5 Things for 2019 – Update #3

So, you may remember from my last update that I’ve decided to take one of my goals out (not drinking) because it wasn’t looking achievable for the year, so I’m down to 4 things for the next two updates. Here’s how the rest have been going and a sneak peek about what’s coming up in chapter 4 of 2019…

  • Shop in my own closet 75% of the time

Aside from (and partly on) holiday this one is still going well, much to my surprise and delight! My thought process has changed a lot so now when I think “I’m going to XX, what am I gonna wear?” I head straight to the closet instead of the Internet and take a long hard look at what I have. Usually, this resolves it. Top tip I’ve learnt during this process – don’t forget to check your washing and ironing baskets as part of this process, you’ll get a fuller picture of exactly what you have and probably find stuff you forgot about that feels brand new again!

  • Get a home bar

Brief and to the point – not moved on any further since the last update, can’t really say much more!

  • Un-join the gym and get outside

This has still happening but on a far more ad hoc basis – in between peoples holidays and life commitments, the girls and I haven’t been as on it as we’d like in the last couple of months. The intention is still there and I’m fully expecting this to kick back up a notch now that normal service has resumed. I did a decent bit of walking on holiday over the summer which helped to plug the gap a tiny little bit too!

I’ve also been starting to think about adding a little more heavy duty cardio to my regular activity – I don’t want to go back to the yay, but I do want to try some exercise classes to see what I like and if they can help me meet some of my health goals going in to 2020 (eek!)

  • Get out of the house more

I’d say this is going OK, not sure if the Mr would give a matching answer! I’ve definitely made myself do more over the summer, but there are still a decent amount of times that I’ve done closer to nothing and stayed at home on the couch a lot. I’m feeling good about the amount of social vs antisocial activity, which is the positive outcome of this goal, so I’m just going to carry on and see what else happens over the next few months.

So, what else has is happening?

  • I went to Mykonos
  • If you follow me on Instagram and are a regular reader, you’ll probably be very well aware of this fact by now! I was lucky enough to work with a couple of great companies during my trip including Mykonos Vioma and Truffle Shuffle who featured in my 7 Outfits I wore in Mykonos post. There were a few things that surprised me about Mykonos that I’d not seen anybody else mention before, and I’m going to cover those in a future post so keep a look out for that.
    • I’m going to Italy (Image credit: booking.com )
  • This is something I’m ridiculously excited about saying, and by the time you read this I will be there! I’m heading off to a beautifully villa in Tuscany with a fabulous group of gals as guests of Booking for You*. As a huge fan of the cuisine, it’s been a long held goal of mine to eat Italian food in Italy, on this trip I’ll get to do that and so much more. I’ll be putting up posts about my experiences in October/November as well as social media activity, so make sure you’re following me to see wassup.
    • I’ve booked a VERY exciting bucket list adventure for next year

    The travel plans just keep on coming, that’s what we like! This is as much as I’m willing to share at the moment, just in case something happens, however when the up gets a little closer I,l reveal more. Stay tuned….

    And so we head in to the final chapter – dark evenings, autumn leaves, festive fun and who know what else!

    Thanks for reading,

    J xx


    36 Words of wisdom, wonderings and randomness.

    Happy birthday to someone I have known my whole life – frenemy, fashion eclectic (and by eclectic I mean ‘swings between too glam to give a damn’ or ‘how many days have you not washed your hair and worn those leggings for gurl?) and THE best card DJ you would ever have the pleasure of riding with.

    Me!

    I’ve written down 36 thoughts below, one for each year. There’s nothing more profound than that I’m afraid, but I hope you are enjoyed and amused by at least a few of them!

    1. Bridget Jones had it right on the money – whether my dress size says I’m a 10 or a 14, I will always be just a little bit fat.

    2. A walk goes a long way to clear your head.

    3. Diets do not work. At my lower moments I have hoped and prayed they would, but they don’t. If you go on a diet you have to come off one sometime. To prove it, last year I tried one of the latest weight loss fads, Boom Bod, click the hyperlink to see what happened.

