Can ask for much more than that can you?


 


I have more energy in the evenings, and I’ve got back in the swing of my usual hobbies. I’m feeling confident and happy in myself, and I’m so glad I took the plunge and moved, because it’s made such a huge difference already.  


 


Yesterday was my first month review and it went great. My manager was really positive and gave some really lovely feedback from the people I’m working directly with.


 
Things are really looking up as far as my working life is concerned, and it’s starting to show in my personal life too. I can’t wait to see how things progress from here.


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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Not just a serum │ Tropic Super Greens


I love facial oils and serums. I used to avoid them like the plague when I was younger, as my problematic, oily skin was frequently experiencing some kind of break out, and I always assumed the application of any kind of oil would make it worse. I later discovered that I was completely wrong.


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1NsKYDMGDshbuQoOtzQmBlUT_2mZFXhFH



Obviously different oils intended for different things, on different people, will not react to the skin in the same way, that’s a given. Generically speaking though, the application of an oil will not necessarily cause a break out. Quite the opposite in fact. An oily skin type is typically the result of excess sebum, which is the naturally occurring oils of your skin.


Whilst an overabundance of sebum can block pores and cause those pesky spots to appear, too little sebum can cause dry and cracked skin. There’s unquestionably a balance to be struck, as just the right amount of sebum will help protect your skin and keep it healthy. It helps maintain moisture in the skin whilst at the same time aiding as a barrier to keep infection at bay, so there’s no question as to its importance. 


When it comes to choosing skincare, its hugely important to know your skin type, to tailor your products to exactly what your skin needs and wants. That’s where the Super Greens from Tropic comes in. The contents of this little bottle is suitable for everyone, of any skin type, and thanks to its nutrient rich ingredients has uses beyond the face, which we’ll get to in just a moment.


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=11co_1LzHyra3ElHP6NfSqg8jvSTfjrF-



First, for those who didn’t already know, Tropic create skincare and cosmetics derived from fresh, natural ingredients that are kind to your body as well as the environment. Tropic pride themselves on providing a range that is vegan, cruelty free, ethically sourced and freshly made.


As I mentioned before, Super Greens isn’t limited to just dry skin, or just oily skin, its suitable for everyone. Although of course you would naturally tailor the rest of your skincare routine dependant on your skin type. For example those with very dry skin may still want to include a moisturiser for a further boost, whilst those of us with oily skin probably won’t have need for one.

Now, if I’m being 100% honest, as great as I’m making it sound so far there is a downside to this serum, and that’s the smell. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t disgusting, it won’t make you recoil in horror, but it’s not a scent that I enjoy or look forward to. The only way I can describe it is it just smells green. Especially given that the rest of the range by comparison smell wonderful. It does dissipate eventually, but not for around 10-15 minutes.


Application is straight forward and a little goes a long way. A very long way. I’ve found that 1-2 drops is more than sufficient for my whole face, with a teeny tiny droplet for my neck and chest area. Whenever I’ve had irritated patches or areas of skin, I’ve used the serum to sooth them pretty much instantly. The serum doesn’t leave behind a sticky or greasy residue as such, but it does leave a layer behind that sits on the skin. I can’t quite describe it, as I said, it isn’t greasy, but it does make me aware that something is sitting on my skin until it’s had a chance to sink in fully. At that point you’d be fine to apply primers or makeup as usual. Although I personally limit the serum to evening use because I’m too strapped for time in the mornings to wait.


The main ingredient that drew me to this product, is Tamanu oil. Tamanu is key ingredient when it comes to the healing and repairing properties of this serum. It can be used to heal absolutely anyway, from bug bites, to burns, cuts or grazes, it even helps promote the healing of scar tissue. Should you wish, you can purchase a concentrated dose of Tamanu in the form of a balm from Tropic, however, whenever I’ve found myself in need, I’ve turned to the Super Greens and had the same results.

The serum does a wonderful job at soothing and healing itchy bug bites, and you can even pop a few drops in a bath to share the benefit with the rest of your body. Just make sure not to run the bath too hot, or it won’t be as effective. Patches of dry skin can be soothed with direct application of Super Greens to the effected area.


