Thursday, 31 December 2015

2016


I didn't think I was going to write about how, at midnight tonight, the year changes from 2015 to 2016, but here we are. Writing anyway.

I don't make resolutions and I don't particularly have any goals. For a while I've been thinking, sh*t this makes me the worst person ever. I'm not sat here wanting to better myself. I don't want to eat more healthily, do more exercise, work more, buy less etc. None of it's going to happen and actually, I don't want them to happen either.

2015 has been an awesome year. Sure, I have things I could complain about but I'm not going to. Everyone has things they can complain about but if it's one thing I have learnt this year is that other people are going through far worse than I am and I need to enjoy every single living moment that I have on earth. That growing old isn't a burden or annoying but rather it's a privilege. From being a toddler, teenager, adult, middle aged or an elderly woman - they all offer something new to be experienced in life and I hope that I get to experience it all. But most of all, I want 2016 to be a happy year. I want it to be a year of adventure, risk taking and new experiences, because that's when we grow the most.

It's so cliched to reflect over this new year period, and I feel like a sheep for joining in too, but I think it's perhaps, unavoidable. I took the decision to make this blog public this year and I'm so happy that I did because of you guys. The ones who comment, follow and read this blog because you make it all worth it. So, THANK YOU! I've spent a few moments wondering whether I want to continue writing here, this year, but I always come back to the same decision - yes, of course I do. However, I fly to Sri Lanka in 19 days time and I have no idea what the internet will be like, whether I'll have wifi and I certainly won't be able to take and edit fancy photos. And for that reason, this blog will probably be a little quiet until April, and that is OK. I've worked hard on this little space but sometimes it's important to take a step back and just enjoy life, so with that in mind, I won't be putting pressure on myself to maintain this blog - if I get chance to use it like a diary, then great! If not, it's no biggie.

So finally, I'll wish you all a very Happy New Year! I hope you have a great NYE, whatever you're doing and I hope 2016 is filled with happiness and great health for you all. See you on the other side!
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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Books // Yes Please


Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I've been totally slacking on the reading front lately. My only excuses are a) it's been Christmas and I've been doing Christmassy things (mostly shopping but hey!), and b) I work late so really can't be bothered to whip a book out when I get home at 10:30pm.

However, I have just finished 'yes please' by Amy Poehler. Not gonna lie, I had no idea who she was until she played Joy in animation film Inside Out, but I did see this book hit the blogosphere a while back so thought it would be a good one to read.

Firstly, for those of you who were as clueless as me, Amy is an American comedienne, voice artist, director and producer (thanks, Wikipedia..), known for being on SNL, Parks and Recreation, Welcome to Sweden, and also being best friend's with Tina Fey! 'Yes Please' is her first book, and is a memoir/advice kinda book, in which she write about her own personal stories and turns them into hilarious, yet promising words of wisdom.

There isn't much to say really, without me telling you every detail of Amy's life, but it is a very easy read and is enjoyable for those her love and know her well, as well as those of you like me! She talks about everything from growing up, to her life before Improv, as well as sex, relationships, divorce, parenthood.. she's actually a pretty inspiring woman! In fact, I think my favourite line would be when she discusses the female hatred we seem to have for one another and brilliantly writes good for you, not for me. I mean, shouldn't we all take a little away from that? Praising someone else's successes without becoming jealous or even thinking we have to do it too?

So yeah, a good book if you're looking for an inspiring yet easy read for the new year!

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

What 2015 has taught me


I think 2015 will always be a year I remember as a great one.

It's weird because on a day to day basis, I easily become fed up of my job, but looking at the year as a whole, it's been pretty awesome.

It's also taught me a few things too. Things which are probably worth noting..

1. True friends will always be there for you, even if you don't speak for ages or live miles apart so you can't see each other in months. Now that I've left Uni, perhaps the hardest thing now is not living with some of my best friends, who happen to live miles away (some even across the sea!). But you know what, when we do speak, it's like we've never left each other and that is a good sign of a great friendship.

2. Hard work pays off. I have a first class psychology degree which I could not be prouder of and it continually reminds me that lack of sleep, long hours, effort and hard work are always worth it in the end.

3. Fat is not the enemy. Fat is actually pretty goddamn good for you, who'd have thought?! Meridian nut butters are definitely now my favourite thing ever.

4. The world can be a pretty terrible place at times, but it doesn't mean we should stop living. We could spend out entire lives locked away in our homes, in order to feel safe, but what kind of life is that?

5. It's important to be kind to others, especially when you feel like sh*t. Being a good person is probably the best way to feel good about yourself.

6. You should always trust your instinct and do what you want, not what others think you should do. At the end of the day, it's your life and no one else's. You'll only resent those who told you to do differently.

7. Not driving for 4 years isn't the best idea in the world, especially when you decide to just reteach yourself without having refresher lessons. It's actually pretty terrifying!

8. I'm definitely influenced by blogger trends and I'm OK with that. All hail everything rose gold, pretty stationary and motivational prints!

9. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. We all have different paths to follow in life, you should follow your own and not compare with everyone else.

10. Always be grateful for what you have. If there's one thing I've learnt this year, is that behind so many closed doors, there is always something worse happening in someone else's life. Look for the beauty in everything, take a moment to appreciate what you have, because tomorrow it may not be here. Life is precious and should be lived to the fullest.

And on a final note, I won't be posting again before Christmas, so thank you to each and every single one of you who reads my blog. It means the world to me and I wish you all a very, merry Christmas!
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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Marc Jacobs Sunglasses*

It's the wrong time of year for this post but it's less than one month before I get myself on a plane and fly to Sri Lanka, so for me, this post is completely relevant.

We all have those little things that make you, you. For example, I never leave my house without a generous spray of Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume - I wouldn't be me without it! So when the Sunglasses shop kindly got in touch, asking if I'd like to choose a pair, a) I couldn't say no and b) it had to be Marc Jacobs because he is definitely one of the most iconic designers of today. Since 2000, Marc by Marc Jacobs has brought a more nonchalant and youthful vision to the brand, with his  quirky, vivid and signature sunglasses bringing humour and a fashion forward aesthetic to the New York catwalk. How can anyone say no to that?

The Sunglasses Shop stocks so many women's sunglasses, including brands such a Ray-ban, Alexander McQueen, Michael Kors, DKNY etc. Basically, you name it and they probably have it! However, just the reason I've just mentioned, I went for Marc Jacobs! It took me a while actually but I went for this classic pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses in milky black, and I LOVE them.


They are probably classified as a cat eye shape but I love that it's quite subtle and pretty much suits any face shape. The also came in this really sleek box with the designer name printed on the opening. (I know you can kinda see my face in the lens, sorry about that!)




The glasses themselves are black all over with a tiny milky corner and the words etched in silver. I was going to pick a bright pink pair and go a little OTT but I'm so glad I went for these instead.. my 30 year old self will approve, I think!


I can't wait to wear these in Sri Lanka now. I'm definitely going to try and pretend I'm cool and fashionable.. and most probably fail pretty miserably! But on a serious note, I really do love these. I think they'd make an awesome gift for Christmas as well, for those who are still yet to begin Christmas shopping or have no idea what to buy a loved one. These would definitely be great to open!
*These were sent to me in exchange for a review
but all opinions are my own!
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Friday, 18 December 2015

Why I Won't Be Making New Year's Resolutions


I know it's only the 18th December, but before we know it, new years resolutions will be popping up left, right and centre, alongside the reflections on 2015. I may write a reflection post but new years resolutions aren't my thing.

See, I don't do diets and I don't have any intention of hitting the gym just yet (I am doing a 10k run in summer nest year but that's still a while away!). What else is a common resolution? Work harder? Become more cultured? Promise to see loved ones more?

I know, I get that for some people that January 1st is an extremely motivating time of year and for some people it works. New year, new you. But for me, it's completely hypocritical and unimportant. Overnight, the adverts change from telling you to 'treat yourself' to 'you need to lose weight now'. Guilt and shame creeps in a matter of 24 hours, and I find it quite unfair really. And what's more, the majority have given up their resolutions by January 2nd, making them feel more guilty for not sticking to it or possessing enough will power.

 So yeah, I won't be making any and mainly for two reasons.

1. I won't be buying into the commercial bulsh*t. I won't be made to feel guilty about finishing off my Lindor chocolate in January or for not hitting the gym, and

2. I don't believe we only have one shot at changing.

If I wanted to change something about myself, I don't need to wait until January 1st. I can do it now. Right here, right this second.

We are always changing, improving, and growing as people. If we were to wait until a year has passed each time we decide to better ourselves, we'd be waiting an awful long time disliking a certain aspect of ourselves.

The only thing I plan on doing, is to continue to remember how short life is. To continue to try and live in the moment, cherishing every new experience, every new taste, sight and sound. To enjoy my life and do what makes me happy.

That, is what I believe life is all about.
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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Saving Money This Christmas

I don't know about you but at Christmas time, I have this inner personal struggle between wanting to spend loads of money on the people I love, and actually not wanting to spend a penny. Thing is, I'm a natural saver. I don't buy myself something unless I really need or want to, and I'd much rather save half of my wages than spend it on nights out, because yunno I'd rather be buying a house in future..

However as a perfectionist, I don't really keep an eye out on how much things are but rather I always make sure I've bought someone something I know they'll love. The look on their face is always worth it in my opinion! But, along with TransPennine express, we do have a few helpful tips which make the blow a little easier..



1. Loyalty cards. I think I have every loyalty card under the sun to be honest and I don't even use half of them, but it's always good to have them just in case, right? Boots is probably my favourite, alongside costa because you're bound to get something free eventually!

2. Sales and vouchers. Definitely take advantage of voucher codes, promotions and sales! Voucher codes is always worth checking out before you buy something online or even before you go out for a meal somewhere! Also, things like NUS student discount and 02 priority moments are great - I got a box of cards worth £6, for free the other day!

3. Set an amount and stick to it. I think this applies more to when I go out, but if you haven't got the money with you, you can't spend it, can you? Only take out what you're willing to spend and that way, it's impossible to spend more!

4. Put a little away each week. So this is more for next year now but usually around October, I put £10 away each week in a jar for Christmas. It's not a noticeable amount but when it comes to December and you open the jar, you'd be surprised by how much easier the Christmas shopping is!

5. DIY. Yep, do it yourself! Christmas baking, home made gifts or cards.. turn something into a fun, less expensive activity. It's far cheaper and much more enjoyable to make something yourself, especially festive edible treats! The kitchen always smells pretty great afterwards too ;)
*In   collaboration with  TransPennine  Express

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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Disordered Christmas


I can safely say that this year, I'm really looking forward to Christmas. Although I've stupidly agreed to work longer than I originally wanted to, I am having Christmas day off so I can just sit back, relax an enjoy the festivities.

And what's more, is the that the sheer fact of being able to write that makes me smile. To be able to just enjoy everything without feeling anxious about food is amazing to me. So I wanted to write a note to my former self, to remind others who are feeling anxious, that it's actually can be ok if you let it.

Hey you,

Yes you. The one who is worrying herself sick over how on earth you're going to make it through Christmas without anyone noticing that a morsel of food hasn't touched your lips yet. The one who is sitting at the dinner table, rapidly calculating how much is ok to eat, and then panicking over how you're going to explain that your plate is far smaller than everyone else's. 

Are the vegetables dripping with butter? Is that extra fat on those roast potatoes? Three types of dessert.. how to get out of not eating any? Why can't I join in like everybody else?

Actually, you can. You're allowed to eat what you want. Maybe want you want is only a few extra chocolates, maybe it's the whole tin. Christmas is once a year so you won't balloon overnight. It's OK to let go.

You know, one day you'll be able to look at those questions and think what the actual f*ck were you doing. It's all insignificant now but during those years of recovery, they were the biggest problems you've ever had. 

And what's more, no one was really paying any attention to what you were eating. Everyone was too busy enjoying themselves, and being happy because they were surrounded by family and love. That's what Christmas is really about. It's not about how much food you can or can't eat. It's about relaxing, enjoying yourself, being with the people you love. It's about seeing a bright smile on someone's face when you give them their favourite box of chocolates. It's about listening to beautiful carols sung by choirs, the magical smiles on children's faces when they've seen that Santa has been. It's about being there for the people who are usually alone, caring when no one else does. 

There is just so much more to Christmas than the food, and one day you'll remember all of that. Hang on in there, be patient and try not to let paranoia kick in. The mind is a very powerful thing, and has the ability to overcome anything. 

Believe in yourself girl, because one day Christmas will be magical again.

Sam x

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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

You're extraordinary but..


You're extraordinary but you're at risk of becoming ordinary.

I haven't done a post like this in ages but I am sat here writing away after work, because sometimes it's needed. Sometimes it's nice to just forget photos and content and remember why I really have this space on the internet.

Those words in bold, were spoken to me by my best friend last week. She meant well, but actually they're pretty f*cking harsh and they've haunted me ever since. I think they're haunting me because I don't ever want to be ordinary. Being ordinary to me means being average, and that's not something I want to be at all.

I'm not actually sure what I want any more. I currently work in a really badly paid job, crap hours and no social life BUT it's ok because it's just a stepping stone. My dream has always been clinical psychology, but when people doubt you, it's difficult to trust yourself and your instinct. When you're told you're too good to be doing what you're doing, it's difficult to want to do it.

What's your plan B? What will you do when you return from Sri Lanka? What if you don't get accepted for clinical psych?

I don't know.

In fact, I'm that unsure so I've applied for something else as a back up. Thing is, if I go down this other route, have I given up on a dream before I've even started? I don't know if I'm just applying because I feel pressured to or whether there is something inside my head telling me that it might be a good idea. I don't want to do something else and then regret giving up on what I actually wanted to do in the first place, resenting those who told me I should have a back up plan. But then, what if it turned out to be the best thing I ever do?

I think Sri Lanka has come at the perfect time really. It's a chance to go away and think about what I want. Not what everyone else thinks I should do, but what will make me happy. Because that's what matters, right?
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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Body Jewellery Shop


I think one thing you can't really go wrong with, is buying jewellery as a gift for a female for Christmas. I think it shows you've actually thought about what you're buying and it's something the recipient can keep forever too.

Long gone are the days in which we're limited to a pair of studs, a necklace, bracelet or a ring. I know so many of us now, have quite a few piercings.. I mean, even I have four! I actually really struggle to find nice jewellery for my helix ear piercing but The Body Jewellery Shop have come to my rescue! The Body Jewellery Shop really do sell everything for any type of jewellery lover, ranging from belly bars, nose stud, tongue bars and plus. Basically, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

Anyway, the piece is this three star bar which I absolutely love and is a great way to add a little sparkle to your ear. Plus, it's only £3.95! I was a tiny bit worried that the edges would dig into my ear and irritate me but after sleeping on it quite a few times, I'm happy that it sits nicely in my ear. I know it's sad, but I think it's such a pretty way to dress your ear up a bit more!


They also kindly sent me this clear daisies piece, which is much more subtle and girly. I really love this piece too as it goes really well with my everyday daisy studs. I think the clear jewels are a great addition and look really pretty when they catch the light. Oh and not forgetting that it's only £3.95 too which is a bargain!


As you can tell, I'm so chuffed with these pieces. I'm also really gutted that piercings and tattoos are seen in a negative light because I'll have to take it out in January and replace it with something much smaller. I am really impressed with the Body Jewellery Shop though, and think it's so great for affordable, quickly pieces :) I'm now eyeing up they belly bars, as I have that done too!
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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Christmas Phone Wallpapers



I really enjoyed putting my previous wallpaper post together, so here's a festive edition! Enjoy :)


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Friday, 4 December 2015

Cosy Winter Nights


I don't know about you, but when the cold winter nights draw in, I find it harder and harder to want to go out in the evening. Cosy warm nights by the fire, hot chocolate in hand will always beat a night out in a skimpy little dress, freezing to death.

At the moment, it just so happens to be BFI's LOVEseason in partnership with Plusnet, which is a nationwide campaign aimed at helping us Brit's enjoy a cosy winter night in with a soppy love film. Plusnet were kind enough to send me my own box full of goodies so that I can easily enjoy a night in this winter.


The box included the DVD My Best Friend's Wedding, one which was nice because I'd not seen it before, alongside some popcorn to enjoy whilst watching the film! Then there were some beauty products so that you can turn the night into a pamper session too, made up of a face mask, face wipes, a headband and eye mask! Oh and some tissues for those people who cry easily at films! All in all, I think the box is perfect for a girlie night in with your friends.


Some of my other favourites to watch this season are Love Actually, The Holiday and Bridget Jones, and I think this film fits nicely into that selection of films! I think this is such a lovely campaign, and it's perfect for us to connect with friends, put away our phones and enjoy a cosy night in. It's hard to think of inspiration sometimes when it's so cold and dark, but a lovely little box like this is brilliant for keeping you entertained this winter! 
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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Feminine Care with Veeda


Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware of the UK spending review which happened around 2 weeks ago. Tampons are taxed because they're considered a luxury item so the one thing which has mostly annoyed women is that the tampon tax hasn't been lifted but rather the tax will now go towards helping female charities. Whilst I don't actually agree with this, as I feel it's more us females are now paying to fund our own charities aimed at helping us, I do think there is something to be said about these products being a 'luxury' item.

Whilst most women are arguing that these aren't luxury items, sometimes I think that they are to some people. Women who have never had a problem with their cycle often think the whole thing is annoying, a pain, irritating.. the list goes on. And you know, that's ok, because these women don't know any different. However, what if you don't have periods? And what if you don't, but desperately want children? The idea of having a cycle, to them, is then definitely going to be a luxury.

I messed around with my body, so lost my cycle for 3 years. And actually, it was pretty scary. I didn't even think I wanted children but as soon as something is taken away from you, I realised that maybe I do. Thankfully, I got my life back on track but I now have to remind myself that it's not something we should take for granted or assume they will always be there. In that respect, it's a luxury to have a fully functioning, healthy body and it's important to take care of ourselves.

This brings me nicely onto a brand called Veeda*, who are the brand to make hypoallergenic, 100% natural cotton tampons. Unlike other brands who actually use a mixture of ingredients such as viscose rayon, propylene, cotton and plastics, Veeda products have no chemicals, no dyes and no synthetics, so they reduce the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), irritation and allergic reactions. Whilst we pretty much assume that TSS won't happen to us, the risk is still a real phenomenon, with 1 in 100 females suffering some the syndrome in their lifetime!

So, switching to organic products is definitely worth thinking about isn't it? I know that that time of the month can be a pain in the arse and a complete inconvenience, but sometimes it's nice to remember that to some, this time is a real luxury and isn't something to be taken for granted. We have to take care of our bodies and be kind to ourselves, only then will it reward you back.
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Monday, 30 November 2015

Christmas Gift Guide for Bloggers





I think us bloggers would all be pretty satisfied on Christmas day if we were to receive a candle, pretty stationary, something rose gold and an inspirational print - a pretty easy bunch to please really! I actually bought the Ban.do diary in gold on Black Friday.. it's just such a beautiful, simple thing to have in your life everyday. Plus, I found this chocolate orange candle in my local garden centre and it was uh-mazing!

I hope this gives you some inspiration for the blogger friends in your life, or you could just treat yourself!
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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Books // One Million Lovely Letters


One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley

I've wanted to read this book for so long but it's just one I'd not got around to buying. However, I was lucky enough to win it in a giveaway, and it really is one of the most beautiful books I've read in a long time.

In 2011, Jodi's life completely changed. What seemed like a fun weekend at Bestival on the Isle of Wight, soon turned into a living nightmare for Jodi, as a small tick bite soon turned into a life threatening illness. Just days after returning home, Jodi became ill experiencing severe symptoms eventually diagnosed as encephalitis. Losing the use of her right side and suffering from terrible headaches, Jodi faced a long recovery during which she also experienced more physical symptoms such as seizures, the break down of two relationships and was consumed by depression which left her suicidal.

However despite all of that, just as Jodi really began to think about taking her own life, she realised that she could either give up or turn her life around by doing something worthwhile. It was then that Jodi sent up One Million Lovely Letters - a website where anyone can request a letter for either themselves or someone else, in order to cheer them up or remind themselves that they are loved and that whatever they're going through, will get better.

And that's exactly what Jodi started to do. People emailed Jodi asking for a lovely letter and she wrote one to them. Handwritten, full of glitter and love, because it means so much more receiving something that has been made with effort and care. Jodi realised that she could use all of her life experiences to help others, remind them of what they do have in life, and give them a moment of happiness during their period of darkness.

Now, if that's not an amazing, inspirational woman.. I don't know what is. This book is genuinely like a warm hug. It will make you smile, feel loved and grateful for everything we have in life, as well as reminding us to connect with people every once in a while instead of being glued to our screens. She really does emphasise that random acts of kindness cost nothing, and will probably make you feel good about yourself too.
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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Christmas with Zazzle*

Last week I was contacted by the lovely Jess, from Zazzle asking if I wanted to check out their site for Christmas gifts, and obviously Christmas + Blogging = YES. I'd heard of Zazzle before but I've never really checked it out however, I was SO impressed by their site and service. Zazzle is basically an online store where you can make customised and personalised everything. You name it, you can personalise it. 

In fact, there is that much choice, I struggled to know what to choose. I know I was supposed to be buying Christmas gifts but that went out of the window and I just shopped for me, as you do. Firstly, I then selected a few bits that I thought my be useful for my trip next year! I went for this beautiful passport holder, because these are obviously the most essential thing needed for 3 months aboard in another country, and also this personalised notebook which I love. Zazzle are really great for customising gifts, and it was so easy to connect to my instagram and upload photos from there.



Then, I chose this print because I am loving prints at the moment. I think they can be so motivating when you're feeling like rubbish, and you just happen to catch it in your eye line. This one does that perfectly!


I asked my Mum if she wanted anything for gifts and she said she wanted to get her boss a personalised Beer Mug, so that's what we did. It came within two days and the quality is actually really good! I really didn't think that it would be as good as it is, but it really is a great gift.


And finally, I designed my own t-shirt. Ages ago, I saw a launch doing tops with the slogan 'Hot, Happy, Healthy' on the front but unfortunately they weren't for sale and resigned myself to the idea of never owning one. But then I thought, why not remake it! I kind of didn't expect much to be honest because usually when you design clothing, the text comes out a bit strange but I love this top! I went for the racerback tank top but there are so many clothing pieces to customise with a whole range of different fonts, which is so good. You can't really tell that it's customised at all either, so I'm definitely going to wear this in Sri Lanka.


Overall, I'm really impressed with Zazzle. They have such a good variety of products that would make great gifts for people this Christmas, or just for yourself. Plus, it's Black Friday tomorrow and Cyber Monday next week, so you're bound to get a good deal!
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Favourite Reads #3


I've been putting more time into reading more blogs recently and I've found some more wonderful reads (and the people who write them). So these are definitely worth a mention and checking out if you haven't already :)

Diary of a Teachaholic: So, the weirdest thing happened - I stumbled across Sarah's blog and didn't recognise who it was at all, but turns out me and Sarah went to school together. Crazy how the blogging world works right? Back story aside, I loved Sarah's blog before realising who it was. She blogs about her job, mental health, life and has some brilliant words of wisdom. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't already!

Carly Watts: Carly's blog isn't your average fashion, beauty or lifestyle blog. Instead she shares her illustrations which are soooooooo good. Seriously, Carly creates such cute, detailed pieces of work. I've even used them as my phone backgrounds before because they are just so beautiful. She has a talent that is definitely worth looking at.

Sophie Rosie: I'm a fairly new reader of this blog but I love it just as much as some of the blogs I've been following for years. Sophie mostly shares fashion and lifestyle posts, and she has such a positive outlook on life, which is so nice to see (as well as a brilliant fashion sense). She has such an infectious smile, you can't help but smile when you read her posts.

Enjoy! 
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Friday, 20 November 2015

New Shoes from Online Avenue*

I think if you have lifestyle blogger at one end, and fashion blogger at the other, then I'm definitely at the far side of lifestyle. It's not that I don't like fashion, I do.. but taking an outfit photo isn't really my thing. However, sometimes it's good to try something new!


Online Avenue is an online footwear shop that sells both men's and women's shoes for reasonable prices, stocking pretty much everything from slippers to heels. And I must say, they have a hot collection of heels!

I'm not a massive heel or platform wearer because I'm 5'5 and most of my friends seem to be smaller than me, leaving me towering over them all, but when I was sent these shoes, I was definitely rather pleased! I went for the metallic court strap shoe in candy pink suede because sometimes I think a colourful shoe works really well with a black dress, plus the sound of the colour definitely makes you think disney princess.



I ordered these in a size 7, and they are true to size plus they are a killer heel so make you feel pretty god damn confident! I've just got to learn how to walk in them now as I think they'd be great for the festive season. My only grumble was that the zips at the back were a little stiff to start with but after a while, they were pretty smooth.


I'm really impressed with these shoes to be honest, they remind me of New Look's and Missguided's range. Plus, after looking online I've realised that they do have some really beautiful shoes!



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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Books // Am I Normal Yet?


Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne

Evie is a teenager who suffers from OCD, simply longing to be normal. The beginning of the book starts well, as Evie is almost ready to come off her medication, she's doing well in therapy and she has a great set of friends who don't know that she suffers from a mental illness. However, as she is considerably better than she has been in ages, Evie joins in with what she believes is normal for teenagers - parties, drinking and relationships.

Evie begins to get involved with a boy named Guy, who isn't perhaps the nicest boy she could have chosen to fall in love with. The book follows Evie try to overcome her OCD whilst pretending to be fine, and keep up appearances with her friends and Guy. However, the pressure and anxiety becomes a little overwhelming, and Evie finds herself slipping backwards, consumed once again by her OCD.

Although I did enjoy this book, I should probably mention that this book is most definitely aimed at teenagers/young adults. It's written for a younger audience, very informal and that narrative is quite chatty, so it's probably not for everyone. However, I read this anyway because it is really good at explaining what it's like to live with OCD. People think that OCD is when you're obsessed with order and routine, for example consistently washing your hands, when really that's just perfectionism. OCD would be washing your hands in order to prevent an obsessive thought coming true. So, you'd be washing your hands because you fear getting ill, therefore by washing your hands, you won't contract an illness. That is a very simple explanation and I can only imagine that that is amplified one million times over. OCD is very intrusive, controlling and not what people really think it is, so this book is fantastic at explaining what it's really like.

Finally, it's also a great reminder to us all that there is no normal. We often chase 'normality' but it's a completely unrealistic expectation and therefore drive ourselves nuts because we're aiming for the unattainable. This book is great for reinforcing the idea that what is normal for you, is probably not normal for me, and that is more than OK.
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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Beating the Winter Blues


Winter is probably a season that resembles marmite, you either love it or hate it. Festive ocassions, open fires, cosy film nights, seasonal comfort food all make for good reasons to love it but I know the dark, damp days, and the sadness that Christmas can sometimes bring to a household, can make this time of year much harder for some.

I say it's like marmite, but I think I sit firmly in the middle. I love Christmas but I absolutely hate the cold weather, early nights and lack of sunshine. And I know a lot of the time, the lack of sun and darkness can really bring our mood down. Some of us probably experience a mild form of the 'Winter Blues' and others might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I don't really suffer - I get a bit fed up sometimes but that's all - however, I do have some ideas for those of you who do..

1. Soak up as much light as possible. Sit next to windows, wake up a little earlier, make your room bright and spacious. Or try light therapy - invest in a lamp designed for S.A.D, which can help bring artificial light, hopefully boosting your mood.

2. Talk to someone. The easiest thing when written down on paper but the one thing we all put off doing, despite us all knowing we'll feel so much better for doing so.

3. Exercise. I'm not saying 5 miles on a treadmill but rather a walk around the block in natural daylight. Failing that, do some housework - vacuum the stairs or wrestle with bed as you try to put fresh bedding on. Small activities work just as well.

4. Do something you enjoy. I think we all think that when the dark nights draw in, we're now stuck inside with nothing but TV to watch. Instead, go out. Go to the cinema, pub, ice skating, bowling..

5. Be kind to yourself. If you want that mince pie, have it. If you want a nap, sleep. Your body will reward you and feel amazing if you treat it well.

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Thursday, 12 November 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I don't know about you, but now that bonfire night is over and done with, I'm on the countdown to Christmas now! I'm one of those people who has done their Christmas shopping and wrapped it all by December 1st, has been listening to the soundtracks throughout all November, and whips the Christmas jumpers out on December 1st. I've not always been like this but it's now safe to say I love Christmas!

As I've not been able to really decorate for 3 years, being and Uni and all, this year I'm going ALL out. So I've picked up two pieces so far that I'm really in love with and thought I'd share on here. I treated myself to this Yankee Candle Advent calendar as I loved it last year, and managed to get it for£18 in boots, thanks student discount, I still love you! It contains 23 tea lights and 1 votive candle in the scents Christmas Memories, Angels Wings, Cinnamon Stick, Icicles, Christmas Garland, Snowflake Cookie and Christmas Eve. I love having it alongside the traditional chocolate one, of course..



And secondly, I went to my local garden centre, which has the most beautiful Christmas decorations I've seen in a long time. I just couldn't leave without this adorable penguin. I think it's going to look perfect under a little fibre optic tree or on my window ledge with some fairy lights.



And finally, I've bought this game for Christmas because just how cute and awesome does it look? It's called 'Peel the Sprout' so I think it resembles your traditional pass the parcel type of game, only it's a sprout! God, I'm such a kid at heart.


I am thinking this probably won't be the last Christmas post but there's nothing wrong with a bit of Christmas spirit is there? Have you started shopping yet or are you a scrooge? ;) 
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Monday, 9 November 2015

Seven Smiles

Hello! Happy Monday and all that. After seeing a few posts like this, I'd thought I'd create my own version of things that have put a smile on my face as it's such a lovely way of reminding yourself of the little things in life, isn't it?

