Friday, 26 January 2018

Is A Career Change A Bad Idea?

I have been thinking a lot recently about change. Not for any reason really but I suppose I am subliminally seeing a lot about it. It is January after all, if you don't see one post on dieting you are a very lucky person indeed. It seems to be everywhere doesn't? Change yourself now for a better, newer you. It always seems so very physically based as well, I mean bodily. We are urged to change ourselves to make life better. Will doing that make life better though? I spend most days thinking that if I am thinner I will be happier. Why? Because I genuinely think that. I am also fed that by the world which doesn't help, but there is a big part of me that thinks or rather remembers, when I was thinner I was happy. But let's be real. There is a reason why I can't click my fingers anymore and just be skinny. I chose a different life. I chose a life of family eating and even though I exercise regularly it usually ends with a cup of tea, some chocolate and a cuddle with my husband. Why? Because that's what I choose over skinniness. So when all the "be a better version of you" adverts come round all linking to your physical looks, I think that at the start of a year wouldn't it be more  popular to share "life change" based adverts instead? I know they are there, and maybe it's what I read that means I don't see them, but we can all recognise that if we want a new start, a fresh start, there are loads of ways to do that without changing what's on our plate.

From a young age I wanted to work with kids. I had the opportunity to test out what I wanted to do in year 10 in work experience week. I knew that it confirmed I would be working in schools, but I never, ever wanted to be a teacher. In a way I knew they had more to consider than a teaching assistant and I knew I didn't want that responsibility. I wanted to work with kids on a different level, much closer to them trying to really support their individual needs. After my GCSEs I went to college to get myself a diploma in childcare and education that would mean I was qualified for the job. I was guided into university knowing full well that I wasn't going to be taking my PGCE year to complete my teacher training certificate. I would get my degree in education and early childhood studies and then become an overqualified teaching assistant. And that's what I did and I loved it. I got myself a job one day after my graduation in a high flying school in the city and spent 3 years there before I got pregnant. I then took a year's maternity leave and within that time my family purchased a flower shop in town. My sister was a florist and for them it was all a great opportunity. For me, it was an exciting family project to be part of and it kind of came down to me and my sister to make something of it. Latterly in my maternity leave we all set up the business and started working there. That was only for a short time before I headed back to school, to work solidly for the time it would take which would mean I could keep my maternity pay. The months just flew by and it wasn't long until I left teaching knowing that I was going into another job that was going to suit where my life was then. 
I never formally trained in floristry, but it came as second nature. I really loved it and took to it so well. My sister controlled everything and I was really just a shop girl who was given an opportunity to grow creatively. I don't think I would have ever started this blog if I was still working in a school. Being in the flower shop opened up a whole new world for me really; it really made me fall in love with art all over again and it stretched my imagination into the possibilities a making so much. And this was on such a low level. I know it was so good for me because I don't have it anymore and it's now been 2 years since I worked full time in the flower shop. I started to reduce my days more once I had Etta and I decided to leave the flower shop as it stopped suiting how we were living. Onto another new project which only became possible from the blog again as I went to take photos of products for a local company. Now I never would have worked there if I hadn't been in the shop and developed my love for creative projects. I worked there one day a week and it meant that I was a stay at home mum for the rest of the time.

When I look back and see where I was and then where I went, it's hard to have ever imagined that when I started out on my career path that it would ever end up anywhere near where I find myself. I changed to make my life better, and for the family it was about making our life better. It was about making time to socialise, making time to holiday in term times, not having to be tied down in the same way to the constraints of formal job positions. I changed to make life better and it inevitably has. Since having kids, and them now both being in school, I am reflecting again on what I should do, but so much of me knows that working in a school probably isn't it. 

Moving career from education to creativity was a crazy step. I went into a new job totally blind, then onto another job with no education and only self taught processes carry me through it. People placed their faith in me though and I have delivered. I have learned, I have grown and what's more, I have helped improve our family life tenfold because Rob and I work for our family and nothing more. It's not to get a higher pay rate, it's not to work up any kind of ladder; we work for our family so we can have the way of life we want. I think something we realised so early on was that that was all we wanted. Us. We needed no more and we built what we could afford and live how we can afford and that is good enough for us. Rob has this saying that "there is always more money" and he is right. Not in the banks, but there is always more opportunity if you choose to look for it. And most of the time there is paid opportunity where ever you look for it. 

My career isn't glittering, but years ago I started to make different choices in my work life and where I am now is just where I need to be. And for me that probably means it's not where I am going to be in six months time, but it means that I am still in a career that is perfect for my life.


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Hiber-not {Ft. Joules}

Rob fondly remembers the fashions from his childhood. He used to save up his money and buy branded clothing when he could. It was seen as total luxury, but he wanted to have them and learned that the only way to do that was hard work. Whether he payed for it or his parents, he always respected the value of things. 
We used to really respect a brand and love them from the style and quality. There weren't the same kind of cheap alternatives, so you had less and looked after what you had. He was a child like this; took care of the little things as their value was high and he clearly remembers getting a pair of kickers for school and when he grew out of them, he was gutted as they were still in immaculate condition. He didn't have the same money to buy more as they were an expensive shoe and hugely in fashion. Just imagine how disappointed you would have been. These days cheap imitations suffice our need for the luxury. We share bargain alternatives to the brands, but what I have found as I have gotten older is to simply just trust the original brands. They are better, and I know it may seem silly when cheap versions are so readily available, but I say, if you want it, wait. Save your pennies and buy well; buy to last. 
When it comes to kids it's harder; they grow more but since reducing their wardrobes, I have learned to buy the things that they are really going to wear. Buy things that match well with all their other clothes and buy things that make them happy and comfortable.

Kids spend their lives flitting from one activity to another. They entertain themselves through play in all sorts of ways. Whether it's sat crossed legged on the floor playing with Lego or heading outdoors to climb trees, they are always prepared for the situations where their day takes them.
I worry very little about dirtying clothes these days, mainly because life's to short and also because Rob loves a good soaking off session. So if clothes end up dirty, no problem. I love that our kids "bests" could also be used for running around in the garden. Life is for living and kids will be kids at the end of the day, so let them run and enjoy the moment. 
JOULES have been lucky enough to develop a collaboration with Kickers. Yes, the original super cool kids school shoes are still going strong and now thanks to the Joules team you can buy a colourful alternative to the classic black shoe you may remember. As with anything Joules does they have made a boot that is ready for life. Whether it's for indoors or exploring the woods, JOULES give your kids the opportunity to run free and be comfortable. 
We took our boots to Center Parcs last week. 5 days of cycling, swimming and getting around the great outdoors. These boots, well, these boots were made for the adventures we took them on. They were made for the leaves to crunch underneath them and for the pine cones to be kicked. They were made for exploring and they were made for keeping you comfortable, until you came back home. 

Children grow so fast and for us it is a real task keeping up at the moment. All jeans are getting short quickly but one thing that keeps its pace a little slower is the growing of their feet. 
For Raphael and Giulietta these 4 options were almost too much to choose from. Favourites were the flowers and the plain navy. These tie in so well to their existing wardrobes and teamed with a Breton stripe and jeans, these two were given the opportunity to have the world at their feet! 

Fancy trying some for your kids?
Shop The outfits:
Raph's outfit; COAT / TOP / JEANS / HAT
Etta's outfit; COAT / TOP / JEANS 

*This is a sponsored post. Ideas my own.


Thursday, 18 January 2018

My New Make-Up Collection

Recently skin has really been on my mind. Last year I decided that I just wanted to buy into one make so that I could reduce the size of my make up collection. The thing is I have always wanted to be more into makeup than I am. I like the same style of face for everyday and I ,quite simply, don't have time to do full amazing make up everyday. 

My daily look is the same and I pretty much make it more dressy by adding darker eye shadow and that's it. So having trays full of different shades of everything is just pointless and a perfect place for dust to gather. I knew that I wasn't going to waste it though so had been running down supplies for sometime. 

Most of what is left I plan to give to my younger sister, but for my Christmas present from my parents I asked for a few items from Charlotte Tilbury, to get my serious collection started off. I had done loads of research into the brand and just loved the tutorials I watched. So that was it, I was investing in CT as my make up brand. I have the basic 5 to get me through every day and every day I am loving putting them on! 

I am using Magic Foundation as my base. I wear this in shade two but feel I could go a to shade 3, especially as it warms up. It is a heavy coverage which is strange as I have been reducing my foundation wearing, but it doesn't feel it. I think I felt under confident when I was choosing, thinking I needed a fuller coverage but actually, I don't. However it looks perfect so I am really happy with wearing it. 

I am dignifing my cheek bones and "contouring" as the world would say with the Filmstart Bronze & Glow. I really wanted this as I have always worn a bronzer under a blusher to give definition, but this duo also comes with a soft highlighter so I can up the definition.

 I then have a blush which is perfectly pink for my skin tone. A sweep across the cheek bones gives me just what I want. I have the Cheek To Cheek Blush in Love is the drug.

 The Legendary Lashes mascara is possibly my favourite! It's thick and black and just looks great. 

Then as a real luxury I got their iconic Bar Of GoldNow this wasn't necessary as I had a highlighter in the duo but it was what I wanted. It is a brighter and more defining shimmer and I love using it around my eyes, along my brow bone and just above my lips. 
The only thing I haven't got myself yet is a lipstick, or rather a couple. I have given up spending for January so that will have to come in Feb! I love the look of their K.I.S.S.I.N.G range though. Any of those colours would be great! 

I have completely reduced my make up box and it feels so good. I suppose it really stems from trying to minimise my life more. I work on it with our stuff round the house so its nice reducing my things giving me more clarity on a morning when I am getting ready. It's just simple and I love the finished look.

If I were to add anything else to my collection it would be; 
Instant Eye Pallet (But it is expensive).
Light Wonder Foundation (A light coverage with SPF)
Legendary Brows

That way I would be able to create a great day to night look and still keep my collection quite small.
Have you invested in a make-up brand and found its benefits?

Also, I just thought I would a share a few pictures of how the makeup sits on my skin.


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

My 30 Year Old Skin

For me, it seems to have taken me to the age of 30 to discover what works for my skin. All those younger youtubers seem to have it sussed and lots of their skin seems pretty perfect. In my early 20s I didn't give my skin much notice. I was lucky that in comparison to my siblings I got off lightly in the spots department. Hey I still had/ have them, but quite mildly really when I look back. I have little damage from spots, but I have had, and always seem to have had blackheads. Again though, never greasy or red, I just have them. I used to be really into any product that had tea tree in. That always seemed to work well and the hugely teen advertised brands like Clearasil never did anything. I think they made my skin worse.
 As I grew up I remember my mum getting me an Olay beauty fluid, you know, their iconic pink bottle, but again, that use was few and far between as a lot of the time it left my skin quite greasy. 

If I were to say I had a type of skin it would be spotty/blackhead heavy with a dryness and monthly redness thrown in. I always had spots and have had until recently, but that was before I developed such a great routine which I put my now clear skin down to. 

Having tried a million different brands, usually getting ones that were in some kind of supermarket deal I decided to try the much talked about micellar water. So about 3 years ago, when was into blogging I was seeing La Roche Posay everywhere. I spent what seemed like a fortune on some. It was expensive, I thought, but buying into what was on instagram was an easy thing to do! You've all done it, seen someone has it and decided to try for yourself. I used it to take off the daily struggles and it started to clear my skin. I don't think the clarity really started to kick in until started using more of the same products.

 I got their Effaclar duo; a base layer to moisturise and clean pores. Then I got the foaming face wash so my skin got more of a clean than just using the micellar water. In the last 6 months I started using their Effaclar duo unifant as a foundation meaning that, especially in the summer months, I was wearing less makeup but still feeling like had great coverage. I now use their Effaclar k+ to give me a bit more moisture which goes on overnight, then again in the morning and, with these all now so firmly in my routine, my spot count has pretty much diminished. I myself can't get over the clarity of my skin and spots are now only a menstrual visitor. I think this is all to do with consistency. Maybe age as well but let's not talk about that! 

I feel though that it takes time for products to work. Within a week you are not going to know if something is right! Well, obviously you would if you had a reaction, but it takes up to six months for skin to respond to a new face wash. But now having been with the same brand and products for so long I can see the results and I love it! I find that they last well and even the brand La Roche Posay encourage you to use small amounts which I think is really good. I find they go a long way and it is months between buying products. 
What I am really pleased with though is the fact that I now see the benefit. It seems like I got to 30 and my skin decided to grow up. 

