Thursday, 22 June 2017

June Moodboard

Hello again; over the past couple of months I've found Pinterest to be a fantastic source of inspiration for my blog, my wardrobe, my hair... Just life in general. It's bad to be a bit like 'oh all of these images are from Pinterest', but if I'm honest, they actually are! This month I was so inspired by pink hair, so I ended up dying my hair pink, all thanks to some of the beautiful images below. At the minute I'm loving the festival and boho chic fashions and hairstyles, as well as vintage tea dresses and long summer days. I would say that my blog is a bit of an 'everything, anything' blog, I post what I like and I'm definitely inspired by other blogs and images that I see around. The images below demonstrate the kind of images I would love to produce with some time and practice, as I'm constantly looking for ways to improve my blog and content. What is inspiring you this month? Let me know in the comments!


 

 

 


 


Monday, 19 June 2017

Happy Things #25 // Life Update

 


Every Monday, I try to start the week off by listing five things (however small) that are positive and will make my mental health keep upwards, rather than downwards. For literally 24 weeks, I've done a post like this every single week and on the whole, it has really kept my mind in perspective. The issue with having mental health issues is that you're constantly in recovery, there's no magic wand that means that everything is forgotten and you'll never have to worry again; I've definitely learnt that the hard way.

For the past couple of weeks I've definitely been struggling more than I have for a while. I'm telling myself that this is ok, that I can work my way back up. I want to discover my life more, I want to keep on my happy plane and focus on myself, what I want to achieve, but ultimately it's hard to be positive all of the time. I need to motivate myself to keep getting better. I need to remember that finding five happy things every Monday keeps me sane and ready to fight the world.

- - - - -

1. This week I have a lovely weekend planned, as well as the Saturday and the Sunday off from work. I'm going to spend time with Piotr and enjoy the long summer days, maybe sit in a pub garden, eat good food and enjoy simply watching time pass with my favourite person.

2. Blogging has become a part of my life in so many ways now, I have so many post ideas and things that I want to achieve. So far, June has been my most successful month in terms of blogging; views, engaging with other bloggers and my content.

3. Piotr bought me these roses the other day and I love watching them bloom. He buys me flowers often, but each time I always feel so happy whenever I see them in their vase around the house. There's something beautiful about receiving flowers as a gift and I'm lucky to have a boyfriend who knows how much I love them and spoils me with various bouquets.

4. This time last year was probably my lowest in terms of mental health and I can't quite believe how far I've come; I'm so excited to see how well I'll be this time next year. By taking on the world a week at a time, I've found a way of keeping in control of my health and finding myself again. I need to remind myself of how strong I can be.

5. June is actually one of my favourite months of the year now, thanks to Piotr changing my outlook on life; I hadn't realised how quickly this month and actually this year is disappearing right under my nose. I'm learning to embrace change, to embrace time passing and most of all, embrace life.


 


 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Book Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton

 


Firstly, if I'm completely honest with myself, I was drawn to this book by its beautiful cover; the small picture frame with a window alongside the bold red typeface caught my attention. The picture frame has some illustrated buildings as its content. I was even more pleasantly surprised once I turned m attentions to the inside cover; across the lower half of both pages was an illustrated New York collective skyline of buildings and then my hearts was set on reading this book. The author of the novel, Elizabeth Strout is widely acclaimed so I had high hopes that I would enjoy this book. One of the reasons that I was happy to read it is because its rather short; less than 300 pages, so it seemed like a great option for those days when you want to read and read and read.

I have to say that I wasn't really sure what I was expecting this novel to be about; I assumed, correctly, that the main character would be called Lucy Barton and I liked the first person narrative. Her character was although unassuming and what many would label as a 'wallflower', to me she was fascinating. To begin with, I found the novel quite a fast read, as well as rather uneventful, but in fact that was my mistake; I simply wasn't looking for the clues hidden within the narrative. I can see now, why Strout is such a revered author; her literary style is just lovely. As I continued through the book, Lucy's narrative also progresses. As a reader, we see a person who is ill in hospital; at first glance, this is a completely uneventful situation, until we learn of her background. More specifically, of her childhood.

Her personality is both likeable and yet somewhat frustrating; her relationships with her family members clearly are far from perfect, although that seems to be from her moving away to the big city and leaving her underprivileged life behind, to an extent. There are some really painful memories being relived from an unintentionally abusive upbringing, alongside from genuine fears for her current life; her relationship with her husband and her two daughters. On the surface, Lucy is an ordinary person; however as the novel winds its way to an end, it is clear that she is rather extraordinary. Coming from a background of almost poverty, she has made a life for herself whilst remembering what it is like to have nothing, ensuring that she and her husband give generously to those who may otherwise go without. The introduction of her mother was an interesting addition to the novel; another perspective whilst keeping to the first person narrative. Her mother was an interesting concept; their relationship was clearly strained. It's easy to see why Lucy avoided visiting her family during her adult life, as it's made clear that they resent her success as an author. That being said, she's clearly fond of them and sends them money, so considering she was raised very poor, it was nice to see her sharing her newfound wealth, regardless of how her family view said wealth.

Overall, I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. I liked that Lucy's medical condition was never disclosed, it gave you something to consider, especially considering how little her husband and children visited, as well as how rapidly her mother disappeared. Her upbringing definitely affected her throughout her life, it was laid out just how much attention she craved from her mother in particular, when she tells the reader that she has never been told that she is loved by her mother. Her story was sad on the one hand, but the way that Strout writes is absolutely beautiful; dealing with the complexities of all kinds of love from a compassionate narrator. I felt at times like the narrator was fairly unreliable; she's fairly passive and somewhat vague throughout. Part of me thought that the hospital stay was a dream - it was a frustrating read in some ways, as I felt like I wanted so many more details; about her childhood, her family relationships, her state of mind, etc. However, the vagueness was one of the reasons why I liked this novel, as it allows the reader to use their imagination and fill in the gaps for themselves, so to speak. It covers so many different topics, in so little pages I would really recommend reading it; it's definitely a 'marmite' kind of book that some will love and others will hate. I loved it.


 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

June Playlist!

 


1. Despacito - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (feat. Justin Bieber)
2. The Zephyr Song - Red Hot Chili Peppers
3. Drumming Song - Florence + The Machine
4. Malibu - Miles Cyrus
5. Ex's & Oh's - Elle King
6. Hard Times - Paramore
7. Stronger - Kanye West
8. R.I.P. - Rita Ora (feat. Tinie Tempah)
9. Plug In Baby - Muse
10. Move Your Body - Sia
11. Something About You - Jamelia
12. Sex Yeah - Marina and The Diamonds
13. Pretty Girls - Britney Spears (feat. Iggy Azalea)
14. First Time - Kygo & Ellie Goulding
15. Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy

Hello again; during this month I've been listening to a variety of music in terms of artists, styles, genres, etc. I think it's good to listen to whatever you feel like, so that's what I do. I'm fairly old school, I like to listen to my music using an iPod rather than my iPhone as I feel like the sound quality is better and it definitely saves my phone battery! My iPod is super battered but it does the trick every time and it makes my journey to and from work much more enjoyable; especially as sometimes I can travel over an hour to get to work... The perks of living in traffic heavy London! My absolute favourite at the moment is Despacito; bit contraversial considering Justin Bieber apparently doesn't know the words, but it's just so catchy and really reminds me of my old job, where I worked with a lot of Spanish and Latino people. I'm used to the rhythm of that kind of music and I just love listening to music in different languages in general; culture really fascinates me. 


