Are you doing what makes you happy?

Hi lovelies!

One of my main motto's in life is to 'do what makes you happy' (of course within limits, providing it is not negatively affecting others and isn't illegal haha). I am a big believer that we need to try be as happy as we can to live a good healthy life. Everyone's circumstances and situations are different, so often we have to make adjustments and compromises to fit with our situation. It is not always easy to be happy. I try to have a positive outlook on life and try and look on the brighter side to whatever I am not entirely satisfied with. If we are happier people, going through difficult times becomes more bearable (in my opinion). Also, happier people radiate positive energy which can be good for others too. 

Recently I have noticed that I have not been very happy. I haven't been sad, per say, but I haven't been happy either. I thought about why I am not happy and I realised it's because I am not doing what makes me happy. My life has drastically changed since I moved back from Manchester and graduated. A major contribution is being far away from my friends. Majority of my close friends live in different cities so it is not very easy to meet up often. So I miss them all. :( I have been feeling quite lazy and unmotivated, which is completely the opposite of the type of person I am. I like being constantly busy, being productive and socialising. 

Another part of it is realising how tough it is to find a job that I want. I haven't been job hunting for long, nor very extensively, but I am finding it tough. I have been offered jobs that I am not interested in. I don't want to waste my time on doing a job that I won't enjoy as much and that won't let me progress within my career path. I am quite focused on what I want but those jobs are not easily available and of course, are competitive. You would think that having two degrees would make me the perfect candidate.. But that is completely wrong. Getting into a good mental health related job is not easy. I want to be using my skills to help people with mental health issues, or be doing research to advance our knowledge of Psychology. Something voluntary in my field that'll give me experience and develop my skills is good enough too - but they are difficult to get into too! 

I decided that I want change and I want to be feeling happier again. I made a list of the things that make me happy. I then ticked off the things that I am not doing. I then made a list of how I can incorporate them back into my life and the changes I can make. So now I have this list of things to do that would normally make me happy. :) I realise (even though I know this already) that we can't just wait for things to happen to us.. We have to make an effort and implement the change ourselves. :) 


I have started off by making little changes. For example, I love having fresh flowers in my room and I hadn't had any for a while.. So I changed that which instantly brightened up my day. I also like to stay fit and be active, which I had cut down doing, so I have started to get back into that! I'll work on the little things and then go for the bigger and tougher things. Things take time to change and I will just have to have some patience. But at least now I have a plan to work on.. adjusting my routine to get it back to me doing what I enjoyed. 

I hope you all can make changes too if you're not feeling too good. Life is too short to look at the negatives. Understand what lets you enjoy your life, and make an effort to incorporate that into your schedule. Please do what makes you happy and stay smiling!

Lots of love,
Ayesha xxx

Reflecting on 2015 - one of my most memorable years

Hi beautiful people!

I've been gone a while.. I know.. Sorry..! I had a busy end to the year, more than anticipated. In that time I also had my graduation and went on holiday :) I celebrated New Year's Eve away from the UK for the first time and attended a very big family wedding. And now I am back to a 'normal' routine. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'm sure many people have already said this, but, 2015 went SO fast. One moment I was living up North studying hard everyday.. and then the next I am back in the Midlands having a much more chilled life. 

2015 has been one of my favourite years. Possibly one of the best! I am using this post to be more like a diary-entry for me to look back on. So be prepared, it's going to be intense and quite long! Last year I went through a lot of growth, met some incredible people, learnt so much, and had so much to reflect on. I've made some genuine and true friends who I love and cherish very much. I had the best birthday I could have asked for, which was celebrated more than once with friends and family, in more than one country. I became an auntie for the first time to a beautiful girl, spontaneously had my hair cut to my shoulders (it was down to my hips at the start of the year!), got my second degree, and wore my first ever sari (eek! Haha). That's a brief summary of only some of the exciting bits! :)

I managed to stay fit and active most of the year, and kept a fairly healthy diet. As a person I became more appreciative of the present, more understanding and patient, more forgiving, and more confident within myself and my abilities. I realised some things about myself too, which for me is a big part of growing up - getting to know who you are. For starters, I realised that I am able to adapt and adjust to a new place on my own and happily live independently. I discovered that I am much more resilient and stronger than I ever thought. I also realised that I am not a very judgemental person - which I think is a good trait! I accept people for who they are - it's their life to make their own decisions - I can only support and help when needed. Finally, I realised that I am grateful for any negative experiences I went through, because even though they were horrible at the time, they have made me the person I am today (and I like that person haha). I think coming to that realisation felt like I was rid of so much underlying stress. 

I have so much to be thankful about. I am a lucky girl, and I am very grateful for everything. We all go through tough times but what is important is to stay positive and keep your head held high. I know this is easier said than done, that's why I find that keeping your loved ones near you is the best support.

As 2015 was such an important year in my life, I felt it would be appropriate to share three things I learnt last year:

1) We should not base our happiness on something that we may lose.
Often we place so much importance into some thing/place/person that may be only temporarily present in our life. Therefore, when this thing/place/person is taken away from us, or we distance ourselves from it, we experience pain and sadness. Sadness is often a result of having memories of happiness. When we remember good times and how we cannot experience that same time again, we can feel sad. That said, if we give such times less importance and accept that they are/were good in the moment, we can be less stressed in the future. Accept something for what it is right now, and enjoy that moment, but always remember that it may not last forever. No one knows what the future holds, so don't focus your happiness on something you may lose. Live in the present, enjoy being happy with what is in your life right now but don't let the absence of that change your life for the worse.

2) Just because you have a good heart, it doesn't mean everyone else does too.
The world is not full of good people. Unfortunately, not very nice people exist too. People can lie and be dishonest when it suits them. People can be selfish. People can be deceiving. What you see is not always what someone's true identity is. Remember that and you're set for life.

3) It is okay to change.
Without change we can't possibly grow into better people. That's why, we should embrace change. We go through so many different experiences and so much happens in our lives. If our experiences didn't affect us enough and make us change, what would be the point of them? Every experience will help you in some way to become a stronger and wiser person and make better decisions in the future (hopefully). Everything happens for a reason. We make mistakes and learn from them - that helps carve us into a better version of ourselves. That means we change.. which is a good thing. If someone says to you "you've changed", don't let that be a bad thing. Yes, you have changed. Of course you have. You've developed as an individual. And that's what life is about.

What sort of a photo would be appropriate for such a post? Ah, well, seeing as I only graduated last month and it was one of my big highlights for 2015, I'll post a photo of that :P 

Now you're probably thinking, do I have any new years resolutions that I'm going to talk about? Well, the answer is no. I personally don't think that just because the date has changed it means I should change drastically as a person and what I am doing. I want to be constantly growing, evolving and improving myself. I don't need a new year to let me do that. I have life goals in general, not ones that I specifically need to do just because it is 2016. With that said, I don't think it's bad to have new years resolutions - it's great when people do, but this is just me and what I am doing this year. It is partly because I am (thankfully) quite content with where I am in my life at present. There is nothing majorly different that I need to do that I wasn't already in 2015 to achieve my current goals. I more hope that I can continue how my life was progressing last year, and excel more at whatever I am doing :)

2016 has a lot to live up to.. Let's see what this year holds for all of us :) That's all for now! I'd love to know how you reflect on your year. What key things did you learn in 2015?

Lots of love,
Ayesha xxx

P.S. I also discovered that I am brave and no longer as scared when watching horror movies! This was not entirely true at the start of the year :P I can now watch horror movies alone and be fine. Yay :D

Peppermint tea

Hi lovelies!

I am a big lover of hot drinks, and while I can drink various types of coffee, I only really stick to English breakfast tea when it comes to teas.. with the exception of peppermint tea :) This may be the only flavoured tea that I actually enjoy drinking. And while I have it moderation (I'm talking a cup every now and then if I feel like it), this past week I've been having it every day. It's one of those momentary obsessions I think. 


How I was initially introduced to it is quite funny. Feel free to skip this paragraph by the way, I'm just waffling! So I was visiting one of my closest friends who is Romanian. She, being a courteous host, asked me what type of tea I wanted. The conversation went like this:
Friend: what type of tea would you like?
Me: normal tea please
Friend: what's normal tea?
Me: umm, you know the black one
Friend: which one? Many teas are black
Me: you know the one where you put milk in it. The tea that everyone drinks here
Friend: I don't know what you're talking about. I have these teas *she proceeds to show me a good array of flavoured teas, of which none are English breakfast tea*
Me: mmm, no, I don't like any of these, thank you
Friend: well I've made myself some peppermint tea if you want to try that?

