Skin care – night routine

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The older I get the more time & care I’m putting into my skin care routine. In today’s blog I wanted to go through my night time routine, the products I use and when. For me night time skin care is just as important as morning time if not more important. Your skin needs to breathe at night time and repair. I like to change my skin care products around a lot & try new things. My basics stay the same, I always use make-up wipes, a good cleanser or face scrub & cream for hydrating my skin. Not intentionally but most of the products I use in my night time routine are by the brand Dr. Organic but I can confess they are great products. Dr. Organic products are against animal testing & are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Step 1.

After wiping all of my make-up off and washing my face with cold water and a clean face cloth, I then like to use my tea tree foam face wash from Boots. I use a small exfoliating face sponge with 2-3 squirts of the tea tree foam. I use a circlular motion to clean my face, then wash off and softly dry my face. The tea tree is really antiseptic, so if there are any spots or my pours are clogged this will help keep my skin fresh, clean and kill any spots attempting to show up. The face scrub is by Dr. Organic and feels so fresh & clean on your skin.

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Step 2.

I use my Dr. Organic face cream to rub onto my face, after washing & cleansing. This cream is made with Aloe Vera which is really soothing to the skin. If you had any spots coming up or just about to go, time in the sun or just to keep your skin hydrated & smooth this cream is amazing to your skin. I love how hydrating this cream feels on my face and leaves my skin really soft. This cream comes in a range to suit all skins types Manuka, Shea butter & Hemp face cream, which all can be used under your make-up.

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Step 3.

Earlier this year I changed my toothpaste to Dr. Organic and I absolutely love the brand the toothpaste is made from natural ingredients and is also a really good quality toothpaste. The brand comes is different flavours for different aliments tea tree, pomegranate, aloe vera & pictured charcoal. I have tried all and love them all, each few weeks I switch between flavors. I brush my teeth with this toothpaste morning & night. I also use  mouthwash & floss to keep my teeth & gums healthy.

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Step 4.

Depending on what condition my skin is in, if I’ve had a break out I will use my Beauty Kitchen night halo mask. I use this mask once or twice a week again depending on my skin, if I’m breaking out or I need to detox my skin. As I mention in my Beauty Kitchen blog this mask detoxs and nourishes your skin while you sleep which I L O V E! The wonder balm as seen in the picture below is also great for chapped or dry lips. I use this citrus balm every night before I go to sleep to keep my lips hydrated.

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I genuinely love every product uses in my night time routine & would recommend to any one looking for organic, raw products. I will leave links below.

Happy night timing. 💤

Face scrub – https://drorganic.co.uk/products/coffee-mint-face-scrub

Tea tree foam scrub – https://www.boots.ie/boots-tea-tree-and-witch-hazel-foaming-face-wash-150ml-10125605

Toothpaste – https://www.hollandandbarrett.ie/search?query=Dr+organic+toothpaste&isSearch=true

Aloe Vera cream – https://www.hollandandbarrett.ie/shop/product/dr-organic-aloe-vera-concentrated-cream-60083610?skuid=083610

Beauty kitchen – https://www.hollandandbarrett.ie/shop/product/beauty-kitchen-abyssinian-oil-night-halo-potent-sleep-mask-60011329

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December preparations

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December is a time when most people start their Christmas to do’s such as putting up the Christmas decorations, ordering the turkey & Christmas shopping. I myself have a few things that I do in December. I like to start my Christmas shopping early in November so I don’t really have much left to get come December. There are some things I like to do in December; Christmas baking, watching Christmas films & giving to those in need.

1. Decorating our house

Every year around the start of December we put our Christmas trees up, usually we put two Christmas trees in our sitting/dinning room. The sitting room also gets decorated with lights and ornaments around our fire place with Christmas stockings hanging above the fire. Outside the house we put lights in the garden, which look so nice on your way up to the house.

2. Giving to those in need 

Christmas time is not necessarily always a happy, magical time of the year for everyone. People really struggle with a lot of the elements that come along with Christmas, be it the financial side or a family member not being present. I think this is so important to bare this in mind & try if you can give to those in need at Christmas time & all year around if and where I can. Every year, I give to the homless charity in Dublin. This organization is something I feel really strongly about because no body should be sleeping on our streets. The appeal I give to is for the Inner City Helping Homless (ICHH). You create a box with some essentials in it for homless people such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, hats, scarfs & gloves. (See picture below) This box then gets dropped into the city centre & given out to the people in need. I think this is such a great idea. I always like to help people & make a difference at Christmas wish there was more I could do because nobody should sleep on a cold wet street ever.

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3. Christmas baking

In December I love to start Christmas baking & perfecting recipes. I’m not a huge fan of Christmas cake or puddings. I like to baking simple healthy gingerbread men & cookies which are healthy and everyone in the house enjoys eating them. (I will link a copy of the recipe I like to use in the coming weeks) After I have made a batch of fresh gingerbread I like to put them in a small Christmas tin and eat away at them. The smells from Christmas baking fills the house & atmosphere making it even more Christmasy. 🤶

4. Christmas films

I know this is a popular one for most people doing Blogmas but I couldn’t help myself I love all the Christmas films. 🎥 I just love putting on my Christmas pajamas, drinking hot chocolate & watching The Grinch on Christmas Eve it’s my own little tradition. My top 5 Christmas films are:🎬

  1. The Grinch
  2. Home Alone 1 + 2
  3. Elf
  4. The nightmare before Christmas

The Grinch with Jim Carrey will always rank no. 1 for me I just think it’s perfect, how well made it is. (I know every word of the film) 🤣

This weekend get yourself Christmas films & hot chocolate and just enjoy. 

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December Goals 🔔

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Blog & media

November has been my best month with my blog so far! Thank you all so much, I can’t believe I have out done myself by getting to 300 followers on Twitter! I appreciate each and every follower. My blog has received so much amazing feed back which makes all the time spent blogging & editing work it. So, part of my November goals was to reach 200 followers on Twitter🐦. I’m setting my Twitter goal at 450 followers by the end of December. No harm in being ambitious. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @SharpeZoe. I tweet about all sorts of things from health & fitness tips & facts to discounts off proteins to cute pictures of my dog which is my baby 🐕. I also plan on continuing to grow my blog through Twitter & WordPress. I’m going to be concentrating on my blog a lot next year, trying to get my blog to the next level with a few ideas I have in mind. 💻

Fitness

Similar to Novembers goals I want to continue to do 3-4 workouts a week & exercise as much as I can with extra power walks. In my last blog on “Tips for staying motivated with your fitness” I talked about an app called Weburn, I have recently changed to a premium account which comes with so many more workouts. So with that I am really looking forward to changing up my works & pushing myself a little more. 🏋‍

Driving lessons

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This week I finally booked my driving lessons. If your not familiar with why I have to do lessons, let me bring you up to scratch. Here in Ireland by law anyone starting out driving or hasn’t passed their full driving test by 2011 has to do 12 driving lessons with a professional driving instructor with a driving school. 🚗 After putting these lessons off for so long I finally got them booked and paid for this week. I start my first lesson on Tuesday coming! Wish me & all others involved luck!!

2019 goals 🌟

At the end of each year or early January, whenever I get a chance after the crazy hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I like to sit down & make a list of goals & objectives I would like to achieve for the coming year. These goals are more long term or goals which help me work towards bigger goals. 🙌

By making these lists of goals, it gives me a clear perspective of where I want to go & what I’m looking to achieve. I like to have goals short and long term to work towards. This year I wanted to;

  • Achieve a qualification in health & fitness ✔
  • Push myself with my fitness & exercise ✔
  • Move out ✔

Create a life that I enjoy was my main over all goal for 2018 & I can genuinely say I have achieved it. I really enjoy my day to day life which is so important to me.

Thanks for reading.

Tips for staying motivated with your fitness

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Living a healthy and fit lifestyle is not always easy to do, you have a bad day eating doing no exercise or a bad week and you feel awful! Or you just simply don’t have that motivation within you to get up and go. My love of health & fitness is not for getting to a certain body type or to follow the crowd, I just hand on heart love looking after my body with wholesome foods, supplement & exercise. However, like everybody else I have days I’m not on point & loose motivation. So in this blog I’ve got a few useful tips for helping you to stay on track with your fitness journey and let you know it’s perfectly fine to have an off week it’s normal & is not the end of the world. 🌏

Workout clothing

All of these tips are tricks I have learned through trial & error over my fitness journey. My first tip is to buy sports clothes & leggings that are comfortable and allow you to move and stretch without having to keep fixing yourself every 5 minutes. When I started out getting into my fitness, I didn’t have a lot of “gym” clothes so to speak. So I started buying a few items here and there. I don’t recommend going out and spending €300 on fitness clothes by any means! 🤣 I started small by purchasing one pair of leggings at a time. I love the brand Pink Soda they have a great range of woman’s fitness clothing. They are comfortable & are lovely on. (Link below) Since last November 2017 I have built up my fitness clothes bit by bit from leggings & tops to sports bras & runners. All being comfortable and practical. Confession ✋, I do wear my fitness clothes doing my grocery shopping & running errands so some items are now a bit more sport lux. Do start small with one purchase a month or save for a while and treat yourself, you will enjoy wearing comfortable fitness clothing and this will be one less thing to demotivate you, I found if I didn’t have the correct clothes for working out it didn’t feel right.

Pre workout 

This one is very new to me, I have knowledge from work on what makes a good pre workout but I usually never used them. Recently, I have started using a brand call Optimum Nutrition which comes in a range over different flavors such as apple, watermelon, pineapple & pink lemonade. (Link below) They have a good hit of caffeine 175g per serving from natural sources & made from premium ingredients which make it a high standard of pre workout. I really look forward using this pre workout because it tastes amazing & also gives me nice steady energy boost for working out in the morning. 🏋‍

Another tip when it comes to staying motivated with your fitness is a good protein shake for lunch. This year I started using a brand called The Slender Blend which is just absolutely, I love the taste of it & it’s so smooth (link below). I use the banana flavor protein. 🍌 For the shake I blend together;

  • 200ml of water
  • 200ml of slim milk (you can use any milk preferred)
  • 1 whole banana
  • Ice
  • 4 scoops of the slender blend powder

I mainly use this protein as a meal replacement and to help my body recovery after workouts. It taste so G O O D & it is full of vitamins & minerals your body needs on a daily basis!

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Apps

This last tip I feel is the most important tip for keeping myself motivated. I use 3 different apps on my phone as reminders & trackers. I have trialed a lot of different fitness apps over the years but these 3 are my top 3 for staying on track.

Walking tracker I use the Hauwei Health on at the moment but there is also one on Fitbit. The walking tracker let’s me know how many calories I’m burning & how far a distance I’ve walk within that day. I add this information to my Fitbit daily.

My next app is Fitbit, I don’t have a watch I just use the app because of how beneficial it is to me on a daily basis. It has a dash for tracking my exercise that day & adding to that week. It tells me how many steps of done that day. It has a dash for tracking how much water I’ve drank that day (see below) and you can count your calories. Also it has a dash for tracking your goals & where you are now.

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The last app and I feel the most important one. This app is called Weburn, I came across this one about a year ago & I absolutely L O V E it! It’s a HIIT workout app it has 4 different levels, so if you are just starting out with your fitness journey or just looking to change your workout routine this app is perfect. I use level 4 on Bikini body and Body shaping both slightly different I love them (as seen below). The app is really easy to use & designed with woman in mind. There are also a count down to every 5 seconds before the exercise starts & before it ends to help you (as seen below). I use this app 4 times a week & I can honestly say I enjoy using it everytime, I would definitely recommend giving it a go.

As you can see on the app there are 4 levels of workouts for beginners to more advance levels. This screen will also let you know how long each exercise will last & how long the duration of the resting period is.

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This is the screen after you have finished your work out, which is really exciting. It will let you know from doing that particular workout how many calories you have burned. This app is also great for beginners because it has videos on each workout, showing you how to do each of the exercises. This really helps me stay focused, you feel like you have a workout buddy. 🏋‍

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Links 

Pink Soda

https://m.jdsports.ie/search/pink+soda/

Pre workout

https://bodyfirst.ie/product/on-gold-standard-pre-workout-330g/

The Slender Blend 400g

https://www.proteinworld.com/the-slender-blend.html

Apps – Play store

Weburn – http://go.joinweburn.com/workouts

Fitbit – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fitbit.FitbitMobile

Huawei Health – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.huawei.health

Tips for Christmas shopping 🎄

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So it’s that time of the year again! Christmas. The ridiculously long queues in shops, the frustration of no parking spaces & the hustle and bustle of people running around like headless chickens.🐤 For those of you who celebrate the holiday season, you know how intense it can be. Most of us leave it to the last minute to shop, or mid December is upon you before you know it. Creating the stress of shopping and standing in shops packed full of people looking for gifts for their loved one. 🎁 In my house we all love the holiday season, we buy a few gifts for each other. We don’t do a Chris Kindle or anything like that, even thought that would be a lot easier. Today’s blog I have a few tips & tricks I use for getting my Christmas shopping done stress free.

Lists

So firstly I always make lists of who I have to buy for and ideas of what to get people. By making a list of who I have to buy for I feel a lot less stressed & overwhelmed. I write down ideas I could get each person or if they have requested something in particular, this can alter a few times. Making lists are a great way to be organized, in saying this implementing them is the harder thing. I always take a picture of my lists on my phone so I stay on track of what I went out for. I have 3 different note pads A5 size at home for my list making. One for work schedules, appointments & meetings. Another small note pad for blogging ideas and brainstorming. Finally I have another note pad for weekly goals & food lists. I find this tip one of the most important if you don’t want to spend to much money on random gifts.

Be resourceful

Weeks before I go out Christmas shopping I like to do some window shopping online. Get ideas of prices & where I can get different presents that I am looking for. After I know what I will be shopping for I can start selecting the areas in which I will get most ticked off my shopping list. ✔

I find it can be extremely difficult going shopping for gifts if you have no idea where to start. By doing a lot of the leg work on gift ideas I have a clearer mind set when I hit the shops.

Budget

If you want to be wise with your spending, I would recommend budgeting what you want to spend. If you have a list of people you have to buy for and an idea of what you are looking for you can close in on a budget of what you might be expecting to spend on each person or as an over all. This way the Christmas shopping won’t leave you broke come December/January. I personally get paid monthly so if I was to blow all of my monthly wage in December, leaving all of my Christmas shopping until then I would be in a very bad position.

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Start early

I know this seems really obvious but for me it is so effective. I have been gathering a few small gifts for my family & my partners family since the start of November, I can’t explain how much stress this has taken off us. Also yesterday the 23rd of November was The Black Friday sales event here in Ireland which runs for the weekend. (I know most countries have this event) So I planned to make time to pick up some gifts on this day. On these sale events you can get some larger more expensive presents such as;

  • Television
  • Audio sets
  • Electrics
  • Kitchen equipment i.e blenders, kettles & toasters
  • Perfumes
  • 3 for 2 on beauty

The list goes on & on. One thing I’ve learned from these big sale events is; not everything you go looking for will be on them. So a tip I would recommend is check the website that morning, if your item is not on it there will be a similar one on the sale. Go with that to save yourself some cash. 💶

My last piece of practical advice is to refrain from getting sucked into brilliant marketing, advertising & the whole Christmas spend spend spend trend that emerges every year! Be wise & practical.

Beauty kitchen – review

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My skin care routine has become a lot more important to me as I have got older. I’m only 25 but I’m trying to make a conscious effort to look after my skin. Looking after your skin at a young age can be really rewarding at all stages in your life. It will give you great confidence & benefit you as you get older. Personally, I am blessed with clear skin & have never really suffered with acne prone skin or blemishes, I have only ever got an odd spot or a small cluster as a teenager and as a young adult. However, 2018 has been a huge year for me from changing my career & moving house to getting a puppy. With so many huge changes & a lot of new stresses my skin has suffered, I have recently got my skin clear again from using a number of new products which range from Dr. organic to apple cider vinegar. Also the Beauty kitchen which has all 100% natural ingredients & certified organic. In this review I want to discuss the Beauty Kitchen products I used, worked & I have grown to love.

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Products used

I used the night Halo sleep mask, it will detox your skin as you sleep, it feels & smells so nice on your face. My skin feels so soft & fresh in the morning! I would highly recommend, it’s part of my skin routine now. You can get it from Holland and Barrett’s for €10.48 usually €23.29 or you can get a small pot as pictured for €2.47. I love this idea as your skin goes through a lot during the week, different weather types, make up, foods & dehydration at times. As part of my night time routine I take my make up off with a boots make up wipe, then wash my face with cold water & dry with a clean face cloth. The cold water is good for your pours, closing them in some cases. The clean face cloth prevents bacteria from spreading. Then I apply my Halo face mask. It last an oily texture which feel so hydrating on your face & smells so so A M A Z I N G !

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I always put some lip balm on when I am sleeping. I got this balm from Holland and Barrett’s for €2.00 for a 7g or a €4.70 for a 12g. I have used 2 types of the Beauty Kitchen wonder balm. The Citrus pictured above & also the Lime one both equally as nice and worked amazingly! Keeping my lips from cracking, drying up and becoming sore. I only use my lip balm after applying my make up in the morning & before going to bed.

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Now as it’s that time of the year for those who celebrate Christmas I taught I would share a great Christmas gift for a friend, family member or just from you to you with love. 🎄 This is a 8 pack of small 6ml pots for your face care. It is currently €23.00 from Holland and Barrett’s. All links for products below. In this pack you can find:

  • Sea horse planton mask
  • Abyssinian oil moisture cream
  • Boosting BB cream 
  • Wonder balm
  • Multipurpose primer
  • Daily primer SPF 30
  • Eye life serum
  • Halo night mask

There are 8 items listed which come in the box. After running through this list you can see this 8 pack would last you a while. I have been using my night halo mask for about 3 month now 6ml pot! I would use it once or twice a week just to detox my skin. I feel the BB cream would be used a lot quicker though!

https://www.hollandandbarrett.ie/shop/product/beauty-kitchen-inspire-me-wonder-balm-60004223

https://www.hollandandbarrett.ie/shop/product/beauty-kitchen-abyssinian-oil-night-halo-potent-sleep-mask-60011329?skuid=011329

https://www.hollandandbarrett.ie/shop/product/beauty-kitchen-sustainable-beauty-celebrations-8-pack-60007311?skuid=007311

Superfoods – Maca & Cacao

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Super foods are a brilliant way to get extra minerals & vitamins into your diet. Most super foods come with fiber, iron, carbs and so much more your body can benefit from. They have different tastes & goodness packed into them, which is so natural and beneficial to your body. The superfoods I’ll be discussing today are Maca & Cacao. The benefits they carry & how you can use them on a day to day basis.

Maca

Maca powder comes from a Peruvian root, it is full of fiber, carbs, calcium, iron & vitamin B6. Maca powder is proven to balance hormones due to the level of B6 in it, which is great for both males & females. This can in turn help with a number of different aliments such as acne & PMS. The brand Naturya is gluten free. I got the one pictured from Holland and Barretts for €9.49 original price was €19.99 (see link below). It is recommended to take between 5-15g of this brand per day (a teaspoon is what I use in smoothies). It has a carmel taste which is great for salted carmel flavoured baking. This maca powder can be used in smoothies, milkshakes, yogurt, porridge & baking sweet treats.

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Cacao

Cacao powder is the raw version of the cocoa bean. Treated in different temperatures to create different tastes. Cacao is much more raw and healthy. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron & calcium. Cacao is proven to improve circulation & boost mood. It can be used in a number of ways like Maca powder only for Cacao powder has more of a chocolate flavor. Making it perfect for a hot chocolate replacer, you can make the hot chocolate with nut milk & Cacao powder. You can also use Cacao for baking, smoothies, milkshakes & deserts. I got this brand Nua Nutrals from Nourish & it’s also the same price in SuperValu super markets for €3.95. (See link below)

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Maca powder – https://www.hollandandbarrett.ie/shop/product/naturya-organic-maca-powder-60094370?skuid=094370

Cacao powder – https://www.nourish.ie/p/nua-naturals-organic-cacao-powder/p-nuam005