CURRENTLY LOVING

5 Nov 2018

Here's a few beauty items I've been loving recently and I think you will too. 

MYSA SKINCARE HAND CREAM

This product was kindly gifted to me by an old friend who has created her own range of products aimed at targeting redness and dry skin as it was something she struggled with throughout high school. I was so excited to give her products a go as they use all-natural ingredients as well as being cruelty free. I love all the products in the range but especially the hand cream. It's got such a fresh lemon scent and it leaves my hands feeling lovely and moisturised. I've actually also been applying it to eczema patches on the tops of my arms and I've really felt a difference so it definitely goes beyond just being your average hand cream. If you're someone who has dry hands and redness or knows someone who does, they do gift sets with all the essentials which make a perfect Christmas addition. You can visit her website here

FRICTION FREE SHAVING RAZOR SUBSCRIPTION

This was actually the result of falling for some Instagram advertising but I'm so glad I discovered this brand. It's a monthly razor subscription where, each month, you receive a new set of razor heads so that you're constantly stocked up. Not only is it super efficient and easy to sign up, but the razor heads along with the rose gold handle I chose, are a real treat. This is probably my favourite razor I've used as it really glides along the skin and, since using it, I have had no sign of cutting while shaving or in-grown hairs. What is also great is how easy it is to cancel, postpone a month if you're stocked up or switch your razors for one of the beauty products they offer. I already have their pre-shave scrub and post-shave balm and I love them all. This is a subscription that I think is really worth it and I think I'll be using it for the foreseeable future. 

THE ORDINARY GLYCOLIC ACID

While, sadly, there has been the news of The Ordinary and Deciem shutting down, there is still The Ordinary products floating around the online retailers. If there's one thing I'd try your best to get your hands on it is this Glycolic Acid Toner that I previously mentioned in my EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE. It's been great at keeping spots at bay as well as helping with any hyper pigmentation or texture-issues I've been having. I'm already half way through my bottle so I'll definitely be trying to pick up another bottle before they all sell out. 

BARRY M GELLY SHINE NAIL PAINTS

I have had a long loving relationship with the Barry M Gelly Shine nail varnishes and I thought it's time to reiterate my love for them. After picking up one of the shades for my friend for her birthday to only borrow it off so many times we've collectively nearly finished the bottle in a month, I thought it was time to pick up my own. The shade we both loved is called "Nutmeg" and it's the perfect muted pink-nude which is great all year round for an everyday nail. When picking this up I couldn't help but also fall for the shade "Rhubarb" which is a gorgeous autumnal colour that I was definitely missing. Another new favourite is their "Ginger" which is more of a rust colour which is another great one for autumn/winter. The formula is just amazing and is pretty long wearing with, as the name suggests, a great shine. As an extra bonus that I've also recently discovered is that they are also vegan!

FAITH NATURAL DEODORANT

If you saw my previous "10 WAYS TO CUT DOWN WASTE", while I've always been careful about the waster I create, I am making even more of a conscious effort. One thing I love about this faith deodorant is the idea of the packaging; instead of wasting the whole deodorant container you can buy refills of the roll on to help cut down waste just that little more. While it's not the most effective and strong deodorant, if you just need a little protection it's a great one to try; with all natural ingredients and scents, it's definitely worth a go. 

So there's a little about some of the products I've been loving lately. Have you got any recommendations for me to try this month? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

Products marked * have been kindly gifted to me. However all opinions remain my own. 
Some links used in this post are affiliate links. Again, all opinions remain my own. 

10 WAYS TO CUT DOWN WASTE

26 Oct 2018

If you haven't read on the news you may have missed the reported 'climate catastrophe' that is going on (if you want to read more about this the full article is here). It has basically been found that climate change is happening at a much faster rate than anyone imagined and it's not good. While a lot of the action needed to be taken relies on the government funding and supporting alternative methods for energy, a lot of it also relies on ourselves. As a university student there are little changes that I've tried to make in order to be a little more eco-friendly. Today, i thought I would share these with you for if you are a uni student or if you're looking for some little ways to contribute to the reduction of global warming. 

1. Reusable Cups and Tupperware. 
I have made myself a promise that, instead of wasting money one one-use coffee cups, I'm only allowed to treat myself to a coffee or hot chocolate on campus if I remember my reusable mug. I got mine from Amazon (similar here) and it's a great size. A little bonus for bringing your own mug is that many places offer you a discounted drink if you use this.
I've also decided to ditch the one use plastic bags to freeze leftovers and to now on just use Tupperware. This also includes for lunches; investing in a small lunch box, in the long run, is so much cheaper than continually buying little sandwich bags. 