 

Monday, 12 June 2017

Happy Things #24

 


1. I had a fantastic weekend with my best friend on the Saturday evening and I spent the day with my boyfriend on Sunday, which was a nice surprise. After a good weekend, I'm all ready for the long day that is Monday (Monday shifts aren't my favourite haha). Although I'm not a huge fan of hot weather, I'm loving the longer evenings; it's nice to go on a walk at 10pm without needing street lamps.

2. So I decided to take a massive risk and dye my hair pink. I've always wanted to have a cool hair colour over the past couple of years but I was never really brave enough. But over the past year, I've really grown in confidence so I decided to do it! I actually like it, so I'll be doing it again I think. Eek.

3. If I'm being 100% honest with myself, I'm not feeling amazingly positive at the moment. I try my absolute best to be, but sometimes it can be hard. Blogging is a huge part of my life now, it definitely helps to keep my mind positive, especially through sitting and working out what is positive at the start of each week. I would recommend to anyone, just sit and take some time out to remind yourself of what is good about your life. 

4. So far, I've been quite good at changing my diet for the better. I've been making small steps by eating more salads, yoghurt and crisp breads. I'm trying to not force myself to eat less, or feel like I crave food. I'm slowly learning that everything needs to be done in moderation, including diet. Fingers crossed, I'll keep it up throughout this week.

5. This week, I'm planning to read a lot and hopefully spent a lot of time on my blog. I want to take some blog photographs and start really planning out my content a little more, by scheduling posts and having a set schedule throughout the week, rather than simply posting whenever I feel like it.


 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

MOTD - 90s Gal

Hello again! This month I'm trying to be a little more organised with my blog posts; as in I'm attempting to keep more in line with a blog topic, such as beauty or fashion. If you've been reading my posts for a while then you'll know how much of a beauty love I am. At the minute I'm really loving the 90s make up trend of brown lipstick; actually brown lips are having a massive retro revival right now, which is kind of a joke as I remember reading teenage magazines aged around 14 that were literally slating all of the main 90s trend, including the brown lipstick. I bought the NYX Liquid Suede in the shade Sandstorm and I've been in love with it ever since. It's got the largest applicator I've seen on a liquid lipstick so I do find it a challenge to apply neatly. If I'm honest, I almost always over line my lips with this lipstick by mistake. The downside to having brown lips does mean that my contour does end up making my complexion look hugely muddy, although that's also because I'm super pale. This look is definitely more of a night out look than a day to day look. Using the Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser Primer as a way of setting my make up flawlessly, followed by the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24hr Foundation in the shade Porcelain before the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer placed under my eyes, across my nose and on any other blemishes and spots. The final part of the base is powder, which I always use the Maybelline Matte Maker in the shade classic ivory. The next step is to contour my face using the Rimmel Kate Moss Sculpting Palette in the shade #002. Due to my pale complexion I only add the bronze shade to my cheekbones and my hairline as I don't like to look like I've been hit by a brick, haha. I also use the blush shade from the same palette and lightly dab it across the apples of my cheeks.


 

 


I decided that as this look is more of a going out look, so natural brows were not an option. I used the Sleek MakeUp Brow Kit in the shade Light; firstly using the powder to fill in any gaps in the hairs and the gel to set my brows in place. I did thicken my brows slightly, so that they would stand out and frame my face. For my eyeshadow I used the w7 In The Night palette, using a lilac matte shade all over my lid and a shimmery purple across the centre of my lid. They're not the most pigmented shades in the world, but they add colour without making me look like I've been punched in the face! In terms of eyeliner, I swear by the L'Oréal Paris SuperLiner Slim in the shade Intense Black as it has a pen shaped nib that glides across the lid and it dries very quickly. It's the only liner that I'm able to create a neat looking cat eye shape with. My favourite mascara of the moment is the Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express in the shade Very Black; it lengthens, separates and literally curls my eyelashes so well I feel like I've got falsies on and the blackness matches the eyeliner well, making my eyes pop. My holy grail highlighter at the minute is the MakeUp Revolution Vivid Baked Highlights in the shade Ever Glow Lights; it's a really bright, glowy highlight that's super buildable to blinding if you want to be. For £3, it's an absolute steal. I apply it over my cheekbones, across my brow bone, along the centre and tip of my nose and lastly across my Cupid's bow. Lastly, I apply the NYX Liquid Suede all over my lips in the shade Sandstorm. I've found it can dry a little patchy with one coat, so I usually apply two coats to ensure that it's completely opaque. I hope you like this look, I liked it but it was definitely a lot bolder than I usually would put on my face! Forgive the badly lit photos, I really need to invest in a proper camera. Until next time! ❤️


 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Beauty Blogger Tag

 


Hello again guys! I love finding these little tags and/or Q&As on other bloggers pages; they're super fun and easy to complete and I feel like I get to know the blogger quite well when I read them. This particular tag I found through youcancallmecaz so make sure you have a look at her blog as she's lovely and her blog is so interesting; she's one of my favourites at the moment. Although I blog about a variety of topics, I do love beauty so it made sense for me to do this tag. To any new blogger, I would recommend getting involved in the community and completing some tags as it's an excellent way of not only meeting other bloggers, but also it's an extra post if you're feeling uninspired. I don't have anyone in mind to tag to complete this next, but if you're reading this and want to complete it, go ahead! Now, read on to see my answers to these questions and let me know if you like these kinds of blog posts in the comments and have a lovely day! :)


Do you have any fashion or beauty icons? Who?!
When I was younger I was ridiculously obsessed with fashion and beauty to the point that I used to collect a variety of magazines like Vogue, i-D, LOVE, etc. Which not only gave me inspiration but also influenced me massively. My bedroom wall when I was a teenager was covered with scraps from newspapers and magazines. Overall my icons are Audrey Hepburn, Lily Cole, Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne, Brigette Bardot and Twiggy, to name literally only a few. Now, I'm a little more open to the everyday girl and often get inspiration from YouTube; beauty looks in particular are super easy to find and follow on there.

Beauty pet peeve?
I don't really have any; (I think that Caz had a similar opinion) beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, although there are some weird trends like fluffy nails and using food and things to blend make up which I wouldn't do, but I don't ever look at someone's make up and think ugh that looks awful, I think an individual knows what suits them and what doesn't.
Would you rather wear no makeup for the rest of your life or makeup everyday (but you can't take it off when going to bed)
This is hard. I love make up, but in the last year I've definitely become much more confident in my own skin to the point that I wear make up much less now; I'll choose no make up as not taking it off would absolutely ruin my skin so... As much as I'd miss wearing make up, I would prefer clear skin.
Do you have any tips or tricks makeup/cosmetic wise?
One trick I always swear by is using a crayon concealer before primer, then liquid concealer after foundation; it never fails to cover up my huge dark circles!
Do you only buy cruelty-free makeup and if so why?
I tend to buy whatever I like in the drugstore; although as I'm getting older I'm more aware of animal cruelty and actually I was a strict vegetarian when I was younger, so I should really be more active in that sense. I'm thinking that I should buy more products from Lush and The Body Shop as they sell amazing make up that is cruelty free, but they're a little out of my budget too, unfortunately.
What do you consider to be your worst moment beauty-wise?
It has to be when I was in sixth form when I massively overplucked my eyebrows so that they were tiny, plus literally putting so much foundation on that they were practically invisible... It really was NOT a good look.
Skincare or Makeup?
Overall I prefer make up, you can't beat a bit of eyeliner and mascara paired with red lipstick, but at the same time... Skincare is getting more attention in my life now, as I do suffer from blotchy skin. If I don't moisturise or cleanse I definitely can feel my skin suffering. When you're a teenager you don't really take much care of your skin (I know I didn't, anyway) and it's something that haunts you when you reach your twenties. Right now, skincare and make up are definitely becoming more equal than I would've ever thought, but that's not a bad thing.


 
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