Saturday, 30 January 2016

5 Things I've Learned in 2 Years

I've had my own little corner of the internet for two years now, which to me is crazy! I love blogging and what I have achieved from it, but there are definitely some things I have learned in the last two years!

1 - Make Friends.
This may sound strange, but without the friends I have made through blogging I wouldn't be anywhere near as happy, wouldn't get half of the opportunities I do, and definitely wouldn't laugh as much as I do. Having local bloggers helps, but there's also those bloggers who I have met online, and will talk to frequently, but that I have never met and probably never will. Don't listen to what some say, the blogging community is fab.

2 - Be You
There is nothing worse than seeing the same post clearly copied from another blogger. We've all been there, and it's not fair. We all take inspiration from each other, that's inevitable, that no one is completely original, but there is a line that you just don't cross. You have a voice, and your readers want to hear it!

3 - It's Not A Competition
There is enough room on the internet for us all, so don't compare yourself to your peers. Yes it's difficult, but instead of wondering why they're getting more recognition than you, focus on yourself, on your progression, and daily improvements. You should never define or rate yourself in comparison to others, because they're different, and their readers are too. Concentrate on yourself and your time will come.

4 - Get Social
This is something I have only recently started doing myself, social media is an amazing opportunity to gain new readers, and get free promotion for your blog! Join networks, local ones such as Sotonbloggers, and global ones such as GirlGang, tag in the company you are talking about, when using scheduled tweets etc I at times can see up to a triple increase in daily views. Don't miss out.

5 - Up Your Photography Game
Looking back at my first ever blog post I cringe, but I would never delete it because it's there to show me just how far I've come. For me, it is an equal balance between quality of words vs picture quality when reading a post, if it's littered with mistakes, no matter how good that picture is, it's likely I'll  be gone, but I know that a lot of people focus mainly on the picture. That's what gets the attention, and makes people want to read on, and also come back again. I'm no photographer, but with a good background, and good lighting - or flash - you'll see your pictures improve, look at others, ask for tips, and you'll get there! Everyone starts somewhere, remember that.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Changing Life of JKS

Two years ago, I was very bored, in the early hours of a Sunday morning, and that's how thelifeofjks was created, a bored girl, who procrastinates too much, and now look at what I've achieved. I never thought that anyone but Tom would read it, so to see my stats constantly increasing, and bumping into old friends who read it is still bizarre. This blog has opened so many channels for me, and given me confidence that I might never have found before.

However, that's not to say that things haven't changed, I have personally, my life, my social circles, my blog. The photography from those early posts makes me cringe, and with my popular posts feature, I'm regularly reminded! My writing style has improved, and there is much more of a personality coming through my posts, well I hope! My knowledge of products, and PR etc., has improved greatly, meaning that I now am lucky enough to have amazing opportunities offered to me, and I hope this will continue.

I cannot tell you what is going to happen in the future, but I can reflect on what has changed, and the one thing I can tell you about the future? It will be great. Work for what you want, and one day you will achieve it, nobody but you is responsible for your own future.

Career - Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to teach, I am currently in my third year of University studying English, and from September I will be training to be an Secondary School English Teacher. I personally cannot wait to get in a classroom, and have an impact on the education of others. I am currently in the process of changing part time job, and for professional reasons I am not going to go into detail about why. I am a strong believer that if you are unhappy then you should do everything within your power to change that, which is exactly what I have done. I don't know if I will absolutely love my new job or not, but I know that I needed to get out of my current environment, I needed a change and a positive surrounding, which is what I've got.

Social -  I have never had many friends, people always laugh when I say that, but it's true. At times, it does upset me, and I feel so isolated and lonely, and then end up in a recurring circle of not having anyone to talk to about feeling isolated and lonely, but no more. Yes I have very few friends, but that means that I should cherish those I do have, I have two best friends who I have known for over 10 years, I have a best friend in Cardiff at University, a best friend on my uni course, and then the best blogging friends a girl could ask for. When people hear I have blogging friends they assume I only talk to them about blog stuff, but that couldn't be further from the truth, they've become the girls I meet for coffee and shopping regularly, the ones that will never tell me I don't need anymore makeup, and the ones who accept me for me. So yes, I may not have many friends, but the ones I've got are wonderful.

Relationship -  Thomas is still stuck with me, next month marks our four year anniversary. Someone needs to give him a bloody medal, but this year is going to be filled with making amazing memories like the last four have, starting off with a trip to London in April for my 21st Birthday.

Blog - This year, I want to get this site back to how I want it, I love beauty blogging don't get me wrong, but I want it to be so much more than that. I want it to reflect me, through fashion posts, wish lists, lifestyle posts and more. This year expect to see a much wider range of content, and I hope you enjoy it all!

