Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Melancholy Mind: An Interview & Book Review


Being a blogger, I'm very lucky that I get to speak to, and interact with people from all walks of life, who have different stories, and experiences to tell me about, and educate me on.

One lovely lady that I've known for quite a while now is Charlene McElhinney. She's a Mental Health advocate, who recently published her very own book called Melancholy Mind! She poured her heart, and soul into it, and as she's a friend of mine, I obviously want to support her, and her successes in any way that I can. That's why I thought I'd do a little interview with her about the book, so that all of you can get to know her better, and hopefully become convinced to buy your own copy! Now, onto the questions...

Hi Charlene! It's so lovely to have you here on my blog today. Why don't you start by introducing yourself?

Hello! It’s always an honour to feature on other bloggers’ platforms; thank you for having me! I’m Charlene McElhinney, I just recently turned 21 years old and I’m from Glasgow, Scotland.

For those who may not know, what inspired you to start writing Melancholy Mind? Were your own Mental Health struggles the main reason, or were there others too?

Melancholy Mind was originally written as part of my college course graded unit. I only planned on writing an anthology of around 5 poems, when I got to 60+ I thought: Why not self-publish a book? I began researching into it and thought it was feasible. Definitely something I could to if I put my mind to it. It was a long and challenging process but I learned loads on the journey and it was ever so rewarding to put my book out there in to the world. Added to this, my mental health struggles were the real reason and inspiration behind the book. I’ve battled with Depression & Anxiety for a few years now and my main outlet has always been writing.

What was the inspiration behind the name? Did you intentionally choose for it to be alliterative or did it just turn out the way?

The alliterative title was intentional. I had always loved the word ‘melancholy’ as I can resonate with it a lot. My mind is always full of depressive, melancholy, thoughts (hence Melancholy Mind). I thought it was short, straightforward and simply effective. It just popped in to mind randomly one time and I thought that’s it, that’s the one.

The book itself is split up into 9 chapters. Were they fairly easy to come up with or did you specifically wish to talk about all the subjects at some point?

As a whole, they were fairly easy to come up with, as it was taking the reader through my mental health journey step by step. The chapters just came naturally. However, the actual content within these chapters was not so easy. I drained myself writing this book. I took myself back through some of the worst times in my life, and put myself back in that mind frame, to be able to produce the poetry. It was a very trying time and I felt like giving up on many occasions but I just soldiered through. And I’m so glad I did. My book has helped me on my down days, given me opportunities and the most important ‘reward’ of all is being able to reach out to other MH sufferers and help them. The kind words, the reviews and the messages have helped me so much and have made the whole journey 100% worth it.

Talk to us about some of the incredible opportunities you have had since the publication date!
I've featured in several papers, my local paper ‘The Cumbernauld News’ and ‘The Evening Times’, I’ve been on BBC Radio Scotland (to mainly talk about letter writing but also to plug my book), I’ve received an abundance of messages from people who have took comfort from my book and have wanted to reach out to me to tell me how much it’s helped them, I’ve been featured on so many blogs in regards to reviews of my book and Q&A’s about the background to it (just like this!)… it’s just been fabulous! It’s been 6 months now since I published my book and put it out there in the world and it’s honestly one of the proudest moments of my life.
Now that you are a published author, can you see yourself releasing more books? Maybe something other than poetry...?
Definitely. I’d love to. It’s just finding the time at the moment. I’ve just started my first year at University studying Creative Writing, Journalism, English & Law and it’s going to be a very time consuming course, for sure. I’m also trying to upkeep my blog and all of my social media platforms as well as letter writing to over 30 pen pals so I do an awful lot of writing at the moment. When I get free time, I tend to like to read or go to the pictures etc, however when a good idea pops in to my mind I take note! I’d love to sit and write a novel. That’s next on my to-do-list. Now that I know how to self-publish, too, it’s something I could see myself doing again!..
Are you going to buy Melancholy Mind for yourself? Have you ever heard about it before?
Lots of love always,





