DEAR JADERZ

30 Aug 2016

I'm going to start with the cliche line- where do I begin?

What I find funny about this is we never wrote each other messages when we left high school; I know that was because we were never too close but I guess, in a weird way, it was a way of showing that the end of high school wasn't the end of our friendship but more the start. 

Through primary and high school we weren't best friends and I think at points we didn't even get a long but how things change. 

With friends, I'm not very open about how I'm feeling and one reason our friendship works is how you don't pressure me to share parts of me I don't want to but, instead, you make me feel comfortable to just say whatever without feeling judged. You have made me feel at ease like no friend has made me feel before. 

Over the past two years, I've changed a lot and I think some of that is thanks to you. You've opened me up to so many new things. I've become free in a way, more spontaneous. Don't get me wrong, we both know I can still be uptight but that's me and you get that. You have just helped me grow in a way I didn't think I could. 

I only wished we realised how great our friendship was earlier and how much time we wasted before realising "oh she's actually an alright gal". Our friendship just works. I can't explain how but it just does. 

Thank you so much for putting up with me, for letting me stay at yours numerous weekends, for helping me step outside my comfort zone, be a better version of myself and accepting me for me. 

I've said to you before how I never believed in best friends and how I thought it was a stupid, childish saying but, as super cheesy as it is, I really think I've found one. 

While this is a goodbye letter I refuse to say it. This is more a thank you letter; an appreciation letter as we head off to different cities to go to university. There's no doubt in my mind that we will stay close, that we'll ring each other all the time to discuss the latest drama, visit each other on the weekends and still get up to our usual crazy antics. I hope it all works out for us. There's a tendency for me to hope things will stay the same and they go and dramatically change. I know our friendship will be different but you will still be my best friend. 

Love you 

Sarah x

GOING CRUELTY FREE + HAUL

26 Aug 2016

GOING CRUELTY FREE

I'm sure how to explain the reasons behind me deciding to go cruelty-free with my beauty without rambling on so I'll just keep it short- I am o longer buying any products that test on animals. For now, I place emphasis on the word buying; I still own products that aren't cruelty-free and unfortunately I don't have the funds to just throw them away and find an alternative. 
I started by clearing my make up out getting rid of or giving to friends anything I no longer used. Next was research; I spent hours looking at list upon list of products that don't test on animals and those that do finding out what brands to stop buying from and those that are A-okay to carry on repurchasing. 

Sadly, this means a lot of my favourite products I will longer be buying with the main culprit being L'oreal. I think it's sad how the makeup industry is so old and yet they still feel they need to test on animals. I no longer feel it's necessary to do this and that's the main reason I've decided to make this change.

This change, however, isn't going to happen overnight. Like I said, I'm going to carry on using the products I have-cruelty-free or not- until finished with. Also, I'm solely concentrating at the moment to converted make-up, skincare and haircare products to cruelty-free before finding basic alternatives such as toothpaste and razors which maybe a little harder to get hold of. So I thought I would share this with you and say I will no longer, on purpose, be sharing products on my blog that aren't cruelty-free. To celebrate this change, I thought a little spend was in order. 

THE HAUL


Lush is already my main source for skin, body and hair care and it will continue to be. After speaking to a lovely assistant she recommended I try the Fresh Farmacy Cleansing Soap. This I love and been using for the past few weeks; it's already a favourite. I also was persuaded by another of the workers to pick up the Experimenter Bath Bomb. Glittery bombs like this have always scared me but after being reassured that it easily washes off and I won't exit the bath looking like a disco ball I had to pick up this vibrant and amazing smelling bath bomb. 

It's been a while since I tried any Soap & Glory Make-up so I decided to pick up the Brow Archery Pencil in Love Is Blonde. I could tell from first use that this is too light for me but like most products, I can make it work. While there was a buy get another half price offer, I picked up my beloved One Heck Of A Blot Powder. I have missed using this and seeing as my usual Rimmel Powder isn't cruelty-free, it was worth picking up. 

Gosh is a brand I'd never really delved in but after seeing a Sleek lip liner I was after was out of stock I found myself at the Gosh counter admiring their Mac looking lip liners and so I picked up the Velvet Touch Lip Liner in Antique Rose. Since buying this I haven't stopped wearing this under a lip gloss. It's a gorgeous colour and doesn't bleed. 

My first "test" since going cruelty-free came when I saw Maybelline had released a new highlighter stick. I went over and swatched it and it looked so lovely and glided so smoothly I did wonder whether I should just buy it but then I realised how stupid it was to give up all this for a highlighter that other brands probably do. I headed over to the Barry M stand, a brand I knew going in was well known for being cruelty-free. The I saw their Illuminating Strobe Cream. It looked just as gorgeous and felt smoother than the Maybelline one and so I picked it up. 

