What are my 5 Goals…… making me plan and think!

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel, Wedding

Day7, 5 year goals, 30 day blog challenge.

So this has made me think, think about what I want for myself, my work and my relationship.

So in 5 years I want to achieve…

1 get married. I know you already know I am achieving this goal this year but it still a big one for me!

I love Gavin I want to be his wife. I can’t wait for our wedding day. Hopefully it doesn’t rain but if it does we will have to go out and buy wellies and umbrellas!

For my home

2, get a new kitchen. Can that be a goal, yes well we will have to save for it so it isn’t something we can just splurge on willy nilly. It will take time to plan and find the right bits.

Our kitchen is nice it’s just tired. The bottom of the cabinet have spit due to water issues and I really really want a dishwasher!

I also would like a cabinet next to the sink and maybe french doors that go out into the garden but we will see.

I would also love a little toilet and sink upstairs but Gavin is really against that for some unknown reason.

There a few bits around the house that are tired and need a bit of TLC and after the wedding is a good time to focus more.

3 my blog being successful

I am so greatful for every single follower it means the world to me that for some reason you would read my blog. Gav gets an update with each one I get, and I punch the sky, John Bender style.

I would love it to be even better where I can have a proper website not just a page. I would like it to reflect me a lot more. My friend is a super talented graphic designer and after all the wedding craziness is over I will be looking to her for advice.

If it was a success I could spend a lot more time on the photography. Carefully planning layouts rather than the snaps you get right now.

4 travel

Japan is on my bucket list along with Vietnam, Laos and Singapore. I would like to have visited all of these countries in the next few years. We are honeymooning in Japan and plan to stop of on the way at another destination. So that will be two ticked off my list.

I have a fair few countries in Europe I really want to go to. I have never been to Italy, there is so much I would love to explore there. I feel like Italy’s city’s deserve destinations of there very own! I have also never been to Ireland and need to visit as we have ancestors there.

Iceland, Norway and Sweden are places of such beauty that are not far away but expensive to visit so this will definitely be a highly planned exciting schedule.

So travel is a big one!

5 Working less and earning more

Is that possible? I meaning working 4 days a week instead of 6. Maybe doing my dream job/ jobs…..

I wouldn’t mind working from home once a week so I could look after my dog. Currently I work 5/6 days a week. But I set the Rita so at least I decide when I work even if it is 6 days straight. I don’t mind but it can be draining.

Perhaps in5 years I will achieve my dream job and be a blogger full time. Travelling the planet, renovating my perfect little house and writing full time.

Who knows?

I always struggle to think of answers to these questions but so far this challenge has been more about a challenge for me to understand what I want rather than a challenge of writing a blog everyday!

I am really enjoying this!

My proudest moment

Advice, Personal Experience

Day 5, proudest moment, 30 day blog challenge

I have a few proudest moments

  • Getting myself through Uni
  • Getting myself together after Australia
  • Buying my beautiful home
  • Starting my blog

University

Four years of fun, drinking making friends that are still some of the best people I know. Designing and making I really did have a wonderful time.

After Australia

I won’t go into too much detail. If you have ever had your broken up with someone you truly loved. Heartbreak is a powerful thing that consumes your nights, replays every wrong thing you did and empties your heart. If you have been there then you know how strong you have to be just to wake up. I was also in the unfortunate situation of being heartbroken without a home.

My parents had moved to France and had split up so I had no base to stay. Luckily my best friends looked after me and I sorted myself out. Within a few months I had a new job at Jigsaw and a new home in Wanstead, London.

Putting yourself back together after you felt worthless and had to start your whole life over is hard. Moving back to England was mentally exhausting. I learned a few things.

  • You can live without them
  • That you cant make them love you
  • You are worthy of love
  • That rock bottom is a dark place but you can get out of it.
  • That I am happier now than I ever was with him.
  • That you know when you are ready to love again and that you shouldn’t rush it.

A home of my own

I am an army brat, used to moving from place to place. A home is where your family are, it is not a building. And yet buying my first home has been wonderful.

