February Edit.

26 Feb 2015

This is a new feature to my blog this year and you all seemed to enjoy the monthly roundup in January so here we are at the end of another month and so here's my February edit.

What's been going on on my blog this last month?
This hasn't been the most motivational month and if Monday's post is anything to go by(if it actually goes up), I'll admit that I've not been happy with my blog over the past month and have felt very overwhelmed by things on and offline and so blogging has taken a backseat and has therefore left me thinking about the future of my blog and wanting over the next few months to get my blogging mojo back and decide what I want to happen to my blog. But anyway, I started my posts off this month with sharing a review of my favourite moisturiser and then sharing with you some of the countries I want to visit in the future as wanderlust filled my body again this month. As a promise to get up more Recently Read posts this year, the seventh edition went up followed me giving some tips on creating a productive work space. I then had a Monday off before returning with an account of the Saint Raymond concert which I went to. Lastly, I posted "Do I really need a niche?" which is something I've been wanting to write for a very long time and I've finally done it and I hope i got my point across.

What blog posts have I enjoyed this past month?
A post I read that I found was really relate able was Jenny's post "How to Deal With an Introvert" and is one that everyone should read because it's weird that not enough people know about introverts and extroverts. If I was you I'd expect a travel related post that I loved each month as this month it's "10 Useful Travel Websites"; I think this will be a great post to refer to in the future when planning travel. Finally, I loved Anouska's post entitled "The Fear of Falling Off the Blogging Band Wagon". Especially with how I've bee feeling towards my blog this month, it was nice to read this post and not feel alone in feeling overwhelmed by blogging.

What I've loved this month: The Arrow TV series & The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil

What I've been lusting after: The Maybelline Leather Effect Colour Tattoos.

What's coming up next month? I'm not going to lie, I'm not too sure which isn't too good but I think it's going to be quite a personal month next with posts about film photography, high school and some revision tips that you always seem to find helpful. If there's anything you'd like me to write about or give an opinion on please let me know!

My March To Reads: The History of The Kelly Gang I'm having to read for college and I should have finished it by now but wow it's a hard read and it's far from my kind of book so once I finish, I think I'm going to read E.Lockhart's new book The Disreputable history Of Frankie Landau-Banks and When Mr Dog Bites if I have time and fingers crossed for another Recently Read next month.

My February Playlist: This isn't the longest playlist I've done so I apologies but there's some great songs on there this month so I hope you enjoy!


Thanks for reading this month and if you're new hello! 
What've you been up this month?
Hope you're doing great,
Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin' // Tumblr  

Do I really need a niche?

24 Feb 2015


This is a post I've put off writing for too long and this month after feeling overwhelmed by the blogging community, I felt it was about time I tackle this post and hopefully get my point across as well as even creating some discussion maybe.

Over the past year countless posts entitled "How to grow your blog"(or such that go along those lines) have drawn my attention as, while I love the small following I have with my blog, I find it interesting the ways people have found to grow their blogs. When reading these posts, more often than no,t a tip they give is "to find your niche". When I first started blogging I was primarily a beauty blog with a bit of book related posts every so often and I seemed to stick to the beauty for quite a few months but before blogging, beauty wasn't actually my favourite thing and as I've grown up I do indulge more in the beauty counters but it's still not what I wanted and still don't want my blog to be all about. I started to introduce more lifestyle, book, music, personal posts etc and my blog became full of different topics that I felt could reach out to different people as well as being a way of enjoying blogging all together as I had more to talk about causing me to feel more passionate about what I've been writing.

For the past year I've continued to post what I wanted-whether it be beauty or something else- but still bloggers tell us that to grow your blog you have to find your niche and to me this is frustrating as someone who just wants to themselves with their blog and not feel constricted by a blogging genre. When I did my blogging survey at the end of last year, most people said they read my blog for the beauty and the books as well as other life style posts and so, through out January, I've tried to produce a range of different posts to try and please my readers but one person it isn't pleasing is myself and that's a big problem as it affects my writing and the passion I feel towards my posts. This is for a number of reasons but I'd like to pass some of the blame on to the fact I've been trying to find my "niche" and I don't think it's working. I'm struggling to find where I stand and I've realised the only niche I need to be is my own niche however stupid and full of cheese that sounds.This is because I have to enjoy what I write and I, along with other bloggers, shouldn't feel that the only way to grow a blog is to find a blogging path and stick to that-don't cut through the woods and join the next path and the rejoin the old path again; you have to stick to your chosen path but I feel that if I want to dip my toes into other genres of blogging and run wild across all paths of the metaphorical blogging forest then I will. I don't feel we have to feel obliged to stick to a niche.

