A Year in Review | 2020

During a post-Christmas clean, I found a journal entry I wrote on 1st January. Incidentally this was the only entry I made all year, but looking back I started the year out filled with a lot of hope and ambition for 2020. Reading it made me realize just how much growth I have had in many areas of my life. The global pandemic has certainly brought some challenging and depressing days, but there have also been some wonderful moments this year that I want to remember. So before 2020 is over, here are just some of my highlights from this incredibly strange year:

  • I attended my auntie’s wedding right at the beginning of January and who knew that would be my first and last big social event for the year?! The day was filled with carefree dancing, toasting, laughing, hugging, and all without wearing a mask or obeying any rules of six…

  • This year the U.K. has really enjoyed some glorious weather, which I really appreciated particularly throughout the first lockdown. This meant there were lots of walks (often twice a day!), as well as days filled with various kinds of outside exercise or sunbathing with a glass of cold Pimms.

  • Being at home and having a lot more time back in my day, meant it was the perfect opportunity for more blogging, with this post being number 58 of this year! I pushed myself with writing challenges and also concentrated more on uploading videos to my YouTube channel. Overall this has resulted in more traffic with readers/viewers from different parts of the world – thank you! I can’t wait to continue creating next year.

  • There wasn’t a homemade sourdough in sight on my end, but I did get some baking in here and there. My new favourite discovery was a Sangria cake I baked for my Mum’s birthday – so easy and delicious! I also tried cooking some new recipes which emphasized how much I love trying new things. I am excited to do more of this in 2021 too!

  • I was devastated when my Summer flights to America were cancelled as I planned on going to Chicago for the first time, as well as attending my brother’s wedding! However we all still celebrated virtually via a live stream, complete with video calls for speeches and toasts. My family and I made the effort to dress up and we also decorated the house, the garden and the table. I even cooked a slightly elaborate meal! Overall, it was a bittersweet but a memorable and special day.

  • Despite all the challenges working from home, I am super proud of my progression in my 9-5 job and the impact I have had this year. I am giving myself a huge pat on the back well done… something we all need to do now and again!

  • Living an active lifestyle was my main goal for 2020. At the start of the year I was focused on getting beyond the 8 week mark of regular exercise (before I typically lost interest). From HIIT, running, pilates, hikes, walks, online classes and various other videos and IGTV’s, I’ve LOVED every moment of it. I am feeling stronger both mentally and physically, with my relationship and attitude towards exercise being completely transformed. Here’s to health in 2021!

  • Finding out I would be an auntie for the first time has also been a highlight for this year. Roll on early 2021 where I get to meet (virtually but hopefully physically soon) my little niece.

  • Becoming a dog auntie to the wonderful @cosmoandsherlockadventures has brought me so much joy and firmly helped me get over my fear of dogs! I am now one of those people who would coo at a dog rather than run away from it, haha!

  • In a way I am hugely grateful to 2020 as it meant I was able to save money faster and led me to buying my first home with my boyfriend. I am so excited to move in January 2021 and begin a new and exciting chapter of my life!

This year may not have always gone to plan, but 2020 has helped me be thankful for what I do have and enjoy the small moments along the way. Whatever way you are ringing in the New Year, I wish you a wonderful , happy, healthy and safe year ahead, filled with lots of positivity and light. Let’s hope 2021 will be filled with more times seeing our loved ones and squeezing them tight once again.

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about to not miss out!

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also enjoy:

Lessons in My 20’s

3 Key Concepts For Relaxation

Mindfulness Chocolate Challenge!

Overcoming My Fears

Comparing My Favourite Purple Shampoos

Get More Time Back In Your Day

Comparing My Favourite Purple Shampoos

Blonde hair can sure be high maintenance, let alone when it comes to choosing the perfect purple or silver shampoo, to maintain that lovely blonde. I for one know that there are 50 Shades of Blonde so I’ve taken it upon myself to show the results of two of my favourites! This video took me a while to make as I decided to compare it on both ash blonde and beige blonde hair, so you can really see the difference!

Watch the video below to see the results of Kérastase’s Absolu-Blond vs Redken’s Blondage… enjoy!

Buy the Kérastase shampoo here
Buy the Redken shampoo here

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about!

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also like:

AF X PRIMARK | Hair Review – Video

AF X Primark (Part 2)| How I Curl My Hair

Ola-what-a-plex?

Coco & Eve Hair Review

5 Easy Everyday Hairstyles

5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

That Salon Hair Feeling!

Happy humpday readers! It’s the perfect time to do some self-care and what’s better than some TLC for your hair?

With Black Friday and Christmas around the corner, this is the perfect product to buy as a gift, for a friend or for yourself! There is a reason this hair mask is so popular… watch my video to see the result!

Buy the Coco & Eve, Like a Virgin hair mask here: https://amzn.to/2UCL65o

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about. Remember there will also be more content coming your way every day this month Monday – Friday, so don’t miss out!

Come connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also enjoy:

Opening Up | How I REALLY Feel

Ola-what-a-plex?

Kardashian Hair? |Andrew Fitzsimon X Primark

Emma Hardie’s Starter Kit | Honest Review

8 Minute Total Body Workout

5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

Emma Hardie’s Starter Kit | Honest Review

I first stumbled across the Emma Hardie brand on YouTube when I saw Anna Saccone using her dual-action cleansing cloth in her fake tanning routine. After a bit of research, I was intrigued to try some of her products. The brand is vegan and cruelty-free, focusing on natural healing and skin rejuvenation for all skin types. It is also free from many harmful ingredients such as SLS, parabens, silicones and more. When I saw a combination of Emma Hardie’s bestselling items available in a bundle on ASOS (+ a 20% discount), I couldn’t resist picking up the Emma Hardie Moringa Starter Kit!

The kit is usually £30 and contains the brand’s best selling Moringa Cleansing Balm, dual-action cleansing cloth, a wash-bag and the Midus Touch gel. The premise of the kit is simple; it is your one stop shop for your morning and evening skincare routine. So, how does it work?

  1. The Moringa Balm can be used to cleanse your face and to remove make-up. Simply take a hazelnut amount and rub it into your palm, and then gently into your face and neck
  2. Next soak the muslin (cotton side of the cloth) in warm water, rinsing any excess water and cleanse away
  3. If you wish, you can then use the microfibre side to exfoliate and polish your skin for a dewy glow. Again take a hazelnut amount, apply, rinse with warm water and gently wipe your face
  4. To finish, apply the Midus Touch gel on your neck and face but avoid the eye area

Sounds great! But what does each product actually do?

The Moringa Cleansing Balm removes all traces of make-up and dirt off your face. For the last seven years I have purely used cleansers and/or micellar water rather than make-up wipes to clean my face, and I must admit that I was thoroughly impressed by this product. At first the balm texture is hard in the pot, but easily softens into a liquid substance when you rub it into your palm. As someone with sensitive skin, I was pleased to see that the balm did not irritate my face or eyes. Instead it left it feeling very soft and moisturised, whilst also crucially removing a lot more dirt off my face than any other cleanser I have used.
You can also leave the Moringa Balm on your skin overnight for a super hydrated treatment – something that I looking forward to trying!

I like the size of the dual-action cleansing cloth and definitely noticed on first-impressions that as promised, the microfibre side brightened, buffed and deep cleansed my skin. I also really like the fact that the cloth is machine-washable so it helps to reduce waste and is far more sustainable. I did wonder whether the Midus Touch gel would leave my skin feeling tingly (as so many other products do). However it glided onto my skin and left it feeling cool and calm, resulting in an instant glowy complexion.

Nonetheless, I’ll be honest with you. Having never used a cleanser with a cloth (my simple skincare routine can be found here) I over-complicated the process and confused myself (as can be seen in the video below). I also noticed on the Moringa Balm pot that I bought, that it very disappointingly had some of the branding missing, which I guess was a quality control issue. However, I really loved the results of the products on my skin and in particular would repurchase the Moringa Balm and a couple more cloths. Overall I really like what this brand stands for and am very pleased with these affordable, but slightly luxe purchases and can definitely see why they are bestsellers!

