Sunday, 15 January 2017

All Is Calm*

For as long as I can remember, I've always struggled when it comes to sleeping during the night. I don't really know the reason for that, but if you know me, you'll know that I'm usually always awake, restless or both at the same time.
When I came across Kiss The Moon on social media, I knew that they were going to be a brand I'd grow to love, and rely on. I'd never actually heard of them from any other bloggers or YouTubers either, which drew my attention towards their products even more.
If you go onto their website, you'll be able to see that they have been featured in various magazines, from the likes of Grazia, Elle and The Telegraph. They were even the winners of the Best New British Brand Pure Beauty Awards 2016. That's pretty impressive for a brand you may not have heard of before, don't you think?
From a variety of different skincare and body products for you to test out, ranging from bath oils and face polishes, to candles and pillow mists, you really will be spoilt for choice and I'm sure you will find what works for you within an instant.
There are 4 different blends that you can choose from: Love, Glow, Calm and Dream. If you're unsure as to what the differences between them are or you don't know what would be best suited for you, there's a matchmaker test on their website, so all you have to do is answer a couple of quick questions and you'll have got it all sorted!
All of the products are 100% natural, and they don't contain any nasties, which is great if you're already cruelty free, or if you're looking to make that lifestyle choice during 2017 like myself.
In the above photo is the Calm After Dark Balm, evidently from their Calm range, as the name suggests. I was very kindly sent the sample size of this balm by the PR ladies at Kiss The Moon for review purposes, which I'm incredibly grateful for. Both Jo (the founder), and Katie (another lady behind the brand) are such lovely women, and they were so generous, and friendly when speaking to me. It's almost as if I had met them before!
I spoke about how I had exams coming up in December and expressed my concerns about the expected stress levels, which were no doubt going to affect my sleeping pattern even more so than usual. In order to try and help me relax, I got sent this After Dark Balm, which I was so happy about, because I knew that it was selected especially and I couldn't wait to see what it was like and whether it had the desired effect.
Straight away, I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed. As you can see, it comes in a nice, little container, which looks really sleek, and expensive. Even just from the first impression, it's clear to see that this is a luxurious brand and I think that the aesthetics are absolutely perfect.
Inside is a pretty thick, white consistency. It looks a little bit like a paste, but I think that shows just how good the quality is, because it's clearly made with a lot of consideration in all of the details, no matter how big, or small they may seem. On the back, it prompts you to 'Simply massage into your pulse points to quieten your mind and help you drift off to sleep'. That's exactly what I do and I find that it works an absolute treat. It smells pretty strong, but it definitely gives the impression that you're in a spa. I find it very soothing and it instantly makes me feel relaxed and comforted before I settle down. All I do is massage a small amount into my pressure points, and usually I just let the aroma make its way into my nostrils to send me off into a peaceful dream within seconds.
I really do think that if you combined this balm with some of the other products in the range, you wouldn't have anywhere near as many restless nights spent counting sheep.
Some of the other things I want to try out soon are the bath infusions, soy candles, pillow mists and the face polish. I think it would be nice to mix and match the 4 blends to create the best night time routine that you could have ever imagined. You'll be away with the fairies in no time.
Thank you so much once again to the lovely, thoughtful PR team at Kiss The Moon for sending me this gift and allowing me to review it on my blog. I really do appreciate it!
Would you try anything from Kiss The Moon? Have you ever heard of them before?
Lots of love always,
Jade xo
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Kiss The Moon. I was lucky enough to get sent this product to review for free. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A Look At My Favourite Places


During the 15 years that I've lived so far, I've been fortunate enough to travel to quite a few places - both around the world and around England, which is where I'm from. I don't go on holiday every year and I haven't been to every continent, but that's something that I'm working on and the parts of this planet that I have been to will always hold so many special memories in my heart from my time there.
As a tradition, my family and I usually have always visited either the Canary or the Balearic Islands. That's not to say I haven't been to other places, because I've been to Turkey and a couple of different Greek islands as well, but generally, we have only really ever been to Spanish islands since I've been around.
The first picture that I've got is from my holiday to Lanzarote in April 2014. I'd only just become a teenager by that point and it's the first holiday that I remember having with my whole family. We went away as a whole when I was younger, but I don't have that good of a memory, so this is the only one that I can actually remember. The people that went were myself, my mum, my stepdad, my sister, my grandma, my granddad, my aunt and my uncle. Even though we only went for a week, it was long enough to create memories that would last me a lifetime. Spending time with my family is one of the most important things to me and it meant a lot that we could just enjoy each others company and have a laugh without having to think about school, work or other mundane commitments. Even though the weather wasn't always on our side and I most definitely didn't get a tan, I really enjoyed myself and I'm sure the rest of my family would agree if you asked them!
What a surprise it is to see that my other favourite place, which is also abroad is from a Spanish Island too. I told you my family loved them! If I could go back to Mallorca, even just for one more day, I genuinely would do it in a heartbeat. Now, I can't really explain what I loved about this particular holiday. Not all of my family went this time and it was only actually the 5 of us (my mum and I, my stepdad and my grandparents), but the whole atmosphere of the area was just insane - it was like no other, in fact. The people there were so lovely and we actually become quite close to the waiters and waitresses as well, which is always a bonus. Every trip we went on was incredible and the weather was also pretty good for the most part. I even made a friend, who I still speak to from time to time! I'd definitely go back to Mallorca, because even after 2 weeks, I hadn't had enough.
Next up is my chance to be a little bit biased. I was born and raised in London. That's a fact, people. I'm not trying to show off about the city that I come from, but instead, I'm just expressing my love for it, y'know? It truly is the place to be. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are many other amazing cities out there, such as New York, Paris, Rome and Berlin, but I just don't think any of them could compare to London. It's culturally diverse, it's welcoming, it's bursting with everything that you could possibly want and it's absolutely bloody mahoosive. There are so many landmarks that I could talk about, but it would take me all day if I wanted to get through them! In the picture I chose to represent London, it features the London Eye, looking as grand as ever. It's such an iconic part of the city that I couldn't write up this sort of blog post without sharing it with you all (and showing off my amazing photography too, of course!).
I'm not sure how many of you will know this next town that I'm going to talk about, but I'll give the description my best shot none-the-less! Windsor is located along the River Thames in the South East of England and it's best known for being home to Windsor Castle and the infamous Windsor Bridge. My aunt and uncle don't actually live too far away, so I'm lucky that I get to go there quite a lot on day trips. If you're ever eager to have a look, I definitely recommend checking out the castle and going for a tour if you have some free time, because it's 100% worthwhile.
My last favourite place in the UK that I've been to is Brighton. I know, I know. I sound like such a typical blogger/YouTuber right now, but there's a reason why everyone keeps raving about it, guys! It's incredible - and no, I'm not just saying that because Zoella lives there either! I'm actually pretty proud of the picture that I took featuring the carousel and the beach, because it just looks so magical and dreamy, which is exactly how the town is as a whole! I've only been once, which was last year, but I'm determined to go again, especially as I got older and it becomes less of a chore to travel. All of the little shops are so lovely and there are plenty of places to pop in for an ice-cream or a snack! Both the beach and the pier are always full of people, so you won't ever feel lonely whilst you're there, even if you went alone in the first place! It's just such a pretty town and it's definitely worth checking out if the seaside areas in the South East are your sort of thing!
Have you been to any of these places on my list? Which one do you like the look of the most?!
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Mental Health Q&A

It's no secret by now that if you've been reading my blog, or following me on Twitter for a while, you will know how passionate I am about mental health. As a 15 year old, I've been through my fair share of mental health problems, but I'm in no way ashamed of them. They have made me who I am, and without them, I wouldn't have learnt as many lessons as I have done.

I thought that today I'd do a Q&A, just to give you the opportunity to ask me anything you want about mental health, and all things relating to this sensitive subject. I hope you find it helpful, or informative in some way!

What advice would you give to someone who has a mental health condition, but is struggling to come to terms with it?

