Friday, 30 September 2016

Lush Autumn Haul

As with every other man and his dog, the excitement for the Lush Hallowe'en range has truly been building for me. I love the seasonal ranges, I tend to find that's when I tend to do most of my splurges; so of course now it's October (and therefore justifiably Autumn) I hopped online over the weekend to pick up these goodies:

Sparkly Pumpkin is one of my faves, I always regret not buying more than one so this time I snuck an extra one into my basket, makes me feel less pressured about using this one up and then having to wait another year! (like the drama of Unicorn Horn all over again)

I'm not a huge fan of the shower cremes usually (apart from Yuzu and Cocoa) as I much prefer the lighter, fresh shower gels like Grass (bring it back!) and The Olive Branch. But I borrowed this from my friend when I was in Barcelona and loved it, so of course it had to be mine.

This smells beautifully fresh and I read online that it's basically the same concoction of 'Grass' so I knew I'd love it. It looks so pretty too, I love the care that goes into Lush products.

This cute little guy is actually a lot smaller than I imagined, and I'm always a little disappointed when I remember how small bath melts are, especially when they're the same price as bath bombs. But this contains mimosa and chamomile so I was immediately sold.

This smells incredible and I'm so excited to use it as I've heard good things. I was a little worried it'd be too samey with also having Sparkly Pumpkin, but the smells are totally different (this is super fresh) so my worries were unfounded.

What do you think of my picks?
Have you tried any from the new range yet?


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Hygge Home Styling

I just can't get enough of hygge. 
By now, I don't think there's anyone who hasn't heard of the Danish concept of cosying up; for me it's all about lighting candles and wrapping myself up in blankets, and enjoying the warmth and comfort. I naturally become a home bird at this time of year any way, all I want to do of an evening is stay in, relaxing in the snug with a film or a good book, endless cups of tea and a feeling of contentment.

I was browsing Not On The High Street and lusting over all the new homeware and interiors, when I realised how hygge inspired they are, with the soft muted colours, chunky knits, geometric prints and copper accents . All of these would look incredible, and combined they definitely give a room that simple effortless Scandi style. 
Here are my favourites:

What's on your wishlist?

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Transitioning To Autumn

As well as all the other things I love about Autumn (pretty leaves, berries in trees, the smell of woodsmoke and cosy nights in) I really love Autumn fashion.
Dressing for Autumn is so much more appealing than Winter, where all I seem to do is live in leggings, boots and coats. In Autumn it's all about skirts and tights, skinny jeans and ankle boots and a few chunky scarves. 
My ASOS wishlist is starting to fill up quickly, I'm in love with so many things on the website at the moment! I can't wait to start adding a few Autumn pieces to my wardrobe:

Have you started picking out your Autumn wardrobe yet?


Friday, 16 September 2016

When Being Pointlessly 'Busy' Becomes A Competition

Disclaimer: This post has been sitting in my drafts for many months now, waiting to be published (the irony that it hasn't been due to how busy I've been isn't lost on me) 

While browsing the internet, I came across this article titled 'Stop Being Too Busy and Take Control of Your Time Instead' and it's really given me food for thought; how many of us secretly overfill our diaries in order to try and appear as busy as possible? 
Sometimes it seems like people want to show that they have far fewer available windows in their social calendar than the next person - I for one am constantly seeing Facebook status updates along the lines of "X Y and Z booked! LOVE having loads to look forward to!!" or even: "between now and Christmas I officially have NO free weekends. Yay!". The thing is, I enjoy having lots to look forward to as much as the next person, I'm definitely someone who likes having plans (not many people genuinely LOVE never having a single thing to look forward to, do they?) but this quest for endless busyness comes at a price.

I'm guilty of overfilling my diary too, but it's usually because I'm a person who finds it very difficult to say no to invitations for fear of looking rude or causing offence, rather than because I absolutely adore being continuously busy. In fact, if I take too much on all that seems to happen is I get burned out and overtired, and feel like I'm stretching myself too thinly. I love seeing friends, but if I cram too much in all it does is mean I either can't be as fully present in the moment with them as I'd like to be, or I end up having no free 'windows' (hate that word) to see them and then have the guilt of being a bad friend added to the mix.

I do however, have friends who feel jealous and a bit resentful if for whatever reason they haven't got as much in their diaries as other people, and feel the need to start justifying exactly why they can't do X, Y and Z. Children, finances and general everyday life is a valid reason that in my opinion doesn't need to be justified. 
We're ALL busy, why make ourselves pointlessly busy to prove a point?

What really struck a chord with me in this article was the sentence: "being busy with things we don't want to do is not creating meaning. We love to kid ourselves that everything we're doing is urgent and important and necessary, we know secretly that it isn't." A recent survey in the New York Times showed 61% of working people did not have time do the things they wanted to do. 
I've lost count of the amount of times I've made an unnecessary detour on the way home from a stressful day at work out of obligation, and the amount of evenings I've spent in a pub I don't like, drinking a drink I don't want out of politeness, when really what I wanted was a cup of tea, my slippers and Netflix. But for fear of being considered 'boring' or 'selfish' I've sacrificed what I wanted to do in order to do something I felt I should do. I've even found myself lying and inventing other plans in order to justify why I'm not free on a particular day, so I don't have to go and fill my last remaining free time slot doing something I don't feel will benefit my life in any way.

In a nutshell: if you genuinely want to do something, then you'll find a way to do it, but if you're agreeing to something that you'll only find yourself frantically trying to think of an excuse to avoid a few weeks down the line, then you've made yourself pointlessly busy.

I've recently started reading The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*** (hasn't everyone?!) and this has just added fuel to my fire. I already genuinely relish and look forward with excitement to the nights where I have no plans, but I have to stop being afraid to actually tell people that. 
The bottom line is: there's no shame in not wanting to run yourself ragged in order to prove a point that you're socially successful. 

Beware the barrenness of a busy life
- Socrates.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Recent Reads

Now that Autumn is slowly creeping in (though I'm still clinging to the last of the summer and refraining from ordering Pumpkin Spice lattes just yet!) I'm really enjoying going to bed earlier and getting lost in a good book, which is something I just haven't seemed to have time for for the last couple of months. 
I've just got back from holiday, which was beautifully relaxing and gave me time to race through these two books:

This book is beautifully written, yet inexpressibly heartbreaking; it's been sitting on my 'to-read' pile for a while, and as soon as I opened it I wondered why I hadn't sooner. It's the story of Dr Alice Howland, a professor of psychology at Harvard who develops early onset Alzheimer's just after her 50th birthday. As a highly stressed and intelligent career woman the beginnings of her illness are masked by how busy she is and are just considered to be general forgetfulness, but after her diagnosis her life changes completely, and though everyday life becomes a struggle for her and her family, she is 'still Alice' I read this with a lump in my throat, it's compelling yet so sad. I just couldn't put it down.

Again, this book has been hanging around on my Kindle for over a year, waiting for me to start it. It's written in a similar vein to 'Eat, Pray, Love' in that it's about a woman's journey to find herself following the break down of her relationship. Cheryl Strayed lost her mother 4 years previously, and from that point on her life had hit rock bottom; she'd dropped out of college, lost touch with her family and divorced her husband while lost in a cycle of self-destruction. The 1000+ miles hike from California to Oregon is about her breaking out of her comfort zone and taking on a challenge that at times seems impossible. I haven't seen the film version but I genuinely enjoyed the book, despite all the criticism the author has had for her portrayal of the experience; I found myself totally lost in the journey, and just wish I had the guts to do something like that!

Have you read either of these books?
© YellowIcing. All rights reserved.