Saturday, 28 March 2015

Feeling Appreciated.

I hope this post doesn't sound self-gratifying in any way but I want to chat about a lesson I learned recently.

I've mentioned before how the job I have isn't exactly what I had in mind when I left uni or something I saw longevity in, but every so often I realise that perhaps sticking it out isn't necessarily the same as settling.

In the appraisal I had with my boss this week we had the usual discussion of how I'm getting on, that I'm happy and apparently I can do my job somewhat well, which is always nice to know.
When I started here I was told that my position in the company would change, my boss wanted to make the most of the degree I have but I've been working there for 1.5 years and although my job role has changed slightly it hasn't necessarily progressed. I think this is what has led me to feel like I'm stuck at a point in my life that I'm not happy with.
That changed this week though as I have officially been told that I'll be getting more responsibility in a different position next month and that my future at the company could lead to a consultant job which obviously would be brilliant (BUT it is not a done deal and will take time!). This would mean there's a chance for me to have a more senior role and hopefully with that earn a little more money.

Even though it's not the type of work I was initially interested in or passionate about the people that I work with and for often keep me wanting to stay there.
There is no guarantee of where I will end up even if I stay at this job or move on but it's strange how one day can really make you contemplate your future plans, even if it's only looking a few years ahead. It's definitely going to make me have to seriously think about how I do my travelling!

I guess it goes to show that you never know what is going to happen and how much something as simple as being told you are appreciated and that someone thinks you have potential can mean.

I think everyone should aim to show their appreciation for other people a lot more frequently because the smallest gestures are normally the most important.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Cruelty Free Cosmetics.

I decided to go on a hunt for cruelty free vegan make up here's what happened -

After a short amount of time searching I realised the best plan of attack was to find entire ranges that are vegan as it's much easier to find a brand and stick with it and not have to read through aaaaaall the ingredients on the common cosmetic lines ..... plus let's be honest I have no idea what 83% of the ingredients actually are - seriously what is ferric ferrocyanide?

Eventually I stumbled across a range from Superdrug which is cruelty free and so thought I would give it a go - they deliver free on orders over £10 and the price of the products seemed pretty fair compared to a lot of the specialist brands.

The range is called "B. is for beautiful" and each piece has a name that plays on this which I love the idea of! To explain what I mean here are the 5 products that I bought -

- B. Nourished:

This is technically an anti-wrinkle cream and at the age of 22 I wasn't specifically looking to control my wrinkles however it was the only product that seemed to suit my need of a moisturiser.

It feels so delicate on the skin, not claggy or greasy at all and if it does help to hold back those wrinkles I won't complain!

You barely need any of it which means it will last AGES.

- B. Quick:
Now this was something I was desperate to find - Make up wipes that are vegan and still get all the grime off.
I was really pleased with these as they remove make up with as little as a single wipe. I'm hoping it's not just me that loved (and got a little excited about) the plastic lid on the packaging.....

No longer will I be plagued by the distress of what I like to call "top wipe dryness syndrome". When you have had a pack of wipes for a while the lid will lose it's stick and refuse to stay shut causing the top wipe to dry out just enough so that it becomes pretty damn useless. Excellent idea Superdrug, well done!

- B. Loud high volume mascara jet black 195:

This was one of the few bits I bought that I wasn't quite as impressed with. There's nothing fundamentally wrong here I just personally didn't get on with it.
Now when it comes to cosmetics and more specifically mascara I am a bit rubbish and at the best of times end up with at least 32% of my face covered in it. The issue with this one is that the brush is MASSIVE meaning more surface area to get over my skin instead of eye lashes. Add to this it's staying power.... normally a good thing, however once it's on my skin it's really freaking hard to get off again! I end up looking like I haven't slept in a month because of the black smears under my eyes. I am wanting to try another one from this range though and have also ordered a mascara brush which is hopefully smaller. If you are actually good at mascara then this would be a good choice as once it's on you're set for the day.

- B. Dramatic bold liquid eyeliner black 100:

There isn't too much to comment on with this one, it does the job and stays on for hours so no worrying about smudging or reapplication. The only issue with that is similar to the mascara in that if you cock it up it takes a bit of time to rectify.

The only downfall I found with the eyeliner was that the brush is very small so it takes a little colouring in if you want a thick line, also it can be a little pale and grey on occasion but if you persevere it looks no different to the non-vegan options (or at least it doesn't to me who hasn't tried many varieties) it just takes a little more time.

EDIT - After having this for a few days it became unusable, it was faded to an almost grey colour and it didn't actually leave any eyeliner on the lid. It was as though it had run out even though it had barely been used, I am disappointed and unfortunately will need to find an alternative.

