The Hot Yoga Experience

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So I ran out of ideas this week because for some reason I only foresighted two weeks post Letters to Spring. Thankfully The SITs Girls are always on hand for me to provide some inspiration when I’m truly stuck.

Now, the title is probably an indicator of what the subject matter will be today.

Hot yoga.

I’ve mentioned it a few times on here but exercise recently has become more than an abstract concept that I would watch other people do but largely ignored for myself. And with that new found acquaintance I’ve also found that I’m always looking for new classes to try. Some don’t stick, like I truly detest running and so anything that includes a treadmill can do one (she says when a part of her also wants to try at least one Barry’s Bootcamp class which includes, you guessed it, a whole treadmill based section…). And some do, in fact my now weekly boxing based class has become cathartic as hell for me and something that I almost crave each week (although I didn’t do it last week, am not doing it this week and have made no decisions on next week yet…). Another thing that stuck was yoga.

Now there are many types of yoga and I haven’t tried them all by any means but Vinyasa yoga is where it is at for me, it’s the right combination of movement and static. I also try to do them weekly and I can always tell when my body craves for the stillness that comes with a yoga class. And the stretching. I did one tonight and for the past 24 hours my body was quietly humming with joy at the prospect of it after I had to cancel last week’s.

And because I’ve this new huge appreciation for yoga I am always open to trying new versions of it. Which led me to Ethos near Liverpool Street one autumn night (it was a Be:Fit London event and the other two options sounded like cardio hell). I was a little bit nervous at the prospect of actively moving in a very heated room because my reaction to heat can be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes I’m fine, sometimes I feel dizzy and lightheaded. It didn’t help that I had convinced myself for most of the day that I was going to be that person who couldn’t take the heat and had to leave.

There was a lot of water involved, for which I am grateful. I had brought my own with me and there was a delightfully cool bottle of the stuff waiting for me when I got to my mat.

The heat of the room was obvious the moment I had settled properly on my mat, it felt like the moment when you step off a plane in a hot country. It was mildly uncomfortable, but to the side of me was a waterfall-esque display and so initially I focused on that and it did help calm me down.

Once the practice started I felt more relaxed. I know how to do most of the poses to suit the way my body is built, I felt comfortable with that knowledge. What was obvious from the moment I moved a single muscle was that it was going to be a very sweaty mess.

Within 10 minutes I got over my self-consciousness and shed my vest top just so that I didn’t overheat and I started to regret the full length leggings and was just thankful that they involved mesh so I could breathe.

Now I am not the most flexible person, but after practicing yoga for about a year now I have noticed areas of improvement and I can get deeper into stretched these days. But that’s now, in October this was not the case and I did find that being in a heated room did help me get deeper into poses, especially twists. It felt like the stretches were really getting into my muscles and even though it burned (probably because it was early days in me upping my workouts in a week, and also I’d just come back from Filey where I had done a lot of eating. A lot.) it burned in kind of a good way.

Due to the fact that very quickly i was slick with sweat it did get kind of hard to ground myself on the mat in the poses, especially downward dog, so there was a lot of wiping down with a towel (which on this instance was provided, but I believe you have to pay for them usually).

The heat was actually something that I slowly acclimatised to and it was easy to just sort of forget about the sweat because it you do cardio (which I do) then sweat everywhere is just something you get used to. I will also say that that savasana at the end was one of the most satisfying savasanas that I have had. Also we got given cool towels during that time which was such a relief and helped to cool down slowly.

I finished the class feeling incredibly satisfied and equipped with all these endorphins associated with exercise. It was a good experience. I loved it and enjoyed it immensely. I mean I also haven’t been back but that’s for no other reason but money. And also as we creep closer to supposedly warmer weather just being in a room with 20 other people all exercising in a non air-conditioned room almost mimics the experience.

Or at least it did tonight.

What about your experiences, if you have any? How did you find it? Are you a regular or a one and never again? I’d love to hear your experiences.

Parentheses count: 5. See you tomorrow!

