WINTER READS

26 Nov 2015

Everyone turns to different books and genres during different times of the year and around winter and Christmas, if you're like me, I like my books to reflect the mood of the season or having an element that feels somewhat festive and relevant to the time of year and so I thought I'd share with you just a few of those books that may not be all out festive but have a more wintry feel to them.

Ketchup Clouds // Annabel Pitcher

I've mentioned this book in previous posts and it has been years since I've given this book a read but from what I can remember, some of the book is set around Christmas time and in a snowy setting so I guess that's a reason to recommend it to you this month! It's about a young girl who decides to start writing to a man on death row as she believes something she has done is just as bad as what her correspondant may have done. It's a story of guilt and love that takes an unexpected twist that I wouldn't say goes with the tone of the book but is still a shocker that, through out the book, you're trying to work out exactly what happened which is something I couldn't. I really love Annabel's work and Ketchup Clouds is the book I would recommend of hers to anyone.

If I Stay // Gayle Forman

Another book I've mentioned multiple times due to my love of the author. This is quite a sad book which I'm sure you know but, again, it's set over the winter/christmas period which is used to really set the tone of the book. It' a moving book filled with themes of family, first loves and loss and one that you won't be able to hold back the tears from. If you have yet to read any of Gayle Forman's books, I'd start with this one this winter.

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone // J.K Rowling

Before, I go into this and you start to judge me, I am ashamed to admit that this is the first and only Harry Potter book I've read and actually finished. Having said that I do love this book and the introduction to the Wizarding world. Harry Potter is known and loved by millions and this book has such a festive feel throughout out with a chunk featured around Christmas time. This, I feel, is also an amazing gift for any young family and friends who are yet to discover Harry Potter. The films are always on around Christmas and so why not read the book to accompany it?

These are just three quick recommendations and as I'm writing this I know I've got a few more you might be interested in so part two maybe on its way!
Do you have any Winter reading recommendations?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

WHY I QUIT

23 Nov 2015

It was on Saturday, after only two and half months having my first job I decided to quit. Because in those two and half months I lost touch with a lot of things I love and instead of putting money first, I've decided to put myself in first place. 

The stress started.

After a few weeks of working there, I knew I was going to struggle managing a crucial year at college with a weekend job. The weekends are there to de stress and prepare for the next week and my job stopped that. I would be spending the whole of my Saturday at work with no time before or after to really take a minute to do anything other than sleep and eat and so in that time there was no time to relax.

What hobbies?

Little things that the weekends were made for such as reading became no existent. The part of my blog I love which is my book reviews have been no where to be seen because I haven't had chance to pick up a book and read enough to put together a post of reviews, Other things as well, I'm missing time with friends and doing things I love like shopping and DIYs. I want this time back before things start to get busy again around exams.

Let the blogging (re) begin!

This actually played a big role in my decision to leave my job because blogging is my passion and a place I like to focus a lot of my time and energy towards. Not even a handful of posts have made it onto my blog while I've been juggling work and college and, now, I want to focus on getting things back up and running. My last shift was on Saturday and by Sunday my mind was filled with new ideas which hasn't happened in ages. It's nearing Christmas now and this is the time of year that I love blogging and reading blogs and so is the perfect time for me to get back into the swing of things and get things rolling again and, I have to say, I can't wait to get started!

There are other reasons that I decided to leave the job to do with my role at work etc. but these are probably the most key reasons I decided to quit. I'm so excited to focus more on what I love!
How do you juggle your blog and work or blog and college?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

PROACTIV+: THE VERDICT

9 Nov 2015

It's been eight weeks and my Proactiv+ trial is up. I discuss the products in depth in an earlier post and now I'm here to report back on how I found the four blemish busting products. 

The products arrived just in time as I was starting to have a big breakout and so I couldn't wait to get cracking on using the products. The first week I spent getting use to the products and adjusting to being in a routine of, what I thought were, harsh products on my skin; I wasn't used to using a exfoliating cleanser two times a week and I was worried the moisturiser wasn't hydrating enough for my dry areas.

Picking up in week 3, this was when I started to notice small differences. My "monthly" breakout was less drastic and were more minimal than usual and I was fine with that! Those spots that did surface didn't stick around for long and weren't painful blighters either. 

