What I learnt from posting every day for a week

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If you’re up to date with my most recent posts, you’ll know that I set myself a goal to upload content every day for one week. I’m pretty proud of myself for managing to stick to it! Here’s how it went…

Previously I’ve been somewhat inconsistent with blogging, a wave of inspiration every few months passing quickly by. Setting this goal gave me the kick I needed to dig a little deeper for content ideas.

Going forward, my aim is to post twice a week. Whilst it was fun to focus on writing each day, I found that I was compromising on the quality of content I was putting out. Being particularly proud of this social media piece, meant I felt like other topics couldn’t compete.

Having hoped to find a little more direction in terms of the type of content I want to create, I think I’ve found this but am keen to continue to write about whatever it may be that comes to mind on that day. Essentially, I’ve settled on the concept of a lifestyle blog in order to be able to cover a broad spectrum of interests.

Mostly, I found it rewarding to have a focus each day that was soley for my own personal gain and enjoyed the sense of fulfillment that came from completion. A little bit of structure can be a great thing and I’d like to redo this challenge further down the line, perhaps with a little more planning next time though.

What do you think? Are you a Queen of procrastination like me or is your diary brimming with tasks? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for staying on track!

Sophie

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Theatre Etiquette

blog, celebrity, life, lifestyle, london, Musical Theatre, reflection, review, Theatre, trend, Uncategorized, West End

As a fan of theatre, I was pretty shocked when this article landed in my inbox the other day. With reports that Ushers are being fitted with security cameras in an attempt to deter angry theatre goers, it got me thinking about general theatre etiquette. So let’s take this journey together on how to behave at the theatre…

  1. Preparation – The only thing worse than being stuck behind someone in a queue who isn’t ready, is being the person holding everyone up! Have your tickets out and your bags ready for searching so that we can all get in a little quicker. Just like at the airport, you know security is coming so be ready for it.
  2. Timings – It’s pretty common knowledge within the theatre world that most shows have a ‘latecomers point’. This means, if you arrive once the show has begun, you’ll be taken to a viewing screen until you’re able to take your seats. If this sounds a bit shit, the solution is simple, get there early! Go to the bar, explore the store or take a seat and scroll through Twitter. If timing is within your control, don’t be the one who has to awkwardly shuffle down a row to a symphony of shushing.
  3. Food & Drink – This isn’t the cinema, let’s skip the crunch of popcorn and rustle of packets for something a little less distracting. Recently, I’ve noticed just how loud a plastic water bottle can be. It’s 2019, why not try a reusable option like ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>this one?!
  4. PHONES/FILMING & PHOTOGRAPHY – I could honestly devote an entire post to this topic. Nothing is more infuriating as an audience member than being distracted by the bright lights of a phone. If it’s that important, step out of the auditorium. Not only is it a distraction for those around, you also look a total tit to the actors on stage who see your face lit up in all its Facebook obsessed glory. Turn it off and enjoy two hours of peace. And if you have the misfortune of being sat near someone on their phone, remember that you have every right to tell them where to shove it!
  5. Alcohol – I think this is the thing I found to be the biggest takeaway from The Stage article. As a country, we are particularly bad for binge drinking. Friday night comes around and everyone is ready to get on it. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this, but is the theatre really the place to be doing this? Personally, if I spend money on a ticket, I’d like to remember the plot. If alcohol makes you aggressive towards ushers or anyone else who is simply trying to make a living, it might be time to re-evaluate whether you should be drinking at all…
  6. Home Time –  By all means, go to the toilet, cloackroom etc on your way out. Do what you need to do. But spare a thought for those who work in the theatre and can’t go home until you do. From my supermarket days, I can tell you how frustrating it is to wait around for the last customer to leave.
  7.  Stage Door – I’ve seen so much debate surrounding this element of theatre recently. It’s a real shame when actors have to publicly ask for respectful behaviour at Stage Door. Utimately, you pay for a ticket to a show. There is no prerequisite for a meet and greet. Stage Door can be such a fantastic way for fans to connect with performers if it’s taken for what it is, an added bonus! Basic courtesy and understanding are key as is the respect for every performer who takes their time to say hello. Swings and ensemble are just as important as leads and deserve to be treated as such!!

