The Sunday Catch-Up & Current Lifestyle Favourites #1


It's been ages since I've sat down and done a chatty life update post so I took the opportunity to make some changes and start this series fresh. I really hope you enjoy reading about what I've been up to and my lifestyle favourites!


Catch-Up

Where do I start with what I've been up to?! Summer was one long, amazing holiday and I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to do all the things I did (catch up on my adventures by browsing the Travel tag). However it's sadly back to real life now!

If you follow me on social media you're probably already aware that I recently made a big move from Manchester to Woking. I'd always known that my graduate scheme would be a year in Manchester and a year in a place called Liphook where my company randomly has an office. However it's come round fast! Obviously the cost of living is high and the commute is effort, plus (especially as someone who can't drive) it's annoying not to have everything that Manchester had to offer in terms of food, drink, shopping and things to do on my doorstep. However I'm enjoying it so much more than I ever expected to; I'm comfortable and happy in the house I live in and Woking has most of the basic amenities I need, plus I'm really loving the work and my colleagues down here. There are a few of us that seem to live around the same sort of way because we aren't originally from the area so I'm not isolated down here like I thought I might be. I guess when you have low expectations it isn't hard to exceed them!

One thing I'm not enjoying is getting back into studying; as regular readers of these kinds of posts will know, I'm currently working towards professional qualifications alongside the day job, which as graduates we are expected to do in 2-3 years (as opposed to the average of 6-10 years for everyone else). As you can imagine it's a lot of pressure (in addition to this there are internal exams I have to do!) - it's one thing to study at university and have a part time job and another thing to be doing a 9-5 plus trying to go above and beyond alongside studying. However I'm around about halfway through and by the time we're at the other side of Christmas the end will be in sight!

You may have noticed I've cut down to 3 posts a week instead of 4. This was originally for the same reason as I did in April: exams! However I think I'm going to make the change permanent. I've been trying to write a book for years and have just never had the time to dedicate to it, however over the past few months I've been back into writing in a big way. Blogging has really helped me and made me more comfortable with other people seeing my work, as well as showing me I can see something through, however I think it's time to scale it back slightly to give me more time to dedicate to my book. I hope you can understand! I obviously still love blogging so much (or I wouldn't be doing it) and that's almost why I'm cutting back; so I can keep loving it without feeling I have to put other important things on hold to continue putting out loads of content. You can check out my updated schedule here but the main gist of it is that I'll be doing 2 beauty posts a week (one that's quite general and one more focussed post like a product review) and then 1 post will either be lifestyle-related or on skincare (or very occasionally this might be a fashion post).

Lifestyle Favourites

I recently watched the whole of Fleabag in about one day! It's a 6-part BBC 3 series of half an hour episodes so you can get through it quickly and easily. I wouldn't have picked this out to watch in iPlayer myself because the name's a little bit random and doesn't really represent what the show is about! However I was recommended this and am really glad I checked it out. I've since heard people say it's like a 2010s version of Bridget Jones' Diary, which I can totally see! It's quite rude, honest and blunt whilst being totally hilarious. Despite being an 'outrageous' comedy it's also quite touching and poignant.

I've been seriously into true crime and crime drama recently; I just find it so intriguing and addictive! Recently I really got into The Night Of, based on Criminal Justice (which was on the BBC a few years back but I never saw it). It kind of unfolds like a whodunnit as the main character (played by Riz Ahmed - who is amazing in this and deserves all the awards!), an unassuming student, uncharacteristically goes home with a mysterious girl who he finds stabbed to death the next morning and he can't remember anything. It really delves into criminal justice system and explores what it can do to a person. If you're looking for a show where you find out exactly what happened to the murder victim and how, then this isn't for you, but if you like the ambiguity and are looking for more of a character study then this is a must-watch!

A million miles away from the slick HBO production, I also recently watched The Murder of Sadie Hartley. Unbelievably this documentary catches every single moment of a murder investigation; by chance a police force in Lancashire received a call whilst they were being filmed. I've honestly never seen anything like it on British television; you get everything from them sitting and working out the suspect's journey, to banging their door down at 3am to bring them in, to when they're formally charged. The detectives involved did a fantastic job on the case and you get to see all of it as it unfolds.

Another true life crime story that had me engrossed was Serial. This is a podcast, which I loved because I could listen to it on a journey when my eyes were a bit tired from looking at a book or screen, and I actually finished it over a weekend when I was travelling a lot. It re-investigates the evidence from a 1999 murder where a teenage boy was convicted on circumstantial evidence alone for the murder of his girlfriend. Spoiler alert: it's extremely unsatisfying! After listening to the whole thing I still just can't say whether or not I believe the man who was convicted (and has been in prison since) actually did it or not...