2. Always have a bag handy
You never know when you're going to nip to the shop and end up picking up more than you can carry. Keep a small tote bag inside your bigger bag or one of the nifty fold-up ones means that you're not having to buy a plastic bag that you're probably going to use a few times but it's going to end up breaking anyway. Having a little reusable bag for life is another small investment that you will thank yourself for having in the long run.

3. Meal Plan + Prep
We're all human and so buying too much food or having leftovers that will just go to waste can be a regular occurrence. To try and cut this down, I've made more of a conscious effort to plan my meals ahead of time and, if anything needs to be frozen before it goes out of date, to make sure it's done. Not only does this save money but it means there's less waste at the end of the week from food you've not had time to use or you bought too much of.

4. Cut down meat and dairy consumption.
While I would love to be able to commit to vegetarianism in the future, right now I'm trying my best by only eating meat once or twice a week with the rest of the time opting for vegi alternatives. Not only is this cheaper but I also feel a lot healthier by doing this. If you're starting out and want to make an effort ever little helps; whether it's just one day a week you don't eat meat or you decide to swap cow's milk for almond, it's still a great step that you'll thank yourself for later.

5. Ditch the plastic- buy loose veg. 
This is something I love to do. Being able to pick up your own vegetables and weigh them yourself takes me back to primary school and playing shops in reception. Except, now it's with real veg rather than plastic carrots. This one thing I've really focussed on recently and that's either taking my own reusable bags to buy my loose veg or just having loose as there's no harm in that either. I will also pick the loose veg over the packets where the option is available which helps stop me over buying as well as actually making my weekly shop cheaper.

6. Buy more locally sourced fruit and veg. 
Morrisons is my local supermarket at the moment and one thing I appreciate is their stand where you can pick up 6 eggs for £1 that are locally sourced. While I try and cut down the amount of eggs and dairy I'm having, I feel this is a better contribution than to buying supermarket's own eggs.
Most towns also have a great market and that's true of York. We have a great market with some really good fruit and veg stalls. This is something I'm trying to encourage myself to do more over the next few months to help support local business and pick this over more mass produced veg. 

7. Forget the tumble dryer and air dry clothes. 
While it's tempting to just shove your clothes in the tumble dryer, half the time it's not even dry after the time it's had so, instead, why not just air dry it. Yes, it takes longer but it's saving so much energy that could be used for things that need it more in the house. 

8. If you can, walk. If you can't, get the bus. 
This year I've realised how close my house is to the city centre and so instead of catching the bus for 5 minutes, I've been walking for 15 minutes which helps me get some fresh air and saves me money on a bus trip. When I'm going further a field I will get the bus but that's still better than driving. If you have a bike, why not cycle instead of driving. It's all good exercise and it's really helping in the effort to cut down energy. 

9. Save energy to save on your bills. 
It's something we get taught when we're really young but I'll be the first to admit it, it's something we all forget. The simple act of not leaving appliances on standby, turning off lights when you leave a room. It's little things that might slip your mind but making the conscious effort to do helps that little more. 

10. There's nothing wrong with second hand. 
Conscious shopping is something I'm interested in covering more on my blog in the future (if this is something you fancy a few posts on let me know!). I'm becoming more and more aware of how wasteful having so many clothes are and how un-environmentally friendly buying mass produced and fast fashion is. By buying from charity shops and second hand stores, you're not only may be giving a little to charity hile getting some bargains, but it's also helping cut down the waste as many items of clothing that may have only been worn once are constantly going to waste. 

EVENING SKIN CARE ROUTINE

8 Oct 2018


The last time I updated you on what I've been using daily for skincare, I think, was back nearly 2 years ago. If you want to see that, click here to read "CRUELTY FREE SKINCARE FAVOURITES". While I've shared with you some skincare products, I think a full evening routine on products is well over due and so I thought I'd share with you my recommendations today.

MAKE UP REMOVING

This is probably the one product that regularly changes but, at the moment, I've been reaching for The Good Things Acai Berry Micellar Water. Good Things was a brand I used to love back when my teenage skin would break out unbelievable amounts. Sadly, after stopping to be stocked in Boots, I had to try other things but after seeing this in my local Home Sense, I've fallen back in love with the range. It is quite a strong scented product but I love how fruity it is. Also, of course, it does the job of removing my make up. I usually use two cotton pads to remove the day's make up. 