I feel like this has been a theatrical rant of epic proportions. If you take one thing from this post, it’s this…Don’t be a dick. A night at the theatre should be a special occassion, one that leaves you with that amazing buzz. Yes the toilet queues may be long and the interval may be too short for you to smoke, drink and touch up your lipstick, but just enjoy the show for what it is and see everything else as the cherry on top.

Rant over!

Sophie

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Why are we so afraid to die?

blog, celebrity, event, inspired, life, lifestyle, mindfulness, music, reflection, self improvement, Uncategorized

I won’t lie, I’ve kind of gone down the clickbait route with this blog post. After admitting to writer’s block yesterday, I felt I’d better come back with something a little more interesting.

This may sound strange to some of you but I have a funeral playlist saved to my Spotify account. Obviously I’d like to hope that this won’t be played for many years to come but it’s always good to be prepared! I’m not someone who considers death a lot, I don’t really pay much thought to what will become of me once I’m gone but it’s nice to appreciate the many different beliefs offered to us by religion, spirtualism and science. I also love seeing how much comfort the likes of heaven or reincarnation can bring to people in their moments of need.

To many this may be a morbid or upsetting topic and yet ultimately death is the one thing that we all have in common. It’s the only guarantee in life. As I don’t own a house or expensive jewellery, there’s really no need for a written will so I guess this is my one specification. Personally, I’d like to think I’ve found the perfect balance of humour, sorrow and sentiment to leave my loved ones with.

I know the suspense is killing you *if you’ll pardon the pun*. So without further a do, here is my funeral playlist as of July 2019…

What are your thoughts on creating your own funeral playlist? Have you got any of the same songs as me or am I just a morbid music maker? Tweet me @sophieaiken and let mw know!

Sophie

Writer’s Block

beauty, blog, inspired, life, lifestyle, mindfulness, question, self improvement, Uncategorized, writing

In case you hadn’t realised, I have been attempting to post content every day this week. I spent today trying and failing to write several different posts and couldn’t seem to complete any of them.

So in the end, I decided to write this one. Basically, I’m cheating my way into being able to say that I’ve posted every day for a week. I felt this was the only way to really get myself back into blogging on a regular basis. The truth is, it’s hard to constantly be coming up with new content whilst simultaneously finding a direction to take my site in. I think moving forward, a realistic approach would be 2-3 blog posts per week.

Do you ever struggle with motivation when it comes to hobbies? It’s a strange thing to not be able to come up with content when a million ideas hit me on an hourly basis! The difference between that initial thought and actually sitting down to write a post is vast to say the least. I’m keen to know what you guys do to get yourselves out of a ‘writer’s block’ or whatever your equivalent may be. Help me out and give me some suggestions!!

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more interesting.

Sophie

She’s backk…

blog, life, lifestyle, Uncategorized

So after making endless promises to keep up to date with blogging, things kind of went South. Oh dearrr

Important life lesson learned…stop making resolutions!

The reason? There isn’t one. The excuse? I’ve got plenty of those! But I shan’t waste my time typing them up because ultimately, who actually cares? In a world in which Donald Trump is now President and we’ve long since moved on from the iphone 4 (see my ‘Contact’ page) my blog isn’t exactly a major concern!

‘BLOGGING IS DEAD’…hear it all the time. In fact, I’m guilty of dropping it myself a few times over the past couple of years. But why do I do it? Because I enjoy writing, because it’s therapeutic and because it makes me feel more productive than just watching back to back episodes of Fresh Meat on Netflix (total favourite at the moment).

Every few months I go through a ‘what am I doing with my life!? moment’. In September I decided to move across the country. This time, I’m going to start small and try and get back into blogging.

Basically this is just my, I’m blogging again blog post. See you tomorrow for my first official one (I scheduled it..profesh)

xoxo

The 2017 Checklist

beauty, life, lifestyle, reflection

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I’m not one for New Years Resolutions but I have been thinking a lot about what I would like to do and achieve this year. First item on the agenda…start blogging again!

