Monday Mix and Match

Hello there! I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday.. although that phrase does sound like somewhat of an oxymoron! I would like to apologise for my absence and sporadic posting as of late – I have been up to my eyes with the return to work after Christmas, as well as my “other” job as a dance teacher. Post-Christmas is always Pantomime time (Oh no it’s not!!.…Sorry…couldn’t resist) and so I had been rushing around making sure my lovely dance students were at their best! But I’m back now and kicking off with the first of this year’s Mix and Match posts, which for the week that’s in it, has a bit of “New Year’s Resolution” twist and along with my goals for 2015! Be warned, it’s a long one so grab a cuppa and a rich tea biscuit or two! I hope you enjoy and do let me know what you have been motivated to change, continue or try in the next 12 months!

Beauty

No7 Exfoliator, Sanctuary Spa Wonder Oil Serum, Soap and Glory Eye Cream Review

Or more specifically: skincare. This particular resolution is mainly motivated by the havoc that Christmas indulgence has wreaked on my face i.e. I closely resemble a pizza at present! Spots are generally not a problem for me, with my main skincare woes being redness and wrinkles. But all that chocolate and cheese has taken its toll and I’m feeling the need to give my skin a little TLC and my skincare routine somewhat of a shake-up. Of course, I’m starting from the inside out and consuming as many detoxing and nourishing foods as possible – lemon water by the bucketful and avocados at any opportunity. But I’ve also started using two new products procured over Christmas too – No7 Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator and Sanctuary Spa Wonder Oil Serum. Exfoliator is one of my favourite products to have in the bathroom cabinet – there’s nothing like the fresh feeling of being scrubbed and polished, am I right? This No7 offering was a free gift in a three for two and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It has a lovely creamy texture which is gentle on the delicate skin of your face but still goes to work with the exfoliating beads to rid you of any cosmetic build up and blocked pores. I’ve been using this on my face when in the shower around three times a week – I find the heat of the shower leaves your skin soft so the exfoliator doesn’t drag or feel too harsh. This product is a winner for me on all accounts, leaving skin smooth with no blotches or tightness afterwards.

I’d been looking to make my first foray into the much-hyped world of serums so was delighted when this Sanctuary Spa oil version showed up in my stocking (let’s hear it attentive boyfriends!). This serum/oil is applied with a fancy dropper and whilst it has all the texture and well, oiliness of an oil, this sinks in to the skin beautifully and leaves it brighter than ever before, just like a serum ought to. It remains to be seen if my slightly oily skin will bond with the product during the warmer months but for now, there’s a chill in the air and a glow in my cheeks!

I am an eye-cream convert, and thoroughly recommend you all get on the bandwagon too, be you young or.. more mature! This is the one product I apply religiously, no matter how tired or busy I am and it has made a world of difference.  I go between using L’Oreal Revitalift in the morning (more on that here) and this Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack Gel at night.  The latter, which is featured in the photo above, is perfect for bedtime as it’s a much lighter formulation and has a lovely cooling effect to de-puff eyes after long day spent at a computer.

Of course I will continuing to feature any beauty wonder products I happen to get my hands on in my Mix and Match series!

Gardening, Interiors and Floristry Coffee Table Books - The Mix and MatchInterior Design Coffee Table Books

Another resident feature in my Mix and Match posts is home interiors, one of my big passions in life and something I’ve become increasingly obsessed with since moving into my own place. To add to my already heaving coffee table, I received a number of beautiful books on the subject for Christmas and before I go anywhere near an interiors store (Ikea, I miss you!), I will be perusing these from cover to cover and working out exactly what direction I want to bring my home. My main plans are to incorporate more white into our space (I WILL persuade the boyfriend to let me paint the walls!), to buy vintage and upcycle more second hand pieces and to bring more greenery into my home, both inside and out (my balcony is in dire need of beautifying!). I sense a maaaajor Pinterest and mood boarding binge coming on! The books above are “The Balcony Gardener” by Isabelle Palmer, “Thrifty Chic” by Liz Bauwens and “At Home with Flowers” by Jane Packer, three favorites from my burgeoning collection – all of which I’d highly recommend as aesthetically pleasing additions to your bookcase, never mind their gorgeous content!

Food

New Year's Resolution: Cooking - The Mix and Match2015 New Year's Resolution: Cooking - The Mix and Match

Coupled with the aforementioned clean eating, is the desire to rekindle my love of cooking (which in fairness is primarily motivated by my love of eating). Myself and himself are divils for eating out and although it’s more than alright to head out for a slap up meal every now and again, we are making a concerted effort to cook more and utilise all those lovely cookbooks that currently are serving the solel purpose of making my kitchen look all cute and kitchen-y!! So we are determined that dinners will be home-cooked, healthy and interesting. New recipes will most certainly be attempted and, with any luck, blogged too! I might even get back into baking.. although the danger posed by a batch of cupcakes in a house of two people is all too real!

Conversely this is coupled with a desire to try out all the new and innovative dining spots that seem to be popping up in Dublin at every turn – a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots! Hey, it’s all in the name of blog content I suppose!

Fitness

Nike Black and Silver Roshe Runs - The Mix and MatchNike Black and Silver Roshe Runs, Fitness Ideas - The Mix and Match

And of course, we couldn’t have a New Year’s resolution post without mentioning that ever so cliché desire to get fit the minute the clocks strikes twelve on December 31st each year. Who cares what your motivation is though – whatever gets you up and moving is a good thing in my book, whether that be a just booked holiday or if you tipsily agreed to sign up for a 10k during a Christmas get-together! For me, fitness plays a huge role in the amount of energy I have and how good I feel about myself. The dreaded January flu has hampered my progress up until now but I am excited to get back on the saddle this week! And I am huge advocate for forgetting about the pricey gym memberships (getting tailored help and motivation from others is fantastic but gyms ain’t for everyone) – I personally love walking and running with a friend or boyfriend, signing up to a dance class or even doing YouTube videos (check out PopSugar Fitness – you might have to turn the sound down if their chirpyness starts to get to you but they feature really diverse and well thought out work-outs!). And of course a snazzy new pair of runners is always going to help with motivation, and they don’t come more trendy than these Nike Roshe Runs – beloved by the fashion bigwigs and bloggers alike at the moment, I feel I might have trouble committing to actually exercising in these, but oh well! Penneys also have the most gorgeous range of get fit gear at the moment, and while I definitely advocate spending that little bit more on runners and sports bras, you can’t go wrong with some inexpensive alternatives to your old worn in leggings and tank tops you’d normally reserve for bed! Feeling sassy when you exercise definitely makes for a better workout!

Travel

New Year's Resolution: Travel - The Mix and Match

And the most fun resolution of all: travel as far and often as I possibly can! I have itchy feet at the moment with the urge get away and experience something new constantly on my mind. My list of top destinations could definitely do with some whittling down – look out for a travel post coming soon, I will definitely need your help to decide!!

Best laid plans, as they say, but I am very excited to share my journey through 2015 on this blog.  Thank you so much for reading and for your continued support and of course, if there is anything in particular you would like to see here on the Mix and Match, just let me know below! I would be delighted to hear your thoughts!

Until next time! xx

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