Full Review: Vichy Clay Mask- What’s The Difference Between Higher & Lower Brand Clay Masks? ANSWERED HERE.

Full Review: Vichy Clay Mask- What’s The Difference Between Higher & Lower Brand Clay Masks? ANSWERED HERE.

Hello ducks,

I am absolutely slaying in regular blog posts lately, what do you reckon? I suppose I’ve just come to a realisation that if I’d like a regular chat with you all, I best upload more regularly for something for us to chat about! I am currently sitting at home of a Friday night in my pyjamas, listening to The Beatles, drinking Coconut water and just seriously relaxing. I have just washed my face of the Vichy Clay Mask that was given to me in sample form by my beautiful cousin, Tori, who accesses little treat samples through work in a pharmacy. Let’s hope she throws more our way so I can keep you updated on what is worth buying! So incase you didn’t pick it up by now, I’ll add in this little disclaimer to state that this is not a sponsored post. Vichy sent me nothing. This mask was a gift and this post shall be of my own honest opinion.

I decided I’d review this for you the minute I saw how much it cost on THIS website. I was sort of expecting this price range because I understand that Vichy is a popular line, considered to be that bit more luxurious. But see, I’m mad for a bargain where I can get one. So the question I really wanted to answer in this quest was: is it worth it? 18 euro for 75ml of Clay Mask. Is it really worth it? That’s nine items in the pound shop. That’s like a full face of makeup on AliExpress. And I ain’t cheap- believe me. But personally, where alternatives/ dupes are available and equally as good, I don’t understand why people pay such high prices. In my opinion, they are essentially just paying for the brand name. So, I guess I wanted to see if this was about the brand name or the quality of product. And I did just that. So let’s chat about how I got on.

Firstly, let’s talk about the product itself. This product usually comes in a set of three but can be bought on it’s own. As I said, I was lucky enough to get it as a gift so didn’t avail of the other two products in the set. And I can’t speak for them either. However, the set of three (if you were to get it) contains a Quenching Mineral Face Mask, A Double Glow Peel Face Mask and, of course, the Clay Mask that we’ll be talking about in this post. To find out more about this set and where to purchase it, click here. And yes, you’re right. It sounds very similar to the mask set you can purchase in Penneys and all other major stores and pharmacies… the L’Oreal set. Click here to find out more about that. Now, to be honest, I’m really not aware which one came out first. But only the test will tell which one is better or if, just maybe, they’re both the same.

As mentioned above, this blog post will focus on the Clay Mask- and I’m gonna talk you through my whole process and experience. Firstly, I started off by prepping my skin. I was having a no makeup day. So to clean my face I just took a Johnson’s face wipe (mentioned in my last blog post as holy grail) and rinsed it with hot water before wiping my face. Then, using a cleanser by Salon Services, I deep cleaned my skin with cotton wool and cleanser. Then, taking a clean brush, I applied the Clay Mask in a thin even layer on my skin- which is specified on the instructions.

What I will say at this point is that I found it really impressive how little product was needed and how smoothly it took to the skin. It was like applying silk to my face. It didn’t clump, it wasn’t hard or stiff. I actually at one point remember thinking that it was almost a mousse-like consistency. Thumbs up on that one, Vichy. Also, it smelled yummy. Sometimes I find that clay masks can just smell completely like bugs and muck. But this mask had a lovely perfumed scent to it and was definitely not too much on the raw scent front. I also liked that. Nothing worse than spreading a mask all over your face that cost you an arm and a leg, only to realise you can’t stomach the smell or sting. So, another impressive part of the experience.

The instructions read: Apply a thin layer and let dry for 3-5 minutes. At first I thought, that’s a pretty short amount of time. But I was recently talking to someone who advised me never to let a clay mask completely dry on my face because apparently it’s really bad for your pores and oil levels. She recommended that I use a spritz during the active time of the mask to ensure it doesn’t drought my skin. So, I did this too. I used my a basic spritz that I picked up in Boots for about 5 euro- I think it’s cucumber flavour. And of course, I washed the mask off with warm water after about five minutes.

I found the mask dried at a pretty fast pace because I applied such a thin layer. But it didn’t feel uncomfortable. And it didn’t irritate me at all. It didn’t sting or pull my skin, it didn’t smell weird or anything like that. It actually has been one of the few masks that I’ve used and could call therapeutic. Yano like in the ads when they look all chilled with a mask on and they’re floating on a cloud or some shit? I felt like yerone. I genuinely had a really relaxing active experience.

