Tuesday, 26 January 2016

30 before 30 Bucketlist -Did I Complete It?

HOLY SHIT! I’ve been 30 for 2 and a half weeks!! Waaaaaaah!! This absolutely terrifies me as for numerous reasons. I think this is partly due to the fact I think in my head I’m still 17, I certainly don’t feel mature enough to 30. 10 years ago if you asked me what I thought I would be doing ten years from now my reply would have been along the lines of ‘be in a job I love, own a house, married with babies’, damn you Disney for making me want the fairy tale! Instead of any of this I’m now 30 and live in my parents loft and am in a bit of a rut. I guess I also thought I would have achieved a lot more by now. Don’t me wrong I have no regrets, I don’t believe in them and have had the most awesome experiences, travelled to some incredible places so I really can’t complain. My life is pretty great I just need some changes and new challenges and that’s where this 30 before 30 list stemmed from.

I also better state for the record that turning 30 is definitely not the end of the world, it has been ridiculously fun so far and I think I am going to like my flirty thirties. I am feeling confident and happy and can’t wait to see what the future holds!

So if you’ve been a visitor to Lipsticks and Lashes for a while, you will know that for all the reasons above, a year and a half ago I created a bucket list of 30 things I would love to achieve before I turn 30. It was a wide variety of things that I have wanted to do for a while but for whatever reason have been a lame ass and haven’t done yet. They were all things that I felt would help me make the most of life and make me a better person. Now I am 30 I thought id better give you all the low down of how I got on with completing my bucket list, so here’s where I got to…

1. Start dating...  yeah, so, umm, I went on numerous dates and they were all a bit disastrous and I am pretty adamant now there are no nice men on dating websites, they are either bonkers, needy or just wanting to send you willy pictures. So anyone know where I can meet a nice, funny, handsome man without going on tinder or pof then please shout! All tips greatly received!

2. Go indoor skydiving. I so nearly did this a while back when I was in Manchester! Sadly there just wasn’t enough time to do it! I’m going to definitely ass this to my 40 before 40 list!

3. Cook one dish a week from scratch... I smashed this one! Wahoo! Over the past 6 months I’ve really embraced clean eating and am feeling so much better for it! My eczema has cleared up my under active thyroid seems to have levelled out and I have so much more energy. This means I am cooking from scratch, I usually do a massive batch cook on a Sunday now so I can’t slack in the week when I am juggling two jobs and don’t have time to cook.

4. Say yes more! To any opportunities that come my way. – This is an ongoing one and I think I’ve been embracing it pretty well! It’s a great way to put myself out there more and I have had so much fun doing this! I do love this one and it’s definitely going to be continued, it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to experience new things.

5. Learn to long board – I have a long board and am working on it! I am a giant wimp and keep jumping off before I think I’m going to fall off! I have zero sense of balance so it’s been fun! I even had a little skate crew going in the summer which was so much fun, especially when we followed it with hot chocolates in the pub garden!

6. Try a roller derby – Failed this! Boo!

7. Visit Disney World in Florida. Hmm I think this one will be scooting over to my 40 before 40 list as I had no funds to pull this one off! Or any annual leave left to take it with for that matter!

8. Start a ‘grateful’ diary and record 3 things I am happy for every day. – So I started this one but then kind of failed miserable! I just keep forgetting to do it! It has made me realize how important it is to take a moment every so often to appreciate things a bit more, especially when I’m having a bad day!

9. Buy a house – Nope definitely not done this, still in the parents freezing loft….

10. Try Paddle boarding. – Tried it and loved it! Can’t wait for summer to try it again!

11. Start a successful Etsy Shop – a work in progress! Its up and running now (Check out Pearl Divine here) and I am constantly adding new bits, so I hope with hard work it may become successful!  

12. Write a book – I’ve started writing and I love it, just wish there was hours in a day so I could get more done!

13. Live abroad for a month – COMPLETED!! This was awesome! I spent last November in Australia (Blog posts coming soon, I promise!) and it was magical! I spent two weeks on the Gold Coast for a friends wedding, a week in Sydney a week in Ayres Rock and a week in Melbourne. To say I am still suffering with post holiday blues would be an understatement!

14. Get down to a clothing size 12 – I have dropped a stone and a dress size but still not near a size 12, however I am feeling a thousand times more body confident than when I first wrote this, which I thinks an achievement in itself!

15. Run a 10k – COMPLETED! In a respectable 1hour and 20 mins! My next challenge is a half marathon…. From someone who couldn’t run 2 minutes without collapsing when I started in May last year, I am pretty pleased with this one!

16. Do a painting on a canvas – I am behind with this one! I have bought a canvas and some neon acrylic paints!! I can’t wait to have a play with them. If it looks half decent I might even share the final painting here!

17. Go to a music festival – COMPLETED!! I went to a small festival called Blissfield’s last weekend for a friends hen do! I had the best time and determined to head to a few more next year!

18. Visit Machu Piccu – Lack of funds mean this hasn’t happened… YET! Its definitely one I have to do!

19. Fall in love and be loved – see no1

20. See the northern lights – not yet 

21. Visit Ireland – DONE! I was super lucky and for my 30th birthday we ticked this one off by heading to Dublin! I went with a group of girl friends and had a blast! The best way to turn the big 30!

22. Try Wakeboarding – I’ve tried it and LOVED it!! I found out a local lake is all set up for wakeboarding and I went along for a lesson and it was so much fun! I’m planning to go again this year!

23. Start an art class – didn’t manage this one but I am dropping a few evening sessions at work this year so hoping this may be something I can pick up then!

24. Learn to Surf – Nope, still not managed this one!

25. Learn another language – or this one…

26. Learn the ukulele – there is a local Ukulele group that meets in the local pub, I’ve been to a few sessions now! I am really bad at learning to play but its good fun! I’ve learnt I am just not musical!

27. Figure out some sort of career path and be happy with whatever it may be. – Still working on this!

28. Make a drift wood coffee table – I really really want to do this one, so its going straight onto my 40 before 40 list!

29. Read one book every month – COMPLETED!! I hope to continue this as it’s such a fun way to relax and switch off.

30. Go to New Zealand – I was hoping to do this in March this year but due to a severe lack of funds it’s had to be scrapped! Gutted but I still hope to visit one of these days!

I would say that’s about half completed, and half not managed or still working on. I am pretty pleased with this! I’ve loved having a few goals and working to achieve my 30 before 30, being able to tick them off as done is such an achievement! I am now working on my 40 before 40 list! I will post it here when I have decided on everything I want to be on there!

Do you do lists like this? Do you have any suggestions on what should be on my next bucket list?

Sunday, 24 January 2016

New Year, New Blog!

Firstly, Happy New Year! I know I am so late in saying that but as you can tell I’ve been seriously neglecting this blog lately. BUT I AM BACK!! And as you may be able to tell I am a little excited about it! I feel like my little blogging fire has been re-lit and can’t wait to see what this year now has to bring!
This year I seriously want to bring the Blog Love (check out my twitter handle @BlogLoveRT), I seriously neglected this little space on the internet last year as I sort of became a bit despondent with the whole blogosphere. I was finding it wasn’t a fun network of people with a similar hobby anymore, but somewhere that had become very bitchy and competitive. Two things that massively aren’t my cup of tea and not what I signed up for. So I took a giant step back for a while and put my energies into other things. I started a new job, I seriously got into the gym (I heart weights, who knew?!) and running, which was an awesome experience, and I finished the year with a month in Australia. 2015 was a pretty good year for me but I have missed writing and playing in this little creative space a lot more than I ever thought!
It feels so strange to be sat here typing away again, I feel a little nervous as to what it may lead to but I also feel like I’ve come home. However things are going to be a little different, as you can already see I’ve had a ‘Lipsticks and Lashes’ has undergone a little revamp, all courtesy of the gorgeous Hayley over at Tea Party Beauty. I’m a little bit in love with it! I feel like it’s fresh and simple and suits where I am at the moment. What do you all think??
I’m also not going to blog to a fixed time plan, I used to blog 4 times a week and get myself stressed out if I didn’t blog for a few days. Feels silly now, what’s the worst that could happen?! Some of my favourite bloggers only post once a week, they have a great readership and I always look forward to what they are going to post next. I think that’s how it should be! I want to enjoy blogging not find it a burden. So I am going to blog when I fancy doing so! I have tons of post ideas floating around my head at the moment so it will probably be a few times a week and do you know what? I can’t wait! Expect the usual beauty reviews, mixed up with travel posts, health and fitness, clean eating and general positive lifestyle post. All the things that excite me!
Also in case you have missed it, The Bloggers Snail Mail project is BACK!!! So many fab bloggers have signed up already so I think it’s going to be such an exciting round. You have till this Friday to sign up so check out the blog post all about it here!
Bring on 2016!

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Bloggers Snail Mail is Back! - Sign Ups Now Open!

The Bloggers Snail Mail is back!! Wahoo! After taking a little hiatus last year, due to becoming a little disillusioned with blogging and bloggers and seriously not feeling the love, I am bringing it back! I’ve met so many awesome bloggers through this project and want it to continue in 2016 so spread the word, tell all your friends, let’s make this a round to remember! 

So here is how it works: A quarterly gift exchange where you can meet other bloggers from around the world and spread a bit of positivity! People get paired up in February, May, August and November. During the sign up period, every participant will be paired with one other new participant and you’ll spend a few weeks becoming BFFs (i.e. reading each other’s blogs, sending happy e-mails, you name it!). After that, you’ll send your partner a gift from your country that you think they may like from the info you now know about them. There’s a £5 limit on the gifts to make this project as affordable as possible. Be as creative as you can and make it meaningful! Motivate them, tell them all the beautiful things you learned about them, and make them feel special! We could all use a little encouragement, especially from our new friends. Also, each package should include a postcard (or a letter if you can’t find one!) with some motivating love or positive words of wisdom written all over it.
So to sign up for the ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ you just need to send an email to whatsinyourmakeupbag@gmail.com, title it ‘The Bloggers Snail Mail’ and include in it your name, where you are from, and your blog! Sign ups will be open until the Friday 29th JanuaryI will then randomly match you all up aiming to make sure you are with someone from another country or at least in another area from you! I will then let you know by Monday 1st February who your partner is and you then have 4 weeks to get to know them! So the week of the 7th March, you can then send your new buddy their Snail Mail!

Once you receive your gifts, write a blog post about your experience, sharing what you gave, received, and learnt through this being part of this and meeting your new pal.

If you want to tweet about this project, use the hashtag #TheBloggersSnailMail, You can also tag me @GemmaMarieJames and ill retweet your post, so everyone can share your experience!

Please only sign up if you definitely are willing to take part and if you want to be matched with someone from the same country as you to save on postage then please let me know!!
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