Thursday, 30 January 2014

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Week 1 - #NailArtWeeklyProject - An Item of Clothing/Outfit

I've decided to participate in another nail art challenge. This one was created by Danni @ Gingerbread Smiles. More can be found out about the #NailArtWeekly project here.


The first topic is an item of clothing or an outfit. This is the brief from Danni:

Choose an item of clothing or an outfit that you'd like to recreate on your nails. Can be something you own, you saw on a celebrity or on a fashion website. The possibilities are endless.

I was struggling to think of an item of clothing or outfit that I had, that I'd like to use as my influence, so I thought I'd check out some fashion show pictures.  I went on Vogue and found some interesting designs.  I chose these as I thought they'd be fun to recreate and I wanted to use my dotting tools.



These pictures were taken from www.vogue.co.uk and they belong to the Holly Fulton Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

The lighting is pretty bad in some of my pictures, I did this manicure a couple of weeks ago and forgot to check if I had good pictures of it before I redid my nails!  Oops.  I am pleased with how they turned out though, apart from the heart on my little finger where I should have used a smaller dotting tool.


little bit of an awkward hand pose here!


Take a look at the other people who are participating in the nail art weekly project here.
Can't blog about my Glasgow 2014 adventures yet (I do have a post all ready and waiting though!), but take a look at what I got up to when I volunteered at the London Olympics in 2012 here.
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Week 4 - Fingerfood's Theme Buffet - Sparkle

Week four of Fingerfood's Challenge is upon us!  The theme this week is 'sparkle'.  The challenge was started by Sam @ Fingerfood.

I'm currently away from home, and in Glasgow where I'm helping as a 'pre games volunteer' - aka Frontrunner - for the Commonwealth Games, as you heard in Mandy's guest post - check out how amazing (and apt) her nail art post was here.  So this is a completely mobile post! (Update - I got home last night, came home a bit early, but wrote this a few days ago!). My nails chipped the day after I painted them, which was sad as I had hoped they'd last for a good few days.  I painted them to match my uniform.

My uniform & my nails!

Pre clean up!

I also lost one of my gems early on too!

Trying to capture the sparkle

Hiding the chipped tips!! I also lost a gem on this hand too!

They sparkle more in person.

If you love sparkle, check out my Etsy shop Addicted2Sparkle - I am selling handpainted nail polish rings and earrings.



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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

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GUEST POST - Mandy from Ladymaidnails.blogspot.ca


First things first, hello I'm Mandy from Ladymaidnails.blogspot.ca. I blog over there regularly and hope you will stop by sometime.

Emma and I were talking recently, and she mentioned she was leaving shortly to assist with some preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I offered right away to guest post, because I thought of this manicure in her honor. This is the logo I found online for the Commonwealth Games this year. 

The polishes I used for the skittlette and art were Nabi Sky (blue), OPI Shop Til Sunset (orange), and OPI Passion for Fashion (red).

The white base on the accent art finger is Sally Hansen White On. I first went in with a fine striping brush and black acrylic paint to get the black lines. Then started with the center colour and worked my way out. After I went back in with the striper brush and some white acrylic to clean up all the lines.

I took one picture each for you in my lightbox and sunlight. This last one is a close up to show you the art. Less perfect this close, but there you go!




Good luck to Emma this week.

Cheers all.
Mandy
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Saturday, 25 January 2014

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Animal/Wildlife - SLN Charity NailArt Challenge!

Dawn over at SassyLittleNails has come up with a great challenge.  It is called the SassyLittleNails Monthly Charity Nail Art Challenge!  I suggest you take a little look.  It's a brilliant and fun way of raising awareness of different charities.  There will be a different theme each month, and you can do as many manicures as you like each month.  Also, you can participate in as many or as few months as you like.

Here is a run down of all the months and the themes:

facebookgroup
Picture from SassyLittleNails
The charity I have chosen to do my first manicure in this challenge for is called 'Nowzad'.  I was introduced to this charity by Jamie.  This is taken from the Nowzad Website:
Kilo Company of 42 Commando Royal Marines arrived in the war torn town of Now Zad in Helmand Province of Afghanistan in November 2006. Their mission; provide stability for the local people during a period of ever decreasing security.
The Royal Marines soon realised that it wasn’t only the local people that needed their help. Many of the stray dogs that roamed the town of Now Zad now had a guardian for the first time in their lives; in the form of Royal Marine Sergeant ‘Pen’ Farthing.
Breaking up an organised dog fight that was taking place right outside their remote compound, Pen never realised that one of those fighting dogs would then befriend him. The Royal Marine couldn’t say no to those big sad eyes and the now very former fighting dog became the Royal Marines four legged buddy and got a name – “Nowzad”.
- See more at: http://www.nowzad.com/about/#sthash.i7YsKy0m.dpuf
Pen Farthing then set up the charity Nowzad with the aim to help stray and abandoned animals in Afghanistan.
Many soldiers come across unwanted and stray animals.  As you can imagine, these animals are usually extremely scared and many are injured.  Usually the soldiers form a great bond with these animals.  The animals often keep the soldiers company during their tough tours of duty, providing them with much comfort and love.  During this time the soldiers get attached to these animals, and through donations from the public, the animals can go home with the soldiers who found them, or be sent to a new loving home where they will be free from war and safe.  The animals themselves are a sort of therapy for the soldiers on their return home, helping them adjust back to life at home as they feel they have been through the tough times together.  The charity now also helps treat sick and injured animals who live in Afghanistan and promotes animal welfare there.
I think this is a fabulous charity as not only does it help the soldiers, it helps the animals too.  People are quick to realise that humans are affected by war, but sadly the animals are usually the forgotten victims.
Take a look at their website for a clearer explanation. It can be found here


So now for the nail art.  I'm not as talented as Dawn at freehand, so I kept it fairly simple.  I have tried camouflage print once before and it didn't really turn out that great, so I thought this was a great chance to try it out again.  I think it turned out okay!  Definitely better than last time anyway.



I then added a paw print - I forgot how tricky I find them haha!  I mucked up doing little ones so opted for a big one!



I also added a matte topcoat.

Thanks for reading, thanks to Dawn for setting up this challenge and please spread the word about Nowzad.

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

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Liebster Award #2

How does the saying go?  You can wait ages for a bus and then two come at once...  I've never been tagged before, and now in a very short spcae of time I've been tagged for 2 Liebster Awards!  Yay!  My first one can be found here. My second nomination comes from Daisy @ DaisyDaisyXXO, if you haven't already, go check out her blog, it's got loads of great posts on beauty, fashion and lifestyle. 




Taken from my previous Liebster Award post, here is a description of what the Award is:

A Liebster Award is a way of discovering new blogs, increasing traffic to your own blog, gaining more followers and also finding out more about your fellow bloggers. It can be awarded to anyone who has under 200 followers.

Here are the rules:

  • Link back to the person who tagged you
  • Answer the questions they asked
  • Nominate 11 fellow bloggers who have less than 200 followers on Bloglovin'
  • Write 11 questions for these bloggers to answer


Here are the questions that Daisy asked, along with my answers:



1) Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging when I was at University and feeling a little low.  I used it as a way of getting things out my system and a way of keeping good memories that I could look back on. That was my first blog, which I have since made private and started my new shiny (happier) blog.  I started my new blog to help me not get bored while I'm searching for a job and keeping me from feeling isolated as I currently live in a tiny place with not many people, a long way from all my friends.  I'm really enjoying it, it's keeping me sane!



2) What has been your biggest achievement whiles blogging?
Ohhh, well I'm not really sure I have any achievements!  My old blog had over 26,000 views though, which I was quite pleased with considering it was mostly just a big ramble!

3) Favourite foundation?
My favourite foundation is my current one - Maybelline 24 Hour SuperStay Foundation.  I have tried so many foundations, but this one just suits my skin, it doesn't aggravate my skin and is also the perfect colour for me.  And it's also not expensive, which helps too!

4) Views on MAC cosmetics?
I don't own any MAC cosmetics at the moment, but whilst doing a bit of research for my previous Liebster post, I came across a product by MAC that seemed amazing. It's called MAC Fix +, I read a really good blog post on it (here), showing a few different ways it could be used. It is definitely on my to try list.

5) Favourite highstreet makeup brand?
Hmmm... tricky one!  All my main pieces of make up are from different brands, and I don't have a particular brand that I go to.

6) Favourite meal?
Now, I'm such a fussy eater but there are certain foods I love... so any meal containing Potato, Cheese, Stuffing or Bacon is sure to go down a treat. Followed by ice cream of course - YUM!

7) Do you dye your hair?
I've never died my hair. It's blonde, so I'd be afraid it'd never go back to its normal colour, and anyway I love my hair the colour it is (although I do sometimes wonder what I'd look like with different coloured hair haha).

8) Are you against animal testing?
Yes, I am. I love animals and it does make me quite sad hearing horror stories of animal testing.  I could quite easily go into a big rant about it, but it's probably best I don't haha.

9) What do you hope to of achieved in blogging by 2015?
2015.. hmmm, well hopefully I'll still be blogging, have loads of new posts, have taken part in more challenges, and maybe have gained a few more readers.

10) Skincare routine?
I have literally just written a post on my skincare routine (or rather lack of!) for the 2014 Blogger Challenge which can be found here.

11) PC or Mac? 

I have a PC which I haven't used in ages, and a laptop. However a Mac would be amazing to have!

Here are my questions:

  1. How long have you been blogging for?
  2. Where is your favourite place to blog (eg bedroom, train)?
  3. What do you use to do most of your blogging?
  4. What is your favourite thing to watch on tv?
  5. Do you collect anything?
  6. Do you have any pets?  What are they and what are they called?
  7. Which season do you prefer and why?
  8. What is the best make up tip you have heard or read?
  9. If you could only use 3 make up products for 1 year, which 3 would you pick?
  10. What is your favourite colour of nail polish to use and what is your favourite nail art technique (stamping, dotting tool, glitter etc)?
  11. What is your favourite brand of make up/nail polish?

I nominate:

Amanda @ Fledgling Nails
Nail Glaze @ NailGlaze
Sabah @ Extra Lucide
Nicole @ Nicoles Notes
Kaya @ Wiggy's Wardrobe!
Leah @ It's Leli
- I'll update the list if I stumble upon 4 more blogs! I've had this post written for ages in the hope that I'd find more people, but I think I've waited long enough now haha! -

Thanks again Daisy for nominating me, I really enjoy these types of post.
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Friday, 17 January 2014

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Addicted2Sparkle - My New Venture

I've been letting my creative/crafty side out recently, and been trying out a few things...  While I was researching things that I could do with the nail polish that I have (and carry on collecting), I came across cabochon jewellery.
I thought that this was a GREAT idea, as I love painting my nails, but never have enough nails.  I started off trying a few kits from She Sells Seashells, and I loved creating such unique pieces of jewellery, so I decided to go ahead and order some more from various suppliers.  Anyway, ramble out of the way - Take a look at some of the jewellery I have created so far:

Rings
(Bottom left of the picture above is a ring made with a nail polish which I made myself!)

Rings

Matching Ring & Earrings
Galaxy Ring

Once I have figured out how to use Etsy properly, they will be on sale (apart from the galaxy one, I'm keeping that for myself haha) - I will make some more though as it was so fun to do!  My shop is called 'Addicted2Sparkle', and I will also be selling some on Ebay.

Keep an eye out, I will be posting more as I photograph them!

UPDATE:  My shop is now open!  It can be found HERE.
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Topic 2 - Skincare - 2014BloggerChallenge

So topic 2 of the 2014 Blogger Challenge is Skincare.  This post is definitely going to be shorter than my topic 1 post, because I'm not very good at the whole 'beauty' thing!

I don't really have a skincare routine to be honest.  I usually tell myself that I need to start one, keep it up for a few days, maybe a week, and then I get lazy - a bit like when I tell myself I need to exercise or eat properly...  My facial skin tends to change from quite dry to oily fairly quickly, and randomly so I'm never entirely sure what to use - If anyone has any tips, PLEASE let me know!

I've recently started using toner regularly again - morning and night (I'm quite pleased I've managed to keep going with this haha!) - and I have found in the mornings when I put my make up on, it tends to go on much better than when I don't bother.  I then follow up (usually) with a moisturiser, more at night than during the day as if I use too much then my face looks greasy.

My favourite toner to use is:


Simple Skincare Soothing Facial Toner
Image from google....

I also use a facial scrub (when I remember/when I've not left it too late to go to bed!), before I go to bed.  I find that if I do it in the morning, my face goes a little blotchy - I do have rather sensitive skin.

When I don't have to go out of the house, I don't tend to wear make up, so my face can breathe and that seems to do it a world of good.

For the skin on the rest of my body, I use an exfoliating mitt, and then if I have time, whichever body lotion I fancy.

I'm enjoying reading everyone's posts.. and pleased to see that I'm not the only person without a routine.  I've also discovered a few tips/products that I would like to try, so thanks guys!
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Monday, 13 January 2014

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Liebster Award #1

I have been tagged to do a Liebster Award blog, by the lovely Della, who is taking part in the #2014BloggerChallenge like me.  Take a look at her blog, it's full of Book reviews, fashion, make up and life!

A Liebster Award is a way of discovering new blogs, increasing traffic to your own blog, gaining more followers and also finding out more about your fellow bloggers.  It can be awarded to anyone who has under 200 followers.

I have seen other Liebster Award blogs that include 11 facts about themselves... the one I was tagged in didn't have that in.  I have however included the 11 facts, as I feel it is a fun thing to include.  So I need to answer the 11 questions asked by the person who tagged me, create 11 questions, and tag 11 people to then repeat the same steps.


Here are the Questions that she asked, and my answers:


1) What product do you think is overlooked and should be hyped up more?
Ohhhh, good start, I don't have a CLUE.  SO I have asked a reliable source.. and they said that they had read about something called Mac Fix + being really good.  Anyway, I've just had a little read about it myself and it does look amazing, and can be used in a few different ways.  After reading this review I have decided that this is going to be on my 'to try' list.

2) What editor do you use for pictures on your blog?
Usually just Microsoft Office Picture Manager.  I do have Photoshop Elements which I use sometimes though. On my old blog, I used to use 'Camera+' which was an app I had on my ipod, which was pretty good for doing minor edits - which is what I only really do. 

3) How long do you take to get ready for a party/night out?
I'd say around 2 hours, including shower & hair.  It takes ages to dry my hair, Im just glad I don't have to straighten it too!

4) What is your favourite make up brush?
I don't really use a make up brush (only for blush, and it comes with its own brush), but I've been reliably informed (again!) that if I was to invest in a brush, I should get a good kabuki brush, as it's good for powder, soft and gives an even coverage.  Furthermore, I've been recommended to get one from EcoTools, as they are 100% cruelty free, and 'show respect for the earth'.

5) Favourite make up brand? High end and drugstore?
I don't use many different brands of make-up, so I'll use nail polish instead.  My favourite drugstore nail polish would have to be 17, or Rimmel... Hard to choose between the two.  I think I have more Rimmel polishes though.  They both have such a wide range of colours, for a decent price.  High End, hmmm... I don't own heaps of really expensive nail polishes, only a few China Glazes, which I really like.

6)Worst beauty habit?
I don't always 100% remove my make-up before bed.

7) Is your blog private or do your family/friends know about it?
My family know I blog, but I have never given them the link to it, so I doubt they have read it.  My friends also know I blog, but very few are that interested - lovely friends eh? haha - although I think some may read the odd post.  I know a few more read my old blog.  My boyfriend knows about my blog, and occasionally I encourage him to read it and give me feedback.

8) Whats your biggest fear?
Losing those close to me.

9) If you could choose anywhere in the world to live where would it be?
Ahhh, I never like this question.  Of course, there are many places that I'd LOVE to live in, all for different wee reasons.  But to be honest, anywhere with my Boyfriend, near enough to be able to see my family fairly regularly would be perfect for me!

10) Biggest aspiration?
To get a job as close to the one of my dreams as possible, and to be able to fulfill all the plans that my boyfriend and I have made :) .

11) Whose the one person you look up to and who inspired you to begin blogging?
Hmmm.. that's a tricky one.  I don't look up to any bloggers or famous people.  If i have a worry or a problem, that I feel I need to share, then I will probably go to my boyfriend for advice.  Closely followed by my mum!  
I can't remember if anyone inspired me to begin blogging, I think it was something I just stumbled upon when I was at Uni (this isn't my first blog!).

Thanks for your questions Della, I enjoyed answering them, and I hope it has given readers a tiny insight into me and my blogging.

Here are 11 random facts about myself:

  1. I was born 5 weeks early and weighed 3lb 6oz.
  2. My boyfriend currently lives in a different country to me - I live in Scotland, he lives in England haha.
  3. I have 1 cat (Alfie), 2 rabbits (Bunny - original! - & Dandy) and 2 hamsters (Chico & Fred).  All of them apart from the cat live in my bedroom.
  4. I studied Sports at Stirling University and then I went and studied Tourism at City of Glasgow College - so effectively I went backwards haha.
  5. I was a GamesMaker at the London Olympics, however my role was based in Glasgow.  I am also a Frontrunner for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as a Clyde-Sider.
  6. I have met quite a few famous people, mostly from the world of sport, including: John Barrowman, Dougray Scott, Juan Mata, Cesar Azpilicueta & David De Gea. Many of which I looked after while they were staying in Glasgow for the Olympics.
  7. I have been on the news a few times, and in the background on a feature on The One Show - all of which for the Commonwealth Games.
  8. I have a season ticket for Queen of the South FC (A football club in Scotland....)
  9. I'd love to go to India to watch Chennai Super Kings play cricket, and I'd love to go to a few Grand Prix's including Australia, Monaco, GB & a random other one.
  10. I'm scared of quite a few things, including balloons, lightening ad sudden loud noises.
  11. I have just started experimenting in making my own nail polish jewellery, and hope to sell it one day. 


Here are my questions:
  1. How long have you been blogging for?
  2. Where is your favourite place to blog (eg bedroom, train..)?
  3. Have you met anyone famous? Were they nice, or not?
  4. Do you play any musical instruments?
  5. Do you have any pets? What are they, and what are they called?
  6. What is your favourite sport/sportsperson/sports team?
  7. What is your favourite colour of nail polish to use?
  8. Post a link to your favourite manicure post, and a reason why (if you don't have a mani post, your favourite post will do!)?
  9. What is the best make up tip you have received/heard of?
  10. If you could only use 3 make up products for 1 year, which 3 would you pick?
  11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I tag:
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Week 2 - FingerFood's Theme Buffet - Geometric/Shapes

I missed week one of this challenge.  I had done an animal print mani, however, I wasn't happy with it and planned to redo it, but I never found time!  Anyway, on to week two of this challenge, which has been created by Sam (FingerFood).  I am terrible at making decisions, so I decided that I would ask Jamie for his input.

He chose 'diamond' as the shape I'd do, in white.  And for the finish to be matte.  The base colour was to be red, and the diamond was to be on the index & little fingers.

Here's what I came up with using his choices (adding in a little triangle on my thumb):





Pre clean-up

SHIMMERRRRRR...

I mucked up my little finger, so painted it all white... i will probably paint a red diamond on there later, however, I thought I was going to redo the LAST manicure for this challenge and I didn't, so I will post this now, and update it at a later date.  LOOK at the red though, it is so shimmery.  I also didn't use tape, because I was being lazy, however I tried doing a tape diamond on my right hand, and it just didn't look right.  When I compare them both, I think my little imperfect diamond is cuter...  I should however have probably used striping tape for my triangle, but from a distance in person, it looks straight.. haha.

Take a look at all these other (BRILLIANT) shape/goemetric manicures... 

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

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Topic 1 - New Year's Inspiration - 2014BloggerChallenge

Here is my first post in the 2014 Blogger Challenge. This post explains what it is all about. 

The topic for the first post of the #2014BloggerChallenge is going to be "New Years Inspiration" - the idea is that instead of writing new years resolutions on your blog you share a quote or a picture that inspires you and you think will inspire others in the New Year.
I'm a person who hates making decisions, and I see this prompt as something in which a decision needs to be made... Does that even make sense? Anyway, Happy New Year, I hope my post doesn't bore you too much!
I volunteered at a few events, mostly in 2012 & 2013 (if you are interested and find out more about my experiences, a list of my posts can be found here). The events I volunteered at were mostly sporting events, as sport is a big passion of mine. I have some more volunteering coming up in 2014 - The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which is really exciting - and I can really relate to these quotes (3, I couldn't pick just one!) and maybe they'll inspire some of you to consider volunteering...
.......................

“How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?” - Unknown
When I read this quote, I figured that this is exactly what goes on in my head sometimes.  Right now I have no job and feel a little bit like I'm just stuck, wanting to move forward.  All I have known is education, so now after completing University and then college (wrong way round I know), it's rather scary, daunting and disheartening, looking for jobs, and knowing that although I may well be able to do a job, I don't have much experience which is what most employers are looking for right now.  However, reading this quote reminded me that, yes, there is something inside of me, as I have proven to myself with the things I have achieved through my volunteering, and if I can only try and believe in myself a bit more, then I will be happier and feel more positive about trying to move forward, and if I keep going then I will be able to get a job eventually, and piece by piece the next chapter of my life will unfold.

These next two quotes are more aimed at inspiring other people to volunteer.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” 
“Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large.”
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948);
Indian Political And Spiritual Leader

Some of my best experiences have come from volunteering.


My first volunteering duties as a Clyde-Sider - a media day in Glasgow (I'm on the left).
From the amazing experiences I had in the training and orientation sessions in the build up to the London Olympic Games, I well and truly caught the volunteering bug - which is quite ironic really, as I had originally applied for a paid role. They say things happen for a reason, huh? This certainly was one of the best things to happen to me. I ended up volunteering at a CBBC event and a CBeebies event in the run up to when my Games Time role was. I wont go into detail about my experiences as I've already blogged about it, but it was an extraordinary experience to say the least.

It gave me confidence in myself and I met some great people along the way.  You never know where opportunities lie, and through some of these people I have been introduced to more volunteering roles and each time I volunteer at an event, I feel myself come out of my shell and my confidence improves greatly.  I feel like a completely different person - someone with no doubts (after I have a grasp of the role I am undertaking!) about my ability.
I feel a great sense of pride when I look back and think of some of the things I have achieved through volunteering.  I played a little tiny part in the successful Olympic Games - only a tiny part, but all those tiny parts joined up to make one huge event possible.
I have also discovered that I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people, which I try to do when I can.  I know that if I need help, I am truly grateful if someone offers me a helping hand.

So all in all:
  • If you are considering applying to volunteer at an event, DO IT, you won't regret it!
  • If you have never considered volunteering before - you never know - it could be something that could benefit you in some way or another, while at the same time you are also helping someone/being a small part of helping an event succeed.

Volunteering comes in all shapes and forms, and helping others in any way could be seen as volunteering, as you are giving some of you own time - no matter how short - to helping someone else! So... give volunteering/lending a helping hand a go, you may well change your own life, at the same time as helping to change the life of someone else.

Anyway, this has been a bit of a ramble, sorry!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post, well done for making it to the end of one of my ramblings... I will try and read as many posts as I can.  Here's to 2014 and the rest of the Blogger Challenge!

Some pictures from my Olympic Experience
Emma x

[I found the quotes here.   Is that lazy of me? Oops, well I HAVE been deliberating for a while over what part of my life and goals of 2014 I should use for this blog post - yet another decision haha.]
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