It's my birthday on Sunday and for once in my 'nearly' 22 years of life, I'd only like a handful of things. I haven't had a huge chance to browse for things I'd like but these items have been on my eye for a long time now..
I woke up this morning in utter shock that I haven't blogged for over a week. In some ways I feel ashamed that I've left it this long and I'm sorry to all my lovely followers.
In my defence, I've been ridiculously busy trying to sort things for my new house. I finally got the chance to view it last week and I LOVE IT. Ever since then, I've been online for hours.. I spent two days just deciding what flippin fridge to buy, I swore I'd never have a white fridge.. but what did I go for? A white fridge. I genuinely annoy myself at my indecisiveness; I constantly fill my shopping baskets, and then click off.
If there is such thing as a housezilla then that is what I've transformed into. Growing up sucks.
So, I guess I just wanted to ask you to bare with me whilst I'm going through all this change, I'm hoping to get some posts scheduled today before I go and buy towels & kitchen utensils, yay. Hope you all had a fab bank holiday.
As many of you know it's Mental Health Awareness week, and this year they're focusing on Anxiety. This is something almost all of us will suffer from at some point in our lives. However, this can be more intense for some. I know this is a little late in the week; I've been ummimg and arring about publishing this post but I figured if
it gives mental health some more limelight then I'll be happy with that.
If you've been following my blog for a while then you'd probably of seen a previous post, if not then I'll give you a little run through of my story. Now, I don't want to go into too much detail but I was raped and beaten when I was 14-15, and then I was sexually assaulted again when I was 18 by someone else. Before the second attack, I was in denial about what had happened to me, I flitted through life and lived for drinking and surrounding myself with people so I never had to be alone with my thoughts. Then the second assault happened, and my life completely changed. This wasn't just due to the assault, I was also severely let down by my witness, who was my 'friend', she turned and decided to go against me and created an army of people to ruin my life. They waited outside my house, assaulted me & they wrote all over Facebook that I was a liar even though deep down, they all knew the truth. The court case rose and he pleaded guilty, I thought this would give me closure but the girls continued to call me a liar. I was fearful of going out, terrified of seeing them or being assaulted by another boy. I couldn't be alone with any males, and then I stopped going out completely.
This is now my life, and my life is agoraphobia mixed with a crazy amount of anxiety.
Whilst I make a light hearted joke about my current situation, it kills me. If it isn't bad enough feeling like I've let myself down, I also feel like I've let everyone around me down. That is probably one of the worst feelings. For me, Anxiety isn't just a nervous feeling, it's the ultimate dread of having to go out, to feel like I can't go out and if I do, I fear everything. Immediate fear is horrible, I can't tell you what I'm fearful of, but the physical symptoms I get from anxiety sure as hell make me feel like I'm about to pass out or throw up, my heart is in my throat constantly and I have severe IBS. Anxiety is something your body is constantly fighting so your immune system runs low, seriously for the love of God, a cold and constant irrational thoughts? GEE THANKS.
So, I've been suffering with anxiety for 3 years, the agoraphobia for 2. I've had CBT once and spent 6 months with a rape counsellor, who I
can't thank enough.
My lowest point was when I realised I was fearful of being around everyone, including my family. How could I be fearful of being around the people I've known all my life? It was the worst feeling ever. I couldn't even leave the house to walk the dogs. I cried my eyes out because I didn't think Mum would be able to come to the opticians with me. I'd get anxious just sitting at home. I'd avoid everything, thanks to panic.
Now, I feel like I'm finally becoming Amy again. A whole different Amy, but a much better one. I'm far from being anxiety free, but I am managing to control things a little better. Although I'm technically still agoraphobic because I don't go out alone, I do try and break away a little. I never thought I'd get joy from just walking down an aisle in Tesco
alone, but now I appreciate everything I do, no matter how small. I guess the message I want to send out is that YOU WILL get better, and YOU CAN.