    4. Get me on karaoke to Iggy Azalea’s Fancy and I will crush it.

    5. Victoria Beckham didn’t start her uber popular fashion brand until she was 34 after a whole other career, so there’s still a chance I could become some kind of mogul yet.

    6. I happily fall asleep listening to something ‘murder-ey’ – Snapped: Killer Couples or Deadly Women are my faves.

    7. 9 months is pretty much the maximum I can have a hair style/colour before I must change it immediately…then pining for my old look immediately.

    8. In this life you’re one of two things: good at selfies, or not good at selfies.

    9. I have the same eyebrow lady as Scary Spice (I wonder if she has a pre-appointment pink lemonade like I do?).

    10. Some flaws are easier to embrace than others – it turns out what I thought were freckle clusters that came out in the sun are actually a skin condition called Melasma, but I think it’s cute so I don’t actively seek to cover it up.

    11. Travel the world, but don’t forget what’s right on your doorstep – get to know the culture and beauty of your own country.

    12. Only follow people on Instagram that make you happy or positively inspire you.

    13. You can go to Benidorm an experience cool rooftop bars, instagrammable spots and fabulous steak. Trust me I’ve been there and done it!

    14. Kusadasi is beautiful and very affordable part of Turkey to visit, but boy do most of the locals seem to despise British holidaymakers…

    15. An Aperol Spritz becomes an extra lil’ something when you sub the soda water for fresh orange juice. Aperol Mimosa – you’re welcome.

    16. Sunsets are one nature’s most beautiful occurrences, but so are sunrises. Plus, you don’t have to share them with as many people.

    17. Why is it called hot chocolate if it’s frozen…is THAT the Serendipity??

    18. If you’re in New York City and want to visit Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, the address is 66 Perry Street in Greenwich Village. It’s a small road just off Bleacker Street, and NYC cabbies have nooooo idea where it is when you ask them to take you there.

    19. Strategically placed glitter can cover up sunburn a treat…but can literally take days to remove from your body. Even even when you think it’s all gone…bam, there’s a fleck on your right boob.

    20. Not everybody will have the same beliefs or make the life choices as you; one size doesn’t fit all in this life and nor should it have to. You don’t have to understand why others do what they do, but you do have to accept it.

    21. I am not Boiler Man.

    22. For anyone who questions my driving ability – earlier this year I transported 16 cups of hot coffee from Costa along a very busy road and did not spill a drop (here’s a photo of my friend Rachel who was here to witness this crowning moment).

    23. The first time I slept in a tent (well, yurt) as an adult, I woke up surrounded by heavy snow.

    24. Meeting Santa is blooming brilliant, even if you don’t have kids.

    25. I make a really nice paella.

    26. I recently found out that I use the same Smashbox colour correcting primer as a well-known former football manager.

    27. There’s a cult phenomenon in Hull called a ‘Shit on the grass’. It’s a shot available in the Old Town called the Manchester Arms, and if you’re ever in the city (or a local that has never partaken) you should stop by and check it out!

    28. I once met Chubby Brown (unfortunately on purpose, but not by choice) and he said “testicles” to me.

    29. I have also read Chubby Brown’s first autobiography (on purpose) which I quite enjoyed.

    30. There’s ALWAYS something good about the place you live (well, I’d say a solid 95% of the time in exceptional circumstances. Find it and be proud! I love that the city I’m from is quirky and filled with street art galleries, comedy and music. Also, don’t let anybody talk smack about your home town unless they have the genuine insight to back it up.

    31. Sometimes you’re weird because your are family are weird and they made you. You didn’t stand a chance.

    32. Look up. Look around. Do it often.

    33. The Dunelm Teddy Bear range is cosy AF, I’d recommend investing in some immediately if not sooner.

    34. If we could all truly see the things that others thought were awesome about us for ourselves, the world could be…I don’t know how to finish this because we probably never will, but just imagine.

