Welcome back!

Welcome back!

Hey everyone, I know it has been ages since I last posted and for that I am sorry, although really the biggest apology that I owe is to myself.

I spent a lot of time and effort setting up my blog and I loved writing and sharing my take on everything from fashion to foundation! A lot has changed in the past few months though, some of which I will share with you in my writing, but it was a perfect storm of life changing events and for a while I kind of lost myself without even realising. It’s funny how you don’t realise how something has changed until it gets back to normal. Like if you’ve ever lost your hearing because of a cold and then one day it suddenly comes back and you realise how amazing it is to hear properly again. That’s what happened to me recently and I realised I needed to stop being unmotivated and get my shine back again and here I am.

I realised as well since I was last here that even if I am not feeling great about myself and the way I look or do makeup or dress, there is always someone else out there who looks at you and thinks “wow I wish I could do that” and that really motivated me to not let those people down.

So here I am, pretty much the same old me but definitely a bit older and perhaps even a bit wiser now too. So what will I be talking about here now? Pretty much the same stuff from my favourite fashions, my go to make-up, real world weight loss struggles, image advice but most importantly this will be a place for me to come and be myself, so I hope you all like it  🙂

Lots of love, Leanne

Life lessons: Get organised, get happier!

Hey everyone, I have a feeling that this is going to be a good blog post and a very apt one too so I’m just going to jump right in.

This year has been the one which has seen some of the most substantial changes in my life happen all at once which naturally causes chaos temporarily. Except the one thing that I find is that actually sometimes chaos happens and then kind of stays with you, which can build up and up without you even realising. I’m not ashamed to say that happened to me in multiple areas of my life and instead of looking at the root cause, I just made excuses.

From not having time to work out, not having an organised house, forgetting things – the chaos was impacting my life in almost every aspect and I didn’t even see how it was connected. And then,  by chance, some alone time and some inspiration from those closest to me, I realised I could achieve whatever it is I want to achieve, but with some focus and organisation.

I can make excuses until I’m blue in the face that changing jobs has left me with less time, but actually I’ve gained time in other areas which I’m just not using  correctly.

I’m very much of the perspective that life is too short to worry or stress (YOLO and all that) but actually it’s eye-opening for me to experience first-hand that stress can creep up on you without you even realising until it is gone. And now my eyes have been opened it’s definitely time to maximise on my awareness and improve all aspects of my life…

For example, a pet stress in my household has always been that I’ve been known to be pretty untidy which can cause wasted time looking for things, or a mammoth cleaning session which takes a whole day. But now I have thrown away anything which doesn’t get use or is just taking up space and make sure to keep on top of everything doing a little every day so it’s never one big task – literally making everything manageable 🙂

Another place I have been slacking is the gym! Last year I was at the gym 3+ times a week and loving it, but after having to take an extended break I haven’t been able to get back into it and instead complain about gaining weight and losing tone whilst effectively doing nothing about it! But not anymore! I’ve started looking at my locations for the week ahead and planning in advance in my google diary when I’m going and for how long as well as looking for different activities I can do to keep my interest, including long walks. Another reason this is so important, is that actually me time at the gym helps relieve any built stresses and gives me an opportunity to get away from my phone and have time just me and my thoughts, which I think we all forget is actually really important.

From the simplest things like picking your weeks outfits on a Sunday evening or having a clear out of your handbags to the bigger things like emptying your loft, or spring cleaning your finances – all these individual steps are likely to have a positive domino effect into so many different aspects of your life, that if you do nothing else this August, set aside only a few hours to reflect, review and plan. As whilst you do only live once, you want to make sure the life you’re living is as happy as you can possibly make it be 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post as I found this really cathartic to write! I’ll follow up over the coming weeks with my gym/food schedules and any updates on how I am moving forward with my planning and organisation!

Let me know in the comments below any life hacks you have that could also help, as I’m always looking to make my life as easy and happy as possible 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

It’s okay to feel flat, fat and fed up sometimes

Hey everyone,

I know I have been rubbish at posting blogs lately, life has been busy in general and after coming down with a horrible chesty infection a few weeks ago, going away on holiday and then having to deal with Andy’s broken wrist since being back it’s all been a bit much! However, I am slowing down a bit to commit to writing some more. Even when I don’t get to post written pieces though, there are always new pictures on Instagram so make sure you stay tuned there if you aren’t already!

