Review : Zenzation Athletics Premium Yoga Mat

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I’ve had this mat for over a year now so I’ve had a serious amount of time to test it out! Received from my lovely boyfriend as a birthday present, at the time I was desperately in need of one… The carpet just wasn’t doing the trick for my daily practice anymore!

First things first, I am in love with the colour. It’s warm, inviting and uplifting. This is important to me because it brings my eye straight to the mat in my room, making me think of yoga, and thus making me practice more! The rounded edges means it stays flat during practice, something that I love, it can be so annoying when something like that disturbs your flow.

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It has an anti-slip/sticky sort-of surface so it doesn’t move around a lot, which can be so annoying when in poses such as downward facing dog or warrior pose. It’s 6.5mm thick, which is incredibly comfortable. I have found that, while using someone else’s mat or using one provided at a class, they are usually quite thin. Sometimes when I put pressure on my knees in a particular pose I can have some discomfort and pain, and this mat helps so much with that.

One added bonus is that it’s made out of easy-to-clean material, if I’m outside and some mud gets on it, a quick wipe does the trick. I don’t find that anything gets stuck in between the threads of the mat.

I would recommend this mat to any yogi! It’s so comfortable, clean, and looks eye-catching…adding some extra joy into my everyday practice 🙂

Love and light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Link to buy this mat!

Welcome to Turkey : How getting away can clear your mind!

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So I have arrived in Turkey! After the stress of finishing college and doing exams, going on a holiday has never come at such a perfect time. De-stressing and evaulating the frame of mind I am in are my main goals for this trip. Lying in the sun, swimming, and continuing my yoga practice along with the odd meditation session are the activities I plan to incorporate into most of my days here. The second I stepped off that plane and landed on turkish soil I felt a weight lifted. For me, nothing clears my head more than experiencing a different environment from that which I’ve been living in, for what seems like forever. It forces you to take a step back and view how your life has been going recently and thus, have a critical view of your state of happiness. I have been here for 3 days now and not much has happened, which I consider a good thing seeing how we all feel like life has to be constantly busy in order to achieve and progress. I’ve been lying in the sun getting a tan and swimming, without venturing outside the hotel for too long. I did a short and sweet yoga class this morning and it was so beautiful in the morning sun, something I feel I’ll be doing every day! Being content in doing nothing has been a hard thing for me to accept after being so busy for the last 4 years of college. Living in the now, taking in every present moment has been and is still a large lesson for me to learn. Right now I am drinking a cold beer and listening to the mosque calls to prayer, thoroughly enjoying the different experiences and reflecting on my life so far. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of this country, it’s people and the relaxed way of life, reminiscing back to a time when I first visited about 10 years ago when I was too young to understand the history and to appreciate it’s unique culture.

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Using this time to post as much as possible was a big goal of mine before I left Ireland, however looking back now I crave the relaxation associated with no deadlines and pressures. Saying that, this blog is just a breath of fresh air for me because the pressure I have is only there because I decide it is. We can all strive to be better, but we also have to be patient.

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On another note, I’ve been reading a fantastic book that I’d like to share with everyone! It’s called ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff’ by Richard Carlson and for someone who suffers every single day with anxiety, it’s benefitted me more than I could have imagined. Everyone can learn something from this so I’d advise you pick up a copy 😉 Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this post.

Love and light always,

Namaste,

Amy xx

My Favourite Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

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For about a year now I’ve been completely converted to being a smoothie drinker every morning, cutting out the sugar filled cereals and smashing in those fruits and veggies instead has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only is it so quick, but playing around with different flavours can be so fun and easy to change. One of the reasons it’s super quick, is that I have invested in an appliance that’s like the cheaper version of the ‘Nutri-Bullet’ everyone raves about. It was about €30 and I actually prefer it, as the bottle sizes are about 900 ml, (much more than the Nutri-Bullet), and the typical the portion I would have every morning. So without more babbling, here’s the recipe I’ve been using most recently..

2 Apples

1 Banana

3 tbsp Frozen Mixed Berries

3 handfuls Frozen Spinach

2 tbsp Almonds

3 tbsp Oats

2 tbsp Natural Yoghurt

200 ml Orange Juice

100 ml Almond Milk

50 ml Soya Milk

It sounds like a lot to put in but usually I would have chopped the apples and bananas the night before, and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. The reason I use frozen ingredients a lot is not only to keep the smoothie cold but also the keep the fruit from going off, it works really well and means everything lasts much longer while locking in essential nutrients, and I can stock up! I put the oats in because you can’t taste them, but they just add a lot more energy to the smoothie that’s slow-releasing so will keep you going for longer. The almonds are there for no particular reason other than taste, and I usually make my own almond milk so the whole almond nuts are to hand. I tend to mix up the liquids in the smoothie (almond & soya milk, orange juice) a lot depending on what I feel that week, even water is great! I also never measure the liquids, the above is just an approximation, it’s usually just all just sloshed in together and rarely planned!