Sunday, 17 September 2017

Teen Talk: Going All The Way

 Today's post is going to be something a little different to what I'd normally write about. I'm all for discussing taboo topics, but this is something that I think about, more than I speak about it.
For any 16 year old in the UK, there is an incredibly high chance that they will understand where I'm coming from, and there's an even higher chance that they can relate in one way, or another.
What I'm talking about is the societal pressure of engaging in sexual behaviour, and losing your virginity. It's legal to become sexually active at the age of 16 in the UK, and although many people do 'it' before, regardless of the reason, there is still a large amount of us that don't feel ready, or haven't. The 16+ year olds that are yet to have sex.
I have had 1 boyfriend before, but he was 2 years younger than me, and neither of us were particularly interested in that sort of thing at the time. We'd much rather have just enjoyed each others company, and chilled out whenever we were together. It's a fact of life that boys take longer to mature than girls, and as the years have gone on, and I've been around more people, I can definitely see that in some respect.
In my personal opinion, it's absolutely essential that when growing up, you talk to as many different people as you can. Of course, some of them are going to be complete assholes, and they're going to be as toxic as anything. You will feel all these negative emotions at the time, but realistically, you're then going to recognise what you want to avoid in the future, and you will grow from the experiences. You're allowed to flirt whilst you're young, and carefree. You're allowed to do sexual things with other people without feeling guilt, or shame. You're allowed to send explicit texts, and images, as long as everyone involved feels happy, and comfortable. You're allowed to have regrets, and wish you hadn't done certain things. Boys, and girls, are allowed to feel anxious, and unsure when it comes to sexual thoughts, and behaviour. They are also allowed to feel passionate, and positive. There's nothing to be ashamed about, whether you perceive it to be positive, or negative.
Just because I'm 16 years old, and have been for 6 months now, it doesn't mean I want to have sex. It doesn't mean I want to meet up with loads of guys, and flirt with them after 5 seconds. Having said that, there's absolutely nothing wrong if there are people who do want to do that, as we all have desires, and fantasies. I've flirted with, and fancied quite a few guys now, and at the moment, I'm quite content with just talking to them if the opportunity comes up, and seeing how things go. The truth is, there is no rush.
Society places a huge amount of pressure on young people. Boys are expected to sleep with loads of girls, which he then gets rated, and applauded for. He's seen as cool, and desirable if he sends pictures of his private parts to whoever he can find on his Snapchat list. There are probably many boys out there who don't want to do that. They would rather wait for the right girl, or at least wait until their in a relationship. That's completely okay.
Nobody should be called 'frigid', or pathetic for not wanting to do something. Being a virgin isn't something to be afraid, or ashamed of. So what if everyone is going to a party, and getting off with people, whilst you're sitting at home, eating Cadbury's chocolate, and watching Netflix? It doesn't matter! Half of the time, others will claim to have had sex, but they are probably just as apprehensive about the whole thing as you are. Wait until the right person comes along. They will respect you for it. Being in school/college/Uni usually means that everyone wants to know everyone else's business, but you don't have to talk about anything if you don't feel comfortable doing so. You don't have to conform to society's expectations. You do whatever you feel is right, and follow your heart. Sex, and sending nudes won't mean anything in the long run, once you're out of that environment, unless you genuinely want to engage in those things, which again, you shouldn't be shamed for.
I'm a 16 year old girl, who is just going to do whatever I want to do, without trying to please anybody else, or attempt to look cool. When the right person comes along, I know I'll be thankful to my 16 year old self for waiting, as it'll be 100% worth it.
How do you feel about societal pressures surrounding sex? Would you rather wait?
Lots of love always,


Monday, 11 September 2017

A Poem About Pisceans

Something which has always interested me, and caught my attention is astrology, and star signs. I don't necessarily care for daily horoscopes, or telling the future, but I just love looking into the traits, and characteristics that each star sign, and in particular my own, may possess. I'm also an avid poet, as some of you probably already know if you have been following me for a while, so I thought that I would combine the two together in today's post.

One of my very good blogger friends Alice also has the same star sign as me (Pisces) and we thought it would be a cute idea if we did a collab, which was based upon the topic. She's going to be doing a DIY post over on her blog (which you can read here), and I'm going to be sharing both of our verses of poetry on mine for you! We hope you enjoy...

She's selfless
It means she's caring and understanding
but this can be a devilish trait in disguise.
She finds it a struggle to fall in love with herself
All of her own emotions build up and overspill, like books on a shelf
Being selfless drains all of her energy
as to others, she is always so genuinely complimentary
She's always the first to offer a helping hand, or a shoulder to cry on
yet she falls asleep listening to the saddest of songs
Everybody treats her like she's nothing but an accessory
They only speak to her when they feel it's necessary
But, she's selfless and that's what makes her so sweet
It's definitely a trait which she wants to keep.

She's sensitive
It means she's deep and empathetic
but it can be negative.
The tears need holding back, ceaselessly
from the idea that no problem can be
solved heedlessly
Being sensitive wears her out
because of the countless fears it brings about
She shan't see blood, violence nor torture
for her chemicals will unbalance and haunt her
Her hypersensitivity can be misperception
this feeling left as a victim of her brain and minds deception
But she's sensitive and that's what makes her great;
A true example of her Pisces fate.

- J.M & A.G

Sunday, 3 September 2017

A Short Stay In St Ives

If you follow me on Twitter (@simplyjadeyx - cheeky self promo), you probably know that I spent a couple of days in St Ives, West Cornwall recently. I actually only got back on Friday!

I went with my Aunt & Uncle from Monday afternoon-Friday morning, and we really only went just to explore, enjoy a short break away, and get away from the mania of everyday life. I had a little list of the things I wanted to see too, so we partly went by that.

Although I took quite a lot of pictures, these are just a few of my favourites. I took all of them on my iPhone camera, but I thought they were pretty good quality considering! Whenever I go away, I like to take the opportunity to document as much of it as I can, because I really do enjoy photography (it's a hobby of mine) and I can then share my travels and experiences with all of you as well!

On the first day, we went to the beach, which was actually opposite the little B&B/guest house that we were staying in. I'm going to do a blog post on it shortly actually! The beach was called Porthminster, and my Aunt and I just wanted to have a paddle, as we had just arrived a little while before, and that was the day which was supposed to have the best weather overall. We just dipped our toes along the sand to have a paddle, and then that night, we went for burgers at a place called Blas Burgerworks. My main, and my dessert were both absolutely delicious and I'd thoroughly recommend the place if you're ever in the area. It's right near the harbour too, so it's the perfect setting really.

All of the little houses and cottages within St Ives are incredibly cute, and I'd honestly love to live in one of them someday in the future! Even though they're right by the seafront and near to the harbour, it's so peaceful and dreamy walking along the cobbled streets. One of my other favourite places to eat, but one which was along the seafront was Caffe Pasta. As the name would suggest, they do a variety of pasta dishes, but they also do pizzas and other things too. We had such a lovely lunch there, and the staff were friendly, and welcoming, The views were also fab!

Another place we visited was Carbis Bay. You can go on about a 20-25 minute coastal walk from St Ives itself, and then you'll see the view that's shown in the 4th picture! The beach there is slightly more secluded than the ones in St Ives, and there is also a hotel just opposite. We ate lunch at a little bar & restaurant, and I had a garlic pizza, and chunky chips with garlic butter, which was insanely delicious! It was by far one of the best meals I've ever had.

We also visited most of the little galleries, and tourist attractions. Some of my favourites were the Blue Bramble Gallery, Harbour Galleries, Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Gardens, Art Space Gallery, and Porthminster Gallery. If you ever get the chance, you should definitely visit at least one of them!

Porthminster, Porthgwidden, Porthmeor and the Harbour beaches are all so pretty, but some are used more for surfing, and water sports, whereas others are more secluded and used for relaxation purposes.

The last 2 photos are probably actually the ones I'm most proud of. When walking back on the second to last day, we saw the most mesmerising rainbow, which stretched right across the sea! The colours aren't as vibrant on camera, but it really was quite an extraordinary sight, I must say. The last photo was of my sea-view from the room that I was staying in. It was on the last night, and I was in awe with the way that you could see the sea itself, the clouds, and even the harbour. Capturing the way the light reflected onto the water was just amazing.

Overall, I had such a lovely time in St Ives, and I definitely feel as though I saw everything that I had hoped to, and more. It had exceeded my expectations, that's for sure!

Have you ever been to St Ives, or anywhere in Cornwall? What do you think of these scenic shots that I took?

Lots of love always,

Sunday, 27 August 2017

All About: Chalk Or Cheese

1. Where did you get the inspiration behind the name 'Chalk Or Cheese'

 I know the saying is chalk AND cheese, but I decided on Chalk or Cheese because I think one person can be both of those things. On my blog (which is very neglected), I used to have an about page which kind of explained my reasoning behind it. It said, "Chalk or Cheese is the idea that you can be two things at once. you can be sad and happy, you can tweet annoyance at celebrities and still question the state of your government, you can eat your chips whilst dipping them in your milkshake - you can be, say and do whatever the fuck you want. this is just art that celebrates all the different parts of being". I guess that's the best way to describe it. 

2. You sell a combination of digital art, quoted prints and cards of support. What made you decide on these things?

I guess all of those things are a small part of what makes up me as a person. When I first started to get into art I was at secondary school and we had to use photoshop. I really took to it quickly and found myself doing funny self portraits, which I then adopted as a serious "style". I didn't actually put any of my digital collage up in my Etsy until my best friend said that I should, it's definitely an acquired taste I think! As for the rest of it, they are all things I would buy to stick on my walls, or send to a friend. I just make stuff I think is important to remember, and hope other people like it too.
3. Is there anything else you'd want to branch out into one day?
So many things. I have so so many ideas. I would quite like to have my own range of shower gels, is that weird? Maybe ones that smelt of things I like a lot (so probably all food!!!). But on a serious note, my actual dream job is to own a flower shop with an art cafe in it, I think that would be really neat, but it's just about finding people you want to work with that share your vision. In short, yes! I have lots of things I would like to branch out into, but for now I think a small Etsy shop is just fine. 
4. Where do you get the ideas for each of your items? Do they take a long time to come up with or is there a specific process you follow?

It depends what it is that I'm making. They take time of course, I would never sell something that I wasn't happy with. I test stuff out first, send edit upon edit upon edit to friends to check and check again. I am really picky about how stuff looks, I even go as far as to print stuff out over and over again to make sure that I am 100% happy with what it's going to look like when I send it out. My process is usually listening to music, crying and eating chocolate whilst shouting at my laptop!


5. Would you ever ope up stores across the U.K. rather than just having your items solely on social media/Etsy?

Um, YES! I'd love that, but I don't think I'm good enough for that to ever happen. A girl can definitely dream though.

6. Is there anything else you'd like to say or add in to the people who are reading?
I'd like to say Hello, thanks for reading this far and I hope I didn't sound like an idiot, or worse someone who's up themselves!! I'd really love it if you had a look at my shop or my Instagram (@chalkorcheese) and let me know which collage is your favourite!

Make sure you go and check out the Etsy shop for ChalkOrCheese, because otherwise you'll be missing out big time! Whether you're looking for funny/quirky cards, colourful prints, or art that reminds you of all things relating to body positivity and mental health, I guarantee that you'll find exactly what you're after.

Lots of love always,


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Blogger Behind The Blog

As I recently hit 900 followers on my Bloglovin (eeek, thank you all so much!), I thought it was about time that I did another little 'get to know me' post.

Even though I talk about personal experiences, and my thoughts on certain taboo topics, I never really discuss who I am as a person. There's much more to me than my favourite eyeshadow palette, or the places that I like to visit, and that's what I'm going to show you guys today!

I used to be really, really shy. I don't know if that will come as a surprise to any of you, considering the fact that I often post photos of myself on social media, and I'm happy to talk about anything to anyone, but it doesn't mean I was always that way. I was never a confident girl, even when I was younger and in nursery, and I'd always stick with my mum, because I was too afraid to step into the unknown. However, as time has gone on, and I've grown up, I've realised that I don't have to stay shy for the rest of my life. It's still a major part of my character, but I'm learning to challenge myself, and embrace it. Since stepping out of my comfort zone in various ways, my life really has changed for the better, and that's something that I'm really proud to say.

Books, poetry and writing is what I'm all about. Ever since I knew how to open a book and read, my life has literally resolved around it. I've always loved English, as a subject, and reading, and writing has been something that I've done as a hobby for as long as I can remember. I'd always go to the library with my Grandma to take out 12 books at a time, and I loved creative writing more than life itself! Since my teens began, I've gotten more into poetry, but I still do love to write short stories and descriptive pieces.

