Just for you

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Let’s think about doing things just for you.

In the same way you would take time to restore your muscles, it’s important to take time to restore your emotions.

Hard core self love.

I take a lot of time to listen to my body and my mind, because I really think that’s where all the answers come from.

I suppose it’s a meditation in a way; the key is awareness.

Knowing what your body actually needs to feel good, the same for your mind, helps you to take responsibility for your own happiness.

Do more things for you.

Things that make you feel good.

Dance on your own. Twerk it all out if you feel like it.

Laugh at yourself.

Be conscious of your personal development.

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Of course it’s easier said than done, it’s hard to find the time, but I think you can always make time.

I love taking the time to reevaluate where I’m at. What I want going forward. Making sure I know what actually makes me feel good. Be candid and honest with yourself. Being honest with yourself is damn hard, but trust me, it’s worth it.

I feel like every time I do this something changes. I feel more focussed. More bad ass. 

All the feel good vibes.

Connect to yourself fully.

And trust yourself.

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I know a few people who seem to find it difficult to spent time on their own. Give it a try. I take a lot of time to do things that truly serve me – maybe even too much – and they usually involve being alone.

But I’ve found that the more love you can give to yourself, the more love you can give to others. It grows exponentially.

There’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.

Love yourself.

And treat YO’SELF.

Know that there will always be aspects of fear in your life, you are only human. I’m my own worst critic too – take a step back and trust.

Life can get a bit much sometimes, we can get caught up in the daily grind. Always having so much to do, what’s the next task, the next move. It sounds cheesy AF but slow it all down, be a bit more in the moment. Take it all in.

I do a lot of yoga (quite often in my underwear … why the fuck not) and I take a lot of baths. I spend a lot of time with my animals, go for walks, take in my surroundings. I dance. I laugh a lot with my friends. I listen to music far too loud. That’s what makes me feel good. When I write, I go into total hermit mode, and sometimes that’s just what I need.

Be aware of yourself,

but be light and go with ease.

What do you do, just for you?

 

Namaste,

Amy xx

2017

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I know I’m late.

But how late is too late?

2017. Wait… 2016.

Let’s talk about 2016.

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2016 was  one of the hardest and best years of my life thus far. Let’s start from the beginning.

January was filled with #yogacamp by the wonderful Adriene Mishler – see my post about it here. I learned self-love, confidence, trusting in myself. It changed me.

February I started to step out of my comfort zone. I went on dates. I kept up the fitness – LWRHIITIN4. My body changed dramatically.

I bought my first car and got insured. I started to drive and tasted that freedom for the first time.

I became closer to female friends, lost some, gained some. I felt I only truly started to understand the beauty of women and all that we are.

I agreed to do my first photo-shoot for a hair salon. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I took the leap, I couldn’t believe I did it. I let the hairstylist do what she wanted to my hair. I felt such empowerment and freedom from this experience (I wasn’t thrilled with the new look … but hey that was part of the process!)

I saw Beyoncé in June. Formation World Tour. BEYONCÉ. What?! B.E.Y.O.N.C.É. That night legit changed my life. So much happiness, so much strength. So. Much. Love.

I passed my driving test first time.

I spent the sunny Irish summer (max. 3 weeks… maybe…) lying in my back garden, mostly naked, listening to music and reading books. All day everyday for those 3 weeks. I enjoyed this time with myself so much and will never forget it.

I got a job. I got the job. I got a job that I always wanted. I cried with happiness, I welcomed the challenge. I still love it.

I stayed vegan all this year. I don’t think I will ever go back. It gives me such gratitude and respect for all living things.

I overcame so many mental issues. So many downfalls, tears, difficulty… within myself. I worked through it. I had the strength and drive to want better for myself. I can’t say I solved everything ….there is always work to be done (Do you ever really ‘get there’?). But I achieved so much and have come so far. I am not even close to the person I was this time last year. I learned to love myself. I learned to give love.

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2017.

This year tho.

This gon’ be my year tho.

Let’s just list out some things/thoughts for 2017, cause that’s what people do, right?

I want to explore my creativity, fully, now that I have recognised how much joy it gives me. And to explore that through many different outlets. Write more on the blog, pull back on the perfectionism … you’re just writing about you and the things that you love.

