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#WhatsYerWanReading? February ’18

#WhatsYerWanReading? February ’18

Happy March! I hope you’re enjoying Spring… oh wait, it’s still snowing outside… February flew by! So with that in mind, I will confess to only having managed to get through one book this month, but it was a good’un! (I have started to read another book but felt it would be a bit silly to include this month so March’s segment it is!).

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever—if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.”*

#WhatsYerWanReading? February '18

I really enjoyed this novel. Honeyman weaves a light-hearted “coming of age” style narrative around a serious discussion of the extent to which the human mind can suppress events that have taken place throughout a persons life.

Eleanor lives an uneventful life, partaking in the same routine day after day, week after week. When she meets her new co-worker, Rodger, a strange unfolding of events leads her to become aware of what it is to socialise, to have friends. Eleanor is an extremely complex character, her oddities often highlighted by contrasting her to the other “normal’ characters in the novel. Honeyman manages to develop Eleanor’s character in a way that leaves her starkly different to the woman she was at the beginning of the novel.

The novel is the perfect balance of happy and sad. While on a surface level the novel focuses around a socially inept woman approaching thirty, trying (and often failing) to fit in and lead a life of normality, the deeper workings of the novel focus on something much darker. But, as the title would suggest, Eleanor is completely fine!

As an unlikely friendship unfolds, we see the almost robot like Eleanor becoming human. She begins to feel, to open up, and to confront her demons. Eleanor is helped by new her friend, Rodger, a chance encounter with an old man, Sammy, and (at times) her office colleagues.

This book is a whirlwind of emotions. It had me laughing, teary eyed and VERY frustrated (at the characters, not because of any flaws in the plot.) If you’re looking for a light-hearted read with an undercurrent of depth and darkness then give this a go!

Do you have any suggestions for some March reads? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

xoxo – “Yer Wan”, Jessie

*Taken from the blurb on the hardback cover.

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13 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love! #TreatYourself

13 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love! #TreatYourself

Valentines Day can often cause an (unneeded) void in society, two separate groups emerge on this day of the year, the couples and the singletons. It can often feel like a time of great debate, is such a holiday necessary? Is it just another big commercialised holiday invented by the card companies? Who knows… There is one thing I know though, people often get so wrapped up in spending Valentine’s Day doing something with someone they love, or possibly someone they don’t even remotely like, just because that’s what we’re told to do!

Well, this Valentine’s Day (or in fact most days), why not be a little selfish and rather than spending it with, or spending a fortune on, someone (your boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/cat/Mam all included) be a little selfish and love/treat yourself! 

Often associated with vanity or being a moral flaw, self-love is something that’s being more widely practised and talked about. The only constant in your life is gonna be you, so you may as well love yourself, it’ll be a very long life if not…!

13 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love! #TreatYourself

I’ve compiled a list of thirteen things (because fourteen would be far too cliché and Valentines-esque, amiright?) you can do to show yourself some love. Some are simple and inexpensive, others may involve a decrease in your bank account, but in the words of L’Oreal you’re “worth it”! 

13 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love! #TreatYourself

“To Me, From Me xoxo”

1.Take a nice long bath! 

Is there anything better than treating yourself to a nice long soak? Light a few candles, load up your favourite Netflix show, drop in a nice Lush bath bomb and immerse yourself in a world of deliciously scented bubbles! If you’re feeling extra cheeky, even add a cup of tea into the mix! 

 2. Have a Pyjama day! 

How often do you take the time to just do nothing? (For me it’s more often than i care to admit but we won’t talk about that…). Set aside a day for yourself to lounge about in your pjs and do absolutely nothing! 

3. Read a book!

The WHOLE book! Again, it’s pretty much a do nothing day but if you make a dent in a book you love, you’ll feel you’ve accomplished something, so it’s a win/win really!

4. Binge watch that show you’ve been meaning to watch! 

A lot of my tips are revolving around doing pretty much nothing, but we are often so busy making time for everyone and everything else that we forget to focus on ourselves. The best way to do that is to spend some time alone with yourself, often just taking things easy. With this in mind, rev up your laptop and watch at least 4 seasons of your fav show, or watch that series you’ve had recorded on the TV for the past 6 months, today is the day of you.

