*This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own!*

From books to new wardrobe basics, as it's already starting to get darker earlier, I'm already reaching for the hot chocolate and my Christmas pyjamas, I thought I'd share a few of my new favourites over Summer that I think are worth shouting about! 

Books

Beach Read by Emily Henry

I recommended this book in my 2020 summer book recommendations and I'm so glad I did! While it's not actually set in Summer, it was still the perfect romance book and such an easy read to enjoy on a sunny day in the garden or at the beach! I definitely recommend checking this one out if you're in a reading rut and want an easy read to pick up and devour in a day or two. 

When the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

It seems like ages ago I picked up this book but I still remember how much I enjoyed it! Such a unique story of Kya Clark, known as "Marsh Girl" - suspected of murdering Chase Andrews. A beautifully written story of Kya's unusual childhood and exploring family differences. I could definitely see this becoming a firm favourite for years to come! 

Fashion

I've definitely made a conscious effort over the past year to cut down my spending on fast fashion and focussing on picking up more timeless pieces to streamline my wardrobe. 

ASOS  Denim Jumpsuit

This has been a firm wardrobe staple since the start of the year that I always love wearing - every time it's washed, I'm wearing it right away! It's such a fun jumpsuit to style and I know even as the weather cools, I'll be layering it up with jumpers, turtle necks and a whole lotta mustard (colours)!

Veja Trainers - V-12

These were definitely my lockdown-made-me-do-it purchase. I absolutely love these! Veja trainers are made from vegan leather and are a great everyday staple. I went for the classic V-12s and I've been wearing them whenever I can. While I can confirm that they are not the best for long days out, they are still great to throw on daily and they go with almost everything. I also know that these will be lasting me, hopefully, a good few years! 

Hundred Club tee

I've been eyeing up the Hundred Club tees for ages and when I saw they were sending out a batch last month, it felt like the perfect payday treat! Hundred club is a great company that minimise waste from fast fashion by only printing 100 of each t-shirt or jumper. It makes it such a fun concept and avoids any leftover tees going to waste. The t-shirt quality is insane! It is more expensive than larger retailers but it really is worth it. 

Mini Twist Hoop Earrings by Laura Emily 

I instantly fell in love with these earrings when I saw them on my feed. I was in real need of a new pair of everyday earrings and these were perfect. The quality is amazing and I love the twister element. They are a small hoop as well which makes them great for every day. I absolutely adore these and definitely recommend checking out Laura's other pieces on Etsy



Music

My music hasn't changed much over the past few months, I've been preferring to just select a random playlist on Spotify and listen to whatever they've thrown on there. But, there are still a few standouts to me. 

This Band Camino 

This band has been getting me through working from home - a great soundtrack to enjoy throughout the day. If you haven't checked them out, I recommend doing so. 

Novo Amor

For something slower, or if you like listening to music while you read, Novo Amor's new EP "If We're Being Honest" is the perfect listen to welcome in the autumn. I mean, they have a song called "Halloween" - what's more autumn/winter welcoming than that?! I love having this on in the evenings to wind down. 

Hope you enjoyed this little favourites post and I hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x





Every year, my daily makeup seems to get even more minimal. While over the past few months I’ve only worn makeup a handful of times and my skin has been thanking me for that, there are a few new staples that I’ve been reaching for when I want to add a little makeup when I’m going out. Glossier is known for its minimalist nature and simple, basic makeup products and I definitely agree - I’ve been loving some products I’ve picked up recently, so I thought I would share my opinions in case you’re looking to delve into the world of Glossier yourself. 


Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer 

I think every makeup post I’ve shared over the past 4+ years has referenced this concealer and there’s definitely a reason for that. It’s such a great daily staple to cover small blemishes, even out my skin tone and aid in helping me look a little less tired. It’s a medium-coverage concealer so is definitely good for both full coverage looks or, like me, a daily look without the need for a foundation as well. 

Revolution Pro Brow Powder 

I’m not too fussy when it comes to brows these days - I’m definitely going for a more natural look and not the concrete-feeling full brows that I once went for. A simple brow powder like this is a great staple just to fill in any sparse areas in my brows. There's nothing really special about this but definitely does the job!

Natural Collection Bronzer 

Another one that won’t be a stranger to those who've seen my previous makeup posts. A simple bronzer that isn’t orange, adding a flush of bronze and an extra addition to any everyday look but not always needed. For just £2 you can’t go wrong with this bronzer for a subtle bit of colour in your face and also a nice touch to add to your eyelids if you'd like. 
 

Glossier “The Make Up Set” review 

This little trio is a great minimalist staple for those looking to add more low-coverage, simplistic products to their collection or for someone a bit younger, looking to get started in makeup. 3 products that you could easily rock alone or gives you a basis to create your starting make up routine. 



Glossier Lash Slick Mascara 

I’ve already featured this in a previous favourites post - I already had a tube of the Glossier mascara and I already knew it was a fave. With quite hooded eyelids, mascara can cause me real issues with transfer but as this is a more natural-looking mascara with less clumping and focussing on adding length, I haven’t had any issues with this one - lasting until I take it off at the end of the day! If you’re looking for a simple, no-nonsense mascara to give your lashes some definition but not crazy volume, this a great option. It sticks to the basics and does it well! 

Glossier Boy Brow in Brown 

While I wish that I was lucky enough to have fuller brows and could just apply a bit of this brow gel and be done, my sparse eyebrows aren’t made for that - it needs the extra help of brow powder. Applying the boy brow after my powder really finishes off my brows - still looking natural but gives them added shape and seals them into place without feeling like a cemented brick wall. 

Annoyingly, there is only 3 shades and a clear option of the gel and so the brown is a little dark and the blonde, when I tried it in-store previously, is a too light which I could imagine is a problem for others too - finding the options too light and too dark. Extending the range I think would be great! It’s a little tube which is the perfect size for this product but I do wonder if it really is worth it for the amount of product you get for the price. Either way, I’m still loving using it and think it will be a daily staple until it runs out. 

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk 

One of the most coveted Glossier products and I can see why! It’s a little tube of a delight that has reintroduced me to the world of blush. I personally am very happy I picked up Dusk - I already am naturally quite pink so this brings a bronzer flush to my cheeks. Definitely, one to be careful not to overdo - it’s easily done with the application and does take a little getting used to using but I am really loving this both on my cheeks but also as a liquid eye shadow. Also, for the amount you use and the amount in the tube, I for sure think it’s worth the money - it will be lasting me for ages! 

I am loving the minimal makeup life - it creates a great base that passes the test of time and can allow me to go about my day without having to think about touching up my makeup and it’s definitely better now with the added Glossier products! 

Have you tried any of these products? 

Hope you’re doing great, 
Sarah x


*This post contains affiliate links*

August turned out to be one great reading month for me! It’s been a while since I managed to squeeze 4 books into one month and yet here we are. To celebrate my small success, I thought I’d go old-school “Sarah Eliza” with a Recently Read - a short review of each of the books I’ve read this last month! 


Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

If you haven’t seen this book popping up over the internet, it details the lives of 12 different characters. This was a real thought-provoking book that explored different perspectives of people across the UK mostly women, black and British - many perspectives I hadn’t read books before. Such highs and lows to each of their stories that felt so real and personal as we gained a look into them, their families and their relationships with others. It did take me a while to get through this book but I still really enjoyed it and felt I took something away from it, which doesn’t happen all the time when reading. It’s one I will definitely be recommending to others and is a great book club pick, for sure!

4.5/5 ★


The Truants by Kate Weinberg

I picked this one up on a whim after seeing it advertised on Waterstones and it had been a while since I picked up a mystery, suspenseful read. We follow Jess who heads off to university, who falls in love with Alec - a journalist studying at the university - and Lorna - her charismatic literature professor. As Jess navigates through the year, there are twists and turns that she faces that lead to a death. 

I flew through this book but, nevertheless, it wasn’t what I was expecting from the synopsis nor did it really pack the mystery I was expecting to read. It was a good story that had me hooked but parts were lacking clarity for me - rushing the plot where they shouldn’t and drawing out moments I didn’t care for. I loved the university setting of the book and the landscape the story built but, it was lacking something. Still a good read but not one I wouldn't rush out and buy. 

3/5 


Beach Read by Emily Henry

January Andrews is a bestselling romance writer and Augustus Everett is a literary fiction author. When they end up as neighbours at their beach houses, both struck with writer’s block, they strike a deal - January will write a literary novel and Augustus will try his hand at romance writing. They spend their summer, researching and writing while, in turn, learning more and more about each other. 

This was the romantic-comedy I really needed! A simple yet lovely plot to get lost in and devour. This let my mind wander in all the good ways while still being gripped by the characters. It had me smiling from ear to ear and close to laughing out loud in parts. I love the sarcastic nature of Augustus’ character especially which really helped the plot develop into something great! Unfortunately, the ending did let it down slightly and it became somewhat unmemorable but, I thoroughly enjoyed Beach Read and recommend it to anyone looking for an easy read!

4/5 


Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton 

I feel I may be one of the last people to pick this up but I thought I would share my thoughts anyway. Columnist and writer Dolly Alderton shares her memoir surrounding the highs and lows of falling in love; navigating your twenties and becoming an adult. She shares anecdotes of bad dates, stories of friendship and a truthful recap of her twenties. She doesn’t sugar coat anything in this book and I liked that. While I found some parts to be drawn out and, dare I say, a little pretentious, I did enjoy this read. It was almost like hearing relationship advice from a much older, wiser sister. I definitely took some key points from this book and it became a great discussion topic among me and my friends - just like any good book does! 

3.5/5 ★


Let me know if you enjoy these monthly reading wrap-ups and I might try and do more in the future.  What have you been reading recently? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Hope you’re doing great, 

Sarah x 

*This post contains links to gifted/PR samples but all opinions remain my own*

It still feels like yesterday I was shopping in Ikea, picking up that cheese grater every student seems to have, buying way too many utensils one student needed, packing up my bags and heading off for my first year of university. The terms really do fly by and it can be quite difficult to really feel like you're making the make of your time there - studying hard while still haven't a great time/ For those heading off to university, here are a few things I learnt through my first term at university to set me up for a great first yearn and beyond. 


Packing & Preparation

Let's assume you already have everything packed and ready to go - all your photos and fairy lights to make your new room feel like home. All your kitchen essentials and toiletries are packed and ready to go. If you're wanting to make sure you're truly ready for your first term of lectures here are a few things to add to your list: 

Stationary

The last thing you want to be doing is running around a new city trying to find a WHSmiths or Ryamn's in your first week. Make sure you at least have the basics. A few notebooks, highlighters and pens. Binders will be a God-send as well for arranging your notes from day one onwards. You will thank your organised-self later when it comes to revision! I loved having lots of different notebooks for my different lectures and modules; little places to jot down quick memos and to-do lists were super helpful! If you're looking for some cute notebooks for your first term, The Design Palette has some great little notepads that you are sure to love! 




Reading

At my university, we couldn't see our reading lists until after our first lectures but I recommend as early as you can to write out a reading list for your to term and keep it somewhere easy to find. It's a great way to keep track of what you need to read, when for and for what lectures. It can also help make sure that you can take out the book from your uni's library in time, and not having to panic when you go to borrow 1 of 2 copies of a book that is shared between 100 students to find, shock horror, there isn't one in stock. 

Once your lectures begin, staying on top of your reading when you can is one of my top tips - it's far from fun but getting it out of the way and having your notes written early for revision will save you so much trouble later! 

Your first week

Freshers! 

For those of you not in the UK, Freshers week is the first week at university - a chance to get introduced to university life. From signing up to 20+ societies you later will never attend a meeting for as well as getting acquainted with the nightlife on offer at your university. By the end of the week, you will probably already have a well-formed opinion as to what your favourite night out spots will be for the rest of the week and which you will avoid in the future (Pop World - I’m looking at you).

I have a whole post with my tips on How to Survive Freshers week which includes some essentials to pack for the week. But, my main advice is to just enjoy it - step out of your comfort zone and get to know those on your course and the people you’re living with - everyone is in the same boat.

Communal living

If you’re living in student accommodation, enjoy it! It might not be The Ritz but you’ll be sure to have some funny anecdotes to share from the year. It’s a known piece of advice but it works: keep your door open! Say hey to anyone on your floor or block - you’re all in the same boat and will be living with them for a year.

It definitely can take some adjusting to life at university and I don’t know anyone who didn’t have a moment where they thought uni wasn’t right for them. It will take a few weeks to feel settled and that’s exactly what your first term is for.

Budgeting

It’s definitely tempting to blow all your student finance as soon as it hits your bank account but don’t make the mistake I’ve seen many do - spend it all on food and nights out in the first week to then live off pasta and sauce, 3 meals a day for the rest of the term. 

Meal planning

Try your best to plan your meals for the week ; even a rough guide of what you need and keep it interesting! My flat and I enjoyed cooking a few meals together - maybe once a week one of us cooking for the others who wanted in. Try some new student recipes. You might shock yourself at the amount you can upgrade your cooking at uni. 

Weekly shops

Where we lived on campus was pretty far from any big supermarkets so each week we put in a joint food order to be delivered each week. It was a great way to save time and money on shopping for the week. I rarely spent more than £20 on food a week and delivery was just 50p each! 

Saving 

I seriously thanked myself in the third year for my savvy first-year self. It wasn’t that I was saving consciously but I learnt fairly quickly where to spend and save my money - I definitely put in a few too many ASOS orders but student discount was definitely a great one for that. 

Student nights we cheaper than weekend club nights, the restaurants around the city always had student deals, and we were still using vouchers we picked up in Freshers week at the end of first year. I could have definitely saved even more but I was lucky that I could live comfortably through uni, saving where I can but not letting it stop me from doing things in my first year.

Self-care

Like I say, moving away from home and adjusting to a new place and way of living can be difficult especially for the more introverted type. There’s the feeling that you need to be out there, make as many friends as you can in your first week and be super interesting. But, that really isn’t the case. University is the place you will find some of the most like-minded people where you can find people to enjoy your downtime with or will completely respect if you don’t want to go on a night out and instead want to spend it curled up in halls watching repeats of Friends on Netflix.

Netflix Nights

You don’t have to be out, in a club or bar, with your housemates to have fun and get to know them. One of our nights at Freshers we were all completely tired so instead piled into one of our rooms and watched a film. It then became a bit of a tradition - Theroux Thursday. Exactly what you think - another Louis Theroux Documentary every week!

Time for yourself

Don’t be afraid to spend some time on your own - sitting in your room having some time to yourself, going shopping on your own, going for a walk. Do what you feel is best for you and don’t feel you have to be sat in communal areas every minute of the day. I’ve previously shared some self-care ideas for students that you might want to check out! 


These are just a few ways to help you make the most out of your first term but ultimately just enjoy yourself! The amount of work might come as a bit of a shock but the first term is there to ease you into the rest of your 3+ years at university so enjoy it! 

 Hope you’re doing great, Sarah x

After reading Daisy Butter’s post Why I still blog 10 years on, I realised that it’s been 8 years since I opened blogspot and set up my first blog. At first, a place to share my own thoughts and feelings - my online journal - turned comfort zone to share my loves, advice, inspiration. It’s definitely had some transformations over the 8 years I’ve been blogging, some years posting a handful of posts, others filled with consistent updates. But, at the heart of it, I think the reasons I blog have stayed the same. I thought I’d share just a few of the reasons with you today, whether you’re in a blogging rut or looking to start a blog yourself, these are just a few reasons I still continue to share on my little cosy corner of the internet. 

The love of writing 

The strongest reason - whether it’s long-form pieces like I used to or more fun posts I share more recently, writing about the things I love - there’s nothing like it! I always loved to write and in a slightly narcissistic way, I always wanted to share “my story” - yes, the extremely mundane life of Sarah. It really is a diary to me and it’s amazing that people want to hear me babble on about books, hear about my time at university and what I learnt and how I’ve been adjusting to life in London. My posts might not always be the most well-formed, grammatically correct pieces of literature but it’s what I enjoy writing and sharing. It’s been the same since day one and still to this day. 

The experience 

I always wanted in some way for my job to include writing. A job filled with the tap, tap, tap of a keyboard or countless drafts in notebooks. Blogging has taught me more than anywhere else the skills I need for my current full-time job. It’s the extra thing I add to my CV that never feels like it deserves to be there because blogging was what I love to do in my spare time, not something I did to add something extra to my experience. But, it has opened doors to careers I didn’t think would be possible! 

The creative freedom 

A blog really is a passion project and you can make it what you want. There are endless possibilities to where I can take my content and that excites me, it keeps it fresh and interesting. I’ve constantly changed the posts I share - from beauty reviews way back in the day (what was I thinking?) to books to I guess where we are now - a little bit of everything! I don’t feel constrained to a niche or a certain way of thinking and writing when it comes to a post; I share what I want and what I think others will want to read and, if they don’t, I still had lots of fun producing the post! 

The community

I’ll be honest, it’s far from perfect. I’ve shared some honest opinions about the blogging community in the past. But, no one is perfect and having a supportive group of bloggers who can relate to what you do, appreciate the lengths you can go to to get a post out, it really is appreciated. Even 8 years on, the notification of a new comment on a post makes me smile. Even just a like or a share is really why I keep sharing the posts that I do! 

There really is something fun about having a blog and I urge anyone out there thinking of giving it a go too, just do it! You never know how much you'll love it. 

If you have a blog, how long have you been blogging for?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah