Confessions of a beautyholic

How is it November already? After doing a lot of purging lately, I’ve neglected my own little space on the internet.

22636A27-2A48-465B-B32E-8E1B5F87A8E9During the latter autumnal months, there’s something that ignites within me to have a good sort out. This past week has seen me really declutter and organise my beauty product stash.

I don’t know how I accumulated so much stuff, and whilst it’s lovely to own nice things, it can often feel overwhelming when you lay it all out. Will I ever get through all this stuff? Well the answer is no, if you continue consuming.

So I’ve organised my make-up, skincare, bath and body and hair care into separate areas so I know where everything is and there’s a corresponding list to accompany all this.

To keep myself in check, I have also decided to write down my ramblings and thoughts on each item, whether I’d repurchase an item and at the end of each month I will do an empties post (if there are any used up products) to review them on here as a little diary entry.

Whilst this using up process is happening it will give me plenty of time to research products, ingredients etc to create a perfect routine that offers hydration to my dry/sensitive skin. I’m thinking a simpler routine of just cleansing, nourishing and moisturising may be needed?

Do you have any beauty products you constantly rely on?

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Candlelight

imageAs Autumn approaches, it had always been a pleasure of mine to light a scented candle or wax melt on an evening. Last year I started developing rashes (urticaria), I’d wake up covered in rashes. During the summer this year I have been rash free.

This past month I’ve been thinking about my candle stash. I was looking forward to using them and I was thrilled to find some of my favourite fragrances. So for the past month I’ve been burning wax melts and candles on an evening.

When I burn candles I am always aware that a reaction could happen. Unfortunately this is exactly what’s happened these past few weeks. The reactions I suffer from candles vary from body rashes, to watery red eyes, scratchy throat, headaches and sneezing. I had to go to the GP for a prescription as one a day anti-histamine’s weren’t helping and was told to return in 2 weeks after the tablets run out for a follow up appointment.

Unfortunately after the follow up appointment to see the GP, she’s advised me against using any scented candles/reed diffusers.

I am gutted to say the least that scented candles are causing me issues again. It’s back to the drawing board as I refuse to give up on the warm, gentle glow of candle light.

At the moment I am researching un-scented candles made from stearin. Fingers crossed I’ll find something.

Autumn Wardrobe Planning

imageWhilst decluttering my wardrobe this weekend, I was thinking about my past blogposts and the wardrobe I wanted to create. As a stay at home carer I always find ‘finding my personal style difficult’. This is where keeping up with Jones’ can come into play – dressy outfits etc.

I want to be presentable yet comfortable, but also have a few items to elevate my style. I thought this blogpost may help others who don’t have to wear ‘smart’ attire daily, but enjoy nice things.

There are so many internet posts and YouTube videos on the capsule wardrobe/10 item wardrobe but so many of them require you to spend a small fortune on a new look. Something which is way out of my budget.

My advice would be to pick one thing from your list that you’re willing to spend that little bit more on and use that to treat yourself. For everything else stick to a budget.

As you start to take out each item of your wardrobe, you will probably find that you don’t need quite as many new things as you first thought. So just adding a few basics is required.

For shopping I do a lot of it online but never shoes unless I’ve tried something from the brand before or jeans. The places I like to shop are Joules (I also like their eBay store), M&S for jeans (always try them for fit), Barbour and TKMaxx (in store and online) and The White Company. TKMaxx and The White Company are perfect for finding those smarter pieces for family get togethers and special occasion outfits like birthdays, Christmas and going out.

My shopping list comprises of
• 3 x shirts
• 1 x jumper
• 1 x trousers
• pair of ankle boots

I apologise for this rambling post!

August Catch-up

imageThese past few months I’ve been taking regular breaks from blogging and social media as I’ve found it rather overwhelming. I’m still trying to find a happy medium of what/when/how often to post things. Sometimes I feel I’ve nothing to inspire others. This past month I’ve been going through a change of direction with my lifestyle.

I no longer want the clutter that surrounds me at home and thanks to books about the Swedish/Danish lifestyle I feel like I may be turning a corner. First step has been decluttering my own space as I still live at home I do own quite a lot of things and craft items. In the kitchen, I have a cupboard solely for my mugs (this is changing immediately as I’m typing this). I just want to keep a maximum of 3 mugs of varying sizes – pointless keeping 3 mugs the same, 1 teapot and 1 mini tea set (trio and milk jug) for special occasions and special weekends. Alongside this I plan on adding one small plate, small bowl for a healthy portion of cereal and 1 egg cup. These will be purchased carefully so I get it right first time around.

I find most British people (not all) very focused on materialism and consumerism. We are always after the next best thing. We often think well I’ve got the money why shouldn’t I buy it mentality. The reality is in a few weeks time we’ve seen something else and we no longer want what we’ve got. And so this circle continues. I want to turn my back on this for good, I was never that bad to be honest. But I recognise I have had a problem with buying in the past. It’s the same with food, we feel guilty of leaving food behind and wasting it. Why not prepare less. Why not put those extra biscuits back instead of eating them? This is something my current read focuses on ‘Lagom’ not too little, not too much. Just right!

