Having a Makeup Lesson

This year I’ve been getting to know myself a bit better through clothes and makeup. This last weekend I went with my friend to Bath for makeup lesson she found on a popular voucher website.

So we headed to Bath early on Sunday and it was a beautiful warm sunny day. I wish I’d taken my big camera, but I didn’t want to be carrying around. I found an open coffee shop and enjoyed a smooth flat white while I waited for Holly to arrive. We then wandered up to the place where the lesson was being held and chatted about what we were expecting.

As it was being held in a function room of a bar I had mixed expectations. I was hoping to get some insight into what would work for my skin, but not expecting to much one on one interaction. Holly was hoping it wasn’t going to be a sales pitch. All are expectations were slightly off. There were 12 of us and one make up artist who talked us through what to. Although she set it up by saying we would have lots of time to practice, it ended up being mainly her talking through what she was doing on a volunteer. We did get to have a go at three looks – a 5 minute quick look, a daytime look, and an evening look – all of which built upon the last, rather than taking off and re-starting. I definitely learnt how to do the less is more and that was great, but it felt like there was not much access to individuality as the make up artist only had her supplies. I think we were expecting it to be held by a make up brand as it was marketed that way, rather than a freelance. It was great it wasn’t  sales pitch and she was able to recommend specific products from many brands rather than just one.

Overall I’m glad we only spent £29, rather than the £90 it was advertised as normally being. I was pleased with what I learnt and some of the products we used. I felt I learnt how to use some of the products in much more efficient ways. It was definitely a beginners course, which again didn’t really come across in the marketing and two people did leave half way through as I don’t think it was what they wanted. Holly and I had a couple few hours and a lovely day in Bath we wouldn’t have had otherwise. It’s also given us the bug and we are looking at other things we could do to learn more about our skin, colourings, and make up techniques.

As I said it was a beautiful sunny day and the colourful umbrellas in the main shopping street were amazing in the bright sunlight.

After the lesson we decided to go shopping and I did treat myself so a few new things. Kiko is my new go-to place for reasonable priced items that are in lots of shades and I got myself a new foundation and a green concealer. I splurged on the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay. It’s somethings I’ve looked at several times, but never thought to buy, but I was impressed with the colours I used in the lesson and seeing how I would use all the colours was a big selling point. I also went for the MAC casual cheek and lip stain in Hi Jinks. Its supper bright, but being a cream it blends so well and gave me a glow I have never had form powder blushers. This was something I didn’t believe would work in the lesson, but I was proven wrong and sold on this!

We also bought some clothes and had a lovely lunch in the sunshine. Bath is one of my favourite shopping places. It’s so full of history that I find it beautiful and fascinating, and as close as I can get to Rome within a 45 minute drive. I would love to live there again. I spent six months living there back in 2008 and loved it, but it super expensive so now it’s just day trips. The only downside is the sheer amount of people that flock there on weekends. At 8am it was so quiet and peaceful, but by 2pm its crowded and difficult to move around. I still love it though and just pick my time to visit carefully.

Adventures in Books… Illumicrate Subscription Box

I’m a big book lover and have been watching online all the different subscription boxes available in the US with envy. The only this that has stopped me from ordering from overseas is the outragores shipping costs and custom charges. It’s taken me a few months to sign up, but I finally did to Illumicrate, which is currently a quarterly subscription box!

The box arrived almost two weeks ago and I was so busy I only unpacked it this last Friday in time for the Bank Holiday. My aim with these boxes is to read the book that is included as my next book so that I stay on top of them and they do not get added to the TBR pile and disappear. I want to broaden my bookshelf and enjoy treating myself to something like this (instead of food) and the extra goodies you get are lovely to spread over more time that just reading the book.

The box comes all packaged nicely with everything protected. It was lovely to open it and receive the this positive thank you straight away.

Pippin wanted to help me open the box – the only issue when trying to take unpacking photos!

I loved opening right to a list of what is inside so that as I pulled things out I could refer to the specifics of each item and where they come from.

My unpacking was hinder a bit my Pippin wanting to smell everything so I ended up taking one big photo of everything to save time!

The box this time contains some exciting and fun things:

  1. When We Collided by Emery Lord – I’m intrigued by this book as I have seen it on a couple of YA mental health book lists and it’s perfect timing for where I am right now. Also a signed bookplate I have already stuck in the book as I felt that is where it needs to be.
  2. What happens in bookclub, stays in book club mug – this is going to be perfect for picnics and travelling as it’s lightweight and fits my personality.
  3. To Be Read List – a little notepad I will probably use for all kinds of shopping lists or little review notes for books I’ve read.
  4. Bookworm clip – a very cute extra large paper clip. I’m not sure where I am going to use this, but its so cute I might just pop it in one my books to display on my bookshelf.
  5. Readers Gonna Read pin – I love this and was only thinking the other day I wanted to start finding some fun pins to put on a bag or on my work lanyard maybe.
  6. A stamp – this is also very cute, but again I have no idea how I’m going to use it. It’s on a lovely label so I could put it on display by keeping it on the label.
  7. Extras – fun badges, postcards, and a preview of Strange the Dreamer!

