five things i'd wish i'd known in my first job.

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If only my desk had been this fancy...

Today, I finished my first ‘big persons’ job. I’ve had it for a year and a bit, and it’s had its ups and its downs. I’m excited to be moving on to different things, and hopefully to be taking on a little more responsibility in my next role, but I thought I’d reflect on a few things I wish I’d known when I first started last March. 

ONE: Get some guts.

When I had my goodbye meeting with my boss’s boss just before I left, he said I couldn’t have done anything more in my role other than speak up. Whilst it was amazing to know that was the only criticism, I kicked myself because it’d been something I’d been internally telling myself to do for months, but hadn’t managed it. I used to leave meetings thinking “why didn’t I say that? I knew the answer to that question”. I think this is something women generally struggle with which contributes towards gender inequality in the workplace and it’s definitely something I’m going to be working on. 

TWO: Get more experience. 

I’ve had some amazing opportunities in this job – fighting an election campaign and coming into contact with some of my favourite politicians (both past and present), and working with people that I’ve admired for a long time has been incredible. But there were still chances I should have taken when I had them, moments that passed where I found myself thinking ‘yeah I could have done that, I should have done that, I should have fought for that more’. This goes for networking too, I should have been thinking about those bloody LinkedIn connections more throughout the year. 

THREE: Work is still like school.

It really is. Girly cliques still exist, you can still find yourself with no one to have lunch with and people bitch like there’s no tomorrow. By the time I finished University I thought I was done with all of that, especially as it’s something that I didn’t really come across when I was doing my Masters, but it turns out this still happens. It sounds so stupid but I wish I’d been more prepared for that and not let it bother me. 

FOUR: I’m more capable than I think I am.

It sounds so big headed, but when I left and had all my leaving meetings with various managers it turns out they thought a lot more of the job I was doing than I was. I can do this, and I should sell myself more. It turns out imposter syndrome is a real thing.

FIVE: Do my own thing more. 

Because of the way my job works, it requires a routine. And that’s fine, and I’d never do anything to disrupt that. But we all have a way of working which makes us more productive and better off, and I wish I’d stuck to that. Yeah, I’m a little messy and no I don’t fancy getting breakfast because that’s how I roll and I should have let myself not get caught up in such rigidity. I can improve on processes in my own way and shouldn’t be afraid to do so. 

Hopefully I’ll be able to learn from my mistakes for my next job. Bring on Monday!

wednesday wishlist.

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wednesday wishlist.

From left to right:


First things first, lets ignore my blog layout and my disappearance over the last few months. I again am apologising for not blogging, but I'm not really sorry as I was incredibly busy and life always comes before this blog. It may be known that I work in politics, and people living in this country might be aware of an event earlier this month which led to me working 90 hour weeks and sleeping for the rest of my time. Anywayyy...

I start a new job on Monday and while that's quite exciting it's also made me re-evaluate my wardrobe and realise I hate everything I wear to work. I also put my shoes on this morning after a four day extended bank holiday and they don't fit any more so I can only walk four steps without them falling off. Is there any better than pay day on a Friday and a new job on Monday to buy some new work clothes? I very much doubt it. 

going back to staffordshire.


Just after my birthday I headed back up to the Midlands (god I miss the Midlands) to see my parents (and ahem, to get my presents). I've recently slipped a disc in my back (for the second time in my life, because I am that old now), which means I basically need to keep moving otherwise I seize up. So, on the day I spent with my Mum, we headed only about a ten minute drive away for a little walk around some villages in Staffordshire. I got in some country air (haha), and we both had a wonder along the canals. I love canals, I don't know why I love them so much, but maybe its partly because I grew up around them in Birmingham and also because they remind me of living in Holland and some of the better memories I have from there. We also had a look into a few farm shops, I went a bit over the top on the chutney buying but I genuinely can never help myself when it comes to chutney. We stopped in the end for a pint by the canal side, but only because we were too late for tea and cake. Next time, maybe. 

review: soap & glory beauty sleep accelerator night & flight moisture miracle

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I picked up Soap and Glory’s ‘Beauty Sleep Accelerator’ moisturiser just after Christmas, when my skin was really suffering with the cold weather. That’s not something that’s ever really happened to me before, I usually don’t particularly suffer during the bad weather, but this year I really did so I decided it was time to find a product that would help me out!