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2017 Reading Challenge Book 24 – City of Lost Souls

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Yup, back at with the book reviews, but the good news is that I am now all caught up and so I will start to stagger them from here on out for the near future. So the latest book review is the following:

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 24, City of Lost Souls

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 24, City of Lost Souls

I only have one more book to read to finish off The Mortal Instruments and to be brutally honest I am so excited about this as a prospect. I need this to be done (and I’m ignoring the fact that I still have The Infernal Devices left to read, those are three books and done, I can do that…I hope) and I am half a book away from this being the case. But back to book 5.

My god this book went on for a bit. Just so long. And so much filler. Or at least I felt like there was anyway. Then all of sudden things started happening in the last 50/60 pages and it finally got interesting. But this book is 500 or so pages long so for it only be really interesting for less than 10% of it is really not all that enjoyable an experience. And also the last part of this book was only interesting because it set up book 6 and finally made Sebastian’s very previously ambiguously very clear. And then for a brief moment I was actually routing for him if only because it meant that something was happening.

That’s the state I am at with these books, what can I say. I actually started liking Jace for the sole reason that he was no longer acting like himself and was something akin to being like his old, slightly cocky self that I enjoyed in the first book before he became whatever the fuck it is that he is most of the time since he met Clary. He is one of the most annoying male protagonists that I have ever encountered and I still haven’t finished Moby Dick for the main reason that I cannot stand Ishamel (and other reasons, but let’s not get into those again, seriously I will finish that book one day). But he is, and then he stopped being annoying in this book and it was wild. And then he was annoying again briefly although he made some very good points, and the whole thing just also further highlighted that Clary is the most ridiculous protagonist. She continues to just not think before she acts and go against people who actually know what they are doing and I do not know why she insists on doing that. I really truly don’t.

Izzy remains a shell of a character, Alec continues to get more annoying, Maia seems to just sort of be there with no real change in character other than the fact that she is clearly not all that into Jordan. Magnus, I could not tell you what he did in this book actually now that I think about it. Or Luke or Jocelyn. Which is usually the way with these characters in these books I have learned.

Simon does still appear to be the most interesting character in this series and that is proven more and more when he seems to be the only one who is doing anything and at this point he is honestly the only reason I am still invested in this series, although I fear that might not stay that way…

The good news is, you’re only going to have to read about my dislike for this series once more because I am now nearing the end of the thing.

For now though, 2/5 stars

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Lush Essentials

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It’s been a while since I talked about Lush and that’s mainly because I have stopped buying things from Lush in a bid to stop spending money (which hasn’t worked because I’ve just bought stuff from other places instead and gained a newfound love for Topshop). And also when I say I’ve stopped buying things that’s also me talking a little bit of bullshit, I’ve stopped buying new things. I’ve stopped trying things out to see if I like them or not and I’ve acquired myself some essentials.

Which is the point of this post. These are the Lush products that I can’t go without in day to day life and always have to make the walk to some kind of Lush in order to make sure that I don’t run out.

I switched most of my skincare over to Lush at some point towards the end of last year and although there is a part of me that feels like I need to change my skincare again because I’ve been dealing with more frequent breakouts and also want to do something about the hyperpigmentation issue going on on my face again, the learning curve is long and I don’t feel like my skin has really gotten a chance to adapt to these properly even though it’s months now, so I’m sticking it out.

My go to skincare products are, Ultrabland – this cleanser is good, I’ve just started a new pot and I’m sticking with it even though it’s oil based and I’m still dubious as to how good they are for my combination skin. And I don’t know why I’m remaining dubious about that fact because like I said, this cleanser is good. It gets the job done, it leaves my skin feeling clean. It’s good, it’s why it’s my go-to (I don’t know why I’ve just had to convince myself of that). Eau Roma Water is my current toner, it feels fresh and it smells kind of great without being too cloying which is always a risk with things containing rosewater. I then round it of with Enzymion which is a great lightweight moisturiser. (I had to search the Lush website to confirm the spelling of my moisturiser and as such have just added Full of Grace to my list of things that I want to try because as I said I have some hyperpigmentation issues and also want to introduce a serum-ish kind of product to my routine just for that extra bit of moisture and this particular product seems to tick those boxes. Let’s see how long I hold out for shall we?)

