2017: Live for Today

Happy [belated!] New Year!

It seems pretty fitting to start off 2017 with positive intentions for the year, and that’s why I just felt as though I had to share my thoughts on Stylist magazine’s recent article (Jan 11th issue) with guest writer Annie Slater.

I immediately recognised Annie after seeing her on First Dates a month or so back and she struck me back then as an incredibly inspiring woman who simply had the most amazing outlook on life.

Reading Annie’s article in Stylist on my daily commute home actually brought me to tears and I felt urged to pass it on making my mum and sister read the article!

I think what really hit home was how Annie absolutely hits the nail on the head with her outlook on life and I 100% intend to take a leaf out of her book and simply live life in the present. Living life in the present and not dwelling on things in the past that did or didn’t happen isn’t a brand new revelation, but the simple, honest approach … takes in life, genuinely appreciating every achievement and seeing each day as an opportunity to be had however small.

The other message which really resonated was to not envy the lives of others as we see them through social media which is so true as it is so so easy to become so wrapped up and view our own lives as below par or unsuccessful when we should really celebrate where we are and what we have accomplished, without constantly comparing to those whose own race is completely unique to them and perhaps skewed by social media.

Let me know if you also read this article I would love to hear your thoughts!

xx

Activewear Goals

I am currently feeling dedicated and motivated with my health/fitness and striving towards my goals. Soooo of course I want to feel and look good whilst doing it and have been lusting after some amazing activewear.

Also – is anyone else slightly obsessed with motivational fitness inspired Instagram pages yaaahh?? My three faves at the moment are coincidentally Aussie gals Steph Pacca, Bianca May Cheah of Sporteluxe and Natasha Oakley swimwear designer.

Anyway so there are some pretty good sites out there dedicated to activewear – even if you’re a die-hard Nike fan, there’s some really cool and stylish brands out there that are fast becoming popular amongst gym bunnies. And so you don’t have to trawl through the internet to find some nice pieces to add to your collection!

Activewear Buys

Can you notice a lil bit of a theme going on here…?!

I love the idea of darker tones for workout clothes to help avoid the dreaded sweat stains visible on lighter colours…no shame in working out hard – I always feel as though I’ve had a good workout if I’ve had a good sweat, but sometimes it’s not the most desired look!! Click the links below to have a nosy!

Onzie Mesh Panel Legging // Lorna Jane Sports Bra // Slinkii Athletic Tank Top // Polar FT60 // Sweaty Betty Run Top // Sweaty Betty Luxe Gym Bag

Other websites to definitely check out >>>>>>>>

LuLuLemon // Missguided // Fabletics

So yeah! I have kinda come to realise that workout wear is pretty expensive, but if I would spend £70 on a dress why wouldn’t I invest  in clothes that [[perosnally]] have a positive effect on my workout! I think I have definitely taken some inspiration from my time spent living in Melbourne with this whole gym wear thing (they take it very seriosuly over there, I wrote a post about it here) I even spent the afternoon in my gym gear yesterday (clean ofc) just because…and I swear it boosts my attitude!!

And one last thing – I have a kinda guilty lil confession to make, I have become slightly addicted to the iPhone app MyFitnessPal – so much I had a dream about it!! <<< Issues, I know!! But if any of you haven’t checked it out it’s worthwhile, it definitely has made me more conscious of making food choices.

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend – first day of my new job today ahhh!!

Why I Have Down-Graded My Skincare

Skincare Update

– ‘Down-graded’ in the sense of trying to get back to basics and simplicity in skincare.

At 24 there is something I have realised – I no longer want to use harsh/unknown/animal-tested products in my life anymore. You would think this would have clicked a lot sooner having being vegetarian/vegan on/off for years, but somehow the whole skincare part slipped my mind. I guess in an ideal world, wouldn’t everyone love to use all natural skincare – so we truly know what we are using?