The number one goal I have set for myself this year is to sort my finances out. It’s a boring one but it needs to happen. I have made a plan to pay off my overdraft and credit card within the next few months. The key to achieving this is that I have created realistic figures to pay back each month. With the help of direct debits and a large amount of will power to stop splurging on makeup, I hope to be free of debt by the Summer!

Recently I have found myself becoming increasingly interested in the concept of Mindfulness. For those that don’t know about it, it’s essentially the idea of learning to live in the present moment in order to clear your mind and calm your life. Perfect for anyone with anxiety! I am currently reading Mindfulness in Eight Weeks by Michael Chaskalson. This book is great as not only is it broken down into short, simple chapters but it also provides mp3 links to help you complete the exercises online. I want to continue to learn more and be able to integrate Mindfulness into my life fully by the end of the year.

Reflecting on 2016 led me to realise I need to broaden my horizons. So with this in mind I’m trying to find myself a new hobby. At the grand old age of 24 I’m thinking something a little more relaxing. Perhaps pottery or knitting? Essentially, I want to learn a new skill and challenge myself.

This year I am determined to spend less time on social media!! It’s beginning to feel like I spend my life refreshing news feeds and for what? One photo on Instagram is not someones reality. So many of us are guilty of seeking what others have based on a single image. I’d rather spend my time absorbing my surroundings and being present in the moment. So I’m going to considerably cut down my time on Instagram and Snapchat to begin with. One week in and I’m actually finding it a lot easier than anticipated. Facebook is next!

I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with ideas so I’m stopping here for now. In order to succeed it makes sense to me to be realistic with the number of things I want to complete. Perhaps in the Summer I’ll create a few more. What are your goals for 2017? If you are interested in Mindfulness also then please share your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear them!!

Sophie xoxo

The Glamour Beauty Box

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I haven’t blogged in a few days, mainly because I’ve been surrounded by important deadlines. But I ordered a beauty box a while back and it’s just arrived, so I thought I’d share my first impressions.

Over the years I’ve managed to avoid the temptation to sign up for monthly beauty boxes, because I always worry that they will start out amazing and slowly reduce to cheap samples that aren’t really worth the value. But I was finally won over by a Facebook deal that offered a years subscription to Glamour Magazine as part of the deal.

With a value of £99, at just £14.44 the box was a steal! You can get one for yourself here: http://www.latestinbeauty.com/glamour/

It arrived promptly and in a rather nice box that I will most likely use for makeup storage of some kind. Inside was an array of beauty and skincare treats. I haven’t had a chance to test them all out yet but I will say that I overall I am very impressed. I can’t wait to use the Nuxe face mask and having recently had my hair lightened, the Moroccanoil intense hydrating hair mask has come at the perfect time!

Having tried the Rimmel Oh My Gloss! Lipgloss I have decided to give it to my mum, simply because the one I received was a shade she will get more use out of and to be totally honest, although it is a lovely non-sticky formulation, I only really tend to wear Tanya Burr and NARS lipglosses, most the time I stick to lip pencil/lipsticks.

The real standout product from the Glamour Spring Edit Beauty Box is the Kiko long lasting stick eyeshadow. It is incredible! Having never used any Kiko products before I wasn’t sure what to expect. One swatch and I was sold. You can see from the pictures that it has a lovely pigment whilst still blending easily. And they aren’t lying about the water resistance, it took ages to scrub it off my hand, having worn it for a day I can say that it does not budge from the lids and is super easy to apply and blend. It also makes an amazing base for shadows. Total winner!

Left: blended out Right: swatched

Left: blended out Right: swatched

Other products included in the Glamour box include: ModelCo. creme-rouge cheek& lips, Beauty UK high-brow kit, An Elie Saab perfume sample, Revlon colourstay gel envy diamond top coat and colourstay gel envy longwear nail enamel.  

Considering these are all full size products (excluding perfume sample) this is great value for money, not to mention the year subscription to Glamour magazine which I cannot wait to start receiving! So, if you’re thinking about getting one I’d act fast, a deal this good is likely to go quick, just remember that the shades you receive may vary from those pictured in this blog post.