If you want to watch my first impressions of the Moringa Starter Kit, click the video below and remember to like, comment and importantly subscribe to my channel, for a new video coming to you every week!

Psst… for any other newbies to Emma Hardie here, I have also seen that Cult Beauty are offering the Midus Touch Collection for just £20 which includes a miniature sized Starter Kit (15ml products) plus the mini Midus Touch Mask!

If you liked this blog post make sure you subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about. Also remember that throughout November new content will be coming to you every day throughout lockdown to keep you entertained. Don’t miss out!

Come say hi and follow me on my socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also enjoy:

TV Shows to Binge in Lockdown

My Skincare Routine

This Week’s Blogging Challenge! | June 22 – 28th

I Went on Holiday During a Pandemic…!

Sarah’s Day Fitness E-Books | Review

Sarah’s Day Fitness E-Books | Review

If you read my Opening Up| How I Began Exercising Consistently – 6 Month Fitness Update! post, you will know that in January I began Sarah’s Day 8 Week Lifestyle challenge with her first e-book, Sweat It To Shred It. I enjoyed it so much, I then completed her follow up 8 week guide, Sweat It Reload. Following Sarah across her Instagram and YouTube over the last few years, I have always loved her passion and positivity, and felt inspired by her workouts. I could see through her vlogs just how much Sarah lives and breathes fitness into her lifestyle, and knew that this was something I wanted to introduce into my own life. In a world of influencers and many falsehoods, I appreciated her down to earth attitude and could relate to her motivation to train and to make a change in my own life, amongst my own motivators. I purchased these guides with the intention to help me get in the swing of regular exercise, and the hope it would slowly increase intensity, with just enough variety to avoid boredom that I previously had experienced. Ding, ding, ding! It did just that. In the introduction of her first guide, Sweat It To Shred It, she adds:


” I NOW WAKE UP EVERY MORNING EXCITED AND MOTIVATED TO TRAIN. NO MORE DREADING THE GYM, OR YOUR MORNING RUN. IT’S TIME TO MIX IT UP, HAVE FUN AND START SEEING RESULTS!”

And you know what, I absolutely felt the same way.

So, what was my fitness like at the start of the program? Prior to starting these challenges, I would rate myself as being on the lower-average fitness level for a woman of my age (25). I wasn’t terrible, but honestly my upper body strength was poor; I could barely do 1 ladies’ push up. I could run a mile on average in approximately 10.5 -11 minutes, with the odd fluke of a quicker time. I also enjoyed HIIT workouts in the past and was accustomed to Pilates every now again, however I hadn’t consistently stuck at exercising for a long time. My flexibility to start off with was also a challenge for me. So the fact these exercises were aimed to encourage flexibility development was a bonus. I had relatively strong abs but not much definition, and it (like most) was the main area I wanted to tone.

So how does it work? The workouts are designed to get you sweaty, active, to tone your body along with completing challenges and 15 min fat burners, proving that you that you don’t need to workout for 2 hours a day to get fit. These e-books are a mixture of resistance and circuit exercises, with a variety of training styles. Every 3 weeks, the guide cranks it up a notch. In the past, I would find myself plateauing after the 2-3 week mark or lost interest. So if like me, you suffer with boredom from exercises – this is the guide for you! Some moves weren’t too beginner friendly, or admittedly that easy to make out on the e-book. But it is clearly stated at the beginning of the first e-book to make adjustments to account for your own flexibility. In addition to this after a quick YouTube search it wasn’t rocket science to break down the move or to swap it out for an easier modification. If you haven’t followed Sarah or watched any of her videos, one thing you should know is that she is a big believer in, “Listening to your body”. If something hurts or is too difficult, stop and modify it. If she’s not feeling something, she’s honest about it and I have a lot of respect for that.

Did I do every workout? The first few weeks definitely ease you in, beginning with 3 days a week, plus optional challenges and activities like walking or swimming etc., to keep you interested and motivated. At the beginning, I went with how I was feeling and did skip some of the optional challenges and changed up the activities like beach run circuits to account for U.K. weather. But the intention was there, despite changing it up for a different workout that day. I was also conscientious to not overdo it or anger any old injuries. I was happy to try my hardest but to go at my own pace, learning from my past mistakes. The good thing is, you do not need a lot of room for these workouts. During the first 8 weeks no equipment is needed, apart from a yoga mat. In weeks 9-16, I swapped out some of the equipment needed in Sweat It Reload, such as using a chair instead of a bench. I luckily had some dumbbells to hand of differing weights, but you can get creative and lift what you have in the house (think tins, bottles of water, whatever you have!). Or if you want to be a bit more committed, order some free weights online. Some days I really didn’t feel like completing my workout, but I wanted to compete with myself and I was determined to push through. I did not skip any of the essential workouts (sweaty shredders/ toning powers/ circuits).

I’ll tell you one thing, I never regretted completing a workout.

What did I discover throughout the 16 weeks?

  • First and foremost, I obviously got so much stronger and fitter. Over time, some of those challenging moves (like ab kicks) got easier and those burpees I once so despised, were no longer so terrible. I could also easily and proudly do 10 proper push ups by the end of it!
  • I pushed myself harder but also looked forward to my rest days. Knowing that I was being consistent and more disciplined than ever helped me feel more motivated to not only get through the work day, but to complete my days of exercise for the week
  • I developed a lot more self-discipline
  • I felt proud, happier and calmer on days I exercised
  • I developed more of a love for athleisure and began relaxing in it (I never did this before!) I also bought some new “proper” workout clothing, swapping out my old miscellaneous t-shirt collection for new shorts and sports bras. This also helped for motivation!
  • Despite my prior protests, I “can” exercise at all times of the day; but my preference is between 9-11am
  • The program also helped me get fit in other ways. Although I had not done any running throughout the program, I could run a mile lot quicker and I also got noticeably more flexible
  • Did I lose weight? I typically don’t weigh myself regularly, but I did weigh myself once every 7-10 days to keep track. To be honest, I tended to fluctuate a kilo either side. However it is important to note that we all have different body types and I did not change my eating habits. My goal was not to lose weight, but to tone up, get stronger and more flexible. I’m sure if I changed my diet, I would have lost a couple of kilos. Nonetheless, I did noticeably tone up and I developed muscle definition that I hadn’t seen in years! My shoulders and arms got more lean and muscular. My love handles got smaller, both my quads and glutes were more defined. I’d call that an all round win, wouldn’t you?
  • I felt more confident in myself and overall my clothes did fit better
  • I began to see elements of my personality from when I was a kid again shine through. Although it’s natural to change as we grow up, I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed being active!
  • I gained a tremendous amount of respect for women who keep up an active lifestyle despite their challenges of work, familiy, disability etc. There are also a lot of positive women who are “influencers” like Sarah’s Day and Kayla Instines who want you to love your body, get stronger whilst putting your health and wellbeing first


Would I do it again? Absolutely! I began telling my friends about the workouts, particularly after being complimented on my toned up body, (I hadn’t seen anyone other than on video calls or my parents for 2 months in lockdown so I guess it was noticeable). Exercising consistently also has had a positive impact on my mental health, particularly over the pandemic the last few months.

Overall, I think the guide is a great way to kick start a healthier lifestyle and assist regular exercise to become a habit.

My final thoughts would be… Sarah, when is the next e-book for weeks 17 – 25 coming out?! In the meantime I will eagerly be awaiting her secret “cooking project” which is due to launch in August!

I hope you will subscribe if you enjoyed this blog post. If so, check out the below:

Opening Up| How I Began Exercising Consistently – 6 Month Fitness Update!

Summer Body Skincare

Short Story

This Week’s Blogging Challenge! | June 22 – 28th

Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube to keep up to date with what I’m talking about and check out my Instagram!