Oily face whilst reading!

Hello friends! I hope you’re having a good week, month, or year, or perhaps just day! Any amount of joy is enough for me right now, seeing as we’re constantly exposed to depressing, angering or downright frustrating news. It’s everywhere! Somehow even my favourite social media platforms for zoning out have these news stories infiltrating into my feed, ruining my moments of peace.

It’s for that reason I’ve spent a lot more time reading physical books. Now I know there are a lot of discussions over physical versus digital, and I usually do err more on the side of physical. But sometimes you just need the portability and affordability of a digital read. The pandemic hasn’t been all beds of roses, that’s for sure. So, I got into reading on my phone and my tablet… But it was awful. News story notifications pop up, or you get an email from a relative that you don’t like asking you to help them out, or work calls you and you accidentally press the green button because it’s where the page turning button is. I pulled out a selection of books that were in my ‘to read’ pile, switched off all my devices, and sat down to enjoy with a cup of tea.

Here lies my newest problem, and bear with me because it’s not that horrible. I find myself holding the book with one hand and leaning my head on the other. And then my cheek gets super oily, especially if I’m wearing makeup. I started using a cleansing balm. I’m not sure why it helped more than just a regular cleanser, but maybe it was because it was super moisturising. I tend to end up using super drying cleansers that just strip everything away, and that makes it worse in the long run. So, if you have the same problem as me, here’s your fix!

Seeing as there was an easy fix for that, so I guess we can’t really call it a problem. Maybe more of an inconvenience. Look, being able to relax and read is a privilege not all have! I find myself feeling very fortunate that even with everything going on, I’ve still had the opportunity, and the means, to zone out and spend time in new and wonderful worlds. What is literature for? I’ve always found myself more drawn to those novels which build glorious, beautiful scenes and just emerge you in the story, the surrounds, the details! There’s nothing better than the perfect, minute detail which just tells you so much about the characters and the way they live. I could go on and on. But this was about the oily face. So take my advice, or let me know what your solution is!

Career Gifting

I’m sure everyone reading this has at one point in their professional career been involved in a Secret Santa gift giving event with their colleagues. Talking around, it seems like you either love it – your co-workers are fantastically easy to buy for, everyone has a great time, your present was thoughtful etc. – or hate it – generic gifts, you drew a name of someone you barely knew, your giftee obviously didn’t appreciate the hard work you put into their gift etc. – but either way it was a real event! Last year I started a new job in late November, meaning I had already missed drawing names for their Secret Santa. Which, if I’m honest, was quite the relief. The pressure of having to get to know and buy a gift for someone new, before I’d really gotten the chance to understand them, was daunting, and I was more than happy to sit back and watch the festivities as they arose from the side lines.

Well, as it turned out, two of my co workers thought it terrible to leave the newbie isolated during this bonding moment, and kindly chipped in to get me a gift as well. I was flattered! They hit the nail right on the head too, and I was almost teary with joy. But then, there was an extra present on the table. One of the directors had also decided not to leave me out, and I ended up being the only person to receive two gifts, and hand out none! I felt both flattered and very embarrassed, vowing to make it up to everyone the following year.

And here we are! I’ve just celebrated one year at the company, and Secret Santa is upon us again. So I am really doing my research this year, which means scouring the internet for the best secret Santa gifts to give my elected giftee.

Unfortunately I can’t say much more at the moment, because they might be reading this blog! Half the fun of the gifting, is the guessing, and if I give it away now, they’ll know without a shadow of a doubt that I was their Santa. Can’t have that, can we? So please, what have you been reading about that has given you some good ideas? I’m all open to new possibilities, because this has to be one of the best gifts I buy this year!

Starting a New Book

I have a general question for you all… Do you have a ritual for starting a new book?

Do you sit down with a hot drink, and two hours to spare? Are you on the train to work, or mid-breakfast for a few minutes before the morning rush to work begins? Are you a pre-bedtime reader… Because I’m always so worried about falling asleep and forgetting what I’ve read!

I like a combination. I won’t start with time to spare, but by the half way mark, when I’m properly involved in the plot, I’ll carve out half a day to work through it. But I’ve just started a new novel… And I can tell it’s going to challenge me.

You see, each chapter is one, long, sentence. Filled with commas and semi colons and dashes, it takes real effort to read and get into the right cadence where you’re not just reading individual words strung together, but are one with the mind that is writing. It reminds me of learning about the ‘stream of consciousness’ in high school and having to practise just writing all my thoughts down in one continuous string. I probably didn’t have much to say then, but even now when I write myself, it’s quite choppy and to the point.

So I’m going to have to really commit to this book. Evenings, weekends. Definitely not mornings, I won’t be awake enough.

I’d love to know how you handle strangely written books!

French books?

Alright, I’m back to books. Sorry for that little personal interlude! I’ll try and keep my stories strictly related to the books I like from now on… I mean, it’s in the name.