CLEANSING

In the same trip to Home Sense, I saw this Good Things Pore-Fectly Clear Charcoal Cleanser. While it wasn't the one I originally loved back in the day, it works just as well at removing any left over make up and other impurities. Since using this product daily, my skin has rarely broken out. It's a really good all round cleaner that's great for everyday use. 

TREATING AND TONING

Toner is always a step I tend to forget but after discovering The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution I haven't missed a day of toning. As per the instructions, I use this once per day usually at night before I apply any other serums or moisturiser. While it is effective, it does cause my skin to redden while it sinks in and can have a little stinging sensation. I have really noticed a change in the texture of my skin since introducing this into my evening skin care. It's also helping in reducing scarring on my face that I think is still there from when I was a teen. 

If I remember and if I feel I need it I also like to add a serum. My fail-safe is always The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalene. This just adds a little more hydration to my skin which my skin always could do with. 

MOISTURISING

Lastly, it's moisturiser and I usually just use my forever favourite Superdrug Naturally Radiant Day Cream which I've banged on about enough in the past. Instead, I thought I'd include a well-loved favourite that I spoke about a little in my "CRUELTY FREE BEAUTY: SKIN CARE SAVIOURS" a while ago. That is The Body Skip Sink-In Moisture Sleeping Mask. This is the most hydrating product I own and I know if I use this I will be waking up with perfectly hydrated skin in the morning. 


For me, this has been the best evening skincare routine that works for my skin. If you too have fairly combination skin with fairly dry skin, these products would be great for you. 
Do you have any skincare recommendations you'd like to share? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

*Some products linked in this post may be affiliate links. However, as always, all my opinions remain my own*

READ WATCH LISTEN

1 Oct 2018

So you may have seen me mention that I've decided to stop posting my "RECENTLY READ" posts. After a few years of constantly reviewing every book I read I've kind of become unmotivated to post about books that I haven't enjoyed. Paired with the want to share more of the films and videos I've watched; articles and blogs I've read; podcasts and music I've been loving,  I thought I'd bring it all together. Every so often, I want to share with you all of these things and here is the first instalment in hopefully a line a posts that you can gain some fabulous recommendations from. 

READ


This is one of the funniest books I've probably ever read. Hearing the stories that Kay experienced as a Junior Doctor has me in stitches. But, what I loved most about this book is you could be laughing one minute and ten seconds later almost crying at this doctor's experiences and the patients he encounters. This book is obviously intended to be funny but it has such an important message about how doctors in the UK are treated; worked to the bone and get little to no recognition to the good they do. It talks about the emotional and mental toll being a doctor takes on their health and how the support available to them is basically zero. From this book, I have an increased respect for the doctors who work within the NHS. It's a book I'd recommend anyone (who isn't too bothered about some slightly gross medical situations) to give this a read; you won't be disappointed. 

If you want to keep more up to date with the books I've been reading recently, head over to my good reads.

WATCH


If you haven't been watching this six part series on the BBC, get yourself on iPlayer and give it a watch. It follows a man who is ex-army and has now been assigned as the Home Security's personal body guard. From the first 15 minutes of the first episode I was gripped and each episode brought more action and thrill that made a great storyline. With the finale just last week, I still can't stop expressing my love for this show to anyone I talk to. 


I've been following this YouTube channel for a while now and I thought it's time I try and encourage any of you to go and give it a watch. It's a channel dedicated to,  may be not surprisingly, Korea but is run by an English man who lived in Korea and wants to share his love with everyone. He's definitely done just that as I'm constantly wanting to try the Korean foods he shows in his videos and wanting to visit the places he suggests. Korea was a a country that I didn't really know too much about but this channel has really sparked an interest for me. 

LISTEN


I recently had a tidy up of my Spotify playlists and have decided to split them up by genre and give them a colour. My Orange playlist is dedicated to songs I'm currently loving, just released and ones I can't get out of my head. If you want to listen to that playlist or check out my others, see the link above!


Sam Fender is a singer I saw supporting "VANT" last year and since then I saw him at Community Festival over summer and have tickets to see him again in York at the end of October. I absolutely love his sound and his songs were always my option for when I would be walking home from work. His recent release "Dead Boys" is another good song which has received a lot of plays on Radio 1. It's a song about male suicide around where he lives and so it's a great song with great meaning. He recently did a small live set on Radio 1 so I'd recommend giving that a listen here if you're interested in hearing a bit about his music as well as his fabulous live vocals. 