This post is a little different for me. I’m focussing on feelings, emotion and life instead of fashion and beauty purely because my blog is like my little online diary. I’ve had a few conversations with people recently where they have confessed they haven’t been feeling so good but seemed so reluctant to talk about it and after hearing that some of their favourite posts of mine were the ones where I was really honest and myself, I was inspired. People several times a day ask “Hey, how are you?” However the only answer it seems okay to give is “fine thanks” which is a shame because if things aren’t fine it’s crucial to talk about it as it really does help! It isn’t something we really talk about, but why shouldn’t it be? So here I am doing my little piece to break down some barriers and to hopefully help start some conversations 🙂

I don’t know if any of you had the same perception as I did when you were younger? At 16 years old I felt being 24 was so grown up and that everyone seemed like they had it all together and yet now I’m here, I don’t feel that way at all. I don’t feel grown up or like a proper adult and I definitely don’t feel like I have my life together at all! Don’t get me wrong, I have a lovely life filled with many wonderful people and experiences and I’m always really happy and grateful, however this is not how I pictured I would be at 24.

I guess looking back I didn’t really ever stop to think how I expected to feel as I got older. And it’s not that I’m scared of getting older as actually I quite like the increasing wisdom and respect which comes with age, however I don’t feel grounded, I don’t feel anywhere near being fully accomplished and I certainly am not at the point where I feel content.

When you are at school people say those are the best years of your lives, when you are in your twenties people are saying the same thing so you begin to wonder “what actually is the best time of your life?” Will you ever have a moment where you wake up one day and think “yeah, I’m happy I have it all together, I know what I wanted and now I’ve got it”?

I actually think that being in your twenties is one of the toughest times of your life. In your teens, people don’t expect much from you except that you will make mistakes and probably be a bit angsty and hormonal and yet in your twenties you’re an adult and people expect you to act like one, eventhough you are still muddling your way through except at the same time working full time, or battling to find a job after uni and probably having to look after yourself at home too. As you approach your mid twenties, questions about when you are going to get married and have kids become more frequent and if, like me, you aren’t sure whether marriage and babies is your thing the response is always “you’ll change your mind, you’re only young”! I’m lucky as I’m pretty self assured and outspoken and luckily supported in all I do by my family, but even I sometimes hear these responses and wonder if I’m normal. But in my logical mind, I want to remind you that we actually don’t know what normal is. Who defines normality? Who defines what is an acceptable way to think and feel.

So I guess all I want to say is, don’t worry and don’t hide how you are feeling. Don’t worry if sometimes you feel fat and frumpy and yet still want to eat every item of food within reach and not go to the gym, don’t worry if you aren’t sure what you want to do or achieve in life or if your views are different to those around you. Just do you – You’re the only one that can and so you should make the most of it!

I hope you liked this post and that it helped if you were feeling at all confused, down or just fed up!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

 

Post Christmas Clear Out

Hey everyone, Merry Christmas!!

Hope you all had an amazing time with your friends and family and enjoyed every second as much as I did 🙂

There are so many plans I have for my blog over the next 12 months but for now I’m going with a simple post – all about getting organised after Christmas (mostly because I am in a bit of a food coma so can’t think too much right now!)

If you are anything like me then the aftermath of the festive season will leave you feeling all a bit stressed and anxious as your house becomes inundated with pressies and people galore, and trying to find room for it all (especially in a little house like mine) can be a tall order!

Today I have spent my time cleaning and organising (as well as stuffing my face with loads of leftovers) to try and get back to some normality which has involved clearing out loads of old stuff, finding homes for lots of new stuff and just generally tidying up a bit 🙂

Honestly, getting your house in order (literally in this case) has left my mind feeling much clearer than it was before and actually it was really simple!

My house before I got organised!

My house before I got organised!

I mean, despite opting in for e-billing for pretty much everything I still get loads of post, and so buying a shredder and getting rid of all the old paperwork was such a quick win. Immediately we had loads less clutter and more room for stuff we actually want! And if you’re reading this I assume you probably got loads of clothes and make up just like I did, so just taking the time to organise it all into however you store your products (I’ll be posting about how I store my huge haul of make up and beauty products soon!) makes such a big difference 🙂 Hanging away all my clothes also really helped especially with my wardrobe organising plan which I posted about a while ago and which is definitely one of the best organising tips I’ve implemented. Plus by organising it all away you actually remember every item which you got!

