life, mindfulness, netflix, thoughts

To Kondo or not to Kondo, that is the question…

I haven’t read her book or seen the Netflix show, and to be honest I probably won’t, mostly because the thought of watching someone sort through their crap just isn’t my thing.

I hate cleaning; don’t get me wrong I can hoover, dust, scrub and mop like a regular little Cinderella but I don’t enjoy doing it. I also hate sorting through my stuff.

I’m a bit of a pack rat, I own a lot of stuff and I know that. But sorting through it stresses me out. My anxiety ridden brain can’t cope with decisions like to throw or to keep.

I have form for making mistakes. I had the perfect denim jacket once, till I donated it with a load of other stuff to Oxfam. Bye bye excellent jacket.

A load of books was accidentally donated while my bedroom was being decorated. They got mixed in with some others and by the time I realised, it was too late.

I am the queen of donation regret, of selling on eBay remorse. Just this week I rescued a hoodie and a skirt from the donation bag at home because it occurred to me that I could put together a cute outfit with those bits.

I understand Marie Kondo’s ethos – the whole sparking joy concept. I even think people totally overreacted to get comments about books (she wasn’t saying you have to get rid of them fyi). I’m even envious of the clever t-shirt folding trick as it looks super neat and tidy, the way I’m not.

My flat could undoubtedly do with a de-clutter, a thorough tidy up, but I don’t trust myself with it all. I get super emotionally attached to objects, and I can’t throw things away.

I’m not a hoarder, although both C and I are definitely holding onto a lot of stuff we could probably live without. I’m donating some bits and pieces this weekend that I culled from my wardrobe when I swapped my summer clothes to winter (several months ago but I have to let things sit so I don’t get all regretful).

I eye up the boxes I haven’t opened since I moved in and think I really should, after 6 years, have a look at what’s in there, but later, after I finish my book.

My dad has gotten into the habit of just chucking everything in a skip and not caring, my mum saves things in hidey holes so he can’t throw away our family photo albums (a thing that he almost did once). Their standoff on what he calls “junk” has been going for at least my entire lifetime.

I’ve got better about certain things – books I can’t imagine re-reading are released into the wild via friends, family and charity shops. But even then I have form for going “Oh crap, I should have kept that book!”

C doesn’t help, he has tonnes of old Warhammer and it takes him about a year to get rid of bits of it. Whenever he does he’s like a puppy wanting his head patted. I wouldn’t mind but he buys new miniatures all the time so I don’t think it evens out.

We don’t have a big flat, and we’re a little squashed in with all the things we can’t quite say goodbye to yet.

If you need me, I’ll be buried under the overloaded bookcase. It’s the way I want to go.

beauty, thoughts

The future of beauty? 

This blog post is part of the blogging competition organised by CGTrader – find out more here.

 The beauty industry moves at its own entirely mysterious pace – some brands are totally with the times in terms of innovation and design and others lag a bit behind. There is some brilliant technology in place, like colour matching and mixing an exact foundation for your skin. However I think this could be taken further.

 We all lead busy lives and not all of us have time to go to a physical shop and be colour matched – one day I reckon you will be able to take a selfie and have a computer work out your perfect shade in seconds and then place your order for same day delivery – making sure you always look spot on and not orange or ashy.

 I think more make-up will be intuitive – and could we please create something that doesn’t melt when it gets warm!  Foundations that adapt to different textures on your skin and colour corrects without too much faffing.

 I can’t for the life of me get the perfect line on my lids, so a smart eyeliner is top of my wish list – one that adapts to your specific eyelid shape, adjusting the brush angle for the perfect flick every time, an even, defined line. A mascara that does this too would be the perfect partner, adapting to your lashes.

 I also think more and more brands will become eco aware in ways they haven’t yet – from biodegradable packaging instead of plastic, cruelty free formulas, SPF in everything to reduce the risk of skin cancer, and a shift away from chemical ingredients that actually do harm like preservatives – there are alternatives out there and if there aren’t, well I have just invented jobs for cosmetic scientists – lets have some better formulations that care for us. A mini fridge for all your make up, free with purchase.

Colour changing lipstick

 More brands will expand their lines to include the actual spectrum of skin tones in the world instead of assuming everyone fits somewhere in 5 shades, and with the above suggested colour matching app that orders your perfect shade then I don’t see why not.

 Or how about an app that measures how often you re-order your products and automatically does it for you, so you don’t even have to remember to stop by the beauty counter.

 Brushes and sponges that come with antibacterial microbes infused in them to help stop infections – and that remind you to wash them by changing the colour of their handles or self-destructing!

