19 October 2017

Autumnal Bath and Body Works £3.99 Candle Dupes

Autumnal Bath and Body Works £3.99 Candle Dupes

Autumnal Bath and Body Works £3.99 Candle Dupes

I spent an embarrassing amount of time searching my local B & M last year to pick up one of these Essence candles. I was am obsessed with Bath and Body Works and wanted to own one of these dupes SO BADLY, but they'd all sold out by time I got anywhere near a store. So, this is my friendly little PSA: GO AND GET THESE NOW BEFORE THEY SELL OUT. 

Owning a collection of Bath and Body Works candles is basically the dream, but 1.) I live in the UK and 2.) they're hella expensive. These beauties are only £3.99, which gives you the perfect excuse to stock up on a tonne of them.

In terms of their dupe-ability, they're pretty darn good. I've got the B&BW Leaves candle at the moment, which is possibly my favourite thing I own?? So I had a little check to see how they compared. Size wise, they are slightly smaller, but not too much so that it makes much of a difference. They also only have two wicks rather than three. This doesn't bother me, but if you're looking for a three wick-er, this isn't your jam.

Their lids are copper coloured, whilst B&BW's are gold, but let's face it, who's going to be disappointed to have a little extra copper in their life?! They also throw their scent really well. For under £4 I'm so impressed with how strong they smell. And marshmallow fireside is a full on DREAM. It's everything I want in an Autumn candle in a jar. 

I'm trying to restrain myself from buying the rest in the collection because Pumpkin Waffles sounds like a scent I NEED in my life, but for the moment I'm staying cosied up whilst my house smells like spiced pomegranate cider. Also, at what point will this be made into a drink? Because I'd be totally up for that too Essence.

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17 October 2017

Telling your boss about mental health problems

Telling your boss about mental health problems

This is a bit of an ironic post for me to make, because guess who hasn't told their new boss about their mental health issues yet? *Waves hand frantically*. But, as I have some (upsettingly) obvious self harm scars, I imagine it's only a matter of time before I get asked, or *hopefully* my boss has chosen the tactful route, noted my scars and realised that there may be some underlying issues.

16 October 2017

Gothic books to read this Halloween

Gothic books to read this Halloween

Gothic books to read this Halloween

Gothic books to read this Halloween

Gothic books to read this Halloween

I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas at the weekend, so in my house at least, this means that Halloween is nearly here. Gothic books are some of my favourite to read, mostly because the early ones really broke free from Victorian writing contraints and kinda put a big 'fuck you' up to the expectations of society. There's no Pride and Prejudice in this literary canon (thank god). So, here's a selection of some of the best - in my opinion - Gothic reads out there to pick up this October.

1.) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This is one of my all-time favourite books, ever. It's set over the misty moors of Yorskhire, features a terrifying little ghost child and has characters that subvert expectations every step of the way along the plot. Heathcliff is pretty much a monster from the offset. Cathy's love for him, which btw totally extends into her marriage to another man, is almost as shocking for writing of the time as her belief that she doesn't care if she goes to hell as long as she's with Heathcliff. This is one of the best Gothic love stories and if you haven't read the book you NEED to. 

2.) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This is quite a quick read to whizz through, but a powerful one. Dorian Gray is an A* creep who makes a pact with the devil to stay young forever. Dorian parties, acts licentiously and does pretty much whatever the hell he wants, whilst a portrait of his becomes more rotten and terrifying with each vile act he commits. Oh, and there's a fab undercurrent of the suggestion that he has homoerotic feelings that kinda reminds me of an early fan-fic, where everything is so subtle you almost miss it.

3.) Dracula by Bram Stoker. Because duh, the OG vampire book. It's not the first okay, but a LOT of our modern ideas about what vampires are all about come from this. There's a lot of bloodsucking of white-clad virgins, creepy castles and the whole bat thing pops up too. It's truly a Gothic classic and had me HOOKED. Which reminds me, I need to reread this asap.

4.) The Monk by Matthew Lewis. This is the one of the earliest books that's recognised as being part of the Gothic canon, but that doesn't mean it's reserved or less well developed than the others I've mentioned so far. It's amazing, and yet so much less well known. It really attacks the Church - the book contains both a pregnant nun and a girl who pretends to be a man to become a monk in the monastery of the man she loves. It's hella juicy and filled with SO many Gothic tropes. I could read this one over and over again.

5.) Poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. 'The Raven' is such a good one to get into Gothic poetry with. It has an amazing rhythm - I mean, you can't read the poem without imagine the Raven tap-tapping away at the chamber door. It's set on a gloomy December evening and is definitely spooky enough for an All Hallows Eve read. Plus the Simpsons parodied it in a Treehouse of Horror episode so, y'know, it HAS to be good. 'The Raven' isn't actually my favourite of his though - if you want a short Gothic-esque poem, then Annabel Lee is such a gorgeous one to go for.

6.) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Another classic here. Frankenstein is so far removed from modern media interpretations of it (if ya still don't know, Frankenstein is the name of the scientist, not the monster. I bet Shelley's turning in her grave over that one) that you need to read it to understand its importance. I feel so much empathy for the poor creature and so much rage at Frankenstein. It's one of those books that remind you of how damaging the patriarchy can be, and it's one of the oldest books I've read that presents a Muslim character in a positive light. Shelley's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft was a key first wave feminist, and Frankenstein really draws on some of the early ideas that M.W spoke about.

7.) The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. This is another one that attacks the patriarchy, and is a little less well known. It's also a short story which you'd be able to whip through in a day. The main character is forced to stay trapped in her room because she's a feeble woman who is prone to sickness etc etc. She wants to leave but the windows are barred and the door is locked. Her husband plays it off as him 'protecting' her, obvs, and as time goes on she starts to lose her mind. It's trippy and Gothic and mostly scary because somehow things haven't changed too much over the last two centuries.

I'm going to end this here because I kinda want to go and re-read all of these now, and hunt down an illustrated book of Poe's poetry because oh my god can you imagine how beautiful that would be? I'm going to be hella disappointed if there isn't one out there!

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15 October 2017

Coping with cutting down on anti-depressants

Coping with cutting down on anti-depressants

Before I start this post, I'm putting it out there that I would 100% not recommend deciding to cut down on anti-depressants at this time of year. It's a tough time with darker mornings/evenings on their way, and those who suffer from SAD especially will be finding heading into winter pretty tough. 

13 October 2017

September favourites and life update

September favourites and life update

September favourites and life update

September favourites and life update

September favourites and life update
Ah September, what a beautiful month you were. Autumn well and truly struck, bringing with it crunchy leaves and chilly mornings, BUT the dark evenings and mornings hadn't quite set in yet. 

12 October 2017

4 bloggers whose content I've been loving this month

4 bloggers whose content I've been loving this month
I've been feeling a little 'meh' about writing a blog post over the last few days because I've dipped into an anxiety-ridden rut. So, I figured there's no better way to get back into the swing of things than to catch up on a tonne of blogs, both old favourites and new ones I've found, to take a look at what I've been loving over the last month or so.

8 October 2017

August and September book haul

August and September book haul
I'm fairly sure I say this every single time I write one of these posts, but this book haul has some full on GEMS in it. After starting my new job, I've been loving sitting down with a book to relax in the evening and it's inspired me to pick up some new reads. All of these books came from my local charity shop and come in at £2 or under, so take this post as a friendly reminder to check out your local charity shop whenever you want to get a new book!

7 October 2017

Vegan banana split recipe

Vegan banana split recipe

Vegan banana split recipe
I don't like ice cream. There, I said it. It's a real thing guys. So banana splits aren't really on my radar as enjoyable dishes. But I love the idea of them, so I've created my own version that makes for a hella yummy breakfast and is totally vegan. It's warm and filling and I love having it in the morning at this time of year.

6 October 2017

Handling disappointing mental health GP appointments

Handling disappointing mental health GP appointments

The NHS is a wonderful thing, and I feel so grateful to live in a country in which healthcare is accessible to me no matter what my payslip says. But, mental health is such a tough thing to discuss and to diagnose because things just aren't simple or visible or something that can be determined by a test. Sometimes doctors get it wrong, and sometimes they get it right and the appointment is still upsetting.

5 October 2017

I tried to go freelance, and I failed

I tried to go freelance, and I failed
Time to sit down and grab a cuppa - this is a bit of a storytime post and I'm *hoping* to avoid the waffle but it's gonna be tricky. Mostly because I've avoided ever airing this in public and I'm still trying to procrastinate it with every little thing I possibly can (even this intro tbh). BUT, it's an important thing to talk about. 

3 October 2017

Dealing with weight gain part eight: taking anti-depressants

Dealing with weight gain part five: taking anti-depressants
Can you believe that this is the eighth part of my lil series about dealing with weight gain? You can head back through the times via my last post on it here. This one's a crossover into another mental health chat; I've been absolutely loving delving into these on this blog recently.

2 October 2017

Autumnal minestrone soup recipe

Autumnal minestrone soup recipe

Autumnal minestrone soup recipe
I'm not exaggerating when I say that this soup has been saving my life over the past month. Okay, okay that might be a slight exaggeration. BUT, it's been making my life a hell of a lot easier, and helped me fight off the god awful cold that plagued me at the start of September. I make this in a massive bulk, freeze it out and have it as my lunch at work. It's perfect because it's filling and healthy and I still haven't got sick of it. Sorta. 13 portions in and I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed.

28 September 2017

15 Reasons why Autumn is the best season

15 Reasons why Autumn is the best season

15 Reasons why Autumn is the best season

15 Reasons why Autumn is the best season
I know that I'm a lil behind on this one and everyone has already chatted about it, but as the days really are starting to get darker I thought we could all do with a pep me up and a reminder that there are definitely things to be enjoyed at this time of year. 

27 September 2017

What was starting to take Citalopram like?

What was starting to take Citalopram like?

Before I head off into this I'm just gonna give a lil bit of background into the medication I'm talking about. Citalopram is an SSRI anti-depressant. SSRIs increase serotonin levels in the brain, and as a result can improve your mood. Citalopram was offered to me to help overcome my anxiety and issues with self-harm. Now that I've been taking it for a few years and have finally started to cut down on my intake a little, I thought I'd have a chat with you all about what it was like to start taking this anti-depressant. Citalopram isn't always used for depression and anxiety, but this is what I was given it for.

I would like to say that I was concerned with the side effects of taking tablets every day that were designed to alter my mood, but that would be a lie. Something needed to change and I'd tried so many different things, but I was really, truly struggling. I was excited to try and see what would happen if I went on them. 80% of me was convinced that they'd be my miracle fix. The other 20% was petrified that I wouldn't feel any different.

Citalopram takes a little while to work. You're generally advised to give it up to a fortnight before you see some change. In the first two weeks of taking it you can experience suicidal thoughts. I told my housemates at uni and my boyfriend that I was going to start taking these anti-depressants, and asked them to keep an extra eye on me over that period to make sure my behaviour wasn't drastically changing. 

Luckily I didn't experience this side-effect, but the medication didn't have an instant effect like I was hoping it would either. For a couple of weeks I felt the same in terms of my mood, or even a little lower than normal because I was so disappointed. However, gradually my moods evened out. After a few weeks when I felt really low I didn't feel as low as I had done before. I was so worried that this would also mean that I wouldn't feel as happy as I had done before when I was in a good mood, but it was all fine.

In terms of side effects, the really noticeable difference was my sleep. I was so tired those first few weeks that I don't think I made it through a single day without napping (although let's face it, I was a second year uni student, so napping was my daily respite from life). This is the one thing that's really stuck around. I always take my pill before bed to help me get to sleep easily, but I've noticed that since I've cut down on my dosage a bit I'm a lot less drowsy during the day. 

To put it neatly, taking Citalopram was what I needed at the time, and still need today. There's no shame in taking anti-depressants, and I hope this post can help anyone whose doctor has suggested that they start taking this medication.

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26 September 2017

Homesense sheet masks (that actually work!)

Homesense sheet masks (that actually work!)

Sheet masks were something that I used to look at as a bit of a gimmick. I mean, they're fun to do with a friend as you chuckle at the way that the mask doesn't quite fit anyone's face just right, but they've never actually done anything for my skin. Or at least they hadn't before.

HomeSense is a treasure trove of weird and wonderful beauty products. After trawling the web for SO LONG, I've still not managed to find these anywhere online. Which 100% has not frustrated me at all. 

The masks come in a set of four; two charcoal and two tea tree ones. The former aims to detox your pores, whilst the latter clears your complexion up. I love both of them. My skin has seen so many breakouts recently, and I can feel that my pores are clogged up with a whole lotta gunk too. These sheet masks left my skin feeling completely cleaned out, weren't abrasive and definitely reduced the appearance of my pre-existing spots. 

These were totally a win, so excuse me whilst I frantically search through HomeSense to find a whole batch to stock up on.

What sheet masks would you recommend?

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24 September 2017

How to help someone with SAD

How to help someone with SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD) impacts a great number of us, and starts to kick in around this time of year. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a term used to describe a condition in which you feel low in mood, and in which existing mental health problems become more intense during the winter months. 

SAD is such a natural thing to be inflicted by. As humans, we're used to living in a circadian rhythm, which essentially refers to the idea that we rise with the sun and go to sleep with it too. We also used to spend the majority of our time outside, hunting and gathering and all that kinda jazz. With modern work days often forcing us to leave the house in the dark and come home in the dark, our bodies are totally out of sync with their natural rhythms, and as a result, our mental health suffers. 

Whilst it feels like so many people are welcoming Autumn in with open arms, the start of this season can bring with it a heightened anxiety in people suffering from SAD. So, here are a few things you can do to help a friend or loved one suffering, or yourself!

1.) Keep in touch. Summer seems to be the time for lots of activities and get-togethers, and it can make Autumn/Winter feel a little more lonely. Give someone a ring, Facetime them or just catch up with a message on Whatsapp. Remind them that you're thinking about them, and that the start of darker evenings doesn't mean that you can't hang out or have fun.

2.) Make your home more hygge. This obvs is one to help someone you're living with rather than a friend. Get all the cosy throws out, pop fairy lights around the place and take time out of your day together to have a hot drink and mull things over.

3.) Talk about SAD itself. Read up on what it is and the symptoms of it. If your friend/family member seems to always get really low in mood, tired and irritable around this time of year, talk to them about the possibility that they may be suffering from SAD, and whether they would benefit from visiting a doctor.

4.) Buy a SAD lamp or Lumie light. This isn't a #spon (although I wouldn't be adverse to the idea because I LOVE my Lumie clock). SAD lamps are a form of light therapy that can help sufferers to boost their mood. Me and my partner have a Lumie light and it's wonderful for fighting that feeling of utter dread when you have to force yourself out of bed on a dark winter morning. You set yourself an alarm (which FYI you don't actually have to have a noise for, which I adore), pop it on each evening, and in the morning the light will start to get brighter half an hour before your alarm is due to go off. In this way, it mimics a sunrise and helps you wake up a little perkier because your body feels as though it's getting a proper rhythm of waking up as the day gets brighter. You can also do the opposite in the evening to mimic a sunset. 

5.) Open all the curtains/blinds in the house. This is such a tiny thing that you can do, but it makes a massive difference. Days are getting shorter, and the more natural light you have shining into your home, the better. 

6.) Let someone be sad. This is sad as in unhappy this time. It's okay to feel shitty over the next few months. Let your friend, partner, co-worker or whoever it is cry it out with you. Be that shoulder to lean on, have a cup of tea and watch a cute film. Whatever you can do to help, even if it's just being there to make sure they get up in the mornings, do it.

7.) And then help them to change things. Mental illnesses are tough and unavoidable, but there are things you can do to improve things. Whether it's actually going to see what a GP can do to help, or joining a club that they've been wanting to join for months, see exactly what your friend would like to do to make things a little easier.

Do you suffer from SAD? What do you find helpful?

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23 September 2017

Trying out LUSH's Soak and Float solid shampoo

Trying out LUSH's Soak and Float solid shampoo

Trying out LUSH's Soak and Float solid shampoo

Dandruff has been the absolute bane of my life for the past few months. It started off with a lil bit of scalp sunburn and never really recovered. Brill. I've been desperate to try anything and everything to help out with it (hmu with your suggestions) and have finally found that using this solid shampoo and a weekly coconut oil hair mask improves the situation, even if it doesn't totally get rid of it.

I've been trying to cut down on my plastic waste recently too, so for the past six months or so now I've only been using LUSH solid shampoos. Soak and Float is their one that targets dandruff, which is obvs what I really need. It's full of cade oil to nourish the scalp as well as marigold and rose petals to soothe redness. 

Those marigold and rose petals? Yes, they get in the way a little when you're trying to rinse your hair but oh my god they smell AMAZING. As in full on dreamy. Using this shampoo bar feels like an absolute treat because it makes my hair smell like some sort of goddess' locks after I use it. 

