Wednesday, 28 December 2016

What I Think About Large Social Media Followings

In today's society, it seems to me as though everything revolves around social media. How many likes can I get on that selfie? Do I have enough followers to be considered 'cool'? What if my life doesn't look interesting enough to other people? I know what these situations feel like, because these sorts of questions have circled around my head one too many times throughout my teenage years so far.

To be completely honest with you, I have no idea how, or why things have turned out this way. Everywhere you go, there are people who's hands are literally glued to their phones, and the scariest part is that they're totally oblivious as to what's going on around them. Not only is it dangerous, but it's also incredibly careless.

Over the past year, I've gotten a lot better at focusing on what's around me, rather than what's on the device in front of me. Kylie Jenner's selfie may be the most gorgeous thing you have seen all week, but quite frankly, there's more to your life than an app.

Nowadays, a lot of us are fortunate enough to have large social media followings. People are bringing out merchandise, books, and beauty products left, right, and centre, and although I think that's absolutely incredible, and such an insane achievement, it's important that we don't all get so wrapped up around the materialistic things, and the brand deals that we forget about our family, our friends, and our other ambitions in life.

Don't get me wrong, I've always loved blogging, and YouTube. However, it's definitely changed throughout the past few years, and I know I'm not the only person who thinks that either. Sometimes, people come across as 'less real' on social media, and I'm not saying that's how I feel about everyone, but there is a small minority that do just follow the crowd, and pretend to enjoy this whole platform, simply because they think they're going to get freebies, and fun opportunities. I'm sure you have all received at least one of those automated messages on Twitter, or one of those incredibly irritating emails in your time being a part of the community, right?

I've been blogging for quite a long time now (over a year anyway), and I can honestly say that I never started out with the intentions of blogging being my full time job, and I still don't really consider that an option, even for the near future. Never once have I taken up an opportunity, because of the freebies, and never once have I abused a brand's kindness, and thrown everything back in their face. That's just not who I am as a person. I may have under 1,000 followers, but I have over 500, and that's absolutely incredible in my eyes, and it's taken me a long time to get to where I am. There was a point where I didn't even believe I'd gain 5 followers, let alone over 500.

To cut to the chase, I do think that large social media followings have their pros, and cons. Some people use their social media following to show off their makeup skills, and others use them to talk about real concerns, such as sex, body image, mental health, and politics. I take my hat off to both groups of people. Heck, I take my hat off, and bow down to you if you fit into both of those groups! You're doing an amazing job, and you deserve to be recognised, and applauded for that.

For me personally, it's never, and it will never be about the numbers. Every single person that follows me on Instagram, Twitter, or follows, and reads my blog has most probably chosen to take that action for a reason. Whatever that reason may be, I am forever grateful.

Every single day that I spend on this planet, I feel grateful. I feel so incredibly blessed to be as successful as I am, both on the internet, and in my personal life. That's not to say I'm the next Zoella, but I've achieved things personally, and that's what I consider to be a success. My childhood wasn't all plain sailing, and it was pretty brutal at times, if I'm being honest with you. My adolescent years so far haven't been too great either. I've experienced many low points, and sometimes, it has proved immensely difficult to survive until the next morning, and get myself out of bed. I did it though, and boy, am I glad that I did.

I write this blog, and I use my social media platforms for valid reasons. I post scenic pictures on my Instagram to make people smile, and see the beauty in the world around them. I regularly Tweet motivational sayings in order to give someone the strength they need to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I sit here, and write these blog posts, so that I can comfort people's souls, and bring some positivity into their life. I speak about real issues, and I speak about them, because I care. I care about all of you so much, and I want you to know that things are going to be okay. They will always be okay.

The social media following I have accumulated has become a blessing to me. Every single person who follows my journey, and takes the time to read what I have to write is precious to me. Showing you what my go to makeup routine is will probably provide you with a little bit of light-hearted entertainment, but that's not what I use this privilege for.

I use it to show people that they will be okay. I use it to share my personal experiences that I have come out of the other side from. I use it to comfort people, and show support to them, whenever they may need it. I use my social media following wisely, and there's never a day that goes by where I don't feel beyond grateful for what I have.

Use your social media following wisely. Use your voice, and this opportunity you have to speak out about real things. Real things that people are going through all around you. Write a blog post about feeling down, and share it far, and wide. Let people know that you also have bad days. Tell your followers that they are your friends, not your fans, and you will always be just a message away if they need you. Don't allow yourself to get big-headed. If you have gained over 1,000 followers, that's truly incredible. Go you! Just don't forget why you started, and don't forget why you continue to do what you do every day. Even if you are primarily a beauty, and fashion blogger, or YouTuber, you could still consider talking about other topics, and branching out a little. You never know who you may be helping.

Appreciate those around you. Connect with them, whether they're physically with you, or whether they're through a phone screen. Just appreciate them, and show them some love.

It will make the world of difference if you stay humble. Trust me.
Lots of love always,
Jade xo