    35. I’m the exact age I’m meant to be . It’s only myself that gives a shit what that number is, and only me that can stop myself feeling oldAF (if anyone has any tips to achieve this, please do comment below!).

    36. I am so proud, thrilled and excited to be a co-founder and member of the HEY Bloggers community. I’m glad to say I count many of the people I have met on this journey so far as friends and all round lovely people. Thank you xx

    let me know which number was your fave! Thanks for reading,

    J xx


    Five things that bloggers no longer do

    Today marks five years since I decided to start (and stick to writing) my blog. Five years of making friends, challenging myself to be creative with style and discovering lots of different things. Five whole years!!

    To make this milestone there’s no giveaway (sorry) no cute photo shoot with a cake or balloons (not that I didn’t want to, I just wasn’t organised enough) and no imparting of wisdom of how to do anything amazing in the blogging world (how I wish I had this wisdom to use). Nope. Instead, I’ve written five differences I’ve noticed since I first streaked claim on a little patch of the internet. I wonder who else remembers and has noticed some of these… (I’ve also peppered a few more throwback blog post pics throughout, enjoy)

    1. Bloggers no longer….simply write about an outfit – why they like it, how they styled it , what it’s like to wear etc

    My first ever blog post was literally me sharing 2 very ad-hoc photos of what I’d worn the weekend before. It certainly wouldn’t cut the mustard now!

    Even with a lot of fashion bloggers and featuring styled outfits, the content of the post is usually something that feels a bit profound, imparting wisdom or an opinion on a key topic. The fashion is just kind of there to break up that chat a bit. That’s probably ended up being so due to the rise of the micro influencers in Instagram (not to mention Instagram Stories and IGTV) and YouTubers, which are much easier outlets to share this kinda stuff on, but I sometimes worry that I don’t have the opinions or the wisdom to keep up with this developing trend.

    2. Bloggers no longer…title their posts with something profound or cute

    I’ll give you examples using some of my previous post titles – Mono-magic, Peachy, Hot weather cold shoulder, summertime sadness, snug as a fashionista in a blanket cape.

    As a marketeer, I’m a huge advocate of something quirky and maybe verging on a bit click-baity, so I still think there’s a place to do something along these lines. However, if you’re calling a spade a spade then people will come and read because they have a more explicit idea of what to expect.

    3. Bloggers no longer…have whimsical blog names

    I include myself in this one! My blog was called ‘Curious Alice Loves…’ for the first three years, I changed its for a few reasons but the main was because PR messages kept coming to me starting “Hey Alice, how are you?” (That’s very sloppy on the PR’s part for not ready the bio, or e-mail address correctly). I know quite a few people who gave their blog a more quirky name when they first started but then evolved/re-branded down the line to being ‘just them’ (does anyone remember Sarah Ashcroft’s That Pommie Girl?. I admire those who have kept hold of their original name and have a kind of ‘gal behind the blog’ approach as that’s the identity they’ve built, like the fabulous Dorkface.

    4. Bloggers no longer…write “PR friendly” in their bio

    Never understood this one, never did it myself. I mean, what blogger isn’t?!?

    5. Bloggers no longer…engage with each other’s posts in the comments section

    This one is the key – everyone used to leave comments directly on a blog post, but I honestly can’t recall the last time I had any of mine. I don’t know whether this just means that people are reading things quickly and can’t be bothered to log in to leave one, whether they’re just looking at pictures or whether they don’t feel they have anything of value to say, but I do find this a real shame. Let’s all make sure we encourage and engage with each other, the hustle is hard!

    So, for this post and any others you’ve read over the years, thanks for joining me. I really appreciate it.

