After reading this great post by Natonya, I started thinking about the current fashion, trends and the clothing I buy and wear. I was then inspired and thought I’d share with you my passion for timeless fashion!!
I love fashion! But, I hate fast fad fashion. I don’t tend to follow fashion trends, but instead look out for classic pieces that time and I will love!
I can’t remember who said it but someone once said “if you feel comfortable and confident in your clothes, you’ll be attractive no matter what you wear”. I love this quote, and wish that all my clothes made me feel that way! Following Fast fashion trends, that change almost weekly, will rarely make you feel comfortable and confident. Instead you are constantly comparing yourself to the ads and marketing used to promote them.
Part of the issue is that these high street fashionable clothes are made quickly on a global scale. There is not care or attention taken to ensure a good fit and companies don’t worry about longevity, because a new trend will be in stores next week and last week’s trend will be in the bin, perhaps after only been worn once!
I’m not going to talk about sustainability, that’s for another day, but there are much more cost effective and eco friendly ways of buying clothes. I buy around 60-70% of my clothes from charity shops and vintage fairs. I have some gorgeous designer and branded clothes that cost me a tiny fraction of their full retail price. I’m careful that I buy things I will love to wear over and over, although I don’t always get it right! However, when I’m done with them, I return them to a charity shop or put them in a textile recycling bank if they are past it!!
With all this in mind, I still love looking at the catwalk shows and seeing all the amazing designs and models. What tends to catch my eye though, are pieces that I think could become classic looks. Yes, the outrageous or shocking pieces are wonderful to see too, but these do tend to fuel those fast fashion fads! And we all know what I think about those!!
In hope that classic timeless fashion becomes more trendy, I have picked my favourites from the current spring 2019 ready to where collections. Here’s hoping they translate to flattering garments that people will feel comfortable and confident in!
MICHEAL KORS COLLECTION
CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NY
I will be keeping my eye open for these trends next year, but unless they are good quality classics, I’ll probably stick with picking up vintage classics instead!
Jeni Bee 🐝
I am a grown up. I have a full time job, a 10 yr old, I’m in a long term relationship, I own a car and I have 3 cats. That’s quite a lot of responsibility! So, why don’t I feel like an adult?!!
As I’ve aged I have grown in confidence, but I still get the same feeling, from time to time, as I did on the first day of secondary school. There’s nothing like a bit of terror to make you feel 11 yrs old again! And maybe that’s it? Maybe being an adult is just that, not being so terrified of everything anymore. Is Adulting just climatisation?! Have I become desensitised to some of the things that used to be terrifying? There are things that still terrify me, but they're not the same and I’m much more equipped to deal with them now.
How do you measure how adult you are? Some say it’s about having responsibilities and managing them well. Others might say it’s about the things you do and what you own. I definitely have more responsibility and more things compared to 15 yrs ago, yet I don’t feel anymore of an ‘adult’. It’s funny because I often see other people my age as more ‘adult’ than me! I really have no idea why though!
All can say is that currently I have more freedom and money than I did, and, therefore, I have more choice and time. It means I can decide to be selfish, kind, generous or lazy and no one can make me do anything I don’t want to. There is a limit to this obviously! I have to work for that money and my family always comes first, but hopefully you get the point- this is the life I have chosen and I’m very comfortable with my choices!
So, whatever it is that make you an adult, it can’t just be age because I’m just doing all the things I couldn’t afford to do 15 yrs ago. I’ve grown mentally and have gained from my experiences, but my dreams really haven’t changed.
So, what do you think? What make you feel like you’re adulting?! I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts because I spend more time now playing video games, reading, drinking, partying and playing than I ever did, and I’m definitely not a teenager anymore!!
Jeni Bee 🐝
I am not a morning person but I’d like to share with you my morning routine as it definitely makes my mornings a little smoother! These are just my opinions and no one is paying me to share them. I really love these products and they make my mornings a bit easier, so l hope you find this useful and your mornings are easier too!!
Firstly, I’m no make up artist! I like quick, easy and long lasting. When it comes to cleansing my face I will often use a make up remover such as Garner Micellar cleansing water. Just add cotton pads and you’re ready to go. You don’t need to wash this off either and it leaves your skin feeling clean and fresh. I will exfoliate and some time use a face mask once or twice a week, but I don’t do this more than that as I find it to much for my skin.
Once my skin is clear, it’s time for the bueatifying!!
1. I use L’Oréal Revitalift Radience as my daily moisturiser and I absolutely love it! The cream has a light and fresh fragrance and sinks into the skin really quickly once applied. I have also found it lasts me at least 2 months, so at £11.99 it’s quite cost effective too. You can often find 2 for deals, or similar in Boots or Superdrug.
Now for the important bit! I have definitely noticed a difference in the condition of my skin. My pores (that are usually cavernous!!) Have reduced in size and visibility, my 30 something fine lines (baby wrinkles!) are also much less apparent, and overall my skin is smoother and firmer!
If that wasn’t good enough, it also have SPF 20 to protect from UVA and UVBs to help protect your skin and prevent age spots caused by UV rays.
I have tried several other day creams in this price range, and have not found another that works as well as Revitalift.
2. Next up is another L’Oréal gem! True match liquid foundation in Rose Vanilla. I am a natural redhead and, therefore, have very pale skin. I often have trouble finding a foundation that matches my skin tone as it can be too much on the white side (love the goth look, but not for work!), or it makes me look pink or orange.
This foundation is possibly a shade darker than my actual skin tone, but it just gives me a slight glow. The coverage is good and you can build it up if you need to. It sinks in quickly leaving your skin feeling soft and it’s not at all heavy. It does give you a slight shine, but it doesn’t look greasy, just healthy!
I use my fingertips to apply my foundation. I have tried brunches/sponges etc. But don’t find it improves the coverage or ease of application, plus, it’s much easier to clean your hands! I find that, again, a little goes a long way and it lasts about the same amount of time as the Revitalift.
L’Oréal True Match liquid foundation comes in 28 shades and is £9.99. Regular 3 for 2 offers make this even more of a bargain!
3. The last of my L’Oréal trilogy is True Match powder. It comes in 9 shades and there are also highlighting and illuminating palettes.
The shade I use is Rose Ivory, which is slightly lighter than the shade of foundation I use. This helps highlight the natural contours of my face. I’m not a big fan of extreme contouring, especially when I am going for a natural day look! But, with the available shades and the fact that this powder is super blendable, you could contour until your hearts content!
This powder matifies without looking powdery or cakey and is so light you don’t feel like you have makeup on at all!
The packaging is great as it has 2 compartments. The top has the powder and the bottom has an applicator sponge (which is super soft!) and a handy mirror! What more could you want, I ask?! Well, at only £6.99 and often available in 3 for 2 deals, this is also fantastic value for money! So far this powder has lasted for almost 2 months and is still going. I have been really impressed with the quality, cost and look of these L’Oréal products. They have definitely become a permanent part of my daily beautifying!
4. Next I add a bit of colour to my pasty face, with this Manna Kadar Trifecta Bronzer. This is a 3 in 1 powder that can be used on your cheeks, lids and brows. It’s one of the slightly more expensive items from my morning routine at £15, however, I think it’s totally worth it! I found this beauty of a product when I received a sample from Birchbox. I loved it straight away as it gives my cheek bones some definition and gives my lids a subtle flash of colour. A small word of warning, be careful with how much you apply, you can always add more but there is a lot of pigment in that small pot! I’ve been using mine most days for about 6 weeks and haven’t reached the bottom yet!
5. Baring in mind how easy these products are to use, its very likely that I have applied most of my make up in the short time it will have taken you to read this! And with this next product, it gets even easier! I love eyeliner and have tried many different brands and types. I’ve tried your bargain bucket ranges and more luxurious brands, with various levels of success. The one I am currently using is the Body Shop liquid eyeliner in brown. This glides on easily and dries quickly so it’s not easy to smudge! This is great when you’re half awake and have 10 minutes before you need to leave the house! I use the brown one because I was finding the black a bit too dark. Saying that, unless you look closely l, I don’t think you’d notice that this eyeliner wasn’t black. It just tones it down a little. I would use black for a more striking, glamorous look. This eyeliner seems to just keep going, and I haven’t seen any signs of it drying up yet! It’s £9 but can often be bought in a 3 for 2 deal!