Sophie xoxo

The Best Boring Beauty Buys

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We all have our favourites, the daily essentials we simply cannot live without, but never really get enough credit. So I thought I’d share my Top 5 with you…

1. E45 moisturising lotion

This is a fairly new discovery. Recently my arms have been unbearably dry and nothing was working. Exfoliating only made them painful and red, and as a fake tan addict, the patches were getting out of control! It’s not exactly the most attractive packaging on offer, but I needed something industrial and E45 has not disappointed! After a couple of days of use, my skin felt ten times softer and the pain was gone. The surprisingly light formulation insures there’s no greasy residue that a lot of other brands have and it’s perfume free which personally I prefer. Despite only having it a couple of weeks, I’m already about half way through this bottle but an inexpensive price tag of £4.70 means I’ll never be without it again!!

2. The Wet Brush

I thought I had found detangling heaven in the Tangle Teezer until I found this!  Years of having to battle through unbreakable knots, ripping out clumps with a comb made hair washing a rather unpleasant experience, so finding the Tangle Teezer was a real breakthrough moment. I was utterly content with it when I discovered the Wet Brush which had the one thing that the TT was missing…A HANDLE!  I know this doesn’t sound like much, but trust me it just makes everything that little bit easier. So if you hadn’t thought to try it, take my advice and I’m pretty sure you’ll find your Tangle Teezer is thrown to the back of the cupboard, just like mine 🙂

3. Lip Balm

I have way more than I’d care to share, but my holy grail will forever be Burts Bees lip balm. It’s the perfect all rounder, used before makeup or throughout the day and best of all it lasts so you don’t feel the need to constantly reapply. There’s nothing I hate more than those little tins of Vaseline that people slather all over their lips in the hopes of achieving the perfect pout. Their sole purpose is to make you buy more, essentially they are the cause and effect of your dry lips, AVOID THEM! If your lips are seriously cracked and painful, you might want to investigate something a bit more heavy duty like Blistex, but for regular lip balm users, I’d always recommend a softer product. Carmex is great, I’m just not a fan of the tubes (formulation) or pots (hygiene issues).

4. Flannels

As a fan of skincare Queen Caroline Hirons, I try to cleanse my face morning and night, the days of falling asleep in makeup are long gone and I now rely on Emma Hardie cleansing balm to remove the sins of the day. With this came a flannel come muslin cloth that has become a firm favourite. Previously, I was using a bog standard muslin cloth but found it could be quite harsh on my skin, this alternative allows for the choice to use each side based on the sensitivity of different areas of the face. Though, an ordinary, run of the mill flannel is just as good!

5. Cotton buds/pads

Beyond boring, but totally essential. Cotton buds can be the best friend to a girl who hasn’t quite perfected the art of winged liner, as well as cleaning her ears. Personally, I use cotton pads for a range of things, mainly for taking off makeup, a couple of pads covered in Bioderma can remove a full coverage face in seconds. I use another pad to wipe my toner (the infamous Pixi Glow tonic), all over my face after cleansing. Any cotton pads from drugstores or supermarkets tend to do the job although occasionally I’ve found that very cheap ones can break apart. (They’re also handy for cleaning dogs eyes)

Sophie xoxo

Off to a flying start…

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I’m currently a week away from my dissertation deadline, so what better time to start a blog right?! *insert monkey covering eyes emoji here*.

I’ve just spent a good half hour setting up this blog and writing my first post only to find it’s mysteriously disappeared. So, here I go again, because this blog, for me, is all about dedication. I don’t plan on quitting, even if I’m the only person who ever reads it, I will not be a quitter!! (she says full of fresh excitement and optimism)

The plan is to share with you my love of all things makeup and beauty related, particularly my years of disasters which have led me to this point (not that I don’t still have them, at the moment I’m dealing with a rather dodgy barnet!) But I’d also like to talk about other loves I have such as television, books and even rugby. So a strange mix but hopefully it’s a something for everyone type thing.

I should also point out that if you aren’t particularly fond of dogs this may be the time to look away. A quick glance at my Instagram account (link in the sidebar) will show you how obsessed I am with my beloved Spanish Water Dog Alfie, so I’ll be using any excuse to throw a picture of him on here.

And that’s about it really. Hope you enjoy!

Sophie xoxo