Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Me + Blogging

Back when I first started blogging it was fun.  It was my ‘me time’ and I blogged about whatever took my fancy.  It was my bit on the side; it gave me excitement and took me away from mundane daily life tasks.  It was my outlet from the real world and growing up.  But then, similar to a relationship, after a little time, things got serious.  I become more aware of having to have a ‘label’ on my blogging habits.  I had to commit.  Everyone was putting themselves into a market; whether it be a fashion blog, a beauty blog or a food blog etc.  So at that time I decided to concentrate on beauty and at first that was fine.  I had focus.  I had topics to talk about.  I developed new obsessions in skin care.  I discovered toning.  I discovered serums and facial oils.  It was exciting… then it wasn’t.  I started to regret that big commitment.  I had even changed the title of my blog to ‘unnakednails’ as I was that committed to talking all things nails and lipsticks…

You see, not only do relationships need work, they need to have substance.  They have to have something at bare bones level that’s worth it.  During my dalliance with blogging, life took over and I suddenly realised that *shock horror* life is about more than nails and lipsticks.  So I felt lost and confused; I had concentrated so much on all things beauty I didn’t know how to talk about anything else.  By this time I had a whole host of beauty followers; they expected to see my NOTD (nails of the day) posts, they wanted to see my skincare hauls and they wanted to check and see what upcoming bargains were to be had on QVC… I felt under pressure to continue in the same vain but again, like a relationship; you just can’t fake it!

So I withdrew myself and I focused on other things, the main one being my career…

Just over a year ago I made a pretty big decision; I had worked in the same industry for 11 years and it’s an industry I know and understand (for anyone interested we call it ‘the fridge game’ aka refrigeration and air conditioning).  I was bloody good at my job and I bent over backwards for the Company I worked for, I was instrumental in helping the Company grow and develop.   After being promised this, that and the other for too long I bit the bullet and decided enough was enough; blood, sweat and tears (a lot of tears) had gone into that place and I wasn’t valued, I was massively under paid and my head eventually overruled my heart and I had to leave.  So I did.  I set myself a goal of wanting a 50% pay increase, two job moves later and six months to the day, I achieved that goal.  And let me tell you something, having a job where you feel valued and know you make a difference is like a breath of fresh air after putting up with what I had.  Don’t get me wrong, I miss the fridge life, it’s like an industry like no other, everyone knows everyone and it’s the only time you’ll hear people literally cry when during the summer, the weather forecaster announces high temperatures.  In my world that means high volumes of service calls and fridge alarms and engineers not being able to do anything due to ‘ambient temp’.  But my sanity comes first and I had to do what was best for me and my family.

My work and life dramas (I’ve had a few life things thrown into the mix over the last year too trust me) have also really impacted my ability to talk utter shite about an overpriced lipstick.  When you’re going through tough times, you have NO choice but to wake up and realise what is important in life such as health, family and love.  As I sit and write this my Mam is in hospital suffering from paralysis in her lower legs.  Can you imagine not being able to walk?

The question I’ve been asking myself or a little while now is ‘can my relationship be salvaged?’  I’ve concluded that I think it can.  I think if you believe in your relationship that’s the first step.  You just have to know your truth.  You know sometimes when a relationship goes a bit south?  And you eventually take the plunge to lay your cards on the table, clear the air and then are able to move on?  This is what this post is about for me.  I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve, I’m being honest and I’m owning up to my truth…

My truth is that my blog is for me, if I want to talk rubbish about a nail polish then so be it.  If I want to share a recipe I’ve recently discovered then I will.  If I’d rather prioritise my ironing to posting on my blog regularly then the clothes will come first.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised I’m a person who creates unnecessary pressure on myself and the only person I hurt is me.  I freak out about having more than one load of washing built up in the laundry basket, I rush home to feed the dogs spot on time and literally get anxiety if I’m a minute late with their dinner time.  This blog has fallen into the increasing demands I put on myself; I’ve believed I’ve HAD to post about all things beauty, I thought I had to post regularly for my followers and I stupidly thought for a moment that the number of followers I had mattered.  The reality is this is my blog, if someone wants to read my words then great, if someone wants to follow me then lovely and if someone can identify with what I have to say then I’m not alone and they know they’re not either. 

So there we have it, a very short explanation of my absence.  Me and blogging hit a rough patch and I can’t say it’s over.  For me it’s a relationship that needs work.  My blog will have to compromise with me, it will need to make allowances for life but in turn I will endeavour to ensure quality and honesty, I will make sure that I’m not fake and that my blog gets to see my authentic self. 

If you managed to get through my ramblings then I thank you for reading.  If you’re a follower who has genuinely been interested in my update then I really appreciate you for sticking with me.  If you’re a fellow blogger who can identify with what I’ve said then know you’re not alone.

See y'all soon peeps!

Catrine xox

Sunday, 12 April 2015

March 2015 Favs

So we're like properly in April now... the lighter nights are here (f***ing eventually!) and I'm almost over my SAD, I've completed no wine lent and what appropriate way to use bloggers mark the beginning of a month?  Yep, that's right, by picking some of our fav products from the previous one!
So here we go:
In March I particularly fell in love with Elemis' Frangipani Monoi Body Cream, I've felt that with the change in weather my skin has needed a bit more than usual and this is quite thick in texture as it almost borders on body butter territory but without the faff.  
March also seen the first application of self tan for me this year and I used the St Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse and I had forgotten how much I love it!  I find that the colour of this is really good for me and it lasts... despite boiling hot baths and body oil it wears off evenly and a week later it still gives me a little colour.
If you're a skincare nut you need to try Merumaya; I am OBSESSED with the melting cleansing balm from the range.  It's up there with Emma Hardie's for me and it is much more affordable.  I bought two 100mls from QVC for something like £29 AND they come with 7 face flannels.  The inner Caroline Hirons loves this fact!
I don't know if this is an age thing or a skincare addict thing but I'm eventually figuring out that on an evening my skin does respond better to an oil over anything else.  I had a dalliance with Clarin's Blue Orchid for a little while and although I still like it, I've been hooked on Sarah Chapman's Overnight Facial of late.  I find that the bottle is genius, one pump and you're done; no fiddling.  The smell is nice; it has a clean smell to it and the next morning my face does feel calmed and rejuvenated.  
Lastly in my favs (if you can make it out in the pic) is a weird bobble which looks like those key ring clip things you used to get in the 90s!  It's called an invisibobble which isn't entirely true as you can see it but it's comfortable to wear all day. You know sometimes us girls can be the victim of bobble drama when you want to wear your hair up, but not tight cos it's too much but it needs to be tight otherwise you'll get equally irritated with having to take it out and tie it up again?  Well this fills that gap!  You can tie your hair up and it stays put even if you haven't wrapped it around like 50 times.  It's the simple things in life isn't it?!
If you've done a March Favs post please leave your link below and I'll have nosey; fav posts are always a good read for me so I can see what products I may need in my life!