Thoughts On 2017: From One Overthinker To Another

One of my biggest faults is my ability to overthink any situation. I'm over analytical and hypercritical but the one thing that I've realised about this is that it only ever applies to me. What could I have done wrong? What more could I have done? I never question the actions of others. I guess, though, that we're all guilty of being super critical of ourselves. We are without doubt our own worst enemy but is there anything good that can come from being a catastrophic thinker?

2016 has flown by. I remember sitting here last Christmas, with a coffee in hand, pondering on the exact same thought but every year it seems more so. I feel like I'll be 30 with a collection of owl figurines before I know it. Which I wouldn't mind, just FYI. The end of December always seems to bring on a wave of "oh crap" and I suddenly wish I'd have done more with the year that so quickly slipped through my fingers. I don't have anything that I necessarily wish I'd have accomplished, I just have an overwhelming sense of disappointment.

With that in mind, I've decided that this year I'm going to set myself some goals to ensure that this time next year isn't full of regret. If I don't achieve them; at least I know I tried and hopefully, in the process, learnt something on the way.
I'm without doubt a linguistic learner. Always have been. Writing is a form of therapy for me. Whether it be writing up a new post for you guys on here, making an entry into my diary or just jotting down some notes; I feel like writing (or equally- reading) is the only way to stop any information going in one ear and out the other. This is no more less so when it comes to goals. Unless I write them down, I know nothing is going to get done. I need some sort of reference, y'know? If you're also thinking of setting yourself some goals this new year then please ask yourself these questions when considering which to strive for (and try not to over complicate them):

  • Specific - What exactly is it that I want to achieve?
  • Measurable - Can I measure whether it's been a success or not?
  • Achivable - What factors do the success of the project (goal) rely on?
  • Realistic - Can it be done?
  • Time - How long do I have to achieve this?

Using the trusty SMART scheme you should be able to ensure that your goals are not only achievable but also tailored to your schedule. Remember that not all of the things you want to achieve can be done in one year and they require lots of small steps eg. saving for a house so you could break this down into smaller chunks each year like: save x amount each month for that year etc. As I always say, perspective is important!

"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard

In the grand scheme of things, I guess one year really isn't that long but it's certainly long enough for you to achieve some of the things you want to. Keep in mind that even if you achieve only one goal or only tick one thing off your bucket list every year for the rest of your life; that's a lot of accomplishments! Celebrate every victory and please don't let any level of overthinking ruin your attitude.

I hope you're all having a lovely Christmas Eve; no matter where you are or who you're spending it with. Merry Christmas!


The Dark Side To The New Age Christmas

Has Christmas lost it's meaning? And what would Christmas be like if we didn't have the internet?

Money has always been a taboo subject to talk about- especially when it comes to the lack of it but at Christmas time it's even more so. Most of us probably can't imagine looking our family members dead in the eye and saying "I really can't afford to buy presents this year. I'm sorry" but unfortunately this is the case for a lot of parents around the world today and I wanted to explore the dark side of having access to everything online this time of year.

I went out shopping with a friend a few weeks ago. A friend I haven't seen for a long time. She has here life to lead and so do I, but it's nice to meet up every now and again for a catch-up. When we do see each other it's like we've never spent time apart. No awkward silences, just pure love and interest for one another. This time, though, it was different. I felt almost as if I was being looked down on for not wanting to buy everything and anything, for not wanting to eat in the cafes which have two-digit charges for a carrot cake. All before she finally said it. "How can you not afford £10?", after staring at her in astonishment for a while I just said "I have money but I like to spend it wisely and save it for more important things." You see, the topic of money is always a sore one; unless of course you're a cast member of Made in Chelsea. As much as I love the drama in that show, it doesn't exactly portray the accurate spending habits of a twenty- thirty something, does it?


Growing up in such a digital age I like to think I have a unique perspective on technology and the place it has in today's society. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm the first to sing it's praises. When it comes to starting up my blog and connecting with an incredible bunch of like-minded people that I wouldn't have otherwise, it's almost as if there's no downside. However, there's definitely a part of the new age which people shy away from talking about. God forbid you actually point out a negative of universal access to the internet. The expectations. As much as we like to pretend they aren't there, it almost isn't up for debate anymore. Buying someone a present now is almost like playing a game of The Price is Right. Guessing how much they're spending on you and trying to equate to that. What happened to the thought that counts?


The only time people tend to talk about the comparisons we make subconsciously are when it comes to looks and weight but it certainly goes deeper (or should I say shallower) than that. Through no fault of our own, we're constantly comparing our spending habits to those that we wouldn't even know about if it wasn't for the WWW. Believing that we haven't bought enough or rather spent enough, forgetting all together that different people have different budgets. We should appreciate every present we receive and forget about what everyone else is getting on the same day.


While speaking to my Mum yesterday, I told her that I don't know how she copes with Christmas every year. I didn't grow up in an incredibly lavished household and we certainly didn't have money to throw around but every year, without fail, me and all of my brothers and sisters were all showered with gifts. I felt well and truly spoilt and yet looking back; I can see a shift in the kinds of things that I scribbled on my wish list. Of course, you're going to be asking for different things as you get older and I've found that each year that my age increases my list also decreases. It would be silly of me to ignore, however, that a massive contributor is because I've grown in the time that technology was becoming more accessible and also more impressive. Who else remembers the excitement of flicking through an Argos catalogue and circling all the things you like. I hate to think about the children growing up just asking for iPads and iPhones because there is so much time for that when you get older. It's also a burden on the parents starting off the new year on a bad footing from forking out on new technology pieces. Just a thought eh?


Without sounding like my Grandma when she speaks of a "simpler time" and the joy of carollers etc: there's no doubt that traditions have changed over the years and it's something even I, as only a twenty year-old, have seen for myself. I briefly touched upon this in an earlier post but I wanted to elaborate on it. I stated that "Escaping the constant bombardment of advertising in today's society can be incredibly difficult" and we all know what marketing companies set out to do. I think that this has fed into the insecurities of getting the right presents, spending enough and worrying about sounding as if you're "bragging" whenever you mention what you got for Christmas.

There's no doubt in my mind that the new age has changed Christmas and the way that we view this time of year but I do strongly believe that the core values are still there. It's remains a family holiday which we like to celebrate together and anything that brings families together for even just one day out of 365 cannot be a bad thing, can it?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


Innovative Christmas Decor Ideas: Pinterest Inspired

The Creativity Exchange

... Welcome to Blogmas Day Four

There's a part of this Christmas that originally I was going to stay clear of writing about as I didn't want to sound complain-y and I also I was kind of embarrassed to admit it but then I thought more about it and and realised that I'm sure other people are in the same boat as me.

The thing is when you get the snap the parts of your day and edit them through filters you get to show the side of your life that you're proud of or show the kind of life you're striving for when you really just have no idea what's going on in their day-to-day life that they may not be showing. I'm not going to go into too much detail as I'm trying to keep all of my Blogmas posts as positive as I can but..
I can't afford Christmas.
There it is. I said it. Although we have some candles lit and a little Christmas tree, we simply don't have the money to decorate the way I would have liked to and to be honest, although it looks pretty, the more i think about it the more really insignificant the worry and embarrassment I felt really is. People are a lot worse off than me and not being able to decorate shouldn't be something that's a taboo subject... I don't want to be asked why I don't have decorations up or why I'm not spending lots of money on presents.. It's because I can't.

Instead of decorating I have, however, been obsessed with Pinterest. I've started a new Christmas board and began to pin the pictures of other people's decor and I find that it's put my festivities right on track. Maybe one year I'll be able to decorate my house in these ways. For those of you who do have the money and the means, I hope this compiled list of decorative ideas inspire you to do something a little different this year!
House and Garden
I love the idea of this Christmas Tree. I've never seen anything like this before and I think it looks absolutely stunning. Definitely something for all you creative geniuses to try out. It gives more of a minimalist artsy look to the regular Christmas Tree and would also work wonders for people living in smaller homes where there isn't much space for a tree to be placed on the floor.
DIY Network
Personally, I love the rustic feel of Christmas decor... I think it comes from my dream Christmas set-up which has always been spending a week (around Christmas time) in a log cabin with lots of blankets and candles. Unlimited amounts of hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies.
As soon as I came across this, I just had to feature it! How beautiful is this? All handmade too! If you want to create a countdown just like this one check the source below the photo where the lovely Cami from TIDBITS will talk you through the steps! You're welcome.
North Story
One of my favourites so far that even I am tempted to attempt with the limited resources and money I have. It looks so simple and inexpensive to make and yet gives a really homely and rustic vibe to your Christmas decor. Again, you can follow the link to find out how you can make some of these! Of course you should use twigs that have naturally fallen to the ground. I'm not encouraging vandalism over here. 🙈
Let me know what you think of the designs and ideas featured in this post and if you're tempted to try any of these out!


What's In My Bag: A/W Edition

... Welcome to Blogmas Day Two!

Whenever A/W come around, especially in December, I love to trade out my summer bag for something else. I don't like to carry a lot of weight around with me when it's cold but enough space to carry my essentials. The things inside my bag have obviously changed too and so I thought I'd share with you what I've been carrying around with me recently.

Please take note that not all things that I carry around with me are kept in this bag. I have a huge coat which keeps me snug during the cold days and so my phone and gloves etc are found in the pockets of that. Also, I should probably note: the bag is faux leather.
Over the shoulder bag: Primark
As soon as I saw this bag I knew I had to have it. It keeps everything that I need perfectly organised and doesn't allow for any space for anything I don't need which helps to keep it clutter-free!

The only time that you wouldn't see me out wearing this beauty would be if I was doing some shopping. Can you imagine trying to fit your weekly shop in here? Laughable.

It is perfect, though, for parties, catch up over coffee and can be dressed up or down for either.
As you can see, everything fits into the bag without anything being crunched up or teared but that's enough bragging about my organisation skills (lol) let's get into the bag!
2016/17 planner: Oliver Bonas
I couldn't write up a post like this without including my Oliver Bonas planner. I've been getting really into planning and thought this would be the perfect way to start getting into the whole 'bullet journal' trend without throwing myself in the deep end. I'm no artist, you see? I've even bought lots of sticky tape and stickers to decorate. I'm genuinely lovin' it!
There's really not much to say about these. They aren't anything special but they are incredibly cute aren't they? I always carry tissues around in my bag as you never know what kind of situation you may find yourself in when you need some. Whether that's a sudden need to blow your nose or wash the lipstick swatches from the back of your hand after your cheeky Boots visit. These were only around 12p each from Home Bargains.
Card holder: Primark / Glasses: Primark
A card holder is a relatively new thing for me (I know, I'm incredibly late to the party) but I've just never really seen the need for one. I was all like "where am I going to keep my change?" as if I have so much money I don't know where to place it- ha. It's honestly been a game changer for me. It's so much easier to fit into a small bag or slip in your pocket than a big bulky purse. It also means that I have everything in one place.

The next item I have in my bag is my Primark glasses. As I've said before, these are not prescription. I have not suddenly damaged my sight; I just love these glasses. I feel like they are the perfect accessory to an outfit.

What's a must in your handbag this A/W?



*The Perfect Christmas Gift With ChloBo Jewellery

... Welcome to Blogmas Day One!

"Jewellery has the power to be this one little thing that can make you feel unique."

I know a lot of people have an obsession with shoes and some will have a closet dedicated to these alone. I like to think that's exactly how I feel about jewellery. One can never have enough. The only difference being that I wear these pieces as if they are the staple item. The focus. I don't like the term "accessories" as that makes them sound like they are an added extra (or helped to commit a crime in some way, but we won't go there). I believe that as long as you have a good eye for pieces then you'll never feel like they're something you've just "thrown on" after spending hours putting together your outfit. I even work my outfits around jewellery sometimes!

When memories are attached to the pieces you wear, they become a luxury. A piece that gives you that warm nostalgic feeling inside. This is why I think jewellery is the perfect gift for the special lady in your life. Whether that be your girlfriend, mother, mother-in-law or even yourself- self love and all that.
"These stones are natural and therefore unique, so from time to time may vary in size, tone and finish. Small imperfections or 'beauty spots', as we like to call them are inherent to the character and individuality of the stone."
I had to quote this from the care information that they provide with purchase because I think having each piece be completely unique just adds to the outstanding beauty of their products. What better way to say 'I love you' than a piece made just for her.

It's also a great gift for self confessed jewellery addicts as they look perfect stacked on top of other bracelets alike! There's even a booklet included in the gift bag which shows you the best way to achieve this, in case they then decide to purchase more to sparkle alongside them.

I've never been one for chunky jewellery. I think that you can make just as big of a statement by opting for a dainty piece (or stacking dainty pieces) and this bracelet comes with a very strong elastic too so you don't need to worry about fiddling around with a clasp. Surely I can't be the only one who's constantly chasing the clasp around their wrist like a dog chasing it's tail, right?
The bracelet which I chose is made from 925 Sterling Silver and Labradorite. It also includes a moon charm standing for magic and protection which is the main reason for my choice. The decision on colour was simply down to the fact that I love nothing more than a monochrome outfit and I live for pieces that add a pop of colour!

You can purchase the bracelet featured here or take a look at all of their other beautiful pieces here.

What's your favourite piece of jewellery that you own and what makes it so special?

*items in this post may be PR samples. For more information on how this works, check out my full disclaimer.


The Fall: A Short List Of Struggles With Alcoholism

The Fall #1.
A short list we want you to know.
This week marks Alcohol Awareness Week (w.b. 14th November 2016). This also marks the time moving towards the one year mark from my last intake of alcohol; 13th December 2015. Moving into Autumn and Winter carries a weight unlike other times of the year for those who have battled and who are defeating alcohol. It is also the time of year we realise there may be absences that were once filled – both in terms of people and substances. For those outside this circle, here is a by no means exhaustive list of the challenges we face almost one year on: 
1) Social gatherings are challenging.
Apart from the “friends” who you may lose through the act of becoming a teetotaller, the friends that you keep have to be interacted with very differently than before. It simply is no longer possible to interact in the same way. By being the only one, or small minority, in a group you are set apart. Although many people who have not had a problem with alcohol may insist that “you can just drink lemonade and still have fun” or words to that effect, the fact is that this is not the case. It is a torturous mine field for the ex drinker, and continues to be. Not drinking in a social group is a continual and enormous challenge, especially when it is such a polar departure to ones previous social role.
2) Alcoholism deludes you.
Many people “post-addiction” find it remarkably easy to spot other people with even the most subtle hints of dependency. But when you are in the shipwreck of addiction yourself it is impossible to find these traits within oneself. Essentially, the evil trick of the disease is that it tells you that YOU have not got the problem! Also, you are probably the only one who cannot see this. As is the insipid nature of addiction as you spiral into certain insanity.
            This process also comes back in fits and starts during sobriety. The “go on, one won’t hurt” mentality, still comes on strong, but as time goes by ones defences become better supported and further reinforced.
3) A hobby helps.
The colossal void that sobriety provides (or should I say, that the absence of drink provides) is real, it is present and it will rear its ugly head if you let it. A hobby, or a collection of hobbies fills that void. And at the start of the journey any hobby, within reason, will do. A long sober gentleman and good friend of mine once said to me, “Just fill your time! As long as it’s not going to do you any more damage than you already have, just fill your time!”.
            Another word in replacement of “hobby” could easily be “focus”. The detoxing mind (and I’m talking serious, dangerous, dangerous detox here, not fruit and veg smoothies for those privileged with time and money) is not good at “focus”. Start with a hobby and then move towards focus. 
4) Alcohol is systemic in society. It is everywhere.
Alcohol is embedded in our culture. It is endemic, it is vastly prevalent and saturates almost every aspect of society. Almost every bill board has an advertisement for alcohol, every super market and every advert. The recently dry man will likely pick up on this far more than the rest of the public. Great marketing!
            Over time these do diminish into the general fabric of society that we all see, but this is part of society that we are no longer part of. That is just the way it is.
5) "One day at a time.”
I have a relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous, similar to the one I have with the Catholic Church (I am not going to enter into the debate that either one or both of them are a “cult” or interchangeable phenomena). I come and I go. When I attend either, it is as refreshing as a spa break. When I do not, I know that I can go back at any time. One thing I do believe, is that a lot of the one liners in AA, or “slogans” as they are recognised in the rooms, have a lot of truth in them and “one day at a time” is no exception. In fact it is the fundamental commandment. It is the one line that makes the journey realistic and bearable, achievable and purposeful. Most of all, that slogan makes the journey human. Alcoholics Anonymous, along with any other organisation with the same purpose, is primarily human.
“One day at a time”, “Just for today”, “Keep it simple”, “Powerless not helpless”, “This too shall pass”, “Easy does it, but do it”, “Poor me, poor me….pour me another drink” and “Pass it on” can become the weaponry that every person on a sober journey can use to reflect, contemplate and inform their decision making.

With that in mind, I wish every one of my comrades in sobriety the strongest of hearts and minds in the coming fall and Christmas and hope you find joy and peace in the journey of sobriety. To all my friends and comrades who are still in the horrors of their own personal war, I pray that you find the hope for a brighter day and that you too walk in the light.
“The sooner you see life as a journey and not a struggle, you’re able to have a say in the destination.”
Yours in victory,




20 Years On: Life Lessons 101

I'm not really one for Birthdays. My own, at least. I just don't like the fuss which comes along with it, which is why my 20th Birthday (one month ago) was kept super quiet from you guys! I decided to do this post to honor my two decades on this planet with some life lessons I've learnt over the years.
"Fashion is for you and nobody else."
Remember when your school would hold a non-uniform day in aid of a charity and you'd bring £1 to wear clothes of your choice? I would always get texts from my friends the night before like 'what are you wearing?!' and I'd always reply 'oh, just jeans and a nice top'. One year, my brother, Adam, had come back from spending a year in Africa and he brought back this boho-tribal shirt and I fell in love with it. I so badly wanted to wear it and so I did. Needless to say my friends were embarrassed, my classmates found it hysterical but I loved it. Do I look back now and think "WHY did I wear that?" absolutely not. The point I'm trying to make here is, wear whatever the hell you want regardless of what everyone else thinks. I truly believe you'll only regret the chances and risks you didn't take.
"Surround yourself with the best people, not the most."
This is a lesson that I wish I knew at birth. I swear, this lesson alone would have saved me a lot of sad days, during school especially! Life isn't about who has the most friends. Do you really think that on your death bed you're going to be wishing you had some more friends? are you f***. You're going to think about the ones you do have. I only have a small circle of friends but we're very, very close. They truly are my rock.
 "Everything is going to be alright."
Now, I don't want to get all Bob Marley on you all but it will.  There have been so many times I've thought to myself "I don't know how I'm going to get out of this" or asked myself "what's the point?" and after each one of these events, it's somehow worked out. The world is a strange place but there's a plan for you. 
"Everyone deserves a second chance." 
Not everyone will agree with this one but it's certainly something I feel really strongly about. There are gonna be people who you give chance after chance and all they do is take, take, take and these kinds of people are the ones you need to forgive and move on. Don't let these experiences stop you from giving a second chance to someone who could better your life. Everyone makes mistakes and some time, you may need a second chance with a friend too. 
"The pursuit of perfection is never ending. Quit while you're ahead."
I've got a couple of things that I was picked on for as a kid. 1) my nose and 2) my teeth. The amount of time I wasted finding out about how much a nose job would cost etc is ridiculous. I've made a promise to myself to not change any of these features simply because, when the first person mentioned it to me.. I couldn't see it. I thought "my nose isn't big is it?" "my teeth aren't that strange are they?" and over time I began seeing myself the way that they did. I hated them with a passion. Now? I couldn't care less. I know if I started to change myself, I'd just find other things I wasn't happy with. Learn to love what you have been blessed with.
"Success is relative." 
 Stop comparing your achievements to everyone else. Success probably means something different to me as it does to you and that's okay.. take each step as it comes and celebrate every tiny achievement. You're not any more or any less successful than the next person.
"Questioning is the art of learning."
I've always been a very inquisitive person but only recently have I seen this as a good thing. I like to think of myself as an optimist and sometimes this is brought into question by the amount of why's and how's that I ask. I just love learning and understanding. The most innovative of people question everything.
"Listen to understand, not to respond."
If a friend confides in you that they're feeling a bit crappy, sometimes the worst answer is "yeah, but..." instead, really listen to why they feel the way they do and let them know that although you'll never fully understand what they're going through that you're happy they're offloading on to you. A simple "It must be difficult for you." can change everything. 

What's the most important life lesson you've learnt?


4 Ted Talks Every Twenty Something Needs To See

The evenings are drawing in now and the mornings are becoming very crisp. The days of waking up to the sight of sun beaming through our windows are all but mere memories now. It isn't all bad though... Autumn means we have an excuse to wear our dressing gowns during the day which is an ultimate guilty pleasure of mine and it's also the right time to rock a turtle neck sweater. What's not to love? The cold weather however, does admittedly make getting out of my cosy, warm bed on a morning that little bit harder so I've been using TED Talks (and cup after cup of coffee) to give me that little push to help me crawl out of bed and get on with the rest of my day. I've listed four of my faves down below to help motivate you to do whatever it is that you want to achieve.

"You have more opportunity and time to create when you have less."
This TED talk is actually one of the main reasons I decided to become a minimalist. Although minimalism isn't exactly the focus of this talk, it made me analyse my own behaviours regarding my purchases and social media over use etc and in turn I made the decision to become a more conscious consumer. I love Ann's approach in this talk, especially given that she is so young yet has so much wisdom. It goes to show that age is just a number when it comes to success and happiness.

"..Which is why I like to think of myself as treading in the deep end of a shallow profession." 
If the first talk didn't make you think, this one definitely will! We hear a lot about beauty in the media and how we should define ourselves etc. We also hear people bash us for wearing "too much makeup" so the idea of the opinion on beauty from a makeup artist's mouth really intrigued me. I felt myself nodding along to every word she said. If you're anything like me, you'll probably let out a little chuckle here and there during this TED talk too which is always a bonus!

"Never believe a prediction that doesn't empower you."
This has to be one of my favourite TED talks of all time. I love this man! There's something about his voice and the way that he talks that I find so soothing and inspiring. I've actually taken some of the quotes he uses in this speech and made prints out of them. If you're ever feeling down about anything, watching this is for sure going to uplift you! Also, he's hi-lari-ous. Amazing and strikingly honest talk.

"We have known for centuries about the transcendent power of solitude. It's only recently that we've strangely begun to forget it."
That's right. This ones for all you fellow introverts like myself out there! Susan talks about introverts in a way that you very rarely hear about: in such a positive way. Proving that introverts have qualities that are equally as important as those typically held by extroverts. This TED Talk was actually suggested to me by my brother, Adam, who works in a primary school in Hong Kong. He's extremely passionate about teaching which is what I believe brought him to this video. He said "I have been reading a lot about introversion because I feel it's important to recognise and celebrate all of my students." If you're just curious, or even a teacher yourself, you should check out his blog post about that here, where he also links to this talk.

I hope you enjoy these talks. I truly believe that there are very important, valuable messages in each and every one of these. If you're also a TED-talk-binge-watcher (if there ever was such a thing) then please leave suggestions on others that you've enjoyed and I'll be sure to check them out!


*The Perfect Dress Up/Down Dress With RoseGal

It's officially September. Eight days in to be precise and it's kinda hit me that I'm soon to be twenty and I never really like to make a big fuss about my own birthday (although I tend to go all out for everyone else's). I'm trying to embrace it this year as twenty is quite a milestone- one that I will probably look back on when I'm older.

When September does come around it's not just my birthday which springs to mind, it also marks the start of Autumn and you all know how excited I get about that! In Autumn I tend to start swapping out my heels for something a little more comfortable but all of my families birthdays seem to fall (pun not intended) on this time of year. Anyone else have a period of the year like this? and so I was on the lookout for something that I could dress up for these occasions but also dress down for comfort.
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
I'm in love with bodycon dresses. I feel like as a five ft woman some dresses can make me a look a lot smaller and so tight dresses are my thing. They allow me to show off the little curves I do have. 

Now, onto the dreaded horizontal stripes. You hear from a lot of people that you should stay away from these! Always pick up something which has vertical stripes and to be honest, I've never really thought much about it because I'm not one to care too much about my weight, just as long as I'm healthy! But, great news for you all, regardless, it's a complete myth! check out this article I had a read of to find out more about this.

I think rather than worrying about little 'slimming secrets' like these you should just simply go for what you feel comfortable in and for me that's always been monochrome which I've spoken a lot about in previous posts on here. I just feel like it gives you the freedom to experiment with different coloured shoes and accessories which helps especially if you're looking at creating a capsule wardrobe. I'm definitely one for dressing up. Doing my hair and makeup and heading out the door in a gorgeous outfit but I feel like there's nothing better than rocking comfort and heading to a coffee shop or just to do some shopping and so slipping on on a pair of trainers with this look was simply a must.
Purchase this belt here.
Taking all of this into consideration (and ticking every box ) I am absolutely loving this dress from Rosegal. It's a really stretchy material and so fits my body perfectly while not being really stiff. I will have to add, however, that this is really new to my wardrobe and so I'm going to come back to you with a second post on how it's holding up after a few wears but for only $10.59 you can't go wrong!

*items in this post may be PR samples. For more information on how this works, check out my full disclaimer.


Learning To Love Myself And Why You Should Too

When I'm around lots of strong characters whether it be friends, fellow bloggers or even friend's friends, I feel like I'm lacking something. I'm one of those girls that's very shy at first but once you get to know me, you kinda wish I was. I just can't seem to shut up. I'm super awkward through and through but I can't see that ever changing so let's just call me quirky. It sounds more pleasant. I'm always around what I would call "successful" people when I'm not even sure of the meaning of the word myself. I sometimes wish I had a different job, different hobbies and heck sometimes I wish I was someone else all together.

It's easy to see someone else's life; their success and their home lives, through green eyes. We've all done it, but I'm sure if you sat down with that person they'd have some things about themselves that they'd like to change. Even things that you rock that they wish they could. We're all simply our imperfect selves and confidence doesn't necessarily mean thinking that you're perfect and know everything, that's arrogance my friends, however it's knowing yourself and your potential. Believing that even when things block your path to where you want to be heading; you will be able to face that challenge. Confidence is one of those things where I think the saying "I think therefore I am" comes into play. If you think you're slaying, girl- you will be!
The truth is, I will always be an introvert. I will always prefer a quiet night in with a movie and some nice food over a night out, homewear shopping will always be one of my favourite things and 90% of the time I like to be productive from my bed. I have frequent moments of impulsive positivity where I want to do everything all at one- that's fine too but I haven't always thought of it like that. I'd often be heard calling myself inconsistent, boring and even a failure. It all depends on your perception of these things. Putting a positive spin on an attribute.

I am a firm believer in idea 'confidence comes with self acceptance' but I don't believe that that means you have to accept everything about yourself because to me that's giving up on something that you wish you had or had lost. I think self acceptance just means loving yourself enough to allow you to change something (if you can) and accept it if you can't.
I love the idea that there is only one of each of us. Let's just think about that for a second. Out of all the people who inhabit this planet, there isn't and never will be another person who looks, acts and thinks exactly the same as you. Like, how mint is that?! So f*** the one in a million talk, you're more like one in over seven billion so why would you want to be anybody but yourself?
I'm going to do something slightly different here. Comment below one thing you love about yourself or something you're proud to be working towards...


Benefit Watt's Up! Highlighter

As me and Piers are all moved into our new place, I no longer have to worry about putting hundreds of pounds aside (apart from rent and bills- of course) and so I decided to do a little spending on Saturday to get bits and bobs that I knew needed restocking. Lasting perfection concealer- check! Stay Matte Powder- check! Collection Contour Kit- check! Once I'd finished shopping around for everything that I'd made a mental note of, I still felt like I was missing something. Ah ha! Highlighter.

Now I have to admit, I've never really been a fan of highlighters. In fact I've pretty much avoided them at all costs, just simply because I've never liked any before- until this one.

A lot of highlighters that I've tried in the past have had a very pink undertone to it and my default look is a brown lip, brown blush so I just never really took a liking to any of them. I explained this to the lovely lady at the benefit counter and she recommended that I try this one. Benefit's Watt's Up! As soon as she tried it on me, I knew I'd fallen for it. The champagne colour is gorgeous, it has a dewy shimmer look to it that lasts all day and most importantly for me, it looks incredible on top of my contour and dark blush.

It also comes with a sponge applicator at the other end which you use to press the highlight into your skin and although I think this is a crazy good idea, I definitely prefer to use  a brush to blend it in.

The only thing I will say which I feel would be unfair not to point out is their "cream-to-powder finish" claim, I have used some powder highlighters in the past and I don't believe that at any point of the day I felt it becoming more powdery. It's pretty dewy and creamy all day. 

Overall I'm so happy with this highlighter. This is probably the first review I've done where I have no negatives to feed back to you, (unless you'd be disappointed with the lack of powder finish). I feel like a shimmering fairy wearing this and I'm officially a highlighter fan! I don't think any of my makeup looks would be complete without using this now.

You can purchase the Benefit Watt's Up! Highlighter here for a reduced price to what I paid. I envy you.


The Separation From Alcohol

First of all I'd just like to point out that this is a guest post from a dear friend of mine. He has submitted this for me to post anonymously. For him to have written this in the first place I hold the up most respect for him never mind allowing me to post it online so thank you for sharing. I care for you so much. You know who you are.
Three Simultaneous Executions.

N.B. -This piece is not intended to outline the peaks and troughs of the “Process of Separation” from alcohol – this is neither the time nor place for that discussion. This is intended to act as a brief encounter to the horrors of the unfolding nature of drinking and therefore a portrait of a life left behind for the greater good. Written in humility at the beginning of a journey. A tool to read, so you don’t have to go in there yourself. Equally, a tool not universally applicable, merely occasional. If it serves as a help to one person, then its job is done. If it develops understanding in a few, then it has surpassed.

