Friday, 31 January 2014

Best of 2013 - Nails!

So to finish off my "Best of 2013" series is nails, I've always liked having nice nails and having a manicure but this year my collection seems to have grown massively! I'm currently trying to find a new way to store them all as I've run out of room! Here are some products and looks that have stood out for me this year.
Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat - I was so dubious about this product, I've tried so many products, tips and tricks to make my nails dry quickly in the past and always come away with at least one nail smudged. I'll admit I was expecting rather good things after hearing rave reviews and what seemed to be a fairly high price tag. Honestly I love this stuff now, I carry it with me between both of my homes as I couldn't bare to do my nails without it! It doesn't completely dry my nails instantly but it does speed it up considerably. I can start to type, text or apply my make up if I'm careful within a few minutes. I now wouldn't be without this!

Barry M Glitter Top Coats - I've only shown one but theres about 4 or 5 that I've been loving towards the back end of this year, I did a few different glittery nail looks on my blog and a guest post about it too. My only gripe is that they're so so difficult to get off and that irritates me but I'm having to restrain myself now from using glitter all of the time!

Barry M Gelly Nails - These seemed to be huge with everyone at the beginning of the year and although they are still bringing out new colours I don't seem to hear about them anymore! I was a tad underwhelmed when I first tried them as I was expecting a really opaque colour in just one coat but now I've come to terms with the fact that you need a good two or three, I really like the finish of it! I have 3 or 4 different shades and always browse the collection when I'm in boots to see if any more catch my eye!

Matte/Tuxedo Nails - To create this specific look I used Barry M's "Navy", The Rimmel Matte Top Coat and then A Nail's Own Clear Polish. I really thought that these were going to be a huge thing, it turns out that they weren't but I really enjoyed them for the first part of 2013. So much easier to create than I thought it would be and never has a nail polish lasted so long on my nails! 

What have been your stand out nails for 2013? What do you think will be big this year?

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

ScareDoo Hairbrush Review!

Scaredoo Hairbrush £10.99 - I was really kindly given this as a prize at the London Xmas Meet back in December and I've not looked back since. If it weren't for living in two houses I would honestly have ditched every other hairbrush that I own and this would be my one and only. I know it sounds like I'm gushing but honestly this hairbrush is like a dream come true... It's a slightly cheaper version of the TangleTeezer which I'll be honest I've never tried, except you can flip the brush over to have sturdier bristles or smoother ones for finishing. I've not seen them in shops yet but you can buy them online here, they have a great variety of colours! I've not particularly kept it a secret that since about March of 2013 I've really suffered from my hair falling out, I've tried all sorts to sort it out including several trips to the doctors. Brushing my hair, especially when wet, has been a thought that has constantly terrified me for over 9 months now as not only would it pull entire hairbrush's full of hair out (we're talking filling them in brushing my hair once) it would really really hurt. Now I'm not about to put all of my hair rebirth down to this brush as there are a few other factors I'll explain as and when on my blog, but I haven't had to clear this out once and my hair is just as brushed as when using any other product. To start with I used the smoother side and just took my time over brushing my hair however that soon made it static so now I tend to mostly use the detangling side. It's quicker, more gentle and leaves my hair shinier than any hair brush I've ever used and it's lovely and compact too. As soon as finances allow I'll be purchasing another one of these for my other home, and maybe another for my handbag, one for work, one for my gym bag …. 

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Friday, 24 January 2014

Best of 2013 - Make Up

This is probably the most exciting of my "Best of 2013" series and the one that will continue the grow the most as my obsession with beauty does too! I've been pretty proud of myself for trying all sorts of new brands this year be them high-end or high-street and it's made me find some great things! 

 TopShop Lipsticks! This one "all about me" in particular is a stunning bright prink that somehow makes me exude confidence and feel totally glamorous! The staying power of these is great, Lee is not on auto-pilot to constantly tell me how my lipstick is and this stayed on during a meal right until about mid-way through my main course. Pretty impressive for such a bold colour!

