31 Dec 2017

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!


Ah, there's nothing better than a clean slate, a fresh start... a new beginning. A New Year is always a good opportunity for exactly that! I'm all for the New Year vibes - New Years resolutions, 'new year, new me' thing, planning ahead, getting organised and feeling motivated. It's such an exciting time to kickstart the start of something. Whether it is a 'new you', a new attitude, a new outlook, a new pair of shoes, a new job... whatever you want to start, now is the chance to do so.

This past week, I've been thinking about writing my New Year related blog post and I kept thinking... Do I want to set any New Years resolutions this year? For some reason my answer was no. However, I'm currently sitting here reading through my New Years resolutions for 2017. And it has suddenly dawned on me that I reckon I've achieved 8 out of the 10 things that were on my list. A whole eight items ticked off my New Years resolutions list - how amazing is that?! To me, those goals were very important for me to grow, evolve and improve as a person. I'm really chuffed with the outcome and am pleased that I really tried this year. Achieving a handful of things (or 80%) is better than none right?



So some pretty great things happened in 2017... 

1. I got engaged to the love of my life and I can't wait to start our lives together as Mr & Mrs next year.

2. I graduated with Upper Second Class Honours in Journalism and Media.

3. I got a job in public relations & social media and I really really enjoy it.

4. Visited some pretty awesome places - New York, Barcelona and Brighton to name a few favourites.

5. Found my place in the blogging world and am beginning to feel a lot more confident with my blog.



2017 bought me great things in terms of my personal life but blogging was probably one of my hugest achievements. I feel like I am so much more motivated with writing, photography and coming with ideas. This year bought several opportunities blogging wise so I thought I'd share my top 3 posts of the year:


I've never felt more hopeful and motivated for a New Year. I'm so incredibly excited to see what the years brings for my blog, my life and others around me.


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Do you have any New Years resolutions for 2018?

What are you most looking forward to new year?
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Best wishes for 2018,



Fatima x
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27 Dec 2017

December Glossybox Unboxing


Over the past few weeks I have been doing some major decluttering and downsizing. I've been tackling my wardrobe, stationary, tech bits and of course beauty products. Since I've gotten rid of so much make up and skincare products, I feel like I've been lacking a bit of inspiration on the beauty side of things. Using the same products all the time can get a little boring, so to try and discover some new products and get my mojo back a little, I thought I'd treat myself to this months Glossybox.


Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription service that brings exciting beauty products to your doorstep (and in a very pretty box!). For just £10, you can enjoy a selection of items that are catered towards a specific theme.

I've tested out Glossybox once previously and that was when I actually won a Twitter competition by another fellow blogger. I throughly enjoyed the concept of it and the idea of trying some things that you perhaps wouldn't have seen before or even heard of. You can read that post here, if you like!


 Moving on to the December edition...

First of all, can we just take a moment to admire the beautiful packaging?! I really liked the Glossybox I received previously as it was in its signature pink and black box, but this one is so gorgeous. I really appreciate when a brand delivers their products in a pretty box that you can repurpose around the house, it just makes it that little bit better.

The information card inside the box states that the packaging is designed by an Irish lifestyle brand called Dusty Boy and represents the festive theme of the box perfectly, as the month of December is all about 'mince pies and starry skies'.

The info card also gives you a sneak peak into January's Glossybox, should you have a subscription set up or if you want to re-order. Next month expect a Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil, which sounds very luxurious indeed.



The contents of this box is supposed to bring you some party season staples... I mean, I'm not much of a party gal - I much prefer a night in on the sofa - but of course the products still excite me as I am currently looking for some potential new favourites and just a little something to spruce up my current beauty stash!

Time to delve inside and show you what's included...



The first thing I noticed as soon as I opened the box was a little pack of Raffaello chocolates. Now if you aren't familiar with these chocolates, they are part of the Ferrero brand and are almond and coconut treats - mmmm!


There were actual products inside the box, the chocolates just excited me a little too much!

NAOBAY Equilibria Gel To Milk Cleanser
Full Size / RRP £15.99

To cleanse your face full of makeup at the end of the day, Glossybox have included a full size cleanser, worth £15.99. The gel cleanser turns into a smooth milk texture upon mixing with water and  leaves the skin feeling hydrated, smooth and squeaky clean. I'm looking forward to try this as it contains organic olive and sweet almond oils and smells delightful!


Soaper Duper Rich And Creamy Shea Butter Body Wash
100ml / RRP £6.50

I've heard so much about this brand. I believe it is the sister brand of Soap and Glory and is meant to be very natural and gentle on the skin. The body wash contains 97% natural ingredients as well as no parabens, SLS, SLES or colours. I was actually after a new body wash as my skin is super sensitive so I'm hoping this is gentle enough for my own skin type.



