Where did this expectation come from?

A really weird thing has been puzzling my brain lately and it’s about expectation. I think it’s popped in there because I’m nearing my 32nd birthday, I feel old and young at the same time and I’m probably even more directionless than I was at 22. Sure, at 22 I was just finding my feet in terms of a job and I was still living at home, dating a guy I knew I didn’t want to be with and wishing something, anything would change. Now I’m nearing 32, I’m much more confident, (in some ways) I have a better job, a MUCH better BF and a house to call my own…but I feel even more lost than I did before.

At 22 I felt the burden of expectation, I had big ideas and grand plans for my future, I was going to make it. What “it” I was going to make was a little hazy, but I knew I was going to get there. I was comfortable with my discomfort, I needed it to get me out of bed every morning and I wanted to live up to all of the expectations I had placed on myself.

Now, I question whether I was trying to live up to my own expectations of myself or the expectations others had, that I took it upon myself to live up to. Most of the decisions I made were made by carefully weighing up which boxes I could tick in other people’s minds if I did certain things. I made almost no decisions because I felt that gut-wrenching urge to do something. When I look back on that time now, I realise that I probably failed in delivering on the one expectation I’ve always had of myself; living honestly.

If you fail to do what’s true to you, over the years you’ll find yourself becoming more and more enslaved to the expectations of others. Personally, I believe that sometimes people break down when they have the epiphany that actually they can choose which expectations to live up to…but they realise this so late that they crumble under the pressure of change. At 22, I was bumbling around making erroneous decisions and ignoring what my intuition was telling me but I never worried about the consequences because I knew that I could change things at any moment, and I was sure I would.

Today, I can’t even hear my intuition. I’ve buried it so deep that I’ve almost completely lost it. Sometimes I meet a person and it shouts at me, a strong warning that I don’t need that individual in my life, but other than that, it seems to be speaking a different language. So I’m directionless. I don’t even have the direction to ignore in favour of other people’s expectations, all I have is my adopted set of expectations and the awkward feeling that I’ve gone wrong somewhere. On paper that’s not the case but the endless babble sitting in that void in my core tells me otherwise. But I’m nearly 32 now. I have a mortgage. I have a dog. I have a significant other to consider. I don’t know what the rules are and whether I can break them yet; the expectation seems to be that you need to have midlife crisis for that to become permissible and that just doesn’t sound like something people would expect me to do.

Insomnia; Friend or Foe

Hello!!!

Apologies for the lack of recent blog activity, I seem to have been busy living that thing we call life. I say living, I mean I’ve been working my bottom off and spending my spare time sleeping / vegging out!

Right now though, I am on holiday and I swore to myself I would post while on holiday.  What I had envisioned was a lovely, photograph-heavy post, written in the sunshine. What’s actually happened is my insomnia is back with me and I’ve decided to post at 4.30am while the world around me is dark and asleep.

Not surprisingly then, my post is actually going to be about insomnia. It’s a strange thing, this not being able to sleep despite being super tired. I’ve always been a light sleeper and never been an 8 hours a night type of person but the insomnia has only reared its head in the last 5 or so years and I’m really not a fan.

Well, I say I’m not a fan but sometimes, like now, the middle of the night can be really productive. I get books read, writing done, planning done, etc. But then I’m exhausted, my wrinkles are deeper and my eyes more tired the following day. I can easily function for weeks when I suffer this curse but the enjoyment disappears from things because I’m constantly having to battle the scratchy eyes and pounding headache.

People who don’t get this, just don’t understand. They ask questions like, “Did you try closing your eyes? You can’t not sleep with your eyes closed”. Yes I tried closing my eyes, I’m not stupid! Then I tried a sleep mask too because once again, I’m not stupid!  It doesn’t seem to be socially acceptable to suggest that perhaps I am a superior and more complex being than they are, despite them suggesting that I am the utmost simpleton.

Insomnia seems to be divisive, there are those that do and those that don’t, with no bridge of understanding in the middle. I’m honestly not sure whether it’s just a pain in my backside or whether it adds an extra dimension to my world. It’s not necessarily a dimension I ever felt was lacking, but nonetheless, it’s another differentiator between me and Joe Bloggs.

I’m keen to hear from fellow non-sleepers…how you do tackle this beast and what do you think of it? 

Right now, I can hear one of my Schnauzer brothers awake in the next room. If there wasn’t a human in there with him, I’d have a playmate to see me through. Maybe he’ll read this post and “sleep” in my room next time! 

Review: L’Oreal Super Liner Blackbuster

Yesterday I had a little time to kill in town so I popped into Boots to have a mooch and see what new toys I could find. Naturally the 3 for 2 offer on L’Oreal cosmetics caught my eye and I ended up coming out with 3 lovely new products to try. As far as relatively budget beauty goes, L’Oreal and Maybelline tend to be favourites of mine so I was expecting some good things.

The first of the products I have tried out is their Super Liner Blackbuster. This is essentially a black felt-tip pen type eyeliner which massively appealed because I seem to be completely and utterly inept at applying all other forms of eyeliner evenly.

L'Oreal Super Liner Blackbuster, £6.99

L’Oreal Super Liner Blackbuster, £6.99

As you can see, the tip is pretty chunky which led me to believe I could get a reasonably thick application in one go without too much hassle. Wrong! When you apply the product, it actually comes out in quite a thin line unless you try and use the side of the pen which then becomes a bit awkward. It also feels a bit like a felt-tip pen that is coming to the end of it’s life; not a lot of product comes out and it therefore has a tendency to drag the skin, meaning that you don’t get a smooth line as the skin is bunched up. This also means that you don’t get a strong black colour with one layer, you have to go over it a few times to get a really bold look which is a bit of a pain. Ignoring my eyebrow which needs urgent attention, here is a photo I took without mascara so you could see exactly what the liner is like:

EyeNot good, is it???

As for staying power…quite frankly, I don’t care. When the above photo has taken me 2 coats and still looks that bad, this is not the liner me. My usual liquid eyeliner works much better.

Having seen a review of the Cosmetics A La Carte version of this, I think I’ll save my pennies and give their liner a bash instead!

Anyone else tried any good eyeliners for those of us who are not artistically gifted??? x

Friday Lust

Hello my lovelies, it’s that time of the week again when we can all get super excited about the weekend and it’s also nearly pay day so we can start planning what we are going to spend our hard earned pennies on next month 🙂

Despite the rather chilly turn of the weather, I can’t stop thinking about the summer so this week’s Friday lust is another summer buy but I saw them and fell in love, that’s all there is to it!

Melissa Incence Wing, £90

Melissa Incence Wing, £90

Just look at them!!! They’re feminine, cute, sophisticated and part of the monochrome trend that is so big right now all at once…literally perfect! I know £90 sounds a little bit steep but for something as beautiful and striking as these shoes, personally I think it’s pennies and I need to lose weight anyway so bye bye food, hello shoes!

I hope I’ve inspired you to start making a list of all that you want to buy when pay day finally arrives; remember to think Spring/Summer despite the ice on your car windscreen 🙂

Happy Friday! x

First Giveaway – Swarovski Aura Eau de Parfum

Yep, you guessed it from the title… I am doing my first giveaway!

I have a 15ml bottle of the super sexy smelling Swarovski Aura fragrance to give to one lucky person! (Cue, excited jumping around!!!) To enter, all you have to do is follow me on Twitter, etc. (the usual kind of stuff) and the draw will be taking place in a couple weeks 🙂

Providing this giveaway goes well, I’m planning this to be the first of a quarterly giveaway just to say thank you to people for reading my blog. As an FYI, WordPress hosted blogs do not support Rafflecopter properly so you’ll need to follow the link below.

Big loves to you all and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review – Ciate Caviar Manicure (My Version Of)

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard of Ciate’s Caviar Manicure by now but for any of you who haven’t, essentially it’s a manicure set with beads which gives a bit of a caviar look. Check it out on their website here.

Ciate Caviar – Black

You can buy this in black, white and a rainbow colour (I think they did a Jubilee version too) but black is by far my favourite and was definitely the look I most wanted to try. However, it’s £18 for the set which is essentially a black nail polish and a bottle full of black beads. I figured that as I already owned a black nail polish there was no way I was paying that for mine so I made the set myself.

I used an old black Bourgeois nail polish which has excellent staying power (but you can use any) and then bought my beads on ebay. The beads only cost a couple of £s and they are perfect, look just like the Ciate beads.