I'm constantly feeling extreme wanderlust. For those of you who may not know what the term 'wanderlust' is referring to, it essentially means that I have a strong desire to travel. I have a bucket list in my head (although, I should probably just compile it into a physical list!) of all the places that I want to explore, and believe me, there are many, including the UK and Europe! Central and South America, Australia, Canada, Italy, Norway, Hawaii, South Africa and Portugal to name but a few! I just want to see as much of this planet that I can, whilst I can and that's what I intend on doing.

Astrology is one thing that fascinates me. Now, I'm not entirely sure how I got into the idea, but for the past few years, I've been doing more research into astrology, and the star signs. I find it really interesting, but it's not something that I ever really speak to other people about, because I'm never sure that they share the same interest! I follow quite a few pages on Twitter about it, and I'm always eager to know more about being a Piscean.

I constantly have a desire to learn and become more educated. By saying this, I don't mean that I was always a teachers pet, and I was desperate to be in school 24/7. What I mean is I love learning, pushing myself, and finding out new things. In my free time, I'm usually always sat watching some sort of documentary, whether it's about poverty, drugs, crime, mental health, or something a little more uplifting. I just love to learn about things, and keep my brain active. That's probably what helps me to dream big!

One of my favourite traits about myself is my determination. Something that hopefully comes across in my blog is how determined, and passionate I am. If I want something, I will do what I can to make it happen. I'm very hard-working, whether that's in regard to my education, or something which I have personally taken up as nothing more than a hobby. I'm always trying to better myself, and my life, and I won't let anyone, or anything stand in my way. I'm constantly looking to improve, and take constructive criticism on board, because that's just another way that I can grow, and develop as an individual!

From this post, you know now a little bit more about me, rather than just thinking I'm a random blogger behind this blog! I do usually talk about lifestyle, beauty and advice, but sometimes it's nice to just talk about who I really am, and what I'm really like behind all of that.

This is also a collaboration with one of my best blogging girlies Tash. She works super hard on her beautiful blog, and all of her content is on point! If you like reading what I have to say, you'll enjoy reading her posts too, so go and give her some love!

Let me know if you liked this post, and if you'd like me to do more every so often.

Lots of love always,


Sunday, 20 August 2017

Looking After Your Body ft. Kind Natured*


About a month or so ago, I got in touch with a brand called Kind Natured via Instagram, which I had heard of before then. They have a website, but they are also available from Boots, if you live in the UK. All of their haircare and body products are 97% natural made from ingredients which are free from sulphates, parabens and petrochemicals.
I was lucky enough to get sent 3 of their full size products, which was such a lovely surprise for me, and something which I didn't expect at all! As you can see from the colour schemes, and the names of each product, there are different scents and different ranges that you get to chose from before making a purchase. You can also see that the things I got gifted were all body care, but as I've already mentioned, that isn't the all that they sell.
In today's post, I'm just going to briefly talk you through what I got, a little bit about each individual item, and what else I'd like to try out from this brand.
First up, I received the Deeply Nourishing Shea & Macademia Body Lotion* - £4.99. As you can see, everything from Kind Natured is very affordable, but people could genuinely assume that they are a high end brand, because of the quality and the aesthetic. It's a bonus that everything is accessible from the website or in store too. This body lotion is literally a gift sent from heaven. I'm a sucker for anything that smells of shea or macademia, because when applying the product, it just feels so much more expensive and so much more luxurious. I've used this quite a few times since I got it, and it works wonders. I'm quite picky when it comes to putting lotion or cream on my body, because I always feel sticky, or gross afterwards, but I don't get that feeling when using this one! It's rich and moisturising, as it's for very dry skin, and it really does make you feel good after you have applied it. For only £4,99, you really can't go wrong - and it's 250ml, so it lasts a long time!
I was also very generously given the Soothing Sea Salt & Bergamot Bath Soak* - £4.99. I haven't actually used this product yet, because it's still Summer, and I'm not a bath in Summer kinda gal, but I can't wait to give it a go, based on first impressions! It smells like something you'd find in a spa, and I think that the Sea Salt & Bergamot compliment each other nicely, especially for a bath soak, which is meant to be relaxing and soothing (hence the name). Sea Salt is used to detoxify, and then there are notes of Bergamot, Orange Flower and Marine, which take you off to a land filled with peace and purity. It's 300ml, and you only need a drop to create lots of lovely bubbles, so it can last all throughout Autumn and Winter. I'll be keeping you updated, and no doubt posting pictures on my social media when I use this little gem!
The last thing that I got in the box of goodies was this Heavenly Coconut & Passionflower Body Wash - £4.99*. I used this everyday in the shower once I had taken the photos, and boy oh boy, was it a treat! It's quite runny in consistency, but I think that's what people usually like in a body wash. The website says that the scent includes Patchouli, Sweet Orange, Clove, Passion Flower and a hint of Coconut. How magical does that sound?! It smells really nice and girly, but it also leaves you feeling clean and refreshed once you have washed it off. Believe me when I say the smell really does linger too! Yet again, it's 250ml, and you don't need tonnes of product for it to work well, so you can easily use it whenever you have a bath or a shower to leave you feeling squeaky clean.
So, those are all of the products that I very kindly got sent by the PR people at Kind Natured. I genuinely wouldn't talk so highly about products on my blog if I didn't love them, and if I didn't think that other people would too, so as always, these are my honest opinions! For just under £15 if you wanted all of these products, you really can't go wrong.
I want to try out some of the haircare and lip balms next, so I'll keep you all updated!
Have you ever tried anything from Kind Natured? What do you think of their website?
Lots of love always,
 Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Kind Natured. I was lucky enough to get sent these products to review for free. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own as always.