- B. Radiant BB under eye concealer medium 93:

It might come as a shock but I have never actually owned concealer before!
My daily make up routine consists of eyeliner and mascara ... that's it. I do occasionally stretch to mousse foundation if I know I'm going to be drinking alcohol  to cover up the red cheeks that will without doubt make an appearance.

I bought this sort of on a whim just to try it and see if it makes me look less tired. I'm not sure if it actually does but it makes me feel better that I made a little effort so I think I will keep it.

Over all I have been pretty impressed with my experience using B. is for beautiful and would buy their stuff again considering it works just fine and you can use it guilt free knowing that no animals were used for testing or as ingredients in any of it!

As vegan newbie you can probably expect many more posts like this about things I have found that work - let me know if there's anything in particular I should try out.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Curing My Wanderlust.

I made a final decision to forget moving to my own place, changing my job or buying myself all manner of unnecessary things and just save. The plan being that the saving will lead to a trip to end all trips.

I have wanted to travel, and I mean properly travel, for years now but haven't been able to due to money, time and education/work commitments. But no more. I was sat on Sunday morning a little fuzzy brained from lack of sleep and asked myself "What's stopping you?". Turns out not much.

I have the chance to save now as I work full time and live at home so money spent on bills/rent/food is minimal, also the job I have now, although good isn't exactly what I imagine doing for a long amount of time  (don't get me wrong I will not complain about being in full time employment)..... In the end the one and only excuse I could think up was that I might not have anyone to go with. Most of my friends have rent to pay, work commitments and other boring adult things to deal with. Obviously I hope that I will find someone willing to come along on the journey with me because it's always better when you experience things with a friend but if not I'm doing it anyway and going solo!
It's a scary thought, being all on my own in a load of unknown countries but I realised that I can't let it hold me back from doing something I've dreamed of for years and years. I'm a strong believer that you regret the things you don't do more than the ones you actually do.

In order to organise, plan and choose my destinations for this adventure and probably a lot of future ones I am creating a new page for this blog.
Any time I think of a country, town, city or person I want to visit I shall add it to the list. Once I have been there it will be put into bold and linked to photos and a post all about what happened there. This is primarily a selfish plan to help me collate all the ideas I have and end up with somewhere all the memories are stored so I can go there and re-live them whenever I fancy it. However a secondary purpose is that it might be of interest to others, reading about the things I get up to plus I would love suggestions of places you've been that were good enough to share.

So here's to adventure, I know it's out there and I plan to find it.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Geeking Out In London
It's a glooomy and grey Saturday in February.... what better way to spend it than running around London with a group of weirdos dressed up in cosplay?
That is exactly what I did, it was a Big Geek Meet - which for anyone that is unsure is a coming together of a bunch of people that are never happier than when getting their nerd on. Whether you're a fan of graphic novels, games, Manga, Anime  - or anything really, you will appreciate the joy of spending time with people that have mutual interests.

Anyone in this "scene" will know that regardless of your choice of geek-ery, everyone is welcome. The meet I went to was mostly focused on gaming and I really don't play.... at all. My friend mentioned the meet to me and said that it wouldn't matter, that the group would be friendly and we would find other common ground, which we definitely did. We found that even though both me and my friend are pretty shy in new social situations and don't talk much that didn't stop the majority of these guys making a real effort to chat to and include us!

I have only ever been to one official convention before - MCM last year - and it was incredible. There were so many fantastic outfits and stalls to get lost in, but I noticed that the sheer number of bodies made the socialising aspect somewhat difficult. This is where the Big Geek Meets come in! They were started by a few lovely people that decided that it would be a good idea to have events that were purely for meeting other individuals with similar passions!

The day -

We started off meeting at Waterloo station, getting some strange looks and also free pasties because of this...

Cosplay is optional but hey it's fun and they even have a prize for best outfit!

The mob headed off to Namco (some went to Forbidden Planet and Tokyo Toys) which was a first for me and is effectively a massive arcade with bumper cars in the middle. Yup it's awesome.
Once that was done everyone moved on to Heart Of Gaming which is another arcade. The difference being that this venue requires one single entry fee and then you can play as many games as your heart desires!!
The place itself is kind of dark, fairly crowded and has a very distinct aroma BUT it is fun and the people that visit there are pretty freaking nice!

If you are in anyway interested in getting involved in the social side of geekdom then here is where you can see what's happening near you or if you have a meet you want people to know about head on over and mention it.
Let's get this community growing!