So it's been a while. Not intentional but a needed break from blogging and while I'm not sure when I'll get back into the full swing of things, here's a start. Blogging hasn't been the only thing that's suffered due to my suddenly full timetable to so has reading. Over autumn, I hope to change this back to how it was a few months ago and get back into reading. Here are the books I plan on reading this Autumn.


I picked this up in a second-hand bookshop just the other week. I recognised the name and, from not realising it was such a short read, I thought it offered a more creepy, gooly vibe to my autumn. The shortness appealed to the fact I have hardly any time and I felt it would be a great book to ease me back into the reading world. 


Just because I haven't been reading doesn't mean I've stopped buying books. I've kept my eyes peeled to see this one being released for a while now so when I saw it has, I jumped to buy it. I can't go without my fix of YA and, hopefully, this will do just that. 


After seeing this sat on my shelf collecting dust, the only way I knew I would read it is to pack it up with me to uni and have it sit on a shelf with minimal amounts of books til I read it and, with the subject being fitting with this time of year, I thought this would be a great time to give this a go. I haven't read too much into the plot but I hope it, while being something different to want I normally read, will be something I will enjoy. 


It's still my aim to read off the Harry Potter books, I just don't think it will be possible to do this in a year. The autumnal/wintery feel of these books stopped me from grabbing it over summer but as I now sat here in a cosy jumper wrapped in a blanket along with hot chocolate, I think it's about time I get back into the wizarding world that I've missed. 


If this doesn't show how little time I've had to read I don't know what will; I started this 7 weeks ago before starting uni and I've not picked it up once since arriving here. While it wasn't the most enthusiastic book and probably not the best one to pick up right away to get me out of my reading slump, I do hope to continue reading it and finish it before I go and see the film 

While not the most exciting post, I know, I hopefully will get back into the swing of things soon. I might go through periods of posting and not but hopefully you'll stick with me and enjoy what I write when I do. 
Is there anything you'd like to see on my blog in the future?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

So it's been around a month since I decided to make the change to cruelty-free and it's definitely a long process but, actually, one I've been enjoying; discovering new products and brands to spend money I don't really have one has been great. While they are still a few products I haven't found the perfect CF replacement for, I finally have an all CF everyday make-up look to share with you.

Starting with foundation, I've switched out my usual L'oreal favourite for a new find; The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation for an everyday base. Being own by L'oreal I was hoping for a similar formula yet cruelty-free and soo far I feel that's what I've got. I'm still in the trial period but so far so good; I'll be sure to keep you updated on my thoughts! To apply this, I've been using, non-stop, my very worn B.Beauty By Superdrug Beauty Blender; at only £3 when I bought, it's an absolute steal ! Concealer has stayed the same as The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. This is the only product that I'm unsure whether it is CF. I read a post that said it was but I know a few people disagree. Let me know if you have any information on this or any definite CF alternatives!

Barry M was a brand I always knew was cruelty-free and, while always a lover of their nail varnishes, I hadn't delved into any of their make-up before. You may have seen me haul this(here) a few weeks ago, but the Barry M Strobe Cream Highlighter has become a staple of mine. I'd never have thought I'd be one to wear highlighter on the daily but I love the added glow it gives especially when I'm half asleep. From new to old, The Sleek Face Form Kit is, and always will be, a staple in my everyday look. It has the perfect matte bronzer along with a great everyday blush and even more highlight if wanted. I'm so glad I can carry on using one of my favorite products. Another old favourite that I recently repurchased was the Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Powder which I reviewed a while back here but since then has become an all time favourite setting powder that I will always reach for. 

The same could be said for eyebrows. My highly used and highly talked/blogged about Freedom Eyebrow duo is an affordable, CF eyebrow powder that gives me enough 'eyebrow' a day. I sometimes also use the Soap & Glory Brow Archery which I would recommend if you prefer a pencil. 

Lips. One of my favourite cruelty-free finds is the Gosh Velvet Touch Lip Liner in Vintage Rose which is the perfect base for lipstick but also a stand alone lip shade that, while doesn't last forever, has great staying power and isn't too drying on the lips. While great on its own, I pair it with a rediscovery of mine; Soap & Glory Sex Mother Pucker Lip Laquer which adds great gloss to the lips. 

One aspect I've struggled with is Mascara. The ELF Beautifully Bare Lash Tint Mascara which I received as a free gift with my last order. It says what it does on the tin; a simple mascara that adds colour and a little lift. What I love most about it, is the small wand which is great for bottom lashes. The only downside is it's prone to rubbing off and leaving that panda looking black line under the eyes that looks like I've been crying. Sadly, because of this, I've been using a non-cruelty free mascara so any affordable recommendations would be appreciated!

So there's my updated everyday make-up routine that is, hopefully(if my information is correct), allcruelty-free!

Do you have any fab cruelty-free make-up recommendations?
Hope you're doing great,

Sarah x

Dear Jacob,

Thank you for being there- your constant comic relief was always needed even when I said it wasn't. 

In primary school, you were always the one I wanted to be the best friends with and while we were friends, it wasn't until leaving high school that our friendship really started. Both you and Jade have been the best friends I could ask for. You were there to get me out of my comfort zone after shying away from life for far too long. I finally understand why having friends is so great, so amazing. Even the small arguments and disagreements end in fun and laughter. 

With previous friendships, at any point of disagreement, I'd give up and label that friendship void. But, when it comes to our friendship, it's always worth the energy to make things right because I honestly don't know how I'd cope without you and the dramatic, funny tales and times you bring with you. 

You were always a kid with big dreams in mind, especially when it came to acting, and seeing you continue to be your own drama queen, while sometimes over the top, is one of the reasons I love you. 

You don't need you head to grow any larger but I honestly do admire you. The shit you dealt with from people in high school... and to see you now- being who you truly are, embracing who you are and not being too shy to put yourself out there. That makes me proud to call you a friend. 

When you text me saying you were gay, I didn't believe you. I thought you were joking as you had before. I told you to ring me if you were telling the truth. And you did. And I cried; cried for being proud and happy and relieved that you finally felt like you could openly be you.

I have had some of the best times with you and it's the little moments I appreciate- the puns, the jokes, even the bitching is what tells and shows me how much of an amazing friend you are. 

This is a friendship I don't want to end. I want you to feel you can still come to me when you're in a sticky situation, I want to come home and still have the amazing times we had before we left for uni. While we might go our separate ways, our friendship stays. 

Jade, you and I; the three amigos/bitchachoes. We are a like a pack of KitKat- come together and can't be sold separately!

Thank you so much for everything and anything you've done for me- you've done more than you can imagine.

Love you,

Sarah x


So I've arrived at Uni. After saying goodbye to my dad and unpacking my stuff and a few nights being surrounded by boxes of belongings I didn't know where to place, I finally feel I've got my own little space. Sharing with 10 other people seemed daunting at first(and it still is a little) but slowly I'm adjusting to a little more each day. I'm yet to have any lectures and am still wrapped up in fresher's week complete with the cliche flu-like symptoms.

Day by day I'm feeling more settled, feeling even more eager to throw myself into uni life and experience all that it has to offer.


So I had a little breakdown. Speaking to a friend from home made me realise where I was and the little bit of pressure it brings with it. It's been a week and I'm worried I'm not making friends, not understanding the work etc. For a minute it felt too much. But then, the next morning I got up, got ready, said hi to my housemates and then headed to a lecture where I sat and was educated on the brain. While at points I was lost and at points I was falling asleep, I know, that with a lot of work, I'm just as deserving being here as the other  250 people in my lecture and they're probably facing the same problems I am right now. 


