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The Sunday Catch-Up #4 | General Life Update

sundaycatchup-hoiyinli4

Note: The photos have nothing to do with this post except for the sake of being random…

It’s July now and as I was checking the last time I made a post in this series, it was actually last July. How crazy is that? I have no idea what happened but I’m bringing the series back into play!

Sundays are probably my most chilled out day where I can make some time for writing a post at the moment so I’ll try and make that an aim this month. I know I’ve been rubbish with updating the blog in the last couple of weeks and truthfully, I don’t know where else to fit the time except Sundays. Though of course – I haven’t posted in three weeks which in blogging terms is a long time but please bare with me as I transition into a new path in life. (Read below)

Note: Just so you know – I have still been reading blog posts! There are some comments I need to reply to though so I’ll get to that today too – sorry for the delayed response!

In case you didn’t know… I started a new job in June!

It is fitting to speak of this since the last The Sunday Catch-Up post, as it was titled “Where Am I Going Next?”. I landed a new job in May which I started right at the beginning of June. It has been crazy since then but I’m enjoying it immensely. To be quite honest I didn’t know what to expect…I knew I would enjoy it but there’s also the “what if I don’t enjoy it” aspect that lurked at the back of my head. I can tell you however that it’s surpassed my expectations and more which just goes to show to never judge a book by its cover. The company culture is fantastic, the people are lovely and willing to help and under my job role, everyday is different. I am a happy person again!

I underwent 3 weeks of training which included passing tests and role plays. I’m not really a confident person by default but through this experience, I faced my worst fears – talking and in particular flaunting the knowledge that I got taught with confidenceFake it till you make it they say; and here I am, having made it through two official weeks on the floor after passing training with flying colours. (I passed both my role plays first time round – amen to that.)

If that wasn’t enough, I not only received a certificate for passing training induction – I also received a Top Trainee award which as lame as it sounds, was a big deal considering how not confident I was going into the whole process. I’ve definitely gotten more confident since and I look forward to going into work every morning. I am winning in life right now.

It was also my birthday

My birthday was last month in June! It was actually my last week of training when it happened and work were nice enough to get me flowers (i.e. pink roses!), card and a cake if you didn’t already see on my Instagram Stories. Of course, a happy birthday song was sang by my whole training group and trainer which I thought was a really sweet and fun gesture. I’ve kinda really bonded with my whole training group now which makes things 10x easier and more enjoyable. (By the 4th week, we had already gone to 3 work socials!)

The company I work for does this for everyone’s birthdays but as everyone was new, our trainer had to ask if it was anyone’s birthday during training which honestly, I was not surprised by. However, to have new people celebrate it with you is a pretty  nice thing to experience. 😊

My morning routine is the same everyday but I love it

I can no longer sleep in. It’s a Sunday and I woke up at 7.30am even though I went to bed at around 1am. Maybe it’s the heatwave though, who knows? Anyways –  I just can’t lie-in anymore but it’s okay. I rather like the early wake and the whole early bird catches the worm vibe.

My shift pattern is due to change weekly but for now, I’ve been settling in for 8.30-5 days so my normal wake-up time is about 6.15am nowadays. Teenage-me would probably cry at that time…maybe even University-me. Let’s wait until winter though – I’ll probably say different… 😂

As much as I haven’t been blogging as much, I’ve definitely been doing my skincare and makeup routine the same everyday and I enjoy it so much, it’s practically the one hobby that I’ve kept with. I enjoy that prep in the morning, y’know? I’ve also been shopping some new fashion pieces and wearing what I want to work has made fashion rather fun again for me. New posts soon? I am inspired.

That feeling when customers are thankful

Two official weeks into the job and I’ve already experienced the feeling of people being truly grateful and it is the sweetest feeling ever. I had an email from one of my colleagues and this client had just got off the phone with him just to thank me and to let me know that the problem was solved because of my help.

Sometimes it’s a bit doubtful that people can be this grateful but it’s true – there are good people in this world! I’ve since kept that email because it’s just a cute one and it’s one of the motivations to keep me going in this job. What next? I guess helping more people. 😊


I hope you’ve all been well whether you’re an avid reader or a new reader! I have had to work this Saturday too but to make up for it, I have next Tuesday off as a day-in-lieu. I’ve got a couple of things planned already for that day but I’m also hoping to catch up with blogging world a bit more. 

My friends went to the beach yesterday and I couldn’t go because of work. 😭 But I hope you are all having a great summer so far! Speak soon. 

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My Favourite Beauty Combinations

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I have been thinking about this topic for quite some time. It just occurred to me one evening whilst I was laying in bed (the best time for inspiration don’t you think?) and since then, I have been so excited to write this.

This year probably marks the year where my routines are maturing. I know what I want to use, what product I’m looking for and which products I like using together or might possibly work well together. It’s less of the wishy-washy stuff and more of the products that really speak for themselves. Functionality over aesthetics.

So without further ado, here it is, my favourite beauty combinations.

No7 Youthful Eye Serum + Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream

This is my favourite eyecare combo to date! I have long been a fan of the No7 Youthful Eye Serum so I would recommend it as a base for any of your eye creams. For me, once I introduced the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream along with it, it was a game-changer.

eyecare-duo-hoiyinli

I have been using eye cream since I was 16/17 years old. In recent years, I started noticing some darkness and shadow under my eyes. The eye serum really helps brighten the area and because it moistens the area first, it means the eye cream that goes on top will be better absorbed like a sponge. It is essentially like how essences and serums provide that extra step prior to a moisturiser to get the best benefits of each other.

It’s important to re-iterate that there is no “perfect eye cream” but this is as close as it will get for me. The darkness is really minimised now and my eye area is well-hydrated so there’s less risk for premature-aging! Oh and under makeup? Works a treat.

Etude House Dr. Mascara Fixer + Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara

Note: Although, it’s amazing with any mascara!

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I had raved about the Etude House Dr. Mascara Fixer since I discovered it and I’m going to do it again: this stuff is fantastic and will change your lash game! If you have curly, long lashes then you probably don’t need this but if like me, your lashes are short and stubbornly straight – I strongly recommend. It helps to hold the curl and give lashes definition. I just can’t fault it because it means I can pair it with disappointing, mediocre mascaras and still get a good result. It’s a win/win situation since I can use up more mascaras now.

A few months ago, I got the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara sample. On its own, it doesn’t make a statement for me since I have such a weak lash base but over the primer, it’s great. This mascara helps to thicken and add length without clumping that I might just buy the full version at some point.

Vitamin C + Sunscreen

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Note: I have shown the Avene Mineral Fluid for demonstration purposes however it’s not something I particularly love due to a white cast. I only use it underneath foundation! The Clinique City Block Sheer however, is a go-to.

I have been particularly obsessed with Vitamin C lately but it’s only very recently that I discovered its true magic with a sunscreen. When they are used together in a routine, they bring the best out of each other. Think of Vitamin C as an extra protective step prior to your sun protection. Please note though, that Vitamin C cannot replace the role of a sunscreen.

Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that helps fight off free radicals. Any sun damage is an oxidative process and so whilst Vitamin C isn’t a barrier to UV rays, it slows down the process of such damage that affects the collagen in the skin. You may have heard that the ingredient reverses photoaging? It means counteracting chronic UVA and UVB exposure which would otherwise age your skin. Vitamin C also helps to even skin tone and reduce fine lines which is why it’s a skincare-must in my routine right now!

FYI – I am currently using the Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% and the Clinique City Block Sheer SPF 25.

Vitamin C Supplement + Omega 3 Supplement

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Did you think I was done talking about Vitamin C? I am traditionally bad with remembering to take supplements but I’ve started taking it up again without forgetting. Of course, supplements cannot replace food groups or meals but they aid in areas such as skin health and digestion which are the two main reasons for why I take mine.

I have long suffered from psoriasis and if not careful, I can have a flare-up because of an inflamed system. To prevent or reduce this, I largely focus on my diet now. I have learnt the hard way that if your insides are inflamed, it doesn’t matter how hard you work to repair the outside with ointments. But, if your inside cells are balanced, it’ll make the healing process so much smoother!

Vitamin C is perhaps most known for giving support to the immune system but did you know that in warding off free radicals, it is reducing inflammation in the body? In doing so, it becomes an anti-aging agent! It is a powerful vitamin which makes it such a skincare favourite amongst enthusiasts including myself.

In addition, I also take Omega-3 Fish Oil supplements. You may well know that oily fish is great “brain food” which funny fact: I ate a lot of fish growing up because of this! Omega-3 Fish Oil is particularly good in adding hydration to the skin and reducing inflammation throughout the body which again, is anti-aging so it’s a win/win situation.

Do be warned though that too much of a good thing is bad for you, so check labels and instructions on dosage. I am currently taking the Holland & Barrett Vitamin C-1000mg with Rose Hip Supplement and the Holland & Barrett  Omega-3 Fish Oil 1200mg Supplement.


That’s it so far for my favourite beauty combinations. If I have more recommendations of products that I like using together, I’ll be sure to share in a part 2! 

Tell me – What are your favourite beauty combinations?

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May in Progress

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As I began a new job position this week, I managed to squeeze in some free time in the evening to write this post! So far so good – I’m in a really happy place at the moment and I can’t wait to update you more on this new part of my life but for now, my May in Progress!

General Lifestyle

  • I’m generally more mindful of everything that I do now and therefore making more rational lifestyle choices. For example, if I’ve already had a cup of tea, I would perhaps have another one a few hours later but never a third.
  • In addition to the last point, I am reading more information on food packets, on different fitness regimes etc. in order to get me thinking about these different areas. Although I’m not necessarily counting my calories or my steps, accumulated actions do have consequences and I’m thinking more about that. This has actually really helped ease bad habits and phase them out.
  • Thinking about it now, my mood has been mostly neutral to positive. Maybe it is the warmer weather too but I definitely feel eating less in the evening has done wonders for little to no bloating plus shrinking my appetite/any bad cravings. My system has definitely been restarted!
  • My water intake overall for May was a bit better than April’s but still not anywhere near where it needs to be so that’s something to continue working on.
  • Overall, May was certainly not too shabby! Again, not good not bad but it is steadily improving which in the bigger picture, is more sustainable and I’m happy with that. 😊

Diet

  • Salad-making has definitely become much more routine now. I may have to switch it up in June so that I have exciting (and affordable) lunch choices for work.
  • Changing my dinner choice was probably the most drastic part of my diet. I used to eat a rice meal for dinner (or most dinners) which can be a heavy meal especially if you eat it a bit late which is what happened with me as well as bad habits like over-snacking. Now seeing the difference between the two, I can establish my needs and wants with regards to diet.
  • I generally have my cheat meals either on a Sunday or a Monday. I find it’s better to have it on either end of the week as motivation or just to add flexibility because we’re human after all. This has really helped in keeping things steady-state.
  • In recent months, I have learnt a lot about the quality of calories over the quantity of calories and how they may make you feel. There are great low calorie but high quality options that can keep you surprisingly full so that’s something to bare in mind.

Fitness

  • Without a doubt, this is definitely the weaker component of the two. Fitness in May didn’t exactly happen and now that I’m in a new job therefore new routine, I will need to reorganise which days to do what.
  • To be honest, May is a blur to me which in regards to exercise, means I didn’t do very much except general walking.
  • However! – I actually weighed myself about two weeks ago and I have actually lost 5 pounds. Visually, you can’t exactly tell but when I wore a new pair of trousers, they were a good fit – not too tight or too loose. Previously, when I tried them on after purchase (since it was bought from a Hong Kong vendor where there is no trying-on), it was a tad tight around the hip area. They have actually become my new favourite trousers now!

Goals for June

  • Organise a sustainable routine that can fit around my working schedule.
  • Really start upping my water intake and taking it seriously!
  • Now that dinner is mostly sorted, look into healthy breakfasts.

I always like writing these posts so I hope you enjoyed reading for some inspiration on going about a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. I’m only on Day 3 of my new job but already I can tell you that I’m incorporating some really good habits automatically because of this (big) change in my life which I can’t wait to share in my next update!

And you? Have you found a sustainable lifestyle that works for you? 

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If We Were Having Coffee #2

Hi everyone!

My internet has been absolutely rubbish for reasons that I do not know. To put it straight, it has felt a bit painful to surf the internet and/or blog with fear of things not saving and I just hate that. I can’t believe that that’s probably the speed of the internet that I used in the 90s. Yikes. Anyone else ever use the NTL cable internet circa 1999? It was horrific!

Anyhow, I am in a chatty mood right now with a craving for coffee. I’ll wait though but by all means, grab yours and we shall have a catch-up! 😊

Pret-coffee-hoiyinli

If you ever come across a Pret A Manger, please go try out their Turmeric Latte! It’s my new favourite drink!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you:

  • I’m in the process of moving! It is almost there – I just need to bring more clothes over and one or two more pieces of furniture and I’m all set. I’m not moving anymore far – just to my brother’s spare room but it’ll be so nice to have a new space prior to starting my new job. I’m especially excited to re-organise my wardrobe!
  • Speaking of – it’s weird to think I’m starting a new job soon. It just hasn’t hit me yet! But thanks to everyone online and offline who have congratulated me. It’s a fresh start!
  • As I was preparing what clothes to take over, I found some of the garments I made a few years ago during my Fashion Design degree. It was strange because I was looking at them with completely fresh eyes and I felt particularly proud of myself – different to how I felt at that time of hand-in. Of course, I have felt proud of my own work before but not like this. Every creative will tell you how stressful it is, the self-doubt that ensues that before you know it, you can’t think straight. You can even get sick of your own work because you have literally faced it for months on end trying to perfect it. Perspective, I tell ya. Now, I’m actually going to wear a few of the pieces I made because why not? By the way, would you be interested in some future DIYs?
  • The weather was actually really nice for a couple of days that I bought some new sunglasses the other day from H&M. I always used to find it difficult to buy sunglasses because I find a lot don’t suit me (I don’t have a slim face) but nowadays, it’s like I know what to pick. These are my second pair overall and I’m happy with the choice. It started raining heavy again though. Typical.
  • The second season of 13 Reasons Why came out the other day and I’ve watched 3 episodes so far. If am honest, it is lacking a bit in its way of storytelling and execution (for me). Unpopular opinion I know, but the subject matter is just so heavy that it needs to be more subtle and sensitive in the way that it tells each character’s story because it’s a lot to take in.
  • My phone died! I hate that I feel like I’ve lost an arm and a leg, but it’s also nice to not be attached to it. It’s currently in the repair shop and I hope it’s salvageable. It doesn’t even go past the start-up intro screen – it just blinks Google! I’ll have to risk losing everything except I won’t really because it’s all backed up over Google so yay for that.
  • I have actually been lazy with my skincare routine. Sometimes I do all my usual steps in the AM and PM but other times, I simplify it down. I would’ve loved to have shown you my skincare routine over on Instagram this weekend if my phone didn’t decide to misbehave… Anyhow, please read this post by Arly – it’s genius!
  • I recently discovered an LA band called LANY (pronounced Lay-Nee but it does stand for Los Angeles New York). I am obsessed. If you love music by The 1975, Wet, The Japanese House just to name a few, you’ll love these guys.

And you? 

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?


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Life Update: New Job, New Everything, a Plan B

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I’m not someone who does a life update as such…I would even consider myself as quite a private person but since there are two major things we spend a lot of hours doing in our life – working and sleeping, I thought I could at least update you with one of those things.

As you may know from one of my recent posts, I have a new job that I will be starting in June! It has been a bit of a struggle to find new direction – tough even so I’m happy to be able to move forward and take a plan B. It was quite the challenge for sure and through it, I faced some of my fears which actually were not so fearful. Even now, I haven’t quite processed the news but I’m sure once I start, it’ll be quite the journey.

There is a 4-week induction period and overall, a 6-month probation. This is all very new territory to me so I’m not quite sure what to expect. On interview day though, I got to experience the company culture and shadow some of the workers and honestly, it took me by surprise because I enjoyed it a lot. I was facing my worst fear of career change and rejection but I managed to go through it all. Your girl is actually stronger than she thinks. She’s embracing all the change that’s about to happen. I just need to remind myself to breathe, that’s all.

If you couldn’t tell from my current profile, I graduated from Fashion Design. My new job will have nothing to do with the fashion industry and if you can imagine, it was quite difficult to make that decision but one that didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. It is probably baffling to hear though and I totally get that. One thing I will say though is that I don’t regret at all studying what I studied. Actually, I am eternally grateful for the experience because in the wider context, I don’t think I would’ve found out as much as I did without it but that’s all for another post to uncover.

For a long time, I kept some of my options closed and I think that can be one of the most self-limiting things you can ever do to yourself especially when and if things are not working out like you planned. A job today in the UK is a prized possession wouldn’t you know? The economic climate is not looking bright and with Brexit truly finalising, the future is looking uncertain for most. Sometimes my eldest brother jokes and wonders if there will be any pension left for us.

Did I sell myself out for a stable job? Maybe – though I wouldn’t look at it like that. I see so much potential in career progression and maybe now is where it all starts. As it happens, I’ll be moving into the Finance, Insurance and Technology sector. For professional purposes, I will be renaming this blog since it is currently eponymous but of course, I will continue to write the same content that I have been writing.

I’ll also be moving in the coming weeks. Nowhere far actually – just to my brother’s spare room because it is much easier to commute from there to work, but still – how exciting. A new space! I make it sound as though I’m moving to someone’s basement but I promise it’s a great sized room; and the prospect of decorating it later is quite nice too.

So there you go, lesson learnt: do not fear change, it might be for the better!

 


Thanks for reading! This was rather enjoyable to write.

I still have approximately 3 weeks until I start. I’ll be making the most out of blogging whilst I can since it’s likely that I won’t have time until the weekends to really do it. I’m hoping once it all gets going, I can orchestrate a timetable to satisfy both the working world and blogging world. 

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