Thursday, 17 August 2017

My Love For Milk And Honey

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you will have heard of the best-selling poetry book, milk and honey. As with everything, I'm pretty late to the party, but now that I've got my hands on a copy, I genuinely do feel like my life is that extra bit better and brighter.

Ever since I was 13, I've been writing poetry myself. Sometimes regularly, sometimes more sporadically if I don't often get the chance to sit down and reflect on things. Although I did enjoy the majority of the poems that I recently studied for my GCSEs, I could never personally connect with them, as they were all quite ancient and about topics that I'd never experienced myself.

Rupi Kaur has without a doubt gone through many difficulties in her life. From the absence of her father, to destructive relationships and questioning her self-worth, you will find something in this book that brings out all of your emotions at once.

This collection of poetry is quite simply a masterpiece. Never before have I read anything quite like it. It's thought provoking, empowering, heartfelt, eloquently written and just completely stunning. Within today's generation, young people deal with so many issues, and sometimes it can feel like nobody else can understand or relate. Imagine how many of us feel alone, lost, misunderstood. Once you have got stuck into this book, that's no longer the case anymore. You feel as though somebody is on your side. Somebody out there gets where you're coming from. It's almost like everything you're thinking and feeling about certain situations in life is being presented beautifully through the power of words on a page. It's quite incredible really.

All 4 chapters focus on a different part of a cycle - the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. If you feel hurt, and conflicted, unsure of where to turn, allow yourself to become immersed within the words that Rupi shares with you. Think of it as though you're talking to a best friend, or your own diary. You will find comfort through the fact that she understands you, possibly more than you even understand yourself sometimes. By the time you move deeper into the book, and get to the healing section, you will find that solace has been born from the sadness that you felt for all of that time. Rupi will soothe your soul, and leave you feeling empowered and able to take on the word once you have put the book down.

With certain things in life, we will never be able to find the words within the English language to express how we feel. I will never be able to find the words to explain how much this book means to me.

It takes a lot of courage and strength to allow the whole world to see the most vulnerable side of you, and so I have the utmost respect for Rupi Kaur. She is 1 in a million, that's for sure.

Have you ever read Milk and Honey? If not, are you going to pick up a copy now?!
Lots of love always,

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

All About Female Hygiene ft. Organ(y)c*

Something that all females go through during their life, but hardly ever talk about on social media is periods. That time of the month can feel like the devil is rearing it's horns, and honestly, it can be a terrible time, especially as your hormones are going crazy.
Today's post is a collaboration with Organ(y)c, an intimate care brand, selling sanitary towels, tampons, panty liners, and maternity and baby products, as well as beauty.
The female sanitary products are made from 100% organic cotton (hence the name of the brand), and they don't contain any synthetics, chlorine, or wood pulp/cellulose. Cotton is known to be nature's most absorbent material and it's also sustainable and breathable, so it really is a female's best bet.


