Beauty Purge, beauty stash, beauty collection, skincare, haircare, beauty cupboard

Beauty Purge – Journey to Minimalism

Beauty Purge, beauty stash, beauty collection, skincare, haircare, beauty cupboard

As part of my mission to declutter my life I decided to have a beauty purge. My collection of beauty products is one that always feels cluttered and messy, and to be honest even after clearing out some of the items it’s still cluttered and I know I have way too many products. But I don’t just want to get rid of them for the sake of having minimal products sitting on my shelves. If they are still good and I still like them I want to use them up. But first I needed to clear out the stuff I knew I was just not interested in any longer.

My Beauty Purge

To start with I emptied everything off of my beauty shelves and onto the floor. As I pulled each item out I checked to see if it had gone bad (in which case I chucked it out), or if I knew I wasn’t going to use it (in which case I put it in a pile to be given to friends). I then began categorising everything into groups of similar products – all face masks together, all shampoo’s together etc. From there I could see if I had a lot of one particular category and start narrowing it down to just the products that I knew I liked and wanted to use up. Anything I was so-so about got donated to friends.

Beauty Purge, beauty stash, beauty collection, skincare, haircare, beauty cupboard

I got rid of 10 products in this round. The Herbal Essences shampoo, Timothy conditioner and Talika moisturiser had all been sitting on my shelf unused for quite some time and I wasn’t fussed about finishing them up so in the bin they went. The Fibrology shampoo and conditioner, Rituals shampoo, Tommy Guns conditioner, KMS curling mousse, and Umberto Giannini backcomb in a bottle and (clean) Soap & Glory shower puff all got passed along to friends and family who would get much better use out of them than me.

The after might not look all that much different from before my beauty purge, but it’s a step in the right direction. Now I just have to remember to focus on using these products up instead of buying in new things to try…

If you want to see more decluttering you can watch my Makeup Declutter and Nail Polish Declutter videos, and read my Wardrobe Declutter post too. What area of my home would you like to see me declutter next?

Beauty Purge, beauty stash, beauty collection, skincare, haircare, beauty cupboard

august and september wrap up, books, reading

August and September Wrap Up

august and september wrap up, books, reading

This is going to be my August and September wrap up as I was on my honeymoon when the August one was due and didn’t have much to share that month anyway. Other things were taking priority at that time… So anyway, here’s what I’ve read over the past couple of months, and what I thought:

My August and September Wrap Up

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

I have to say I am not a fan of this one… I was a fan of the Harry Potter series growing up (I even have a picture of me in the newspaper staying up till midnight to be one of the first people to buy the first film on VIDEO the day it was released!), but this just did not feel like a Harry Potter book to me. I get that it’s written in the style of a play and so doesn’t read the same as a typical novel, but it’s more than that. The characters themselves seemed out of character, the rich background that J.K. Rowling had built was barely there to be found, and it just didn’t even seem like she had anything to do with it. Honestly, it felt like a piece of fan fiction and it’s not something I’m likely to read again.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriaty

After reading  The Last Anniversary, I was eager to read another of Liane Moriaty’s books. The story revolves around a secret Cecelia’s husband has revealed in a letter to her with instructions that it only be opened after his death. Having discovered the letter, and after mounting suspicion surrounding her husbands strange behaviour, Cecelia decides to read the letter. This happens fairly early on in the book and the rest of the pages involve what Cecelia is going to do about the revelation. Of course, as with The Last Anniversary, there are multiple other characters, each with their own issues (it was sometimes difficult to keep track of which character was who). But in the end everyone comes together for the big showdown confession. Another enjoyable read from Moriaty but I do prefer The Last Anniversary.