Then we move onto the other products I find I cannot let myself run out of. Any kind of lip scrub is a must, I’m still making my way through Sugar Plum Fairy, but there was definitely an overlap between this and Mint Julips and I imagine that there will be another kind of overlap when it starts to run low. I use it weekly and then if I have a particularly dry lips day I use it then, it’s a good product to have I have found. Rub, Rub, Rub is also it for me. I opened a pot a couple of weeks ago and realised that I had about enough product to exfoliate one leg, it was terrible (I use that term loosely). I am probably a bit too liberal with this product but it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and I don’t like not having it around and so yeah, it’s an essential.

Oh and also I always have to a fresh face mask to hand. I use them weekly and can get a good 5-6 weeks out of one. I think I’ve tried them all, but my faves are definitely Don’t Look At Me, Rosy Cheeks and Prince of Darkness. I especially love the last one but as it’s an Kitchen Exclusive for Oxford Street I don’t tend to get it as often because it requires a trip, but the other two work just as well and I love them also. They really help to reset my face and prep it for the week ahead.

My last essentials are hair related. I remain a firm believer in American Cream so much so that I bought a 950g bottle of it and am still making my way through it. I use so much of this stuff every week and yet I still have a fair amount in this bottle left. At some point I am going to have to repurchase it, I just don’t know when that will be. I also still can’t seem to be without R&B Hair Moisturiser. I don’t use it as much as I used to but it still does wonderful things for keeping my hair moisturised, which I guess could be implied from the name of it. I just opened a new pot of this and I imagine it might last a while, and then I’ll reassess how I feel about it.

For now though, these are the products that I cannot bring myself to run out of at the moment.

Do you have any Lush products that you swear by? (I really shouldn’t be looking to buy anything more from this place and yet I will 100% take recommendations because I am weak and a tad obsessed.)

Parentheses count: 5. See you tomorrow!

 

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My Curly Hair Routine

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I swear I am going to stop talking about my hair at some point, I don’t know when, but I will. It will probably be after this…for a little bit anyway.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but I got a haircut…

And with that haircut came a new found love for my hair. I pretty much just about washed and conditioned my hair each week and then I sometimes bunged some product into it just so it didn’t feel like total straw. It got the job done, I mastered the tying it all up into a bun and leaving it there every single day. Sometimes I would let it loose, but I did that so infrequently that it just got very annoying very quickly and so I would chuck it back up and watch this bun get ever bigger on the back of my head.

But it was not a pretty sight most of the time and it was so very damaged and the curl pattern was all over the place and even though it was super long, it was super long at a cost. And the cost was that it was gross. So I got over my slight fear of the hairdresser’s and got it cut for the first time in over 4 years.

And then I started investing in it. In a big way. And due to that, I have now developed a routine of sorts. It changes on a week to week basis depending on what mood my hair is going to be in after wash day. Sometimes it co-operates all week, sometimes it doesn’t (this week has been half and half), so I’m just going to go through a general idea of what my routine is on wash day and then the various variations that I go through over the following 6/7 days.

Side note, I always work with wet hair, so although I only wash it once a week (yes, really) I (usually) rinse it through with water each morning.

Wash Day

Wash day is a long ass exercise and because of that it currently always takes place on a Sunday. It begins with this:

So I basically started watching a lot of YouTube videos one weekend (and I mean the WHOLE weekend) and took various inspiration from them. The first being giving this products from OGX a try and also introducing oils into my hair routine just for that extra bit of moisture. I start my wash day with OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil. I just massage it onto my scalp after I’ve untied my hair and ignored the day 7 mess that it is and I do that for a couple of minutes making sure that I cover my whole scalp. It smells soooo nice and prepares myself nicely for the arm workout that is about to ensue.