Monday, 7 August 2017

Summer Makeup Staples


Although I probably say this in every beauty post, I genuinely do feel like I go for ages without speaking about my favourite makeup products. I usually always talk about either skincare or body care, so I haven't been able to show you what I've been wearing on my face in months!
Today, I'm just going to list off a few of my Summer makeup staples and talk you through why I love them as much as I do. These are all things that I've been wearing religiously for quite a while now (well, whenever I bother to do my face!) and they're what I swear by. When I properly love a product, I remain faithful to it until I get bored or find a replacement, which means I get good value for money and I then have go to's which I can rely on as well.


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Learning To Love Yourself Is A Journey

 If you have been a long time reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm a pretty open book when it comes to my life and all of the experiences that I have had throughout. Growing up without a father figure, break-ups, and mental health to name just a few. They haven't all been pretty, but they have made me who I am today.
It's now time for me delve even deeper into the story of my life so far, and this time, I'm going to be talking about my experience with a personal insecurity, which developed into bullying.
As it's something that I've never spoken about before, I am quite nervous, but even if it helps just one person or brings comfort to them, then I've done what I set out to do!
Ever since I was younger, I've had a physical characteristic that has always been slightly different to other people's.
I've always had a misaligned jaw, which has a tendency to slant towards the left, rather than being central. 
Don't ask me why my jaw is this way though. I guess that's just the way it developed.  The lower one protrudes more so than the upper, meaning they generally just don't line up together, which causes my mouth to look different to the 'average' persons. In addition to this, my chin also protrudes forward. It doesn't hurt, and it doesn't cause any problems with eating, swallowing, talking or anything else. I just have a slight lisp sometimes, which a lot of people do just naturally have anyway.
Apart from that, my teeth are healthy, and fairly straight, so I don't actually need braces and I never have done, because that isn't the issue.
The only way that I could 'correct' (and I use that term lightly) my misaligned jaw is if I have surgery, which, as I've researched and heard about, seems absolutely horrendous. Professionals would essentially have to break my jaw, fix the position, screw it back into place and leave me in recovery from local anaesthetic and the op itself possibly for about 6-8 weeks, depending on the individual. I wouldn't be able to eat, sleep properly, talk, or get on with my day to day life.
I don't know about you, but that sounds like my worst nightmare. Have I not put my body through enough for these 16 years already without altering it and potentially damaging it further?
And for what reason have I been considering this surgery? To please other people and stop the bullying and the remarks.
I have a misaligned jaw and that's something that I've developed since birth. There's no denying it or hiding away from the facts. It's something I've faced years of torture and taunting over. This physical characteristic that I can't control has been the main reason as to why I've been laughed at for most of my life.
There are people out there who have to live with much worse than this. There are people who feel like their weight is the reason they get hated on, their skin colour, their background, their learning difficulties, the area that they have grown up in. There are people who have to live with vile treatment from others, because of a disability or an impairment that they have, which they never asked for. That makes me so incredibly sad and to be truthful to you, my heart breaks every time I hear of this going on in the world.
We all have imperfections. Some of us may have a pointy nose, glasses, chubby thighs, ears that stick out, smaller boobs. We all have our own individual insecurities - and to be honest, that's a comfort in itself. It's a comfort to know that nobody thinks their perfect. Nobody toots their own trumpet and is up their own arse every day of their lives (maybe some of the time, but that's allowed!). Whether others can see your insecurity or not is irrelevant. They shouldn't ever pass a comment or feel the need to have their say based on whatever judgement they have made. It's wrong and it's so horribly unkind. I'm going to be upfront and say that I have been rude to people before. I have called people fat, ugly, spotty, hairy, smelly and more - whether it was years ago, or recently, directly or indirectly. I still did it at some point and I'm not proud of myself for that, but we all make mistakes and sometimes we don't think before we speak.
However, after battling with my body and fighting with this insecurity for years, I've realised that enough is enough. I need to be nicer and kinder to myself. I need to practise what I preach and stop with the self-loathing. I always try to be nice and kind to others, so why do I seem unable to do that for myself? It makes no sense! I am who I am and in no way, shape or form does my jaw change what I'm capable of. I can still do all the things that I want to do and that's something that I should be grateful for. Yes, I may look different and yes I may be subjected to hate more so than some people, but who really gives a toss?!
I get that there are a few individuals out there who would probably only recognise me, because of my 'wonky' jaw, but that's their call. It's what they remember me by, and should that be such a bad thing? It makes me unique and anyway, I'd rather be a flamingo out of a flock of pigeons (who are the people that hate on me).
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to smile confidently in pictures and I'd love to get approached by photographers and fancied by boys, but if it's ever meant to be one day, it will be!
So, no, I won't be getting corrective surgery. And no, I won't be ashamed of this attribute any longer. It is what it is and the fact that I can still try to help others, be successful in school, travel the world and give love to the important people in my life is all that matters. Unless there is ever a non-surgical option and I genuinely want to make that change for me, it's a straight up no-no.
Whatever your insecurity is, you're fabulous just the way you are. Who cares if I look different from certain angles? Who cares if I don't fit in with the crowd? Who cares if I'll never be a top model?
I am me and you are you. That is our power - and together, we will show the haters who's boss!
Lots of love always,


