Thursday, 19 May 2016

When you have to stick to your guns

Sticking to your guns is essentially the same as following your own intuition.

It also leads on from that first thought that pushed you along the way to making a change. Sticking to your guns after making a decision that was born from intuition can be really hard.
Feelings and emotions are invisible, especially if you keep them locked up inside.
That is another thing all together, but relevant here when it is hard to convey to someone how you are feeling. Sometimes other people, no matter how close they are to you, cannot grasp the emotions you are dealing with. They are invisible to those around you.

Sticking to your guns takes inner strength and for you to start understanding your own self worth. First and fore most you must value yourself.
Value yourself enough to do what is truly best for you.

When do we stop doing what is expected of us and what we are being told to do? Even when we know that path is not right, that decision being made on our behalf, has none of our thought in it at all. It is not what is best for you.

In today's society a job is integral, money is essential (you don't need a lot but you do need some to get by) and your social standing is linked to what you do in your 9-5. For the past 7 and half years I have worked full time in varied roles. In those roles I have always found it hard to maintain a good work life balance.
That is what I want now.
That is what I am sticking to my guns for.

Here's the story;

I have been taking tamoxifen for ten months now. The drug inhibits my oestrogen from allowing oestrogen receptor cells from feeding cancer cells that might want to grow again. So I take it, reluctantly. It causes you to gain weight really easily and it is extremely hard to loose (not just my thoughts, my cancer nurse confirmed this). hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings are common and I have been experiencing horrendous menstrual cycles. I just generally feeling like I'm 80, the medication has left me feeling tired every single day.

Tamoxifen, causes fatigue and joint pain.
Exercise helps reduce fatigue.
Exercise now hurts my joints and it takes me ages to recover from even 15 minutes exercise.
Exercise would allow me to have better health and loose weight.
Tamoxifen makes me feel shit, tried and unmotivated.

I'm guessing that you can already see that I can easily get in a bad cycle or not doing anything, purely because of the side effects. Even though I know how to help myself. I find it really hard to do ......just being completely honest.

I want to work. But I want it to be part time. Part time will mean that I can exercise and have time to recuperate. A part time job will mean that I have time to cook healthy whole food focused meals. Part time with give me the work life balance that I long for.

At the beginning of May I decided that it was time to start properly looking for a job. That job would be part time, that was my only requirement. I applied for a role that was part time and matched my skill set. The role happened to be advertised through a recruitment agency, so when the agency asked me to visit them, I happily agreed and looked forward to the possibility of a new job.

At the agency they really pushed for me to apply for a full time role at a large corporate company. Yes the pay was very good and it was a temp contract. Perfect. I could work full time for a bit.

At the interview it became apparent that the company were looking for someone who was willing to work on a temp contract but would stay if it were to become permanent after 3 months time. I honestly couldn't work there knowing that they would be hoping for me to be permanent, training me and then I would leave because I had always known that I would.

The company had good benefits, a fantastic reputation in it's field, but was also extremely strict and verging on archaic on what a woman should wear in an office environment. That being, a dress. No exceptions. This is a hell no for me. I only wear dresses at weddings or when on a very hot holiday. I do not feel myself in them and i don't like that in 2016 a grown woman is being told that she much wear a dress at all times. It's ridiculous.  This might seem petty to some. I don't mind wearing a uniform, but I do have my limits. And being told that I must wear a dress everyday is mine. I never felt that I was corporate worker any way. It should be acceptable to wear trousers, whatever gender. I was also be pushed into something that I had adamantly said I didn't want.

So I retracted my application.

It felt good sticking to my guns, even in this economy when some would say that you cant turn down a job. You must have a job. work. work. work.

But for what?

Even thought it is scary.
Even though I have not found a job yet
Even though I have no idea what i'm doing

At least I know that i finally doing something for my own benefit. Not to please anyone elses expectations or worry about the opinions of other's. This is to make sure that I have create a sustainable work life balance that works well for me, not just working for the benefit of someone else.

Here's to sticking to your guns.
Even if you have no idea where it will lead you!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Angela Langford // Angel Eyes Nourishing Eye Oil

This beautiful piece of eye rejuvenating wonderfullness was gifted to me by Angela Langford herself. We had a quick discussion about my eye needs and that I had been on the look out for a product with a roller ball applicator. I was looking for something that would hydrate and help to reduce my dark circles.

Angela suggested her Angel Eyes nourishing Eye Oil, and I am so glad that she did!

This has worked wonders for my dark under eye circles, they are not completely gone but I have noticed that they have reduced in their purple tone. It feels extremely refreshing to use due to the cucumber oil it's nourishing formula which also contains rosehip oil and argan oil. The oils texture is really light and settles really well into my skin. It has not caused any inflammation or puffiness. I do like to occasionally put on a cream textured eye treatment over the top of the oil when my under eyes are feeling particaularily dry. As we get into spring, I have not had to this as much and I think this is just down to preference.