 Benefit Brow-Zings - I've always had such sparse brows and no matter how hard I've been trying for a year now they are barely any better so I really rely on a good eyebrow product. This one is in "medium" and is the perfect colour for me. I don't use the tools that came with it so much instead I opt for a variety of different brushes that constantly change. It stays on literally all day at work with no need to touch up and has enabled me to try out a few different shapes with my brows too!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation - Whenever I see this mentioned on twitter I always jump on that thread and declare my love for it, countless times this has won over a high end foundation and I'm now on my third bottle! I wear this every single day and if I'm ever feel a little lack lustre I will turn to this instead of my NARS, Chanel or even Estee Lauder! 

 NARS Laguna Bronzer - I'm so sad that I've literally just hit pan on this and now it seems to be wearing out rather quickly but I do not doubt for a second that another will have been repurchased before it all goes! I wear this most days and my only substitute is the HD Brows Bronzer if for some reason I can't find this. It's the perfect colour for both contouring my face and also making me look a little more bronzed!

Maybelline The Falsies - I think that most beauty bloggers have had a love affair with this mascara at some point, I rediscovered this very early in the year and, although it ran out a little while ago and I've not yet repurchased it, I really loved it! It's great for an everyday mascara if you want a nice fluttery look but if you want to vamp it up for night time you can totally build it to be more of a statement!

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - Again, I'm on my third tube of this stuff and I make sure that it's always been repurchased way before I run out so that I always have some handy. I recently went to purchase the NARS high-end version of this but couldn't bring myself to part with £21 when this is so brilliant for well under £10! It covers all of my blemishes perfectly and apart from my Bobbi Brown kit, nothing else conceals my under eyes like this!

What have been your make-up picks for 2013?

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

EcoTools Foam Applicator Review

EcoTools Foam Applicator - £4.99 - Don't you just love it when a product swoops in to your life and completely revolutionises the way you that you do something? This applicator has done just that. For months now I've been eyeing up the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge but just really not seen how it would work, I was kinda waiting for a YouTube Video on how to apply foundation with something like this as I've only ever used a brush or my fingers before (If you know of any then please do send them my way!). When I opened my Christmas Cracker at My Sister's house this 25th December I was very very pleasantly surprised to see this little beauty, The EcoTools Foam Applicator. (We always make personalised Crackers to make sure that you get something you'll love in your Cracker!) I've totally fallen out of love with my Bobbi Brown dupe brushes, after a few months they really obviously are not the real thing and it shows in how it applies product to my face. I've only used the EcoTools Foam Applicator once but I'm already in love and waiting till I next need to apply foundation. It's the most flawless finish I've ever achieved and that's without really knowing how to use it and the application was really quick too. I was in a rush getting ready for My Sister's birthday meal and couldn't be bothered to tackle my Bobbi Brown Dupe Brush so I reached for this, took the appalling quick snap that you see above before I used it and went away and I'm not sure that I'll be looking back! For only £4.99 it's a bargain too! 

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

#TheSkinProject - Anti-Ageing

Want to be part of #TheSkinProject? Visit Lianne's Blog for more info! 

Welcome to what will be my last post of #TheSkinProject and unfortunately it may be a bit of a disappointing one! You see I only use one Anti-Ageing product and I've mentioned that on Lianne's Blog as part of #TheAntiAgeing Project and I've done a guest post review on it so I really don't want to be boring for you guys! 

I think that it's important to use Anti-Ageing products from as early as possible so that your skin can start reaping the benefits early and make life easier for yourself later on. The whole reason that I got into Beauty was because of my Sister telling me that if I didn't start now my skin would be harder to control when I was older!

Find my Review of the Elemis Pro-Intense Life Effect Night Cream Below!

Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Effect Night Cream £95* - I've never particularly used specific anti-ageing products before so I was a tad dubious as to how this was going to work for me as I couldn't really describe my skin as particularly aged. I'll admit that I've been a tad on and off with using this due to living in two different houses however I saw effects immediately, the morning after using this my skin looked and felt plumper and brighter. This is fantastic for when my skin needs a pick me up! It smooths my skin and just gives me that little pick me up. It is really rather on the pricey side however you get quite a lot in the tub and only need the tiniest bit to cover your whole face and as I said, instant results are always a bonus! My complexion has definately evened out (to the point that I stopped wearing foundation for over a week!) and my skin feels tighter and firmer. I cannot praise this highly enough and can't wait to get my hands on more of this range!

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Friday, 17 January 2014

Best of 2013 - Skincare!

Welcome to my Best of 2013 - Skincare! It's been a revolutionary year for me and my skin and it must have had the shock it's life to finally be looked after! Again here are my stand out products of 2013, ones that have really made a different to my skin and that I've loved using and will definitely repurchase in 2014!
 Elemis Softly Softly Daily Moisturiser & Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash - Elemis have been a huge stand out brand for me this year, I've raved about their Night Cream so many times that I shan't mention it again but these two have also been a treat to use! The Moisturiser isn't one that I would reach for before my make up as It can take a while to sink in however it does leave my skin feeling beautiful. Their Exfoliating wash is everything that I love in an exfoliator and then some, it's fairly course but I like to know my exfoliator is doing something!

 Natio Renew Radiance Foam Cleanser - There's been two cleansers that have stood out for me this year and this was the first one. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and super duper clean! As I've said in my full review it can leave my skin a little dry in my t-zone (which is where my skin is driest) but a good moisturiser always sorts that right out!

 L'Occitane Angel Hydration Cream - I haven't actually got the full sized version of this yet as I only really use it for special occasions, at first I loved using it before going to the gym as it leaves my skin feeling refreshed however now I go so often I don't want to use it all up! It's hands down the best day time moisturiser I've ever used and this post is seriously tempting me to dig it out and use it all up.

 Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - I'd heard and read so much about this product that when it came on offer on their website I had to have it! I love that it came with a travel sized version a well that's been just brilliant for when I've been at Lee's house. It's currently my daily cleanser and it leaves my skin bright, clean and clear all day! My New Years Resolution is to make sure that I keep on using this!

 L'Oreal Skin Perfection Velvety Soft Toner - For only £3.99 this is an absolute beauty, I'm currently on the hunt for a new toner for my second home as I like to try new things, but this is brilliant for now. It balances my skin back out and leaves it completely smooth ready to start on my make up routine. I love the whole L'Oreal Skin Perfection range and can't recommend it highly enough!

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo - Another sort of cult product that I've found myself just having to try in 2013 and boy what a difference It has made to my skin, my pores are now unrecognisable and I can't thank this product enough. I was looking for something to calm my pores down and make them less visible when low and behold someone mentioned this on Facebook and I've used it literally every day since. I couldn't even wait for my free sample to arrive before buying the full sized version I was so excited!

I'm really intrigued to compare this post to next years as I think I've found some holy grails in there!

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Derby & London Haul!

Hi Guys! So recently I've been to two meet ups, the East Midlands Meet Up which was organised fantastically by the wonderful Emma over at Not Your Average and also the London Xmas Meet arranged by Ellie, Chloe and Perdi. I absolutely love going to Blogger meet ups, it's so so much fun and everyone is always so lovely. I've made some great friends from them! Anyway, Of course at these events I had to do a little shopping, less so in London as I was just overwhelmed and got a bit lost but I did managed to get some good bits!
 The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion £15- I'm ashamed to admit that I've never actually bought an eyeshadow primer before, I got one in a beauty box once but rarely use it. I thought that it was time that I invested and to be honest although I never usually wear eyeshadow long enough for it to wear off, it is incredible at making my eyeshadow look as though I've just put it on at the end of the night. No need to touch up! It also helps it sit better when I'm applying it I find.
 Real Techniques Starter Set £20.99 - My Real Techniques collection is building up fast and for good reason, their brushes are such good quality and this set is pretty cheap considering that you get four brushes. I'll be honest that the angled brow brush is slightly too thick for both my eyebrows and eyeliner for my liking and the pixel-point eyeliner brush is too long to be precise. However the other three are wonderful for creating a nice eye look. The accent brush is wonderful for slightly bringing a colour underneath the eye and the deluxe crease brush and base shadow brush are both great for my smokey eye looks. It won't be long until I own all of the Real Techniques brushes, I know it.
Sleek Contour Kit in "Medium" £6.49 - I think I may have gone a bit too dark in this as when I tried to use the darker powder it did look slightly too harsh, however with a tan it'll be just right. I've never tried sleek products before as I've never seen any in the shops to swatch and lust after them so I was super excited when I saw them in boots. The highlighting powder is just perfect for a super subtle highlight across my cheek bones and brow area but I'll have to wait until summer to really use the rest of the kit.
 Real Techniques Blush Brush £9.99 - As I said earlier, I adore Real Techniques brushes and I'm really working on building up a good collection so I could't resist this Blush Brush (and one more later on) when Boots were offering 3 for 2. I bought a big set of very cheap Bobbi Brown Dupe brushes when I first started out to get me by so I'm replacing them all with better ones and it was the turn of my blush brush. It's the perfect size for a natural smidgen of blush over the apple of my cheeks.
MAC 217 Blending Brush £18- I've nearly completed my MAC Palette now so I thought that I would start to work on another MAC collection, their brushes. You can never ever have enough blending brushes so I treated myself to one of the most heard about ones out there. I was slightly dubious as to how this would be any better than some of my cheaper alternatives but it just is. The bristles are soft yet quite compact so that you get just the right amount of colour when applying it, but the brush is also soft enough that it blends what you already have on so easily. I'm definitely going to invest in more when I can afford to.
Real Techniques Shading Brush £6.99 - I should probably have put all of the Real Techniques brushes together but this is just how it came out! As I just said I don't think that you can ever have enough shading and blending brushes I just couldn't resist picking this up as part of Boots 3 for 2 offer. My collection is starting to look really pretty now that it's 99% Real Techniques and colour co-ordinated!
 Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips £3.99 - I've been meaning to try some pore strips for quite a while now and when they were on offer in Boots I thought that I might as well pick some up. I've spent quite a lot of time in cities recently and at the time had been really, really busy so I was quite concerned that there may be a build up in my pores. I applied these as soon as I got home and to be honest the results weren't as bad as I thought that they would be! You get 6 in a pack though so I think that they're pretty good value!
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo £9.75 - I had been wondering about this product for a few weeks when I saw a few people on twitter really raving about it for making your pores as good as vanish and then I knew that I had to try it. I ordered one of their free samples of off the website but it hadn't arrived in time for the East Midlands Blogger Meet (When I was planning to buy the full size) so I took the plunge and bought it anyway and I'm so glad that I did. Other than when I was having a really bad skin day I haven't noticed my pores at tall which is a huge improvement for me.

Scare-Doo Anti-Tangle Hair Brush £10.99 - Okay so I didn't actually buy this, I was extremely lucky to have won it at the London Xmas Meet by it had to be mentioned and It will have it's own blog post and review very soon as I absolutely love it. It's like a tangle teezer except ever so slightly cheaper and in my opinion, way better. You can flip the actual brush part so it's perfect when you've been dragged through a hedge backwards or you just want a little spruce. I won't say any more as I want to save it for my full review!

Sorry that these are so late, I hope that you enjoy them!

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

#TheSkinProject - Facemasks & Treatments

Want to take part in #TheSkinProject? Visit Lianne's blog for more info!

Hello Lovelies, welcome back to #TheSkinProject! This is going to be another one of me not having much to say but really looking forward to read everyone else's, I've not used many face masks before and they're pretty much always clay.

I've tried The Clarins Beauty Flash Balm  once before and that had a great brightening effect on my skin but other than that I am clay all the way!

My go-to at the moment is the Botanics Ionic Clay Mask, for just £5.49 this will last me a good few months. It was a tad runny at first but felt as though it did my skin some good! My skin definitely felt smoother and softer after using this. I'm trying to build my way up to the origins clay mask.
 Another treatment that I've started to give my face are those pore strips, I got these when they were on offer in boots as I had been wondering whether to try them for a while. I was pleasantly surprised that my strip was fairly clear when it came off although a tad worried that they weren't very effective. (The black results that were left on Lee's told me that they were!) I find they make me feel so much better to just pop one of these on after a hectic weekend in a city where I may not have paid as much attention to my skin as I should have done!

What are your favourite Skin Treatments and Masks?

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Friday, 10 January 2014

Best of 2013 - Haircare!

Hello guys! I wanted to do a nice round up of my favourite products of 2013. I started this blog in February of last year and it's only been since then really that I've taken notice of what I'm using on my hair and skin, I thought I'd share with you my favourite products of last year in four categories, Haircare, Skincare, Make Up and Nails! Here we go with haircare..
Neal & Wolf Harmony Intensive Care Treatment £9.95 - I got this beauty in a beauty box back in the summer and ignored it for quite some time. I've recently been advised that the best thing that I can do for my hair now is a weekly conditioning treatment so I dug this out and I love it! It smells incredible and leaves my hair feeling strong, smooth and so healthy! I use it once a week and leave it on for as long as possible, definitely always over 5 minutes and bingo - salon worthy hair straight from my own bathroom!
Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Smooth Spray £5.59 - When I was in Derby back in November I couldn't decide on which hair care range to go for next, so it was sort of pot luck that I went for the Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free range. Now that my hair is longer and in better condition it's also really thick too so I have to use at least one frizz fighting product in my routine and this works perfectly! Usually I turn to John Frieda to smooth my locks but this works just as good (maybe better) and smells divine!
ScareDoo Detangling Hair Brush £10.99* - I was super lucky to win this at the London Xmas Meet back in early December and haven't looked back since, I don't want to go on too much about this as I have a full review coming very soon but I love it! It's so gentle on my hair and detangles even the worst knots in no time!
Batiste Coloured Dry Shampoo £3.99 - If you read this blog you may well know that I rarely wash my hair more than once a week and if I do it's a pretty special occasion, because of that I of course need a good dry shampoo that I can rely on to get me through the last day or so of the week. The coloured dry shampoo range from Batiste has cured my only niggle of the original, the occasional white residue. It's not overly common with Batiste to be honest but this one is far more subtle for my hair colour.
Caudalie Divine Oil £16.20 - You can get this for a variety of prices over the internet but £16.20 for 50ml is the cheapest I've found from Feel Unique yet! This 15ml sample from a beauty box is still going months on, although I do switch up my hair oils regularly to try new ones out. This has by far been the best that I've ever used, it makes my hair sparkle and shine whilst leaving it soft but not greasy! Oh there are no words, I just love this product for my hair!

What are your favourite Hair Care Products of 2013?!

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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Rimmel Pro Matte Finish Top Coat

Hello Lovelies!

Although I've got so many new products to tell you about, I loved this one so much and think that it's so cool, I just couldn't hold it in any longer!

I don't know if this trend will really catch on or not, I can remember about a month of it being all over instagram and now it's disappeared. Personally I'm not sure why as I think it's really quirky. The trend that I am talking about it Matte Nails. 

I personally went for Rimmel's Pro Matte Finish Top Coat, and although I thought it would be really difficult to create the Matte Manicure look, it's actually really easy! I personally put it over Barry M's Nail Paint in Navy and thought that it looked lovely. 

You do have to wait for your colour to really dry before applying the matte coat, however, else the colour can thin a bit. However I found that this really stayed on my nails well and didn't chip for about 4 days, which for me is amazing! 

You can pick up Rimmel's Pro Matte Finish Top Coat from Boots for just £4.59, and Barry M's Nail Paints are just £2.99 and are pretty much always on some sort of offer!  

What do you think of the Matte Manicure look?

love and kisses



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14 Resolutions for 2014!

 Well would you look at me with all of my co-ordinating number posts! I know that there will probably be loads of these New Years Resolution posts floating around but I kind of just wanted to do one for myself and thought "Why not publish it on my blog?" It'll probably give me more determination to actually do all of these things and if I'm honest, I'm not sure where else I would keep a written record of them all and then I'd forget half of them! I'll try and keep it updated throughout the year as to whether I've failed any or completed any! They're divided up into health - money - beauty & blogging so feel free to skip right to the end if you fancy!

 1. Eat less chocolate - Probably one for most people but I consume way more than the average and recommended amount combined. We're talking a packet of biscuits per day, most days! So for my health I really need to work on this.
2. Have no elongated breaks from the gym - We all have times when we can't go but I tend to drag these out for longer than they need to be and can end up not going for months on end. I want to be far more consistent with my fitness this year.
3. Drink More - I really started doing this a few months ago and then gave up on it but the benefits that I saw were so good. By "Drink More" I certainly don't mean alcohol though! For about 2 weeks when I had a cold last November I drank at least 3 litres of water/orange squash a day and not only did it keep my pending cold at bay, I lost so much weight and my skin looked so bright and healthy!
4. Be more active with my Family - By this I mean, continue to do different things with Lee I.E go to new places, stay in hotels and have weekends away. With my dog it means to actually join Lee on his walks and take him to places like the beach more often. 
 5. Buy a House - Totally out of my control really but it's a goal that Lee and I are working really hard towards and 2014 should be the year that it happens. We currently live between his parents (where he stays full time) and my GrandParents so it's hard but hopefully it will be worth it!
6. Pay off (most of) my debts - I owe a fairly hefty amount of money to some family and there's still one pesky credit card looming over me so I want to get all banks paid off and gone and repay as much as I can to my family.
7. Manage my money better - I get really worried about having to ask Lee for fuel money on the last week of the month and always end up scrapping around in my drawers at work for something to eat. From February (as January's pay is a little different) I want to make my money last the whole month.
8. Stop buying pointless things - Really rather related to No 7 but I always buy things then when I'm strapped for cash at the end of the month curse myself for it. I'm talking things like, going to Tesco and spending £5 on lunch when I already have some I just don't really fancy. eBay has already left my life as that was a huge waste of money for me bidding on things I didn't really need.
9. Start Saving more - I have only ever saved £200 in my adult working life into a savings account and most of that was spent at the end of that very same month when I'd run out of money. For a while it'll be difficult as my salary is fairly low and matches my outgoings but I want to try. Even if it's coppers.
10. Be More Consistent with my Skincare - I am possibly the biggest offender when it comes to make up wipes, when it's getting late all I want to do is crawl into bed so I haven't done nighttime Skin Care in a very long time. I always reach for a wipe to get the worst off then slap on my Night Cream. Eek! I have to be more consistent and do my full routine every morning and night!
11. Never run out of drafts/scheduled posts - I always tend to schedule loads, then sit back and occasionally edit one or two as they go up, but then will wait until I've ran out and desperately need a post to write another. I don't know if it shows that sometimes I can rush one out because I don't want to have a huge gap but it bothers me. I want a consistent backlog of quality posts.
12. Improve my Photography - Again focusing on consistency, I want my photos to be more uniform, have a set backdrop that I will always use if I can and just generally be better. Especially throughout this winter I've found myself taking photos just before I use a product as I'm in a rush and that definitely shows!
13. Grow my blog - One that I think we can all agree on is that we want our blog to constantly keep growing. I'm not setting myself any targets or numbers, I never have done so for until I get really close to a milestone and I think it takes some of the pressure off. I don't know where 2014 will really take this blog but I'm hopeful it can keep on growing.
14. Keep Having Fun! - I've got to a place where I'm really having so so much fun blogging. In the middle of the year it became a bit laborious and I was posting for the sake of it, not because I loved what I was writing about. But in the later half of this year I've joined in on chats, gone to meet ups and have honestly loved blogging again. I post at a rate that works for me but may not be as often as others and it's made me so much more comfortable about blogging! I no longer lie awake worrying about what I can put a post up about!
So there we go! I'm already looking at some of them and wincing as they will be difficult but hopefully I can be sat here in a years time and let you know how it's changed/benefit/not changed my life and where I'm at with it all! Do you have any resolutions for 2014? Blog or not blog related! I'd love to know!

*All Pictures were found on tumblr and all credit goes to them.

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