The pursuit of...Work etiquette

Most of us spend eight hours a day or more at work, ending up spending more time with our work colleagues than that of our own family! (unless you are lucky enough to work from home that is!).
How most of us conduct ourselves at our place of work is very different to how we might be with our friends and family in our own surroundings....and with good reason!...

A few years ago, I bought a book at the airport called "The Rules Of Life" by Richard Templar.
I used to really be into self-help books and this one was probably one of the best I have ever read.
Inside it had one hundred 'rules' to live many of them were 'Ah-ha!' moments, others good old common sense and most, just really, really good advice. 
It was an international best seller and the British author, Richard Templar, brought out a series of these self help books for all different scenarios of life.

I brought The Rules Of Work (above/below) recently and again, this edition, is a great common sense guide and advice book on how to get on and be successful in your career.

What is great about these books is you don't have to read it from start to finish like a traditional book.
Each rule is spread over two pages, so if you just open the book randomly anywhere, it will give you a tip or rule that you could use for the day.
Below are some of my favourites:

Don't swear: I love this rule and agree with everything that it says.  Not only is it extremely unprofessional and offensive to swear at work, but in my opinion it also shows a lack of resilience and vocabulary!  I have worked with so many people in the past who think it is ok to use bad language at work....whether it's to be humorous or to vent frustration, it is just not the done thing for in the workplace.

Pay attention to personal grooming: Absolutely a big rule for me.  You are going to work, not to the gym (unless you work in a gym of course!).
Having a groomed, immaculate appearance shows that you care - not only about the impression you give, but also about the work you do.
An unkempt look can translate to lazy, slovenly and ultimately can give the impression that you are bad at your job...perhaps not the perception that you would want to give out.

Be cheerful and positive: Another good rule.  This one relates to putting those positive vibes out there and then seeing them return back. 

So often it is easy to turn up at work, being completely grumpy with everyone and feeling that it is going to be a bad day no matter what.  Actually, you are in control of your day and the mood you are in and how you see and interpret things depends on the positive outlook that you can spin on it.
Also, being so grumpy all the time can rub off and bring everyone else down around you and you'll soon become known as the 'miserable git' that no-one wants to sit next to at lunch!!

Date with caution: Another good rule.  Don't date someone at work if you can not handle the fall out.  People will always talk (everyone likes gossip remember!) but if you are not someone who likes being the centre of office gossip do not put yourself in there!!

However, having said that, I know many people who have met their life partner through work, so the real rule here is proceed with caution! ;-)

If you get a chance to read Richard Templar's series of 'The rules..' books, I would really recommend the Work, Relationships and Life editions.
I've found them to be great, easy to read, funny and informative and at times, very straight to the point!

Have you read any of these books?

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...Clear skin

I am always on the pursuit of clear skin and even though I am in my 30's now, annoyingly I still suffer from tiny little spots that flare up every now and then.
I change my skin care products quite frequently as I find that my skin always reacts really well initially to a new product, but then after a while, it gets used to it and starts playing up again!

My problem areas, like most people tend to be around the nose, cheeks and chin area.  
A few weeks ago I was in Boot's and they had a 3 for 2 offer on all skincare a fish on a hook, I was reeled in and before I knew it my basket was full!

I was intrigued by the Biore range and decided to buy three products from them (above).

Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser:
I was very intrigued by this thick looking, black liquid in a pump action bottle.  It is described as giving a deep cleansing, skin purifying clean and after reading the blurb on the back it was exactly what my skin was looking for.
I have used this now for over a month and am extremely pleased with it.  It is a thick black liquid but foams out white and has a pleasant smell. For some reason I expected this to leave my skin with a 'tingly' sensation but it doesn't at all. I visibly notice that my pores are reduced after using this and  my skin feels smooth.  It removes all my make up including mascara easily, the only con being that it does leave a tell-tale panda eye with the eyeliner that I use.

Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips:

Ok, so these are somewhat of a cult buy and I remember buying these in my early teens and trying it out.
The box contains 6 foil packets of strips that are infused with Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Oil.
I bought these for the specific reason of targeting the little white heads that generate around my nose area every few days.  The idea is to wet your nose area completely than apply the strip, which then dries like 'paper mache' onto your nose area.  Leave it on for 10-15mins and then peel off and inspect the results!
I must admit that the peeling off process really, really hurts!! It sticks so hard to my nose area and it makes my eyes water as I painstakingly peel the strip off bit by bit!
On inspection of the strip, I don't ever really see any residues (I don't suffer from blackheads luckily in this area and this is what most people see on their strips) but my nose does always look smoother and with less open pores so it is doing something!

Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleanser:
Ooooh, I just love this self-heating cleanser!  It works in a very similar way to the Sanctuary Spa 5minute Detox Mask that I reviewed here before.
To use this one, apply with dry hands onto wet face and it gives such a comforting hot sensation almost immediately - perfect for wintery cold mornings/evenings!
It also has scrubbing micro beads, so my skin really feels like it is getting a great exfoliation as well as pores being opened to draw out impurities.
I use this cleanser about once a week as a little mini-treatment for my skin.

Along with my new serum, the Vichy Idealia Life Serum that I reviewed here a few weeks ago, I have seen a massive improvement in my skin.
It is brighter, smoother and with less targeted outbreaks as before, so all in all, I am a happy bunny!

