Monday, 17 July 2017

Happy Things #29 // Honesty



Hello again, it's already Monday.

I share so much of my life, my opinions with you... Whoever you are, wherever you are in the world. Every Monday I post five happy things that will happen sometime during the week as a way of keeping my mental health on the positive side of life. However, the truth about having high functioning anxiety is that on the surface you look like you're coping when it reality you're breaking down inside.

Over the course of the last weekend I had one of the worst weekends in terms of my mental health for a long time. 

I couldn't sleep, purged on food... Cried constantly and spent hours looking at old friends online, missing them... Struggling to accept change. It's so incredibly difficult sometimes to be positive, regardless of how many lists of positivity you make. It's important to be honest, to be real about how you feel.

After a seriously bad weekend, I've woken up on Monday and survived Monday. I'm feeling much better, I'm ok. The reason behind this post that it's ok to slip up, to have a bad day, or week. But it's important to talk to someone, let anyone know how you feel. Try to move on. Life is hard, the path to happiness is never easy and it's something you have to constantly work at. This week I'm not writing a list, I want to live my life without sticking to a routine. Just for a week.



Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Collective Haul

Hello again guys, I can't believe that we're halfway through July already! I've had a few cheeky bits and pieces ordered this month and so far I'm absolutely in love with all of the items that have arrived for me this month. I've mentioned several times before on my blog that I do stick to a pretty strict budget; money doesn't grow on trees as we all know, so when I do make a purchase it's usually a very considered one. As we've had a fairly hot summer so far (hot for the UK, at any rate) I desperately wanted a fashionable pair of espadrilles as I'm not a fan of my toes. The ones pictured below were from Very and priced at £22. They're super comfy and keep my feet fashionable and ready for summer whilst covered up. The embroidered elements make them look so much more expensive and are super on trend at the moment. I'm loving embroidered accessories right now as these shoes really jazz up any outfit without being too overdone. I'm definitely going to be buying more espadrilles as these are so easy and comfortable to wear.




For the past couple of months I've been obsessed with the NYX liquid lipsticks; London is my absolute love, but I decided to branch out a little after seeing so many good reviews and opinions surrounding their products. From the Lip Lingerie collection I bought the shades Baby Doll and Honeymoon; priced at £6.99 they're a complete bargain and during this year I have started to like nude shades on me so the variety of shades available from NYX means that I can choose a nude shade that suits my skin tone. I also bought a Liquid Suede in the shade Sandstorm for the price of £6.99 and I can confirm that this really does live up to the hype! Of all of the NYX liquid lipstick formulas, I do prefer the Soft Matte Lip Creams, but in terms of pigmentation, the Liquid Suede formula definitely has the strongest colour. That being said, I love all of these formulas and I have no regrets in purchasing such a range of formulas and colours as they're excellent value for money. I'm also really liking the Glam'eyes Professional Liquid Eye Liner by Rimmel; priced at £4.99, it's definitely affordable and not only is it super black, it's also a matte finish. The applicator is very think too, so with some practice you can avoid looking like you're imitating a panda which is a result for me, haha. One of the more premium items in this haul is the Ready, Set, Brow! By Benefit and as much as I adore it, the price does make me cringe a little at £20. I would argue that it's worth the money as it sets my brows in place all day, every day and I love the packaging too, as an added bonus. It's definitely a splurge, but as I use it every day it's an investment purchase.




Unsurprisingly, after all of the hype surrounding the beauty blender (and sponge applicators in general), it was inevitable that I would eventually cave in and get some sponges to test. As I trust the Real Techniques brand and have a lot of their brushes, it made sense to me to try out the sponges by them too. The Miracle Complexion Sponge Duo are excellent value for money priced at £11.99 as that's for two sponges, whereas comparatively, some other brands are in excess of £15 for only one sponge. I've been fairly impressed with them so far, they blend foundation in really well and don't cause any streaks, although I've found they're a bit too bulky to blend in concealer so I'll likely invest in some smaller options for my under eyes, but for my overall face I would definitely recommend. I've also been loving the Eyes Starter Kit by Real Techniques as I've been trying a bit harder to create nice looks with my eyeshadow palettes, so it was time to invest in more brushes. For £19.99 you get five brushes that are for different eye related tasks, such as filling in brows or blending shadows over the lid. The different sizes and thicknesses are great and they feel good quality, with no shedding. For the price you receive a decent amount of brushes, as well as a little carry case, too so I have no regrets. Recently I've been needing to wear a watch more and more and so I decided it was time to buy a new one, the Radley Doodle Dog which is very cute, with little dog illustrations and rose gold detailing. At £69 it was the most expensive thing by far in this haul, but as I've used it every day since I bought it I do feel that it's worth it; for the price it had better last well!