After I massage the oil it’s time to shampoo. I rinse my hair with water (which does nothing to get rid of the oil funnily enough) and then I wash my hair for the first time. I’m never that fussed about shampoo so I was still using Daddy-O from Lush which was working just fine (I am gonna move onto the OGX Coconut Curls one this week though). I massage that into my scalp just to lift the oil out of my hair and then rinse it through, which just basically leads to a lot of purple tinted water making its way down the drain as the oil means that it doesn’t lather. Then once it’s rinsed through I go back in again and massage more shampoo onto my scalp (and only my scalp) and my arms and hands get another little work out as I really work the shampoo into my hair to get rid of a week’s worth of products. It lathers the second time so it really feels like my scalp is getting clean. Then once a month a go in with a clarifying shampoo (which I did last Sunday), the one I’m currently using and quite like is Bumble and Bumble Bb Sunday. It smells nice and my gosh does it strip my hair clean, I’m still not quite used to it and the amount of moisture I need to put back into after I’ve used it.

After I’ve washed my hair, I go in with a shit ton of conditioner. I am still using American Cream from Lush because if I swore by it when my hair was a mess I will definitely swear by it when my hair is healthy again. It’s still great, I’m wary to change it when the bottle that I have is finished so I will keep up with it. I apply this liberally to the middle and ends of my hair and then rake it through and then finger detangle, which some weeks takes no time at all and sometimes takes ten minutes. Once it’s detangled I then rinse that out and then we move onto deep conditioning.

The ones that I am currently using are Shea Moisture Jamaican Castor Oil Grow and Restore Masque. I rake this through my hair, do a bit more finger detangling and then I wrap it up in a bun and clip it there and leave it for a few hours. Sometimes I wrap it in a shower cap and a towel and use the heat from that to really get that deep conditioning in and then sometimes I have errands to run and so I leave it in while I go and do that. I am really liking this treatment, the smell I can take or leave but it leaves my hair feeling so soft and moisturised and I really feel like I can take on the week (hair wise). If I don’t use that one then I use Olive Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak which I like and was really good when my hair was terrible, but since I found the Shea Moisture one and that is doing real great things with my hair I’m not reaching for it as much.

Once I’ve left the deep conditioner on for a few hours I then detangling it with a wide tooth comb and you’d think that it would be the final time that I detangle my hair for the day but you would be wrong. I then rinse the deep conditioner out and wrap it up in a microfibre towel and leave it to dry. Once it’s been about 20 minutes I take it out of the towel and then rake the Shea Moisture Jamaican Castor Oil Leave In Conditioner and then detangle it yet again. That’s pretty much it for wash day, I just tie it up and leave it.

Rest of the Week

So the rest of the week differs from day to day. on Mondays I tend to go use the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk and Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I go in with the milk first and just rake that through my hair and then I apply the smoothie, raking it through my hair and then once I have been quite liberal with that I then get a bit more smoothie in my palms and start scrunching my curls up. I do that for about five minutes and then leave my hair to air dry, which can be a bit annoying because it’s mostly soaking wet and once I’ve finished applying product I tend not to touch my hair until it’s mostly dry. If it gets too bad then I just scrunch it a bit more with a microfibre towel and that tends to do the trick with minimal frizz. I also then tend to repeat this process on a Tuesday. Side note though, I don’t know if it’s just this particular bottle that I have or not because it’s the only one that I’ve ever bought, but the milk is soooo difficult to get onto my hair. The bottle is really stiff and I can’t get a good enough squeeze on it and then the formula is really thick and so doesn’t appear to want to leave the bottle…it’s all a bit of an ordeal to contend with, but I have another bottle that I will move onto soon so we’ll see if it’s a one off or not. I hope it is.

