Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Lazy Guide To: Organization



All my life I have been disorganised. Pieces of paper lying in the bottom of my bag, important letters misplaced, a heap of pens that do not work still in my pen pot. A lot of my friends will testify also that my room used to be a huge mess. However, this year I've tried to make a few changes and tackle the underlying problem in my life, organization. Yes, a very scary word, but as I found deadline dates floating about on crumpled post-it notes, I knew a change was needed.

The biggest thing that has helped get me organised is buying a heavy duty planner from paperchase, the kind with dividers; which makes me feel like a busy entrepreneur, but in reality is really just a place  where I can see how my week is scheduled and when I can plan some down time (because who doesn't love knowing that they can look forward to a day to relax?) and I've got to say, having things on paper is pretty essential to organisation. As much as the idea of having ten different apps in my pocket to remind me of various appointments seems ideal, sometimes incessant bleeping and the constant fear of no battery makes having a real organiser appealing. Plus, can you have adorable animal print on an app? I think not.




A huge tip I've found has helped massively in keeping me organised has been checking and planning for the month ahead before it arrives. While you can't sketch out every minute of every hour, it helps to be aware of any big events (or deadlines) coming up and plan around them. This is something I never used to do and I found myself constantly surprised (and unprepared) for events that I'd managed to completely forget! Having a quick look over your planner takes five minutes and eases so many worries!

Oh, and always have a working pen on you. You never know when someone might change the date/time of a meeting or a new event pops up that you need to amend in your planner. There is no point being dressed up and ready to go to a party that happened two weeks ago!




What are your best organization tips?


Becky xx

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Autumn Beauty Essentials



This month, I've definitely had an overhaul of my skincare regime and I thought I'd share some of my essentials to get through the autumn chilly weather!

First of all, I have to jump on the bandwagon and recommend the Body Shop 'Cool & Creamy Tea Tree' face wash. I naturally have quite troublesome skin, and shy away from anything too rich or too astringent, but this is the perfect balance; it keeps breakouts away but doesn't leave your skin dry! This alongside the staple of the 'Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil' (which is perfect for dissolving make-up) I've tried more expensive products, but nothing replaces this one. I'm really a fan of the double cleansing routine at the moment, and these two seem to go together so fantastically!




I've also gone back to using foundation for the first time in years. Though I still love my trusty NARS tinted moisturiser, I was really intrigued about the Max Factor Skin Luminizer foundation (I wear shade 45- Warm Almond), which contains vitamin E. I really love that it gives a bit more coverage, but still gives you a glowy, hydrated complexion. Also, for the first time ever, I'm not the lightest shade in the collection! Flawless skin with the Bad Gal mascara fluttery lashes? Perfect.


Now I have to talk about my most extravagant purchase recently.. a Jo Malone cologne in Peony & Blush Suede. I cannot resist the scent of peonies. I just can't. So when I had a smell of this perfume I knew it would be 'my' scent. Last year I wore Honey by Marc Jacobs pretty much constantly, but this has replaced it ten times over. It is a beautiful light floral, which doesn't smell powdery or too girly, thanks to the wood base notes. I've already had so many compliments on it and I find myself sniffing my wrist all day. Needless to say, Jo Malone is always on point.




Autumn almost always equates to chapped lips for me, but not this year. I'm not sure how I survived life without Blistex Intensive Moisturiser before, but my bag almost always has a couple of tubes, just in case my lips feel dry. It is so important to keep nasty, flaky lips at bay and this does the trick! It also acts as a perfect base before applying any lip colours that may be drying (Maybelline Colour Drama collection, I'm looking at you).


My autumn go-to lip colour has been the shade 107 in the Kate Moss collection for Rimmel London. It is such a beautiful wine shade that looks really nice when paired with a 1950's cat eye! While the shade is dark enough that it makes a statement, it is build-able and is easily worn lightly with a lip gloss during the day time.





The Barry M 'Natural Glow' palette has become my best friend the last couple of months. For an inexpensive palette (around the seven pounds mark) it has a really good mixture of matte and shimmer shades, which are not chalky and have good staying power! My only criticisms are the blush included is incredibly light and would be more functional as a highlighter and the applicators included are not good! However, for a simple nude base or a smokey eye, it's hard to go wrong purchasing this. Especially when considering the Urban Decay Naked palettes are fifty pounds!




Finally I want to rave about the Maybelline Colour Drama lip pencils. They are fantastic. The colour range is amazing and the staying power is admirable, especially for a drugstore product! I've been wearing the shade 140- 'Minimalist' as a perfect daytime nude, though berry shades such as 210- 'Keep It Classy' are perfect for more formal, nighttime make-up. My only criticism is that these pencils are very, very drying and it is essential to prime your lips with a good lip moisturiser or balm. They slip into a make-up bag so easily though, and there is something about the novelty of a matte lip pencil that makes me very, very happy.

What are your essential beauty items for autumn?


Becky xx



Monday, 20 October 2014

My week in photos.








Anyone else obsessed with this autumnal weather? I'm enjoying having an excuse to cosy up in bed and read a good book or two (gone girl was read far too quickly!) and take chilly walks.

I can feel the festive season slowly beginning to creep up on me and I'm loving it! Perhaps there will be a few Halloween and Christmas themed posts on peachesandteas soon. 

Lastly, a big thank you to all who follow me on bloglovin as I've just hit over a hundred followers! This means so much to me and if you aren't already subscribed to me... please do!


Lots of love,

Becky xx


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Becky Makes: Blackberry Jam









When I woke up this morning I didn't intend on going for a walk. In fact, I really fancied turning over and sleeping the day away, right until I opened my curtains. It was sunny. In October. I knew I had to get outside and do something. So I went blackberry picking, had a lovely walk (including an encounter with a pair of deer, who were gorgeous and prancing about fields) and it made me appreciate the countryside so much. 



Had I not decided the sieze the opportunity and go for a walk I wouldn't have made this lovely jam, nor seen the deer, nor have burns on my finger tips (darn delicious looking too hot jam)!












So here's my thought of the day: get outside, make some jam, do something that makes you happy! All too often I get caught up in what is sensible and what is easier to do. Break those boundaries once in a while, you might just get something to spread on your toast.



Becky Bakes: Dairy Free Chocolate Banana Loaf.




This dairy free chocolate banana loaf cake may change your life. Or it could just use up the over-ripe bananas in your fruit bowl. Either way it is really, really, tasty and is an adaptation of my mum's canadian banana muffin recipe. It's a fairly easy method and easy to replicate at home!







To make this loaf you will need:


  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups of caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup of dairy free butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups of self raising flour
  • Dairy free dark chocolate (chips are most ideal for this recipe)






Method:


  • Mash the four ripe bananas and add sugar and (beaten) egg to the banana mixture
  • Melt the dairy free butter and add to the mixture, stirring thoroughly.
  • Add the baking soda, baking powder and self raising flour and stir the mixture thoroughly once more.
  • Fold the dairy free dark chocolate chips into the mixture.
  • Divide the mixture into two bowls, adding additional cocoa into one bowl and stir the mixture thoroughly again. 
  • Place the mixtures in  a pre-prepared loaf tin and cook at 190 degrees c for 45 minutes.
  • Add a tin foil cover to the top of the loaf in the oven after 25 minutes to prevent burning.


Such a simple, delicious recipe for the cold months! I hope you all have a go, it is so worth it..

Becky xx

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Things I'm Trying: Meditation Apps.

I love the idea of meditating everyday, but I'm pretty terrible at actually setting aside the time to do it. I've tried doing it as soon as I wake up, right before I go to sleep, after a bath, but nothing seems to work unless I'm reminded to be more mindful. That is why I've resorted to a few different apps to help remind me to meditate.
  • Headspace



Headspace is a meditation app that focuses on simply taking ten minutes out of your day, everyday, to be mindful and meditate. I found this app was probably the best in helping me learn to meditate and its pretty "no frills" in the language used to talk you through meditation.I've used this app just like a podcast and even managed to meditate on the bus! However, it is less 'pushy' than other apps in reminding you to keep it up (Headspace does e-mail you though) so that may be considered a downfall if you need the extra encouragement.

  • Calm



The app 'Calm' takes a bit of a different approach in engaging you with meditation, offering different settings and sounds (such as waves and the beach) paired with a walk-through guide of meditation. The first session is only five minutes, so it is a small time commitment to help learn to be calm! It also can set push notifications to remind you to meditate and take a few minutes to clear your head.


  • Habit Builder



I've been using this app to help track how long I can keep up meditating and also track bad habits I'm avoiding! It is such a useful layout and is very simple and user friendly, showing you which days you were able to meet your goals. Having  list of things you'd like to prioritize also helps to focus your mind on meeting those expectations, which habit builder aids. While this doesn't actually help you meditate or calm you down, it definitely encourages you to keep meditating!


All these apps are available free on the itunes app store, and I'd definitely recommend giving them a try if you're looking to meditate more!

NB: This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.