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1-XP2JBKKEbB9HNFzzjx6FZF4tW8VpeG7



I do feel as though Tropic have missed a bit of a trick with their marketing for this product. Yes, its wonderful for the face, and yes, it’s specifically designed and intended for the face, but it can do so much more. This isn’t just a regular face serum, this is the swiss army knife of face serums, it can be used anywhere it's needed and whilst it may be a little pricey at £42 a bottle I would highly recommend adding it to your skin care routine.


Have you tried anything from Tropic? Let me know your thought below!
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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Moi-meme Monthly | Rise & Shine | November 2019



https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1b-Y7EulBVs-4EFcmFb7tG4TuevH6W592


Winter is well on the way. The clocks have gone back, the evenings are dark, so are the mornings. The weather is cold and it seems to be almost always raining. This is the time of year that my snooze button gets far more use, and it becomes a real effort to drag myself out of bed and face the day.

This months Moi-meme box focuses on just that, with the aim to help us get a little more prepped and a little more motivated to get up and take on the day ahead of us.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1aCvxIYDgFo_UUSBq1upTm43Yk5vyk7fe


The first item I unearthed from within my box was this set of 5 hydrating eye treatment pads. Dark circles haven't really been something I've had a problem with until quite recently. It could be down to a lot of stress lately or perhaps its just a factor of getting older.

Whatever the cause, I was happy to find something to help alleviate them within my box. Dr. Eve Ryouth treatment pads are infused with antioxidant and moisturizing ingredients, such as pro-vitamin B5 and even 24k gold.

I'll admit, I always think of gold in these kind of products as more of a fad, as I don't really see how it would help your skin. Never the less, these pads were wonderful to use. They cooled the eye area, and after about 15 minutes my under eye area looked and felt loads better, and far less puffy. I love that they come as a set of 5, as a lot of subscription boxes I've had in the past will send just the one.



https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CZnVQuEylmBbtRLF_MRqoznLOoO1fOoS


Next up in my box was something I'm always excited for; chocolate. This month we had a delicious crunchy biscuit milk chocolate bar from The Chocolate Society. This yummy bar was hand crafted in Somerset, and really hit the spot.

Moi-meme had toyed with the idea of a coffee flavored bar (which I'd have loved) but after a poll over on their Instagram decided against it. Whilst I'd have been more than happy with coffee chocolate, I think its great that they ask their subscribers what they would like / not like and act accordingly.



https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1qvS5cD1d5v6eCQfe_DnEeqqArVU7HArD


Last but by no means least was this beautiful travel cup by Lisa Angel. Single use cups are more and more frowned upon these days, so what better way to do our bit for the environment with a stunning travel cup?

Made from renewable bamboo fibers, with a hat protective band around the middle this cup is the perfect size to take my morning coffee in the car. It even has a plug on the top to prevent spillages - which someone as clumsy as me absolutely needs! I would say its just about big enough to hold a regular sized mug of coffee, so its not huge, but not small either.

I typically struggle in my car with cups as the cup holder is just behind the gear stick, so anything in there tends to be in the way. This is just the right size to hold what I need, but not get bashed by accident every time I need to change gear.


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1O7ENfqwVC_d9G22TfOkC7RYPIpn2ubmp


I've said it before (many times actually) but I'll say it again; I absolutely adore the monthly Moi-meme box. I'm so glad that they started doing it, so I can get a regular fix.

Each item is always so well planned out, and fits with the chosen theme for any given month perfectly, once again well done Moi-meme!

If you'd like to give Moi-meme a try, use code 'EMSWORLD' at checkout for £5 off your first box. This can even be applied to either the monthly, or the luxury quarterly boxes.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

November Goals 2019

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like November is a bit of a filler month? We have Halloween in October, and obviously Christmas in December, but I always feel like November is just some wedge of time in between them with not a lot really going on. Because of this I usually try and make sure I’ve got some things to do or look forward to throughout November, to make sure it doesn’t feel like a ‘nothing’ month.

As usual I’ll look back over the goals I set myself in October, then talk about the goals I’ve set myself for the rest of the month and why I’ve chosen them. So, let’s have a look at last month..

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=183cRoj_0gd0ciP35X7u_qmSrZhfIR4-p

Candles
This was carried over from a previous month. I love candles, especially scented ones and I wanted to make an effort to get more for my home as I had none left. I did manage to do this, and got some lovey candles with warming scents.

