Life Lately- January 2013

life lately

Pics taken from my Instagram, @misshollieb.

Somehow, it has been an absolute age since I blogged but time away from it has made me realise just how much damn hard work running a blog is and I take my fedora off to the likes of Louise, Alison and Alice who manage to run hugely successful blogs whilst also having small children. Ladies, you are Internet Super Women!

I thought now would be a good time to reflect on the last six months. When I last blogged, I was nearing deadline day on my degree (hence blogging. Because procrastinating). Now, in 2014, I’m a graduate and a full time working person with a real life actual job that people pay me to do. There’s even an office dog, for Christ’s sake! Basically, life got good.

Picture 1 is of me in Waterstones after a gin fuelled afternoon. At the time, I thought taking this photograph was the funniest thing ever. No, I don’t know why either…

Working full time means I now appreciate the weekends more than I ever did when I was a student or freelancing. Six months ago I’d be up at 8am to go shopping and run errands and go out and “seize the day” or whatever that means. Now it’s all about the long lie-ins and contemplating how the hell weekends go so damn fast. And gin. Have I said gin too much already?

The third picture is the office dog. Enough said.

In September time I went on Sky News (most nerve-wracking thing EVER!) and spoke about the latest infertility breakthrough. My face was shown around the world so I apologise to any Aussies that may have seen that face just as they were about to go to bed.

Following on from Sky, I discussed the same topic with Radio Five Live which meant sitting in a little studio in BBC Nottingham where, incidentally, one of my favourite YouTube ladies works! If you’re not following TalkBeckyTalk, go do so right now!

As ever, despite the long working days and the weekends hiding from the world in a onesie, I’m still as much of a beauty addict and I adore this recent NOTD. Sadly, I can’t for the life of me remember for the life of me the name or brand of the polishes. Useful, aren’t I?

Christmas this year was filled with parties, too much champagne and lots of dressing up. Going to the Zeebox UK party at The Savoy was a particular highlight and the Notts TV cocktail at my work party was to die for!

Finally, I started 2014 off celebrating seven years with Mr M. He is nice.

So here’s to a new era of Life of a Digital Girl- one with more NOTDs, OOTDs and OMGIADOGDs (that’s an “Oh My God, I am dying of gin” day). Thanks to everyone who has read the blog in the past, I hope you’ll stick with me as I find my feet once more.

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Origins Facial

Origins skin

♥ Konichiwa! I am back from Tokyo and still super jet lagged. Luckily for me, I’ve eased myself into the week with some much needed pampering, partly thanks to the team at Origins in Nottingham.

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♥ A few weeks ago I was contacted by Origins to ask if I’d like to head into House of Fraser Nottingham for a complimentary Origins facial. Of course, I said yes! Origins were one of the first brands I tried when early menopause seriously started effecting my skin and despite being given a few trial sizes of their products and loving them, I never got round to purchasing the full size versions.

Skin consultation

♥ So, with an open mind and expecting great things, I headed out in the snow for my free facial and was greeted by the lovely Nicola. Nicola first sat me down and had a great in-depth chat with me about my skin type, what products I currently use and why. The aim of the skin consultation is to figure out your problem areas, what you want from your skincare regime and what you might be missing in your current line up.

Origins products

♥ Nicola was really informative, explaining to me why I need to use certain products and she was not once judgemental when I came out with stupid lines such as: “I use toner but I literally have no idea why”. Nicola wrote down my answers on a card and we spoke through a few products before she whisked me off to the treatment room for my facial.

♥ Reserved for VIP events, I was allowed into the treatment room for my facial but I would have been more than happy to have my facial done in the private and discreet area in the corner of the Origins counter.

♥ My facial consisted of taking off my make-up which, in itself, was super relaxing. After my skin was cleansed with the Pure Cream cleanser, Nicola guided me through the rest of the facial step-by-step. One of my favourite products Nicola used was the Modern Friction scrub which was applied to dry skin, rubbed in, mixed with water and then soaked off the skin to create a great moisturising exfoliation. I was also treated to the GinZing eye mask which soothed my tired eyes and the Drink Up moisture mask which eased my skin after experiencing two 12 hour flights within the space of a week.

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♥ During my facial and consultation I was told the importance of a serum. I’d like to think I was fairly savvy when I came to my skincare regime but serums have never really crossed my mind. However, after today, I’ll certainly be using one. Origins provide a range of serums to produce different effects and the one used on me was the Mega-Bright skin correcting serum which perked up my tired and dull skin.

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♥ After my wonderful facial I was given a little goodie bag of samples to take home and try and I can’t wait to use them this week.

♥ The really great thing about these Origins facials is they’re free! Origins in House of Fraser Nottingham provide free 30 minute skin consultations and facials which no push to buy at all. If you’re after a freebie facial from Origins, all you have to do is give them a call and book in and then, on the day, lie back and relax.

♥ A huge thanks to Origins for organising this for me. And despite the fact it was a free experience, all views are my own. As is my new look brighter and smoother skin!

♥ Kiehl’s Bloggers Gathering

♥ Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Kiehl’s Bloggers Gathering at their Nottingham Store on Bridlesmith Gate. Despite the stand alone Kiehl’s store being in Nottingham for over six months now, I’ve never got round to trying out their products which constantly grace the pages of my favourite magazines.

Kiehl's Nottingham

♥ The evening started with coffee and cake with the lovely Sophia from Tattooed Tea Lady and Abi from Handbags and Gladrags before we ventured up for a little lock-in at the Kiehl’s store with a whole host of other bloggers.

Natalie from Floral Republic and Abi from Handbags and Gladrags

Natalie from Floral Republic and Abi from Handbags and Gladrags

♥ After swigging a glass or two of pomegranate champagne and munching on popcorn and pretzels, we were gathered round to watch a video which showed off the core brand values of Kiehl’s.

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Sophia from Tattooed Tea Lady

Sophia from Tattooed Tea Lady

♥ I learned SO much last night about the brand and I love how true they are to their history and heritage. Founded in American in 1851, it started out as a store for all sorts of lotions and potions- including blood sucking leeches! Of course, gone are the nasties and in their place stand iconic products such as Creme De Corps and the gorgeous Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

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♥ Kiehl’s were sold to L’Oreal back in 2010 but still stand by their strong charitable and ethical values. Kiehl’s don’t test on animals and release certain products where 100% of the profits go to charities such as Great Ormand Street.

♥ After being talked through a multitude of products by the lovely staff, we had a little play around before being taken aside and having a personal skin consultation. Over the last two years, my skin has been crazy due to going through early menopause so I’m a bit sensitive when it comes to chatting about my skin type but the delightful Ash made me feel calm and comfortable. I had a great little test done on my skin to measure the oil levels in my skin and I came out right bang in the middle which made me feel rather pleased. Ash suggested a handful of products for me and I’ve now got a wish list as long as my arm!

Bloggers test a range of Kiehl's products

Bloggers test a range of Kiehl’s products

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♥ After some more photo taking, mingling with the other bloggers and yet more testing of products, we were given a gorgeous selection of Kiehl’s products to take home, including a full size Midnight Recovered Concentrate which I’ll be reviewing when I come back from Tokyo.

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♥ Thanks so much once again to the beautiful staff at Kiehl’s Nottingham for organising a great event and for making me come away with a smile on my face and a fresh excitement about my skincare routine.