My broken down skin routine and products;

Cotton wool clean with Micellar Solution

Moisturise with Effaclar K+ moisturiser

Wear as a foundation or base on a night out Effaclar Duo

Clean all off with Effaclar foaming wash

And then a wipe over with Micellar Solution

For my body I use Lipikar Surgras

And this is a miracle worker on eczema, I have on my foot Lipikar AP stick.

I also have my eye on some more products which I would love like the Lipikar Cleansing Oil for extra moisture as I find the Lipikar really is nice as a post shave balm.

This brand works for me. I have never had my skin respond so well to a soap but for me I have found this really suits. It's nice eventually finding something that gives me more confidence to wear less makeup! 


Monday, 15 January 2018

10 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self.

January brings a time of reflection for all of us and as I was laying in bed the other night thinking of some posts to write, one came quite clearly to me. I often look back on my youth. I would say my early 20s were my absolute happiest and I often look for the girl from back then, but the reality is, that girl came with here own worries and concerns. Also, her own path was being laid out before her as she was finishing uni, getting married and buying a house. Those early years were brilliant, a real honeymoon period of life and I think that's why I look back on them so happily, I just loved that period. Going back further though to when I was 18, I remember finding life a challenge. I started uni a month after I turned 18. Being a summer baby has always made me feel younger than my friends but at some things it also left me quite unprepared. I started uni, which I didn't want to do, and had to do the whole 'Making new Friends' thing again, all things that I hadn't done in a few years. It was an emotional time. My mum had just had the eruption of a mental breakdown and I had 6 younger siblings at home, still very much going through the motions of life, the youngest only being 3. So actually at 18 there was a lot going on. I had more to cope with at the time than I gave myself credit for and having come out the other side, I wouldn't change anything because the actions between 18 and 20 set me on this course and therefore I am so grateful to my 18 year old self for never giving up. 
However, if I could do travel back to my 18 year old self, there is so much advice I would give. Would you?

{Me At 18}

Dear Emily,
At 18, you have it all. You have a loving family, although right now it seems hard, you have your GCSEs and a diploma in childcare meaning, you could always do the job you wanted to do and you have an innocence which will carry you through life so well. I know you. You are not into the horrors of the world and you have a huge love for others. Try to hold onto that as you risk becoming a bitchy person. 
You have always had small friendship circles, from school to college and now going into uni you will meet some girls that are still with you 10 years down the line. You will share weddings and babies and experience what true friendship is. Enjoy your time with them whilst they are so close, as even though distance doesn't end a friendship, daily chats diminish. 
Try to follow you gut instincts. You will know what I am talking about when it comes, stand strong and believe in yourself because people choose sides and it will upset you for the rest of your life. So be prepared because it is not as bad as it seems. Further down the line it is so worth the heartache, trust me, so very much worth it.
Always be a happy Catholic. I know right now you are so invested in faith even though people won't realise it. In your late 20s the world starts to challenge it more than ever but keeping it normal means that you have no embarrassment over it, it is who you are and you are proud of that. 
Choose the path of light. Time and time again. Find the goodness in everthing because it keeps you safe. 
Work harder. Do not let the first two years of uni pass you by without trying. I know you are going to find it so hard, it is really going to challenge you and this is where all your negative thinking about yourself will be propelled. Get your head down, get past it as this will bring you out the other side so much more confident in yourself. 
Don't drink too much. It is honestly not worth it! And if you are going to drink anything get on Prosecco early so you can build up more of a tolerance to it later in life, you will appreciate that more!
Ask for more help. Your friends are there for you, don't bottle it all up. You are sad about your mum and you start to struggle with the work load; people are there to help you so ask for it. It is not a good trait to develop.
Take all the chances you can to have fun. So many happy memories get made so don't miss out on anything.
Trust the path. Don't question what you should be doing so much. The path is a good and safe one and works out so very beautifully.
Dance as much as you can. Music and dancing really brings you and your friends together. Enjoy it as much as possible and get out to dance lots, don't fear the whole nightlife scene embrace it more as you end up having so much fun in it!
And lastly Emily, always be yourself. Never ever try and be anyone else as you are you and you have so much to offer the world. Keep your standards high and stand tall, you are great at so much and even if spelling isn't your thing, writing becomes it and you will find a whole new type of you further down the line.

Love, Yourself, 30 and a half years old!

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