Friday, 28 July 2017

I Can See Clearly Now... feat. Glasses Shop**

picture of myself (amy) wearing clear glasses from glasses shop and holding a take away coffee


It's no secret at this point, if you've been following me for even five minutes, that I love being an eyeglasses wearer. I am a huge fan of glasses as accessories, as well as for correcting poor vision. This is why I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for glasses online - it's too expensive to be buying multiple pairs of specs in my local opticians.

Flat lay of clear glasses from Glasses shop dot com

One thing I really like is weird glasses, from over-size to floral to bright colors. The more odd and off-kilter, the more I love them! So this time around, when Glasses Shop got in touch and asked me if I would like to review a pair of glasses from their new range, I said "Heck yeah!!" and here we are!



I picked the Park Oval in the Crystal option - a matte, frosted but almost see-through frame. They're more understated than a lot of frames I own, which is part of the reason I like them! I can wear these with a slightly more dramatic makeup look and know they work together.

Clear glasses from Glasses Shop dot com with arms unfolded

These frames are lightweight and flexible, as well as looking very chic on the face. I like to wear them with a light base, bold liner and a neutral lip, for an understated look, however as I mentioned earlier, I know they will stand up to a more bold, night-appropriate look too!

These frames are my favorite of every pair I own, and of the three pairs I own from Glasses Shop, they have been on my face every day since I got them, ousting every other pair AND my contact lenses to boot!

If you would like to get your own pair of amazing quality frames from Glasses Shop, I've been given a coupon code for you lovely readers! Use the code GSHOT50 to get 50% off your chosen frames and your scrip added to the frame for free!

TOP TIP!! 

If you've already got a pair of well fitting glasses from your local opticians, have a look inside the arms for the measurements, which will look like "50-20-145" and use this as a guide to help you pick a pair of correctly sized frames from Glasses Shop, which have every size and measurement noted on each listing! Handy!! 

What do you think of my new specs? Do you love them  or loathe them?? 

Let me know!! 

Amy 
xo

**Glasses Shop kindly provided these frames for free for review purposes but this post is all my own opinion and was in no way influenced by the Glasses Shop team. The links included are not affiliate links. **


Friday, 30 June 2017

How I Stay Organised

Getting organised has been a serious journey I've been on since January - My New Years Resolution was to make more of an effort to be productive. Productivity and organisation go hand in hand. Today I'm going to talk you through my organisation tips and what I've learned to help productivity.
Image: Google Images

Prioritise Your Time

Decide what's important, and make sure you have time allocated. I block in time for college, study, writing, training. I delegate particular tasks to particular blocks of time. If I have to be in the college library, I'll get all the things done in the library that I possibly can, in order to eliminate those tasks for as far into the future as I can - realistically that's about a week at most.

Be Open To Change 



Image: Pinterest
 
At first, I was a staunch advocate of the FiloFax, but over time, I've been leaning more towards digital. Google Calendar has a great functionality, which I can access from my phone, or either of my laptops. I color coordinate to a few different uses so I know at a glance what is on the agenda. I also make written lists for tasks, day to day. So if on a Friday I've blocked in time to get tasks done, I've a hard list I can cross things off, and I don't have to be glued to my phone. This makes me feel more productive and spurs me on.

Block In Time Off 

Image: Google Images
 
I've a weekend away coming up, and I've the whole weekend blocked out. This means that I can't double book myself. I always make sure that Wednesday is never booked unless it's unavoidable. Wednesday is my day to do anything I want to do, from cleaning, to watching TV. Generally I get to write blog posts on a Wednesday. For me, that's down time. That's not time for anyone else, just me.

So there are some of my tips to staying organised. If I didn't have these working in my daily life, plus the time management effectiveness of Google Calendar, I'd be a big ball of stress and nothing would be done.
 
I hope this helps,
 
Thanks for reading,
 
Amy



Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Red Letters... Cork

Dear Cork,

How can I begin to explain how much I adore you? You've always been a place of peace, safety, joy. The comfort I feel with you, it's unparalleled. When things seem bleak, unhappy, scary, I turn to you. Cork, you've always got friends, food and laughter waiting for me. There's been so much great food eaten with you over the years, so many bottles of wine, and more adventures than I could ever relay in a letter. You've brought me joy and safety in a way I've never felt with any other city.

 
When I'm visiting you, I fill up on vintage shopping, book stores and crafting. I eat great food and watch old movies with old friends and new friends alike. I stay up til the wee hours having deep conversations with new friends, learning about who I was, who I am and who I want to be. So much has happened that you've been witness to, many drunken fits of laughter, sporting achievements, running a 5k in the midst of a dual-ended road trip, the list goes on, but you know that.

 
Then I pick up, and I head out to see the sea, down to Crosshaven, or out to Myrtleville, and I feel so small, and yet so big at the same time. Standing on the edge of the county, pink converse contrasting against the navy and grey pebble beach, looking out at the ships, there is no place on earth that I would rather be. I support two teams, Meath and you, Cork, which caught me by surprise. I'm not much for GAA, and yet I own a hoody in your colors. That's how much I love you.


When I say your name, I say it as you would, with that musical twang, with that funny accent that always makes me smile. Cork, its fair to say I cannot imagine my life without you in it, and I don't want to have to do that. No distance is too great to get to you.

 
I'll be back with you soon,

All my love,
Amy
x

Monday, 17 April 2017

Tips For Self Care

My name is Amy, and, to my detriment, I am a fan of the word "Yes". I will always try to do as many things as I can, for as many people as I can. I put myself under immense pressure, across college, career paths, friends, sports, my relationship and personal obligations. I have only recently learned the word "balance" and even more recently have I come to know and enjoy the act of "self care".

So, with that in mind, I will talk you through my tips for self care.

Book Time For Yourself

Image: SKConcepts.com

If you take no other advice from me, please just do this one thing. When I look at my Google Calendar, I am acutely aware of how busy I am. By booking in time for yourself, you are making a positive choice for your self care regime. If that hour if filled with eating bread, or going for a swim, or tea with a friend, then you've made good use of it for your personal reasons, and that's the only thing that matters. Personally, I make sure to have some personal time for a bubble bath with Netflix, an hour for tea with a friend, and time to spend with Dex. If nothing else, I get some regular, bite-sized chunks of time and that way, I don't feel so overwhelmed when I'm going to bed late and up early, day in and day out.
Image: Pinterest.com

Take Time For Cathartic Things

I find so much peace in methodical tasks, which is why when I need to take some time for me, I tend to cook and clean. Call me a 50's housewife if you want, but it makes me feel so much better. Not only in the moment, but when I've cooked enough mac and cheese to stock my boyfriends freezer for multiple dinners to come, and left my house looking like a cover off House And Home magazine, the feeling of relaxation and contentment sticks around far longer than just the moment!

Exercise

Take up a sport, go to the gym, run, whatever. Take time for your body. Personally for me, running was the best thing I could do. Every time I took myself out for a run, however short or long, I felt better. If you've thoughts to pick through, or you need to relax, running can be a great help.

Image: Pinterest.com

Pamper Yourself 

I don't mean book a massage, but if you want to do that, then be my guest!! Take an hour off for yourself, take a long shower, exfoliate, do a face pack, make a fuss of yourself. This is the kind of self care it can be even more effective to share with a friend over a glass of vino.

So how do I implement Self Care?

I take myself out for coffee, I run myself super hot bubble baths and watch Riverdale on a Friday, I cook, I do laundry (it sounds wierd, but I love it). I indulge in my one passion project that doesn't have anything to do with my career path or sporting life - Scientology documentaries/books. I rope Dex into doing nose-strips and face packs, and every once in a while when I have the time, I take to my bed for a day to watch movies and eat tortilla chips with nacho cheese dip!

Doing the things that make you happy, that take the stress away in that moment, that's SO important. You are important. The things that make your life better are important. Do more of them.

If you're a fan of self care, let me know your recommendations for things to do in the comments!

Amy,
xo

Friday, 14 April 2017

Beauty Tag!

I'm so blocked when it comes to writing, it's killing me! I'm coming to you today with a tag, because I'm trying to work off the block right now. Bear with me, this isn't my usual style. 

On we go!


SKINCARE

-How many times do you wash your face daily?

I wash my face once a day, but I use cleanser twice a day. 

-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo)

Oily with dry patches. Generally speaking my skin is actually pretty well behaved. 

-What is your current facial wash?

I use the Peaches and Clean Cleansing Milk from Soap and Glory. 

-Do you exfoliate?

Once a day, maybe once every other day. 

-What brand do you use?

I move between exfoliating masks from Lush and Loreal Men Expert Pure Power.

-What moisturizer do you use?

Nivea Q10 Energising Day Cream every day without fail! It's my holy grail.

-Do you have freckles?

Yep. Comes with the territory of being ginger!

-Do you use eye cream?

Sometimes, when I do I use the Nivea Q10 Eye Cream

-Do you or did you have acne prone skin?

I've never had acne, woohoo!!

-Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?

Nope. Never!! 

MAKE-UP


-What foundation do you use?

I move between Estee Lauder Double Wear, Rimmel Match Perfection, and Covergirl Outlast 3 in 1, 

-How about concealer?

Collection Lasting Perfection

-Do you know your undertone color?

I think it's pink? 

-What do you think of fake eyelashes?

I like them, they can really make a look 

-Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months?

I did, but I don't always abide by that...

-What brand of mascara do you use?

Benefit Roller Lash or Catrice False Lash Effect

-Sephora or MAC?

After being in Paris, Sephora all the way! BRING SEPHORA TO DUBLIN!

-Do you have a MAC Pro-card?

Nay! 

-What makeup tools do you use in make up application?

Brushes and my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge...

-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?

Not always, but when I do I use my Essence I Heart Stage primer

-For the face?

Without a doubt, my Catrice Smoothing Pore Refiner

-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?

I love a smokey eye... 

-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?

Both! 

-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?

Every time, I'm clumsy!!

-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?

They're alright, I haven't much experience of them to be honest... 

-Do you use mineral makeup?

Not that I'm aware of.

-What is your favorite lipstick?

Ah lads, how long have you got to hear me wax lyrical?! I love my HEMA red, Urban Decay Shame, MAC Faux, to name but three...

-How about lipgloss?

I cannot abide the stuff, it makes me feel so uncomfortable. 

-What is your favorite blush to use?

Catrice Ultimate Color in Rosewood Forest

-Do you buy your makeup on ebay?

Nope. Never. 

-Do you like drugstore makeup?

I love it, often times I will opt for budget brands over high end...

-Do you go to CCO's? (cosmetic company outlets)

Like The Cosmetic Outlet? Sometimes! 

-Did you ever consider taking make-up classes?

Yes, please someone teach me! 

-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?

Well I don't know how to make my winged liner match, and I've been wearing winged liner for years...

-Name a makeup crime that you hate?

Some girls don't know how important brows are. Also, BLEND DOWN YOUR NECK OMG!!!

-Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?

I like both, I tend to go for neutral eyes and a bright lip. 

-Which celebrity always has great make up?

Emmmm, I cant think of any celebrities...

-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use?

Brows, brows, brows, brows, BROWS!

-Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?

Of course. I do it all the time. I don't need a full face to feel beautiful. 

-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?

I've got to say, I feel just as confident without makeup. 

-In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?

Hmmmm..... I love Urban Decay, but I also feel incredibly loyal to Rimmel...

-What do you think of Makeup?
 

I think it's an incredible thing, you can use it any way you like and express yourself any way you see fit. I think it's wonderful and liberating and fun. 

I TAG: All of you reading this! If you decide to do this tag, send me the link, I would love to read it! 

Amy 
xo


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Bigger, The Better - GlassesShop.com REVIEW

If you've been here for a while you might know that I'm a bit of a glasses addict, for lack of a better way of putting it. In the past year, I've accumulated five pairs of corrective eyeglasses with my current scrip in them. I love having glasses I can treat like another accessory - albeit much more useful than rings or chains!



Recently, Glasseshop.com got in touch again to ask me would I like to work with them again, to review a new pair of frames from their new range! Since I'm me, and I love glasses so so much, I of course said yes, and here we are. They have a whole plethora of new stock, from regular glasses frames, to prescription sunglasses, of every shape and size, for every taste.


I love tortoise shell toned frames of every shape and size, I love giant frames and I love them to be lightweight. And today I am going to review a frame that ticks all of those boxes! I've a huge soft spot for oversized designer frames, but with my return to college, I don't really have the budget!

The Mamie Wayfarer has a large prescription lens, which I think is great, every way I look, I can't see the frame. The arms of the frame are thin enough to be lightweight, thick enough to have decent strength. I am incredibly pleased with the build quality of the frame. Having already gotten to wear a pair of frames from Glasses Shop (you can read the review HERE), the best thing about the frames I've found is the toughness. They're springy, they're robust and they don't scuff!

What I love about these frames is that I can wear elaborate eye makeup, and you can see it behind the lens and frame. In many other frames I've worn, I can't justify wearing eyeliner or any eye makeup because the smaller the frame, the less you;ll see it! With this, you are guaranteed to see my liner wings and I don't risk mascara smudges on the inside of the lens.

I love the frame pattern, a subtle tortoise shell motif that looks like a plain black glossy finish in the right light. It's subtle, picking up my freckles in the golden brown shade and complimenting my red hair to boot!!

If you've ever bought a pair of well fitting frames, you will be able to pull the measurements from the inside of the arm on the frame, which will help you pick a well fitting frame from GlassesShop. That way, you'll be sure that you're buying the right size for your face, as you would be if you were to buy shoes online. Glasses Shop also have a helpful guide to help you work out the measurements and what they mean and you can find it HERE!

If you're in the market for a new pair of glasses, I have a coupon code for my readers: GSHOT50 will get you 50% off any frame you want, including sunglasses and you'll get the prescription lenses for free. The only caveat is that you can't use this code on frames that are in the sale section.


So now I must ask, what do you think of my new glasses?

Be brutal! 

Amy 
xo


Thanks to GlassesShop.com for providing me with these frames to review. 
No money has changed hands for this post - #NotSpon 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The College Comeback - Doing It Maturely

Going back to college as a mature student, well, that's a different story to the usual college experience. When you're 18 and wildly into partying, there's a different culture to being 25 and chasing a dream career. Chances are, you've been out of the education system a little while, maybe you didn't have such a good time in college first time around.

Mature Student Return College Education
Image: Google


In order to succeed at anything, preparation is key. Prepare yourself for the course ahead. Know what you're getting into. For me, I'm taking on a special purpose award level 7 from Dublin Business School in Digital Marketing. I have been through the module headings, spoken to the lecturers, emailed and called the college with questions, and I've taken online courses that give me a stronger grounding in the concepts I'll come up against in lectures.

Don't get too overwhelmed. Keep lists and plans. Invest in a FiloFax or a diary of some kind. Write down your deadlines, make notes of meetings you need to attend. Spend time in the library. Read on the bus or the train. If you know the things you need to do, you can tackle them more easily and the act of checking things off a list will motivate you to keep going.

Image: hercampus.ie

Having an end goal is great, but short term goals are key to maintaining momentum. You see it all the time, people who go into something feet first and end up drowning in work, with no real focus or drive or direction. Knowing what you want at the end of the course is of course a huge driver, but do you know what you need to do at the end of every month to keep you moving towards that end goal? Short term goals will keep your wheels in motion, and every one you meet is one step closer to the dream.

Plan for after the course. Apply for jobs or internships. Know what you're going to be doing when the course finishes up and you graduate. Have a plan stepped out so you're not going to flounder when you finally have your qualification.

Image: quotesberry.com

Take breaks, though. Remember to look after yourself. I've been talking to friends about my impending studies, and one thing I've noticed myself saying if that I'll be "climbing the walls". Probably not a good thing, girl! So I'm going to make plans for one or two weekend breaks, archery, and friends. Keeping the balance in life means you can maintain some sanity in the midst of all the academia. Go for cocktails once in a while, eat dinner with your other half, watch B-movies with your friends. If you plan and prepare well, you won't have to worry about taking weekends off!

Enjoy your college experience, dear reader, and take from it everything you can possibly get! 

I wish you the best of luck, 

Amy,
xo

Monday, 13 February 2017

Making 2017 My Year - Pumped Up Playlist

Music makes any task ten times better, and you know I mean that 100% passionately. I have countless posts on this blog about music, from favorite albums to vinyl to throwback hits of my youth, to new artists I have discovered and want to share.

I find that music makes me more productive, feel more confident and sassy, as well as inspired. With that being said, today I'm going to give you ten songs I adore for upping my productivity and inspiration. These are songs you can work to, run to, clean to, or if you like strutting down the street like a boss ass bitch, they work for that too!!

Britney Spears - Work Bitch 

A beat you can dance to, and a message you can relate to. G'wan Britney, you fabulous fox!


Beyoncé - Run The World (Girls)

A never fail tune that makes me feel like I'm in Boss Mode every time I hear it! "Disrespect us? No they wont!"


Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude

This might be a bit near the knuckle, but I admire more male power figures than female, and this song reminds me to do it like a dude!



Pink - Raise Your Glass

If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's to be myself. I am a bubbly weirdo, a nerdy foodie, I'm not gonna be liked by everyone, and that's okay. It helps to remind yourself of your quirks - you will succeed, no matter what people think of you!


Timbaland - If We Ever Meet Again

Remember to reflect on the people you crossed paths with in your life. You're who you are because of them. The path you're on may not have been the same without them.



Muppets Treasure Island - Professional Pirate

Afford me a moment of cheese, please! This song just makes me smile, and very few people can deny the inspirational quality of show-tunes, even this one. "When you're a professional pirate, you don't have to wear a suit!"


Bon Jovi - It's My Life

Bon Jovi just have a song for every occasion and they really, truly inspire me when times are rough. It's your life, you have to do what's right for you, and remember that sometimes, that means taking a leap of faith.



Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way

Self explanatory really. Even if people don't believe in you, you have to do your own thing.



The All-American Rejects - Gives You Hell

Pardon me for this one, but sometimes you have to give the two fingers to some people, and use the anger they spark as motivation to climb up to your dreams!


Will-I-Am - Feeling Myself

I'm gonna close this one out strong, with a song that always always always makes me feel confident in myself, and helps me to believe I've got what it takes. It's unconventional, but that's me all over isn't it?!



So there you have ten of my top musical picks that make me feel inspired and motivated to get things done! I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed compiling it! I may even do a part two, who knows?! 

Have a lovely Valentines tomorrow folks, 

Amy, 
xo

Monday, 6 February 2017

Making 2017 My Year - Quotes to Inspire

Does anyone remember Motivation Monday, the series I used to do when I was on my fitness journey? Well, motivation is a huge part of getting things done, and I'm a big fan of inspiring, motivational quotes, and I'm going to share a few with you today, as well as my thoughts on each one and what it means to me. In my experience, if you can make something truly real and applicable to you, it's more likely to stick!

Image: gnomeangel.com

One thing you have to do, if you want to get to your goal, is realise that you may have to get there in a more unconventional way than you forst thought. You might just have to walk in a straight line to get there, or you might have to double back a few times and veer off course in order to get to the finish line. It's not a failure to have to alter your journey to your goal!



If there's one thing I learned from my time in archery, it's that perfect practice makes perfect. You have to keep working at it, whatever it is. In order to be great you have to try, fail, try some more, maybe fail some more, but in the end you will succeed.



This Nelson Mandela quote is beyond true, no matter who you are of what you're trying to achieve, it always seems so much more insurmountable until you've reached the end! You have to keep the momentum going for your dreams or you will fail. That's the harsh truth. You have to keep studying, keep working, keep applying, keep practicing, just keep going.




Procrastinating is a terrible habit of mine. I will sit and watch Netflix when I have ironing to do, I will paint my nails instead of catching up on emails, I will cook dinner instead of working on something important. It's a really, truly, awful habit. I'm working on kicking it though. The main thing I want to be able to say is that I've achieved all my tasks and that I am sitting here, drinking this glass of wine because I earned it!!



Self-deprecating people will know the struggle all too well. You feel awesome for between five seconds and five minutes every day and the rest of the time you doubt yourself. I speak from experience. The thing is, I'm also a former glory-hunting sports person, and I don't do something if I don't stand a chance of winning. You know the phrase "It's not about winning or losing, it's about taking part"? Well, I understand that phrase, but I also disagree, if you're not doing something to win, why are you even bothering?? Show up, be amazing, aim to win/succeed/be the best!


This one is a stone cold fact. You're not going to get a great job if you're not willing to put in the work needed to get that great job, you're not going to get that gold medal if you aren't willing to train in the rain, you're not going to succeed if you're not willing to at least try to suck. You need to be brave.


The main thing you need to do is believe. Not in a hippy-dippy, pulpit-thumping, kind of way, though if that appeals to you then that's cool too - but you need to believe in the good things coming. You need to have faith that you're going to succeed, no matter how long that might take or how hard that may be. You will succeed, you will get there!

Image: GettingMyHealthyOn.com

And finally, remember, that no matter how slow you go, you're still moving towards your dreams. You're still going in the right direction.


I hope you feel inspired and motivated. This year is yours, go out and grab it! 

Amy, 
x


I've given credit for images where possible, if any of these images are yours just drop me a line and I'll give credit!! :D 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Youngblood Mineral Makeup Gift Set* REVIEW

Hey all! I was sent a lovely gift set of the Youngblood Mineral Makeup and originally I was going to include it in a gift guide post, but I loved it so much I decided to natter on about it for a dedicated post!


I was kindly gifted a gift set in Light, which contained four pots, one of which was a blush, a sample of a translucent powder, and a lovely soft flat top kabuki brush.



The mineral makeup from Youngblood is beautiful. It's finely milled, applies beautifully and lasts well. I quite like to wear it alone on a minimal makeup day, just to color correct my red spots, and even out my skin tone.

The kabuki brush supplied is meant to be used to apply it, but I found it shed fibers quite a bit, so I opted to use a large fluffy Real Techniques Powder Brush for the base, and the Real Techniques Blush Brush for the blush. It also allows you more control over the product density and buildable nature.

As well as wearing it completely alone, I also like to apply it with a light hand to bump up the coverage of a light to medium foundation, and so it usually takes the place of a setting powder, because as well as upping the coverage, it mattifies the skin, leaving just a light glow to the skin. No flat, zombie like bases here, girl!!


I was also kindly gifted a beautiful lipstick from the Intimatte Mineral Lipstick range, and I am pretty much in love. Not only is it a beautiful red, but the matte formula is comfortable to wear, non-drying and doesn't seem to feather. One swipe is all it took to get that fully opaque swatch and the same goes for the lips. I will say that it does catch in dry skin so it's worth exfoliating your lips before you wear this, but that's the thing with red lipstick, it's quite high maintenance!


Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics are Cruelty Free and their products are affordable as well as great quality. What's not to love??


Keep an eye out in the next week for a GRWM featuring some of these products! 

Amy 
xo


These products were kindly gifted for my consideration. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, 30 January 2017

Making 2017 My Year - Some Pro Tips for Life

You know when Facebook shows you the memory posts of things you've posted on a given day for every year you've been active? Well the other day, my memories showed me a status update of something about organizing my life, getting my shit together as it were, and there was a comment on it. From my mother. "It's impossible to organize you!" Well, thanks mammy!! But she had a point. I'm a bit of a mess. I've been getting better though, and I'm going to share my tips for keeping on top of my shit.

Image: eritzerella.wordpress.com


If It Takes Less Than Two Minutes, Just Do It

This one is self explanatory, but let me explain! If it takes ten seconds to rinse the cup and put it in the dishwasher, just do it, don't just leave it in the sink. If, like me, you can put on a load of laundry during the ad break of Corrie, just throw it on.

Get A Great Cleaning Playlist For The Deep Cleans

Mondays are the day I set aside to clean, uninterrupted. I throw on a good playlist, and just get it done, I start in the living room, and work my way up one side of the hallway, and back down to the kitchen, and finish with the floors. It's easy, it takes me around two hours, max, and once it's done, it's easy to keep on top of things until the next week.

Take A Minute For Planning The Next Day 

I like to sit down before bed to plan the next day and make an itemized to do list. If there's anything I didn't get done, I delegate it to another day. For me, it breaks down into Errands, Home and Misc. A lot of the time, Misc is just a list for things to do when I'm over with His Lordship, so it mostly applies to Fridays. An average list looks like this.

Home: Laundry
                Vacuuming
           Dusting

Errands: Post Office
     Bank
                 Collect scrip
                        Get dinner stuff

Misc:  Dinner
             Laundry
                                          Confirm chiropractic app. 

If I don't get to go to the bank, or I can't collect my scrip, I'll jot it down on the next dates list. It's become a reliable system, and it means I get to take care of things in order of importance. Every night I take five minutes to do this, and so far I've had much higher productivity, and I've been able to enjoy my free time guilt-free!

Take Things One Task At A Time 

This relates to the lists, but it's also a case of keeping yourself from getting overwhelmed. One thing at a time, in any ways that you prefer. For me, I like to get the big stuff out of the way, and that motivates me. For you, it may be doing the small stuff and building up to the bigger tasks. Just take it one task at a time, and tick everything as you go, it helps a lot!!

Clear Out The Clutter 

I am a huge advocate of clearing out. At this moment I have four bags of clothes and two boxes of books to donate and recycle. I honestly feel so much better when things are tidy, and by reducing clutter, you reduce the amount of stuff you have to make a mess! Plus, everyone knows how good it feels to go to the recycling bank and chuck pointless tat you've been hoarding!

Eyes Open, Feet On The Floor

I learned this one from a book about Psychiatry by Dr Jim Lucey and it's so useful, especially if you don't have a set schedule. When you wake up, just get up. You can sit at the kitchen table with a cuppa and scroll Instagram just the same, and you'll be more inclined to actually get things done, even if that thing is only to clean the top of the cooker.

So there you have it, some of my top tips for getting organised, and motivating yourself, as well as keeping on top of your shit!

Have you got any more tips? 
Leave them in the comments below!  

Amy 
xo

Thursday, 26 January 2017

My Journey Into Minimalism

Minimalism.

That's a scary word to most. It procures images of spartanly furnished rooms, marble floors, pristine white walls and floors and for many, boredom. I don't necessarily think that is the case. I regularly "declutter" my life, but still, I have far too much crap in my life, and that needs to change. I've got so much stuff. I'm 24. If I keep hoarding stuff at the rate I'm hoarding, I'll never be able to move out. Nowhere will fit all my acoutrements!

If I had to be 100% honest about what inspired this, it would be a combination of three bathrobes, a couple hundred DVD's and YouTube videos about the whole journey that goes along with learning to be a more minimalistic human. From the Marie Kondo method of binning items that don't "spark joy", to cutting down the surface area of items like my DVD collection, I am going to document this journey as best I can.

Image: www.taoofsimple.com


As I write this, I'm making plans to cut down my clutter. For my DVD collection, I'm going to put the discs into one of THESE holders and get rid of the plastic cases, which means I can keep the collection that I've been building for years, and I can get rid of the clutter from up against the wall of my room.

How This Post Will Work: 

I will be compiling this post over a long period of time, so the plans, the ideas and the motivation will be in plain text as you read here. Amy from the future will come in and italicise the reflections as they occur. 

I'm going to donate some of my books, because really, who needs two signed copies of The Fault In Our Stars? Not me! I will be keeping my Ross O Carroll Kelly books because I'm amidst that series, but I'm going to donate stuff like Game Of Thrones, Terry Prachett, some biographies and novels I've either never read or never finished, and I'll be happy if I can fit all of my books onto my three shelf book case by the end.

I cleared out my books in a very objective way, because I've noticed I will buy books just to have them. That's not a healthy way to operate. I culled half, to two thirds of my collection and I'm just going to recycle them. I will donate a few of them of course, and I'll pop some into my local little free library too. There are a small few hangers on of books I've read before, like Gordon Ramsays books, Richard Hammonds books etc, but I feel genuine attachment to them, as opposed to clutter I'll never eve glance at. 

When it comes to clothes, I'm not generally a sentimental person, but I do know what I like, and that can get in the way of me donating things that I never really wear, not because I feel attached to an item, but because I find it aesthetically pleasing.

My wardrobe was a bit of a journey, because I felt that I needed to be cutthroat and yet in some instances I couldn't be. I own a large collection of tshirts, so I got rid of the ones that I had forgotten about. Same with hoodies. As a staunch Meath fan, I felt a need to keep my Meath GAA hoody but I never wear it, not to the same degree as my Cork hoody so it went in the donation pile. I found a hoody that was a gift from an ex, that went in the bin. 

I still have a lot of clothes, but it's visibly less,  which I will chalk up to a success for the time being. It's also nice to know that my clothes aren't literally wedged into my wardrobe and I can actually close the doors properly! Result!!! 7

To stop my workout gear cluttering up my wardrobe, and all of whick I wear on a rotational basis, I stored it in a hard plastic crate under my bed. 

My shoe collection has been severely culled as it stands, but I have three pairs to donate also. 

Makeup will be allocated to one makeup case... Full blog post to follow on this one!!

This one hasn't been realistic, but what I've done is thrown away stuff that was very old, that was cruel, and stuff I just didn't love. The hardest thing for me to part with is lipsticks, because I love them so much. Lipstick is literally a part of my RLRH branding, I've a tattoo of a lipstick for goodness sake! I threw away a lot of stuff I don't need or use, and I will be using up what I have before buying new stuff in future.

Jewellery will be severely culled, and I'm just going to chuck out a lot of the stuff I hoard in crates under my bed. I havent thought of it for over six months, it really isn't important to me, is it?

Jewellery was pretty easy, but as of yet, I have not ventured under my bed, so when I do that, I will report back! 

One thing I need to make a point of, is getting some of those Command strip hooks, because I've become one of those people that just leans frames up against the wall, and that's ridiculous!!! My oldest friend gave me a framed print two Christmasses ago and I still haven't hung it, same with a small framed print Dex got me in New York. That's just lazy and stupid.


So, this was the first post about my minimalism journey, and in some ways, I am making this series as a form of diary entry. I hope you find my thoughts and reflections readable and enjoyable! 

There's gonna be more, keep an eye out!! 

Amy 
xo

Monday, 23 January 2017

Making 2017 My Year - The FiloFax

Getting organised can be a bit of a nightmare, and I admit, it's quite an undertaking. I am a huge lover of clearing out and getting on top of things, but it rarely lasts long, hence why I clear out my wardrobe every six months!!  One of my resolutions was to get myself organised, and originally I was going to buy a Paperchase FiloFax, but I couldn't justify the €40 price tag. Then on a weekend grocery shop with Himself, I spotted a small, black leather FiloFax lookalike in Lidl for €5. I couldn't leave it behind, because not only is there a 2017 calendar, but it also came with a 2018 calendar too, making it fantastic value for money, two years for a fiver? Grand job!

Image: metropolitanorganising.com

I've been getting myself organised since I bought it, and so far it's been working great. I've customized it somewhat, with file tabs and post it notes. When I bought it, it was very much an effort of "I need to get my life together" but now that I'm going back to college, it's becoming a more intrinsic part of my life. It's gone from being an option to a necessity. On a Monday morning, usually on the bus or over a cup of tea, I've been sitting down to plan my week out, and add any appointments further out in time. I use the post it's notes to write extra info on, like phone numbers, lists and reminders.

My beloved Lidl Filo, my Post-It's and my specs!!

The FiloFax is going to prove very useful in the coming months, with assignment deadlines and the likes looming over me. I'm also promising myself that I will spend as much time in the library as possible on a Friday or a Monday as I can, and having a tool like the FiloFax will really help me to get my time allotted correctly. It will allow me to keep track of applications for internships and jobs too!

If you're a fan of the Twittersphere, give me a follow @redlips_redhair, and I will probably be posting updates a-plenty over there.

Have you got a Filo or do you prefer another way of organising yourself? 
Let me know!!

Amy 
xo

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Seventeen Stay Time 25hr Foundation REVIEW

Since I've started on my journey to going cruelty free with my makeup and skincare, I've been on the hunt for a new foundation. Foundation is hard to buy though, especially when you're a pasty pale princess, like moi. It's even harder to buy when you've got less options. Luckily, I've been getting recommendations off friends, and this time around I've opted to try my dearest Aoife's recommendation: Seventeen Stay Time 25hr Foundation.

Stay Time in Porcelain
This foundation retails for 9.00 in Boots, and I picked up the palest shade they had, which is Porcelain. It's always the same routine for me, just get the palest shade and pray it's actually pale.

I've been wearing it for a couple of weeks now, and I have some thoughts.

First of all, it's actually pale, and that's a huge point in its favor. I blend it down my neck and it looks lovely. The coverage is full, but not heavy, which I find can go along with other full coverage foundations. It applies well with either a beauty blender, or a flat top foundation brush, and dries down to a demi-matte finish. I powder lightly with a translucent powder, which mattifies it a little more without altering the coverage.
Full face with a Stay Time base

I find it lasts quite well, without getting too shiny. It doesn't seem to break down on any trouble spots, either! As for the 25 Hour thing? I cannot confirm, but it does wear well for a solid ten hours or more. I love it! Not bad considering you get change out of a tenner!!

All in all, I am very impressed with this foundation, and I'm going to repurchase this til I find something better, which could take a long while!!

Have you tried this foundation? 
Drop me a comment and let me know! 

Amy
xo

Monday, 16 January 2017

Making 2017 My Year - The Strong Start

Image: www.dumpaday.com


2016 was a wonderful year in many ways, but in other ways it was a bit of a bust! I left my bakery job before my birthday in March, went off on holidays with Dex, and came back to face unemployed life. I did get a job pretty soon after we came back, but it was obvious that I wasn't good at the job, so a couple months later, we parted ways. When I left that job, I gave serious time and thought to the idea of going back to college.

The thing is, I have many many areas of interest, and a whole plethora of things I want to do in my life. Just for the hell of it, I'll give you a few of the stand out things I'd love to try my hand at:


  • Chocolatier, 
  • Optician,
  • Combine Harvester Operator (I know!!) 
  • Model
  • Radio Host,
  • Writer, (This one, I hope to achieve one day)
  • Chiropractor 
  • Personal Assistant, 
  • Lyons Tea Taste Tester (Dreaming big, yeah, that's me!!)
I really only gave one or two of these options a real chance, and optometry was a high contender until I realized I would need to take Leaving Cert Physics. There would be a better chance of getting me to sit for a blood test than getting me to sit another leaving cert paper!! 

I decided to look around for some other options. I had seen a good while back on my OG blogging buddy Kayliegh's blog Kayliegh Land that she had gone back to college through a local governing body and that seemed to be a cool option, because she's been retraining into Accountancy if I remember rightly. 



If any of my readers are unemployed, you may have heard of Springboard, an initiative to retrain and upskill people who are currently out of work. I was mooching around online on St Stephens Day and I stumbled on the Springboard website, so I signed up, and I decided to see what was on offer. Next thing I know, I'm filling in an application for a Digital Marketing course in Dublin Business School (DBS). I thought I'd never hear anything back but lo and behold the first Monday of the 2017, I got a call from the Admissions Officer asking for some transcripts and documents, I went off to meet the head of the Digital Marketing Department in the college a week later, and next thing I know, I'm in! 

The most nerve wracking thing for me about the whole thing was the meeting. I'm a nervous chatterbox, and I was terrified, but when I sat down with the Dept Head, I was absolutely at ease. We talked for a while, and by the end of it she had told me on no uncertain terms that I was going to be recommended for a place in the course, shook my hand and bid me farewell. Poor ol' Dex came with me and he had to endure my excited, completely awestruck ramblings for the following few hours over dinner, and take a call in his work when I got the acceptance, but he was a trooper.

Image: www.zerodean.com

I had already decided on New Years Eve that I was going to make 2017 MY year, that I was going to do whatever it took to bring myself closer to the dream. When I applied for the course in DBS, I had made a positive move in the right direction, but if it hadn't have worked out in my favor, I just would have kept of trying. Getting a place in this intensely competitive course is just the beginning though, next thing I need to start looking for is a suitable internship and start taking steps towards a future in this industry. 



I'm only 16 days into 2017 as I write this, and I'm already so excited for the year to come. I'm so pumped to get started with my course, it's given me a new focus and a new drive to succeed that I haven't had since I first went into the bakery. 

All in all, 2017 is shaping up to be pretty great already, I'm ready to smash it!!

Amy
xo