24/07/2014

How To Pass Your Theory Test

This is the first of many upcoming lifestyle and advice-type posts. Don't get me wrong, I don't think of my self as the fount (or font?) of all knowledge but I love reading 'top tip' and advice posts and feel there are a few areas where I could share my thoughts and tips and get some feedback on your tips for various situations.

As many of you will have seen on my Instagram, I passed my driving test back in April this year! I was so relieved to pass both my theory and practical tests first time but it definitely took a lot of blood work, sweat and tears to get there, as well as a bit of luck might I add. Today I thought I would share my top tips for passing your Theory Test, as these were the things that I felt really helped me with my test and might help you too!


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1. Learn
Don’t just memorise but actually learn the stuff so you know it not only for the theory test but for your day-to-day driving too. This might sound obvious but at first I just tried to memorise the stuff for my theory test until it clicked that it IS actually applicable to everyday life (unlike the majority of tests I took before this one, such as needing to know different types of triangles for Maths exams or why the writer chose certain words in their poems for English exams...)

2. Practice
You can revise using the variety of books and websites available, but as well as general revision and learning, do lots of practice tests and note down any questions you were unsure of or guessed the answer to and write down the correct answer once you have had the test ‘marked’. Also note down the questions/answers you got wrong and learn the correct answer. This is a way of spotting any areas that you struggle with and need to work on. Also, DON’T FORGET THE HAZARD-PERCEPTION. This is an equally important part of the test so spend just as much time on this as the general theory and I personally feel that the best way to do this is to practice, practice, practice. This way you will know exactly when to click to get the most marks and you are prepared for a wide range of hazards to appear, as some are a lot less obvious than others and you might miss them if you don’t prepare for them.

3. Variety
Visit a variety of websites for revision and practice tests so that you get used to figuring out what is being asked, not just what the answer is. Different mock tests use different layouts for the questions, different wording in their questions and different questions altogether so this ensures you expect the unexpected!

4. Creativity 
As with any revision, creativity helps. If you’ve sat exams in the past you might already know the best revision techniques for you, but if not don’t be afraid to experiment. Personally, I find bullet-pointed lists and spider diagrams work best for me, but do whatever works for you – we all learn in different ways.

5. Relax
Everyone in the exam/test room is in the same position as you so don’t feel self-conscious or stressed, just go in and do your best. You might feel you finish quicker or slower than others around you but you don’t know how long they have been there and whether they are even doing the same test as you (when I did my exam there were people sitting not only car theory tests but also motorcycle and HGV tests I think!) If you are unsure of a question, go back to it at the end. I would definitely recommend going over all your answers once or twice before you finish the test but don’t overdo it – you might start doubting yourself! And guess what? If you don't pass straight away, you can do it again when you feel ready. No pressure at all!

What are your top tips for passing your Theory Test? How did you find the test if you've already sat it and if not, how will you prepare if you are planning on sitting it soon?

or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk
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20/07/2014

Currently Loving | Body Scrubs

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Front row left-right: Mandara Spa scrub, Dawin Miller Body Scrub

As I mentioned in my 'Get Ready for Summer and National Bikini Day' blog post, exfoliating my body is part of my fake tanning routine and this year I've been trying out four different exfoliators. These four scrubs are very different from each other so thought I would put a summary of them all in this one post and possibly follow this up with in-depth reviews of each one in separate blog posts.

Sandy Body Scrub
The Makebelieve Spa & Polish Exfoliator (sold here) feels like a gentle but sandy scrub on the skin. This scrub smells gorgeous and leaves the skin feeling silky soft. This scrub also has my favourite packaging of all four, however it isn't the best for travelling! I actually won this scrub at a meetup I went to last year but have been using other scrubs up before trying this one. Now that I have tried it though, I can confirm that is is great!

Foaming Body Scrub
Arbonne's SeaSource Foaming Sea Salt Scrub (sold here) is the ultimate pamper-evening body and foot scrub, trust me! It smells amazing and feels beautiful on the skin as the foam gives the feeling that your skin is being thoroughly cleansed as well as exfoliated, so you can imagine how nice it is to use this as a foot scrub too.

Thick Body Scrub 
The Mandara Spa Amber Heaven exfoliating sugar scrub (range sold here, although I can't find this particular scrub, annoyingly!) is a really thick scrub, 'exfoliating sugar scrub' is definitely the best name for it! This is one of those scrubs that you can really feel working to remove dry skin, gross but good, although if you have sensitive skin I probably wouldn't recommend this as it isn't the most gentle of scrubs!

Jelly Body Scrub
The Dawin Miller Joy White Jasmine and Cranberry Body Scrub (crikey, long name! I can't find anywhere selling this online, sorry! But I've heard you can buy it in Home Bargains, although don't hold me to that!) isn't used by me all that much as I only tend to reach for an exfoliator before I fake tan and this wouldn't cut it when it comes to pre-tan-prep, however this is amazing post-tan if you feel your skin needs a quick, gentle scrub without runing the tan you've built up.