I love applying this day and night, the roller ball action when applying makes it quick, fun and easy, it's also a plus that you don't have to put your fingers in the oil to apply it! The scent is so light and fresh with a hint of cucumber that is not over powering and fades a while after application.

The oil sinks into the under eye area quickly and I have found it to be a good base for my concealer, keeping it looking fresh throughout the day. For £19.50 you get 10mls of oil, I have been using this day and night since December last year and I have just reached the half way point. I will be repurchasing this as soon as I near running out it. In my opinion it is too good to be with out it.

Has this product given me angel eyes? I don't know about that, but it is certainly heavenly to use! (sorry, I couldn't help it!)

Here is what they say:

"Suitable for all but the most sensitive of skins, this is your recipe to treat the delicate skin around your beautiful eyes."

Cooling cucumber is carefully blended with argan & rosehip to create a specialist eye oil that repairs & smooths the delicate skin around your eyes.
Gently massage the roller ball around your eye area once or twice to dispense the right amount of oil.
You can use this in the morning & again at night.
Do not use this product if you feel you may be allergic to any of the ingredients. Store this oil out of direct light & in a cool place to prolong its shelf life.

Cucumber is rich in omega 6 essential fatty acids (linoleum acid), oleic acid, palmitic acid, minerals (including potassium & silica), tocopherols & phytosterols. It can help stimulate cell regeneration & retains moisture in the skin. It is also a well-known remedy to help reduce dark under eye circles & skin pigmentations - it softens & hydrates the skin & is ideal for dry, sensitive & mature skin types.
Argan is nourishing & can help strengthen skin’s elasticity. Rosehip is an amazingly versatile oil – healing, calming, skin strengthening & mild & gentle. Safflower (also known as thistle) contains really high levels of skin loving omega 6 & it is very nourishing & quickly & easily absorbed into the skin.

cucumis sativus oil (cucumber oil), argania spinosa kernel oil* (argan oil), rosa rubginosa seed oil* (rosehip oil), carthamus tinctorius seed oil* (safflower oil, also known as thistle), tocopherol (natural vitamin e), citrus limon peel oil* (lemon essential oil), pelargonium graveolens leaf oil* (rose geranium essential oil), cymbopogon martinii oil* (palmarosa essential oil).
From essential oils: d-limonene, linalol, citronellol, geraniol, citral, farnesol.
*These ingredients are organic at source.
Contains 100% natural ingredients, 56% of which are organic at source.

So now that I declared my love for this products, have you got any loves from Angela's collection to share with me? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

When intuition pays off

There will come a time, probably many times in your life when you have to trust your gut.
Or, to put it more eloquently, to follow and trust your own intuition.

 Intuition, a phenomenon of the mind, describes the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. The word "intuition" comes from Latin verb intueri translated as consider or from late middle English word intuit, "to contemplate".

Let me take you back to October 2015, I had finished my radiotherapy treatment and continued to work all the way through it. I had promised myself that I would let myself make change. That change was a career change, I had been in the same job for four years, for at least one of which i had wanted to leave. But due to adult things like a mortgage and then getting diagnosed with Cancer, meant that I felt like I should stay in the same place suring treatment. My employer was understanding and supportive. So I stayed.

At the beginging of October I honoured my own wishes, for what felt like in the first in forever and I handed in my notice. Very quickly, to my delight I found a job that was within the field I am interested in and excites me. I felt a fresh wave of change wash over me and it felt good. I aced the interview, I got the job and Start date, January 2016. New Year, New start.

Looking back, I know now that I became so focused on this new job, this new career that I felt like this was my chance to be successful. It was my time, I had been through some shit and now it was the time to step up. I was putting way to much unnecessary pressure on myself. It was me doing this, no one else.

I was good at the job, there were aspects that I enjoyed and I didn feel like making a change was right for me. But the day to day was relentless. You were only as good as your last action, there was no let up. I found that I didn't want to be in such a highly powered, target driven job.  So I chose to leave without finishing the probation period. I left on a good note, with honesty and intregrty, both of which are very important to me.

My parents have brought me up to have an extremly good work ethic, so when I came to actively choosing to be unemployed and leaving a job after such a sort time, it felt so un natural.
I felt like a failure. That I was a failure.

I have struggled with this feeling of failure for a couple of months. I knew I left for me and my own happiness, the companies vibes wasn't right and I just didn't feel comfortable. But I still felt like I had left something good to soon. But what would have been the point? I would have worked myself into the ground and for what? A pay check?
I am fortunate that I have been able to have some savings (save 10% of your wages people!) so I wasn't going to be without financial support (my own).  So I chose myself, my own wellness and did what was best for me. I was afraid of what people would think of me.

