Friday, 29 May 2015

Thoughtful Friday- the future and how I have no idea what I'm doing.

Sometimes I go on a long walk with my headphones in just to think about life, without distractions. I put my phone on aeroplane mode, a relaxing playlist on and I absorb myself in my surroundings. My most recent walk had me thinking about my life and where I'm at. And I thought I'd share it with you incase/in the hope that some of you are feeling the same, or have felt the same and know the struggle!
Being worried about your life when you're 23 seems utterly ridiculous. I'm young, I'm healthy, I've got a great career and travel plans that some can only dream of. I'm lucky. I know that. I've got an amazing family and honestly the most supportive bunch of friends I've ever had. But I'm still a bit...lonely. And it's not something I've ever had to deal with before. This isn't about 'The Breakup' although that does play a massive part in it. This is more about my surroundings and perception of where I "should be" vs. where I actually am. 
I'm at that weird point in my life where, whenever I look around, I see happy couples planning their lives together. It's intrinsic to my job, which is fine. But the thing I'm not used to, or prepared for, is not having many/any single friends. This is not a whinge, or a bitter rant. It's merely an observation. Isn't it funny how a friend 24 hours younger than I am is engaged and moving in with her beau, whereas the biggest commitment I have in my life is my plane ticket to the other side of the world? Don't get me wrong here, I'm over the moon for her and all the other people in my life who are settled and blissfully happy and I'm genuinely excited about my upcoming travels (if not absolutely terrified). It truly gives me joy to see my loved ones so content. It's just weird. And I am okay (most days) about being on my own. I just feel like I'm wrong for not wanting all that right now. I feel like I'm missing out a bit! I'm a bit scared that while our lives veer off in such different paths that I'll get left behind, traversing tinder and the awful dating scene whilst all my friends discuss nurseries, joint bank accounts and the interiors of their beautiful first homes. I had all that in my sights and while everything happens for a reason and I've got new exciting plans to come I'm a little shell shocked at how quickly and dramatically things can change and the whole future you saw for yourself has to be re-written. 
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I guess I'm just reaching out and asking for someone to reassure me that feeling 23 at 23 is alright. That not knowing what the fuck you're doing or where your life is going is ok. I'm scared that everyone seems to have their future perfectly mapped out and I'm still living month to month, not daring to look past the end of the week let alone planning the next few years. I'm not wishing time away, just wishing for a sign from the universe that everything will work out fine. Because knowing you know nothing is the scariest prospect ever. 


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Bumble & Bumble surf infusion.

Unpopular opinion: I hate salt spray for your hair. I've used so many different types and I just found the made my hair look unwashed and unmanageable. Despite this, I still long for that gently tousled, just got out of the sea, too cool to care effortless look! I'd almost given up searching for that wonder product...until now. 

Bumble & Bumble have released their new surf infusion spray, and it's a beaut.  This mix of their signature salt spray and tropical oils left my hair tousled but feeling good. No clumpy, crispy, unmanageable birds nests here! I loved it and have used it pretty much with every wash since I bought it. Once you've shaken the bottle to mix the components, the spray gives a really even coverage, over the hair that is effective but still light. Not only is it great for spraying on wet hair and allowing to dry naturally for a laid back, bed head look, it's also great for spritzing on dry hair to refresh a look and to use on freshly washed hair to make styling a little bit easier!! 

A multitude of uses that make the £21.50 price tag totally worth it. I can definitely see this little blue treasure becoming a summer staple. 

I've been really impressed by this offering from Bumble and Bumble and I'm so keen to try more! Is there anything you'd suggest I have to put on my hair care wish list from them? 


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sunday Lovin'

Here's a list of posts I''ve absolutely adored this week...

Tea Party Beauty's excellent post on google analytics! So helpful for such a novice blogger like me. I love this blog, so helpful and accessible and a great mixture of posts- there's something for everyone, I love it!

Grace & Braver's post on the upside down dutch braid (which I've tried to master and have yet not succeeded) She is truly beautiful, check out her instagram while you're checking out her'll give you serious face envy!

Lovecloth's beautiful post on this amazing Cath Kidston dress. Come payday that's going straight in my wardrobe! This girl is always perfectly turned out and takes such beautiful photos! Blog goals.

Eloise's post on the REN skincare has got my mouth watering. NOTHING I love more than good skincare and these suggestions went straight into my basket on this gorgeous girl's recommendations! Eloise runs a gorgeous blog and is so passionate about all things natural and clean, such helpful advice and I'm trying really hard to change my life to be healthier thanks to her inspiration :)

I felt this week went pretty well in terms of my goals that I outlined in this post. It's nice to look back and feel I achieved something! We're one week closer to my tough mudder and I'm really starting to feel the nerves now! I went running a lot this week and found my route much easier than usual...looking forward to stepping it up next week.
I'm feeling proud of my blog at present, I hope you're enjoying reading as much as I'm enjoying writing at the minute! Hopefully I can continue to write posts and get photos up regularly as I'm loving seeing my little blog grow. I invested in some interesting wallpaper snippets and cacti for my photo backgrounds so now i feel like a proper blogger and I'm actually looking forward to taking some photos!

Hope you all have a smashing Sunday. I'm planning to spend the day chilling out on the sofa with netflix and my duvet, followed by a short run and a long hot bath with the #bbloggers chat. Is it ok to be on Twitter whilst naked? Question of the week! Answers on a postcard....


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

My travel plans!

I've always wanted to travel, I'm not really happy staying in once place too long and the lure of seeing the world and experiencing things is so appealing to me, it's always been on my radar for when I'm "grown up". It took one break up and a loss in my life to spur me on; if not now, when? So, on New Years Eve I plucked up the courage to walk into a travel agents and get out the words; "book me a one way flight please"

Dramatic? yep! but that's me all over. And I'd come to a point where I was sick of sitting and waiting, watching while others travelled the world and had the time of their lives, sick of wondering when it would be my turn. My recent travels to America had given me such itchy feet, I could barely wait to get going again.

I booked with STA travel which is a well known travel company, specialising in 'gap year' type trips and adventures rather than your standard holidays. They were super helpful and supportive; all their staff have done their fair share of travelling so they had such good advice on where to stay, what I needed to do and what I could probably leave out. They've got a trip for every budget, every amount of time and every continent. It's really just a matter of when and where!

My plans start with a 6 week tour of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, exploring local villages, cuisine and scenery, I'm going to fit in a full moon party and some scuba diving qualifications before boarding a flight to Sydney, Australia. Here I have 3 nights booked in a hostel...and that's it! I'm planning to board the well known Greyhound bus up the East coast, stopping in all the famous places to really experience the back packer style that Australia is so known for. I have a friend in Brisbane whom I'm going to visit and it's in Brisbane that I'm hoping to settle for a time and find a job doing what I love. From there who knows what will happen!? the unknown can often be terrifying and daunting but it will make a good story and hell knows that's what I'm all about.

My journey doesn't begin until the end of the year but I'm already super excited and planning like crazy. I know it will come round fast so I'm lapping up all the travelling posts, packing advice and hostel reviews that I can! If  you've ever been to any of the places I could be going, please let me know what I need to be doing! If you have any travel type posts, leave me links as I'd love to read them!


Monday, 11 May 2015

Motivate Monday; this weeks goals!

I'm going to try out a series on this blog, something I've never done before. I know most people dread Monday's so I want to try and get into the habit of embracing the fresh week and setting goals for the week to come!  

Goal 1: blog more! 
I want to really get going with my blog this week, take photos, schedule posts and promote, promote, promote. 

Goal 2: keep healthy and active. 
My tough mudder race is in less than 3 weeks now so there isn't really time to rest. I already run and eat fairly healthy but it doesn't take much to push me off the wagon so I really need to commit this week and make a serious commitment. 

Goal 3: get rid of the old. 
I've got a lot of clothes and not a lot of space so I really need to start ebaying/depoping all those barely worn dresses! 

Goal 4: keep positive. 
This will be my hardest goal to achieve and one that can't be satisfied in a week. But I'll make small changes to my thoughts and hopefully they'll start to reflect in my days. 

What are your goals for the week? 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Semi- permanent makeup by Polly Vincent. Lips!

Back in January when I had some spare birthday cash and a slightly irresponsible view on life (who am I kidding, that will never change!) I booked in to see the AMAZING Polly Vincent of Enhance to get my eyebrows and lips semi- permanently tattooed onto my face. This sounds super dramatic but it's so not. My reasoning behind it was threefold: 1) why the hell not 2) I'll never have to pencil my eyebrows in again (hallelujah) and 3) I can frolic in the sea whilst travelling (and sweat, nice) without worrying about my eyebrows sliding off. Never what you want!
So, I messaged Polly via her Facebook page and she immediately got back to me with a super helpful reply including pricings, timings and info on the procedure. Basically all the stuff you need to know. Without hesitation I paid my deposit and booked in to see her. 
My first procedure was on my lips. Based in Lowestoft, Suffolk Polly is super easy to find. Her premesis is calm, clean and professional- exactly what you want when choosing someone to poke needles in your face! We sat down and had a good chat about what I wanted. My lips were already very pigmented, but my top lip was much thinner than my fat bottom lip so together we came up with the perfect shade for me and also the perfect shape. Polly is the most friendly and professional person I've ever met. I instantly felt like we'd been friends for years and trusted her implicitly. Polly is Harley Street trained and a total perfectionist so I felt really safe in her hands. 
Once the outline was on my lips and we were both happy, my lips were completely numbed and Polly got to work. It felt like a sharp buzzing on my lips but wasn't unbearable at all. It took much less time than I thought and the end result was...well, see for yourself!


Now this is immediately after the procedure. My lips are visibly swollen here and the colour is super bright. I was reassured that neither of these effects would last long and I skipped off to pout my way home! 
Now, I'm not going to lie to you- the healing of these bad boys ain't a pretty sight and probably the worst part of the whole thing. Think scabby and puffy and weepy. Yum yum! 

Slightly unevenly swollen, a day after. 

Here is a few days after, taken at work. You can see the colour change and the scabs- I told people I'd had an allergic reaction! That's what it looked like and it was pretty hard to hide. If I could have these again I'd definitely do it in a period where I didn't have to go into work!! But after the first couple of days, once the scabs had started to flake (hardest thing of my life trying not to pick them!) it was much easier. Polly had warned me that the colour wouldn't be immediately visible so I almost forgot I'd had them done! I went back for a top-up a few weeks later and then a week or two after that is when I really saw the colour come out.

This is me now with nothing on my lips but lip balm. 

the shape is perfect and the colour is subtle but enough that I don't need to constantly worry about topping up my lipstick. I wake up in the morning and feel half decent. It's a joy! I loved the result so much I booked straight back in to get my eyebrows done. More on that in the next post! What do you think? Would you have semi-permanent makeup done? 

Please be sure to check out Polly's website here! And her Instagram @sincerelypolly 💋


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The breakup.

You know it has to happen at some point in your life, you just know. That first, heart shattering, world changing break up. You live in hope and disbelief that it hasn't happened yet. You kid yourself you've got it right first time and you've miraculously avoided all Bridget Jones scenarios. 
Then it hits you like a fucking train. And whether you saw it coming or not it doesn't make the impact any less. You're torn down to a tiny fetus like shadow of your former self. Light hurts and talking is impossible. You're filled with nothing but grief and nausea. If you're lucky you'll have friends that force feed you and drug you so you can sleep. If you're unlucky you'll lie awake at night relieving every tiny detail and wondering how you could've done it differently. How you could've changed his mind. If you're really unlucky you'll do both. You'll have sleeping tablet induced dreams of normality that seem so real, when you wake up and feel it all again you'll be back to square one. It's shit. You'll do this for weeks on end. Go about your normal business, or at least try to. People at work will wonder what on earth has happened; you look ill, you look pale, are you okay? You'll nod and walk away because you physically can't verbalise it. Its too much to comprehend, it doesn't seem real yet. 
You'll reach out and find solace in the weirdest things. If you're a sadist you'll trawl over old texts, photos, his social media. You might try and cut contact together. Neither helps. Neither heals. You're still left alone at night sobbing yourself to the safety of a dreamless sleep for a very few hours. 
It doesn't last though. That emptiness, the numbness, the pain. It begins to fade. Gradually you'll have a few hours where it doesn't cross your mind. Hours will turn into days and soon your grief:normality ratio will turn around. The sun will shine a bit brighter and someone will make you laugh. You'll realise you haven't heard yourself laugh in too long. You'll start to think of life beyond this hole and what it could hold. You'll make plans. Book flights. Book appointments you'd always wanted but never had the balls or inclination to book. You'll join a gym. Eat healthier. Start to feel better.
All it takes is time. I lost count of the amount of times I wished I could fast forward until I felt better. But you need to feel that, need to have your heart smashed into pieces so it forces you to go round finding them. Discarding the bits you actually never thought worked for you and stitching yourself back together. Piece by piece. And you'll be stronger for it. The wounds will heal and the scar tissue will never let you forget but it'll make you stronger. Better. 

Make a sassy playlist and play it loudly. Cry. Scream. Get in the shower for hours so the water runs into your ears and you can't hear yourself think. Lean on your friends, hard. Talk. Or don't. Give yourself time to heal. Avoid Ed Sheeran and Adele. Avoid happy couples. Do things that make you happy. Be selfish. 

You will be okay. It will take a long time. I'm nowhere close to being okay. But I'm closer than I was last week and the week before that. Listen to people's advice but ultimately, do what you have to do. Be careful. Learn to love yourself again. Learn to be happy on your own. It will come. Believe. 


Monday, 4 May 2015

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Gorgeous budget perfumes

I'm pretty particular about my perfumes- I love my Chloe, Chanel and Caroline Herrera. I rarely stray from what I know but, for some reason I picked these two beauties up in New Look recently to have a sniff and instantly had to have them.  

Pure Dusk is a gorgeous musky scent that's floral and feminine and lasts forever. The pretty purple tint and simple, sturdy bottle look great on my dressing table but I don't have any fear chucking it in my bag either. 
Pure Blush is my favourite and the best find smells exactly like Chanel Madamoiselle! I've had to buy a back up as I'm already halfway through my first bottle. New Look do cute purse versions too so you can top up throughout the day (not that you actually need to- the lasting power on these is amazing!) the best thing? The price- at £7.99 each and £2.99 for the purse versions how could you complain?! Next time you're in New Look give these two a test and see what you think! 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Healthy baked asparagus

Oh god, guys this recipe still has my mouth watering a bit!! I first found it on A Beautiful Mess and immediately had to try it! 
It's super simple. 
All you'll need is: asparagus, bread crumbs, 2 eggs, flour, Parmesan cheese, salt/pepper, light mayo, lemon juice (for the sauce). 

It gets messy!

Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees or gas mark 5. 

Chop off all the ends of your asparagus and dip it in the eggs so it's coated. Roll it in the flour, back in the egg, then round in the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Lay it on the baking tray. Repeat until all your asparagus is coated and laid out. Pop it in the oven for about 20 mins. Voila! 
For the sauce mix some light mayo and lemon juice with a sprinkling of salt and pepper until it tastes right to you. Then serve and enjoy. 


Friday, 1 May 2015

Goodbye Tuesdays Girl!

Welcome to Topknots & Treasures! I'm Abigail. You might know me if you've followed me here from my old blog, Tuesdays girl. If you have; thank you! If you're a new reader; welcome! 
So why the change? Basically I had lost the love of blogging as I didn't like my blog anymore. It didn't feel like me. After a huge life upheaval change was in the air and so Topknots & Treasures was born. I'm hoping to make this an online diary full of things, people and places I love. 
I hope you enjoy it my darlings. I'm feeling fired up and ready to blog again! 
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