Sunday, 19 February 2017

Achieving Your Goals And Why It's Okay If You Haven't Yet

All of us have goals.
We all have dreams, aspirations and things that we want to achieve before we die, whether that be to travel, start a family, have a successful career, and so much more. There are so many things that I want to accomplish in my lifetime that sometimes it can actually become quite overwhelming.

The other week, I was having a bit of a low day. The weather was bleak and miserable, I felt tired and stressed and everything that I was trying to do that day wasn't turning out right. I ended up getting frustrated with myself and all of these unwelcome thoughts popped into my head. 'You're not working hard enough', 'you should have finished this by now', 'everyone else is doing more than you' etc etc etc. All it took was one crappy day and I was beating myself up for not having achieved everything humanly possible in my 22 years.
I think social media plays a big part in this. We're constantly absorbing other peoples lives and most of the time, it's only ever the good bits. It's always the achievements, the holidays, and the milestones that people share, not many people will want to tweet or post a picture on instagram about their crappy days (although I admire the people who do). I'm constantly looking at the lives of people (most of which are older than me) who have and are achieving so much, and whilst that stuff is inspiring and motivating, it can also make you feel like you need to catch up and be at the same point that they are. I forget that actually, these people weren't always successful. They worked for years and years before they got to the position that they're in now, it didn't just magically happen overnight. And I also forget that most of the people I look up to are in a completely different stage of life than me. I'm 22 years old yet I constantly compare myself to people who are older than me, and then beat myself up about the fact that I haven't achieved everything they have.
I should be proud that I'm actually working towards my goals. That every paragraph I write or every place that I visit brings me one step closer to the life that I want to have. I forget to stop and actually consider where I am in my life at this moment in time. Currently, my main priority right now is university. I'm in my second year and even though I have endless essays and assessments, I'm still putting myself down because I haven't achieved everything else that I want to. Really, I should stop and consider that maybe I haven't written a novel yet because I haven't had the experience that inspires my story. Maybe I haven't travelled anywhere because I haven't met the person I'm going to travel with. 
Basically, we need to stop beating ourselves up. We need to stop comparing every aspect of our lives to everyone else's and if you haven't achieved something that someone else has, that's OK! If you haven't achieved your endless lists of goals, that's fine. What matters if that you're working on them, and that's an achievement in itself. 
xxx

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser

Most people who read my blog will know that skincare is a big deal for me. I've mentioned numerous times on this blog that I've suffered with acne for most of my teenage years so keeping on top of a decent skincare routine is essential. A few months ago, I started an intense acne treatment and because of this it meant that I needed to change some of the products I was currently using to ones that were going to be more gentle on my skin, so today I thought I would share one of the best products that I discovered that has made a huge difference to my skincare routine over the past few months.

It's no secret that I'm a huuuuge fan of Lush skincare. I wrote a post ages ago about my holy grail Tea Tree Toner Water, so of course when I was looking for a new cleanser that was going to be gentle and kind to my skin, the first place I turned to was Lush! I did some research and the product that seemed to be one of the best was this, the Ultrabland Facial Cleanser. The main ingredients in this are almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey, and you can use it to either cleanse a clean face or to remove your makeup.
I use this in my evening skincare routine to take of my makeup and do a double cleanse. I dot the product all around my face and then rub it in with my fingers. This did feel weird at first because it feels like you're just massaging your makeup into your face, especially around the eyes, I end up with two massive black circles! I then take a giant cotton pad to wipe away the makeup and oh my goodness, this product is insane. I didn't think anything would take my makeup off as easy as my micellar water but nope, this product works better. It will only take me a few wipes with the cotton pad and my face is pretty much makeup free. I wear a lot of makeup so I always do a second cleanse, but if you're someone who doesn't wear that much then this product will have your makeup taken off within a minute. It's incredible. My skincare routine is so much quicker since I discovered this product.
The smell isn't the best in the world but it grows on you and I'm not really bothered about fancy smells, as long as the product does its job I'm happy! The honey and beeswax leave your skin so ridiculously soft and because my skin is horrendously dry right now it's so lovely having a cleanser that's really moisturising. I couldn't tell you if it improves acne or not because the treatment I'm currently on is the reason my skin's clearing up, but I have seen a few reviews that have mentioned it helps with breakouts. I can't promise you that this product will work for you or improve your skin, but in terms of its actual job of removing makeup and/or cleansing your skin, it's absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend!

Have you used this product before?
xxx

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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Remaining Authentic In The Blogging World

I have a little story for you guys.
The other day I decided it was time to treat myself to a new phone case. The one I have right now is just a clear silicone case that came free when I bought the phone, and has now become so mucky that it just looks all dirty and gross. So, I logged myself onto amazon and started scrolling through phone cases. After a little while, I realised something. Every phone case I was looking at purchasing was either pink or rose gold/copper. Just as I had decided to add a relatively cheap pink phone case to my basket, I suddenly had this little niggling thought appear at the back of my brain.
'Sam... why are you buying a pink phone case... you don't even like pink?! You don't hate pink but it's definitely not your favourite colour!' (FYI, it's 'dark forest' green!). I realised that through all of my phone case scrolling, I was subconsciously looking at pink/rose gold/copper cases because I knew they would look good in my blog pictures!

I think that sometimes, especially if you're a new blogger, the whole blogging world can become so overwhelming that it can make you feel like in order for people to like your blog, you need to have a snazzy camera, stunning pictures, loads of high end beauty products and an expensive blog design. You don't!
Please don't get me wrong, some of my favourite blogs to read do have all of those things, and that's fine! If you're happy with that and you're comfortable and enjoying what you're creating, go for it! I know I've definitely improved my photography skills over the years and that's mainly from reading 'tip' blog posts from lots of different blogs and experimenting. I love having bright pictures with a white background, it gives me the freedom to include props of any colour relevant to that particular blog post! I just think for people starting out, it can feel like you need to follow one kind of style for people to read your blog, and you really don't. As long as you're writing about things you love, and are happy with the posts you're creating, that will come across to your readers and they're more likely to enjoy what they see!
I sometimes feel like I need to include a lot more beauty posts than I do already, but I love so many other things as well! I love beauty, writing, skincare, books, disney, travel, harry potter, music, knitting, food, theatre, and so much more. It's so important that we don't feel pressured into following what other people are doing, instead of writing about the things we're really passionate about! I love reading so many different blogs, whether they're predominantly beauty, books, fashion or lifestyle, it's the passion the person shows in all of their posts that makes me stick around! 

What's your opinion on this subject?
xxx

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

January | 2017

I always assume that after the craziness of the festive season, january will be really quiet and uneventful. I always forget that january brings with it my dads, mums, and granddads birthday, and 3 university deadlines so my month ends up being pretty jam-packed!

BASICS
Day to day, I've mostly been stuck in my bedroom sat at my desk trying to get three essays written. It's weird that for blog posts or when I'm just writing in general, the words come so easily and I could write hundreds of words in the space of five minutes, but when it comes to an essay... that's a whole different story! I could be at my desk for hours and only manage to write a few hundred words so january has been pretty stressful to say the least. Although because there's been so many birthdays in january, I have been out for quite a lot of family meals which has been a wonderful break after a full day of uni work. 

HIGHLIGHTS
My biggest highlight of this month has to be seeing The Lion King. I wrote an entire post about my visit down to London for it so I won't ramble on again here, but it was honestly one of the most incredible shows I've ever seen. Seriously, I'm still thinking about it now. 
Another highlight was FINALLY getting to see Moana in cinemas. It came out back in early december and I can't believe how late I am to this party, but I finally managed to see it and it was in-credible! I cried, I laughed and I left the cinema with butterflies in my tummy! I've been listening to the music ever since (Lin-Manuel Miranda is fricking amazing!) and I can't wait until it comes out on dvd so I can add it to my collection!

FAVOURITES
My biggest favourite this month probably has to just be music. I mean I'm always listening to music but this month I've really not been doing much else with my spare time! There's been many an evening where I've been lost into the world of youtube, listening to disney playlists and belting out the lyrics when no ones home!

BLOG POSTS
Moving Forward
7 Things I Want To Do In 2017
A Trip To The Theatre | The Lion King
Books On My 2017 Reading List

How was your January?
xxx

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Books On My 2017 Reading List

I mentioned in my '7 Things I Want To Do In 2017' post that this year I want to fall in love with reading again. I only read 13 books last year and aside from the harry potter series, I wasn't excited to sit down and get lost in any of them. This year I'm not setting myself any specific reading goals other than to read as many different books as possible. I want to pick up whichever book I feel like, whenever I feel like it. I will probably be mainly sticking to stand alone books though this year as I want to read as many new books as possible and don't really want to get stuck on a series that I'm not 100% feeling! Even though I'm not giving myself a specific list of books that I have to read like I did last year, I thought it would be nice to share some of the books that I'm hoping to pick up this year. I have a ridiculous book buying habit and pretty much 80% of my bookshelf consists of unread books, so here are some of the ones on it that I'm hoping to finally get around to reading!

BIG MAGIC BY ELIZABETH GILBERT
This is a non-fiction book by the same author who wrote Eat Pray Love, and is basically a book all about creativity. I've heard a lot of people speak very highly about this book and as someone whose life ambition is to write a book and have it published, it seemed like a pretty good book for me to read! I'm also definitely a person who ends up in creative slumps far too often so I'm hoping this book will give me a little help in beating those!

THE HUMANS BY MATT HAIG
I picked this up ages ago because the blurb sounded so interesting! It's about a guy who all of a sudden hates everything about humans. Food, clothes, and people are all disgusting to him and the one thing he doesn't hate is Newton, a dog. I mean... if that doesn't sound like an interesting book then what does?!

A MONSTER CALLS BY PATRICK NESS
I'm sure you've all heard of this book by now. It's just been turned into a film with Liam Neeson and is very popular! My friend from uni has been raving about this book for weeks and pestering me to read it so of course I had to include it in this list. All I know is that it involves a little boy and a monster... that's it!

AFTER YOU BY JOJO MOYES
I am so excited for this book. I read Me Before You way back in 2012 and had completely forgotten about it until the film came out last year. I can't say anything about this sequel otherwise it will spoil the first book for the people who haven't read it, but I can't wait to see how the story continues and whether I enjoy it as much as I did the first one.

THE ALCHEMIST BY PAULO COELHO
This book has been sitting on my shelf for YEARS! I bought it so so long ago pretty much because I thought the cover was stunning and I'd heard a lot of people talk about how incredible it is. The tag line for this book is 'a fable about following your dream', which sounds exactly like the kind of book I need to read right now!

SERAPHINA BY RACHEL HARTMAN
Again, I've had this book for years and have never got around to reading it. I bought this book when I was going through a little phase of loving books about dragons, and this one sounded wonderful! It's about a world where humans and dragons co-exist, with dragons able to transform themselves into the shape of humans. Then, one day, a human is murdered, and it follows this dragon as she attempts to discover who the murderer was and keep the peace between humans and dragons. I'll always love fantasy books and I can't wait to finally get lost in this world. 

What books are you hoping to read this year?
xxx

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