August 11th, 2016

10 Ways to pick yourself up when you’re down

Breakfast in bed

Cath Kidson MugWaffle MakerBook

We all go through phases where things all get a bit too much, or we’re stressed, or over tired, or just not feeling ourselves.

These are just a few of the ways I go about pulling up my boots and getting my head back in the game.

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August 3rd, 2016

Workout Clothes Wishlist

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July 28th, 2016

This Week’s Good News

This Week's Good News

2016, while statistically no worse than any other year, most definitely feels like it’s out to get us. Every news and social media channel is just full of terrible things happening around the world, and it’s enough to make you want to hibernate until it’s all over.

While it’s important to care, it’s certainly emotionally draining, and I think it’s equally important to remember that everything isn’t terrible, and actually the world is a pretty brilliant place to be.

I’ve gathered together some of the more uplifting and heartwarming stories I’ve come across this week, so grab a brew and read on.

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April 2nd, 2015

Gig – Muse & Marmozets

Matt Bellamy Muse Manchester Academy 22nd March 2015

Chris Wolstenholme Dom Howard Muse Manchester Academy 22nd March 2015
Muse, Manchester Academy – 22nd March 2015
Marmozets Manchester Academy 22nd March 2015

Marmozets, Manchester Academy – 22nd March 2015

So the other week I happened to be checking my email at the split second an email from Muse dropped into my inbox announcing that they were going to be playing a string of six intimate shows… the following week.

 

I have been a Muse fan since the beginning of time, and when I was younger I was definitely a ‘superfan’. It was all a bit embarrassing, but I thought that I had been over that for a good few years now, and just liked the band a regular amount. I was wrong. As soon as I saw the email, the mission to secure myself a ticket was on. I was so elated when I had my confirmation email that I was no good to anybody for a good hour or two.

 

Then I saw Marmozets tweet that they would be supporting, which I was super happy about because I have been a fan since I heard “Move Shake Hide” probably some time mid 2013, and had been hoping to see the two sets of siblings tear it up live at some point anyway.

 

Then came Psycho, the title track of this tour, and the first song we would get to hear from Muse’s upcoming album “Drones”. Psycho uses a riff that Muse have been playing at live shows for the past 16 years or so, and it is SUCH a catchy track. I, along with every other Muse fan listened to it on repeat for at least several days, learned all the words and eagerly awaited getting to see it performed.

 

I had a ticket for Manchester, but had friends who were going to every show, and I kept a close eye on the sets performed at each – thrilled to see plenty of old material and rarer tracks and B sides being performed.

On the night I was a little bit late arriving at Manchester Academy, so I was gutted to miss the first few songs of Marmozets’ set, but I caught the majority and was blown away. They did a fantastic job of kicking off the night, and if you haven’t seem them perform yet you really should make sure you do. They play with real energy, and Becca’s vocals impress me even more in the flesh. I wish that I had been able to get closer, because the crowd where I was stood was fairly static, with me just moshing away and singing along by myself, but I could see a pretty good reaction a few rows in front, where there were obviously plenty of people who already knew the band. Hopefully a lot of the people there who were being introduced to them for the first time that night are now on board, I imagine they probably have quite a number of new fans after this tour!Then it was Muse’s turn to make me feel things. I was right in the pit for this. If you’re a Muse superfan, the place to be is right down the front with all the other superfans. Who needs ribs when you have a crowd jumping and singing in unison??

They opened with Psycho, and everybody loved it. It’s a great opener, and we were all singing the riff along with them, as well as all the words, because everybody knew it pretty well by that point.

Psycho was followed by ‘The Groove’ which is a favourite B Side of mine, and I was verrrrry happy. It was the first time they’d performed it since 2004. Bit of a big deal.

Next we got Bliss, which is such a beautiful track, and even better – there were Hullabaloons! If you don’t know what a Hullabaloon is, they are massive black or white balloons filled with confetti which get thrown around the crowd. If you haven’t watched the Hullabaloo DVD from back in the day you really need to.

A great moment was when I shouted ‘play Dead Star’ and Matt appeared to look amused, and then they launched into Dead Star. I would love to say they just went “hey great idea, let’s do that” but I was cheating. I’d seen the setlist.

And what a setlist it was! We got Fury, Dead Star and The Groove as out B Side treats, which was pretty wonderful, as well as plenty of favourite tracks from Origin of Symmetry, which they said they weren’t going to play again after that Reading & Leeds that time.  I am so happy they lied. Although we didn’t actually get anything from Showbiz, other dates in the tour did, which I was pretty jealous of, although still very happy with the Manchester set.

We also got to hear Reapers, another one of their new tracks from the Drones album. Plenty of people around me had watched the live videos from previous dates and sung along every word, so it definitely went down well! It was also funny how quite a few people didn’t seem to know Fury, as I guess it is a slightly rare track, and there was some excited mutterings of “is this off the new album?!”. Nope.

I am however getting very excited for the release of Drones now. So far we have heard Psycho, Reapers, and now Dead Inside, all of which I have really liked.

I wish I could relive this show, and I really really hope that this isn’t the last time I get to go to a more ‘intimate’ Muse gig. There were only 2000 people there, and above all, you could tell that the band were really enjoying themselves. I imagine it’s refreshing to go back to a different environment after putting on incredibly impressive and elaborate stadium stage shows for years! I think the fact they also released the first wave of tickets as a fan pre-sale, and combated touts by having paperless tickets (so you just swiped the card you paid with to get in) was a ridiculously good idea, and ensured a fantastic atmosphere! Top marks, Muse, you well and truly reignited my embarrassingly deep love for you guys!

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March 5th, 2015

Wish, Wonder & Surprise

Soooo… this is awkward. I haven’t blogged since Christmas, and we are already in March. I am the absolute worst for regular content.  I definitely have an excuse, or at least a reason, so I thought I would explain. You’ll have to excuse the iPhone pictures, but I just wanted to share a brief snapshot of what I’ve been up to because this mayyyy be a bit of a wall of text. Feel free to just look at the pictures and move on.
So in my Christmas Gift Guide, which was the last thing I posted, I briefly touched upon the fact that I was going through some personal stuff, but I haven’t really felt like elaborating until now.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve undergone something of a transformation. It’s pretty standard ‘part of growing up’ stuff that everybody goes through, but it was coupled with a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or ME). I had mild depression for quite a few years and struggled to find the motivation to do literally anything, as well as having no energy whatsoever, muscle aches, brain fog, and memory problems because of the CFS. I had debt problems which were spiraling out of control. I had pretty horrible anxiety, to the point where I couldn’t eat for days at a time because I would just throw up if I tried to stomach anything. I definitely did get by, but I couldn’t really be bothered with anything, from not making my bed in the morning to actually giving up absolutely all of my hobbies. I also felt like I couldn’t be bothered to express myself, and I am not really sure how I have any friends because I feel like my entire personality was internalised for years and I got by on basic interactions. But I do. Hey. You guys are cool.
I have come so so far since I was at that point. If I told a couple of years ago me that I would feel the way I do now I wouldn’t have believed it. I still have anxiety, but it definitely doesn’t control me anymore, and I just try to avoid situations I know will bring it on. I can quite proudly say that everything else is under control, and life is really great.
I’ve been seeing an occupational therapist for the past couple of months, as part of my CFS diagnosis, and it has been a really great experience for me because it has given me confirmation that I have my head screwed on, and I’m on the right path. We have been going through things that a CFS sufferer experiences, and things which can or should be done in order to recover, and basically saying “oh… well you’ve definitely been there, but you already have done/are doing the things necessary to overcome that particular hurdle” and we have pretty much established that I have recovered alone, by instinct, as it took literally years between diagnosis and actually seeing somebody, and I pretty much gave my lifestyle a complete overhaul in that time. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to say that, because CFS is a block in the road that some people can never move around. It’s fantastic to be told by a professional that you are teaching her a lot of things that she can pass on to other people who are struggling.
It’s the cheesiest thing in the world to say, but the biggest part of it has been self love and a positive mental attitude. And quite a lot of time management. I didn’t really have any of those things before, but once you become a person you really like, life just becomes so much easier. If you can believe in yourself, enjoy your own company, and know that you are a good person, things like low self confidence, loneliness and seeking approval from others become, for the most part, a thing of the past. It frees you up to concentrate on what you want from life, and the steps you need to take to get there. Looking for the positives in everything and not wasting any energy on negativity, as well as accepting the things we don’t have the power to change saves an incredible amount of energy and unnecessary stress. I’m pretty easy to please, but I can’t really remember the last time I had a bad day, because I usually just accept whatever is bothering me or not going right, and make a conscious decision that I’m going to do something that makes me happy instead. For me this can literally be anything from listening to Taylor Swift and having a good (depending on your definition of good) sing along, to going for a walk and seeing the sea, or just reading my book. And then I can move on and continue spending my time productively.
I feel like that’s not anything particularly extraordinary, and I think that most people learn this as a natural part of growing up. The only real difference is that CFS means I have to be reeeeally conscious of how I spend my time. I have to make sure I don’t overdo it and wear myself out to the point where I am no use to the world for a week. This used to frustarate me a lot because I wanted to be constantly doing things, and I was in a constant boom and bust cycle which was quite hard to accept. But these days I really don’t mind chilling out and taking things slow at all, and I like my lifestyle and don’t consider it a negative.
My huge breaks from blogging have been for two reasons, first of all the whole boom and bust thing – there was a phase where I was endevouring to blog every single day, and hold down a full time job, a long term relationship and a social life at the same time, which – enormous kudos – a lot of people do quite successfully, but is literally impossible for me. I was basically making myself really ill. Obviously my blog had to be the thing out of all of that which took a back seat, and so I did for many months.
Secondly, while going through this process, I feel like I grew up very fast in quite a short space of time, and I started to come out of my shell and express myself and the things I cared about more. I wanted to do more and be more. I realised that the relationship I was in wasn’t really for me anymore, and that neither of us were benefiting from being together. Like any relationship, it had had it’s ups and downs, but ultimately been worth it – but I had suddenly changed into a completely different person, and he hadn’t really gone through that process. We definitely grew apart, which was hard to accept for a long time, but ultimately I did accept it and ended the relationship. I think we both learned a lot, and I have a lot of happy memories, and it was nice to have shared the journey with someone. I genuinely feel like I understand how to relationships now. And it’s hard to understand how to relationships. And I also know how to do alone, and that it’s pretty cool to do alone for a bit, and you don’t really need to relationships if you have yet to meet your partner in crime.
It was obviously very sad, no break up is easy, and on top of that I had to learn how to be on my own after nearly 5 years. Blogging definitely wasn’t a priority. I still feel like I have a lot more adjusting to do, it’s really weird to go from having a person you spend all your time with to, well, not. You notice things like the fact that you and all your other coupled up friends were kinda in nest mode, but now that you’re outside of that the dynamic is different. You maybe regress to your 18 year old self a bit and get drunk far too often because you don’t know how else to socialise. You try the dating game and discover that it is, in fact, a ridiculous convoluted game, and that you have no time for that whatsoever. You get really, really, REALLY into burgers instead. You go to the gym almost every day for a month, and then go back to just drinking wine and doing some squats every once in a while. You go for walks, you eat great food, and you start spending 80% of your time in the bath. You get embarassingly excited on the one snow day of winter. And so on.
Basically I have been having a really nice time, with a couple of ‘wtf’ moments thrown in for good measure, but all in all I am happy and excited because I’m in a really good place, and I can really see and believe in all I have become, and all I’ve yet to be.
Aaaaand that’s quite enough ‘Dear Diary’ for today. A normal schedule of posts about standard lifestyle and beauty stuff will be resuming shortly. Well I say schedule. There will be posts, but I can’t promise you a schedule just yet, until I get into the swing of things again. But I’ve finally bought a nifty fifty, and I am obsesssed with taking pictures of everything, so I will have a lot to share! Watch this space!
If you’ve made it this far you deserve a medal *presents medal*
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October 13th, 2014

Chase & Status, Sigma, Kove – Outfit

Crop Top – Boohoo
Tartan/Plaid Leggings – Topshop
Shoes – Sainsbury’s

At the beginning of the month I went to see Chase & Status, Sigma, and Kove in Leeds which was a really great night. I’ve seen Chase & Status more times than I can count now, but it’s always worth going! I’m really into Kove at the moment, and I’d seen him with Chase & Status a few months back so I knew I was going to really enjoy it, and it was pretty cool to be able to catch Sigma for the first time too.I dressed quite simply because I knew that I was going to get really hot dancing all night, and I also wanted to wear flat shoes so I would be comfortable until the early hours. I wore this great cross over crop top from boohoo.com with these green plaid/tartan leggings I got from Topshop quite a while ago now and I know I’ve featured them in an outfit before. For footwear I wore this great pumps from Sainsbury’s! I picked these up because even though I already have a pair of Vans, and some plain pumps from New Look and really didn’t need another pair I really loved the gold zip details (totally not functional zips btw, all for show).

I had such a great time with my friends and it was really nice to have the opportunity to just dance the night away again after Creamfields as I don’t really go out much in my home town.
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September 11th, 2014

Invisalign Update #4 – Big Changes!

Hi guys! So I’m quite far into my Invisalign treatment now, and I hadn’t done an update in around 8 months… oopsie! So I uploaded a new video today to let you all know how I’m getting on, if you’re interested. I’ve seen some really big changes!

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June 18th, 2014

Unicorn Hair, New Tattoo, and Fun in the Sun

Oh hey there, um… sorry for six month blogging hiatus. For the entire first half of 2014 I have failed miserably at blogging. This post is going to serve as a little ‘catch up’ before I get back into the swing of things, I hope nobody minds, but it’s more or less going to be an Instagram roundup kinda post.
So what’s changed? For starters, my hair, about fifty times. Yup, I’m now a very light blonde, but in recent months I have been ombre, silver, pink and purple, and various combinations.

 

 

 

 

 

Yup, for a while there I had super cool unicorn hair. It started out as an attempt to tone my hair as I went blonder, and ended up just turning pink, and then I just thought ‘hey, might as well make it properly pink for a while’ and just had fun with it! The last two pictures are the colour it is now. I’m really enjoying being super blonde for summer!
Also you may notice my new tattoo. Let’s address that. I finally decided to stop dithering and just start getting the tattoos I have been wanting for years! There are so many artists I love, and so many things I want on my skin forever, and I’m only going to be this young once. My beautiful Robin was done by Isobel Stevenson who works at Skinny’s Ink, although I actually had it done at Tattoo Tea Party in Manchester. That was such a fun weekend. Me and my boyfriend went down for both days, I was booked in with Isobel on the Sunday but we booked a hotel and went down on the Saturday so we had lots of time to check out all the booths and play on the bumper cars! The picture below is when it was still fresh, I really need to take a nice healed picture soon.

 

So apart from changing up my hair and getting tattooed, I have mostly just been working my day job, spending time with friends, and just enjoying life. Highlights include McBusted in April, which was amazing, and DJ sets from Chase & Status, Matrix & Futurebound, Sub Focus, Kove, and Netsky to name a few, which were incredible nights. I’m so happy that it’s finally starting to behave like Summer in the UK, so I’m making as much effort as I can to get outdoors and make the most of it! There’s nothing I love more than being out and about in nature, and I’m really lucky to live in a seriously beautiful place. I’ve also got Creamfields coming up which should be awesome, and so far it’s the only festival I have planned for this year! I usually go to Download but it just wasn’t in the budget this year unfortunately!
McBusted

 

 

So that’s pretty much the briefest summary I could manage for this year so far, I even considered splitting this into two posts as it’s so picture heavy and long, but I think you guys can handle it. I will be blogging again properly from now on, and the beauty and fashion stuff shall resume, but I also plan to mix it up a bit with things like this, and also put less pressure on myself to post every day, or do everything just right, because it got pretty stressful trying to do all that as well as keep up with a full time job and a social life at the same time! Some people on here manage to juggle all of that so well, and I salute them for it, it really is admirable, but for me personally I just find that if I push myself too much I stop enjoying it, and that just completely defeats the purpose of why I started my blog. I adore blogging, and I have really missed it, so thank you to everyone who has stuck around, and hello to anybody who is new. Let’s do this!

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December 19th, 2013

Makeup Organisation Sneak Peek and Life Update

 

My New Year’s dress, oooh sparkly! – £52 Elise Ryan via Asos

Hello bloggy friends! I wanted to apologise for my relative absence over the past month or two. I will do this in a moment, but for those of you who really don’t care, or just read blogs for the pretty shiny things (which is fine and I totally do that too) I have included a sneak preview of my makeup storage, which I will be doing a video on shortly, and a picture of my New Year’s dress, which I am completely in love with, and can’t wait to wear. It’s my ‘princess dress’. Here is a link to it if you would like to buy it for yourself.
When I first started my blog, I promised myself that I would never blog if my heart wasn’t in it, and my blog would be for me and what I loved. This is something that I have stuck with through out, and intend to do so until the end of time.
There are a few reasons for this absence, the most notable being I really didn’t have anything much to blog about. I like to blog about stuff I really love, and unless I go out and buy things, honestly my beauty routine stays pretty much the same. I’ll get into that more in a bit. The one thing I have been feeling like I want to do more is outfit posts. This is essentially the thing that first drew me to blogging, but funnily enough the thing I’ve actually done the least. My reasons for this have been that firstly I found it awkward taking pictures in my bedroom, and only recently found a good spot to take them outside, but also because I don’t buy clothes very often, and feel bad showing you things that aren’t currently available in shops. I am considering just going for it anyway, as I guess it could serve as inspiration. We shall see.
The other major factor has been my finances. Remember No Spend October? If you don’t, you can read all about it here but basically in October I decided that I wanted to see whether I was spending extravagantly, or whether I just wasn’t earning enough, and challenge myself to spend as little as possible. This basically lead to a bit of a ‘lightbulb moment’ for me – at the age of 23, I have ridiculous levels of debt, which in my defence were partially racked up due to a period of unemployment, but still, I could have a degree for this level of expenditure, yet all I have to show for it is the clothes on my back and the food in my body. I actually don’t spend extravagantly, was the gist of my No Spend Challenge. I actually barely buy anything.
Regardless of how I got into this mess, (which is a bit of a boring story which I will tell another time if anybody actually wants to hear it, or feels like knowing might help them) my focus now is on shifting it once and for all so that my income is actually my own. Contrary to popular belief, blogging is not some kind of cash cow, you don’t make megabucks just because you have a blog, and yes, occasionally you get sent free products, which you would otherwise have had to buy, and this is nice, but this is not nearly as often as is perceived, and in my entire time blogging I really haven’t made much money at all. Which isn’t my reason for blogging, so it’s fine. I blog because I enjoy it and will continue to do so. But it does mean that I needed to start concentrating purely on my 9-5 job, and any other little projects I could work on that would bring in a bit of extra cash to throw at loans and credit cards. So that is what I have been doing. I’m sorry that I didn’t bring you all along for the ride, but it hasn’t really been a very exciting ride. Mostly just spreadsheets and budgeting and lots of surveys.
Obviously this has lead to me not really buying anything, not having anything new to talk about, and feeling okay about that. Despite being approached about a couple of sponsored posts in this time, I haven’t put anything up. Even if I would be being paid for it, which obviously would help me reach my goal of debt payments, if it doesn’t feel right for my blog, it won’t get posted. I’d rather you guys put up with radio silence than filler content that interests nobody. So sorry, but also not sorry?
I’ve also not really been reading as many blogs as usual because I felt like I was seeing too many things I wanted to spend money on. So sorry if you are used to receiving comments from me daily and this has stopped, it’s nothing personal, I’ve just been trying not to enable myself! The love is still there!
I am really looking forward to Christmas, so I am planning a few things for during/after the whole festive period, and I also have a few videos coming up soon again too. I’m finding it a lot easier to feel inspired when it comes to YouTube than blogging these days, but haven’t had the time to actually film or edit!
What are you all doing for Christmas? What have you been upto?

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26 year old lifestyle blogger from the North of England

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