Monday, 19 December 2016

Autumn | 16

Autumn, just like Summer, was stressful in ways but more emotionally draining than anything else. Turning 21 was a difficult stepping stone and it brought with it a few unearthed emotions I had to deal with, but regardless I had an amazing birthday and was thoroughly spoilt. My health has been steadying and, while I do still have bad days and flares, I have managed to get to a steady point where I can keep my head above water.

Feeling: Going into Autumn I was drained and hadn't really got an even balance of different areas of my life. I have definitely realized the importance of self-care, unwinding and switching off. I have come to use skincare as my 'time', as well as listening to podcasts with a hot brew.

Reading: Many Magazines. I have enjoyed discovering and reading a lot of new magazines lately (well, new to me). I love my Peppermint subscription, as well as catching up with Frankie magazine every so often, however, lately, I have discovered some new loves that I am head over heels with. The Messy heads, Popshot and Oh Comely are just a few. I will no doubt do an entire post because there is so much to say about each of them.

Watching: I marathon watched all The Gilmore Girls episodes in anticipation for the Reunion (I will probably end up doing a post on my thoughts about the reunion). This also made me finally invest in Netflix which got me hooked on Pretty Little Liars. I am currently on the season five so no spoilers, please. I also loved watching vlogtober. October is my favourite month, so having certain YouTubers creating content daily was really great. My favourites were The fashion citizen and sunbeamsjess.

Creating: A lot of writing. I'm currently working on a creative writing module towards my degree, so naturally, I have been writing constantly. I have really enjoyed it so far and have loved learning different techniques to help my writing grow and develop in new ways.
Recent Favourites: A lot of birthday related things. I received a pocket watch from my grandparents for my birthday, which I am absolutely in love with. When I opened it, my eyes nearly popped out my head like cartoon characters. It is truly something I will cherish forever. Another favourite was my cake -yes, my cake. My mom had a replica of my beach hut made, which was so pretty and well made; and yes, it was delicious.

Listening: I like to listen to movie scores or instrumental pieces when I study, so I have really enjoyed some of Spotify's playlists. I've been routinely listening to podcasts, particularly Stuff you missed in history class, Ladies who Lunch, and Myths and Legends -yup, I'm a sucker for those history and mystery vibes.
Enjoying: My current uni module, A125 Creative Writing with The Open University. I can go into my studying/uni experience a bit more in a different post, but so far have been really enjoying this module. I have also been enjoying puppy cuddles. My mom's partner got a red Labrador at the end of September, so I have been taking full advantage of cuddles whilst he is still small enough to bear hug.

What have been your highlights this Autumn? Are you looking forward to Winter? 
Cheerio for now! 

Monday, 5 December 2016

My Skin Care Story

Having shared a few posts about Tropic Skincare (and my infinite love for the brand) I thought it was only right to let you in on my skin story, what my routine has been in the past and what I use now. 

I grew up in a stage school community, where thick and heavy makeup was necessary. This meant that skincare was, and has, always been an important element of my daily routine. I also have quite sensitive and dry skin so making sure my skin is nourished and hydrated is key.

Up until a year ago, I used a 3-step face routine from a local drug store. I had been using the particular brand for years though I didn't feel it was doing any justice to my skin. I would often feel like I needed to keep applying moisturiser to my face throughout the day and my face often felt tight and itchy. It was around this time that I started to use coconut oil on my body, and after reading about its multiple uses I decided to give it a go as a face moisturiser. I immediately saw a difference in my skins hydration and felt as though there was moisture within my skin instead of it being dry and flaky.

I then started to use rose water as a natural toner. I did make my own, to begin with, but then simply bought one from my local store. Again, within just a few days I saw results. My skin was so much clearer. I was then faced with the task of finding a cleanser or some sort of face wash to remove dirt, which is what led me to start using Dr Bronners' unscented Castille soap.

This was my 3-step routine, Castille soap as my face wash, Rosewater as a toner and then coconut oil as my moisturiser. This routine worked really well for me but I am not sure I would recommend it to anyone. I have since read that Castille soap is an alkali and so once it has been used your meant to neutralize this step with something acidic. I'm not sure how true this is but on these premises, I wouldn't openly recommend it. I should mention that I also exfoliated -using coconut oil and Himalayan fine pink sea salt. 

This was my routine before I discovered Tropic. It wasn't perfect, by no means, but it worked for me. It was also around this time I started to learn about the nasty ingredients found in drugstore products, such as Sulfates and Parabens, and how they can affect the human body. With this in mind, I became a little obsessed with making my own, pure products which I would know exactly what was inside them. I made a list of all the products I needed to replace and then that's when I stumbled upon Tropic. 

After being introduced by the brand through a friend of a friend, I have quickly become immersed in the world of Tropic and am totally obsessed with their products. I've also found some amazing green beauty brands which I can't wait to get my hands on some of their products to try. 

This past year I have really focused on skincare and now, feeling so content with the natural products I use, I think it's time to conquer makeup -stay tuned! 

If you know of any natural or mineral makeup brands, please comment below! 
Cheerio for now! 

If you haven't already read my post about the brand, then you can do so here
If you would like to read about any of Tropic's products I have featured on here, you can do so here

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Book Review: Hounds & Valleys

The Hound of Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Confession time. I have never read a Sherlock Holmes novel -well until this book I hadn't. That probably sounds shocking to some seen as I read so much but it wasn't until now that I had come across any that I truly wanted to read. This book edition includes The Hound of Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear. I immensely enjoyed The Hound of Baskervilles and the first part of The Valley of Fear but the second part I found quite difficult to get into and so, I weren't that fussed about it. Both novels involve both Holmes and Watson trying to solve perplexing crimes that they've been told of. 

The novel, The Hound of Baskervilles, revolves around the murder of Sir Charles Baskerville, the legendary curse of the hound that haunts the Baskervilles and Holmes trying to prevent the new master, Sir Henry Baskerville, coming to the same fate as his predecessor. As Holmes and Watson unravel the mystery, events, and characters within this tale, so to do the readers. This made for a quick read for me, mostly because of how exciting and gripping the tale was. 

The first part of The Valley of Fear was also a fast read for the same reason. The story drew me in and I felt enveloped within the story, wanting to know more and more until I reached the final verdict. As I mentioned, I wasn't all that fussed with the second part. In comparison to the first, I found it a little slow to start and I didn't feel as drawn in as I previously had. Though I would still recommend the first part and The Hound of Baskervilles to any who enjoy intriguing puzzles or 'murder mystery' type things. I can already see The Hound of Baskervilles becoming one of those books I return to continuously. 

Have you ever read these books? What did you think? Comment Below
Cheerio for now! 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Podcast's I'm loving

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of podcasts. In fact, I couldn't even name any new songs because I have traded my radio/Spotify listening for podcasts. There are so many different podcasts out there to choose from but these are some of my favourites...
  • Elise gets crafty: This is probably my favourite podcast of all time. I have to admit I am playing catch up as I only discovered her podcast at the beginning of summer but nonetheless I am absolutely loving it. As it says in the title, Elise hosts a weekly podcast featuring other creatives. The podcast usually discusses creative small business' but sometimes derails to other creative topics too. I personally find this podcast so inspiring; every time I've listened to an episode I feel so driven and motivated. 
  • LadyGang: In all honesty, this is one that I haven't got into until just recently but what I've heard so far -I love. The podcast involves the trio of Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin who are joined with a different celebrity each week to chat about life in Hollywood. In translation, if you are looking for a hilarious, down to earth podcast where no topic is out of bounds then this is the one for you. The laughter and true celeb stories within this podcast are so infectiously funny that you can't help but have a little giggle with it too. As I am a huge Center Stage fan I, of course, loved the episode with Amanda Schull; but another favourite of mine has been the Ashley Tisdale one too. You can have a look at some of their episodes and guests here
  • Ladies Who Lunch: This podcast, involving YouTubers Ingrid Nelson and Kate Valdes, is probably the rawest podcast I have listened to. Discussing topics' more off the beaten track, like sexuality, stereotypes, the structure of marriage, jealousy and envy as well as introversion, it's hard not to love these honest episodes about topics we so rarely talk about. Having said this, the energy that both Nelson and Valdes radiate around these topics are light, bubbly and friendly which makes these heavy topics easier to listen to whilst doing anything. 
  • Just a Spoonful: Hosted by Kaitlyn Plyley, this podcast is more of a monthly thing or whenever possible as it revolves around those living with chronic illness and disability. Both Kaitlyn and featured guests talk about how they live, what they live for whilst also having a giggle and swear here and there. As someone who suffers from multiple chronic illnesses', this really is a breath of fresh air for me to find something easy to listen to but also relatable on a personally level. 

What Podcasts have you been loving lately? Share below
Cheerio for now! 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Power of Tamanu

Tropic products - Tamanu Rescue and Tamanu Healing balm

Tamanu has quickly become my skin saviour for pretty much everything, Dry skin, eczema, scars, stretch marks, bruises, stings, insect bites -everything! I use both these products; the balm on my body and I keep the rescue in my bag for emergencies. Both are 100% naturally derived so you don't have to worry about all those nitty-gritty ingredients you don't want your skin absorbing.

Tropic - Tamanu healing Balm, intensive treatment for scars and damaged skin

Tamanu Healing Balm
The super-healing powers and sheer strength of this product are the stuff miracles are made out of and its' nourishing formulation of Shea, Cocoa and Monoi Butter gives the most soothing, smooth and luxurious feel to your skin.

To use, just apply as much or as little as you see fit to damaged or dry areas.
Tropic - Tamanu Rescue Healing balm tube

Tamanu Rescue
This product is pretty much the same as the Healing Balm; though the consistency is slightly different. The consistency is quite silky and a lot smoother than the balm: my guess is so that it can be easily squeezed out of the pocket-sized tube.

You can use this the same as the balm, but where this is smoother in consistency I like to dab some onto my chapped lips. You only need to use a little dot when you use it -a little goes a long way!

To read more about the brand Tropic, simply click here
If you'd like to take a browse at other Tropic products I have posted about, click here

Have you ever used Tamanu? What did you think?
Cheerio for now! 

Friday, 11 November 2016

5 benefits of wearing a cape

For me, capes are the epitome of fall/winter. There truly is nothing cozier than a cape. They may be a few fashion seasons ago but I am still loving them. Other than their cozy vibes, keeping you warm and looking downright adorable there are so many other benefits to the cape. Here are a few...
  • They go with everything: Whether its' skinny jeans, dresses or just donning your pj's underneath for a late night supermarket haul -capes go with pretty much anything. Dress them up with a belt and fedora for a day exploring the city or throw it on over jeans and a tee for an evening around the bonfire, they work for everything. 
  • Feel stylish: I don't know what it is but when I have a cape casually draped over my shoulders I just feel more stylish and chic, like Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada. 
  • Hides the food baby: Any piece of clothing that succeeds in making you feel chic and 'put-together' whilst simultaneously hiding that food baby is a worthwhile investment -and an essential in every girl's closet. 
  • It's like wearing a blanket in public: As a frequent 'public-pyjama-wearer', I'm all for wearing blankets out in public. The person who invented the cape made this possible, and the person who set this trend again -made it socially acceptable to rock a blanket out in the high street. 
  • Your basically a superhero: It's true when wearing a cape I instantly feel like a superhero ready to save the day (-then I look down and realize I'm a chronically-ill person, out in my pajamas). It also brings back nostalgic memories of dressing like a witch at Halloween or watching Disney princes swoop in to save the princess. An item of clothing can conjure all those thoughts and feels, pretty powerful huh? 
What do you love about the cape? 
Cheerio for now!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

5 Reasons Gilmore Girls is the best show ever

Gilmore Girls Complete Series Dvds
Gilmore Girls complete DVD Boxset
With news that Netflix is releasing four 90-min long episodes of Gilmore Girls this month, I felt it was only necessary to re-watch my boxset of the show. Around the fourth series I realized this, in my opinion, is the best show ever! There are five particular reasons I think this and so I wanted to share them here with you guys.
  1. Quirky Characters: Besides the Gilmore Girls themselves, the show is full of the quirkiest characters ever created. The town of Stars Hollow truly is like a medical experiment gone wrong with all the vivid and eccentric characters. From Miss Patty and Babette, Sookie and Jackson, Michel-Gerald and Drella the Harpist, the love/hate relationship between Luke and Taylor Doose, Paris and Doyle, and let us not forget the many adventures of Kirk. I think that is one of the great things about the show -It's not just about the Gilmore Girls, Rory schooling, Lorelai's love life and their never-ending battles with the grandparents but there is always something going on with the people of Stars Hollow. Whether it's a town meeting, kirk doing something bizarre or one of the crazy festivals or carnivals they have going on.
  2. Realness to the drama: From Lorelai's single mom worries and dating problems to Rory's school drama and college application, the show has a certain realness to its story lines which makes the shows storylines relatable. As fun as it can be to watch Kirk's bizarre antics in Stars Hollow (-usually something that would never happen in real life) it's also great to watch a storyline play out with a bit of real life drama to it. 
  3. The Sense of Community: Just like the quirky characters, the shows sense of community really gives the series' a warm, whole-hearted feel to it. Town meetings are always entertaining to watch (especially when you don't have entertainment like that in your real life). The festival and carnivals held in the town square and attended by all. The fact that everyone pitched in to set up Rory's graduation/going away party in the middle of the night -I mean if that isn't a loving community then I don't know what is! 
  4. Gilmorisms: references, sarcasm up to wazoo! I'm going, to be honest, they're some references in the show which go straight over my head and then there're others I get just like that. It can also be a little difficult to catch them at times, not just because there's so many but also because they talk so fast! 
  5. Mother-Daughter relationships: I think the polar contrast relationships between Lorelai and Rory, and then Lorelai and Emily are really interesting factors within the series. There's the unbreakable, best-friend bond between Lorelai and Rory and then the love-hate, bitter relationship between Emily and Lorelai. Sure both bonds had their ups and downs but I think this is one of the main reasons why Gilmore Girls is the best series ever. 
Make sure to catch the new episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix, November 25. 

What do you think of the Gilmore Girls? 
Cheerio for now! 
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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

My New Dream Cream: Tropics Night Repair

Night Repair 
cell renewal cream concentrate 
Tropic - Night Repair

On a recent trip to my grandparents, I noticed my nan had the Tropics night repair cream: one of the few skincare products by the brand that I was yet to try. As the trip was pretty impromptu I had forgotten quite a few of my toiletries so it was the perfect time to try it out. I used the repair cream in place of my skin revive cream which I use after my toner. 

The cream itself is of velvety consistency making it easy to apply but also incredibly silky and gently on the skin. When creams are too thick I find myself trying to spread and smear it across my face in all different directions, which can often stretch and take its toll on the skin. With this product there is none of that, it simply glides on without a fuss. 

Tropic Products - Organic Elixir & Night Repair

Having been so impressed by the hydrating nature of the cream, I decided to kick it up a notch and mix with a little of the organic elixir. This is something suggested on the packaging and after using it I can see why. The combination is so luxurious and nourishing, it is honestly the dreamiest of combos. With the repair cream full of hydrating ingredients, such as Aloe Vera Juice, Murumuru Butter, and Shea Butter, as well as the blissfully calming mixture of Lavender, Ylang-Ylang and Blue Chamomile essential oils make this product the ultimate repair cream for your night time routine. 

If you would like to know more about the brand Tropic, simply click here
If you would like to take a browse at other Tropic products previously featured on here, please click here

Have you ever tried the Night Repair cream? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 
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Thursday, 27 October 2016

10 songs that should be on your Autumn playlist

Autumn is here. The weather changes and so do we, as we turn inward and reflect on the warmer months and prepare for the cooler ones to come. Autumn is the season things start to tone down as we hibernate in slumbers of warm tea, apple pies and nights around the bonfire. While it is a cooler season when many take refuge in their warm homes, there's no reason to miss out on social occasions and what better than a great assortment of autumn tones to accompany those moments. For me, a playlist sets the tone of any moment and whether it be a bonfire night, just a chilled evening in with friends, or maybe just some time to yourself, these are some of the songs that should be on your Autumn playlist.

  • Helplessness Blues -fleet foxes: A more recent find, this song is a little bit more upbeat than some of the others below but I think it would be perfect for either car rides or even whilst baking. 
  • Drive Darling -BOY: I feel like there is so little to say about this one, so really just click the link and see for yourself. 
  • Home -Dotan: I love this song all year round, but there is something particularly tranquil about it during Autumn making it the perfect easy-listening song to play in the background.
  • Old Pine -Ben Howard: Ben Howard's combination of music, lyric's and his voice is always so on point and really hits a cord for me. This tune is super chill and perfect to have in the background of any situation (For this reason I keep this one on pretty much every playlist I have made). 
  • Humming Low -Odessa: Not one of the most popular Autumn song but the melodies in this song are so pretty and soothing that I couldn't resist. This would be the perfect song for a lazy Sunday or to listen to after a stressful day. 
  • California dreaming -mamas and papas: This gem is on par with Sweater Weather and really is a must for any playlist. Perfect tune for those experiencing some summer nostalgia whilst packing away their summer garments. 
  • Dirty Paws -Monsters and Men: A calming song, with references to animals and the forest. Not the most assuming but perfect to fill the silence and play in the background. 
  • Charlie Boy -The Lumineers: I love The Lumineers and this song, for some reason, just reminds me of fall so it had to fall on this list. 
  • Drunk -Ed Sheeran: Anything by Sheeran is perfect in my eyes but Drunk is my jam all year round. It is so easy to listen to and, just like so many songs on this list, such a calming song. 

What songs are a must for your Autumn playlist? Let me know below. 
Cheerio for now! 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Book review: the wind in the willows

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

The wind in the willows is a classic home to many a bookshelf. It's one of those books you hear as a child and hold forever, like the wizard of oz or the little princess. This book has always held a nostalgic place in my heart and while I don't often return to books from my childhood, I couldn't resist returning to it this fall. 

I find Kenneth Grahame's descriptions of nature, the river and the wild wood so beautiful and mesmerising that I often become distracted by picturing the natural surroundings rather than paying attention to the story. Fall is often the time we all hibernate into the warmth of our homes, wrapping ourselves in cozy layers with warm brews; though after spending a summer stuck inside I wanted to get out in nature -so to speak. While my health hasn't improved that much since summer, I decided rather than chance a flare and cold from the bitter cold, I'd instead turn to a book. A book bulging with references and descriptions of the life of outside nature and general wilderness. 

If you've been living under a rock and have never read the wind in the willows, I'll give you the quick run down -and the Amazon link. The story of the wind in the willows follows the adventures of the water rat, mole, toad and badger. All equally interesting characters, we read of their adventures at the river, the wild wood and the troubles they (mostly toad) find themselves in. The main lessons are to always go through the wild wood in pairs, never joy ride a motor car and do not dress as a washerwoman -it's not a good look

In all seriousness, I love this book and thoroughly enjoyed returning to it. If you like this story, its characters or even just psychology/counselling, you should also check out counselling for toads which involve toad, badger, the water rat, and mole -but mainly toad. I also loved that book and would recommend to anyone who loves the wind in the willows. 

Have any suggestions for fall reads? leave them in a comment below
Cheerio for now!
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To check out any of my other book reviews, click here

Monday, 17 October 2016

All About Juice Plus

Juice Plus Berry Capsules and Vanilla Shake Powder
Now we have all tried those fad diets, trying to shed the pounds for that beach body, your best friends wedding or to fit into that pretty dress for the Christmas parties. However often these diets are strict, unrealistic and while they may work as a quick fix, you find yourself gaining the weight back on and more. I'm guilty of all of the above and while I have tried many of the fad diets out there, there was one I had never heard about until just recently; enter Juice Plus.

Juice Plus doesn't fall into the diet/fad diet category. While results from their products are often quick, it is by no means a quick fix but rather a lifestyle change. The mission behind these products focuses on getting all the nutrients the body needs, rather than simply shedding weight; and for this, they offer shake powder, capsules, bars, and boosters. The structure of Juice Plus works by having two shakes, two snacks, and one meal a day; though there is also various combos and plans to incorporate their bars, capsules, and boosters into your programme.

As previously mentioned, the products you can work into your programme aren't just for weight loss or management but more so to bridge the gap between what you eat and what you should be eating in a day. The capsule, for instance, is a powerhouse full of 30 types of fruit, vegetables, and berries making it easy to get all the vitamins and antioxidants your body needs. Adults take two of the berry, fruit, and vegetable capsules a day, preferably at mealtime though some do empty the capsules into their shakes to make it easier to digest. Children can also take the capsules or, alternatively Juice Plus make chewable sweets for children.
Juice Plus Berry Blend Capsules
Although the shakes help lose or maintain weight, they also host a whole bunch of health benefits such as immune, skin health, cardiovascular health along with a ton of other benefits. They are also incredibly flexible as you can build up and use as much of the powder as you would like within your shakes; perfect for a good dose of protein before hitting the gym. The shakes are available in Vanilla and Chocolate flavours, and when added to plant-based milk such as almond or coconut milk are vegetarian and vegan-friendly. They are also gluten free, and free from preservatives, sweeteners, colours, and flavourings. 

The bars Juice Plus offer, just like the shakes, are perfect for on-the-go snacks or easy options for when you would ordinarily reach for a quick fast food option whilst out and about. The bars come in both mixed fruit and chocolate flavours, and both are gluten free. 

While the shakes, capsules, and bars are all great products to structure a healthy lifestyle around Juice Plus also places huge importance on still eating healthy foods in your daily routine. They do provide a list of foods you should incorporate into your meals and snacks, though rather than this list restricting what you can eat, it instead includes everyday foods that are sustainable in reaching the results you want but also keeping your body healthy and well nourished in the process. 

Want to read more about Juice Plus? 
click here, for their official site or check out their YouTube channel here. You can also check out the Juice Plus products here

Cheerio for now! 

Friday, 14 October 2016


Dracula, Bram Stoker
Flat Lay: Dracula, by Bram Stoker (Red Leather-bound classic by Barnes & Nobles)
October has always been my favourite month, and while there are many Halloween movies I love to revisit each year, I wanted to turn my attention to some darker books. Initially, I had set my sights on Frankenstein but after many failed attempts, I tossed it across the room and reached for Dracula. As you can see, it's a pretty chunky book which made it a little daunting at first; however, as soon as I started the first page I was sucked into the story and within a few days I had entirely finished.

Dracula by Bram Stoker is a classic with many having read, watched adaptions or know of the story in some form of way. Going into this book I was nervous about its' length and language used. Classic books often hold the reputation of having long, difficult language throughout; being hard for the reader to decipher. However, the language used was simple and straightforward, making it a super easy read. The story is told through a series of journal entries, letters and news articles, from a handful of the characters within the story. At first, I worried whether I'd be able to keep up with whose perspective I was reading when, though it was a lot easier than I thought and I whizzed through the book. 
This was a really enjoyable read, especially for this time of year. Reading the story through multiple perspectives, corresponding letters and articles added another dimension to the tale, which made it all the more gripping. Another thing I loved was that even though it is told in an alternative way, it doesn't scrimp on describing the vividly eerie environments and surroundings throughout. 

This made for a great Autumn read -in fact, I'm probably going to find it hard finding my next Autumn/Halloween read after enjoying Dracula so much. 

Any recommendations for Halloween reads? Leave a comment below
Cheerio for now! 
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To read more book reviews featured in this space, click here

Monday, 10 October 2016

A letter to twenty

You were the year of twenty. The year I didn't greet well and the year I'm kinda glad to say goodbye to. Having said that, there is a bittersweet element to bidding you farewell.

You marked five years of living with chronic illness'. You marked years of failed attempts at trying to regain my health, feeling isolated from and misunderstood by the world and more importantly feeling as though I'd failed at making something of myself and making my family proud. 'What have I achieved?' I asked myself a week before you arrived; causing an avalanche of meltdowns, panic attacks and a whole lot of tear-stained pyjama sleeves. While loved ones tried to console me, I couldn't be consoled. Your arrival wasn't to be as happy an occasion as what it usually was and so a smile went on with the layers of makeup, and I grinned and bore it through my birthday tea. I did have a better time than I thought, though when I returned home so too did the thoughts of turning twenty. 

Looking back your arrival was hard; just like a lot of moments from your year. I had to drop a lot of uni work because my body wasn't up to it, I had to flake on friends an endless amount of times, I had to miss out on spending a lot of quality time with my mom at the beach hut and I had to deal with the reoccurring fact of how weak my body has become; a realisation that hit me harder every time I saw it. 

Having said this, I've also never felt more me. I've never felt so in sync with my body. It's almost as though I've deciphered how it works and while that doesn't take the pain, exhaustion or suffering away; it does make it slightly easier to handle. I've also learnt the power of self-care is immensely important in my weekly routine. It's of great importance, to everyone I think, to stop and take a moment to yourself. Whether that be listening to a podcast, applying a face mask or nail polish or even just taking the dog for a walk and watching the world go by in the process. 

So yes, I wasn't looking forward to you, the year of twenty, and while I'm happy and ready to say goodbye to you I'm grateful for all you taught me -even if your lessons were tough at times. 
Cheerio twenty! 
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Friday, 7 October 2016

Book Review: Careless People

Murder, Mayhem and the invention of the Great Gatsby 
Books: Careless People & The Great Gatsby Covers
Book: Careless People cover

Careless people, by Sarah Churchwell, was a book that always caught my eye on the shelf at my local bookstore. It's blue and black patterned hue border, with the jazz, dancing skeleton gents made for an intriguing front cover -yes, I judged a book by its' cover. It wasn't just the cover, after quickly reading the blurb I knew I had to read this book and so, it wasn't long before I headed towards the check out with it clutched under my arm, along with a few other reads.

This book is pretty self-explanatory in its' title, but nevertheless, I will go through the motions. The book is a huge collection of information explaining the true events behind the story of The Great Gatsby and what led Fitzgerald to write the classic book. Including news articles to social events, diaries and ledgers of both Fitzgerald and his friends, even letters between Zelda and Fitzgerald. Churchwell uses every ounce of information to piece together the puzzle of what happened behind the novel, how he came to write the novel and uses all these different forms of information to form this biography of The Great Gatsby.

Book: Written Ledger account of Fitzgerald's life
Book: Black & White photos of Fitzgerald's and friends

I loved this book. Gatsby is one of my favourite novels and I loved the film adaptation too, so it felt only natural to sink my teeth into this read and unveil the inner works of the story. Through the various sources of information Churchwell draws upon, she paints the picture of the time period the Fitzgeralds lived, what they got up to and all the acquaintances that came along for the ride. We learn about the area they lived, the parties they attended, their neighbours, their travels, the social events of the time and the various goings on of the roaring 20s; all of these things adding facets to the story of Gatsby.

This book is a must for any who loved the story of Gatsby, or even those who just love reading about true events of the past. An interesting read, with vast amounts of information. I can only imagine how long the research for this book took Churchwell -in fact, it gives me a slight headache just thinking of the amount of reading and archives she had to go through to produce this book. Nevertheless, her mission was accomplished -and accomplished well. I can't wait to reread The Great Gatsby, and see it through new eyes, having read all that went into it.

Was Gatsby your type of book? If so, you have to read this! 
Cheerio for now! 
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To read more of my book reviews, click here

Monday, 3 October 2016

Body Love with Tropic

*If you haven't already read my Tropic post or know who/what Tropic is then you can do so here
Tropic Products - Body Love and Body Smooth
Tropic products, Body Love and Body smooth
Here are two of my favourite products I use in my everyday routine from Tropic, Enjoy! 
Tropic - Body Smooth, refreshing polish

Body Smooth, refreshing polish 
Body Smooth is the founding product of Tropic. (It is the first product that Susan Ma handmade in her kitchen and sold in Kilner jars at Greenwich market). With a blend of rich sea salts and invigorating essential oils, this product is perfect to smooth dry skin and get your skin silky, soft ready to flash some flesh in that little black dress. I particularly love using this product on my upper arms, lower legs, and knees: all of which I get super dry patches of skin. 

To use this product simply apply and massage onto dry skin before hopping into your shower or bath. Rinse off and then massage excess oils into the skin.

Tropic - Body Love, Firming Buttercream
Tropic - Body Love, Firming Buttercream

Body Lovefirming buttercream 
With ingredients such as Cocoa Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, and Shea Butter, Body Love is guaranteed to give your body all the hydration and nourishment it needs. It's quickly become my holy grail product and has even worked miracles on noticeable lumps, bumps, and scars I thought would never disappear. I particularly love slathering my skin with this after using the Body Smooth.

Just like any other body cream, apply daily after your shower or bath to hydrate skin with the added bonus of a velvety finish. 

I love both these products as individuals, but also love using them together. I find the quality of these products to be so luxurious, especially for their price point and the fact that they are 100% naturally derived. 
If you would like to take a browse at other products I have featured on here, then click here; If you would like to check out all the products Tropic produce then click here. 

Have you ever tried these products? What did you think? 
Cheerio for now! 

Friday, 30 September 2016

Summer | 16

Summer was -a bit all over the shop if I am being entirely honest. This space is often inspired by my lifestyle however I don't often write posts directly discussing my personal life. I think this is what these Recap posts will probably become; a little bit of an honest recap of, not only this space but also my health, studies, and personal life.

The summer started with a disaster. Long story short the bottom floor of our townhouse flooded -with knee-high neat sewage. Because of this, we were evacuated to my grandparents where we have spent the whole summer. My grandparents only live a few towns away but still it has been difficult to stay well rested, keep updated with the house, battle with insurance assessors whilst also remaining sane. 

Throughout this time my beach hut has served as a serene oasis to escape to whenever we have the chance. With low signal and very little people around it is almost like being marooned on an island without any interference which has just been pure bliss. 

The flooding process has also made me realize that I am very inward when it comes to my emotions and thoughts. I tend to go into my shell, only voicing my opinion when I think it is really necessary or, as my granddad says, be like the owl sees all, hear all, say nothing. Having said this, I have also noticed that my emotions and feelings tend to fuel a creative fire and I have felt driven and inspired more than ever to create. 

I had a list of things to achieve over the summer but when the flood happened things had to be moved around a bit. A lot of the things I wanted to achieve were things I needed to do at home so I had to move to Plan B -my reading list. I didn't want to set my sights too high but there were quite a collection of books I wanted to read. These are a couple of them I got through:
Skin Cleanse, The Night Circus, It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be, The life-changing magic of tidying up, The golden rules of blogging, The Miniaturist, The Hound of Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear, and Careless People. 

Marathoned MIC, Friends, Gilmore Girls, My Family and a lot of youtube!

Lots of Blog content -I am so excited to share the posts I have been working on throughout the summer. This space has really been a welcomed distraction from the house stresses. I have also been journaling a lot and updating photo albums, something I have been meaning to do for the longest time. 
Recent Favorites: 
These favourites are creature comforts along with a few new pieces. My mom gifted me a turntable at the beginning of the summer which I was over the moon with. I have a couple of records, my favourite being this one by the Script. I also got this pair of pink velvet loafer slippers, with an embroidered rose detail on the toe, that I have been obsessed with. Usually, I don't go for such light, feminine colours or styles but I love loafers and for some reason have felt so drawn to blush tones this year that I couldn't pass up on these beauts. My last favourite would probably be this granny square crochet blanket that was a gift last spring. It is so cozy, perfect to have to go into fall. 
To a lot of Podcasts. I have many favourites but the ones I have been leaning towards recently are LadyGang, Ctrl Alt Delete and Elise Gets Crafty. I particularly loved the episode of LadyGang when they had Amanda Schull as their guest. As a center stage fan, I couldn't help but listen to that episode a few times. 

Something I have really been enjoying is this DSLR course, by A Beautiful Mess, I have been working through. I purchased it before Christmas but with health and finishing my uni year I wasn't able to crack it open. With my list of blog ideas as long as my arm and a numerous amount of photos to produce, it felt like the perfect time to whip it out and get to know how to use my camera in manual mode. Needless to say, I think it has gone really well, and I'm enjoying the flexibility that manual mode gives my photos. 

So, that has been my Summer and now I am so ready for Autumn. October is my favourite time of the year, mainly because of Halloween but also as my uni year starts and I'm ready to get back into my routine. 

What have your Summer highlights been? Are you looking forward to Autumn? 
Cheerio for now! 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Book Review: The Night Circus

Ribbons, Ravens, and Rêveurs 
The Night Circus Book - accompanied by a red Rêveurs scarf and a black and white cup and saucer
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has quickly become my favourite book. I remember constantly seeing it recommended on blogs and in magazines but never troubling myself to search it on Amazon. It wasn't until a few years back I picked it up as an impulse buy at my local bookstore. It was right at the checkout and feeling drawn to the cover I quickly purchased it before having time to give it a second thought. It sat on my bookshelf ever since til last fall, when I devoured it on a rainy day. 

There is very little detail of the story I can give without giving away spoilers so let's just say the story is a game played by Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair which takes place at the night circus. It involves magnificent feats, vivid characters, and the most beautiful story ever wrote (in my opinion). The way it's written is truly magnificent, not only telling you the story of the circus but also threads of outsiders' stories who baffle you, to begin with, only to fall into place as you read on. The threads carefully curated by Morgenstern slowly weave together and make the book even more enchanting. I also love how the reader can experience certain elements and feats from within the circus through sections of the books; which just adds to the overall enjoyment and lures the reader in, as though they could brush shoulders with the characters themselves. 

It's the type of book you can read over and over, with its enticing magic affecting you more and more with every read. The type of book you never want to finish, as you will have to leave this wonderful escape Morgenstern has created and come crashing back to reality. 

Have you ever read The Night Circus? What did you think? Comment below. 
Cheerio for now! 
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To read any of my other book reviews, click here

Monday, 12 September 2016

Tropic ABC Collection

Tropics ABC Skincare Collection 
tropic - ABC collection face routine

Having started to go natural with my skincare and toiletries, I came across Tropic last year through a friend. The first element of my routine I was trying to change was my face care, so naturally, the first products I bought were the Smoothing Cleanser, the Vitamin Toner and the Skin Revive to fill the place of my usual 3-step routine. It's more than likely that customers will purchase certain products to use together, so Tropic has created certain collections with products such as this. For instance, those three products come in a collection along with the Eye Refresh and save £15 in the process (essentially you get the eye refresh free).

Tropic Products - smoothing cleanser, vitamin toner & skin revive

Smoothing Cleanser, complexion purifier with bamboo cloth:
The Smoothing Cleanser is the first step in the ABC face routine. The cleanser contains Golden Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond oil and Avocado oil giving a refreshing blend for clear and soft skin. The texture is milky and smooth to apply, and it quite literally melts away makeup in the gentlest of ways.

To use you simply massage 2-4 pumps onto dry skin in gentle circular motions. This will remove any makeup or impurities on your eyes, face, and neck. To remove, rinse off with warm water using the bamboo cloth. If you use this to remove makeup it's recommended to use another 2 pumps to cleanse your face after, and remember to give your bamboo cloth a good rinse after removing your make up.

Vitamin Toner, pore refining mist
The Toner is probably the most refreshing product I have ever come across. With a mixture of Rose Water, Cucumber, and Aloe Vera Juices it is perfect to calm, rejuvenate and minimise pores.

After using the cleanser, just spritz the Toner across your face and neck, and leave to sink in. You can also use a cotton pad to wipe around the face, it's just as effective either way.

Skin Revive, nourishing cream concentrate
With a blend of Rosehip oil, Golden Jojoba oil and Aloe Vera Juice I can see why this product is labelled as nourishing. Skin Revive is hydrating and moisturising on your skin, whilst also being gentle and giving a radiant complexion.

Use 2-3 pumps onto face and neck in circular motions and leave to absorb.

Tropic products - bamboo cloth & eye refresh
Eye refresh, cooling gel roll-on
In a rollerball applicator, the Eye Refresh is easy to apply for that little pick-me-up or when you need to look wide-eyed. The cooling blend of Cucumber Juice, Aloe Vera, and Ginseng makes the mixture perfect for calming puffy, tired skin and dark circles. This little bad boy has quickly become an essential to not only keep on me when I go out but also when I'm studying or just lounging around the house. 

To use, simply roll under eyes as much as you require.

I love each and every one of these products. All of them work so well together but also have such strength as individual products. Whenever I have come across natural products in the past they have often been way out of my price range, so it's incredibly refreshing to come across natural products that are not only within my budget but also effective and match my own ethos. 
You can read more about Tropic and their brand here.

Have you ever tried Tropics?
Cheerio for now! 
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