Friday, 23 December 2016

Organic & Botanic Review*

Back in the Summer, I was lucky enough to get sent 2 full size products from the lovely people that work at Organic & Botanic. The reason that this post has taken me so long to write up is because I've been so busy with school recently, and I haven't had the chance to take much time for myself, which means that I've barely even reached for new products as much as I know I should have, considering I'm supposed to be testing them out.
I've used both of these gifts a couple of times now since I received them, and so I feel like now is a good time to get this post sorted out, as it should have been up months ago - oops!
First up, I think it's important that I mention the fact that Organic & Botanic is actually a cruelty free, 100% natural skincare brand, who don't include any parabens, or nasty chemicals in their products. As someone who is still trying to make a slow transition towards the cruelty free side of beauty, that's always something that I like to research, and look into before working with, or purchasing from anyone that I haven't heard of before. I was very kindly sent both the Amazonian Berry Shea Butter Body Cream, and the Mandarin Orange Correcting Facial Serum to test out, and share my thoughts with my readers.
When I received the package, and had an initial sniff of the products, I couldn't help but notice how nice they both smelt. I don't think I've ever come across anything that smells quite as amazing. I was slightly taken aback, if I'm honest! I absolutely adore berries, and their fresh, but sweet scent, so I was really happy to notice that's how the body cream smells. The packaging is glass, and although it's fairly simple, it gives off a very classy, chic vibe, which I really like, and appreciate. The facial serum doesn't smell of berries, but as the name suggests, it smells of mandarins instead. I'm not complaining at all. It's also quite sweet, and refreshing, and I definitely don't mind applying it to my face, because it isn't too overwhelming at all. It's the perfect choice, in my opinion.
I'm going to start off by talking about the Amazonian Berry Shea Butter Body Cream. Even though I'm aware of the benefits to moisturising, and taking care of your body, I've never found the right product to use, no matter how many I've tried out. However, this body cream is different. I really do like it! It's like a whipped cream, as I'm sure you can imagine, and as soon as you take the lid off, the gorgeous scent just creeps out, and fills the entire room. I can't get enough of it, I'm telling you! When I've used it, I just apply it to my hands, my arms, or my legs, and it does the trick every time. It's really easy to work into the skin, and it doesn't make leave any residue on your hands either, which is something that usually puts me off from other products that I've tried. It instantly makes your skin super soft, especially if you have just shaved your legs, and the smell lingers for ages. It's such a beautiful product, and definitely one that I'll continue to use throughout the Winter months.
In all honesty, I wasn't actually sure if I was going to like the Mandarin Orange Correcting Facial Serum. I'd never tried anything quite like it before, and I always just assumed that they were sticky, and kind of pointless for someone who's only a teenager, like myself. I've tried this serum a couple of times now, and I think I'm beginning to warm to it. It smells super fresh, and fruity, which is enough to entice me if I'm honest! It makes your skin appear glowy, and healthy, as well as looking supple, which is what a serum is meant to do! I think? I'm still not entirely sure! I personally use it by collecting the product in the pipette, and then just squeezing a little drop into the palms of my hands, and patting it onto my face. Comment below, and let me know if I'm doing it wrong though!
Thank you very much once again to the PR people at Organic & Botanic for sending me these two gorgeous goodies. I really am very grateful, and appreciative!
Lots of love always,
Jade xo


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

How To Style Mom Jeans

Every time I put together an outfit post, I realise how long it's been since I last did one. It's actually really annoying, because I would love to do them more often, but unfortunately, that's just not possible at the moment. I take all of my pictures on my phone, as I don't yet have a camera, (or a tripod for that matter), so it means that I have to rely on someone else to be my photographer. I'm also in Year 11 if you didn't already know, and so for the majority of the time, I have to wear a uniform anyway. As soon as I get into Sixth Form, I'm definitely going to have a camera, and a tripo by then, so I'll be able to wear whatever I want, which means that I'll be producing many more posts relating to fashion - yaaay!!

Today, I thought I'd just give you all a little insight into how I like to style mom jeans. I used to always shy away from them, as I just didn't know how on earth I could pull them off, but now I've worked out one way, I'm sure I'll be able to figure out plenty more!

'Nothing To Wear' T Shirt - New Look
Chequered Shirt - H&M
Mom Jeans - Topshop
Trainers - Converse
How do you style mom jeans? Are you a fan of fashion posts?
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

Sunday, 18 December 2016

A Miracle Mask


Face masks have always been one of those skincare products that I've loved, and I can't see that changing any time soon. I guess it all started off when I discovered the Mask Of Magnaminty from Lush, and since then, I've just been experimenting with a few to see if I can find a firm favourite. I'd never had much luck until I found this hidden gem from Soap & Glory.
The Fab Pore 2-En-1 Masque & Peeling has quickly become one of my skincare saviours. I've never really had problematic skin, but it's always been a little bit all over the place. When I was just beginning puberty, it was very greasy, and I'd get multiple breakouts every week without fail. The fact that I had a full fringe probably didn't help, but hey, I was younger back then, so nobody really cared anyway.
My skin's improved a lot over the past few years, but I do still get the odd spot here, and there. That's 100% normal though, especially during the teenage stages!
If ever I'm feeling gross, or like I need to cleanse, and detoxify my skin, then I'll always reach for this tub. It's an absolute godsend, and I don't think that many other scrubs would be able to compare to it either.
When you first take the lid off, you immediately smell mint. Now, I'm someone who loves that, but I know it's probably not everybody's cup of tea. The light blue writing could be seen as a sign that it's a minty fresh product, but maybe I see that in a completely different way to some of you! It's a pale blue, fairly thick mask, and it's also got little exfoliating beads in it, so just be aware of that if you're not into that kind of thing.
This might sound really strange, but I actually think of it as a body butter. They don't usually have exfoliating beads in them from my experience, but the whole consistency is like a whipped up body butter, so it actually feels really luxurious, and like something you would use when you're having a pamper, which is exactly what I do anyway!
On the packaging (not the tub itself, but the box it comes in), it says that you can use it for around 5 minutes if you just want a quick treat for your skin, but if you want a deeper detox, then you should use it for around 15 minutes, and that's how long I keep it on for as well. You can apply it just around certain areas of your face if they're playing up, or you can also put it everywhere, depending on how you're feeling. Just remember that a little goes a long way, and even though the tub is quite small for £10, it can last you for a few months, even if you use it a couple of times a week, every week!
I personally apply a light layer all over my face, and leave it on for 15 minutes whilst I do something else, and then I get a flannel, soak it with warm water, and just wipe it off of my face. It's such a pretty blue colour that I have no shame walking around the house, or sending pictures of myself with it on either!
Even though the Mask Of Magnaminty from Lush was always my favourite face mask, I would definitely say that this one joins it in first place now, because it's honestly amazing! It gives a really nice, tingling sensation when it's on the skin, and it leaves you feeling super soft, and smooth. You definitely know that you have cleansed, and exfoliated once it's been removed, trust me!
Overall, I couldn't recommend this product highly enough. If you're someone who struggles with your skin, or doesn't know what sort of product to use when you're in need of some TLC, then you definitely need to go, and get this! It's only £10, and it really will work wonders. It has for me, so I'm sure it will for you as well!
Have you ever tried this mask? What do you think about it?
Lots of love always,
Jade xo


Friday, 16 December 2016

Current Music Favourites

Everyone loves music, right? I'm the sort of person who's constantly humming, singing, or listening to a good tune through my headphones, no matter what the situation is. I just can't help myself! I usually get into a bit of a habit where I listen to the same sort of songs on repeat over, and over again until I eventually get bored, but recently, I've started listening to a couple of fairly new ones, and so I thought I'd just share them with you today in case you're as obsessed as I am!