Me and Gav decided to house hunt together after 5 years. This is our first home and first time we have lived together. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. Every room, every feature.

We own a small but perfectly formed 3 bedroom Edwardian/ victorian terrace house. It has a small garden that catches the sun for most of the day and is a short walk from the station.

So owning my own house is definitely my proudest moment. I have taken great care to put beautiful pieces and plants in my home.

Starting this blog

I wrote my first piece about our long engagement. About when you are with some one for so long and them not being ready to marry you. I still think it is the best thing I have ever written.

Gavin didn’t like it, he said it cast him in a bad light. So I asked my family what they thought. My mum was upset that I didn’t really talk about it, my brother thought it was great and said I should do it. So I talked to Gav again and he just sighed.

So I posted it.

It is the most brutally honest painful thing I have written. But it is also my proudest moment. I will link it here in case you want to read it.

Proudest moments

So that’s it my proudest moments. I am sure in a few months I can add marrying Gavin to my list but until then!

What are your proudest moments?

Every Day Kindness

Advice, Personal Experience

Day 3, My favourite quote, 30 day blog challenge

Hmmmm

Not really a quote kind of person.

So I live be these word

“Kindness costs nothing and means everything”

I am not sure if I made that up or if I heard it or something like it somewhere. be kind to others especially your loved ones and most importantly yourself!

I am not religious and I am a good person or at least try to be. With each year that passes I see so much kindness.

A bus driver stopping the bus because his passenger who can’t bend to tie her shoelaces. He gets off the bus and ties them for her.

For the 3 people who stayed with the man who fell in the street.

To the cashier who tell their confused customer to take their time and not to rush.

News

We are drenched in the atrocities in the world. Stabbings, acid attacks, guns going off in sacred places, Mother Nature attracting with vitriol and flooding, earthquakes and fires that last for weeks.

But then look at the kindness afterwards. People looking after one another, looking out for each other.

I believe that people or incessantly good

They is less than 10% of people that are cruel but we give them to much power in this world.

Living in London means that you are aware of the threats, the dangers but most of us are lucky enough to avoid those horrific things. Sometimes we see bits and pieces.

And fear controls us!

Have you ever been in a situation of fear and panic? There is nothing like it. Feeling fear rush through a crowd before people panic is really scary. Accidents happen is situation like this.

I don’t want to focus on living in fear in this post. I want to focus on Kindness. I want you to remember that with every small bad thing that happens there are 3 good things that happened before that!

A lady helped me today remember the name of a flower, agapanthus! It was on the tip of of my tongue I just couldn’t remember what it was called. She stopped and told me and I thanked her. It was a small gesture of kindness. I hope I remember it everytime I look at them!

People are good.

But sometimes patience runs out, people have bad days then I get out my favourite pin. Which is basically the same thing.

Don’t be a dick!

20 Things you probably don’t need to know about me

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning

Day 2, 20 things about me, 30 Day Blog Challenge

Okay Day two of this blog challenge and I am feeling positive. So far I have struggled to get two blogs out every week so 7 a week for 4 weeks will be a complete challenge for me. Can I do it, we will see.

Hello I am Dana and here is me revealing some home truths.

  1. I am nervous to do this
  2. I have issues with completing challenges ( ha ha)
  3. I am 5″7 and have a lot of short friends
  4. I can’t bend my toes ( Gav calls them flippers)
  5. I miss my cat
  6. I love my dog
  7. I have apocalyptic dreams most nights
  8. Half my art supplies have never been opened
  9. I don’t draw or paint enough
  10. My travel list gets longer every year
  11. I am a dreamer
  12. I have terrible self doubt
  13. I don’t push myself enough
  14. I love sleeping, my bed is my a haven every night
  15. I am obsessed with food even when I am eating I like to think about my next meal
  16. I have random thoughts and ask random questions
  17. I am lazy
  18. I don’t drink enough water
  19. I trained as a theatre designer
  20. I am happy

In summary

So I said that I am really am worried about this challenge I am a bit of a quitter but I truly want to do it. 30 day planking (failed) 30 day sit ups (failed) 30 day 4 litres of water failed.