Lastly, I've added two new perfumes to my extensive collection. Both of them were from my boyfriend for our anniversary, which is why I love them so much; they constantly remind of happy times, as well as of him. The largest of the two is Fantasy in Bloom by Britney Spears and it smells divine, with notes of mandarin, red berries, jasmine, vanilla and cherry blossom. It's a sweet and floral scent and very feminine, although even the bottle itself is incredibly feminine with its hot pink overall exterior alongside a gold neck and white and gold cherry blossoms. At £18 for the 100ml it's a bargain and it's the perfect summer scent. The smaller bottle is Princess Revolution by Vera Wang and it's a perfume that I'd been lusting after for months but could never manage to find it within my budget until recently. £19 for the 50ml bottle was great as it was affordable for me and I do love the Princess perfumes. As you can probably tell, I'm a fan of floral scents and this one is no exception with notes of lily of the valley, cherries, watermelon, jasmine, apple blossom and blood orange. The tangyness of the scent makes it feel quite oriental, but the bottle matches really well visually with the other Princess perfumes that I own, with its classic heart shape. The black doodles on the burgundy bottle are hard to picture, but in real life it's a stunning bottle and so hard to find that I thought I'd never manage to find it. This was actually quite a big haul, for the first time in a while; let me know if you like these kind of posts down in the comments. Until next time :)





Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Book Review: The Hypnotist's Love Story

 


The reason behind this book being on my (rather large) reading list was because I had enjoyed reading Big Little Lies so much, which is also written by Liane Moriarty. The title is actually a little misleading; Ellen is actually a professional hypnotherapist who helps her clients lose weight, quit smoking and face their fears, amongst some other things. As a reader we're told fairly early on that she's single, aged thirty five, with a rather unsuccessful dating history; but she's ready to settle down, provided that she can find the right man. Naturally, this is when she meets Patrick; a widow with an eight year old son and hiding a secret. At first glance, Patrick appears to be the perfect man but a little distracted. I suppose you could argue that this is because he's a busy man, working full time and balancing raising a child as a single parent, but in all honestly the book only become interesting for me when Saskia is introduced. It was interesting to see a female stalker at work, as well as seeing the narrative voices switch between the perspectives of both Ellen and Saskia. Although technically there are three 'main' characters, as a reader we only ever see Patrick through the eyes of the two women as he never takes over the narrative at any point.

There are parts of this book that feel fairly unbelievable; for example Ellen is not disturbed by the thought that her boyfriend, Patrick has a stalker, she's intrigued. However, Ellen also doesn't realise that Saskia is just as interested in Ellen; to the extent that she even poses as a client, using a false name to have the oppportunity to get to know Ellen and snoop around her house, as all Ellen works through her home. As a woman myself, I honestly found it all a bit bizarre; the fact that Ellen was actually fine with her new boyfriend having a stalker, that she was interested even, seems impossible to me. The worst part is that with time, you begin to feel sorry for Saskia, sympathise with her almost; she met the right man at the wrong time and she's been punishing him and herself, ever since. However, on the other hand, it is difficult to fathom why she would go to the lengths she does, to stalk Patrick; or even why she stalks him at all, other than the fact she's struggling to move on with her own life. The one thing I really loved about this book is that Saskia was included as a narrative voice; it made her character seem real, less one dimensional. 

The introduction of Saskia was really well done and was a great plot twist, although the apart from that, at times the book could be a little slow. It didn't grip me as much as I wanted it to; I just couldn't understand why Saskia couldn't let go of this man as on the surface she was an ordinary woman. She was successful at work and had her own house, and comfortably so. Obviously there are many layers to a stalker, one of these was that she met him as her mother died so I feel like she replaced her grief with love for Patrick. But even so, I feel like the introduction of Ellen, particularly when she becomes pregnant, clearly affected Saskia; but even more bizarrely, in another world you could imagine the two women being friends as they are fairly similar. The character that I throughly disliked was actually Patrick; in my opinion he was thoughtless and selfish. Using Saskia as a replacement wife and mother when his wife and Jack's mother died and then leaving her when his grieving period was over. I also got the impression that he constantly compares both Ellen and Saskia to his wife, Colleen. Which isn't nice, particularly when you consider that Ellen is pregnant and both him and his son then moved into her home.