My main problem with the whole "niche" thing (as well weirdly finding the word annoying) is that people feel, for their blogs to grow, they have to find a niche but I think this is wrong. In my opinion, I want my blog to grow with readers and friends who don't expect a review a week or for you to post beauty exclusively and I want you, my readers, to embrace the different aspects of my blog. I would rather that with a small amazing audience then an audience that expect me to post a certain post a week.

I feel like I've babbled and hopefully I haven't greatly offended anyone in this posts as that was not my aim- it was to just express an opinion and thoughts that I've needed to speak about for a while and one that I would love to hear your thoughts on. If you agree or not at all I'd love to know what you think!
I hope you're doing great,
Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin' // Tumblr  

Saint Raymond 15/02/2015

19 Feb 2015

(not my photo. Source here)
There's something about concerts that I just love. Whether it's the base pumping music or just everyone in a room having a good time;for that hour long set you just seem to forget those little worries and let your ears enjoy the music. Sunday night I headed off to my first concert of the year and the first in a long time as, after the last concert I went to was awful, I was put off going to them for a while. Also, with leaving high school I'd left behind the people who would come with me to concerts and so I didn't have anyone to go with but but when Saint Raymond announced his UK tour I couldn't not go so I asked my sister if she'd come with me as we both love him  but if she hadn't of come I think I would have gone on my own still because another thing I love about concerts is that apart from the pushing in front of you to get closer, everyone's there for the same reason and that's to have a good time and enjoy the music. It's one of few places you don't look weird if you go on your own and I think concerts are a great place to make new friends. You're all there with the common interest of the band and so you must be similar! No one cares at concerts if you decide to speak to them and most often than not the atmosphere is a friendly one. 
As for the concert, Saint Raymond was amazing and is up there as one of my favourite concerts; His presence and the crowd participation was one of the best I've seen at a concert in a long time and the atmosphere was above all the concerts I've been to. Callum (Saint Raymond) had the crowd on his side with ease and, as he went off before the encore, people carried on singing the end lyrics to the previous song so he came back out quicker than I'd ever seen any other artist come back out for the encore.
I also want to mention the supports Wulf and Fickle Friends. WULF had the difficult job of going first and I really enjoyed their sound and are definitely a band I'm going to carry on listening to. Fickle Friends I'd heard of prior to the concert and so it was nice to see them play live for the first time and I really enjoyed the warm up before Saint Raymond came on and blew me away. I was slightly annoyed at myself that the pictures I managed to take were not the best at all but you know what? I don't care at all because for once I didn't feel I needed the memories of a good instagram picture and while, yes, I did post one it's far from the best quality but I don't care because I had a great time and I know I'll remember it all just the same with or without a good quality photo. 
  The concert left me wanting even more and the car ride home was spent singing his music over and over and now writing this post he's playing in the background. Saint Raymond is an artist I've spoke about constantly on my blog and now more than ever I urge you to please listen to his music. I owe Callum a massive thank you for restoring my faith in concerts and for making want to attend every single concert I can.
What was the last concert you went to? You planning on going to any this year?
Hope you're doing great,
Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin' // Tumblr  

PS. sorry for not posting on Monday, I was actually going to have the week of but then decided to post this. I hope this is OK with you all and things should be back to normal next Monday. 


Creating A Productive Workspace.

12 Feb 2015


When it comes to getting things done I really do suck. But I've found, with the right atmosphere, I can really get my backside in gear and get all the little jobs done and that's a lot to do with my work space.  Today I thought I'd share with you my own work space as well as some little things to bear in mind when creating your own space!

Organised Mess.
For me, there's no way I can go for minimal. My rooms too small to have a clear desk so instead I organised everything so it's neat and I still have more than enough room to work on the next to get my work done. I keep my necessary equipment in tins, drawers, pots- whatever I can find and like. I then just find having my notebooks lined up a neat way of keeping them as well as being able to get them when I need them.

Storage.
There's no point storing notebooks and stationary in any other place than a text because once I've sat down I don't want to want move for hours so little bits like pens, paperclips etc I all keep in my desk a so good storage is great; I use mugs and glasses as well as some acrylic drawers from Muji. It adds a personal touch as well as having everything you need to hand.

Personal Touches.
I don't want to work in a place that isn't for me so adding posters and little mementos to the wall space above makes it more personal and it's probably my favourite part of my room as it makes it unique because it's personal. I don't want to work in a space that's impersonal- I need it to reflect me and my ideas as well as acting as inspiration.

Little Details.
This goes hand in hand with adding personal touches. Little extras like a simple box of tissues, a coaster, a DIY weekly planner makes it a nice environment to spend time writing blog posts or essays. I've been obsessed with washi tape recently and taping the corners of my posters with it helps add a little more fun colour to the room.