What's your favourite body scrub? Have you used any of the exfoliators I mentioned in this post?


or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk
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17/07/2014

My Evening Skincare Routine

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Left-Right: 

Step 1: Makeup Removal
When I'm at home, I always use my Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil to remove my makeup as it is completely natural and feels so beautifully soft on the skin. Firstly, I put a small amount of coconut oil on a cotton pad and let it melt onto my face, wiping in circular motions to remove my foundation first. I then remove my brow makeup and any remaining lip makeup before moving onto the eyes. For the eyes I apply a small amount of coconut oil onto a cotton pad and gently press it over my eye, letting the oil melt away my eyeshadow, liner and the majority of my mascara. Depending on the amount of eye makeup I am wearing I may repeat this step. For any pesky mascara that is still clinging on after this, I close my eyes and gently wipe my lashes with a tiny amount of coconut oil using my ring fingers and then wipe the excess away with another cotton pad or cotton bud. I then splash my face with water to remove any excess coconut oil before moving on to the next step of my evening routine.

Step 2: Hot Cloth Cleanse
I've been trying out the Tropic Smoothing Cleanser recently and I absolutely love it. You could use this cleanser to remove your makeup and then repeat as a hot cloth cleanse, but I just use this after I've removed my makeup with the coconut oil. I use 2-3 pumps of this and massage it all over my face and down onto my neck. This cleanser smells absolutely divine and feels so nourishing and soft on the skin. I tend to leave it on my face for a few minutes before wringing out a hot flannel and wiping the excess off. I would really recommend this product if you are looking for a natural, indulgent experience every evening for a very good price!

Step 3: Face Mask, once or twice a week
For this step I will either use my Arbonne FC5 Deep Cleansing Mask if my skin feels slightly clogged up, blemish prone and in need of a deep cleanse, or my Arbonne FC5 Intense Hydration Mask if my skin is feeling particularly dry. However every now and then I will treat myself to the use of both in one evening (I live life on the edge, I know), inspired by the infamous Triple Threat Facial that Vivianna Does Makeup drew bloggers' attention to (here and here). If I'm doing the Triple Threat Facial I will start with the FC5 Deep Cleansing Mask, followed by an exfoliator or possibly the Arbonne Sea Mud Face and Body Mask (depending on how sensitive my skin is feeling!) followed by the FC5 Intense Hydration Mask.

Step 4: Moisturise
I love using my Arbonne FC5 Moisturising Night Crème as it really rehydrates my skin while I sleep, which is needed after I've been wearing makeup all day then had a deep cleanse. However I am looking around for alternatives and might give the Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme a go when my Arbonne night cream runs out, although that won't be for a while as a little goes a very long way!

Step 5: Spot Treatment, if necessary 
Finally, if unwanted visitors make an appearance on my face, I will use a small amount of the previously mentioned Arbonne Deep Cleansing Mask on any spots. I find this works wonders at reducing spot size overnight, making them perfectly coverable with a dab of foundation the next day.

So there you have it! My three, sometimes five, step evening skincare routine.

What does your evening skincare routine consist of? Have you tried any of the products that I use?


or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk
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15/07/2014

My Morning Skincare Routine

I reach for one of three cleansers every morning, depending on how my skin is feeling at the time. If my skin feels dry and dehydrated or just 'normal' I will use the Arbonne FC5 Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener for normal/dry skin. This cleanser has a lovely consistency and feels very soft on the skin, leaving my face feeling smooth and fresh. I've been using this cleanser the most recently, as I combated my oily skin using the second cleanser that I might choose on a morning. The cleanser in question is the Arbonne FC5 Purifying Cleanser + Toner for oily/combination skin. This really 'fixed' my skin when I started using it back in the summer of 2013 however I still have quite a lot of this left so am slowly using it up on days when my skin feels slightly oily-prone. I will sometimes reach for the Tropic Smoothing Cleanser if I'm feeling indulgent, as this cleanser tops the rest for me in terms of smell, texture and how great it leaves my skin feeling. Once my other cleansers have run out I will probably use just this, every day, morning and night.

Step 2: Exfoliate, once or twice a week
I must admit, I'm not a fan of the exfoliator that I'm using at the minute but it is too expensive for me to just throw away and I've used too much to justify trying to sell/give it to someone else. Plus its Arbonne-priced. So I'm using it up until I can justify buying a new one. The exfoliator in question is Arbonne's FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub. I find this just doesn't scrub away dead skin and really wrestle with blackheads like I like my exfoliators to do. I'm definitely considering buying Tropic's Face Smooth Polish after trying a friend of mine's a few weeks back and loving it!

Step 3: Moisturise
Recently I've been using the FC5 Nurturing Day Lotion for normal/dry skin from Arbonne to go with the Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener when my skin is feeling 'normal' or dry. However, like with my cleansers, I will swap to Arbonne's FC5 Oil-Absorbing Day Lotion if my skin is feeling particularly oily. Or, I will use both - the Oil-Absorbing moisturiser on my t-zone and the Nurturing moisturiser on the rest of my face.

Step 4: Spot treatment, if necessary
I use the Arbonne Deep Cleansing Mask on spots overnight but if they are the persistent type I will dab the teeniest amount of the cleansing mask on the spot so it can continue to work its magic during the day under my makeup.

I will soon be posting my evening skincare routine, so make sure you have a read of that to see what products I use every night!


What does your morning skincare routine consist of? Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this post?



or email nicnaknoko2@gmail.com / nicola.sharp13@hotmail.co.uk
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