Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bomb Cosmetics!

For Christmas I got a Bomb Cosmetics gift box which I was quite excited about as I had heard things about it yet I have never used any of them. I decided to try a bit of everything so I could say a little about each product. I have used any other Bomb Cosmetic products so I can't give a more detailed opinion on this brand. Also I would like to say sorry if some of the photos aren't in focus completely as I still don't understand how to focus it.


This is a Sun Seduction Bath Creamer and it was the first product that I tried. It was brilliant. I can not remember what it smelt like but I remember smelt fruity and very summery. It didn't smell that strong in the bath and that is probably due to the fact it was so small. It did make my skin feel lovely and soft though and I thoroughly enjoyed it.




 This was a bit of a disappointment. The smell was not for me and the glitter came off and distressed me - it stuck to everything! Also the smell did not linger and it didn't do anything fancy to the bath itself. However I am convinced that it is just a bad choice of bath bombs on my behalf.  



 SOAP! FANTASTIC! My YogNog soap has nearly run out so I was in desperate need for so new soap. Free Spirit Soap Slice and Free Spirit Soap Slice are the two soaps that are provided in this gift set. And they both smell wonderful. They are a bit soft but not as soft as the YogNog soap (that literally melts in my hand.) I really like the colours and the designs. All of these soaps are hand made and these two contain aromatherapy oils which feels  wonderful on the skin.



This is my favourite product. It is a Bath Mallow so similar to a creamer however this can be used up to three times. I can't actually find this one to find a link or a name but I have a feeling that it is a Seasonal Greetings Bath Mallow - although I am not sure. All I know for certain is that this smells absolutely gorgeous. Every time I go past it I pick it up to smell it. The only issue I have with it is the stars because these get everywhere. I just found one in between my toes. But it is a small price to pay for such a beautiful product.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Lush Haul

I hope all your Christmases were wonderful and filled with a lot of joy and happiness. I was going to do a 'What I Got For Christmas' haul; however I realised that you probably don't want to see everything I got so I will probably stagger it out. Also I did get other items from Bomb Cosmetics but they didn't focus well on my (new) camera so I thought that I would do a review of them later. I am very excited to finally get to use them! Also I am sorry if some of these photos are focused in a weird way I have quite explored everything on my camera and I am finding part of it quite confusing. 

Also, Lush have a sale where it is half price on all their Christmas things which isn't the bet deal they have. I popped in today to see if I could stock up on some Lord Of Misrules but they had none left (damn) so I'll have to try again. Out of these I paid for three of them. The rest were presents that I am truly thankful for.


This is the Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroom which is a product that I haven't really used before. I got the rose one free; however I don't really like the smell of rose so I don't know if that swayed my opinion on it. However this one smells lovey and it get be easily split into two so it is perfect for two baths.



This is The Shoot For The Stars bath bomb. This was a Christmas special and I have never used it before so I have nothing really to say about it. I would link it but the Christmas stuff is limited to just stores now. I didn't see any in my local today so I am hoping I don't fall in love with it and have to wait an entire year before it is on sale again.


I don't like the look of this one - Lush Golden Wonder Bath Bomb as I am not a fan of glitter products and as you can see - this is very glittery. I think it is the most sold Lush item though and as it was half price I thought that I would give it a go. I just hope it doesn't coat everything in glitter. 



I think that this is my favourite Lush Bath Bomb - The Lord of Misrule. It turns the bath a lovely red colour and it smells divine. I am so sad that I can no longer get it in stores. It isn't glittery - I think my golden glittery one 

I have used The Luxury Lush Pud before and it is okay. Just okay. I like the colours and I like how there are little bits of glitter in it but it isn't brilliant. It didn't ow me like Lord of Misrule did. However this is my third one so I do like it it just isn't a product that I would insist people must try out. 



Ah the Tisty Tosty - an all year round product. This is one I got for Christmas and it isn't my favourite by far. My friend got it for my birthday and it is rose scented. As I have said before, I am not the biggest fan of rose scented things. However this is subtle so it isn't too bad. My issue is the rose petals in this product - I find they get all mushy when wet and they stick to your skin easily. Ah well, i'll just pick the flowers out - I am sure it'll be fine. 


Lush Christmas Eve bubble bar is something I bought today. This isn't the most flattering photo of it; however as they are hand made it doesn't look like it does on the website. I don't mind in the slightest. It smells lovely and I think I will get two baths out of it.


