Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Simple Life


Over the past few years, I've developed such a love of nature. In a world full of concrete buildings, busy commuters, and petrol-fuelled cars, it's nice to be able to step away from all of that and enjoy the simplicity of life in a peaceful place. It was time to put down my phone, step away from the TV, and just enjoy the great outdoors. I actually wrote a post about how consumed we all are with technology and social media and you can read it by clicking here

I love the outdoors and how beautiful nature is, even just being able to stare up at the clouds is enough to put a smile on my face. I know that a lot of people find it a bit boring to just walk around outdoors aimlessly but I love it and it's great to be able to appreciate the little things. The only issue I have is that I'm so scared of dogs so I have to choose my destination wisely! 

I'd love to live in the countryside or by the seaside one day but for now, I have to settle for what I do have. I don't live in a particularly tranquil and scenic area but there are a few hidden gems when you venture out a little.

The other week, I headed out to some meadows to go for a relaxing walk. It's usually pretty quiet as I don't think many people really venture this far out and I surprisingly didn't bump into any dogs! It's been a while since I've been to these meadows so it was quite nostalgic to come back. The grass used to be a lot longer and more meadow-like but they've since cut it all which I was a little disappointed about as it looked quite bare but it'll grow!

The grass is always full of grasshoppers but they're usually hard to spot. You can never fail to hear them, but actually catching sight of one is pretty difficult in a place full of green grass. I did manage to find one though and I'm actually surprised that I managed to take a photo of it, I assumed it would jump away really quickly but this one was clearly made for modelling. I managed to snap away for about a minute before finally giving it a little encouragement to jump away. 

The simple life. Don't you just love it?

Friday, 18 July 2014

Review: SewLomax - Lipstick Make-Up Pouch

Anyone who has read my blog from the beginning will know that I love anything handmade. There's always that tiny bit more love and detail crafted into something that has taken more time to make over products that are mass produced.

Created in 2011, SewLomax makes great looking ethical bags which are all hand-stitched so each product is unique in its own way. There are a range of products from make-up bags to camera bags to baby bibs, their products really appeal to a vast audience.

SewLomax kindly sent me the Luscious Lemon Lipstick Pouch* which is part of their make-up bags range.
Presentation is pretty important to me and it's nice when a product arrives in good packaging, and it also means that it would make a great gift. I really like their gift wrapping and gift box.

I love the colour of this pouch because it reminds me of sunshine and that makes me happy. I used to actively avoid anything yellow because I just didn't like the colour but now it's fast becoming one of my favourites! The lipstick design on the front has been delicately stitched and the bag can be wiped clean.

There is also the option to personalise the back of your bag at no extra cost! I was originally going to have "LINDA'S MAKE-UP BAG" on the back but I settled for just "LINDA" in the end because the bag is so versatile that I might end up using it for something other than make-up.

The inside of the bag has a red nylon lining, and the bag includes their signature SewLomax bobbin zip which I think is so cute. I'm in love with this bag and I'm really pleased that SewLomax taken off. Handmade businesses are the best!

I'm also pleased to announce that I am a SewLomax Ambassador! So I am able to offer you all an exclusive discount - use the code AMBASSADOR10 at checkout to get 10% off your order.

What do you think of this bag?
Are you a fan of SewLomax?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: Avene - Soothing Hydrating Serum

Anyone who knows me or regularly reads my blog will know how much of a skincare obsessive I am. I don't believe that you need expensive products for a good skincare regime, nor do I believe you need every type of cream, serum, and exfoliant on the market hence why I hadn't previously ventured into the world of serums until recently. 

Escentual kindly sent me this Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum* a couple of months ago to test out and, despite not getting along with some other serums that I've tried, I had high hopes for this one. It just sounded good. 

This contains a high concentration of Avéne Thermal Spring Water which is meant to soothe your skin and heal it, providing deep nourishment and hydration. It's also good for sensitive skin. Serums are designed to be applied beneath your moisturiser so that all it's ingredients can really penetrate the skin.

First of all, I think the bottle looks great with the frosted glass and simple design, sometimes simple really is best. The smell of the product is pretty light and it's one that I love because it's just so fresh and it smells exactly how a luxury product would smell, it's a lovely gentle fragrance. 

Upon initial application, I loved how light the formula was and how easily it glided onto my skin without being sticky, I really enjoyed applying this in the mornings. It's like an added refreshing step. However, having used the product for over a month, I decided to stop. 

For me, I couldn't really see a difference in my skin other than a few extra bumps that had started appearing. I don't think it was so much the serum that was causing the bumps to appear, it was more that my face couldn't handle having an additional layer of product on it. I've heard great things about this serum and it definitely didn't cause any irritation when I applied it but it's just not something that I feel I can incorporate into my daily routine.

Maybe serums just aren't for me or maybe I just haven't found the right one....
Do you use face serums? Have you tried this one?

P.S: Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a personalised necklace from Punky Pins. Enter here!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

"Take In Your Surroundings & Make The Most Of Today"

The modern day. 21st century. Where do I even begin? I've been wanting to write this post for a while now as it's something that I feel is quite important but it's taken me some time to be able to condense it down so that it includes everything I want to say without being a really long ramble!

A few weeks ago, my internet went down for pretty much the entire day. When it switched back on again, I mentioned this to someone via text. Their response was "How have you survived with no internet?". It reminded me of just how big a part the internet plays in our day to day life. Without it, the world as we know it probably wouldn't function.

I guess I decided to write this post as a way to make everyone think a little bit about how consumed we can all be with the internet, technology, and social media....

Gosh social media is such a big part of modern day life! Before, everyone would watch TV shows and discuss it with whoever they were watching it with, or perhaps text a few friends about it. Nowadays, Twitter is the place to discuss TV as you can use the relevant hashtag to see what everyone else is saying. I used to always scroll through my Twitter feed whilst watching shows but I now only pick it up if there's something I'm absolutely dying to tweet! That's only when I'm on my own though. When I'm watching TV with others, my phone is strictly off limits.

I have a Twitter account but its main purpose is for my blog and I don't think I'd use it very often it if it wasn't for that. I used to have a personal Facebook account but it suddenly occurred to me how pointless it was for me. People who I'm close to will have my phone number anyway. I'd rather see them in person than have conversations over Facebook. As for those who don't have my phone number, it probably means that we're not very close. I think Facebook is a good way of connecting with friends & family abroad, but since I didn't have anyone on my account that fitted into that category, I finally said goodbye to Facebook. I recently set up a Facebook page for my blog but I have a feeling I might be taking it down pretty soon...

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.... Let's be real here, who cares what someone else had for lunch? Who cares what a great time someone is having abroad? Who cares how someone has just found a spider on the ceiling? How can we possibly enjoy our own lives when we're so consumed with what everyone else is doing with their lives?

During my usual browsing of Youtube, which has become somewhat of an addiction that I should curb, I came across a video called Look Up which was made by a guy named Gary Turk. It's basically a poem about how we're all so attached to the online world and how we should look up from our gadgets and experience the real world. The video went viral and I'll leave the video at the bottom of this post for anyone who hasn't already seen it.

I know that the video did get a bit of criticism because of how he used an online platform (Youtube) to make the video in the first place but what I took from it was that although the online world is great, we shouldn't let our lives revolve around it. There is a whole world out there to be discovered and lots of new people to meet. Technology in general, be it online or offline, can often overwhelm us.

How many times have you uploaded photos of your day out onto Instagram whilst you're still out?
How many times have you lay on your bed scrolling through your Twitter feed at bedtime?
How many times have you missed witnessing something special with your own eyes and being in the moment because you were too busy looking at it through a camera lens?
How many times have you played around on your phone outside because you don't want to look awkward standing on your own?
How many times have you tweeted about what a great time you're having when you could be saving those seconds or minutes to actually have fun?

Don't get me wrong, I think it's super impressive how far technology has advanced and how social media enables our voices to be heard more easily. However, it also enables us to isolate ourselves from the world, and it also gives way to online malice at times whether directed towards someone or otherwise. The amount of times I've scrolled through a hashtag and seen some shocking things is uncountable.

The world is a beautiful place full of wonderful people. I'm all for the simple things in life and sometimes we all just need to take a step back from all these screens that are eyes have become fixated with. I feel like so many people get so consumed with what's happening online that they forget about what is physically happening around them.

Even offline technology can get the better of us. People spend so much time typing that they forget how to write neatly. People are able to easily use spellcheck on a computer that they no longer have to focus on improving their spelling.

So switch off those gadgets, step away from the TV, and bring life back to basics once in a while. I sometimes like to pretend that there's a powercut (which is completely normal of me...) and do things that don't revolve around anything that needs to be powered by electricity or that needs to be charged.

As someone who blogs, technology can sometimes consume me and I thought that this may resonate with some of you lot too who are reading this. I love blogging but nowadays I set aside a few days a week to read & write posts so that I'm not constantly on here every day. I also love the Look Up video and I've been emailing it to anyone who will watch! I'm thankful that technology allows me to write this blog but now I'm going to switch off and head outside to enjoy the sunshine! 

Technology can be great, but what's even better is being in the present and embracing real life. 

I'd love to know what you all think so please do leave your comments below!
Have a great weekend!