    J xx


    LIFESTYLE / 5 Things for 2019, update #1

    As this update is coming about 6 weeks later than I had planned, I should probably address the fact that it’s also my first blog post in about 2 months. The reason? Simply, I had a major content block – I wasn’t sure what I wanted to create/write about, I didn’t want to half arse by putting posts out I wasn’t into (as I’ve done in the last during these lulls) so thought it was better to just not bother. I’m now feeling more ready, prepared and excited to get back on it, so I’m starting by sharing my first update on my goals for 2019

    1. Shop in my own closet 75% of the time

    So far, so good. I’ve found this one a bit easier than I thought I would. Whenever I’ve been getting dressed in the morning or planning to go somewhere I’ve made sure I have a good hard look through my wardrobe…and my ironing basket (because we all know that’s where most of the clothes live) aaaaaaaannnnnd what I’ve come to fondly refer to as my ‘bed-drobe’ (double bed in the spare room, surely the perks of being a home owner) to see what I realistically had to wear. Once I got over the whole “it’s ok to be seen re-wearing outfits in current society” and “I don’t go out lots and lots, so I really don’t need to buy something new every time” I realised I have perfectly nice clothes and I just need to put them on.

    I will say that over the last few weeks whilst being in my funk I have ‘tried’ to do some clothes and beauty shopping but it’s been a bit of a fail and most of the stuff has ended up going back.

    The biggest test for me was the launch of the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded palette – with the last few drops I’ve literally grabbed them as soon as they’ve gone on sale, but I’m holding strong on this as I just don’t need it…well, at the moment.

    2. Get a home bar

    Almost done can you believe! There’s a bar option within our actual house (a full blog post coming about this as soon as I can) and we have a physical bar top in one of our outhouses but haven’t stocked or styled it yet. So it’s definitely going, but not quite there.

    3. Un-join the gym and get outside

    I can definitely put a big fat tick against this one too, ya girl is on a roll here!

    I’ve been going for long walks at least once per week and shorter walks another once or twice, and it’s been great for so many reasons. My physical and mental health have both improved from getting fresh air, and it’s been a great opportunity to catch up with friends and be a bit more sociable. I would NEVER have been that sociable in a gym scenario, even if I’ve gone to a class with someone.

    So far I’m feeling that this was the best goal I set for myself for the year.

    4. Get out of the house more

    Yes, weeeeelllllll… I can’t say for definite that I’m fully on with this, however I’ve made steps from where I was before so things are happening but perhaps slower than I would have liked then to. What can I say; the temptation of a Saturday afternoon nap sometimes has more of a pull for me! Haha. I have been doing at least a little something each weekend towards this overall goal – going out for walks with friends and adding in a coffee stop has been one, making an effort to go and see family, popping to look round the shops, go see a film or out for lunch have been others. I’ll be honest and say some of those times I’ve found it quite hard to get going as I just haven’t wanted to move from the couch, but once momentum is going I’ve felt better for it which is making things a bit easier each time.

    5. Drinks out, drinks in

    I think this one is OK? My only aim was to not drink aimlessly and think about things a bit more, which I think I’ve been achieving.

    I’ve only had 3 real points where I’ve had alcohol so far this year – 1 for Valentines day which was unexpected, another on a nice day in March when I suggested to the Mr that we head out for some laid back day drinks (bloody love chilled afternoons like that) and we shared a bottle of prosecco and mojitos. That’s the sort of thing I wanted to avoid doing on the regular however I’m not being hard on myself for it as Im not likely to be doing it all the time and it went a long way to having quality time and relaxation which is important to me.

    The final time was on holiday; again another key test as everybody else was very much in ‘I’m on holiday, let’s drink from lunchtime’ mode, but I simply just had two or 3 when I felt like it, only had something I really wanted and mixed plenty of water breaks in for good measure.

    So, what else has been happening in my life since we last spoke?

    I’ve been holiday

    Last week I got back from a family holiday to Lanzarote. It was a week long break (booked by my in-laws to end at the start of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, extra 4 days off for me) that turned out to be very relaxing and exactly what was called for. I had a great mix of sightseeing, sunbathing, swimming, eating and sleeping (the Mr would probably argue I did too much of the latter!) but I don’t think I’ll be doing any dedicated blog posts about the trip as I haven’t found a content angle that I feel would well. Instead, here are a few pics:

    Not gonna lie, I’m petty darn pleased with this update overall! I’m doing well, I’m being realistic and I still have 7 and a bit more months to make a solid difference.

    For general day to day updates and more holiday spam, make sure you check in on my social media channels in between blog posts.

    Thanks for reading,

    J xx


    BEAUTY / How I…get high end makeup palette looks for less

    So after a brief hiatus (can 3 weeks be classed as brief? The only acceptable answer here is yes btw) I’m back with the next instalment of my little beauty post series. For my first one I focussed on lip products and next up is eyes.

    There are so many amazing eyeshadow palettes out there, but for most of the more expensive ones (which I would argue are the ones £40 upwards) there’s more than likely a pretty decent dip that will be significantly cheaper but work pretty much as well.

    I’ve picked three high end palettes I’ve lusted after in the past year and have found a drug store alternative for. One thing to remember though – with high end palettes comes more glamorous packaging, you’re very rarely going to get a dupe that comes anywhere close. But, if you can get over that then you could be in for a right treat.

    Swap: Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered for I Heart Revolution Rose Gold Chocolate saving £47.01

    I’ll admit I was OBSESSED with the look of the Huda palette when I first saw it, but no matter how pretty it looks there was no way in heeeeellllll I was going to fork out FIFTY SIX BLEEDING QUID to have it in my life!

    I haven’t fully used both palettes but I have swatched both, own the Rose Gold Chocolate palette and have watched a fair amount of YouTube tutorials using the former to know that what I’d call the ‘stand out’ shades (pinks and shimmers) look pretty darn close to me. For those that don’t match up, like the matte black, it’d be a safe bet to presume you’re likely to have this is a palette you already own so won’t be missing it.

    As the shimmers are the star shades here I know this is not a palette I would reach for on the daily (I work in an office attached to a factory, so there’s no need for me to be this extra) it would only be now and again, so I felt that a more modest nine pounds was far more justifiable.

    Swap: ABH Norvina for I Heart Revolution Violet Chocolate saving £34.01

    The YouTube unboxings of Norvina were just so pretty, the purple shades seemed just a little bit unique and really special. But, was I going to spend forty three pounds to enjoy just a couple of shades? Er, no.

    Unlike the above that was recommended to me, I proactively sought this dupe out on the Revolution website being pretty certain it would exist. Again I don’t own Norvina but I have swatched the shades I was most excited by (I have plenty of neutral shades already so it was less important to me how these ones looked) and there is some difference, but not so much that means the same kinds of looks can’t be created. There are an extra couple of purple shades in the dupe palette too, so with a bit of mixing I’m willing to bet you’d be closer to more exactly matching the higher end shades.

    Swap: Urban Decay Naked Cherry for Collection Eyes Uncovered in Nude Rose and Matte Nude Rose saving £29.52

    This is the only one of the three that I’ve done a personal comparison of, and lemme tell ya that these palettes may be small and light but they be mighty!

    For a very long time I used the original Nude Rose palette (the one with shimmers in it) which I mentioned in my everyday makeup post last year. I adored these colours for making my eyes pop every, but I’m a sucker for a good gimmick and Naked Cherry looked sooooo appealing and too good to pass up when it dropped towards the end of last year (I already had Urban Decay Backtalk so I really didn’t need it).

    Do I like the high end version? Yes. Is it vastly better than the two cheaper versions? Not at all. Will I continue to use the high end version because I paid a lot of money for it to not just sit on my dressing table? You bet your ass I will!

    If you have any other new-ish dupes to recommend please do shout them out.

    Thanks for reading,

    J xx


    BEAUTY / How I make make my lips…

    Since I have made a commitment this year to be more thoughtful about my fashion and beauty spending, I thought I would do a series sharing the beauty items I reach for most for each part of the face and body.

    I’m kicking things off lips – I like to chat so, ya know, makes sense!

    …look nicer for everyday: Urban Decay Vice Cream lipstick in Naked.

    I’m stopping short of saying this is “my lips but better” as this shade is a bit more pinky than my lips are, but I’d say it definitely helps them a bit more alive and healthy if that’s even a thing?

