Saturday, 25 January 2014

C-c-c-changes

Remember when I said I'd be back to updating regularly again? Whooops. That definitely didn't happen this week. But it feels so good to be back! The last couple of weeks have been crazy and I've been absolutely exhausted! Last Saturday Phil and I had board game night with his housemate Si and his girlfriend Meg. It was great fun. We played the Pointless board game three times (Meg and I won every time! It was boys vs. girls) and then, of course, Cards Against Humanity with a few glasses of wine. Then on Sunday, Phil and I went to the cinema to see The Wolf of Wall Street. I'd read the book so I was really excited to see it and it was excellent. Monday was choir, and on Tuesday I had my gym induction at lunchtime and went to the gym after work. Turns out even if I can watch Pointless and the Big Bang Theory I really do hate the treadmill! I just did 5K but cut it a bit fine for my train and it ended up being a mad rush into the shower, back into my gym clothes and running for the train with my coat half buttoned up! I'm a bit disappointed really cause the next train after that isn't for another 45 minutes, and it would mean I wouldn't be home from work til 8.30, and by that time I could be back from a nice outdoor run! The gym membership is through work though and it's super cheap so I'm going to keep it anyway. Plus there's a Thursday night strength class I really fancy! I'm tempted to go back to morning runs. I'd be able to get up at 5 like I used to, but I'd just have to be up and out straight away so be back for 6 to get ready, but it's tempting. I like being able to make plans after work and not have to worry about my training and I've found myself slipping and skipping runs this week because I've been tired after work. I really hope I can get back into the morning run routine because I do miss it! 
dress- Topshop
leather jacket- Boohoo
boots- Miss Guided
necklace- Topshop
bracelets- ASOS
So there are two new things in this post. One is of course, my hair. Yep, I went short again! I'd been thinking of it for a while but wasn't actually planning on doing it until the night before. I saw a friend from uni had cut her gorgeous long hair short, and I also loved llymlrs' new cut, and I was ready for a change. I felt "new year, new job= new hair" and I absolutely love it. It feels so fresh and has much more body and shape. I felt my long hair just looked boring. The other thing? I FINALLY found a new leather jacket! I don't know if this is "the one" but when a big chunk fell off my leather jacket last week I knew I needed to make a decision. It's the perfect length and it's a slightly different texture to my old one but I really like it. This dress is also new and I've had so many compliments on it at work. It's perfect for work with a blazer or like today with a leather jacket and boots. I also bought it in bright blue today. This is a pretty simple outfit but with how tired I've been lately, simple is definitely key!
I'm in for a pretty quiet weekend which is perfect. Today I ran park run, popped into Stockport for some bits (I bought the blue version of this dress from Topshop, the pink version of this Primark dress, and a pink button-down shirt from Primark) and tonight I'm going over to Phil's for a quiet night in. I'm going to cook us a prawn curry and we're gonna watch Closer-one of my favourite films. Tomorrow it's a day of food shopping and family visits, followed by my first 10 mile run- eek!
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Charlotte x

Sunday, 19 January 2014

AO Let's Go! aka, First Week at my New Job

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet, but I think starting a new job is definitely up there with good reasons to have a blog break for a few days! It's been a little bit mad this week, and as a girl who is a real creature of habit, a change of routine has definitely been a bit of a challenge!

The good news is, I absolutely love my new job! I knew it was going to be great because I knew AO.com were an awesome company, but I really love it.

Monday got off to a bit of a stressful start. My alarm went off at 6am, and I was ready to be out of the door at 7.10am for my 7.32am train. Everything was going according to plan, until I looked at the departures screen and saw that my 7.32am train was now coming in at 7.47am. Not the best way to start my first day! Thankfully I had my manager's number and dropped her a text letting her know I would be a little later than planned, and I arrived just before 9am for my induction.

My first day was blur of introductions, new people and finding my way around the building. I had an induction in the morning, then I was off to meet with my team. As soon as I had my first lunch in "The Park" (our canteen area) I knew I was going to be very happy at AO.com.

This week I've mainly been meeting different people who I'm going to be working with over the next few months (everyone has been absolutely lovely so far!) and working on a research project for my manager, Larisha. My job is in the display team, and involves creating and managing the online advertising for AO.com and our clients, mainly through banner ads and pre-roll ads. We're going to be working closely alongside the marketing team over their future campaigns and I'm really excited! My main goal when looking for a new job was to move into something more marketing-based and this job is absolutely perfect for me.

