30 January 2021

Here's to 2021 | Lippy In The City


Well, I think we can safely say 2020 was a write off for a lot of reasons, but I'm excited to be back blogging and determined to make 2021 a better year all round! 

Let's start by address the elephant in the room, the big 'C' word; we can't deny that Covid-19 has affected all of our lives in some way over the last twelve months. This time last year I was planning a trip to Venice for my 30th Birthday and remember seeing on the news how Italy had unfortunately become a hotspot for the virus. I remember hoping it would all blow over and I'd still be able to go, how naive was I then about what was to come?! 

My trip has become so insignificant compared to the devastating loss that so many people have experienced, I just can’t imagine what some families have had to go through. I’m hoping that the introduction of the vaccines will provide some much-needed relief that will enable us to start getting back some form of normality, whatever that looks like. 

On a more positive note, today I wanted to share a few things that have kept me (somewhat) sane for the most part through these odd times…

FACETIME

First up is video calling. Zoom and Microsoft teams have become the norm for me when working from home, but I honestly couldn’t have coped without Facetime either. My Mum and I are really close and we’ve Facetimed every day. It’s the one thing that has really kept us connected. I would normally visit my family at least once a week, either for a quick cuppa, a catch-up or to do some marketing for my Mum’s business, but at this point, I haven’t seen them in the flesh since Christmas Day and at times it’s been really, really hard. I know it’s such a simple thing, but for so many, including myself it’s kept the loneliness at bay during the tough times. 

NETFLIX/ YOUTUBE

This may be an obvious one, but Netflix and YouTube have honestly been lifesavers. There’s only so much DIY / crafting you can do before you’re craving a night in front of the TV. I’ve found so many good documentaries and programmes since lockdown that I normally wouldn’t have watched, yes, I loved Tiger King… But I also loved Snow Piercer, Night Stalker, The Office and Blown Away to name a few. YouTube has also been an endless resource for me, and I've watched everything from smoothie recipes, to how to look put together in 5 minutes for a zoom meeting.
(Tik Tok has also wormed its way in and is awesome!)

WALKIES 

So yes, I admit, I've watched a lot of TV, but I’ve also walked a lot. We have a dog so naturally, we walk a lot anyway but I have really made the most of my daily exercise allowance and going for a walk to take in some fresh air. It’s given me a much-needed break from a laptop screen and the opportunity to ground myself and be present. I’m really lucky that we have so many good walks on our doorstep and we live really close to the river which is lovely, I’m also looking forward to the time when we can go back out on some walks further afield too.

Tenby South Wales

FOOD

I have most definitely piled on a few pounds over this last year but honestly, I’m not mad about it. I survived 2020! If all I have to show for it is tight jeans, I count myself among the lucky ones! In all seriousness, I know that the weight gain has been down to really enjoying food. I’ve always been a massive foodie and I love eating out, but lockdown has led us to cook at home more and I’ve really made the most of it. A good home-cooked meal is one of life’s simple pleasures and I’m all about that these days. One of my favourite recipes that I’ve perfected is fish pie, with a creamy, cheesy mash potato top, it’s been heavenly and a real comfort in the cold weather. 

(I can't take credit unfortunately for the amazing steak in the photo below, this was taken when I visited Pasture in Cardiff during a spell of the lockdown measures being relaxed. The food was outstanding and the service was second to none. They made us feel safe and welcome, as well as being extremely knowledgable on the options available, I can't wait to go back.)

Pasture Cardiff

My mindset has definitely changed over these past twelve months and I’d say for the better. As cliche as it sounds, I’ve learnt to appreciate the little things more and definitely things I took for granted before the pandemic. If eating a tub of Ben and Jerries is what it takes to get you through the evening, or even your favourite Chloe Ting workout, that’s fine, it's so massively important to look after yourself and do whatever it takes to make YOU feel happy and content through these uncertain times.

I'd love to know what's kept you going through lockdown 3.0 in the comments, stay safe, lots of love xoxo


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25 February 2020

Entering A New Decade... | Lippy In The City



I hate starting on a negative, but wow, my twenties were HARD… Like really hard, but boy did I learn a lot along the way. A lot can happen during 3,650 rotations of the sun!

I reckon I’ve had more ups and down in the last ten years, than I have in my whole life! Your twenties are such a pivotal decade though, and one where you really learn who you are, what you want out of life, and what you will and won’t stand for. It’s only now, as I’m on the cusp of turning thirty that I fell that I’ve really grasped the direction that I want my life to go in.

