Live: Day in the Life

Start as we mean to go on? Nah I had such aspirations, but it is now 1 am on Tuesday morning and I’ve written nothing as I’ve got so distracted by watching old full set shows of my favourite bands on YouTube, that we seem to be in this position.

So I came up with a fun idea to make up for the lack of proper post. Tomorrow (Wednesday 12th), I will be posting a live Day in the Life on my instagram all day, join me as I go to work, get ready and hit the gym for my weekly pilates session. Just be sure to check out my instagram account throughout the day from 7am, find my account here.

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Hope to see you there!

Gwen

xx

 

 

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What’s in My Bag: Kate Spade Leighann Laurel Way Bag

Kate Spade Whats in My Bag

Woohoo it’s time to show off my favourite Birthday present my Kate Spade Leighann Laurel Way bag. I’ve wanted a nice bag and especially a Kate Spade bag for years but it took me 3-4 years to make a commitment. Just before my birthday me and my mum went to Bicester Outlet Village and I fell in love with the Kate Spade Laurel Way bag. Its smart, great for everyday and business, robust leather that won’t mark and has plenty of compartments and space basically everything I wanted in a bag.

I’m not great at describing bags, but hey why not just enjoy the pretty pictures.

So enough of my bag what did I decide to stuff it with? As well as internal pockets, the bag has two big zipped pockets at the front and back of the bag, these are great for keeping items secure and dry. I fit my Personal Planner with a pen in my front pocket, so I can make lists, keep on top of plans and just generally feeling organised I take my planner absolutely everywhere. In the mirror pocket of this at the bag of my bag, I store a large reusable tote which is now essential with having to pay for any plastic bag in the UK plus it can hold loads so it’s ideal if I need to pick up a few things after work or a few things unexpectedly.

What's In My Bag - Personal Planner

What's in My Bag - Lipsticks

Continuing with pockets, there are 3 internal pocks two which are just open very large phone pocks and one zip pocket for those items that you need to be more secure. In my open pockets I stock easy to grab essentials usually my phone, a packet of tissues and the rather none essential items are my 3 lip products. At the moment I am love a slightly more natural toned lip colour so I am switching between the PS Pro Rich Colour Lipstick in 03 Boudoir Pink, the NXY Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes and George Tint N Pout Lip Oil in 01. At present the zip up pocket only has headphones in it maybe one day I will have something important to carry around.

Finally at present there isn’t too much in the main compartment of my bag, I’m trying not to fill it with junk really. I suppose 6 months down the line it will be filled with trash but I always carry my little bag of essentials which I have covered in previous What’s in My Bag posts (https://gwenblogseverything.wordpress.com/category/life-2/whats-in-my-bag-life-3/) , and it doesn’t really change so I always have everything on hand and easy to grab. Finally I have the essentials such as my keys, purse and of course a bar of Dairy Milk Hazelnut which I picked up that day as a much needed chocolate fix.

Let me know in the comments what’s your in bag essentials in the comments.

Gwen

xx

My Food Journey: Discovering Intolerances

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Sometimes I like to take a break from beauty and share a bit of real life on my blog, in the past I’ve talked about mental health and real life but today I am talking about my journey with intolerance.

Ever since I was little I’ve suffered a lot with intolerances, wishing to make a clear distinction between with intolerances and allergies which people often don’t understand is a clear distinction in severity. Like most people I suffer with hay fever although I tend to start in February as I suffer from it with tree pollen. Cats and dogs always proved to be an issue, and finally I have severe reaction to many bug bites but for years I was always thankful I never had an issue with food items.

That was until last year when I was finally diagnosed with an intolerance to egg, a lesser talked about food allergy yet it’s one of the most common with a must larger percentage of the population suffering from an egg allergy that those who suffer with wheat and/or gluten. Looking back for years I have suffered when eating egg products but tended to treat the symptoms as an off day than to do with anything I had eaten. Since cutting eggs out back in October I feel so much better in myself, and I’m slowly starting to enjoy food again.

