Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Happy 7th Blog Birthday to Me!

Today marks my blog's seventh birthday. I can't quite believe I've been writing this blog for SEVEN years today. Aside from making me feel very old, it also makes me feel incredibly proud to say that I've been running this space on the internet for seven entire years now, and what a whirlwind it has been.

From trips away and amazing events to collaborating with awesome brands, being featured in magazines and on some incredible websites, Away with the Fairies has been my rock over the past seven years and I honestly don't know where I'd be without this little corner of the internet. It's been the place to share my passions, my hopes and dreams, and my successes, and you guys have been the best cheerleaders I could ever ask for. I never thought when I dusted off my ancient HP laptop to create my Blogger account all those years ago that I'd still be doing it today - and that it would have brought me everything it has.

So, because I feel like seven years is a Pretty Big Deal, I decided to throw my blog a little birthday party at the weekend. Yes - I actually threw a party for a website - welcome to 2017. Party Delights kindly supplied me with everything I needed to create the most perfect unicorn-themed party (because you all know how much I love unicorns) and I had so much fun decorating the house and munching on miniature cupcakes. My favourite things have got to be the iridescent plates, unicorn napkins, iridescent table confetti and 'We Heart Unicorns' bunting - I mean, how cute are they!? So big shout out to Party Delights for helping me celebrate seven years of awesomeness here at Away with the Fairies.

So... what does the next seven years hold? Well, as I always say, I want things to only get bigger and better from here on out. I have lots of ambition when it comes to my blog, I just don't always have the self-belief to see things through, and that's where I struggle. It's time to kick those thoughts to the curb though and concentrate on making my blog the best it can be - for both my readers and myself. I have decided a rebrand is most definitely on the cards, as whilst Away with the Fairies has been kind to me for all these years, I think it's time to ditch the name that I half-heartedly came up with way back when and opt for something else. With that means there will be a new blog layout coming, and hopefully lots more content on three things I'm keen to tap into more on here - travel, fitness, and mental health.

So, all that leads me to say is thank you, thank you, thank you, for standing by me these past seven years and making my blog what it is today. I couldn't have done it without you guys!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

10 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Scrolling

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to stop scrolling through social media aimlessly on my phone so much. Then I discovered Instagram Stories, and that went completely out of the window. I've probably spent a good chunk of 2017 so far scrolling through my phone, not achieving anything other than wasting time, and so from here on out I'm making a conscious effort to stop it. So, I thought it made sense to put together a list of 10 of the things I (and you) could be doing instead of scrolling aimlessly through social media...

1. Reading a book - I seem to have a never-ending pile of books that I want to read, but I always claim I don't have the time to read them. Instead of scrolling through pictures of other peoples' dinners and Snapchats of girls pouting to rap music before I go to bed, I could be escaping into a book - reading feeds the soul, after all.

2. Playing with your pet(s) - I adore my dog and whilst I give him a huge amount of love and attention, there are moments when I can see he's getting agitated by how interested I am in my phone. I'm sure he thinks it's this evil thing that takes all the attention away from him, and at times, I guess it is. Instead of spending 20 minutes refreshing Twitter, I could be playing fetch with him, or teaching him a new trick.

3. Doing some exercise - Instead of just exercising your thumb, the time spent on social media could be used to go to the gym, do a quick at-home workout or even just go for a walk. There have been countless times I've debated going to the gym, been scrolling on my phone only to look at the time and see an hour has passed. I could have worked out during that time!

4. Writing - Whether it's a new blog post, a chapter of that book you've always wanted to write or simply a diary entry, writing is so therapeutic and definitely something that is worth doing every day. You could easily crack out 500 words in the time you spend day-to-day scrolling.

5. Picking up a new hobby - Whether it's creating a bullet journal, learning to play the piano, taking up crochet or even just starting up an adult colouring book, in the age of social media I think hobbies are a dying art that we need to be paying more attention to. In the time we spend scrolling, we could be learning new talents or getting some well-deserved time out. I definitely know which I'd rather be doing!

6. Calling a friend - Despite constantly seeing what our friends and family are up to on social media, it's rare these days that we spend the time to call up an old friend and have a good hour-long chat. I said this year would be the year I'd make sure I keep in touch with my friends more regularly, and so far so good. Instead of scrolling through your bezzie's pictures, give her a call or a text and have a natter.

7. Learning a recipe - I'm notoriously terrible at cooking, and I tend to get stuck in a rut with what I eat very quickly. Just a quick search on the internet, however, and there are thousands of recipes at your finger tips - so why not spend the time you would scrolling by jotting down the ingredients and whipping up a culinary delight?

8. Watching a film - I have a great long list of 'cult classic' films that I want to watch before I die, but I never seem to find the time to sit down and watch them. That's because I'm spending so much time procrastinating on my phone! I'm definitely going to make more time to watch good films this year, and make it more of an 'event', as I definitely think Netflix hasn't helped when it comes to just casually half-watching things.

9. Doing some self-care - I can't actually remember the last time I did a face mask. True story. In the 15 minutes you spend aimlessly scrolling, you could do a face mask, paint your nails or even do a mini at-home facial! Some very important self-care right there.

10. Reading your favourite blogs - Whilst you might be following your favourite bloggers on social media, keeping up-to-date with them on Snapchat or Insta Stories, when was the last time you actually read their blog? I know I'm definitely guilty of just watching people I love on social media but never actually making the time to read their blogs. With the blogging climate right now, I think it's so important we take the time out to read, comment and share blog posts we love - it doesn't take long and can make all the difference.