I hope some of you try this recipe out, it’s healthy and filling, and the amount of each ingredient can be altered to fill whatever size smoothie you want, and best of all, it tastes delicious! If you do happen to give it a go, be sure to tweet or instagram me the results!

Love and Light,

Namaste,

Amy xx

 

The New Patent Shoes I have fallen in love with…

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The majority of the shoes I own are Doc Martens…and there is a very specific reason why I always come back to this brand. Although they are an investment, being at a higher price point than a lot of other shoes, the quality beats all. A few years ago I was rooting through some of my mum’s old stuff and found these brown Doc Marten boots still in perfect condition. I fell in love.. and after some discussion they became mine for the foreseeable future. I have worn these shoes for the last 2 or so years every day. Day-to-day wear, festivals, nights out, they were perfect for everything! These shoes were about 30 years old and my mum wore them for a very long time before I even existed. If you take care of them, these shoes can last forever, and even passed down through generations!

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So, having multiple boots in my collection I was on the search for something a bit more classy, plain… but can add a lot to your outfit. It took me a long time to decide but I found these babies. They are the Women’s Re-Invented 1461 Black Patent Leather Shoes.

Priced at €100, first and foremost they are so comfortable. The classic yellow thread running along the sole of the shoe adds the vintage feel and makes them instantly recognisable as Doc Martens. They have a 3-eyelet lace which makes them look more petite, something I love. The patent leather makes them super easy to clean and sometimes I think that I get a little bit paranoid about them being dirty. Just because they are so shiny and glossy it feels wrong! I’ve never felt like that about any other shoe…

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Because they are so simple, they go with any outfit, of any colour, tights or no tights, whatever you feel in the mood for, they just work! I think me and these shoes are going to have a lovely relationship in the future. My babies, my loves, my shoesies.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this,

Love and Light,

Namaste,

Amy xx

15 Beauty Favourites of 2014

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So many revolutionary makeup products were brought out this year that changed the way us ‘normal’ girls approached our makeup skills. I mean the ordinary folk who are not trained makeup artists and don’t have the cash to buy the products that are most raved about. For me, having a job for the most part of 2014 meant that instead of just saving the money to replenish my stock of go-to foundation, I had the opportunity to experiment alot more with the new offers out there. I still stayed drug-store 90% of the time – as I can’t quite justify spending money on high-end brands thus far. The majority of the products mentioned here are affordable for anyone, so to avoid blabbering too much, here are my favourite products of 2014.

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Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (01 Fair)

I still can’t quite get over how cheap this is for how amazing the product performs. For me, having quite a large amount of acne scars and blemishes, I need a concealer that is high coverage but also not too thick and easy to blend. This product is really pigmented and a great colour-match for me. Great for brightening the under-eye area as well, I mainly like to use this by applying it onto a blemish/scar, going on to do another part of my routine (eyebrows usually) leaving it to settle onto the skin, and then blending out with either a damp sponge or suitable soft brush.

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Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer (010 Ivory)

Another great concealer with a slightly higher price-point than the collection one, It’s name really does suggest a brightening formula and making you seem ‘more awake’, which is exactly what it does. I don’t find this too great for active blemishes in terms of covering up so I mainly would use this under the eye area on days when I’m feeling tired and looking like crap!

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Catrice Sun Glow Matt Bronzing Powder (030 Medium Bronze)

Before myself and this baby crossed paths in early 2014 I had given up on bronzer. All the ones I tried seemed to be too orange making quite a ‘cake-face’ look, or, too qlittery making me look sweaty, which really made me pissed off at bronzers in general. However, this is the perfect match for me. It’s matte which means it looks more natural and doesn’t give you that sweaty look – it’s more neutral toned than red toned which means that it matches the natural contours of your face and mimics a shadow. I love using this for contouring or for bronzing, what a great product.

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Rimmel London Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder (001 Transparent)

A product I will stand by for years to come! One of the only setting powders I have found that doesn’t make your foundation look cake-y, it always does exactly what I want it to do. The one I mainly use is transparent, though I have tried the coloured ones before and find they work just as well as long as you find the right shade. For people with oily skin, this product is a saviour. Holds my makeup in place all day and prevents extra oil build up on the t-zone.

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Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation (No54 Beige)

I was previously using the Rimmel London Lasting Finish foundation which I thought was okay and have used for the past 2 or so years, and I merely thought it was my oily skin type that would never allow foundation to look right on me. How wrong I was! I only just received this foundation at Christmas so I really haven’t been using it that long, it was bought on a whim and I hadn’t heard of it before, I just wanted to try something new. From the first stroke of my foundation brush I knew I was in love. It went onto my skin so easily and settled, so it didn’t ‘sit’ on my face, dried to a slightly silky matt finish and lasted all day once powdered lightly. I cannot praise it enough, and I am quite shocked it hasn’t been raved about yet by the beauty gurus online.