Overall, I did find this novel fairly slow paced. However, I didn't dislike it as there were some fantastic parts. Saskia cooking and cleaning in Ellen's house, snooping in her bathroom and seeing what tampons she uses (amongst other things) were both creepy and did turn up the stalking a notch; a the book went on there were times when Saskia definitely became more dangerous, to both herself and those around her. It was a relief to see the stalking reach the point where the law needed to intervene; however I wasn't keen on Ellen's interest in Saskia. It wasn't healthy to be so fascinated by the fact that an ex-girlfriend is stalking your now boyfriend. It was great to see all parties, particularly Saskia, regain a social life and move on from an incident, but on the whole I felt the plot was a bit lacking. All in all, as a reader I was intrigued to see how Ellen shaped a relationship with Jack and her own father, both of which were skimmed over quite a lot. On a positive note, I really liked Ellen's 'three mothers'; the dynamic between them was great and I wanted to see a lot more of them than I did, but they were a fabulous addition to the character sphere. Despite this being a rather critical review, I did enjoy reading this book I would recommend it as the writing is great, but I would say that you need to be prepared to fully commit; it's quite a long book, slow in places but a good read that's worth seeing through to the end as it's worth it.




Monday, 10 July 2017

Happy Things #28



1. My boyfriend has this amazing habit of gifting me with flowers on a regular basis; this flowers pictured above were given to me on our one year anniversary. Two weeks later an they're still going strong, I love it whenever I see flowers around the house as they make me think of him so that always makes me happy at the end of a stressful day.

2. Over the past few months I've learnt that not every day will be the best day of your life and that it's ok to not always feel your best. Blogging has definitely become a huge part of my life, not only because I enjoy it, but also because I feel like the blogging community is super supportive and I love being involved in twitter chats and other social media as it's a great way to get to know other bloggers with similar interests.

3. Last week I got my nose pierced with a friend after wanting it for literally years; I've always loved piercings and I've definitely caught the bug again. It was more painful than I expected and in all honestly it's pretty sore... But even so, I love it and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up goin back for more piercings in the next few months.

4. I'm super excited for you guys to see the blog posts that I have planned for this month; I'm just feeling so inspired and creative at the moment and I really want to improve my content. I'm definitely my own worst critic, but that's ok. I've got so many posts in the pipeline, so stay tuned as I'll be posting regularly this month to make up for the shambles that was the end of June as I was so ill. 

5. I feel really positive about this week and that feels absolutely amazing. Fingers crossed it'll end up being a great week!





Sunday, 9 July 2017

July Moodboard

Hello again; this month I've got two spontaneous piercings... My left tragus and my nose! I actually have so many piercings now (sixteen in total) that I'm bordering on more metal than girl, oops. Which is why I've been loving looking at piercing arrangements online as I've rediscovered my love for piercings. When I was at university I used to get new piercings regularly, but that habit stopped when I worked in the food industry. Luckily I now have a job that allows my piercings to be on full display! All of the images below were found using google image searches and most of them are from Tumblr and Pinterest. Ever since I dyed my hair pink last month I feel quite experimental in terms of my hair, although I want to grow my hair very long again. I'm feeling super inspired by 'mermaid' style hair, long and flowing with crazy hair colours, although I think I'll go back to blonde soon. After spending 24 years with blonde hair, the pink is fun but blonde is just easier to care for. I've refound my love for Cath Kidston through my summer wardrobe; I have so many of her 1950s style dresses... Buses, Clocks, Leaves, Townhouses, etc. However I really want to start buying more styles, I wish I could find the Trains or Books dresses, I'm in love with the whimsical prints and the cut of the dresses really suits my curvy figure. I'm not a huge fan of the heat of summer, but I do wearing girly dresses and just generally going out and making an effort to look nice. Let me know in the comments if you enjoy this kind of post! :)









Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

 


