Tuesday, 28 May 2013

It's My Birthday!

Hi guys. As you can tell from the title of this blog post, today is my birthday! I am now 19 and only have one year left of being a teenager. As I did most of my celebrating over the weekend, today has been a pretty chilled day. My friend and fellow blogger Chloe came over and we spent the day together. I have decided that since I haven't done a post for about a week or so now, I would show you all what my lovely friends and family got me present wise. This isn't me trying to brag or anything like that, but I would simply like to share my excitement and my birthday with you all. Also, apologies for my poor photography skills but I took them very quickly earlier on today!

Firstly, my friend Bethany has kindly given me her copy of 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' by John Green and David Leuithan. I am really excited to read it knowing that she loved it so much. Plus, after reading both 'The Fault In Our Stars' and 'Looking For Alaska,' I have become a huge John Green fan. Bethany also bought me a really cute notebook. Knowing that I am really into writing, she thought it would be the perfect gift for me.

Secondly, my very talented friend Lucy drew me this amazing picture of myself and Josh Franceschi. For those of you who don't already know, my favourite band are You Me At Six and I have a slight love/obsession for Josh. I really love this sketch and I am going to buy a cute frame for it so I can display it proudly in my bedroom!

Next, my friend Charlotte got me this cute make-up bag with lots of lovely goodies inside.  I am in desperate need of a new make-up bag as my other one is getting a bit dirty - so I am very happy. Inside were a few pampering products including the face mask and hair mask above. She also got me a lovely strawberry scented Natural Collection shower gel which smells amazing - however, I have already started using it and so I have not included it in today's post. The last thing Charlotte got me is a pack of five adorable string-like bracelets from Topshop which I adore, but as they are so small and delicate, my camera could not pick up the detail in them very well at all - hence I have not included a photo :(

Chloe (Coco Mykel) got me a Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleansing Kit which I am chuffed with! I have never used any high-end skin care products before and I have heard so many rave reviews about this particular product. I am very excited to use it and pamper myself tonight! The kit also comes with a handy little guide giving step-by-step instructions. I will most likely end up dedicating a whole post to this product in the future after I have been using it for a while, so that I can review the product for you all. 

My friend Danielle got me these wonderful goodies. Everybody who knows me is aware that my alcoholic beverage of choice is vodka. I am looking forward to my next night out so that I can crack open this bottle. I am also addicted to Drumstick Squashies and Galaxy chocolate so I am definitely going to be pigging out over the next few days.

In addition, my parents got me a bottle of 'Reb'l Fleur' by Rihanna but I forgot to photgraph this! This is my all time favourite perfume and I use it almost every day. I cannot really explain the smell to you but it is gorgeous. This is probably about the fourth bottle I have gotten now, as everybody knows how much I love it! I definitely recommend to all of my readers. My parents also got me two really cute matching underwear sets but I have decided not to include them ;)

Overall, I have had a wonderful birthday and I am so thankful for all of the gifts that my friends and family have bought me. It makes me realise how much I appreciate them and how much they care for me. I am one lucky girl :) Thank you all for reading!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Creative Writing: Anorexia

Hi guys, today my post is going to be a little bit different to the usual topics I cover. Over the past year or so, I have developed a passion for writing – hence why I have since started up my blog. Throughout my school life, English was always my strongest subject yet I never really wanted to do anything with it (until now!) Dislcaimer: I do not mean to upset or offend anybody with my writing and I have tried to deal with this topic in an extremely sensitive manner.

A few months ago, I decided that I would like to create a written piece about anorexia. In this day in age, anorexia nervosa is a very sensitive subject and it affects millions of people worldwide. The reason that I am posting this piece is so that I can share my work with you but I also want to make more people aware about the effects that anorexia can have on many men and women all over the world.

“This girl was different to the one she previously knew. Spencer used to be the life and soul of the party, always the centre of attention. She was breathtakingly beautiful and she made everybody around her feel like they belonged, like they were a part of something. She was alive, but this soon changed.

Now, her face was pale and sallow. Her eyes like two piercing black holes, vacant yet undoubtedly still mysterious. Her hair was limp and tangled, falling dead straight from centre like a pair of curtains trying to hide her face. Her cheekbones were sharp and well-defined, rivalling those of a supermodel, yet she was far from beautiful.  Her lips were quivering with fear. She slowly untied her dressing gown and let it fall effortlessly to the floor, landing gracefully at her feet. Standing in her underwear, clinging to her shapeless hips, Spencer was vulnerable. She stared listlessly, examining her gaunt frame over and over again. Skeletal and frail, she was a ghost of her former self. How had she let it get this bad? She lifted up her hand and gently brushed it against her collar bone, it was so… prominent. She looked down at her concaved, hollow chest and then her ribs, counting them with ease using just her index finger.  She was overwhelmed with emotion, her stomach churning and convulsing. She was famished, yet she wouldn’t give in. Eating was not an option. Then, Spencer froze.  She was completely still, motionless. A darkness slowly crept over her, filling the void inside her head with despair. She was numb, lifeless like a corpse. She had a sudden realisation that she was lying to herself, her condition was getting worse. Every day, every hour, every minute. She realised that in order to get on the path to recovery, she first had to admit her illness to herself. Anorexia.”  

This is just a little snippet of the piece but I am hoping to expand on it in the near future. I am always open to constructive criticism, as I constantly want to improve my work and so I welcome any suggestions that any of you may have. To read more about anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders, please click here.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Saying Yes And Overcoming Your Fears

Hi guys! So, my favourite YouTuber Zoe Sugg (Zoella) uploaded a video today about saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities and pushing yourself. A few months ago when I first started watching Zoe, she released a video about anxiety and panic attacks which received an astonishing amount of feedback – which is why she has made a follow-up video. As a sufferer of anxiety and panic attacks myself, I have found these videos to be both extremely helpful and inspiring. I must say that I have always been one to avoid situations that make me worry or on edge if at all possible, which I know deep down is the worst thing that I could possibly do but it is just a pattern that I have never been able to break out of (yet!) However, I am determined that this is going to change.

Like Zoe mentioned in today’s video, nothing can be fixed overnight. Conquering your fears and anxieties is a slow process and I think that it is important to not expect miracles. For example, setting yourself a series of small tasks that will gradually increase your confidence is a much better way of overcoming things. In psychology, pushing yourself to your limit straight away is known the ‘boom-bust’ pattern – which is something that I used to do a lot.

The past few months for me have been pretty hard anxiety wise; however, I am slowly starting to say yes to more things. For instance, the other day I was thinking about how I still do not feel ready to go back to full-time work, so I have decided to apply to a charity in my hometown that enable you to do charity work. There are many different vacancies available from working with children or the elderly, to doing some administration work for our local chairman. Although neither of these tasks sound particularly thrilling, I think it will just be good for me to have something to do during the week rather than moping around indoors and making myself feel even worse. I really want to get back in to some sort of routine and get some normality back in to my life. I feel that volunteering will also make feel good about myself as I know I will be helping others in the community, which is always rewarding.

Zoe also mentions in the video that when you suffer with anxiety, you lose interest in a lot of activities that you used to enjoy and you subsequently become a ‘shell’ of your former self. I can honestly say that this is one of the things that I am most guilty of. If somebody invited me out, for example if my friends asked me to go clubbing, I would constantly say no in fear of having a panic attack or feeling overwhelmed whilst I was out. A big thing for me is the fear of not being able to escape from a situation easily, which is why I sometimes feel claustrophobic in big crowds. Another one of my worries is having a panic attack in a public place, as I hate feeling embarrassed or under scrutiny from others. Saying this, over the past few months, these two fears have dramatically decreased and I feel a lot more comfortable in these situations and happier about going out clubbing and other social places now.

Overall, the message that I am trying to put across in this post is that it is important to take little steps to build up your self-esteem and confidence. Doing so will allow you to gradually break out of your comfort zone and start to enjoy life again. As always, I would love to hear about your experiences with this topic – whether it be yourself, a friend/family member that suffers with anxiety or even if you do not have any links with anxiety at all – please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. I hope that this post inspires others to say yes to more things, in the same way that Zoe’s video inspired me.