The main thing that surprised me was the complete re-education with what I was eating, and I am now hoping continue into the year to eat healthier. Initially I found myself stuck in a little bit of a food rut, as there was so much I couldn’t eat and I didn’t look for alternatives that it was so difficult but I am finally getting there.

The main problem I found with egg was its in so much that you do not realised it in, processed food use egg products as a preservative. Breads, cheeses, yoghurts all surprising can contain egg, so look carefully and forget about deserts, ice cream and cake are obviously off the menu but once again those deserts that shouldn’t often do due to egg wash. It’s just a lot of thought, shopping takes a lot longer, label checking at home and finding vegan alternatives in some cases.

I’ve found myself having preferences for supermarkets, in terms of products they offer mainly Asda and Tesco with Morrison’s been the worse for labelling items. I have become endlessly frustrated with the “free from” sections, but hey you learn to like and look for standard alternatives, although the other day I discovered vegan pesto woohoo! I’m exploring food and alternatives though and the worse than can happen is I don’t like it.

I’ve also been exploring vegan baking, there obviously are normal recipes without egg which have proved to be great staples as my baking has had some interesting results. As my dad has put it I am a great baker, usually, but there has been some questionable recipes to say the least. If you don’t try you’ll never learn but there have been a few baked goods covered in Nutella or custard to make it more palatable.

The one final thing on this journey that I am trying to adapt to is eating out, I’ve felt awkward asking for allergy menu or stick to stuff I’m sure I can eat. Cross contamination is an issue and with egg in sauces and bread, you cannot just guess. It’s definitely more me than the restaurant many have been very accommodating and one place locally had a delicious vegan menu including a chocolate tart so there has been some silver liners. This has really been a huge thing of confidence building and just thinking about what I am eating, no more impulse buying or eating on the go food requires thought and effort. On the odd occasion I have made a mistake, I’ve felt genuinely ill which I was warned about that for a while you can either be more sensitive or you feel the effects more so I’m getting there.

So that’s my food journey the past few months and I know it’s going to be a long term journey but I’m getting there. If you have any good vegan recipes let me know, I’m definitely not vegan but it sure makes it easier to ensure I can eat something.

Gwen

xx

My Personal Planner 2017-18

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Who else is slightly obsessed with planners and stationary? I cannot get enough I usually have two planners as well as a to-do list note book for work, is it a little overkill? Maybe but i like to be organised.

Somehow I ended up doing my personal planners March to March but it’s a weird thing that works for me at this time, I mean it doesn’t really matter as long as you find it useful. Last year was my first Personal Planner, you can see an in depth look in my First Impressions or Follow Up Review  post. I thought I would show my new one to show what I chose this time and why.

This time the mood took me for a bit of gold, to add a little bit of sparkle and glam into my life. I really love how this turned out, I’m yet to try and create my own cover but there are such great options on the website I have never truly felt a need to. In terms of inside I went slightly different form last year not going quite as mad with all of the different options available. Compared to my last one which was pink and colourful I definitely went for a much more muted pallet internally opting for blacks and greys, I just often found the colours clashed and now the odd pop of colour can add emphasis opposed to a distraction. Hopefully in future I won’t find it too dull but right now I am loving this more neutral feel for 2017/18. I do wish though a gold/white inside could have been chosen though just having a simple bright white planned may have been super cute as well.

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In terms of module choices I kept some of my choices with whether and dinners remaining put and swapping out a tick list for a straight forward to-do list my weekly pages look similar to last year. The biggest changes was with my additional pages, I still kept my month view I loved using it mainly for a look back on the month it’s a nice summary page and good for forward planning. While at the back I kept it simple removing the year overview as I never used it and option for lined paper, soduku and blank pages. Last time I went for a bit of everything and didn’t necessarily use it so I kept it straight forward this time. Actually the main reason for the blank pages is that I didn’t having a lined back page last time, and I’m so glad it’s perfect and unmarked now.