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Rimmel London Stay Matte Primer

Yet another product I will always stand by! I’ve heard it have mixed reviews in the media but I really feel it deserves a higher praise. With my skin type I have stayed well away from primers, as ones I’ve tried before have been so slippy on my skin making makeup look patchy and greasy. The second I put this on my skin it felt like silicone but dried into the skin making the perfect base for foundation. Even though it does soak up excess moisture it doesn’t leave my skin dehydrated either – it just makes it perfectly balanced. I found this best used in the summer when things get a bit more sticky – but haven’t used this at all this winter when my skin is naturally dehydrated anyway, so i’ve taken to not using a primer at all. Fantastic product.

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Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint & Precision Shaping Pencil  (Love is Blonde)

I have been wanting and dreaming about owning this for a long time. Just looking at it gets me excited! While not having a high-end price-point, it’s still a little too high for me. Until my sister got it for me for christmas. I am in love. It has two ends – one with more of a pencil feel which I use to fill in large gaps in the brows, and another end which has a really thin applicator that consists of tiny hairs rather than one hard nib. I use this end to ‘fake’ eyebrow hairs – using really small thin strokes to create hairs usually on the front of my brows. This product is so, so good for making them look natural, if you know how to use it. Great colour match for me too.

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Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara (Black)

I’ve had a hard year of finding a mascara without nickel in it so I can use it everyday. I will go into that skin problem in a later blogpost but for now, I praise this mascara to the last. I’ve tried everything, and it usually ends up in swollen and rash covered eyelids and an upset Amy. Going to the Clinique counter, I had no faith and wasn’t ready to listen – but she said this might be my last chance! And she was right. Does what I needed it to do. Jet black, no clumps, waterproof and no nickel. Great Product for me!

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Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette

I’ve never really owned an eyeshadow palette before, If I have it’s been a shitty one passed down to me. But I sneakily used my sister’s when she acquired it, and fell in love. I got my own for christmas and use this every single day no matter what makeup look I’m going for. Special mentions for the shades Naked, Buck and Half-Baked. Naked palette – I love you.

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Maxfactor Colour Elixir Lip Liner (Brown N’Nude)

Before you say the words ‘Kylie Jenner’ – I love brown, neutral-toned lip colours. Bring back the 90’s! It’s quite a soft pencil meaning it doesn’t leave your lips dehydrated but very pigmented and lasts all day. What more can i say! Would love to try more shades from this range.

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet (07- Nude-ist/05- Olé Flamingo)

Another product that has had mixed reviews, but I don’t think I could love this any more than I already do. Not dehydrating, a liquid lipstick that lasts literally all day and feels so, so creamy when applied. When first applied it looks very shiny but it dries matte. Only problem was that I was a bit disappointed with the colour (07-Nude-Ist). On the packaging it looked very brown/purple-y toned but when applied (even over a plain base) it came out very pinky/red toned which I really wasn’t pleased with. But have grown to like the colour and wear this almost every day. I picked up another colour from this range last week, 05-Olé Flamingo, which I love. Not for everyday for me as it is almost neon, but on night’s out, definitely.

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Rimmel London Apocalips Lip Velvet (Atomic Rose)

Another liquid lipstick! Does much the same thing as the rouge edition velvets but I feel isn’t as pigmented and doesn’t last as long. Still wear it most days but is an odd colour I chose! It’s very orange toned but I do like it. Would love to try some more neutral shades.

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Maybelline Colour Show Nail Polish (specifically 120 Urban Turquoise)

Another thing I had money for, nail polish. I have a few shades in this range and although some are better than others – most are very pigmented and really long lasting. Only takes one coat and dries within 2 minutes, great colour payoff! My favourite is definitely Urban Turquoise with a special mention for 352 Downtown Red as-well.

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Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter 

I received this for christmas and fell in love. I don’t use it on my face as it is so sensitive but I use it as a body moisturiser after every shower. Leaves my skin feeling hydrated and the smell….oh….my…god. Delicious. Such a fresh scent and makes you feel clean and pampered.

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Lastly….but certainly not least I have to mention the RealTechniques Brushes. Before I bought these i had nothing, except for a shit foundation brush i bought in Penney’s. I went a bit mad when I saw the difference in price between Boots and online. I was working up the courage to buy the expert face brush in Boots which cost €20. A crazy amount for one brush. But….online it was €7.90. So boom! I have most of the collection now on my makeup desk bar the limited editions….but god they are so great. For people who love makeup but aren’t makeup artists – these are so amazing! Love the handles, they feel pro….easy to clean…when cleaned they keep their shape and are just such a joy to use. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. Special mentions for the expert face brush, so so good for foundation, the deluxe crease brush, which i use either for blending concealer or for eyeshadow, and the Blush brush, which is just so soft. I will love them forever.

If you stuck around till the end, thank you so much. This is my first blogpost and It is very hard to decide what information to write, what would be helpful, and what might bore you….If you have any ideas or specifics you want to read about then hit me up, leave a comment and I will meet your needs to the best of my abilities!

Love and Light,

Namaste,

Amy xx