Make it Comfortable.
A good chair makes a good work space; you have to be comfortable; I just have a standard dining room chair that was a spare one from my granddad's old house and it's not comfy-it's just wood- so I add a few random cushions to make myself more comfortable while I work away.

Music.
For me, everything is ore productive with the right music. When it came to my GCSES I found Saint Raymond the soundtrack to my production a long with endless 8tracks playlists. A lot of people are more productive with silence, but for me music helps a lot!

So there all my little work space tips and I hope they may come in handy at some point. 
Do you have any tips for creating a productive work space?
Hope you're doing great,
Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin' // Tumblr  

Recently Read #7

9 Feb 2015


It's one of my main goals to read more and a bigger variety of genres this year and I feel this months Recently Read is a mixed bag of some great books. It's been a great start for this year of reading and I'm excited to share with you this group of books.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman*
When I heard this was being released I knew I'd have to pick it up and then when I had the chance of receiving it from the publishers Simon & Schuster I jumped at the chance to read and review another Gayle Forman book. A brief synopsis; Cody has a best friend Meg who committed suicide unexpectedly which left Cody questioning how well she actually knew Meg. It's a story about mourning as well as romance and mystery as Cody tries to find out while Meg killed herself. To me this isn't "just another suicide story" but something more than that and, overall, I really enjoyed the book. There was a few issues I had with it though starting with one that's probably my misunderstanding but it actually took me a few chapters to realise Cody was a girl even though two girls are shown on the gorgeous front cover. I love a love story as much as the next but for me I connect more if it's relate able but the romance in this story really wasn't and I felt it was slightly unrealistic but, like I said I really enjoyed this book and much preferred it to Gayle's other books If I Stay and Where She Went. I really recommend this book especially to those who have read some more of Gayle's other work.

The Kill Order by James Dashner.
I've mentioned this few times before and that this is the prequel to The Maze Runner Series; this is the first prequel I'd ever read so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was looking forward to reading it as I thought it would help answer any final questions I had. To star with, it was a little hard to get into but I soon got into the flow and enjoyed, just like the other books, how action packed it had been. One problem I had was another misunderstanding but much bigger than just a gender. (This maybe a small spoiler for the first book) In the first book in the series, Thomas mentions that the names they were given we nonsense names- named after important people so when the characters names in this prequal were Mark and Trina I thought they must be Thomas and Tris and that is the feeling I had all the way through the book and,oh how wrong I was. This misunderstanding did disappoint me when the book was finished because the answers I wanted were far from answered ad while I now have an understanding as to where the illness came from, I still have unanswered questions. I don't think there has ever been a prequel part two but how I wish there would be one as there is a gap between when this book finishes and when the Maze Runner starts. I wouldn't say this is one to run out and by but if you're a loyal Maze Runner reader then it's one to read to get a little more of the back story and I'm happy I did read it it just wasn't my favourite.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
I'm not much of a reader of classics but this was set as one of the exam texts for my AS English and so I had to read it but I thought I would share my thoughts with you still and say that I love it! It's the true story of the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb and it follows the killers after the murders happens and what they do. Being a text I'm doing in English, I've analysed the book in detail and while most people said this makes them hate the book, I actually haven't started to hate this book at all and I love it and how Capote's writing even gets you to sympathise with a killer. This, I feel has opened me up to a whole new genre of crime/thriller as I loved reading about the detectives uncovering new evidence and trying to solve the case. It's also opened me up to reading more of the classics including Truman's other book Breakfast at Tiffany's but I gave up after losing my place which is a pathetic excuse and so I will be trying to read it again soon. I feel this is a book everyone should read no matter what kind of books you'd usually read as, I feel, it will open you up to other genres just like me.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
I put this book on my Christmas list not thinking much of it and when I received it, I completely forgot what I'd read about it and so after reading the blurb and having a quick peak inside I thought that this would be a nice easy read to finish my next load of books off and it really was. It was a simple love story and one that incorporated a hard of hearing character which I loved as it wasn't something I'd seen included in the book before. It's about Gabe and Lea who everyone can see they like each other except each other. It's not from the point of view of either main character but the people around them from friends, to their English professor to the bench and a squirrel. It's such a unique spin on a very simple love story. One thing that annoyed me about this book was the "villain"; it was too obvious that the author was trying to make her the enemy and seem mean and it kind of annoyed me. Also, there wasn't much character description and so I couldn't really visualise the characters as much as I would of like to.I read this in two days and I could of read it quicker if I hadn't been busy as the text is quite large and being 250 pages so I think it's perfect for teens getting in to reading but also one for those suckers for a good love story or just want something really easy to read. Also, if you loved Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I feel this is similar with the English class as well as the characters.