My research project has been focused on what display advertising is, different sizes and formats of banner ads, and looking at some of the best display campaigns. It's been really interesting to learn about display, as it's not something I've ever had experience in before. Larisha was really happy with the presentation I prepared for her and she wants me to show it to some of the rest of the team! She's eased me in a bit this week, but I think I'm going to get to be really hands on next week, which I'm looking forward to!

Also, working at AO.com is just awesome! (They're the fourth best company to work for in the UK, fact fans!) There are free snacks provided in all the fridges on every floor, and free breakfast (I've been coming in early for a bowl of porridge before work!), plus we have a Starbucks that is subsidized too. Thankfully, there is also subsidized gym membership to make up for all the snacks! I also got a massage at my desk on Thursday. What the what! The best part of all though is that AO.com really focus on making people happy- both the customers and the staff. Everybody is always smiling and that is such a great environment to work in! You can see how awesome our offices are in this post over at AO World. I work at the Bolton HQ.

However, as I mentioned earlier, getting into a new routine has been a challenge. With a 6am start, running before work is kind of out of the window so I'm back running after work again, which I don't love as much. I've sorted out my gym induction for next week and it's only across the road from work, so I'll probably start going there to workout after work. It's tough when I run straight after work, and once I've gotten back, had a shower, eaten dinner and made lunch for the next day, it's nearly 9pm before I sit down. But I know it's all about finding my routine. Remember the trouble I had with trying to find time to blog when I first started working full time? I'm confident that once I get used to the trip (it's a much longer commute than I had before) I'll get a routine in place. But for now it's 10pm bedtimes and 6am get ups and evenings at home most nights. I did manage a meal with Phil and Steph on Thursday night though, but I was still in bed for 10!

I'm really excited for the future at AO.com. Leaving my old job was incredibly scary but I know it was for the best, and I'm excited for what life at AO will bring!

Edit: I'm hoping regular blog posting will return in the next week or so once I get used to working again! I've also just lopped up a lot of my hair (it's just below collarbone-length as of yesterday!) so I can't wait to show you that too!

Friday, 10 January 2014

So in the Stillness of the Moment Make Sure You Take a Polaroid Picture

Lately, I've just wanted to keep things simple. With starting a new job next week, I've been enjoying one last week to relax before the stress of a new routine. I've been doing a lot of running, a lot of watching Homeland (I've just finished season 1) and spending a lot of time in my onesie. And in cosy outfits like this. Sure it's not wildly exciting (although this jumper is new and I LOVE it. And it was £10 in the Oasis sale) and once upon a time when I first started this blog I wouldn't even have posted an outfit like this. But I think my blog has changed and I think blogging in general has changed, and we're not longer reluctant to show what we really wear and that it's not all tutus and high heels. I digress!
jumper- Oasis
white shirt- New Look
jeans- Topshop
boots- New Look
necklace- Topshop
I am wildly unproductive when I'm not busy. As in, when I have one or two things on my to-do list I will stare at the list all day and not get them done, but when I have nine or ten things to do, everything will get done. And I hate it! I hate having lazy, unproductive days (although arguably, I am such a Type A personality that I should take advantage of the rare occasions when I can actually relax) so I decided to give myself lots of things to do today. I was due for a strength training day today but my body is exhausted and my calves are sore from having run 16 miles this week so far since Monday, so I decided instead to walk into Stockport as my cross training (it's about 2 and a half miles), take some returns to the post office, have a mooch around and buy ingredients for baking. I ended up wandering into the Oxfam shop and buying two books and a DVD. Then another book from British Heart Foundation. To match the 6 other second-hand books I've bought this week. What can I say, I like books! I then came home as I had to wait for some packages to arrive for my Mum and baked some brownies and then I had an article to write. I've had a lovely last week off work, seeing Steph and Phil and relaxing, but I'm really excited to start my new job next week!
I don't know how posting will be next week with starting my new job, but I have been working on last year's Year in Outfits (I knowwwwwww it's 10th January!) so hopefully I'll have that up next week.
I hope you have a great weekend!

Charlotte x

Thursday, 9 January 2014

My Everyday Hair

When I was asked to work with ghd a few weeks ago I was over the moon. My ghds have been a mainstay in my hair routine since I was 16. I was asked to choose a product to review (I chose heat protection spray because my hair gets hit with a lot of heat as you can see!) and use the product to create my own individual style. Which was where I got a bit stuck. You see, I'm not very creative at doing my hair. I've basically been doing my hair the same way for years. I struggled for weeks thinking of how I could do my hair in new and interesting ways for the review, but then I decided well, I might as well show you how I do my hair
every day! Because let's be honest, I'm not a complicated hair kinda girl. First off, my kit.
Left to right: Babyliss Pro Perfect curl, hairspray, Tangle Teezer, sectioning clip, ghd heat protection spray, round brush, ghd straighteners, Babyliss Boutique Hairdryer.