Okay so I’m not quite there yet – but lately I have definitely been making a more conscious decision to change to products that are at least cruelty free where I can, and not so full of ingredients that I’m unaware of. But it’s also kinda a brand vs quality thing too, I have worked for a skincare/cosmetic brand and throughout that time heavily used higher end products in my routine…butttttt I have since found some great products that are just as good if not better at doing the same job and have not regretted the switch!

Sooooo here are some of the products I have switched to recently

New Skincare Staples

Going in order from L-R…

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Garnier Micellar Water

So I want to say first that I’m pretty sure Garnier does involve animal testing so I feel kinda guilty for using this product but I am looking out for alternatives! Aside from that it does do a pretty good job at cleansing and removing makeup. I have an oily skin type so I hate makeup removers that are oily/greasy on the skin. This literally feels so fresh on my skin and removes all my eye makeup.

Simply Pure Light Moisturiser Sensitive Skin (Superdrug)

Simply Pure Moisturiser

Kinda in love with Superdrug’s own brand products as they aren’t tested on animals/cruelty free! And I wanted a very light moisturiser that sinks in to the skin pronto and this lil one happened to also be on offer! It’s 75ml size too and usually the more high-end moisturisers that I have used before are 30-50ml so it’s definitely a mega bargain!!

Bare Minerals Firming Eye Treatment

Bare minerals eye cream

I have always been a bit of a stickler for eye cream, I have no real concern for the skin around my eyes (yet!) but just the fact that is so much more delicate then the skin on the rest of our face (50% thinner to be exact) makes me want to pay it some tlc. Bare Minerals also states that it does not test on animals – yey! It’s a really nice consistency – not too light or too heavy, and blends in really nicely. Its a 15ml tube and seriously last me f-o-r-everrrr!!

Deep Action Deep Cleansing Lotion (Superdrug)

Deep Action witch hazel

So I use this bad boy as a toner (so after cleansing and before moisturising) and it makes my skin feel uber clean. It has salicylic acid and witch hazel to help clean and tighten pores and eliminate excess shine – phew!! Again its not tested on animals/cruelty free, it’s inexpensive and honestly lasts me forever (I know I’m saying this about every product but I swear it’s true!!)

Okay so this next thing might have you a little bit like WTH but after reading Fashion Lush’s blog post on it I have been kinda hooked on this ever since…

Jade Face Roller

Jade Face Roller

Okay so basically you use this roller to help massage your mositurising products in to your skin – the smaller end for the eye area and around the nose, the larger end for the rest of the face and neck area. It’s freakishly amazing and literally feels as though it has been stored in a fridge – the jade feels super cooling on your skin which really seems to help perk my skin up in the morning. Totally swear by it! Fyi – I googled jade face rollers and bought this one from a website and it cost me about £3 total!!

…Annnddd finally the no.1 most useful, cruelty free skincare product that you NEED to have is…

Coconut Oil!!

I use it on my hair as a deep conditioning mask the night before washing, I use it to oil pull (post coming soon) to whiten my teeth, as a lip balm and on areas of dry skin! You can also use it as a cleanser/makeup remover if you maybe have drier skin or prefer an oily consistency to remove makeup!

So there it is! I did do a skincare routine post back when I was living in Australia which hasn’t changed too much apart from I have substituted or ‘downgraded’ some of the higher end products for the ones you see here. For me it wasn’t an issue with the price of skincare – as I do believe in investing in taking care of your skin, but the fact that there are a lot of similar products with very similar standards of quality and that aren’t tested on animals so it has just been a natural move which I am still continuing to do!

What skincare switches have you made? What are your favourite products? I would love to know!

Happy Hump Day!

21 Gossip Girl Quotes To Live By

GG pic

First things first lets address the elephant in the room and lemme start with a huge-ass apology for going all MIA on you guys and seriously no real excuse here I just seem to have waaayyy lost track of my days and feel like I have been pretty busy! So to fill you in on life in general I start a new job in a week and a half and have been planning on redecorating my room and a ton of other things I can’t think of but yesssssssssy I’m super excited to start my new job!

