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,

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