Q&A: Moving to London & Working as an Au Pair

A miracle just happened. I repeat, a miracle just happened. I found an hour in my day to finally film a new video! To ease myself back into filming, I went for a Q&A about my move to London and my job as an au pair. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions. If you happen to have some more, leave them in the comments and I'll make sure to answer them in my next Q&A video. :)

The Week When I Realized My Dream Came True

I've been living in England for a bit over two weeks now and I feel like I'm pretty settled in already. I'm acquainted with the area I'm staying at, I recognize some people's faces on the streets and have even made some new friends. Having said that, not everything is perfect. I stuggled again last week with the little one a few times and had another crying-over-the-phone-to-my-mom mental breakdown, but I can only hope I'll get used to his tantrums and eventually not stress out about it anymore. At the end of the day, I really can't do much about it. When I have no authority and the child refuses to get dressed and go to school in the morning, I can only hope he'll eventually change his mind. Ahh, it's driving me crazy! You know, I'm the kind of person who stresses out over just about anything and this experience might as well be the best practice for me to develop the 'I don't give a ****' attitude once and for all. Speaking of personality changes, I've noticed that I'm becoming less afraid of talking to strangers. As you may or may not know, I do have social anxiety and I tend to avoid unfamiliar social situations as much as I can, but here, I'm completely on my own and talking to strangers is necessary. The au pair mom is constantly sending me to sort things out at the school office and I need to make conversations with employees in various different places on a daily basis.  I've been trying really hard to step out of my comfort zone and start behaving like a normal human being, and so far it's working. Maybe because I'm more relaxed here as no one knows who I am and I don't feel like everyone is judging me. It's great to not feel like I'm not going to have a heart attack every time I open my mouth. I even walk up to people now and ask them if I don't know something I need to know. High five! Again, you probably think I'm completely mental, but this is a pretty big step for me, especially after my (social) anxiety took a turn for the worse last year. 

So, my weekdays were pretty much the same all the time and quite boring (or stressful) last week, so I have nothing new to tell you about that. My weekend, on the other hand, was great. On Saturday I took a train to central London. I was a little bit worried about it since I've only used underground before, but my fear was totally unnecessary. Everything is super organized and clearly indicated, so there's no way you can get lost. It took me 30 minutes to arrive to Waterloo station and when I stepped out and saw the Big Ben and the London Eye, I have to admit, I got a little bit emotional. I'd wanted to live in London ever since I was 12, so the fact that I'm now only a 30 minute train ride away is pretty unbelievable. There's tons of things I still have to go through and do to get my 'perfect life', but at least I made the first step. I'm not gonna lie, it's harder than I thought it would be, but you know what they say. A bad day in London is still better than a bad day anywhere else in the world.
The main reason why I came up to central London was to meet up with a fellow Slovenian blogger Sanja. We'd met a few times before at blogger events back in Slovenia and made a deal to go try Pumpkin Spice Latte together when she visits London. It was really nice chatting to a familiar face and Pumpkin Spice Latte was not too bad either, but due to all the hype, I expected a lot more. To me, it tasted just like a regular latte, and Sanja pretty much agreed with me. In the afternoon, I met up with another familiar face - Lucia. Some of you might remember her from my California vlogs, as we were travelling together. Unfortunatelly, the trip went down south and we stopped talking after we returned home, but she contacted me last week and asked me if we could start our friendship over, which we did. She's also currently in London, trying to find a job and an apartment, so we met up and hung out. We first went to one of my favourite places in London, Covent Garden, where we did some window shopping and had lunch at Shake Shack. I was craving some cheese fires really bad, so it was the best place to go. It was my first time eating there and I was more than impressed. The burger was nothing special, but the fries were heavenly and so was the cranberry lemonade. I'm definitely coming back for more soon! When our bellies were full, and by full I mean FULL, we went to Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus and Carnaby Street. Carnaby Street has always been on my to-do list, but I ran out of time to visit it every time I was in London, so I was really happy I finally crossed it off my list. The main reason to go there was to check out Libery, a gorgeous department store, which I believe is about 150 years old. Talk about tradition! They carry a lot of famous luxury brands in there, so of course I had to go see the often talked about beauty section. It was lovely! I was only looking and swatching since I'm kind of broke, but I'll definitely do some shopping there as soon as possible, that's for sure. 
On Sunday, I stayed in Kingston and went to Richmond Park, which I absolutely adore. It's very close to my house, so I pop over as many times as possible. It's not really a traditional park. It's humongous and feels more like a countryside, which is why I need to make sure I have at least three hours on my hands when I decide to go for a walk there. And I only manage to walk through a tiny portion of it! I still haven't made it to the lakes, which are somewhere in the middle. One day. Anyway, taking walks there is extremely relaxing. There are tons of paths, you can see people riding horses and if you're lucky, you might even spot some deer. Yes, really. They're not shy at all and can get pretty up close and personal. I love it! After three hours of sweating and trying to film some clips for the video I'm planning to put up in about a month, I went back to the house to take a shower and do my 'no makeup' makeup to look a bit more presentable, as I was meeting up with a Slovenian girl who also works as an au pair closeby. We first went to Starbucks, where I got myself some hazelnut hot chocolate (yum!), explored the shops in central Kingston (we both realized we have an unhealthy obsession for home decor) and ended the day by going to Pizza Hut for dinner. Delish! 

Katja Reviews: Yummy Vanilla Body Butter & Chocolate Hand Cream

Yummy Vanilla Body Butter & Chocolate Hand Cream Review

Today's review will be presented by one and only - my sister Katja. My move to London forced me to leave a lot of amazing beauty items that still need to be reviewed behind, so we came up with a fabulous idea of her becoming a regular guest blogger here on The Puzzle of Sandra's Life. Don't worry, I made her go through beauty blogger bootcamp (lead by me) to make sure she's ready for the job, haha. The first two products she was trying out are the ones I received from click2chic at the amazing cakepop event. They're from the brand called Yummy, which perfectly describes the scents of their products if you ask me. But my sister will tell you more about the products themselves in the following paragraphs. Enjoy! 

Vanilla Body Butter comes in a simple yet cute packaging and is not as thick as some other body butters I've tried, which I really like. I'm not too fond of body butters that feel heavy on my skin. I always put on the vanilla body butter before I go to sleep and when I wake up, my skin feels very smooth and not greasy at all. It's super moisturizing, as the ingredients include shea butter, cocoa butter, macadamia oil, coconut oil and vitamin E. The scent is quite self-explanatory - basic vanilla scent. It's not too strong. When you put on the butter, you can only smell it on your skin for about an hour or two. In my opinion, this body butter is perfect for the upcoming dry months, because it moisturizes your skin without being too heavy or greasy, and it doesn't have an overwhelming scent! You get a large quantity of the product, but don't actually need to apply a lot of it, so this pot will probably last me for a few seasons. 

Chocolate Hand Cream's packaging is cute, simple and convenient as well. It says that the smell of it is 'chocolate', but I think it actually smells like chocolate mixed with a bit of orange. A few of my friends pointed that out as well. The scent of the hand cream is stronger than the scent of the body butter. When I put the hand cream on during my recess, my classmates started asking who was eating chocolate cake, because the scent was so rich and yummy. I love the feeling this cream leaves on my skin. It's even lighter than the butter and makes my hands feel super silky. I find that it also works wonders for the dry patches on my elbows that I get when the colder weather arrives.

I really liked both products and would love to try out more. Maybe some fruity ones in the summer time! Have you tried any Yummy products yourself?

The Week When I Moved to London

So, it happened! I now live in London, England. I know, I can't believe it either. I've been trying to figure my new life out during the past week, hence no new blog posts. I'm not sure when I'll be back to regular posting to be completely honest. There's a huge change in my lifestyle I still need to adjust to, the tripods for studio lights haven't arrived yet and the wi-fi up in my room is behaving like a total brat, meaning it works for two minutes and then disconnects. Not ideal circumstances for blogging, but hey, what can you do. I'm not disappearing from the blogosphere just yet, I just need a few extra weeks to sort everything out and get organized again.

Since I missed last week's Sunday post, I'm taking you two weeks back now. My second to last week wasn't too eventful. I filmed a few videos, went to play golf (lol), had a few farewell visits, and most importantly, tried to pack my life into one suitcase and one giant carry-on. Surprisingly, I managed to fit a lot more stuff into my luggage that I'd originally thought, but my family will still have to send me some random bits and pieces I left behind via post. The box should be shipped off tomorrow.

My friends and family had been asking me for weeks about the level of nervousness I was experiencing due to the move, but to be honest, I only had to deal with it on the day of departure. Sure, I was stressing out as far as packing goes. Packing for a move abroad is way different from packing for a quick trip aborad. But the actual move didn't seem like such a big deal to me up until Saturday, when my stomach started turning once my brain processed than I'm moving 1300 km away from the place I've been living ever since I was born. And when I remembered I'd have to carry my studio lights with me on the plane and probably deal with the strict airport security, which, by the way, I did. They scanned my carry-on three times, gave me some weird looks and asked me why the heck I was carrying so much technology with me. Well, technology is my life? Lol. The studio lights were the items that threw them off, as expected, but once I explained to them what the mysterious looking boxes are, they let me through without any trouble. If I ever need to carry them back home, they're going via post. Just in case.

Ok, sorry for getting sidetracked again. Back to the main topic. As I have said, I wasn't as nervous as one would expect, but I did end up getting a little bit emotional thanks to my mom. You see, she cried at the airport and when I see other people cry, I cry too. I even cry when I watch the x-factor. Yes, really. Every single time. I'm the worst. So, of course, when my mom cried, my eyes got all teary and there were tears flowing down my face throughout the whole freakin' plane ride. Thanks mom. People around me probably thought I was mental. Thank god there were just tears and no sobbing noises. Upon the touchdown, though, it was like somebody pressed my button and I was completely fine again. Maybe I am a little weird...

Then came the 'meet the family' part. In case you're new to my blog and are feeling slightly confused right now, I moved to England to work as an au pair, mainly to make the transition a bit easier and not stress about finding an apartment and a job straight away. Anyway, the 'meet the family' part went great. They were super welcoming and lovely, and I wasn't feeling homesick at all. The fact that they're also from Slovenia made the situation a bit easier, I think. I arrived on Saturday, so I had a day and a half to get to know them before my first week of work. On Sunday, I went to get a new SIM card along with my new UK phone number and made a trip to Boots to buy some toiletries, so I had all the urgent things on my list sorted out and felt ready for the week ahead.

Monday was when things got hard. I had to get the kids to school and the youngest was just not having it. He didn't want to get dressed, go to school, communicate with me, he was hitting me and his sister... It was awful. And the worst thing was that this was happening every single day up until Friday. I was mentally exhausted and one day even experienced a panic attack once I came back to the house after finally dropping him off. I felt completely incompetent, had a total breakdown and cried to my mom on the phone for an hour. It was so bad that I considered buying a plane ticket and going home. Thankfully, my mom calmed me down and explained to me that it is totally normal for children that age behaving like that, told me to not take it personally and to remind myself I'm actually paid to deal with their behaviour, and said to me that the situation I'm in is only temporary, because this is not the job I'll have to be doing until the rest of my life, which is true. Nine months from now, I'll be able to go on a hunt for my own little place and a new, hopefully more serious and suitable job for me. Or just go back home. You never know, haha.

Having said all that, Friday was a total bliss. Both children were wonderful, everything went according to plan without any stress and I even got to meet some moms from the school the kids are going to. I know, hanging out with the moms sounds a bit silly, but they were all so lovely and when they shared the stories about their children, I realized that they're all the same and it's not just me who has to deal with the tantrums. For some reason, this really calmed me down and I'm no longer as nervous about the whole situation as I was last week. I'm feeling hopeful about the following weeks and keeping my fingers crossed for the little one to get used to me and start behaving like a total angel. I know, a little too optimistic, but you know what I mean.

Au pair work aside, I'm truly enjoying my new life in England. I haven't made any friends yet, but I've been exploring the surrounding area with a camera around my neck and I have to say, I'm totally smitten. The parks around here are beautiful and feel more like countryside, I have all the shops I'd ever wanted to shop at ten minutes away from me, and the riverside is perfect for taking long de-stressing walks. But more on than later. I think this post will be way too long as it is, so I'll leave the details for my upcoming posts. However, if you're impatient and want to see what I've been up to or get a sneak peak of my new hometown, you're always welcome to check out my instagram. Until next time. 

Cranberry Gold Makeup Tutorial

Cranberry Gold Makeup Tutorial
I have the last video I filmed back at home to share with you today. It's a tutorial for the makeup look I've worn a few times this autumn. It might not seem all that special on camera, but in person it looks absolutely gorgeous! I love how the cranberry and the gold shade look together. 
Cranberry Gold Makeup Tutorial

My Makeup Collection

'My Makeup Collection' video is probably my most requested video of all times, and I finally managed to film it! High five! I personally find this kind of videos a little bit boring to watch, so filming one myself hasn't crossed my mind too many times, but since I am moving across Europe and consequently leaving a lot of my makeup behind, I thought now if ever would be the perfect time to film it. I hope you'll enjoy watching it, even if it's a bit long. Whoopsie!

September Beauty Favourites

I finally got my voice back, which means that I managed to film a few videos! Today I have 'September Beauty Favourites' for you. I've discovered some really amazing products last month. :)
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