How has your skin survived winter? We are edging closer to spring which means lighter evenings, less clothing and glowing complexions once more. Your skin has been through the mill these past few months parched by the central heating, wind whipped and drained from unpredictable weather, it is probably crying out for moisture and a bit of TLC.
To put your best face forward ready for the upcoming season the Caudalie Moisturising Cream mask is perfect to prep your skin with its natural grapevine extracts that help to brighten and nourish. The thick creamy mask will be devoured by those with dry or flaky complexions, simple apply to clean skin and leave it on for 15 minutes to let the soft cream sink in for a proper treat.
It’s not just your face that can do with a pick-me-up which is why the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil is a great multi-use product that adds instant moisture wherever you spray it from soothing your dry split ends to repairing brittle nails.
If you are on a budget then you can’t go wrong with the staple Vaseline Lip Therapy for an on-the-go moisture boost. Whether you apply it to your chapped lips, dry elbows or to soften your cuticles this saviour in a tin is perfect for smoothing out any dryness just in time for the spring. How have you prepped yourself for the new season?
Sometimes you are motivated to plow through your ever growing to-do list and other times you just want to watch yet one more episode of Girls and promise yourself you will tackle it first thing tomorrow. I have been given a virtual kick up the backside by the lovely Tink Jayne from All About Tink who tagged me in her recent post (here) listing what her aims were for the month of March. This is exactly what I needed to focus my mind and think about what I want to achieve in the next few weeks. *Ignores the fact we are five days in to the month but everyday is a new beginning or something like that.
1. #MotivationalMarch = Become Forrest Gump
I don’t know about you but it feels like March crept up on us and with its arrival means Spring then Summer is soon to show an appearance! This also means warmer days, less clothes and more skin on show. During the Winter months I seem to turn into a hibernating dormouse that stocks up on food to last the cold nights and add extra blubber for comfort and warmth. Well this now all needs to be shed especially all the French patisserie goodies I have over indulged in. Why is it so much more fun putting on weight than loosing it, everything bad for you just tastes soooo good? This is first on my things for #MotivationalMarch as my mum has signed me up for a 10k run in June. Yep you read that right. This is from a girl who thinks running is just to get away from someone or get out of the rain. This race has turned into a family female event with my two aunties, cousin, mum and sister all taking part which means I can’t let the side down but the training needs to have started about two weeks ago. Eeek!
2. #MotivationalMarch = Switch off
My name is Katy and I am addicted to wifi.
That felt better saying it out loud and I know it is something that affects so many of us but together we can seek help. This is a strange one for a blogger to say as obviously the Internet and more importantly social media is what keeps me connected to you right now but I think I need some space in this relationship. I think the key here is to get my fix but in moderation. I have been having trouble sleeping and I think it is because my mind is so active from watching another YouTube clip or checking out if any of my fave bloggers have updated their Instagram feed right before I go to bed. So I am going to try and reduce my time online or at least use this time more productively.
3. #MotivationalMarch = Put pen to paper
I said in this post about things that hold me back from achieving my goals, and one of these goals is to write a novel. So in March I am going to write two chapters. There you can hold me to this now. I know two chapters isn’t that much but it will make me sit down and concentrate without any distractions to at least get the words swirling around my head onto paper/screen.
Anyone can join us in #motivationalmarch so if you fancy taking part then let us know! I want to tag some of the blogs I enjoy reading to share the love and enthusiasm to make small changes in their lives and focus on the goals they want to achieve for March. If you do then please link back:
Amy from The Perks of Being Amy
Kendwy from Mind of Kiwi
Kelly from Flat Eleven
Sophie from That’s What Sophie Said
Regular readers of this blog will know of my love for John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars‘ and just how giddy I was at the thought of going to Amsterdam, not just for the bicycles and clogs but also to try to retrace the footsteps of Hazel and Gus – the two main characters in TFIOS. With only two days here we tried to cram a lot of things in so I couldn’t do a full TFIOS tour for fear of coming home single especially as he hasn’t read the book.
Most of the novel is set in America but there is a small section when they come to visit Amsterdam, the author John Green actually lived here for a few months and spent his days researching the city and scribbling away in the Central library. I didn’t have time to find the library as it wasn’t very clear on the map we had but apparently it has a coffee shop (not that type of coffee shop) with amazing views of the city so I was a bit disappointed we couldn’t pin point it.
Some of the places mentioned in the book are fictional such as the Orangee restaurant and Peter Van Houten’s house. But just walking around the winding lanes and seeing all the tall and thin houses you can get a good idea of what inspired John Green.
Vondelpark is real and is this large lush park where cyclists, joggers and dog walkers can be found meandering round the sprawling paths and clear lakes. I would have loved to had longer here riding around with the breeze through my hair and a content fluffy dog in my bike basket but that is on the bucket list for when I come and live here. After learning to speak Dutch of course.
