11 Aug 2018

As I head into my third year, I thought I'd share with you what, non-academically, university has taught me...

There's life after high school.

It sounds silly that I didn't realise this earlier. Even through college I thought nothing would get better than high school and it wasn't like that was great. I left high school with friends but I wouldn't say a solid friendship group. I thought that would just be how it would stay. But, that wasn't the case. I've realised that, wherever you go, there's always people willing to listen and have fun with that are even better than the people you meet at high school. 

You aren't always stuck in education and your grades don't necessarily define you or limit you to what you want to achieve.

A lot of people say the time at high school will be some of the best years of your life. I now highly dispute that claim. 

Nothing really changes.

I thought I'd go away and everything would just drastically change. Not only my home life where I expected I'd walk back in to my family home and no longer have a bedroom or the parents have decided to invest their life savings in a caravan etc. In fact, everything's stayed relatively the same. The same can be said for myself, I thought you go away, move out and you, yourself, change and,  while I think I have made some small changes, they've been nothing I've had to say to myself "woah,  I've changed". It's been inevitable steps that are just part of growing up but nothing like what I expected to happen. On that subject...

You're still young! 

It was as if I thought that as you hit 20 there's this automatic switch that's hit and BAM you're a fully-fledge adult. It was just the other day that I was thinking how, in some ways, I still feel 16. I know I definitely still look it from the comments I get in shops and the amount of times I am ID'd for razors in Superdrug, but I also don't feel like the way I act has really changed and sometimes I still act as if I was 16.

I've realised that I've got all the time in the world to make decisions about my life and no decision I make has to be set in stone; things can change later down the line because I've got plenty time to do that; I'm still young. 

It's OK to be yourself.

I never have truly felt like I could be myself around people but university has allowed me to present to people the closest thing to me and I'm honestly proud of myself for managing to do this. It sounds like a strange, silly thing to self-celebrate but to me it's a big thing. I've finally found people who accept me in all my weirdness and all my annoyingness. 

I'm less afraid to speak to new people, have conversations and have an opinion that's not always the most agreed one. It's OK for me to speak out about my views and put ideas forward. It's OK for me to be happy about who I am. 

I'm capable of more than I think.

As many are, I'm self-critical and even my successes I tend to put down to luck or not give myself the credit I should give myself. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and, even when I get great grades, I still look at the negative. Since coming to uni, I've found a lot of people are the same but I think slowly we are all accepting how lucky we are to be at the uni we are and that getting here has taken a lot of work and we deserve it just as much as anyone else. Without making this sound like a job application, my volunteering and time working part time, it's been nice to see people appreciate the work I do and it's confirmed in me that, sometimes, I need to be a little less harsh on myself. I should be proud of what I've accomplished so far even if it's only small things so far. 

A lot of people are in the same boat.

Whether it be family issues, friendship dramas or personal feelings I've realised how alike I am to a lot of people. It's a tired phrase but "you are not alone" springs to mind and is definitely fitting here. There's always someone who can relate to a problem you're having and vice versa. It's nice to know that we are all having similar struggles and that, from this, you can be there to support each other.

So these are just a few of the little life lessons that my first two years at uni have taught me and there's definitely more where this came from (potentially enough for a part 2?).
Do you go to university? Any life lessons you want to share I'd love to read!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 


7 Aug 2018

With the weather being super warm, make up has been a rarity so discovering new products has been put on the back burner. But, while I haven't discovered or been particularly loving any beauty products this month, there have been a lot of other bits I've been loving that I'd thought I'd share with you. 


Right at the start of this month, I headed to Community Festival in Finsbury Park. If you follow me on Instagram (@distortings) you may have seen my stories of some fabulous artists and bands. If you saw those you may have seen one of those was Tom Grennan. I'd been loving his music before seeing him live but my love for his music grew even more after seeing him live and I haven't stopped listening to him since. My favourites are "Something in the Water" and "Barbed Wire". If you're fans of people like George Ezra you might this him. 

Side note, I'd say Community Festival is probably a favourite of mine as well for this month. If you get the opportunity to go, it's a great festival that always has some fabulous people. If you are interested in seeing who was playing this year, the snapchat stories are added to my JULY '18 highlights if you want a peak. 

Shop his music here: Tom Grennan Music Store


I've downsized my everyday bag to a small cross body. From doing this, it's also meant I've had to downsize my purse as my former purse no longer fits. I've been a little obsessed with mustard this year and so seeing this cute little purse in Accessorize, I couldn't help myself. It's the perfect size to throw my cards into as well as a section for coins in the middle. I have quite a lot of loyalty cards and even though this doesn't have specific slots for cards, I can still fit them all into and get to them easily as well. I think I've been converted to the small purse life now. 

