My Skincare Routine and Journey

I’m always quite sceptical when it comes to sharing my skincare routine, because clearly, what works for me might not work for the next person. However, I’m the first to admit that I have been on a bloomin JOURNEY with my skin and finally it’s coming to its senses! I want to share this with you as even if it just helps one person find a product they like then that’ll be the most rewarding feeling. There are so many products out there at the minute and usually, I’m a stick with what you know sort of gal, but recently I’ve ventured out and found skincare products which are working WONDERS for my skin. When I was younger, I didn’t understand the importance of looking after your skin. I’d use a Simple face wipe and a Nivea moisturiser, both day and night and that was the extent of it. It’s taken years of recommendations, family favourites and influencers to get me to the routine I have today and I am living for it.

Lockdown 1.0

IGNORE HOW HORRIBLE I LOOK EW! But these are raw images I took back on the 13th and 14th of April 2020. In comparison to the world, this isn’t that bad at all and I’m probably being a drama queen to some people reading this. Nonetheless, everyone goes through skin issues differently and for me, this was the worst it had been for a long time. I felt like everything I was doing was making the situation worse and I didn’t know what else I could do. Taking into account that life at this time had changed, my skin was clearly reflecting the stress I was feeling with moving back home from placement and starting WFH. I remember seeing these images and realising I needed to do something pronto otherwise I’d never want to step outside without makeup on. So, I went online, researched what was good for my skin and I decided my first purchase would be the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish kit. Expensive? Yes, but from months of using it – 100% worth it (I tell this to everyone I meet). Since, I’ve developed my skincare routine and found my skin is thriving and has been for a couple of months now. Below is a infographic of what I use, day and night as best as I could display it!

My Skincare Routine 2021

Morning Products

Cleanser: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish OR Elemis Pro Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm
Toner: Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
Micellar Water: Elemis Cleansing Micellar Water or Nivea Sensitive Skin Micellair Water
Moisturiser: Ultrasun Face Anti-Ageing Sun Protection SPF30

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Night Time Products

Cleanser: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish OR Elemis Pro Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm
Toner: Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
Moisturiser: Liz Earle Skin Repair Light Cream
Exfoliate: Superdrug Me+ AHA Fruit Acid Booster (twice a week)
Face Oil: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil (twice a week)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I took these photos this morning – Monday 8th February 2021. I feel the most confident I have for a long time and I’m obsessed with it *pls don’t stop anytime soon*. I hardly wear makeup anymore, mostly on the odd occasion the girls and I decide to have a drink in the flat – but that’s about it. This new found love for skincare has allowed me to spend months looking after it and it finally feels like I’m reaping the rewards! Don’t get me wrong, I get pimples and sometimes they’re gross/ugly! But that’s life and everyone gets them no matter who you are. It’s just nice to finally feel thriving in an area I’ve had mini issues with for a long time!😌

Again, I’m sorry I’m not a dermatologist and know next to nothing in comparison to the likes of Hyram, but I promise I have never seen my skin glow more than it is now. I’ve found a routine I’m looking to stick to for a loooooong time. I’ve found, however, that good skin isn’t just by using certain products. It can be a factor of other things such as a healthy lifestyle/cleaning makeup brushes etc. My next blog on this will focus on things I do (other than use products) to look after my skin. I’m not sure when that will be up but it’s on my to do list for as soon as possible 💘

Lastly, I’m obsessed with finding new skincare products to add to my collection. So PLEASE if anyone has any recommendations, I would love for you to reach out and let me know ❤ Especially face masks – because a girl needs a good face mask for Self Care Sunday’s!

Little Life Update

I miss writing for my blog SO much. I didn’t know it at the time but the blogging life was so much easier when I was furloughed and I didn’t have anything else to do with my time. Now, I’m in my final year of Uni and I’m swamped in miserable coursework deadlines. No one pre-warned me how difficult it would be to balance the two and now I’m sat with a dusty blog page, which hasn’t had much love care or attention since the beginning of OCTOBER. TWO whole months ago…suddenly I feel like crying. So I have decided to set myself a New Years Resolution to keep content flowing on this blog (at a reduced rate), and making it my own space for creativity alongside my other university projects. How long it will last? I’d love to know. But for now I’ve made it to this point and I’m determined to not give up! These past couple of months have been slightly unusual to say the least, we are currently experiencing another national lockdown within the UK. 3.0. I promise, you’re not alone if you are completely and utterly fed up of it – we all seem to be. This little blog post is just giving you an update on what I have been doing since the beginning of January to keep myself busy, healthy and happy!

The Dreaded Uni Deadlines

I’ll reiterate, this has kept me busy but it has certainly not been FUN. Uni during this year has been so unusual in comparison to my 1st and 2nd year. The girls and I have been cooped up in our flat, trying to stay sane whilst writing two pieces of coursework which were dated to be submitted by the end of Jan. Did I mention trying to do this in a PANDEMIC???? Hardx10. Fortunately though, I have submitted both (PRAISE BE) and can now relax a little without the dreaded deadline stress. Prior to this, my days have consisted of waking up, popping the library 13:00-16:00, eat, then repeat. This routine hasn’t changed one bit and I am glad to see the back of it…for now. All in all, we have been fortunate enough to have these facilities kept open for us, it has been a life saver to get out the flat for a bit and actually experience the outside. That walk to and from the library seems to be my only steps for the day and during these bitterly cold times, I am keeping it that way.

