What I am changing in 2020.

As we are now over a week into January I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about what I plan to change this 2020.
This year I am not setting any new year resolutions, just life changes that I want to keep too. We all set New Year’s resolutions but after a while, we seem to forget about them and no longer stick to them. This is why I do not want to call the resolutions this year. This year is all about life goals!

My happy planner this year to keep me on track!

Routine.

Last year my health caused my daily routines to make a major hit. In honesty, I completely lost all concept of what a routine even is or should be. One of my main goals right now especially is to get myself in a routine again. The past few days I have been setting my alarm for 9:30 every morning, which is a start since most days I had not been getting up till the afternoon.
Currently, my iPad and iPhone are acting more of a PA then anything else, as I am finally setting constant reminders, events, shared notes with Emma etc. Apparently this method seems to be working most for me, as I have started planning my day hour by hour.

Confidence.

At the beginning of this month, I posted about bringing confidence into 2020. Which as I said there I plan to step out of my comfort this year and become more confident we’re possible.
For me, I know that this is not going to be easy! But I am determined to try.

Learning to love myself for who I am

My self-employment.

Becoming self-employed is a big deal for me this year. I am finally starting to push myself in many ways to get organised, focused and motivated. 2019 left me with way too many months that I didn’t feel motivated at all, I am promising myself that this is not going to be the case this year.

Getting married. 04.09.2020.

Well, this is less of a goal and more of something that is definitely happening this year. With less than 9 months to go till September now and still so much to do. Our wedding is a massive focus of the year! I am so excited. This year I get to become Mrs Taplin to my beautiful fiancé Emma. One of our many exciting adventures this year.

Healthy lifestyle.

Having said about the wedding, this now fits in pretty well. This year I’m taking a particular interest in my health and lifestyle. Having had a bad year health-wise last year, I am hoping that by the wedding I can get myself into better shape then I am now. There are wedding photos to think about of course!

Moving house.

This is a given for us this year as well. This year, probably in the next 6 months I and Emma will be moving into our own place. That’s right, 2020 is a new house and a marriage!
how scary is this right? And so bloody exciting. We started this week, house searching. Already we are overwhelmed with the number of viewings and searching we have planned this week. I am excited and nervous about the challenges me and Emma will face by living on our own!
You will probably see me blogging about this a lot this year. I warn you now :).

Will 2020 be the year for using my camera more.

Now, this is really an ironic ambition for me this year. Honestly, I am a photo obsessed personality. I constantly have my phone out taking photos. Over the past few years though it’s constantly photos on my phone. Not my actual camera, which I spent so much money on.
It really annoys me that I’ve become so lazy when it comes to my DSLR, especially when it’s one of my prize possessions. So I am planning to get it out of its bag every chance I can.

Last but not least. Happiness.

I know that right now I am so lucky! I have an amazingly supportive partner, a wonderful family, a lovely place to live, amazing friends and so many wonderful things that are happening this year. 2020 is going to be a busy and amazing year for both of us.
Unfortunately, I sometimes allow my depression and anxiety to affect me way too much. So this year I want to try and improve by leaving myself happy messages and notes to find. Reminders. Things like that.
It is so easy for any of us, no matter what our situation, to forget how lucky we really are.

So this is my list of what I want to change (and what will be changing) in 2020.
What is it that you would like for your year? I hope you all reach your goals.

Christmas gifts at the last minute for your loved one.

Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again! It’s December and there are only 4 days left till Christmas. The shops are starting to become unbearable and every single shop is getting more and more hectic by the minute. The stress levels are going up and we’re all trying to get prepared for the biggest day of the year, Christmas Day. We all have similar ambitions for a perfect Christmas Day. But picking the perfect Christmas gifts for our loved ones is not always the easiest and worse yet. We’re running out of time.

If you are done with your shopping how about checking out my 24 festive activities post, for some ideas to keep you busy this festive season.

So here’s my list of Christmas gift ideas perfect for your loved ones and easy to buy at the last minute.