A song that came out only last month is Miss You by Gabrielle Aplin. There's one where she's playing the piano, and singing, but there's also the original one which she sings without the piano. The first one I mentioned is much more laidback, and I'd say Gabrielle sounds more vulnerable, and emotional in that one, because it's quite a lot slower, and more raw. The original is more upbeat, and the sort that you could dance to, but the lyrics in general are incredibly meaningful. As they're all about romance, and missing someone that you were in a relationship with, I can definitely relate to them, and I actually really like the original when I fancy a change, because even though the lyrics are quite sad, and nostalgic, Gabrielle puts a positive, chirpy spin on them, which I think is lovely.

Similarly to that, I've also really been loving Find Me by Sigma ft. Birdy. Guess who can spot the theme already? Yep, that's right. I'm a sucker for romantic, heartfelt songs - and I don't even care how lame that sounds. Birdy has such a distinct tone to her voice, and I don't think there's ever been a single song that she's released, whether that be on her own, or collaboratively that I haven't loved. I can't get enough of her! She just keeps on getting better, and better. Go, and give this song a listen. You won't regret it!

Another incredible popstar is James Arthur. Ever since his first audition on The X Factor a couple of years ago, he's come so far. Say You Won't Let Go has definitely got to be one of my favourite songs of the year, and believe me when I say there has been many. I know, I know, it's yet another lovey dovey one, but I can't help it The lyrics, the addition of the guitar, the tone - all of it is absolutely perfect. I guarantee that I know all of the lyrics off by heart as well!

I'd love to know what some of your favourite songs are at the moment. I'm pretty much open to any suggestions, because I have said a varied taste, and I can always appreciate all sorts of music, regardless of how different it is to what's usually on the radio stations I listen to.

Have you ever heard any of these 3 songs that I've mentioned? What do you think of them?
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Top Tips For Year 11 Mock Exams

As I'm writing this, it's the 2nd of December, and I've only just managed to get through an entire week of mock exams. It's safe to say that I'm shattered, and I've still got another 4 to go - eek!

In all honesty, it hasn't been that bad. Okay, so maybe my brain has felt like stress city, and I'm pretty sure I've had cramps in my hand daily, which is never normally something that I experience, but hey, it's Year 11 - what did I expect?! It's hardly a walk in the park, that's for sure.

Anyway, the whole point of today's post is to help all of you out. Whether you're in the same boat as me, you have sailed far away from the mayhem that is mock exams, or you haven't even reached the harbour yet, I still have my fingers crossed that you find a little bit of comfort, or reassurance through the things I'm going to be talking about.

1. One of the most important, yet obvious tips that I can give you is to get plenty of sleep the night before. You may be thinking, "but Jade, how on earth can I possibly sleep when all this information, and all these emotions keep buzzing around in my head like busy bees?". Well, lucky for you, I know the answer! You need to do your revision earlier on in the day. If you have school, then you can do some at the weekends, and then do more as soon as you get in. Don't leave it all to the last minute, otherwise you won't ever be able to settle down. Take a warm bath, get cosy in bed, and try to relax. After all, you need your beauty sleep! Recently, I was lucky enough to get sent a sample of the 'Calm After Dark Balm' from Kiss The Moon. The idea is that you apply it to your pressure points (I rub a little bit into my wrists), and it's meant to soothe you, and put your mind at ease. I'll be doing a separate post on it soon, but I just thought I'd include a brief mention here as well!

2. Make sure you eat plenty for breakfast. Food, and proper nutrition will help you to focus properly, and then it's much more likely that you will actually be able to think of the answers, rather than having a complete mind blank. I get the fact that not everyone likes to eat in the morning, but I honestly can't function if I don't. Even if you just have a cup of tea, and a cereal bar, it's better than nothing!

3. Revise, revise, revise. That sounds like a stupidly obvious point to make, but you'd be surprised as to how many people don't actually put as much, if any, time, or effort into exams. You really do need to work hard if you want to achieve those desired grades. Of course, I don't mean that you should put tonnes of pressure on yourself, which could lead to you becoming very ill, but do revise, and do always try your best. Just make sure you know when to take breaks. I understand that a lot of people do put pressure upon themselves, because I'm one of them, but all you can do is practise, and put your all into everything relating to your education. You can only do your best.

4. Find the methods that work best for you, and only you. Some of the people in your class may be an auditory learner. Others may be a kinesthetic learner. You yourself might be a visual learner. It completely depends, and it varies person to person. I find that creating flashcards, quizzing myself, doing past papers, reading revision books, or guides, and watching videos about each topic to be the most helpful forms of revision for me personally. I really recommend Gojimo, and GCSEPod. I think you can only use GCSEPod if your school enables you to, but you can always speak to your teachers if you want to have access to it! You can look at the resources available through the apps, or the websites. I also just thought I'd throw in the fact that you should take advantage of every opportunity you get to receive extra help. See if you can get a tutor for a certain subject you're struggling with (who wants a separate post on that?), email your teachers, go to revision sessions, stay behind after school. You're in control of your education. Do what it takes to get to where you want/need to be.

5. Get all of the stationary supplies you need. I'm one of those people that always gets excited over this kind of thing, as you can probably tell from the picture that I used above. Some of the things that I have to help me get through Year 11, and my GCSE's are revision guides, and workbooks, a variety of highlighters, fine liners, flash cards, paper clips, post it notes, past papers, information sheets, educational apps, a memory stick, and folders. I literally have it all. You may not feel like you need, or want as much as me, but that's down to your personal opinion. I use everything I have, and it works for me, so maybe it will work for you too.

That's all that I can think of today, guys! Wow, there really is a lot of information, isn't there? Anyway, I really hope it's helped some of you, or been of use if you're going through mock exams. As I said at the beginning, whilst writing up this post, I've got 4 exams left. English Language, Maths Calculator (Paper 3), Geography (Human), and Citizenship in Context. I have results day on the 6th of January, so I may consider doing a post then..

Do you want to see more educational type posts? Do you have any tips I haven't mentioned? Best of luck if you have any exams coming up! You go smash them, lovelies!

Lots of love always,

Jade xo

Sunday, 11 December 2016

My Go To Autumnal Makeup


Let's be honest here. The title of this post is probably slightly misleading. I wouldn't say that any of the products I'm featuring are particularly 'Autumnal', but as it's currently Autumn (still - although, I'm not complaining), and this it a list of the makeup I have been wearing as of late, then it will have to do.
Before I even start by talking about the products, I just want to emphasise the fact that this is literally all that I do when I can be bothered to paint my face. I know it may seem fairly strange to some of you, but I don't actually wear anything as a base. I don't like foundation, and I can't say I'm a fan of BB, or CC creams either. Maybe on the odd occasion, I'll wear a tinted moisturiser, but apart from that, it just doesn't do anything for me, apart from giving the illusion that I'm an oompa-loompa, who's rubbed an entire cake into her face, topped with creases - yum. I prefer the slightly more au naturel look.
Anyway, that's my lil rant over. Onto the products..
Seventeen Stay Time Concealer / £4.49 - I kid you not, this is my holy grail concealer. I get the fact that pretty much every one, and their sister speaks so highly about the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, but it really didn't float my boat at all. I just didn't like it! There's probably a few people out there who won't, or don't like this concealer either, but honestly, if you haven't tried it yet, then we can't be friends. You need to get your hands on it! Whether I apply it under my eyes to hide those permanent pandas, or whether I put a little bit onto those pesky, red blemishes - it does the trick, and it does it every single time. You don't get any creases either. What a winner!
Sleek Face Form Kit / £9.99 - One of those brands that can't put a foot wrong in my books is Sleek. It's not even like I've tried out all of their products, because in all honesty, I've only used this, another blush palette, and a couple of eye shadow palettes, but they genuinely are insanely amazing. To get a contour colour, a highlight, and a blush all in the same kit for only a tenner is one of the many reasons why you should love them. Even though I only use the blush, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the bronzer, and the highlighter, and I would definitely use them if I was on more of a restricted budget, and wanted to use all of my face products in the same place. It also has a mirror, so this would be perfect for travelling, or if you're in a rush.
Tanya Burr 'Enchanted Dream' Eye Palette / £6.00 - There aren't many YouTubers that I'd go as far as to say I 'admire'. If I had to pick one though, Tanya Burr would definitely be the gal I'd choose. Not only is she inspirational with the work that she does, and the way that she has such a positive outlook on life, but she puts so much time, and effort into everything, and all of the projects that she works on, which is clear to see if you buy anything of hers. Her makeup range is no exception. The 'Enchanted Dream' palette is literally one of the only eye shadow quad's that I'll wear now. It takes the spot at the top, that's for sure! All of the colours can be used in one look, and it can be worn every day as well, which is exactly what I like, to be honest. On the back, it gives you some ideas as to what shadow you can put where, and so I just follow that if I want to create a look using this set of 4 shades! You really can't go wrong, and especially not for £6.00!
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara / £7.99 - A product that I've spoken about endless times on my blog this year is my favourite mascara to date - Maybelline's Lash Sensational. I feel like mascara is one of those hit, and miss kinda products. Sometimes it can be too clumpy, sometimes it can make your lashes appear more sparse than they did in the beginning, and other times, you just look like you have replaced them with actual spiders. Trust me, it's not cute. I'm lucky in the fact that mine don't need that much work, as they're naturally pretty voluminous, but I like to add extra length, and thickness to them anyway. This does just the trick. One thing I will say though is that taking the waterproof version off has become the absolute bane of my life. Don't let that put you off though. It's brill.
Seventeen Brows That Brow Kit* / £5.99 - Oooh, check out Seventeen making another appearance on my blog in the same post. That's how you know they're something special! I'm not gonna ramble on too much about this product, because I featured it in a whole other post, which you can read here, but honestly, I refuse to use any other kit on my eyebrows now that I've found this. It's absolutely perfect. There's a pencil, a little brush, a wax, a setting powder, and a highlight for your brow bone. All for £5.99. Now, I'd call that a bloody bargain, wouldn't you? Just go, and read the other post I did. It will convince you to buy it in an instant, trust me!
MAC 'Velvet Teddy' Lipstick / £15.50 - My one true love. Well, my very expensive love, but that's besides the point. It's my one true lipstick love none-the-less. Being the typical teenager, and beauty blogger that I am, I couldn't live life happily without owning this makeup staple. I get how silly that sounds, but it's true! Every girl, and her best friend has it, so I just had to jump on the bandwagon as well. It would be rude not to, after all. Velvet Teddy is the perfect 'my lips, but better shade'. It really, truly is. Matte lipsticks are usually quite drying, but long-lasting, so just make sure that you exfoliate, and/or moisturise beforehand, and you should be fine! It suits any skin tone, and it instantly makes you look sophisticated, and ready to face the day. You know you can't go wrong with a MAC lipstick, despite the fact that the extortionate price makes you want to cry a little bit. It's Christmas soon, so you may as well treat yourself. Blame me, and this blog post if it helps you justify your remaining bank balance!  Trust me, Velvet Teddy is worth the pain, and the poorness that follows.
This post has been an absolute joy to write up! I've loved sharing my favourite beauty products of the moment with you, and hopefully it's given you some ideas as to what you want to test, and try out next! Also, I tried really super hard with the photography, which I'm pretty proud of, and I did something a little bit different from what I'd usually do, so let me know what you think. I think it's quite quirky, and artistic if you ask me!
What are some of your makeup must haves at the moment?
Lots of love always,
Jade xo