Shreddy To Rumble

Where do I even start with my fitness? It has been a massive struggle for me over the Winter and I have only recently came to accept this statement. I put on quite a few lbs over this period from the summer bod I’d been working towards. I hate numerically thinking about this because I had the best Christmas, of what could be made out of it and I don’t regret it. I drank all the alcohol I wanted and I am not complaining one bit. It wasn’t until Jan 1st 2021 when I knew I needed to do something about it. Unfortunately, my body type fluctuates massively in weight and the slightest blip can make the biggest difference. At first, running seemed like the best option. I’d spent my summer building my stamina and enjoyed the 5-10-15ks I’d trained myself to do. Nevertheless, this was MONTHS ago and the cold, winter months did not seem appealing in the slighted, so that was out of the question. It wasn’t until Grace Beverley, founder of TALA and Shreddy, posted an Instagram story promoting her fitness app ‘Shreddy’ having 50% off. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a sucker for a discount and just had to jump on the trend. I purchased the quarterly payment scheme without any preconceptions. Instead of paying the original – £24.99 – every three months, I actually ended up only paying £12.46…what a bargain.

Fast forward to now, I am on my fourth week having completed 30% of the home fat loss guide. I’ve lost 5lbs already, trimmed my waist massively and have even made an Instagram to track my progress and join the Shreddy community. It’s so much fun and I am absolutely loving it at the moment. I’m planning to do a blog about it in the future which will go into way more depth, similar to my previous Chloe Ting Challenge post. PS: I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of impressions this post had (and still seems to have) I was so shocked, everyone seemed to love it which made me the happiest. Overall, right at this moment if you’re looking for something to keep you moving – a fitness app is the way to go!

Eating The Days Away

Sorry but how good is Tik Tok for food recipes?! Normally, I’m a Pinterest gal, but honestly Tik Tok is topping it recently with its extremely simple, but delicious recipes to make. Most of which only include a small list of ingredients, majority of stocked cupboards usually have. I’ve spent many evenings making meals that I had previously saved on my favourites and can happily say I have fallen in love with cooking even more. I think everyone and their dog has tried baking or cooking during lockdown and I can’t blame them. It’s such a good way to pass time throughout the day whilst nothing else is going on. For me, my fitness has influenced most meals as they have been relatively healthy/packed full of veggie goodness. This has been a blessing for my skin and body, but a curse when I’m craving something sweet…I just want a tub of sour cream Pringles every once in a while, is that too much to ask?

Entertain Me…Please

Anyone else like me and just can’t get enough of all the TV on at the minute? From the likes of Bridgerton, to High School Musical – The Series, I have been addicted to popping something on on my laptop whilst I cosy under the duvet. One moment I’m manifesting the life of those on Bling Empire and then the next, I’m invested in World’s Toughest Prisons and tell myself I’d love to see one in person…don’t ask why. There is so much on at the minute it’s hard to get to grips with what channel and time it’s being aired. My boyfriend and I (on Facetime) are on the cusp of finishing The Office USA for a second time and I’m not guilty about it. If anyone hasn’t watched it, it’s just came on the UK Netflix and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s such an easy watch with admirable characters you will instantly fall in love with. From TV shows to those old school movies, I have enjoyed watching all the Disney throwbacks on Disney+. Ratatouille has became my ultimate favourite in lockdown 3.0, with their new release ‘Soul’ coming in a close second. These TV shows and movies have ultimately been the cure to my boredom this lockdown and I don’t know personally what I would do without these platforms during this time.

Luckily, I am feeling positive in terms of my mental health, which I am extremely grateful about. From reflection, I think a major contributor to this is from the fitness regime I have implemented and my love for cooking in the evening. I just wanted to spend the end of this blog sending all the love I can to anyone who needs it during this time xxx

I Saw It First Order – Size 12 Honest Review

I’ve decided to spend all of my money, YET AGAIN, on pointless clothing items I really don’t need. In fact, this is becoming a repetitive habit of mine and only seems to occur when I’m in a state of boredom. I’m pretty sure (well I hope) I’m not the only one with this problem!!! I’ve wanted to try I Saw It First for a long time and decided this was the time to do just that.

For online clothing, my baby has to be ASOS. I shop on there all the time and find that personally, I have always had such good service from them and their website. However, when I spotted the I Saw It First discount, I just couldn’t resist treating myself to some new clothing items. Being my first purchase from this brand, I was hesitant with the quality and service I was about to spend my hard earned money on. But my god when it arrived, I was surprised by how little I actually sent back. I think I ended up sending 3 things back, and only for the simple reason that they didn’t fit…not bad for a first timer! I ended up making two transactions and only spent around £100. I thought I was grabbing a billy bargain with this one and can’t quite imagine spending £100 on ASOS and receiving 10 items worth. I wanted to share with you all every item I bought and kept from I Saw It First with reviews!

1. Ribbed Black Bodysuit

8/10

My thought process going through this order was ‘I want to be comfy whilst I am not leaving my flat in University’. So forgive me if you notice a running theme with the neutral colours and loungewear vibe. My first purchase for my I Saw It First Haul had to be this basic ribbed black bodysuit, with a half zip detail running through it. I gave this an 8/10 because I fell in love with the long sleeves, comfort and fit of this item. I like having the zip to allow me to give more shape and overall, I think this item pairs well with my Topshop joggers and black trainers. My only downfall on this item was that it doesn’t have a fastening, it literally fits like a swimming costume…any girls worst nightmare if you’re wearing this on a night out, drinking and constantly finding yourself needing the toilet!

2. Ribbed Grey Bodysuit

7/10

I JUST DON’T SUIT SCOOP NECKS WITH THIN STRAPS AND I DON’T KNOW WHY I CONTINUE TO BUY THESE SORTS OF ITEMS! It really gets me down yet I still purchase items like this as if it will solve all my problems. Like, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t look horrific and that’s why I decided to keep it but it’s just not flattering on my chest (in my opinion). The material is comfortable and stretchy, but I already know that this is going to be one of those tops catching dust at the bottom of my wardrobe.

3. Ribbed Beige Crop Top

7/10

Again, if I had a smaller chest this I Saw It First top would have been a 10/10. It just ever so slightly gapes by my under-arms. I swear, buying tops is just the bane of my life. Nothing ever fits as well as I would like it to or imagine it to, it’s a pain. The top itself is neutral toned with a simple ribbed design, absolutely perfect for the chilled, loungewear look I am going for this Autumn. Its extremely cropped so sometimes I do find myself fiddling with it trying to tug it down, but all in all I do find this is my most worn top I have out of this collection.

4. Black Leopard Print Long Sleeved Jumper

10/10

This top is just STUNNING. Honestly everything I was looking for in regards to its fit, style and comfort. The knitted frame of the top is perfect for the transition from Summer into the Autumn/Winter times. The pattern on the long sleeves make this product so unique and its slightly puffed shoulders give the top a gorgeous structure. I’m such a jeans and a nice top girl, like so many of us, and feel like I Saw It First UK offers a great range to suit this style.

5. White Wrap Top

9/10

Again, an item from my I Saw It First haul I’ve been shocked by because of how beautiful it is! The fit of this top, guys I am obsessed. Its wrap design covers everywhere I need it to and gives off an expensive vibe. The material itself isn’t see through like you’d automatically expect with cheap white clothing, my nude coloured bra disguises perfectly underneath. In relation to this top, I was on a night out in Liverpool the other week and actually spotted someone wearing this exact item, she finished the look off with a red lip and jeans and honestly, it was to die for… I LOOOVED! Definitely trying this the next time I wear it.

6. Faux Leather Joggers

10/10

Normally for anything trousers related, I have to get the Petite range in every, single, shop. Scraping 5’3/4 makes online shopping very difficult and I’ve found that over the years I will rarely ever buy anything trouser related unless I am physically in a store and can try them on. With COVID-19 hitting and, as a result, fitting rooms closing, I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone and take the plunge for online retailers in this field. I purchased these on a whim not knowing how I would feel about them, they gave me total Autumn/Winter street style vibes which doesn’t isn’t something I have ever pulled off. These I Saw It First trousers came and I fell in LOVE. So flattering, comfortable and stylish! My oddly shaped legs fit perfectly in them and don’t fall too long either. They crop so well and I am over the moon with this purchase. I wore them once for a night out and found they stuck to my legs when it got hot and sweaty but honestly, try find me a pair of faux leather trousers which don’t please…

7. Cropped Denim Jacket

7.5/10

Denim jackets are just a statement aren’t they? They match nearly everything in my wardrobe and I can honestly say I don’t know what I would have done without my Pull and Bear baby I’ve had over all these years. The next level up however, was 100% an I Saw It First cropped denim jacket. I had a vision in my mind of an oversized cropped jacket look paired with joggers and my Air Force. Simple but effective. I bought this jacket from I Saw It First, it was originally supposed to be £50 but I grabbed it at a bargain with the I Saw It First student discount. I paid for next day delivery and altogether it came to £24.99. My first thought when I got it out the bag was ‘Jesus I would never have paid £50 for this’. The quality just isn’t as thick and durable as what you’d expect from a £50 denim item. Although, I do think that what I spent with the discount makes this item a worthwhile purchase. It’s stretchy and oversized. Its distressed look

Overall, I would recommend I Saw It First to anyone looking for cheaper alternatives to clothing. I am now finding myself constantly scrolling through their newly added lines to see if I can grab myself any more bargains with the I Saw It First student discount. Don’t ask me if I will be buying anything any time soon because my bank says otherwise but I’ll definitely hop on there for my staples in the future. For the best deals, make sure you download the I Saw It First app and I promise, you won’t regret it!

Kitchen Pack with Me – University Edition

As University is fast approaching and those long awaited months are now turning into weeks, I thought I’d get ahead and begin packing up my suitcase for final year. It’s all becoming a bit too real now that I have had my yearly Home and Bargains trip for those core essentials. For those who don’t know me, Home (and) Bargains is my favourite shop, a one of a kind store with everything you could ever ask for, on a low budget basis. I am more than likely going to be found in the home decor isle trying to buy something I like just for the cheap sake of it. This happens every…single…time! After this eventful trip took place, Mum and I decided to head into the lounge and start packing all my kitchen utensils. From this, I realised there are SO many items for my kitchen you completely just forget about. It’s like they are so irrelevant until you unpack the dusty box which has been storing them in for the last couple of month. For this blog, I wanted to write my list of essential items you will need for your kitchen in Uni.

My Second Year Kitchen Image

My Kitchen List

  • 4x Forks, Knives and Spoons (tea and tablespoons)
  • Set of sharp knives
  • Wooden spoon
  • Set of pan proof tools
  • Scissors
  • Garlic press
  • Can opener
  • Grater
  • Pizza cutter
  • Potato Peeler
  • 2-4x Dinner Plates and Bowls
  • Set of pans (all different sizes)
  • 2x Baking tray
  • Chopping board
  • Oven gloves
  • Colander
  • Mixing bowl
  • Weighing scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Glasses
  • Mugs
  • Tupperware
  • Tea Towels

This may seem like a lot, but they are my essentials I use whilst cooking in my university kitchen. I mean, I know a few people who cut their pizza with a knife or scissors, so I guess a pizza cutter isn’t ‘essential’ but it’s all up for your own interpretation.

My Favourite Kitchen Essential Stores (UK based)

Similar to my previous blog on what to pack for your bedroom at University, I wanted to give a list of my favourite stores I used for purchasing these essential items. I hope this gives you a better idea of where to go for your price range!

Places like Argos and Noahs Box even offer students a ‘Starter Kit’ for University, definitely something to look out for if you don’t want to individually buy products.

Cheaper/Low Budget Options:

  • Home Bargains
  • The Range
  • Ikea
  • Amazon
  • Wilkos

More Expensive Options:

  • John Lewis
  • Not On The High Street
  • Noahs Box

I’d love to know if you have any other stores which you love to go to for essentials, I am always looking for new places to take myself to shop for things for my kitchen in Uni!

I Completed Chloe Ting’s Summer Body Shred And Here Are My Results

Rewind four weeks ago to the 1st of June, I woke up in bed at around 8:30am, checked my phone and started scrolling. This is usually how I start my days but today, something felt different. I had a sudden urge of ambition flow through me and thought myself ‘I want to make this month something I can look back on and be proud of, not something I’ll forget’. It also worked really well that the 1st of June landed on a Monday and if you’re like me, Monday’s are the beginning of a week (not Sunday) so pairing that with a new month… god my motivation levels were through the ROOF. I decided to give myself a challenge and I wanted this to be along the lines of fitness. I was falling in love with my body shape from my previous weeks of keeping fit and I wanted to do something to keep my progress up to see what I could achieve.

After a bit of time, I decided to choose one of Chloe Ting’s 4 Week Summer Shred free workout programme. Literally everyone I know has been raving about these videos and to be honest, I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. My cousin Sammi and I decided to do the challenge together and be there for each other to boost moral. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would have completed the programme and be sitting here today. There’s just something powerful about being able to talk to a friend at the same time and know you’re not alone if you’re struggling with a video, or a certain exercise!

Before Measurements

I decided to track my measurements as I felt that this would be the best way to see the difference over the four weeks. Honestly I am so sorry for the 3/16 bits, I have no clue what they mean either as I tracked them in a Body Measurement app but we’re going to have to roll with it…oops!!!!

Date: 1st of June 2020

  • Weight: 9 stone 8lbs
  • Chest: 36.0″
  • Hips: 35 3/16″
  • Waist: 27 1/2″
  • Av Thigh: 23 6/16″

After Measurements

Date: 1st July 2020

  • Weight: 9 stone 53/4
  • Chest: 34 2/16″
  • Hips: 35″
  • Waist: 26 7/16″
  • Av Thigh: 23″

Thoughts and Feelings

I CAN’T BELIEVE I STUCK BY SOMETHING FOR FOUR WEEKS STRAIGHT AND DIDN’T GIVE UP! Oh my god, this is actually such an achievement for me and I don’t think anyone will understand truly how much this makes me happy! There have been many times in the past I have said on a whim I will do something and try to stick it out for a certain length of time. By day 4, you’d most probably find me in the pub with a cider ignoring everything I’d mentioned days ago…but I can proudly say that this time I NEVER and we are FINISHED!

The Workout Videos

For me, I had been running and doing home workout videos since the beginning of lockdown so I had my fair share of knowledge on what I needed to do to make me sweat. In regards to Chloe Tings free programmes which I’ve pictured above, she sets out each day the YouTube videos you should be watching and carrying out. What I really liked about the videos is that as some were repeated on different days, I could watch my progress over time as I got stronger and built strength – especially in the core videos. The ‘Shredded Abs’ video is one of my favourites for understanding how strong my core was becoming. They are short, intense and great for keeping fit whilst under lockdown rules.

The Negatives of the Workouts

Focusing on the actual workouts, I don’t feel as if I was “pushed to my limit”. I had been watching Girl Code Fitness’ live workouts before attempting this challenge and felt as if this made me sweat more and work my body harder. I felt from my experience that I never had motivation or wanted to carry out the arm workouts that Chloe had inserted for arm days as they weren’t my cup of tea and I didn’t feel like they did much. I would have much preferred the summer workout program to include more glute and leg focused videos. But this is just personal opinion and I guess that’s why she has a range of free workout programmes to choose from, I could of happily chosen the Hourglass challenge instead. Oh also, I can moan for hours about the music…absolute hell!!!

Diet and Nutrition

First off, I didn’t diet. I didn’t try to eat “healthy” at all. I had protein shakes for two out of the four weeks after each of my workouts, but I didn’t religiously watch what foods I put in my mouth. I think I had more takeaways this month than I have ever since lockdown and of course McDonalds opened and I can happily admit I had my fair share of mozzarella dippers. So from looking at my results, I can openly say if I had have focused on my calories and ensured I was in a calorie deficit the majority of the time, I possibly could have made more drastic changes to my body. BUT I LOVE FOOD and I’m sorry that sometimes I want to bake cookies and lick the bowl afterwards…we only have one life and I want to eat what I want!!!

Overall Recommendation

Do I recommend? YES OF COURSE! Some of Some of the results people have been coming out with are incredible and for a free programme, there is really no denying how great this is for keeping fitness levels high and feeling like you have achieved something!

Before and After Photos

So I wanted to show my before and after pictures, one thing I love about these is my bloody TAN look at me go!!!! Golden life x but in all honesty, my waist and stomach has certainly tightened and I absolutely love it!

I hope you all enjoyed and I’d love to know if you decide to choose to do one aswell! 🖤

Bedroom Pack with Me – University Edition

GOSH it’s finally time to talk about University! How exciting is this?!?! As you might know or not know if you haven’t read my About Me page, I currently study Marketing at Nottingham Trent University. I chose to do a Sandwich Year and in October, I will be going into my Final Year (openly cries at the thought of finishing so soon). I have so much experience living away from home and have done since 2017. Knowing this, I wanted to share with you all a list of what I think is best to pack for your bedroom in first year of University.

This isn’t going to be a one off, I’ve decided I am going to do a dedicated University series on my blog and Instagram page to provide you with a much deserved insight into how to prepare for your first year in University! I promise you, I totally understand how daunting the thought of Uni life I is. Moving out of your own childhood home (for most) and being thrown into living accommodation with random strangers, getting used to Lectures/Seminars and even attempting to socialise and make friends…trust me, I have been through it all! So in today’s blog, I’m going to be running through what I suggest packing for your bedroom in University. Make sure to keep reading for my must have items…

Where do I start?

Honestly, this is possibly the worst question you can ask yourself or others around you. When packing for your bedroom, you need to understand you’re living in this area as well for the majority of your time. It’s not just where you sleep, you will work here and bring friends round. It’s all about making it cosy and home-like, replicating your dream bedroom. For those who haven’t been able to decorate their room at home, this is the perfect excuse to go wild and create those Pinterest board rooms you have always wanted.

My First Day at University

My Bedroom List

I have listed every single thing you would need for your bedroom in university. These are the ‘must have’ items, some might not be so glamorous, but are essential in ensuring you have everything you need for your time in your University bedroom…

  • Duvet quilt and pillows (find out if you have a double or single bedroom to suggest what size you buy)
  • Mattress protector (I would suggest getting one with memory foam or a similar product, something thick anyway to provide more comfort! Especially if you’re living in halls as the beds might not be that comfy…learn from my experience!)
  • Duvet cover with pillow cases x2
  • Decorative cushions and blankets
  • Rug (a great way to make that ugly carpet/laminate floor look pretty!!)
  • Under bed storage (big must have if you can find out you have space under your bed, storage can either be your best friend or worst nightmare in University)
  • Desk lamp
  • Alarm clock (not essential if you can use your mobile phone but they look cute)
  • Storage baskets (so useful for storing makeup, university folders/pens etc)
  • Extension cable with USB port, I would recommend getting a 3m one just incase your plugs are on the other side of the room. (not essential but is honestly a life saver)
  • Laundry basket with handles (great for travelling to your halls laundrette from your room)
  • Hangers
  • Drawer dividers (not essential but will make your life easier if you need to organise your space)
  • Mirror (find out if you have access to a long length, if not then buy one but if you do, just grab yourself a medium sized one which can sit on your desk)
  • Fairy Lights (make sure to look at the length! Choosing between plugged and battery is also dependant on what you would prefer, I chose battery but kind of regretted it as they were long enough to reach my extension cable)
  • Photo frames
  • Whiteboards/pinboards (a great way to decorate your university bedroom! Some halls may already come with one but adding some cute magnets/pins are a great way to make them look pretty!)
  • TV/desktop/laptop (not essential but great for entertaining if you want something different to do)

From what I can remember about my first year in University, I wanted a room that everyone could come in from my floor and relax! My friends and I used to love chilling on the bed and popping a movie on my laptop. Organising your room to be a cosy and homely space will help make your transition to uni life easier to cope with.

Favourite bedroom decor stores (UK based)

I wanted to also add onto this a list of my favourite UK stores for my bedroom decor, I have so many I love for soooo many different reasons. I have mentioned that these are UK based however you might find some of these stores are located in other countries, I just couldn’t confirm for you exactly now.

  • Ikea
  • B&M
  • Home Bargains (pronounced home and bargains and I won’t have it any other way!!!)
  • Matalan
  • Dunelm
  • Amazon (great for those nifty products like the USB extension cable)
  • H&M
  • Zara
  • Asda – George

My Top Tip For Packing Your University Bedroom

My top tip for those buying furniture and items for their Uni room is to not go overboard! Don’t think your bank needs to break in order to have the best room possible in University. You’re only really living there for 6 months of the year, it’s barely any time when it boils down to it! Make sure you stick to your agreed budget and search around for cute accessories to fit in your room. Remember, just because it’s more expensive doesn’t mean its better. There are great budget shops out there with crazy cheap items, guaranteed to make your bedroom feel like home!

June – My Favourite Product

Is it just me that always finds the urge to buy products when I see a good review from someone I trust? Influencers are literally thriving at the moment and it’s no surprise really when this is mine and a lot of others’ outlook on buying beauty products! My bank account feels it – a lot. For the future of my blog, I wanted to do a monthly series where I share with you all my favourite product(s) for the month and I might even share those products I’ve disliked after buying. I find these mini blog series so refreshing and a great way to gain inspiration from others. For June, I only have one product to share with you and I promise it’s a good’en!