Soap and Glory come out with their usual science crap on this product before they actually start talking about what it will do – “detoxifying oxyginseng technology” anyone? They reckon it “floods your skin with moisture, stopping dry, dehydrated skin in its tracks, so you wake up dewy, luminous skin.” It’s formulated to work intensively for overnight, but is apparently just as “effective should you choose to deploy its super healing powers at alternative times.”

The first thing to say about this moisturiser is that it smells absolutely amazing. That’s hardly much of a surprise considering it’s a Soap and Glory product and they’re well known for having products which smell great. I read a review of this product by Amber whilst I was still just getting to use it, and she’d commented on the smell and I completely agreed. It had worried me a little – sometimes my skin can get in a bit of tizz and go all sensitive and leave me with puffy eyes and I thought a smelly product wouldn’t be too helpful on that score.

It seems like a stupid thing to say as this is formulated for overnight use, but I really would say only use it at night. It doesn’t sink in straight away – admittedly it doesn’t take too long and there are thousands of other moisturisers I can think of which take way longer – but it takes too long to sink in to be shoving make up on straight away afterwards, especially if, like me, you always wake up late and spend most of your mornings running around. But for night-time use its perfect. It doesn’t make me feel greasy, and once its sunk in you can’t feel it at all, meaning it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable.

It does flood my skin with moisture, I suppose. But it’s an effect that doesn’t last all that long. You do have to use it every night to really feel the benefit. Not too much of a criticism I suppose, but still. I never feel too much of a lasting benefit. I really don’t think I wake up with dewy skin either, I think that would overstepping the mark somewhat. Luminous also? Nah, I don’t think so. Brighter probably, but not luminous. That would be getting a little overexcited.

One of the best things about this product is that it lasts for absolutely ages. I’ve been using it for three months every single night (is it a sign that I’m getting older that I now definitely actually properly moisturise each night?) and I’m still only around half way into using this stuff.

I like this product, but would I repurchase? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t not repurchase it. But at the same time I get the feeling that there’s something out there that for the price (£13 for 45ml) that could just do a teeny little bit better.

review: tresemme oil elixir

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I picked up this product completely randomly when I was at Sainsbury’s one day. You know one of those trips when you go in for bog rolls and leave having spent £40 quid and leave with no bog roll? Yep. I wondered into the products section and found this and was like “yep, sod it, mine”. My hair had been a little dry, especially over the winter months, and I’ll always give anything a shot if it promises to sort it all out.

I’ve been unimpressed with hair oils before. I have quite thick and relatively long hair, and so I always have to use a lot of product for it to make any real difference, and then you end up with the problem of product build up and my hair being weighed down and therefore flat – so to be honest, I wasn’t expecting all that much. Maybe a little more shine if I was being lucky.

Oil Elixir claims to work for all hair, saying it will rejuvenate hair with a “luxurious blend of salon-grade Babassu and Macadamia oils, rich in Omega 7. The dry oil technology provides rapid absorption, to instantly tame frizz, so flyaway’s appear reduced”. You can use this product in a variety of ways; either as a pre-shampoo nourishing treatment, a pre-styling treatment on wet hair, or as a styling product when hair is dry.

I personally use this product as a pre-styling treatment, using three or four pumps into my hands and then running it through the lengths and ends of my hair before blow drying. I can’t comment on its abilities as a styling product as the thought of adding oil to my dry hair petrifies me as I’m already fighting a battle to keep greasy hair at bay. It’s easy enough to use, and doesn’t leave too much residue on my hands or make a mess, plus it smells really amazing. It reminds me of being in a salon, but in a good way – not a burning hair mess smelly kinda way.

One of the main worries I have with hair oils is that it’s going to leave my hair looking greasy, and that’s completely not the case with this product. If anything, after using it I’m convinced my hair stays cleaner looking for longer. I was also worried about this product weighing my hair down, and making it flat but again, this doesn’t appear to be the case with this – surprising, considering it’s basically a bunch of silicones, high grade oils or not. Instead it’s shiny, sleek and definitely not as frizzy as it used to be. I’ve even been complemented on my hair looking sleeker and less like a birds nest, and I’ve often thought that being complemented on a something randomly is a good way of knowing that it’s actually working.

Again, as if often my major gripe with products, I don’t like the cost of this. It retails at £9.99 (although I somehow managed to get it for £3), which is admittedly a lot cheaper than many hair oils on the market, but it still feels like a lot to me. A lot of that cost is probably the packaging, which is an extremely heavy duty glass bottle – not what I was expecting from TRESemme. It does last for an absolute age as well, it wouldn’t have to be rebought very often.

But would I buy it again? You know what? I’m so impressed I probably would.