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Top Tips To Becoming Healthier

For those of you who don't already know, I'm attempting to become a little bit healthier from now on. I don't mean that I'm aspiring to become a professional athlete, and let's face it, I highly doubt I'll be competing in the next Olympic games either, but hey, it doesn't hurt to try, and improve the way you eat!
I've never been the slimmest of girls. Ever since I hit puberty, I've developed huge hips, curves, and a few jiggly bits here, and there. I mean, I don't really care. There's nothing wrong with having curves at all. You can still look, and feel beautiful, regardless of whether your figure. As long as you feel good on the inside out, then who cares?
So, you can probably tell that I don't exactly feel 100% comfortable at the moment. I don't think I'm necessarily overweight, and I do walk a lot, and have regular PE lessons at school, but I'd like to make more of an effort. You only get one body, and it's important to nurture, and nourish yourself, on both the inside, and the outside.
I'm going to go through 6 of my top tips that I'm trying to follow to become healthier than I have been recently. They're not ground-breakers, but the more we hear about them, the more likely it is that they become cemented in our brains.
1. Drink lots of water. Yep. I'm gonna say what everyone, and their mums will tell you. You honestly do have to up your water intake if you want to improve your health levels. We all know that it can work wonders, but we just never listen, and we never stick to it. Not only does it help flush all of the toxins out of your system, but it also promotes weight loss, increases energy, boosts the immune system, and clears up problematic skin. See, it really is an all rounder! So, why isn't everyone taking advantage of the access that we have to this drink? It's the most natural liquid ever! Come on. Drink up, guys!
2. Switch up those sugary snacks. I know that sugar is the thing that everyone craves when they fancy a snack - but, that doesn't have to be the case much longer. There are many healthier alternatives that you can have as a substitute. Instead of having a bowl of Coco Pops with 2 teaspoons of sugar on them, why don't you go for a bowl of apples, grapes, banana, and strawberries with some low fat, natural yogurt, and half a teaspoon of sugar instead? Not only will you be getting most of your 5 a day portions in one snack, but you'll be getting all of those nutrients, and the natural sweetness that won't make your teeth, and your insides rot! How could you possibly say no to that idea?
3. Aim to stick to the 80-20 rule. This isn't a 'rule' as such, because I don't believe that there should be rules, or restrictions when it comes to what you eat, but you just need to have control, and try to eat as healthy as you can most of the time. When I say aim to stick to the 80-20 rule, I mean that you should try to eat clean, and healthily for 80% of the time, but then indulge, and treat yourself for the other 20%. It's okay to have a chocolate bar, and a packet of crisps if you have eaten a dinner rich in protein, and veg. It's okay to have a takeaway once a week. Just eat as healthy as you can first!
4. Never convince yourself that breakfast isn't important. There's nothing more to say on this one. Just eat breakfast. Always. Even if it's on the go, or really quick. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal, and it's vital that you get your day off to a good start. You won't be able to focus if your tummy is constantly growling at you for neglecting it! 
5. Try to limit the fizzy drinks. I know we're all partial to a bottle of Coke every now, and then, but are all of those health risks really worth those few minutes of joy? I think not. It's fine if you want to have a fizzy drink every now, and then, but try not to make it a habit. Habits are easy to get into, but incredibly hard to break.
6. Implement as many of the food groups as you can into your meals. If you only eat meat for your dinner each night, then you're going to become malnourished. The same goes for if you only eat a boiled egg, and toast for breakfast every morning. You need to switch it up, and have a variety. Each food group can provide different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for your body, and brain. Don't deprive yourself of all that goodness!
Why don't you join me on the journey to becoming healthier, and happier, inside, and out?
Lots of love always,
Jade xo


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Sixth Form Options Evening

On the 17th of November, all I could feel was fear. It was my sixth form options evening.

I can't begin to describe how many emotions were going around in my head. This was an event that I had been thinking about for months, but now the time had actually come, I just wanted to curl up into a ball, and have the ground swallow me whole, so I could get out of it. Nerves are natural, I know, but I genuinely thought I was going to pass out!

Year 11 is a scary enough year as it is. It's been just over 2 months, and I thought things were stressful now. By the end of this particular evening, I realised that I was in for much more of a rollercoaster ride in the near future. There really is no going back now.

Quite a few of my blogging friends, and also people that read my blog are in the same position as me at the moment. They too are having to make scary decisions that are ultimately going to shape the next 2 years, or so of their lives. I'm sure all we want to do is watch Netflix, and go shopping for the latest beauty additions, but unfortunately, our future is quite literally in the palms of our hands right now, and there ain't no time to waste, people!

Seeing as I didn't really know what to expect before I was actually at the options evening, I thought I'd share a few words of wisdom to reassure some of you if you're in Year 11, or heading into Year 11 next year, or in the next few years. This is for you...

Don't be afraid to speak up - I know it can sometimes be daunting speaking to teachers, especially if you haven't ever really done so before, but honestly, half of the worry comes from overthinking the situation so much. As I've already said, I really was in two minds about going to my sixth form options evening, but I'm glad I did go. The teachers are there to help, and inform you. They won't be nasty, they won't laugh at you, and they certainly won't try to put you off. They will talk to you about the subject, ask you some questions to gain an idea as to how you feel, and they'll encourage you to do your research, or go to them if you have any further questions, or concerns. Don't stand there, and allow yourself to feel helpless. You're there to learn, and educate yourself, so that you can make the best choices for the future that you want.

