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!

 

Beauty Favourites

imageIt’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post on beauty related things. I thought I’d share my current favourites, the things I know I’ll stick to from now on and will be repurchasing.

These past few months since finishing my bottle of Kerastase Bain Riche Dermo Calm shampoo, I have been buying a few alternatives as and when I’ve finished a shampoo.

The first one was Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine Shampoo. After reading an excellent review in the Natural Health magazine, I thought I’d pop into boots and purchase it. The shampoo itself was lovely, from the scent to how it made my hair look. However after each use my forehead would break out. Something I wasn’t prepared to put up with.

After this was finished I tried a bottle of Sukin shampoo, I was very disappointed with this one. It didn’t make my thick/wavy hair feel clean. This has now been relegated to brush cleanser. Back to the drawing board I came across a L’oreal shampoo that offered everything the Kerastase one did, but at more than half price. This shampoo was lovely, it didn’t leave my hair dry. It was a great find until I noticed every time I used it my hairline would be red raw caused by sensitivity to the ingredients.

After all this trial and error and wasting money on things that didn’t do the job, I’ve decided to purchase the Kerastase shampoo from now on. It’s a lightly fragranced shampoo with no silicone. It lathers up easily with only a little product. It’s perfect for my sensitive scalp/dry hair and leaves the scalp cooled and the hair shiny. As I only need to wash my hair twice a week the bottle lasts on average 3 months.

Since my friend Emily recommended I tried Ren due to my skin being so sensitive, I’ve enjoyed using their Evercalm cleansing milk. I’ve struggled since last April to find a suitable moisturiser. One that would offer hydration but wouldn’t break me out. This month I decided enough was enough it was time to start searching for the perfect moisturiser. Whilst searching the web I came across a hidden gem with lots of five star reviews. The moisturiser is fragrance free, free from any potential irritants and a little indulgent.

I popped into Boots armed with this information. As I walked around the Estēe Lauder counter, I couldn’t see the moisturiser anywhere. The girl on the counter had said it’s a hidden gem and it’s never displayed. Since using this for over a week my skin has never felt better. The skin feels plump, there’s no dry or flaky patches and the skin is less red. If you have sensitive skin, I’d highly recommend Verite by Estēe Lauder. Whilst making this purchase I asked the girl about a cleanser and I’ve been using a 30ml size of the Perfectly Clean cleanser/mask.

My current summer routine consists of Estēe Lauder’s Verite moisturiser and Perfectly Clean cleanser. My winter routine will consist of Ren Evercalm cleanser milk and Estēe Lauder Verite moisturiser.

My favourite exfoliator is an affordable one from Marks and Spencer. Their gentle exfoliator rivals Clarins gentle refiner in terms of exfoliation. This is definitely a repeat purchase for me and it’s gentle enough for daily use.

For beauty I tend to purchase my things from Boots, Space NK and Marks and Spencer. All of which have a points recognition card.

I am yet to find a lip balm, eye cream and conditioner I love. Any recommendations?

Simple Matters – Erin Boyle

imageAfter seeing Simple Matters by Erin Boyle on several Instagram feeds, I decided to purchase it and see what all the fuss was about.

The book covers everything from Making a Home, Decluttering, Simplifying, Organizing, Decorating, Bath & Beauty, Getting Dressed, Cooking & Entertaining, and Thriving. The main focus throughout the book is purchasing quality over quantity and only buying what you need and will use. With this method, you don’t end up with things you don’t use or need. There will be less impulsive purchases and regrets. Less really is more as simplifying your belongings you will appreciate what is left even more.

I really enjoyed this book and would rate it 4/5. I would go as far to say it’s better than Marie Kondo’s method of tidying. It’s a book that you’ll go back to for certain things or to refresh the memory on key areas.