According to YES by Dawn French

This was okay. I read this during 2 twelve hour flights to and from my honeymoon destination so there wasn’t a lot else to do, otherwise I might have put this book down and not picked it up again. It didn’t particularly grip me and the plot was a bit ridiculous and unbelievable at times (the events leading up to the grandmother moving out and the sheer fact that it is she that moves out and not anyone else – not wanting to spoil the story for anyone that hasn’t read it, but for those that have you know what I’m talking about). Essentially According To Yes is about an English nanny that goes to live with a New York family who are not being entirely truthful about who they are and what they want. They’ve been stifled by the overbearing Grandmother, who acts out of her own insecurities and fears. The nanny comes along and I want to say she turns their worlds upside-down but really she sets them the right way up. It’s different from other books that I’ve read in the sense that it heavily focuses on the characters relationships, both with each other and with themselves. The self-reflection they each go through was interesting, but this is another book I can’t see myself re-reading.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Speaking of re-reading… If you saw my TBR for the month you’ll know I’ve decided to re-read the Harry Potter series (minus the 8th book..). Although I didn’t enjoy The Cursed Child, it did reignite my love for the Harry Potter world. I normally read this series around the Autumn time every couple of years or so but haven’t done for quite some time. I don’t know why but this time of year always feels kinda magical and like the perfect time to read Harry Potter. Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to get into, the writing is fantastic and I just want to be snuggled under a blanket reading it with a cup of tea in hand, a candle burning and dreaming of life at Hogwarts. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book, I flew through it in a couple of days, forgetting how quick it is to read. I’m sure everyone has already either read the book or watched the film, but to summarise: Harry Potter is a wizard. He is famous in the magical world for overthrowing a Dark Lord whilst still a baby, despite the evil Lord Voldemort killing both his parents just minutes before. Upon attending his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Harry dives straight into adventure with his 2 best friends. Realising someone is after the Philosopher’s Stone, the three of them do what they can to uncover who is after it and how to stop them, culminating in Harry going up against Lord Voldemort once again.

 

So that’s everything I’ve read over the past couple of months, don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m currently reading as well as what is on my To Be Read list.

 

project pan, panning, seasonal challenge, finish 6 x christmas, 6 x xmas

Finish 6 x Christmas – Project Pan

project pan, panning, seasonal challenge, finish 6 x christmas, 6 x xmas

If you follow my YouTube Channel then you’ll know I’ve taken to doing a few Project Pans this year. In case you haven’t been following along and don’t know what project pan is, basically it’s where you pick a certain number of items to try and finish up (or hit pan on). There are a variety of different ways you can go about doing a project pan, but the general idea is to try and use up your existing makeup before you go out and buy more. That way you get your money’s worth and the products don’t go bad before you really get some use out of them.

It’s not for everyone, I don’t believe I have ever completed a project pan in it’s entirety, but the beauty of it is that even if you don’t reach your goal you will have still got a decent amount of use out of your chosen products, perhaps rediscovered a past love and maybe even gotten creative and found new ways to use old favourites.

I am currently in the middle of doing Pan That Palette (where you focus on using up one palette for the year), if you want to see more on that you can catch my latest update here. I have also just finish a seasonal project pan challenge called Finish 5 by Fall – to see how I got on with that you can watch this video. Today, I’m going to be embarking on a new seasonal panning project called Finish 6 by Christmas – as the name suggests, I am going to be attempting to use up 6 items from my makeup collection by December 25th. These are my picks:

Rimmel BB Cream Matte in Light

I have maybe a quarter of this base product left and just want to move it out of my collection before it goes bad. I actually really like this BB cream but somewhere along the way must have been enticed by a new foundation product and this got pushed to the back of my drawer.

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in Light Matte

project pan, panning, seasonal challenge, finish 6 x christmas, 6 x xmas, the body shop, honey bronzer, bronzer

Again, not a lot left on this either (you’ll notice a trend here..). This is quite light on my skin, which makes it a great contour in the winter months when I’m a bit paler so I’m hoping I can get it used up by layering it whilst I still have a bit of my honeymoon tan left.

ELF Blush in Candid Coral

project pan, panning, seasonal challenge, finish 6 x christmas, 6 x xmas, elf, candid coral, blush

An oldie but a goodie. I have had this one for years and keep going back to it every so often as it looks so pretty and glowy. I have a couple of other blushes in similar shades so I want to finish this one up rather than let it go to waste and end up having to throw it out.

MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre

project pan, panning, seasonal challenge, finish 6 x christmas, 6 x xmas, mac, paint pot, soft ochre, eye base, cream eyeshadow

Another product I’ve had for a while. These take ages to use up, so I guess that makes them good for the money, but cream products weren’t designed to that long, at least not without potentially causing irritation and/or infections. With this one I just want to hit pan on it, I am under no delusions that I can finish this up in 3 months!

Laura Mercier Long Lash Mascara

I got this in a beauty box a while back, and although I do like it, it’s a very subtle mascara. I prefer something a lot bolder day-to-day, but I thought I could finish this by using it as a bottom lash mascara as the wand is so small. So that’s my plan.

Seventeen Supreme Shine Lipstick in Barely Blush

project pan, panning, seasonal challenge, finish 6 x christmas, 6 x xmas, boots, seventeen, supreme shine lipstick, lipstick, barely blush, pink lipstick

Those of you that have been following my panning journey will know how I have struggled to finish this lipstick!! I thought I was going to do it in my last challenge but alas no, it’s still going strong. It’s a creamy, easy to wear pink and can be doubled up as a cream blush, but I’m getting a bit bored with it now. Fingers crossed I can get this moved out by Christmas!

You’ll notice that most of these products I’ve already used quite a lot of, that is intentional. For this challenge I wanted to move out some things that have been sat around for a while almost used up. I don’t like to waste product, and in theory they should be fairly quick and easy to move out (she says glaring at the lipstick) so that I can get on with using other products without feeling guilty that these ones are being neglected. Feel free to join me on this seasonal project pan and let me know how you’re getting on in the comments, or tag me on Instagram. I’ll be posting monthly to update you all with my progress!

 

Wardrobe Declutter – Journey to Minimalism

Wardrobe Declutter, Minimalism, Stress, Overwhelm, Clothes, Clutter

I kicked off my minimalism journey with a wardrobe declutter a few months ago and am only just getting around to blogging about it! When it comes to clutter-induced stress my clothing is pretty high on the list and is something that affects me on a daily basis. A lot of the time I find myself staring at my very much full wardrobe and feeling like I have nothing to wear. I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Although you have plenty of individual items, they don’t necessarily go together. Or perhaps you just don’t feel great in those pieces but keep them hanging around just in case you have nothing else to wear. Or you don’t have anything appropriate for a particular occasion.

Wardrobe Declutter, Minimalism, Stress, Overwhelm, Clothes, Clutter

I heard Allison Anderson say in a YouTube video that instead of pulling out items you want to get rid of, you should first pull out your absolute favourite pieces, the things you love and wear all the time. After that, whatever else is left is negotiable. This idea was such a revelation for me. Normally I go to declutter but then find myself feeling overwhelmed, dithering over what to get rid of and only end up removing a small handful of items.

How I Decluttered My Wardrobe

This time around I did like Allison suggested and pulled out items that I loved and absolutely wanted to keep first. I pulled out 21 items, leaving a whopping 160 that were negotiable!! I was floored by how much of my wardrobe was made up of things I didn’t really like anymore. No wonder getting ready in the mornings was always such a chore!

Wardrobe Declutter, Minimalism, Stress, Overwhelm, Clothes, Clutter

Obviously with such a large portion of my wardrobe being candidates for the donation pile, I couldn’t unfortunately get rid of the lot as that would have left me with very very few outfits to wear. My next step was to pile the rest of my clothes onto my bed and begin sorting through them. I had 2 piles, one for clothes to get rid of and one for clothes that would remain in my closet for this round.

Wardrobe Declutter, Minimalism, Stress, Overwhelm, Clothes, Clutter

 

To help me decide, I looked at whether the items needed repairs that I knew I wouldn’t get around to or no longer suited my style. In some cases even tried items on to figure out if they still fitted properly, and throughout the process I tried as best I could to not let sentimental feelings get in the way. So often in the past I have held onto something because I wore it to a particular event or at a certain time in my life and it reminded me of that time. But I don’t need a room full of clothes I never wear, just so that I can pick them up maybe once a year and reminisce!

Wardrobe Declutter, Minimalism, Stress, Overwhelm, Clothes, Clutter

What I Got Rid Of

I managed to move 30 items out of my wardrobe, which I know still leaves me with a lot but I needed to have some clothes to wear, even if I didn’t love them. My plan is to gradually shop for pieces that I love, that fit me and my style well, and that go with other items I already own and love. As and when I bring new pieces in I will get rid of more items I currently own – the old one in, one out rule. So in theory my closet shouldn’t ever grow and I will just be left with things I love to wear.

Wardrobe Declutter, Minimalism, Stress, Overwhelm, Clothes, Clutter

I’m going to be tackling other areas in my life (I’ve already filmed a makeup declutter), and I’m sure I will do another wardrobe declutter in the near future as it’s slowly becoming easier and easier to let go of things that no longer serve me and are just taking up much needed space in my life. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks for decluttering and if you are joining me on this journey to a life filled with less stuff.

Wardrobe Declutter, Minimalism, Stress, Overwhelm, Clothes, Clutter

July Wrap Up, Books, Reading

The Last Anniversary – July Book Wrap Up

I’m a little late updating you guys with my July Book Wrap Up, so I apologise for that. Things have been more than a little crazy lately, but I’m here and I figured this was better late than never. I actually only have one book to share (in case you couldn’t tell from the title), but I think it might be my favourite from this year so far..

The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriaty

Wow, I cannot explain how much I loved this book. It hooked me in from the very beginning and every chapter left me wanting more. The Last Anniversary is about 2 sisters who are keeping a secret about an abandoned baby they’ve adopted. When one of the sisters passes away the secret begins to unravel, with twists right up until the very end. The really interesting thing about this book is how it flits between different time lines and multiple different perspectives but never feels disjointed, and I never struggled to keep up with which character I was reading or what was going on. All of the characters are so well thought out, each different with their own complexities but easily fitting into each others lives and flowing with the overall plot.

The person that most held my interest was Grace and her struggle with post-natal depression – at times it had me in tears. I’m really pleased with the way everything all came together in the end with the natural build up of events culminating in the secret being revealed. Liane does a fantastic job of keeping you guessing without leaving you feeling frustrated. I loved her style so much I jumped straight into reading one of her other books. I plan on picking up all of her books as I enjoy her writing so much and would thoroughly recommend The Last Anniversary. 5 Stars!

My reading is a bit all over the place at the moment with my wedding and honeymoon less than 2 weeks away (!!), so if you want to keep up with what I’m currently reading you can follow me on Goodreads.

 

July Wrap Up, Books, Reading, the last anniversary, liane moriaty

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, bon bona to yoga pants, the new girl, scarlet, lunar chronicles

June Wrap Up – Books I’ve Read

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, bon bona to yoga pants, the new girl, scarlet, lunar chronicles

My June Wrap Up is going to be another small one. I haven’t managed to read as much as I would have liked for a couple of reasons. Firstly the books on my TBR pile for June were all physical books, and given that I only really find time to read that type of book before bed, that doesn’t give a slow reader like myself the opportunity to get through many books. Secondly, Ben took me away to London for the weekend in the middle of the month for my birthday. I did take a book to read but only got the chance to once, and since we’ve been back I’ve had a manic time of trying to sort the house out (it was a state) and get organised for having a new kitchen put in (it’s going in this weekend). On top of that we had a meeting with our wedding venue where we realised we had a shiz tonne of things we needed to get done ASAP (you can read more about that here). As such I wasn’t getting to bed till gone 11pm and I’m usually a lights-out-by-10-at-the-latest kinda girl, so I really haven’t had the time to read! I did however get a Kindle for my birthday (you can watch my birthday haul here), and going forward I think I will ensure I always have at least one digital book on my TBR pile as I can read those on my lunch break at work, and hopefully get through a few more books during the month. So with all that said, here’s what I did manage to read last month:

June Wrap Up

Bon Bons to Yoga Pants – Katie Cross

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, bon bona to yoga pants

This was a very easy to read story about a girl learning to come to terms with the loss of her father, break the habit of turning to food whenever things felt uncomfortable, and ultimately learning to love herself for who she is. The main character, Lexie, starts off being overweight and not feeling good enough. Through a series of events, she arranges a date at her sister’s upcoming wedding with a cute boy she’s been chatting with online and also ends up joining a weight loss group. Lexie thinks that if she just loses the weight and looks a certain way then she’ll be worthy of this boy, and that he couldn’t possibly be interested in her the way she is. Gradually, through her weight loss journey and with the help of friends new and old, she begins to question those limiting beliefs. It’s a lovely, inspirational story with very relatable and realistic characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, scarlet, lunar chronicles

This is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles series. Scarlet’s grandmother has gone missing and the police aren’t really doing anything about it, so Scarlet takes things into he down hands and goes looking for her with the help of a street fighter named Wolf. I got into this book a lot quicker than I did Cinder and found Scarlet much more relatable than Cinder (which isn’t too hard when you consider that Cinder is a cyborg!). The story moved along at a fairly stead pace until about 3/4 of the way in when it picked up dramatically as things came to a head in the plot. Cinder’s storyline is continued in this novel, which gave a sense of familiarity whilst getting to grips with the new storyline, and the 2 plots slipped together nicely and didn’t make the book feel disjointed. Again, I’m now eager to start the next book to find out what’s happens now that Cinder and Scarlet have joined forces.

The New Girl – Tracie Puckett

June Wrap Up, what I'm reading, bookclub, books, reading, the new girl

I wasn’t expecting much from this book to be honest. It showed up on my daily Bookbub list and I believe it was free – never one to turn down a free book that looks like my kinda thing, I grabbed it and one night whilst unable to sleep decided to pick it up. To be honest, it’s not the best writing and it’s a very simple storyline. It follows high school student, Steph, who has just moved to yet another town with her mother. Steph’s mum has been moving around ever since she left Steph’s abusive father in the hopes that he will never find them. When I first started reading this book I didn’t realise it was part of a series and fully expected the big finale to be Steph’s dad finding them and most likely getting thrown in jail after some, no doubt, alcohol fuelled showdown. Well, the story hasn’t quite gotten that far yet (if it does in fact turn out that way), and there’s been the side distraction of Steph having feelings for her teacher, who’s brother just happens to be involved with her mum. Not quite what I was expecting, but I did end up picking up the next book in the series – not sure if that says more about my inability to not finish things, or that the book was actually better than I thought. It’s not something I’m jumping up and down to start reading immediately though, I think it will just sit on my phone until I don’t know what else to read.

 

Like I said, I think I need to make sure I have at least one physical and one digital book on my TBR lists each month, just to give me the chance to read more as I don’t typically carry around physical books with me. The only reason I managed to read 3 books this month is because 2 of them were digital and I was able to read them on my lunch breaks. That being said, I did reach my reading goal over on Goodreads – I think next year I may need to set the bar a bit higher! Make sure you’re following my YouTube channel to see what books I’m planning on reading next – my July TBR will be up this Sunday!

Why I Want To Be A Minimalist

Minimalism, declutter, home decor, simple living, minimalist

Recently I’ve been looking into various different, slightly more holistic, aspects of improving my health: meditation, crystals, going natural with products. One of the things that’s really piqued my interested lately is minimalism. My “watch later” playlist on YouTube is full of videos on how to declutter, minimalistic home tours, and how to start on your minimalism journey. I’ve been thinking about going down a more minimalistic route for a few years now, I just didn’t realise that’s what I was craving. I first mention it in my Shop Your Stash video, saying that larger makeup collections stressed me out and I wanted to get through some of my stash and downsize my collection.

At the end of 2015 I heard so many people talking about Marie Kondo’s book, The Magic Of Tidying, but dismissed it as it seemed overly hyped. Just recently I stumbled back across Allison Anderson’s channel and got hooked watching her “decluttering” and “simplify your home” videos. I went on to binge watch a ton of videos focused around minimalism and realised these spacious spaces and uncluttered homes made me feel so calm and relaxed, and I knew I wanted my home to give me that same feeling. I mean, they do say that your home should be your haven, but the clutter and unfinished projects in mine have only brought on a sense of mental clutter and stress that I really don’t need in my life.

So I’m starting this journey towards a cleaner, simpler living space that brings me joy. I’m not saying I’m going to completely downsize everything to the bare minimum and only dress in monochrome. I do however think I can make drastic improvements in a lot of areas of my life. I did end up picking up Marie Kondo’s book and I’m hoping it will offer tips and motivation to help get me started on this endeavour. On top of that, I’m constantly scouring Pinterest for ideas on minimalist aesthetics to inspire me. Let me know your thoughts on minimalism, and I’ll leave you with some lovely pictures of these inspiring spaces…

Minimalism Inso 1, minimalist

(Via – 1, 2, 3)Minimalism Inso 2, minimalist(Via – 1, 2, 3)

May Wrap Up books reading the miracle morning cinder lunar chronicles allegiant divergent series

May Wrap Up – Books I’ve Read

May Wrap Up books reading the miracle morning cinder lunar chronicles allegiant divergent series

If you saw my BookTube blogpost a couple of months ago you’ll know that I’ve started getting back into reading. A couple of weeks ago I did my first Wrap Up and TBR over on my YouTube channel but decided that going forward I would do the monthly Wrap Ups over here and include my thoughts on each of the books I’ve finished reading each month. So without further ado, here is my May Wrap Up:

The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

May Wrap Up books reading the miracle morning

To be honest, this book reads a little bit like a sales pitch, however the principles of The Miracle Morning are good. The idea behind it is that you get up an hour earlier than you would normally and participate in 6 activities for 10 minutes each. These activities include exercising, reading and visualisation, and are designed so you can work on your self development first thing in the morning before life has a chance to feed you excuses for why you can’t/don’t have time to do them. The book also covers how you can adjust the timings to fit into your life, even giving an example of a 6 minute Miracle Morning routine if you’re really rushed off your feet – and lets face it, who can’t wake up 6 minutes earlier?! It might not seem like enough time to really make a difference, but over time these activities add up and lead to you cultivating a much more productive morning routine and habit.Hal also provides tips for getting up early and prepping yourself for success. I like the idea behind it and on the days when I actually do TMM I do notice an improvement in my focus productivity, energy levels and mood. I do wish I had just borrowed this book from the library though, as I can’t see myself referring back to it all that often.

Cinder – Marissa Meyer

May Wrap Up books reading cinder lunar chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles series is loosely based off of classic fairytales, Cinder being Cinderella. In this version, Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who is drawn to the handsome Prince Kai whilst trying to escape out from under her stepmother in a world riddled with plague. It took me a little while to get into this book as the story was a little slow to start and it took some getting used to the world this is set in, however I was surprised when it ended as suddenly as it did and I couldn’t wait to pick up the next book (which I’m currently about halfway through – you can hear more about what I’m planning on reading in June in my June TBR video which will be up in a few days time. Make sure you’re subscribed to my channel so you don’t miss it!).

Allegiant – Veronica Roth

May Wrap Up books reading allegiant divergent series

This is the third and final book in the Divergent series. I’ve really enjoyed these books although it did take longer than expected to finally finish it. Allegiant switches back and forth between Tris and Tobias’ perspectives and I think I was just struggling to keep up with who’s I was reading. I made a concerted effort last week to finish the final instalment and I was not disappointed, no spoilers but for some reason I was really shocked by the ending, even though it was very much in keeping with the characters. All in all, a very good read and I can now finally watch the film! I don’t like to read and watch the same story at the same time as it always leaves me disappointed with one version or the other.

 

So that’s my May Wrap Up, what books have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments your recommendations and follow me on Goodreads if you want to keep up with what I’m currently reading.

My latest obsession is BookTube - a YouTube community for book lovers, book nerd and bibliophiles. I picked up a few new books recently, inspired by these lovely YouTubers and thought I'd do a quick mini haul

BookTube: My Latest Obsession

My latest obsession is BookTube - a YouTube community for book lovers, book nerd and bibliophiles. I picked up a few new books recently, inspired by these lovely YouTubers and thought I'd do a quick mini haul

My latest obsession is BookTube.. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have this tendency to stumble across something and then get completely obsessed with it, to the point it’s all I do/think about/talk about.. It drives my fiancé nuts! Just recently I was sat in my doctors waiting room feeling bored with no signal on my phone. I was scrolling around wondering what I could do to keep myself entertained when I remembered that I had the Divergent series on my iBooks app. I’d already read and loved the first book, and when I went into the second book I realised I was close to the end. I continued reading and remembered how much I loved reading but I have felt for a long time now that I don’t have time to read.

 

A couple of days later I was googling “how to read more”, as you do, and somewhere in my search for the key to reading more I stumbled across a YouTube video a girl had done about her top books to read in 2015. Getting sidetracked, I searched for books to read in 2016, found PeruseProject’s channel and realised there was a whole community of people that had channels about reading. Perfect! I was hooked (much like I was when I stumbled across the Beauty community 6 years ago). In the past week I have watched countless more YouTube videos of peoples recommendations of books to read, tips on how to read more, and bookshelf tours (yes, those are a thing). I’ve also subscribed to a bunch of new people whose videos I love – I’ll link them below – as well as followed them on Goodreads, adding their recommendations that appealed to me to my “to read” list.

BookTube inspired mini book haul - To All The Boys I've Loved Before and The Lunar Chronicles series

Being very much inspired to read more, I popped into the city on the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and picked up 4 new books. I realised a big part of the reason I wasn’t making time to read (because, basically, I have had time to read, I’ve just chosen to spend that time doing other things – mostly watching YouTube videos…) was because I wasn’t excited to read any of the books I had. I picked up To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, as well as Cinder and Scarlett by Marissa Meyer. The first series is about a girl that writes a love letter of sorts to each boy she’s loved by way of letting go of her feelings. She seals each one, addresses it and then puts it in a box with no intention of ever mailing them out. But of course, somewhere along the way they get sent out and Lara Jean has to deal with the repercussions of that. I’ve started reading it and am really enjoying it, it’s well written and easy to read so I’m actually getting through it a lot quicker than I thought!

BookTube inspired mini book haul - To All The Boys I've Loved Before and The Lunar Chronicles series

The second series of books appealed to me because they are based off of the traditional fairytales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, but they are set in a fantasy world and the story isn’t quite the same. The first book in The Lunar Chronicles series is about Cinder, a skilled mechanic that is also a cyborg.. How cool does that sound? I can’t wait to start reading this one and there are several books in the series which is great, because when I really get into a world, I just want to stay there and keep reading more stories.

So anyway, there was a little book haul for you and my initial thoughts on To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. If you’re on Goodreads add me as a friend, and let me know in the comments or tweet me your book recommendations and favourite BookTube channels!

BookTube Channels I Love:

BookTube inspired mini book haul - To All The Boys I've Loved Before and The Lunar Chronicles series

new years goals, healthy, diet, nutrition, water, gratitude, reading, read, books

2016 ~ My New Years Goals

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great New Years Eve and aren’t feeling too worse for wear today. I thought to kick off the new year I would post my new years goals for 2016. I don’t like to call them resolutions as, to me, it sounds like you’re having to give something up, which makes you feel like you are missing out on something rather than looking forward to something. I have 3 big main goals for this year and they break down into lots of little sections. I don’t want to bore you to tears by typing everything out, so without further ado, here are my New Years Goals plus a few of the ways I am going to begin working towards them at the start of this year:

  • Get Myself Healthy

My health issues are more mental than along the usual lines of losing weight, so to start off with I will:

– Focus more on nutrition than exercise – including more fruits, vegetables and salads into my meals

– Drink at least 2 litres of water a day (and I have a handy little app to help me keep track throughout the day!)

– List 2 things I’m grateful for every day

– Repeat positive affirmations daily

– Meditate for 10 minutes every evening

– Read 5 nights a week (my aim is to read 10 books this year)

– Get 7 hours sleep a night (going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day)

– Just focus on tasks I can get done on that day rather than having one massive “to do” list to work from

2016 ~ My New Years Goals, new years goals, healthy, diet, nutrition, water, gratitude, reading, read, books

  • Make a Part-Time Income from Creative Pursuits

Basically I want to focus on growing my YouTube and Blogging hobby into a part-time income. For the first few months I will:

– Continue posting one video and blogpost a week

– Get to grips with WordPress!

– Brainstorm quality content that will benefit my viewers

– Work on promoting content on Instagram and Pinterest

– Log my stats monthly

– Connect with other bloggers and youtubers

– Learn the basics of my camera to improve the quality of my photos and videos

– Practise my photography out in the world

2016 ~ My New Years Goals, new years goals, youtube, blogging, online content, growth, business, thegirlinspired

  • Improve My Relationships

With me focusing on the above and Ben having just gone self-employed, I want to make sure we are not neglecting each other. I also want to ensure I make time to fit in seeing friends and family:

– Wednesday evenings = mine and Bens evening at home together

– Friday evenings = game nights with Ben and/or friends and family (my brother got us a PS4 for Christmas so we can have fun with that)

– At least one scheduled date night or day per month where Ben and I plan to do something together (meals out, cinema, going to the beach or for long walks etc etc)

– Make the effort to arrange doing something with friends and family (meals out/nights in/drinks, but also squeezing in time to have a quick catch up over a cuppa, or meeting for lunch if we’re already in the city etc)

2016 ~ My New Years Goals, new years goals, relationship, love, couple

To help me with a lot of these goals I have decided to start a Bullet Journal. I only recently became aware of bullet journalling and I love the fact that it makes you focus on one day at a time. Also, if you don’t get all those tasks done it makes you think about whether it really needs to be done or whether to just scratch it off your to do list altogether. I’m still waiting for mine to arrive (I ordered the Leuchtturm1917 which should be delivered by the 4th), but once I’ve got it set up and have been using it for a little while I’ll do a video showing you what it’s all about and how I use it. It’s going to be where I track if I’ve drank enough water, meditated, my savings etc as well as house my gratitude log, Blog/YouTube stats and goals amongst other things.

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So they are my New Years Goals for 2016! I usually either set myself a big goal with no plan for how to achieve it, or I give myself a million things to do at once, forgetting that I have a whole year to work on things, and end up completely overwhelming myself! This year I have my main goals, which I’ve broken down into different areas and from that I’m giving myself just a few daily/weekly/monthly “tasks” to focus on for the first quarter of the year. From there I’ll reassess, see what’s working and what isn’t and take things from there.

I’d love to know what your goals are for 2016, so please leave them in the comments, and I hope that whatever your goals are, you find ways of making them happen.

2016 ~ My New Years Goals, new years goals, quote, arrows, live the life you have imagined, go confidently in the direction of your dreams