Listen, and take in as much as you can - When I was at the options evening for my school's sixth form, there was a presentation, and speeches in the hall before the subject fair, where you looked around, spoke to teachers, and students, and asked questions. The speeches were from the head boy, and girl, the director of sixth form, and the head teacher. You can skim through the booklet that you get given with the application form, and all of the information for the various different courses, and you can listen, and look at the presentation. I'm not going to lie, it's an awful lot of information that you have to take in. I was sat there kind of gormlessly, trying to follow along as best as I could, whilst failing miserably. I managed to catch most of it, but the stuff that I didn't pay attention to, my mum was able to tell me later on. As long as you understand the key points, and you try your best to keep up, then I'm sure you'll be absolutely fine!

Start with the end in mind - This is something that the director of sixth form always says to us during this time. If you start with the end in mind, then things will begin to look a lot more hopeful than they otherwise would. For me personally, I've known for quite a few years now that I want to go into psychology, and mental health work. I know where I want to be in regards to my career, and those aspirations are firmly stuck in my brain. I also have a list of universities that I want to visit, and apply to because I have been researching them endlessly for the past few weeks. I have the end in mind. Knowing already that I want to take psychology was really beneficial for me, because then when I went to the options evening, I cemented my ideas further, and got an even clearer understanding as to what I could study alongside that, which would help compliment it as a subject. For those of you who want to know, I've decided to take double health and social care as well!

Those are all of the words of wisdom that I can think of up until this post. If you're in Year 11 at the moment, and going through the same thing as me, then I really hope everything is going well. You have got this! I believe in you, and you should believe in you too. We are all going to smash our mock exams, and our GCSE exams. We are going to succeed.

If you're not yet in Year 11, then hopefully this post was still helpful to you, because even if you're in Year 7, 8, 9, or 10, it's useful to know these sorts of things, as you will have  option evenings in the future too!

Whether you have been through sixth form yet, are going through it, or haven't got to that stage yet (like myself!), please feel free to share your thoughts, or words of wisdom below. I'm sure everyone would love to hear what you have to say, and who knows, maybe you will be able to help, comfort, or reassure all of us too!

Lots of love always,

Jade xo


Sunday, 27 November 2016

All About Astrology

Astrology is something that has become more of an interest to me over the past few months. I never really thought about it before, but recently, it's becoming something that I think about quite a lot, and I often do research about it when I've got spare time, or if I'm curious about a certain topic. I thought that I'd do a bit of an introductory post today, and if you want me to talk about it more in the future, then I'm happy to do so.
Back in September, when I was thinking about introducing this topic to my blog, I asked for your questions over on my Twitter. I did receive a few, but then I asked for some more a couple of weeks ago as well, because I thought that I might get more of a response if I did things that way.
First of all, I just want to talk about what astrology actually is, considering that some of you might not know that.
I'm sure most of you know about star signs, right? They all have different meanings, and they depend on the month, and the day that you're born. The terms astrology, zodiac, horoscopes, stargazing, and star signs are all intertwined, and they all mean similar things that relate to each other. There are 12 zodiac signs in total, and they are:
Aries: March 21st - April 19th
Taurus: April 20th - May 20th
Gemini: May 21st - June 20th
Cancer: June 21st - July 22nd
Leo: July 23rd - August 22nd
Virgo: August 23rd - September 22nd
Libra: September 23rd - October 22nd
Scorpio: October 23rd - November 21st
Sagittarius: November 22nd - December 21st
Capricorn: December 22nd - January 19th
Aquarius: January 20th - February 18th
Pisces: February 19th - March 20th
If you don't already know, I'm a Pisces, and I was born on the 2nd March. That means I'm the last zodiac sign out of them all!
Before I ramble on even more (like I always seem to do!), I'm going to go ahead, and answer some of the questions that I received. Hopefully they help you, but if this topic is something that you're interested in, then I'm more than happy to do follow-up posts about it in the future. Just let me know!
What do you think about NASA changing the dates for the star signs? @thekatybennett - If I'm being completely honest with you, I haven't paid any attention to it at all. Initially, like with most things, people are always quick to jump to conclusions, and freak out. I know, because I do it too! There was all of this confusion about NASA changing the star signs around, and adding a new one in, but I just don't believe it. I've done my research, and from what I can see, it was just caused by rumours - that's all!
Do you believe in astrology based horoscopes, or in astrology in general? @kvburton657 - I wouldn't say that I follow astrology based horoscopes all the time, and I read into them at least once a day, because I don't. I regularly read up about astrology, and sometimes I do read up about horoscopes in particular, but very rarely. They don't mean all that much to me, and quite frankly, I don't even have the time at the moment!
What is the meaning behind the star sign Gemini? @beccaonblog - The star sign of a Gemini is attached to the element of air. With star signs, they are either attached to air, water, fire, or Earth. Becca mentioned that she's a twin, and funnily enough, according to my research, the sign for Gemini is the twins, and it represents their dual nature! That sounds like something out of Jekyll and Hyde, but I suppose it is in a way! Some adjectives that describe people born under this star sign would be sociable, chatty, curious, and moody.
If you could be any other star sign, what would you be? @JustMorgsx - I honestly love this question. It's actually something that I've thought about quite a lot over the past year, and I've finally come to the conclusion that I feel is most accurate, and representative of me as a person. I would definitely be a Gemini. This is the star sign that quite a few of my most important loved ones are born under, but it's also the other one, aside from Pisces, that I feel most reflects who I am as a person. I definitely think that I have a dual person, and I'm sure that the people around me would agree!
What got you interested/interests you about astrology? @lifeinkateish - One day, I just remember suddenly becoming fascinated by the whole idea of it. I'm not too sure how it came about, but it's been an interest of mine for over a year now! Seeing as I can't tell you how I became interested in the first place, I'll just tell you what interests me about it instead. You might know this already about me, but I absolutely love psychology, and it's what I want to study at A-Level, and in the future, at University. I'm really interested in learning about the mind, and the way that it works for different people. Seeing as I've always known what star sign I am, I just gradually began to research it, and the more I did that, the more I developed a greater interest for it, I guess! I just wanted to see what it said, and whether it all seemed accurate enough, and it was, which is probably part of the reason why I've been so interested ever since.
How closely do you follow your star sign, and the horoscopes based on it? @olivia_alesha - As I've said in one of my previous answers, I don't necessarily follow horoscopes as such, but I follow my star sign, personality characteristics, compatibility levels with other star signs, and on the odd occasion, I will look at daily, or weekly horoscopes, if I feel I want to!
Those are all of the questions that I've been asked this time! Thank you so much for everyone who did reach out to me on Twitter, but if you missed your chance this time, I'm sure there will be plenty more opportunities in the future! Let me know if you want any more posts dedicated to this topic, and if you don't, then let me know about that as well.
Is astrology a topic that interests you? Do you know what your star sign is now?
Lots of love,
Jade xo