So here is to a wonderful year, and embracing all of the changes it may bring!


Monday, 25 January 2016

Homesense | Faux Flowers

To kick start the new year, Homesense have expanded their faux flower market in stores, and after a trip, I am fully converted to gorgeous flowers that don't require any attention! The range they had in my local shop was huge, and also so pretty I came away with far too many pictures on my camera.

They have everything you could be looking for, single flowers ideal for placing in the background of blog photos, (guess what you'll be seeing soon....), or even creating a unique bunch to place in a vase to keep a room looking fresh, ready-made bouquets, and even plants, with gorgeous pots, again perfect for bringing life to any space in the home. As you can see below, it is very hard to tell that some of these aren't real, and even though I managed to restrain and only pick up a few individual flowers this time, I'll definitely be popping back to pick up some more!

*gifted a voucher to purchase some of the range, but as always all views and opinions are my own.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Panasonic Freeview Player

When I was offered the chance to review a freeview player I jumped at the chance! I spend the majority of my time at home watching TV, whilst reading, blogging etc, I tend to have it on in the background whether I'm fully concentrating or not. This one from Panasonic is the gadget that holds almost everything you need for your tv!

There are the smart options, which means that you can access Youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime TV and more directly from your TV as long as it is connected to your home wifi, it also has the 7 day playback, which makes it incredibly easy to catch up if you've missed anything. If you're out and have forgotten to record your favourite programme then you can do this from their mobile app, and actually watch it on the go aswell -  no more rushing out of the bath to catch the start of Made in Chelsea! Also super handy that it can record two HD programmes at the same time! Then you have the standard uses of a freeview box.

The box itself looks smart and fits in nicely with the rest of my tech bits, and in general makes features previously only available through sky/virgin media etc accessible to everyone! I couldn't recommend this box more!


Thursday, 21 January 2016

LUSH - Golden Wonder

As I said in my LUSH Christmas Sale Haul, I managed to pick up a Golden Wonder. Now I tend to try and keep my Christmas bits for a while, and use up the rest of my stash, but I wasn't fully convinced that this one would make it, with lots of cracks throughout!

Golden Wonder is a lovely bath bomb, but does normally come in with a hefty price tag for one bath. In the centre there are 'presents', which are basically blocks of other colours, which give a mesmerising watch when placed in the water, and leaves you with an emerald green/blue bath and feeling like a mermaid! The scent lingers for hours both on the body and around the house, with what I find is a sherbet scent, but isn't at all overpowering.

If only Lush did a similar product permanently!


Monday, 18 January 2016

MAC - Velvet Teddy

I resisted the hype for so long, because I never fell for it, there was no way that this lipstick was the secret to the infamous lips of Kylie Jenner, however that being said, when I did finally pick this one up, I fell in love.

Velvet Teddy is a brown toned Matte nude, I initially thought it was too brown toned for my pale complexion, so had never even picked it up, but then after seeing the popularity refusing to die down, I finally placed an order and it arrived the next day. I'm not here to talk about packaging, because lets face it, we all know and own many MAC lipsticks, but the lipstick itself? it's pretty good it's wonderful. It's matte, but does not pull on the lips at all, and gives the lip a flawless finish - I have ridiculously dry lips at the moment, but this just glides over and conceals it well! I have worn this everyday since it arrived, as it lasts hours, and when it does start fading it isn't a huge issue. Definitely one to keep handy!


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Lush Christmas Sale Haul

Boxing Day sales aren't the easiest at the best of times, but with Lush, and their crashing site, it sent everyone into meltdown, I was annoyed, well lets be honest, annoyed is bit of an understatement - all I wanted was to stock up on So White. It got to the point where I gave up, but waking up on the Sunday, I thought I might swell check, website live? Check. Stock left? Check. So off to the checkout went my basket, and then the heavenly scented parcel arrived!

I'm not going to go into too much depth about what I got, because I recently did a haul anyway (shhhhh...) and you all know the Christmas range! I finally grabbed a Magic of Christmas because I wasn't sure about the price tag beforehand, Dashing Santa came along for the ride, Golden Wonder, because who wants to pay for the full price for that one?! Finally, two Father Christmas' & a whopping five So White. Don't look at me like that, nothing comes close to it for me, apple is by far my favourite scent.

Did you manage to grab anything?


Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Hut Beefeater

On Saturday, myself, Tom, Toby & Charley headed to Eastleigh to visit the newly refurbished The Hut Beefeater. Walking in, you are presented with a casual bar section, and then we were shown through to the restaurant area - sophisticated, modern and classy. There are seats on the ground floor, then also a balcony area where you are overlooking everything, which adds such a lovely effect, all food is prepared right there, which I think helps keeps everyone hungry as you're watching all the food leave the kitchen! 