First of all, I decided to give this novel a read due to all of the hype that surrounded it a couple of years back and the fact is, it's a short read at under 300 pages so it's perfect for breaks at work. The main character and narrative voice, Charlie, is a fifteen year old boy who seems both immature and naive for his age, although that being said, he does suffer quite extensively from mental health, which could be related to his naivety. Seemingly friendless, the narrative voice is given through a series of letters to a stranger. The start of the novel discusses starting High School and naturally, the fears that come with starting over at a new stage in life. Further on, we see Charlie start to socialise with a group of older friends and you get to watch his personality develop; although it seems possible that Charlie has some kind of personality disorder or autism. (As I'm not a medical professional this possibility is purely guesswork). I wasn't keen on the letter style of writing, I found the dates and end of the letters somewhat irritating; the text didn't flow well in this style. Chbosky covers a variety of Young Adult topics in this novel such as mental health, suicide/death, sexuality, sexual abuse/rape,  substance abuse, domestic violence and social anxiety but unfortunately none of these issues are dealt with in any depth.

As a reader, I do enjoy seeing the world from another's perspective and Charlie's mind is unquestionably interesting; intelligent but socially awkward, I can see why this novel was so hyped a few years ago as it describes feelings and the consequences of drugs such as LSD and marijuana, as well as discovering sexuality, having sex and going on dates, alongside homosexuality. Witnessing Charlie forge relationships felt quite intrusive at times; he seemed to struggle a lot with different kinds of relationships, which as a reader suddenly becomes understandable at a point in the book. The title of the novel relates to a situation where Charlie is declared a 'wallflower' by his friend; he seems to settle into that ideal pretty easily, content to be forever on the outskirts of a group. However, I didn't really feel like his naivety was altogether true; Charlie was perceptive, he took part in the usual teenage rebellions of taking drugs and having sex so it was hard for me to believe that he wasn't aware of masterbation or dreaming about sex prior to engaging in any sexual activity. That said, he did hang around with an older group of friends, but at 15 years old it's slightly unbelieveable considering he comes from a non religious family that seem to be open about sex.

The one relationship that I really liked was between Charlie and his English teacher; Bill seemed to not only give Charlie a great deal of time and attention, but he also seemed to see something in Charlie that no one else did, particularly Charlie himself. It's clear throughout the novel that Charlie is a rapidly advanced reader, often spending time reading and Bill often gives Charlie some great advice. He becomes a real support to Charlie and is the most positive model (in my opinion) amongst the range of characters that are brought to the fore in various parts of the book. That said, all of the characters introduced feel realistic, they're described in such a way that they will likely remind you of someone that you know, or used to know. None of the relationships are really described in masses of detail, although for a novel of less than 300 pages it's hardly surprising that there are some details lacking; parts of this novel seem quite lacklustre and vague, but this could be down to Charlie's narrative voice being somewhat hazy during his drug and/or alcohol binges. At times it feels like the writing style doesn't match the personality and hyper intelligence that is expected of Charlie, given the impression that the reader is given through Bill assigning him extra reading and essays (as he essentially a high achieving student, particularly in English).

Overall, I would say don't give into the hype that this book had a couple of years back; the title is massively enticing, especially for someone like me who has a tendency to become a wallflower at times. However, I hated the writing style; I'm not a fan of letters, or diary excerpts as a narrative technique as honestly it irritates me. Although in this case, it's intended to add to Charlie's personality, I felt like we were glimpsing a very one sided, tactically placed narrative voice so that a lot of puzzle pieces are missing. The main issue that I had with his book is that I just couldn't gel with Charlie; possibly because I'm now in my twenties and teenage issues don't bother or affect me anymore, but I found his naivety annoying rather than endearing. I just wanted a little more oomph; for example a better explanation of his mental health problems and the various other topics that are touched upon but never fully explained. It was difficult to judge where the writer was going with this novel and it's definitely one that you either love or hate and I have to say I was disappointed to be closer to the hate catagory; there was so much untapped potential in this book that left me both curious and frustrated. Let me know in the comments if you have read this book; if you have, did you love it or hate it? Or if you are planning to read this book, I'd love to hear another opinion!




Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Happy Things #27



1. I've been quite ill the past couple of weeks, so it's nice to finally feel better enough to blog again. I've missed some posts, (like this one which should've been posted yesterday) but that's fine, it's how life is. I really needed to rest.

