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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