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.


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

Errands: Post Office
                 Collect scrip
                        Get dinner stuff

Misc:  Dinner
                                          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!  


Thursday, 26 January 2017

My Journey Into 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.


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!! 


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!


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!!


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! 


Monday, 16 January 2017

Making 2017 My Year - The Strong Start


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.


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!!