 I think there will be still be a place for physical shops, as people will need to be shown how to use the new technology or want to ask questions that no app can answer. You might also want to keep picking up the basics on your lunchtime stroll.

Then there’s skincare – a section of the beauty market that seems to be always chasing the cutting edge. I can definitely see it becoming more high tech – again with formulas mixed for your exact skin needs – sensitive skin needs different things from oily, teenage skin is very different from older skin and they need specific formulas. But of course skin likes to chuck in the odd curveball, from post-menopausal skin breaking out in acne to sensitive skin that is greasy and dry at the same time!

 Being able to scan your face in and have it mapped for you – ah yes, you need SPF 30, lots of vitamin A & E, and something that fades scarring, let me just blend these ingredients together, with a little shea butter and essential oils to combat aging and soften skin.

Scan your skin to check your health

That would be incredible and it’s slowly starting to happen. But one day it could be a reality, and an affordable one – like using your smart phone on the go, beauty on the move, making you feel good and look your best, whatever your skin type, tone or style.

 

inspiration, life, thoughts, wedding

Wedding Wednesday: a prep timeline

This is my incredibly scatter brained approach to wedding planning. My wedding is about 18 months away now, but I started planning a while after C proposed. I wasn’t one of those girls who planned their dream wedding as a kid so I’ve had to learn a lot fast. 

💍Get engaged. Or decide to get married. If photoshoots are your thing or a party, do that. We got a new fridge. So rock ‘n’ roll.  

👰Are you going to have a long engagement? Or do you want to get married relatively soon? If it’s the second- pick a date. C and I very romantically picked a date a month and a day after C’s birthday so he wouldn’t forget our anniversary. 

🎁Set a budget. Are you paying for it or is there some money set aside? I had no idea my Dad had been saving since I was a baby, and that has really helped with paying deposits. 

👱Guestlist time! Who do you want to share your day with? Do you want bridesmaids/groomsmen or even bridesmen or groomswomen? 

💒 Start looking at venues. Popular ones can be booked up very quickly.  Depending on what kind of wedding you want, this can affect your venue choices. We are having a traditional church wedding and then a big knees up, very relaxed and informal to follow.  

🌹Once you have sorted the venue – start looking at vendors like florists, photographers etc. I actually found my photographer before I picked our reception venue. Again, try not to leave this too late as popular vendors get heavily booked, especially at peak times of the year. 

🎪What fun features do you want? A photobooth maybe, a band, lawn games? I suggest visiting wedding and event fairs to try these out or look online. Again, once you know what you want – book it. 

🎉Pinterest is your friend. Build inspiration boards for just about anything. I also use Etsy to look for ideas.  

💌Time to send out Save the Dates – most people seem to send these 18 months to a year before the wedding. I plan to send my invitations out about 6 months before so StDs are vital in making sure the people we want there the most can start making plans. 

🎂 Cake tastings are a great way to decide what you want- look online for ideas – most wedding cake makers are really happy to work with you on designs and flavours. 

❤Are you writing your own vows? What about readings? Research some ideas and work with your intended and celebrant to put your service together. 

 There’s lots more to do, from picking out outfits, deciding on hair and make up and designing menus. But I haven’t quite got that far yet and as my planning is a bit topsy-turvy I can’t really say what I’m going to do next.  

Any tips from married folks or engaged types are always welcome in the comments. 

The images are all from Pinterest – search ‘weddings’ for similar inspiration. 

life, politics, questions, thoughts

Oh America….

This is my formal request for a refund for 2016. It has been a complete shit show and I would like a do-over.  

Reading the reaction of the black, Latina, LGBT, scared Americans to the election of the world’s first orange President, a man who has threatened to deport innocent citizens for the ‘crime’ of being immigrants, Muslim, Other. His running mate, Mike Pence believes that electric shock therapy can cure being gay, who thinks women who suffer miscarriages should be imprisoned. These are frightening times. 

Several people have drawn a connection through history, from the rise of fascism in the 1930s and what I am calling the new hate of 2016. From Brexit to this week’s election, fear mongering is up and being different is marking people out. 

But there is still hope, there is still love. Now is the time to speak up, to stand up and be counted. To show solidarity and support for those who find themselves victims of this new groundswell of hate and bigotry. I am reminded of the following poem. I for one will be speaking out because we cannot let anything like this happen ever again. 

life, thoughts

The Temp Guide to Life

Since the end of last year I’ve been temping, having quit my job of six years in an effort to restore some equilibrium to my life, here’s what I’ve learnt. 