6. Finally, I apply Benefits BADgal Bang volumising mascara. It wasn’t love at first sight with this mascara. I found it gave my clumpy spider lashes! However, I persevered and now, wouldn’t be with out it! The trick is that when it’s new you barely need to touch your lashes. Lightly apply and don’t over do it and you get wonderfully long full lashes! Once used a few times, the mascara gets easier and easier to use. The brush is soft and flexible so that you can get even the smallest lashes. It builds up well as long as you keep the layers light, but you’ll find you don’t need much more than 2 layers to have gorgeous lashes! I do both my top and bottom lashes and they almost look like faulsies! My eye make up lasts all day and is pretty much smudge proof.
This mascara is the most expensive product in my morning routine, coming in at £21.50. However, I got mine with my VIP discount at BIrchbox and got an extra 15% off that, which brought it down to around £15 which is a bit more affordable. Again, like all of my products it seems, this will last at least 2 months, so is well worth the money. I can also say, as I’ve tried out lots of different mascaras, that I haven’t found one that makes my lashes look so perfect. So, in my view, it’s worth not having the hassle of messy mangled eyelashes, that can result from cheaper brands.
so, my beauties, that’s me looking more human and ready for work! I don’t tend to wear anything on my lips at work as I’m so busy I never have time to reapply. But is I do, I choose a matt lip paint or stain that will at least hang around for a few hours before there’s more on my mug than there is my lips! I may review my best results in a future post.
I hope you found my reviews helpful, it really has been great to find a make up routine that I can do in 10 minutes and be confident that it doesn’t look messy, plastered on or over the top!
Happy beautifying in your bathrooms!!
Ive been writing again. I am starting to form a good understanding of where my story is going and wanted to give you another small glimpse. Still a marathon to go and I know there are going to be plenty of hurdles. But I hope you enjoy my updates and it leaves you wanting more!
Marcus didn't get a funeral.
No one was prepared for how quickly society broke. There was no help, crime, punishment or charity. We all sat in our homes, waiting to die, either from sickness or starvation. We huddled together, moving only when absolutely necessary. A stagnant smell seeping in as we became weaker. Permeating our senses until we didn't notice it anymore. The virus was so draining that we had no energy left to live.
Everyone got sick.
Not everyone died.
It took 3 weeks before the electricity went out. The water went out 2 weeks after that. I had managed to gather together a small amount of supplies and had collected as much water as possible. Every cup, bowl, bucket and anything else that would hold water, did. The sickening reality is that, in the end, our survival came down to the fact that our family had halved in numbers.
Sam and I were barely communicating by the time the electricity came back on. We had shut down emotionally and were functioning only enough to keep our selves alive. When the light flickered on in the kitchen, I think we both took a breath for the first time in days. Nothing was said, nothing could be said. I think we both knew that the light meant that we had to go on, to live with the devastation and some how become human again.
Joanne and Lydia are now sleeping soundly in unmarked graves behind our house. It was the best we could do in the rush before the authorities cleared out all the bodies. It was not an option to let them take my family. I am forever grateful for the autumn and for the beautiful camouflage it provided. A golden blanket keeping my girls safe.
I will get to the zombies shortly...In the mean time...
Dreams can be exciting, scary, enlightening, sad, silly and down right crazy. Most of they time they are just our brains natural way of sifting through our day to day experiences. That doesn't mean they can't be powerful. I have, on many occasions, woken up more exhausted than before I went to bed, due to running around my head all night, or in floods of tears because my dream had been so distressing.
Keeping a dream journal can help you identify patterns and help you become more self aware. A dream can, at times, affect our moods and emotions through out the day, so understanding what could be causing your dreams can be reassuring and can help you maintain a good mental and physical health.
My advice, however, is that you don't go over the top when it comes to tracking and recording your dreams. A journal can be a very helpful tool, but can cause worry, especially if you realise that you often have nightmares or disturbing dreams. From experience, I would suggest that you only record the dreams you feel have been significant (i.e. a recurring dream or one that was very vivid). Other dreams could be recorded, but maybe just stick to some of the key facts. Ideally you want to record enough detail that shows patterns over time, but not enough to make you feel over whelmed!