I want to continuously remind myself to take responsibility for my own happiness.

I want to continue to practise yoga, daily, because I know how good it makes me feel.

I want to get fitter and push the boundaries of that, but with ease and awareness.

I want to continue to challenge myself in my work, and push myself to learn and succeed.

I want to love more. I know that I have the capacity and it is in my nature, but past hurt has made me wary, less giving. I want to let go of that fear, and I want to give love to the people in my life that matter so much to me. *Don’t cry*

I want to laugh more and stop being so god damn serious (if you read my blog you will totally get this!)

I want to travel more and see more of the world, and through this learn more about myself.

Finally, something I’ve really been working on and getting somewhere with, is to apologise less. Stop apologising. You are who you are. You know who you are. You love who you are.

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A lot of negative things happened in 2016. A lot of sad things, scary things. Things I never imagined would happen, and things I am not going to comment on or discuss here. All I will say is, keep your focus on love. Love will conquer, and there is always love to be found if you look hard enough.

Happy New Year.

Feel free to comment… to discuss things you’ve overcome in 2016, goals you have for the new year, or just to have a chat, please do so down below… or tweet me @amylauren_b

Thank you so much to everyone who has read my blog over the past year, it means a lot more to me than you might think! I wish you all the best for the year ahead.

So. Much. Love.

Namaste,

Amy xx

P.s.   First full moon of 2017 last night. I’m relishing in it, and viewing it as the ‘real’ New Year. Celebrate. Be present. Enjoy!

Bourjois Air Mat Foundation Review

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I’ve been using this foundation for a little over 4 months so I’ve had a lot of time to test this out!  All my oily skinned guurls get ready to be amazed!  Obviously my new favourite, this is such a beautiful foundation.  Lets get into it.

So, as Bourjois describe it, it has a matte and smooth finish, 24hr hold…it’s non-drying, lightweight formula lets skin breathe throughout the day and provides high coverage for a flawless finish.  It’s enriched with mattifying micronized powders which eliminate shine with no mask effect.  I agree with 90% of these statements so that’s pretty damn good for a brand’s description.

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Priced at €13.99, you get 30mls per product so that’s pretty standard. The colour is definitely yellow-toned, but for me it goes perfectly with tan that i’ve been wearing most of the time lately so it’s all good (the colour I’m using at the moment is 02 Vanilla).  I find it does tend to go a bit darker, slightly oxidising on the skin, so beware of that and keep an eye out before you set/put on bronzer/contour, etc.  I’m definitely going to purchase a lighter shade to see how well that works.  The best part of this foundation however is how amazing it feels on the skin for the coverage that it gives.  I would say it’s a medium-high coverage as it doesn’t cover my acne scars so this girl still be using concealer but it’s pretty darn good. Within seconds of applying it feels so so light, and like ACTUAL SKIN.  Which is something I’m never used to because most that i’ve used in the past, because of how much acne/scarring I have to cover, usually feel very heavy.  Sooo I’m super happy with that.

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More great things! It’s definitely buildable and doesn’t go cakey if you want to apply a second layer.  When it does dry it gives a healthy matte finish, rather than a powdery one which is so lovely.  I find my skin takes a bit longer to get oily compared to other foundations, and when I do reapply powder if needed, it reacts well to that too.

I love that because you squeeze out the product and it’s not a pump, you can really control how much of it you use which is so good, you’re not wasting any product and constantly finding yourself repurchasing it.  Which I have done …. but not because I’m wasting it because I’m actually using it everyday!  The rest of the packaging is ok, looks fairly cheap but it’s functional which is more important right? I mean it is only €13.99, this aint no mac product yo.

Overall, it’s been a godsend, totally great for oily skin and affordable.  If you’re from Ireland, you can find it in Boots/Superdrug, or anywhere else with a Bourjois Makeup stand.