1. Christmas cups are back! On Saturday, I met a good friend on my break for coffee and she returned with a festive cup, which instantly had to be instagrammed obviously.. This definitely means Christmas can now be talked about doesn't it?



2. Music. I've really been getting into listening to music again recently, maybe it's because I drive a lot and the radio is always on? I'm really loving being up to date with everything though.. especially Adele, Sam Smith and Ben Haenow's new songs.

3. One Million Lovely Letters. I was lucky enough to win Adele's book giveaway last week and it immediately put a smile on my face. I've been wanting to read this book for a while now so it was a lovely surprise :)



4. Work. After writing a previous post, I've come to the decision that I'm actually going be to leaving my job before Christmas. I'm tired, fed up and overworked and I know that if I worked over Christmas, I'd be extremely unhappy. So, I'm not going to. I can feel a shift in my attitude already, and now I know I have Christmas to look forward to!

5. Happy Birthday Mark! Today is my brother's 19th Birthday, which we celebrated with a small family meal yesterday. I won't see him today as I'm doing a 12 hour shift but Happy Birthday bro!

6. Spectre. I actually hate James Bond but I went to see the new one last week and it's the best thing I've watched in ages. I loved it! Let's put it this way, I don't usually pay to watch films, but I'd consider buying the DVD of this.



7. 200 Followers. I know it's not a massive number, but last week I hit 200 followers and I'm so grateful to each and everyone of you that reads this blog. I never thought I'd ever see my blog grow this much so thank you!

I hope you have a lovely week, whatever you're doing :)

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Friday, 6 November 2015

Losing Control


Albus Dumbledore is without a doubt, my favourite Harry Potter character.

Why? Well, although he is completely fictional, some of my favourite words are of lines of his.

Of course it's happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean it isn't real?

I've written a few times on here now that I consider myself recovered from Anorexia, but that doesn't mean my interest in mental health has decreased. Quite the opposite really, as I love nothing more than to try and help others, even if it's simply offering an ear to talk to. Someone joked with me the other day that 'we're the crazy ones' and I immediately thought that I'm actually not crazy any more, but really I never was. Although we joke, crazy isn't the word we should use to describe someone suffering from a mental illness.

Mental illnesses aren't just us going crazy. They are illnesses of the brain, caused by a number of reasons (changes in our brain chemistry, genes, personal life events, blah blah..). Ultimately, they develop and we don't have control over that. It's like our brain has been invaded and we can't really stop it from happening. 

Imagine that you're a puppet being controlled by someone else. You have no say in what you do or say. Terrifying, right?

That is kind of how it's like to live with an illness you have no control over. The difference is, mental health cannot be seen which makes it one million times harder to both admit to and talk about.

I've recently come to realise that the fear of losing of control is present amongst many mental illnesses. It certainly was for me but I just assumed that was a characteristic of Anorexia. I was so wrong because it seems to crop up over and over. If only we talked more and shared stories, the more we'd learn and overcome, eh? 

And this is why I love Dumbledore. I still meet people who think they're crazy for fearing being out of control. Just because it cannot be seen doesn't mean that it isn't real. Just because someone else doesn't understand how you're feeling, doesn't mean what you're feeling is shameful. And just because it's going on in your head doesn't mean that what you're experiencing doesn't exist. 

It's very real to you and that is what matters.
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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Books // Little Girl Gone


Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

Estelle Paradise is found in a car crash miles away from her home, with head injuries and a severe case of amnesia. Just days before, Estelle's baby daughter was taken from her cot but Estelle hadn't reported her missing.

Whilst in hospital recovering from her car crash, Estelle's husband decides that it's best she goes into a psychiatric hospital in order to recover her memory. Estelle does, and is treated by Dr Ari who specialises in memory retrieval. The book then alternates between the present and flashes back to before the baby went missing which is where we learn that Estelle and her husband's relationship was far from perfect, and she also happened to suffer from both depression and psychosis. This then leads to the questioning of whether she herself is responsible for the absence of her daughter.

The book is described as a mixture of Girl on the Train (which I happened to love) and Gone Girl, placing it quite nicely into the psychological thriller genre. It is both gripping and frustrating, as we are slowly fed information as Estelle recovers her memory.

I can't say I raced to the end of this book but it was a very good read and one I'd recommend if you're patient enough to find out what happens right at the very end. It's also only 99p on amazon for kindle at the moment, so you can't go wrong with that!
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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Hello November



November..

I'm not one for wishing time away, in fact I really dislike it. I hate the idea of wishing your life away when we only get one, and who knows if we'll see tomorrow. That being said, it's all I seem to be currently doing because the excitement of quitting my job in January and going to Sri Lanka is beginning to creep in. Oh and not to mention I can upgrade my phone on the 23rd of this month.. it's all about the small things in life eh? ;)

Truth is, I am totally and completely fed up of my job. I hate to write that actually because I love nothing more than to help people, to make them smile and to be there but the hours are exhausting and unfortunately, it's just not worth it. Finishing at 11pm to then restart at 7am is completely ridiculous, not to mention dangerous for both me and my clients. Concentration dwindles, and in a world involving medication and driving, it's not ideal as you can imagine.