The first thing I just want to say is that accepting the fact that you're not okay is the first step. It's without a doubt the hardest one, but after that, you can work through how you're going to deal with whatever the mental health concern is that you have. If you know within yourself that there is something wrong, you will gradually need to try, and accept it as time goes on, because although it's a part of your life, there are ways to make it easier, and it doesn't define you in the slightest. You are still you. To help you with the whole acceptance process, you could try doing research about your condition. Mind, YoungMinds, Sane, and Samaritans are some of the leading organisations that you could have a look at if you're in need of support regarding your mental health. Alternatively, you could talk to professionals. Whether that be on the phone, in person, or in a different way, these people know what they're talking about, and their main priority is to help you, and to look after you. You can then talk about treatment, coping strategies, and the whole recovery process with someone who is trained in that area. If neither of those tips help, you can check out this website here, which may be of more use.

Do you have any rituals to improve your mental health?

I actually do have a couple, which are quite straight-forward, but they really do help when I'm having a particularly tough time in regards to my mental health. I did a collaborative blog post a couple of months ago, based on my self care tips, which you can go on over, and read here. I also linked a couple of resources that you could use at the bottom of the post, which may be useful as well! The main thing I'd say is do things that calm you down, and bring you contentment. I either read, write, blog, have a bath, or a pamper evening, disconnect myself, or sleep, and relax my mind, and I also talk to people about my problems. People often underestimate the power or talking, but it really can make all the difference.

Who do you rely on?

Over the past few months especially, I've learnt that you should try to not rely on anyone, apart from yourself. Rather than 'relying' on certain people, I'd say that I turn to some in tough times rather than others. A couple of the people that I'm closest to are (obviously) my family, particularly my Grandma, and I'm also quite close to my Uncle, but then there's also school friends that I lean on when I'm in need of support, and a couple of bloggers too! I guess it varies really. It's important to have a selection of people that you can trust, so depending on the situation, you know that there will always be someone, who will understand.

How do you help someone who is suffering with their mental health?

This is probably one of the most difficult questions to wrap your head around, but it takes time, and it takes both practise, and patience too. It does depend on the severity, and the sort of mental illness though. I'm only going to be talking from personal experience, but if it works for me, it may well work for you as well. The main thing that you can do is simply be there. Make sure that they know you're always there for them, whether that be physically, or through forms of social media. Try to encourage them to open up about their feelings once you have built that level of trust within your friendship, or relationship. Maybe you could tactfully express your concerns, and explain that you want to help, but they need to tell you how you can do so in order to make the situation easier for them. Tell them that you'll come to any appointments, or meetings with them, and you'll speak up on behalf of them if they feel they're unable to at the time. Support really is key, and if there's any other way you can help the person, try to ask them what they feel they need, and when possible, aim to do exactly that.

What do you think can be done to improve young people's understanding of mental health illnesses?

Mental health education seriously needs to become a part of the curriculum. As a student myself, I can honestly say that I've never had a proper lesson about mental health, and it really is ridiculous. So many teenagers are suffering, and this suffering will continue into adulthood, and it could potentially worsen throughout the rest of the individual's life if it doesn't get treated as soon as the problem arises. I also think that organisations, such as YoungMinds should go into schools, and do presentations in classes, and assemblies. YouTubers, and bloggers who are a part of the mental health niche could also go into schools, and do presentations, or talk about their personal experiences too. If all of these points get considered, I genuinely think that young people's understanding of mental illnesses will improve considerably.

What's the most common misconception about mental illnesses?

If you don't struggle with your mental health personally, it can be really difficult to understand things from someone else's point of view if they do. There are many misconceptions, but I still think that after all this time, the most common one is that those who struggle are attention-seeking. As soon as things get real, and others see the situation for themselves, they can often immediately jump to conclusions, and start firing their negative opinions, even when the person is already facing enough battles of their own everyday. Just because someone doesn't suffer with their mental health, it doesn't mean that someone who does is over the top, or exaggerating how they feel. Maybe you think it looks that way, but you shouldn't ever say that to someone, as it will only make matters worse. 9 times out of 10, it isn't done in an attention-seeking way, and it genuinely can't be helped at all. I know this from personal experience, and I definitely don't appreciate others passing comments, especially if they act like they're attempting to understand at other times. You never know what life is like in someone else's shoes, so please, please don't make assumptions based on what you see. Try to help, rather than hurt people further.