I can definitely say I’ve felt pressure in recent years from society to have hit the ‘usual’ milestones in life, such as marriage and kids (I have neither), but that’s ok. I try and tell myself that life would be boring if we all arrived at the same destination at the same time. Plus, there are a lot of things in life that simply can’t be forced, and I’d rather wait fifty years for something to feel right, then rush into something because our modern world tells me that I should before I hit thirty.

A few years ago I wrote a post called 26 Things I've Learnt Over 26 Years... Today I thought it would be fun to go back over them and add in what I've learnt along the way... 

1. Age is only a number. I have to constantly remind myself of this one.
And I still do. Thirty is the new twenty anyway...

2. You don't have to be married with two babies just because everyone around you is. Trust me, there's no rush.
I came pretty close to getting married two years ago, but five weeks out it was cancelled. Marriage is a lifelong commitment so go with your gut on this one, it has to be right and to the right person (obviously). I was completely heartbroken, and I have tried on many an occasion to write about it to gain some sort of closure but the words don’t come easy. One day I hope to get married and have a family of my own, but I’m not prepared to compromise on this one, and you shouldn’t either. 

3. Life happens really quick. Everything can change in a heartbeat so be present in the moment as much as possible.

4. You will never get along with everyone you meet, and that's ok. Learn to be polite and except people for who they are.
Yep…

5. People will let you down and it's usually from the people you least expected. Shrug it off, and stay positive.
Yep to this too. Move on, trust me, they’re not worth it. 

6. Being a responsible adult is hard. Everyone has bad days, and days when they don't want to clean the bathroom and hang their laundry up. That's normal. 

7. Never feel guilty for having a day devoted to your sofa and Netflix. We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time...

8. Just don't make it a habit. Netflix will always be there, but that awesome opportunity might not. Get up, dress up and show up.

9. Set goals and work towards them. Whether that be a career goal or a handbag goal. Work or save your butt off to get to it. It's vitally important in life to have goals to work towards, it gives us something to focus on.
I’ve got a bit lax with this lately and I truly believe that setting goals gives us something to drive towards. I’ll definitely be setting some new goals for 2020 to get me back on track. 

10. When in doubt, put on a pair of dark jeans, a smart blouse, and killer heels - Winner!

11. Learning what looks good on you and what flatters your figure is life changing.
If it makes you feel a million dollars, and accentuates all the right curves who cares what brand or make it is, how much it cost or who likes it. You're dressing for you, no one else. 

12. Quality over quantity.
EVERY TIME! Learn to invest in pieces that will last you a lifetime. It will save you money in the long-run and will save the world a whole lot of consumerism in the process. 

13. If you’re going to spend big, do it on accessories. Wearing a good watch, pair of shoes, sunglasses and handbag will see you through most situations.


14. Make time for your friends. It takes nothing to send a quick text or email to see how your friends are doing. Plus, it reminds them that your still alive and thinking about them.

15. Make time for your relationships too. Relationships take real work and effort.

16. Never underestimate the importance of loving yourself too.
Self-love is a healer, and it should be a priority for all of us. It can be a five-minute face-mask, journaling or full blown spa day, whatever you need to do to love yourself and give you some 'me time', do it. 

17. Always take your make up off before you go to sleep. If it means keeping wipes on your bedside table, do it!
It’s never too late to start a skincare regime. It doesn’t have to be eighty five products, just a good cleanser, toner, SPF and moisturiser will do the trick and trust me, your skin will thank you. 

18. The realisation that the hangovers get that little bit worse every year...

19. Coffee will get you through almost anything.

20. The older you get, the more a night in with a Chinese and a bottle of wine wins hands-down over a night out 'clubbing'.

21. You only get one family, cherish them. I still believe this whole heatedly.
I lost my Grandad a few years ago and what I wouldn’t give to see him again. Cherish the moments, because they go far too quickly.

22. Learn to utilise that 'magic' hour between 6 and 7 in the morning to organise your day and get bits done whilst everyone else is still sleeping. You'll feel more organised and on top of your schedule before anyone else has even had breakfast.

23. Everyone younger than you will always be classed as 'twelve'... #standard

24. Realise just how much you're worth and never settle for anything less. As above...

25. It's the little things in life that truly matter.

26. Go that extra mile, it's never crowded... Honestly, it never is!


Plus a few more I’ve learnt recently…

27. Less is more… With most things. Keep your circle small, curate your wardrobe, and only keep what you love. 

28. But, love in abundance! We can never have too much love in this world.

29. Nature is truly the greatest healer. Getting out in the fresh air can do wonders for your physical and mental health. I’m not the fittest person by any means, but I walk outside can make me feel so much better in no time.

30. Do it for you! No matter what it is, if it makes you happy, do it. This is the single most important piece of advice I can ever give. If it made you happy, don’t regret it, because at some point it was exactly what you needed.

