Winter Favourites 2014

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Well, it is March which means Winter is over and Spring is here! Below are some of the things I have loved from Winter.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – This sponge is absolutely amazing and I have been using it all winter. It makes my foundation go on so smoothly and flawlessly. Absolutely wonderful – and definitely lives up to its name! Image

Benefit POREfessional Primer – This primer is definitely one of my winter favourites this year. Check out my full review on it right here if you haven’t already, which pretty much sums up my love for it.

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Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – Since Naked 3 came out, I have realised I have not even bought Naked 2 yet – so I decided to just buy it as I have wanted it for a long time. I love it. I have been using YDK a lot. However, I will be buying Naked 3 very soon.

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Demi Lovato: 365 Days a Year – Staying Strong – I bought this book at the end of 2013 and I thought it would make sense to start reading it from the 1st of January. The layout of this book is interesting. Each individual page is dedicated to one day of the year until 31st of December. So, I am reading it the way it should be read. Every morning, I wake up and read a quote from that book – it helps me be more positive and think about each thoughtful quote and act on it. I highly recommend this book if you are going through a hard time.

ImageTiesto – Red Lights – I have loved Tiesto for years and I was about to see him live with Calvin Harris in December but I had to miss that gig unfortunately as I was not well. I have been really loving his new song ‘Red Lights’ – a really happy song and I love listening to it on the tube!

ImageBBC Get In Event – On February 11th, I went to the BBC Get In Event held by BBC Academy. I went to the London event at New Broadcasting House. As I am in my third year at university and thinking about graduate schemes and careers, I felt like I needed some advice directly from the BBC on how to get in and so this event was very useful for the application of the Production Talent Pool – which opens next week. I met some really nice people and got some fantastic advice from Simon Wright – BBC’s Talent Executive and Don Kong –  BBC Academy’s Programme Coordinator.  We did some group work – we had to develop a BBC programme idea and pitch it to them, which was very helpful for the application. Very much enjoyed that day and it is always lovely to be back at BH.

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How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

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We often underestimate the benefits of sleeping well and most of us do not even get a good night’s sleep which can affect our mood and skin. A lot of things can get in the way of our sleep, mostly stress. I know how tough it is to toss and turn all night. Even when you are tired, you just cannot seem to fall asleep and it is so frustrating because you find yourself feeling overly tired during the day.

There are things you can do to fall asleep.

No Technology – This is something I have been told many times, which is to turn off all technology an hour before bed. This means no TV, no iPhone, no laptop. When we are so focused on screen after screen, our brain is still alert and when we go to bed straight after, our mind is still focused on that. Give yourself an hour before you go to bed to switch off all technology, until the next day.

Tidy Your Bedroom – I say this all the time. A clean and tidy bedroom constitutes to a good night’s sleep. It is amazing how the environment you are in can affect your mood and sleep. Give yourself some time at the end of the day to make your bedroom look nice and cosy and also, make sure the temperature of the room is perfect. You do not want a really cold bedroom or a very hot bedroom. Try and find that perfect temperature, which will in turn make you feel rather relaxed and hopefully make you fall asleep easier.

Read – Reading is something that I often do when I switch off my technology an hour before bed. Make sure what you are reading is rather positive though. You would not want to read a negative book before bed because that can affect your sleep. I like to read motivational or self-help books before bed.

Journal – What I like to do at the end of everyday is to write in my personal journal. It could be about anything. Writing down about how my day went at the end of the day is like ticking the day complete and it is like saying I am ready for the next day. I write everyday and if writing is something that you like, before bed is a really good time to write, as it is relaxing and reflecting on the day, good or bad, makes you feel so much better.

Hypnosis – This is very optional but what I find works for myself is listening to medication or hypnosis audios in bed. I am really into self-development and so listening to positive audio’s makes me feel rather calm and sleepy. I really love Joseph Clough‘s Hypnosis app and I listen to his podcasts every night to make me fall asleep. He has great hypnosis for different issues, so if you have an issue which may be holding you back in life, have a listen to some of his podcasts. They help immensely with looking at life in a different way and sleeping too!

Sleeping Schedule – Finally, get into a sleeping routine. If you go to bed at different times every night, your sleeping will definitely be out of whack. However, if you go to bed at the same time every night, you will sleep much better and wake up at the same time. I go to bed at 10pm every night and wake up at 6am every morning. So I get a good 8 hours sleep every day, which is what most adults need.

My Pamper Evening Essentials

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What I like to do every week is to have a nice pamper evening to relieve stress and just have some ‘me’ time. I know how stressful you can get when you have studying to do, a job or kids to look after. That does not mean you cannot treat yourself now and then. A break is what you need to recharge your batteries. In fact, pampering yourself does wonders to your physical and mental state and makes you feel so much better. I always like to have my own pamper evening once or twice every week and this is what I usually do…

DSC00822Relaxing bath –  A pamper evening always should include having a nice relaxing bath. It will not be a pamper evening if a bath is not included because that bath is what relaxes and soothes you the most. Recently, I have been buying bath bombs from Lush because they are amazing and makes you feel fresh and lovely. You need something special on a pamper evening. My favourite bath bomb is the Avobath made with avocado, olive oil and lemongrass and it smells amazing.

Exfoliating Face Mask – An exfoliating homemade face masks are the best for a pamper evening. My favourite is definitely my Manuka Honey and Sea Salt mask. Great for acne-prone skin.