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Dear Diary: Dealing With A Breakup

After a very long time, I feel like I'm finally ready to write this post. You may think that I've become much more open on my blog in recent months, and that's true to some extent. However, I've never spoken about this topic, because I was never really in the right frame of mind to do so. Over the past few weeks, I've thought about it more, and more, and I've managed to put things into perspective now. I'm ready. I'm ready to open up.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you might remember way back when I did the boyfriend tag. I also mentioned my boyfriend in a few posts, and I shared pictures of us on both my blog, and my Instagram.

I'd say that we were on, and off for roughly 2 years, but our entire history is complicated, and it's not the sort of thing that you randomly go into. Something that you have to remember is that because I blog, it means that I'm much more willing to share my life with both people that I know, and people that I probably don't know as well, if at all.
Even though that's the sort of person I am, there's always going to be a limit to how much I can actually share. Certain things have to be kept private. I'm not the sort of person that would sit behind a screen, and publish inappropriate, offensive things about the personal lives of others. That would be wrong, and immoral in many ways. I'm not doing this post to slate anyone, and I'm not doing it as a form of revenge. I'm doing it, because I like to share my experiences with my readers, and I'd like to help people if I can in any way.

As I've already mentioned, myself, and my previous boyfriend were in an on, and off type of relationship. For a couple of months, we were just friendly, and flirty, then we were like that, and in a relationship for a while, but both times we tried to make it work, it just didn't for one reason, or another. After many ups, and downs, we decided to try again last February. We were both at the same school, but in different years, and it just felt like the right thing to do. We spent months getting to know each other, hanging out, and seeing how things went, and it was all going really well.

However, we all know what life is like. Things never stay a certain way. They constantly change, and progress, and sometimes, we are faced with challenges. Maybe individually, or maybe in relationships, friendships, or as a family. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of trust in this particular boy. He'd done a lot of things over quite a large period of times (we're talking a few months), and it got a little bit out of hard. I was in Year 10 at this point, so I was well into GCSE mode, and I'd find myself in tears, feeling as though I was at a loose end, at the age of 14. We'd try to sort things out, and we'd try to make it work somehow, but things would only stay hopeful for a couple of weeks, and then they'd just come crashing down again. Relationships aren't meant to be that way. They are meant to be built on trust, communication, honesty, and loyalty. If I'm being honest myself here, I have to admit, our relationship didn't have any of those things towards the end of it.
I'm not saying it was all his fault. I was very insecure, jealous, and paranoid, so that probably wasn't easy to deal with, but all of these feelings had stemmed from his actions within those few months.

Even though it seems like I've just jumped straight into the negative things, there were (surprisingly) positives too. He was an incredibly understanding person, most of the time. He'd always support, and encourage me to do what I wanted to do, especially when it came to my blog, and he'd never judge, or put me down about anything, whether I considered it to be a big deal, or not. He was very funny, and he could always make people laugh, or put a smile upon their face. I could share absolutely anything with him, and I knew that he would try his best to comfort me, or make it as okay as it could be. He helped me to understand my anxious mind, and he helped me to gain a tonne of confidence.

The fact that he was in with the wrong crowd, and interested in messing about with girls, fighting, and essentially, ruining his own life made it very difficult to find a way to work things out.

We broke up in September 2015.

Since then, he's been with numerous other girls, and he hasn't been loyal to any of them at all. I will admit, I did still meet up with him behind people's backs, and have a somewhat romantic fling with him. I'd keep running back, trying to be there for him, in an attempt to help him sort his life out. Truthfully, I don't think he ever wanted my help.

It's now been a couple of months since I last spoke to him, or met up with him. He has found someone else, and I have my heart set on someone else too. There are no hard feelings on my part. I don't hate him, and I don't wish any negativity towards him, or his girlfriend. What's done is done, and within the past 2 months, I've come to accept that, and learn from it.

He's taught me a lot about myself, other people, and about relationships. I've become stronger, happier, and more confident since I let go. It was the best decision, for the both of us.
Although we don't talk anymore, I'm still grateful for what he taught me, and I won't forget anything about the experience. I'll remember all of the memories - the good, and the bad.

If you're currently going through a breakup, I have some words of wisdom that I want to share with you...

Listen to what your loved ones say, but make up your own mind as to whether you want to take action. I always listened to what my friends, and family said, but at the time, I did what I wanted to do, and what felt right for me. The majority of them were still there when I realised I'd gone wrong, but sometimes, you need to make your own mistakes, and learn from them. Take in what people say, weigh it all up, and then decide what you want to do.

Don't be afraid to let go. It may seem hard, but it's for the best. I know how difficult letting go is, as you can see from this post. Sometimes, even if your heart is telling you to hold on, you have to be realistic, and let go of that person, and the connection that you had. Read the signs. If things are going wrong time after time, then chances are, they won't get any better. Let go, and start moving on before you become truly trapped in the mind set, and the relationship. You don't want to leave it until it's too late.

