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You are fired!

firedSo this morning I had an interesting start to the day. When the alarm goes off I usually use my mobile’s various apps and email accounts to keep my eyes that little bit open which helps me not to fall asleep again. I firstly checked my work related emails. I do have a part time admin job which is incredibly time consuming, it being part time one would assume it should only be a limited amount of time that I spend on this job but sadly the reality is much less perfect. In reality I do spend double  the time on the job than getting paid for, which is my fault entirely. Yet, I did find the email which my boss kindly wrote to me late last night, ensuring it’s the first email I read in the morning, to be titled “contract” a bit worrying. Dread immediately overcame me. I speed read through the email where I was told that I am sacked. Not immediately or ungraciously discharged, but sacked nevertheless. The fact he didn’t mention was that I have worked overtime for a full month, a total calculated move by my boss, and now that my work is more or less done on this topic, he gives me the boot. I am furious to say the least. Whilst this wasn’t by keep-clam-firedany means a job that is a career, it was a paycheck. A small one but life says to be grateful for even the little things. I was actually always quite thankful for the job, it being part time allowed me to have a better life – work balance but still counting to the workforce and having responsibilities outside of being a mother and wife. So I do feel quite gutted. Whilst I was angry initially, I am slowly shifting towards being stunned at the fact how so many people are being plainly calculating, manipulative and just looking out for themselves. If I had one ounce of slackness within me which would justify such a move being taken against me, I would be honest to acknowledge this but I feel blindly taken advantage of.

Currently there is nothing uplifting that I can add, so I will call it a day and wait til evening to drown this sorrow in a big glass of wine.

Any (kind) comments highly appreciated.

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Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Kindle Paperwhite – review

Although I have talked about this before, I was strangely obsessed with getting a Kindle. Well, actually a second Kindle, since I was the dissatisfied owner of one of the first generation versions. Awful, to say the least. I don’t agree with any reviews that found it

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The “home” for my Kindle on my nightstand.

even slightly acceptable. That being said, most people did refer to it as Amazon’s “prototype” which the company has greatly enhanced since. The Kindle I was interested in was the Paperwhite. I kind of even like the name of it, “Paperwhite”, like “bloodred” or “skyblue”. As I said, having had a really bad opinion and most of all feeling about the Kindle I already owned, it took me years to even consider approaching this subject again. What did it for me was the last visit at my parents’ house. Although a lovely visit, as always, it strangely lacks privacy, especially in the evenings. I am sharing a guest room with my 3 year old daughter and once I have put her to bed, the room becomes in fact kind of inaccessible, well inaccessible for reading with a lamp anyway. It’s obviously not an option to go in and turn the light on to read at night when your toddler is sleeping 2 feet from you. But I love reading before going to bed, so the visits at my parents’ house have morphed into something of a no-reading-zone. Which is a total downer, because I am essentially “on holiday” and how I can enjoy this time without being able to read?

Just one of the reasons to get a Kindle20170130_094125

At my last visit I did come prepared though, I purchased one of those attachable torches that you can hook onto the cover of the book, which should facilitate reading in the dark. Now let me tell you, it’s a challenging and tiresome activity to keep the “torch”, which is a teeny tiny flash of light, in a position that is acceptable for shedding light onto your pages. No doubt, there is no way that you get the same kind of light onto the whole page as you would expect, or indeed require, so you go in and out of reading on some sort of badly lit paper. Turning a page or moving to the opposite page does require shifting of the torch to some extent, so overall, I got more involved by moving the bloody light than in the actual story I am trying to read. I was glad I did have the torch thingy but each and every night I had the same thought over and over, why didn’t I have a Kindle which would solve this problem altogether? Also, I sometimes have these phases where one book might not be sufficient for my trip. Last time, I got seriously close to finishing the book I was reading, a day before I was supposed to leave, so of course this means I have to take this current book plus another one, because it’s inevitable that I will need to have more than 80 pages to read. Again, with a Kindle it would have been no problem at all.

 

Which version to get?

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Now, to the actual Kindle. To please the crowd, there is obviously more than one version. As you can see from my own explanation above, I am the person who needs the Kindle Paperwhite, as I do require to read at night time without disturbing people around me. There is also a cheaper version which is not backlit, so you understandably won’t be able to use this for any kind of night reading. A no-go for me, hence the added price tag for the enhanced lit up version.

