Monday, 28 March 2016

My makeup revolution

As someone who has been reading blogs for a while, it's interesting to see how makeup trends change. From year to year, season to season. People try all sorts of exciting designs and ideas. One thing that stands out to me is not that they necessarily have a humongous make up collection, but rather a solid collection of key pieces and occasional extra buys.
Sadly, reading blog posts has highlighted to me that I really don't have a strong makeup setup. I don't use tons of makeup, very little on a day to day basis. It's something I enjoy greatly though  and want to start upping my game a wee bit. I used all the tips that had kind of gathered in my subconscious and realised I was the one holding myself back. In fact, I was very guilty of a number of make up no-no's. 
1) buying makeup that doesn't suit me
2) keeping out of date products
3) holding onto products "just in case" I might use them
4) not washing my brushes... Err yeah...
Basically, I needed a big change up.

I ended up having a ginormous sort out of all the makeup I owned. Yep all of it. I was absolutely ruthless and I actually threw out a couple of bags worth of products. Anything that I didn't use went, any products that I had since before uni (so at least 4 years old) went. I tried a few products that I'd amassed but never used and sifted through those.
I was left with a bare but good collection of items that I actually use regularly and suit me. I even sorted all those old brushes that I didn't use or ones that were incredibly grim and therefore were unlikely to use again...

Now here comes the exciting part.
I don't condone having a sort out and then immediately splashing out on new stuff, not usually. But that's exactly what I did. The difference is, is that I knew exactly what I was after:
1) a good nude eyeshadow pallet
2) a lightweight foundation
3) a subtle lipstick

I did a fair bit of market research, aka a good nosy online for ages and came out with a few potentials. A nice long trip into Boots to try out in person and low and behold I got what I was after. I even got a few extra treats as I shopped before Mothers day and got a few freebie extras.
Ta dah!

Its not a lot, but combined with what was left over from my sort out I've now got a makeup collection I'm very happy with!
Any tips on what I should add to the collection next?
Abi x

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Infinite Variety 2016: 38, 14 and 106

Couple of quick reviews for ya! So Buckle up ladies, gents and others!

  • No.38 Persuasion by Jane Austen: Thankfully I read this way back when I was 15. I was in a different place then, a different book club. I read it, cover to cover and frankly hated it. It was pure strength of will and my wanting to show off to a fave teacher that even got me that far. Even though I can barely remember much about it, I absolutely refuse to even read it again, based on the brain pain it caused all those years ago. Its a straight 0/5 from me. Classics 0, Abi 1.
  • No.14 Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: In direct contrast to the above book, I really enjoyed Rebecca. I loved the subtlety the book displayed. Factors like never learning the authors true name, the constant presence of Rebecca throughout, and the overarching effect of Manderley itself. very good 4/5.
  • No.106 The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens: I've read a few Dickens but not many. Initially I was looking forward to reading this. However I found it rather underwhelming, in the end. I read it all, but it just never really grabbed me. Decent quality of writing as to be expected so its gets a 1/5.
Just a few wee reviews, I really need to have a catch up on my read:review ratio for this challenge! 
Abi x

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Life update 5: The times, they are, a'changin

Excuse my attempt to capture a song in my title... but I'ma singing it right now!
It's been a wee while since we had a nice rambly life post, as opposed to a rambley other post...
I guess you could say that on the surface, not a lot has changed, but when you delve deeper some big stuff is happening.

  • For example, I've been working as a full time Physiotherapist for 6 months now. 6 BLOODY MONTHS! Where the heck have they gone? In fact, our new rotations have just been announced in work. Starting in May, I'll be off the wards and in the Outpatients Department. Which is pretty cool, but also mega scary. I lately felt really settled in my current role, I've even had students to observe and help educate. Again, a cool experience but also scary. SO many things are scary. I'm mostly nervous about how much knowledge I'm going to need for Outpatients, that I've not really needed at the moment, or only little bits. Thankfully, I'll be really well supported so that helps some! However, I will definitely have to get my head int he books to have a good old refresh...
  • On Lewis' side, he's due to start his rotations in the University Veterinary hospital. I'm dead, dead excited for him and can't wait to hear all about his experiences. Yet I'm a little apprehensive of the effect it'll have on our relationship. We've had times when we've both worked full time hours before, but they've usually only occurred for short periods, say a week or two. This will be much more long term, basically a trial run for real life. We're going have to make sure we make the most of our free time and weekends also!
  • I've been in a bit of a blog rut lately, as mentioned previously in this post. Why, am I talking about it here then? Because, I think it's starting to lift a bit. It's helped that I've had a few quiet days at home, in the past I'd have been all over those writing and planning posts left, right and centre. Instead I gave myself the first couple of days to chill, by the third I was just like, I need something to do.. so I started writing! I basically just took the pressure to write away, let it mull about a bit, then I found that I was ready to go again. 

So, just some per.. haha.
If you like these kind of posts, give me a heads up. Its actually quite therapeutic to rite, and I'm allll bout da therapy.
Abi x

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Infinite Variety 2016: 65,73,93,102,126,135,148,151,152,153,193,197

If you hadn't guessed, all these numbers are from one author. One of my faves actually...Yep, it's good ol' Terry P. Or Terry Pratchett as the world knows him as. 
One of many bookstacks dotted around my Dad's home.
I have had an upbringing surrounded by his works. The Colour of Magic, was among the first books I really got my teeth into, back when the reading bug first got me. I can't think about my Dad's home and not imagine a couple of Discworld novels scattered in the background. To me, reading a Discworld book is like coming home. Especially as last week marked a whole year that the world has survived post-TP. 
Now, you can argue the nuances and uniqueness of each book, but I'm just going to throw it out there that I'm giving the collective works a 5/5 from me. I have favourites and I have novels that I've only read once.  These books will forever hold a place in my heart. Clearly others feel the same, seeing how not one, not two but freaking 12!! Made it onto the top 200 books.
If you haven't read them, go read them.
That is all.
Abi x
P.s. If you genuinely haven't read them, there's a million different ways you can, have a google and it won't seem nearly so daunting.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Book review 6// Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

It's been a while since I've done a non-Infinite Variety book review. So I decided to pick an absolute stormer!
To take us back a bit, I received the first book in the Reckoners trilogy, Steelheart, from a friend for Christmas about 2 years ago now. I read it in just a few hours. 
I picked up book 2, Firefight, last year. I hadn't even known there was a second book, if not for  a quick wander through the bookstore.
By book 3, Calamity, I was clued up. I kept an eye out for it, and picked it up pretty quickly.

Now for the review: I'll admit that I'm a big of fan of Sanderson's writing style. It's simultaneously very descriptive but also very clear. The only time I've ever felt disappointed with him is when he assisted on the last Wheel of Time books, but that's an extraneous circumstance. Calamity was another classic piece of work.
The progression in the story felt very natural and the charachters remained true to themselves. My only bugbear was that the ending didn't feel quite right for me. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it. I don't mean the books climax, I thought that was spectacular! But rather the last few pages just felt a bit off. 
Perhaps its just me, having read the book too fast. I don't know, maybe if I reread it this sense will go away.
For now, however, it's recieving a solid 4.5/5 from me.
Abi x

Friday, 4 March 2016

You're invited!!***

To my house! Well....actually not...oops!
What you are invited to is this post, about  invitations!
I was recently asked by Paperless Post to talk about what birthday I was looking forward to next, and how I would spend it!
Now, if you've followed this blog from the start, you'll know that I turned 21 this year. In the UK that's a pretty big birthday, an you can see how I celebrated it here.
In terms of big birthdays, it'll be a while before I'll reach one( I.e. 30). 
So instead, I thought about what age am I looking forward to and I decided that I cannot wait to be...25!

There is a thought process behind this, I promise. I want to be 25 for a number of reasons. I'll have been practicing for a few years, hopefully being more confident in my self and my skills, maybe even be looking for the next step up the career ladder.
I'll have been living away from home for 7 years, 4 years post-uni. 
I'll have been with Lewis a huge 7 years. Celebrating his finishing uni an trying practice as a vet. We may have move house again, we may even have a kid.
I feel that I've made tremendous steps in developing my character, my personality and my hobbies this year, imagine what I'll be like in another 4? (Super badass, I hope).
I'll be halfway to 30, a perfect stop point for reflection an planning. 
Also, think of how many books I could read in 4 years... Does that many even exist?
It's exciting for me to think about my future at this point in time. The uncertainty, the scariness, all a challenge to be faced.
So when I do reach 25, I will bloody want to celebrate the fact! 
I wouldn't want a big party, never really been my thing (my mum loves it though).  
I think I love to invite a group of close friends out for a posh afternoon tea( I'll be posh enough by 25) with a theme, Formal invitations and everything!
The twist being that it has to be book themed! I can literally think of Nowt better: friends, cake and books. 
Maybe afterwards we could go for cocktails, having eaten tons of cake to soak up the alcohol... 
Maybe I could do this for 22... I don't really want to wait now! One thing is certain, I'll definitely be looking to Paperless Post for resources, they have a really varied collection of cards and invitations on their website. They seem reasonably priced, although I don't know how that would stand when ordering outside the US. 
Clearly I need more firm plans for my big birthday,  any suggestions for me? 
Abi x
P.s head to for more ideas!
P.p.s this post was written whilst working with paperless post!