Thursday, 14 December 2017

Christmas Wishlist 2018



I can't quite believe it's taken me until now, the 14th December, to actually put together a Christmas wishlist post. I mean, usually I like to give you all a fair amount of time to get your presents sent over to me, you know? (I am kidding). In all honesty, I wasn't going to do one to begin with because there wasn't really that much that I wanted, but typically just a mere 11 days before Christmas I've come up with 10 things I really want... typical me!

First up - a new camera. Whilst I love my DSLR, I am really in need of a more compact camera that takes amazing pictures that I can just keep in my handbag on-the-go, and this from Panasonic completely fits the bill. It's a lot of money, I will admit, but I've been doing a lot of research into really good compact cameras and this is the one I keep going back to. I've had compact cameras in the past that have been good, but not great, when it comes to imagery - and I really want something that is on par with, if not better than, my DSLR. This has so many amazing features (I mean, it lets you choose your focus point AFTER you've taken a picture for one thing, which is nothing short of camera wizardry in my opinion) and despite the price I am seriously tempted... please, Santa?

Of course it wouldn't be a wishlist post of mine without at least a few unicorn-themed items. I whittled it down to two (I was very restrained) and first up is this super cute multi-coloured candle. I am a sucker for a candle, and a sucker for a unicorn, so I feel like it's perfect for me. I probably wouldn't want to light it though! Speaking of which, I've just realised the next unicorn item I've chosen is also a candle... albeit a much pricier, more sophisticated-looking one. I've never had a Diptique candle before in my life (sob) but as soon as I saw this one it went straight to the top of my list. It's a limited edition one for Christmas I believe and it's just so pretty. Want!

Moving onto the Miss Bunny cuddly toy now... okay, so I might be 27, but that doesn't mean I can't still have cuddly toys. Does it?! I received Thumper off my boyfriend about 4 years ago now, and I've been wanting to hunt down Miss Bunny to go alongside him ever since. They only ever used to have her in the US Disney Stores but they recently got her in the UK and I am oh-so happy about it.

Another thing on my list has got to be this stunning rose gold Pandora flower ring. I got a rose gold princess ring from Pandora for my birthday, and I haven't taken it off since. It's well and truly given me the bug for Pandora jewellery and this super pretty flower ring is next on my list!

Moving on to beauty now, I think the beauty Christmas present of the year has got to be the Stila Written in the Stars Liquid Eyeshadow set. It's sold out pretty much everywhere, although I've managed to hunt it down on Cult Beauty for anyone still wishing to get their mitts on it. Just how beautiful do the shadows look though?! Sticking with beauty, I also added this cute little Pixi set to my list because I've wanted to try the Pixi Glow Tonic for actual years now and I still haven't got around to it, so this would be the perfect opportunity. It comes with a Peel and Polish and Rose Flash Balm too.

My current purse is looking rather bruised and battered so I thought this pretty pastel offering from River Island would be perfect, plus it goes really well with a bag I just got from River Island too. I do think they are the place to go on the highstreet for handbags and purses!

I threw some super pretty books I've been swooning over for a while now onto the list, because if you can't get away with completely unnecessary purchases at Christmas time, when can you? And finally, I also included the Polar A370 Fitness Tracker in here too because I've been looking at it for ages now and really feel like I need it in my life. I've tried a basic heart rate monitor from Polar before and absolutely loved it, but I hate having to put the heart rate belt on every time I wanted to work out. This little baby has it built in which I think is incredible, and definitely enough to motivate me to go to the gym!

What are you wishing for this Christmas? Let me know!
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Monday, 27 November 2017

YOU Beauty Advent Calendar Review


If you're still looking for the ultimate beauty Advent Calendar, then look no further: the YOU Beauty Advent Calendar* has all bases covered.

Despite December 1st being on a few short days away, this beauty is still in stock and at an amazing price - it's just £60, which is incredible considering its contents are worth over a whopping £245!

I know this year has probably been the year of the beauty Advent Calendar, with so many different brands hopping on board the Advent fun, from the likes of Charlotte Tilbury to Primark, No7 to Clinique, Loccitane to Molton Brown. The thing is, so many of them sold out ridiculously early and a lot of them cost a huge amount, meaning you'll be out of cash before Christmas has even started!

The thing I love about the YOU calendar (other than its amazing price) is that it comes with so many brilliant products from a plethora of fabulous brands, all of which come in a decent size. I've put some of the contents on display as it's not really that much of a surprise (a lot of the promo material for this calendar has all the goodies on, and you get a booklet going through everything in it) and you can see that there are some incredible brands in there.

There are makeup palettes, nail polish, a face mask, hand cream... Hell, on one day you even get a shampoo AND conditioner as your goodie of the day. The brands in there include the likes of Ciate, Nip & Fab, REN, Rodial, Makeup Revolution, Bare Minerals, Charles Worthington, Moroccanoil, and even The White Company. I love the mix of brands and the mix of different items - you don't get duplicates of anything so come Christmas Day you'll look well and truly fabulous!

So, if you're looking for a last-minute beauty Advent Calendar to open up each day until December 25th, I honestly recommend this one so much. I've put all my goodies back in mine and I'm so excited to open them every day during the run-up to Christmas!

Have you bought a beauty Advent Calendar this year? Let me know which one you got, or if you're thinking of getting this one!
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Friday, 17 November 2017

Lessons in Love



L O V E - that four letter word that means oh-so much.

I've always been a hopeless romantic. From falling for the happy endings of Disney films as a child to swooning over the love stories in the Young Adult books I was usually ensconced in as a tween, love has forever been at the forefront of my mind. I always believed that there was such a thing as true love (despite a period of declaring that all boys were gross and that I would rather die than get married - we all went through that phase, right?!) and I still do, to this day. But, I also think there are lots of different types of romantic love, too.

When I was the ripe old age of fifteen, I fell in love for the very first time. It was that scary, all-consuming, Romeo and Juliet, obsessive, dramatic love and I fell for it, hook, line and sinker. When you're that age, love is everything. Even if you're probably too young to understand it, you fall down a rabbit hole of smooshy love songs, kissing in the rain, 'I can't bear to be apart from you' love. It's a love that consumes you, like everything does when you're a teenager, and it's almost dangerous in its vivacity. It's the love I read about in those very YA books, and there's something so enticing about how unrelenting it is. For me, though, looking back, I think it was more the romanticised idea of that kind of love that appealed to me, and whilst I'm glad I got a chance to experience it, I'm so incredibly glad it's over with now.

My second experience of love came when I hit 17. This love couldn't have been further from my previous experience with that powerful four-letter word. This time, there was no kissing in the rain, no love songs or drama. This was a forced love - a love I wanted so bad through being scared of being alone. It's a love that went on for four long years - but, looking back, I can't really remember any stand-out moments from that time. I sometimes wonder if I was ever really in love then - it was more like two people being so afraid of being alone that they stayed with each other, and loved each other, despite not actually being in love with one another. It was a type of love that nobody deserves, and so, after four years, I made one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, and walked away from it. It wasn't hard because of the love I felt for the person, as harsh as that sounds, but because I was walking away from the comfort blanket I'd had wrapped around me for so long. I was going it alone again, and that terrified me.

My third, and, hopefully final, experience of love came out of nowhere. It hit me like a lightening bolt from across a crowded dance floor and the butterflies I felt then have stayed with me ever since. This love is so different from the first two - it feels so real. It's so different, in fact, that it almost feels bad even comparing it to the previous two. I'll admit, that first encounter felt like a dream - not just looking back, but on the night itself - as we parted ways I honestly felt like I'd found my soulmate. Now, over five years later, I'm even more sure of that. This love is special because it's not all grand gestures, The Notebook-esque moments and love songs. It's the simple things, like just being together. It's walking around the supermarket together, arguing over which show to watch on Netflix, laughing over the other one's questionable outfit choices. It's knowing that the other person has got your back, no matter what. It's sticking by each other even when times are tough, and coming out the other side stronger than ever. It's real, and that's what makes it so different from those previous experiences.

I honestly believe that everybody deserves to feel true love, and experience it in the best possible way, at least once in their lifetime. I also believe that spending your time settling for anything less simply isn't worth it. If you have that sinking feeling in your stomach that this love isn't the right one for you - get out, no matter how hard that might feel. Free yourself from it so that when your real, true love walks through the door there is nothing standing in your way.

Outfit deets: 
Dress*: Joanie Clothing (it's old but they have some amazing pieces right now!) 
Love balloon*: Party Delights
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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Importance of Self-Care



If there's one thing I think we all need to make more time for, it's self-care. In the fast-paced world we're living in, with everyone striving to be successful, busy and constantly achieving, self-care is one thing that always seems to fall by the wayside. Even for those of us who aren't always on-the-go, finding the time to make self-care a priority is still a rare occurrence. Particularly if you struggle with mental health, which is often when self-care goes well and truly out of the window, I think it's so imperative to force yourself to take time to unwind and look after yourself.

I'm definitely guilty of neglecting my self-care. I might spend my weekend watching Netflix, which I'm sure for some people would be classed as self-care, but for me it isn't. I'll become so ensconced in what I'm watching that I'll forget to look after myself. I'll forget to have a healthy lunch, forget to step outside and breathe in the fresh air and when the evening comes, forget to do my skincare properly. Sometimes, we need to sacrifice the things we enjoy doing to practise self-care, as odd as that might sound.

As this week is Self Care Week, I thought I'd put a little list together to give you some inspiration on the ways you can practise self-care on a daily basis...

Rise early

Now, I will openly admit it: I really, really love a lie-in. Sleeping is one of my favourite things ever, and so when the weekend comes around and I get a chance to have an extra-long snooze, I usually do. However, I don't really think it does me or my mood any good at all. I often wake up feeling more tired than I would if I'd got up earlier, and my day ends up being wasted. This being the case, my first tip for self-care has got to be rising early. As hard as it might be (and trust me, I know) getting up earlier (even on the weekend!) can really do wonders for your wellbeing. I love having so much more of the day stretching out in front of me, and there's nothing better than a crisp walk in the autumn air early in the morning when the world around you is still sleeping. Try it - I promise you won't be disappointed.

Exercise

I am the queen of putting off exercise. I will literally come up with any excuse not to - I'm too tired, I have too much to do, the gym will be too busy... the list goes on. The funny thing is, once I've actually completed my workout (and sometimes, would you believe it, during my workout) I feel so good. They say exercise boosts your endorphins and I couldn't agree more - I just need to convince pre-workout me that this is the case! Whether it's taking your dog on an extra-long walk, hitting up the gym or even doing a little at-home workout, moving your body will definitely boost your self-care. 

Get organised 

I think I go into a little meltdown when my surroundings are a mess - I'm moody, stressed-out and rarely productive. This is why I think having an organised, tidy space to live in is so very important when it comes to self-care: you're never going to feel great if you're not happy with the environment you're in! So, I'd suggest giving your home a spring-clean, and look at ways to keep yourself more organised. A tidy house is a tidy mind, after all.

Write it down

If things are getting too much for you, almost as though there are too many tabs open in your head, get out a pen and paper and write it down. This is something I definitely need to do more often - I over-think everything and often have so many different things going on at the same time I feel a little bit all over the place. Writing down how you're feeling can be really, really helpful in helping you straighten things out in your mind. I definitely need to do it more often! 


Step away from social media

Social media... ah, it brings us so much joy and yet causes so much pain too. When it comes to taking time for yourself and really, truly practising self-care, I think it's so important to put your phone away. Aimlessly scrolling through social media doesn't do anyone any favours (read my post on that here) and seeing pictures of Insta-famous girls with their so-called "perfect" lives isn't going to make anyone feel good. So, turn your phone off and relish your time spent away from the online world. It'll make you feel so much better - I promise! 


Treat yourself

Okay, so I don't mean go and do a crazy £100 shopping spree round Primark, but more like taking the time to treat yourself to things when you know you deserve it. If you've been working your arse off at work, why not buy the Topshop bag you've been lusting after for months? If you're feeling tired and run-down and in need of a serious pamper, why not book a spa weekend with the girls? Even treating yourself to a meal out with your other half can work wonders. We need treats to get us by sometimes, and as long as we don't do it so often it loses all meaning, I definitely think it helps our self-care. 


Meditate

So, I'm going to admit that I've only ever done this a couple of times in my life, but it's something I definitely want to try more of. There are tonnes of meditation apps out there to help you 'zone out' and have some serious chill time, which I definitely think we need more of in this 'go, go, go!' world. Headspace is an app I'm going to try and incorporate into my daily routine - it's all about meditation and mindfulness, and I know lots of people swear by it. Do you ever meditate?

Let me know what your tips for self-care are!
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