My cat is missing, it’s been a month and I still can’t talk about it.

I am a big dreamer, I dream about what I want to be. I dream about interiors, about gardens. So my dreams and goals are all intertwined and I am not sure of my future. I love my day job and in many ways it is perfect, but I still have dreams.

Food and travel for me are intertwined. I have always loved Turkish food, their breads, salads and marinated meats. When I went I didn’t have high expectations but I was blown away. I love Turkey and I would visit in a heartbeat. I just have a lot of countries I need to visit first. I have a travel list and I aim to complete it in the next 20 years!

I believe in my talent as an artist but I rarely push myself. I don’t know if it’s laziness or just nervousness. I teach art to children and adults and I am so confident with them and about them developing their art and own style.

But when it comes to me…

All my confidence goes out the window! It is easy to give advice and even harder to listen to it. Or something like that.

So this is something I need to work on, something I can improve!

Oh well is that enough for a beginning blog!

Hope so.

Travel made easy, budget friendly Bulgaria

Advice, Personal Experience, Travel

Going to Bulgaria was already friendly on the wedding budget but we like to take a few mini bargain luxuries.

Transportation

We ordered the Gatwick flyer which is a airport taxi service that does all airports in London not just Gatwick. Picked us up from our door and dropped us off at stanstead airport! Not as expensive as a taxi and we were lucky enough to be the only ones on the journey.

Brilliant.

The driver helped with the suitcases. Was lovely and chatty and so was the driver the driver on the way back. They let you know what time to be picked up and they track your flights I they know when you get in!

Love them, rate them. Will use them again.

Ryan Air

Okay I whinged about Ryan Air and they were fine, we upgraded to priority so we could get another bag and have the bigger seat. So it was an added expense but it meant no fuss. No issue with our bags and space for our suitcase.

Lounge

Gav get two lounge passes a year and we pay for the rest. The lounge is only good if you get a few hours. They are totally worth it. Unlimited food and drink just don’t get too drunk. You can pick up a bottle of water and snacks and charge you phone.

I loved it.

Last time I was at stanstead it was being redone. This time however it was completed. There was lots of choice of dining, shopping.

I bought a Chanel lipstick and balm, Gav bought an Aftershave and two bottles of gin. We tried the Sulent Pool

The flight

It’s roughly 3 hours to Sofia from Stanstead. The flight felt long but I had my books and Gav treated us to a cheeky gin and tonic!

So we had a lovely relaxing time.

When we got off the plane we only had to wait 5 minutes for our transport. Priority means your luggage gets a space as well which is great.

Sofia airport was clean and organised. We didn’t have to wait for long for our luggage and the oversized bagged was also quick!

We paid a little extra for room on our seats, we had to pay for extra for baggage. Bulgaria is so budget friendly that we could afford a few extras and they were great. We whizzed through the airport. If you a few hours to spare then a lounge may be £30 plus but for a few drinks and food you can totally make the money from it! Plus they supply water bottles for your flight.

Yes all these things were added extra but they were budget extras. These little luxuries made our journey so much easier.

So if we have the time we would do it all again!

The wax and wane of wedding planning excitement

Advice, Organising, Planning, Wedding

So when you get engaged you will find moments of pure bliss then you find moments of pure frustration. This is definitely a Wax and wane situation.
Waiting to find out from suppliers, yes or know can be frustrating enough.


I am currently going through the issue of finding dresses for my bridal party. Its tricky, all different shapes an sizes. Different tastes………. Oh well.
We are looking at pretty much every shop. Zara, ASOS and lots of vintage shops. Collectif is a bit of a favourite at the moment because of the styling. Worse comes to worse I can ask George my friend and super talented seamstress to whip me up some dresses but I will ask her if we haven’t found anything in the next two months.

Under Preasure

I feel pressure to pick something but at the same time I still have 6 months to get this.