My kit is fairly simple, but I think I've finally found my perfect collection of hair appliances. For Christmas, my Mum bought me my Tangle Teezer and hairdryer, which is absolutely amazing and can dry my super-thick long hair in about 5 minutes. Of course, I love my ghds and I've had these for about 3 years now. If you want to find out more about my Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl, see this post.
Okay, this is my just-washed hair, given a bit of a comb through with my Tangle Teezer.
Then a spray all over with ghd heat protection spray. I am really bad at remembering to use heat protection spray but I dry my hair about once every two days and straighten or curl it three or four times a week, so it's definitelt a product I need to use. This ghd one is great because it's light and doesn't feel sticky or like it's weighing my hair down. Plus as a long-time ghd owner I trust their products! You can also use it on wet or dry hair, which is perfect for me as I often use heat on my hair when it's already dry.
Next step is just a blow dry until it's about 90% dry and I just brush it through with my fingers as I go. Sometimes I give it a comb through again with my Tangle Teezer as I go if it's extra knotty.
Post-drying hair. It's a little messy, so then I neaten it up with a round brush,
Section it up.
And dry each section with a round brush. I tend to do two or three sections in layers on each side of my hair.
So this is my hair after drying and then with a round brush. This is the point where I either go straight or curly. If I'm going straight, I just section my hair back up again and straighten each section with my ghds. But today I decided to go for curly.
Next stage is simply to curl my hair. You can see how I do that in my video here. It's dead simple with the Babyliss Pro Perfect Curl. I just section it as before and hairspray each section after curling.
Finally, I just straighten my fringe with my ghds...
And I'm done!

I hope that was useful! I'm not very good at complicated hair and I like to keep it simple. I'm a sock bun and go kinda girl most of the time, but this was actually really fun to do. Maybe next time I'll do a video!

Charlotte x

Monday, 6 January 2014

I am the One who Knocks

Hello, first outfit post of 2014. And my first outfit post in ages! I've been feeling so uninspired lately. I haven't really been doing much shopping over the last two months and I've been a bit bored with what I already have. I've solved this by scouring Pinterest for outfit ideas, increasing the number of blogs I read and yeah, maybe a bit of online shopping! This outfit came from a post from Glamour I spotted on Facebook about wearing tartan and gave me a good jolt of inspiration. I got this Heisenberg tshirt for Chrirstmas and I've worn it SO many times since! When I say I've been uninspired lately, I've basically been living in jeans and either this or my Soft Kitty tshirt! 
tartan skirt- Dorothy Perkins
Heisenberg tshirt- Topman (gift)
leather jacket- H&M
necklace- Topshop
boots- Boohoo
Anyway, I have news! Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Twitter might know, but I have a new job! I've had a few interviews over the last few weeks and on Thursday I was offered the job I was really hoping to get. I'm going to be working as a Display Executive in the marketing department for AO.com and I start next Monday! It's in Bolton which means a bit more of a commute than I'm used to (it's going to be about 50 minutes on the train each way), but I'm excited to start! AO.com are the fourth best company in the UK to work for, and I'm excited to start a job in marketing as I've always been interested in that area of business. Wish me luck! It will mean some changes though, which I'm a little scared of as a creature of habit! I'll need to figure out when I'm going to fit my half marathon training in as running in the morning will be a bit more tricky (however one of the perks is subsidized gym membership and the gym is right next to the train station), work out when I'm going to take blog photos and then fit in seeing Phil and my friends too. But I'm sure I'll figure everything out when I get started! I remember what a big culture shock it was when I first started working full time and how difficult it seemed at the time to fit everything in, but I managed it just fine once I got used to it. 
So this is my last week of unemployment! I did an 8 mile run this morning (my longest run yet!) and started watching Homeland this afternoon (I'm already hooked!), and I'm back at choir tonight. I've kept myself really busy while I've been between jobs but I'm ready for a new challenge!