So then, on to the next stage: washing it off. I took to the bathroom when my timer beeped and rinsed the mask off with some warm water. I dabbed my face dry with a clean, fluffy towel. I then began to give myself a good scan in the mirror to see if it had magically transformed my face. And…. well, I was still the same. And because I was given the sample bottle I was a little bit unsure about what was actually supposed to happen because not much was written on the little 15ml pot. So I went to the Boots website. And it reads:

This mineral rich formula infuses two fine white clays [Kaolin + Bentonite] to penetrate deep into the skin’s surface to immediately eliminate excess sebum and impurities, leaving skin feeling purified and cleansed. Also enriched with two plant extracts [Allantoin and Aloe Vera], Vichy’s Clay mask instantly treats damaged and fragile skin, leaving it feeling soothed and soft to the touch.

Who is it for?
Designed specifically for those with combination to oily skin with congested and clogged pores. Suitable for sensitive skin.

Results
Immediately pores are unclogged and look less visible
The rich clay minerals eliminate excess sebum and impurities
Skin feels instantly smooth, hydrated and revitalised
Designed specifically for those with combination to oily skin with congested and clogged pores.

Pleasure
It’s smooth, clay texture can be applied effortlessly to provide a pampering moment to the skin’s surface.

Lemme start by saying that my skin is oily/ combination. So I’m a suitable candidate. And in basic summary, it did leave my skin soft and the product was super relaxing to use and a really pleasant consistency on the skin. But lads, my pores looked the exact same after the treatment. I wish I could say different considering people pay 18 euro a pot. Now, I will say at this point that I do have really stubborn pores. But I will also be completely honest and say that after using the clay mask, I went back in on my skin with the Black Mask I got on AliExpress. And that shifted them. So, take from that what you want. And I understand some masks take a while to work and perhaps that is the case and that would be fab. But if that was the case, it shouldn’t promise immediately less visible pores, then, should it?

Anyway moving forward, I got to questioning whether or not people are just paying for the brand name. So I checked up on the ingredients of the L’Oreal Clay Mask- just to do a basic compare & contrast.

The ingredients of the L’Oreal Clay Mask are HERE and the Vichy ingredients are HERE.

And if you clicked on those links you can see that the ingredients of each product are not the same. But I came to a further conclusion. Vichy’s Clay mask contains more ‘organic’ ingredients like the aloe leaf powder (for sarcastic example) but it also contains alcohol and NO CHARCOAL. The L’Oreal Mask actually contains lava clay (as a clay mask should contain at least one clay based ingredient), charcoal power (which is so good for them pores) and has NO ALCOHOL. Incase ya didn’t know, never put alcohol on your skin if you can help it. So, so, so, so bad for you. I linked why in my last blog post. Click here to read that. 

So to conclude, I have tried the Vichy Clay Mask and I found it to be a relaxing and pleasant experience. But the results were not so fab. Unfortunately, and I really mean that, my pores didn’t really look any different. Which is one of the promises I was depending on. My skin was however softer.  But most importantly, this experience made me question why there’s such a price different between clay masks that claim to do the same thing but have different brand names, so I compared the ingredients and… on paper, the cheaper, more generic brand looks like it has more to offer. And on my travels, I found a blog post from Pippa O’ Connor who claims she loves the L’Oreal line and swears their masks work wonders. Click here to read Pippa’s views.

All in all, I am not knocking Vichy. I think the product was nice. But I personally would not pay 18 euro a pot for something that does not carry out it’s claimed primary purpose- to minimise my pores immediately. And, there are testimonials from really reliable sources stating that L’Oreal’s masks are wonderful. And I’m gonna be super honest and say I have not tried the L’Oreal masks BUT if the reviews are anything to go by, I’d much rather spend 9 euro than 18 euro. So, there ya have it.

Anyway, if you have ever used any of these products please comment below and let me know how you got on! Which do you think is better? Are any of these your holy grail? Tell us why!

All of my social media accounts are linked below, too. I love seeing new faces and hearing from you so PLEASE come on over and say hi!!

Jx

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Self-Doubt | Not Another Beauty Blog

Self-Doubt | Not Another Beauty Blog

Self-doubt (noun): lack of confidence in oneself or one’s abilities.

