This or That | Summer Edition

31 July 2016

Ben Rhydding, UK
One of the best ways to get to know people is to find out what they like and what they don’t like. It’s not difficult to figure out what I don’t like because I have a tendency to complain and do plenty of that on Twitter. Still, I absolutely love reading “this or that” posts, or watching “73 questions” videos, and I figured doing a post like that on Anika May would be a great way to start a Sunday morning. So without further ado…

Ocean or pool?
Ocean, it smells better and I like the tides and waves. Plus I have a think about pools being full of germs.

Beach holiday or wilderness?
I’ve been on a beach holiday before (and sadly only one in my entire life), so I would say wilderness as it’s something new.

Watermelon or strawberries?
In all honesty, I really don’t like either! But I can drink a strawberry milkshake.

Bikini or one-piece?
I only like high-waisted bikinis, which are kind of like a one piece. So I guess one piece.

Lemonade or iced tea?
Ooooh I think lemonade. As much as I like iced tea, I feel like lemonade will always win.

Hotdogs or burgers?
I am totally and completely a burger girl. I’ll eat a hotdog any day but I love a solid burger, as you can probably tell by the image above

Hat or sunglasses?
I have extensions so hats make my head really hot, so I don’t wear them as much in summer. But I love sunglasses to hide my eyes!

Windows down or AC?
I always feel too cold with the AC on, but the windows down gives you that nice windswept look and you can fake a music video.

Sports game or concert?
Concert! I recently went to see Rihanna while the sun was shining and it changed my life!

Ice cream or ice lolly?
Ice cream for sure. I can’t bite into ice lollies so they are difficult to eat but I love ice cream, especially with gummy sweets on top!

Fireworks or campfire?
Can I have both? I love a campfire in the summer, but fireworks are so much fun to watch.

Flip flops or bare feet?
Depends where I’m walking. I like bare feet on the sand, but flip flops pretty much everywhere else. The noise flip flops make is horrendous though!

Water balloons or squirt guns?
I like water balloons, especially now there’s balloons that fill way quicker than they used to! Guns are too much effect for me.

What would your answers be?
*whole outfit above from Next*

Nighty Night Shirt

28 July 2016

Eldwick, UK
Today’s outfit is all about this men’s suit shirt I bought absolutely ages ago, and haven’t let go of since. I’ve always been a fan of shirts, although in 2012, I wore way too many check shirts and now I’m not too keen on them. Still, I’ll always be a fan of the oversized look and this shirt is perfect for that.
I can be pretty lazy when it comes to getting dressed. Sometimes there are days where I really don’t want to put any effort into my appearance, and some days when I just don’t care. A huge shirt is perfect for that kind of mood. With most of my outfits, I hate to feel weighed down so men’s cotton shirts are ideal. I like women’s shirts too, however they’re built with the female body in mind, so have a slight curve for the waist, whereas men’s shirts and tops are usually just straight down the sides which is what I like. During a shopping spree, it’s just so easy to drift off into the men’s section and find way better items that some of the pieces in the ladies’ section.

I have a habit of buying clothes that are too big, and today is no different. With most clothes, I prefer them to be loose-fitting, but with shirts, I go way over the top. I can’t help it! I literally want them to flow in the wind. Also, the bigger the shirt, the skinnier my legs look so that’s always a plus. I picked jeans and shoes that would match my look, my shoes in particular being a new favourite. I’ve had them for a really long time, but recently re-found them during a closet cleanout and found them in tip top shape! I’m so happy I discovered them again as they’ll be perfect for Sunday’s trip to Alton Towers.

Shirt // Tesco (SIMILAR)
Jeans // NEW LOOK
Shoes // Nike (SIMILAR)
Bag // Topshop (SIMILAR
Jewellery // Various charity shops (similar bracelet from NEXT)

How to Decide If Your Job Is Wrong for You

25 July 2016

Leeds, UK
There are thousands of people who could tell you the worst thing about their job, however some find at least one aspect they like or one area they thrive in. Sadly, on the other hand, some employees simply can’t stand going to work and daydream about quitting every day. I’ve been there, and it took a lot for me to finally decide to pack in that sense of security and realise I was in the worst job ever.