Ok, so back to the Zombies! If you have read my previous posts, you will know that, when I am a sleep, my mind will take me on many journeys. Unfortunately, many of the journeys are not very pleasant. They can be embarrassing, exhausting and down right terrifying. Some times I'm paralysed, occasionally my teeth fall out and every so often I get gunned down by men who have broken into my house!! You name it, I've dreamt it!
My zombie dreams, however, almost became familiar and I even missed them when they finally stopped! I never felt that scared and was never bitten or injured, however, no matter what I did, the zombies kept coming. I would be running and hiding, crawling through tunnels, climbing over fences and barricading doors. All to no avail, the zombies always found a way through. This was not the first reoccurring dream I've had, but it was definitely the most persistent. These dreams lasted several months and at times were every night. Eventually, I realised that maybe my brain was trying to tell me something! This was when I picked up a dream dictionary that I had been given as a gift, and that had been sat on my bookshelf unread for who knows how long. I was amazed by what it told me. My dreams were basically a visual interpretation of all the different stresses and anxieties in my life. At times I felt as if I was on top of these worries and in control (in my dreams there would be times when I would feel safe and secure, when I thought I'd escaped the zombies). However, I was often over whelmed by them (when the zombies got through the defences and started chasing again). This realisation was eyeopening and my zombie dreams quickly became my indication that I'd been putting myself under too much stress. Eventually these zombie outbreaks stopped, and although I still had stress in my life, I was more aware of how important it was to take notice of my dreams.
I have created a dream journal that you can download to get you started. You can print or use it to start your own diary in a note book. Let me know what you think. Do you already keep a dream journal? How has it helped you?
It would be great if you also shared your dreams in the comments below. What do you think your dreams are trying to tell you?
I love and adore the sun! It makes me happy to bask in it and have all my windows open and still feel warm. I even love that slightly sticky feeling when the temperature really soars! I like how I feel more comfortable in my own skin and care less about what others think when I’ve got more of it on show than usual.
Unfortunately, I have been blessed with red hair, green eyes and very pale skin. So pale that when I’m on the beach I glow like a light bulb!! No golden tan for me. Instead it’s factor 50 applied every 1/2 hour to avoid the lobster look.
I would much rather be under a sun soaked blue sky than a grey cloud covered one any day. However, I have grown to appreciate those warm, calm cloudy days and have found they often bring me peace too.
I have found that sitting quietly by a lake under a slightly dull sky so quiet and calming that I could sit there all day. To just sit and breath and listen to the quiet rustling of the trees is bliss.
I really hope you find that peaceful spot on that cloudy day and enjoy the calm that I have! Make sure you take a picture and share it, I’d love to see your cloudy day escapes!
I really didn’t know where to start with the characters in my book. I was so scared of ending up with stereotypical, boring characters, that I kept putting it off. Of course this created a writers block of my own making!
I honestly wasn’t sure about anything in relation to my characters. Male? Female? Age? Location? Occupation? Ethnicity? Etc. Didn’t have a clue. So, I did what everyone does when they have unanswered questions, I googled it!!
This had varying results so, I tried Pinterest too! Across the interweb there are hundreds of tips and resources, but I can’t say that really helped when it came to knowing where to start. It was at this point I stopped being lazy and looking for an easy answer, and actually started looking! I read articles and blogs and had a go using some of the available resources out there.
I had various successes and failures, but I have definitely made good progress and am now finding that my characters are developing more naturally.
Now that my characters have started to come together, I wanted to share with you what I found worked best for me. So, here are my top 5 tips:
1. Names! Infuriating but necessary! I thought I would find this the most difficult, a name can make or break a character, but in hindsight, putting it off had really affected my character development and also started to give them some substance.
To help me pick suitable names, I began by researching the most popular names from when my character was born. Although I hadn't completely settled on an age for my characters, I could at least pin point their birth to a decade! You could also look up the meanings of names, but I struggled with not picking cliched names when doing it this way.
2. A massive turning point for me was realising that if I settled on a birthday, I could then use their star signs to giving me an idea of their traits, strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of whether you believe in star signs or not, there are many sites, books and articles out there with personalities waiting to be analysed! And if the star sign was important, you could always change your characters birthday to suit your needs. Doing this gave me the various key points about my characters and really got me thinking about who they are.