Anyway, this is probably a really boring post, but basically I just wanted to tell you all that if you are feeling stressed and anxious about finding the time to sort everything and to get back to some normality, take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture! You’re not the only one who is feeling that way and to be totally honest, pretty much everyone is in the same boat at the moment! Break it all down into chunks and do one bit a time, it makes it much more manageable and don’t forget to play some of your favourite tunes as you work to make everything more fun (as organising and cleaning can be totally boring!)

Failing all the above, do some exercise! I enjoy going for a walk in the fresh winter air and clearing my head a bit as it makes everything that you worry about seem completely irrelevant and not only that a good double benefit of the walk is that it’ll help burn off those Christmas calories!!

I hope you enjoyed this post or that you at least found it a little bit helpful to reassure you that you’re not alone if you are feeling a bit frazzled. Do any of you have any top tips for overcoming stress or anxiety? If you do I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Also while you are here look out for the launch of my Youtube channel coming soon as well as my fitness and health series that I’ll be doing to help you beat the bulge (which I definitely need to do after massively overindulging) which will be coming in the next few weeks a long with a couple of surprises I have coming up for you all over the next few months 🙂 As always if you enjoyed this I would really appreciate if you could like, share, comment and follow my blog and for more on me don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @lifestyleforless and Twitter @lifestyle4less!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Happiness Post – 10 Reasons Why You Should Wear As Much (or as little) Make Up As You Like

Hello again bargain hunters! My time is finally freeing up a bit so hopefully several posts a week will become a regular thing from me again, yay!

Now this post is a bit of a different one… As you can probably tell from my other posts I spend a lot of my free time reading articles and blogs about fashion and make up (as well as lots of other stuff). Recently I read an article on Elite Daily (a pretty good website for light-hearted articles) however one particular post that I read really stuck with me. It’s a well written article by a female author basically encouraging you to wear less make up and whilst that might not sound like something to get emotional about, some of her reasons for not wearing make up offended me a little bit. So naturally, I decided to do a blog post in reply to this article about why you should do what makes you happy, even if that is wearing lots of make up!

For many years like lots of other girls I know, I’ve struggled with insecurities about my appearance often wondering if my skin was too spotty or whether my hair was right, whether I looked too short or too fat for my outfit and yet recently what I am coming to learn is that it simply doesn’t matter! I can get in my own head about how I look, but ultimately someone, somewhere will think you look nice and as long as you can be yourself and let your personality shine, that’s all that matters as image isn’t everything. It’s wrong for us as women to put each other down because another girl doesn’t have the right outfit or hairstyle, as everyone is different and ultimately, that’s what makes us all beautiful and interesting! So let’s not dictate to others what they should or shouldn’t look like and instead all do whatever makes us happy and here are my reasons why…

(I would suggest reading the article first so this comparison makes sense – you can read it here!)

Why do I wear makeup?

I wear makeup because I like it! I like the way I look with makeup, I like experimenting with different looks and colours and because I’m rubbish at most arty and crafty things and yet make up and hair is something I’m good at. It helps me express who I am and what mood I am in and a positive side effect of make up is that it makes me look better than I do barefaced 🙂

I wear quite a lot of make up most days, but it helps me feel put together, confident and ready for the day ahead and despite the fact I wear make up it’s not my defining or most memorable feature. I’ve never known anyone refer to me as “the girl that wears lots of make up” so whilst people may or may not appreciate the effort I go to on a daily basis, I know that people are still looking at me as a whole person instead on focussing on what I have on my face.

  1. If we are trying to combat the body ideal, we should also try to combat the makeup ideal.

What is the make up ideal? I can understand the body ideal trying to combat the photo shopped images that we see everywhere, but what is the make up ideal, do we even have one?

One look on social media or through magazines and you see a whole variety of different looks and styles of make up and some images where no make up has been used at all so what does that say to you? To me it says wear whatever you want!

  1. You’ll spend less money.

I kind of agree with this. Wearing make up is an expense, not just a financial one but also one of time. However, who says the amount you have to spend is exorbitant? One look on a blog like mine will show you how to do your face for £5 or get a whole outfit for less than £30! Also, the time and money that I spend on make up to me has more pro’s than con’s. Looking put together put’s me in a good mental space and prepares me for the day. If I went to work without make up on I’d be worried people would be judging me and be far less productive which would probably cost me steps in my career which ultimately affects my ability to earn a good wage. If you want to wear make up think of it as an investment and an enhancement, not the be all and end all!

