Wednesday 29 August 2018

The NV Holiday Diaries: Changing Perceptions and Body Acceptance

Hey lovelies!

Welcome back to The NV Holiday Diaries! I wasn't sure if there was going to be a second part to this particular holiday segment but I found myself wanting to talk about a few things that are always of concern or importance with body confidence and acceptance, so here goes...

I think that it's so amazing how opinions can change over the course of a year! Whilst I'm not entirely pleased with my body, (well who ever is?), I've found that sometimes it's the positive opinions of others that can help you grow to love aspects of yourself that you didn't think to appreciate before.

The key thing to remember with this, in addition to firstly appreciating the body you've been given, is to surround yourself with people who build you up and love the aspects that you dislike about yourself. If you choose to put these two things together, then you've got a recipe for success! I completely understand that often, when you're in the thick of it, thinking that you need to have thin thighs, small hips, big boobs, or a curvy butt for you to be respected by your friends, liked by a special someone or validated as a beautiful person can make loving yourself and enjoying what you like more difficult than it really needs to be.

There are three ways around this -

1. Choose To Ignore Your Inner Demons:

This is a hefty one to complete because of the emotional/mental work that you have to put into accepting your body. I know for myself that I'm not exceedingly happy with my hips or stomach because they need a bit of toning up and tightening here and there, something that a little exercise and good eating will sort out. I've learnt, however, to accept the fact that I'm curvier and in turn I've learnt to appreciate other curvier females and adore their strong looking physiques that often take that hourglass or pear shape that we're so fond of in this day and age.

2. Take Into Account Those Compliments You Receive From Others (Particularly Your Loved Ones):

There is nothing better than hearing those wonderful words spoken about your body regardless of the situation you're in whether that's with clothes, without clothes, with minimal clothing - I mean, we all know that being in a bikini is a little bit of a test for our inner confidence as I mentioned in my last post, but hearing compliments from others can make you feel less self-conscious so you can truly enjoy the moment. I think this is where the improvement in my outlook changed over the last year because, although I'm aware that I'm not fully in shape and a few workout sessions may be required, I had people around me that would build up my confidence and encourage me to become a healthier version of myself both mentally and physically, instead of putting me down. This year I've tried not to put too much emphasis or importance on the little bit of chubbiness that I have here and there because I just want to enjoy myself rather than constantly focus on what I look like.

3. Know What You Love, Love What You Know:

It's so easy to pick apart what you dislike, or in some cases, hate or loathe about yourself and wish you could change for the sake of your sanity. I have found that the less I focus on the specifics of my body shape, the easier things feel. I choose to see my body as a whole and like the fact that, "okay I may have bigger hips, which may need a little work, but I have a small waist that I absolutely love to show off". I guess it's taking the good with the so-called "bad", it never comes without its challenges but it can be so worth it in the long run - that feeling of having one less thing to worry about is amazing! You can just be you.

I find it so incredibly tricky to stop myself from writing those huge cliches that make us roll our eyes in the "for-goodness-sake-I've-heard-this-all-before" kind of way. I too have stumbled across endless articles that have told me to love my body whatever shape or size it may be but we all know it's true and that as long as you're happy and healthy, what does anything else matter?

You're never going to stop liking another person's body, you'd be crazy to think otherwise but it's what you choose to do with those thoughts that matters most! You can choose to give them power and feed them so that they morph into envious glances and constant nit-picking at your own flesh and blood or you can appreciate what you've seen, move on and return to noticing something that you like about yourself. Negative thinking is a habit so break that habit, have a few slip-ups because you're human but inevitably lead yourself onto a path that exudes positivity and overwhelming happiness. Now that's the kind of life I like!

Let me know in the comment section down below your tips for overcoming body insecurities and accepting who you are!


Wednesday 15 August 2018

Google Picks My Makeup Challenge!

Hey lovelies!

The Google Picks My Makeup Challenge is something that has been going round YouTube for awhile now but since I don't have a YouTube channel, I thought that I would just show you my version here on the blog. If you're not familiar with the rules of the challenge, all you have to do is type your initials along with the word "look" into the Google Images search engine and the first image that comes up is what you have to base your makeup on!

I chose to use the initials from my actual name (SP) instead of the initials from my blog name (NV) so that I could properly abide by the rules. The first image that appeared on the search was this, so of course I was happy that the colours in the outfit shown were not too out there or over the top!

I really loved creating this look because having to base my look on an image that didn't specifically tell me where to use the colours featured made things a little tough but very interesting! I decided to use the dark blue shade of the woman's denim jeans as the lid colour, and incorporated the black shade of her sandals into the outer corner to smoke out the look.

Moving on from this I used the closest shade I could find to match the mint green of her top and apply that to the lower lashline, topping the eye look off with a bit of mascara on my top and bottom lashes. Afterwards, I applied my face makeup, filled in my brows, used some blusher, bronzer and highlighter and then began to focus on the lips. I must admit, this was probably the most difficult part because trying to find a coral shade that was as bright as the handbag featured in the photo was tough for a girl who mostly has nude shades for most of her lip products! This is probably why I had to resort to using a lipstick that is no longer being sold, sorry about that! I have, however, linked a couple of lipsticks that could work for this look though!

The challenging process ended there and had I been a pro at putting on lashes, I would have applied those too but this turned out to be the final look! This is such a great challenge to be a part of because it's so interesting to think about the various ways another individual could create a completely different look using the exact same colours, and that's why I love makeup!

Let me know in the comment section down below, what your makeup would like if Google picked it! Are you going to participate in this challenge? I tag you all! 


Products Used:
LIPS: Superdry Beauty Professional Mini Lip Crayon Series in Soda Pop (no longer available). (Similar) (Similar)

Wednesday 8 August 2018

The Red Letter Day Experience: The Shard, London

Hey lovelies!

I'm going to start this post by saying wow, wow, wow! I've lived in London my entire life but never have I seen it in such a grand scale!

Now I must admit, I love a good deal, I mean don't we all?! Red Letter Day is always stocked up with the latest deals on their site and I'm so glad to have been able to choose one of them for a day and spend it with someone special! The experience I chose included: the View from The Shard and a 3 course meal at Marco Pierre White's City Steakhouse. I've only blogged about The Shard in this post because most likely, if I included the restaurant we attended, it would turn out as more of a restaurant review and that's not my forte but my goodness was the food delicious!

The Shard was pretty cool because not only do you have the chance to see a 360° view of London with the river and the quintessential skyline but you also get to experience an inside-outside rooftop lounge area if you choose to go up a level from the original viewing platform! If you're wondering what I mean by "inside-outside", I'm simply referring to the fact that although you're inside, The Shard at the very top does not taper to a close so you do get to feel the fresh air coming through the roof, which is perfect for those new hot days we're having in the UK this Summer!

Side note: for those scared of heights, there is no need to worry because you won't be able to fall out anywhere, the gaps are safely out of reach! I just wanted to mention it, since I'm aware some may have a phobia of heights of some scale.


If you're wanting a souvenir to remember the trip, I highly recommend approaching the small machine on the viewing platform. All you have to do is insert a £1 coin, choose a design, turn the wheel and wait for the already loaded 2p coin to be flattened out into a beautiful little takeaway gift!


Definitely but with a deal! The Red Letter Day Experience was definitely one to remember because I got to have my blogger moment in front of a wall of flowers and a flower arch too and I also managed to see London in all its glory! I do think that for one ticket, it is a tad expensive (currently at £24.50*) and I think that you can easily spend some more money and get yourself a deal that could include what would've been an expensive meal too!

Let me know in the comment section down below if you've been to The Shard before and if so, what was your experience like? Do you think it was worth your money? I want to hear your views!


*subject to change

*Not Sponsored*

Wednesday 1 August 2018

The NV Holiday Diaries: Confidence and the Bikini Situation

Hey lovelies!

I'm a little nervous about publishing this post, simply because of who ends up reading it...certain topics can be the verbal equivalent of Marmite and opinions can therefore differ!

In today's day and age we are consumed by thoughts: the thoughts of our own, the thoughts of our family, and the thoughts of close friends, all of which are in addition to those thoughts of absolute strangers who inadvertently or sometimes carelessly inform us of their opinions through such systems as social media.

I've noticed, despite the fact that it's not a secret, that a large number of us have this exterior that resonates confidence and strength for all the world to see. Personally, in today's society, I find it difficult to deem someone as 100% genuine. I don't just mean in the sense that what an individual tells you is not always the truth but more so that what they're presenting is the edited version of themselves that they want others to see. Is this version completely false? No. Is this version just one small part of them? Most likely. Admittedly, in some cases, what you see on the outside is in fact what you get on the inside. Are you still following me?

Don't mind the bikini cover-up tan line ;D
Last year, I found myself pretending to be wholeheartedly comfortable and confident in my bikini (not featured) during my holiday to the stunning country of Greece. The bikini bottoms, that somewhat offered me less coverage than I'm used to, forced me to accept that I was wearing them because, after all, it was a little too late to return them to the store. I've met few people in my life who hand-on-heart feel that they are their own version of Beyonce or the well-known bikini connoisseur Tash Oakley, who I only slightly envy! The only similarity I can find between myself and these gorgeous women is the fact that we define ourselves as curvier females - a label that, in recent years, has most certainly become "all the rage".

I decided that I should be adamant in seeing the bikini scenario as a chance to start over! I'd lost weight afterall and had looked better than I had in the last few years of my life. These reasons left me thinking: why not show off a little more skin? Turns out...deciding to wear both the bikini bottoms and the bikini top (a lovely push-up kind might I add) in front of family is left to the ballsier individuals in life and not me! The most I could do was mix and match one of the items of this bikini with that of others and it sure wasn't going to be the string-like bikini bottoms that made the cut!

Despite this not linking to a specific photo of me on social media looking as confident as can be, it still looks to identify to that issue where we have a specific image that we try to portray. I must admit, my mum's cautious questions wondering about my feeling comfortable in the bikini were from such a thoughtful and kind place but my mind was so fixed upon the idea that I had to be comfortable in this bikini because I was smaller than before and could therefore pull it off better. I know for a fact that Ashley Graham would storm in at this point and tell me that anyone could wear a more revealing bikini and look beautiful! The fact of the matter is, for me, I could wear items of clothing designed for a smaller body - because it's perfectly okay to - but still focus on the aspects of my figure that are "flawed" or that I consider as "less desirable".

This year I return to Greece, a little bigger than before but certainly not the biggest I've ever been. Self-conscious is a slight understatement but who knows how I'll really feel until I get back into a bikini and brave the self-adoring eyes of the Greek gods and goddesses that grace the beach with their presence on the daily. I feel as if this blog post will require a follow-up and I'll be sure to update you on Twitter regarding the likelihood of another post! Until then, I aim to remain as body positive as possible and so should you!


P.S. Let me know in the comment section down below your thoughts on this matter! Have you had similar problems? Let's chat!