If this post has opened the eyes of even one person, then I'll be happy, and I'll feel as though I've done what I set out to do. Thank you to everyone that sent me in questions, and if you want to see more mental health posts, then please let me know!

How do you feel after reading this post? Has it helped you at all?
Lots of love always,
Jade xo


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2017: Hopes And Dreams

Ahhh. Don't you just love it when a new year begins? You can take the opportunity to set yourself bigger goals, create even better memories and make it the best 12 months of your life so far.
If you read my last post (you can do so here if you haven't already), you will see that I had a pretty amazing 2016. There were so many things that I did, which I would have never thought possible if you had asked me about them at the beginning of the year. It just goes to show that determination and perseverance are key, especially when things seem tough at first!
The goals that I've set today are realistic in my opinion, so hopefully I'll be able to achieve all of them by the end of 2017. There will be a 6 month update in June and then a post at the end of December concluding what I have and haven't achieved. I've seen a few of these floating around the internet over the past few days and so I became inspired to create my own version to share with all of you! I don't do 'resolutions', because I don't personally agree with the term and I'd much rather just create my own ambitions that I can work on throughout each day in my own time.
1. Try to read for at least 30 minutes each day.
Not all of you will know this about me, but reading is something that I've always absolutely loved to do. It makes perfect sense considering I write for magazines and write my own blog, because reading is a part of the whole process after all. Having said that though, I didn't read many blog posts or books during the latter part of last year, so I suppose I have a lot of making up to do. I've always been a bookworm at heart, so it's only right. Whether I read a couple of chapters in the bath or before I settle down to go to sleep each evening, I want to make more of an effort to read books and different genres, because I don't want to lose the love I have for it. I won't give myself a set task as to how many I should read each month, but we'll see how it goes.
2. Engage more with other bloggers and up my social media game.
Since my following on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin' has rapidly expanded, I feel like it's only fair that I make more of an effort. Yes, I'm trying my very best, just like I always do, but I know deep down that I can do more. I want to push myself - and that's exactly what I intend to do. I'm going to set alarms to remind me when it's time for my favourite weekly Twitter chats. I'm going to retweet people's links and encourage others to show them some love. I'm going to comment on people's posts if I think they deserve extra credit. I'm going to support my favourite brands and promote the work I do with them. Why shouldn't I be proud of the content I create? We all should be. Hard work always deserves recognition in my opinion!
3. Improve my blog in more ways than one.
Thinking about it, my blog has already improved greatly compared to how it was when I started back in April 2015. I've got my own custom domain name, a professional template, a personalised header, and better quality photos already. I want to get a proper camera for my birthday in March, a tripod, some different props for my photos, a custom email and I want to start scheduling tweets more regularly, get a proper logo to sign my posts off with (if that's what it's called) and advertise my blog with other people. Hopefully, things can only improve from here! Who knows, I may even get interviewed or feature in the press? We shall see..
4. Switch to using cruelty free products as often as I can.
Quite a few of the products that I use and own aren't tested on animals and they are from cruelty free brands, but not as many as I would like there to be. By the end of the year, I hope to have switched to using as many cruelty free products as I can with only a small minority being from brands that haven't yet made that transition. I couldn't bear to part with my beloved MAC lipsticks, so even though they test on animals, I'd still keep them, but the rest of the makeup look would most likely be cruelty free (well, 90% of the time anyway!)
5. Get good grades in all of my GCSE exams.
Okay, so I'm not going to lie to you - I'm terrified about sitting my GCSE's in the Summer. They are literally months away now and as each day goes by, they just end up edging closer and closer. I can't say I feel prepared in the slightest, but I'm trying my best and I shall continue to work my socks off until I can confidently say that I reckon I'll reach or exceed all of my (incredibly high) expectations. That's the aim anyway! I go back to school tomorrow and I get my results for my mock exams on Friday, so let's all cross our fingers and pray to God that I didn't fail every single one, but hey, if I did, who cares? It will be a wake up call and it will no doubt motivate me to try even harder the next time I have a test. It's all a learning curve!
6. Continue to challenge all of my anxieties and face my fears.
Something that I was incredibly proud of last year was the fact that I dealt with things in an incredibly positive, headstrong way. There were, of course, many things that worried me and even though some of them were tiny looking back on it, they were a massive deal at the time. Progress is progress, no matter how big or small. I only had one day off from school, which was for my sister's graduation anyway and that's an amazing achievement. I used to skip school quite a lot in primary and other years, just because I was scared of PE or worried about not having a partner in any subject that I dreaded. It's okay. It's okay to be scared. It's okay to feel panicky. You just need to have a positive, determined mindset and try to be strong. In order to achieve something, you will most likely have to face a fear at one point or another. Think about how proud you will feel afterwards. It will all be worth it. This year, I want to continue working on all of the anxieties that I have, so I can get through anything that life throws at me and embrace all of the challenges as I go in order to succeed in all that I do.
Let me know what your hopes and dreams are in the comments below! Do you have any fears that you're going to try and face? Remember to encourage and support each other too!
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

Sunday, 1 January 2017

All About 2016

2016 was an incredible year for me in so many ways. Not only did I learn a lot, but I experienced more of the world than I could have ever imagined during, or at the end of 2015.

All in all, that year was quite a let down. There was a lot, and I mean a lot of drama, so I very quickly grew fed up of it, which meant that I was relieved when it finally began to draw to an end. You could say that I welcomed 2016 with very open arms.

I completely understand that the not all of the 12 months were full of continuous sunshine, and rainbows, but for the most part, it has got to have been one of the best years of my life so far.

Even though there were undeniably some horrific events which occurred that the world as a whole had to deal with, and some tough times that I'm sure we all had to face every so often, we can try our best to move on with a smile on our faces, and treat some of them as a lesson learnt, leaving us the opportunity to now focus on what matters most.

I really do believe that all of my experiences, and all of the events that happened, both negative, and positive have taught me a thing or two, and I really do believe as though I have grown immensely as a person, just like I do as each year passes by.

As each month passed, I captured as many of the memories as I possibly could, and I was quick to write them down in my notes, ready to share in one of my infamous 'Monthly Memories' posts. Writing down all of those meaningful highlights really helped to put things into perspective for me. Even though some of the things that I listed may have seemed pretty insignificant, they all contributed to the year that I had, and that's what made them that extra bit more special.

The people that I shared laughs, and company with genuinely do mean the world to me. Without my friends, family, and the majority of the people that I converse with, whether that be regularly, or occasionally, I probably wouldn't have had half the happiness, or success that I did. Some of them can be found in the college above, but others, although not captured in a photograph mean just as much to me.

I didn't get to share my November, or December highlights, so I'm just going to include them in this post right now, before it becomes too late.
Reached 2.5k on Twitter / 7th
Had a really informative Sixth Form options evening / 17th
Got a Merit in my Health & Social Care practise paper / 18th
Got an A* in my Chemistry homework / 18th
Reached 2.2k on Instagram / 2nd
Got accepted into the Kiloran magazine family / 5th
Reached 700 blog followers on Bloglovin' / 12th
Received my gift swap from Shann (@simplyshannx) / 14th
Saw The 1975 live at The 02 / 15th
Got 3k on Twitter / 23rd
Had a lovely few days with my Aunt & Uncle / 28th-31st
2017 is going to be bigger, and better for us all. Make plans. Dream big. Work hard. Smile often.
To those of you who may have left me along the way, thank you for walking out of the door before getting too comfortable. To those of you who  may have doubted me, thank you for being my motivation to succeed. To those of you who may have put me down, and failed to believe in me, thank you for giving me that extra boost that I need. And finally, to those of you in the photographs above, and those that I hold closest to my heart, thank you for being in my life. Whether you only met me this year, or whether you have known me all of my life, I am incredibly grateful.
Finally, if you are reading this post right now, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything. For following me, commenting, liking, sharing, talking, caring. Who knew I would ever get so many wonderful opportunities, all because of one single decision that I made in April 2015.
The next 365 days are all yours. So, make them what you wish. Don't ever waste a second.
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

Blogger Template Created by pipdig