I’ve also been thinking a lot of my dream of living in a white croft. I’ve since decided that I don’t want to be as rural. I’d rather live in a small village or town, in either a single story cottage or a small house. Living in the suburbs it’s all crazy busy with lots of built up areas and not much greenery. I dream of a slower paced ideal really with lots of walking, a trip to the village store to catch up on the weeks gossip and no keeping up with the Joneses. A modest home filled with lots of love, happiness and laughter.

Talking of keeping up with The Joneses, I think this happens when we compare ourselves to others on social media just as much as in the real world. Instagram can appear all perfect, but what you don’t see on people’s Instagram feeds is the pile of washing that needs sorting or ironing. The stack of magazines that need reading or the sink that’s full of dishes. No ones life is perfect. Only we can determine our true happiness.

So going forward I would like a carefully considered pottery cupboard, a small wardrobe of things I know I’ll wear out before buying new. To not get bored easily or be swayed by others. To stop buying so many home magazines only to feel let down when I realise my home is nothing like this. To say goodbye to our consumerist society. To live a carefully curated lifestyle of less really is more. To turn technology off after 8pm and no social media on a Sunday.

Another thing I’m implementing going forward is to bring light into my life daily with the lighting of a candle. I think as a nation we could learn a lot from the Danes and Swedes. Slow really is more!

 

Aspinal of London – review

AspinalAfter purchasing a new purse out of my birthday money in April only for the stitching to be coming away after a months use I decided to return it back to Radley.

Whilst looking around the department stores afterwards, I stumbled upon Aspinal in the House of Fraser sale. Aspinal is a brand I’ve loved for many years, but had never bought anything from their.

My Mam spotted their business/credit card case in the sale in the brown saffiano and espresso suede colour way. The size of this is perfect as a daily purse in a small bag and it fits nicely in a clutch bag so your cards/change don’t end up at the bottom of the bag.

Having used this for a month there are no issues with stitching or marks. It’s perfect! I’m now after one of their larger purses for my winter capsule wardrobe.

Another birthday ending with a zero

imageWhy do birthdays always make you question life and our life choices? Last week I celebrated a birthday ending with a zero. I was thinking about what I had achieved since my last milestone. In the grand scheme of things not much had changed, but in other ways they have.

I am now focusing my time on those people who I love dearly – close family and friends. These are some of the other things I’m hoping to achieve in the next ten years;

  • To focus on making our house a home
  • To spend money on experiences rather than impulse buys
  • To support independent businesses
  • To continue purchasing vintage items
  • To only buy a maximum of 2 magazines a month
  • To read everyday

I think the worst thing I’ve been doing these past few years, is thinking too much of what others think of me, my circumstances etc. I’m hoping to retrain myself to be less of a worrier. I’m hoping to care less about not keeping up with the Jones’!

Dreaming

imageWhen I started my blog The Little White Croft it was just a dream. It is still is my dream to have a Croft/Crofter but where and when that will be I don’t know. It could be Ireland, Scotland or Wales, all 3 places have a connection to me.

Crofts can be small or large depending on whether they’ve been extended or not. Having this dream of mine is the focus for my future but also for my current life. It is helping me buy less things and to also stop and pause to see if it is something I really need. Something I haven’t done until now is to think about the future. A life with excess stuff and hardly any pension when I retire isn’t my idea of fun. I have decided to cut back in certain areas and to start saving for my future.

The thing I have done prior to this dream is to buy on impulse or to purchase something to fill a void in my life at that moment. Now I’d rather have less and think each purchase through thoroughly. A Croft doesn’t have a lot storage, so you have to be crafty with the space, having less is a sure start to help with that.

I also get distracted quite a bit as I love many different fabrics in a wide range of colours. I know in a north facing room you’re supposed to stick to warm tones. However in my bedroom I’ve gone with cooler tones blue soft furnishings, ivory lampshades and grey walls. I’ve kept the furniture warm with the use of oak and the flooring is also wood with a rug to soften the scheme a little. I find this palette calming but I do know pinks or reds would’ve been better, but I don’t think they’re for me.

Pinterest is invaluable for being able to put a mood board together easily. It’s a great way of seeing if a scheme will work well together. I’ve been pinning lots of ideas for my dream Croft from kitchen dressers and china to bathrooms with a deep bath. It’s a fun way of seeing what styles really appeal to you and keeping them all pinned in one place.

A Croft lifestyle to me means not keeping up with the Joneses, growing my own fruit and vegetables, baking, being part of a community and lots of walking with my dogs (optional). A general slower pace of life. It should be cosy and welcoming too with lots of home cooked meals using seasonal produce. A place my family and friends will want to visit and to have a feeling of never wanting to leave.

For now it’s just a dream, but a lovely one to have!