The striking reality of a life voided of the poisonous comfort and thorn blanket of alcohol take a short while to take hold after a final commitment to the divorce. It can take a number of failed battles to reasonably separate yourself from the invisible genetic-psyco-social cretinously dependent existence of the practicing alcoholic. An intermittent sufferer, a victim of possession. A disease no blood test will indicate; only the damage sustained and strained systems now evident. No scan will reveal; only the infarction, inflammation and insufferable degradation resultant. No questioning can uncover; only the insight into the shocking internal conflict and chronic manhandling of the ego. The only relevant question during these times, which no level of communicable understanding can portray the desperation of, is whether you will survive. Second, if indeed you do survive, whether the physical internal scars, the emotional developmental stunting, the financial iceberg of debt or the social bridge burning have made one final catastrophic damnation to halt any conceivable progress to a “life”.

During a walk into hell your tri-phasic torturing can begin. You are at first loyal. Loyal like a child is loyal. Believing what you are told and loyal to it. Believing in the “normality” associated with the ingestion of the then enjoyable fluid. The loyalty to the cause for this use: celebration, society, success, failure. The loyalty to the eternal enjoyment of this cornerstone of culture. Loyalty to the time set aside to it. Loyalty to the euphoria and release it will provide. This loyalty is a lie. It is dishonest. This loyalty is the consuming nature of the beast. And phase one of your torture is a lie which you are happy to believe, then needed to believe and then finally desperate to believe.

Secondly you are questioning. Like an adolescent is questioning. The questioning may lead you to question that initial loyalty and it is only here that realise you can escape before it is too late. However, the demonic nature of this disease is that in order to fulfil the curiosity of this questioning you must miss this sacred opportunity to leave and inevitably follow your questioning whilst simultaneously being stabbed in the back by the answers you receive – and so the eternal vortex of dissent continue. Am I one of those people? Surely not, because I am not homeless. I have a job, I am succeeding – an almost sarcastic congratulatory pat on the back by the devil himself as with his other hand he slowly introduces the dagger to your being. You question whether you can walk the line between total possession by drink and normality – for you now are aware that you may have more of that disrespectful homeless image in you than you previously thought possible. That devil congratulates your intellect for questioning, encourages you to keep questioning as no matter how much you question, you will also be haemorrhaging the chance of normality, and delving further down that staircase to hell.

And lastly you are accepting. You are accepting as the mature adult is. Only here, you are no longer an adult human, something more like a hungry animalistic skeleton. You no longer question what category you fit into. You shake and you creak. You accept the necessity of that liquid. You no longer have the anxiety filled questioning of the adolescent. You now have the necrotic physical need to give every cell in your body a fuel which is as important, often more important, than oxygen, glucose and whatever else. You are not the person you were. You are not a person. You are a morbid macabre process. You are accepting that you were a fool to think you could walk the line between those two paths. You are now accepting that that pat on the back was purely a deceit in order to have you as the manipulated slave that you have become. You accept that those hours of questioning were purely to make sure that you were looking the other way when the dagger was going in further and further. In your life with humans you are now tragic. You are laughing at the funniest joke in the world – but you can’t remember the punch line.

The three executions are the internal workings of the self during this time. It is important to note that at any point during this (although the illness will not tell you) that there are many points in which you can stop, turn around and learn another way. When you divorce from that way of living, the garden you walk in is genuine. An authentic reality which you are eternally grateful for. For every evil you will have from drink there are one hundred joys. And, although that boxer will still be in the ring with you every day, the joy of winning that match is more joyous and more moving than any second of your previous lingering.

There is work to do. And may it be done.


Maybelline Color Drama Velvet Lip Pencils

I have been absolutely obsessed with these little guys recently. I have mentioned the Fab Orange shade in my budget purchases post but I feel so strongly about these products, I just had to put them in the limelight once more.

I have always been a huge fan of a red lip but, just like any other trend I take up, I started lusting for change. 'Wear something different!' I thought. As I'd got along so well with the other color drama lipsticks, I thought I'd try out the 'Nude Perfection' shade and it's turned out to, honestly, be my favourite lip product of all time.. I even raved about it on my Instagram.
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