Photos
I was desperately low on photos for here and Instagram and needed to take some more. I didn’t get quite as many as I wanted, but I did get a fair few which are stored away in my drafts ready to use.

Work clothes
I started a new job in October so my goal was to have a refresh of my work wardrobe. I didn’t not do it… but I only added one thing, so it wasn’t exactly a refresh. Perhaps need to revisit this one.

Wedding dress
Ok. So this is kind of exciting.... I think I’ve found it, and in a place I didn’t really expect. We’re running on a pretty tight budget for the wedding and every dress I’ve looked at online is so expensive. I found one that I loved, based off of one I’d seen on Pinterest, but it was over £3,000 which is a huge chunk of our budget and simply isn’t possible. However, someone in my neighbourhood is selling that exact dress for a few hundred quid. It’s like it’s meant to be. So I’ve emailed the lady selling it, and will hopefully get it! Although it feels a little strange to have potentially found one having not tried any on yet. 


A positive list
I didn’t really do this. Or at least, not in the way I had described, however, I did do something kind of similar. Rather than doing a post I made a point in my time before starting my new job to do one positive thing for myself each day. It could be absolutely anything, and it was kind of intended as a way to try and build myself back up a bit, and it really helped.

Make time to chill
I kind of did this, but not really. I spent more time that I would normally sat in front to the TV not moving, but that was simply because I was so tired. I did light some of my candles for a more relaxed feel, but that was about the extent of what I could manage.

Halloween
I wanted to really get into the Halloween spirit this year, and I did! I decorated the house, went pumpkin picking, carved my pumpkin, made soup, had two nights out and went to Prime Evil – which was actually November, but it still counts. In fact the only reason we went when we did is because from 1st November the event turns into an 18+ which was our preference.

Read some horrors
I did! At the point of writing my goals I was almost through GraveYard City, which certainly has a large element of horror, then I got through a few others, with a post about one of them coming up soon, so keep an eye out! I’ve now started the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, so I should have plenty of reading to keep me busy.
 
To be fair, I didn’t do badly with last month’s goals. Although until I looked back at them to write this I didn’t really know how well I had done, as they had totally left my brain. Which is my main motivation for the first of my November goals;

Check in
I don’t think I’ll do this as a post as it’ll be a bit of a duplication of this one, but I’ve found that after I’ve set my goals for the month, I don’t look at them again. Obviously some will be present in my mind, but there are a few where it’s kind of pot luck as to whether I actually do them or not. It means that there’s a few goals I’m not getting, simply because I’ve forgotten them. Therefore this month I want to make a conscious effort to remember them – even if I still don’t actually end up doing them!

Skincare routine
I’ve been very stressed lately and my skin has really suffered for it. What really hasn’t helped is that I have totally fallen out of routine when it comes to skincare which has made it worse. There is the odd day here and there where I go through my usual routine, but most of the time I’m only really doing half of it, if I do it at all. There have been times where I’m going to bed having not taken my makeup off, which is very unlike me. For the sake of my skin, I need to get myself back into my regular routine!

Make time for masks
Along with re-establishing my usual routine, I want to make time to make sure I use some masks this month. Not only do I find them relaxing, but they should also help my skin get back to normal much quicker. Quite frankly at the moment it needs all the help it can get..

Drink more water This is going to sound like a bit of a first world problem... but I’ve not drank anywhere near enough water since changing jobs, simply because I’m sat in the upstairs office and the water tap is downstairs. Just that small thing of not having it close by has meant I’m only really drinking coffee during the day which doesn’t really cut it. I want to try and be more conscious with my water intake this month. 

Nails
Pretty nails are something I love to have but never really get round to. I’ve historically had to keep them pretty short because of the various sports I was taking part in at the time, but now that I’m not involved in any I can have them as long as I like. They’ve been pretty problematic with breaking, but the Tropic Nail Nectar has really put the strength back into them. I want to take advantage of my strong, long nails and actually take the time to make them look good!

More Candles
I know I managed it last month, but you really can’t have too many can you? I only picked up a couple, so now I want more for my little collection.


Keep up the reading
I’ve taken up reading in the evenings again which is great, so I want to keep at it. I’m not reading every night, nor am I really bothered about doing so, but I want to keep it up somewhat consistently. I’ve started reading the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, so I’ve got plenty of reading to do!