Christmas gifts
Img Src. Stock free images.

Smellies are the perfect Christmas gifts.

Starting with a nice simple option. I’m sorry but really who doesn’t love getting a range of lovely Smellies for Christmas gifts. From Perfumes to bath things. I mean really it’s an essential day to day thing. I would definitely be happy with a set of bath bombs and things to use when relaxing.

Christmas Gifts in the form of hampers.

Hampers are such a lovely option. A bundle of small gifts but ones that are really thought out. A hamper is such a personalised option to go for. You can buy already made hampers in a range of places, but I would always suggest adding your own touch to these.

Something they can use for their hobbies.

Sometimes having a hobby can be so expensive. Especially for crafters like me. I am always needing (ok, wanting) new supplies for my hobbies. Craft and hobby supplies make the perfect stocking fillers, and you know for certain this will be very much appreciated by whoever you’re gifting them too.

Gifting a bottle of their favourite alcoholic beverage.

Since It’s Christmas and a time for cheer and to be merry, what best to get a drink to be drunk around the tree. Or of-course saved for later. But a bottle of their favourite drink is a lovely Christmas gift.

And! You don’t even need to spend tons of money on the stuff, there are so many different drink gift gets available.

Personalised Christmas gift.

Christmas gifts that have been personalised are just so thoughtful and kind. It could be a glass with their name or a specially printed photo. As long as it has been thought about and created with love, it will make a lovely gift for a loved one.

An experience

I actually believe that this is the best Christmas gift that can be given. Less materialistic but giving and sharing the opportunity to make memories, experience new things. From animal encounters to sky diving. There seem to be no limits to the perfect experience.

Gadgets & Gizmos

We all have gadgets on our wish lists in this day and age. Whether it’s a new phone, a games console or whatever technologies you know up your loved ones desire. You can always have one of these for the main present!

winter comforts Christmas gifts.

Finally, some winter comforts. I mean things to make your loved ones feel nice and cosy during the winter season. Slippers, candles, hot water bottles, blankets and comfy PJs. Everything you need to stay cosy.

Remember this though…

Christmas is only one day, it’s about family, friends, partners and memories. It’s not about who gives the best presents. Make sure you are not spending so much money you get yourself into debt, because at the end of the day. You can gift your loved ones any time of year.

If you enjoy reading my posts, please take a minute to follow my social media accounts, I promise you that I appreciate this muchly.
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Meet the bloggers – Talking with SarahTradeMark

Good morning guys! I’m very excited to be starting a variety of posts to meet the bloggers. The blogging world has such a big place in my heart. I have made so many friends and learnt so much of the community that I wanted to give back by sharing these amazing people with my readers. So I’m starting off with a fantastic blogger from Oxfordshire, Sarah who blogs at SarahTradeMark.

I won’t lie. I am absolutely envious of Sarah’s beautifully coloured Hair. If you are into vibrant colours as well I would highly recommend you take a read of this post. Which is one of my favourites from SarahTradeMark.

you can also find SarahTradeMark on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

SarahTradeMark

I asked Sarah to share with us some advice from her blogging experiences…

1) SarahTradeMark, What made you start blogging?

It all started when I was using a new face mask and liked it so much that I wanted to share my views with others, I created a blog and started sharing short reviews on my current makeup and skincare products.

2) And What advice would you give to a new blogger?

Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be people better out there but everyone is unique and you should concentrate on finding your own style.

3) Where do you see your blog ‘SarahTradeMark’ in 5 years time?

I hope to still be blogging and hope to be posting more good and household products as well as fashion. I want to keep the same style of writing but want to post about a larger variety of products.

SarahTradeMark

I’d love to say a massive thank you to SarahTadeMark for taking part in my meet the bloggers segment.

If you would like to take part in my meet the blogger posts. Please pop me an email for more information.

Organised Hell? How to Keep yourself organised and carrying on.