The last thing I got was from Freedom. I'd had my eye on this for a while and after checking they were cruelty-free I picked up their Eyebrow Pomade in Medium Brown. While the pencil mentioned earlier was too light, this seems too dark but with a light hand I make it work. I've never tried the Anastasia brow products but if you are looking to I wouldn't waste your money when it's £4 pot works great and seems to be exactly the same. My local Superdrug carry this brand but if you can't find it there, they have an online website.

As for skincare, the only new product I picked up was the Nip + Fab  Hydrate Dragon's Blood Pumping Serum. This had 50% off on their website and thought I'd give it ago and I love it. I apply it before my moisturiser before bed and before makeup. It locks in more moisture during the night as well as helping my get a smooth base for my makeup and being just £10 while on offer I'm very happy with this. 

So there's a little bit about me choosing to go cruelty-free and a little haul thrown in for good measure. 
Would you consider going cruelty-free with your make-up? If you already have, what brands would you recommend? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

MOVING FORWARD

21 Aug 2016

Like a book, life seems to be split up into chapters. Chapters of which I've shared with you and I've felt comfortale telling you about. Some people think, or most people think, that you're life is one whole story and everyone's story ends at the end of your life.

But, I don't agree with that entially. Instead, I say that life isn't split up into chapters but more volumes with many stories encorporated into one life- a sequel persay- and  I think I'll be starting a new volume soon. It's not a completely new book as loose ends from the former volume will still be found in the next book. Somethings aren't finsished, finito, done- some plot points will continue on. 

I'm starting a new storyline as I move to university  andaway from home; leaving friends behind, family. I'm the protagonist for my own story and it's time that I move on to a new vollume Yeah, there will be cameos of those from the last book but mostly it will be new; a new experience, a new part of my life. I always thought when you move forward there will be no loose ends. I hate fnishing a book with questions of the character still in my head but that just  not the reality of a situation. 

I've accepted that things aren't always complete; even after saying goodbye, some instances aren't final. Having said that, I want to close as many doors as I want to before moving on. I feel like I've already started to do this and I want this to carry on so I won't be hating finishing this edition of my story on a cliffhanger with questions remaining unanswered.  

My life is many stories; some short and some being stonking huge year-long-100-page-stories that are hard to get through but once they're over you feel a sense of accomplishment for getting the done. I'm happy to carry on writing other stories for myself as I control my own story. I can write my own future as what I do is down to me. 

As I move forward I know things are going to change. I've struggled with this in the past, I know, but I've finally accepted that things have changed drastically and...urgh... it boggles my mind to look back at the past and see the difference of then and now. I'm finally accepting that these changes have made me happy and that the change has left me how I am now for a reason. 

I hate when people say "everything happens for a reason" as it's often said in a situation where it's the last thing you want to hear but, right now, it feels good to say that everything does in fact happen for a reason; it's a good thing and not to be afraid of. While I do feel in control of my own life, I can't determine everything that will happen. I don't want to sound ridiculous by saying it but there is something beyond my, your, anyone's control that drives us to be who we are at certain points in our lives. Something's you can't control. You can't force people to stay the same. You can't force people to stick around. You can't force yourself to do something you really do not want to do. 

I've accepted that now. I've moved on. 

As friends have left and those who I woud once called strangers have entered my life, I've been happy with my situation. 

For many, including myself, the future is a scary, scary thought but, for me, I'm getting there. And I'm getting there as fast as I can. I have no doubts I will slip up on the way- hey, I'm only human. With that though, I've come to realise, when future situations will occur that I'm unsure of the outcome, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel 

I think it's time for me to move forward. Like I said, as I do this, parts of my past will stay with me beacuse that past is still me. I'm still going to keep the same friends, the same roots, the same memories and stories but I will grow into a bigger person as I add more and more to my next story. 

This is me moving forward. 

FIN.

My Journey to now: read earlier "essays" covering similar topics that led to me writing this post- Change(1), Stuck In The Past(2), Friends Become Strangers(3) & Goodbye letters.(4)

IS IT WRONG THAT I FEEL CONFIDENT?

11 Aug 2016

Since I  started primary school, I've suffered with self-esteem issues. I always felt like I was the 'big' girl of the year. Comments were made through both primary and high school about my weight. It was used as an insult in arguments and even close friends would comment on it. I don't know whether they did it maliciously or saw it was getting me down and were trying to help but sadly it didn't- it just made it worse.

I grew up being more comfortable in size 18, baggy clothes. I didn't like showing any skin past my knees or past my elbows. I'd wear layers upon layers for P.E on my top half; I'd get changed in the toilets to escape embarrassment; I'd wear thick black tights all the way through summer even on the hottest day because I felt it made me look that tiny bit slimmer.

There was a point when I would eat my lunch in the toilets too scared to go to the canteen in fear people would judge what I was eating. If I had a normal lunch like everyone else people would think "ew she needs to eat healthier" and if I had something like a salad people would think "aw look at that sad girl trying to lose weight and it's just not working". As gross as it was, I felt the school toilets were the only safe place I could eat my lunch; that was when my self-esteem was at it's lowest- 2013 (which I've already spoken about being the worst year of my life).

Even today, I'm not comfortable getting my legs out. When on a night out with friends, while they wear these gorgeous short, sleeveless dresses, I opt for a jumpsuit with sleeves to cover all that I don't like. 

I think this body image I've painted of myself has aways been with me and always left me unsatisfied. 

However, sometimes, I'll be in the most basic of outfits maybe even my pyjamas and I'll see myself in the mirror and think "I'm not actually that bad". I'll look and see parts of myself that I actually like. I like my smile, my eyes, my hair. But then I look closer and think "no one else finds them nice so they're not". I question whether I should really be pleased with how I smile or the way my hair naturally curls when I have been ridiculed for my weight, for the state of my skin. I shouldn't feel guilty for looking in the mirror and seeing a glimmer of beauty because those that should feel guilty are those that have got me to this point. 

Those that constantly put me down for my size, who insinuated that it was that that held me back- they should be the ones who feel guilty. But do they even realise they made me feel this way? They probably don't remember laughing at me in primary school when we got changed for gym class or using my weight as the only insult you could conjure in an argument. While you carry on with your life, your actions have left scars on the picture I paint of myself.

Over the past few months, I've come to realise that if I like me that's all that matters; I shouldn't look for people's acceptance in how I look. If I'm happy within myself, I don't for other's opinions on me. 

Over the past year I've become more accepting of myself and who I am and while there's still work to be done on my confidence, little things have made me proud to be me. I still won't wear shorts or skirts without tights but I feel more confident in wearing sleeveless top and even being proud to say I'm a size 12/14. It only seems small to you, but, to me, it's like taking the first steps on the moon. After one big step, another one is bound to come and I hope that comes soon as my confidence grows. 

It doesn't matter what people think about your appearance because the only opinion that matters is your own and if you're happy then that's all that matters.

Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

CURRENTLY LOVING

10 Aug 2016

It's been a month or so since I've shared some of my favourite things with you and there's already some more things I've discovered as well as rediscovered so here they are. 

B. Beauty Beauty Blender

I'd been wanting to jump on the beauty blender craze for a while now. I was going to pick up the Real Techniques beauty sponge but when I saw this at a cheaper price I picked it up so if it didn't work for me it wouldn't have been a massive blow to my bank. This sponge for just over £3 is worth every penny. I wet it and rinse before using and it helps blend my foundation so well giving it a more dewy yet full coverage look. I don't feel like I need my foundation brushes anymore with this beauty! The brand is exclusive to Superdrug so I definitely suggest heading there to pick on up. 

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray 

I got this for my birthday back in January and I'm only just starting to give it the credit this deserves. I've heard a few people not finding this product to be the best but I love spritzing my face with it before heading out and I do think it helps lock in my makeup. I also sometimes use it on my beauty blender before applying foundation to help the longevity of my make up that little more. I just have the small bottle but it's lastest me a long time and I think if I was to buy this again, I would repurchase the small size as it's great for travel.


Freedom Eyebrow Duo

A complete dupe for the Anastasia brow duo at a fraction of the price, this has been my go-to brow product for months and I'm finally sharing the love with you on this one. The colour range is fabulous so it made it easier finding a perfect match for my eyebrows. I find the products to be really creamy with little fall out making eyebrows an unmessy affair. I found this at my love Superdrug but I know they don't stock in all stores; you can pick them up online. 

Maybelline Contour Stick

This has become a new favourite very quickly. With a super creamy non-orange formula that works even on my extremely pale skin, this looks really natural when used and it's easy to build up for a more of a harsh, night out contour and chizzeled look. I also, surprisingly use the the highlight half under my cheek bones and down my nose to help the contour stand out and I think it helps my make up look that bit more together. I have been really enjoying using this past month and is great for a full coverage look. 

YESTO CUCUMBER SOOTHING FACIAL WIPES

Last summer, these were great to travel with and it's been the same this year; a super handy size to pop in your luggage and are great for getting makeup off quickly if, like me, you can be a little lazy with your skincare on holiday. They also great for when I stay at a friend's to just throw in my bag and taking my makeup off after being out is done with ease. 

ZOELLA COIN PURSE

While this is advertised as a coin purse, through college, I used it as a small makeup bag as it was the perfect size to fit my powder, powder brush and any other small girly bits I needed for college. Since leaving college, I now use it my handbag when going shopping for the same reason- to keep any small bits from flying around the bottom of my bag. It's the only thing I own from the Zoella ranges but I really like it and I also love the design. 

TYPO STATIONARY

A month ago I put in an order to Typo for some notebooks and pens and I love them all. I'm fighting the urge to put in another order but just because I'm banning myself doesn't mean you have to. If you like stationary and are on a budget, I'd give the site a little browse. 


So there's what I've been loving recently! What are some of your current favourites?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

CURRENTLY WATCHING

9 Aug 2016

There's always something new to watch whether on Netflix or actually on that old invention called a television. I've found some great new series and shows that I'd love to share with you in hope that you'd enjoy them too.

ORPHAN BLACK

I'd seen this on Netflix for a while thinking it was something else that it wasn't. Then, after watching the first few episodes I was hooked and flew through all the seasons at the start of summer. It's about Sarah who's going through some things when she ends up at a train station and witnesses a woman throw herself in front of the train. The events that follow you won't expect; the twist within the first few minutes is one I did not expect and I was like "whaaaaaat". It's Definitely one to watch if you like sciency, suspense thrillers.

REGGIE YATES: THE INSIDER

This was shown on the online BBC Three where he adopts the role of a different person in society bringing a different spin to documentaries. I've always loved Reggie Yates before he started presenting documentaries but every series he does I'm intrigued and this one's no different. There are only two episodes but the first is a favourite; he becomes a prisoner in an American prison and sees the life of those inside from their perspective. It's such a different take on documentaries that I love. 

THE PROPAGANDA GAME

Any documentary about North Korea always appeals to me as I'm always interested in the history of their country. This documentary manages to do what many other media presentations of North Korea fails to do and shows a much more balanced and unbiased perspective on North Korea. Honestly, I didn't pay as close attention as I could so will definitely have to watch it again soon. This one you can find on Netflix

WHITE COLLAR

This is a series I dip in and out of on Netflix. For me, it's a typical American drama where every episode follows the same formula with a big storyline running throughout each series and that's fine with me- I love them. It's about an FBI agent who after spending years catching Neal Caffrey- a serial criminal- he needs his help on a case and enlists his help after releasing him from prison. Their relationship is great and the humour throughout always makes me chuckle. If you like anything like CSI, Bones and crime dramas, I'd check this one out. 


So they are some recommendations if you're stuck for something to watch. 
What tv programmes do you recommend?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

TROUBLE SLEEPING: A LITTLE POEM

8 Aug 2016


It's 3 AM.
If I could sleep right now do you not think I would?
You see, sleep and I aren't, right now, getting on so good.
I mean I've tried but it's not working
because my thoughts, they are lurking
In the back of my mind
where there's no place to hide.

Oh, how I cry! Shut the F*ck up Brain, I'm trying to sleep!
But thoughts of the past, present and future don't seem to want to leave me.
Thoughts of where I was, where I am and where I'm going to be.
They take over my mind and seem to consume me.

Why won't my brain just give it a rest?
That's all I want, a few hours sleep at best.
Questions throughout my head
that I just can't answer. I don't know just let me go to bed!

Little questions like did I lock the door? Did I turn off the light?
to will I ever find love? Is my future even bright?
Can these questions not wait until the morning
where I'll be well rested and then I'll carry on talking.

Please, brain, I beg just let me sleep.
If not, I'll spend the day going weep, weep, weep.
Why not count sheep? Don't you think I've tried!
One sheep, two sheep... BOO bad thought here you can't hide!

For now, I'll turn over and just keep my eyes closed.
Just hope the morning will come soon because I will finally have dosed
off into sleep where I can finally be free
of my thoughts and, instead, enter my dreams.


Sarah x

20 BEFORE 20

7 Aug 2016

When it comes to Bucket lists I don't really stick to them; goals just never seem to work out for me but for a while I've been thinking of all those little things I want to do before I am no longer a teenager so I started this list/ Some of them I've already done and some are yet to be completed. They're realistic- they are not things I know I'll write down and never get done.

1. Re-read Catcher In The Rye. I've explained many times why I wanted to reread this after my English teacher told me how your opinions change as you get older and I wanted to try and savor and remember this book at a time when I loved Holden Caulfield and related to him before I grow up and realise he's a massive pain in the arse.

2. Read all the Harry Potters. I'm getting there. I'm on The Goblet Of Fire now so I definitely think I'll be able to get them all done and will be allowed to call myself a true Harry Potter fan.

3. Watch all the Bond films. I love Daniel Craig as bond and I've seen a few of the others but have never had the time to sit down and watch them all. I don't have an excuse because I've got the box set so it's time I watch them all and that includes getting over my fear of Spectre being appointment's and watching it.

4. Write something I'm proud of. This might be an essay, short story, novel even a really good blog post I don't know. I like to write and I want to write something that I want to share and show off and be proud to say "I wrote that".

5. Holiday without the parents. Tick! Experiencing that freedom and responsibility was definitely something I wanted to while still a teen.

6. Keep travelling. I've had so many great opportunities to travel and I love it so why should I stop? I'd love to be able to just spend weekends abroad in a different country or even taking time to visit parts of the UK I've yet to go.

7. Overcome a fear. I'm a fearful person and always have been and over the years I've managed to tackle some of those fears such as fireworks but I still have other fears. I'm still a little scared of dogs and, the obvious one, spiders. It would be nice to finally overcome on of these before I'm 20.

8. Take a road trip. I hope I've passed my driving text at least before 20 and so with that I want to go somewhere new with friends and just have a great time travelling around in the car.

9. Learn something new. This is a bit vague but learning a new skill is always handy. I'm slowly trying to learn french but it's sadly not working out. I think I'm going to keep pushing forward with it but I also wouldn't mind finally finishing off learning to play the piano or something else.

10. Get a job. While only for two months, this one is done but I'd hope that I could get another job before 20 even if it's not what I want but something small just to tied me over until after university.

11. Dye my hair. This one's been playing on the back of my mind for years. I have quite a strange hair colour and it will be a hard colour to get back once I dye it. While I love the colour that it is I want a change and so hopefully I'll pluck up the courage and get it done soon.

12. Try to be vegan for a week. I  say "try" because I would love to eventually make the transition however, as a picky eater, I'm finding it hard to find replacements that I enjoy and so I think it will be a long process for me but a process I'm willing to try at least.

13. Vote. Done! My first vote was for Brexit and while it wasn't the most positive first experience with the overall result, it's still something I wanted to and will carrying on doing past 20.

14. Have a legit, epic all-nighter. This means no napping later in the day; it means awake for 48 hours that will be filled with fun with friends and making the most of every hour.

15. Feel confident alone. By this I mean feeling confident enough to go into the city alone, travel alone and not feeling scared but something I enjoy. This might be the biggest one on here for me but I think I'll manage it.


So I have 5 more items I need to add to the list but, for now, I'm stumped as to what to add. Let me know some suggestions! What would you add to your 20 Before 20 Bucket list?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

WHAT AMSTERDAM TAUGHT ME

6 Aug 2016

When I came back from my trip to China back last year, I wrote about what I learnt from that trip and, as I feel I learnt a lot from my trip from Amsterdam I thought I'd show those with you. 

1. I Can Cope without the 'rents: This was my first holiday without them; just me and a friend in another country. Don't get me wrong, I know we were only across the channel not the other side of the world and I spoke to them most days but I planned everything myself and cope abroad without them. I managed to cook for the two of us for three days- I'm impressed. This was something I glad I learnt as I'm not as apprehensive to go and survive alone at uni. 

2. It is possible to fall in love with a city. This is really just another chance to let me gush at how much I loved Amsterdam. The landscape, the people, the atmosphere. I can't recommend spending a few days in Amsterdam enough. I also think it's a great place to spend your first holiday abroad alone. 

3. If stuck, just ask. One reoccurring thing that kept happening to us is that we got lost but we grew some balls and just asked and they were glad to help. This leads me to my next point.

4. The Dutch are the nicest. They were more than happy to talk to you. It did help that most of them spoke English, but talking to the dutch people was really nice even if it was just to ask for directions. 

5. So are the tourists. I'd like to start though by saying not all of them were, some were actually a little rude but you get those people everywhere. Those that we did speak to, however, were lovely. The last night of the trip we hunted down The Fault In Our Stars bench. When we got there a group of girls walked past and went "Is this THE bench?". They were Americans and they were super lovely even if most of the conversation was spent saying things so they could video our English accent- I really don't understand the fascination. Sadly, we didn't catch all their names and didn't get their numbers or social media so they will just remain a memory of the trip that I loved. 

6. Airbnb is both a life and money saver. Amsterdam itself isn't the most expensive but to stay in a hotel we would have to be some pretty wealthy teens. We were so lucky to find a great, quaint apartment just outside the centre. The host, Anita, was lovely and the apartment came with more than we expected with food already in the fridge with towels and necessities to help us cut down on the luggage we had. 

7. Packing Light is amazing. I've mentioned this in a few posts included my "How To Pack Light" post. Having just a small suitcase made it much easier to travel by train and tram to our apartment. It also meant I wasn't overwhelmed by items I had to back both at the start and end of the trip. We, kind of stupidly, paid for out suitcases to go in the hold- all, but we'll know for next time that hand luggage would be enough. 

8. I can walk... a lot. We planned on using the great Dutch trams to get around put realising that everything was so compact and wanting to see as much of Amsterdam as possible, we walked almost everywhere. By the end of the trip, we'd run our of plasters between us and my heels had been cut but it was worth it. 

9. Experience and remember later. I'm always one to want to crack my camera out and take as many pictures as I can but this trip I didn't do as much as I wanted. The first couple of days, I didn't get my camera out of my bag; I just wanted to see everything first. Then on the third, where we took a canal cruise, I had time to get my camera out to take photos that I can later refer back to and show you guys. I was a little annoyed when I got home to realise I didn't take as many photos as I intended but I soon realised that everything I didn't take a physical photo of, I still remember in my head and I'm fine with that. 

SUMMER FASHION STAPLES

5 Aug 2016

*This Post is in Collaboration with JD Williams*

Whether the weather says so or not it is summer and everyone's jetting off to exotic locations over the next month to enjoy the hot weather if not staying at home. One of my favourite parts of getting ready for a holiday is picking up some new pieces for my wardrobe with some items I just have to pick up year in year out as they are perfect for the summer and so I thought I'd share them with you today.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

MAXI DRESSES

Maxi dresses are super for summer especially for someone like me who wants to stay cool but still wants to be covered up. They are great for casual shopping days out as well as many being able to dress up for a night out on holiday. They are a super diverse piece to have. JD Williams have a great selection of maxi dress for going out as well as casual days, for example, the one shown in picture 1  and 2-  I love the khaki green one which would be great for both summer and transitioning into autumn. They have a great selection that you can browse here. Similarly, ASOS have some great casual maxi dresses as in picture 4 but more formal maxi dresses are lovely for a summer wedding or garden party for example picture 3 which is from Topshop


1 // 2 // 3 // 4 

BARDOT TOPS

Everyone seems to be loving the bardot trend and I'm no different. If you want a great selection of bardot tops New Look is the one. They have so many different styles including picture 1 which is a personal favourite. Picture 2 is actually one I own myself and is from Dorothy Perkins- so comfy and so summery. If you still haven't found the perfect bardot top, Boohoo is another great one to check out. They, too, have so many different bardot style tops including those in picture 3 and 4 which, I think, would both be great for any upcoming festivals.


1 // 2 // 3

SUNGLASSES

You can't go through summer without sunglasses. They are a serious staple if you want to be able to see over the next couple of months. I have a pair from ASOS that I've loved wearing this summer. Sadly, I can't find them but those in pictures 3 and 4 are other finds that I think would love great. Missguided also has a few different sunglasses style if you ant some sunglasses that are a little quirky. I particularly like those in picture 1 which have a burgundy frame.


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JACKETS

Now, English summers are extremely unpredictable but a staple I invested in this summer was a light weight coat that I can wear in preparation for those sudden summer showers as well as not over-heating in the mean time. I actually picked my summer jacket staple while on holiday in Amsterdam but JD Williams have a great alternative(as shown in picture 1) that is very similar to the striking yellow coat I bought myself. Bomber jackets were another trend that has come into play over the past few months and even though they may be thick for the hottest days of summer, I, along with many, still love them. Picture 3 shows one from Topshop that I really like with the US patches. While this one might be a little warm on some days to wear, Picture 2 shows one from New Look that seems a lot thinner so great for the slightly warmer days. Finally, picture 4 is a jacket I found on ASOS and I love it. I love that it's something a little different with the peplum added to the bottom. It seems to be more of a thick shirt than a jacket so would definitely be wearable for this summer. 

So there are some clothing items that I feel are staples for this summer as well as a few suggestions as to wear to find them. If you're on the hunt for some summer/holiday clothing online, why not check out JD Williams.  They have an array of choices at a range of different prices along with up to 30% off their holiday shop; there'll be something for everyone this summer.

What clothing items are staples for you this summer?
Hope you're doing great & Happy BEDA day 5!
Sarah x


                    *This post contain a paid advertisement however all opinions remain my own*

#IBLOGBECAUSE

4 Aug 2016

This is a campaign run by John; a lifestyle and charity blogger and I couldn't wait to get on board. Blogging has done so much for me personally and I'm grateful for having the opportunity to use a tool that allows me to be myself so here are the reasons why I blog.

I BLOG BECAUSE...

I CAN HAVE A VOICE

Blogging has helped me find that. It's given me a place here I an be myself, share my opinions and experiences in a way that makes me feel comfortable and open about sharing aspects of my life. After shying away from life in high school, blogging has allowed me to open myself up in a way I never imagined I would have been able to. 

THE COMMUNITY IS HELLA AMAZING

To all those who've ever visited my blog, left a comment, followed me on social media I thank you. To those people who take the time out of their week to run and organise twitter chats, you make my blogging experience one that I enjoy so much. Everyone is so supportive and willing to help a fellow blogger. The community of diverse bloggers is one I'm proud to be apart of and appreciate so much. 

IT GIVES ME FREEDOM & CONFIDENCE

Similar to the first point, blogging has helped me grow so much as a person and has given me the chance to express myself in the ways I want to- through writing. I feel I can write what I want and not feel overly judged for my opinions. I have reached a point in blogging where I feel I can write as I please and am lucky enough to have people who enjoy what I write and so I thank you again for allowing me that freedom. 

IT HAS GIVEN ME OPPORTUNITIES I CAN ONLY HAVE DREAMED OF

I've been blogging for coming on four years now and the little opportunities that have been thrown my way I've been so grateful for; I've worked with some lovely, great brands and formed lasting relationships with them. Having the chance to do this would not be possible without my blog. It was never an aim of mine when I first set out blogging but the fact that my blog has given me these is incredible. 

I WANT TO WRITE AND I WANT TO CREATE

This was the reason I started blogging and continues to be the reason I carry on blogging. When I've got myself into a blogging slump, reminding myself why I started this blogging journey gives me the kick up the arse I need to carry on. All I want to do is write and share my stories with you. I want to create. I want to share content with you that will make you smile, make you no longer feel alone. This is why I blog and will remain the main inspiration that drives me forward with blogging. 


There are so many reasons I blog I could write for hours. 
If  you too have a blog, why do you blog? I'd love to know in the comments!
Use #IBlogBecause on twitter to get involved!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

SUMMER LOVIN' SKIN

3 Aug 2016

We always talk about how our skin suffers in the cold months as it starts to dry out. However, I think it's still, if not more, important to look after it in the summer as well as helping it out with  that summer glow so here ae some of the products I love to use on my skin in summer.

MOISTURISE & PROTECT

Vaseline Intensive Care Skin Moisturiser: This is great for the warmer months because who can be bothered to stand there in the boiling hot sun slapping on a layer of moisturiser. This is a quick alternative that gives me the same amount of hydration in a convenient spray bottle. Little tip: if it's really warm, put this is the fridge or somewhere cold to act a colour spray as well.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist Sun Cream: Of course, we need to wear suncream and, again, sprays are just a much speedier way and faff free way of doing that. Just spray, rub it in and go. Great protection for your skin this summer.

IN SHOWER SKINCARE

Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash: This not only hydrates but, as in the name, exfoliates the skin just enough so help smooth and buff my skin without being top vigorous. It also helps to give my legs that amazing newly shaven feel after shaving. 

Soap & Glory Whipped Clean Shower Butter: I've spoken in the past of the Nivea In-Showers Body Moisturiser and the Lush Skin Conditioner; this is similar. Allowing you to lock in moisture and saving time after stepping out of the shower as sometimes there's no need to add ay extra lotion. I also find it's a great base before applying fake tan.

A SUMMER GLOW

St Moriz Fake Tan: I included this in my Summer Edit but this is the best fake tan for all year round but, if like, you can't tan or just want to top up your tan, this adds a great, subtle bronzed look to the skin that I love. With a tanning mit, it's super easy to apply and drys quickly.

Garnier Summer Body Lotion: Another one I've mentioned before. If you want to just a add a small tint to your already tanned skin or find fake tan to look too intense or even want to ease your way into tanning this is an inexpensive way to do that. Plus, it smells so nice. 

THE SUN!! (Obvs): While away and out in the sun, the sun really helped my skin. My Keratosis Pilaris was the best it had been in years all because of the sun. Of course, you need to stay protected with sun cream which I did but the natural sun does have its benefits. 

What skincare products do you reach for in summer?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

30 THINGS TO DO THIS SUMMER

2 Aug 2016


  1. Fruit Picking. You can then make jams, cakes etc.
  2. Picnics- a blanket and a packet of crisps would surfice
  3. Build a fort
  4. BBQs- just fingers crossed for good weather.
  5. Start an art journal 
  6. Write, write, write
  7. Blog, blog, blog maybe join me with BEDA?
  8. Go to the coast
  9. See what exhibitions are on there'll always be something on locally
  10. Go to a festival- music, food, local etc
  11. Read! Take part in a readathon or even start a book club with your friends
  12. Have a clear out; I always feel better after this
  13. Take a walk to somewhere new even if it is just to collect Pokemons
  14. Explore your city there's some hidden gems in any city
  15. Explore the countryside
  16. Crazy golf
  17. Lazer quest 
  18. Harry Potte marathon or another big movie franchise whatever you fancy but nothing beats HP.
  19. Play some tennis; most towns have public courts at a park
  20. Bike ride
  21. Plan a road trip
  22. Host a Bake Off
  23. Do your own Come Dine With Me
  24. Watch the sunrise and set
  25. Go Bowling - a personal favourite of mine
  26. Movie Nights are great nights. Make some popcorn, surround yourself with pillows and blankets are you're sorted. 
  27. Go camping even if it's in your back garden
  28. Have a waterfight
  29. Go to the fair
  30. Geocaching. Download the app and see what hidden treasure is near you. 
So there are just 30 little easy ideas to fill the rest of your summer days with. I'm definitely going to use this as a summer bucket list and see how many I can do. 
What's on your summer bucket list?
Hope you're doing great,
Happy Beda day 2,
Sarah x

LIFE ALTERING BOOKS

1 Aug 2016

I feel that every single book we all read has a lasting effect and impact on us as an individual in some way no matter how subtle. However, some books have more of impact than others and some I really thank for changing my life in one way or another and those I would like to share with you.

THE TIME KEEPER // MITCH ALBOM

This book I read in year 11 at a time when I wasn't expecting to need it as much I did. Honestly, it wasn't my favourite book I've read but the premise of one character also, ironically called Sarah, remind me of myself a little; I don't whether it was the shared name or what but something drew me to her side of the story. The message I got my the end of the book was one that's stuck with me. It's one that says no matter how hard things might become, don't waste your life. You've got only so use it well. It was basically a literary #YOLO but the way the book put it was just perfect. If I read it now, maybe the impact would have been a lot smaller but, at the time, it was just what I needed to read. 

WHERE THINGS COME BACK // JOHN COREY WHALEY

I'm not going to rabbit on about this one. You know, due to how much I talk about it, the extent of my love for this book is endless. Moral lessons it didn't teach me anything really expect for that even action has an effect and sometimes the outcome is uncontrollable and that's something we have to accept. It also was a big point as to when I realised not just my love of reading but also writing. While anything major I've tried to write hasn't really gone too well and I have a lot of half-finished word documents but it did persuade me to pick up a pen and write. 

THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE-LANDAU BANKS // E.LOCKHART

This is a more recent one. I read this at the start of last year. I'd started college and I was slowly being introduced to the world of feminism. I weirdly think I've always kind of been one so when I learnt more about it I just was like "HELL YES FEMINISM". But while I was learning the facts of feminism I'd not heard anyone else really talk about it until I read this. Not only a great book but one that incorporated feminism in such a way for younger readers to really understand what it was all about and how it affects them. It was a great introduction to feminism in writing- a topic I want to explore further on my blog.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE // J.D SALINGER

This was the book that made me fall in love with reading. I read this book when I was only 14. Then, I was too young to fully appreciate it but I still loved it; Holden Caulfield was a character I could relate in an obscure and indirect way. Some of the ideas he spoke of remained with me. When I went to college, my English teacher told me that your opinions on certain books will change through different stages of your life and used this as an example; how, if read as a teenager, you relate and agree with angsty, misunderstood Holden but as you get older you may see him as nothing more than an annoying spoilt teenager. With this book, I can't seem to pinpoint exactly how it altered my life but I know that Salinger's words have had a lasting impact on me since reading rereading this book. 

What books do you feel have impacted your life? I'd love to know!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

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