5. Book that massage!

You’ve always wanted one or have been meaning to book one for agggeeess, well, now’s your chance! Ditch the night out or fancy restaurant date, and instead schedule that spa treatment you’ve been daydreaming about ever since you did that one dodgy workout and put your back/hip/legs out of joint… you know you want to…

6. Order the takeaway! 

With the pressure to always eat healthy and the fact that eating out/takeaways aren’t always the most affordable thing, we learn to ignore the cravings for a takeaway. Today, however, you’re gonna order a takeaway and you’re not gonna feel one bit guilty about it! #TreatYoSelf! 

13 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love! #TreatYourself

7. Go for a walk. 

Might seem a bit dull, but a bit of fresh air and the opportunity to spend quite time alone with your thoughts can be a great way to get in touch with what’s going on in your life, and figure out any issues you may be having, or just take the time to appreciate all the good stuff you’ve got going on. 

8. Have lunch… by yourself.

Eating or just having a coffee alone can seem a bit daunting but again, it’s a great time to reflect on life and get in touch with yourself (sounds uber cheesy but these things are v important for your mental wellness), so why not treat yourself to a nice lunch and a bit of me time?

9. Purchase that item you’ve been eyeing!

Sometimes we need a bit of retail therapy, so why not treat yourself to that handbag/dress etc you’ve been eyeing, or if you feel like you are head over heels for yourself, add all these items from your ‘saved list’ on ASOS to your cart… 

10. Plan or Book a holiday!

Whether it’s one you want to take alone or with friends/family, give yourself the ultimate pick-me-up by planning (even booking if you’re in a position to do so) your next getaway! 

11. Get your hair done.

Whether it’s a complete new look or just a wash and blow-dry, relaxing in the hairdressers chair can be a great way to de-stress and show yourself some love! 

12. Do something that scares you!

This is very person-specific, some people might equate it to skydiving, others may find signing up for a yoga course a bit overwhelming, whatever your scale of scariness you’ll end up thanking yourself one day that you did it! 

13. Cinema by yourself! 

This is something I’ve never done myself but have it on my “To Do in 2018” list. To some people going to the cinema alone might not seem like a big deal but to other’s (like moi) it can seem very daunting. But it does make sense, there’s always that one movie that comes out and you’re dying to go see it but no one else is interested. Rather than wait for it to show up on your Netflix, march yourself down to the cinema and buy a ticket for one!

 

13 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love! #TreatYourself

Pure delira with my balloons!!

What ways do you like to treat yourself? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo – “Yer Wan”, Jessie

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#What’sYerWanReading? January ’18

#What’sYerWanReading? January ’18

I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, but I felt it was about time I got back into my bookworm habits, and so decided 2018 was the year of the book(s) for me!

In order to make sure I stayed on track, I decided to make #WhatsYerWanReading a monthly segment on ze blog and share my thoughts on the books (optimistic) I’ve read!

One Of Us Is Lying

Karen M. McManus

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.”

January opened with this Young Adult Fiction mystery novel. It really is as the blurb indicates, The Breakfast Club mixed in with PLL, as well as having a slightly Gossip Girl edge. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, McManus manages to point the finger at almost every character we encounter. The characters are also developed in a way which catches the reader off guard. Not only are we searching for the killer between the lines of the pages, but the unravelling of the secrets the four suspects have been keeping from the world, and each other, result in the reader second guessing themselves and their suspicions from the off set. Towards the end, the plot does take a somewhat predictable turn in my opinion, however it’s an interesting ending that may leave some shocked.

The descriptive language and immersive plot mean as a reader, I could see the story being played out in my head, making it a real page-turner. In other words, if this were a Netflix series I would spend days on end binge watching it!

If you’re after a book thats going to keep you guessing, wrapped up in the world that is teenage drama, then defo give this a go!

#What'sYerWanReading? January '18

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

“Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers.”

What can I say about Brave New World ? If I were to describe it in one word it would have to be… weird. As Margaret Atwood writes in the introduction “Brave New World is either a perfect-world utopia or its nasty opposite, a dystopia, depending on your point of view.”

Set in the future, Brave New World is quite the opposite to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, instead of a regime which seeks to oppress and keep an eye on everyone and everything, Huxley’s novel presents a future where genetically enhanced, mass produced people are thrust into an established caste system and live happily within the parameters of their society. All of the values society holds dear in today’s world no longer exist, no more marriage, no family relationships, no relationships of any kind really. The people of this brave new world are even conditioned to be extremely accepting of death from a very young age. As a reader, this novel made me feel somewhat uncomfortable, but I think in that lies it’s genius. Both Brave New World (1932) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) were written as responses to World War II, and if you’ve read one you should definitely read the other, as the comparisons and contrasts that can be made are really interesting. To see how these two authors juxtapose a potential future, warning against certain aspects of the modern world. In Huxley’s case it was the effects of genetic engineering, his novel is somewhat a criticism on man’s desire to consume and mass produce, even human life is not safe from this extreme level of production.