Will you be doing any of these instead of scrolling? Let me know!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Liquid Lipstick Loving

Liquid lipsticks were big news in 2016, and I don't think the hype looks set to stop any time soon. Over the past few months I've built up quite a selection from lots of different brands, so I thought I'd run through my favourites with you all...

OCC RTW Lip Tars*: Oh my gosh, these are AMAZING. They were the first product I'd ever tried from OCC and ever since I've been a big fan of the brand. Available in selection of gorgeous shades, these are SO pigmented and long-lasting. They're quite glossy when on which I like, although it does mean they can get a bit messy. I just love the finish of them and the two shades that I've got (I have a nudey colour as well as the bright pink pictured) are seriously so gorgeous, and unlike any other lip products I own. They even smell minty too!

NYX Lip Lingerie: Fast becoming a cult favourite, I couldn't not feature the NYX Lip Lingerie in this post. I bought a fair few shades a while back and since have been reaching for them on a regular basis. These nude liquid lipsticks dry very matte and as such can be a bit drying on the lips, but the colour pay-off is great and they're definitely a must for nude lovers. I would probably recommend trying to head to a NYX counter if you're thinking of getting some though, as I ordered mine online and lots of the shades I chose are so similar I don't really need to have all of them.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet*: Probably one of the first liquid lipsticks I tried, I love the Rouge Edition Velvets from Bourjois and completely recommend them. These are just that - ultra velvety on the lips, with a velvet finish that is oh-so easy to wear. They are ideal for everyday wear and a really great price too - and come in some gorgeous shades. I love them!

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Lip Paint*: Maybelline's Color Drama Intense Lip Paints are just that - very intense with incredible colour pay-off. Similar to the OCC offering, they are super glossy when on and come in some seriously gorgeous shades. If you're looking for ultra bright, bold and opaque colours, these are for you.

Bagsy Lip Velvet Soft Matte Lip Colour*: Possibly my least favourite of the bunch, Bagsy's Velvet Soft Matte liquid lipsticks are super soft and velvety, but for me the colour pay-off just doesn't compare to the other brands. I'd say these would be much more suited to someone wanting to venture into the world of liquid lipsticks but who prefers a more toned-down, subtle finish, as this is what these achieve.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks: You can't do a round-up on liquid lipsticks and not include Too Faced's amazing Melted Liquid Lipsticks. I've had a couple of full-sized shades for a while now and have been obsessed with them, so when I got a little kit with three mini versions in for Christmas I was delighted. These are super glossy, super opaque and the applicator makes them really easy to apply. They come in a variety of gorgeous shades, and even have a matte range and a chocolate range (that actually smell like chocolate) out too. Love!

What are your favourite liquid lipsticks? Let me know!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Workoutwear Wishlist

Can you believe we're finally in February? I feel like January dragged like no other and I'm kind of glad to see the back of it. I've read a few posts saying that January was just a trial month and now February here it's time to start the year properly. After not really sticking to my resolutions too closely in January I'm happy to get on board with that! In particular, exercise is something I'm trying to get into a bit more, and with that of course comes the compulsory new gym wear. My gym wardrobe is definitely looking a bit lacklustre at the moment, and so I've been scouting out some of my favourite websites to put together a little workoutwear (is that a word!?) wishlist for you all...

1. 'Run Like No One is Watching' Jumper: Okay, so just how cute is this jumper? In a gorgeous peachy pink shade, it has an awesome motif, reflective details and thumbholes. I think it'd be perfect for running (well, duh) or just going to and from the gym.

2. Floral Water Bottle: Whilst this isn't technically workoutwear, everyone knows a water bottle is the ultimate must-have accessory at the gym and so I had to include this ADORABLE one from Cath Kidston. Their new workout range is basically DA BOMB and this nifty water bottle has a fruit filler thingymajig in it too so you can have fruit-infused water to be ultra fitnessy.

3. Floral Leggings: Can you sense a theme here? Well, you all know how much I adore florals, so when I saw that Oasis had collaborated with Pineapple Studios on an amazing range of floral fitnesswear I just may have done a little happy dance. It's very similar to the Cath Kidston range but perhaps a tad girlier, and these leggings are just to die for.

4. Floral Phone Armband: If you want to look uber chic when working out, this phone armband from the Cath Kidston range has got to be a must-have. I don't really use an armband if I'm in the gym, but definitely think they're essential if you're into running. I just think I run faster with music in my ears!

5. Adidas NMD x Offspring Trainers: Okay, so I'm only really putting these in because they go with the colour theme of the rest of the products, and yes they are gorgeous, but £200 for a pair of trainers? U serious? I'm not down with that. I do think they're all kinds of beautiful but I'd recommend scouting out the Office/Schuh sales if you're looking for a new pair of trainers - I managed to bag my dream Nikes for £30!

6. Nine by Savannah Miller Leggings: The Savannah Miller collection at Debenhams is honestly so dreamy. Marble prints, peaches and greys make up this gorgeous range and these marble leggings are stunning. I'm not entirely sure I could pull them off, but they are just too nice not to include.

7. Marble Triple Strap Sports Bra: Sticking with the marble theme, this cute bra from the Charlotte Crosby x In The Style fitness range is so pretty and affordable too. I love the leggings as well but they've sold out - not that I could get away with them anyway!

8. Floral Gym Bag: Another Cath Kidston beaut, I am head over heels in love with this gym bag from their fitness range. I don't really need a gym back right now, but I do think this would make a super cute overnight bag too.

And that's my workoutwear wishlist! What workout clothes are you currently lusting after? Let me know!
All images and content © Hannah Vickers for Away with the Fairies 2010- unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.