3. Now to give some depth to my characters I focused on where they live. I researched the area and it started giving me hints about my characters, culture, occupation, hobbies, social standing etc. I then teamed these up with their personality traits and suddenly found I was imaging their day to day lives and struggles.
4. Don't get stuck on individual aspects of your character. A few times during my character development, I found I wasted time struggling over my characters beliefs, opinions etc. Eventually I realised that moving on meant that, more often than not, these gaps filled themselves. And, if they didn't, then they obviously weren't an important enough aspect for it to matter.
5. Don't be afraid to change your characters, or aspects of them. I am not at the stage where my characters are growing and developing and they have even surprised me at times when I have realised how they will react and behave in certain situations! On the other hand, keep all versions of your characters incase you change your mind, or something that you thought wasn't important, becomes a crucial part of your plot.
As mentioned before, I have used lots of resources, websites, blogs etc. to help me structure and create my characters and, whatever you find works best for you, I think it is vital that you use a range of sources to avoid 2 dimensional stale characters. However, one site that I found particularly helpful is Life of a story teller.
I've found it to be such a great source of information and help and recommend that you have a peek. I will defiantly be using this site more as I continue my writing journey.
Trying to write a book is like trying to carry out a scientific investigation; theres a lot involved. First there's the planning, research, more planning, experimenting with time frames, characters, plots. You've also got to decide on an aim. Where do you want this book to take your readers? How are you going to get them there? And so on and so forth. In essence, it takes a lot of time and effort just to get to the point where you are ready to write your first draft!
While planning for my current book I've, at times, struggled to know where to start. So, after doing lots of planning and research, taking notes, scribbling ideas, writing possible paragraphs/chapters, I started thinking about what it is that makes me read a book myself.
I realised that, although I try and not judge a book by it's cover, I will often judge a book by its opening line! Especially if I'm in a rush and just looking for something to read on a journey, for example. I will pick up the book, barely even look at the cover or title and turn straight to the first chapter. If the first sentence grabs me I may not even read the blurb. Of course, this is not how I’ve chosen every book I've read, however, it has led to some fascinating discoveries!
So, I thought I would look a little closer at some of my favourite first liners.
My absolute favourite is from Jeff Noon's Vurt. I adore this book and have continued to read Jeff Noons work. I came across this book while out window shopping. It was in a basket outside a charity shop and was 50p. The cover had a yellow feather on the front but I didn't pay much more attention than that. I opened it to the first page:
"A young boy puts a feather in his mouth..."
And that was that. I paid my 50p and was thrown into the amazing world of Jeff Noon. (If you haven't come across Noon, I strongly recommend you do!) My collection has since grown, and continues to do so!
My other favourite first liners include:
Rob Grant Incompetence
"The flight was uneventful enough, except the pilot accidentally touched down at a slightly wrong airport and forgot to lower the landing gear, so we left the plane by way of the emergency chute, and I lost my shoes."
Margret Atwood The Handmaids Tale
"We slept in what had once been the gymnasium."
David Wong (AKA Jason Pargin) John Dies at the end
"Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt"
Kathleen Tessaro Innocence
"The first thing you should know about Robbie is she's dead."
Jeff Abbot Fear
"I killed my best friend"
I started to notice that the opening lines of these books tend to leave you with unanswered questions. For me a successful opening line leads you to want to read more. It seems you don't always need to introduce your story, but instead, pull your reader head first into the thick of it! Although this is far from the only way to start a book, and there are many famous and fantastic books that start less full on and ease you in, for me, its the quick hook in and the unanswered questions that get me, well, hooked!
So, how good will my first line be? Time will tell. But, funnily enough I am going to leave this until I’ve finished my first draft. I think it will naturally evolve anyway so am going to let it grow and develop as I discover the story itself.
While researching first line techniques I stumbled upon this amazing blog article called 6 ways to hook your readers from the very first line. In fact, Susannah Windsor Freeman’s whole website Write it sideways is definitely worth exploring! It is packed with a treasure trove of resources, inspiration and tips to help you through your writing journey.
What are your favourite first lines? What gets you hooked?
I look forward to hearing your favourites!