One of the hardest things I have ever had to try and learn to do is just trust myself. Trust how I feel. Trust who I am and what I know. For some reason, ever since I can remember I’ve asked for second opinions, followed everyone else’s advice. I could never just accept that maybe my own thoughts on a situation were alright, enough. Of late, I’ve had a lot of self-doubt and not around any particular situation or topic, just in general. I can doubt my thoughts, my opinions, my wants. I feel like I never really know what I want or where I need to be. And that can really panic me. When it comes to thinking about the future, I worry that I won’t accomplish all of my goals and the ‘not good enough’ monster jumps on-board. But I’m learning that it’s okay not to have it all figured out. It’s okay to want something else. It’s okay to be confused. Life wouldn’t be any fun if everyone knew exactly what they were supposed to be doing all of the time! Nobody would learn, be, or feel anything different. And on that point, it is also okay to be different!

While all this was going on, I was doing my internet research on how to keep it all under wraps and how to, in time, change all of this confusion and self-questioning. Not because it’s not okay, but just because it can be a bit of a bother. As I grow emotionally and spiritually, I really want to be sure that everything I’m doing is the next right thing. I, personally, don’t want to look back at my life and have everyone else’s advice to credit for where I am. I want to be sure of myself and be well enough to get where I am on my own advice and initiative. So, I’ve decided to share what I’ve found with you all- just in case you ever have a time that you’re just a little unsure of yourself. Always know that you are never alone.

“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”- Honore de Balzac

  • Ground Yourself

Sometimes I can be sucked into other people’s drama and opinions and I may not even realise but within a few days I genuinely do feel heavier, like I’m carrying a bag full of rocks. Own what you own and leave everyone else’s belongings with them. To bring me back to myself, I like to have a hot bath or shower and have an early night. Some people like to meditate. Some love to venture in to nature. Every little helps! Basically, just try staying in the moment and taking things as they are. Carrying around the negativity will not help you focus on and care for yourself.

  • Balance The Negative

If your bad thoughts are becoming too loud, argue them with some self-praise. It takes me a while, but sometimes I nit pick my life and write down a huge gratitude list. It really helps me to be more grateful and appreciative of what I have achieved so far- helping me to feel better about future Jay.

  • Take A Break

If you’re really giving yourself a hard time about something and you can’t shift it no matter what way you think about it, let it go and do something else for a while. Jump, sing, paint, online yoga, stretch, draw, ANYTHING! A fresh head might have some better ideas.

  • Nurture Yourself

It’s easy to doubt ourselves when we forget to look after our basic needs. Have you been sleeping okay? Eating right? Have you had enough down time? These are things to reconsider when we get ourselves into emotional frantic. Keeping a diary helps me to organise me time. Although, I’m not always so strict on it. The thought does stick and I do get around to it!

  • Let Go Of Comparisons

You are not her. You are not him. You are not them. You are you and that is more than alright. You have something that nobody else has- your own person. Why would you want to be like someone else when you can be even more spectacular just by being exactly who you are? I can fall into deep comparisons and I find a lot of it is based around social media and how people present their lives. It is so important for me to remind myself that social media is not real and how I am in real life, without filters & likes, is perfectly okay.

  • Connect

Self-doubt, for me, usually kicks in when I’m living up in my head or in isolation. It is a clear indication that I need to spend time with friends or family, and distract myself from my negative thought patterns.

What helps you overcome self-doubt or negative thoughts of self?

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For business or collab enquiries: jadeshannonmccann@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog

What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog

 

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Hello darlings!

I’m just gonna get straight into the writing without an update for two main reasons: 1) Absolutely nothing important has happened in my life & 2) We have A LOT of work to get through!

So as we all know, I work around mental health all year long. However, due to the fact that it is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2016, I have a special week planned for all of you wonderful readers that keep me afloat during my tough times. You are all fabulous and I appreciate every single reply, response and kind message or thought you send in. It really does mean so much to me and to show you just how much, there will be a HUGE competition on my Facebook page at the end of the week- the cherry on top of a week full of wonderful reading!

Read more

A Letter To My Fifteen-Year-Old Self | Not Another Beauty Blog

A Letter To My Fifteen-Year-Old Self | Not Another Beauty Blog

I was scrolling through Facebook a few days ago and came across an apparently therapeutic method of counselling toward self-acceptance. It was recommended (and I can’t remember who by) to write letters to your past and future self, to encourage engagement with past and future emotions. Apparently, it helps to move towards self-acceptance in the present and create an understanding of emotions, lessening guilt, regret, anger and pressure that may be built up inside. And boy oh boy! What have I got to lose!? Obviously, this can be done within the comfort of a diary or your laptop and doesn’t have to be published online. But, I’ve decided to make mine public in hope that someone out there may relate. I feel like this is going to be fun for both the writer and reader! I’ll also include some pictures for a giggle!