Give yourself time to feel, and heal. Take it slow. Move on whenever you're ready to move on. Take each day as it comes, and slowly detach yourself. Unfollow them on Instagram. Throw away that present they got you for your 16th birthday. Stop re-reading those old messages. You're only poisoning yourself. The other person probably couldn't care less anymore. I know its harsh, but if they truly cared, then I doubt you'd even be here in the first place. You do you. Cry until you can cry no more. Write down all your feelings, then rip them up. Take a day off, and dedicate it to sleeping, and eating crap. Once you have done all of that, it's time to heal. Focus your mind on your work, your hobbies, your friends, and your family. Make plans. Go travelling. Do new things. Pamper yourself. Go out for a meal. They're in the past for a reason, boo. So, leave them there.

Remind yourself of your future, and how much happier you're going to be now they're gone. You may not feel it right now. I mean, it took me just over a year to get over my past relationship, but once you're over it, there's no going back. Nowadays, I look towards my future. I think about my blog, my GCSE's, my friends, my family, and enjoying life as much as I can, whilst I still can. Do you really want to lay in your bed every night, wondering who the love of your life is sending flirty texts to? Do you want to make him/her the centre of attention, considering you're not even an option for them anymore? Don't waste your time.

Give yourself time to be alone. This is honestly so important. Everyone thinks that being by yourself is such a terrible thing, but it's not at all! It allows you to analyse things, and think about everything that has happen. You're able to clear your mind, and settle down your thoughts, and emotions. We all need time on our own sometimes. When you next find yourself getting down about it, don't. Remember this. It's going to be okay.

Thank you so much for reading this post. I was actually quite nervous to post it, so hopefully I get the sort of response that shows I've helped, or comforted a few of you. If I have, please let me know, either by commenting, or messaging me privately on my social media. Alternatively, if you feel as though you still need some support, but you don't know who to turn to, then you're more than welcome to message me, and we can talk it through together. You're my strong, sassy soldiers, remember!

It's going to be okay, my lovelies. You may get flashbacks, and there may be times where you so desperately want that person back. You probably will always remember them, and the moments that you spent together - the memories that you made with each other.
Whatever you do, please don't go back. You deserve more than that, I'm telling you. Just because you loved them once upon a time, it doesn't mean you can't move on to find happiness in someone else. You can, and you will. Just give it time. Don't give your ex the satisfaction, knowing that you're hurting, and falling apart. Smile, keep your head up, and show them that you're moving on, even if you are in fact hurting, and falling apart. They want you to feel that way. They want to rub their new relationship in your face. Don't you dare let them. You are so much better than that. I promise you. You just gotta believe it.

~Breakups hurt, but losing someone who doesn't respect, and appreciate you is actually a gain, not a loss~

Lots of love always,

Jade xo


Sunday, 20 November 2016

OGX Haircare*

Ever since I got sent this miraculous hair care duo from OGX, I've been feeling so much more confident about myself, and my appearance. I can understand the fact that I may sound slightly weird saying that about a shampoo, and conditioner, but I'm honestly not even exaggerating here!

I've always had a love-hate relationship when it comes to my hair. When I was a very little girl, I used to have blonde ringlets, and a fringe. As I developed, and went into primary school, I stuck with the fringe (stupidly), but it naturally turned brown as time went on. Come secondary school, I scrapped the fringe, and went from red, to black, to a funny auburn shade in a matter of months. It was pretty crazy stuff, even for me. I've pretty much got back to my natural shade now, and I'm finally happy with it - but boy, oh, boy did my locks despise me for the longest time. I had clumps of dandruff, dry, split ends, and frizziness that just would not go away.  

Whilst being at a bit of a loose end, I decided I wanted to try out a new brand. I've gone through everything from L'Oreal, to Herbal Essences, to Toni & Guy. That's when I stumbled across OGX Beauty.

I'd heard of them a while ago, back when I wasn't really into blogging as much as I am now, but I never really thought much of hair care during those days. On their social media sites, I saw that they were collaborating with bloggers, and that's when it hit me - I should bite the bullet, and reach out to them too! When all you hear is positive things about a brand, it's undoubtedly going to intrigue you, as it did with me. I got in contact with their PR team, and after exchanging a few emails, explaining what my hair type was, and what my social links were, my offer had been accepted. I was now going to get sent some of their products - eeek!

As you can see from the image above, I got sent their 'Hydrating Tea Tree Mint' Shampoo & Conditioner. Both of the bottles are 385ml, which is actually full size. I had no idea, until I received them, and that made me feel even more honoured than I already did! I found it really nice that the PR team ask you what your hair type is, because then you know that you're definitely going to be receiving products that suit your specific hair care needs.

I have been trying out this range for about 2 months now, and I honestly couldn't be more in love. Evidently, I've always struggled when it comes to hair care, and I never really know what I should be using, or how I should use it. I've tried copious different brands, but they have never really worked out for me - or, certainly not as well as OGX have anyway!

Like the name suggests, they smell exactly like tea tree. Now, people would probably normally associate tea tree with oily hair, or greasy roots, but that's not the case at all with these products! They're more hydrating than they are oil controlling. The consistency is actually pretty thick, which is something that I really like, even though I wasn't used to it before. I feel like every time I flick my hair, it always smells like really fresh chewing gum, which is something that I think is perfect, because you want your hair to be fresh, and clean, right?!

Another thing to mention is that since using these products in combination with each other, I haven't had any flakiness of my scalp, and I haven't had dandruff either. No matter what I used before, there would always be residue, and dryness, but now, all of that is gone! My hair is in such better condition, and it's all thanks to these 2 miracle workers. I will definitely continue repurchasing them in the future!

I'm actually in the process of growing my hair, because I want to eventually donate it to The Little Princess Trust, and now, I have a much better chance of being able to do so.

Thank you so much to everyone at OGX Beauty, who sent me these two products. Myself, and my hair are both very grateful.

Have you ever tried anything from OGX? Do you think you will be after reading this post?

Lots of love always,

Jade xo
Disclaimer: These products were sent to me for free by OGX Beauty for review purposes. All thoughts, and opinions expressed were my own.

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