I won't lie, it hasn't had any sort of 'miracle' effect on my dandruff. But, it has made my scalp stop feeling tight and itchy, which is a massive win in my book. So, if you're suffering from dandruff I'd definitely recommend giving this a go to help treat your scalp. But, in terms of a complete remedy for it? I'm still on the hunt ....

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22 September 2017

Dealing with a parent remarrying

I've been putting off writing this all day. I've cleaned my pets out, cooked a full on from-scratch kinda dinner, searched for a new place to move to and finally resorted to a bath to relax and actually do something enjoyable with my Friday night. 

My parents' breakup is something that I've never spoken about on this blog. To be quite honest, I'm not sure if I ever will talk about the ordeal itself. I've waited a long time to allow myself to be rational and fair with my thoughts on the matter. Today's post has been plaguing me for months, but until I experienced the 'big day' and had time to think about it in a detached manner I didn't want to write this. Ultimately, I'm writing this post so that young people going through this will have some tips on how to handle it; me writing this post from a negative space wouldn't help me and it wouldn't help anyone else either.

So, last month one of my parents got remarried. It's something that you never envision yourself attending. I mean, I've always thought about my parents being at my wedding, but the idea of going to one of theirs was just something that I never dreamed of.

At first I had no idea how to react. In all my wildest imaginings, I never thought up a protocol of what I'd do if this happened. Which is strange because my little anxious mind thinks up a protocol for everything. I assume this event seemed so out of the sphere of reality that it never occurred to me. But, all of a sudden it was a reality and I had to face it

None of my closest friends have gone through this as an adult, and I felt so isolated when I was trying to come to turns with it. Everyone's advice was something I just wanted to bat away because they couldn't understand if they hadn't been through it. Luckily for me, I have a sister that I'm incredibly close to who knew exactly how I was feeling and who was there to talk things through with. 

This post is here for everyone who doesn't have someone going through a parent remarriage with them, and who has no idea how to handle it. Here are some things that I've found useful over the past few months, or have learnt to avoid. 

Discuss what exactly is happening with the parent who's getting remarried. This is a major one. I kept my feelings about the whole situation hidden for months and it finally wore me down until I felt downright miserable. Tell them how you're feeling: are you happy, or concerned about how your life might change because of it? Let them know how it's impacting you. Think about what you want from the day: do you want to be involved or in the background? Give them something to work with so that they can make the day better for everyone.

Bring a close friend, partner or family member with you on the big day. It's so nice to have part of your support network with you. It means that you won't be left alone to dwell on things that you may find upsetting, and you've got a shoulder to cry on, or someone to celebrate with if you need to.

Avoid surprises. Find out the colour scheme, plan of the day, etc, for the wedding. Things can go downhill so quickly if what you've emotionally prepared yourself for isn't actually what's going to be happening.

Wear something that makes you feel hella-confident. Whack out your favourite makeup, prettiest dress and even your lucky pants. That little extra pep in your step might be exactly what you need. 

Don't cause a scene. If you think drinking might make you a bit more feisty, then avoid it. If something's upsetting you about the day, speak to your parent privately. In the end, you don't want to remember the day as being one where you publicly spoke out against something you actually agree with now.

Take some family photos. It's a tough day, and you might be finding it a bit hard, but it's one of your parent's best days ever. Let them have that photo together, and every time you look at it it'll remind you that you put their needs first when it mattered and supported them. 

Remember that it's okay to get upset. Before the wedding, during the wedding or after. It's absolutely fine. It's a life-changing day for you in which your family structure is changing forever. Allow yourself to grieve for the way things used to be. 

I really hope this helps any of you going through this, and if you ever want more advice on the topic then feel free to drop me a DM on twitter! 
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21 September 2017

Cosmetic Warrior LUSH Fresh Facemask

Cosmetic Warrior LUSH Fresh Facemask

Fresh face masks from LUSH are kinda my own personal skin saviour. I've noticed a massive (downhill) difference in the state of my skin now that I've been using them less frequently over the past few months, and I definitely need to get back into the swing of things. But, for now, we're chatting all about LUSH's Cosmetic Warrior face mask. I did a big roundup of all the LUSH face masks I'd used (which is scarily almost all of them) a few months back, but I hadn't picked this up before, so it escaped the post, which you can read here

This wasn't the nicest smelling LUSH mask I've ever used - I think Oatifix wins that category - but, the effects of it outweighed the slightly strange odour. It smelt very fresh with a little tang, which I can only assume is a combination of the tea tree and garlic in the mask. The mask also contains honey and egg, so it's one of the few LUSH products that isn't suitable for vegans

I've got super sensitive skin, and one of the main properties of this mask is its cooling effect. It worked as a little bit of a gentle scrub as well as helping to calm my skin, which made my skin feel as though it had a deep clean without being irritated. 

I loved this mask, and will be repurchasing it in the future when I feel as though my pores need a good ol' clean out without using something too abrasive. 

What's your go-to face mask? Have you tried any of the new LUSH jelly masks yet?

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20 September 2017

August favourites and life update

August favourites and life update

August favourites and life update

August favourites and life update

August favourites and life update

August favourites and life update

August favourites and life update
August was an incredible month for me (and September's turning out to be even better eeeek). I know this post is massively overdue (just like last months, ooops), but as I said then, I love writing these posts and having a little catch up. So even if no one reads it, I still can look back and see what was going on for me.

In August I got my dream job. I've been searching for something new for what feels like forever, but is actually five months. Early in August I accepted a job at a place that was definitely not the dream, but was a step up from where I was. However, 2 days in I got offered the dream from a company that I'd interviewed at a few months previously. Yes, it was awkward, and after 4 days of my new job I quit. But, when an opportunity like this presents itself, you can hardly say no. 

I'm unbelievably happy and enjoying the new job so much. It feels like a perfect fit for me, and I'm finally actually doing something with my degree. It's been a bit tough getting used to a routine - I'm not sure how I feel about the early mornings yet, but overall it's fab.

I also visited Brighton for the first time in August and it was everything I had hoped for and more. We picked up the dreamiest 21st birthday cake for my sister from Choccywoccydoodah and had the best few days exploring the city. 

I've waffled on about my life for long enough now, so let's get down to the favourites.

I re-read Harry Potter 1 and 2 last month and 100% fell back in love with the world of Hogwarts. I now can't wait to read the rest and also I want to buy allll the merch I can get my hands on. Primark, here I come!

Autumn is starting to creep in now (finally), and when my mum popped down to visit she treated me to the most gorgeous little brown ankle boots from New Look. I love the gold detailing on them and they're comfy enough for my long-ass half hour walk to work. Win win.

I've got a few little beauty bits to chat about this month because I'm trying to get a skincare routine in place again. Send tips and advice on that one pls.

I am totally obsessed with my Bath and Body Works lavender and sandalwood shower gel. I got it when I was over in the States and it's the best thing I've ever smelt. It's a perfect little morning treat that keeps me relaxed as I get ready for work. I'm still praying for the day that B&BW comes to the UK and then I'm going to order this in by the boatload.

Another skin care related favourite is Korres' yogurt hand cream. I've spoken about this in more detail here, but I'll just say that it's very thick and creamy, so has been doing wonders at keeping my hands happy and chap free. 

My last beauty favourite is something that I honestly might have talked about before, but it would have been quite a while ago. I recently got back into using my Monsoon Rose Gold perfume, and remembered why I used it in the first place. It's such a sophisticated (for me) scent, and I love it. The bottle is small enough to slip into your bag easily and it's a subtle scent that manages to linger all day, which is exactly what I want. 

Aaaand my final favourite is the Zoella Lazy Days candle. This has become my go-to 'I'm having a pamper in the bath' candle because of its musky autumnal scent. It makes me feel completely zen, and I'm so glad I've got a couple of these tucked away around the house!

I filmed a quick favourites video for my Youtube channel too. Check it out below:


What were you loving in August?

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18 September 2017

3 bloggers whose content I've been loving this month

3 bloggers whose content I've been loving this month

I love sitting down to write these posts. They remind me of all the great posts I've read in the last month, and really help me think about why I love the blogging world. There are some people who are absolutely KILLING IT at the moment and I can't not share the love. I mean, my picks for this month (which was totally meant to be August, oops, I'm still behind), are three ladies whose blogs you absolutely HAVE to read. Like now. You won't regret it.

First up is someone I've mentioned before, but couldn't resist including again because her posts (and Insta stories) have been so damn funny and on point in the last month and a half. Nikki from Love Laughs Lipstick tells it like it is and it's so refreshing. Her post on '20 reasons why Autumn is sh*t' had me genuinely loling. I love Autumn, but you gotta appreciate the hilarious cynicism Nikki portrays in her writing, and I definitely agree with her on some of the points! 

Next up is Nicole from A Beautiful Chaos. I hardly know where to start with her blog and I'm honestly so surprised she's managed to escape being included in one of these little round-ups so far. Nicole is a mental health guru. She tackles key issues and taboo subjects on a regular basis and I honestly wonder how one person can manage to cover such a broad variety of mental health topics. From learning about CBT to how the internet can impact your mental health, if you want to understand more about mental illness then Nicole has your back. Her recent post on 'Not being ill enough to to be good enough' voiced thoughts that have been plaguing me for years that I'd never be able to put to paper with a tenth of her skill.

And finally we have the queen of the blogosphere, Hannah Gale. I'm obsessed. I don't think I've ever come across a blog where every single post screams out at me to read it. One quick glance at all the topics she covers so eloquently will show you why she won Blogger of the Year at the Blogosphere Awards recently. As well as growing a human baby (eeek), she posts about important lifestyle topics alongside giving some much needed heads-ups about all the new fashion you need to know about. Fab new slogan tee out? Hannah's got your back. Her post titled 'my relationship with alcohol' has made me think so much about my own relationship with drinking and how it's changed over the past few years.

This girls are all 100% worth checking out if you don't follow them already! Who else have you been loving recently?

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17 September 2017

Did my mental illness make me a monster?

Did my mental illness make me a monster?

Looking back on times when my mental health was at its worst, all I can think of as an answer to this is 'yes'. But in reality, it's a no.

16 September 2017

A First Look at My Zoella Christmas Lifestyle Picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella Christmas Lifestyle picks

Zoella has been releasing a wave of new products recently, and whilst it's been seen with a backlash of anger at pricing and the sheer volume of ranges, this is one range that I really wanted to try. I agree that some of the products were overpriced, and I'm not sure why her marketing team thought it was a good idea to release summer beauty, general lifestyle, Christmas lifestyle and Christmas beauty in a matter of weeks (SURELY sales would have been better if it was spread out?!), but I'm totally feeling the hype for this range. This is the one I was genuinely excited for, and I've picked out some fab products which don't bear a shocking price tag.

I've been SO excited to share this post with you, and these pictures have got me feeling all the Autumn vibes. For real though, the cosy vibes mug is something that I already know I'm going to use all the time. I'm ready to fill it with hot chocolate and hundreds of mini marshmallows on chilly evenings. It's such a nice size, and the design of it feels so me. Cosy vibes are what I'm allll about, and I've got a feeling you might see this used as a blog prop all over my Insta over the next few months. 

Candles are kinda my thing (says me and every other blogger ever). I've got a cute little collection of them and I find lighting a couple around my office the best thing for getting a happy, productive vibe going. Zoella's Festive Cookie candle smells incredible. It reminds me a little of Yankee Candle's Snowflake cookie (which I LOVE), but just less sweet. If you've got any of the last lifestyle collection candles from Zoe, then this one is a bit bigger than them, and has a bit of a stronger scent. I'm kinda in love with the packaging - there's nothing cuter than tiny little gingerbread men - and the gold design makes it feel fairly luxe. 

On the candles front I HAD to get the cosy Christmas sock and candle set. And this time it wasn't particularly for the candle. These socks are one of my favourite things I own. Seriously. They're the same ones that she released last year and I've honestly never put anything more comfy and cosy on my feet. So much so that I genuinely save them for days when my mental health is low as a kind of 'treat yourself' moment. They're soft and warm and just trump any other bed socks I've ever tried. FYI, the candle in this set is fab too. It smells like a Christmas tree and the design reminds me of a Christmas jumper, which is hella cute. 

My final pick was my only stationery one. I've got so many notebooks and cute stationery bits at the moment that I didn't need anything else from this part of the range. But, now that I've got my new job I wanted a desk calendar, and the 'This is Your Year' Zoella one has motivational quotes for each month. It's exactly the kind of calendar I had in mind, and I love the fact that you can pop each card in and out easily, so it's perfect for using as an Insta prop at the start of the month! 

I've filmed a first look at/unboxing of my picks from the range over on my Youtube if you fancy a watch:


Have you bought anything from the range?

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