I did ask a few of my SnapChat friends what they would tell their fifteen-year-old self and I received a LOT of replies that have led to beautiful conversations. If you would like to take part in my SnapChat engagements, add Jademccannx. See ya there!

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Dear fifteen-year-old self,

I am writing this letter to you today in hope that I may get some things of my chest. I feel as though I need some forgiveness for just how hard I’ve been on you in the past, and continue to be right up to this present day. In order to forgive myself, I feel as though I need to address each issue individually and talk through all of the ‘little’, HUGE things that I have held you responsible for. Let’s begin.

The first and most important thing that I would like to point out to you is your beauty. Naturally, you are so radiant. Inside and out. Unfortunately, you’re a sensitive soul and allow people to dim your radiance. But let me remind you, aesthetically and through personality, you are beautiful. The picture above is a selfie you took before you boarded a plane to New York with your distant cousins. You spend the entire holiday in a complete daze and fell in utter love with the city. You deserved that holiday and you deserved that happiness. You deserved that peace of mind, you deserved those beautiful memories. You are not ugly. You do not look ‘butch’. You look absolutely stunning and your cornrows are hella cool. And anybody that tells you otherwise are simply jealous. And I know how hard that is to believe. All our life, our mama and papa tell us that ‘people are mean when they feel threatened’. But if you have been told something repeatedly and if you are treated a certain way by certain people for a long period of time, you begin to believe it. But you should rise above it. You should be stronger. You should believe in yourself that little bit more. You hold so many keys to success and you don’t even know it yet. You, are, beautiful. Inside and out.

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At the age of fourteen, you put yourself out there with your own organically written music productions. You released an E.P and gigged in some really amazing places. You met wonderful people and grew in so many ways, ways that don’t seem imaginable for such a young girl. You uploaded videos to YouTube of your songs, your covers, your thoughts. And then at fifteen, you let bullies take all of that away from you. You began to believe that you were bad at singing. You began to feel like the loser they framed you as. You found it harder and harder to fit in. Anxiety developed to larger scales. You blamed yourself for bothering to put yourself out there in the first place. You blamed the victim for the perpetrators actions. You took a step back from your dreams for four years. For four years you were filled with fear and shame. You developed paranoia, you allowed people to speak down to you and leave you out. You found comfort in loneliness and alcohol. 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, fuck them. They ARE jealous. They are jealous because they are not as brave as you. They are jealous because you are adventurous, you are honest, you are inspiring, you are interesting- and all they can do is watch because they are everything that you are not. 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, do not be so mean to yourself.  Do not let people take the most precious thing about you and destroy it. Do not blame yourself. Do not hate yourself. Do not stop your tracks in the hands of bullies. You are allowed to feel sad. You will find that in your life, there will be worse situations than girls making a video mimicking you. You will find that there are more petty and horrible people and things out in the world. You will find that not everything is worth fretting over. You will find that no matter WHAT you do, be it spectacular or mediocre, there will be someone waiting to drag you back, hold you down. So just do you and be the beautiful person you are. If you had not have stopped, you would be so much further right now. You may even have reached your goals. Somewhere in an alternate universe, you are standing on a stage playing in front of thousands with a huge smile on your face and a heart full of bravery.

 Dear fifteen-year-old self, do not let them stop you from being who you are, from getting what you deserve.

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Dear fifteen-year-old self, please stay as wise as you possibly can to peer-pressures. There are people that will pose in photographs with you, holding cigerrettes and alcohol, pretending to be your best friend- but they couldn’t care less if you succeed in life or not. Real friends are the kind that push you to go to training and pratice, come to see you fight and play music, stay on your back about focus and goals. Music was not your only asset. You were an incredible 247781_132282706848517_191937_nfighter with huge potential. And although to this day you’re still fit and practice, there is no doubt that you would have exceeded all expectations within that ring. Instead, you chose to spend time with people that had not your best interest at heart. People that held the key to escapism. People that provided alcohol, drugs and cigarettes illegally. You chose to pose for profile pictures instead of news paper articles. At this time, you want to fit in. You want to feel a part of something. You want to make friends. But those people are not your friends and your self-worth is more important. Funnily enough, you learned this the hard way. You really should listen to your parents more. Fitness is a wonderful thing and although your ‘friends’ may tell you so, it is not for losers. Drinking and drugging is not for the cool kids. You will see this unravel later in life. For now, have faith in your decisions and passions. Let people be who they are and focus on your strong points, your talents, your goals. Don’t let them take things from you.

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Dear fifteen-year-old self, although there are people that pose in pictures and are not your true ‘friends’, there are also people that are the purest of pure. Unfortunately, being caught up in all that is society, you can’t really tell the difference. My advice would be to hold your family close. The word family suggests that they will never leave, that you will always be this close. Unfortunately, that is not the case. You will grow up and find that every single person you know, at one stage, decides to focus on themselves. Every single person that you cherish will move on, find partners, find new friends, new hobbies, new jobs and new happiness. And that is perfectly alright. They deserve that and more. But cherish them while you can. Because although you may believe that they are forever, they aren’t. Hold the good times close to your heart and create as many as you can while you have the chance. Some people really are worth your time and really do love you. I know that it’s difficult to tell the difference between everyone’s intentions right now. But if you’re going to do one thing for me, hold your family as close as you possibly can. Say thank you. Hug for longer. Kiss harder. Laugh harder. Be there more. Don’t get angry when they borrow your clothes. Don’t argue over petty things. Let them be who they are and love them, pride and all. This is important.

 

383962_215508468525940_1586876393_nDear fifteen-year-old self, I understand that Gaffer has been your pet since you were six years old. I understand that he may annoy you when he growls and trips you up, I understand that he’s getting old and bothers you are the best of times. But can you please understand that he will not be alive forever? At times, he may feel like an extra limb. At times, he may feel like the annoying sibling. But through all of these times, remember to capture photographs in your precious little mind. Photographs of your favourite walks, your funniest times, your hyper shenanigans. He will pass in 2015. You will be hard on yourself for not being more mindful throughout your teenage years. You will remember those times that you were crying over boys and mean girls and he sat at the end of your bed like a guardian angel. You will remember how he licked a cut when you fell as a child. You will remember how he hated the bath. You will remember how you were that little bit distracted and could have cherished him more. Dear fifteen-year-old self, kiss him goodbye for me.

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Dear fifteen-year-old self, you do not need to grow up as fast as you may think. You do not need to have the most fashionable hair style, you do not need to wear heeled-boots and huge handbags, your mom’s clothes and you most definitely do not need makeup and hair-dye in abundance. Dad nags you. He pleads with you to be natural. I know that you truly believe it’s because he doesn’t want boys to like you. But fifteen-year-old self, he just wants you to be the best you that you can be. He wants you to live as innocently and pure as you possibly can, for as long as you possibly can. Because once you cross the line of adulthood, there is not one chance that you can go backwards. Accept that you’re young, embrace it. Be a beautiful fifteen-year-old. Stop trying to be twenty-odd. That day will come. And when it does, you’ll be willing to sell your soul to go back in time. Live in the moment.  Accept your age. Accept yourself as you are. Be fifteen. Boys can wait. Boys aren’t all they crack out to be anyway! Someday you will meet the most amazing man, that will never lead you to question yourself, that will love you and honestly adore you. Until then, fuck them. Let them line up. Let them want you. Let them have someone else to use, to call names, to mentally abuse, to claim and move on from. You really don’t need it that kind of negativity in your life. 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, sex can wait. Sex doesn’t matter. Stop reading magazines that are directed at grown women. Stop letting yourself be encouraged by public forums that do not concern a fifteen-year-old girl. Read KISS, or Mizz. Fuck Cosmopolitan. Fuck Soap Operas. All of these factors may seem small, but they build and develop into a huge influence of expectations for young women. It’s just not realistic. And unfortunately, you’re caught up in that. But dear fifteen-year-old self, be smarter than that. Be smarter than them. Be yourself.

 

Dear fifteen-year-old self, you have a lot to learn. Alcohol and cigerett228383_128377717239016_402150_nes aren’t cool. Makeup isn’t compulsory. Fashion isn’t a ‘follow or die’.  You’re not fat. You’re not ugly. You’re not a loser. You’re just different, beautifully!

Boys can wait. Sex can wait. You are talented in more ways than one. You can sing. You can model. You are athletic. You are clever. You don’t need negative people. You don’t have to be your own worst critic. You don’t have to spend your days comfortably alone. You shouldn’t let bullies control your success. You shouldn’t allow other people’s opinions to have such a high impact toward your future. You should listen to your family more. You should take more photographs in your mind. You should lighten up a bit. You should walk away from people that are upsetting you, block them out. You should move on more. You should let go more. You should care a lot less. And for God’s sake, love yourself. Learn now. It will make the future a hell of a lot easier if you develop the foundation of self-acceptance right now. Trust me, I’d know.