Below is a list of Zoe's social media platforms in case you haven't checked her out already:
YouTube - Blog - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Tumblr - Bloglovin'

Saturday, 11 May 2013

My Recent Beauty Buys

Hi guys, I thought I would share with you all a few of the beauty products that I have bought lately and give you a brief review on what I think of them so far. So, let's get started...

I haven’t been using the scrub for too long but I have already noticed that my skin is nowhere near as oily in the mornings if I use this product before I go to bed. On the other hand, I do find the little charcoal beads quite abrasive and rough on my skin, which does make it feel a bit sore afterwards. I also found that applying moisturiser straight after using the scrub can cause your skin to sting a little, which is worrying. Apart from that slight problem, I really like this product so far. As for a reduced number in blemishes and faded blemish marks, I do not think I have been using the scrub for long enough to notice a real difference yet, but I am hoping I will do soon.

After watching many of Tanya Burr’s YouTube videos, she always seems to use this powder to set her make-up and so I thought I would give it a go. I have to say compared to the awful, cheap powder that I was using before (17’s Pressed Powder in Nicely Natural - £3.99,) I am impressed. This powder banished all of the shine, especially from my T-zone which can get quite oily throughout the day. I highly recommend this product to all of my readers!

After dealing with my cracked Rimmel blusher for quite a while, I decided it was about time that I got a new blusher and everybody I know speaks highly about Bourjois’ range. Consequently, I went into Superdrug this week to get some new make-up as there is currently 3 for 2 Mix & Match offer in there, which is amazing as you can mix and match with all of the different brands in store. I swatched this colour on my hand and thought it was gorgeous, but when I got home and applied it to my cheeks I found that the colour was too bright for me. I am definitely not going to keep on using this blusher as it is just too vibrant on my skin tone, but I will definitely be willing to go back and buy a subtler colour instead.

I got the mini version of this mascara for free by purchasing Elle magazine this month, which features Miley Cyrus looking amazing on the front cover. Considering that this mini mascara costs around the £9 mark (£19.50 for the full-size product,) it was a complete bargain seeing as the magazine only costs a few pounds. I used the mascara for the first time this morning and I love it! It added a lot of length to my fine and sparse eyelashes, however, it gave me absolutely no volume. Hence, I then applied another mascara of mine over the top to make my lashes appear thicker. Overall, this mascara is definitely worth the money but the only problem that I found with it is that it takes quite a long while to dry, which can be slightly annoying.

I also purchased this nail varnish whilst in Superdrug as part of the 3 for 2 Mix and Match offer. I have never, ever had a nail colour like this before and I love it. Although the varnish itself is quite runny and a few coats of it is required for the colour to live up to how great it looks in the bottle, it is definitely worth it. The iridescent, purple colour has little flecks of gold glitter within it – as well as a slight blue/green hue mixed in with the purple too. I was debating between whether buying this colour or ‘Intense Plum’ as I could only afford one at the time, but I am definitely going to purchase the other at some point in the near future because it is just as gorgeous.

My Mum came back from work the other week with In Style magazine, as they were giving away a free Nails Inc nail varnish in three colour variations. I think that the other two colours to choose from were either a nude or a pale pink, but I am glad that Mum picked this colour instead. The nail varnish itself goes by the name 'It's Red, Babez,' however, the colour is more of a pinky-red. It is so eye-catching and very appropriate now that we are getting into spring/summer. I think that a bright nail can really finish off an outfit and this colour is no exception! The varnish is rather thick, which is great as you will only need to apply one coat. Nails Inc varnishes dry extremely fast, which is also an added bonus. I have had a little look on their website and I cannot seem to find this shade, so it may have been an exclusive colour in In Style, however, there are similar colours available so I urge you to have a look on their website!

After hearing rave reviews about micellar solutions in various magazine and online articles, I definitely wanted to try it out for myself. I know that most people use the Bioderma product, but that is definitely out of my price range. However, after using L’Oréal’s more affordable version for a couple of nights now, I am impressed. My make-up is dissolved and removed so easily, just by splashing a bit of this solution on to a cotton wool pad. In addition, my skin feels lovely and clean afterwards without any sort of residue – which is a bonus! I would definitely recommend this product as it is effective and a complete bargain! 

I hope that you all enjoyed this brief beauty review and as always, if you have any opinions on the products that I have mentioned above, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I love reading all of your comments and always respond to them, as I love getting feedback on my posts. Thank you :) 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

My Current Ambition

My current ambition, and my top priority at the moment, is to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. With everything that has been going on with me over the past year or so, I feel extremely lost and confused. I have no idea what I want to do in the future - especially job wise. I have no clue which career path I want to follow, as when I think of my strengths, I cannot really think of one thing that I am talented at in particular. I would love to do something based around writing, but I feel that I do not have the knowledge or determination to do so. One of my major problems is that I lack drive and I am often very lazy, which is a problem that I desperately need to fix. I think that my vocabulary and knowledge of the English language is quite limited, however, I really do not want to go back to studying. Back in the day, college made me miserable and I have never wanted to go to university, so have already ruled these options out. 

At times, I really wish I was more like my brother. He knew what he wanted to do even when he was in secondary school. His passion is sport and he has stuck with that for almost ten years now. I’m going off on a bit of a tangent here now, but I do compare myself to my brother an awful lot. He is confident, loud and self-assured; I am shy, quiet and insecure. I find it so bewildering how different we are, especially since we have been raised in the exact same way. I think I often see myself as the ‘failure’ of the family, and this includes all of my cousins also. All of them have had many achievements between them - honours at university, city jobs and amazing GCSE results to name a few. When I look back on what I have done, not one achievement springs to mind and this upsets me a great deal. I wish I could be proud of myself but I’m just not. Maybe that will change in the future, if I ever figure out what I want to do… I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Summer Style: Patterned Culottes

Now that the weather is warming up, it's time for us to invest in some summer shorts and I believe that a big trend this season is patterned culottes. Not only are the patterns extremely summery; I also think that culottes are perfect for hot, sunny days as they are incredibly floaty and will not cling to your legs too much. In addition, I love that culottes are high-waisted as this makes them very flattering on most body types, as they cinch you in at the waist. This also means that if you a brave enough, you could pair the shorts with a crop top, showing just a little bit of your midriff! At the moment, Topshop have some lovely choices and so I thought I would share three of my favourite pairs with you.

1. Ditsy Print Frill Hem Shorts - £32.00

I adore these shorts. I am definitely a sucker for any floral pattern and the little pop of pink contrasts well with the navy material. I think that the frilly hem of the shorts also adds a really cute touch to the garment, which will also make you feel incredibly feminine. 

2. Floral Animal Print Shorts - £30.00
As well as my addiction to floral prints, I am a huge lover of leopard print too. I really love these shorts as the design features a lot of accent colours - which means that these shorts will go with many different tops (which is an added bonus!)

3. Ditsy Mix Print Culotte Shorts - £28.00
Again, I have picked another floral pair as I just couldn't resist them. I love the way that the black waist on the shorts contrasts so well with the overall red design - I think that it makes these shorts extra special. As I am quite petite, I tend to suit smaller 'ditsy' patterns more than large ones, so these shorts are perfect for me (as are the other two above!)

As always, I would love to know what you guys think about my choices, so please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I always respond to the comments I receive because I love getting feedback on my posts :)  

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Human Mind

Isn’t it funny how the human mind works? Our brains are all made up of the same components, but we are all so different. Some of us our loud, some of us are quiet. Many people are outgoing and confident, whilst others are shy and reserved. We all have different fears and phobias. Whether it be a fear of heights, or spiders, or flying - we are all afraid of something. I don’t think we will ever know what triggers our fears within our mind, it just happens without warning. Some fears are irrational, some are not. We all know what it feels like to be scared. That feeling in the pit of your stomach where it churns and convulses. The pressure builds up in your body, rising higher and higher like a thermometer or a saucepan that is about to boil over. It gets to that point where we explode, every inch of emotion within you exudes out for all to see. Some people get angry, some of us cry whilst some of as may freeze. Still, motionless. As if all life has been drained from your body and all that is in your way is the obstacle that is right in front of you. That one fear that you need to decide whether you can conquer it or whether you are going to run away. Sometimes, it seems much easier to run from what scares you. It is the easy and ‘comfortable' option. However, staying in denial is quite possibly the worst thing that you could do. The longer you avoid your fears, the more intense they become.