25 Days of Christmas 2016
#4 | November Favourites
I haven’t done a favourites post since my first one in May. Not going to lie it’s very hard to figure out things you’ve used that month, what you’ve done and what you liked best but I figured I’d give it another go! This may also include things I’ve been using for a few months – including November.
It’s taken me a while to find a shampoo and conditioner I really like. There are some which I like when I first start using them: for example the Tresemme Oleo Shampoo and Conditioner – when I started using it I thought “this is great, does exactly what it says and makes your hair feel lighter” however, after a month of using it I realised it made my hair frizzier and all around I didn’t like the effect.
The Keratin Smooth however, I really love using. I love it anyway but the hair mask is probably my favourite part because it feels so lovely and smooth when using it and afterwards my hair feels so soft! The ends of my hair (which I really need to get cut) also look so fresh! Definitely something I’ve been loving using.
This was all half price when I bought it so that was an added bonus.
I’ve been trying to focus a lot on my skincare – mainly because I honestly don’t have much of a skincare routine, but I want to change that! It’s definitely not 100% because I need to find more products which will hopefully be good.
The Facial Wash is lovely! I use it with an electronic rotating facial brush (cheap and cheerful from Amazon while I figure this whole thing out) in the mornings, and evenings once I’ve taken my makeup off.
I love it! Now, because I’m new to this I’m not sure what to look for however, I do know I’ve always had quite sensitive skin (I once came up all red due to some face paints) and so I’m always wary about trying new skin products. This doesn’t flare anything up, there’s a little redness after use but I think that’s just the warm water and process as it dies down very quickly.
It also smells so nice! It’s definitely not over-powering but just adds to the experience. It’s something that doesn’t make the routine seem like a chore, there are times where if I forget to use it before bed I’m so annoyed (and sometimes will get up especially to do it). So definitely a favourite of mine!
So, previously to take my makeup off I’d use just a general cleanser and rub all the makeup away. It always felt really rough, it’d leave traces in the morning and overall I never enjoyed the experience. Honestly, I didn’t know it was possible to enjoy the experience.
I was wrong.
When I first decided I wanted to start a skincare routine I scoured YouTube videos galore and they all had such great advice and information. One that popped up quite frequently was this product. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it as I hadn’t heard of covering your face with the cream, running a cloth (??) under hot water and gently cleansing everything away. It seemed really weird… so obviously I wanted to try it, and I’m not sure I can go back.
I love this! It feels so much nicer than what I was used to and it’s also a lot easier! I feel it’s more gentle and just something else which adds to the experience. Again, I didn’t know taking my makeup off could be an experience, this makes it one! I’m sure there are so many other Hot Cloth Polishes which work just as well (or maybe better) but at the moment I am completely in love with this one and already ordered a replacement for when mine runs out.
The best part is my sister really doesn’t get how it works and so steers clear of it. Win-Win!
Now, a lot of the products by this person (company?) are actually on the pricer side. This may be reasonable for what it is and I’m just so new that it seems expensive, but to me it’s pricy. The Rehydrating Toning Essence is probably the one I was most curious about, I’d seen someone recommend it in a video, and it was the cheaper of all the options… so I decided to try it out.
I really like it, it says it’s for all skin types which suits me perfectly. I feel like it does what it says on the tin, my skin feels calmer and softer. I’m still not sure what I’m supposed to be looking for however, I’ve just been really enjoying using this product.
The place I bought it from had it somewhat cheaper but honestly this seems like it will take an age to run out but when it does I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again.
I’ve had this for a few months now and I have been loving using it! I realised that at the weekends I used to drink virtually no water… sometimes no water. That sounds awful but it’s true. I remember one day I had a headache and it took me ages to figure out why. I’d heard about the water bottles with the times, it was harder to find than I’d expected, then somehow came across the HydrateM8.
So what was initially for weekends slid into work days as well, and I’m glad it has! Even at work, where I thought I was doing well, I wasn’t drinking at all as much as I should have been. It has a really cool design (and you can choose from a selection your favourite) and it just makes you more aware. Sometimes it’ll be 10am and my colleague will say to me “You’re behind” because I’m still on 7am – those are tired days, on those days I find that drinking the water really wakes me up and makes me less groggy as well.
Also, I’m not sure if it’s the water, the new skincare routine or maybe a mixture of the two but I feel like my skin is also looking a lot better.
I can’t see my skin ever being perfect, sadly it’s quite red. It’s rare for me to get spots anymore (though it still happens occasionally) but the redness thing is quite annoying and while it hasn’t disappeared completely it has reduced the redness and it looks a lot clearer, which I’m very happy about!
They even have ones for kids which I think is awesome.
I won’t spend too long on this one however, for two months I came down with about three different illnesses – that was a fun time – however, one of them was a cold and I’d still had the after effects lagging and it really effected my sleep. I’m not the best when it comes to sleeping at night anyway so this was just not helping at all. Someone at work suggested a humidifier, she even found one on Amazon so I really had no excuse. I tried it with Eucalyptus oil and it’s so nice! Admittedly a few of my family thought that there was some sort of fire in my room as the mist looks a lot like smoke, but it didn’t matter. It completely cleared everything up and stopped my wheezing when my head hit the pillow (always the worst time). The one I got also lights up and changes colour which is an added bonus!
Cooking & Baking
I’ve done a lot of cooking recently. Some are oldies but goodies i.e. Homemade Burger & Chips; Pastitsio (a favourite but can’t make too often); Pork & Homemade Chips etc.
And a couple of new ones. Me and my sister made Chicken Pasta Bake, we had no recipe and yet it turned out amazing! This isn’t the one I’m talking about today though.. mainly because we made that yesterday in December so maybe I wait for a December favourites to talk about that!
I did also do some baking at the end of November. This is a rarity in my house because we’re all on Slimming World and we have to be on plan.. which is true but I really wanted to do some baking. So I made some Salted Nutella Cookies and Ho-ly Crap they were amazing & went down really well among friends and family!
The recipe is from a book called Tanya Bakes, I don’t want to put the whole recipe up however, what I will do is leave a link to a video where her husband (Jim Chapman) makes them using her recipe.
Improving Your Creative Writing Course
From the end of September to the end of November I’ve been taking a creative writing course. It has been so interesting to learn about different techniques, how to pull someone in, the editing process and so much more.
We each had to create a 2,500 word story based on two pictures. So far I have over that amount however, the person who runs it is still looking at our work for a further six weeks and will let me know where to cut and improve which I’m really looking forwards to.
I love writing, if I didn’t it would be rather silly of me to have a blog, the thing is writing a short story was such an exciting experience. I hadn’t done one before. I’ve been doing a blog this year, when I was younger I wrote Fan Fiction (though mine was usually based off other works of fiction rather than real people… and it was also much more tame… like K-T at a push) and I’m currently working on a novel *update – I’ve started from scratch* but doing a short story enabled me to try a different genre and even a new POV which I hadn’t considered before. The strange thing is that it just came out that way, it was just natural.
I still have a lot to learn but taking this course made me realise just how much I love it and how much I would love to be a writer as a career. As it stands I have a long way to go, and I do love my job, but I can’t deny there’s a passion there.
I’m going to make this my last one because this is getting to be a very long post. November in general has been a rather experimental month, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it!
Mid-November I went to a Book Fair, with a friend I’d met & made at the writing course. It was such an enjoyable experience. I won’t talk too much about this as I did an entire blog post the other day (which I’ve linked) however, getting to meet the author behind the book, having them share their experience and offer you advice – it was awesome! No other way to describe it, just a fantastic overall experience!