LAQA & CO Cloud Lips In Daydream
Full Size / RRP £12.70

In beautiful rose gold packaging lies an even more beautiful pinky mauve shade that is quite possible a perfect everyday shade for me. A sort of 'my lips but better' shade, it is in a matte formula but is meant to feel very light and comfortable on the lips.


MODEL CO 3D Lash Primer
Full Size / RRP £7

I've never ever ever tried a lash primer before, so I am very much excited to try this out. The beauty of a box like this is that you get to try things out in a much easier way, especially since this one comes quite highly recommended. I can't wait to see the outcome of this product - fingers crossed it works on me!


STEVE LAURANT Precision Tip Eyeliner
Full Size / RRP £18

Also in stunning rose gold packaging is this felt tip eyeliner pen. It is in a black shade, which I have mixed feelings about. I would always pick a black liner because it is the most common look to go for but for party season, I'd expect a pop of colour or perhaps some glitter. So I'm glad that it is black (because I wouldn't really like to wear glitter liner on the daily) but it would have been nice to see something a bit more unusual and uncommon, ya know what I mean? Either way, I'm quite keen to try this as I have never heard of the brand before and it would be nice to support different brands.


With an overall value of around £60, I think this month's Glossybox was quite decent! Five products, that are completely new to me, and some delicious chocolates to chow down on whilst writing this post (yum!) - how exciting!

I also bought the Secret Santa box for a colleague of mine at work and she seemed to very excited about it too! I was a bit jealous if I'm being honest. I may treat myself to next month's Glossybox since the sneak peak was rather intriguing.

Have you ever tried Glossybox or any other subscription boxes? What are your thoughts on them? I would love to know and perhaps discover some new ones!

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17 Dec 2017

Gingerbread & Cinnamon Cupcakes With Spiced Vanilla Frosting


When the weather is cold outside, I absolutely love staying in my dressing gown, popping a movie on and doing some baking. Winter calls for all the warming flavours and I was inspired to bake some gingerbread and cinnamon flavoured cupcakes.

Here is the recipe so you can bake them too!



INGREDIENTS
makes 12

For the cupcakes:
125g butter
⅔ cup caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp milk
 ¾ tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger

For the frosting:
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

For the toppings (optional):
Salted pretzels
Gingerbread biscuits
Chocolate chips
Nutella


RECIPE

Start by preheating the oven to 200ºC and popping some cupcake cases in a cupcake tray. These gorgeous metallic ones are from Asda!

Next, mix together your butter and sugar until smooth. Slowly add in the eggs, flour, milk, cinnamon and ground ginger. Mix these all together until a smooth batter is formed.




Pop these in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until fully baked. I use the knife test to see if the batter in the middle is fully cooked.

Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to completely cool (this is the hardest part - I have no patience at all!). The smell when they are fresh out of the oven is amazing!


Now time to make the frosting! Mix together all the frosting ingredients slowly and bit by bit (so there isn't a cloud of sugar). 

Once mixed to a consistency that is thick enough to pipe, pop it into a piping back and put some frosting onto the top of your cupcakes.


Top with a treat of your choice, I went for salted pretzels because they are YUM. 

Now enjoy with a cup of tea on a cold winters day!

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10 Dec 2017

Blogging + Working Full-Time | Tips & Advice


Let's be real, full-time work and running a blog is hard work. I really hand it to bloggers who manage to balance both so well! I must admit that I am not perfect at juggling the two but I do successfully post regularly on my blog. I thought I'd share my tips and advice on how to run your blog whilst working full-time.

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HAVE A REALISTIC BLOG SCHEDULE



Start by considering your working hours and shift patterns and develop a blog schedule with that. Currently, I like posting on a Sunday and on the odd Wednesday. This regular pattern merges well with my work shifts as well as my own personal life plans.


Be considerate of your commitments and base your blog schedule on that. My advice would be to start with 1 post per week and move up if you have more capacity during your week. Perhaps trial it for a month and see what works for you if you aren't too sure!




DEDICATE TIME TO JUST BLOGGING


Once you have a schedule of when you'd like to post, set time out of your week to actually do it. For me, Sunday mornings are usually a great time to write posts as well as take photos. Block out some time that is most convenient for yourself and use this to solely focus on your blog.




BE ORGANISED AND PREPARED



I can't stress enough on how important it is to be organised and prepared for any setbacks. Scheduling time is important but also organising and managing your blog is vital.


Plan your content a few weeks in advance as this will help if anything pops up and prevents you from blogging during your usual scheduled time (i.e.: internet is down, work & life emergencies).

I have a notepad with a bunch of blog ideas in it so if I am lacking some inspiration I usually turn to one of the ideas in there. Sometimes the creativity just flows and I take it as an opportunity to write a bunch of photos / write up a stack of posts. Having a back log of blog posts that are ready to go, that aren't time sensitive of course, can help if I just want to wack out a post one week and don't have the time to plan and write one up.




TAKE A BREAK WHEN NEEDED

As much as it is important to be consistent when blogging (for me at least) I also admit that it is good to step back and have a break sometimes. Not long ago, I was so caught up with life stuff and work stuff that I just physically had no time to blog. So I didn't let it get to me and just went with the flow. I took a break for about a month and came back refreshed, revived and more motivated than ever.

It was a good opportunity to just focus on life for a bit and it didn't make me fall out of love with blogging, it definitely did the opposite! Which brings me on to my final point...



MAKE SURE YOUR HEART IS IN IT


Whenever you are blogging think to yourself 'am I enjoying this?' Don't continue to blog if you feel like your blog is a burden. Make time for your blog if you want to and you are 100% into it and completely passionate about it. Not putting your heart and soul into it is not valuable for your readers as you may bring it across in your writing and most importantly it is not valuable for you.


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What advice would you give to those blogging & working full-time?
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6 Dec 2017

Two Years Of Blogging


Today marks two years since I published my first ever blog post onto this blog. How time flies... I remember it as if it were yesterday! Hitting that publish button was sooooo nerve wracking but very exciting too.

You must be thinking.. Why is it a thing to celebrate your blog's birthday? Well here is your answer: because it is a great achievement! For me at least.

Staying committed to something for two years doesn't seem too long at all (or maybe it does to you), but blogging is a whole other world. I must admit that having a blog and being a blogger is a lot of hard work. Having a blog requires a lot of maintenance, will power and determination. 



First of all, writing blog posts regularly takes a lot of effort. Photos, writing, editing... thinking of brand new content is very time consuming.  It's something that has definitely become such a big part of my life over the past two years.

Secondly, the competition out there is ridiculous. I'm not saying you must only write a blog so you can get your name out there, be amazing and have thousands of people reading it daily. It's more of a confidence and motivation thing. So, I don't know about other bloggers but I certainly feel very overwhelmed and irrelevant within the blogging community sometimes. There are bloggers who have worked their butts off over the past couple of years and definitely deserve to be where they are today but it makes me as a very small blogger think, is my little corner on the internet even worth it?

I know there has been a couple of times over the past few years where I've thought about quitting blogging. Only because I feel like other people out there are writing better content then I am. But then I have an epiphany and think about how blogging has impacted my life.



The online community, the satisfaction of writing a great post and also how many opportunities it has provided me with. I definitely feel like it has helped my education and career too! Writing, photographing and social media is so valuable in today's society and so important for many brands and companies nowadays.

My own career partially revolves around social media and the online world. I definitely think my blog was helpful in terms of developing skills for the job as well as it being a bit of an online portfolio for my skills.

 So moral of this little post... I don't know! I just thought I'd have a mini celebration to toast the fact that I have stayed committed to blogging for two years (and counting!) and have written over 140 blog posts and have created my own little corner on the internet, which I am incredibly proud of!




Do you have a blog?
How long have you had your blog for and how has it impacted your life? 
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26 Nov 2017

Monthly Make Up Bag // Minimal Edition


Recently, I've been trying to let my skin breathe a little and therefore I seem to have created a bit of a minimal, simple and quick makeup routine. When the weather gets colder my skin gets incredibly dry (and I seem to have a combination skin type anyway!) so using less products actually works to my favour.

These products are just some of my current favourites, however, you can switch them out for your favourites if you wanted a quick routine yourself. Here is the contents of my November makeup bag!

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I start off with the Revlon Colourstay Concealer and focus this on any areas that need brightening. The creamy consistency of this product isn't harsh on dry and sensitive skin and works well to cover, conceal and brighten without being cakey. 

Following up with the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder to magnify slightly and add a little bit of coverage (since it isn't translucent). I like this powder because it doesn't cling to any dry patches on the skin, which is great for this time of the year! The powder mattifies in a natural way so that it doesn't remove some of your skins natural glow.

I add some colour back into my cheeks using the MaxFactor Creme Puff Blush in Gorgeous Berries. This has got to be my all-time favourite blusher. It is the most beautiful shade of berry and adds the perfect flush of colour to the apples of my cheeks.

Next up, I use the L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper to lightly define and hold my brows in place. The brown shade doesn't make them look too dark but just adds a little bit more definition.

I am currently loving the Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara as it just provides the perfect amount of volume and length to my lashes and doesn't transfer or crumble off throughout the day!

I'm sure it's not only me that suffers with dry lips during the winter but I mostly wear lip balm during the day so I can keep them hydrated as much as possible. The First Aid Beauty Lip Therapy is a tinted lip balm and gives the best of both when it comes to moisture and a little bit of colour. I've also written a detailed post all about lip balms (if you love them as much as I do, please have a read here).

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What are your favourite minimal makeup products?

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19 Nov 2017

Outfit Check


I love autumn and winter fashion. I'm not sure why I love it more so than spring and summer but I just do! It may the element of layering and wearing cool coats - or perhaps just wearing more black (lets be real here).

Either way, here is an autumnal going into winter appropriate outfit that I personally think is an outfit that can be worn to several occasions. It can be for work, an evening dinner or one for the weekend - you decide!




I am loving the check trend at the moment. as you could probably tell from my last style post, and surprise surprise this post also contains a lil bit of check print! Let's start with that then...

These check print trousers are actually very versatile, believe it or not. I mentioned earlier that this outfit can be worn for a variety of occasions and these trousers are probably the reason why. They go with t shirts, jumpers, shirts, blouses, cardigans, coats... whatever you like I suppose!

The cropped length is actually very flattering, even on someone short like me. The slightly tailored fit of the trousers makes it quite smart but depending on how it is styled, it can also be dressed down.


I decided to tuck a simple black jumper into the trousers as it is rather nippy out now and since it didn't overpower the look to much (as the print on the trousers can be quite busy if paired with an equally busy top). I also think you can switch it up and wear a white top, shirt or jumper with this. It'll look veryyyyy nice too!



This monochrome outfit needed a little bit of colour and since I wasn't feeling too daring on this particular day, I stuck to wearing a camel coat. I feel like it breaks up the look, again, without being too drastic. I also think a trench coat would look great with this outfit but as it is cold in the UK, I went for a proper coat instead.



The heeled black boots give me a little bit of height as well as providing some warmth to my ankles (as it goes quite high up on the ankle). I really like the look with these boots but I also think to dress the outfit down you can pair the trousers with trainers - maybe some Vans or Converse.

Likewise, to dress the outfit up you can pair it with some heels. Also, loafers can smarten up the look instantly!



Coat: Missguided / Top: H&M / Trousers: New Look / Boots: New Look / Sunglasses: RayBan / Bag: DKNY (similar)
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12 Nov 2017

How To Budget On Beauty


I would say that I am pretty good with saving money and only spending where needed, especially when it comes to beauty. As a blogger of many areas including beauty, it is sometimes really easy to get influenced into purchasing a bunch of things you don't really need.

When a blogger that I trust mentions that they are loving a particular makeup item or skincare product, I must admit that I am automatically thinking about buying it. However, I have some willpower in me to prevent me from doing so if it is completely unnecessary (which it is most of the time!). 

I have a few tips on how to save money on beauty and you can easily apply it to how much control you personally want. If you would like to know my advice for budgeting on beauty, please do keep reading!
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#1 ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED

When shopping for beauty products, only buy what you actually need. Whilst walking around the store and picking up items, think to yourself 'do I need this or do I just want it' and if the answer is that you just want it... put it back down. Don't get sucked into buying products because you've heard rave reviews, it's on offer or if there is free delivery. Only buy what you need!


#2 DON'T GO OVERBOARD

Say if you want to buy a few new products because you want to treat yourself or you want to try something different, do so in moderation. Make sure you have a budget in mind of how much you can afford to spend / are willing to spend and bare that in mind when shopping.


#3 GO ON A BEAUTY BUYING BAN

If you feel like you are overwhelmed with the amount of products in your beauty stash and you want to use products up... go on a beauty buying ban. I do this occasionally as it encourages me to only use the products from my collection and 'shop my stash'. You can set the ban to whatever timescale you like. I would usually do 2-3 months and if I run out of a necessity or something I don't have a back up of, I only allow myself to buy the replacement.


#4 MAKE USE OF DISCOUNT CODES & OFFERS

I know I said earlier on to not get sucked into buying something because it's on offer but if you do want to spend money and still budget on beauty, take advantage of discount codes and offers. Keep an eye out for codes on websites that will knock a certain percentage of the total price. Even search the Internet for some because that is sometimes rather helpful! Also, if you have signed up to newsletters / regular emails from your favourite beauty brands and stores, keep track of offers and discounts available through the emails they send.


#5 SHOP SMART

And last but by no means least, be a smart shopper. Think about it... you can't just put everything you see and like in your basket and just buy it. Make decisions on what you need, what you don't have already or even what you have run out of. Just be wary of what you are buying and shop in moderation.

Personally, I prefer shopping from highstreet brands as I don't like spending much on beauty at all. And because this works for me, I continue to do it. So, try trawling through the more inexpensive stores and brands if you are looking to save some money. There are some great dupes and alternatives out there!

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Do you have any budgeting tips?

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