Tuesday, 19 May 2015

BEAUTY: Why I'm embracing my pale skin

As you should be able to see from any of my photos, I am a pale girl. There is no beating around the bush - I am incredibly pale, and don't even get me started on my legs!

I've always been a 'pasty' girl, starting out life as a blue eyed, blonde girl has meant I get the light skin to match. I burn super easy as well, though I am fortunate that I do tan from it, but tanning without burning first is relatively unseen for me (apart from my trip to South Africa in 2012 where I had a lovely tan and no burning!).

This summer I am embracing my paleness - along with much of the nation apparently. According to this article, sales of fake tan of fallen by 24 per cent. I have dabbled in fake tan previously, including spray tans, but this year I'm foregoing it all in favour of my natural skin (with tattoos).
The baked look just doesn't work for me, and I'm a fairly low maintenance girl so am useless at keeping up with fake tan regimes and spray tan appointments. I'd rather spend my time and money on tattoos and make up then an orange paste or liquid that ruins my sheets and goes streaky. Plus I swim a lot, which makes the survival rate of tanning lotions drop significantly.

One of the biggest reasons that I love my skin is that I have a good complexion generally speaking. I don't use foundation unless it is for a special occasion or event and I rarely have any breakouts.

Secondly, being so pale means my tattoos stand out so much more. Part of the reason I love colour tattoos is because they look great on my skin.

As I said I am essentially a human sloth when it comes to beauty regimes, so I won't be spending time on fake tanning each night (and remembering to exfoliate).

I'm off to Turkey in June so will hopefully have a sunny natural glow and a nice vitamin D boost.

So I'm embracing my paleness.
I will wear sunscreen because cooked lobster is not a good look.
I will show my tattoos off and let them do the talking.

What about you? Will you be faking it or embracing it?

Sunday, 17 May 2015

LIFESTYLE: 10 things I've learnt from two years of marriage

Today I am celebrating two years of marriage...
Yes I am 25 so fairly young to be a wife
Yes I am perfectly happy
No it was not a shotgun wedding - we've been together seven years now!

To be honest I didn't think being married would make any difference to my life - but it does. Not straight away, but after a while it does.
So I thought I would share with you 10 things that I've learnt in two years of marriage

1. It isn't always easy
Like any relationship, there are tough patches. Just because you're married doesn't automatically mean everything in a relationship is easier. There will still be arguments and debates, but there is also security and love.

2. Sometimes it is ok to go to bed on a argument
The mantra is 'don't go to bed on an argument' but I don't believe in this at all. Sometimes it is ok. I'm a very fiery person and I need time to calm down from an argument, so sometimes I will sleep on an argument - sometimes in a different room. BUT I make up in the morning. A new perspective the next day really helps to diffuse the situation and practically deal with the problem. (in my opinion)

3. Communication is vital
Talking is absolutely vital. How is anyone supposed to know how you feel if you don't tell them, because let's be honest here, your spouse can not mind read! Have honest discussions with one another so you know where your heads are at!

4. Cuddles are also vital
Physical contact is so important to keep the magic alive. And I love a cuddle. There is nothing that makes you feel safer and more loved.

5. You don't have to plan everything
I've learnt this more and more recently. You can plan and plan and plan, but no doubt, something will throw a spanner in the works. Some things should be planned, but not necessarily to finite detail (and this is coming from a world class planner!) and remember, some times things happen for a reason out of your control.

6. Young married couples will be judged
I get this A LOT. "Oh you're so young to be married". When it feels right, it's right. Never judge someone's decision in love.

7. And it will be assumed that you are going to have kids... soon
In all honesty I do want children - very much. I have been pregnant since being married, although I unfortunately had a miscarriage. However, this prompted an evaluation of our lives and we decided to put a family on hold. I am a firm believer that parents should have their shit together (as much as possible) before starting a family. You should inspire your children and lead by example, so having happy career/job loving parents is important to me. So right now - I am not planning children!!

8. DIY will test your relationship skills
Having just bought a house this is a new one to the list. DIY is a true relationship tester. Moving house alone is a tester, to then start massive DIY projects including a full kitchen renovation is... tricky! It is worth it in the end, and that is the key to ensuring you don't murder your other half with a hammer - keep in mind the big picture! You're building a home, for you both.

9. Share the workload
We try to split our chores as much as possible. And take it turns. We each have our preferred chores, such as I always do the ironing, Dann always does the car cleaning. No one feels (normally) that they are doing everything.

10. Marriage is the best and 100% worth it
I love being a wife. I love being married. And I love everything that comes with it. It really is as simple as that.

10 things I've learnt from two years of marriage

Friday, 15 May 2015

LIFESTYLE: Five tips for planning your alternative wedding

This time two years ago I was in the final days of planning one of the best days of my life.

It is one of the hardest and most fulfilling things I have ever done, and 100% worth the hard work and effort. For me, my wedding day has been one of the best days of my life. I loved every minute of the day - apart from being slightly ill in the morning.

I thought I would share some of my tips for planning a wedding, just before wedding season really kicks off. Plus a share of a couple of my favourite wedding blogs/bloggers.

1. Pinterest will keep you organised
Probably my favourite tool when it came to planning my wedding - I just wish I had found it sooner in some respects. Creating your wedding boards and updating them becomes highly addictive, but is so useful, especially if you are doing lots of it yourself and handmade. You can also create private boards so no one can see your colour schemes or ideas.

2. Read alternative blogs
My two go-to blogs when planning my wedding was Rock N Roll Bride (obviously) and Off Beat Bride. Both of these showcase some of the very best in alternative weddings, including handmade/DIY.

rock n roll bride


3. Follow your heart
Make your wedding about you. Nothing you do can be wrong. It is my biggest piece of advice. We had an Alice in Wonderland theme to our wedding, and although I loved it and it was beautiful, there is a small part of me that wishes we had stuck with our original idea of a tattoo lovers theme. If I did it all again I would definitely do that instead. If you want a steampunk/goth/superhero wedding, have one. If you want taxidermy as a centre piece - do it - I wish I had! You'll have some lovely pieces round your home afterwards to remind you of your big day!

4. Don't rule anything out
This particularly applies to the ceremony and the wedding dress. In a previous job I worked as a sales consultant at a bridal boutique and my advice to all brides-to-be is to try everything at lease once. You never know what you might love, and dresses can look totally different on you then they do in the hanger. And have fun with it! You are hopefully only go to do it once, so you may as well enjoy it and make the most of it - how often do you get to wear big pretty dresses!?!

5. Plan early
We were engaged for two years before we got married and started planning fairly quickly. Even if it was only mind-maps and lists (I love a good list). Ensuring we planned early made the last couple of months so much easier and stress-free - no Bridezilla here!

Have you gotten married recently?
What are your tips for planning a wedding?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

BLOGGING: Blog/work/life balance

It isn't always easy being a blogger.
Anyone who claims it is, is either lying or has a pretty poor excuse for a blog.

Any self respecting blogger will admit that it isn't always a walk in the park, but boy is it worth it. There is something very satisfying about seeing your writing on a page, with your photos,  and people,  people you've never even met, appreciate and dare I say it, love what you put on the internet,
But it isn't always as easy as just typing words on a page and hitting publish. One of the hardest obstacles for any blogger is finding time - the second is writers block, but I will cover that in a seperate post.
Personally, I blog (obviously) and work full time. Some weeks I'm better at keeping my blog up to date, than others. I tend to go through patches, dependent on what else life is throwing at me.
I know a lot of bloggers also work full-time, and an awful lot are studengs, who will eventually work full-time. So I thought I'd share some of my hints and tips for a successful blog/work/life balance.
1. Get organised
I'm a planner. I'm hyper organised. Most of this is because if I'm not hyper organised, I am the most forgetful person ever and I wouldn't get anything done. I have schedules. And I write anything and everything down. Oh and I make lists... oh so many lists.
My new addiction is Trello which is an amazing organisation tool.
Creating lists and mind maps helps me work out my content and orgamise my time better. I know what I need to do and when.
2. Prioritise
Remember what is important to you? Make sure you know what is your biggest priority. For me, my blog is fairly low on my priorities but it doesn't mean I don't love it. But my husband and work come first.
3. Get digital
I am obsessed with the Blogger app for my tablet and mobile. It means I can write up my posts whilst travelling or waiting for an appointment - tbus saving me time. I'm a multi-tasker by nature, and I get bored very easily so being able to write my posts whilst doing something else is ki d of important to me and my work/blog/life balance.
Also a scheduler works well. I plan all my tweets the night before using buffer. Tweetdeck is also fab fpr further in advamce posts as buffer has a 10 post  limit on the free plan.
4. Create an editorial calendar
This links to getting organised. An editorial calendar means you can plan your content in advance and not worry about running out of ideas.
5. Save your weekends
I tend to blog at the weekend, or over a bank holiday. I try to keep my evenings free to spend with my husband as I've worked all day, this helps me feel more relaxed, then I can spend a few hours finishin posts, takig photos and finishing layouts at the weekend, then no more worries.
What do you do to help your work/life/blog balance? Leave me your tips in the comments below!

Monday, 11 May 2015

TATTOOS: Temporary Tattoos and Cara Delevingne at the MetGala

The MetGala has been all over the news and social media this week for it's unique and eye-catching fashion. As always it caused a stir with fancy headdresses (Sarah Jessica Parker), golden fur coats (Rhianna) and envious bodies under sheer fabrics and sparkle (Oh Beyoncé you've broken the internet!).

But one of the most interesting fashion statements for me was from model Cara Delevingne. Tying in with the theme of Oriental, Cara showed off her love for body art by being painted in temporary tattoos.
The designs are quintessential Japanese style, featuring pink cherry blossoms and pretty birds, covering her arms, back and chest. She certainly knows how to make a statement, with 11 hours of work from the team behind one of the world's most renowned tattooists Bang Bang.

 Cara Delevingne Met Gala 2015

It brings about many a question about the growing trend for temporary tattoos. They are in almost all the high street chains ready for the summer and being seen on everyone at festivals and parties. They're like the fancy version of what I had in the 90's, minus the glitter.

I'm in two minds about them to be honest.
I like them in the sense that they are fun and pretty, and are better than getting henna from an unknown person on holiday or even a real tattoo whilst out on a girls or boys holiday.
But on the other hand they are promoting tattoos as a fashion statement. Which is something a tattoo should never be.

What do you think about temporary tattoos?

Temporary tattoos from Topshop

Temporary tattoos from ASOS