I was so nervous when I placed the order for the Kindle, dreading that I will hate it and feeling stupid about my decision making skills, but it seemed only reasonable to invest into a gadget that will essentially make my life more comfortable. My previous reservations of preferring an actual book to electronic pages, was also strongly on my mind, this used to be the point of disgrace for my initial Kindle in the first place. But to be honest, curiosity and sheer laziness with a splash of risk taking made me hit the “purchase now” button before I could talk myself out of it again. And I am so glad I did.

 

My opinion

Truth be told, in my mind I fully allowed the Paperwhite some time to impress me, but I didn’t have to worry about that. The fact that the page is actually lit, means that it’s a total different reading experience than I had with the first generation version. It’s also much smaller than I expected, reasonable in weight and very easy to use. You can adjust all kinds of settings to suit your personal preferences such as fonts, font size, backlight strength, page information etc. There is a bunch of things you can play around with to make it fully your own, or if that’s not your thing, you can just leave it as is and you will likewise have a very enjoyable reading experience.

For years, I did put up a fight about getting a Kindle but the Paperwhite did impress me enormously and whilst I will still read paperbacks here and there, the Kindle has quickly risen to my number 1 gadget which I would recommend strongly to anybody who is still in doubt.

 

Posted in Beauty, Uncategorized

Hair and body products – latest finds

Yesterday, I watched a haul on cosmetics and general drug store items. And I came across quite a few things which I have never even seen in the same store…. how odd is that?

Heat Protection Spray

10727995-1360768245-236155Firstly, there was a recommendation on a great heat spray. I must admit, I totally bought into the natural cosmetics brands which are out there but the heat spray which they so trustfully advise you on definitely lacked in performance….at least on my hair. Whilst it smelled great, my hair got fried. And I mean in a bad way. I even had to stop blow drying my hair completely to give my hair some time to recover. So I was quite interested to get a recommendation on a heat spray which actually works. These bottles are not cheap, and since I bought many the wrong ones in the past, I now truly rely on tried and tested reviews. So I bought the Elnett Heat Protection Spay (Straight, 3 days). I actually didn’t read that this was a spray which helps keeps your hair straight, but all the better. It works wonderfully. When applying it, my hair immediately felt like satin. It was manageable during a low heat blow dry and felt nourished and soft afterwards. Not that frizzy fly away and dry feeling which my hair usually was left with after drying. Even the next day, it’s still very smooth. So I am definitely putting my faith in this spray and am so grateful to have found one that actually does a great job.

 

Shower mousse

Whilst I’m conscious that the next brand is not readily available in all countries, I still have to mention it and you are sure to find a similar brand/product where you live.

71DNr-4O5iL._SL1500_I haven’t ever tried a shower mousse. When I take a bath, or a shower, I usually use body wash or sometimes even just soap. I did find however, that the soap dries my skin out in a bad way, so I am staying clear of it at the moment. This doesn’t go for luxury soap, like Roger Gallet, just general soap.

So anyway, I always thought that this shower mousse or shower foam, however it’s called, business is really just another way of advertisement and body wash is body wash so why bother with another product? I did find a recommendation though of a particular mousse that intrigued me. The company is called Kneipp, broadly available where I live, and I thought I will give it a go. Kneipp is a German company and they have the most luxurious bath items. The companies philosophy goes way back and is all about body/mind/fitness. Herbalism is a great part of it so you will find a lot of nature’s best healing herbs in their products.

Now on to the actually product. I bought the Kneipp white hibiscus and sheabutter shower mousse as my recommendation was for this particular one. Since the products are airtight sealed you are not really smelling much when you open the bottle, so I just sticked with my initial advice. I have to admit that using a shower mousse is a total different cleansing feel than with normal body wash or soap. I felt my skin got really hydrated and was lovely smooth. In fact, my skin felt so fresh that I totally forgot to put on moisturiser afterwards, which I always do, always. When I realised it, I checked my skin for dryness but it wasn’t, so I actually can get away with not moisturizing after using this shower mousse. This is a definite plus for me as sometimes I am really stripped for time and one step less in any beauty regime is very welcome in my eyes.