I recently wrote a post about what’s on my desk, and as I plan big things for the future. My life has been pretty hectic. I thought that now would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the greatest art of them all. Keeping organised.

Are you like me with a thousand things going on in your mind right this second. Then you have about a hundred different things that you really need to do? No matter how hard you try sometimes it feels like you are never going to catch up! like all that life stuff just seems to get in the way of just everything that you need to do! Maybe you have too many plans and there is just not enough hours in the day. It can literally feel like a rollercoaster that you are stuck on. No brakes, and no way of getting off. Scary hey? but you are not alone. Literally there are thousands of people exactly the same right this minute! Even the most organised can have moments where life is mental as hell and cannot get all their shit together.

Let us be honest. Life really can be a bitch at times. Life is so busy at times that it is hard to get a break from it. Catching up can seem like mission impossible. So what can we do to get ourselves to keep going? and feel like we are heading in the right direction again?

Stop and breathe!

Honestly, this is probably one of the most important steps to getting yourself in a calm and organised. I know that if you are reading this, you are wanting to get organised and productive. You probably feel like you must do it all and do it all now. So we need to learn that it is so important to stop. Take a breath. Don’t panic. Being unorganised and having a lot to do is stressful but if you can just take a minute. Gathering your thoughts will be a massive game-changer for you.
what I mean is, by taking it slow fewer mistakes will happen. Being in control of what it is you have planned. You are going to feel less of a want to give up before you have even begun.

Making Lists!

So now that you are calm and you have taken a break, let’s think it all out! It may sound pretty cliche honestly, but I do believe in to-do lists. Even if they never seem to end. Sit down and recap everything. This helps you work out the most productive way to do things. Anything to be able to save a bit of time. As well as making it possible to remember everything you need to do!.
A brilliant idea would be to keep an active notebook with an ongoing list. You can add to whenever you need, at whatever time. The feeling of crossing an item off the list when it has been completed is quite satisfying.

Also by making a list, you can priorities what actually needs to be down first and what can wait. Meaning you will not need to stress. You will be able to confidently work to deadlines, knowing you have completed your ‘To-Dos’ efficiently. Pretty awesome hey?

Use your phone

Honestly, how many times in life can you say that you do not carry your devices around with us 24/7? We literally have this amazing device that we do so much with. So why not use your smartphone as your personal PA? It is the ideal way of constant reminders and keeping yourself on the ball.

You can sort yourself so that all of your important dates and appointments in your calendar on your phone. Then set your phone to remind you with an alert. I find it really useful as well that you can even share an open calendar with loved ones. So not only are you reminding yourself, you are making sure everyone else is on point too.

I literally have 100 reminders set to go off to remind me at times to do things. That is how I roll! and it works! When something comes up it really does push me to get up and get it sorted. It really is the things that I have not added, I forget.

Organise with Planners

organised with planners
My happy planner (one of them)

A Planner is my favourite purchase of the year. At the moment I am a proud owner of a Mambi Happy Planner, I absolutely love it.
My planner is another creative space for me with all my upcoming adventures and chores written in. I have been using one for 2 years now. As well as a standard planner. I would suggest to anybody, especially anyone who has a love for stationary. I’m thinking of even trying a different style next year and getting the Erin colder life planner.

But don’t get me wrong. You don’t need a fancy planner. A basic one will do just fine as long as you stick to writing everything you basically need too.

Find your Zone

And by Zone, I mean your own space! like a little corner of your room or house, that is completely yours for getting stuff done!
It’s such a good idea since I have my own desk the way that I work has changed so much. I almost never have my laptop on the bed anymore! Being able to happy to sit in my ‘zone’ which I have personalised to be a bit of me. I am able to craft and create for hours at a time without any distractions or excuses. Even if you can’t have an office like set up or anything like that. I would still suggest you have an appropriate space where you can get shit done. It is such an amazing tool!

Sticky notes are your organising friend!