Every so often I will add a small extract from a writing project I am working on. I won't put any details about the genre or title of the book, but will let you use your imagination. Feedback is definitely welcomed and I am hoping that sharing will help me grow as a writer.
My colleague died yesterday on the number 41 bus.
Martin had turned up to work looking ghostly pale and shivering, his eyes blurry and barely open. "Ewwww, go home and die in your own bed!" I'd said in feign horror. Little did I know he wouldn't make it that far.
"35 yr old male, identified as Matin Saxby, was found dead on the number 41 bus to Tottenham Hale, yesterday morning." The News reporter explained. "It seems that the driver thought he was a drunk homeless man and had let him sleep a while. Sadly, Mr Saxby had already passed away, and it wasn't until a passenger alerted the driver to the fact that the deceased didn't seem to be breathing, that an ambulance was called. a short time later, Mr Saxby was pronounced dead at the scene. His family have been informed and his death is not currently being treated as suspicious, although an autopsy will be carried out to determine the true cause of death"
That was it, 20 seconds of air time, and one picture that flashed on the screen of Martin 10 years ago in Ibiza. The only reason it had been on the news at all was because It had already been leaked on social media by several people, who had instantly started recording the scene when they realised something was up. Vultures that would rather a few 'likes' than allow another human being any kind of dignity, and not caring if they were late for work to get them. Mind you, don't they call that human nature?
The office has been shut today in respect, and we had no idea what to do with our selves, so at 3.15pm the day after Martin died, we're sat in the local staring at our un-drunk drinks. The pub seemed like a good idea to begin with, but now you can see on our faces that we just feel awkward and uncomfortable. I have this awful stale taste in my mouth that won't go away. How are you supposed to feel when something like this happens? Anger? Guilt? Sadness?
I just felt numb.
We sit for what feels like hours, passing appropriate comments between us, but all the while not really making eye contact. Eventually, after an appropriate amount of time, we rejoin our own lives and retreat back to our partners, pets and children.
We didn't see it coming, but what happened next turned our lives into nightmares with a side of terror, and we didn't stand a chance.
Dreams are incredible. They can be so spontaneous and unpredictable while still being reassuring and clamming. Of course there is also a dark side to dreaming that can be terrifying and sleep destroying. I regularly have all types of dreams, both fantastical and down right petrifying, but I have come to love my dreams and have fond that having just a small understanding about what they could mean, has got a one way to reduce the stress of a nightmare and increase the enjoyment of the bizarre and silly ones.
I have a dream dictionary. It was given to me as a present a long time ago and sat lonely and abandoned on my bookshelf for years. Until one day I realised that, through my exhausting and reoccurring zombie dreams (yes, you heard that right!), perhaps my brain was trying to tell me something! So out came the dream dictionary, and this is what I read:
To dream that you are attacked by zombies indicates that you are feeling overwhelmed by forces beyond your control. You are under tremendous stress in your waking life.
Well, at the time, it came as no surprise and I almost felt silly that I hadn't worked this out for my self! However, dreams can be so over whelming that it can be difficult to accept that they might not be as terrifying as they seem. For me it was almost instant. I stopped having zombie dreams and started focusing on how I could reduce the stress in my life. I have continued to use my dream dictionary since then and have found it has been almost always accurate. Although I wouldn't recommend analysing every dream you have, I do feel that it has been a fantastic way of sorting my regular run of the mill dreams from the ones that are trying to tell me something!
It's important to remember that there are lots of different ways to interpret dreams, so don't dwell on what you read too much. If you can't relate move on, not all dream interpretations will be personal to you. You can find dream dictionaries in book form and on they web, there are even apps! Its a good idea to have a bit of a search before settling on which seems best for you.
If you're stuck with where to start I recommend Dream moods that can also be downloaded as an app. The website provides a detailed dictionary and lots of information about common dreams and interpretations. It also has forums where you can share your own dreams and read about others experiences. the app is a bit different, but provides a dream journal that you can write or record audio. There are also many books you can buy if you'd prefer, most book stores will sell a range, so I'd recommend having a look at some first.
Please don't suffer in silence if you are having recurring nightmares. See your doctor or a councillor if you feel you need further support or advice.
Dreams can tell you a lot about your self and can be exciting and fulfilling. I'd love to hear your dream experiences, so feel free to share!