So I am going to take a deep breath


Uhhhhhhhhh


And relax


Fooooooooooo


I am not going to rush this. I am going to ignore the pressures and wait for the right dress. I am not wearing the colour dress I wanted so I am not going to be rushed on my Danette choices. I know it when I find it. I have found one that is lovely but it wont suit my sister so unless she goes for something completely glam.

Wax


The only issue I am facing is a lot of opinions and no one wanting to offend anyone. They all want to please me and I intern want to please them.
So I am waiting.


Waiting for the right dress. I think I want something colourful and floral. So not your ordinary plan bridal party. I don’t mind if the girls change the neckline, hem sleeves etc to make them feel comfortable. Tailoring can a simple dress look glam. I don’t really want them to look like Stepford wives either. They can wear there own shoes and choose to have their hair and makeup to suit them.

Wane


In the UK you pay for your bridal party I was more than a little shocked when I learned that in America you are expected to pay for the dresses. This trend appears to be creaping over here. I hope it doesn’t stay. I am asking enough of my bridal party without asking them to pay for their dress. Imaging having a beautiful but unwearable bridesmaid dress in your wardrobe, taking up space and a waist of money. I have no issues with paying for my ladies, this at all but when it comes to shoes if I decide I would prefer them matching then I will pay for that too.


So right now I feel a wee bit of pressure to complete all my tasks. When I don’t have too. I have enough on my plate at the moment. So I have said it before.


Good things take time. I am marrying the man who makes me so happy. The details can take a back seat for a few days.

I have been told that I am too easy going (what is the opposite of Bridezilla) that i am trying to please everyone. But the truth is I want everyone to feel great.

That’s a fact.


I may have found my shoes……


But I will leave those for another blog.

Would I buy again? Drunk Elephant Skincare

Advice, Beauty, Organising, Personal Experience

So after two weeks I kind of know what I like and what I won’t invest in again. Drunk Elephant isn’t a cheap brand it’s luxury. I am completely behind investing in your skin. I know my main focus on this is my wedding but I will be maintaining this after.

I am going on holiday soon so I will take this skin care set with me. There is a surprising amount of product in these tiny bottles.

Shaba Complex Eye Serum

£50 for 15ml.

Can be used day and night. Did you know that eye cream should never be carried all the way up to your eye line?

Me neither apparently it does it’s work without needing to go all the way. You should apply it with your pinky!

Meh! It was okay. I used it because I wanted to do the range justice but I didn’t like the texture. It felt almost scratchy especially compared to the texture of everything else, like a paste and took a while to absorb.

Drunk Elephant don’t use scents in there products which is nice but strange. There was nothing wrong with it. I just didn’t see any results or improvements. I will keep using it till my bottle gets empty but I won’t re buy it!

Confession: I don’t really believe in eye creams!

C Firma Day Serum

£67 for 30ml

This is supposed to be a potent vitamin C day serum. It contains antioxidants, essential nutrients and fruit enzymes, all of which work together to firm and brighten the appearance of skin and minimise signs of ageing. I love a serum. Ever since the Elizabeth Arden one I cannot get enough of them.

This is a lovely thin serum and I used it in conjunction with the B- Hydra which is thicker. I felt when I used it it was still really tacky. Now I know from my research that it Is supposed to be tacky. A skincare blogger I follow was trying the same products and we both agree they are better together.

The serum isn’t as amazing as Elizabeth Arden, as in I didn’t see the results straight away.

But I need to tell you… my skin is so soft and hydrated at the moment it makes me so happy. So the serum is working I just think maybe I need to bite the bullet and just buy the expensive one.

So will I buy it again… maybe but maybe not. I feel like I would notice it’s absence if it wasn’t in my routine. The Ordinary have a Vitamin C product that set my skin on fire. This was gentle and lovely. I think I just talked myself into buying it again.

That maybe just turned into a yes!

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

£44 for 50ml

This is an intensive hydration serum is ideal for thirsty skin. It is enriched with ultra-hydrating vitamin B5 and pineapple ceramides to attract and hold moisture throughout the day for a visibly brightened, plump and even result.

This is soothing without a richness. Your skin will thank you for using this product.

Yes, the answer is yes! I love this product. I don’t think any other product maybe swoon as much as this. It’s heaven, light and soothing.

This is has helped with the C-firma.

I want this product in my life forever! Can you tell that I love it.

Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

This cleanser removes all traces of make up, excess oil and pollution without stripping, to ensure your skin stays smooth and soft as well as clean. Yes it does all that. Your skin doesn’t feel dry or thirsty like other cleansers can do.

This is a soft gentle cleanser. The lid is a little tricky. It’s a twist rather than an unscrew and a few times I have squeezed too much product out without thinking. As a cleanser it is nice.

Drunk Elephant pride themselves on not using the suspicious 6 and scent especially! So it’s strange for me to wash my face without the luxury of smell.

I have two favourite cleansers and they are both Elemis the balm cleanser which doesn’t have a strong smell but makes you smile as you spot it and the Rose balm cleanser which smells exactly like a rose garden.

It’s heaven.

At £68 for 200mls a pop it should be, it lasts and I look forward to washing my face with it! The Drunk Elephant is only £27 for 150mls it nice.

But this is just nice so will I purchase again. Probably not unless I buy another kit.

T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

This night serum 12% alpha and beta hydroxy acid night serum helps to refine and resurface skin, revealing a smoother and more radiant complexion in the morning. Blended with raspberry extract it delivers effective exfoliation without harsh side effects.

So this serum is lovely.

I wish it smelt of raspberries how amazing would that be!!

I am used to retinols on my skin so I didn’t experience any tingling. For me this is lovely my skin in the morning. I can’t stop touching my skin!

I did use it in conjunction with the virgin oil then cleaned my teeth to let it absorb.

Would I buy it again… if I suddenly could afford to buy this all the time I would but I can’t. Like I said I could put this £72 towards my Elizabeth Arden serum that I dream about. Yes they do different things but I am counting my penny’s so not for me right now.

Virgin Marula Oil

£34 for 15ml and a luxurious marula oil . This is pure no chemicals or fragrance. Brimming with antioxidants and omegas, it moisturises, rejuvenates and nourishes skin while restoring a gloriously youthful glow.

Do I love it yes

Would I buy it

Yes, but The Ordinary also do a Marula oil and it £8.25 for 30mls. So I am going to try that. After all that the price of a GnT! If I don’t love it I can apply it to my body then buy the Drunk Elephant oil. It was lovely but I am not ready to commit!

La La Retro Whip Moisturiser

£50 for 50mls

A blend of six rare African oils whipped into an airy cream, this all-purpose rescue moisturiser saves dull, dry skin by delivering a steady dose of moisture throughout the day and night. Your complexion will be left soft, supple and replenished.

The Drunk Elephant products were so good at hydrating my my skin that I didn’t think I needed this marvellous tub of whipped heaven.

Then the weather changed. It got colder and started raining. I had an upsetting incident that left me in tears for pretty much a week.

Apparently unhappiness can be very drying. It turns out I am also an emotional eater and ate lots of sugary bad things which dry out my skin. I needed a lot more hydration in my skin and reached for this moisturiser on more than one occasion.

I loved it. I didn’t need it my routine so I discarded it at first. Would I buy it again.

Yes, as soon as I run out I will be buying. This is something I look forward to using.

I like the fact it’s light enough for me to use day and night.

Verdict!

I love the ethos of this brand. It’s about cleanliness and healthiness for your skin.

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the packaging. Absolutely gorgeous it is so Instagramable I love it.

Is it worth the money!

Most of it!

The samples worked out at £8 each I bought them with £15 off. I wish they introduced a European friendly SPF but I have been using my own La Roche Posey.

I would buy most of the products in this little set. The B Hydra I was looking forward to and is on my list. I want the Vitamin C Firma serum and the Whip.

I did love the other products but they may be on my plan b.

Drunk Elephant welcome to my skincare routine.

Have you tried the littles?

Which ones did you love?