Now, at the end of the 8 weeks, there hasn't been any miraculous change but it has calmed my blemishes down a lot and so I think I will continue using these products passed the eight weeks. My spots are still there but keeping a routine has shown me that's the best way to fight spots and that this product routine has really helped that. As well as the properties such as salicylic acid in all of the products, along with anti bacterial qualities, I know it will be good for those acne prone people. It has really helped me with redness and fight breakouts. It also didn't dry my skin out surprisingly and only once or twice did I break routine and switch to my usual moisturiser when I was having a dry period.

Out of the products, I really enjoyed using the facial cream. I found this to be a great little extra step and reminded me of the Effaclur Duo cream just a little runnier. The exfoliating cleanser did it's job well and exfoliated my skin perfectly. I didn't use the face mask as much as recommended but it was still a great little addition that continued to help my skin. I think I will be carrying on using these three products just not the moisturiser as, while it didn't cling to dry areas, I still prefer a little more hydration.

I will mention, that for sensitive skin this isn't the product for you and the same could be said for those who suffer from dehydrated skin. I do have dehydrated skin but it's manageable. If your's is fairly bad I'd steer clear but if you're looking for a blemish fix, this set is great and is, inexpensive for four full sized products that I still have lots left after the 8 weeks and know I will carry on using when my spots resume to an out of control state. 

If you're interested, you can read more and purchase the kit on the website here.

If you struggle with spots, I'd love to know what products you've found work great for you.
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah  x

*Products mentioned in this post were kindly sent to me but all opinions remain and always will be my own.*

FRIENDS BECOME STRANGERS

5 Nov 2015

I'm in my second year of college now; two years now since I left crowded, familiar hall ways of high school and entered into a new atmosphere. I've now adjusted. I've found a group of friends that I love and couldn't be happier to spend my time with laughing and telling stories that fill time we should spend working.

I'm starting to feel comfortable again and it makes me happy. I never thought I'd become comfortable in this new environment because I hate change and would rather spend my time stuck in the past than looking to the future and adapting to a new way.

When I left high school, I was full of hope that nothing would have to change and that, while we went our separate ways, we'd still make time for each other and relationships won't change and instead stay exactly the same because the the friendships made over those five years shouldn't be lost, right?

Things change and people change and, as much I don't like to acknowledge it, I change. I am not the person I was two years ago hiding in classrooms at lunch time with my head stuck in a book or getting ahead of work. I make time for my friends and make sure I enjoy my time at college.

Change has occurred and friendships that were 'supposed' to last forever haven't as friends become strangers; not even managing to hold a conversation when you see them out because everything's so different now. People change and people grow apart as we all head off in different directions. You merely become Facebook friends seeing every so often a holiday picture or two but never trying to keep the relationship alive and ongoing because you both know it's not going to work-it's too different.

In high school, you are more constrained and limited to the friends you can make and many, sadly, are just friends through circumstance and the realisation that you've wasted five years is a sad one but at least you can now move on and make friendships that are good for you.

Since leaving, I've discovered a whole group that I went to school with and said the odd hello to who have now become some of my closest friends and I'm so happy I have them. Some friends become strangers but some strangers become best friends. Not all friendships disappear with some even improving with the realisations that that friend always made you better.

Yes, I admit it, I hate that things of changed but I've finally accepted it and am happy with this new found love for change. It's time to let go of the past and start making my way forwards. 


Sarah x

FAVOURITE PLACES

2 Nov 2015

Everyone has a favourite place. I usually say mine's my bed, my bedroom. It's where I feel the most at peace and calm but outside of the confines of the four walls surrounding me, there is some beautiful places that I love to go to and so I thought I would share with you some of them today. 


Whitby

The cobbled roads accompanied from memories from my childhood makes this place an easy favourite. It's a place a visit almost annually and even though it never changes and I think that's why I like it; it's the same now as it was when I was seven. It's always the same but still always brings something different. It has this tourist buzz in the summer months and then a relaxing calmness in autumn. This is the sort of place I would love to live. 

Durham

I remember the first time I came here and I loved it. My mum and dad went to university hear and seeing where they made memories has made me want to do the same. Strolling along the river and going to the second hand book shops is a routine I wouldn't grow tired of. It's similar to Whitby in the sense it has a friendly atmosphere as you walk along the cobbled streets or walk round the abbey. The Architecture. The colours. I love it hear. 

 Formby Beach

Here in autumn is a beautiful as if you came in summer. The sand dunes and the swaying grass as the sun sets along the sea line is a sight I'd see any day. The calm atmosphere really makes you think and having a walk along the beach is so calm and a great place to be in the company of friends as you climb the dunes and go through the forests. 

These are just three of my favourite places and are more local to me that I love and wanted to share with you. What are some of your favourite places?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
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