1. You will receive little to no training so get used to figuring stuff out. 

2. Be on time, time is literally money when you’re paid by the hour. 

3. Get your agency onside – if they like you, you’ll get sent on nicer assignments. 

4. Have your interview patter down – know what you’re going to say and have examples. 

5. Scope out the lunch sitch as soon as you can, is there somewhere to eat your packed lunch or does everyone eat out. 

6. Plan your route, and if you live in London or another city, add extra time to accomodate delays. 

7. Be friendly but remember they are not your friends, it’s unlikely they’ll remember your name in a few weeks time. 

8. Getting paid weekly might sound great but it can wreck havoc with your bill schedule, hold onto your money to make sure your rent gets paid. 

9. All skills are transferable. Yes, even those ones. 

10. You will hate some temp jobs, just think of the money. 

11. You can give your all, but they won’t offer you a permanent role – aka the dream. 

12. You will encounter some really lovely people and some utter arseholes. Your interpersonal skills will be exemplary. 

13. All databases are basically the same – cheap, crap, utterly hackable. 

14. You will never earn enough per hour to put up with some of the utter bullshit in some offices. So don’t. 

15. Admin jobs basically equal office dogsbody, however they dress it up. 

16. You won’t get a leaving gift after three weeks, you might get a ‘thanks’. 

17. There is no holiday or sick pay – but you will still throw the odd sickie because your bed doesn’t judge you for breaking the printer printing off job descriptions to peruse at lunchtime.

18. Make the most of the free internet access and find your next job, polish your CV, fill in application forms etc, you’re probably only being given the shit jobs anyway – ‘make work’ or just tidying cupboards. I don’t get around to tidying my own cupboards so why am I cataloguing your stationery?

19. Get the Wi-fi password, fill the twiddling thumbs time with Twitter polls and trying to work out who that person is in all of your friend’s Instagram posts. 

20. You will become insanely good at filling empty time so you don’t get sent home early, you need the full day’s hours on your timesheet. 

life, ramblings, thoughts

Sinister stuff

The Latin for ‘left’ is ‘sinistere’ making us lefties sound a little more terrifying than we are. 

10% of the global population are lefties – despite attempts to stamp it out over the years. Some cultures still have specific beliefs and attitudes towards left-handedness. 
My Dad is probably a leftie – but at school he was forced to use his right hand and now has the most appalling handwriting. My Nan used to try and make me use my left hand like a right hand, so I wouldn’t smudge the page – however I would have ended up with a deformed wrist if she’d had her way. 

Learning to knit was something I gave up on as a kid, having to reverse what everyone else does is hard, I hate sewing machines for the same reason. My brain wants me to use my dominant hand – just like right-handers always do. 
Tin openers, scissors, vegetable peelers, bread knives, fountain pens, notebooks, doors – all designed to ease the life of a righty. 

When I was about 10, my Mum found out about Anything Left-Handed, which at that time had a physical shop in Brewer Street in Soho – they’re now online only. 

It was a revelation- everything was designed for me to use. While some things, like the left-handed clock, seem a little excessive, essentials like scissors, are available to me as long as they stay in business. 
I have several pairs dotted around thw house, from nail scissors to fabric scissors, about three pairs of all-purpose ones, a tin opener, vegetable peeler, even secateurs for the garden. 

Saturday was International Left-Handers Day – so I celebrated by cutting some things with my scissors! 

A few famous lefties include; Barack Obama, Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and David Bowie. We get around. 

Are you a lefty? Let me know in the comments below. 🖒

life, thoughts, updates

Life update

A lot has happened this week, as Ferris Bueller says “life moves pretty fast if you don’t stop and look around once in a while” and this week it’s been pretty whizzy! If you follow me on Twitter then you already know some of this.

Last Saturday I received a phone call from a lady who wanted to invite me to an interview for a job not far from where I live.

Monday morning I made my way to her office for the interview. 45 minutes later I said my goodbyes and left feeing very happy with how it had gone. I had been at the bus stop for all of five minutes, when one of the managers came running out waving her hands at me and trying to light a cigarette at the same time.

We went back inside and they offered me the job right there and then. After months of job hunting, applications and interviews, temping and panicking, I finally have a permanent role.

I started yesterday (Thursday) and I’ve made a good start, mastering the report running process in less than an hour today.

A three day weekend lies ahead of me and then back to more learning my role (and sorting out the stationery cupboard, seriously it’s a mess in there!)

So far everything’s gone well, my team are lovely and warm. This morning we all went out for breakfast before work, a monthly tradition in the office, which was really fun, and the sun shines on my desk which is lovely. It’s a fairly short commute on the bus (free of the Underground!) and in a nice place, which all helps.

Onwards and upwards we go. Have a great bank holiday weekend everyone.