So, here's to the next decade... I can't wait xoxo


Images courtesy of unsplash.com

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05 April 2019

5 Ways to be a More Put-Together Person | Lippy In The City


I'm a naturally organised person and I usually have lists coming out of my ears! Granted I can cope with being messy, but I can't cope with being dis-organised, its just not me. 

Today I though I'd share 5 tips that help keep me put-together on a daily basis, and on top of my life as a whole...

1. PLAN YOUR WEEK
The first thing I do on a Monday morning when I get into work is plan out my week. I have a daily diary for meetings and appointments, then a notebook where I write everything out that I have to do that week. I like to take a double page spread in my notebook and divide it into four sections; to-do's, social, web amends, and images needed. This can change weekly but it's a typical example (I work in Marketing so bear in mind these will need to be relevant to your individual needs). Seeing everything that I have to do for the week in one go really helps me visualise what needs to get done and releases the pressure of having to get everything done on a specific day.

2. CHECK YOUR EMAILS... REGULARLY 
I can't recommend this step enough. Having 5,868 unread emails in your inbox can definitely cause unnecessary stress, and let's face it, if we can minimise any needless stresses throughout the day I'm all for it. Whilst I'm at work I continually have my email account up and visible, I try to answer as many emails as possible as soon as they come in. I then like to make a note in my diary of any follow ups, or actions I need to take. Likewise with my personal email, I check this around three times a day and I make notes in my phone of any meetings or actions. I also like to delete junk emails as soon as I receive them too. I don't need them clogging up my phone memory, or head space for that matter.



3. LIFE ADMIN
I try and have a 'Life Admin' evening / morning once a week. For me this includes paying any bills that have come in, organising my weekly finances, popping a face mask on, cleaning out my make up bag, cleaning my makeup brushes, painting my nails etc. It's all the little life admin bits that help me feel like I have my 'shizz' together and life on track. This will obviously vary from person to person as everyone's needs differ, find out what makes you feel like you have all your ducks in a row and make time for it one evening or morning a week. You'll thank me later :)


4. PLAN YOUR OUTFIT'S
Planning my weekly work outfits really makes me feel more put-together, and it definitely cuts down on the amount of thinking I have to do when I'm still half asleep on a morning. For me, the less decisions I have to make before 7am the better. I plan my outfits on a Sunday night as I do the majority of my laundry over the weekend when I'm off work, that way I have my clothes fresh, clean and ready to go for the week ahead. I like to dress relatively smart for work and typically wear a mixture of Capri trousers with blouses alternated with a few work appropriate dresses. Do you like to plan your weekly outfits too?

5. MAKE LISTS
I mentioned that I love lists, and I really do, I love them a lot! I keep lists on my phone, diary, notepad that I carry around in my handbag, literally everywhere! Lists are what honestly keep me (somewhat) sane and on track, personally I couldn't function without them. I'm a great believe that once something is out of your head and on paper, it stops going around in your mind and you can focus on the more important things that require immediate attention. Some of my favourite lists include, daily to-do's, weekly to-do's, my cleaning schedule and my uni schedule. I also like to list important dates that I have coming up and things I'd like to achieve within the next month and year. These kind of lists show me what goals I'm working towards and help me stay focused.

I hope you find these tips helpful, I'd love to know what helps you stay organised and feeling like a bawse... xoxo


Images courtesy of unsplash.com
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29 March 2019

My Weight Watchers Journey | Month One | Lippy In The City


Hi Everyone!! *waves enthusiastically* (long-time-no-blog). Today, I wanted to share my Weight Watchers journey with you, talking about how I started, where I’m at and what I hope to achieve.

I started Weight Watchers about a month ago in an attempt to shed a few pounds before my holiday to Menorca in May. Over the last few years I’ve gradually piled on the pounds and decided, enough is enough, I want to get back to the old me, and my old size. I was by no means massively over weight, but I was over weight for my height and my personal preference, and let’s be honest, everyone has different weight preferences to feel comfortable in their own skin.

My goal is to lose a stone and a half, or 20ish lbs. I won’t be back to my lightest after loosing that, but I will be back to a weight I’m comfortable with which is the main thing.

I knew when starting Weight Watchers that I needed to be realistic in my expectations, something I think is vitally important for anyone starting out on a new weight loss plan. I knew I wanted the lose the 20 lbs, but I knew it wouldn’t magically melted off me by the time my holidays came around, I simply hadn’t left myself a realistic time frame and it would ultimately have been unhealthy of me to try and do.