However, now that the dark nights are back, I can't help but feel a certain cosiness to this month. Burning fires, fireworks, beautiful colours.. and the Christmas spirit that is beginning to float around in shops, television and advertisements,  definitely begins to bring an air of magic into our lives. I am someone who loves Christmas and started Christmas shopping last month. Yes, I am one of those people. I just like everything to be perfect; well thought out and meaningful.

So for now, I'll persevere. I'll persevere with my job and try and enjoy the last two months because one thing's for sure, I won't be returning to it. I'll focus on the good and loved ones because that's what matters.
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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Phone Wallpapers

Recently, I've actually had a bit of a sort through my Pinterest boards (shameless plug, I know) and at the weekend, I may have become a little obsessed with it! I used to think it was so boring but before I knew it, I'd actually spent quite a while just pinning different bits and bobs. It's addictive, isn't it?

Anyway, I found some really lovely phone wallpapers that I thought I'd share on here! I know I love these sort of posts, so maybe you will too?


2. Anyone still loving pineapples? I know I am..
3. One for Autumn
4. Because it's getting colder and winter is approaching
5. A floral pattern
6. You are bootiful

The first one is currently my wallpaper but I love swapping them so often, especially fort the different season. I'm definitely already on the look out for Winter/Christmas designs. Let me know if you like these type of posts, and if you use any for yourself. Where is your favourite place to find wallpapers?



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Monday, 26 October 2015

Tips for a Better Sleep with Bed Linens


Sleep is one of those things that is really important and yet so many of us have problems with it, at some point in their lives. It's just so vital for resting and preparing your body as well as your mind. Thankfully, I tend to sleep pretty well these days but I've had insomnia before and it really can be hell when you're wide awake at 3am in the morning. 

I don't know about you, but I definitely function and feel so much better if I've slept well. On the odd occasion that I finish work at 11pm and have to be there again for 7am, I am SO grouchy and unsociable because I just haven't had enough sleep. I think knowing you have to be up early sometimes makes it harder to switch off but there are definitely certain things though that can really help you sail away to the land of nod..

1. Create a relaxed environment. Let's face it, if you don't like the room/place you're going to be sleeping in, you aren't going to want to go to bed. A dark, cosy room with your favourite scented candle or hot water bottle makes the room much more inviting.

2. Bed linens. And on a similar note, I love having pretty bed linen! I have a sailor/nautical vibe to my room but I recently purchased this woodland set from Asda for Autumn, and I'm thinking this fair isle set for Winter/Christmas from Yorkshire Linen Bed Linens. I’ve also been lusting after this from Ted Baker, and Next’s homeware range, as they have some tartan bedding available. I know, red and tartan for Autumn, groundbreaking right?! There also some great offers on myvouchercodes at the moment too!

3. Electric Blankets! And on a similar note, electric blankets are the best thing ever. At Uni, it was so, so cold and I practically lived in bed with my electric blanket on all of the time because they are so cosy and warm! If you just switch it on half an hour before getting into bed, your bed will be so comfortable and inviting.  Honestly, you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t have one!

4. Switching off. Do not scroll through twitter whilst lying in bed!! We've all done it and it keeps me awake for hours because my brain keeps on ticking over and over... Just put your phone down!

5. Caffeine. My Dad makes me laugh when he says he can't sleep but has had a coffee just before going to bed. Caffeine takes a while to exit your system, so opt for another drink if it's later at night.

6. Hot baths & hot drinks. And finally, have a hot bath or hot drink before you go to bed. During my degree, I'm pretty sure that I learnt that the decline in body temperature can make you sleepy, so it's the perfect excuse to devour a hot chocolate or a hot, luxurious bath :)
*This post was written in collaboration with Yorkshire Linen 
but all  opinions are my own.
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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Orelia Jewellery*

I am absolutely loving dainty jewellery at the moment. I used to be all about statement necklaces over a comfortable, chunky knit, but sometimes I think it can all get a little bit too much. So lately, I've been preferring a simple, dainty necklace instead. I think there's just something so much more elegant about it!


I recently received a lovely package from Orelia Jewellery via etailPR, who sell exactly the type of necklaces I've been loving. Orelia is a brand that slots nicely in between high street and designer, which sometimes is the best - a better quality product but at a more affordable price! Their range reminds me of the Z range at accessorize actually, which is one I always check out.


Orelia sells a wide range of jewellery and body art but I chose three necklaces. The first one I chose is this gold plated crystal bar necklace. I just think this is perfect for heading towards the festive season and is a great way to add a little sparkle an everyday outfit.


My second choice was this semi precious triple cube necklace which is a new piece to their range. I'm loving marble at the moment and the stones reminded me of just that, even though they are blue opal! I just think it's a lovely piece that's a little bit different!


And finally, my favourite choice is this love knot ditsy necklace. I chose this with one of my best friends in mind because she loves infinity knots, so I may give it to her actually! It's just so simple but elegant all in one!


Overall, I really do love these pieces! These ranged from £12-£15 too, so they are really affordable! They'd definitely make for lovely gifts for friends (especially if you're starting your Christmas shopping soon) or just want to treat yourself.. because let's face it, who doesn't?!
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