Monday, 31 July 2017

A Photo Diary: Hever Castle & Gardens



Being as interested in travelling and exploring new places as I am, it was inevitable that I had to visit Hever Castle at some point this year. I did my research, and figured it wasn't too far away and it seemed like exactly my sort of scene. I love anything pretty and picturesque, so when I saw all the images on their website, I had to sort something out right away.

For those of you who may not know the place that I'm talking about, it's essentially a castle and gardens in a place called Edenbridge, which is in Kent. The castle was Anne Boleyn's childhood home and as I'm really interested in history, I always like to visit these attractions, just for the experience and the knowledge.

The photos that I took on both my phone and my camera turned out really well and I'm so impressed with them. Although I wanted to mainly capture the beauty in my head and store it within my photographic memory, I wanted to take some photos too, because all of the scenery was just too pretty to pass on that opportunity! I wanted to be able to look back and remember this day out and it's always nice to share the places I visit with other people through my blog too.

As far as the day itself, I went here with my Aunt and Uncle. We had quite an early start, so I listened to my music and shut my eyes in the car. Once we had parked the car and bought the tickets at the kiosk (oh, and had a toilet stop!), we started walking around the grounds, which included the gardens, the lake and the Japanese tea house! It wasn't a place that you could actually go in to have tea, but it was more of a model that was just there for decoration.

It had started to spit with rain by this point, so whilst the downpour was going on, we all sat in the car and ate our little picnic, which consisted of lemonade, cheese, ham and pickle rolls, some grapes and a mini chocolate bar! Exploring can be hard work, you know...

Once the wet weather seemed to pass, we got out of the car and headed towards the main spectacle - the castle itself. Outside it, there were 2 horses and 2 men dressed up ready for the jousting tournament, but I wasn't too keen on the idea, so I insisted that we head inside, much to my Uncle's despair - sorry Uncle G!

The castle itself was absolutely incredible. I've visited Windsor and Dover before, but this was extraordinary. It was just beautiful and there were so many intricate details that a picture simply wouldn't do justice. It wasn't as big as Windsor from what I remember, but you would be surprised how luxurious and ornate you can make a place!

One thing that stood out to me was the fact that you could see the axes and the torture equipment that would be used back in the day. There were things like cannons, objects to hold and harm your arms, legs, ankles, neck - everything! You wouldn't have been able to escape if you tried and as fascinating as I found it, I was also terrified.

At the end, we did watch a bit of the jousting, but I just wasn't feeling it! I'm not really a fan of sword fighting or violence of any means, even if it's just purely for entertainment like that. It isn't quite my cup of tea, but I put up with the experience none-the-less!

I'd definitely like to visit Hever again in the future, as it really has become one of my favourite places. I just think it's so magical and I don't think anyone could ever get bored of seeing such beautiful flowers!

Have you ever been to Hever? Let me know in the comments below what you think!
Lots of love always,

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