The Ordinary – 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

I bought this product on a whim from Beauty Bay when I was topping up my makeup. One of my longtime friends – Meryn – had given my an insight into her new skin care regime and absolutely raved about this brand ‘The Ordinary’. I trusted her and just knew I needed to purchase something from them ASAP. I managed to pick up the Rose Hip Seed Oil and oh my god it’s changed my skin routine for the BETTER! Keep reading for information on the product and what I loved about it.

Description

This formulation uses 100% pure Rosehip Seed Oil that is both cold-pressed and organic. Rosehip Seed Oil is rich in linoleic acid, linolenic acid and pro-vitamin A, all of which degrade when the oil extraction process involves heat. While cold-pressed extraction is complex, it preserves all of the quality of this important oil which has been shown to reduce signs of photo-aging and many other skin conditions.

Directions

Apply once a day to the face, ideally at bedtime after application of water-based treatments.

Ingredients

Rosa Canina Seed Oil.

(All information taken from The Ordinary website)

My Thoughts and Feelings

Putting this on my face makes me feel SO hydrated. Alls I use is one peplum full and squeeze it onto my hand, I then slightly rub it together and massage it onto my face in soft, circular motions. I focus on spreading the oil all around the areas of my face to make sure it’s even.

You have to wash your hands after doing this as the excess left over can make you feel greasy, but I don’t mind this step. Once completed, it’s instantaneously noticeable how dewy this product makes my skin. I have combination type skin and think it works perfectly. For my oily skinned girls out there, I’m not sure if this product would be the right fit for you as I am guessing it would just be adding on top of all your oils you naturally have anyway – but at the end of the day I am no dermatologist and it’s your preference whether you want to try it or not! One thing I want to mention about the product is it’s scent. It’s not the nicest smelling product I have in my collection of skincare, but I promise you, it’s not horrific either. It’s giving me organic, I don’t have any artificial shit in me, smelling vibes. You know, something you don’t mind putting on your face because you know it’s not got any harmful chemicals in?

When I wake up, my face feels so revitalised and fresh. My redness from spots always reduces and the texture of my skin feels so smooth and seamless. I have been using this product for well over a month now and don’t think I am ever going to stop. I find it doesn’t block my pores, or break me out. If anything it helps reduce the amount of spots I have over time. I have found that my scarring from past spots has gradually reduced on my cheeks and T zone, which is something I have always been insecure about when wearing no makeup. As an avid no makeup wearer, I will sometimes make sure that when I am leaving the house I will pop some of the Rose Hip Seed Oil onto my face to give it that extra dewy look and feel.

God I could RAVE about this product for hours on end. I am definitely going to be purchasing more of The Ordinary’s products and let you know how I get on with them. I hope you all enjoyed and let me know if you use any of their products and what you would recommend! Love

Instagram Story Hacks – My Favourite Gifs

Instagram has been, and always will be, the best social media app I have ever used. Tik Tok and Pinterest are up there of course, but Instagram will always have the top spot in my heart. Since making my account in 2012 and being a religious user, I have been around to watch the evolution of this app. Does anyone else remember back in the day when you could just post what you wanted and when? When no one gave a crap about anything to do with the quality or content…it was just an app for posting a screenshot of your life in the moment! Now, the app has over 500 million daily active users and there are a variety of reasons why people use the app. Normal people posting their life, ‘Influencers’ making a living and promoting products and businesses also use this app to grow a relationship with its customers. Its multi-use makes the app so attractive and I can’t help but just rave about it allll the time!

It has SO many features we all use on a daily basis and one of my all time favourite’s is definitely the Instagram Story option. When you don’t have actual content to post for your feed, a story is a fantastic alternative to keep your audience involved and up to date with everything going on. If you’re like me, you’ll spend so much time trying to make stories as pretty and aesthetic as they can be. The perfect way to do this is through GIFS! I wanted to write a mini blog post on my favourite gifs you can use for your story – all found from Pinterest! I switch between them all to keep my content interesting. Make sure you check them out below!

1. ‘chxrry’

2. ‘mikyla’

3. ‘handwritten’

4. ‘kinupos’

5. ‘ohlalalita’

6. ‘steffi’

7. ‘helenbucher’

8. ‘hanmade’

9. ‘lizmosley’

10. ‘kindcomments’

11. ‘rizzy’

12. ‘saramaese’

13. ‘simple’

14. ‘boho’

15. ‘foopklo’

Above are all of my favourite gifs that I will try and use on a regular basis! They are super cute and easy to find, make sure you just type in the heading into your Instagram Gif search bar and up they should all come.

I hope you all enjoyed this mini blog and if you would like to see more things like this please let me know! Love

My 8 Top Tips for Keeping Happy During Lockdown

What a weird period of life we are all going through hey? Do you ever sit back and think about what the actual f*** is going on within our world right now? Because I sure do and it’s CRAZY. Lockdown itself is an unusual situation just suddenly thrown on us all, which we have been legally forced to abide by. I’m not really too sure about where the rest of the world is up to with ‘lockdown’ and if there are any other countries still currently going through it, but I certainly know the UK is and will be for another few weeks or so. Personally, I have spent lockdown learning, growing and becoming a ‘better’ version of myself. I have spent time doing activities to develop my skills and believe I will be coming out in the best possible mindset. I want to share my tips and tricks I’ve found to keep happy during Lockdown to hopefully help others out there who might be struggling slightly or need a bit of inspiration!

1. Writing down achievable daily/weekly goals

Weekly planner on iPad with pen

Thinking back to the past couple of months in Lockdown, I have found to be more productive when I know what my goals are for the week. Don’t be frightened by the word ‘goals’ as (for me) they can range from something as simple as ‘putting a wash on’ to something slightly more time consuming like ‘walking 10,000 steps a day’. When focusing on my weekly routine, I will spend Monday morning writing down exactly what I want to achieve from the week and how I am going to do this. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than being able to tick off something I have been able to complete and see a list getting smaller. I physically write mine down in an old A5 Pukka Pad and it is so not aesthetic in the slightest. However, there are plenty of online planners and apps you can download to keep your goals with you at all times. For example, Microsoft OneNote is a great app with lots of features for you to capture your thoughts and ideas on digital paper.

2. Try to get outside at least ONCE a day

Me with dog with green grass

Lockdown measures have eased in the past couple of weeks in the UK, allowing for us to all have an unlimited amount of outdoor exercise and I can’t say it enough – Fresh air is amazing! Especially when you’re not allowed to do much else and the sun decides to make an appearance. It will instantly revitalise and freshen you up for the day ahead, and I promise that it is an extremely easy way of keeping fit without even realising. Walking, Running, Cycling, Rollerblading – the list is endless. Personally, I prefer dog walking or running. They are both effective and fun ways for me to get out and clear my head!

3. Do something you enjoy

I am a huge supporter of filling your time doing things you enjoy. Having spent 84 days in lockdown to date, I have only just came to fall in love with blogging and everything it entails. I WISH I had discovered my little passion earlier, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and I am where I am right now because it’s meant to be. On top of the blogging scene, I have been spending my days reading thrillers, baking delicious treats and scrolling through the internet for summer clothes, knowing full well Summer is cancelled. My advice to you would be to try something out you haven’t before. If that’s a fitness video from youtube, or learning a new skill, there are a multitude of activities out there for you to choose from it just depends what you want. Take it as a trial and error path until you find something you enjoy.

4. Keep in contact

Zoom call with friends

One of the most important ways to keep happy during Lockdown is through ‘Communication’. This may seem like a simple tip, but it will automatically boost your mood and can pave the path for a positive day. I set myself a target at the beginning of Lockdown to FaceTime a few friends I haven’t spoken to in a while down to just being busy. Rekindling lost friendships has seen a massive improvement in my happiness and overall outlook on life, so I would 100% recommend you to try. There are a variety of ways you can keep in touch with those you want to. These include FaceTime, Whatsapp, Facebook, Zoom and Houseparty. Even picking up the phone is a great way to communicate. You never know what the other person is going through and it might just brighten their day as well!

5. Eat a balanced diet

Strawberries blueberries and bananas on board

There are many negative connotations surrounding the word ‘diet’: including countless horror stories of regimented eating plans that inevitably fail because they’re impossible to stick to. I want to change your perceptions and think about this in a positive light. Having a balanced diet in my eyes entails eating the right foods, but not restricting yourself to the point where you crave and binge. If you want a bar of chocolate, have it! If you’re feeling down and end up getting a takeaway, don’t feel guilty about it! It’s all about listening to yourself and your body. I am the biggest advocate for a balanced diet, just not over-doing it. I find I eat relatively healthy Mon-Fri and for the weekend I’ll enjoy a few drinks, a BBQ dinner or even pop a pizza in the oven.

6. Keep up a good skin care routine

Me with clear skin

Keeping skin looking young, healthy and glowing is crucial, and not just in lockdown! Ladies and Gents, it is SO important that we protect our skin for our future self, who I’m sure if they could speak to us, would be very thankful. It can be a tedious task at times, and I can admit there has been a few nights I have just been too tired to whip out my entire regime. But all in all, keeping skin in a good routine will have a massive effect on your mindset and keeping positive. I have a skin routine blog coming in the future with all my fave products I use and also those products I won’t touch. I’ll keep you waiting for that one though!

7. Don’t forget to get enough sleep

Alarm clock by bed

Is it just me whose had a fantastic sleeping pattern during Lockdown? I have been knocking out around 10:30-11:00pm and rising 9:30am latest. My watch literally tracks my sleep every night and I average around 9 hours sleep a day. Absolutely GORGEOUS. There is nothing I love more than a good nights rest and I can assure you, if you’re looking to revitalise and start the day on a positive note – a restful night beforehand is the perfect solution.

8. Make the most of ‘Self Care Sunday’

Shopping for new shoes

My last tip, but one of my ultimate favourites is ‘Make the most of Self Care Sunday’. This is actually my favourite day, when it revolves around Self Care of course. After starting the week on Monday with all your goals and ambitions, Sunday just seems like the perfect way to wrap up the past 7 days and reflect. Take the time to do things for you, and only you. Some of the things I find I get up to include giving myself a lie in, popping on a bubble bath, painting my nails, washing my hair or sitting down to watch a film/TV programme. Why not go out and buy some popcorn, or make yourself some chocolate dipped strawberries? Make this day different to every other day, your body probably needs it! Listed above are just some of the few examples I like to treat Self Care Sunday – a day to do things for you and ONLY you.

I hope you all enjoyed my 8 tips and tricks to keep yourself happy during lockdown. I really value all 8 of these tips, as they all have had a massive effect on me and my outlook over the past couple of months. If you have any questions, please get in touch with me over on my social media which I will link below. Thanks again, love

Photo Credit:

Image 1- Weekly planner: Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Image 8 – Alarm Clock: Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

My Hair Journey – From Dull LOB to Long Locks

Hair is everything to me, I’m not sure about you but it’s a statement part of my ‘image’ I feel the need to protect the most. I’ve always been the type to hate my hair pulled back in any sort of way. You won’t catch me pulling off a low bun/pony or a slick rick sort of style Kim Kardashian would wear. If my hair is not in front of my shoulders for every photo taken, then it may swell not even be there…I know – I’m a drama queen. I wanted to write a blog for myself and those that care about my little journey I went on with my hair from 2018/now as I just felt it would be nice to have it documented down. You never know, it might give someone else that little bit of hope if they’re struggling with their hair!

HIGH SCHOOL ERA – I MISS YOU

The High School era was the beginning of the beautiful long locks (please ignore my awkward 2015 poses in the mirror with my iPhone 5c). I took this length and health for granted SO BAD and god if I could rewind, I’d tell myself to appreciate it more because it’s not going to last forever D: I used one product to protect the ends with and that was the Tresemme Heat Defence Spray – an all time classic. I still use the same bottle to this day with a water replacement inside for neatening up my braids – I just couldn’t get rid of it!

JUL 2018

This was the month of realisation. The realisation of everything that was going on with my hair. I had spent months and months of putting an extortionate amount of heat on the ends to get the perfect straightness or waves whilst in Uni. I had bleach blonde ends, making them more susceptible to damage from the 200 degree heat and I just think I over stepped the mark. I remember not using any products to protect it with either…my poor ends must have been desperate for a bit of love and attention </3. How sad!!

It was these two specific photos I had on my phone which just did it for me – BORK those frayed ends. I still look at that second photo and wonder how I had been so blind to the damage before. I was in London on an internship when the second photo was taken, so I decided when I was coming home that the first thing I would be doing is booking an appointment at the hairdressers.

AUGUST 2018

I wish you could see properly just how short this lob was:( it was just past my shoulders and for me this felt like I had a 1 all over. I’ll admit, it doesn’t look half as bad as I thought it did, but it was a massive change for me and I wasn’t used to the short hair life. Added on top of this, I was desperately trying to reduce the need for heat on my hair to prevent what happened previously, which meant less straight and more frizz.

My worst nightmare came to life when I was at Creamfields Festival and pulled out my multitude of clips from my pin curls. I literally looked like I had a frizz bomb bob…disaster alert. I’ve posted a picture below to show just the extent of short I’m talking about. This is where I felt my confidence knock and straight after this weekend, I literally ran to my new hairdresser – Ceili – to see if I could get any hair extensions. She warned me it would be a LOT of money for what I wanted doing and being a poor student, I wasn’t financially able to fund this.

Creamfields 2018

2019

As real hair extensions were clearly out of the window, I decided now was the time to completely revamp my hair routine and buy some well reviewed products off Look Fantastic to help it grow.

I was purchasing these items on a whim and in all honesty, haven’t re-bought any of them. However, I can happily say I did purchase one of my staple hair items on this day without even realising. This is my hot pink Tangle Teezer brush. Its carefully designed bristles make brushing my hair so much easier and less harsh than any other brush I’ve used before. If you’re thinking about investing in a Tangle Teezer brush, my advice to you would be to pay more for the brushes with the handle on the end. Honestly – game changer!

THE ‘EXTENSION’ PHASE

Months went on and my hair was growing (I hoped/prayed/manifested). I waited until it was long enough that the ends were less blunt/more thin. This meant I could now purchase some cheap, synthetic hair extensions online. Now this is where the fun BEGAN. I think I invested my pennies into the online brand – Lullabellz – and decided to go all out. My first buy was the 20″ Curly Golden Blonde 1 piece clip in. Oh DEARY ME. How I ever thought this was okay is beyond words. I even thought it was acceptable to wear them to Detonate festival in June last year…why didn’t my friends stop me??? I remember being so conscious my clips were on show throughout the day, yet was blinded by the fact my hair looked like one big fat mess. This was a massive learning curve!!

I then went on to invest more of my overdraft in 1 piece hair extensions, which actually looked pretty okay (I try to tell myself still to this day). They were my babies and I absolutely loved every photo I got in them. My poor friends were probably sick of me asking them to check the back of my head to make sure the clips weren’t on show. I felt as if these extensions were finally bringing some shape back to my face and body – making my confidence soar back to its old self. I didn’t mind wearing clip ins for a while whilst my hair was growing as it was a cheaper alternative to real ones. This was exactly what I needed to get over the chop horror of 2018.

FAST FORWARD TO NOW

As we finally come into the middle of 2020 (sorry but WTF where has this year gone????), I have gradually taken out my extensions and am coming to the realisation that I LOVE the length and health of my hair now. It’s everything I wanted and more. Since lockdown, I have been giving myself tiny chops to get rid of the frays at the end but other than that, everything is in perfect condition. I look back on 1st year of Uni and wonder how I ever let my hair get to the state it was in. There is so much more to life than hair – I know – but it’s a mini journey I’ve been on and I love mine right now!

I was going to write my top tips I have found for growing my hair, but I’ve decided to save that for another blog in the future as this one was becoming lengthy! For those who got to the end of my journey, I hope you enjoyed and I’ll definitely make sure I am uploading more relevant things you can learn from in the future. Love