2017 was confusing...

2017 was the best and worst year of my life. Which is why I'm not sure how to react to it. Do I write a blog post about all the incredible things the year brought me? Or all of the crappy things I went through? Or both? Maybe I'll just write random things and see where it takes me...

2017 improved my personality A LOT. I went to Southeast Asia to volunteer my help at an Elephant Conservation Centre, I got my first job, I got my first tattoo, I got through some anxiety issues, and I forced myself to become more sociable. I became more confident, more forgiving, more friendly, and more understanding. However, this unfortunately didn't make me more happy.

I really struggle with my happiness, and I know the exact reasons why. But the reasons are not fixable at this stage in my life. I won't tell you the reasons, because they are completely unjustifiable and completely stupid, if I'm honest. But that sums me up as a person.

Although 2017 brought me some incredible achievements (travelling on my own, taking on more volunteering opportunities, being awarded my fourth scholarship, and getting a job), 2017 has also been a really difficult year for me.

Each day at uni is a struggle to get through because of various health issues. I won't go into too much detail, but I have issues with my body which I try to hide in lectures and seminars, and causes a crazy amount of anxiety when I struggle to hide this issue. Therefore, I have missed numerous things on my timetable because I feel like a failure and feel as though I can't get through a single 1-hour lecture without having a full on freak-out. 

2017 also damaged some relationships for me with people. Summer 2017 was the best and worst summer of my entire life, because I damaged a relationship with one of my favourite people but I also accomplished a 12-hour flight to Laos and got to meet lots of elephants. 2017 just confuses me so much.

What a crazy year. What a sometimes depressing, sometimes happy, mostly stressful year! I'm hoping to make some serious changes in 2018. I'm going to start with actually getting help with my issues (even though my doctor's appointments in the past have SUCKED), forgiving and forgetting with a certain someone, actually attending as many lectures and seminars as I can, and focusing on the little happy things in my life more. I'm going to be as sociable as I can (this is something I struggle with due to my Asperger's), and I'm going to make it a happy year. Not a confusing one like 2017, but a happy one.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year! I'm hoping this time next year I can say that I'm completely 100% happy in my life, whereas right now I'm a solid 68%.


'The Little Big Things' - Henry Fraser / Book Review

We all take parts of our lives for granted. Do you think every single day about how grateful you are for the fact that you can breathe without assistance? Or the fact that most of us can use our arms and legs without even concentrating on it? Or how the majority of us have the ability to eat food properly? Well, after reading 'The Little Big Things' by Henry Fraser, I am constantly thinking about these small things in my life and how lucky I actually am.

This book is spoken from Fraser's perspective when he suffered from an injury on holiday which severed his spinal cord, and resulted in him being paralysed from the neck down. However, this book isn't about the tragedy that had a negative impact on his life. This book is about all the little things in his life which kept him strong and positive and happy despite his accident. 

Fraser speaks in such an inspiring way that this book already had an influence on my outlook to life even after only reading the first 40 pages! The entire book is filled with positivity and strength; things which a lot of us need to implement into our lives (myself included).

After reading each chapter of this book, I reflected on my own struggles in life, how I can overcome these, and I began to focus on the little things in my life. Such as, I have a supportive family, I have a loving boyfriend, I have a roof over my head, and I have the ability to walk out of my flat and go to university each day successfully. Yes, we all have problems in our lives. But if we focus on the little things in our lives which bring us happiness, then they will become the big things that keep us going.

I admired how Fraser gave the book a personal touch through adding some images of his journey, which really allowed me to visualise all the moments in the book which he talks about. I love when books do this, because it adds a personal and honest touch. He included pictures on how he paints with his mouth, which is such an admiring skill and one that Fraser should be extremely proud of himself for.

This is a truly inspiring book. It's one to read whenever you're feeling down or going through a tough time. It includes a perfect mixture of events which happened to Fraser, and advice which we can apply to ourselves. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to EVERYONE. It's extremely easy to read, and quite a short book so even those who don't enjoy reading would find this book interesting. Henry Fraser is an extremely influential person and I am so happy that I decided to read this book when I needed his advice the most.



Recently, I've been BEYOND homesick. I'm not sure why, as I haven't felt like this at all since I first started university (I'm in my third year now). It feels like it's been so long since I was last at home, even though it's only been a month.

Yesterday, I finally got to see my mum again. We had the most lovely day ever in York. Although it was one of my best days in October, it made my homesickness so much worse! I'm now sat in my uni flat, alone, on an incredibly uncomfortable plastic chair, in a place that doesn't feel like a home to me. Don't get me wrong, I love this little flat. But nothing beats my cosy living room at home with my mum's baking and the fireplace burning and my large TV and cuddles with my dog and (probably the most important factor) socialisation. Because I currently live alone at uni, every evening is spent watching Netflix alone. Although it's a nice way to spend an evening, the novelty wears off when it's EVERY evening.

There isn't really a point to this blog post; I'm just venting my thoughts because I don't really have anyone to speak to when I'm down, so my blog is a good distraction. I'm enjoying my modules at uni, and I'm relatively happy living here, but I miss my family and my home and I'm already counting down the days until the Christmas break where I can spend lots of time there.

This is the loneliest I've ever felt in my life, and I think that's why I'm feeling so homesick. But I'll persevere because it won't be long until I can go back home to my family and finally relax.


How Much Is My Face Worth?

Happy Sunday! I have decided to do a slightly different type of blog post today. I'm basically going to talk about my everyday makeup items, how much they all cost and then end with how much money's worth of makeup I'm putting on my face each day! Let's get to it.

w7 Prime Magic Camera Ready Face Primer £3.99
This is the first and only primer I've ever had - and it's actually pretty good! It gives my skin the perfect base to apply makeup to, and it prevents my eye wrinkles from looking quite so prominent!

Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation £8.99
I love love LOVE this foundation. It's actually the only foundation I've ever used but I've never wanted to try different ones because this one is perfect for me. Although it's one of the cheapest drugstore foundations you can find, I do actually find it a little bit pricey for a broke student; but if you take a cheeky look in Savers or Bodycare, they sell this for £4.99!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer £6.49
This concealer provides extremely good coverage and adds a nice glow to the areas where it's applied. I'm always using this to brighten up my extremely dull and plain-looking face.

Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Mascara £6.99
I'm constantly trying new mascaras because mascara is one of my favourite makeup items and I really enjoy purchasing new ones to try. This mascara is fantastic, it makes my eyelashes really stand out (which is perfect for someone who has naturally short, stubby eyelashes like myself).

YBF Model's Prefer Yellow Neutralising Powder £15.99
Although this powder is difficult for UK residents to get because no-where sells it here, I love the YBF Model's Prefer range! This powder is really great, although I wish it wasn't quite so yellow because it makes my face look like I've been on a month-long sunny holiday. Although in the picture it is shown in a set palette, you can actually purchase the powder separately on eBay.

AVON Warm Cashmere Eye Shadow Duo £6.00
This is my all-time favourite eye shadow duo. They're always the ones I'm reaching for because they go with any lipstick, any outfit, and they always make my eyes look super pretty. I also want to take this opportunity to apologise for how dirty the palette looks in the picture - I definitely need to clean it after I've written this blog post!

YBF Model's Prefer Stages of Beauty Bronzing Powder £14.99
This bronzing powder is perfect for my skin tone. As it's not too pigmented, it can look really subtle on my cheeks and I can make it look exactly how I want it to look.

YBF Model's Prefer 2 in 1 Blush "Ravishing Rouge" £10.99
I promise this blog post ISN'T sponsored by YBF Model's Prefer - I just really love this brand and received a large amount of makeup from them on a cruise ship a good few years ago. These blusher colours are so pretty and also work really well with the bronzer when all blended together. They're a soft subtle pink; they make my cheeks look so lovely. Although I tend to blend the two colours together, you can definitely tell by the picture which shade I prefer the most!

AVON Illuminating Face Pearls £8.99
These are a recent purchase but I've been loving them so far! They're an alternative to a highlighter; they produce the slightest shimmer on your face but it looks extremely beautiful. I love these pearls so much and will definitely re-purchase once I've used them up.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick 'Nude in Private' £28
This lipstick shade is the most beautiful shade, and it suits me perfectly. The actual lipstick itself is a fantastic formula, it's super moisturising, and it tastes like fruit! This is definitely my go-to everyday lipstick, however I don't want to use it all up because it's so expensive! I'm currently on the lookout for a dupe.

Overall price of face: £111.42.
That's actually shocking! I can't believe how much money I'm spending on makeup - and my makeup items aren't even that expensive! However, I'd say that spending that much money on makeup is definitely worth it because I'm extremely happy with each product, and I personally believe that it's worth spending over £100 to make me feel better about myself and feel more beautiful.

Thanks for reading this post. Why don't you add up each makeup item you use daily and see how much your face is worth? Let me know in the comments if you spend as much as I do... or more!


It Finally Feels Like Autumn

When I'm at uni, I find it really hard to feel festive. I think it's because I never buy any fairy lights for my room, and don't have a couch here that I can cosy up on with a blanket and watch TV programmes - I don't even have a TV here! Plus, nothing beats my mum's cooking and the festive food she buys and how cosy my family living room is. I guess I just always feel homesick at this time of year.

However, last weekend, I finally felt festive and cosy!

My boyfriend came to visit me and we went to the Sunderland Illuminations, which is a festival of lights at the beach that Sunderland holds each year. It's the perfect time to wear a warm winter parka coat and a bobble hat - which is exactly what I did. It was the most perfect evening I've had in a long time and thinking about that evening makes me so happy.

The day after this perfect Autumnal evening, my boyfriend and I booked a hotel room in Newcastle because I was going to a 21st birthday meal, and we wanted to do something special for our 4 year anniversary. Just when I thought I couldn't have a night as perfect as the one before, I had yet again another amazing evening!! The meal with my friends was fantastic; we went to The Alchemist which do the most magical cocktails (literally - you have to try it out). 

Basically, I'm just writing this blog post because I had the most perfect weekend ever - and I've had a really difficult time recently at uni due to various health issues, therefore this weekend was EXACTLY what I needed. I feel so refreshed and fulfilled, and it was the perfect remedy for me.

I'm finally feeling festive and Autumnal, and it's making me much happier :)


The Meaning Behind My Tattoo

I recently got my first ever tattoo! It was a very spontaneous decision, but I absolutely love it and it looks EXACTLY how I wanted it to look. Because this tattoo means so much to me, I've decided to dedicate a blog post to it with some information regarding the experience of getting my first ever tattoo.

I expected it to be super painful, however it didn't actually hurt that much. Plus it only hurt whilst it was being done, but not afterwards. It was a much better experience than I expected it to be, and I already want another tattoo! My tattoo has healed extremely well and the experience couldn't have been better.

The meaning: I just recently returned from a life-changing trip to Laos in Southeast Asia where I volunteered at an Elephant Conservation Camp (more about this trip here). This trip was the scariest thing I had ever done, but I had the best time of my entire life. The elephant symbolises a development in my personality. When I returned from Laos, I noticed that my life was much happier and I was smiling a lot more. However, I realised that my life hasn't actually changed that much; what has changed is my outlook on life. My trip to Laos has made me a much more positive, chilled out person who is enjoying life a lot more. I don't worry about things or stress out as much. I've been leaving my comfort zone ALL THE TIME, and have gained huge amounts of confidence. I am actively trying to conquer my fears. I'm more motivated to succeed in life. I have overcome a lot of obstacles due to my trip to Laos and my little elephant not only symbolises my love for the creatures, but how my memories of the trip are something that I want to carry around with me wherever I go. This way, I'll always be reminded of the confident, careless person I was in Laos, and I'll always take this part of me into every situation life throws at me.

Do you have any tattoos? Do you plan on getting any? Let me know in the comments; I'd love to see the meanings behind other people's tattoos.


September Favourites / 2017

Happy October! It's time for another Favourites blog post, which I haven't actually done since April (oops). September was a great month for me, and it's put me in a fantastic mood to start October. I hope you enjoy seeing what I've loved over September.

Avon True Nutra Effects Mattifying Day Cream

I bought this product in August because my previous moisturiser just wasn't doing the job for me. I was looking for something that would keep my skin moisturised but not add to my already-excessive oils. That's why this day cream was PERFECT for me! It makes my skin super soft and hydrated, but I've also noticed that my skin doesn't get as oily throughout the day. My makeup has lasted longer throughout the day, and I just know I'll be repurchasing this once I've finished. It's such an amazing price too; I'd highly recommend it if you have oily skin like me!

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 'To Nude or Not To Nude'

I've had this lipstick for SO LONG. We're talking like almost 5 years. But it's still extremely moisturising, has a fantastic formulation, and a perfect shade for my lips. It's a beautiful slightly darker alternative to a nude with a hint of shine. It's my go-to lipstick when I don't know what to wear, it's perfect for when I'm going out to events or when I'm just chilling at home. I'd go as far as to say it's the best lipstick I've ever purchased - and that's a bold statement. It stays on really well, I hardly ever reapply it, and the price is excellent! You can see how much I've loved it by how small it is now, I'm definitely in need of a repurchase.

Next Make Me Beautiful Eye Shadow Quad

I remember the exact day that my mum and I bought these eye shadows from Next over two years ago, and I've loved it ever since that day. They are the most gorgeous gold-orange shades I've ever see with a beautiful highlight shade too. Now that it's autumn, I'm going to be wearing these every day. They're extremely good quality, amazing price, last really well, and look lovely with my eye colour. I'm so impressed with these.

Watermelon Pencil Case and Notebook

I bought these from Tesco because I wanted a thin pencil case to fit into my uni bag and I wanted a dissertation notebook. These do the job perfectly! It took me ages to find a pencil case that was small and thin but good quality - and this watermelon one is exactly what I was looking for! The notebook is also a good size; not too big and not too small. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with these and they're perfect for uni.

Happy Thoughts Notebook

I received this as a birthday present from my mum and it's the most beautiful notebook ever! I use it for its stated purpose: to write my happy thoughts in. The print is gorgeous, it's extremely good quality, and reading through all my entries so far makes me really happy and always cheers me up. It was an excellent gift idea.

How to be Confident by Anna Barnes

Words cannot explain how much I love this book. I bought it because I needed some tips on how to be more confident for my new job position, and I lack confidence in general. However, the tips in this book have genuinely helped me out and offered some great advice. Not only that, but the illustrations in the book are CRAZILY BEAUTIFUL. Each page is like a piece of art you'd want to frame and put on your wall. If you see this book in a shop, please flick through the pages and admire the beautiful images. I also bought 'How to be Calm' and I guarantee that it will be in my next favourites, but this is the one that I've read so far. It's the most beautiful book I've ever seen.

Strictly Come Dancing

I mainly started watching Strictly for Aston Merrygold (my favourite member from JLS and the world's cutiest patootie). However, I'm actually really enjoying the programme! It clashes with X-Factor on Saturday's but I've actually been preferring it, which is crazy because I've always devoted my life to X-Factor. It makes me want to join dance classes, and I love the gorgeous dresses that the women get to wear! It's such a relaxing programme too, I'm so glad I started watching it.

Hello October

New favourite YouTuber alert! I've been watching HelloOctober on YouTube for over two years, however recently I've just been completely obsessed with her videos. They're extremely good quality, they're always so positive, and her personality is amazing. Plus, she's so beautiful too. I love any video she makes! She recently moved house so her interior design videos have been a favourite of mine recently. My only request is that she would include more of her new dog into her vlogs because I'm a sucker for a cute dog. I would recommend this YouTube channel to EVERYONE (also check out her Instagram too because her posts are so beautiful). 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! What have your September favourites been? Let me know in the comments.

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