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

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram to keep up to date! 🙂

Namaste,

Amy xx

Mini Boohoo Haul

Back at it again with the regular posts, go me!  Made a cheeky boohoo purchase last week to up the mood, nothing like a bit of retail therapy! Hope you enjoy :*

Drew textured Zip A Line Mini Skirt

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It’s not very typical of me to add some colour to my wardrobe, but I thought this was the perfect piece to do it with.  It’s a beautiful lilac colour which is very toned down and goes with all the rest of the monotone things in my collection.  Perfect fit, and has a lovely thin fabric which hangs nicely on the body.  The zip at the back is very concealed adding to the simplicity of the piece.  It has a lovely texture as well which is very subtle.  I got this in size 12, lilac, and paid €10 for it!  Loooove this!

Fran Petite Cross Over Crepe Woven Skater Dress

 

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I have soo many skater dresses but nothing in black so I feel like this was necessary!  I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fabric because it was only €8, it’s very thick which is great.  I love the crossover detail which made this piece a bit different to other things I have, but of course the model had smaller boobies than me and not too sure if I like how much cleavage it shows.  It also means I can’t really wear a bra with this, which makes them seem a bit more out of control!  Definitely doesn’t make me feel too confident.  Another thing I wasn’t too pleased about was on the inside of the cross over fabric in the front has some extra unnecessary fabric which tends to slip out when I move, so I’ll have to try and iron this flat and see if that helps.  You can see this in the pictures as well.  I got this in a size 10, black.

Violet Moon Hair Clip

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Not entirely sure why I got this, one of those impulse buys!  But it was only €4 so can’t really go wrong.  Got it in gold, which I’ve been wearing a lot of lately jewellery wise so thought it might be a nice addition to a look.  I also never wear clips in my hair so thought I’d try it out.  It’s nice, not obsessed with it but it’s different.  I wish the moon was orientated differently cause it always seems to be in the wrong place.  What can you do!

Cameron Marl Brush Cropped Hoody

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Saving the best for last!  I’ve been looking for a plain black cropped hoody for soooo long but haven’t found one that was just plain before this so I had to get it!  I got it in size small, black, and cost me €16.  The fabric is so lovely, really thick and warm, which is probably why it always has to be washed at 30 degrees.  The cropped length is perfect for my body type, although I do find the hoody to be a bit tight on the neck and difficult to pull over your head.  Love this and so happy with the purchase!  Can’t stop wearing it 🙂

Hoped you liked this mini boohoo haul, a small order but can’t be breaking the bank these days. Y’all know how it is!  Also, let me know if you’d be interested in a quick life update to let you know what I’ve been up to!

Love and light,

Namaste,

Amy xx

How Yoga Camp with ‘Yoga With Adriene’ Changed Me

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Towards the end of last year I went through a huge change, a break-up, something I discussed in my ‘A Bit More Personal..’ post (have a read if you want to get up to date with me!).  I was struggling with self-love, and Christmas was particularly difficult for me.  New Years was even worse.  I so desperately wanted things to change.  I wanted to go into 2016 with a positive outlook, and most importantly, start doing things for myself for once.  So when I heard ‘Yoga with Adriene’s’ Adriene Mishler was starting a 30 day Yogacamp for the month of January, completely free, with a video uploaded every single day, I was sold.  I signed up, and got my first email which included the YogaCamp Calendar.  I printed it out and marvelled at all the beautiful mantras I was yet to experience.  The whole idea seemed too good to be true, and I feel the universe was helping me by bringing it to my attention.  It was exactly what I needed, and was aimed to tackle my largest problem at the time, self-love.

On January 1st, it all started.  The first video was an introduction, and then Jan 2nd the first yoga practise of the month was uploaded.  I rolled out my matt, tied my hair up, and took some deep breaths.  I cannot explain to you how, even after the first day of yogacamp, I felt a weight lifted.  I felt I was moving in the right direction.  AND GUUURL WAS I RIGHT!

Adriene is from Texas so each upload was at 6am her time, which was 12pm for me in Ireland.  I made a habit of waking up, cleaning, tending to the animals, eating breakfast, and doing a few odd jobs before the video came in.  I felt for the first time in months I was excited to get out of bed, and would become so elated knowing that 12pm was coming soon.  It truly revived a part of me that had been lost for many years, the drive…the excitement…the gratitude..the accomplishment…the self-love.  It got to a point where I was laughing at myself thinking ‘oh my friends want to go out this weekend, buuuuut what about my yogacamp?!’.  That’s another thing that was so important after the breakup, to keep friends close, and to get out the house and enjoy myself.  I couldn’t believe I wanted to stay home alone, not to eat ice cream and feel sorry for myself…but just so I could make sure I got my yogacamp fix!