I've been trying to get back into podcasts recently and this was one I stumbled across which is right up my street. It speaks about the cult that was Heaven's Gate who were a UFO religious group in the US. In 1997, police discovered the bodies of its members after they participated in the biggest mass suicide in US History. The podcast talks about the beliefs of the group and how they went from a small, harmless group to the change in belief that led to their mass suicide. I'm a few episodes in and I'm finding it so interesting especially learning about sects and cults similar to this in college a few years a go. What makes this podcast even more interesting is that the host was once in a cult himself and so he uses his experience to explain some of what happened as well as sharing how and why people get attractive to groups such as Heaven's Gate. 
If you're a fan of documentaries like Louis Theroux's scientology documentary I think this podcast may be one you like. I listen to it on Spotify but it can also be found on Stitcher and other platforms. 


Hope you liked these recommendations! Let me know if you've read, watched or listened to any of these, I'd love to know your thoughts on them. 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR DAY

20 Sep 2018

Some days more than others you have a list as long as your arm but feel like you haven't got enough time to get it all done. Here's how I find I can tick off all on my to-do list and have a productive day.


THE NIGHT BEFORE

I've said it before in my "HOW I RESET" but having a clean workspace works wonders for your motivation to get stuff done. Before I go to sleep, I make sure all my work from the day before is tidied away and my floor is clean of clothes that have somehow ended up there. Before I go to sleep I use the app MinimaList which I mentioned in my "GREAT APPS FOR STUDENTS" to write down any jobs, little or small, I need to get done the next day. I check against my planner to make sure I remember any appointments etc.. This means I can go to bed not worrying that I'll forget to do something tomorrow. It allows me to give myself an idea of what I need to get done the next day already. 

Make sure you get an early(ish) night. Of course if there's something you want to watch on TV don't not watch it but try not to stay up until 3am aimlessly scrolling down the Instagram Explore page watching videos of how to magically get out stains with toothpaste. 

AN EARLY MORNING IS PRODUCTIVE

While some people like to wait up at the crack of dawn, I'm one of the late risers who would rather savour the warmth of a bed than wake up early. But by doing this I just write the morning off and start in the afternoon which I know isn't making the most of the day. Now, when I know I need to have a productive day, finding a happy medium works best. 8am is a good time for me to be awake, have a few minutes on my phone and get ready for the day. This means you still have four hours to dedicate to your to-do list that morning. I usually start with the one-minute jobs; get the bitty stuff out the way so you're not thinking about them later. I find the more I get done in the morning, the more I feel motivated to get everything continue after lunch and have everything done by the end of the day. 

DON'T FORGET TO EAT

I find planning my meals into my day helps add a little more structure. Knowing when I'll be having breakfast, lunch and tea helps me plan around those times and can make sure I keep those times free for well deserved breaks. I am a serial snacker and so there's no chance that I won't be forgetting to eat but, for some, I know that stress and a heavy workload can cause people to feel they don't have time to eat. By using meal times to act as a break can help with making sure you're not hungry through the day. Also making sure you've eaten can help you feel more full and focussed on getting your work done and you're not distracted by your rumbling stomache 

ONE STEP AT A TIME

Don't panic. Yes you may have a lot to do but trying to juggle three things at once never ends well and, whenever I try this, I end up in a worse state than when I started. Focus on one task at a time and once it's finished tick it off and move on. Before you know it you'll be half way through your list and you'll be on the home stretch. 

DON'T BE HARD ON YOURSELF

We're all human and so no one is expected to complete 20 tasks in a day. Be realistic with your goals and know your limits; trying to do too much will burn you out and you'll dread the next time you have a lot of work you need to catch up on. If you don't complete all the tasks you wanted to, don't worry; prioritise them as the first thing you do tomorrow. 

Don't feel bad for having time off; you've had a full day and you deserve to treat yourself. For me, I try to get everything complete before tea and then will sit with my housemates and relax for the evening or may be meet up with some other friends during a break in the day. What I've learnt is that you don't have to sacrifice your social life for the sake of a few things. You should be happy with all you've done and give yourself a well deserved break.

I hope this little insight into how I have a productive day come in handy for you. How do you stay motivated to be productive?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

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