My Favourite Things about Summer 2018

I'm currently sat in my bedroom at almost 11pm writing this spontaneous blog post because I wanted to get my thoughts out of my mind and into another platform: the internet. I haven't blogged much this year (because life has been busy and I suck at time-management) but I aim to resolve this issue through writing what I want when I want. Such as today.

I don't think I've ever been as happy in my life as I am now. 2018 has been wonderful for me. I've had the happiest past few months, and this summer has been incredible. I thought I'd share what has made me happy this year so that perhaps these things can make you happy too; as these things are all easily accessible for everyone.

The UK has been blessed with a huge heatwave this year. I've loved every single second of it. I love sitting in my garden with a cold glass of elderflower cordial with my guinea pigs chomping on grass in their outside hutch and my dog sunbathing on the decking. I love wearing summer clothes and applying my cherry blossom body lotion every evening after a cool shower. I love applying minimal makeup and feeling fresh and free. I'm just loving this weather and wish every summer could be this lovely.

World Cup
I've never been a fan of football. But something about the World Cup enticed me and I became obsessed with it. I loved the feeling of excitement when we scored a goal, and I loved turning to Twitter following a match to read people's thoughts. I loved having a BBQ outside and watching the match. England did so well this year and I'm really happy I was able to witness the cheerful nation we became.

Love Island
This was my first year watching Love Island and I can't believe I hadn't watched it sooner! Although I don't agree with the purpose of the programme (it kinda destroys the true meaning of "love" to be honest), it's entertaining and I love how active Twitter becomes whenever it's on TV. I feel part of a virtual community when I watch it, and it's a really comforting feeling.

This was my first summer with a job. I was lucky enough to be offered a job in something I'm enjoying so much, and that's a privilege which unfortunately lots of other people don't have. Each day at work is exciting and I'm proud of myself for being able to achieve this. I love that feeling when your shift ends and you can go back home feeling productive, proud and relaxed. 

This was a weird blog post. I'm basically just really happy, but that's all down to my own perspective. I've always had these lovely things about my life, but I'd never appreciated them until this year. Time being ungrateful is time wasted. Yes, I have my 'down days'. But I blame hormones most of the time, because I have no reasons to be sad. I'm appreciating each second of each day because my life may not always be this care-free. I wish more of us realised how lucky we actually are instead of dwelling on negativity.

Apologies for preaching, but I needed to get my thoughts off my chest and spread some positivity. Normal posts will resume soon.


How I Became Happy

As my time at university is coming to an end, I've been reflecting a lot on my life recently. How my life has been in the past, how my life currently is, and how I hope to live my life in the future. When considering how university has shaped me into who I am today, I've come to realise how happy and positive I've been over these past few months. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but happiness was something that I really struggled with as a teenager. I had the world's happiest childhood which I am ridiculously grateful for (thanks, mum and dad!), but when I became a teenager something must've happened in my brain which meant that I reeeeaaallly struggled to be happy. I don't know why and I don't know how. To put it simply: I was miserable.

However, recently, I've been feeling like my old self again. The self I was when I was a child, when I was smiley and happy. Little things don't agitate me anymore. I've found myself noticing my cheeks and jaw aching from the amount of smiling I've done. I don't know why my perspective on life has suddenly changed, but I think I just woke up one morning and decided not to give a crap anymore about life stressors. I've had a whole new sense of awareness that in a world containing billions of people, I am one extremely fortunate person. My life so far has been free from distraught and terror. I'm in such a lucky position to even say that I'm a university student. And thinking about how lovely my home-life is with my family makes me feel like one of the luckiest people alive.

I've found that the key to happiness (for me, anyway) is gratitude. To always be grateful. Each time I have a problem, I always know that it could be worse. And for that, I am grateful. 

Everyone's life will have bad parts. Everyone will deal with these bad parts differently. But to be almost 21 and to have had no traumatic bad parts - well that's pretty damn lucky. 

I'm learning more about myself every single day, even if it's only little things like how I really don't like wholewheat pasta. Each experience that life brings me teaches me something new about myself. I'm in an extremely happy place in my life right now, and I feel more 'me' than ever. I thought it would be nice to document this and blog about it so that in the future, if I am ever in an unfortunately negative mindset again for prolonged periods of time, I can come back to this post and try to learn how to be happy again.

Thank you for reading this, and I am extremely sorry that this is my first post in 2018. Third year of uni has been busy, but I'm near the end now and I know that I'll have some more free time soon.

What can you do to make yourself happy? Make that a priority.


2017 was confusing...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


How Much Is My Face Worth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


It Finally Feels Like Autumn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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