So that's it for another Recently Read and it was a real mixed bunch and I think the next one will too. What have you been reading recently? I'd love some recommendations!
Hope you're doing great,
Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin' // Tumblr  

Products marked with an (*) indicates that I have been kindly sent the item to review. My opinions are in no way influenced by the company and that all thoughts are my own.


Wanderlust

5 Feb 2015

After finishing my amazing holiday in summer last year that I don't seem to ever shut up about, I've been planning future plans- not just in the travel department but I have been compiling a list of places I am wanting to go and even trying to work out costs even though they will be happening way in the future because you can never be to prepared right? So in this post I thought I'd share with you just for of the places that I'm wanting to explore in the future.

Canada. 
I blame Ben Brown and Steve Booker mainly for this one. The amazing pictures that they've posted on instagram and other social media platforms have made me want to go out there and travel from the city scapes of Toronto to the mountainous area and national parks in Alberta and places similar. It may be a bold statement to make being just 17 and never being there before but I'm in love before I'm even there and I could seriously see myself living there. As soon as I can financially and mentally, I will be heading straight for Canada. 

Holland/Amsterdam
This is a place a few years ago I'd probably be too scared to go to with the stories I here about Amsterdam but then following travel blogs, I've changed my mind and the scenery is beautiful; the gorgeous old houses running down the river make the place feel so homely and friendly. As an autumn lover, I think that would be the perfect time to experience Amsterdam in its glory and I think this would be a trip that will include a few places not just Holland.

Australia & New Zealand
While these are two separate countries, I'd love to fly over to Austria and then onto New Zealand because if I've flown all that way I might as well make the most of it. I'd love to take a car across Australia experiences everything they have to offer. This isn't one I've thought a lot about but it's on my wanderlust list to travel to sometime in my life. 

Italy
This was a country that was supposed to be on the travel criteria last year but we came to the realisation that it was a bit impractical as it was out of the way from the other places we were visiting as well as become overall too expensive. I would love to travel all across Italy and see all the Italian gems; I could spend two weeks just travelling around Italy on its own. I'm not sure when the best tie would be to go but just no summer. Heat and I don't really go together so the scorching Italian summer heats would be way too much for me so any other time I think would be better. 

Switzerland
Yes, I've already been here and enjoyed every minute but it was only a day and I wish I'd stayed longer to really explore Zurich's old towns and revisit the beautiful lake and river running through. This is one of the most beautiful places and I think summer will probably be the best time to revisit. I need to go back.

Obviously there are more places I would love to visit; I'd go just about everywhere but here are five that are probably the five I'm most excited to visit. Where do you want travel to? 
Hope you're doing great,
Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin' // Tumblr  


A Game Changing Moisturiser For Dehydrated Skin.

2 Feb 2015


Finally I think I've done. I've found the moisturiser that solves all(well most of)my dry/dehydrated skin problems. I might as well just tell you now it's the Olay moisturiser for normal/dry skin. I can't take credit for this find and I have to thank my sister for pointing me in the direction of the Olay creams as it wouldn't have been a brand that I would admittedly look to in the drugstore as I'd never heard anything about them but when I was struggling to find something that will help my dry skin as well as improve the look of my make up, my sister told me to try this and I'm so glad I did!
For something that is for dry skin, it isn't too thick and so it's a perfect day cream. I can apply this and only this to my face in the morning and not have to worry that it will cling to any dehydrated areas on my face. I will say there have been some days when it hasn't done the best job and a lot of the time as the day goes on and my make up starts to fade and my face becomes greasy, it does start to cling to these patches but it does seem to depend on what products I use on my face for that particular day. 
The only real downfall I feel this product has is that it's highly perfumed so wouldn't be great for those with sensitive skin and while I do have sensitive skin days, it does slightly irritate but as the cream works into my skin, it just leaves a nice smooth base ready to apply primer, foundation etc. I would also like to mention that the reason I added "For Dehydrated Skin" in the title of this post is that Dehydrated skin, as I've explained before is most common in those with combination and acne prone skin due to the drying products used among other reasons so I thought it may be useful to know that this has not once broke me out like other highly hydrating products have done in the past so it's perfect for all skin types that need some extra hydration in their skin.
The Cream is £9.99- a lot more than the old favourite Garnier Moisture Match but if I'm comparing it that, this moisturiser is a lot more suitable for the day time. Before discovering this product I was nearly ready to splash out on a more high end moisturiser such as the Hydra quench range fro Clarins so while £10 is more than I would usually spend on a day cream up until now, I now feel it's worth it and is something I can see myself continuing to use daily.
While for now I've found a great moisturiser, I don't think I'll stop trying others so what moisturiser do you use?
Hope you're doing great,
Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin' // Tumblr  

design by amanda inez