2. I've got a doctors appointment at last, so fingers crossed I'll be able to find out why I've been feeling so ill, as although I'm feeling better I'm still not feeling great. Hopefully I'll be back to normal by the end of this week and therefore back to blogging more regularly.

3. Honestly, all I've wanted to do is sleep, so I haven't been reading or blogging half as much as I usually do, or would like to; this week I'm planning to blog more than I have been, as it has really become my main hobby and therefore a big part of my life.

4. Today I'm going to a restaurant with Piotr, which will be nice as we're both working a lot this week; it's hard to see each other when you're working in different places with different schedules so it's always nice to spend some time together.

5. I've been taking my dog for lots of walks to get some fresh air and I've been really enjoying watching the sunset in the evenings with her. When we walk I like taking photos of the skies.





Sunday, 2 July 2017

Favourite Blogs #11

Hello again; I'm sorry that I've gone a bit downhill with blog posts over the past week, I've been struck down with flu so literally couldn't leave my bed. I'm still not feeling 100% but I'm better, but I really want to get back on top of things, including this blog. As a new month is a upon us, I feel like it makes sense to start off July with a post that I should really have posted in June before I was ill, but as they say: better late than never! I like to write posts relevant to that time, which includes various forms of monthly favourites, which is where this post slots in. As a blogger, I find so much inspiration from other blogs; throughout this month I've been loving revisiting some blogs that I've loved for years now. I can only dream of being as polished as these ladies! I really enjoy reading other blogs and have been reading various blogs for years now. I feel like June disappeared from right under my nose, so I expect that July will likely whizz by. Let me know if you like these kinds of posts in the comments! :)


 

http://iwantyoutoknow.co.uk/

I've been reading Kristabel's blog for years now and I just love her creative vision; the photography and layout of her blog are just completely stunning, just like she is. Her posts stretch across a variety of topics, including travel, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and food. My favourite posts are a mix of fashion and travel; her outfits alongside beautiful buildings always look stunning, as she always dresses well for her long and lean shape. After blogging for many years and having a degree in fashion, it's no wonder that her posts are so close to perfection; every single one of her posts never fails to capture my attention, regardless of the content.


 


Olivia's blog is the kind of blog that I can only dream that my little blog will ever be as good as! There's something effortlessly lovely in her personal style; to me, she's the perfect blend of parisienne and london chic. Basically, her photography ticks all of the boxes, wherever she in the world and whatever she's wearing. I've been reading her blog since I was a sixth former (so a very long time) and she's always been flawless. My favourite posts of hers are fashion (the 70s/boho vibe is a winner), travel and baking. That being said, I also really enjoy her book reviews as they're often books that I've been planning to read so inspire me to read them before I get distracted and read other things.


 


Ever since I found Katy's blog I haven't stopped returning to it; her posts offer a fantastically intimate set of photographs from various travels, such as Singapore or Scotland. I like her positive attitude to life, how she writes lists and has an opinion on many different subjects. Her blog actually influenced my own so much, but honestly I'm just so in awe of her beautiful photography. Many of her posts encapsulate travel, lifestyle, food and personal style; although I'm sure the most popular are her travel guides and reviews of various eateries in different cities. She's one to watch of you want to eat out somewhere in London, she's reviewed so many places.


 


Elizabeth's blog is a pastel, romantically inclined persons dream (in short, my dream); I really adore how she expresses her love for nature, lifestyle, her child and beauty in her posts. There's something slightly ethereal and magical about her blog in general and I cannot explain how much I love her blog header with its vintage camera and written typeface. My favourite posts are the make up reviews as she often reviews products that suit pale skin, so it's super useful for someone like me, who is also of a ghostly complexion. Her photography is lovely, particularly of the countryside that surrounds her; it looks so peaceful!


 


Another blog that I've been reading for a few years is Carrie's; her wedding posts were those of dreams, it looked like it was the most beautiful of beautiful days. I would say she's an avid travel blogger, documenting trips all over the world, including Finland, Japan, Morocco and Italy amongst many others. You definitely feel the travel bug when you read her travel posts with their stunningly captured landscapes and reviews of various local restaurants. Alongside travel posts, she's a beauty, fashion and foodie blogger as well as a talented photographer. I love browsing through the archives of her oldest posts, they're fascinating to see how much she's grown in a few years.




Monday, 26 June 2017

Happy Things #26

 


1. Monday is always my least favourite day of the week, but once again I've managed to survive with minimal hassle and stress. That's a sign of the start of a good week. 

2. Yesterday I spent the day with my boyfriend and we went out to dinner; little things like that put a big smile on my face. I'm looking forward to a week of work and play, spending time with the people closest to me. 

3. As much as I'm not a huge fan of this heat, I want to enjoy walks by the river, feeling the breeze. I love the sound of water crashing around, so sunset walks are the perfect way to see the river creating small splashes and waves and watch the world go by.

4. This week I finally booked a visit to Harry Potter World with a couple of my work mates and I'm so excited; it looks amazing and I can't wait to go, honestly. I actually think my inner child will cry upon arrival. It's not for a few months, but it's an exciting thing to book regardless. 

5. Last week I was pretty disorganised with my blog, so this week I want to concentrate on it and make sure that I'm posting as regularly as I want to, with good content. I want to start scheduling posts so that I don't fall behind.


 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Favourite YouTubers #6

Hello again; I guess you could call this post one of my standard monthly favourites posts, because I have to admit... I do like having my posts nicely ordered into catagories. I'm not a YouTuber, I would say I'm far too awkward to be as I prefer just sitting and writing instead (explains why I blog haha). However, I don't know what I would do without YouTube in the sense that my make up techniques have improved so much since I started watching YouTube more regularly. Below are a list of four (quite different!) channels that I've been loving throughout June for various reasons that I'll be explaining in more detail. Let me know if you enjoy these kinds of posts, as I enjoy writing them (and reading similar posts). Feel free to pop a comment below and see you again soon!


 

Jazzybum

I actually subscribed to Jasmin's channel this month, when she filmed some videos in collaboration with sophielouisebeauty and sophdoesnails whose channels I really enjoy. One of the reasons that I decided to subscribe is that I like that she doesn't take herself too seriously; many of her videos are testing or DIYs with hilarious results, for example making slime, unicorn frappuccinos and other foodie/baking tests. Jazz comes across as really down to earth, with Primark and BooHoo hauls, baking tutorials and wishlists for birthdays and Christmas. I'll admit, I've been binge watching her channel every since I discovered it; her voice is so unusual and she sounds so nice to listen to, regardless of what she's talking about. Her tag videos, such as the boyfriend tag and juicy Q&As are fairly eye opening and fun to watch - they're quite addictive!


 

RhiannonAshleeVlogs

I know I've mentioned Rhiannon fairly regularly in this catagory, but there's just something lovely about watching her family develop. It's so strange to see someone the same age as me with a child, but I feel like she's quite honest about how difficult motherhood can be, as well as how challenging it is to adapt to a new time in your life. Her last vlog was actually so useful; I actually downloaded the period tracking app that she recommended and it's been fantastic; that's what I really love about social media, it can genuinely benefit your life in lots of little ways. As a woman, this app is a lifesaver! Her blogs aren't necessarily the most eventful, but I like that; it's so interesting watching another persons day to day life. I've been watching Rhiannon for about 4 years and it's amazing seeing how much she's matured since starting her family. Delilah is also very cute to watch!


 

EmmasRectangle

I began watching Emma because of her many collaborations with sophdoesnails; I'm surprised that she doesn't have more subscribers as she's got some out of the box ideas, such as YouTube made me buy it (fashion edition), GRMW (various looks), Makeup under £5 and some amazing 'Doppelgänger' for  various celebrities, such as Alicia Silverstone. The main reason why I've been watching so many of her videos this month is that her make up tutorials are super easy to follow and most drugstore brands, which I like because I am on a budget 99% of the time. Her opinions come across as honest regardless of how much the make up products cost and she doesn't shout at the camera, it's like listening to a friend.


 

KaitlinEmma

First of all, I adore her accent! It reminds me of a relative who lives in a similar area, so I automatically liked her videos as her voice is so relaxing for me. For someone who studies at university alongside YouTube, she posts regularly; her videos often include clothing and make up hauls, skin and make up routines, GRWM (make up and fashion) and also lots of little tips for every day, such as different hairstyles and life advice. It's nice to see a YouTuber that encourages younger audiences to study and Kaitlin has a variety of study tip related videos. I actually subscribed because I really like her make up techniques and her travel diaries; she always looks flawless regardless of the weather!


 

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.


 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

My Mascara Collection

Hello again! I thought I would follow on from my series about my Perfume Collection with other aspects of my make up and accessory collection. Over the past few years I've literally bought so many different mascaras, it's so difficult to find the perfect mascara. I like to have super long, volumised and thick eyelashes; as I don't like to wear fake eyelashes I do tend to like the thick, spidery look. To achieve this, I apply a ridiculous amount of mascara; on occasion I've known myself to apply over 3 different mascaras to get the desired look. I often purchase the 'very black' shade too as I like my lashes to really pop. I don't use eyelash curlers, but I do use curling mascaras whenever necessary. I think the main reason I don't like wearing fake lashes is I may have an allergy to the glue, so mascara is a huge must for me! Many of the mascaras that I've finished have gone in the bin so the ones pictured below as those that I'm using on rotation currently.


 


In the photograph above are one of my favourite ever mascaras and one of my least favourite. The Bourjois Volume One Seconde mascara in the shade black is literally like the holy grail of mascaras for me. Priced at £9.99, it is one of the more expensive mascaras that are available from the drugstore, but it's worth every penny. I've always had compliments on my lashes whenever I wear this mascara as it's super black, dramatic, lengthening and thickening. I've even been asked what lashes I'm wearing, so that's a sign of an amazing mascara. I love this mascara so much I've repurchased it around four times, it'll always be one in my make up bag. In fact, I've often raved about it in my favourites posts month after month on the blog! However, the Rimmel ScandalEyes Xxtreme mascara in the shade extreme black is one of my most hated mascaras ever! I just can't make it work for me and for £6.99, I did have high hopes as the word 'extreme' definitely persuaded me to buy it as it suggested that it would be a super dramatic and satisfyingly stand out lash effect. Sadly, I've found this mascara to be clumpy and too wet, sticking my lashes together in a mess. It's not the kind of mascara that's buildable in coats either as it just makes the lashes wetter and wetter, which is a shame. I was actually disappointed as I really like Rimmel products a lot.


 


Both of the mascaras in the photograph above are by L'Oréal Paris; actually they're not only the same brand but also a really similar design and concept. I was tempted to try these mascaras by the amount of good reviews they had. The Volume Million Lashes So Couture has a lovely brush; it's a delicate brush that not only is very ease to use, but it also allows me to get right to the roots of even my smallest lashes by my inner corners. It's a buildable mascara, I can use it for every day or a night out but the amount of layers I apply. I've found this mascara to be very lengthening and because of the delicate brush it adds Volume without clumping the lashes together. It gives the impression that I have really curly, fan-like lashes and I love the effect a lot; definitely a dramatic look once built up a little! The second mascara is the Volume Million Lashes Feline which has a lovely shaped brush; it's curved and extremely delicate so fits well against my eye shape when I'm applying it. It glides on the Lashes but I would say this is more of an everyday mascara, it's not as dramatic as the So Couture version, although it's equally great in terms of the formula. Both mascaras cost £10.99 so they're fairly pricey for drugstore mascaras but they're worth it as they do last all day without reapplication which saves on product overuse. 


 


If I'm honest, one brand that I can almost guarantee I could always find an amazing mascara from is Maybelline; every one that I've used over the years has worked really well for me. Two of these mascaras are actually the same one but in different shades. The Colossal Volum' Express in both black and 100% black. I prefer 100% black just because I really love the dramatic effect that the incredibly dark lashes have against my pale skin. One of the main reason that I love this mascara to the point that I don't even remember how many times I've repurchased it in the last 5+ years is the soft fiver brush; it feels very gentle to apply and it builds up to a really clump-free, volumises and separates lashes effortlessly. Reasonably priced at £6.99, it really is a classic and a must have addition to my make up bag. The Volum' Rocket Express mascara is one of my all time favourite mascaras and was a surprise purchase. I bought it on a whim as part of a 3-for-2 offer in Superdrug and have no regrets. It's honestly one of the best mascaras that I've ever used, especially for the bargainous price of £7.99. The brush is plastic and overly large, but it grabs every little lash, separates, lengthens and thickens to a ridiculously curly, fanned out lash look. I love it, I feel like I've got falsies on when in reality it's my own lashes. However I would recommend the waterproof as it does smudge a little otherwise. What mascaras do you guys love or hate? Let me know in the comments!


 
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