My top four face masks

I’ve enjoyed the beauty-style posts that I’ve done over the last couple of months, so figured I’d try a third.

I’m getting better at looking after my skin on a daily basis, but there’s no denying the treat of a face mask a few times a week. Whether you want a deeper cleanse or a thorough moisturise, using one makes me feel more refreshed than a wash or even an exfoliator.

Body Shop face masks
Clarins face masks
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Have you seen myself?

This is a difficult post to write. It’s personal, and it runs the risk of making me sound insane. It’s been dwelling on my mind and I’m hoping exploring my feelings will help.

I miss myself.

Or, rather, I miss who I used to be.

Let me put this in context.

I’ve been a writer for years: blog posts, novel work or fanfiction, I could churn out 5,000 words a day easily. It was my escape – nothing gives me a greater thrill than forgetting time, sitting down with my laptop and losing myself.

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A day out in London

It’s unlike me to have a day out in London. Last month, I went and had two in a row! It was fun doing a few different things and exploring places I had never been to before. I thought I would write up my adventures so I can relive those experiences again!

On the first day, I went for afternoon tea at the Waldorf Hotel in Covent Garden. I have never been anywhere so fancy before! It’s a long story of how I ended up going, but I accompanied my mother, aunts and uncles.

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My morning skin-care routine

I’m making a conscientious effort this year to take better care of myself. Starting by paying my skin some attention.

I’m an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of girl. I’ll spend twenty minutes using everything I own. Or I’ll do nothing. As soon as my mood goes, skin-care is always right behind it. But having stopped a downward spiral a few times lately, I’ve also realised that feeling fresh, clean and hydrated is an effective way of snapping myself out of it. Not all the time, but it’s worth a try, right?

It’s time-consuming. True.

 But I need to stop that preventing me from doing it, even getting up a few minutes earlier to fit it in. My commute and working environment means my skin takes a painful hit each day – and it doesn’t take much for a break-out.

Having had a clear through of products, I’m making the point of writing up my routine. It then won’t look as daunting and, with any luck, I can persuade myself that it’s worth-while doing every morning, no excuses.

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Kinky Boots: 3rd times a charm

Over the last year, I’ve been trying to make the effort to go to the theatre a little more. I now work in London, so it saves having to travel up specifically. It’s true that I’m always looking for discounted tickets (it’s so expensive), but it’s always fun to have something to look forward to.

Kinky Boots 1

There is one show, however, that I’m border-line obsessed with. I have now seen Kinky Boots three times in the last year and I sure as heck don’t apologise for that.

It’s the only show I’ve seen that has a standing ovation every single time. It’s also the only show that leaves me absolutely buzzing.

Why do I love it so much?

The plot is meaningful for the diversity in today’s society. It shows the power of accepting those who differ from your own outlook on life. It’s about overcoming prejudices and what can be achieving if everyone works towards the same goal.

The acting/dancing/singing is incredible. Some of the moves performed on stage, in heels, I’m sure shouldn’t be possible.

But I’ve commented on these things before, in my initial review.

“I’m watching myself and I know what to do.”

There’s something about it that speaks to me on a more personal level. Every time, I have come out full of inspiration and a desire to work harder than ever towards achieving my dreams. While the story is accepting differences, it’s also accepting yourself, and finding your passions and what drives you.

The last time I saw it, it had been a tough week at work. I’d been struggling with a few things. But seeing this, reminding myself that I know what it is that I want, gave me my focus and motivation back. Anything that can have that impact on me is always going to be worth my time, no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

Kinky Boots 2

I struggle with self-confidence big time. I’m better this year than previously, but it still is a big thing for me that I want to work on. I find myself relating to Charlie’s character, not being certain where he belongs and only seeing himself as the quiet one in the corner, not someone who can save a factory, just speaks to me.

I may be facing the impossible. I may be chasing after miracles. And there may be the steepest mountain to overcome.

But this is step one.

‘Charlie’s soliloquy’ and ‘Step One’ are my favourite songs. They’re not the most powerful on stage, but their words strike a cord with me. The words of those songs somehow work to remind me that I know what I’m doing, I know what I’m working towards, and actually, yes, this is what I want, no matter what anyone else tells me.

Who would have thought a show about shoes makes me feel empowered about writing? But it does in a way I can’t explain. I’m not certain I’ve ever seen/listened to/read anything that has had such a positive effect on me before.

The show’s run came to an end last week, which I’m sad about. But if you ever need something to give you a lift, I thoroughly recommend checking out the soundtrack.

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Negative reviews: honest reviewing

A few weeks ago, an author tweeted, asking for reviewers to tag her in bad reviews so she knew what to name the characters she wanted to kill off.

I surprised myself by how much this annoyed me.

I respect the bloggers who only post positive reviews. I love those blogs – my TBR pile may disagree.

That’s not how I run my blog though, for a number of reasons.

Negative Reviews.jpg
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2018: My year in Books

A new year, a new Goodread’s challenge! This year, I’m setting myself a target of 90 books. It feels a lot, but the past two years has seen me ending the year on 92 for both, so it should be do-able. Commuting has an advantage!

Besides, it’s not a challenge unless it’s challenging, right?

I’m hoping to get on top of reviews this year – I’m in a good place for that right now, so need to keep reading. But I’m also hoping to address my extensive TBR pile that aren’t necessarily review books. I’ve left them sitting there for years, prioritising blog books. Time to pay them some attention!

Before I start addressing this year’s challenge, I want look back at last year. Not only focusing on the books that I’ve read, but the ones that have really stood out for me, and the ones you guys have enjoyed hearing about the most.

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