The silver linings of a long distance relationship

benefits of a long distance relationship

Having been in a long distance relationship for the grand sum on a single day, I am clearly no expert. Yet I am a believer in controlling the messages we hear in our thoughts, and so as a way to balance my natural response of sadness (random public crying....tick) I decided to try and find the positives in the situation. Because they has to be some shreds of a silver lining right?

1. Absence makes the heart pretty fond. Don't get me wrong, my heart is fond, but I've heard that spending some time apart but really make you value and miss what makes your partner so great. 

2. Time to indulge some new activities. As I often say, you can do anything, but not everything, so when you have a relationship your time to indulge in your own hobbies can be sidelined for a while. Throwing in a long distance portion to your relationship means that you're forced to indulge your own interests again. 

3. Time to connect with friends. There are only so many days in a week, so when you're in a relationship it can be harder to find enough time to see all of the people you care about. 

4. Get creative. I imagine we'll need to creative with ways to feel connected. Whether that's returning to old fashioned romance and writing letters, or whatsapp video chat dates, it will really force some creativity.

5. Actively watering the garden. Being in a long distance relationship will mean that you can't get lazy with each other. The relationship will need more tending to than if you were just hanging out all of the time. It will need to be made a priority.

I'm sure the random crying will simmer down soon, and my "lack-of-him" will feel more normal, but for now I'm in a surreal little bubble. My best friend and partner in crime is very far away from me, and for now it just feels sad. But this too shall pass. This isn't an unusual situation, and I'm not unique in my emotions. However, as twitter kindly reminded me, sadness doesn't feel less sad just because others have felt it before you. Or because there are greater sadnesses happening in the world. It's ok to just feel a little sad.

Picking your new year's resolutions

new years resolutions

As the year's end approaches, and I've got a few days away from work, it's a good time to take stock, and set a focus for 2017. I'm a big believer in the adage that you truly can do anything you want, but you can't do everything. Which means things have to take turns to feature, while others sit back. It's when we feel we need to do everything we've every wanted that we end up in failure.

Over the last few years I've taken  time to focus on fitness and health, time to focus on finances, time to focus on love and friendships, always accepting that I can't do it all. If I try and spin too many plates, its pretty inevitable that there will be smashed china and bleeding fingers.

Last year was a focus on finances. I took a second job, and paid off my debt, as well as having a holiday - read more here. It was a nose to the grind stone type of year. Sometimes that's what we need to do to get shit done.

Now that 2017 is creeping around the corner, I need to set myself something new to focus on. I start a new job in two weeks (read more here) and my boyfriend is moving far away, so I think I'll be throwing myself into some personal development. I'm excited about my job, and I think it will really push me to develop creatively, so perhaps that's my focus this year. To create some work I'm really proud of. Watch this space.

My 2016 - in 9 pictures.

reeree best of 2016

I thought I'd jump on the #Bestof2016 bandwagon, and use it as a prompt for me to reflect upon the year just gone. So from top left, in order, some thoughts about my 2016.

1 + 2. The first two are the same event - a blogger's trip to Newbury Races. I bought a hat, wore a new dress, and enjoyed a cocktail on  the train. That's what happens at ladies day right? I wouldn't say I'd be keen to return for a race day, but we had a lovely day in the sunshine.

3. Holographic nails. Boom. £8 more, but made me feel fancy. I love having my nails done, not the process, but the end result. It makes me feel 'put together'.

4. I turned 34 this year, which means I'm now in my mid-30s. One of gifts was a new purse with cash for my trip to Bali, and cash for a tattoo. I doubled up and got a tattoo in Bali.

5. I reminisced over one of my Las Vegas trips, this picture of me with a parasol is from 3 years ago. I'm not really part of the rockabilly/vintage community anymore, but Viva Las Vegas (a weekender in Vegas) was always such fun. I'd still return.

6. This was from the start of 2016, before I'd started wearing wigs full time, and just had colourful hair. I was having a tough time emotionally, but putting my best face forward and getting on with it. Lipstick can hold a lot of power!

7+8. Again these two are from the same period of time, January, back when I was testing Olaplex to its limits, getting my black hair to blonde.

9. This was the day before I started a new job (see - the secret I've kept for 10 months) so I was no doubt feeling a little nervous. Nervous about managing a salon and working full time, along with nervous about whether I could work in a new industry and for someone else, after being solely self employed for over 5 years.

What a year, and I know that 2017 is going to be even bigger and better, just watch this space.

 

P.s - My 9 best pics last year were:

You can be plus size....as long as you wear slimming underwear?

ashley graham

I bought January's copy of Cosmopolitan for some lazy Christmas reading, and found myself delving into a story about Ashley Graham. She's an American model, seemingly taking the fashion world by storm. She's a size 18-20 who is pushing the boundaries of the industry in terms of representation and diversity.

And while all of that is well and good, my blog isn't really about Ashley at all. It's about the small gains that are celebrated, while often overshadowing the gulf they are trying to cross. 

The cover of the magazine, along with all of the inside images of Ashely, show her in underwear. They're seemingly trumpeting the acceptance of plus size imagery in mainstream magazines. "Look how diverse we are now".

Yet, they highlight the never ending taboo for all sized women - the only bellies we can see without clothing are flat. Even Ashley, posing in her underwear for all to see, is acceptable for a magazine if she's in belly-hiding (and body slimming underwear).

ashley graham tummy

Women can be any size they like, if they hide their bellies away. We are shielded from what tummies look like, unless they're flat. 

Footner Exfoliating Socks - or how to disgust anyone you live with

footner review

I'm a fan of acids in my skincare products (see why I love hyaluronic acids here), so when I was offered a pair of Footner Exfoliating Socks I was curious to see what alpha-hydroxy acids would do to my feet. We all know that our feet usually seem a little nicer after some hardcore manual exfoliation, but do they really need a chemical peel?

footner sock review

You get a pair of plastic socks, filled with a gel. They retail at £19.99, so it's a little more expensive than the quick face mask you throw on for a weekly treat. The first thing that hits you when you open them up is the smell; they smell pretty strong, almost like nail polish. When you've paid £20 for a one-time-use product, this is strangely reassuring.

You wear the plastic socks underneath regular socks to keep them secure, leaving them on for about an hour. Now, don't say I didn't warn you. The gross bit is coming up.

Why do we get hard skin?
Relentless pressure and friction cause an accumulation of dead skin cells which is very difficult for the body’s natural exfoliation removal process to cope with.  This is when a build up of hard skin occurs and if not treated it can develop into callus and even cracked and bleeding heels which can be extremely painful and unsightly. 
The active AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) in Footner, also used in cosmetic skin peels, soften the hard skin build up and loosen the ‘glue’ that binds dead skin cells together, starting the exfoliation process naturally.  Only the dead skin cells are removed, leaving feet pedi-perfect.

So, I relaxed in bed, wore the socks, and after an hour washed the peel away. I definitely felt something happening whilst wearing them, a little stingy but not unbearable. Again, this isn't really an issue; when you're paying this much money you *want* to feel something so you know it's working.

Nothing happens at first. The first three days things are pretty much how they were before. The skin on the top of your feet starts to become very dry and crack/flake off, and the soles of your feet feel almost plasticky, but nothing's happening really.

Then it does.

footner foot peel

I was having a bath, and my feet felt odd. I took a look and it seemed that the peel had kicked in. I've honestly never seen anything like it. They tell you not to pull the skin away, nor to use moisturiser, so I did my best to just leave it. But blimey, it gets messy.

footner review bath

No matter how much skin you pick and peel off, there always seems to be loads more. It takes about 10 days in total, and you end up with massive chunks of skin everywhere. Largely in bed, but in your socks too. In fact, anywhere you're silly enough to be barefoot. You have to laugh or you'd cry.

footner peel socks

I told you it got gross.

This stuff is intense in ways I didn't expect. It definitely works, and unlike a £2 face mask is more than just a relaxing weekend treat. Your feet will peel.

This product was sent to me to review, but as always, all opinions are my own. You can find out more here -> Footner.

Starting a new job...first day nerves

applying for jobs rockalily

I've been in an odd position over the past few months, in that I've been actively looking for a new job (read more here), as well as recruiting for an executive under me at my current digital agency job, while also recruiting for salon staff at Rockalily Cuts. This has meant that I have been rewriting my own CV and attending interviews, while also sifting through hundreds of other people's CVs. A foot on both sides of the fence if you will.

Starting a new job is usually exciting, and most often a little nerve wracking.  You hope that you'll be capable, and that the job is what you'd imagined it to be. You hope that you make friends, and that you fit in. You hope that your boss is reasonable and understanding.

I start my new job in 2.5 weeks and I excited about its potential, while nervous about the commute that I'm not used to. I'm looking forward to that feeling of a new start; a fresh page.

I'm hoping to fall back in love with my blog again, which got a little neglected when I started working almost 11 months ago. I'm keen to become even more creative, with my blog and at work in 2017, so watch this space!

The secret I've been keeping for 10 months...and why I'm quieter on social media these days.

reeree rockalily blue hair

10 months ago I posted this selfie on Instagram with "Pucker up Monday, I'm coming for you," and what I didn't share at the time was that I was starting a new job. Yup, after being purely self employed for over 5 years, I'd decided to head back to the world of the employed. In secret.

I kept it secret for a couple of reasons. I didn't want people to think the salon wasn't doing well, as it definitely is. I also didn't want to publicly fail; what if I just couldn't hack it anymore?

going from self employed to employed again

I needed a new creative challenge, something to get the brain cogs turning again, and I really really wanted to clear my debts and have a holiday. Starting and running a business often comes with debt, and it can be hard to shift. So I decided to just dive right back in, and give a job a go, it'd certainly been a while!

So, rewind back to Feb 1st 2016, I joined a creative digital agency, and returned to full time work, doing social media and outreach. This was alongside the normal salon management activities, so I honestly wasn't 100% sure how I'd cope, but wanted to give it a shot.

In October I posted this blog - "Achieving two life goals this year" where I shared my joy at clearing all of my debt and going on holiday (Oh hello there Bali). Don't get me wrong, it's been hard work. Working full time and managing my salon certainly puts my time management skills to the test, and my holiday wasn't a full on luxury fest (Bali was cheaper to visit than I'd imagined!), but I did it. 

reeree bali beach

And this week I did something else...handed in my notice ready to start a new job in January. I am ready for the next chapter in this new working life, so watch this space for some of the awesome stuff I'm hopefully going to be up to in the new year; I'll definitely be flexing my creative muscles, and should be able to share a lot of it with you!

A mantra that has featured in my life a lot this year is that you can do anything, but not everything. 2016 had a clear purpose for me, and of course it meant making some sacrifices along the way, but worth every single one. Bring it on 2017, I'm ready for you.