The teenagers did visit the Anne Frank museum which was both a physical and emotional challenge for Hazel to overcome. We got there as soon as it had opened in the morning as I had heard that there are usually queues snaking round the block to get in. Unfortunately they don’t allow photography inside but I sneaked a quick shot on my phone of the bookcase that hid the family in the annexe so excuse the grainy quality. Just climbing the incredibly steep staircase up to the hidden space was tough going as the stairs were so narrow and high, in the book Hazel managed this with all her equipment so no wonder she felt like a different person as she reached the highest point. The museum itself was very moving and emotional especially the personal artifacts left by the family after they were found and sent to concentration camps. I would urge you to visit this place if you go to Amsterdam as it doesn’t take long to get round but is a powerful reminder of the past.
I had hoped to sit by the canal enjoying a drink as petals fall and boats ambled past but as it was a fairly chilly February weekend it was more about finding a warm pub after walking for miles. However to get my flower fix there was plenty of flower markets and lots of places to find Hollands famous flower – the tulip. Maybe I should have bought a bunch, pulled the petals off and sprinkled them over us to get the same effect?
So it was a short TFIOS tour and I would have liked to have fitted more in (and stayed at Hotel de Filosoof as that exists!) but I can promise you I will be going back to this amazing city and not just because this great book was set there. I promise.
Have you read the book yet?
Sometimes you arrive somewhere and just think ‘yep this is the place for me’, well this was exactly how I felt in Amsterdam. After just a few hours wandering the pretty canals and soaking up the relaxed atmosphere I was scanning estate agent windows and working out how easy it could be to learn Dutch. But I digress, so let me take you back to the start when me and Greg decided to take a road trip for a few days.
We started the day with breakfast in France, lunch in Belgium and then dinner in Amsterdam. So exciting for a girl from England where our floating island restricts us to do this a little. Five hours later we had arrived at our hotel after dumping the bags and acting oh so mature jumping on the bed we hit the street. Girls in skimpy underwear stood seductively in glass boxes, distinctive marijuana aromas wafted past you as the chirp of bicycle bells filled your ears. This is the place where anything goes and no one bats an eyelid.
We hired bikes and set off exploring the narrow streets and canals stopping for a cheeky drink or two on the way, you know to er help our bearings. I have never been a fan of spinning classes in the gym but I just loved sauntering around on my bike that was both a workout and fun way to get around.
We got our culture fix at the Stedelijk art museum which looks like a huge bath tub from the outside and was full of modern art that varied from the inspiring to the down right bizarre.
We ate and drank like it was going to be taken away from us, but I figured that after all the cycling and walking we were doing then we needed more energy! A real find was this adorable Dutch bakery called Bakken met Passie, not far from our hotel that baked everything on site and was full of warming comforting pastries, cakes and savoury snacks that we stuffed ourselves silly on.
I was initially a little worried that Amsterdam is just a place full of rowdy stag parties, stoner students and tacky sex show bars but I was completely surprised just how beautiful the place was and how although I am sure these things do go on they are not shoved in your face. Amsterdam just seems like the place that caters for all whether you are in a couple on a romantic break, having a girly weekend or on a family trip. Or like me who wants to move there, ride around with a fluffy dog in my bicycle basket and eat al fresco overlooking the canals each evening, right I’m off to learn Dutch.
Tomorrow I want to share my tiny ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ Amsterdam tour for anyone who loves the book as much as I do!
If you follow me on Twitter you will know that we are going to Amsterdam next week for a mini holiday yippee!! I love living in France but a change of scene is much needed especially after this end-of-the-world weather the last few weeks. Originally it was meant to be Brussels but plans have changed and now it is the city of tulips, clogs and err…. red lights. I’m really excited especially when I realised I could follow the footsteps of The Fault in Our Stars characters Gus and Hazel, as you all know how much I adored this book which had a section set here. Being the uber-geek that I am I found this video on YouTube to get me more excited! Don’t worry it wont be all bookworm tours I will be blogging on other fun things we got up to next week. If you have been there before then I would love to hear where to go and where to miss, with only two days there I want to cram as much in as my little legs will take!
I seem to be devouring a book a week at the moment which either proves that I am a super book nerd or that the books I have picked are just unputdownable. I am quite a fast reader especially if it is something I love, I will start to carry it round with me like a small child and grab a few minutes of reading time even when doing mundane things like making a brew or brushing my teeth. This week I finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, I was recommended this book by She Loves To Read on her twitter account as she seems to love reading as much as I do. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it myself but her review was so faultless I had to give it a go. It’s about a single late-thirties geneticist who wants a wife and creates a extremely detailed questionnaire to whittle down would-be suitors to save time. The main character Don is so endearing and when crazy Rosie turns up she turns his world inside out. I raced through it as it was funny and heart-warming, I would recommend it especially for those who like a romance novel but not in your bog-standard formula. The only teeny let-down for me was the ending as I had envisioned a different one in my head!
I have been experimenting with my blender and trying out different smoothie recipes. At the moment I am sticking with banana, natural yoghurt and honey which is oh-so-simple but tastes really great and is a easy way of topping up your 5-a-day as I am so rubbish at that.
I hope you have a fab weekend, I will be back blogging on Wednesday but you can follow my Facebook or Instagram for NotWedorDead updates and exclusive pics before then.