DSC00785Candles – I love candles. I burn them while I study too. They put you in a rather relaxing mood. Yankee Candles are expensive but they last a long time and get the whole room smelling lovely. I was looking for the Christmas Cookie recently but they were all sold out, so I settled for the  Strawberry Buttercream instead. It is absolutely gorgeous. I burnt it only once and everyone says it got the whole house smelling nice let alone my bedroom. Scented candles are a must for a pamper night.

Clean and Tidy Bedroom – Along with that, I always make sure I have a tidy bedroom and some fairy lights turned on. It just makes me feel so much relaxed and cosy. Below is my bedroom – well half of it anyway.

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Book – I love cosying up in bed with a good book. I am currently reading Madness by Marya Hornbacher for the second time.

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Nail Polish – Something rather girly! A pamper even will not be a pamper evening without painting your nails. My favourite is the Essie ‘Fishnet Stockings’. A lovely deep red. It looks beautiful on. 13249384

I think I will have a nice pamper evening on New Year’s Eve. Perfect way to end 2013 don’t you think?

Book Review: Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography

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Having spent a couple of years writing down his best (and worst) moments about his time of being the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson who retired this year, could not have found a better time to release his official autobiography.

He kicks off quite rightly talking about the moments leading up to his retirement – how he broke the news to everyone, especially the team. “My speech on the pitch was all off the cuff. I had no script. All I knew that I was not going to praise any individual. It was not about directors, the supporters or the players: it was about Manchester United Football Club.”

He told everyone to support the new manager David Moyes. “The club stood by me. All my staff stood by me. The players stood by me. So your job now is to stand by your new manager. That is important.”

Splitting up certain chapters to talk about certain players in detail, he dedicated each chapter to the big players he signed and who he had a rather questionable relationship with. He talks about David Beckham and how he saw him grow up and that he felt like a son to him but then he talks about Beckham choosing to be famous after falling in love with Victoria.

He also talks about his handling of Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy as well as Wayne Rooney and Christiano Ronaldo.

He says that he criticised his players to keep them motivated and working hard. “Faced with the need to confront a player who had performed below our expectations, I might have said, ‘That was rubbish that,’ but then he would balance it out with a bit of encouragement. ’Why are you doing that? You’re better than that,’ which goes to show how he made it as a good manager sticking with the team for 27 years.

This book is a must read for Manchester United fans but it is also a must read for sport fans in general. Managers can pick up a few good tips from this book as well but also, strangely enough, whilst reading this book, it seemed like I went inside the mind of Ferguson. I got to know how he thinks like, why he thinks the way he does and so this book can also be a good read for psychologists.

I bought this book to read because I am very interested in legendary authoritative figures and what makes them so successful and how they become such a good leader. I am also very interested in psychology and found myself analysing bits from the book. I must say, I enjoyed the book tremendously and it was such an inspiring read as well. In a way, this book is saying not to give up from anything you do in life because Ferguson shows that working hard will be worth it in the end.

It is wonderfully written and crafted and it shows us the enthusiasm, the ambition and the determination of a man who has achieved a lot in his career. By reading this book, you would know that Ferguson is a proud man who retired as a winner.

Book Review: Love You Bye: My Story by Scott Mills

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Being the radio geek that I am, a few months ago I finally bought Scott Mills’ book about his career and all the troubles he faced along the way. If you do not know who Scott Mills is, he is a BBC Radio 1 DJ and presents a weekly mid-afternoon show on the station.

One reason why I bought this book is not because I am a fan of Scott but because I faced (and still facing) similar struggles to him and this book has been so inspiring to me.

In the book, he talks about being homosexual and his visit to Uganda to film a BBC documentary called ‘The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay’ about the illegality of homosexuality in the country, which must have been very tough for him to do.

He also talks about his journey to becoming a successful radio DJ whilst also battling crippling anxiety which is what I could relate to. Also, he talks about the losses in his life, his relationships, his friendship with David Hasslehoff, his weight and drinking problems and how it overcame them all.

He is very honest yet very funny in the book, which is what I loved the most. Something I could relate to was his battle with anxiety.

“My way back from hospital radio sacking came through work experience at Ocean FM, a proper radio station. Every Saturday I would turn up and do whatever menial tasks were asked of me. I would happily have dropped out of school and spent all my time in the studios if I could. Ocean FM gave me a sense of purpose and made me feel much happier and more secure, so it’s a mystery as to why I began to suffer from crippling panic attacks at around the same time as I started working there.”

This paragraph stood out to me because I completely understand how he felt. Radio is something that makes me feel happy and makes me forget about all the bad stuff but it is not easy when you have anxiety, This paragraph reminds me of my work placement at BBC Radio 4. Working there changed my life yet I battled severe social anxiety whilst working there but it was the first step to getting better and facing my fears.

When you have anxiety, people think you cannot do jobs that require you to speak. I often get told how am I even a journalist because I am so quiet but that is the thing. I challenge the fear, just like Scott Mills did.

This book was great in the fact that you get to see how he made it big and got a job on a station like Radio 1. Following his career since I was little and being on a journey to a career in the radio industry myself, it was an enjoyable and inspiring book to read and I highly recommend it to radio fans but also if you suffer from any form of anxiety too.