If you haven’t tried a shower mousse yet, please give it a go….you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Book review – Big Little Lies

I totally forgot to do a book review on „Big Little Lies“ by Liane Moriarty. Boah…quite a tongue twister that last name but she’s an excellent writer.

20160615_082400Big Little Lies is actually the first book which I have read by this author. Personally I think she is most known for her novel “The Husband’s Secret” which probably the majority of people bring her in contact with. And rightly so, she’s written it.

Big Little Lies is a story about schoolyard moms and before you dismiss it, it’s also a mystery and cleverly plotted. There are 3 main characters which the book focuses on but there are also more people coming into play so it does keep you on your toes. I found all 3 leading ladies very much relatable, very likeable and I felt for each one of them in their unique situation.

The book starts at the end in a way, as we are told that there was a terrible altercation at the trivia school night. What happened and who was involved is not clear. From there the book jumps backwards to I believe 6 months before this fateful night and we are taken on quite a ride with these ladies.

I found I got totally hooked in to the ladies lives and I looked forward each evening to read the book and oftentimes ending up reading just one more chapter as I couldn’t put it down.

The only thing I found a bit, well overwhelming to be honest, were the additional comments by other parents as each chapter closes. Don’t get me wrong, they are witty remarks but it threw me a bit off to read so many names and then trying to understand who it is. Is it Madeleine’s friend or her enemy who says this? That kind of thoughts went through my head as I wasn’t sure if it could be vital to the overall story. Turns out, the comments are not vital, so just read them with pleasure, they won’t spoil the book if you don’t know who the person is saying it.

Liane Moriarty is a great author and I look forward to reading many more novels of hers. Luckily she has written quite a few already. My next one will be “The Last Anniversary” and then “The Husbands Secret”.

 

Since I found Big Little Lies absolutely thrilling and a great read, I was even more pleased when I saw that a TV series is currently being in the works which are based on this book. And a major bonus is the cast. Reese Whitherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley represent the leading ladies. I absolutely can’t wait to see the drama of the book unfold on the big screen.

 

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Pink beauty – new bag

I have never met a woman who actually “needs” a new bag. The general rule is that every woman has far too many handbags as it is but is in complete denial about this truth. So instead of “needing” a new handbag, I am honest and tell you that I “wanted” one. 20160719_084158And of course I got one….not just any, a bag that is actually teaching me something. I saw this bright pink beauty at Accessorize and when I realised it is half price it was a no brainer not to buy it. In fact, if you can get anything half price it’d be dumb not to go for it. As you can see from the picture, it’s a fairly smallish cross body bag which funnily enough is the biggest appeal for me right now. As a mom, anything cross-body is a gift, it stays in place and is easier to carry.

Now I was saying that the bag is teaching me something, which seeing by its size is to obviously pack lightly. I can only fit essentials like money, credit card, tissues, antibacterial wipes, keys and a lip balm or travel size sun lotion. That’s it. Carrying a wallet is not an option, as the wallet itself fills out the whole bag, at least mine does. I do find though, that by not taking the whole wallet in the first place I tend to spend less as I only grab small notes as a safety net in case there is an urgent purchase I have to make.

Even if it sounds lunatic, I feel light and strangely uplifted when leaving the house with this bag as it’s not dragging me down like my other bags which are filled to the rim with all kinds of stuff that 90% of the time I don’t even need but just ludicrously carry around.

So, although I didn’t “need” the bag, how can I not?

 

 

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Book review – Before I go to sleep

This debut novel is certainly much raved about and I have to agree with all the others who think that the story was excellent. Written in first person by its main character Christine, it takes us on her journey suffering from amnesia. bislecoverChristine wakes up every day not knowing who she is and therefore greatly depends on the people around her. In an attempt to grasp a footing in reality and remain there she is taking steps in keeping a journal that will help her to remember her story. But of course the story in itself is twisted and full of mysteries. It definitely kept me guessing and doubting characters who came into the picture. I knew before reading the book that there is a big turn towards the end of the book and I must admit I didn’t see it coming. It’s a great book, definitely worth reading and will keep you in its grip. You feel for Claire and can almost sense her desperation in her quest of finding out what happened to her to leave her with no memory.

Admittedly there are reviews which fault the book on the repetitive nature of following the main characters daily routine. Given that she suffers from amnesia some parts are repeated but I have to say that the author did it in a quick way. Personally I didn’t feel bored as every day in her life brings out new developments, so it’s not quite fair to say that you read the same text over and over.

