Beating the January Blues with Essence

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, it’s almost inevitable that at some point in January you will find yourself feeling a little blue. For me the first couple of weeks were great, then illness hit and despite us being well past the middle of the month payday is STILL over a week away…try as I might I just can’t help but feel a little bit down in the dumps.

I’m much better at pulling myself out of these moments of self pity and wallowing these days though- following a few simple self care steps like early nights, decent nutrition, plenty of time outside when the weather allows and, on a more superficial note wearing bright makeup wherever possible…there’s nothing like a slick of red lipstick or a rosy pink glow on one’s cheeks to blast those blues away.

Products c/o Essence

Lucky for me my friends at Essence were waiting in the wings with a helping hand- they kindly sent me a selection of products to help banish those January blues.

The parcel included three nail polishes which I’ve swatched on my trusty nail wheel- I’m no longer sporting a shellac manicure but my nails are in no fit state to be seen! I’ve always been a massive fan of Essence nail products especially the gel range which costs just £1.60 per colour! This midnight blue is a stunning shade and makes a real statement! I’ve only recently reviewed the holographic and out of space polishes so I won’t go in to detail but most days have seen my sporting some sparkle on my now short and sad looking nails.

The highlighter is another product I reviewed not all that long ago and I’m very pleased to have a back up of this in my collection. The glow this gives is incredible- even more impressive that it only costs £3.50.

And finally we have the lipstick. A long-lasting stand out red shade that boasts incredible brightness and longevity without drying out my lips. It took me years to feel brave enough to rock red lipstick but it’s now my go to colour when I’m in need of a confidence boost.

So if you too are struggling to beat those winter woes and fancy a little pick me up by way of cosmetics and, like me are impatiently awaiting payday then head on down to your local Wilko store or buy online for a boost that really won’t break the bank.

How are you beating the January blues? Leave your best tips in the comments.


The Necessary Post Christmas Recovery Path*

For a lot of Britons January often feels like a battleground, standing wounded on the battlefield in ruins and wondering what kind of magical potions you’ll need to drink to recover from the damages. Admittedly, Christmas is nothing like a war of titans, but it does affect your wellbeing at a deeper level- so much so that you need to dedicate the first few weeks of the new year to your recovery. Don’t be fooled by the term Post-Christmas recovery though, it has nothing to do with the time off after a physical injury or an illness. It’s more about considering the impact of the financial, emotional and physical rush that most people go through during the festive season. Whether you feel tired, or you’re struggling to pay your January bills there is a solution to speed up the recovery path and embrace the new year positively.

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

Problem one- you were so generous that you’re broke:
Would you believe that a lot of people put themselves inadvertently in a debt situation as a result of a Christmas shopping frenzy? Unfortunately it is now a part of the traditional spirit of Christmas. You simply want to please your relatives and closest friends so you find it difficult not to buy them the best gifts – even if it means spending more than you earn. After all, that’s why credit cards were invented weren’t they? Wrong! If you’ve been overspending it’s time to wake up and take your finances back under control. You may need to apply for a payday loan at Personal Money Store to sort out the first bills of the month but this shouldn’t become a habit. Prepare your monthly budget to define how much you need to repay – including the payday loan – and work on your saving strategy. January is a month for frugality: Spend less and only wisely, and if you’ve got birthdays coming set a spending limit for everyone! A last piece of advice: Give the credit card a rest!

Problem two- your skin is telling you you’ve over-indulged over the Christmas period:
Unless you’ve been baking healthy treats over Christmas, it’s likely that you’ve taken your body through some food-related abuses. No, we’re not talking calories but body fuel. There are only so much high sugar and fat content your body can take. For instance, food with a high GI and dairy can trigger and aggravate acne. So if you’re dealing with an acne outbreak, or with dull-looking skin, it’s time to change your diet to address it. Focus on antioxidants, such as red berries, to clear your skin. You will also need to drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body and help your skin to feel rejuvenated. Finally, your eating habits and schedules need to get back to normal. While it’s rather common to have endless Christmas meals and treats throughout the day during the festive season, you need to stop eating at least two hours before going to bed and reduce your caffeine intake too.

Problem three- you’re exhausted after the family high:
Spending time with your family feels great, especially if you don’t see each other often. But it can be highly stressful too, especially as you try to spend time with everyone during the holiday. So if going back to work or school has felt like the worst thing ever, there’s probably a good explanation for it: you’re exhausted. Feeling tired all the time is actually a medical condition called fatigue, and it might even impact your memory, concentration and sleep patterns. In other words, you can’t just switch back to work without helping your body to recover from the stressful family time. It might sound counterproductive at first, but working out will boost your metabolism to recover and will provide you with a burst of energy. Additionally, it will help you to sleep better, which is another great tip to feel less tired!

Problem four- you need time for yourself:
And finally, there’s no denying that the Christmas holiday can feel overwhelming, especially as you spend time with your relatives. You might not have any time for yourself, and it’s a bad idea to go back to work without taking some necessary me time. There’s no need to book a January holiday to recover. But you should be scheduling time for yourself, such as saving a few weeknights for you and forgetting overtime. Focus on what you want to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s gardening or painting your nails. Me time is precious and helps to rest the mind.

How are you coping with the post Christmas recovery? I find being back at work a great healer, although I probably in the minority there!


To the Moon and Back

In my last outfit post I mentioned my current obsession with all things celestial, and luckily for me (and less so for my bank balance) the shops are currently awash with space themed prints.

During a recent browsing session I happened across THE most perfect dress from Joanie Clothing and tweeted about my love for it. A few days later, on the very day I was going to ask Bob if he’d like to buy it for me for Christmas, Joanie Clothing got in touch and offered to send me the dress to feature on my blog (insert pun about the stars aligning here).

Kate Star Print Dress c/o Joanie Clothing

The Kate dress is a dream- amazing print aside, the cut and fit is just spot on. This is the first piece I’ve ever owned from Joanie Clothing and, as I’m currently having some massive struggles with body image I had no idea what size to go for. In the end I went for my normal size (which in my head would be far too small for me) and luckily it fits like a dream. The shape of the dress is super flattering too and it’s probably the first item of clothing I’ve put on in ages that instantly made me feel good.

I paired the dress with my rose gold ankle boots from River Island- and made the dubious decision to wear black tights. In hindsight this was potentially a mistake, but you live and learn.

This is the perfect dress to wear over the Christmas and New Year period, which is now pretty much upon us. For the first time in years I’m actually really excited for the festive season and I have plenty of things planned for which this dress will be the perfect fit.

This week looks like it’s going to be a manic one with work so this may well be (but hopefully won’t be) my last post before Christmas…hopefully I’ll manage to squish in a post or two between work and play – no time for rest this week! If not then I’ll be back with an end of year round up before the clock strikes midnight on the 31st.

Are there any prints you’re obsessed with lately? Or any brands? I’ve only recently discovered Joanie Clothing and my wish list is ten miles long.


Christmas with Tangerine Confectionery

A couple of weeks ago, after a long old Friday at work I got home to discover a giant mystery box awaiting me. I had Bob with me at the time and we spent a few minutes speculating what could possibly be inside before curiosity got the better of us and we broke in to it.

It was with complete delight that we discovered a box packed full of sugary goodness from Tangerine Confectionery who had put together a selection of their products ideal for the festive season as well as a few games and the ultimate festive film- Home Alone. We wasted no time at all in getting stuck in.

The Sweet Champions box was undoubtedly the star of the show for us, crammed full of favourites such as black jacks, wham bars and sherbet fountains we loved everything about this. It would make a fantastic stocking filler for any sweet addict, or a great alternative to the festive boxes of chocolates that everyone hoards at this time of year. You’ll find this is all major supermarkets for around the £4.00 mark, I’ll certainly be buying a few now that quality street and roses aren’t what they used to be (sore subject around these parts).

Also within the box was a selection of stocking filler ideas such as the Vimto jellybeans and bonbons set (my favourite), a box containing princes marshmallows and chocolate covered marshmallows and another containing wham bars and cosmic sour sweets. I really liked these little boxes of fun which I’ve seen for sale in Wilko for a very reasonable £2.00.

I’m not a fan of fruit flavoured chocolate very much so the Raspberry ruffles didn’t appeal to me, but the mint ones are confirmed delicious. These are a proper blast from my past and would be good as part of a hamper gift of for offering around to guests.

Being the resourceful people we are we also utilised the big gold box all of these products were packaged in…
I’ll do a full post on the recipient soon as he is long over-due an introduction, but in the meantime check out our twelve week old bundle of trouble enjoying his new crib…
The products in this post were a gift from Tangerine Confectionary and I was under no obligation to post, all opinions are mine and Bob’s (with a little help from Pablo).

New from 100 Hail Marys

Back in April I introduced East London based brand 100 Hail Marys and touted them as one to watch.

Just over six months after their original launch the brand are back with a new drop of products, with the same creativity and ethos of their first collection. I love seeing a new brand flourish and that’s exactly what 100 Hail Marys has done, below I’m sharing some of my favourite items from the new range (which is kind of my own personal wish list as well!)

The whole collection is fun and vibrant and it’s clear to see how Scandinavian street style has influenced the designs. The Vintage selection is a new range and features hand painted camouflage jackets and dresses for serious style with attitude.

For anyone who hasn’t read my original post, a brief bio of the brand (as told on their website):

“100 Hail Marys is a London-based lifestyle brand inspired by urban youth culture and street style. Founder Christian Gould has worked in the creative industry in London and Stockholm for 20 years and combines his passions from stencilling to screen printing and typography to tattoos to create our launch collection of apparel and art.

We individually screen print each piece by hand in our East London studio and we only use environmentally friendly inks. Our art pieces are limited editions of 100 which Christian creates using stencils and spray paint.”

The Letgo sweatshirt is featuring very highly on my current clothing wish list, as is the tongue-in-cheek “I did yoga once” tee.

It’s so nice to be able to follow up on a brand after covering their launch and to find them flourishing. I’m pretty certain you’ll be seeing a lot more of 100 Hail Marys in the future, both on the blog and on the streets.