Shop here: Coin Purse 


So technically I bought this in August but I can't help be include this as a favourite straight away. I haven't worn a headband in years and I've fallen in love with it. I have a knack for picking up items and trying them on as a joke but then actually loving them so much I have to buy them and this was one of those. Since picking it up, it hasn't left my head. It makes a messy bun look a little more put together while keeping those strays out of my face. 

Similar here: Turban-Style headband


After deciding to finally buy these, they have become a very beloved pair of trainers. They go with so much and I love particularly pairing them with my mum jeans and a jumper; not the most summer-appropriate outfit but I can't help but wear that combo all summer round. I think I'll be wearing these all year round. 


Season 6 was released and I devoured all 13 episodes in just 2 days (I wouldn't say this is something to be proud of though). It was probably my favourite season so far so, if your a OITNB fan and still haven't got round to watching it, this is my public service announcement to tell you to get it watched. And, if you've never watched OITNB I highly recommend you do; it cover such relevant topics and tackling important subjects well in a prison setting while still being funny. I don't know how I'm going to survive without this for another year now. 


If you read Saturday's post on the books I've RECENTLY READ, you will have seen me mention this book. If you want to know more about this book and it's plot, give that post a read. Here, I just one to sing its praises one last time. I loved how realistic it was and, while the pace was slow, the build up allowed me to really connect with the characters. It also made me laugh in parts which is always an added bonus. My first 5/5 stars on good reads in quite a while! 

So there's my favourites for July. While there was no beauty favourites, I really enjoyed sharing these bits with you and I hope you enjoyed reading about them. 
Did you do anything exciting in July?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

*Disclaimer: This post does contain some affiliate links*


4 Aug 2018

follow me on goodreads for more recommendations and reviews! 

I'm embarrassed that I've only managed to read less than a handful so far this year and it's already August. Because of this and with finally some free time to catch up on the fab books I've missed this year, I've set myself the goal of reading a book a week until the end of summer. 
While to some serious readers this is hardly anything, I can be quite a slow reader and that's fine with me. If I manage to complete my own little challenge I'll be proud of myself. Having said that, here's what I've read so far this summer. 



I'd heard my friend had decided to pick this one up to read and the premise was something that sounded like one I would enjoy. So, before heading to London, I picked this up and started to read this on the train. It's centred around called, surprisingly, Eleanor Oliphant and it gives a glimpse of her childhood which was an interesting one. It shows us how it's affected her in her adult years.  While I'd say it's definitely a slow burner, having nothing else to do on that train helped me power through. I actually for once  enjoyed the slow build up. The slower pace made it feel like more of a  realistic life with chapters that focussed on more normal day to day tasks which still revealed a lot about the character. It really allowed to build depth to the characters and helped me to connect with the story. 
I have been struggling to find books that bridge the gap between young adult books that I love but have started to outgrow and adult fiction that just don't capture my attention that YA does. This was the perfect hybrid and I have this to thank for getting me out of my 6-month reading slump. It was a book I highly enjoyed and would recommend to others. I could tell it's not everyone's cup of tea due to the slower pace but it's not incredibly long and I think it's worth it. That's why I'd give this a 5 stars. 



I don't recall the last time I've given a book one star. After getting almost all the way to the end of this book I ended up giving up. I think the reason I didn't like this book was maybe more to do with me than the actual book. I think I'm starting to realise I'm outgrowing some branches of YA. Having said that, even a few years ago, I think I would have enjoyed it more than now but I still don't think it would be one I'd be quick to recommend to others. 
One of the appraisals on the front cover likened Harcourt's writing style to Rainbow Rowell and I totally agree with that. It's a very easy-going like premise with a simple tone throughout. It reminded me a lot of Rowell's short "Kindred Spirits". With that, I think this book would have made a great short story; I don't feel it needed the 314 pages it included. I think, if it was shorter, I may have enjoyed it more but, in this instance, I felt it dragged out the story unnecessarily. What I will give it is that, in some places, it did make me chuckle but overall I wasn't a fan. The relationship introduced in this book didn't feel genuine and had a very cliche feel to it that made it quite unbelievable and rushed. With a 3.6 average on Goodreads, other's obviously do like this book and so maybe don't just take my opinion on it. But, sadly, this one wasn't for me. 



I'd heard a lot of this in the blogging community so thought it was worth a go. It's been sat on my shelf for a while after getting it for my 19th birthday (I'm now 20 and a half...). It wasn't exactly as I expected. I was thinking it would be more Station Eleven meets Breakfast Club. And, I guess, it was a little like that but it still wasn't exactly what I expected or wanted from the book. The book centres around four high-school teenagers in America and it was set around the days leading up to the crash of a meteor and the potential end of the earth. I'm a sucker for dual or, in this case, quadruple perspectives but here I don't think it really added anything really necessary. This was another slow one going in to it but, unlike Eleanor Oliphant, it wasn't one that really allowed me to connect with the characters and the end left me disappointed as I felt nothing really came of the book. 
In some places I also found the writing a little pretentious; using big words where bigs words weren't needed. Having said this, I still made it to the end which is something. I have another book by Tommy Wallach called "Thanks For The Trouble" which I have given a go previously but, even after the slight disappointment of this book of his, I think I will still try and give it another crack this summer.