I'm about to have my second lot of CBT and I'm feeling alot more positive that this will work. For a long time, I couldn't accept that I needed help, but now I'm thankful I made that step. If you suffer with anxiety then don't do it alone, call your GP or local mental health services. That step will be one of the hardest you make, but I guarantee it will be one of the best steps you take. My email is always open if you want a chat; email@example.com.
You have NO idea how thrilled I was when the gorgeous Jess told me I'd won her MAC giveaway. I was given the opportunity to pick whichever shade I wanted, so after a seriously long debate and looking at hundreds of swatches, I opted for Peach Blossom.
Peach Blossom is described as a 'frosted cool nude' which I do agree with, although I believe it also has a peachy pink undertone. It's definitely one of those 'my lips but a better colour' lipsticks.
This is part of the cremesheen collection; creamy, buttery and an excellent moisturising formula. It's incredibly light on the lips and thankfully, stays clear of the dry patches. Due to the shade of the lipstick, pigmentation isn't great but it does have a gorgeous sheer, glossy finish without any stickiness.
Unfortunately, the durability of the lipstick isn't great but, I can forgive this as it's the perfect lipstick for Spring/Summer. The cremesheen formula is excellent for moisturising the lips, anything matte on a hot day just dries me out. Peach Blossom is a gorgeous shade, giving you a small pop of colour that means you can easily use it as your everyday lipstick. The lipstick itself smells absolutely divine, so if you're a nude lipstick lover then I'd definitely recommend this.
You can purchase this direct from MAC here at £15. Although this seems pricey, I do believe MAC lipsticks are worth the money and they are totally cost effective (well, that's what I tell myself).
What are you favourite MAC shades for Spring/Summer?
It's a little cliché but I've got to say; how is it topic 10 already?! Ah well moving on.. this weeks topic is hair. The hair gods didn't feel like blessing me so I'm just going to show you a few of my favourite hairstyles, you can find them all on Pinterest.
Waves and braids are probably my favourite way to style hair, plus they're simple and easy to achieve. Whilst I'm not a fan of flower crowns, I do think the flowers in the final picture look cute, they'd be gorgeous for a summer wedding. Boy do I wish I was brave enough to have my hair colour as vivid as the pink in the first picture, it's amazing! Which style is your favourite?
Feel free to leave your links below if you're taking part in the challenge. You can find the rest of my posts here.
Hat - H&M
Bag - Wildfox
Sandals - New Look
Towel, Bikini & Tunic - Zara Home
I don't know if it's the thought of the beach that has suddenly made me aware of the weather we DON'T have, but as I write this, I'm huddled amongst a blanket. I was browsing the Zara home collection and came across the 'beach' look book, it took about 3 seconds for me to notice, and fall in love with the paisley towel; it's beautiful. That obviously led to me dreaming of the beach, the summer and ice cream. There used to be a time where I'd wear a bikini and flaunt it, without a care in the world. Ha, oh to be carefree again. Anyway, I thought this little tunic would be a great coverup and a super cute look over the bikini.. add the floppy hat and you're looking damn chic!
I'm pale, like really pale, that pale I used to be called Casper, great. Now, whilst I'm all about embracing the pale, I also think sometimes.. we need some colour in our lives; so if the sun isn't playing ball, I lean towards the tan. I, and I'm sure you too, don't want to be the girl with THAT tan, you know, the dotty, streaky kind of orange leg so I've been trying to find the perfect base for my tan for a long time and now I've finally found it, just in time for this rise in temperature we've had! WOO! It couldn't be any simpler either; three steps is all it really takes, and you can easily incorporate it with your daily routine.
I usually start with a general clean and a quick shave to make sure all those pesky hairs are gone. I used to be the girl that refused to make anything more than a £1 for a shaver, but now I've upgraded (a little) to the Venus shavers and they are AMAZING; It's definitely worth paying an extra few pounds. I usually cleanse with the Soap & Glory 'Sugar Crush', it smells devine and leaves me feeling refreshed!
The most important step is exfoliating. It's so
important to remove the dead skin cells otherwise you'll be left with an
uneven finish. Get scrubbing; I recommend using Soap & Glory 'Scrub Of Your Life' or try an exfoliating glove; they work a treat.
The final step is to moisturise.. always make sure you try and keep your skin in good condition, moisturising every day will help to keep the dry patches at bay. It's especially important to moisturise before you apply your tan, but you have GOT to let it sink into your skin before you do so! I usually use Soap & Glory 'The Righteous Butter' or Aveeno.
Seriously, it's as simple as that but before you even think of applying tan, make sure you have an applicator.. I'm a sucker for using non latex gloves, but you can also use mitts, they're available in most cosmetic stores. St.Tropez also bought out a back brush for those of us who can't find a tanning buddy, GENIUS.
Ever since I found out I'd be moving into my own place I've saved my pennies, constantly saying.. 'Oh Amy, you don't need that', this was until I needed moisturiser. And then ASOS had 20% off, and then Boots hit me with their 3 for 2 and free gifts.. Psscht. Self control level, 0.
I've managed to pull myself away from my favourite brands and jumped upon some bandwagons in the hope of trying to find even better products! All of these products are first time tries for me, here's what I picked up..
River Island Make Up Bag - This is the only product I'm left unsure of. Now, whilst I'm all about carrying around several different lipsticks, I'm not sure I need a bag this BIG. It's huge, but it's pretty.. help. Potential clutch bag?
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Cherub - I'm not quite sure what you've been doing if you haven't heard of these, but the DS Water Colour Blush's are raved about highly in the blogging world. At 20% off I had to pick this up.
REN Cleanse, Tone, Hydrate, Nourish kit - I've heard REN are incredible for their skincare products so this was too much of a bargain to be missed. It consists of a cleansing gel, cleansing water, daily moisturising cream, skin serum and an eye gel.. SKINCARE HEAVEN.
Origins Super Spot Remover - Thankfully my acne medication is working, and for the first time in 10 years.. I don't have single spot. But, just in case.. I'm hoping this little beauty works some magic.
Origins GinZing Moisturiser - The only product I was meant to buy.. ooops. I've read so many good reviews about this, I'm just hoping it's hydrating enough for my skin! I can't wait to start using it and it smells devine.
Origins Checks/Balances Face Wash & Origins Drink Up Mask - These were my free gifts, so excited to try the mask especially!
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation - I've got a new found love for anything that claims to wake the skin, and help it to appear more radiant. I've also seen everyone and their dog talk about this, claiming it to be better than a lot of high end brands so I'm looking forward to giving it a try.
Sleek Face Contour Kit - Absolutely love a contour so I thought I'd jump aboard the Sleek train. I've seen many a gorgeous look using this kit, show me the cheeeeekbones.
Sleek Blush By 3 in Pink Lemonade - The colours, oh so preeeeeetty. I'm a blush hoarder, and love all products pink. This HAD to be a part of my collection.
Carmex Lip Balm - I love a lip balm, especially during the hotter months; hydration is so important!
L'oreal Micellar Water - Oops, I lied.. this is a repurchase but I love using this before cleansing. Must have essential in any skincare routine.
I've also purchased Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser in the flash sale, but I haven't photographed it yet! So that's all..it's been a while since I hauled like that but a girl's gotta treat herself once in a while, right?
Finding new skincare brands is something that pleases me, especially when the companies aren't well known. Up until a few months ago, I didn't even have a skincare routine.. (so awful, I know) but now I've blossomed and I absolutely adore giving my skin a little extra attention. So anyway, the lovely people at MONU Skincare contacted me and asked if I'd like to try one of their products, yeeep; of course I said yes.
MONU Professional Skincare create unique gentle and pure
beauty products which utilise the special properties of natural
ingredients using plants, herbs, minerals and essential oils. MONU Skincare Beauty Balm*
is described as a creamy balm that provides instant radiance. Using Neroli and Sweet Orange oils to stimulate the body and mind; it's a perfect
beauty boost to wake-up the complexion. It uses Vitamin E in
combination with Glycerin to comfort and calm to skin, and Sodium
Hyaluronate to firm fine lines. The natural proteins within the product aid in tightening the pores, smoothing the skins surface and generating a flawless appearance. This all sounds amazing, right?
