Friday, 2 March 2018

What I Learnt Throughout 16 Years


As this post goes up, I will have just turned 17 years old. That's such a crazy thought for me to comprehend! I remember the days when I was excited to turn 13, and here I am, 4 years later.

To be honest, I think 16 was the best year of my life. I'd gotten well into my teens by this point, and I'd therefore pretty much gotten through the rough stage of figuring out who I was. Don't get me wrong, I'm still on a self-discovery journey, but I've grown massive amounts since those days! 16 is just a genuinely good age, and it's one that I personally consider to be a milestone. A lot of goodness, and many blessings came my way, but I understandably went through a lot of hardships too. Today, I thought I'd close the #SweetSixteen chapter of my life, and do so by reminiscing on what I learnt, as well as some of the best bits...

PEOPLE DON'T ALWAYS HAVE AS PURE INTENTIONS AS YOU
Something that I had shown to me time, and time again throughout my 16th year of life was that people aren't going to be as nice, and as kind-hearted as you are, or as nice, and as kind-hearted as you want them to be. To put it truthfully, people can be dicks. You go into a new friendship, or a new relationship with the best intentions, and you hope that the other person in the same, but that isn't always the case - and that's okay. Learn from it, just as I have, and don't allow them to change you. Continue to give your all, and never settle for anything less than that, even if you don't receive the same in return. 

HAVE FAITH IN WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU BELIEVE IN
One thing that I have definitely strengthened in recent months is my belief in God, and my belief in myself. Since focusing more on my faith, I've started to count my blessings, and really focus on my ambitions. I feel much more supported, and much more positive, because to me, it's as if someone of a higher power is guiding me, and that's a great comfort. It's helped me to recognise previous bad habits, and to fully appreciate my own worth. I still have a long way to go, but good things happen to those who wait, and persevere. You will get to where you want to be if you believe you can achieve.

LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO GIVE A F*CK WHAT ANYBODY ELSE THINKS
Looking back at my younger self who was bullied for many years, I feel sad for her, but also incredibly proud. She persevered, and she didn't give up, even when she felt like she wanted to every day of her life during one particularly bad point. As I've gotten older, I genuinely have realised that other people's opinions don't matter. Even if you really value that particular person, each decision you make is still ultimately up to you. Absolutely take into consideration what they are saying, but don't let it completely control the choice you're going to make. Just let it help you make an informed decision! Take small steps in embracing who you want to be. Wear those bright orange dungarees, get a floral sleeve tattoo up your right arm, dye your hair papaya pink, because why the f*ck not?!

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. IT'S EITHER A BLESSING, OR A LESSON
This honestly couldn't be more true. I've met so many different people over these 16 years, and I've experienced so many different situations. Some of which are blessings, and others are just lessons that I've had to learn the hard way. Some people I've held onto for years, and I've grown with them through the good, and the bad, but others, I've seen their nasty streak one too many times, and I let go before things became even more toxic. Some situations I've been really grateful for, as they have been fun, magical, and memorable, but others have broken my heart that little bit more, and really tested my strength. Either way, this has all made me the person I am today, and I will never, ever give up fighting. I will always keep smiling, and I will never let anything, or anyone get the better of me. You can get knocked down 100 times, but then pick yourself back up 1000 times better, and stronger. 

ALWAYS HOLD ONTO THE INNER CHILD THAT RESIDES WITHIN YOU
When you're a child, you are so much more innocent, and carefree. As you grow older, you become aware of all the issues with society, and all of the expectations that have been constructed, and especially during your teenage years, you can easily become influenced, and just give in to becoming what you don't want to become. I think it's good for people to always have a part of their childhood inside them that comes out every so often. For me, it comes out within my sense of humour, my bubbly personality, the fact that I can be spontaneous, and adventurous, and that I like going to festivals, concerts, and social events where I can be hyper, and lose myself. I used to go to the woods most times I'd meet my ex boyfriend, and we'd literally just wander around, take outfit photos for my blog (back in the day haha!), listen to music, talk, and have snacks! It wasn't really much, but it didn't cost tonnes of money, we were in nature, and we were just being young teenagers together, and I enjoyed making those memories, because they just remind me of letting my inner child come out to play. I also display her through my imagination, and my poetry writing!