The method is that you paint 2 coats of the colour onto your nails then whilst they are still wet, you tip the beads onto the nail. Lightly press the beads into the nail and then use a top coat to seal them on. My beads came in a bag so what I actually did was dip my fingers into the bag which meant no spillage 🙂

Here are my pictures – I only did my baby fingers as I wanted to check how long it lasted before committing to full hands!

My Beads

My Nails

I love the look! I couldn’t get mine to look as perfectly nail shaped as they do in the marketing pictures though and that seems to be an issue based on other reviews I have read too.

As for lasting power, I was pleasantly surprised. The odd bead fell off by itself but a day and a half later which included hair washing, typing and filing and they were still in tact. I’m not sure this would be the case if they had been my index fingers but these would definitely last for a wedding or Ascot and they just look so cool! Highly recommended but definitely do it my cheap way 😉 x

My Cameo on Bennis Inc

One of the blogs I read on a regular basis is Bennis Inc, it’s a blog which I find really inspirational. Stephanie Bennis founded Bennis Inc a very short time ago, she’s only in her twenties and she seems to be doing really well. I admire her determination and go-getting attitude and find her blog posts both interesting and motivating; if she can do it, then so can we all, the only person in our way most of the time is ourselves.

Bearing this in mind, when Stephanie launched a competition for guest bloggers, I jumped at the chance. I’m pleased to say that she has published my post on Work / Life Balance and it can be found here. Given that this is a competition, I would really appreciate it if you would pop on over, read my post, like it and also check out the rest of her blog – I think you’ll like it.

Happy Monday everyone and please help me win the competition! x

30 Days of Truth…or Self Indulgence???

At some point or other every week I like to have a mooch around on WordPress to see what other people are blogging about or have blogged about. Sometimes the posts I read lead to others which also lead to others and I end up in a tangled web of blogging fantasy. This week, I somehow stumbled upon this concept of the 30 days of truth, which essentially is an opportunity to write for 30 days on the following topics:

  1. Something you hate about yourself
  2. Something you love about yourself
  3. Something you have to forgive yourself for
  4. Something you have to forgive someone else for
  5. Something you hope to do in life
  6. Something you hope you never have to do
  7. Someone who has made your life worth living
  8. Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly
  9. Someone you didn’t let go but just drifted away
  10. Someone you need to let go or wish you didn’t know
  11. Something people compliment you most on
  12. Something you never get compliments for
  13. A band or artist that got you through tough days
  14. A hero that has let you down
  15. Something or someone you could not live without because you tried it
  16. Something or someone you definitely could live without
  17. A book you’ve read that changed your views on something
  18. Your views on gay marriage
  19. Your views on religion and / or politics
  20. Your views on drugs and alcohol
  21. (Scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you fought with them an hour before. What do you do?
  22. Something you wish you hadn’t done
  23. Something you wish you had done
  24. Make a playlist for someone and explain why you chose those songs
  25. The reason you believe you are alive today
  26. Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
  27. What’s the best thing going for you right now?
  28. If you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
  29. Something you hope to change about yourself and why
  30. A letter to yourself, telling yourself everything you love about yourself
At first I thought, great idea! Some of the topics are better than others but what the heck, at the very least it could be some kind of therapy. However, I then started reading some of the posts on the first topic, hating yourself. Now the blog where I found this idea actually had a pretty good post, some of it I can sort of relate to, you can read it here. However, when I started looking at what some other people had written, it was just the biggest bunch of drivel ever!
People were writing things about hating how everyone can see their potential but them, etc. and to me that is just asking for an ego massage. It’s like when people put really emo statuses on FB and you want to punch them in the face and tell them to man up. This all got me to wondering when we decided that sharing and caring means attention seeking in a negative way rather than doing something to actually make others want to lavish their attention on you. If you lack in confidence so much, why are you so aware of it and choosing to do nothing about it? Most likely because you are a pampered, over indulged little brat surrounded by others in the same boat who feed the negative beast within you and actively encourage this ridiculous behaviour.
So, to get to the crux of my rant, I’d like to send a message to the world to remind everyone that the universe is bigger than you are so essentially nobody cares about you until you do something to make their existence a little bit easier or happier. Therefore, my advice to all these emo bloggers is: get off your fat asses and actually live your life. Then, and only then, other people might start to find some value in your existence and give you the attention you crave! Point made.
Hopefully this week I will find something a little more exciting on my travels through WordPress 🙂