The list is endless. I could write for years about your true worth, your potential and your lessons that you’ve yet to learn. But how would I be where I am if you weren’t who you were? What’s meant to be won’t pass you. Just don’t lose who you are.

What would you tell your fifteen-year-old self?

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I Was Inspired To Bake A Chocolate, Banana & Biscuit Cake; Cooked: A Netflix Documentary Series That YOU NEED TO SEE! | Not Another Beauty Blog

I Was Inspired To Bake A Chocolate, Banana & Biscuit Cake; Cooked: A Netflix Documentary Series That YOU NEED TO SEE! | Not Another Beauty Blog

Hello there, bambinos!

There’s always something with me, isn’t there? Well, this time… I feel like we all have something to be excited about.

I was recently recommended to watch a documentary series on Netflix named ‘Cooked’. Immediately, I was glued to the screen. However, my interest did not end when the series did. I have been so inspired that I have taken serious action in the kitchen- and I cannot wait to show you all what I have made!

But first, the series. The best selling author, Michael Pollan, basically decided to take further initiative surrounding his passion for food and cooking food. His novel was developed into a Netfix original documentary series. And this may sound daunting to watch, however, there are only four episodes. Each episode surrounds the theme of an element of power: Fire, Water, Air & Earth. Each element is linked to the power of cooking and we, the audience, are taken to places like India and Australia through our viewing. Interesting, huh?

I feel like if I say too much about the series, you might not want to go and watch it yourself. Because it is so short and there is so much information packed within, I can’t say much without spoiling it for you. Basically, Pollan argues that humans became civilized (from the perspective of Darwin’s Evolution Theory) once apes learnt to cook. And surprisingly, there is a lot of evidence put forward within these episodes to support that argument. I like a good, supported argument, me! Furthermore, he argues that today’s society is so much in a hurry that we forget the beauty that lies within making food from our homes, gifting loved ones with a meal. It’s an eye-opener to say the least. I will leave you all with the trailer for the series and recommend HIGHLY that you take the time to watch it. You will not regret it-  you may even, unexpectedly, pick up a new hobby (like I did!). Watch the trailer for ‘Cooked’ HERE.

Moving forward to the beautiful cake that I was inspired to make. I got the basic sponge recipe online, however, I split it in two and used two shallow tins. You don’t have to do this, you can simply wait for the sponge to cool and cut it in half yourself. Find the recipe for the Chocolate Sponge Cake Here. I will let you guys note that I did add vanilla extract to this recipe for that little extra sweetness!! I couldn’t help myself…

Now, where decorating is concerned, I get over-excited and way too artistic. I get so carried away with aesthetics. But I think I’m right when I say that a cake automatically tastes better if it looks HELLA GOOD. With my decorating, I added some extra flavours. Which is always fun to do, in my opinion. So when the sponges came out of the oven, they looked like this…

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As you can see, I left them to cool on a cooling tray. Once they were cooled, the fun really began! The ingredients that I used for decorating my cake & adding extra flavours are shown in the next picture. If you are doing the same thing I did, you will need:

  • Two bananas
  • A jar of chocolate spread (It does not have to be Nutella! I got the one that I used in LIDL)
  • Some biscuits of your choice. I chose chocolate digestives. Yummy!12837570_979535075456605_652079783_o

It’s actually not hard to do & extremely fun- not to mention therapeutic. I totally back Michael Pollan up, our generation is missing out on some of life’s best little pleasures.

The first thing that I did (once my sponge had cooled) was put layer of chocolate spread on top of each piece. I then sliced (thinly) my banana and distributed it evenly all over one piece and sandwiched the sponges together! The middle of my cake looked like this before I stacked them…

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Once my sponges were stacked, I put ANOTHER layer of chocolate spread on the top- along with the last few bits of banana that didn’t fit in-between. I then put my biscuits in a little plastic bag and smashed them will a rolling pin, so that I could sprinkle them on the top of the cake. I popped a whole biscuit on top for an extra bit of decoration. The end result ended up like…wait for it…THIS!

 

SO, there you have it. A delicious hobby. Who can argue with that?

I was sharing on my Snapchat story (jademccannx) earlier on why exactly I found this so fun and such a positive thing to do. So, I’ll share it with you guys, too. One, it didn’t cost a penny. Every single ingredient I needed was found in my kitchen. Which means this kind of thing is great if you’re bored and don’t have a lot of cash spare! Two, I know exactly what I’m eating. A lot of the time with cake & treats, manufacturers put extra chemicals and ingredients in to create a longer shelf life. Ew! What are we even eating? With this, we know exactly what we’re consuming. And if you want to take that point to the next level, don’t use chocolate spread, melt some dark chocolate! And three, it is so relaxing and totally grounds you. It passes time on a boring evening. It tastes amazing afterwards. You may get a sense of pride afterwards!  There are a lot of rewards that come with cooking and baking at home. And I have Michael Pollan to thank for my new found passion & hobby! I also think baked goods are a fabulous gift for someone. There is much effort and love behind a cake or a loaf of bread. For me, there’s something so warm about that.

Seeing as though my blog is fundamentally mental health based, it is worth saying that ANY NEW HOBBY is encouraged in a time of despair. Especially with the likes of anxiety & depression, passing time and distracting yourself is a fabulous way to heal the soul. So if this isn’t something you’d like to try, maybe this could inspire you to try something new.

So, my Wednesday consisted of a serious spur of inspiration and an even more serious mouthful of chocolate batter. I highly recommend you all to watch ‘Cooked’- you never know, maybe it will inspire you to make something yummy! Considering that I come from a family FULL of chefs and bakers, I should have done this a long time ago. But, I think I prefer this kind of thing as a hobby rather than a job.

Please share with me your thoughts on ‘Cooked’ if you have seen it. And I would also love to hear your favourite things to make at home! I’m on a mission to explore my kitchen and all suggestions are welcome!

Lastly, I have started doing video blogs over on my snapchat so if you’re interested on what I might be ranting about or doing, please come and say hi! My username is: jademccannx. Also, click HERE to find me on Facebook & HERE to follow me on Instagram.

Until next time,

J x

 

Self Love | Not Another Beauty Blog

Self Love | Not Another Beauty Blog

First off, let me start by saying that I am so sorry for my absence over the last few months. The thing is, I’ve been working really hard on myself. I’ve been working super hard and just putting a lot of effort in to every day. I know, that’s no excuse to miss blogs but I hope you all enjoy the catch up!
The best and most important thing that I want to write about and share with you all is the life lesson I have learnt over the last few months. In one of my last blogs, I shared with you that of the somewhat breakdown I had. And yes, that was the worst of it, however, the recovery (on-going) is hard work too.  I am still seeing a counsellor which helps me deal with everyday anxieties, concerns and negative thoughts. I’m also still taking Lexapro- which are anti-depressants and anxiety tablets. I’m on a fairly low dose which is good. Basically, the medication just helps level my serotonin levels in my brain. Which basically means they level my mood and stop me having extreme thoughts. There was a stage that I couldn’t control my thinking at all. Like, one minute I’d be super hyper and totally glad to be here and enthusiastic and happy.. and the next I’d be contemplating suicide and just endlessly crying and not knowing why. And even though I’ve been taking the medication for about four months now, I’ve only really started to feel okay the last month or so. As well as learning a lot about self-love, I also learned the very hard lesson of patience.

I wanted to get better now. I wanted it to go away now. I didn’t want to wait until the counselling worked, or the medication worked, or the circumstances changed. I literally just wanted it to happen over night. And the key to even starting to get better is just being aware that it doesn’t happen over night. And that you’re going to have both good and bad days. That thoughts can consume you but that they will go eventually. It’s just about having the trust in yourself and your path- and realising that it’s all in the day. What you do today will affect how you feel tomorrow. All you can control is you. So just do something for yourself today, have a good day, go somewhere you like, do something you love. And eventually, it’ll become habit. You can be happy. It just takes time and a lot of hard work.

My counsellor was adamant that all of my problems were stemming from my hatred towards myself. He was convinced that every bad thought I had was because of how insecure I was. He was right. He kept telling me to start loving myself and when you’re in the wrong mind-set, what does that even mean!?

I started having long baths and getting my hair done. I changed jobs. I painted my nails and done my tan more. I started getting up early and having longer, more enjoyable days. And for a while, I thought all of this was pointless because my mind was somewhere else. But eventually, I just started enjoying myself. I started to like myself a little more. Then it became so much less important what other people had to say. It starts with you.

When I accept myself, I am free from the burden of needing you to accept me.

I don’t want you all to think that I’m preaching and I’m better and I know everything. I still have bad days. I still have panic attacks and I still cry for no reason. But sharing how I started my journey might help someone start theirs.

I’m A Volunteer! | Not Another Beauty Blog

I’m A Volunteer! | Not Another Beauty Blog

If you read my blog regularly, you will be aware that I have deferred college for a year. This basically means that I have decided to take a year out, and start second year in September. That’s all well and good, however, I am now left with all of this spare time and nothing to spend it on! I only work part-time in a bar so I’m left with weekdays (when my boyfriend Tom is down in Shannon studying). So, I looked in to some things that I could do to help pass the time, that would also look great on my CV for when I graduate!

One thing that I started was ballet class of a Thursday evening. This probably won’t be going on my CV but it is something that I’ve always wanted to do and now that I’ve got the time, I don’t see why not! It is so fun and I love the little outfits! I’m currently doing a beginners class, however, when I start to improve, I plan to move to a proper dance school and take it from there. I do really want to become good at it!

Now, I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this before but I am so close to my parents. I’ve always looked up to my Dad, especially to his involvement with local youth projects (youth centers, boxing clubs). My dad even went back to college at the age of forty-four just to qualify in Youth Work! So, with all this time on my hands, it crossed my mind to volunteer in the same youth center that he once volunteered at for his work experience whilst he was studying. I went up to the Little Bray Youth Project Bray, Co. Wicklow on Monday and filled out the forms and started working there on Tuesday! The area that I’m in at the moment is the after-school activities. It’s basically letting the kids in after school, making sure they’ve gotten something to eat if they’re hungry, they play for a bit in the sports hall, then they come upstairs for some arts & crafts activity and then they complete their homework. It runs from three until half-five every afternoon. I absolutely love it. It’s so hard to explain, but there definitely is some sort of amazing sensation that you can get out of helping kids with their homework, or even just playing a game with them. As well as the fact that it takes my mind off a lot of my current problems, it also puts a lot of things into perspective. Although Fassaroe can be perceived as quite a rough area, I’ve spent a lot of time there growing up and am quite familiar with it. It does become apparent that a lot of things that I complain about and worry about, aren’t big things at all. Having conversations with children that have lost parents or siblings or don’t have a proper house to go home to… I mean, who am I to moan about anything, really!?

My favorite part so far has been helping the kids with their homework. It’s so strange because I remember being that age, I remember hating my homework, I remember thinking that it was so hard! I remember thinking I’d never get it done or I’d never finish primary school! And here I am, graduated from secondary school, writing online, struggling through college! I guess it’s rewarding because I can understand how hard it can be as a kid, not wanting to go to school, and then somebody just sitting down for even a half an hour and just reminding you that it’s going to be okay because well, they made it. I like the idea that perhaps I’m giving someone hope, especially people that might need it.

I know that sometimes I shite on in these blogs but I really did feel like it was important to share that because I’d like to think that by the end of reading my blog, I’ve changed somebody’s perception on something. Kind of like an influence… And if at least one reader even considers going and volunteering, then I’ve done something right. I’d like to think that I could inspire other people into stepping forward and just sharing their spare time! It doesn’t cost anything and it sure as hell will benefit you!

The course I’m doing is English, Media and Cultural Studies. It’s a four year course (five years including the year I took out) and then after that I’m encouraged to specialize in something (teaching, journalism) and complete a post-grad. The reason I chose to volunteer in a youth center is because if I do decide to go into secondary school teaching, it will look great on my CV that I spent my year out with the youth of a close-by community. So, as well as it getting my mind off things, as well as it helping the kids out, as well as the center having an extra pair of hands around the place, it also looks absolutely fabulous on paper for future employers! I’m so excited about this, I just had to share it with you guys!

So, that’s all I’ve got for you for today. If you’re thinking about doing something new and nice, definitely give volunteering a shot!

Also, my page reached over 800 likes which really does mean a lot to me! I don’t think anybody realizes how much I actually enjoy putting words together and sharing my life. I’m so glad that it’s started to take off! If you haven’t already liked my page and are interested in having a little nosey peek, click here! Also, could you please let me know who you’d like to read about on my Local Goss blogs! Tips can be sent via private mail on my page or even posted as comments! I’d love to know who you’ve all been keeping an eye on and what I can do to help.

And if you’re local and are interested in dropping in or supporting the project, click here for the Little Bray Youth Project’s Facebook page.

Thanks for reading,

Until next time,

J x