DREAM WITHOUT FEAR AND LOVE WITHOUT LIMITS
Don't let anything, or anyone hold you back in this one life that you're given. Your dreams are yours, and you can make them come true if you never give up, or let them go. Don't be afraid, and don't let restrictions stand in your way. Don't create imaginary barriers for yourself. Don't be too scared to try new things, and step out of your comfort zone. Give love to everyone that you interact with, and come across in this life. Don't let them turn you into someone who is cold-hearted. Even if you know that they don't love you as much as you love them, continue loving them regardless. Loving people is so important, and it will help you to be better, happier, and stronger. We need more love in the world, and you have so much to give, so never stop sprinkling it out like it's magic dust. 

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post! I've loved writing it, and I've loved reminiscing on the life lessons that I've learnt. 

I'm going to miss being 16, but it's now time to say take the lessons, the blessings, and the memories with me along the rest of life's journey, say goodbye, and embrace the new chapter - 17. 

Bring. It. On.

Lots of love always,


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Sunday, 25 February 2018

A Long-Awaited Update


Wow. I feel like I haven't sat down to properly think about writing a blog post in absolutely ages - and to be quite honest with you, it has been a while!

Life has well, and truly got in the way of everything - yet again. I feel like I haven't had time to come up for air to breathe these last few weeks, let alone maintain a social life, and create content for my beloved blog. Every day I have thought about coming back, and trying to get into the flow of things again, and finally the day has come. I should be cracking on with coursework, and other commitments, but sometimes, you just need to take a step back, and take a little time to focus on the things that set your soul on fire. Studying is, of course, important in regard to my future career prospects, but my mental health is more important, and it always will be.

The main reason that I've been so MIA on pretty much all of my social media, and especially when it comes to neglecting my blog is because I have just had so much going on in every aspect of my life. I have to put 100% of my time, and effort into Sixth Form, and with that comes mock exams to revise, and prepare for, coursework deadlines, referrals for said coursework, notes that I need to sort out for my Criminology course, which I have chosen to do for my DofE, meetings to attend for the programme, volunteering in a local charity shop for it, and on top of that, I have to fit in going to my part time job whenever I can manage it as well! I also start personal training in a couple of weeks, and I'm still trying to write my book, so it's all go, go, go!

Don't get me wrong, I love being busy, and I love having things to work on, and try to progress with, but sometimes I do begin to feel slightly swamped under, I must admit! Even though it's hard, as I can't exactly prioritise blogging out of everything else on the list, I do want to try and dedicate at least an hour in the evenings to write up even just a few paragraphs here, and then, or comment on some other people's posts to share the love. It feels like I haven't done that in months!!

Not only have I been busy lately in general, but I've also been lacking motivation when it comes to my blog. I am always so proud of the posts that I produce, and I never write, or publish any of them halfheartedly, so that's partly why I have taken a spontaenous break again. I just haven't been able to get into the flow since the New Year, but I'm going to do my best to organise, and manage my time much more effectively from now on, and I'll try to brainstorm some new ideas for my blog, so that it doesn't keep getting neglected! Please let me know if you have any feedback, or constructive criticism, as I would really appreciate it. You can either do so in the comments under this post, through my social media, or via the survey that I've created! It can be found here.

I hope you are all doing well too. Let me know if you have any updates, or any news that you would like to share, and I'll make sure I reply to all of you as soon as I can!

I'll hopefully have some more content coming your way soooon! Bear with me, my lovelies!

Lots of love always,


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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Stepping Outta That Comfort Zone



One thing that has always made me slightly afraid is the idea of change, and new experiences in life. Don't get me wrong, there is always an element of excitement in these situations too, but for the most part, I initially shy away from anything, and everything that doesn't fit into my comfort zone.

Since becoming a teenager (which was almost 4 years ago now!), I've definitely come out of my shell, and I do genuinely think that I'm beginning to discover myself, and who I am as an individual. Growing up is difficult, and it is a challenge for most of us, but it's also the time where I believe you choose your own fate, and ultimately, create your own path .

A couple of years ago, I was in an incredibly dark place. I was being quite badly bullied at school, I wasn't all that happy at home for various reasons, and I was just generally struggling to cope with my mental health. I had no hopes, or dreams for the future, and sometimes, I couldn't even see myself waking up the next day.

Things have improved dramatically since those days. I am now so much more positive, and confident, and I'm actually willing to step out of my comfort zone whenever I get the opportunity to do so.

Stepping out of your comfort zone isn't easy. It's something that you aren't going to want to do, because the whole idea is that you have gotten so used to it that you can't bear to think any differently, but trust me when I say it will do you the world of good just to make a change.

Be confident in your own abilities. I'm a believer of God, and I don't know how many of you are interested in religion, and Christianity, but I think it's really important to feel like something, or someone is guiding you, and motivating you to do well in a sense, and in turn, helping you to want to be successful. Even if you don't have that in your life, you should want to do well for you.

Push yourself. Do things you would normally shy away from, because the choices we make that scare us the most at first are the ones that are really going to help us grow, and develop as individuals.

I'm hoping to go to University next year (hence the photo for this post!), and that would mean that I have to step out of my comfort zone immensely. I'll be living with people I don't know in an area that I'm not entirely familiar with on a course that challenges me, and will most likely encourage me to fend for myself. I've become quite an independent person already as the years have gone on compared to how I used to be, but this is going to be something completely different, I know!

The whole purpose of this post is to tell you that it's okay to step away from your safety bubble. It's okay to do things out of the ordinary, and try to say yes to an opportunity, just because you can't lose out on anything if you give it a go.

Live your life for you, and only you. You will thank yourself for it in the future - I promise. 

Lots of love always,



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Sunday, 4 February 2018

My Favourite Lipstick... EVER?!


Being your average 16 year old girl, who doesn't work as of yet (that will all change soon), I can't exactly afford for my entire makeup collection to be made up of MAC, and only MAC. I'm usually a believer in the fact that stores on the high street can sell a variety of products that are essentially dupes for the higher end versions anyway, so why waste money that I don't even have in the first place?

If I could count how many lip products, let alone lipsticks that I'd tried since getting in to makeup, I think it'd easily be way into the 100's, or more! There has been a mixture of high street, and high end (but more high street, I must say), and I have given them all a fair test over time. 

However, when it comes to my favourite, MAC's Velvet Teddy takes the tiara over all of the rest. 
THE PACKAGING
Just like all of the MAC lipsticks, Velvet Teddy comes in the classic, sleek black packaging. I know it may look really simple, and even slightly bland to some people, but I just think it looks more expensive, and more sophisticated to be totally honest! MAC is an effortless brand in general, and people already know that, so there's no need for super fancy packaging to add to that vibe. I always feel very extra if I'm taking out my MAC lippie to apply, and I secretly love that haha!

THE COLOUR
If you're looking for the most perfect nude that you will ever see in your life, (super dramatic, but super true) then I guarantee that Velvet Teddy is for you. Never before did I think that I'd find a nudey shade as lovely as this one, and as well suited for my incredibly pale complexion! It doesn't wash me out, because it isn't too light, and it doesn't have any unflattering undertones either. It just gives you a little something, a little gloss of colour, to get you through the day feeling like an absolute babe. It's definitely my go-to, and I couldn't even see myself reaching for an alternative now! Regardless of whatever your skin tone is, I think this colour will still be equally as flattering. 

THE TEXTURE

Believe it, or not (this actually came as a shock to me personally), Velvet Teddy is actually a matte finish! I'm not that much of a fan of mattes, as that's just my own opinion, and so I usually put a clear lip balm on underneath (I'm not really a regular gloss girl either, but I am partial to some shine every now, and then!), because it just gives more of a healthy glow, which is especially helpful if you get quite cracked lips like I do! It still looks gorgeous if it is matte though, don't get me wrong. 

THE PRICE
Having said all of those positive things, the only negative I can really think of the puts me off is the price. Obviously, it doesn't put me off to the point where I won't repurchase the product (because, believe me, I will when the time comes!), but my MAC lipsticks are typically what I receive as gifts, just because it feels more special, and more luxurious. That's the one day I allow myself to feel like a proper princess anyway! I have had this current one (and my first!) since my 16th, which was in March, and I still have a decent amount left, considering I wear it everyday, so it is worth that extra investment if you're into your lipsticks like me!!

Have you girlies ever owned Velvet Teddy? If so, what do you think of it?

Lots of love always,


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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A Comforting Candle Company ft. Candle Spa*


Something that I've never really spoken about on my blog before is my love for anything, and everything to do with relaxation. I do talk about self-care quite regularly, and I know there's a link between the two to some extent, but today, I thought I'd take the time to mention a candle company that I discovered a couple of months ago, as it's always good to introduce a new type of content!

Back in November, I got in touch with Candle Spa, who create, and sell natural soy wax candles that help to provide people with that everyday spa feeling. I was very kindly sent this Lavender & Black Pepper Candle to review for all of you, as well as the Lady Ashleigh Reed Diffuser. 

I was absolutely blown away by both of these gifts. Everything feels luxurious about this brand, from the boxes the products come in, and the individual packaging to the scents themselves. Even though I've never been to a spa, or anything of the sort, I can genuinely imagine immersing myself into that experience whenever I smell these two products. They're absolutely divine, and I think that they would work perfectly in a home, a salon, a spa, or even guest houses/hotels. 

Not everybody can afford to have a spa day, or pamper themselves regularly, if ever, but these people may work incredibly hard on a daily basis, and want nothing more than to add some serenity to their routine for a change. Considering the candle on its own is £12, I don't think many of us would be able to resist that offer. You can burn one whilst reading a book, having a bath, cuddling up on the sofa, or literally anything else that takes your fancy. Even if you don't want to start burning it right away, it still looks beautiful, and chic whilst on display, and I guarantee any visitors will ask about the brand, and where they can make a purchase from!

In regards to the packaging, I got sent a note with very interesting information on it, so I thought that rather than giving a poor explanation myself, I'll just insert what that says here:

"The core values of the Candle Spa brand are to provide a self-indulgent product in a recognisable quality pack that reflects the image of a hand-poured luxury product made here in the UK. Aimed at four star hotels and Spa's on the commercial side, it's measure of success is to see how well the packs sit within that environment; and on every count it achieves that objective. The original concept was created in-house using natural images of pebbles/hot stones and a floral accompaniment to provide fragrance differentiation amongst the product range. The majority of the packs display an orchid, as this is often used as decoration within Spa's and Beauty Salons and evokes a sense of quality, and relaxation. Orchids also represent longevity, which we feel our products offer the consumer, with the diffusers lasting up to 3 months (50% longer than some well-known competitor products). The teal foiling and gloss lamination provides a real on-shelf focus of luxury, and quality, better-reflecting a cosmetic brand rather than a home decor one."

As well as the candles being made of natural soy wax, they also have non-metal wicks, to which they add luxury blends of fragrance oils to help create an added feeling of utter relaxation. The company's Spa range comes in 3 different sizes, which are 20cl, 30cl, and 50cl (the 3 wick one!). It's thought that they last approximately 30, 45, and 80 hours, proving that you get incredible value for money, and they aren't even extortionately  pricey in the first place! 

Some of the scents that you can choose from include: Patchouli & Ginger, Pomegranate & White Fig, Spicy Pear, Woodsage & Sea Salt, Lotus Flower, and then (obviously) Lavender & Black Pepper, to name just a few of them. 

Whatever it is that you're on the hunt for, I'm sure you will be able to find something to satisfy all of your senses if you go and check out Candle Spa's website. You definitely won't regret it!

Are you a candle lover? What sort of scents are your favourites?

Lots of love always,


Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Candle Spa. I was lucky enough to get sent these products to review for free. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own as always.

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