Detesting your routine
It’s Sunday night, the idea of Monday is nauseating and the whole routine is just a headache waiting to happen. This is something that’s really common, but if the idea of the week ahead is sickening so much it affects quality of life, I would definitely say it’s time to figure out the next step. I used to love Friday nights, but also feel slightly sad because I knew the next week was so close – that was my sign!

Extreme lack of enthusiasm
I have a lack of enthusiasm when it comes to most things… like to think I’m quite similar to April from Parks and Rec, I’m pretty moody and have the bitchiest resting face, but if you give me something I really care about, I will jump up and become full of life. At work, most of my co-workers probably thought I was miserable, and it’s because I was. If there’s not even the faint flavour of zeal at work, maybe it’s not the best place the build a career.

Counting down to the weekend
While working full time, I used to say “every week is just a countdown to the weekend” and that’s really not the mindset to have. It was difficult for me to realise this train of thought isn’t productive at all, as it means I’m just wishing my life away and life is way too short to be doing that. It’s important to value the time we have, and that shouldn’t be spent wallowing around the office.

Little respect for your manager and colleagues
It wasn’t difficult for me to imagine my manager being hit by a bus every so often. I can’t even lie about it, the woman was evil. As time grew on, I lost more and more respect for her and the workers who did nothing all day. At that point I noticed I wasn’t in the right job because I don’t care for the authority or the rules, not the attitude to have.

Dreading team nights outs
Ugh. Nothing was worse. Yates Leeds became known as the local hell for me because it’s where all the team nights out were held. As soon as someone has a birthday, or retires, or moves house, or passes a test… or sneezes. Saying no over and over become very difficult, so team nights out and general co-worker association is a devastating occasion. When that’s the worst thing life could throw out, it’s time to leave.

Waiting until 08:59 to enter the building
This always makes me laugh because I did this every day. The funniest thing is that I would get into Leeds for around 8:30, and take the longest walk to work, before spending a good fifteen minutes in the bathroom playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood before strutting to my desk to ensure I was never late, but more importantly never early. Even on days where I had to start at 7am, I sat and ate my breakfast before even thinking of logging on. Avoiding work like that showed me it was the wrong job for me.

Have you ever quit a job? How did you know it was the wrong career path for you? 
Disclaimer: I understand many people don’t enjoy their jobs but it’s their only means of survival. I know this from experience and would like to stress this post is just for entertainment. 

W7 In The Nude Palette | Review

22 July 2016

Leeds, UK
When it comes to beauty and cosmetics, I love to collect eye shadow palettes.  It’s one of my favourite ways to play around with colours and experiment with techniques while spending little money and time. As much as I like to contour every so often, I can’t always be bothered to do it every day, but a different shade of eyeshadow can brighten an entire look. Since being about 12 years old, I’ve worn eye shadow – bear in mind that was when I wore white eye shadow, or a navy blue shade with absolutely no eyeliner or mascara. I know.
Now that’s I’ve matured (slightly), and have sat through hundreds of make-up tutorials, from cut creases to smoky eye; I like to shop for different palettes and try to collect a wider range of colour. On the boring days, I stick to darker nudes (browns, maybe the occasional black), but I have recently really gotten into pinks on my eyelids, as I think the blend pretty well and can easily become a transition shade.
Shades from left to right: Teddy bear, Wonderland, Cracker, Happy, Lady Luck, Twister, Di Di, Delilah, Magic, It's a dram, Up in smoke & Dawn
I recently bought the W7 In The Nude Eye Shadow Palette from Amazon (only £5!) and was quite surprised at how much I liked it. Usually, when cosmetic products are under £20, there’s a slight worry they may not be of a high quality; but this palette could easily be a high street dupe for the UD Naked 3 palette! I have never owned a Naked palette, simply because the price is too high for me, but I think the selection of colours by W7 are perfect.
One thing I really liked about the palette was the pigment of the eye shadows, it was incredibly strong, and I’ve been using quite a few shades for a while, and have barely made a dent in it. I can use plenty of different brushes and the shadows spread really well and don’t clump up on my eyes. I have found that some eye shadows have a tendency to be too heavy which becomes a struggle when it’s a time to apply liquid eyeliner, or they’re so light and transparent, I have to apply layers upon layers which eyeliner doesn’t respond well to.
Two colours I’ve been loving are Twister and Up in smoke as they work really well together. However, it’s really easy to blend a few colours together and create a girly and looks with the lighter shades, or a darker look with the deeper purples. I sometimes worry that dark colours will make my eyes look to small, but the shimmer in the shadows really helps to bring out the bright in your eyes, and then I can use the lighter colours around my tear duct if needed.

Overall, I really like this palette, I have been pleasantly surprised by W7 (check out my review of their setting spray) and I think, like Sleek, they’re definitely a brand to keep an eye on as their products are constantly improving and staying at an affordable price. My one wish, was that W7 products were available in more stores! 

12 Ways Full-Time Employment Changed Me

18 July 2016

Harden, UK
For just over a year, I worked a basic 9 to 5 office job for one of the county’s biggest building societies. It was an eye-opening experience for me, not only because I learned to grow up and actually adult at life, but I also found that I had changed quite a lot, and for the better. I’ve always been a reserved person, but working in a large team of people, surrounded by hundreds of others, I have realised growing up isn’t the worst thing in the world.

#1 I developed a thicker skin
Naturally, I’m a very sensitive person, sometimes I don’t take well to criticism and there have been times in my life where I have just cried because things aren’t going my way. Well, that’s exactly what happened at my office job. It was my first real job and I cried almost every day for about three weeks. However, as time passed, I began to notice a change. As much as I hated my job and my manager hated me, I really didn’t care. Insults and digs didn’t bother me anymore and that has stayed with me today.

#2 Businesses aren’t all fair and proper
When I first started working, I was absolutely horrified at the way some people behaved. But I figured they would be punished or disciplined for their actions that were clearly against the rules set out to me on my first day. Well, it was quite the contrary. In fact, the managers were worse than the employees and for a company that deals with the finances and mortgages of other people, it didn’t sit well with me. It’s surprising to see how some of the biggest establishments in the country are not as pristine as they make out.

#3 Not everyone is going to like me
Not that I assume everyone I meet is going to fall in love with me and want to be my best friend, but I figured the human thing to do is be civil with the people you work with. Well, a whole year in employment taught me otherwise. In the office I worked in, if you didn’t like or get alone with someone, you made it clear. My manager wasn’t my biggest fan and this affected my colleagues’ view of me as well. I got to a point where I finally accepted, not everyone is nice, and not everyone will love me.

#4 It's okay to cry if you feel sad
As mentioned, I can be very sensitive so it’s not hard to get me to cry. However, I always felt bad for stressing out about my job and crying at work. Part of me wondered why no one else seemed as awkward as me. Of course, anxiety played an enormous role is my attitude to the job, but I was in a toxic environment for a year – it’s normal to feel down about it. Towards the end of the job, I just learned to get on with it, but this is a lesson it took me a while to get used to. And if I’m sad, yeah I’ll cry!
#5 Stand up for yourself!
Because I’m such a shy person, I just tend to adhere to authority, and as this 9 to 5 was my first job so I didn’t really know any better. My manager wasn’t the nicest person on Earth and often found that she was handing me jobs that were way out of my job description. This happens from time to time, and I’m happy to do it when needed, but cleaning a storage cupboard all day and refusing to give me any work when there is work to be done is a step too far. And so, one day I decided to say something and stand up! This made no difference In her attitude, but I feel much better than before.

#6 There’s always a positive
There have been many times in my life when all seems to be going wrong and there’s no up. However, working in full time employment has helped me to learn that bad days have a positive, even if I can’t see it until a week or a month later. It’s totally normal to feel down, but it’s really important to remember not to stay down. No matter how horrific a working situation got, I always forced myself to remember: “you can only go up from here”. 

#7 I find motivating myself easy
After working somewhere I called “hell” for a year, I have no problem doing many of the jobs I do today. For example, there are days where I really don’t want to blog – I just want to lay in bed at watch Parks & Rec all day while stuffing my face with mini marshmallows. Similarly, I currently work for two amazing charities, Clothing Solutions and Beaneezy (please give the Facebook pages a like if you can!), and sometimes don’t feel up to doing all the reporting and finance stuff, but then I remember: would I rather be here or at my old job? And now I have no problem motivating myself!

#8 It makes a great horror story
Telling people about my experience always leaves them with horrified expressions on their faces. I get the “how on Earth did you stay there for a year?!” question which always makes me laugh. In a way, I guess it’s like a (very weak) survivor story and because of my experience I feel like a much stronger person today. I’m able to face most challenges head on and prepare for the worst, rather than shrivel up in fear every time. 
#9 My skills were refined 
I’m quite the introvert so putting myself out there isn’t the easiest thing in the world. While working at the building society, I learned to improve my conversation and social skills because I spoke to so many different people every day. Working on a computer each day also helped me improve those skills, from touch typing to using keyboard shortcuts. I no longer work in customer services, but working in an investment department and talking to customers frequently gave me the confidence to speak to more people – a valuable skill!

#10 Hello confidence!
Before starting the job in Leeds, I was incredibly shy, awkward and weird around people I don’t know. Nowadays, I’m still the same shy weirdo but I don’t freak out or panic as much in a public situation. If someone talks to me, I don’t say the first thin my brain thinks of, I’m able to respond like a human and that shows an increase in confidence for me. Despite not being at a place where I can rock up to a photoshoot and pose like the next Tyra, I’m a lot more confident taking photos in public and speaking to new people. 

#11 I have a sense of ambition
I never thought of myself as an ambitious person. Honestly, I can be very lazy and occasionally find it difficult to get motivated. While working in the building society office, I learned I didn’t like my job. I just wasn’t enjoying any aspect at all, and didn’t look forward to each day. I know it’s normal for people to hate their jobs, but most the people in the office just stayed because they couldn’t be bothered to job hunt. On the other hand, I was the complete opposite – I hunted for jobs every single day and applied for hundreds, so maybe I do have the potential to strive for more. 

#12 I know how to use public transport/navigate rush hour
This is something I would have never known how to do unless I experienced it. If I went to London, I wouldn’t be as fearful of using a busy underground or bus station because I have experience using Leeds’ transport during the busiest hours of the day. When I first started, I didn’t know up from down; but towards the end, I turned into an employed zombie like many of the other strangers in suits, tutting at those who can’t swipe their travel card properly and hold up the queue. It’s a good understanding to have!

Have you ever worked full-time? Has it changed you?

Nutribuddy Weight Loss Kit | 14-Day Review

13 July 2016

Micklethwaite, UK
I was recently sent the Nutribuddy Weight Loss Kit* to try out, as I’ve been on the hunt for new but healthy ways to lose weight without resorting to extreme measures. I could say I’ve been on a diet for years, and struggled to see any major results. Although I’m not the same size I was four years ago, there’s still more weight I’d like to shed! Over time, I’ve learned that I really like smoothies, and it’s one of the only ways I can force myself to eat fruit on a regular basis, without feeling the burden of a strict diet.
The great thing about smoothies are that they’re so filling, and can replace certain meals during the day, especially if I don’t have the time to sit down and indulge. The Recipe Book by Nutribuddy became one of my favourite items from the kit, because it has such a wide variety of ideas and meals. There are simple meals in there, such as Cannellini beans with eggs and toast for breakfast or Moroccan lamb with apricots and almonds for lunch/dinner. Now one smoothie I have to share is the Mixed Berry Shake – oh my goodness it’s magical.
Ingredients: 30g Nutribuddy Sculpting Whey, 113g frozen berries, 113g fat-free strawberry yogurt, 30ml semi-skimmed milk, 7g porridge oats, 1 tsp agave (optional)
When I made this smoothie, it came out a little more like yogurt as it was pretty thick! Regardless, I absolutely loved it, and once I finished the entire cup, I couldn’t even think about eating any food until the next day. I went without the agave seeds, but loved the idea of porridge oats in a shake as this is something I’ve never tried before. Plus, it was an opportunity to use more for the Sculpting Whey which I loooovvvveeee the taste of.
Regarding the Hunger Fix and Multivitamin tablets, I saw a slight difference but nothing that was a total game changer. I believe this is down to only using them for about two weeks (when I remembered to take them), so I’m sure there would be much more improvement on top of my positive first impressions. My only struggle with the tablets is that they’re quite large, which is something I’m not used to as I don’t take pills that often.

As mentioned in my first impressions post, I like that the Little Book of Weight Loss is not just a flimsy leaflet full of images and captions. Inside, you’re pleasantly surprised by the amount of information on the products in the kit, as well as a Do’s and Don’ts section for the eating plan also featured inside. The book isn’t boring and full of textbook terminology which can also be quite common with weight loss kits. The Little Book of Weight Loss gives a sizeable amount of information concerning the Sculpting Whey (which I got in Vanilla) – a large bag of protein that can be added as an extra ingredient or used in the daily Whey shake (the perfect snack replacement)! I used this protein when making the banana and mango shake from the Recipe book.
Ingredients: 30g Nutribuddy Sculpting Whey, 1 medium mango, 1 banana, 500ml orange juice, 4 ice cubes
Luckily, this smoothie came out as a smoothie, and again was so filling. I think the 30g of Sculpting Whey helped immensely! When previously making smoothies with just fruit and juice or ice, I find that they are runny and end up feeling like a beverage I could drink alongside a meal. The texture was odd at first, as I’m not too keen on banana, but could totally live off mango. It took a minute to get used to, but the taste won me over, it’s a perfect solution to a hunger craving. I was drawn to the smoothies because they’re so quick and easy to make, and life has me on the go right now. This smoothie has idea to drink out of the Shaker Bottle which I usually use for the daily shake, but can also use for smoothie recipes I have tried out from the book. I’m happy the bottle is included in this set, because it’s a good but portable size and includes a metal spiral to helped to get rid of any lumps my blender missed.
I managed to lose around four pounds over the two weeks with Nutribuddy + exercise! 
Overall, I really like the Nutribuddy Weight Loss Kit and would recommend it, especially for the Recipe Book and Sculpting Whey. The delivery was shipped in great time, and the resealable bags are a good size for the price. I received the 14-day supply kit, and still have plenty left to use so I think the price is certainly worth the product. If you’d like to know more about what you receive in the Weight Loss Kit, you can check out Nutribuddy’s Weight Loss Essentials page.

Have you tried Nutribuddy products before? What did you think?

This post is in collaboration with Nutribuddy. 

Bad Moods Are Healthy | Journal

10 July 2016

Ripon, UK
Today I woke up in a terrible mood. Not that I’m going to use up today’s post to rant about everything wrong right now (although I’m soooooo tempted to), but I’m actually sat here thinking about the fact that it’s been a while since I’ve been in a bad mood and I actually kind of like it. I’m always pretty happy and smiley, but today I could scream at someone and I’ve decided this is good for me.

Not that it’s inhuman to be perky all the time, but I’m a bit of a drama queen and having a good sulk helps me to stay grounded and sane. I might even listen to a really sad playlist and flounder around the house, whinging about the weather or cringing at daytime TV. Or I could just sit in silence and judge everyone on social media because they’re having an awesome day and mine sucks. In all honesty, some of my most productive work sessions have been when I’m super annoyed at something in a sulky mood. When I feel rubbish, watching Netflix for six hours straight isn’t as fun.

There are many people who write posts on how to beat a bad mood (myself included of course), but there are also huge positives to feeling negative – if that makes sense. My memory seems to work a lot better when I’m being stubborn or over dramatic. There could be some drama in my friendship group, and I don’t even need screenshots to help me out because I can suddenly remember anything and everything with minimal effort. I also have much better judgement when I’m being temperamental and tend to reach decisions much quicker which is a completely different story when I’m happy (my Tumblr name used to be “indecisiveyoung-soul” – what does that tell us?).

And as mentioned earlier, I work better when feeling short-tempered! I don’t know how it works, but if something during the day hasn’t gone the way I would like, I come home and write around three blogposts on whatever I can come up with. They may not be published straight away, but they’re still there. So if you ever hear me talking about a burst of creativity on Twitter, it’s usually because I have wanted to punch a wall at some point during my morning. With a solid stream of music playing and my focused mind, I can get absolutely loads done.

Of course we have to be careful a bad mood doesn’t turn into low mood, but I think the occasional strop is good for the brain and the body!
Image source: Tumblr
Copyright © Anika May | UK Life and Style Blog.
Design by Fearne