Recently, I have found out that I made the right choice. I have learned from this not to care what people think of my actions. Even if those people are parents, even if they dont intitally agree. There comes a time when you have to make your own choices that might rub people the wrong way. As long as these life choices are not illegal, harming yourself or another person and they will make you happier in the long run, then do it!


I know now that about a month and a half after I chose the leave, I would have very likely been let go from the company. So in the long run, even if it may not have felt like it at the time. I made the right choice. My intuition, my beautiful, wonderful gut feeling, led me to the right decision. It was screaming at me and I followed it.

If I hadnt acted on it?

I would most likely be unemployed right now -  I am un-employed anyway, but by my own choice. Not someone else's.
I would have had to work to the bone -  I have had two luscious months off.
I would have had a shit 30th - I turned 30 calm and happy and had a great joint party with my Husband!
I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my party -  I was able to make some awesome giant tassel decorations and had the whole weekend to party and spend time with family and friends. If I had stayed, I would of had to work that weekend and not able to focus on the fun to be hand.

so the moral of the story? DO IT!

If it feels right. It is right,

Intuition pays off.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare // Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser

When I was in the throws of wanting to treat ones self during recovery, I took myself to Space NK and splurged. I wanted a moisturiser that would feel luxe and do a wonderful job at keeping my skin plump and hydrated.

So I choose Aurelia Skincare and their Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser to be my splurge. The British brand is focused on  combining bio-organic botanical formulations with probiotic technology to manage inflammation, a main cause of skin ageing. The cream is medium in texture and suitable of all skin types, including sensitive.

It has been the only time that I have spent £52 on a face cream and being honest, it is lovely. The blend of Jasmine, Mandarin, Plumeria and Tuberose (my fave scent, Organic Pharmacy has perfume that is on my wish list!) makes you feel like you are at the end of a spa treatment. It is also one of the most heavenly scented face creams I have used. I was apprehensive that it might irritate my skin, but I found the the scent did not linger too long after application and my skin was kept hydrated throughout the day.
This was probably down to this cream being a power house of divine botanicals:

BAOBAB - Omega rich ‘super fruit’
HIBISCUS - Antioxidant rich ‘nature’s Botox
ALOE VERA - Soothes & softens the skin
MONGONGO OIL - Vit E and fatty acids  for restructuring & regenerating
KIGELIA AFRICANA - Firming properties

My main criteria for my skincare is to re-hydrate my dry skin (mainly due to hormonal tamoxifen side effects) and maintain moisture levels, to be kind to my sensitive skin and have a focus of Anti-Aging (anti-aging is not a word I like, I just want to age well and my skin to have a good texture).

The only thing I noticed was that by about 5pm a few tiny dry patches would start to appear around my chin and mouth. This was even with a facial oil underneath the cream. The dryness is the bane of my life at the moment!

Now, would I buy this again? I'm not sure, perhaps only due to the price. It is very dear and as I am currently between jobs I would not purchase it again right now. I would certainly love to receive it as a gift for birthdays or Christmas. I still want to try other face creams, it has not left me thinking I've found the one. But it is a lovely, yummy one, all the same! If you are looking for a green beauty luxe, that will feel like a daily treat. This is a great brand to try.

What is in it? (A hella lot!)
Aqua/Water (purified water), Aloe barbadensis leaf extract (Aloe Vera), Bifida ferment lysate (probiotic culture), Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter), Cocoglycerides (emollient from coconut oil), Glycerin (vegetable glycerine), Glyceryl stearate SE (natural triglycerides & emulsifier), Lactose (probiotic bifidoculture milk extract), Lactis proteinum/Milk protein (probiotic protein), Coco-caprylate (coconut based emollient), Cetearyl alcohol ( vegetable based thickener), Rhus verniciflua peel wax (Berry wax), Borago officinalis seed oil (Borage oil), Rosa damascena oil (Rosehip oil), Argania spinosa kernel oil, Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, Kigelia Africana fruit extract (botanical Kigelia Africana), Hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract (Hibiscus flower), Adansonia digitata fruit extract (Botanical Baobab), Citrus nobilis peel oil (Mandarin essential oil), Helianthus annuus seed oil (Sunflower oil), Jasminum officinale flower extract (Jasmine essential oil), Plumeria acutifolia flower extract (Plumeria essential oil), Polianthes tuberose flower extract (Tuberose essential oil), Schinziophyton Rautanenii kernel oil, Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, Panthenol, Tocopheryl acetate, Lauroyl lysine, Xanthan gum (natural based stabiliser), Sodium stearoyl glutamate (vegetable derived emulsifier), Sodium phytate (natural origin), Glyceryl caprylate (coconut-derived emulsifier), Benzyl alcohol (preservative), Dehydroacetic acid (preservative) , Citric acid (fruit derived pH regulator), Limonene*, Linalool*, Benzyl benzoate*
*naturally occurring in essential oil

*F.Y.I  Aurelia Skincare are Cruelty Free

Have you tried anything by Aurelia? Let me know what you think!