As should be, with every great book comes a movie adaption. Usually not as good as the book. I can’t comment on that as I have not watched the movie yet but I am hopeful as the cast, with Nicole Kidman representing the leading lady, should not disappoint.

 

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Spend free Shopping

Every now and again I do some spend-free shopping. Mostly this focuses on clothes and beauty products but I have lately also incorporated books, magazines, flowerpots …. Anything that would be useful to me at this time.

Clothes swap

First of all clothes….. Now every woman has too many clothes as it is so you can go shopping in your own wardrobe or get together with friends, relatives etc …as long as they are your size or were your size at some stage.

The idea is obviously to swap clothes. I think some people might find it weird or even gross but I’m not talking about swapping knickers…. We all wash our clothes and generally take clothes swap 1good care of them so if I have items lying around which were impulse buys or just not matching my current style anymore I find it a good money saving idea to pass them on to my friends (or sister in my case).

Great tip here…start with your pregnant friends or recently pregnant. They, without them knowing or choosing, basically live in their jogging tracks and bulky shirts and before they know it their style will have evolved. At least this is what pregnancy did to me. After regaining my pre-pregnancy weight I didn’t quite get into my old style. It changed somehow and I have to say it was actually fun to change the way I dress. I guess it’s because my whole life kind of changed, so it’s obvious that your wardrobe will too.

Visit your wardrobe

wardrobedesignIf the clothes swap with friends is not working for you then I strongly recommend you go shopping in your own wardrobe. Unless you are a total neat freak and super organised you, as all others of us out there, will choose your clothes by the 80/20 rule. You were 20% of your clothes for 80% all the time. Don’t say it isn’t so.…. It really is. For most of us if not all of us.

So what I love to do every now and again is to turn my wardrobe upside down. I take everything out….and then look at every piece and ask myself how I can wear this. It’s really fun. Especially with those items that you hardly ever wear. Just get creative. Pieces which are hardly worn just need a bit of spicing up.

I generally find it easiest to put a whole outfit together with those items I don’t wear a lot. You will be surprised how easy it is to combine it in a different way to make it work for you. It’s definitely worth a try and I guarantee you that you will be excited to wear your “newly” put together outfit. And of course, best of all, it didn’t cost a thing.

If you need some outfit creation inspiration, then head over to pinterest, Instagram or do a general google search on the type of outfit you are looking for. You will be inspired to say the least.

I love checking out hello gorgeous for styles:

https://www.instagram.com/hellogorgblog/

Beauty products

If I am honest I could almost open up my own little drugstore. No, not really but there are lots of items I have accumulated over some time which were then quickly replaced with something else and I end up with lots of barely used products.

messy makeup drawerBefore we delve into this further…..beauty products, especially make-up doesn’t last for decades, even though we might think it does. Products generally have their lifetime information on the box. So if you come across some foundation which you haven’t worn in years and the lifetime is 1 year after opening it, then please throw it out. I would throw out any mascara that was opened but not used in a while, chances are it’s clogged up and not good for your eyes anymore. I did however come across eye shadow palettes, primers, blush, bronzers, perfume, hand crèmes (so many kinds and flavours), pocket mirrors and even nail polish which were just sitting in the bottom of my bathroom cabinet.

So even if you end up throwing out a lot at first during this exercise, I am sure you will come across some old treasures which are just waiting to be back in your life.

I also take perfume swapping on the next level. I’m kind of the type to get bored easily, especially with perfume that I have chosen for myself. I treasure those that are gifts but anything else, just as with make-up or clothes, could do with a change now and then. I have recenperfume swaptly suggested a perfume swap with my mom. She has soo many lovely perfumes, all gifts, in fact I can’t ever remember a time when this woman bought a bottle of perfume for herself. She does have favourites which we are aware of, so she won’t get stuck with lots of perfume she dislikes. But mostly she wears the same one over and over. So I brought all my perfume bottles over to her house (except my gift ones) and she chose what smells she liked and I did the same with hers. We are now having lovely perfumes which actually match our current fancy….for now.

 

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for a spend free shopping trip. Let me know how you get on and have fun re-discovering some hidden treasures.