Catch up with Maria
I’ve known Maria for years and years. She’s one of my best friends and I love her to bits, but we don’t get to catch up very often. This month I want to make sure we set aside a day (or at least an evening) to have a good old catch up. Plus if I go to her, it means I get doggy cuddles with the beautiful Otto!

Be more positive
As I mentioned in my latest look back, there were a lot of changes in October and things are starting to get a lot more positive. I want to continue with that mentality through November. The notion of doing one positive thing for myself each day worked pretty well, so I want to continue with it. No one like to feel down or negative so anything I can do to turn that around has got to be worthwhile.


Much like last month I’ve kept it pretty easy and simple, with the main objective being to inject some positivity into my month. Things are improving and I want to use this momentum in a positive way.

What are your goals for the month?
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Monday, November 4, 2019

October Look Back 2019

October was a month of change for me. Change that I’m pleased to say has so far been very positive. If I’m totally honest, November was a pretty horrid month, and whilst some of that negativity did bleed a little into October, it’s still been a much better month.

Probably the biggest highlight of my month is that I changed job. As I have eluded to in the past, I was extremely unhappy in my old job for many reasons. From working under an inconsistent micromanager, to being sat totally alone and away from the rest of the office for 6 months, to everyone being overworked, underappreciated and all in all feeling pretty miserable. Perhaps that’s something to talk about another time.. however, it was pretty clear that I’d given up with it, and just soldiered on and put up with it because that’s just what you do when you have bills to pay.

What worse is that certain people around me had a much bigger impact that they could possibly know. They killed my confidence, shattered my self-esteem and they knocked my mental state back. The past two or three months I’ve had more panic attacks, random outbursts of crying than I had in the past 5 years. Even Mike has seen a massive difference in the last couple of months. I’ve been subdued, unable to make simple decisions and a lot of the time been uneasy or restless.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Dkt-KRqm1XKvifAfco4vsQ_WyXBEyR-y 

Moving was hard, not because I didn’t want to go, I certainly did, but because I didn’t feel I had any worth. It meant sitting through an interview, trying to talk about my strengths and why they should hire me was a challenge, because I felt worse than useless. I managed to get through it, and things are so much better now.

On my first day I was nervous, who isn’t on their first day right? Yet the moment I walked through the door and was greeted to go through my induction I knew it felt right, and it’s just got better from there. So much better. I won’t lie and say I feel 100% because I don’t, but I feel significantly better than I did. I’ve still had the odd episode, but I feel a lot happier and a lot better in myself. My new team is helpful and friendly, with good banter around the office and from what I can tell so far management is much better too. I’m starting to feel a lot more like myself again.

Aside from a change of job I also got out and about a couple of times. My gal pals and I went on a trip to Algys Farm shop to go pumpkin picking together. It was great fun trekking around the field in the mud, picking up pumpkin after pumpkin until we each found the perfect one. Then later that day we carried on with the Halloween theme and watched horror movies together while goring on snacks.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1o5D77vbW35a3KZv7nXNMq-nI_twku6oe 

Between jobs I had some time at home which meant that I could dedicate a day to carving my pumpkin into a floral arrangement. Then the following day I used the inside of those pumpkins to make soup and even toasted the seeds in a couple of different ways. It was nice on both days to do something a little different, and to just have some time to myself while working my way through various bouts of TV.

I’ve had a few more trips to the cinema for non-Halloween themed films – Terminator was sadly a little disappointing, but it was a good evening out regardless. We even had an unplanned night out, where I had to quickly think of and then implement a Halloween look with very little to hand, but actually turned out pretty good. Although my friend absolutely won hands down by dressing up as her finance!

 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1tPEuDKUcgIIGwpqkJqIWjTyMBkGlFiCw

Halloween is actually the anniversary of Mike and my engagement, although neither of us can quite work out if we should even celebrate it, or go by our actual anniversary? We’ve decided to be greedy and celebrate both, although we didn’t actually go out anywhere this year. Instead we decided to chill on the sofa together, and take turns going to the door for the trick or treaters.

That just about sums up my October, and whilst it doesn’t really look like much on paper (or on a screen) it’s felt like a lot. It’s been both a good and a hard month, but with my change of job and things starting to improve I’m looking forward to the rest of the year being much more positive.
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