Do you have any book recommendations I should give ago this summer?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x


1 Aug 2018

As you get older, it's not uncommon for you to move around. Whether that's moving around for a job or university, it's unlikely you'll stay in the same place forever. 
I've come across a number of posts from other writers discussing what it's like to be in a long-distance relationship and what it's like to leave your other half behind. However, less so mentioned is what about the friends you leave behind? Long-distance friendships are as much a hard thing as long-distance relationships. 

Over the years, I've discovered I'm very much someone who enjoys space. By that, I don't mean the scarily vast universe that lies outside Earth but the kind of space that gives me room to breath and enjoy my own company. It allows me to not feel overwhelmed by my surroundings. If I see the same person every day for a week, it's likely that, by the end of those seven days, I will start to withdraw and no longer feel the benefit of being around those people. I don't mean this to sound big headed either; I'm sure they would feel the same about seeing my face everyday. I feel this is a similar concept to friendships throughout school. You see the same friends everyday so you're bound to know them well but it's also normal for them to start grinding your gears and vice versa. 

Since going to university, it's true what people say about discovering who "your real friends are". The ones that, even if you don't speak for a while, you can still message when either one of you needs a some advice in a crisis or just a friend to listen. The one's you still look forward to speaking to, to update each other about the goings on in your life. And, inevitably, they are the one's you'll eventually miss. 

Even as someone, as I say, who likes their space, I still miss my friends. I think those closest to me understand that's how I am; if I'm on the other side of the country and haven't messaged them in a month, they still know that everything's fine between us and, whenever it is we do find time to speak, I will be excited to hear what they have to say as well as being excited to share anything that's been happening in my life with them. And, deep down, I'll be missing them. 

Just last week I headed home for Summer. I text my friend a few days before I was set to leave: "I hope you're ready to see me everyday for a month even when we get sick of the sight of each other"- because, I feel the distance has made my strongest friendships even stronger. It's allowed us to grow separately along our own paths but then still coming back together later down the line. The distance makes me want to cherish and appreciate the time I have with my friends more and I feel more inclined to  make great, long-lasting memories before we're back, caught up in our own separate lives. Even when we go back to our own lives a distance away from each other, we'll also know that the other is only a phone call away and that we know we'll see each other again soon. 

Tell me about some of your long-distance friendships! How do you stay in touch? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah X 


11 Jul 2018

Here's a few little bits I've been loving this past month...


Let's not waste any time here. I've mentioned these already in both my SUMMER MAKE UP ROUTINE and BEAUTY ON TRIAL posts. If you want more in depth reviews I'd check those out. All I will say here is that if you want an affordable, everyday foundation that is cruelty-free and carries a great shade range, I'd definitely check this out in Superdrug! 


This is another I mentioned in my SUMMER MAKE UP ROUTINE. When I bought it, I thought it would have more of a lip balm consistency but it actually is more thick like a lipstick. However, even with that thicker texture, it's still a moisturising lip that gives a lovely, wearable colour. It's something I've been throwing in my bag when I'm on the go and can top up when it's rubbing off or my lips are getting dry. It makes a nice alternative to just your standard lip balm.


Another one I mentioned in my BEAUTY ON TRIAL post, this moisturiser is just your bog standard moisturiser but I think that's why I've loved using it this past month so much. For just short of £3, I feel I get a lot of the benefits from that of more expensive moisturisers if not giving more hydration than more pricey ones have given me in the past. I think this is a little pot of joy that has been really helping my more dehydrated skin over this past month. 


This product I have mentioned in a favourites before and I am not one to mention things I love in more than one favourites post. However, after trying out other serums and oils, I had put this one at the back of my drawer and forgotten about it. It was only recently that I decided to reach for it again and it's been really nice to have this back in my skincare routine. It's helped my moisturiser hydrate my skin more than it would on its own as well as giving a natural glow to my skin on make-up free days. It also helps me go to bed with silky smooth skin that feels well nourished. It feels very luxurious on the skin for something that price is less than that. 


I haven't spoke about music on my blog for quite a while but one album I was very excited to see released was the Panic! At the Disco album. No matter how much my favoured music genres change over time, I will always have a place for the fabulous voice of Brendon Urie. While I would say I do prefer his last album, this still has some great songs on it. My favourites so far are "Dying in LA", "High Hopes" and "One of The Drunks". Definitely one I will be replaying over the rest of summer. 

So there's a few bits I've been loving in June. Do you have any great discoveries you made this month?
Hope you're doing great,
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