I’ve been thinking for a while about learning a new language. Being bilingual is one of those things I’m always jealous of other people for, and multilingual is just awesome. I mean, some people struggle to grasp one language, let alone multiple! I think I’m a visual learner too, so whilst I’m not too worries about being able to write in a new language, I am concerned about speaking. Which is obviously where I had to begin.

Which language am I learning, you might ask?

That’s right, French! I dabbled a little at school, so I’m hoping there’s some residual knowledge that will stop this from being a very steep learning curve. I started with Duolingo, because why not, but needed some reading material… Obviously! And not just some boring dictionary, or those awful workbooks you get in school with the cringe-worthy comics. But I couldn’t just buy a book in French either, so I went with a happy medium! Short Stories, to learn French.

Boy, did I eat that book up. It wasn’t too simple, so I felt like a child, but also didn’t challenge me beyond my means. Plus, I’ve been practising my speech holding the book in front of me, like some Shakespearean actor reciting a play. Some words are a little trickier, like ciseaux pour barbe (or beard scissors), because there are far too many vowels in a row in ciseaux to pronounce normally! My mouth just wants to do a little dance to form ten individual possible sounds, but that just sounds ridiculous!

It turns out that my minimal education in year seven didn’t leave much of a lasting effect! But this book has helped, and my apps. I’m thinking of buying another French book but not sure where to start, any suggestions?

Merci – Thank you in French language. Handwritten modern calligraphy lettering text on multicolored watercolor paint splash background.

A Little Story about my Dad

Hi friends!

This week I wanted to write about my dad. It’s been a few months now since I moved out of home, and aside from all the fun of a new adventure, I have been wowed by how much I miss him.

I like to joke that my dad and I didn’t become friends until I was thirteen, the age when I finally started caring about his holy grail; sport. Granted I was no cricketer or rugby player, he was up and early every Saturday morning to take me to my Netball games. I had never seen him so excited, or heard anyone pick apart the technique and strategy of a d-level team to quite such detail. It’ll come as no surprise to hear that he wanted sons, instead of the two daughters god gave him. My older sister, Cat, was athletic, but a fiery mix of independent and shy, and dad’s involvement in her sporting adventures didn’t always bode well. But I loved our debriefs, and such began our Saturday morning tea tradition. The bakery we frequented made the best caramel slices and vanilla milkshakes, so I probably would’ve accepted the offer even if his thoughts bored me to tears.

Michel's Patisserie (Mascot).

The tradition kept up all throughout my high school and university years, despite some gentle bullying from my uni team mates. I’m just chalking that up to jealousy – no one else was getting a free post-game milkshake!

One of my favourite days with him was when he told me he wanted to grow a beard. I was shocked into laughter… My father has always been a staunch shave-only kind of guy. Even the mere idea that a hairy man was a more manly man in our household was banned, he was that intense. I thought I might fall off my chair, or shoot milkshake out of my nose onto the table. But he was serious, and had tasked me with advising him through such uncharted territory. I did my best, but it was a constant battle figuring out how much he was willing to invest, and what would actually help him achieve something he wouldn’t constantly want to shave off.

It was a long and trying experience, but we got there, and has been a constant source of amusement for the both of us, and the rest of the family, over the years. Which is nice from his usual attempt at humour, which looks like it was gleaned straight from this site.

So I was just partaking in some retail therapy, and came across this beard care kit on Boots, and I cackled like a witch in my little room, scaring both my housemates into thinking I had finally lost the plot. It was the first brand we had ever tried, and came back to time and time again when other products turned the quest into a disaster. Mum has a particular.. fondness for the scent. So I bought it, and sent it to his address with a note: ‘Thinking of your beard.’ I know it doesn’t sound very funny, but I can just picture him smiling as he opens it, and that fills me with warmth every time I think about it. I can’t wait to go home and visit! So folks, appreciate those dads in your life who are enthusiastic and amusing, or have a good chuckle at mine!

Image result for dad joke

A Book To Educate Myself On Beards

Beards are things that have always been interesting to me. It’s really something that gave me that rare bit of confusion ever since I realized they were a decision for most people here in the west that sports them. Of course I understand when a beard is something of a religious or cultural reason then they aren’t really a decision at that point. What I’ve always been more curious about are those that sport them as a fashion statement. I mean for real I don’t get it. It can look awesome don’t get me wrong that’s not the part that confuses me, the real concern I’ve always had is isn’t just too much work?

I tried looking into it a couple of times but I seriously have no idea where to start. There’s the whole growing it part which in all honesty sounds like the most nerve wracking thing to go through. At least with women growing their hair long the only real opponent is time but for guys trying to grow their beard out there’s the possibility that it won’t all grow in at the same time. I can’t even imagine the daily struggle of watching your face transform into that of a hobo. It can grow in patches or sometimes some parts just won’t grow at all. So what do you do at that point? Is there a way to cover that up or do you just give up on the beard at that point? And then there’s the maintenance and all the styling that you have to do. For the longest time I thought beard oil was a joke term that I just wasn’t clued in on but apparently it isn’t. And then there are tools you need to buy. I don’t know which things you would even need. Are there guides on what you need and how to know if you need them? Like what if you bought the ultimate beard brush but you didn’t actually need one. Or do you always need a beard brush?

Normally my approach is to simply buy a bunch of books on the topic and get reading but in this case I think I have to decide on a specific one. So if there are any beard bibles or any 1 book that you really need for this then I’d love to hear from you guys out there with this knowledge.

Up to my neck in books

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately (big surprise right?) and I’ve kind of gotten a little carried away with it. When I get really into reading I tend to kind of forget a lot of stuff that I should be doing. Thankfully because of some lovely feedback and a couple well timed event calendar notifications I shouldn’t be falling behind in terms of writing something to post on here!

My 3 favourite beauty books.

Just like any other skill makeup has a certain set of challenges that you can overcome over time. There’s learning each individual type of makeup of course, then you’ve got to understand that there are different methods of applying them, and of course understanding the level of variety for each individual product. Then there’s discerning the difference in products and their formulation as far as that goes meaning recommending products such as Lunar Glow’s lunar brightening under eye serum. As amazing as all the guides are on youtube and elsewhere on the internet for different makeup regiments for all the different types of skin type, skin color, facial shape, etc. There’s still something special about studying makeup more traditionally, in this case specifically hitting the books quite literally. So let’s take a look at the top 3 books for chasing that ever abstract concept of beauty.

Face Forward by Kevyn Aucoin

The ideas of beauty haven’t always been the nicest and there’s been the tendencies where the pursuit of beauty have left people feeling judged and overall just not very good about themselves. But Aucoin’s book follows through with some of the nicest and kindest explanations on beauty regimes that you can find. He always makes an effort to ensure that you get what he’s talking about and that even if you don’t you won’t feel dumb because he gets that it can be a little confusing. That being said he goes very in-depth in the fundamentals of makeup application and other techniques to help make sure your path in the pursuit of beauty has the foundations necessary to get what you want.

The Beauty of Color by Iman

It’s a shame but the reality is that the beauty industry’s more inclined to accommodate you if you happen to be white. Iman’s a supermodel who wrote this book to offset that a little bit. The target audience are women of varying ages and ethnicities which makes this book and the things it seeks to teach an overall inspiring message to anyone reading. It’s a great book and definitely worth the read no matter who you are.

Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup by Gabriela Hernandez

As far as the classics go it’s good to know where makeup has come from and moved forward over the years. There’s something important to be learned here not just from a historical vantage point, which this book with its many examples of different looks that have changed the landscape of makeup over the years, definitely delivers upon with step by step guides with period accurate color palettes on how to achieve those classic looks.

Wait For More…

Books are keeping me inspired and motivated every single day!

I have read a many books already in my lifetime, and I intend to read a whole lot more before my time is up. Hopefully I can share quite a few of these good reads with you.

All you need to do is keep coming back and visiting my blog 🙂

Something new will be up before too long!

The Book That Helped Me Fight Depression

Are you a bookworm? I mean, someone who really loves to read. If yes, then you are probably an intelligent person. They say people who are fond of reading books are smart and know a lot of things. Do you agree with this?

I used to love reading books before, but once I started studying in college, I became very busy with projects, reports and other class activities. I rarely had a chance to read my favorite books, until eventually I lost interest in reading altogether.

One day, I experienced the most sorrowful moment of my teenage life –  my mother died at an early age due to a heart attack, that was very sudden and was really unexpected. I was just 17 years old when that happened and that was my first day of school in 2nd-year college level.

I became so depressed that time and my studies were affected and I almost dropped out of school. Until my friend gave me a particular book – “The purpose driven life” written by Rick Warren. She told me I needed to make the time to read it. The book was written as an inspirational book with also some religious content. It contains 40 chapters with different topics and I was instructed to read one chapter every day and should take time to ponder each chapter, so I expected to finish it all in forty days. As I continued to read the book each and every day, I found it more and more interesting and inspiring. It taught me a lot of good things.

That book really inspired me and helped me to recover from the pain and sorrow. I got back to my normal mood and became active in school again. I never thought reading could help me in this way.

Since then, I became interested in reading again, but I am more into inspirational books or articles now. I also got interested in cosmetic products especially skincare so now I am starting to more articles about it, and so far, one of the most interesting topics I found is about a product called masque argile boue. It sounds really amazing –  I never thought that mud could be beneficial to your skin!

I look forward to discovering more interesting books that teach me new things and help change my life for the better.