Come Wednesday my hair is not quite holding the same way, and it’s usually the point where I start tying it up in some capacity. I usually go back in with the Shea Moisture leave in and then I use the Bumble and Bumble Bb Curl Defining Creme, again I rake it through and then scrunch away. If it’s tied up then I will just spritz OGX Coconut Oil Hydrating Oil Mist on any fly aways and to just get rid of potentially frizzy parts. I usually do that on Thursdays and Fridays as well. Sometimes on Saturday I am handed a random gift and my soon to be washed hair acquires a new lease of life and I can go in with my Shea Moisture Milk and Smoothie again. Mostly I can’t though (honestly the above has happened twice in two months now…) and I just fall back on my good old reliable R&B Hair Moisturiser just so that my hair doesn’t dry out completely.

There are days when I go to the gym (4 of them actually for the most part) but I only really require showering after that twice a week. When I just rinse the product (and the sweat) out and wrap it in a microfibre towel and then once it’s damp and I just spritz it with Bumble and Bumble Bb Pre-Style/Re-Style Primer. I don’t ever actually use this as a primer and I tried to restyle with it once and that just didn’t work so I now mostly use it to put a bit of moisture in my hair before the morning. And then once a week I co-wash my hair with American Cream which works to reset it a little in between washes, but I don’t do that every week.

And then we get back to Sunday and I start the process all over again.

I am currently using the same products at the moment but I know that my hair is gonna start to get used to them and I am going to have shake it up…which means that I might fall back down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos. I am also open to suggestions as to what you find works for your hair, mainly styling products and deep conditioners because I am pretty much fine for shampoo and conditioner?

And that’s my current curly hair routine, which took up a lot of words and also marks the end of me talking about my hair for the time being…maybe.

Parentheses count: 12. See you tomorrow!

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My 10 Minute Face

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The title seems pretty self explanatory I think. I have recently finally perfected getting my make up done in this 10 minute period of time that I have sometimes between being mostly ready for the day and actually having to get out the door, but only on days when I’m not schelpping my ass to the gym after work.

These are basically the products that I use to get my face looking a little less tired and like I’ve actually made an effort even though I really haven’t (on that note, my make up either takes 10 minutes or close to an hour, there is no inbetween.) I use 8 products after I’ve gone through my cleansing routine and set up the base.

Smashbox Primer – I have started to swear by this primer, I’ve used a couple of other primers but none of them have really done it for me like this one does. It creates a great base and helps to reduce shine which is a bit of a problem for me.

Smashbox Eye Primer – I don’t really know why I use this because I don’t ever wear eyeshadow so it’s not like I really need to prime the area specifically, but I have it and I am in the habit of using it so I still do.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation – I recently had a total overhaul of my base products because one product that I loved was discontinued and so I had to start again. This is perfectly buildable and provides just the amount of coverage that I need for a day to day look. Plus it is super simple to buff onto my face quickly, which is the most important part here, let’s be real.

MAC Matchmaster Concealer – This is the true MVP to be quite honest with you and helps to cover those delightful dark circles underneath my eyes and also any breakouts that I might have (and it deals with the scarring). What’s great about this is that it adapts to the colour of the skin where it is on meaning the coverage is great (I have a liquid foundation that does the same thing, also great).

Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper/MAC Pro Longwear Waterprood Brow Set – I am currently inbetween products at the moment for my brows but they are both pretty much the same. I don’t trust myself with a pencil or any kind of gel/cream because my eyebrows are quite full naturally and I don’t want to go too hard with them. These products allow great control and also tame any fly away hairs whilst I’m applying product because they’re spoolie based. I love them basically.

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner, Black – I have a couple of other eyeliners that I use if I’m going out out, but over the years I have learned that this is the only eyeliner with which I can really nail a winged eyeliner look, which is my default look, so it’s my go to eyeliner for that very reason. It’s also super black and great.

NYX Mascara – This is running out on me I can sense it and this is my day mascara which means I need to find a replacement soon (my other one is Urban Decay Perversion, which is great but does really bold things to my lashes which I don’t need if I’m just spending the day at work). I’m not too fussed by mascaras to be honest and so I’ll replace this with whatever, I might try another NYX one as I liked the things that it did to my lashes.

