Monday, 24 June 2019

Celebrating The Guests At Your Wedding

As it's now June, I think it's safe to say that Summer is officially here, which means that weddings are going to be happening left, right, and centre. We often think of a wedding as something only centralized around us and our experience. It’s not hard to see why this feeling is the norm. It’s us or our parents who will contribute financially to the wedding. We’re there to get married - no one else is. We are the heads of the procession. We are the ones who will find the dress or the suit, and arrange our bridal chains around that. Of course, a wedding is a very focused event, usually focused on only two people.

But sometimes, it can be nice to celebrate your guests at a wedding, too. It’s important to let your family know that you truly appreciate them, and that the event is better for their presence. If you can do this, you will find that goodwill abounds. Not only that, but you’ll be able to shift some of the attention away from yourself, as this can sometimes be uncompromisingly nerve-inducing when we’re just trying to have a good time. Sometimes, sharing the love can go a long way.

Let us consider what that might look like, without forgetting how the wedding is primarily for confirming union with our partner.

Employ A Little Showmanship:

We might say that the wedding we hope to enjoy could be for ourselves and ourselves only. But, we all know that’s not the case. Otherwise you wouldn’t fork out on catering and other entertainment to ensure everyone has a good time. You would likely not even invite others. You would head to the registry office, and then go on your honeymoon for a month, or whatever time frame you had available.

This means that you are in fact most likely hoping to share the love of the day with those you invite. Employing a little showmanship can help you enjoy that, at least in your planning. This might seem like curating the entertainment such as choosing a band ahead of time, ensuring that there are some activities at the wedding, or perhaps something more understood by your family as a whole could be worthwhile. However, it needn’t be so complex, and you needn’t run before you can walk.

Simply starting with the first element of the guest’s experience, namely the invites, can be a great idea. For example, designing luxury wedding invites from Pure Invitation can help you find phenomenal and unique invitation cards that truly feel like an honour to receive. This can help your guests understand the attention to detail you hope to apply when inviting others. But more importantly, arranging this can be incredible fun. Sometimes, that’s all you need.


Ensuring that there’s music everyone can enjoy being played can certainly help when you have the entire family congregating around a dancefloor after your union. You and your partner might be heavily into metal or hip-hop, but it’s not always the case that your Grandma will be. A safe bet is to hire a dedicated wedding band, those that can provide some fun genre-based tunes and also cover a few hits you can dance to. They usually know how to play it safe and remain non-offensive. Remember, you can always attend a concert or some other affair with friends to celebrate your marriage if you’re into the harder stuff. But for now, consider how your family might bond over this music.

This isn’t a compromise. You’re certain to have fun hiring a big swing brass band, or perhaps an upbeat jazz outfit. Everyone can appreciate that. It might also be that your brother or other sibling is part of their own band, and you can simply ask them to provide some approved songs. A little music goes a long way in bringing people together, so this could be the first successful step you arrange perfectly. We’d recommend you do so.

Make The Feast Sociable:

A wedding feast can often be something that splits people up. For example, multiple small tables dotted around the room with an approved seating list can often help those members of your family bond and enjoy something to eat. It’s often where the speeches will commence, and where you’ll cut the cake if you’re going for a traditional wedding. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the feast a little more sociable. For example, having said music playing throughout can lighten the mood. Trying to seperate people so easily through your seating plan and table arrangement can be worthwhile.

It could also be that the catering option you go for could provide a little flair. For example, those catering options that are presented in front of you, such as flambe’s or salad mixing can often be an interesting visual marker, and helps take some of the stuffiness out of the occasion. A prevalence of alcohol can often help of course, but don’t feel pressured to provide this if you would rather everyone behaves themselves.

A Little Entertainment:

A little entertainment can actually go a very long way in ensuring everyone feels provided for and excited within the festivities. It’s not hard to see how this could be the case. But of course, you might not want to go for a wedding magician or anything so obvious and trite.

Perhaps the venue you’re at is a historical listed building, and they have services to allow historical re-enactors come and help celebrate the wedding with you as actors. Perhaps something more akin to your lifelong passion could be worthwhile. For example, see this jaw-dropping photograph of a wedding taking place on top of a secured netting. That’s not particularly for us, and we mean at all, but a little entertainment and novelty can go a long way in helping your family bond and to find the day memorable. Think about what your family might be interested in, and try to make arrangements around that. But of course - this is your wedding, so be sure to take your own needs into important account.

With these tips, we’re certain that you’ll be better able to celebrate your guests at your wedding. We wish you nothing but the best.

*This is a collaborative post*

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Children Love Scary Stories, But Why?

Image source

We all have an idea in our heads about what is a story that’s appropriate for a child, and what isn’t. Sex is, generally, off the table. But there are many instances in which children’s books go that are, frankly, downright terrifying.

Take the classic Roald Dahl novel, The BFG, recently portrayed in a film on the big screen. The major themes of the BFG are murder and kidnapping. The BFG is the kidnapper, and the other giants, including the lucidly-named Bloodbottler, are the murderers. Worse still, only children are the targets of the giants’ malice - not grownups.

The story of the BFG follows the antics of a little six-year-old girl Sophie who lives in an orphanage under the tyranny of matron. One night, Sophie is trying to get to sleep and so spends some time watching the city at night. All of a sudden, she sees the BFG - the big friendly giant - who grabs her in the palm of his hand and whisks her off to “Giant Country” - some other-dimensional land where the giants live. Sophie must then contend with the fact that the other giants, besides the BFG, are “gobbling up” children every night - a terrifying prospect.

On face value, the story of the BFG is not a pleasant one. In fact, the horror of it is gratuitous: there are no giant monsters eating children during the night in reality. And yet, the story is one among countless, which depicts children in truly terrifying fantasized positions where their lives are in danger. What’s driving this? And why are these books so popular among children?

Children Have A Fascination With Danger

One of the most controversial theories why children love these horrifyingly scary books is that they are morbidly fascinated with danger.

When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Children should want to learn about danger - and its limits - because they are much weaker than the adults around them. Children have a greater incentive to know what is dangerous and what isn’t, simply because they are much more susceptible to danger than a grown person.

Adults, for instance, would have had a good chance of surviving by themselves in our evolutionary past. At the very least, they would have been able to find food for a few days, collect water, and fashion a weapon. Children, on the other hand, would not be able to survive for a long time in the forest by themselves and are much more dependent on the people around them for support and sustenance. They’re not independent.

Scary stories attract children, therefore, because kids want to learn as much as they can about danger so that they can avoid it. Stories about danger and peril teach kids about their precarious existence and, possibly, the steps that they need to take to protect it.

Children Want To Understand Their Place In The World

Another theory holds that children are attracted to scary stories because they help them understand their place in the world.

Young kids are often fascinated by dinosaurs. At first blush, it might seem that scary stories and dinosaurs are unrelated to each other, but both are examples of situations in which the child must confront their own total lack of power.

Learning all about writing for kids is a challenge because children see the world in a fundamentally different way from adults. For a child, scary stories help to induce an adaptive response. Children need to understand how feeble they are so that they can survive until adulthood to have a family of their own. The ever-present dangers in their environment, real or imagined, remind them that they need to prioritize their safety. It’s a matter of personal survival.

Scary Stories Help Children Process The Difficult Realities Of The World

Scary stories serve a final purpose: to help children prepare for life as an adult, fully exposed to the daily horrors of reality. In adult life, there are no age filters: you have to take it as it comes. A scary story allows a child to explore something scary in a safe environment before having to deal with something in reality when they get older.

Again, from the point of view of socialization, this makes a lot of sense. Civilization requires people who can confront and deal with the difficulties of regular adult life: betrayal, bereavement, and fear. Without scary stories, children might be unprepared for what adult life risks inflicting on them. That’s why the work of child writers is so important.

*This is a collaboratively written post*


Sunday, 16 June 2019

For The Heavily Hearted: A Book Review

In November, I became friends via Instagram with the wonderful angel that is Christopher Hugh (@heavilyhearted). He had already published his debut poetry collection titled 'for the heavily hearted', which I requested that my sister buy for me as a Christmas gift, but as I was going through the process of publishing 'Intoxicated Minds' at the time, I knew it was only right that I reach out, and show him some support. 
There are 4 different chapters in this book. Chapter One - losing myself. Chapter Two - heartache. Chapter Three - The numbness. Chapter Four - Finding myself. As it says on the front cover, and as you can tell from the layout of the chapters, the reader is going to be experiencing the cycle through poetry. Although the start focuses on loss, the end focuses on being found - and I LOVE that. As you can tell from my choice of image, my favourite chapter is the second one, which focuses on heartbreak. I can relate to a lot of the pieces on a personal level, because hearbreak has played a significant part of my life so far, and it's therefore a theme which I also tend to primarily write about. 
Chris was literally only 15 years old when he published this incredible debut collection. He spent endless nights puttting it all together, and he also did all of the illustrations himself too. The work of art is literally 100% his own creation, and to have bared his soul at such a young age is admirable to me, as I'm sure many of you will agree once you have had a look at his work. 
It makes my heart so happy to know that modern poetry seems to be getting the recognition that it deserves within today's society. From my own personal experience, the majority of young people never really seemed to enjoy it when we had to study it as part of our English Literature course back in the GCSE days, but that was most probably, because they couldn't relate to the content. It's a blessing for young people to be able to so openly express their emotions, and discuss their experiences with the wider world. Our society is deteriorating what with the rise of crime, hatred, climate change, and constant devastation. 
Writing about our emotions, and experiences isn't a bad thing. It's a beautiful thing, which is exactly what Chris has demonstrated to us all.

Chris, you are an absolute angel. Your soul, and your heart are both incredible, and I love you so very much. Keep on doing your thing. 

If you want to keep up to date with Chris' life, and poetry journey, you can follow him on Instagram @heavilyhearted. If you want to buy this collection, you can do so here. His second collection 'tattooed by the moon' is coming soon, so stay tuned.

Love and light always,


Sunday, 31 March 2019

On Turning 18.

Yet again, it feels like I haven't sat down to write a blog post in ages. I've still been publishing the odd post here, and there, but they haven't been my usual chatty, lifestyle type. I know you have to be consistent these days if you want to make your mark in the blogosphere, but honestly, I haven't quite had the drive, so here's hoping that this is the start of it coming back! 
As it's now very nearly the end of the month, I thought I'd reflect on how I feel since I turned 18 years old, and where my heads at with this thing called life. Enjoy...

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Rosehip Plus Skincare Review*

Back in November (eek, I've been a terrible blogger, I know!), I was fortunate enough to get sent 3 products to try out from an organic Australian skincare brand. That's right, I'm literally trying out skincare from across the globe. I'd have to say that's one of the most incredible perks when it comes to blogging! 
In today's post, I'm going to be letting you know my thoughts to hopefully help you decide whether you want to give them a go yourself or not.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Your Ultimate Guide To Looking Around Universities

With the exams, the revision, and your busy life, there’s not much time to squeeze in going to look around all the different universities you might want to. However, they do all hold open days which are great to attend (take that from my recent experience!), and if you ask the right questions and look for the right things, then you’ll be able to get the most out of it - I can assure you!

On an open day, it might be your only chance to visit the university before you become a student, so make sure to take advantage of every moment. You need to fully explore, ask questions and take it all in.
Going to visit will help you to find out what you are unlikely to discover from a prospectus or any prior internet research, but keep in mind that on open days, universities are showing you their best and trying to sell themselves to you. As long as you’re aware of this, you can try to look below the surface, and be a bit more realistic.

There will be tours that you can go on at the university open days with tour guides who can show you around the campus. They will show you around the different and relevant departments and allow you to take a look at what accommodation is available. This will show you what the university is like first-hand, and you can ask the tour guide plenty of questions along the way.

There will also be different talks going on during the day that you can attend. These will be a combination of department and course talks as well as general admissions talks. Attend the talks that apply to the course you're interested in to learn more about the university, and what it would actually be like to study there for the coming few years.

After that, you should consider taking yourself off to explore the university to get a feel for what facilities are available. Look at all the educational facilities including libraries and study areas, restaurants and bars - especially the Students' Union, and if you're interested in sports then check out those opportunities too.

If you have the time, it can be beneficial to visit the local town or city as if you do choose to go to that university then you won’t be spending all your time on campus, so you will need to see if the surrounding area will keep you entertained.

Lecturers and other university staff will be on hand to answer your questions, so don't be afraid to ask. Find out if the course you want to study will include some of your specific interests. Find out things like if you'd be able to stay in the accommodation during the holidays.

Find out what the split between seminars and lectures is? How much studying are you expected to do outside of contact time and how much tutor support will you receive? Ask if there are there any extra opportunities around your subject, such as workshops? What happens if you don't meet the grades? Will there still be a chance that you might be offered a place? Should you apply for more than one course from this university? What will make you stand out on your application and will there be interviews before you’re offered a place?

You’ll also want to find out what careers support is there? Where could your degree lead you and how will the university help get you there?

Speak to the other students or Student ambassadors to get a different opinion and outlook of the university. Ask them questions about university life and what it is like to be a student, for example, what has been the best and worst thing about the university for them? Do they enjoy their course, and either way, what is it like? Are the tutors and lecturers on the course inspirational? What is the teaching and support like? Does the local area accommodate for students? What is the student social scene like? Are you happy with your accommodation, and how easy was it to secure? Are there services to help you find accommodation or does the university sort it out for you? For Cardiff Student Accommodation for example, as it is a huge city, there are many options. However, a smaller university may only offer you the choice of two halls. Find out if there some accommodation that is better or worse than others?

Keep an open mind and try and imagine yourself there, can you see it, how does it feel? Some places you will get a good feeling about, and it will feel right, others you’ll know instantly it's not for you, so visiting a few universities is an excellent idea.

Good luck on your journey, and do let me know if there's anything else you would like to know about the experience!

Love and light always,

*This is a collaborative post*

Friday, 22 February 2019

18th Birthday Ideas

As the celebrations for my 18th birthday begin on the 2nd March, I decided that there's really no better time to do this post than now. Turning 18 is such a special, memorable occasion for all of us. It isn’t just about being another year older, but it also marks your transition from childhood to adulthood. You only get to turn 18 once and celebrating in style is definitely called for!

How you mark your special day is up to you, of course, but since this is something particularly monumentous, you might appreciate some guidance from someone, who is also in the same boat. Here are a few ideas to consider before you start your night out in style.


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The Second Chapter: Empathise

Back at the beginning of January, I did my first blog post of the year in a new series surrounding my debut poetry collection, "Intoxicated Minds". The idea behind it was that out of the illustrations that were done for me in each chapter, I wanted to share half of them, just so that you can get a feel for the themes that are presented throughout the poems, and what sort of vibe(s) I was going for visually. I hope you enjoy hearing more, and it possibly encourages you to make a purchase on Amazon, seeing as you can pre-order here up until the March 2nd...

Abandoned Aged 6:
This was actually the first poem that I ever wrote, and so I wanted the illustration to be one that was emotive, and also memorable. I love the contrast between the light, and the dark, and how much the key message is emphasised.

An Alcohol Addiction:
Another poem that follows the same theme features one of my favourite illustrations too. The focus is on how a young girl is at the centre of her father's alcoholism, and she is directly experiencing the exact sorrow that he is experiencing. She is drowning, and struggling to live a 'normal' life, because she is quite literally at the hands of someone else's addiction.

You Were The Spectator, I Was The Statue:
For this poem, the main imagery is of the girl in the centre of the gallery, who's a beautiful statue, which is adorned in flowers, unlike the others. The object doing the observations is unappreciative of what she has to offer, even though she's the one that stands out, and is the primary feature, and he simply goes on to view others, not even having batted an eyelid. 

Aiming Towards The Bright Light:
This illustration has such magical, mystical vibes in my opinion. The light details are clearly there to capture people's attention, and the warm colour surrounding the girl demonstrate how she is leaving the dark overgrowth of the blues, and greens behind her in the pursuit of happiness. Think about the quote 'there is always a light at the end of the tunnel'. 

Plucking Off The Petals:
The white daisies  on the top of the girls head represent her innocent, young mind, and the fact that she displays beauty, ambition, and personal growth. The hand that appears to be plucking off the petals from the sidelines is that of the boy who affects her self-worth, and makes her perceive herself differently. The pastel colours help to showcase her femininity and purity. 

Taking A Bullet For Unrequited Love:
This is another poem, which features contrasting imagery. On one side, the isolated female is in the dark, because she's got nobody else, but then on the other side is a loved-up couple, who are walking hand-in-hand toward their happiness, and their future together. The girl has never received mutually romantic love.

Her Eyes Are Where Her Darkest Demons Lie:
Here, the backdrop is the dark night sky, because the poem is one, which is darker, and focuses on deeper ideas. The pink, and purple shades help to emphasise that, because they are representative of the depth, and the mysterious tone that is being portrayed. The blurred figures dancing around the girls head are meant to be her thoughts, the demons that keep her overthinking, and that won't allow her to feel free. 

I had the privilege of working with a wonderful lady called Laurel Clark on these illustrations, as well as the other 7 that feature in this chapter. If you're interested in checking out more of her designs, or you want to commission her at any point in the future, you can find her website here, her Twitter here, and her Instagram here

Until next time!

Love and light always,


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Savvy Students; Making The Most Of Your Uni Experience

These days, it's definitely more important than ever to try and make the most of your time at University, or college. After all, student fees are more expensive than ever before, so you will surely want to try to get the most you possibly can for your money! That’s not the only reason, though - trying to get as much as you can out of your University experience can help you grow and develop as an individual, and you will also find that it sets you up better for the adult world.

So, are you ready to get involved with as much as possible? Here are a few steps that can help you do just that...

Friday, 15 February 2019

How To Handle Being The New Girl At Work

Image Source
At different stages in your career, you’re likely to have a new job. Whether we’re talking about your first job after school or university, or your second job, third, or even a new job in your golden years, you will often get that same feeling, because it can be intimidating to start any new job. You may worry about it or feel apprehensive, and that’s all very normal - trust me. We all feel like this from time to time. However, you don’t have to dread it. Instead, you can be excited about your new job and actually feel ready for your first day. Not only that, but you can make sure that you settle in well without feeling totally green. Let’s see how you can handle being the newbie so much better.

1. Know You’re Qualified

First of all, you need to know that you’re actually qualified for the job. You're the one that got it, aren't you? So, ask yourself - what are you really worried about? You earned this job on merit. Sure, you need to settle in at a new place, but before you know it, your new place will feel like home!

2. Pull Together A Perfect Wardrobe

Now, power dressing is a thing. So, if you want to feel confident, you need to dress the part. On the run up to your new job, you’ll want to think about getting the right wardrobe together. Think about the outfits that you can work with in your role and have them planned out in your mind.

3. Prepare The Night Before

When it comes to the first day, you can really make a difference by preparing properly the night before. We all worry about it, sure, but if you’re prepared, the uncertainty will ease. For this, you’re going to want to lay out your outfit and get your bag ready. Put your phone into your choice of premium phone case, do the same with your laptop, and get a brand new notebook ready too. Swotty? Yes, potentially - but, it will make you feel ready to take on your brand new role.

4. Sleep Well

All that’s left to do the night before is to get a good sleep, because it really does matter, and you really do need to make sure that you’re well rested and ready to take the world by storm. When you wake up, you can then carry that feeling on with a good breakfast and by getting your lunch together for the day, then put your fabulous first day outfit on and get ready to rock!

5. Make A Killer First Impression

Finally, when you get to work on your very first day, you’re going to want to make the right impression, because we all know that first impressions count, and you only ever get one shot. So, decide how you’re going to be. What do you want to be known for? What kind of image or vibe do you want to give off? Then make sure that your actions and attitude follow suit. We all have to be newbies at one time or another, but it’s what you make of your fresh start that counts.
*This is a collaborative post*

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Merlin Haircare Review*

Back in November, I was incredibly fortunate to get sent a couple of full size sample products from Merlin Professionals, who come under the company Fabriah that sell online hair and beauty at a professional standard (hence the name Merlin Professionals!).
What drew me to this brand in particular was that they aren't your traditional hair care company that you would find in Boots, or Superdrug. Each product has been scientifically developed to solve specific hair 'issues', like dryness, or oiliness to name two common examples. They don't have a shampoo, conditioner, and style element to their range, but they instead offer their target market shampoos, treatments, sealers, and styling, which gives them that unique edge to stand out from the competition...


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Tips For Looking After Your Skin

Good habits = great looking skin, right?

Seriously, if you want to look and feel beautiful, and have better looking skin for longer, you need to focus on what you do each day to maintain both your good looks and your self-confidence.

1. Follow A Skin-Care Routine

By following a productive skin-care routine daily, you will quickly see the benefits on both your face and body. Armed with your skin care moisturizer, toner, and other care products, follow this regimen in the correct order to see the best results from your efforts. By finding time first thing in the morning and at some point in the evening, your skin will look fresh, supple, and radiant 24/7.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water During The Day

Certain drinks are bad for your skin, such as those that are fizzy, caffeine, and alcohol. They can dehydrate your skin, and cause dryness and acne. On the other hand, drinking water is wonderful for your skin, thanks to its many hydrating properties. Experts suggest around 8 glasses a day, but going above that is fine, especially when you are out in the dehydrating hot weather. So, replace potentially harmful drinks with water, and carry an empty bottle around with you so you can top it up regularly.

3. Commit To A Regular Workout

Regular exercise increases your circulation, and this will create a radiant glow on your face. Exercise also lowers your stress hormones, which is good news, as stress can badly affect your face, causing wrinkles, dark circles under your eyes, and itchy, flaky skin. Therefore, find ways to implement exercise into your daily routine, such as walking to work instead of taking the bus or car, and taking time to engage in exercise at home, using some of these activities as examples. Remember to drink plenty of water, as you might need to hydrate yourself after your workout.

4. Eat An Apple A Day

I'm not just talking about apples here (although an apple a day is meant to keep the doctor at bay), but any fruit that is loaded with antioxidants and essential vitamins for healthy and good-looking skin. Eat something in the morning, include a piece of fruit with your lunch, and replace any unhealthy snacks you might normally consume in the day with a piece of nature's good stuff. Your skin will thank you for it, as will the rest of your body, as fruit has many health benefits worth considering.

5. Get Your Beauty Sleep

The phrase 'beauty sleep' isn't a misnomer. It has been scientifically proven that as you sleep, your skin will repair itself from any damage that has been inflicted during the day. Experts suggest 8 hours sleep a night for optimal results, so cut out bad night-time habits, such as engaging in screen time and drinking caffeine, as these will inhibit the quality of your sleep time.


Preserve the beauty and quality of your skin with the habits suggested in this article, committing to them daily for the best results possible. Cut out the bad habits suggested, such as drinking caffeine and eating unhealthy snacks, so you don't sabotage your best efforts to care for your good looks.

*This is a collaborative post*


Sunday, 6 January 2019

The First Chapter: Enlighten

As I recently revealed the front cover of my debut poetry collection, I thought it was about time that I showed you a selection of the illustrations, which will be making an appearance in there too.


Thursday, 3 January 2019

5 Signs You Don't Fully Know Your Partner

We all like to believe that we know the person that we love the most in the world, including all of their opinions and feelings on certain situations. The biggest part of feeling connected to someone else is feeling secure in how well you know them, but this connection can sometimes lead you to overlook the blind spots in their personality. Rose tinted glasses and all that, right?

As much as you want your partner to know you inside and out, you want to know them too. For example, they may already know that you have saved in your history from the numerous impersonal gift cards your ex boyfriends gave to you. They also may know that you prefer tulips over roses, but, surely it’s more than that. Knowing your partner is more than the superficial things on the surface. It’s the deeper issues that you need to know more than the rest. So, what are the five signs you don't know your partner as well as you think you do?
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