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I got so used to doing it everyday, and concentrating on each day’s mantra, that I felt I was subconsciously letting myself feel everything I was trying to avoid months before.  That sounds bad, but beforehand I was constantly trying to force myself to be happy and confident, which after I while I realised was the thing holding me back and that was stopping me from moving forward.  Focussing on positive mantras, and only that, until the next day rolled around, kept things small, easier to handle, and approachable.  It wasn’t scary anymore.

On top of all that, I felt part of a community that was separate from the people I know in my life, who didn’t have opinions on what I was going through.  I found that so refreshing, part of a family that had no judgement.  Reading other people’s experiences of the very same videos I was watching, was grounding in itself.

The gratitude I feel for this woman is immense.  She came out of the blue and helped me with deep personal issues I’ve had for years.  And she gave it all out for free.  You can just tell the amount of effort that went into the mantras, the thoughtful poses for each day, the awareness of different levels people may be at, the delicacy with which she handled the intense and overwhelming idea of ‘making self-love cool again’.. all the while making you laugh with her hilarious jokes.  I’ve been doing yoga for years and have never felt so affected by a practise in my life.

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When it all came to an end there is a sadness attached, however I decided to restart it all over again.  I was hopeful that the change in self-love could only double after doing it all again for the next month.  I was right.  I feel the happiest and most at peace I’ve ever felt, I feel strong, beautiful, and capable of tackling anything that comes my way in the future.  Some of those things I never thought I’d say.  It is always a constant journey, but respect it and be patient.  So after all that, I want to say, Thank you Adriene Mishler.  You’ll probably never read this, but I’m sending love and light to you!  I am aware I’m a bit late to post this, a few months after… but I feel it was important to express this and better late than never.

If you are struggling with self-love, or are curious about sticking to yoga practise for 30 days, I cannot recommend this enough.  If that’s not your cup of tea, she has a vast amount of other videos on her channel which I’ll link below.  HAPPY YOGA-ING AND REMEMBER TO LOVE YOURSELF!

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

Namaste,

Amy xx

Current Shoe Loves

Been loving these 3 pairs of shoes these past few weeks, all very different, but thought I’d share my latest obsessions with you today!  Hope you enjoy :*

Adidas Originals Superstar Shoes

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Sooo classic!  Definitely a bit late to this trend but have loved them for years.  Pretty much been obsessed since Run DMC’s video for Walk this Way.  I mean we all know them from that, don’t we?  80’s hollaaah!  Anyway, I picked these up last Christmas in Office in Dublin for €90.  I wouldn’t usually spend so much on a pair of trainers but you can only really get the originals of these … or it just wouldn’t be the same.  They are so comfortable and go with every outfit.  Love the vibes they add to any look.  Got them in classic core white with black, the adidas logo at the back is in black with white, logo at the front is black with gold, and it has ‘superstar’ written on the sides in beautiful gold lettering.  The classic black stripes on the sides and the shell pattern on the front of the shoe are definitely what makes them so recognisable.  Love these so much and think they would be a great staple for anyone’s style!  However … living in the country in Ireland it is so hard to keep white trainers white!

White ‘Spice Girl’ Platforms

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These are just so fun.  I picked them up a few weeks ago in Primark / Penneys in Limerick City for only €9, so worth it.  Been obsessed with platforms ever since the Spice Girls (namely Baby Spice) of course but think the trend is coming back recently as I’ve seen the style a lot on social media.  I love how simple these are, just plain white (again.. so hard to keep clean), and are quite high for a platform so may not be an everyday look for everyone, however I still wear them most days!  Surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in, I love the extra height they give because I cannot wear heels to save my life.  They make my legs look longer and more toned than they actually are which is great.  Love wearing these with black leggings and a black hoody.  Keepin’ it monotonal y’know.

Blue Velvet & Black Platforms

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These are so beautiful I cannot believe they were only €1 in Primark / Penneys in Limerick City.  Could not leave the shop without getting these, such a great price!  Love the blue velvet which is so different and adds an interesting to touch to any outfit.  They are much shorter than the white platforms which makes them more wearable.  I love the black and blue contrast as well which you don’t see that often.  I love wearing these with an all black outfit and a dark blue denim jacket.  Retrooo Viiibes!

Hope you liked this post and got a bit of an insight to my shoe style lately, maybe it’ll gave you some inspiration!  See you next week for another post,

Love and light,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Palette Review

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First off, what a beautiful Palette. I was so excited to get this for Christmas, I mean….just look at it.
Just like a magpie I am drawn to anything shiny or sparkly…  and this packaging just screams glamour and luxury…with a hint of Gwen Stefani Punk, mixed with antique gold accents and of course, the classic black and white retro style she does so well. Everything about this reminds me of her…obviously, she made it!  But i’m glad she stuck to her own personal style.

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After trying this out every single day for about the last month I’ve had plenty of time to test each shade and make up my mind about them.  All of them have great staying power and have been tested in drunken, sweaty nights out …so Gwen has your back ladies. It has a huge gorgeous mirror big enough to please anyone, and a golden quote in it – “Magic’s in the Makeup” – from her No Doubt days. There are 15 1.4g shades, an amazing 12 of these are new to Urban Decay, and 3 come from UD’s Shadow Collection. Priced at €46, and Limited Edition, this is one of my most prized possessions already! I’ll go through each shade down below and I hope this helps anyone who may be in two minds about picking this up before it’s off the shelves. HOLLA AT ME GWEN!

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BLONDE

An absolutely gorgeous highlight colour and the brightest shade in the palette, a pale beige with a very fine shimmer to it.

BATHWATER

A beautiful pale beige again, with fine shimmer in golden pearl, perfect for a wash over the lids for ‘No Makeup’ Makeup days.

SKIMP

In my opinion the second highlight colour in the palette, a pale nude with a very fine shimmer, with a slight pink undertone.

STEADY

A gorgeous copper/rose shimmery shade with a metallic gold pigment. Perfect for blue eyes.

PUNK

One of my favourite shades in this palette, it’s a dark, ‘punky’ reddish brown shade that is completely matte and blends deliciously.

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BABY

This is such a beautiful metallic rose shade, that has a chunkier shimmer than shades mentioned above.

ANAHEIM

This shade is definitely going to be the most used! The perfect crease or base colour, a matte light brown/taupe, which is incredibly soft and easy to blend.

STARK

One of my least used shades of the palette so far, I think my light skin tone means it doesn’t really show up at all, as you can see in the swatch, but it’s a soft matte nude eyeshadow with a pink undertone. Perfect as a primer for other colours to be used on top, or for a ‘no-colour’ look.

ZONE

Very like Anaheim but slightly darker, it’s a medium matte brown colour perfect for the crease, and extremely blendable.

SERIOUS

A great smokey eye colour, it’s a dark grey with pearl shimmer, the swatch doesn’t do it justice!

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POP

Such a fun shade! A coral with chunky/sparkly gold and pink shimmer perfect for sprucing up any matte eye look. I don’t think the swatch is as ‘real-to-life’ as it should be.

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Surprisingly I’ve used this a lot, even though I don’t typically use pink on my eyes that much. It’s a blue-toned pink with fine shimmer, but I was a bit disappointed with the colour payoff as i felt it wasn’t as ‘pink’ as it should have been!

DANGER

Not the biggest fan of blue eyeshadow, because of my blue eyes I usually find it to be a bit much, but this actually works really well. Definitely for a heavier eye look because it is so dark, it’s a metallic royal blue-pink with fine shimmer.

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A bright yellow gold metallic shade that I love so much, it’s so buttery and blends fantastically!

BLACKOUT

A colour every palette should have! Definitely one of my most used. The ULTIMATELY perfect matte black, jet black eyeshadow. Perfect for dark smokey eyes. I like to spray a bit of fix plus from Mac Cosmetics on an angled brush, and it acts as the perfect black eyeliner.

 

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

Namaste,

Amy xx

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!