  1. Applying makeup takes up way too much time in the morning.

No, just no! It doesn’t have to. It takes me about 30 minutes to get ready for work. I shower or bath the night before, leave my hair to dry naturally and then spend my mornings prepping my face and picking an outfit. It helps me wake up, allows me to spend a bit more time with my boyfriend and puts me in good stead for the rest of the day. I have the news on in the background whilst I’m getting ready so I can catch up on current affairs, have chats with Andy about the day which if I wasn’t getting ready I’d spend in bed and this makes me happy and ready for the day ahead. I feel connected to the world, connected to the one I love and ready to hit the ground running. I still have a healthy breakfast, I still have the time to do some exercise and come to think of it if I didn’t wear make up I’d probably be in a much worse place than I am now. That’s not to say you have to wear make up, but don’t make it a time drain, multi-task and do something useful as well like catching up on podcasts or news or having a chat whilst you’re getting ready and if you choose not to to wear make up, then enjoy the extra sleep and make the most of your “free” time 🙂

  1. You’ll feel lighter.

Wearing make up on a hot day isn’t the most fun and this is where choice comes in! If you want to wear make up on a hot day, go ahead, just prep your face properly with a good primer and fixing spray and it will stay in place just fine. If you don’t want to wear make up go ahead, but you’ll still need to wear a good SPF which can often leave you feeling the same way as foundation.

All I have to say is that if you feel heavy with make up on you are probably wearing too much, so think about changing your setting powder to something lighter like L’oreal Magique or opting for a BB cream instead of a foundation!

  1. The guy you like/are hooking up with will see your natural face sooner than you think.

Who cares! I don’t wear make up or nice clothes for men, I do it for myself. If my boyfriend likes how I look then that’s a bonus, but as long as I feel happy then that’s all that matters.

  1. Honestly, the guy you like/are hooking up probably doesn’t know the difference anyway.

Not true! My guy friends and boyfriend can definitely tell when I have less/no make up on! They ask if I’m feeling alright or if I overslept.

I’m sure they would rather I wear make up than feel uncomfortable when I am with them because I don’t have any make up on and vice versa if make up isn’t really your thing. Just feel happy and comfortable and then they won’t notice a difference at all 🙂

  1. It’s better for your skin.

You should definitely check out what’s in the products you’re using! I try not to use anything with too many chemicals and where possible I purchase products which are moisturising and gentle instead of harsh and stripping. Despite all of this and whether you wear make up or not a good night time routine is essential! Shops like Lush now stock completely natural make up if this is more your thing or there are loads of great tutorials on Youtube on how to make you own completely natural beauty products, so if that’s your concern give it a go. But just remember to cleanse and moisturise your face every day and night to help replenish the natural goodness which can go missing during the day whether you’ve dolled yourself up or gone au natural! I like to use Simple’s Cleanser and Toner before applying Olay Regenerist around my eyes, Olay Moisturiser on my face and then applying Sudocrem to any blemishes or pimples (sounds odd but it really works for me)

  1. Taking your makeup off is the biggest b*tch.

I’ll admit that removing your make up can be a chore when you’ve had a bit too much to drink. On the whole though I enjoy taking my make up off and getting into my onesie! It makes it feel like it’s time to relax and draws the day to an end. For me it signifies relaxation and the start of downtime. Like I said, I would recommend having a good evening facial routine anyway, so what is one more step in that process if you want to wear make up?

  1. It’s so easy to do.

This is true and the points the writer makes about gradually reducing the amount of make up you wear are useful, so if you do feel like you wear too much make up or would just like to wear less follow this advice 🙂

  1. Nobody looks at you as much as you look at yourself.

This is true too. We are our own worst critics and see things that others don’t, we can all be self-deprecating and compare ourselves to others, I think it’s part of human nature! But if it makes you feel good to wear make up then do it! If it makes you feel free not to wear make up then do that too.

My whole annoyance about this article was it’s contradiction of itself. The author starts by saying she loves wearing make up, goes on to say by not wearing make up people see the real you and then finishes by saying that other people don’t see you regardless of what you do, which counteracts her earlier points, however the real crux of my frustration is more about who cares! Do whatever makes you happy! Spend less time being anxious or self conscious and enjoy all the good, happy times that come along as much as you can because life is precious and short – and if that means going out dolled up like Barbie everyday, DO IT!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post (this was my all time favourite to write) and if you did please show your appreciation by sharing, liking and subscribing! I’d also love to hear your comments on this post and see how you feel and what your preference is and also to hear what your morning and evening make up and skin care routines are 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx