Getting my Zen on with Spaseekers and The Westerwood










When SpaSeekers invited me along to the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld, for a Spa Day, I absolutely jumped at the chance. I think stress is in my nature, and without realising it, I was in desperate need of finding my Zen.

On a bright Sunday (before the rain hammered down) I was dropped off at The Westerwood by Steven and his dad, who used this opportunity to squeeze in a round of golf at the hotel's 18-hole course while I was at the Spa - a win win for us both! I was welcomed by the lovely Elaine, who handed over my towel, plush robe and goody bag filled with an array of miniature ESPA products. I was then given a tour of the spa and leisure facilities before meeting fellow bloggers Eilidh and Lisa for afternoon tea at The Grill restaurant.

I'm all about finger food, and the fayre did not disappoint. After checking our individual dietary requirements (strictly no mayonnaise for Lisa...) we were treated to a lovely selection of miniature sandwiches and cakes. Naturally, having no self control, I sampled ALL of the sandwich options (the coronation chicken was my fave!) and still had some room to squeeze in a few cakes. The scones were definitely my highlight - freshly baked and still warm from the oven - what more could you want?!

After tea, it was time for our treatments. Beforehand, we were given the choice of choosing either two 30 minute spa treatments, or one 60 minute signature spa ritual (these options are available when booking through Spaseekers). I opted for the Fit For Business Back Ritual, carried out by my lovely therapist Linda. The treatment involved a back cleanse, exfoliation and deep massage followed by a purifying back mask and a tension relieving massage to the legs and feet...delightful! Being butt naked (except for some netted pants), in an unfamiliar place with a stranger in the room made ya gal a little nervous, but Linda made me feel so comfortable and at ease the whole time - giving me time to change and get comfortable on the bed in private before coming in to begin my massage. 

Now, I'm theeeee biggest chatterbox, and although this was supposed to be some quiet down time, Linda and I nattered away for the majority of my treatment - she was just so friendly I couldn't help but have a good old gossip with her! About half an hour in, I was so relaxed that I started to drift off - the ambiance of the room, along with the scents and spa music were so peaceful, and it was the perfect opportunity to practice some much needed mindfulness. Before I knew it my treatment was over - Linda left me to slip back in to my swimming costume and robe, before showing me the Rasul Suite (something that came up earlier in our conversation) - a mud therapy suite ideal for couples. 

Afterwards, I met up with Eilidh in the Relaxation Chamber (our treatments were at the same time - 2pm, whereas Lisa's was an hour later) which was the perfect place to chill out and recuperate after our treatments. The room was filled with cosy beds and fun little pods, and we were offered ice water and a selection of complimentary herbal teas. After some chill time, Eilidh and I headed to the pool. We arrived during "children's splash time" meaning the pool was filled with families, so we opted for a poolside photoshoot (#bloggerlife) and dip in the jacuzzi. Back in the changing area, we bumped into Lisa which gave us all a chance to say our goodbyes before we headed off on our separate ways. 

All in all, I had a fantastic day and left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and, well, ZEN! I had no clue there was a spa so accessible to me - I'd normally go through to Glasgow or Edinburgh for a spa day, but it's amazing that I've now discovered a great place that's less than a 20 minute drive from my house! Now I know if I loose my zen, I know exactly where to go to find it!

Until next time, 
S.B x

My spa time, treatments, afternoon tea and gift bag were complementary, courtesy of SpaSeekers, however all opinions are my own. Swimming pool, relaxation chamber and treatment room photographs were supplied by the Westerwood Hotel.




SHARE:

Fenty Beauty | First Impressions and Review


Guys, I'm joining the hype. Fenty Beauty is here and it did not disappoint!

***
When I heard Rihanna was launching a beauty line, I was one of the few who wasn't initially going insane. I like Rihanna, but I'm not a die hard fan, and as with all celebrity beauty lines...I was skeptical. BUT...I'm prepared to hold my hands up and admit I completely pre judged and I was SO wrong!

Whilst in Harvey Nichols, I picked up a few bits from the collection and I won't lie, when I saw the counter, I was HYPED. I left with a foundation, 3 Match Stix and a Killawatt highlighter duo. I've had a good old play and been wearing the products every day for the past week. Here are my thoughts.

Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Anyone who knows me will know I am NOT a matte foundation gal. I am all about that dewy glow - and even with a slightly oiler completion I like my skin to look wet! So when I saw that the only foundation option was matte, I panicked. BUT, I must say, if I was ever going to fall in love with a matte foundation, this would be it. Although it's matte, it isn't overly thick, or drying, and still leaves my skin with a nice glow. The finish is gorgeous (I'd say it's more of a satin finish than truly matte)- not powdery or cakey and the coverage is fantastic - medium but could definitely be built up to full. 

I'd say I got about 8 hours of wear before I felt like I had to touch up, but it wore well throughout the day without going patchy or crumbly. Although this will be a great everyday foundation for some - I think this will be saved as a night out foundation for me, purely because of the thicker consistency and matte finish. Overall, this product gets a massive thumbs up!

Match Stix Matte Skin Stick

Designed to contour and highlight the face, these little gems are such a DREAM. On appearance, the sticks look hard and dry, but I was so surprised at how creamy and blendable they were on the skin. I'd go as far as saying this is the best cream contour product I've used. The wide range of shades is also ideal. With contour, there is such a fine line between too ashy and too muddy - finding the perfect shade is hard, but with 20 different shades, RiRi makes it easy! 

I am so impressed with how intense and long lasting both the contour and highlight sticks are, once set with a powder/bronzer, these didn't budge from my face ALL DAY. I apply the contour shade with the portable highlight brush (also from Fenty Beauty), and blend the highlight shade under my eyes and cheekbones with a beauty blender - dream combo! If your a newbie to contour and highlight, I honestly think these products are a great starting point.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo (Mean Money / Hustla Baby)

Highlight of dreeeaams! This duo is absolutely stunning. Both of the powders are finely milled, so no chunky glitters or sparkles. The duo I picked out has a warmer tone, because personally I don't like a chalky/ashy highlight - I prefer something still striking but with a more natural finish. Hustla Baby is the more intense colour of the two, definitely a bold HI LOOK AT MY CHEEKBONES THEY'RE GLOWING type of look, where as Mean Money is a lot more subtle, almost like a soft sheen on the skin. If I'm being honest, I reach for Hustla Baby much more than Mean Money, but I love that the duo caters for both those who love a bold highlight AND those who prefer a more natural finish for everyday. Like the Match Stix, the formula of the highlighter duo is extremely long wearing (after a full day of wandering Edinburgh AND a 30 minute intense workout, this stuff was still on my cheekbones...sorcery!) I definitely want to try out more colours from the range.

Okay, those are my thoughts. Have any of you tried Fenty Beauty? What do you think? Are there any products I haven't mentioned that you think are real stand out products? Let me know.

Until next time,
S.B x 
SHARE:

Coffee in Culross



Jacket // Topshop // Shirt // Zara // Jeans // ASOS // Belt // ASOS // Shoes // Zara // Bag // Gucci // Watch // Daniel Wellington // Bracelet 1 // Michael Kors // Bracelet 2 // Monica Vinader // Ring 1 // Pandora // Ring 2 // Market in Crete

Okay, so I've officially discovered my new favourite spot for shooting blog outfits - the streets of Culross!

I had no clue that this beautiful Fife village was so close to my home, but I'm so glad I found it (thanks mum!). Not only is it extremely picturesque (hello instagram!), but it's steeped in history, so peaceful, and great to explore. The village is filled with cute coffee shops, independent boutiques, a pub and LOADS of old houses - the oldest I discovered was built in 1612!

On a rainy Monday, after grabbing a spot of lunch at Bessie's Cafe, my mum, dad and I embarked on an #OOTD photoshoot...

I'm so glad I managed to get my hands on the frayed hem Farleigh jeans from ASOS - after being out of stock in my saved items for two months, I finally have them, and they haven't been off my legs since! My shoes are a Zara sale bargain (£50 down to £15 - Yaldi!), my coat is an old Topshop number, and similarly, my shirt is from Zara about 2 years ago!

Accessory wise, my bag is from Gucci, watch is Daniel Wellington, my bracelet is Monica Vinader, as is my necklace, my belt is ASOS and I picked my sunglasses up from a stall at V Festival last year!

As the weather is getting colder, darker and duller, I'm so looking forward to putting together more AW outfits (that aren't two years old - I promise!). Winter has always been my favourite season (hot chocolate, chunky knits, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, and Christmas) and I cannot wait to crack out the oversized coats and knits. Watch this space for more OOTD's (that's Outfit of the Day if you're new here!)

Thanks for reading, until next time
SB x
SHARE:

Anxiety, depression and OCD | My Story


I have been pretty honest about my struggles with mental health in the past, particularly on this blog, however what I'm about to share is probably the most important but most difficult post I will ever write.

I never thought my current battle would be something I’d speak publicly about. This was originally supposed to be an academic style report for my eyes only, an exercise my therapist suggested I try, designed to aid my recovery and curb my compulsions (more on that later). But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to share this part of my life. Because if I’d stumbled across a post like this on someone else’s blog, or an article online or even a tweet or Facebook post when I was at my worst, it may have been the light at the end of the tunnel I desperately needed. 

So, here it goes…

Hi, my name’s Suzy and I suffer from anxiety, depression and OCD.

Heavy stuff for a Tuesday night, right?

To some, especially the friends I’ve made over the past year or so, this may come as a complete surprise, to others it’s something we’ve learned to deal with for a while now. I say “we” because when you suffer from a mental illness, or three, it doesn’t just affect you. It affects the people closest to you just as much, and we have to learn how to cope with it together.

My OCD takes the form of intrusive thoughts, which is when you have involuntary obsessional thoughts that cause you severe anxiety and distress. Intrusive thoughts can cover a whole spectrum of subjects, the most popular being sexual thoughts, violent thoughts, relationship thoughts, magical thinking and religious beliefs. If you are interested, a more in-depth definition of intrusive thoughts, including examples of the sub-categories I've just listed, can be found here.

Before I was diagnosed, I was completely ignorant to what OCD actually was. Like most, I presumed it was when people repeatedly washed their hands and liked to have their belongings in a specific order. I had no idea about the world of intrusive thoughts and the debilitating effect OCD has on the suffer’s life.

I had to give up my budding career in PR as the strain of the job was one of the main contributions to the decline of my mental health. During my notice period, I was signed off work after visiting my GP to discuss my issues. In hindsight, I wasn’t 100% honest with him in terms of voicing exactly what I was going through, but said enough for him to offer me anti depressants and a referral to a mental health clinic. 

The time I took off work was horrendous. I spent the majority of my days in bed, or screaming into my pillow just so I could hear anything other than the repetitive thoughts in my head. I cried so much that I couldn't breath, let alone speak to anyone or eat anything, and the simple task of walking downstairs to get a cup of tea would drain the little energy I had left and set me back an hour’s nap. My thoughts were so loud and intense and rapid and there wasn't a second of the day my brain wasn't in overdrive. My mind was so consumed with distressing thoughts, I struggled to remember what it was like to think like a “normal person”. I was obsessively googling my symptoms and continuously fighting with my brain to try and “neutralise” my thoughts. It was relentless and exhausting and I couldn’t see a way out.

***

Suicide is a concept I never quite understood. I couldn't fathom how someone could be suffering so much, that the only way they saw to end their pain was to end their life.

Suicide is a concept I never quite understood until now. This was the first time in my life I could genuinely understand what could drive someone to commit suicide, because it was the first time in my life that I thought about doing it myself. 

***

The clinic had a four week waiting list, but I knew I couldn't wait that long. Fortunately I had the means to go private, and was lucky enough to get an appointment with a psychologist and CBT specialist within a day. This is hands down what saved me and changed my life for the better.

Finding out I had OCD was a relief. I wasn’t crazy - what was going on inside my head was a result of a mental illness. And although it cannot be completely cured, I am learning how to manage it so it doesn’t control me. The techniques I have learned in my CBT sessions have been invaluable to my recovery. There was once a time I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, I could see no hope for my future and didn't want to be here. Now, I am in a much better place - living, instead of just existing. I take tablets to control my anxiety and I’m implementing techniques I’ve learned in therapy to help with my depression. A combination of cognitive restructuring and mindfulness is helping me tackle my OCD and I am finally in a place where my mental illness’ seem manageable - something I carry alongside me rather than something that has a hold on me. I've settled wonderfully into a new job and I finally feel like I'm getting my spark back. 

I will always have good days and bad days, but something that really helps is knowing I’m not alone. It is estimated that over 700,000 people are suffering from OCD in the UK and nearly a fifth of adults in the UK experience anxiety or depression.


To anyone reading this who may be suffering, I cannot urge you enough to seek help. The pain may be strong but so are you, and there isn’t a battle you can’t fight. You just gotta take it one day at a time…

SHARE:

SuzyBlue 2 2.0

Full outfit from ASOS

Hi there, welcome back - it's been a while!

I don’t have any excuse for abandoning my blog other than lack of inspiration, motivation and time. My life has done a full 360 since leaving uni and I finally feel ready and excited about sharing my life online again. 

So, what’s been going on? Here’s a quick glimpse into where I’ve been and what i've been doing for the last year and a half.

As 2015 came to a close, I found myself in a really difficult place. The life I’d built and been happily living in Aberdeen for the previous four years had ended. Subsequently, my four year relationship ended, the group of I girls I grew to know and love at uni all went their separate ways and I found myself back living in my childhood home not knowing who I was or what I should do next. I instantly missed the routine and the comfort that being in education gave me. My weeks had structure and I was always working towards achieving the next step on the academic ladder. When that ended, the realities of my impending adulthood loomed over me and I didn’t quite know where to begin.

After getting my degree, I began my professional career in the PR industry, working for two of the most established agencies in the business. It was gruelling but glam. Press releases and photocalls by day, networking over cocktails by night. I got to work on some of the biggest campaigns for some of the UK’s most well known brands and got to work with some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met (Ali, Lesley, Yas and Amy, I'm talking to you). Sadly, due to my mental health (more on that later), I’ve since had to leave the world of PR and I’ve now embarked on a new career path, something i've always been passionate about - makeup artistry. You'll now find me glaming up the people of Glasgow at Bobbi Brown’s flagship concession.

I’ve moved out and have a new man in my life. Steven and I met a year and a half ago, and he’s had me laughing every day since (not to mention he’s an absolute 10).



It's been a bit of a journey, but for now, i'm content with who I am, and where I am in life and i'm excited to see where it takes me next. So, without further ado, welcome back to my world...


SuzyBlue 2016-2017


SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig