Monday, 29 August 2016

Mother Nature

Happy Bank Holiday! Surprisingly England managed to have a sunny Bank Holiday Monday today. This called for a nice leisurely stroll and adventure with my Mum. I absolutely love spending time with her. We spent the day having silly laughs and I listened to the stories she was telling me from when she was younger and used to play around the lake we walked around.

Chase Water is a lake and nice area in general that we luckily have basically on our doorstep. On a sunny day its so lovely to go and visit.

 Theres something about a bright blue sky, fresh green grass and the mesmerising calls of crystal water that just brings so much joy. It's definitely good for the soul.

I have a flat in Birmingham for uni which, of course, is very much a city lifestyle, so coming home and walking around with greenery and almost a countryside vibe is so refreshing. I often find my thoughts wondering away with themselves whilst I'm walking not even realising the time time passing.

Rocking a slightly short shirt dress and dolly shoes today. Simplistic, but chuck on some sunglasses and the staple Michael Kors bag and you're onto a winner!

It's ironic really isn't it? There are so many paths in life, sometimes you can be overwhelmed with which to take. 

I know whichever path I follow, my rock and hero of a best friend; my Mum, will be right there. 

I peered over the bank and watched people participate in all sorts of water sport. I wasn't even too sure what it exactly was they were doing, but I did laugh at one young guy fall off and into the water - does that make me mean?

Suddenly that country character had faded and we were at a beach! (not quite). There were families sunbathing, dogs swimming and children playing. It felt like we were miles and miles away.

We stumbled
 across the speed boat club over there, found ourselves a bench and sat and nibbled some sweet, tasty strawberries! 

I've always been quite fearful of swans, but I have to admit, they're pretty creatures.

I can remember being younger and that tiny castle seemed so huge; I used to love it! Now I just walk past and smile, reminiscing on the memories I have there and watch the cute baby ducklings bobbing along without a care in the world. 

I bought Mum some Converse - she got blisters in them from this walk. Oopsie, sorry Mum!

Of course we wouldn't have been able to enjoy our walk and adventure in the sunshine without my Mum insisting on us having an ice cream! I know the purpose of walking is to be fit and healthy but this was certainly worth the calories. Mmmmm!

After we demolished our naughty treat, we carried on our walk to my Nan and Grandad's house AKA my happy place. Ending a lovely afternoon full of laughs and tasty food with even more amazing company. I love that I have such a humble and happy family life. No amount of money could compare to time well spent with the right people. Today was totally free (apart from the ice creams of course) and yet it was so lovely! Never take advantage of where you come from or who you are. Remember, some people are so poor, all they have is money.

Thanks for reading,
Hayley xxx

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Body Bible

Apologies for the lack of blog posts in the past few months soooo much has been going on!! But I am back and plan to blog regularly (fingers crossed).

I was around the age of 14 when I first discovered an overwhelming sense of dislike for myself or more particularly my body. I can remember thinking "Why isn't my tummy as flat as my friends?" and "I wish I could just get a pair of scissors and chop off my tummy". These are probably the most polite and less dark thoughts I had, but still, they portray how low I was and my thought processes back then. 
 I would be extremely sad about not always being a size 8 UK size clothing, more often than not being a size 10. And as the years went on, my obsession with myself and my body grew and grew and not in a stuck up or snooty way; this kind of self obsession is quite the opposite. 
 I would google about all sorts of weight loss surgery, how to lose weight and tried crash diets all the time. Looking back now I wish that I could slap myself, tell myself that I was nowhere near overweight and to stop worrying over such ridiculous, trivial matters such as my belly! 
 I am in no way saying that sitting, typing this post as a 20 year old woman that I have decoded the art of self love and have incredibly profound body confidence. But I have made baby steps and I can say that I am getting there.
It's such a bizarre feeling being such a feminist and girls girl who, will so openly celebrate women and their successes, their journeys and their beauty of all shapes and sizes; yet be such a critic of my own.
 I'm not too sure what made me write this, but it's an issue I am passionate about and an art I am desperately trying to improve my skills in. I know so many girls, all shapes and sizes, can really struggle with body confidence for all sorts of reasons. Whoever is kindly taking the time to read this post, know that you're so beautiful. 

Whenever I (or any of you) feel low, remember you should worship your body and treat it right. Think of your own body bible, for example:

  • STOP - put an end to any negativity in your life; do you surround yourself with people who put others down? People who slate others and don't embrace others beauty but instead pass nasty remarks? Are your 'friends' pressuring you to alter your image? You're only as good as the company you keep, unfortunately even the most independent of people will be influenced by negativity. Remove any of these people from your life, not in a malicious manner but just take a back seat from those who don't positively influence your life and make you happy
  • DO SOMETHING - as long as whatever you do won't hurt anybody else then do something about whatever is getting you down. If shedding a few pounds is all it will take for you to feel 100 times better, then exercise more, eat a little healthier. If you wish you had shorter hair but you're scared that 'society' will describe you as not feminine then stick your middle finger up to society and chop it off! 
  • EMBRACE - unlike weight loss or haircuts, there are just some things that can't be changed or take a lot more work to alter, so learn to embrace those aspects. My fellow big boob girls understand me when I say alter necks and strapless tops are mortifying! Because suddenly just because your breasts are larger, you're conveying promiscuous imagery of yourself by having them on show even though a cleavage is a cleavage and boobs are just boobs! Smaller busted girls there is no miracle bra thats going to give you Katie Price melons! Sorry to rain on your parade but just take a look in vogue - those gorgeous models are all much flatter chested and still represent women in the worlds hugest magazine. Basically ladies, just use what you see as your imperfection and turn it into something you love about yourself. Tell yourself you love the gap in your teeth, it makes your smile unique. Say that you love having a big butt and shake it on the dance floor. Tell yourself that skinny doesn't mean your any less of a woman and flaunt your hot bod in a bikini with confidence!
This is all a lesson in progress and I hope that we can all learn to respect and not reject ourselves! 

Thank you for reading,

Hayley xx

Friday, 20 May 2016

Stay In Your Own Lane.

Well it has been a while since I last posted hasn't it?! Uni work and life seem to have thrown a curveball at my dedication to my blog; but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things because it truly brings me joy.
The past month or so, anxiety along with all its nerve-racking elements have been out in full force causing unexpected sadness, panic and unexplainable outbursts of anger. So you could say I've been living the life of a five year old infant having a tantrum! But I've certainly learnt a few things with regards to dealing with all things anxiety related and general day to day problems which I really want to share with you.
 Far too often I hear people around me and catch myself comparing to others. Rather than enjoying what I'm doing, I'm kicking myself because somebody else has done better. Here are a few tips for dealing with momentary lapses of belief in your awesome self:

- Rather than doubt that you can do something, give it a go. Say yes to challenges you wouldn't normally do, you never know, you may just surprise yourself
- If you completely fail at whatever challenge you attempted, don't be gutted that you didn't do well, be proud that you tried
- Boost your fitness levels; who cares if there are fitter people than you at the gym or in your spin class? Rather than focusing on the fact that someone can do double the amount of press ups you can or run for five minutes longer than you, focus on improving your own set of reps and running further than you did last time. Even if its one more press up or one more minute on your time of running, its all about self improvement
- Take pride in your exam results or any personal achievements you attain; the person who got a few more marks than you in one subject may completely suck at something you thrive at, not everything is for everyone
- Take up new hobbies; try reading for fun rather than relating reading to the boring text books you have to plough through, join a yoga class, anything you wouldn't ordinarily do, do!
- Remember to praise yourself and take a moment to think of three things you've done that day that you're proud of; this could be cooking a new meal you've not tried before, holding a door open for somebody or putting together a new makeup look that made you feel a tad more confidant
- Allow yourself to have your down moments; you're only human, you're allowed to cave into the  pressure life throws at you, but after five minutes, wipe away your tears, fix your makeup and start again as your bad ass self - never give up

The whole point is quite literally to stay in your own lane, focus on yourself, you'd be surprised how many demons and weaknesses those you wish you were like, actually have. Remember, people don't post their down times on social media or boast about their failures - we all have our weaknesses. Just take some time to appreciate your own strengths.

In anxious times of panic, inhale confidence and exhale negativity. Drink plenty of water, surround yourself by positive people and be kind to everyone you meet (even the ass holes), everyone is going through their own struggle.

Stay beautiful and be happy!

Thanks for reading,

Hayley x

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Detox ...

It's official. I am detoxing from all of the naughty things! I've always eaten a healthy diet purely through preference, I love anything vegetarian and would choose a plate of vegetables over any form of meat any day! I'm not a vegetarian, I do eat chicken , but I'm such a fussy eater I wouldn't really know what to class my diet as. I won't bore you with the details of what I do and don't like, as I just said, I'm extremely fussy.
 Over the past year or so I have become more inclined to order takeaways. Pizza has became my boyfriend and well, I can never say no to a night on the town! As much as the party animal within me thinks it's a great idea to down sambuka like there's no tomorrow and the greedy guts in me wants nothing but a vegi volcano pizza from Domino's, enough is enough!!
 I love exercising and I love living a healthy lifestyle, I'm lucky that it generally suits me as a person. I'm not one to squirm at the idea of salads or cry at the thought of a run; these things are of interest to me. The reason this time I'm determined to smash my weight loss/fitness goals is purely for self happiness. Whenever I stop eating junk food, drink more water, cut out the caffeine and cut out the alcohol, I feel so much more refreshed.
 The temptation to not cook, pick up the phone and order takeaway can be appealing, but I know I'd rather spend a little more time in the kitchen prepping food knowing that my body will be full of nutrients and all smiley on the inside, than to have relaxed on the sofa, put on two pounds and make my body hate me!
 Last night, my flat mate and other friend ordered a domino's pizza and asked me if I wanted to join in, this was the closest to breaking point I could ever get - pizza is my weakness! Yet i thought about it, rather than as pizza, as what it actually is; what is in the food. The fat, the salt, the calories all of the things I know my body doesn't want. I managed to sit and watch them eat their pizza's and ate my chicken and brown rice. After jumping over that hurdle I know I can stick to this, pizza lovers out there, surely you feel my struggle?!
So I've been keeping a food diary on the app My Fitness Pal, which I would highly recommend as a way to keep tabs on your calorie intake. I have been sticking to fresh foods, and have banned myself from alcohol for the foreseeable future.

What I am detoxing from:

- Caffeine
- Alcohol
- Take aways
- Any naughty foods!!

What I am switching it to:

- Peppermint tea / hot lemon water
- Fresh fruit and vegetables, chicken, whole wheat products
- Alternative's to fatty foods

I'm by no means over weight and I've never exceeded a size 12 in clothing, but I'm really hoping to make a change to my body both internally and externally. If you know that you've had a few too many nights out, perhaps eating too much junk or even a smoker; why not think about what would make your body happy?

I'm leaving this blog post here and I'll update throughout my health/fitness journey!

Thanks for reading, Hayley x

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Get The Look: Spring Golds And Nudes With The Naked 3 Palette

I'm always switching up my makeup look so I don't tend to have a routine which I follow every single day. However, as seasons change it's nice to have some sort of theme; within winter I love to rock the dark lips and smokey eye - and don't get me wrong, I will still do this sort of look all year round (what a rebel!).
Over the past year or so, I have been reaching for my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. It is such a versatile and very beautiful palette which can be adapted from day to night time and you can achieve all sorts of looks.

The palette contains 12 rose toned shades that begin light and gradually get darker. You can create shimmery glittery pink eyeshadow looks or experiment with the darker shades. If you combine the two you can achieve a fantastic, sexy and sultry look. Each shade features Urban Decay's Pigment Infusion System - a proprietary blend of ingredients that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich colour, serious staying power and durability. 
The packaging of the product is a very art-school inspired tin case and adds a sense of professionalism to the product, the rose gold background and yellow gold detailed writing is such a luxuriously put together palette. This item made my heart race and my eyes popped out of head when it was released therefore just like most makeup addicts out there, I had to get it! 
I was lucky to receive this as a birthday gift last year and I still use this more days than not!

Winged liner with a blend of
  • Strange
  • Trick
  • Nooner
  • Factory
  • Darkside

Closeup view

For this golden/bronze toned look I started in the inner corners of my eyes with the first shade in the palette, 'Strange'.  I swept it across the entirety of the lid but popped a little more on the inner corners. I also added a highlight shade here from a Sleek contour and highlight kit. I then took the shade 'Trick' which is a stunning bronze colour and very well pigmented shadow, I used a real techniques base brush and started from a quarter of the way into my eyelids and swept it all the way out. 
 I then wiped the base brush so that there was basically no eyeshadow on it and swept it across so that the two blended smoothly. 
 I then used 'Nooner' which is a pink toned light brown shade, on a blending brush and started from the outer corner and into the socket of my eyelids. This created a subtle shadow and gave the look some dimension. On the same brush, I used 'Factory', this time focusing much more on applying it to the outer corners and only ever such a slight blend. The reason we don't blend this shade is it has a shimmer finish, and it's only matte shades that suit  being blended into the socket for the purpose of creating dimension. 
 Finally I took the shade 'Darkside' on the base brush and focused solely on the outer corners and then with the same highlight from the Sleek highlight and contour kit, I popped a little along my brow bone to bring the look together!
Once you've finished the eyeshadow routine, to make the eyes look popping and wide awake, a black liquid liner will really make your eyes stand out. I used Collection's liquid liner pen in black, any liquid eyeliner should suffice - I would always go for a pen for better precision. 
 Start off in the inner corners, make this as thick or thin as you like and depending on your eye shape, I have quite big eyes and eyelids so I like to have quick thick eyeliner, but it's all about personal preference!
 From the inner corner, glide a straight line to the outer corner and then, just like most things in my life, I wing it! 
 I tend to opt for a winged liner everyday, again through personal preference. Some eye shapes suit much more to use just the liner and end where the eye ends. If this is new territory for you, play around with it, make up is fun and artistic and if it goes wrong you can simply wipe it off. 

 After the eyeliner, batter those fluttery lashes onto a mascara of your choose and you'll be looking like a woman who has her life together (It's great creating such a deceitful illusion!).

This eye makeup is beautiful when paired with a nude lipstick, I lined my lips with Essence lipliner in 'Nude' and I then went over with M.A.C's lipstick in 'Shy Girl'. Oh and of course the best thing any girl can wear is a smile - so don't forget to pop one of those on your pretty faces too!

The overall look is finished with a slight contour with bronzer (I used Benefit's Hoola). And there you have it! A stunning bronzed goddess style makeup look perfect for spring (or anytime really). 

Thanks for reading, Hayley, x