I love, love, love this bathbomb and I am determined to save it for a long time. It is an unusual shape and if you would like more about it please read this blogpost. 
This is the So White bathbomb and I have got it before and all I can remember about it is that as it is so big it take an age for it to dissolve into the water. Also I think it turns the water pink. It does smell lovely though and I was very tempted to buy the body wash before I realeased that I have roughly six bottles of unopened body washes. I'll have to wait until next year.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Affordable Gift Ideas


So Christmas is nearly upon us and here commences the madness in shops and the panic stricken evenings when you are searching for an idea for a gift that is nice but also affordable. These are just a few of the best gifts that I think would be nice to give to your friends (depending on your price limit)

 Lush:
We all knew that it was coming. Lush is my favourite shop and I love so many items in it. Although some items can be quite expensive; however there are some very nice little bath bombs and ballistics that are brilliant and affordable for little gifts for friends. You may be stuck with the problem that your friend doesn't have a bath or hates them but don't forget that Lush have a large number of shower gels and face masks that are so brilliant and smell wonderful. If you are buying early for an event I wouldn't recommend getting the facemasks as they are fresh and have a 2-3 week shelf life. Also you may want to avoid softer soaps and if you do buy them you can pick up a nice container for the products. These can be refused and they keep the soap/bath bombs nice and safe.


Socks: 
Everyone seems to complain about socks but I love them. I love giving them and receiving them. These lovely bed socks are only £3 in Primark and they last a surprisingly long time.

 PJS:
I am currently wearing these pjs and yes, they're from Primark and yes, they were £7; however they are so very comfortable and the design is so cute. Honestly if someone bought these for me for a present I would hug them tightly and never let go.
Books:
 A Christmas book is a brilliant gift for Christmas. I got this last year from my parents and it was very good. I think my parents got it for me as John Green co-wrote it; however his story was not my favourite out of the three. Still, it's a great novel.
 Hand Gel:
These are great for school and having in your handbags. These are "2.50 from the bodyshop and the smell is lovely and they have quite a big selection. I'm not the biggest strawberry fan; however the coconut ones had run out so I'm going to have to go back at some point.
 Face Masks:

I would chose the Lush masks over these ones; however these lash longer, they last long, and the packaging is very modern and cute. Also it works which is the best thing. I am currently using it as I had a massive spot break out last week (it was terrible) and I don't know if it is just them going over time but they have really cleared up in the last few days. My only word of warning is that this product is not great for very very sensitive skin. My skin is quite sensitive and it is just on the edge of becoming irritable so don't get this one if you know that the person has sensitive skin. This product was £5 in Boots and I think it is currently on offer which is great as you can by the entire collection for less money. Or you could buy other things. It doesn't matter.
Boots:
Boots do the best Christmas gift boxes in their Christmas section. These all have a range of items for different prices and they're with big brands like Soap and Glory and Benefit. It's just brilliant and I love getting gifts there. (Plus think of all those Boots points!)


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Girl Online Fiasco: Does It Matter?

Before I start this post I want to say that I have not bought Girl Online, I have not read it and I have never even held a copy so everything I say here will be due to what I have read and seen over the past few days.

Someone asked me on Tuesday if I had an opinion on this matter and my response was no. I had no plans to buy this book so why would it both me? It still doesn't really matter to me; however I feel that I can offer some insight on some things that I have come across and I have a few issues with.

If you don't know what I am talking about it became clear on the weekend that Zoe Sugg's (Zoella) debt novel was not actually 'written' by her, instead it was (presumably) written by an author called Siobhan Curham. The amount she contributed to to this novel is unclear - this is probably due to a contract she signed with Penguin - but Zoe stated on her Twitter that the story and the characters were all hers. This doesn't mean she wrote the novel; however it also doesn't mean she didn't write the novel. We shouldn't jump to conclusions.

If she was using a ghostwriter what does it matter? Well it doesn't. Not really. Everyone (by everyone I mean her 'Sugglets' or something and the media) is a bit upset because Zoe said that she had always wanted to write a book and now she finally has. Also some people think that Zoe had been taking advantage of her young audience to get more money. There is also the argument that the ghostwriter should have been credited to the same amount as Zoe and that Curham may have been taken advantage of. My response to these statements are as follow. 

To make a book you need two things: a story line and a writer. Without one of these things a story can not and will not be written. So if Zoe only came up with the characters and a story line then that's 50% of the work done and also, technically it is her story. This story is (supposedly) similar to that of Zoe Sugg's own experiences and she had this plot developing for months. The ghostwriter was not doing this. They just write around the subject they are told to. Now if we all had the chance to get our stories written well and sold without the really time consuming part we would all jump to do so. I know I would. Another point that has to be made is that none of us have any idea that amount that Zoe contributed to the writing. We are all going on educated guesses and blog posts.

