Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Driftwood by Cathy Cassidy

Driftwood is a story about Hannah and Joey who have been best friends for ever. Joey  is quirky and preaches individuality while her parents love rescuing things other people would class as rubbish and making them into unique creations. This means their house is full of things made from driftwood, old glass and shells from the beach. They are the type of family who love to find beauty in everything. This is probably why when the girls find abandoned, flea bitten kittens in the bin at school, they end up living in their home. When Joey's parents foster an unlikely boy called Paul, everybody thinks he needs rescuing too. But nobody looks deep enough to see quite how badly. Hannah's brother and Paul quickly become friends and the four of them are inseparable. This is where things start to go wrong. Paul is beginning to get bullied and things quickly become dangerous. People aren't like driftwood or beach shells, a life is something much more precious and hard to rescue on your own.

I first read this book in my last year of Primary school and instantly fell in love with Cathy Cassidy's writing style. Being about 11, my knowledge on depression and suicide was mainly learnt from reality TV like Casualty and misinterpreted rumors about psychiatric wards. Cathy Cassidy always finds a way to make her characters relate-able (even if sometimes in very obscure ways) and make such a beautiful book out of harsh reality and somewhat scary subjects. Another reason I love this book is because of the point of view it is written in.  Rather than being from an adults point of view such as Joey's parents or perhaps Paul's social worker or teacher it's written in Hannah's perspective. What I mean by this is that her opinions are slightly more naive and child like which I found easy to relate to. I also found my self lost in the story. When I started reading it I couldn't stop which is something I really value in a story. Overall I really loved this book and it'll probably be one I find myself re-reading over and over again.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The big taboo about periods

Seems a weird thing for someone to say in public right? Wrong. I find it fascinating how so much embarrassment, awkwardness, and shame is associated with this one subject when it's something half of the population will learn to live with for the majority of their lives. Even among women, it's something we've been taught since primary school to talk about in a hushed voice and not tell the boys about. I find this absolutely disgraceful. I hate that if a girl asked me if she could borrow a pad in a public place like in school, I would be expected to somehow sneakily pass the pad from my hand to hers without anyone seeing. To any girls reading this, next time this happens to you don't even bother trying to hide the fact that woman have periods. Hand the pad directly to the other woman and see how many people even bat an eyelid. The truth is that everybody is too busy going about their own lives to take any notice about what's happening in yours. 
In LEDC countries like India and rural Africa, periods are  often a subject never spoken of. Sometimes girls know nothing because their mothers, grandmothers and sisters have told them nothing. Some girls started their periods and thought they were dying of cancer.  For many young girls in Africa, menstruation hinders education. They are often taunted by male classmates or don't have the right protection. If woman can’t afford pads or cloths, they use straw, sand, or newspaper, often resulting in infections. (Only 12% of Indian women use pads). Some cultures still believe that when a woman is on her period she should be isolated and treated as an untouchable. This means she's banned from praying, cooking and even fasting.

This isn't a tag, but I think it's something we need to write about more. To anyone brave reading this, male or female, write up a post about periods and share it with as many people as possible. Let's #BreakThatTaboo

Sunday, 6 December 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock.

Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring.

Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun..

(can't help but remind me of Mean Girls...)

Christmas is so close now and there are so many things I love to do in December like buying and wrapping presents, listening to Christmas music (totally haven't already started) and decorating the house. JessBeauty01 and I have decided to collaborate on a favourite things about Christmas post and if you do get a chance, make sure you check out her blogmas which she will be posting everyday until Christmas. Let's get cracking!

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
If you're anything like me, Christmas films are one of my favourite things about the run up to Christmas. Snuggled up on the sofa binging on Celebrations with the family. Although there are so many films I love at Christmas, Elf is my all time favourite. I also love watching Food Network at Christmas, particularly Barefoot Contessa and Nigela. 

2.Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
For me, all Christmas days are my favourite. It's always been the same routine, being woken up by my brothers at about 5am, then going to my sisters and opening our stockings (not like we haven't looked already haha) and staying in their room until we think it's fair to wake our parents up (still usually only about 6am haha). For Christmas dinner my whole family goes round to my Gran's house where we have a massive Christmas dinner.

3. Favourite festive food?

Well, this is a tough one. As much as I love the gargantuan amounts of chocolate we eat as a substitute to breakfast, nothing can beat mashed potato or Yorkshire pudding. 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Perks and cons of being ill

Before I start, I am not talking about any serious illness here, I'm talking the flu, colds, headaches and other not so nice sicknesses. I remember a couple of moths ago a was so sick I couldn't even drink water with out um...vomiting every five minutes. In that case, there really isn't many perks at all.

Perk 1: People look after you. :)

Con 1: That is unless, you're living alone and in that case you have to make your own Lemsip.

Perk 2: You physically have to stay in bed all day

Con 2: You feel like Elsa locked away in your bedroom. 

Perk 3: Speaking of Frozen, it's almost Christmas. Today has officially turned into Christmas movie day.

Con 3: You can't remember your Netflix login, crud.

Perk 4: You've just realised you can catch up on I'm a Celebrity .

Con 4: Watching other people eat kangaroo testicles makes you feel even more sick (what is my reward?!)

Perk 5: Laying in bed and watching the rain has to be one of the most satisfying things ever.

Con 5: Having to catch up on all the work you've missed however isn't.

Perk 6: My kittens love my dressing gown nearly as much as I do.

Con 6: There comes a point when you get sick of all your books, social media, who ever wrote This Morning and feeling like a sweaty sloth with a headache. You want to go back to school.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Mid Season Haul

The first things I picked up were Rimmel kate moss 107 and 111.  I absolutely love these two lipsticks, especially in this time of year as they are such gorgeous, velvet matte shades. Shade 111 (Kiss of Life) is a very bright red and compliments fair skin whereas 107 is a deeper, more berry tone which I think will compliment all skin tones. One disadvantage about these lipsticks is that they are quite drying and I would recommend wearing a lip balm underneath. The packaging is very study and has tolerated being bashed around in my makeup bag. 

I'm not sure whether it's the fact that the products are limited edition or that the shop felt so Christmassy and festive that makes Lush such a magical place for me at this time of year. There are so many new Christmas exclusives and old classics which all smell incredible. After trying basically everything I finally settled for Rose Jam Bubbleroon and Luxury Lush Pud for the sole reason that they smelt incredible. Rose Jam has always been up there with my favorite Lush scents and I'm kicking myself that I didn't get the shower gel as well. I also love the new design which is much more glittery and macaroon looking than before! The scent of Luxury Lush Pud reminded me of my all time favourite bath bomb Twilight which I think is why it became such an impulse purchase. The bath bomb itself is such a beautiful, vibrant pink with lots of different coloured 'pods'.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

You scrub up well

 Ever since I can remember, Snow Fairy has been my favourite scent of this time of year. I'm the worst at describing how things smell but it's a kind of sweet, sugary, candy floss cross vanilla like scent. The colour is this intense fuscia with tiny flecks of glitter which glisten in the water. The packaging is somewhat basic which is ironic for such a magical product but they change it every year. 
When I picked up the bottle yesterday the sales man and I, like we do, had a conversation about the product. He mentioned the fact the recipe has be altered slightly so the glitter wouldn't sink to the bottom. What made my laugh was that the base of the bottle was lined with glitter.  I decided to pair this with flamingo bubble bar to make a bath cocktail which resulted in a mass of magenta, shimmery bubbles. It was propa lush.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

In the Autumn..

Just in case any of you haven't noticed yet, I love Autumn. I love the crisp, spiced, Autumn air and long, cool walks. This has been a huge collaboration with some wonderful blogger friends and we have all posted something Autumn themed so make sure you check them all out.
Firstly, the thing that makes me marvel most about Autumn is the colour. Whether is be the leaves changing, the crunch beneath your feet or the picturesque, glistening sunsets, colour is everywhere. Orange, red, yellow, pink , black, magenta and brown, I can't think of any season with a more beautiful array of colour. Then there's fashion. Who doesn't love wrapping up all cozy in layers jumpers, scarves, parkas, black jeans and boots? Autumn is the season for cozy fashion and what's not to love about shopping for even more Autumn clothes?

Autumn is the time for so many events. There's nothing I love more than getting cozy with blankets and watching films or going to bonfires. Also Autumn is my birthday season as well as the run up to Christmas (although I'm not wishing this season away just yet). Finally, decorating is something I love to do around this season. My family go all out on Halloween with decorating the house (which I'm sure will be a future post) and my house always smells like a Yankee Candle shop in Autumn. Carving and finding the perfect pumpkin is my favourite part of halloween which is something I cannot wait for.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Dressing Table Beauty

I often find my dresser in a big mess. Jewelry here, makeup sponges there, it's just not a pleasant way to get ready in the morning. Right now it's actually tidy so I thought I'd share with you what I keep here and how I (try to) keep it organised. The table itself is actually from a second hand shop in town so I can't share a link it below but it is a champagne, cream colour and has three draws to the right. I keep my makeup brushes in a jam jar (creative I know)and my most worn necklaces and bracelets in this jewelry closet. Next to it I keep a lamp for when I'm drawing or painting. The one here is from Amazon and I love it a lot. It may not be very Autumnal but I just find it too cute. 
Bunny lamp- Amazon
Jam Jar-Amazon
Jewlery box- BHS
Makeup Brushes- Real Techniques and Eco Tools
Then in a chest of drawers I managed to fit under my dresser is where I store my mass of makeup. I haven't included pictures of the inside of the drawers as it is still a working progress but I basically just use dividers (which you can make out of polystyrene, plastic or wood, or just use old boxes if you don't have any) to section off eyes, lips and face. I find this the best way to organise make up so you're not rummaging through old lipstick tubes to get ready in the morning.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Take me to the moon

Recently, I've become slightly bored of typing up weekly beauty posts.  It's not that I'm no longer interested, and I'm sure there will be the odd tutorial through out the month, but I've decided to vary my posts more. I feel like I've been trapped in the bubble of beauty, and just haven't ever considered stepping out of it. If you didn't already know, Autumn is my favourite season. I just love the crisp, crunchy leaves and the colours that make any river look like an oil painting. It's also finally time to swap them floral cropped tops for tartan scarves (yes!).
Another aspect I love about Autumn is pairing outfits together and mono-chroming my wardrobe, and I will be sharing some outfits I really love with you guys a couple of times a month. The first outfit I am sharing is very laid back and casual, I think it would be perfect for a day to day look.

River Island black and white check scarf £8.00

Hollister Tank £5.99

New Look Black Skinny Jeans £12.99

New Look Backpack £17.99

Dorothy Perkins Black ankle boots £25.00

Sunday, 6 September 2015

August Favourites

What a month. Summer came (for a few days), summer left but if I'm being perfectly honest, I'm so happy Autumn's finally here. Candles, crispy leaves and Halloween, bring it on.
My first all around favorite is John Green. After reading the book Paper Towns by John Green and hearing about the movie premier, I wasn't sure whether to be thrilled or scared. In conjunction with The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska (still to read the others), the book was amazing. I had a clear image of how all the characters looked  and acted that I didn't want altering by the movie. However, I went to see the film anyway (mainly because Cara plays Margo and Issac from The Fault in our Stars is Quentin) and I'm so glad I did. First may I say the casting for mini Q and Margo was spotless. I wish the scene when they are together at the window lasted longer because it was so adorable. I also think Cara's attitude and personality fits the role of Margo faultlessly. There is also a surprise cameo. 'I like snakes'.
Then there's Inside Out. What is it with this month and great films? I saw this movie while on holiday in Wales as a rainy day retreat and to be perfectly honest I wasn't expecting much. To give a quick summery of the film, Riley is a happy, 11 year old girl who's life gets turned upside down when her dad gets a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions, the little people inside her head, who are located at head quarters. While Riley and her emotions are finding it hard to adjust to her new life, Joy and Sadness disappear leaving anger, fear and disgust behind. The reason I loved this film so much is because people are so absent minded when it comes to mental health, this movie portrays the ups and downs of growing up in a way anyone can relate to.

I don't know why, but there's something about water colour paints that make me so happy. Maybe it's the variety of colour range or the soft, gentle application but whatever it is, I have loved painting with them recently. This set actually belongs to my sister and as you can see, it's well loved.

What are have been your favourites this month?

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

What's in my schoolbag?

School. Before you all groan just think, it's Autumn now! My favorite season of candles, pumpkin spice and crispy leaves. For any of you who have already started school, I hope this has been a great first week back and I sympathize. 

This year I opted for a backpack as I find them so much more durable and easy on the old shoulders (R.I.P Melissa winged handbag). The one I chose is from Hollister and has a front pocket which I am using to store papers and my head pones and two compartments on the inside. I can fit SO much in this bag which worries me as to how much junk I will accumulate inside.
The first item in my school bag is a book. Currently in my bag is Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I'm really excited to start reading this book as John Green is one of my favourites and I've heard great things about David Levithan.
Also, if your school doesn't provide them, include a planner or notebook to jot down any homework and your timetable. This will help you stay so much more organised and avoid forgetting things.

Next is another necessity for me and is a pencil case with pens, pencils, calculator, ruler, rubber, colouring pencils, protractor, ect. I cannot stand having stray pencils in my bag or blazer which is why I keep them together in a pretty pencil case. The one I'm using is from the Ted Baker range at Boots which is linked here.

Then I have my glasses, water bottle and lunchbox because school dinners are blugh.

This post was a collab with three friends which I will link below. 
What day do you go back to school/collage?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Rimmel Wake me Up Foundation Review

This foundations is an honest medium coverage with off yellow, pinky  
undertones. One thing that drew me to the product in the first place was the fact it contains peptides. They are chains of amino acids that help illuminate and add elasticity to replenish skin. 
I prefer using my beauty blender to apply this foundation as opposed to a flat foundation brush as it creates a more dewy, flawless finish. I firstly pump a small amount of product to the back of my hand and distribute it evenly across my whole face. Then I use the tapered side of the sponge to buff the product into my skin, focusing mainly on under my eyes and the sides of my nose.  Then I dust a small amount of powder to my T zone. The powder I have been using is Clarins.

I love the overall outcome of this product as the coverage is very sheer and the hint of glitter gives skin a healthy, radiant glow. The neutral tones make it easy to blend and the pump applicator makes it easier to control how much product you are using.
However, the limited shades available lean slightly towards the orange side. I bought the shade Ivory which is the lightest available which looks great when first applied but fades  throughout the day.

I would not repurchase this foundation as there are so many more I would like to try but I will be keeping this is my collection. By the end of the day a lot of the colour has worn off and would need re applying but for £5.99 it's a steal.

Have you tried this foundation? What are your thoughts on it?

Friday, 21 August 2015

Advice for starting highschool

Whether you're just starting year 7 or you've just finished year 11, we can all remember the 'dreaded' first day of high school. If i'm going to be perfectly honest, I found it hard. Making new friends, new responsibilities and being the youngest is tough.

#1 Be open minded, smile and have the right mindset.
This is especially important if you're the only one from your primary  school. Chances are, you've already had transition days and met some new friends. If not, take this as a fresh start to meet new people. We don't get many of them in life. Having the mindset that you are going to enjoy the year and make new friends is going to get you further than thinking you're going to hate it. Who wants to be around negative attitudes anyway? Also, this takes me to smiling. Year 7 was the year I got my braces. I would not open my mouth for anybody, which gave teachers and other students the wrong impression. People were genuinely scared of approaching me and teachers pulled me behind after lesson to ask me why I was so depressed. Nobody cares if you have braces, later in the year it will be the norm anyway. Smile and embrace it, a couple years down the line and your teeth will be perfect.

#2 Do not worry if you don't settle into a friendship group straight away.
Me and one of my best friends were talking about this the other day. She described it as the 'trial and error stage'. You may come up to high school with friends who soon disappear. That's how it worked for me. My best friend at the time was in a different form to me, and made a new best friend who shared lessons with her. I did the same and befriended two lovely girls who I am still in contact with today. Sadly, one became home schooled and the other had to move away for family reasons. This made me feel upset but also allowed me the opportunity to make more friends. My point is, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Branch out and make friends with people from a whole variety of primary schools. I'm in year 9 now, and have some of the greatest friends I could ever ask for. It takes time to figure out who your real friends are. It is usually tough times that reveal the greatest friends.
#3 Okay my final point and one of the most important. Get enough sleep!
You may think that because you're older now, you don't need as much sleep. Bearing in mind I have to get up at 7 am on a school day, I go to bed at 9:30 pm and I'm almost 14. You will not be able to concentrate in lesson the next day if you stayed up late. Here's a list of the things I find work the best to help me drift off:

  1. Turn my phone onto do not disturb at 8 pm. This means I will not hear any notifications throughout the night, tempting me to check them.
  2. Complete homework as I get it so I don't have it on my mind before I go to sleep.
  3. Listen to relaxing music through headphones. I find it hard to relax at night (as I'm not doing anything my mind starts to wander), and this really helps me settle.
  4. Pack my bag and prepare clothes for the next day when I get home. Again, this is one less thing to worry about.
Make the most of your first year at high school and remember: it's whatever you make it.
What year are you in? What advice do you have to offer to people starting high school?


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Identity Art Project | Pinterest Board

When people ask me where I get my inspiration from, my answer is usually Pinterest. Whenever I have a project coming up, a birthday to plan for or I need ideas for outfits and baking, Pinterest is where I find my inspiration.
Over the course of last year my school topic for art was identity. Now for me identity means what makes you, you. I love writing, art, foreign languages and culture, fashion, beauty, photography and animals to name a few. I have targeted my pins around these subjects.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Where time stood still..

“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.” ― Haruki Murakami

Saturday, 1 August 2015

How to Make Cake Pops

Happy August 1st!

I've been in County Durham all this week camping hence no new blog posts. I'm just going to quickly outline my week then I'll show you how to make these beauties!
So I arrived in the county on Saturday and left on Friday night. Throughout the week we did tomahawk throw (Darrel's request, you throw an axe into a tree basically), archery, pioneering, rifling, abseiling, climbing and toboggan run. On Wednesday we also went to Wet and Wild. Here is how I make cake pops:

You Will Need:

  1. Chocolate for melting - milk or dark;it's your call
  2.  Decorations to dip the cake pops in. I used dried raspberries and crushed up crunchie.
  3. A silicone cake pop mould. These can be bought from The Works and Amazon in varying sizes and prices.
  4. Basic cake mix (inc: butter and sugar,4 eggs,flour and vanilla essence/coco powder)
  5. Cake pop sticks which can also be bought from Amazon.

Stage 1: Preparing the Cake Mix

  1.   First preheat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Next you need to prepare your cake mix. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (this should take around five minutes). Once creamed this is also the time to add vanilla essence. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between. Add half the flour and continue to stir. Repeat with the remaining flour. Alternately you could buy premade cake mix.
  3. Then evenly distribute the mixture into your mould and cook for 35-45 mins, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  4. Leave to cool                                                    

Stage 2: Decorating and Finishing Touches

  1.    Now you need to melt your chocolate. You can do this over a hob or alternatively in the microwave.    
  2.  Insert a lolly pop stick into every cake pop using the melted chocolate to keep it in place. Then use the rest of the chocolate to dip the cake pop in, making sure the whole cake is completely covered and sealed. This will act as a glue to hold the decorations in place.
  3.  Before the chocolate sets, dip the cake pop into decorations or sprinkles. If you want, you can put the cake pops on a plate and wait for them to harden then drizzle with white chocolate.
  4. Leave on a plate or cake pop stand and wait for the chocolate to harden.
  5. TADA! Finished cake pops. That wasn't so hard was it? These cakes are great for parties and buffets as they are small and don't cause any washing up. Let me know what you thought of these in the comments.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Becoming Vegetarian and Cruelty Free Makeup

I decided to cut down on the amount of meat I was eating few months ago, and I would say it's one of the best decisions I've made. I was never a massive meat eater, but you'd be surprised at how easy it is to leave it off your plate.

 On today's factory farms we are being permitted to keep animals in crampedcruel and oppressive conditions, disallowing them to raise families, build nests or do anything else natural and important to them. Others won't even see the sun or breath fresh air until they're loaded onto lorries and headed to slaughter houses.
We have taken it too far. Before I get the whole 'we are supposed to eat meat, animals eat other animals' statement laid on me, picture this: a world without meat. It's like a world without cars, pretty hard to imagine, right? In actual fact, we would be just fine, in fact, we would have more food to go round. Why are we growing crops to feed animals raised for meat rather than growing food for people?When you consider that it takes 4.5 pounds of grain just for 1 pound of chicken meat, this is inefficiency at its worst.

Obviously there are also loads of health benefits too. Cutting down on red meats in particular would reduce your likelihood for heart disease, the number-one killer of women. Fatty red meats and many processed meats are high in saturated fat, which raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases risk of coronary heart disease. Scarily, it has been proven that meat-cancer connection exists. There was a study in the British Journal of Cancer, those who ate the most red and processed meat were found to have the highest risk of breast cancer.

Vegetarian food doesn't have to be boring. Here is a great website I use to find new,exciting vegetarian meals. I particularly love using Jamie's pasta and pancake recipes. 

Did you know that loads of makeup is still being tested on animals? In fact, in China it is required. Since 2013, animal-tested cosmetics have been banned in the EU, but a loophole means some ingredients can still be tested.

Here is a list of brands that test on animals, and ones that don't. The results I found actually surprised me.
Makeup tested on animals           

                    Makeup tested on animals

Bobbi Brown
Revlon -Revlon did 3rd party testing on animals (selling in China) but have since pulled out which make them cruelty free!

Makeup not tested on animals
Burt’s Bee’s
Boots Natural Collection
Boots No.7
The Body Shop
Bare Minerals

So, I am not expecting everyone who reads this to agree with me, and that is absolutely fine. I just want to make people aware of what is going on in the world, and you're a meat eater you need to know the truth about how the animal gets to your plate. If you would like some more information on vegetarian recipes and making the switch please get in contact with me or leave a comment below.  

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

July Favourites | Collab

So, for the last couple of months I have seen and enjoyed reading monthly favourite posts. Whether it be music, YouTube, makeup or even flavoured shower gels (Hannah) I just really enjoy seeing what other people are loving. Maybe I'm just nosey.  Seeing as I have never written a post of this kind before, and have been loving some great things this month, I thought I'd share them with you.

The first favourite of mine is actually a Youtube channel. Her name is Estée and she also has a blog which is just as beautiful which I will link here. She is a Canadian (she moved to England five years ago) beauty blogger. I'm a little obsessed with her channel and blog, and I think you will love her too!
My next favourite is semi permanent hair dye. I've wanted to dye my hair for ages and my first choice of colour would be either bleach blonde or lilac. We (being my mum and I) compromised on dying my hair with a semi permanent dye during the holidays. So finally the summer holidays have rolled round and last night Jay helped me dye it.
It made a bit of mess in the bathroom but most of it cleared up and because I have a lot of hair, we used most of the bottle. I left it in for twenty five minutes rather than fifteenth which was the recommended. The colour isn't great and I now have varying shades of blue, green and pink in my hair, but I think it looks cool.  I was totally going for the Avril Lavigne look.

My last favourite is Taylor Swift's album, 1989. I am a huge Swifty fan and I just love this album so much. My favourite song from the album at the moment is Style.

This was a collab with Sam,  Floral Bee and Pastel Blasts. Be sure to check their blogs if you would like to see what are their favourites are this month.