Urban Decay Setting Spray, Chill – I’m running out of this and so will switch to the other one that I have shortly, but this one works fine. I feel like it doesn’t necessarily last the whole day as I do get some shine on my T-zone before the day is out, but for the most part it keeps everything fixed into place.

And that’s it. My 10 minute face which I can thankfully bang on my face and then get out the door (mostly) on time to catch my train!

What are some of your make up staples when you’re in a hurry/have limited time? (And also, I am taking mascara recommendations, I need natural looking ones though, so suggestion are welcome! Please?)

Parentheses count: 5. See you tomorrow!

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2017 Reading Challenge Book 23 – City of Fallen Angels

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Surprise, surprise there is another book review coming your way.

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 23, City of Fallen Angels

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 23, City of Fallen Angels

I am back at with this series because even though I intended to read all 6 of these back to back I finished book 3 and realised that I just couldn’t do that, so I took a break and then dove right on back in after a book palette cleanser.

I don’t even remember what actually happened in most of this book except for the ending. It was such a filler book. And it was mostly unnecessary I guess. In fact I think it just made me dislike characters even more, though I didn’t actually know that was possible given my thoughts on them all already.

I mean I guess it was building to a greater cause or something. I say ‘or something’ I know it was, I’ve read book 5. It was. The last 100 or so pages were all building to book 5, but my gosh did it take a while to get there. A very long while. And a lot of eye rolling and asking what the fuck at the page.

Jace somehow got more annoying although not as annoying as Clary. How she thought she could get away with bringing someone back from the dead with no consequences is beyond me, Clary continues to not think about the consequences to her actions and at this point it’s just ridiculous. It’s not even her just being a teenager, it’s her being an idiot and I cannot cope with her anymore. Which is real inconvenient when she is the main protagonist. Alec, what the fuck are you even doing? Was Izzy in this book? I can’t remember because I don’t think she did anything of worth. Magnus continues to be this weird type of non-entity who is still treated a bit like a pet. Oh and who the fuck are Luke and Jocelyn, I forget because nothing seems to happen with them development wise other than the fact that they are supposedly getting married?

I think another slight issue that I have with these books is that nothing is really surprise at all. I mean it’s pretty obvious to me what is going to happen and where things are heading, for example Jordan being Maia’s ex boyfriend I could see coming from a mile away and also I just know that that isn’t going to end well, I believed almost nothing that came out of his mouth when he defended himself agains this actions. So, it was a slight surprise to me when Lilith came into the picture, in that I really did not see that coming. It was interesting to see the way that she came into play, because it makes sense in a series that plays around with angels that you would have to introduced Lilith at some point. The power that she seemed to have was also interesting and the way that that is going to trickle down to the last two books is proving to be intriguing on some level.

There is a reason that I didn’t mention Simon up above and that is because shit actually happened with him and he has actually become one of my favourite characters. His character arc has always been the most interesting to me and this book just proved why. The Mark of Cain proved to be an intriguing new element to his character and finding out the extent of it’s power was a great piece of information to know. His interactions with his mother were heartbreaking and the way that he was still contending with his mundane life and his vampire life was too on some level. The way that the rest of the series effectively rests on his involvement was kinda cool, if not also a tad annoying because of the way the events happen, but I digress. The only thing I cannot get on board with is the whole dating both Maia and Isabelle at the same time thing. Like honestly, you don’t accidentally find yourself dating two people. You just don’t, and he was a douche for even attempting to do it in the first place (side note Clary is a bad friend for not mentioning it either of them also…or at least I think she was). But for the most part he was my favourite about this book.

Oh and also, Sebastian. I love me a good villain character and what with the whole Lilith thing I think he is promising to be a good one again.

For the most part I feel pretty much the same as I did with the first 3 books. Only this one was a tad more annoying because it was only within the last 100 pages that it felt like something was happening and make it worth my while to read.

2/5 stars

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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