So the post is pretty straight forward – it’s a way of me showcasing my love  PURE ADORATION for gossip girl. I have been watching it on Netflix and I have felt a real bond to it this time round, I swear I feel as though I’m a part of it and even sported a Blair-esque headband for one day!! And I’m so close to finishing watching it all and so I have kinda postponed watching series 6 (serious issues I know) so I can drag it out a lil longer.

And if you haven’t realised it, gossip girl is literally a hive of life quotes an advice to live by. Really. So I have decided to quote my fave GG words of wisdom and share them right here with you guys…be prepared to re-evaluate your whole existence and live life the only way possible (the GG standard of course)

1. You’d better not be selfish. A woman remembers.

2. Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.

3. Earn the spotlight on your own merits. You’ll feel better.

4. Here’s my advice: Have a little faith, and if that doesn’t work, have a lot of mimosas.

5. If you go back with an uncertain heart, there will be drama and disaster for all.

6. Doing the right thing takes courage and strength.

7. Sex is meaningful, like art. And you don’t rush art.

8. I’m not a stop along the way, I’m a destination.

9. You don’t give up on the people you love.

10. Nothing lasts forever. And when one door closes, another one always opens. The only question is: Who’s waiting behind it?

11. People don’t tell you who you are. You tell them.

12. Things have a way of working out when you least expect.

13. Even when you’re not sure where you’re headed, it helps to know you’re not going there alone. No one has all the answers. And sometimes the best we can do is just apologize. And let the past be the past. Other times, we need to look to the future. And know that even when we think we’ve seen it all, life can still surprise us. And we can still surprise ourselves.

14. We always need a place to call home. Because without the people you love most you can’t help but feel all alone in the world.

15. No matter how far you run, you can never truly escape, everything catches up to you at the end and when it does, it usually kicks your ass.

16. Sometimes the only thing left to do is wrap your arms around each other one last time and then just let go.

17. There’s a difference between a great love, and the right love

18. If two people are meant to be together, eventually they’ll find their way back.

19. Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be. And sometimes you have to venture outside your world in order to find yourself.

20. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but what a difference a day makes.

21. Sometimes you have to allow yourself to be weak in order to grow stronger.

 

 And seeing as though this is a pretty lengthy post I will leave it here with the promise of being back to my regular kinda posting style!

Ps my fave quotes are no. 13 & 19 which ones are yours? Do tell!! ♡

How To Fake Blog Editing Like A Pro

Blog Editing

I love blogging and it definitely must be close to a year since I started TheGlowDown – I feel terrible for not remembering, I honestly feel as though I have forgotten an important birthday!

There are so many blogs out there that editing your own blog is essential to help create the best possible version of your blog/brand/image. And yep, if you want to take blogging seriously it is likely you’re gonna need to invest your time and a lil £ in your tools used to edit and create. But don’t panic, you don’t need the latest MacBook or Photoshopping tools to help create your vision, just some time, patience and drive to get your blog looking pro!

Here are just a few low-budget, user-friendly programs/tools/apps I use to make the most out of my blog…

iPiccy

iPiccy

Great for photo editing – slightly similar to Photoshop but free! You do need to register and create an account, but once you do your images you upload for edit are saved to your profile. I have probably used this program the most for photo editing such as adding clip-art and adding text.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey

So you have probably heard a lot more about PicMonkey than iPiccy for photo editing. Again it is free and you don’t actually have to register/create an account with this one. It is super user friendly and a little more visual with the different tools you can use – a definite must-have editing tool if you aren’t too used to any other photo editing programs.

Polyvore

Polyvore

So it took me foreverrrrrr to figure out this was the program everyone was using to create those perfectly simplistic outfit wishlist style posts. Simply go online and create an account and you’re ready to start creating your own collage of fashion/beauty/home wants. There is minimal editing with the images you chose to make up your collage, however you don’t really need to over-edit these kinda posts. The great thing too is that you can add a sort of toggle bar (that polyvore automatically creates for you) so people can easily shop your looks/items!

WordPress

Wordpress

So I feel like this is kinda an obvious one, and if you’re already blogging chances are you have either heard of WordPress or you’re already using it! But I decided to include it just for those who may be using the Blogger platform to see as a comparison. It is a little more complex to use – editing a blog post itself is pretty simple and easy, but there are a lot more tools to help edit your blog on WordPress which may be a little daunting, but personally I definitely think it’s the better platform out of the two.

Etsy

Etsy

So you might be wondering why I have included Etsy for a post on how to edit your blog like a pro but waitttttt…if like me you are still discovering and learning about the world of html, then you might want to check out some of the amazing blog templates or custom designs that people sell on Etsy. I think a big part of blogging is creating your personal style and brand, and that definitely comes across in your blog design. So unless you are a whizz-hand at blog design, do look in to blog friendly template designers.

iPhone Editing Apps

Iphone Apps1   IPhone Apps2

Ahhh okay so this is kinda like find the apps but I will give a brief overview of the ones I use for editing photos for my blog!

PicFX – great little app for adding light effects to photos, for example when ‘orbs’ appear on photos, you can add these to your photos in a creative way.

Evernote – so this isn’t a photo editing app but it does help with the editing of my blog. I use it to create checklists and to write down blog ideas when I’m out and about and getting out my notebook isn’t so doable.

Moldiv – this one I have been loving lately. Great for creating collages or adding text to images.

Afterlight – this is the only photo editing app I have that wasn’t free, but for 79p you still can’t go wrong. Perfect app for editing photos – esp. if you have taken photos without great lighting and need to edit them to look lighter/brighter.

Fotor – again, a great app for creating simple but effective collages.

& Other Tips

So here are a few quick blogging tips I want to share with you guys that help to make the most out of your blog…

+ Use Bloglovin (follow me here) to promote you blog posts and also to connect with other blogs

+ Hootsuite is a great way to schedule social media posts to promote awareness of your blog

+ StumbleUpon is a great website that allows you to submit links to your own blog posts, but also to ‘stumble’ across other people’s blogs

+ Get organised. Use your phone notes, a notebook, an organiser or create your own blogging calender. Getting organised = more balanced, professional and focused blog

+ Use Instagram and We Heart it for simple images and inspiration (just be wary of copyright issues)

+ Be social media savvy. Everyone says it but it is soooo relevant to blog promotion today. Fake being a pro who has a team of people working on their social media accounts and link up all your social media content – just make sure you don’t overshare/spam your followers with too much content to handle.

So that is it – my top tips on how to fake blog editing like a pro! I know it’s a pretty lengthy post but I hope you guys find my tips useful – this is my first kinda post like this where I have shared blog tips, but seeing as though TheGlowDown has been running for around a year I thought I would share what I have learnt!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and enjoys the start of their week!

GlowBites X Outfit MashUp

GB18

Excuse time…(yawn) but I have been kinda busy with work and things and have been a lil naughty on keeping TGD updated as I promised I would, but here I am with my regular GlowBites post and shock horror it isn’t food related!! I hope you guys like this kind of post as I don’t do so many fashion related posts and I thought why not share the outfit stages/changes I went through at the weekend trying to pick the right look for a Saturday night in town!

*Just a little warning that if you are offended by cleavage then look away!! (Although lets be calm..it’s only one of the piccies!) Also please excuse any background mess you can spot and the mark on the mirror (grr so annoying) – I didn’t initially think of ever using the pics on my blog!

Outfits

Ok ok ok this is not in any way trying to be an outfit post of the day or a look book – I took pictures of my outfit options so my gfs could help me decide what to wear and thought they would be fun to share!

And just in case you’re wondering, I went with option 5 in the end which is a dress from Aqua that I have only ever worn once before! Which outfit do you guys like best?! Let me know what you think!

GlowBites x My Favourite Blogs

TGD 17

It feels like forever since my last GlowBites post! Sometimes it feels as though every other post is a GlowBites one so I wanted to throw in a few other posts and then of course return to my weekly thaaaang (LOL) And seen as I am loving blogging/reading blogs at the moment (btw…how well are bloggers doing at the moment?!) I thought I would dedicate this weeks GlowBites to the blogs that I without fail check daily, and help to inspire me as a blogger – plus a lil rundown of what to expect from each one if you didn’t already know!!

TGD Fave Blogs

The Skinny Confidential (Of Course)

>>Lifestyle/fashion/beauty/home/DIY<<

Milk Bubble Tea

>>Cute lifestyle bits<<

Zoe London

>>Quirky/edgy lifestyle and makeup bits<<

Cupcakes and Cashmere

>>Amazing home style/DIY bits/Advice<<

BLAWNDE

>>Fashion/Food&Health/Spiritual<<

Western Wild

>>Lifestyle/Advice/Fashion<<

Fashion Lush

>>Fashion/DIY<<

Queen of Jetlags

>>Travel/Fashion/Blog Tips<<

The Sunday Chapter

>>Lifestyle/Recipes/Blog Tips<<


 I love finding new blogs! I have actually written all of these down because my list is getting longer and longer and harder to remember to make sure I check them all! I’m currently loving The Sunday Chapter – she’s an Australian Blogger and I love that her blog is really simple, easy to read but has so much interesting and useful content – a definite recommendation, check her out now!!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far – nearly the weekend woo! What are your favourite blogs?

TheGlowDown Daily Top 10

Daily Habits

Here is my second weekly installment of a how to/DIY/to-do list style blog post and what better way to start your week and your month with making some new and positive changes to you day-to-day schedule!! So I have created my ultimate beauty/mind/health daily to-do list which I intend on doing for at least the rest of this month to help maintain a positive and balanced me! Plus…read on to find out my top secret #1 skincare tip!

 TGD daily To Do

Keep tuned in the next couple of weeks as I totally need to do a couple of posts on oil pulling (which I love) and jade face rolling – bye bye puffiness!

Andddd…here is my #1 to skincare tip (it’s so simple it’s silly)

Pat in your facial skincare products! That’s right – eye creams, serums and moisturisers! Don’t rub them in and drag your skin about, pat them in! They absorb better this way and I always feel as though my skin looks really fresh after doing it! Use your ring finger for around your eye, and the length of your fingers for the rest of your face and pat gently all over (inc your neck) until it is practically absorbed and you’re ready to go!

This week I’m keeping it short n sweet with my top 10 list! What are your daily to-dos for a better you?

How To: Look after you

How To: Look After You

So I want to start another kinda weekly series (checkout some of my regular weekly GlowBites here and here) and I’m really drawn to something that involves lists/how to’s/DIY/top tips as I find I always click on links that share something interesting to do/make. Now I’m not an all-wise guru who knows everything about everything there is to know but I thought it would be fun to share some ways in which I create! And the first idea that popped in to my mind (after a very spiritual/mindful last post) was a sort of how to/to-do list of ways in which we should take time to nourish ourselves – mentally and physically >> in other words how to take care of you…and don’t worry there is nothing expensive or wacky on the list, just a simple (if not ‘obvious) run-down of what works for me…

Mind

Everyone is so different – no two minds are alike. I think it is important to feed our brains in many different ways – enough water, nourishment from foods, sleep, mental stimulation. I think happiness and positivity are key to a healthy mind – I understand this may not be so easy to people suffering from mental health conditions, but I believe a positive mental attitude will always benefit you in life. Worrying always complicates our outlook and can cloud rational judgement (totally guilty here) sometimes it’s best to step back and stop thinking so much and take time to clear the mind – focus on what positive outcomes you may face – most times our worries will not change or affect the course of any actions.

Actually You Can

Sight

This one is kinda personal one for me but I do think it tends to get overlooked. Eye health is so important so make sure you have regular check-ups at the opticians.

Hair

So there are already a million and one tips and tricks that we are always being told to follow to make our hair grow longer, thicker or to get shinier, more voluminous hair. For me having oily hair means I like to keep it really simple but I think it’s something anyone can follow. Shampoo and condition with products that don’t contain sulfates or silicones (and cruelty free if poss!) If you want to go chemical free try out shampoo bars – these ones are great! Use as little heat on the hair and go longer between washes. Coconut oil makes a great over night mask too!

Skin

I think it’s really important to take care of our skin, we seem to forget that it is our biggest organ and therefore the most obvious part of us that radiates how we nourish and take care of ourselves. Moisturize everyday and I promise you will see a difference – skin looks more firm and toned, colour tone improves and so much more!

Body

So by this I am talking about fitness. I really believe that if you truly want to give yourself the best possible chances in life then you really need to take care of you body. Diet isn’t enough – period. There are far too many benefits of exercise to mention but I love the mental benefits you get from it – how good it makes you feel about yourself, how you are mentally and physically working towards something. I don’t care who you are, you are lying if you don’t feel more positive after a workout!

Health

AKA nutrition and what you put in that pie-holeeeeeeeee. I’m vegetarian but any diet has the same principles and food groups – not all protein is meat based. If we look to nature, all animals are grazers and eat throughout the day – what I’m saying is it makes sense to eat small meals more frequently than say 3 large meals. It gives the body more time to easily digest and you don’t feel so hungry for longer amounts of lime.

Relationships

Relationships are the sum of our mental and physical being. We need to be treated no less than we deserve. Stand up for what you believe in, but also remember it is always about give and take and balance. You will never be truly happy with others unless you are happy within yourself – don’t place the search for happiness in others. Be true to who you are, be kind and honest. << Big believer in karma!

Happiness

I would love to hear your input on some of these ideas and what you guys do to look after your well-being!

GlowBites

GB16

Sweeeeet 16th GlowBites post! The piccie I’ve used above is actually one that one of my best friends took on her travels in Aus and I can’t believe how amazing and kinda surreal it looks! – – Thought I would use it to try and get in the mood for summer (ages away I know!) and also because this weeks GlowBites is based on positivity and mindfulness and I feel like this pic radiates positiveness and serenity!

So I was inspired to pull together a few quotes that I have loved recently, and this post was kinda inspired too by posts from Annie at Blawnde and Kaitlyn at WesternWild – and who doesn’t love a motivational/inspirational quote…that’s what Instagram and Pinterest are there for – that and selfies!!

Quote Collage

>> Sorry that the quote on the right of the middle row isn’t so clear…it reads,

“How do you know when it’s over?”

“Maybe when you feel more in love with memories than the person standing in front of you.”

It’s hard to pick a fave out of all of these because they’re all so meaningful in different ways! Personally I’m a bit of a worrier and an over-thinker so it’s good to remember to let go and that whatever the worry it won’t change things! And that whatever the circumstance, you deserve to be happy and treated the way you want to be – something I think is really important. I esp love the very middle photo – as an extra hour spent awake creates the possibility for you to do anything…you can do so much with your time if you learn how to, and we all get  tired and caught up in things but it is seriously an hour of your life that can be spent more wisely and with intention.

Fave quote/poem

But this one is my absolute favourite – basic message >> don’t try to justify your own happiness by filling it with other people who may not meant to be, don’t look for your own happiness in others. Once you open yourself up to creating your own happiness, you attract the right ones in to your life which help complete it [life]

So on that big-ass philosophical note I will end it there for this weeks GlowBites! What are your favourite quotes, I would love to know!