The MONU Beauty Balm comes in a sleek, clear tube which features a pump dispenser. The pump has been designed so that as you use the product the
middle section rises, this ensures there is no waste so you get use of all the
product; an innovation across the beauty world.
For the past month, I've been using this product every morning after cleansing. This can be used day and night, but I try not too put too much product on my face over night. It's simple to use, just one push on the pump produces a good amount of product, enough to cover the face and neck. I usually wait around 5 minutes and then apply make up but for a more radiant finish then MONU recommend you apply the product like a mask; leave for 15 minutes, then remove any residue with a toner/water.
Being on acne medication is hitting my skin real hard, leaving it ridiculously dull and dry. Since using this product, I've noticed a healthy difference with my skin; it looks brighter and my skin tone has evened out, yay. I'm absolutely thrilled that it's helping to calm the redness, seriously, having radiant skin again has made me all happy inside. In terms of stimulating the mind & body, I'm not so sure about that but it definitely wakes up the complexion. I do agree that it tightens the pores, this in turn helps the skin to look firmer and more healthy.
The product itself has a creamy consistency, much like a moisturiser but without the density! I was really impressed with the drying time, it sinks into the skin quickly without looking greasy. If you're shy when it comes to moisturiser then this will be a good substitute. The product hydrated my skin well, although I'm not sure how it would sit with oily skin. I will admit I haven't used the product as a mask, but I'm hoping to get some me time and try it out. The only negative thing about this product is the scent; if I'm completely honest it smells a lot like potato peelings. Seriously, that is all I can compare it too. Thankfully the scent doesn't linger and soon disappears once your makeup is applied.
The beauty balm retails at £29.95 for 50ml, this sounds expensive but in my opinion, skincare is worth all the pennies. I've used about a quarter of the product so you'll definitely get your money's worth; excellent value for money! If a more radiant complexion is what you're after then this product is for you. To find out more about MONU Skincare and their diverse range of products, you can find them here.
This week's topic is Music; As music is a part of so many lives it's easy to see how it has the power to change mood and overpower our thoughts. Just hearing one song can transform you back to a certain time. For me, the type of music I listen to depends on my mood. I'm definitely not a one genre type of girl, and I've gone through major stages of what I listen to...
Acoustic music is probably my favourite style at the moment, with the likes of Boyce Avenue, Ben Howard, Passenger & Bastille you can see why it's becoming popular than ever; it's ridiculously chilling.
I'm one of these people that will listen to seriously sad songs if I'm feeling low, feeling sorry for yourself is okay, right?
Pre-teen; if you loved SCLUB7 as much as I did then you'd of been heartbroken when they released this song.
Secondary School; chipmunk music was all the rage, yup DJ BOONIE.
Not well known, but amazing - HOBBIE STUART. Seriously, check him out.
A song I sing EVERYDAY & I don't even know why.
This song reminds of me summer and put's me in such a good mood.
Secret stomper, reminds me of the CRAZIEST times of my life with some of the BEST people.
ALL TIME FAVS and one's that will NEVER get old.
So that's a snippet of my life through music. I could probably give you a thousand more songs; Justin Bieber and One Direction included, but DJ Boonie was embarrassing enough. I hope you enjoyed my picks, or at least had a little singsong..
Feel free to leave your links below if you're taking part in the challenge. You can find the rest of my posts here. x
I don't know how many of you can relate to this but when it comes to those 'non blogger' followers/friends; I'm always asked 'What's with all this blog stuff you go on about, why do you do it?'. 'Because I love doing it' isn't always a good enough answer, but how do you explain to someone that has absolutely no interest in what you're doing?! I've always been the type of person that applauds passionate people, and that's what I believe we, as bloggers, all are. However, I've come across a fair bit of negativity, often told 'you're incredibly sad for doing that', 'who would follow your blog, no-one cares what you have to say' and that blogging is 'a waste of time'. Then again I'm not about to cry about the opinions of these people. It's more than just a hobby, so here is why I love blogging..
Blogging helps broaden my mind and gives me a creative outlet to explore
writing. Growing up, I loved writing, but as I left school I lost sight
of everything that was important. Blogging has helped regain my love
for writing, giving me the chance to write when I want, what I want and
develop my skills at the same time. The latter being the biggest reason as to why I love blogging. Almost as soon as I started
blogging, I noticed the amount of creative inspiration I got from
everything around me. I almost felt guilty taking for granted what I saw
everyday, there were so many little details I'd missed and now I feel
the need to capture things around me more often. I don't often post
photos that I take, but I love to look back at them.
The impact on my life has been incredible; blogging has been an
excellent distraction for my anxiety, almost like an escape from
reality. I've seen a dramatic change within myself; my confidence grows
with every positive thing somebody says to me. It's so refreshing when
someone says they love your blog. I'd never of imagined the sense of accomplishment and pride I'd get from blogging, it's changed me in so many positive ways.
The blogging community; I immersed myself in the community almost as soon as I began blogging. I was petrified, it was like going back to school and just hoping to be accepted. Lo and behold, I've been welcomed with open arms and I've made some wonderful friends. It's crazy to think how much love and respect you can have for people you've never even met. Seriously, everyone is so kind.
Sharing my life & thoughts with others can be quite daunting,
especially when writing a personal post. However, it does make me feel
better to spill it all out, thus leading to people that feel the same;
when someone emails me to say how much my post has helped them, it's
exhilarating. You never know who you're helping. Likewise, an offer of
support or just a kind comment makes me feel so much better.
There's always something to look forward to; you can almost guarantee if you're in a low mood that reading your favourite bloggers' posts can perk you up. If not, there are some excellent enablers out there who can help you buy something dreamy, shopping always helps.
Thankfully, there are bloggers all around the world. So when you're laid awake (thinking about that lipstick you want, or is that just me?), you can head to Twitter and someone, somewhere will be there. There are so many interesting and inspiring people in the world, having the chance to chat to some of them is such a gift.
The smaller reasons, but still important; Being in the know about upcoming releases, giving you time to save up for those products you MUST have in your life. Working with numerous brands you may never of heard of before, building a relationship and an excellent portfolio. Blogger meet ups; I haven't manged to attend one yet, but I definitely will sometime soon. I could probably go on forever but I'd love to know: what do you love about blogging?
*image sourced from weheartit.
This blog is mine, all mine. It's my own little piece of the Internet & I'm incredibly proud to be a blogger.
It's that time where we are all like how is it May already? For me, it means it's only a month until my birthday, woo. As I do every month; I write a little post about what I'm looking forward to - an attempt to quit the negativity and actually look forward to things. This month is actually going to be a quiet one;
In my 'Hello April' post last month I wrote that I was waiting to hear if I'd been accepted for a house, well guess what... I GOT IT. I don't have a specific move in date, and to be honest, there isn't alot I know about the house yet as it's still having the final building work done to it. It's also a bungalow, not a house. So, this month will be all about browsing various electrical stuff, trying out sofas and putting together some designs for decor. I'm so excited and definitely feeling more positive that it will help me to overcome my agoraphobia.
My cousin is getting married, I'm seriously looking forward to putting on a nice dress and eating good food. It's also in a gorgeous part of Cornwall so I'm hoping the sun shines down on us!
My brother got deployed to Afghanistan unexpectedly last month, he should be home by the end of the month. Fingers crossed; definitely looking forward to the 'I'm back' phonecall.
I'm going to say this a kind of 'maybe this will happen' idea, but I'm hoping to start exercising again. The pounds have definitely increased higher than I'd like. I do say this all the time, but I'm still a slob. DOH. Send motivation my way, or just shout 'get off your arse', either will be appreciated!
The weather in April was hideous, let's hope for a sunnier May.