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I’m so happy with how it turned out this time and although slightly pricier than some planners, last year I used my Personal Planner consistently as I got to pick options that worked for me. Other planner in the past I didn’t use as I couldn’t get them to work for me no matter how pretty it was. So if you want a good quality and reasonably priced custom planner I’d really recommend checking out Personal Planner on their website here. Now please excuse me while I fill it up and admire it for a little while.

Gwen

xxx

Blink and You’ll Miss It: Life Update

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Hi Guys,

I’ve been fairly quiet here on the blog the past few weeks which I regret but I’m excited to get back into things in November and aim to get everything back on track. So I thought I’d start a little bit of getting back on track with a life update.

 

Work

So let’s start with work as it starts to ramp up to peak, it just gets so stressful. It’s not necessarily always my role but there is definitely that general stressed feeling floating around. I’m so glad I work with a great bunch of people, so no matter how stressful it gets you can have a laugh. I’ve also been put on a mentoring scheme which I’m looking forward to, it’s great to have something like this at the start of my career and it will be interesting to see what my outcome will be.

 

Diet

I’ve recently found out I’m intolerant to egg whites and have gone on a full on egg exclusion diet, it’s taken some getting used to as there’s egg in a lot of things you’ve never thought it would be in. I’ve had a problem with certain egg products for years like egg noodle and quiche but cutting it out completely has made me think more about what I’m eating and there’s a lot more things I cannot eat. Saying that I’ve tried out some fun recipes and enjoyed making things from scratch as a number of preservatives are made from egg, I never realised some things were so easy to make and I’m tempted to start sharing some recipes on my blog.

 

Personal Life

It’s not been an especially great month for my personal life and the people I know and although none of it massively affects me you take a knock. At the start of October my best friend’s dad was diagnosed with cancer, he was always about when I was growing up and although they thought it might be coming when it was confirmed it was quite a shock. So we’ve spent some time having some girly fun night out and spent time together it’s all about being there for those you love. Similarly my boyfriend’s grandfather died unexpectedly, encroaching 90 it’s never totally unexpected but it’s horrible to loose family member so I spent a lot of the month being the supportive friend and girlfriend really trying to be there for them. However bad things always come in threes and in the last couple of days my uncle has being diagnosed with motor neuron disease, which is truly a horrible disease and you know what’s coming even if you don’t know how quickly it will happen.

I think these things make you appreciate life more, what you have and the people in it. Its a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Take the time to spend time with others and appreciate what you have.

So with all of this going on I really just needed to take some time out and shut off, I love my blog but I think it was important to have some me time with no schedules and no pushing myself. I’ve really missed blogging so I’m coming back in November with a vengeance to create some great content that you will love.

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Getting Organised: Life

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September is back to school/study season and although I am now working it always feels as though it is the perfect time to get organised. As work ramps up to peak, the need to organise social occasions and just generally fitting everything in. So this is my month of getting generally organised, this post will cover how I am getting organised with life and work in general with the help of my trusty notebook and my still in use Personal Planner (First Impressions and Full Review).

Daily Planning: As you’ve seen a few times before I am currently using the Personal Planner, and I have to say the layout and setting works for me, as a list maker I can put in either my day in order or make to do lists and notes. I’m such a daily planner, I sit down at the end of every day and sort everything I need to do for the following day. Using post-it notes for the weeks key ideas, or future events in case plans change etc.  Daily planning is a great wind down idea and really helps me organise my thoughts of the day.

Daily and Weekly To Do Lists: Who doesn’t love a good list? I have to say as I’ve got older I’ve grown to appreciate the list more and more, there is more that has to be fit in and cannot be forgotten so here comes in not only my planner list but my to do notebook. The first side covers work, with daily tasks and individual tasks for those days which can adapt as the week develops and the following day is filled out one day at a time so nothing is missed. While the right hand side of the page each week, covers blog, cleaning and general other tasks. I use this not for specific days tasks (that’s reserved for my planner) but for tasks which need to be done that week but that don’t have a specific day it has to be completed.

getting-orgainsed-to-do-list

Monthly Overview: Although my planner is for forward and daily organisation, I like to use my monthly overview to reflect it tends to offer no use for me when looking ahead but it’s great to reflect I can note key events or just general things which happened over the course of the month and it’s a nice way to look back without been dragged down my all of my lists, notes and plans.

Nothing Electronic?: Nope, nothing electronic here. I use a variety of online/computer based calendars and to dos at work and still find nothing works better than a scribbled on desk pads. The simple act of writing it down or having something sat in front of you, I never pay attention to digital organisation. I will cover next time how I use excel in the organisation of my blog, as this is simple calendar use and is more of a reference document than anything else.

So that’s how I keep my hetic life organised and how I keep on top of things, how do you keep your life organised. Are you a planner junkie or do you manager to magically keep on top of things, let me know in the comments?

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Day in the Life: Tour of Britain 2016

Night Time Routine

I am not sure if I have ever done a night time routine, I did cover my skincare routine through all stages of the day back in February which you can see here. Most of the products are the same or very similar as they are what works for me.

Night Time Routine Clippers Green Tea

So I thought I would start with the routine with me winding down, as my evenings vary and a whole evening routine covering what the 6ish hours between me getting home and going to bed seems a little much. So after doing whatever I’ve been doing I make myself a nice mug of Clippers Mango Green Tea, and change into my pjs, these cute coffee bottoms from Primark are some of my favourite. Then I sit and watch some YouTube videos, look through social media and text people just generally relaxing.

I take the time to tie my hair up and but on the rather fetching headband to keep all of my hair out of my face before starting my skincare routine. By this point I have usually already removed my makeup, I generally do it after getting in from work so my evening one is more to make sure my skin is cleansed and moisturised before bed.

In order to have some time away from the screen before bed, I get out my planner and write down what I need to do the next day, and appointments or plans. I also like to use the weather tracker so just make note. I’ll sometimes add to the monthly view, as I don’t use stickers but I like to draw little pictures to add some colour. Depending on my mood I sometimes to a bit of colouring while listening to some music, I need to invest in some big colouring books but for now I am using the back pages in the planner. I just do a bit at a time and build up but it’s just a way for me to cut down looking at a screen all day.

Night Time Routine Planner Time

Sometimes I flick the tv on before bed, but now I am trying to just get into bed shut off the lights and get off to sleep. It’s made such a different to my sleep and I’m glad I’ve skipped watching tv late into the night.

So what is your night time routine like, busy and hectic or relaxing and chilled?

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Whats in My Bag? Spring 2016


It’s been a long time since I’ve done my normal ‘What’s in my Bag’ post but they are such a traditional and nice post to do, it feels like a shame not to do one. If you want to see previous editions including “What’s in My Compact Bag?”  or “What’s in my Festival Bag”  click on each one respectively, or check out all of my past ones here. I don’t think what I keep in my bag tends to change but I always think this is an interesting thing to find out what people lug around, do they carry their whole life in their bag or if they have such a streamlined organised bag and I can do nothing but look on in amazement.

whats in my bag - new look duffle bag

Let’s start with a little bit about the bag itself, I got it as a gift for Christmas and it was greatly received as I wanted a more slouchy type of bag but that was still a practical size and I love this. It is the New Look Pin Stud Duffle Bag, which is a suede type texture and obviously stud detailing it has a super long adjustable strap so you can really make it work for you. It has one internal side pocket and other than that is a good sized space to ram everything in. I’m not someone that has to carry everything but I need some space at least.

the essentialswhats in my bag - essentials

So first up are the usual bag essentials which we might as well get away starting with my phone and keys, my keys are huge so they are easy to find. Another must is my purse, which is a Primark Purse from summer 2014 and it just has everything in it from cards to receipts all in their own special section. I also keep a reusable shopping bag in there at all times, seeing as there is now the bag charge so it’s handy if I pick something up unexpectedly.

keeping organisedwhats in my bag - organisation

With a full time job and a blog I like to make tons on lists and note everything in order to help me stay on top of things. I have my personal planner with my pen attached so I don’t use it, I love this planner to death. (If you want to see an indepth view of my planner click here). As well as my planner I have my blogging note book, to help me make notes on current posts, post ideas and check my blog schedule.

 

just a little vainwhats in my bag - makeup

I keep thinking about getting a small makeup bag, but as I just carry powder and my current lip product is I just used the inside pocket for now. So I carry my Ruby & Millie Kabuiki Brush, Collection Pressed Powder in Ivory and an assortment of lip stuff. So with no rhyme or reason I have 5 different lip products at the moment including: YSL Volupte Rouge in Lush Coconut, BareMinerals Marvolous Moxie Lipstick in Be a Star, P.S. Love Matte Long Lasting Lipstick in Whisper, The Body Shop Lipstick in (I can never remember), Rimmel London Appocalips Lip Lacquer in Nova. Got a good mix of colours, finishes and budgets for once, and I can change it up during the day.

the bag of useful bits

Finally I have a little (or maybe not so little) Ted Baker Makeup Bag which holds all of my ‘essential’ or useful bits to have in your bag. Most importantly there is medication such as my inhaler, allergy medication and painkillers as well as the basics such as plasters (my friends love me for these) as well as tissues. The usual girly must haves such as hair ties and hair grips, although I tend to go for hair ties as I’m most likely to want to keep my hair out of my way. As well as the not such important but always wanted Peach Delight Hand Gel, Ted Baker Lip Balm, Ted Baker Body Spray and Molton Brown Coco & Sandalwood Body Lotion which to me are all pretty self-explanatory. As one pair never seems enough I have two pairs of headphones and finally a little random but I find them endlessly useful in the form of the Primark Footlets.

So what do you carry in your bag? Let me know in the comments below or link me you ‘what’s in my bag’ post I adore reading them.

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Reliving My Youth

In my teenage years I used to love travelling and seeing bands with my best friend, I still do but with full time work, living away due to university it happened less and less frequently for a bit. Although my teenage years aren’t far behind me and these passions and loves I still peruse one night in January I got to truly relive my childhood. Throughout my teenage years and even now Aiden have always been one of my favourite bands, the first band I saw without parental supervision and they did their last ever UK tour. The band hasn’t done anything for many years and it fell apart, the front man brought it back for one last tour and all I knew was that I has to go.

Will Francis - Aiden - Birmingham

So on one cold January night me and my best friend climbed in her car to a small venue in Birmingham to see Aiden for one final time, 2656 days after it all began. The even better fact was that loads of people we met and made friends with along the way were all going, one big happy reunion and you could see how each of us made our own paths in life. Kind of a family reunion but with less drama.

The supports were a mix from okay to fun, enough to keep you entertained. The excitement of seeing our favourite tech guy was insane, you couldn’t even predict it there was just that mental moment of it setting in that this was it, and the moment was finally here to see them one last time.

Will Francis - London

The air was electric when they descend the stage, it may only have being Will that was the only original member but he truly embodies Aiden. As a front man he draws you in, he means every word he says and is truly passionate about his craft. At the end of the first song and the music and cheers died down, he looks at the crowd making a comment about how the scene is all grown up, and it’s true it’s been 5 years since Aiden last toured the UK and we’ve all grown up. The clothes and the hair is less ‘out there’ than it once was but we are the same kids that were there 10 years before in love with being part of this family. I could go on and on about the night, but it was just a perfect end to the era in some ways we were all saying good bye to our teens.

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At the end of the night we felt amazing and sad at the same time, it was a perfect set full of favourites but when it was all over it was semi hard to accept that after all these years it was all over. Through all these years I regularly picked up my Aiden albums again and again, from first hearing them my first year in secondary school. Through GCSE’s. A-levels and University. Through friendships, relationships and the travels, through it all Aiden were a sound track and now its officially over but they’ll always be a part of me.

In the word of Aiden:

I know that memories never die

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