    The formula is really comfortable but a little bit sheer so it kind of mixes with the natural colour and generally makes them look a bit more appealing.

    …feel sultry.

    I have a couple of different options for this, depending on whether I’m feeling a goody vibe or some colour (which usually depends on what I’m wearing.

    Option 1: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow.

    This stuff is Gloss to the next level, definitely worth the money if you were just buying one to use all the time. The shimmery particles reflect the light so nicely and make lips look fuller and poutier yet still fairly natural as there’s not a lot of colour.

    Option 2: MAC Lip Duo in Chilli/Chicory

    This is a fairly new discovery of mine and I’d probably say this is the perfect red for me. It has a slight brown undertone and is just a little bit deeper which seems to work really well.

    I’ve tried the infamous Ruby Woo previous which I really like but can sometimes feel a bit too bright and orange toned for my skin.

    …red for days: NYX Liquid Suede in Kitten Heels

    Step aside Snow White; if I want a true red that has immense staying power, this is the one I have reached for most over the past few years. I know I’ve just named my perfect red above, but this one is for when you’re not coming to play! Controversial opinion – I much prefer the formula of the Liquid Suede to the soft matte lip cream by NYX, it’s applies easier due to the thinner consistency and you can always get it out of the tube, occasionally with the cream you’re having to kind of scrape around to pick it up not applicator.

    I hope this has given you inspiration to dive back in to your own beauty collection and re-discover some faves, or some recommendations to test this year.

    Thanks for reading,

    J xx


    BEAUTY/ Skincare haul (August 2018)

    I seem to be a bit of skincare junkie lately!

    Recently I’ve started to understand my skin a lot better – what it naturally does and what effects my makeup/the environment have on it, so I’ve been doing some research into the best ingredients to improve the bits that need a bit of help, in addition to preserving the good bits, which led me to pick up quite a few things from the drugstore…luckily, there were some discounts so I saved about £30 on the RRP!

    Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix foaming bubble face mask

    I was really just jumping on the sheet/ horror movie serial killer bandwagon with this purchase! I thought it would also be a good ‘support product’ to the other items I bought (keep scrolling to find out what they are)

    Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow

    This stuff is unbelievable. After one swipe across my skin, I can see my pores instantly shrink (which is the main reason I got it) which is perfect for adding in other similar products to make the effect permanent. They do enlarge again after a little while but regular use has helped to reduce them down from where they were.

    Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix foaming pads

    I’ve previous tried the original daily cleansing pads and liked them so thought I’d try the newest version. Boy these babies are intense! I use the bobbled size to exfoliate my face in circular motions as I later the pad around my skin (I pay close attention to the cheek area near my nose, nose and forehead) and it really does get up a good lather. Afterwards my skin feels tingly so I know it’s working (I rinse my skin with cool water to get the foam off, not sure if you’re supposed to) it also has the same instant pore reducing effect as the liquid glow which gives a better skin texture for applying primer.

    Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix purifying overnight gel

    I bought this to complete the acidic set, as I’m desperate to tackle my pores and reduce blemishes. So far I’m not 100% sold on it purely because it leaves a very sticky texture on my skin for quite a while after applying; I’ve tried using less product and really working it in but it still happens so I think it’s supposed to. I apply at the end of my evening skincare routine (which is usually makeup remover, face wash, cleanser, glow liquid) and by the morning the stickiness is gone. I think I’d be tempted to stay away from this one on holiday though, as I can’t imagine it feeling very nice in extreme humidity.

    La Roche Posay Effaclar purifying cleansing gel

    I’ve had good experiences with the other LRP I’ve tried which encourage me to try this out. I’ve added it I to my skincare routine in a bid to reduce the oiliness of my face which also contributes to enlarged pores and breakouts, and it’s been working really well. It generates a light foam on the skin when mixed with water, washes off easily and makes everything feel generally really fresh.

    So next time you see me IRL and you think I’m looking all fresh and glowing, you’ll know why!

    Thanks for reading,

    J xx