Have you tried any of these products?

Love, Ivy George x

The pursuit of...Home DIY

I have been having a bit of an autumn/winter makeover in my home and have finally got round to some DIY that I have been meaning to do for a very long time.

It all started when my dad turned up one evening to put up my antique cast iron outdoor lamp....I suddenly remembered the huge mirror that needed hanging up, the hanging basket wall bracket that I wanted fixing, the door number wall plaque that I wanted affixed under my lamp...the list was endless, and with my dad and his power drill at my door, it was an opportunity not to be missed!

The day after all of those items were kindly put up my dad, it kick-started me to start the bits I could do myself inside my home.  When I moved in, I had just asked for all of the walls to be painted white as I did not want to make any quick decisions on colours before I saw how the rooms would work and feel.  The only room that had any colour was my bedroom chimney breast that is painted in Fired Earth's Ultramarine Ashes - a gorgeous matte pastel sea-grey/green.

As well as Fired Earth, I have had a love affair with Farrow & Ball paint colours for a long time and am forever buying the small tester pots to decide which colour to go with.
I love grey, green and duck egg blue colours.  Their estate emulsion finish gives that modern matt look that is very flattering and very 'in' at the moment.

After much deliberation, I decided to paint the chimney breast in my dining room in Farrow & Ball 'Lichen' which is a matt olive green colour.
It was a colour that I thought would go very well with the rest of the white walls and the walnut floorboards that I have.

I brought some FrogTape for marking out the area that I wanted to paint, as I was just doing the front of the chimney breast and not the sides.
FrogTape is brilliant for providing a barrier that seals the edges of the tape and stops paint from bleeding...even so, my heart was in my mouth when I peeled it away, scared that for some reason it might not work!

It was my first time painting anything in my home and it took me a while to get my flow with the paint roller! As someone who is very impatient and wants to always see results quickly, I really had to sit on my hands after the first coat to ensure that it had dried properly before applying the second layer.
In total, I applied 3 coats to get the complete coverage of colour that I was looking for.
The best thing that I noticed about F&B paints is that there is little odour!...I did not have to have any windows open or go through the ordeal of having that strong paint stench in the house.
I could really see the quality of this paint also - the pigmentation is very high and even though I used 3 coats in the end (which was probably down to my technique more than anything) you could probably finish the job and be satisfied with two.

I absolutely adore this colour and how it looks in my room!  It has really brought it to life and added character by just highlighting the chimney breast feature and the matte effect is very cool and heritage looking.

I am currently looking for a chesterfield armchair to put in the corner on the left (above) where I can snuggle up with a good book and a fluffy throw during the cold evenings and I think that will finish the look off nicely.

I am going to follow through with this colour into my kitchen and paint two ceiling beams and my stable door in the same shade. 
I will share pictures as soon as I get round to doing this!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend - let me know if you get round to any DIY too!

Love, Ivy George x 

The pursuit of...A Liverpool Weekend

A few weeks ago I went to Liverpool for the weekend for a friends birthday. 
It was only the second time that I had been to Liverpool - the first was back in 2008 when it was named as the Culture Capital.   
I must admit I am not well travelled around the UK regions which is a travesty really. It's funny when I think about it considering how many places I have been as an ex 'trolley dolly', but all that time spent in other countries and cities meant I neglected good old blighty!
It's on my checklist to at some point visit the Isle of Wight, Cornwall, Cotswolds, Edinburgh and Dublin.

I went to Liverpool with a group of friends and we stayed at Roscoe House on Rodney Street (below)
which is at the heart of the georgian quarter.
Roscoe House is a historic georgian building and is on a road which apparently is famous for plastic surgery....and for being haunted (which I am so glad I only found out about on check out from the receptionist as I would not have slept a wink in that bed!!).
The rooms have been restored to emulate it's original historic splendour, however we found it to be a bit gaudy...fake baroque style chandeliers and mirrors which just looked cheap and tacky - it would have been better if they invested in the real thing or not at all! 
There was a grand piano in my room though which was very impressive although on further investigation it was severely out of tune....apparently it was out of tune 'on purpose' so as to put people off from playing it and waking guests...or so reception told us...(to be honest I think we were just annoying the hell out of them as we kept playing chopsticks on it!)

The foyer of Roscoe House

The supposedly haunted Roscoe House...where I stayed!

My room with the out of tune grand piano!

The weather was unusually warm for up north! So before heading back to London we did a bit of sightseeing and headed to the Albert Dock.
I love this part of Liverpool! It always reminds me of Richard and Judy when 'This Morning' used to be located here and Fred Talbot, the weather man would jump around the floating map! - That area is instantly recognisable as soon as you see it (below).

I've always wanted to visit the International Slavery Museum which is located at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and I took a chance on this visit to do so.  I'm very glad I did - it was a very thought provoking and sobering look at the atlantic slave trade and how one of the UK's busiest ports, Liverpool, also played their role in it. It's definitely a must-see as although time has moved on, it's still important not to forget what millions of enslaved people went through during that awful period of history.

Some other photos from my day in Liverpool below:

So yes, Liverpool was good to us weather wise and culture wise.  Perhaps I should see what Manchester has to offer one weekend...not now though....maybe next year when the weather is a bit warmer!! - us southerners are not tough enough for a northern winter!! ;-)

Love, Ivy George x

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