Blogging Resolutions // 2016

Happy New Year’s Eve everybody! I hope you have had a happy Christmas – if you celebrate – and an enjoyable break.  My Christmas was filled with family and chaos – just how I like it.  Now on to a new start.  I typically don’t make resolutions at the start of a new year, because, quite honestly, I am rubbish at sticking to them.

However, what with my lack of focus during November and December I decided that a new start was needed.  This list is really for me to give myself a mental kick up the backside, and to remind myself of some goals for 2016.


Blogging Resolutions 2016


  1. BLOG MORE: This one is fairly self-explanatory, but I am aiming to blog much more frequently in 2016.  I hope to write 4 or more times a week. Eeek.
  2. BE MORE CREATIVE: When I first started blogging last year, I made the mistake of thinking that every post had to be about new products.  This resulted in many shopping trips (yay!) and a greatly reduced bank account (not yay).  Then, when I put myself on a spending ban, I found that I just didn’t know what to blog about.  Silly, eh?  This leads me on to….
  3. EXPAND MY SUBJECT MATTER: I am actually pretty nervous about this.  Looking back again to last summer when I began my blog, I was full of the enthusiasm of a newbie.  I was going to fill my blog with beauty; family; recipes; clothes and lifestyle blog posts! It was going to be wonderful! Then….it just didn’t happen.  Coupled with me doing some reading on how to have a successful blog, I let all of it get the better of me.  ‘You need to find your niche and stick to it like glue!’ everyone shouted.  Suffice to say, I have not ventured much out of the realm of beauty, which is absolutely fine, but it is just not me.  As much as make-up, skincare and the like are passions of mine, so is my family.  I don’t intend to fill Joyful Things with pictures of my children sitting on potties, eating their breakfast and having tantrums, but I hope to share some of my experiences of motherhood.  As for the clothes and recipes? That won’t ever happen – I don’t have what it takes to be a fashion blogger, and I don’t follow recipes so how can I share them?!
  4. IMPROVE MY PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS: I think this is not a unique goal, and it will be ongoing for the rest of my days I suspect.  I find taking photos for blog posts beyond stressful.   The amount of actual sweat I have shed trying to get the ‘perfect’ shot is ridiculous.  Weirdly, though, I love photography.  It brings me immeasurable pleasure to get my camera out and snap away.  My downfall is understanding camera settings – I am way too impatient to actually study the manual and work out what button does what.
  5. HAVE MORE CONFIDENCE: This is hard to even write, and I probably won’t stick to it, but I have to at least try, right?! I want to believe that I can do it, and then do it.  I want to believe that I can succeed as a writer, but there is still that little (well, quite loud actually) voice that tells me I am not as good as other bloggers.  My writing isn’t as good; my photography isn’t as good; I’m older than the rest of the world! These are all true (well, apart from the age thing – despite feeling past it, I am not) , but the battle is realising that it doesn’t matter.  I want to work on MY blog, and spend less time worrying about what everyone else is doing.  Especially if that means that I am holding myself back from doing what I want to do.
  6.  BE MORE ORGANISED: This is all encompassing, and relates to all the above really.  It starts with beginning my day earlier, and generally being more productive.  It is all too easy to let daily life get in the way of blogging, and then feeling disappointed with myself. I have discovered that I don’t like writing in the evening; and during the day it is hard to find the peace and quiet that I need.  So that only leaves early mornings.  Fortunately I am a morning person, so getting up an hour earlier shouldn’t be too difficult.  I would also like to get into a routine of planning posts in advance; and writing them, and getting the photos sorted ahead of time.  I have dabbled in this, but never really manage to stick to it.  I always seem to be madly trying to put everything together 5 minutes before I want to publish.


Pretty big resolutions, I think, but I hope that there is nothing too unachievable.  I am excited to get on with the year ahead, and look forward seeing where 2016 takes this little blog! Finally, I want to say thank you to all that have visited Joyful Things during 2015, and I hope you will come back in 2016!

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions, or do you prefer to work on goals and personal achievements throughout the year?  Leave me your comments below!



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Glossybox – December 2015

This is my fourth Glossybox, and definitely the most exciting so far.  It has six products, instead of the usual five, and the box is so beautiful!  Created in collaboration with blogger ReallyRee, the Rose Gold Edit is designed with the party season in mind.  I have had this box for a few days (I am seriously behind with my blog posts this month…oops) so I have had a chance to try a couple of things.  So, let’s dive straight in!


20151210-DSC_0209 Glossybox-December-2015

So Susan Statement Skin Highlighter Pencil.  A lovely soft glimmering highlighter, this offering from So Susan looks lovely.  I absolutely love highlighters, and don’t feel complete unless I have made myself look like a glitter ball, so I am looking forward to giving this a go.

Essence Liquid Lipstick in Show Off.  I have a love/hate relationship with liquid lipsticks.  In that I want to love them, but always hate them.  This particular lipstick is very glossy and the colour is fab.  It didn’t really dry on me, so I would liken it more to a gloss than a lipstick.  I will persevere though, because I love the colour so much.




Collection Long Lasting Nail Effects in 32 Strawberry GoldI am so excited to try this gorgeous nail polish, it is such an unusual colour.  A purpley base with gold flecks, it would be perfect to add a pop of glittery colour for a Christmas party.  Now, if only I had a party to go to…..

Etre Belle Golden Skin Caviar Eye Roll On.  This clear gel is supposed to soothe and hydrate the delicate skin around the eyes.  I have used it a few times, and in all honesty didn’t notice any spectacular results, but it won’t hurt to keep using it.  Maybe it will need a little more time to wow me.



Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Oil CreamThis luxurious cream-oil hybrid claims to soothe and hydrate the skin, with its infusion of essences from 280 petals.  It all sounds very fancy and expensive (at £65 for 30ml it is way out of my league) and it does feel glorious on the skin.  The smell for me is really not nice initially. fortunately it does fade though.  I will enjoy it while it lasts; I can’t see me being able to part with £65 for a face cream any time soon.




Starskin Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Mask.  I know sheet masks are not for everyone, but I happen to love them.  I am already planning when I can relax with this hydrating mask.  I may well save it for after Christmas when I will be fat and tired, and I will wallow in the bath for an hour with a good book and do my best Michael Myers impression.

All in all this is an excellent box, and with a value of over £50 (by my – terrible – calculations) for only £10 plus P&P it is most definitely great value! See the Glossybox website for more details.

Do you subscribe to Glossybox? What did you think of the December box?


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Midweek Motivation

midweek moti

I hope that nobody reading my blog today is going through hell.  But if you are, please know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Find someone to talk to, whether that be online, or in person.  Whatever works for you.  Just remember; it can, and will, get better.


Have a good week.

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November Favourites


I am going to say it, even though everyone says it every month: where on earth did November go? It’s December 1st, and that means it’s nearly *squeak* Christmas!!!! I love December, every year I put up the decorations slightly earlier.  If it wasn’t for my husband’s voice of reason, I would leave the Christmas decorations up all year round.  Yes, I’m that person. Anyway, I digress. Welcome to my November Favourites!




I mentioned the L’Oréal Lash Architect Mascara in my last post, and it is the mascara that I have reached for most often during the month of November.  It gives a bit of length, and is light enough that it doesn’t weigh down my lashes.  It dries very fast, which is a plus in my opinion, so layering needs to be done relatively quickly.  I have discovered that used in tandem with the mascara, the Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner is fab.  I love to Tightline (lining the upper waterline), because I find it makes my eyelashes look darker and thicker.  The only problem with doing this is that it can trasfer on to the lower waterline, which I don’t always want. This eyeliner – being waterproof – doesn’t transfer, and stays put until I choose to remove it. Sometimes waterproof eyeliners  want to stick around for days, but I find this one easy to remove.  Now, I am a huge fan of shimmery, glittery eyeshadows.  I wear them during the day, without a care in the world, but realised recently that I needed some matte eyeshadows.  Yes, needed.  So I went on the hunt for an affordable matte palette, and came up trumps with this Sleek Make-Up I-Divine Eyeshadow Palette Ultra Matte V2.   The colours are a great selection, and work with most eye looks that I am likely to create.  They are very pigmented little pans, and do blend out eventually, with a little bit of effort.



Topshop Lipstick in Naturist; Bourjois Contour Clubbing Eyeliner







Topshop Lipstick – Naturist























I love me a nude lipstick (read about my top three here), and this Naturist Lipstick by Topshop is no exception.  Overall, I haven’t had a huge amount of luck with the Topshop Beauty range, but I do really love this lipstick.  It applies very smoothly, and is so comfortable on my sensitive, dry lips.

If you have ever watched a beauty tutorial on YouTube, then you will have heard of Morphe make-up brushes.  They are loved by the US based experts in particular.  When I saw that they were available in the UK, I got very excited and ordered a couple, and they really are worth the hype.  The M505 Point Blender Brush is my favourite, it is just so soft and fluffy.  It is the perfect shape for blending eyeshadow into the crease, and it isn’t even slightly scratchy or uncomfortable.  And they are so affordable!




In the last few months my skin has been a bit of a sod.  Although overall it is more clear and healthy than ever, for some reason I have been suffering from regular spots for the first time in my life.  I have been trying to figure out what exactly has been causing these breakouts.  After a lot of trial and error, I am almost certain it was the cleanser I was using on and off since before the summer.  So, long story short, I have been using the Murad Age Reform Refreshing Cleanser instead.  It’s too early to say if the change in cleanser has sorted my little problem, but it is a lovely cleanser regardless. I use it in the morning, and I love how clean and soft my skin feels after I wash my face.  I am hoping that my skin will continue to be spot-free, but only time will tell whether that is the case.

What are your favourites for November?


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