The characters in the novel are very much engaged in this existence they live in, and depending on “soma”, a recreational drug which has a calming effect and no side-effects, and “having” everyone and anyone, is the norm. That is until we meet the likes of Bernard Marx, and John “The Savage”, these two particular characters make the novel’s setting relatable to the reader, as they themselves also question the morals by which this new society lives.

If you like dystopian novels and have read Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, you should give this a read. Just be prepared to re-read a few paragraphs as you try to make sense of what’s going on and get to grips with the context of the novel.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what your thoughts were!

Now on to February’s reads…

#What'sYerWanReading? January '18

xoxo – “Yer Wan”, Jessie

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Trying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

Trying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

Over the knee/ Knee high boots have been a big trend for a while now, however, I always felt the trend wasn’t for me as I’m only 5ft 3″ and thought I would look ridiculous. So I admired from afar, and then the Christmas sales came about and a pair I had been eyeing for ages dropped dramatically in price and they happened to have my size… Long story short, I purchased and I now love them!

In this post I’ve come up with two different looks. The first a more laid back, casual look designed for day-time wear. The other is a bit more “dressy-uppy” and would perhaps be more appropriate for an evening/nighttime look!

Styling Knee High Boots: Casual Look

Trying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

Behold! The jumper dress! I am OBSESSED with this dress, I really need to purchase some more. They’re so handy to throw on with a jacket and a pair of boots (like these knee highs), voilà! A complete and put-together look!

Trying The Trend: Over the Knee BootsTrying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

Styling Knee High Boots: Fancy(ish) Look

Trying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

I love this PrettyLittleThing polka dot dress, it can be dressed up or down and is pretty much appropriate for every occasion! Pairing it with these over the knee boots gives it a sultry kind of look without being too out there, if you get what I mean, #KeepingItClassy!

Trying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

Doing my best “Wonder Woman” pose

Trying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

I’m very happy I purchased these, and found the confidence to wear them! As an added bonus, they keep the majority of your legs warm as well so it’s basically liking wearing jeans or trousers under your dresses/skirts! (Now there’s a noughties trend I’d like to forget…)

Trying The Trend: Over the Knee Boots

Let me know if you’re rocking the knee highs this Winter/Spring Fashion season

xoxo – “Yer Wan”, Jessie

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Why I Started Blogging & Now Really Enjoy It!

Why I Started Blogging & Now Really Enjoy It!

To be very honest, I set up my blog in order to showcase my writing and content creation skills to future employers. Fresh out of college I noticed whist rifling through job adverts, employers were seeking examples of work through online portfolios, Youtube channels, or blogs.

Why I Started Blogging & Now Really Enjoy It!

Pondering the blogging life…

 

I hummed and hawed for months on whether I could start a blog, an extreme shyness and lack of confidence standing in my way. “People would think I’ve got serious notions” was a very real concern of mine. Who was I to share my opinions and thoughts on the Internet? And then I thought, well, if others are doing it why can’t I? I’ve got things to say, and a unique outlook on life, and maybe someone out there might have an interest in what I have to write, and even if they don’t, who really cares? It’s my blog after all, and if I can impress someone enough to hire me, well then that’s all that really matters! 

So, when I pressed ‘Publish’ on that first blog post, and announced it via an Instagram post my heart was in my mouth. I was so concerned as to what others might think. And to my relief, the response was really positive! No one left negative comments, no one messaged me being nasty, asking who I thought I was putting myself out there online.

Why I Started Blogging & Now Really Enjoy It!

Looking out for them job offers like…

Why I Started Blogging & Now Really Enjoy It!

If anything, the positive response to my blog lead to my confidence growing tenfold. It’s a great way to express creativity, and brainstorming over new content to produce gives me a great sense of purpose. Feeling productive whilst looking for a job is very beneficial to one’s mental health. 

What started as something to add to my CV, blogging has now become a creative outlet. It may not be the most popular of blogs, and I by no means would call myself a ‘blogger’, but growing a small consistent following has become a fun challenge, and I’m proud of my little corner of the internet. 

Why I Started Blogging & Now Really Enjoy It!

I hope to continue blogging and have some more creative ideas coming up for 2018, now all I have to do is a find a means of executing them… *insert pondering emoji here* 

If you’re having doubts about doing something, whether it’s starting a blog like myself, joining a class, or pursuing an interest etc etc, I urge you to just go for it! Honestly, no one will judge you for doing something you’re passionate about, and if they do, it’s them with the problem, not you. It can always seem industries are over-saturated with tonnes of people trying to do the same thing, but sure everyone’s got a unique outlook on life, and if you’ve got something to share with the world you may as well, ain’t no one gonna do it for ya! 

xoxo – “Yer Wan”, Jessie

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My Winter Skincare Routine 2018!

My Winter Skincare Routine 2018!

If, like me, your skin seems to take a strange turn when Winter rolls round and goes from “normal” to as dry as the Sahara desert then these few bits I’ve started using to combat said dryness may be of interest to you!

Winter Skincare Routine!

Cleanser

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, €20.75 Boots

Winter Skincare Routine!

A cult classic, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is a hot cloth cleanser. Meaning you take it off using a hot muslin cloth, which comes included!

The product contains “purifying eucalyptus essential oil, toning rosemary plus soothing chamomile and cocoa butter.”

After cleansing a lot of cleansers can leave your skin feeling really dried out, but this one works so well at removing make-up and the creamy consistency means it doesn’t dry out your skin. It also has a fresh scent that makes your face feel squeaky clean!

Moisturiser

STEP 1) Kiehl’s ‘Midnight Recovery’ Concentrate, €44 Debenhams

Winter Skincare Routine!

This is a little pricey but trust me, a little goes a long way!

Kiehl’s say, “Enriched with a blend of naturally derived ingredients including squalane, evening primrose oil, omega-6 fatty acids, essential oils and lavender. Our formula provides a boost of intensive moisture to dehydrated skin.”

This winter I’ve noticed my skin becoming dry and flaky in patches around my face. Perhaps caused by the constant change in temperature from being outside in the freezing cold to practically sitting on top of the fire/radiator when indoors! Naturally, I took to Google to try suss out a remedy to this newly-found flakiness and was greeted with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I picked mine up in the Black Friday sale so I’ve been using it a while and I’m really impressed! It leaves skin infused with moisture but doesn’t leave that icky oily residue behind. It also smells like lavender so nice to apply before bed!

STEP 2) Simple Rich Moisturiser, €5.79 Boots

Winter Skincare Routine!

I have tried my fair share of expensive moisturisers that promise you the world, but I still find myself returning to the this old faithful. Possibly one of the first skin care brands I used as a teenager, Simple’s Rich Moisturiser sinks into the skin easily, leaving an almost matte like finish.

Simple says “Infused with Glycerin, Allantoin, and Bisabolol known to hydrate, calm, and nourish your skin,”

I use this on it’s own in the winter mornings after cleansing, and use it on top of the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil at nighttime. I’m not going to lie, as my skin got worse coming into winter I became disparaged with this product, but pairing it with something a little stronger has gotten it working again. So I would recommend looking into something to team with your current favourite moisturiser if it’s lagging a bit rather than blowing all your money on the search for a new perfect moisturiser.

Face Masks

B. Revealed Glycolic Cleansing Peel, Superdrug €8ish

Winter Skincare Routine!

My house was freezing taking these shots hence the blue tone to my skin!

Like the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, this is a creamy consistency and you remove it using a hot muslin cloth, which comes included.

Superdrug says “Dull dead skin cells are softened and buffed away to help reveal a more youthful-looking complexion. Contains Glycolic acid exfoliant, soothing Cocoa and Shea butters.”

This is a great way to exfoliate without the harshness of your typical scrub exfoliator. It takes away dead skin cells that often sit on top of your skin causing flakiness, without being abrasive, so great if you have sensitive skin!

Quick Fix Facials Mega Moisture Gel, €5.00 TK MAXX

Winter Skincare Routine!

What they say ” Hyaluronic Acid – replaces moisture and helps provide deep hydration to skin. Vitamin E – full of antioxidants that will help keep skin in good condition. Marine Collagen – a source of collagen which will help skin retain moisture and elasticity.”

 Should your skin be in need of an extra thirst quench in winter, this is worth a go if you’re looking for something cheap and cheery! I use this once or twice a week, especially in those stubborn patches, it also helps the other products you use to get to work!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what your thoughts are!
xoxo – “Yer Wan”, Jessie.
Winter Skincare Routine!
*All Product descriptions taken from Boots.ie, Debenhams.ie, and Superdrug.com*
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