Instead, I set my sights on making a decent dent in my weight loss before I went away, and my weight loss journey would simply have to continue when I got back until I’d hit my target weight. At four weeks in, I’m 5 lbs down, which I’m so pleased about. I still have a few weeks to go before I go away in which I’m hoping to shift a few more lbs, I’ll keep you updated!


I pay around £10 a month to access the Weight Watchers app, you can pay slightly more to use the app and go to the workshops too, but personally I prefer online only. To get started, you fill in a few details about yourself including your current weight and height, and how much you’d like to lose. You’re then allocated a set number of smart points that you should ideally should stick to each day (I’ve been allocated 23 points per day).

Every food item is calculated into a smart point based on its nutritional value (don’t worry, Weight Watchers does this for you, all you just have to type in what you eat and it gives you the relevant point value). If I keep within 13 – 28 points a day I get a blue dot, and I love to see how many blue dots I can get in a row.

As well as your daily points, you're also allocated additional weekly points. Like the daily points, these are calculated depending on your individual preferences. I have 25 weekly points to play with. Weekly points are used for times when you may have a meal out, or a few cocktails and need to go over your daily points allowance. I try and use around half my weekly points each week. It’s not bad to use them all by any means, I just feel I lose more when I don’t use all of them.

I’m really enjoying my Weight Watchers journey and I haven’t felt deprived at all. I can have a little something of anything, as long as I log it and take account for its points value. I’m a sucker for a McDonald’s (it’s my absolute favourite!) A small portion of McDonald’s Fries are 10 points, 6 Chicken Nuggets come in at 7 points, and a Diet Coke has 0 points. This means that I can have a McDonald's every once in a while, as long as I have breakfast and dinner made up of 0 point foods, so it’s a win win!


I set my weight in day for a Friday, and I weight first thing in the morning then log it in the app. Friday’s are my preferred day but you can set whichever day you fancy when your setting up the app.

I’ve been really enjoying my Weight Watchers journey so far and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. Please let me know if you’d like to see what a typical day of eating on 23 Smart Points looks like and I’d be more than happy to blog it.

Fancy starting WW yourself and getting a month free for both you and me? Click here to find out more... xoxo


Images courtesy of unsplash.com
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28 December 2018

Bring on The New Year | Lippy In The City


It's safe to say that 2018 has been one of the toughest year's of my life. The year started with me losing my Grandad, followed by my wedding not going ahead in October. I've had everything imaginable thrown at me over the last 12 months and subsequently, I'm looking forward to the fresh start that 2019 will bring!

Over the last few months I've been doing some soul-searching in a bid to remain positive and take back some self-control. This has led me to implement a few New Year's resolutions early so that I can get the best possible start in 2019. 


1. SELF CARE STARTS WITH ME
This New Year I'm putting myself first. I'm such a 'yes' person and it's about time I started saying 'yes' to what I actually want. If it doesn't bring me positivity or happiness, I'm simply not doing it anymore. This may seem like a selfish thing to say, but I honestly believe if you don't put yourself and your own needs first, you won't get very far.

2. STUDY REGULARLY
I'm half way through my Law Degree and for the last few months I've been slacking with my studying. I have to admit, this years topic of contract law isn't my favourite and it hasn't given me much motivation to sit down and get on with it. But, it has to be done and I'm looking at the bigger picture. Graduating will be one of the proudest days of my life and I literally can't wait, I've just got to work my butt off a bit longer to get there!

3. PRACTICE MORE YOGA
In November I treated my Mum and I to a Yoga retreat in Brecon and I have to say it was one of the most relaxing weekends I've ever had. It made me realise how much I enjoy Yoga and how good I feel when I practice it regularly. This year I'd like to practice Yoga three times a week if I can. I have a really sedentary job so the stretching will do me the world of good, as well as help me to clear and re-focus my mind.

4. LIVE WITH LESS
Over the past few months I've made a conscious effort to buy less. What I have been buying, has had to be something I needed as opposed to just something I just wanted. Minimalism fascinates me and I'd love to live a more minimal life and live with less 'stuff', 2019 is going to be the year I really look into it and start my minimal journey. As always, I'll bring you along for the ride ;)

5. SAVE
As well as consciously buying less in 2019, I'd like to save more if I can too. I'll be 29 in March and at this age I'd have hoped to have a little more tucked away for a 'rainy day' then I currently have. Saving money isn't rocket science, but it can be hard for millennial's to do as we live in such a price-inflated world. Hopefully, by implementing my 4th goal of living with less, I'll naturally buy less, so will have more funds to save. In theory this works, but I'll keep you updated on what it's like when I try and put it all into action.


My apologies for the lack of content in 2018 (it's been a real shitty one). I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish for, and you smash all the goals you set out to achieve this New Year...

Much love,
Aislinn xoxo


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