And then BAM. I was in love. Haha. Such a boring story I know I know. But, at this point I have to admit, my knowledge of teas was quite limited and let's be real, I feel stupid for not knowing the name of English breakfast tea. I'm just so used to everyone in Britain associating 'tea' with that specific kind. I later found out that this tea is very uncommon and in fact rarely drank by many European people. Therefore, they don't know what it is. And many don't even like it! And also find it strange that we put milk in tea. 

Anyway back to peppermint tea! I love the taste and I love the smell - I love everything to do with mint in general to be honest. Peppermint tea has a lot of health benefits too (so I have read). These include: boosting the immune system, improving digestion, reduces appetite (so can help with weight loss), helps prevent vomiting, helps with colds and assists with falling asleep. As my sleeping pattern is a little messy recently and I'm not able to fall asleep easily, I've been trying this at night to see if it helps. So far there has been no noticeable change, but having said that, I don't drink this religiously. There are lots of different brands and types to try (e.g. organic). But I am quite picky and I enjoy Twinings Invigorating Peppermint tea.

Have you tried peppermint tea? What are your favourite flavours of tea?

Lots of love,
Ayesha xxx

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Glaston-berry

Hi lovelies!

I never rave about lipstick as I am allergic to most lip products and so I have limited options to choose from. And if you know me then you'll know that I always favour well-defined eyes over prominent lips. Regardless of all that, I have been craving the bold burgundy/berry lip recently and wanted to invest in a good lipstick that will suit me. After some speculation as to which lipstick to try and crossing off some brands off my list, I went ahead and tried Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution lipstick in Glaston-berry.. Wow. That's all I can say. I am in love. This may be one of the few lipsticks that I am in fact not allergic to. But that's not why I am complimenting the lipstick so much. The product itself is amazing through and through. 
 
It has a square angled tip for more precise application

For starters, the application is great. It glides on seamlessly and coverage is great. It is very pigmented indeed. It is matte but does not look 'dry' on the lips and neither does it dehydrate the lips. It contains 'Lipstick Tree extract' - a natural antioxidant to protect the lips, and orchid extract to soothe and hydrate the lips. The lipstick is said to have '3D glowing pigments' to create the illusion of fuller lips. Staying power is amazing - I had it on for 8 hours before I took it off, so I'm certain it would've lasted longer if I had kept it on. I went for dinner and coffee too, and it still lasted through that! The intensity of the colour slightly fades throughout the day (as expected with any lip product) but overall coverage is brilliant. I was very impressed; there was no need to reapply throughout the day. It's a dark burgundy colour but can look more 'plum' and berry in certain lights (on my lips). 

This is what it looks like on me! (This is also my first proper photo within a post!)

The lipstick retails at £23 and can be purchased here. I bought it from Selfridges though. Yes it is pricey compared to many brands (e.g. MAC) but you get what you pay for. Lipsticks last a long time anyway so it's really worth investing in a product you'll love and use for ages. For me anyway, the fact that it suited my lips and didn't cause irritation was a major reason that I bought this. If you also have sensitive lips then I recommend you try out a few different brands, particularly those that pay special attention to retaining the lip's moisture. People often say to me to check which ingredients I may be allergic to but, are you kidding me? Have you seen the list of nonsense names on the ingredients list? It's never ending! How would I possibly know what is causing my lips to react? Sigh. It's just a case of trial and error (and money wasted in the process). That is why I basically never buy lipstick because I just end up wasting my money and giving it away. 


Final conclusions! Would I buy this product again? Oh hell yes!! I am not disappointed at all and this lipstick has convinced me to try other CT products too (if any of you have tried her mascara or blusher, please let me know)! These lipsticks come in 10 beautiful shades, and I am looking forward to trying more soon.

This colour is perfect for this time of year (yay for autumn!) and I'm so excited to use it! You can try various looks with it. For evening wear, I am going to try a bold intense lip with just mascara and a thin layer of black top liner on the eyes, and soft rose blusher. For daytime, I'll do less application so I get lighter coverage with more prominent blusher on the cheeks and coloured eyeliner (depending on my outfit). 

Have you tried CT products before? What's your favourite lipstick brand?

Lots of berry love,
Ayesha xxx