So speaking of sticky things… I have always had a massive love for sticky notes. I can quite easily have them everywhere. Full of reminders, info or just a few doodles and inspirational phrases. Plus leaving messages for yourself on pretty and coloured paper can really brighten up a room.

Those colours <3

Time management!

Another really important factor for the skills of being organised. Time management. Ensuring that you are able to give yourself enough time to complete tasks. Being able to take your time on whatever it is you are doing. is so so important.
Don’t set yourself a task that is going to take you 3 hours, when you only have 1 hour free. That is just setting yourself for failure.
You will be less likely to complete what it is you are doing, and that would just suck wouldn’t it? no one likes too many open projects at one time hey?

So what keeps you organised?

These most important factors that I can think of. Methods that I actually use to keep myself organised and on the right path!
I would always encourage all of my friends to try these ways of getting back on track! and never giving up, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

So guys. What are the methods that you guys would suggest? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below! so I look forward to hearing from you all.

If you like my posts, please think about following me on Instagram.

Anti Favourite Tag – Talking my dislikes and Anti favourites

I am really pleased to have been tagged by Cassie at zombiegoddessbeauty.com to do this lovely anti favourite tag.
I am quite excited, because I always seem to be talking about my favourites and what I like, that I pretty much never share my dislikes and anti favourite things! so what a fantastic tag to be taking part in.

Anti Favourite

1. What is your least favourite lip product?

I really have a particular dislike for clear gloss, and I literally mean the gloss that is scentless, colourless and does not even have a nice shine to it. I just a sticky mess on your face, what is the point of that?
If I want a coloured gloss I would buy a coloured gloss, not paint over lipstick with clear goo.

2. What is your least favourite makeup finish?

When it comes to applying my makeup, I prefer a natural look. I don’t like anything that’s going to make my face look to over the top. To be honest I swear it is a confidence thing. I prefer to use Matte products like a matte mouse, as otherwise my face just looks an oily overdone mess. To much shine and too glossy is my Anti Favourite! I don’t fancy looking like a barbie really.

3. What is your least favourite beauty product(s)? (Like highlighters, glitter, primer, Oil cleansers, hair masks, etc also be specific if you want)

Liquid eyeliner is a big anti favourite of mine. I mean I love the theory of liquid eyeliner but it really is just not for me, I can literally never get it to look good on my face, I always mess it up application every time I attempt it, I mean it normally results in massive panda eyes, or worse than that, Clown face from a creepy horror film! So I now just refuse to buy it or even try to use it.

Anti Favourite

4. What is your least favourite beauty trend? (Spider Lashes, Over Plucking Brows, Sharpie Brows, wavy lips, etc)

So there seems to have been this whole massive craze where it is really cool to have massive huge eyebrow’s like they are literally being drawn on double the size of their actual eyebrow.
Um… woah do you really need your eyebrows to cover the whole of your face? no this is not cool. I don’t understand how this is not in everybody’s anti favourite list. However, I am not saying that they should be plucked to fuck, but really the more natural the look the better I think.

5. What is your least favourite colour to wear on your lips?

I’m not sure that I have a least favourite colour impartially. However, I definitely prefer lighter or even brighter colours. I do not like to be too dark with my lip colour, so definitely no blacks, blues or dark purples. In fairness, I wouldn’t say that I have ever been too adventurous when it comes to colour either. I own a lot of nudes and a lot of pinks.

6. What is your least favourite product(s) in your collection? (Like product regrets)

Ok, I probably will sound really contradicting here because it truly is a love-hate relationship for me but when it comes to Primer. The only decent way of applying it is with my hands, and then they are left feeling oily, and icky, so that is why I would call Primer my least favourite product. However, that being said, I can not be without Primer, so really it is winning against me there.

7. What is your least favourite technique/step you skip?

Lip Liner. I have never really seen the point to line my lips when doing my make up. Ironically I own tons of lip liner pencils, but mainly as whenever I have ordered Avon, they have come as a gift.
I guess I don’t really see the point in the outline when you can do this with your lipstick, and your lip colour will cover the liner anyway. I am also pretty sure plenty of perfectionists will tell me I am wrong though.

8. What is your least favourite product you’ve ever tried?

This was a hard one, I had to think before I could answer this one. My collection is so random and broad that I do not even remember half the stuff I own. Pretty certain I have an addiction to shopping, and bargain finds!
There was a Crackle nail varnish that I once Brought and I hated that. It just made my nails look cheap and tacky, and I hated how rough it made my nails feel. It did not come out like advertised at all! so not for me!

Anti Favourite tag

9. What is your least favourite/banned brand(s)?

Actually feeling very defeated on this question! Because I don’t think I have a specific brand that I particularly dislike for any major reason. However, there are plenty of brands that I love! which is not the point of this post. I’ll save those for another day.

10. What product is at the top of your Anti-Haul (will not buy) list?

I am a strong believer that all my makeup and beauty products should be cruelty-free, and not have been tested on animals, therefore I will not buy anything that has been tested on animals. I’m quite optimistic and will try most things, just within reason.

11. What is your least favourite TV show/TV show you are not interested in?

Medical shows! not one any particular program, but I really hate some of the medical shows shown on TV, I end up turning these off pretty quick. Like the latest ‘The toe bro’ I really can’t stomach watching peoples cheesy feet. I find it hilarious that they have made these into TV shows as well!

12. What is your least favourite movie/movie you are not interested in?

‘realistically recorded’ horror films. These really grate on me. I literally can not watch the Blair witch project without cringing so badly and needed to turn it off within 5 minutes. I also really can’t understand how this film was so popular, It wasn’t realistic at all. It was cheesy, and not at all scary! I love horror, I just hate that style.

13. What is your least favourite book or book series/book or book series you are not interested in?

Oh crap! I really don’t think I can answer this one! Can I? Um, I like so many different styles of writing, I love most fiction and non-fiction! I do not think I have found a book that I’ve disliked yet!

14. What is your least favourite genre of music?

Heavy Metal or Hardcore Dance music! I really couldn’t listen to anything heavy like that. For instance, I love easy listening, like acoustic stuff, as soon as I hear anything that is metal or hardcore I feel on edge! It feels more like a noisy mess, than music to listen too and it is just not for me. Enough said really.

15. What is your least favourite food?

It has to be tagliatelli, I’ve never been a fan of it. My brothers favourite meal and when I lived at home with my parents I would literally dread tagliatelli night.

16. What is your least favourite social media platform?

I swear I have a love-hate relationship with social media, as it is.
Having recently wrote a post about asking, are we becoming too addicted to social media?
I think my least favourite has to be Facebook, I seem to just have Facebook these days because I do. I don’t have a massive urge to post on Facebook ever, but I like the groups and networking it can bring, so I use it, I just don’t love it. For me, it is all about Twitter and Instagram, I actually enjoy using those apps.

Have a go at the Anti Favourites Tag…

If you would like to have a go at the Anti Favourites tag, here are the questions for you <3.

The Questions:

  • What is your least favourite lip product?
  • What is your least favourite makeup finish?
  • What is your least favourite beauty product(s)? (Like highlighters, glitter, primer, Oil cleansers, hair masks, etc also be specific if you want)
  • What is your least favourite beauty trend? (Spider Lashes, Over Plucking Brows, Sharpie Brows, wavy lips, etc)
  • What is your least favourite colour to wear on your lips?
  • What is your least favourite product(s) in your collection? (Like product regrets)
  • What is your least favourite technique/step you skip?
  • What is your least favourite product you’ve ever tried?
  • What is your least favourite/banned brand(s)?
  • What product is at the top of your Anti-Haul (will not buy) list?
  • What is your least favourite TV show/TV show you are not interested in?
  • What is your least favourite movie/movie you are not interested in?
  • What is your least favourite book or book series/book or book series you are not interested in?
  • What is your least favourite genre of music?
  • What is your least favourite food?
  • What is your least favourite social media platform?

June’s Craft Vine subscription box review

Please note: the following content is not an advertisement or a sponsored post. I have not been gifted or paid to promote this however I wanted to do a review on something I have been enjoying.

Me and my partner have been signed up to The Craft Vine for 3 months now and so far I have been very happy with everything that we have been receiving in our post box.

As someone who is utterly obsessed with stationary, I was really psyched when I stumbled upon Craft Vine through Facebook. I get excited when it comes to stationary regardless.

I used to be a bit wary of signing up to subscription deals but I’ve seriously caught the bug now. Receiving the box has been like Christmas coming every month!

So… this fabulous subscription box includes a variety of themed stationary. It’s so cute! I would highly recommended this subscription to any stationary addicts like me.

This months theme was Japanese, and included lots of pink and florals. It’s safe to say I am very much in love with this box indeed.

I seriously love my box of goodies this month!

I’m so excited that this months box also included a Mildliner I’ve seen these all over the internet and have been wanting to get my hands on these for a while so now I’ve got one. I’m pretty certain I’m gonna be buying some more. They are fabulous.

I love the fact that every box seems to include a variety of washi tape and stickers. This months washi tape is certainly gonna be used up quickly. It’s so pretty.

Are there any subscription boxes that you have a love for? Maybe you are a subscriber to the craft vine as well? What do you love?

Too Book or to E-read

Over the past few months I have grown an increasing love for reading. I mean getting lost in another world, what’s there not to love? If you read my May round up post, as warned, I May be talking books alot more on the blog, so what a way to start. There is nothing better to pass the time then getting deeply involved with a good book, Whether its a fantasy tale that has me on the edge of my chair in a constant daydream of what is happening, to self-help, empowering ride, by someone with a strong mentality wanting there story and advice to be heard, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’ve been lost in so many different stories recently.

I had noticed an ongoing dispute amongst many people on twitter recently, what is better, a real book or an electronic copy. Many saying that an electronic copy of a book is nothing compared to the original. So… To book or to E-read that is the question!?

well, it got me thinking since there is there’s pretty much 2 ways of reading a story, which one is better? or are they just as good as each other?  personally, I feel that they both have pros and cons equally.

Img src: Photofy

Why I love Paper books…

honestly, what is there not to love about a good quality book. Whether it is a brand new copy or a much loved preowned, there is nothing quite like the feel of sitting cozy, flicking through the pages and that book smell, alongside a cup of coffee, sounds lush right? exactly, I honestly believe you cant actually beat a true copy of a book.
I love being able to keep my eye out in a charity shop for a few more books every now and then, And who can complain when your buying a book at 25p? Seriously?

 







Why I love E-books…

Ok, so they may be lacking in the same warm feeling as the physical book, and admittedly they don’t have the loving book smell that every book seems to have, but I actually think that E-books have so many pros to them as well.
How can you honestly fault the ability to be able to hold thousands of books to read all in one place?
I don’t have a lot of space in our room for hundreds of physical books so for me having lots of books on my tablet gives me so much freedom on being able to download
E-books to me, are very convenient, I can carry a book with me 24/7 for an emergency just by having the app on my tablet and phone! great!
I will admit one thing! If I love a book that I have read electronically, so much. I will most likely by the physical book aswell for me to own.

I mean e-Readers are still relatively new and they are never really gonna have the same feel to the real thing. As a reader you should be focusing of the quality of the experience as well, are you able to loose yourself in the tablet reading as much as you can loose yourself flicking through the pages of a book.

It’s an equal draw for me…

That’s right, I could probably argue with myself all day on what is the best format but I choose to love both formats! Both have there own pros and cons, but it is personal to me, which is what a book should really be. Even though an E-reader does not have the same feel, its pretty convenient for me to use half the time. Plus I love the access to so many free books.
What do you guys think? Do you prefer a physical book to read, or are you happy to read electronically?