I cannot comment on how the restaurant looked before as I had not been, but the innovative decoration sets it apart from anywhere else. Steak is a huge focus of The Hut, and there are numerous  different ways of portraying cows around the restaurant, as you can see! As we went on a busy Saturday evening, I couldn't get many pictures of the interior, but it was so interesting to look at whilst waiting!

We were mainly served by Chloe, who was super efficient and lovely - with refillable soft drinks to keep us going, we went for a range of mains, I opted for a traditional Beef Burger* - completely plain of course - Tom and Toby had Calf's Liver & Bacon*, and Charley had a Chicken and Avocado Salad*. With generous portions and more than reasonable pricing, we were almost fit to burst, but still managed to squeeze in a dessert.
 I opted for a Cookie Dough Sundae*, yep, you heard that, I devoured it  I absolutely loved this, filled with cookie dough ice-cream and warm chocolate brownie, this is truly what dreams are made of. The others got a Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding*, and the Chocolate Honeycomb Sundae*. It's safe to say we were all left feeling extremely satisfied and very very full. 
They also have a loyalty programme, which is one of the best I've seen, you can enter multiple dates, for your birthday, friends, anniversaries etc, and you get offers and freebies on those dates, it's one of the most customisable I've come across, as most only offer such deals on your birthday!

Everyone around us seemed equally as happy as we were, with a mixture of families and couples present, it really is a restaurant for everyone, and with the occasional song playing in the background, creating the perfect dinner atmosphere, I'm already looking when we can pop back again!

*meal was kindly subsidised by £50 by The Hut, but all views and opinions are my own.


Monday, 4 January 2016

Urban Decay | Vice 4

The Urban Decay Vice 4 is this years limited edition offering, and I've never owned a vice before, but when I saw this i knew I needed it. The colours look so intense in the pan that it is very easy to assume that they're not wearable, but with a light hand and a good blending brush, you have got the perfect palette here!

The colours transform when you are working them together, and there are so many different shades that it's very easy to find the shades to suit your needs, personally I love making my grey/blue eyes pop, so I've been reaching for Flame all over the lid, and working a small amount of Bitter into the crease, and I find this works a treat! However, for NYE I opted for a grey smokey eye, which is so easy to do with the range of shades here!

I have used this everyday since Christmas, and I don't have any intentions of stopping that now, and I'm already planning some new looks to post too!

Have you got Vice 4?


Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015 - Beauty Favourites

This year has been full of new beauty finds, and plenty of wish lists stored up in my phone, but I've been sorting through my collection, and these bits are definitely my favourite items of the year!

Louboutin Rouge Nail Varnish is one that I purchased back in 2014, but it is always my go to nail varnish for a trusty red, that will last weeks without a topcoat or a chip in sight, the bottle is amazing - yes, slightly impractical but still amazing - and if you don't have the shoes, the next best thing is definitely the nail varnish! Chanel Perfection Lumiere is my latest foundation purchase, and I've finally found the one! It's shade range goes light enough for my ghostly face, the coverage is medium and buildable, matte finish but still with a hint of glow, and very quickly running out - I'll be taking a trip to a counter soon! 

One of my most luxurious purchases this year has been the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, and for me, it's worth the price tag, with a super subtle bronze which is perfect for the paler of us all, but buildable for darker skin tones, a dreamy champagne highlight, and rose gold packaging! Benefit's Roller Lash has revolutionised my mascara collection, for me, nothing compares. I have long eyelashes anyway, but this adds so much volume and curl that I no longer need to spend a good ten minutes on trying to get the perfect lashes.

My last two are probably my favourite of the bunch, Chanel Coco Rouge in Cecile is the perfect nude for me, both nourishing and long lasting, as you can see there is the tiniest amount left, and this is definitely top of my repurchase list! Take me into a MAC Counter and I can instantly pick out Mythology, which is a gorgeous shimmer shade that blends perfectly but can build up to a solid colour!

Do you have any recommendations for me in 2016?


Saturday, 2 January 2016

New Years Resolution

Every single year, social media is full of the 'new year, new me' blah blah blah. Nobody ever realistically changes, and through all of the silly new years resolutions all we seem to do is make ourselves feel bad for not fulfilling them, so this year I have stripped it back to the basics, and although I do have a few private resolutions, one of my main focuses this year is going to be...
I get incredibly nervous and decline many things through embarrassment, or even trying to simply be polite - well no more. I hate the regret when you've already said no and it's too late to do anything about it, so this year I am determined to take control of my own happiness, and say yes to everything that I want to, and not let myself be overcome by other feelings. 

I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year1

What are your resolutions this year?

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