It was lovely to receive a box of non-food goodies through the post. I’m going to continue with this for a while, but I think these boxes are things I will sign up to for a bit then stop, but then sign up to again in the future!

Wandering around London

Where has May gone? Honestly I feel like it should be 10th, not the 27th! It has been a busy, but great month. I feel like I have been making the most of each moment and taking time where I need it to check in with myself. I’ve also been more social that I have been for a long time and it’s been fun. I do need to find my balance and make sure I do say no when I need to. It’s all feels good though.

Last week I got to go to London for work and as I was on my own I made the most of my trip by staying overnight and doing some exploring that evening. I also got to practice some of my photography skills. I wandered from Victoria area over to Buckingham Palace and St James Park. There were lots of people around and I realised after it was the Queen’s Annual Garden Party. It was fun to stop and people watch for a while. Lots of uniforms and fancy outfits wandering around. Also watching the British tradition of queuing in formal wear. I was entertained for free and it was fun.  it was a grey evening, but lovely and warm so walking around was a pleasure and it was nice to slow down and observe the business of London and take the photographs below.

St James Park
Buckingham Palace Gates
Lion man
Outside Buckingham Palace
Top hat man
Keeping Watch
View from St James Park

I’m lucky that I get to to some lovely places with my job and that my work encourages taking time when visiting a place to properly visit, learn and appreciate what it means to be there. I’ve a few trips coming over over the next year where I am making the most of the opportunity to explore and fulfill my wanderlust in more ways.


I’m restless right now.

I love a lot of my life right now, but at the same time I know I want more. I love my house with my cats and the freedom I have in my new job and the future travels I have planned. But, I’m having a severe case of small-town syndrome, which started late last year and hasn’t disappeared.

Part of me wonders if it’s another symptom of everything not being quite right with how I am thinking about things. I wonder if it stems from wanting to jump into something new to distract from the things causing me discomfort right now. I need a bit more time to work through things in therapy before I make any life changing decisions, but at the same time I can try to calm my restlessness by looking at options.

I’m currently on a contract with work so there may be an opportunity next year to move form my small town to a city. I want to live in a city just once. It might not end up being right for me, but I want to try it out. I also want to try out living by the coast and up in the mountains at some point in my life. I’ve come to realise I don’t want to stay living where I am forever and I’m okay with that. I like a base, but after a few years I need to move onto something new and that is exciting.

It is about being brave and stepping out into the unknown every so often. I need to take myself out of my comfort zone to make sure I am living my life to the full and not becoming complacent. 

My heart has not yet found it’s permanent place and it may never find it. I’m not a nomad, but I want to move around and experience different things. I thought I would be living abroad this time 10 years ago, but I didn’t go after it. My dreams have changed and that is okay, but I won’t ignore them any more or let the everyday distract me from what I really want to live my life for.

I am curious about what life can hold. I’ve made decisions about my life already that mean I need to find my fulfillment away from the norm. I don’t want to conform with a traditional way of life. This might be my way of rebelling against the life part of me thinks I should want. I really want adventure and exploration! My versions of these are probably very different from other people’s and again that is okay with me. In the end as long as I am living the life I want to live what else is there to be concerned with?

Catching up on Coffee 2016 Part 2

I have been drinking less coffee these last few months, but it’s been of much better quality that previously. I have been taking the time to brew coffee properly as I understood on my course last month and using different brew methods. So since my Part 1 update back at the start of the year I’ve only worked my way through two new coffees as well as finishing off the last of my fudge blend.

Both coffee’s were from Rave as it’s so easy for me to get to. I stepped into the world of decaf after my course as I was making more coffees in the evening for a few weeks and I knew I would not be able to handle the caffeine. I mainly used this one in my espresso machine as I got it ground specifically for that use. I did have a go with it in my new aeropress as well though and although it was a bit too fine it worked quite well.

I then also tried the Papua New Guinea beans as a single origin. This one was recommended by the guys at Rave and I was impressed when I got it home. It brewed very nicely with the pour over and french press. I found the aeropress gave it a slightly different flavour and I didn’t like it so much, but this could have been part of my learning curve with a new brewing method.

I now have another two new beans from Rave for this month and a shout out to them for their excellent customer service the last time I went in and it was crazy busy!

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