Charlotte x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

December in Photos

Minus anything festive. Still a ridiculous number of photos.
1. Last day of work pizza
2. Pink wall in my new room
There are a lot of progress photos of my room in this month's photo set. This was my first big one- my bright pink accent wall! 
3. One of my favourite lunches
Roasted chickpeas, broccoli and onion with avocado. From this Thug Kitchen recipe. 
4. Treated myself to a new palette
5. Mince Pie and Mulled Wine at the Hairdressers
6. My shoe wardrobe! 
7. Cooking dinner for Phil and I
Phil is a committed meat eater and the list of vegetables he dislikes is almost identical to my list of favourites (how can anyone dislike sweet potato?!). Cooking for the two of us is a bit of a challenge but so far it's going okay! This was a creamy mushroom and chickpea curry.
8. Doughnuts at my TEFL course
Honest truth, I don't like doughnuts. The only ones I will eat are Krispy Kremes and only if someone offers one to me. One of the lovely guys at my TEFL course brought them in on our last day though and I needed a sugar rush!
9. Noms at Bakerie
Mmmm. Bread. 
10. Twenty Hours of TEFL complete
I am technically qualified to teach English as a foreign language, but I've got 100 hours of online work to complete over the next year to have more of a chance of actually doing it. It's not something I plan on doing anytime soon, but it's a good skill to have! I was told I was a natural teacher but I think I'm a bit too impatient!
11. Tartan trousers, denim shirt
12. New favourite lunch
I've actually eaten this nearly every day for a month. I often have it in a tortilla or today with brown rice. Yum. 
13. Super old photo of my parents
They're about 20 here. Check of my Dad's hair. Inspiration for the Gallaghers right there!
14. Helpful socks
15. More of my room coming together! 
16. The Prettiest Bedding
I was really struggling to find bedding for my room. The one I had my heart set on was declared by my Dad as "something a 14 year old girl would pick", but I couldn't find anything I liked anywhere near as much! I was a week away from moving into my new room when I came across this lovely Accessorize bedding and I was smitten.
17. Tacos are the new fajitas
18. Remember when I cut part of my finger off? 
19. And the blood...
20. Which resulted in the wine
21. PRINCESS BED
Yes, this is the dream bedroom of a five year old. I don't even care. It's pretty and pink and fairy lights and I love it. So so happy with my new room! 
22-23. Moving in
24. Featured on the Jones and Jones Facebook page! 
25. Festive park run
500+ people dressed in santa suits, pajamas, fancy dress and santa hats? Best park run ever. I was even overtaken by a snowman!
26. Trying to keep my bandages dry in the shower...
27. We had a visitor
My Auntie and Uncle's guide dog puppy in training,Yuppi, is 5 months old now. He is adorable but very noisy!
28. MAC Russian Red
29-30. Breakfast at my Nan's
On the Buck's Fizz at 10am... 
31. Homemade bruschetta
32. Chips and curry sauce
Best food ever? I think so.
33. My awesome Breaking Bad prints
I first saw these on Carrie's blog as they were done by her boyfriend Miguel! I've been waiting months to finally order them for my new room. I love them. 
 34. And they have pride of place above my bed!
35. Taking my new galaxy leggings out for a spin
36. Playing with my Naked 3 palette
37. Excellent tshirt
38. Day trip to the Imperial War Museum
39. And another trip to Bakerie! 
40. Trip to the pub
41. Lentil stew in Bakerie
42. Perfect dippy egg 
43. My Urban Decay Palette collection
Nine at last count!
44. Cannot stop wearing my Heisenberg tshirt
This time it was "fancy Heisenberg"
45. Poorly Sofa Saturday
Sherlock definitely made me feel better! 
46. Love my Garmin!
47. New mug
48. Addicted to Snowballs
I had my first Snowball at Phil's parents house on Christmas Day and now I love them! New favourite festive drink!  
49. Best ever travel mug?
I think so.
50. Family photo
My Dad is one of eight (we're a big family!) and I took this photo of my aunties and uncles at my Nana and Grandad's house the day before it was sold. I'm really proud of it and have printed a copy for everyone in our family. I'm so lucky to have such a great family.
51. Another museum trip! 
52. What a great John!
53. My cousin made Strawberry Daquiris. Mmm.
54. Book Borrowin' 
55. Getting ready for NYE
Glitter eyeliner, bottled cocktail and jelly beans. Rave.
56. No New Year is complete without CAH
I bought this for Phil for Christmas and insisted that he brought it to the New Year's party we were going to. We cracked it out about 1am and it was absolutely hilarious. Best game ever.
57. I ran 60 miles in December!
My best ever month so far!