In terms of books, I've had two on the go this past month or so (which I generally try to avoid!) The first is The Autobiography of Malcolm X - with everything that is happening in the US at the moment it certainly has newfound significance, so I'd recommend reading this now if you haven't already. The book starts with a foreword by Alex Haley (the author of Roots) who followed Malcolm X for years to record his life and the rest of the book is his life in his own words. I'm coming up to 2/3s of the way in, however at this stage Malcolm X has already told such a varied story that if someone wrote a television script with of these things happening to one person, the channel bosses would tell them it was unrealistic. As well as the broad themes there are little details and moments from his life that all help you understand how he came to be the Malcolm X we've all heard of. It's honestly fascinating and an amazing read that I highly recommend.

The second book I'm reading is very different: Sapiens. A friend of mine has been telling me I should read it every time we've got into deep philosophical conversations for the last year, so I finally got it on my Kindle! It charts the story of Homo Sapiens from when we were just one of several human species (which is barely comprehensible to us now), to us becoming domesticated and forming societies, and into the future. I have heard the section relating to the future state of Sapiens is not as good as the rest of the book however I'm currently fascinated by everything that I'm reading. The book talks about hunter gatherer Sapiens, how we came to be farmers and how humans changed the biology of every environment they came into contact with, in a way that's easy to understand and almost narrative in its structure.

I rarely seem to discover new YouTubers and tend to stick to my Subscription Box however this month I have an impressive two new beauty gurus to add to my list of favourites! I recently discovered Nikkia Joy through her video on How to Stop Foundation Rubbing Off Your Nose. I often find 'hack' videos either don't work are are totally obvious things I already do, but I clicked on this because I have this exact issue. Her tips are really good and this worked so well for me that I can't wait to try her other tricks. I also found Jamie Paige through my recommendations; her videos are so helpful and thorough! She seems so sweet and humble as well as being really honest about the products she tries. I especially enjoyed her video on Kylie Cosmetics Kyshadow Palette Dupes.



Which books and TV shows should I check out next?





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70 comments

  1. I loved crime shows too, I'll have to watch these! It's not true crime but I love the crime drama The Killing! x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness

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  2. Lovely post! I'm really enjoying Jamie Paige's channel at the moment as well, her channel is so detailed and thorough and I love the fact that she always asks to her followers what they want to see next!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

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  3. I'm also writing a book and find blogging has really helped also! :)

    Lotte | www.lottebeautybox.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Best of luck with it, it's so daunting to share your work sometimes and blogging is a great way to start doing just that :) xx

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  4. The Night of sounds like an amazing series! I love crime drama more than anything, I'm currently watching "Conviction" with Hayley Atwell and Eddie Cahil, both are my favorite!

    Selene Addicted

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    1. Ooh I'll have to check that one out xx

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  5. I love shows about crime. The murder of Sadie Hartley was such an interesting documentary!

    www.ohsobecky.com

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  6. This catch-up post was lovely to read! It's great that you're settling in well at your new place. I have moved in England recently, so I know the feeling of having to get used to a new place and a new rhythm! Good luck for studying, it's hard but you'll find gratification in all the work you're doing :D
    The Murder of Sadie Hartley sounds so interesting! It reminds my of Making a Murderer, the Netflix documentary, have you watched it?

    Julia x
    Last post: In the Gardens of Versailles... | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/wander-through-gardens-of-versailles.html

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed and thank you so much! I have indeed watched Making a Murderer - that's how I ended up coming across the Serial podcast actually xx

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  7. So happy you are enjoying work and where you are living, it can be so hard moving somewhere you don't know. I live around 40 minutes from Manchester and go there all the time, I only live in a small city so im quite used to it.


    EmmysBeautyCave | Bloglovin | Blog Header Services

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    1. Yeah it's been scary but in a good way - it's a total change for me to not have all the little conveniences I totally took for granted before! xx

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  8. I love catch up posts like this and Its great to read that you are enjoying your work and where you're living! Also, good luck with writing your book - thats amazing!

    Georgia Rose |http://www.justgeorgiarose.com

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  9. Really enjoy reading catch up posts like this, probably because I'm just super nosey haha! Really glad you're enjoying your new place and have settled in well. Ohhh and I must watch some of the crime dramas you've recommended! Need some new shows to watch as I've just finished 'Stranger Things' on netflix and 'The Man in The High Castle' on amazon prime (would recommend both, btw!)

    whatevawears.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you :) I have seen and totally loved the Man in the High Castle! I haven't watched Stranger Things though, it seems to have a lot of positive buzz at the moment though xx

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  10. I really feel for you - I had to study for a professional qualification during my first four years of proper work as part of my graduate scheme, and it was awful. Working 40 hours a week is a hard enough learning curve after the lazy days of university, let alone having to go home and study too! I'll miss your extra post but you have to do what keeps you sane :) Best of luck!

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    1. Thank you :) and yeah that's exactly how I'm feeling at the moment haha still, I guess now you're on the other side of it you're probably glad you got it over with (when a lot of people take 5-10 years to do these sorts of qualifications!) xx

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  11. I loved this post, Jasmine.
    I had no idea you moved to Woking! Such an exciting challenge.
    I have had a lot of change in my life as well that as resulted in a lot less blogging, so I get where you are coming from. Actually I have a very similar post coming out tomorrow.
    That HBO Doc about Sadie Hartley sounds intriguing. I might have to find it to watch!
    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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  12. Well done you for pursuing professional qualifications and fitting all that in whilst working and blogging! It will be worth it x

    franklyflawless.com

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  13. I actually know Woking very well, I hope you enjoy your time there! So exciting to have a shift in direction! I have the same thought on cutting down content, now that I started full time working I found it really difficult to post three times a week and I want to ensure that the content I put out is good enough - it's definitely important to adapt your blogging life to how you feel :) I actually watched the video too on the makeup rubbing off my nose (which happens so so often it's ridiculous) so need to rewatch to make sure I do actually use some of those tips! xx

    www.iridescentplaces.com

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    1. Thank you!! And for sure, you can't burn yourself out doing something that should be fun! xx

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  14. I'm glad you enjoying living and working somewhere new. It sounds so exciting! I love the sound of all the programs you've been watching. I recently watched the Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix which was pretty pants but it was interesting. I'm amazed at how you find time to everything! Work, exams, blog and then have time to watch tv and read! Your time management skills are incredible! xx

    LPage Beauty

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  15. You have me wanting to watch fleabag now, it sounds fab... even if the name is a bit odd lol

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  16. Great post! A must - watch movie The Light Between Oceans! Check that out, it is an amazing movie!

    Nikoleta, xoxo.

    https://nljuljduraj.blogspot.hr

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    1. I think I saw the trailer for this - I need to check it out! xx

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  17. Amazing post, I absolutely love your photography!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

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  18. Wow you literally do so much and still have the time to blog! Hat's off to you girl. That's amazing. Best of luck with your studies and working. Good luck with your book writing also. I love writing xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

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  19. Wow I can't believe you even manage to do all that you to, you're super women! So funny because I found Nikkia Joy through that video too, having oily skin I related straight away and I can't believe how fab her tips are! x

    Jodie / jodiemelissa.com

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    1. Thank you and haha I'm glad I'm not alone! xx

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  20. I loved reading this! Definitely have to check out some of those books and tv shows x

    http://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk/

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  21. Ah that's so exciting about your book, good luck with writing it, I will have to cope with 3 doses of Jasmine a week! So pleased everything seems to be going well for you, even if it is super busy!

    You've reminded me about Serial, I really need to listen to that!

    The Makeup Directory

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    1. Thanks Sally :) and yes, do - it's addictive! xx

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  22. I am going to have to watch the "how to stop foundation rubbing of your nose" video! I hate that I always touch my face haha
    Jessie Glam | www.jessieglam.blogspot.co.uk

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  23. Wow! You have some serious time management skills! I totally admire how to mange to do everything so well! Good luck with your book such a great achievement to work too. I'm currently watching The Night Of and I'm hooked! Glad someone else is watching it - none of my friends are interested in it! I'm currently catching up on it tonight!!
    Lisaxx
    Beauxdiaries.com x

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    1. Thank you! I've been telling everyone I know that they need to watch it! xx

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  24. I admire your work ethic, I too have a full-time job, although the hours aren't anywhere near 9-5 (I sometimes like it's than then 5-9 as well) but I don't think I could manage a job and studying to the level you are while in a whole new place across the country AND have an amazing blog. YOU GO GIRL! XOXO

    Sarah

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  25. I'm just starting my professional studying now - its super scary to start balancing study and work. Luckily it works out that I get nearly a day off a week for first-time sittings, though that still only covers less than half of the recommended hours. I've set myself a mini-challenge of trying to finish all the exams in two years (before the wedding!) and then I'll finish up my required CPD/training and qualify three years from now. Fingers crossed - do you have any tips for combining work and study?

    Also - if it's still available I highly reccomend Thirteen and Gone Girl. I'm also looking forward to the second series of The Missing which started this week - and I'm heading off to check out everything you've mentioned now! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

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    1. In terms of working and studying I'd say it's really important to plan! I have a little timetable of when I want to submit/sit each module and then each week I do a to-do list of what I need to go over (and realistically can, based on what study time I've been able to get at work/if I have any plans for the weekend etc.)

      It's also important to realise it's ok to just work 9-5 when you're close to exams - obviously you don't want to leave work half-done but you'll burn out if you stay until 6 every night, if it takes you an hour to get home (say) and then you're doing 1-2 hours of study in the evening. Definitely allow yourself some breaks (like going for dinner with friends on a Saturday night if you've been studying all day) but also you've got to say no to things sometimes :( However it's short-term pain to achieve your goal as quickly as possible! Hope this helps!

      I've actually watched both of those haha but I haven't seen any of the Missing. Maybe I can start that if it's a new story this time round! xx

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  26. That mug is so cute, definitely allow yourself breaks though, over working yourself won't help!

    Lauren x | http://www.huggled.co.uk/

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    1. Yeah it's definitely important to have some downtime, though I definitely think I took it a bit far this summer haha xx

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  27. Such a great catch up! I love reading these! <3

    Tahana
    www.tahanalee.com

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  28. Oh I love Jamie Paige Beauty! She has such a great channel. And I've been meaning to check out Serial but never gotten round to it... :(

    Samantha Series

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  29. i think the night of hasn't been having much recognition as true detective, which is sad because i love both. and strangely i always cry whenever i finished any eps of the night of! have you seen the wire? it has some of the night of casts. it's pretty long and seem light at first but it's equally amazing. i'm currently addicted to hbo's westworld and last man standing!

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    1. I've never seen the Wire! It's like m big confession haha - I guess it's just because there are so many series it always seemed intimidating, but I know I need to. I just started Westworld - it's definitely intriguing, though I hate actually having to wait for new episodes haha xx

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  30. That book Sapiens sounds right up my alley. I'm actually at uni studying evolution and how it relates to people and that books is totally something I would be into. I've always loved those types of documentaries too. Congrats on your move and I'm glad you enjoy you're new home! Things always seem weird at first when you move to a new place and then you find all these gorgeous/great things in your new place.That's what I'm finding out myself right now!
    Hey Zaire

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  31. That's so cool that you're writing a book! It definitely takes a lot of time to write a book. Great post as always :)

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    1. For sure! Haha. Glad you enjoyed :) xx

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  32. Welcome to Woking! (I live near Godalming) - the theatre there is fabulous, and you can get some great bargains if they still have the Thursday markets in the Peacock Centre. Enjoy :) :)

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    1. I go past Godalming every day on the train :) I definitely need to explore the area more! xx

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  33. Hi Jasmine! Your blog looks beautiful! Have you read "A Little Life"? It's a really good book!

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    1. Thank you - I'll have to check it out! xx

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  34. Gosh your life seems really hectic at the moment!


    Parie x
    Class and Glitter

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  35. Your time management skills are superb Jasmine. Love how you manage everything without affecting your blog. Everything is well planned and you are an inspiration to so many! I love this mug in your pic <3

    I need to catch up on couple of your posts. I have been struggling with my schedule due to me and son being unwell and now we both are getting better so Im back to blogging and reading good posts :)

    Ash | www.mstantrum.com

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    1. Aw thanks! I hope you're both feeling better now xx

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  36. I'm glad your move went well! thanks for sharing :) its amazing how you can balance everything and still have an amazing blog!


    http://claresloves.blogspot.com/

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  37. It sounds like you're settling into your new place well. Again, I still can't believe you're able to do so much...I'm forever in awe xxx
    Sal | UmmBaby Beauty

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  38. Hope your move went okay and you're settling in well. Can't wait to read more of your posts and do some fashion posts! I'd love to see! xx

    Julie
    www.rainingcake.com

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  39. Check out the show Blindspot if you haven't done so. It's so cool! They are currently in Season 2 now. Absolutely love it (except when they portrayed an anxious person totally wrong)

    http://ariannecruz07.blogspot.com

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  40. I love this post, it was lovely to read!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  41. Thank you guys SO much for all the lovely, positive messages on this post. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading :) xx

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