Secondly you must remember Zoe is a businesswoman. A lot of her videos are going to be controlled by agents and paid for by companies - she is going to do them because it makes her money. YouTube is her job. Advertising is her job. And without it she would be stop doing a boring job somewhere probably close to her parents house. Zoe Sugg is a very clever businesswoman and although her main aim may not always be to make money but it sure is going to be one of them. That applies to merchandise that is released by her. Yes her audience may be young but she isn't forcing them to buy her book. It is like following your favourite band and buying their new CD. It's something that someone wants to enjoy and to show that they like what the person/band is doing. Also, yes a large majority of her audience is going to be quite young. Only the other day I was in Lush two 10 year old girls were talking to their mother about all the Lush products Zoella had. Sadly the truth about this age category is that they rarely read and the fact that this book is making so many tweens pick up a physical book and enjoy it is brilliant. It also means that bookshop that are closing down everywhere have ended the year on a high. It's good. It is all good.

Thirdly ghostwriters know that they aren't going to be credited to the same amount as the other author. They agree to this in their contract and it is their job. They can't be a ghostwriter otherwise. Also it isn't unfair to this writer. Before this whole debacle this writer probably earned a small percentage in comparison that the amount she is getting from the book. It has increased awareness about her writing and it may mean that fans of this novel go and buy her books as well. However she said in her blog post that she was receiving a lot of hate from fans of Zoella. Why? Who knows! She was doing her job. She didn't do this to get popular because she didn't think this would come out. So why hate on a woman for doing her job?

All in all I don't think it matters at all that Zoe's first book was ghostwritten. She's a YouTuber not a writer and it is silly to expect someone as busy as her to be able to write a 300 page book in such a short amount of time. If you want to read the book the fact that the person on the front cover may not have written it doesn't change the novel. It isn't an autobiography after all. So if it appeals to you go and get it and read it. If it doesn't then go and buy another book or read a blog post. Someone who is just doing their job shouldn't upset people this much.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Exam Stress

It is a big year for me as I have my GCSEs coming up so this can mean that I have several exams in one week. This is normally just coursework but some of them are incredibly testing and can make me want to just lie on my bed and scream. Next week I have mock exams so I have 11 exams in four days (this is nothing compared to my 23 in May/June) so I have had to have been doing a lot of revision. I'm not great at revision because, unless I get really into it, I find it almost impossible to focus. This then normally means that I don't revise and as the exams approach I end up having a number of anxiety attacks and there are a lot of tears. 

Don't feel sorry for me - it's my own fault.

But my short attention span is going to have to be changed as it isn't really an excuse. The examiners don't care. So this time I have been doing my revision differently and I am going to share what I have done.

Know what you want to do

Every day you should wake up and have a plan. An exam timetable would be very useful here but I understand that not everything can always go to plan. As long as you make a list each day of the subjects that you need to cover I can't imagine many things will go wrong. As long as you actually do it. It is very easy for someone to say "Oh I will do it later" or "But I have to do this..." If it doesn't have to be done right then wait and do it later. Do those subjects to the extent that you feel necessary/that you are able to do.

Prioritise 

If you are brilliant at French but you are struggling in Biology then put down those verbs and pick up that cell revision pack. I know that when you are good at a subject and you enjoy it you will feel inclined to spend more time on that; however you are probably going to get a decent grade on that test anyway and it is a bit pointless to waste your time on something that you are good at. Even if you HATE biology if you revise that topic well enough you will probably not have to cover it again or spend less time on it. That means you could spend more time doing the things that you enjoy instead of drawing root hair cell diagrams. 

Past Papers and Examiners Reports are a gift

Find out your exam board and use their past papers until you run out. This way you are able to see the type of questions that have come up before and you can practice your technique. The best way to do these questions are to:

  1. Get the exam paper up and look at the question. If you have no idea what to do revise the topic (MyMaths is ideal for this). If you have some idea try and answer it. Answer all the sub-questions (so 1a. 1b. 1c (i) and so on) 
  2. Then when the question has finished mark it with the mark scheme and every question (regardless if you got it right or not) read the Examiners Report. This is when the Head Examiner gets all the examiners together and the discuss the common mistakes and whether a question was too hard. It lets you see if you are making common and silly mistakes. It also lets you see if it was a higher demand question and whether the people who get similar grades to you got that question right. I love these things.
  3. Repeat with every question. It's going to take a while but you will learn how to correct your mistakes and it will hopefully help you in the exam its self.
TAKE A BREAK

Do not work for more than a solid two hours and this is when your revision will stop being as effective. After every 1:30-2 hours take a half hour break and watch TV or talk to your friends or go for a walk. Staying cooped up with just revision is likely to make you just feel sad and then you are less likely to revise effectively. 

If your family are going out and you have revised enough don't be afraid to go with them. If it is a day trip take some revision cards with you so when you're stuck in a queue or something you can whip them out and test yourself. Or you could even download an app on your phone and test yourself in a more interesting way. 

Please remember 

Exam stress is hard and it can cause even the most calm and collected people to freak out. If I am stressed I will get terrible migraines that feel like someone is trampling all over my head so managing stress is key for that to not happen. However, if something has happened or anxiety and stress is making it impossible for you to revise go and see someone. Don't let revision for GCSEs, A Levels or any exam make you feel depressed. It's not worth it. There is more to life than exams - that's not to say they aren't important but your health is more important and if you really do feel down and maybe even suicidal you must talk to someone. A friend, a doctor, a teacher, your parents, me - I DO NOT MIND JUST PLEASE DON'T HURT YOURSELF. You don't have to let your exam results decide your future. 






Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Helping those who self harm

Unfortunately in today's society it is very common for you to know someone who self harms. This number of teenagers grows each year and this means that children of younger ages are going to have to deal with someone who self harms. But in these situations it can be very difficult for you to help someone as the reason for their self harming may be unknown to you or too complex for someone to understand. Often someone who self harms will hide the scars from their peers doing everything in their power to not show those around them. This may be because they are ashamed of what they are doing or because they do not want to draw attention to themselves. 


My experience 

When I was in year 8 this is normally when puberty hits hard and everyone goes a little bit crazy. There are emo phases taking people out one by one and everywhere you turn someone seems to be crying. However these are when real mental health issues can be uncovered. My example is that I have a friend who has a troubled past life but year eight is when it began to upset her. she would self harm all the time and when I released that she was doing I felt powerless. I wanted to tell a teacher but I couldn't as my friend told me she would never speak to me again. I shouldn't have listened to her but I did.

The only way that I saw was a good way of me helping was not to interfere. I needed to make sure she felt secure and I needed to show her that self harm is not the best way to cope with your emotions. There are always others.

What to do

  • Make sure the person in question feels secure and that they know that you are not going around talking about them behind their back. If they find this out it may have an adverse effect. The best thing is to listen to them when they need to talk to you and for you to support them and try to understand them.
  • Try and offer alternatives. I tried to get her to call or text me when she felt like doing it and we organised for her to start doing art as a way of getting her mind down on something. We also did that with writing stories but as she is dyslexic this was quite hard
  • Do not expect that you are going to be able to cure them. You aren't a psychologist and you aren't a miracle worker. Mental illness is very hard to understand as it is different for everyone. For someone people self harm will be a problem throughout their life.
  • Do not let the person feel as if they can rely on you for everything. I let this happen to me in year eight and I was getting phone calls, worrying texts, messages from her saying she was going to kill herself and threats. It is okay to feel not up to helping and to just stop. However if you feel that they are in immediate danger you should phone their parents or you can even phone 999.
  • Never tell them that they are looking for attention. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever. Even if you think that they are just don't. You really have no idea and it could trigger something a lot worse to happen.

When to get help

Deciding when to do this can be very challenging but you should always alert the school. Something I didn't do until much later and I regret it. I wouldn't recommend going to the parents first as they probably haven't dealt with it before and they might react in an rude way.

There are also a number of websites you can go on and you should consider going on Childline and ringing them if it all gets too much. It can be a lot of pressure on you when you are being relied on for such a big topic. No one is going to judge you for say that you can't handle it anymore. It doesn't make you a selfish nor a bad person.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Bookshelf Tour: Part Two

I started this series a while back and I promised another part but then I completely forgot about it and never added another part to it. As I think I have mentioned before: I love books. I read all the time and I enjoy spending hours looking at new books that I could purchase. I am not going to go into detail about every single one as I don't ant my opinion on the novels to change your own but a peep into my book collection my inspire you to purchase some of these books. 














October Faves

October is done and dusted and now it really is time for the Christmas season to start. I am so excited. Here are my favourite beauty items from the past month. Enjoy!


 Bobby Pins! I normally only have two style of hair: down or in a ponytail; however recently I have been branching out and experimenting a bit more. So bobby bins are a must. The only issue is that they are so small and I lose BIG things easily so these are a nightmare. 


Yes I finally have the Clinique Sonic brush and I love it. I am obsessed with having a good skincare routine so this is a welcome item. 

 I have big lips and skin that drys very easily - especially in the colder months so this is very much needed. I am not actually the biggest fan of the flavoured of the Vaseline pots but I have come to love this one. Also they have just released a honey one which I am very excited to try.


 Quite a boring one I am afraid but these are a life saver. In my house as it is owned by the place that my dad works for, we aren't allowed to put things on walls or to mark them so bluetack is a bit of a nightmare. These still mark a bit but no where near as much as BlueTack does (also they're cheaper so what is not to like?)

 Volume in my hair is quite important to me and as I spent many years over-washing and damaging my hair it is quite lank and straight so salt spray is a new part of my hair routine. I do not like the style of this bottle but the product its self is rather wonderful.



Lush was obviously going to be in here somewhere.

 The Yog Nog soap is my favourite at the moment. It smells amazing and it makes my bathroom smell rather wonderful. It was something like £3.48 and it lasts for ages. I have used it everyday since I bought it over four weeks ago and I have only used roughly 1/5 of it. I must stock up for the go after Christmas.
When I went into Lush after they released their Christmas stuff a lady came up to me and told me that this was the product to buy. However I turned my nose up at it. Oh how I regret it. I bought this a few weeks ago and used it on my holiday in Norfolk. It made the bathroom smell so amazing and turned the bath water a blood red colour. It was so wonderful I think it may be my new favourite. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Anxiety: Bad Dreams and Nightmares

I have decided to start a series about anxiety as it is something that is currently very topical as a lot more people have been diagnosed with it in the last few years. This will not be a weekly thing - it mayn't even be monthly - I will just write when I feel like and when I feel like I need to say something.Today I am going to be talking about bad dreams and nightmares as you can see from the title. 

*

Everyone seems to believe that bad dreams and nightmares are the same thing; however I completely disagree with that. A bad dream is something that can actually be a good thing but it can shock you, upset you, it can make you question things or bring up old memories. On the other hand a nightmare is normally something that causes you to feel scared, on edge and it can also make you not want to fall asleep again in fear that you may have a similar dream. With bad dreams you want to fall asleep again but you can't. The sequence from the last dream is swirling around your head and your thoughts are racing too quickly for you to be able to control them.

Bad dreams are the worst kind of dream.

Bad dreams often frequent and they can bring up things that you either want to forget or they can create scenarios that you want so badly yet you know that it never will happen. That little portal into a life that you could be leading, the life that you want to be living can give you so much hope and it can make you so happy but when you inevitably wake up it does the opposite and it can ruin your day or week (sometimes longer).

With my anxiety if something distresses me it will cause my anxiety to spike for as long as that thing is distressing me and this upsets me by it's self so the cycle repeats. An example of this is when I had a dream the other night that brought back many memories that I had forgot about an old friend of mine and it then created several scenarios that I have longed to happen for so long (I won't go into detail for personal reasons). When I awoke at around 4.45 am I found it next to impossible to sleep as it caused me to question a lot of things about our relationship. Sleep was out of the question.

Now there are a lot of things that you can do it this situation; you can try desperately to fall asleep again and if this fails I would suggest to get up. If you are able to make noise it your house so that it wouldn't wake up others have a bath or a shower. Don't just lie or sit and let your emotions and anxiety get the better of you. Do something and set yourself tasks. 

Walking helps - I wouldn't suggest that you go out by yourself early in the morning so wait until about 6.30 when there will be commuters out. Make sure you leave a note or text someone to tell them that you have gone somewhere and always stick to populated places. Your personal safety should be your main concern. 

Tell someone about the dream. Dreams are often very boring but to tell your friend or relative about what is distressing you is so important. They are able to help you and even if they aren't very helpful and don't give you very good advice it will help lift a lot of weight of from your shoulders. 

If you are on anxiety medication it is very common for one of the side effects to be 'nightmares' and this includes bad dreams so make sure that when you have your check up appointment you mention these to your doctor as this medication mayn't be suitable for you. If it is causing you to lose sleep you must get it sorted as it is a basic human need.

Don't be afraid to tell people about these dreams - keep a sleep diary or just something so you can keep a recorded of when they happen. You are not to blame for what happens in your subconscious so don't be embarrassed and don't let it depress you. 

Escaping to Norfolk

We all need a break sometimes regardless of age or job sometimes it all just gets a little too much. This happened with my mum who was sick and tired of marking one day so she threw down the work, went online and booked the next available holiday. This so happened to be in Norfolk.

We stayed in a very rural village with only a church and a pub (no shops - not even a little corner shop!) and there was very little phone reception and no internet what-so-ever. It was a good break from everything.

Instead of me going on and on about what we did everyday I thought I would upload a few photos that I took over the last three days so I hope you like photo-heavy posts!













(They're seals but the light and being on a moving boat meant that all of my families pictures were terrible!)