I don't think I'm ever going to get the sleep back I've lost over the past couple of weeks from Freshers and the time sat up late talking to housemates and watching Chicken run among other films instead sticking my head in the crap ton of books I have to get through. The lectures are getting better and even found two today interesting. It's just now focusing on getting everything organised and being able to tackle a social life and making sure I get all the work and more done. 

I'm sorry I've been absent over the past two weeks but I will slowly get into a routine where, hopefully, blogging will return to a more regular thing again because I do miss it; I've just had my mind in other places and on other things. This is a new stage of my life that I'm excited to experience and share with you.

Hope you're doing great,

Sarah x

I've always, not only been savvy with my money, but eager to find any way to make a little extra. A while ago, I shared with you ways I'd found to both save money and make money while in high school and college. I've recently discovered, with the help from Team Profit* that money making art of match betting. I had heard of this in the past and was always tempted but always scared of the prospect of losing money. It is known to be a popular way of making a little bit of extra dollar for us struggling university students.

When talking to Team Profit they assured me that match betting hasn't got the same risks as betting but is almost always guaranteed to make you a profit and if there is a loss, it's only a few pennies. It works on the offers given by online betting shops to attract customers with free coupons. It has taken me a while to grasp this idea but once I understood it, I couldn't wait to share it with you, you money making lovers. It works by places almost counter bets on two separate betting accounts using the free bets you have triggered; it's almost as if you're betting against yourself so, either way, you will win something.

I'm not going to try and explain it any more than that myself as I don't feel qualified to do so. However, Team Profit provide a great free service on their website which offers free tutorials in placing your first bets as well as explaining what it is and how it works with infographics, videos and a live chat option which was very useful when I was placing my first bet due to my easy confusion surrounding anything with numbers. The team at Team Profit offer a fabulous service to make something that seems complicated that little more simple and providing all the resources you need which include a facebook group.

Once you've grasped the idea, you're able to make a little extra money from the comfort of your own room and Team Profit can really help. Their "Starting with £25" article is a perfect place to start.

Have you ever tried match betting yourself and would you consider it?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

* This post contains a paid advertisement from Team Profit but all opinions remain my own* 

The countdown til my first year at uni starting is well and truly underway and while I still have couple of weeks to prepare myself, I know a lot of you will be going back to and maybe even starting college if you decided to and so I thought I'd share with you some tips for surviving college. 


I remember someone saying this after they were asked to give one piece of advice to a first-year student and while, sadly, that's impossible, you can at least start now. Especially if you struggle remembering information or take a bit longer getting to grips with the topic, I'd suggest doing what I did and after each lesson or each week start putting together your own kind of revision textbook then. Then, when it comes to the start of exams the pressure to revise should be less and it will be more recapping. If you want more revision tips, I did a whole series of post that you can find here.


I remember people thinking the late starts and early finishes were great and even being able to take days off without the college really knowing was great but, if your college is like mine, they are still on you for attendance just like (if not worse) than high school. By making sure you're in as much as possible, you not only not annoying your teachers but making the most of the two years. 


I'm not one to talk on this one really as while I did get into college early even if I didn't have a lesson till dinner, I did spend quite a few free periods just giggling with friends or watching pointless youtube videos. While that's fun at the time, when it came close to exams, I was annoyed at myself for not using those free periods properly. 


This is another I didn't really use until it was a little late. I would always tell a teacher if I was confused but wouldn\t really want extra help outside of the classroom. However, nearing my final exams, my teachers were more than happy to sit down with me and go over areas I struggled on. While some teachers aren't always the most reluctant to do this, if they want you to get the grades they will and if they say they're too busy go to someone else in the department whether you know them or not- someone will help you. 


College was, amongst the stressful times, two years I really enjoyed and I think it's only fair to suggest that you do the same. By scheduling deadlines homework, you can make sure you have time to enjoy time with friends during the week as well as the weekends. College exposed me to some great times and opportunities so I think you should definitely be on the lookout to do the same. 

So there are just a few tips that I hope you find helpful for going to college and even high school.

Are you going to college? Are you off to university like me? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

Wow, it's been a while since I've written one of these; so much for reading an abundance of books this summer. Either way, I'm hoping to carry on reading more and here are a three reviews of the books I've most recently read. 

follow me on goodreads for more recommendations and reviews! 


Quickly becoming if not already a YA favourite with many. After reading Am I Normal Yet? and loving it, it was only right to give this one a read and I started it almost immediately after the first. After reading about Evie's story in the first installment, it was now Amber's turn. It continues to cover feminism taking it another step as well as surrounding first love and relationship with parents. Bourne  has taken another step in exploring problems teens of today face. I also loved the change of scenery that came with the book as Amber sets off the America to work at her mum's summer camp. While slightly cliche, the book made me happy and laugh and that's all I ask for in a book like this. I can't wait to get stuck into Lottie's story in the third book next!


This is probably the worst book I've read so far this year. After seeing how fab the trailer for the film adaption looked, in true book lover style, I felt it was my obligation to read the original first. After seeing a few reviews I didn't high expectations and after I'm glad I didn't as I think I'd be even more disappointed than I was. While I loved the storyline idea that centres a lot around the Capitalist beliefs of today and consumerism is a high stakes game of truth or dare, I found, at times the book to be dull. I did enjoy reading the dares and found them quite exciting at times but overall the story was lacking. From the start I was bored; the whole build up of a girl working on a play I felt was unnecessary. I know it was there for character development but I didn't think anything developed from that anyway. I didn't feel any feelings towards the main character; a girl who's known who's reserved who, once money  is flashed in her face, suddenly become some wild child. Slight spoiler alert; she has a dead brother. This has quickly become a character trope I hate- I feel it can be a quick way of character development to describe how a character is the way they are and I'm not a fan. As well, I felt there were plot holes and the back stories didn't really run right. Also the ending; it just kind of happened then stopped. 
As for the film adaptation, I really enjoyed it. While my favourite dare wasn't included in the film, I think they managed to adapt it well to the screen and the soundtrack I loved. Definitely, don't judge the film by the book with this one. 


From a personal worst to a recent favourite. This book came along at just the right time. It had been a while since I delved into the dystopian/sci-fi worlds and oh how I missed them! Following Wade Watts, it shows the quest to inherit a gaming billionaires fortune through a virtual reality programme the world now escape to and live through due to the disaster the real world has become. There were so many 80's references I was in heaven. While some of the gaming references did go straight over my head, Cline managed to explain the games well to those not so familiar. What I also loved that he did was create this new virtual world so well in my imagine. Explaining back stories and setting so well and intriguing which many writers can't do with me as I'm quite likely to get bored with long descriptive passages but not with this one. The world was so endearing as well as the quest to find this easter egg. At first, I thought it might be too long of a book but I was wrong; it was the perfect length. I also loved the topics weaved within the book from gender stereotypes to global warming, political disputes, terrorism. It was set in years not far from now and it's scary to question "Is this the way things are heading?".It would be a full rating if it wasn't that in parts I found it to lack in action when it came to the middle so it is more of a 4.5 rating. But don't let that take away from being a fantastic book that any gaming lover and 80s enthusiasts like myself would love. This has definitely opened me up to reading more from Ernest Cline in the future as well as opening me up to the missed genre. 

What have you read recently? Any recommendations for me to read?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

If you read my 72 hours in London you will have known (surprise surprise) that I recently went to visit my sister in London and did a tad bit of shopping. I always have to venture into the Lush on Oxford Street and I can't not go to the other shops right? So here's what I bought.


One of the first things my sister and I did was go to the Tate Britain and something I like to do at any gallery that I like is pick up some postcards of the pieces I loved as well as some from the exhibit I saw. We went to the Conceptual art exhibit so I pick up one of the pieces I enjoyed. I also picked up one my an artist named Bridget Riley who does a lot of optical illusions. When I saw that it still made my eyes go a bit funky on a postcard, I thought it'd be a fun one to pick up. Lastly, I bought one that says "Make Love Not War". I think these postcards are a great souvenir and are great little bits to stick on your wall. 
I've hauled previously two of the Introducing Graphic guides that my sister picked up for me and I love them; they're such a great, easy way to learn about a new topic and so I decided to pick up two more. One was the Freud Graphic Guide. You might know that I'll be starting uni in a few weeks starting Psychology so this definitely up my street. I also studied sociology at A level so this Critical Theory Graphic Guide was another I know I'll find interesting and enjoy. 


If you haven't read my previous London post,  this pop-up museum showcased the work of two artists behind a lot of the prop design of Harry Potter. While the gift shop was hella expensive even for my usual postcards, I still wanted something to take away and so I picked up this replica Harry Potter notebook which I thought would be something a bit different to use at uni. I then saw the pin badges for just a pound and so, on a whim, picked one up to add to my bag. 


The main reason we went to Oxford Street. I don't know whether it's an oxford street exclusive, but the shampoo bar I picked up last year when I was there that I love wasn't available in my local store so I grabbed another Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar which I included in my hair care favourites a little while ago. I also picked up one of the Shampoo Bar Tins as I kept meaning to pick one up. Next, I saw these Tea Tree Toner Tabs at just a pound each and the idea seemed really nice and relaxing so I picked two up. I've already used one and for a pound they're definitely worth it. 


Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children was a book I wanted to read this summer and always put off by the price being a little more but with a slight nudge towards buying them by my sister I picked up both the first and second in the series. I've started on the first one and will report back to you soon. 

And it was then. That I realised...

I spent way too much money over the three days and I had to stop.

Have you used/read any of the bits I've mentioned? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

Being just a 2-hour train ride away, while on the other side of the country, it's always worth taking a trip to London and now that my sister and aunt live there, it's even more worth it. Friday night, I hopped on a train to London Euston where my sister met me before heading back to her apartment just a tube and bus ride away. We spent the night catching up as she showed my her local bar which she loved to go and I did too.
No matter how many times you've been to London, there's always something more you can do and even living in London my sister had a list of things she'd like to see and do so we planned out the next two and a bit days so we could get as much done as possible.


One thing I wanted to do was head to the Tate Britain to see their conceptual art exhibit. We spent over an hour looking around that exhibition with some bits being utterly bizarre as art can be. Some pieces really made me laugh such as a set of pictures of a man eating a piece of paper called "Eating my words". There was also a piece by Michael Craig-Martin- an artist whose work I looked at in GCSE- it was a glass of water sat on a shelf; it was called the oak tree. My sister didn't seem to get it but I did and I guess that piece summed up why I like art. 

We then decided to walk along the Thames towards the Tate Modern where I picked up manya Magikarps on PokemonGo. Georgia O'Keefe was an artist I adored in art GCSE and so we had to head there and look at the exhibition. After we walked around the rest of the gallery seeing some obscure pieces; one was a village made out of couscous. 

We then walked along the Southbank; when not riddled with tourists getting under your feet, this is one of my favourite parts of London to just sit and watch. You get such a good view of so many parts of main London. At this point, we'd grown tired and so headed back home.


It was going to be another busy day starting with the Natural History Museum which I hadn't been to since I was around 12. We spent an hour or two seeing the main exhibitions before heading to Covent garden which, again, I hadn't visited since I was 12. Here, we grabbed some lunch before heading towards a pop-up museum; The MinaLima. It was centred around two designers who made many of the harry potter props including the newspapers, Hogwarts letters, marauders map, textbooks and so much more. Sadly the gorgeous prints were too expensive to buy but it was one of my favourite parts of the trip to see. We then headed to Oxford street . It is just high street stores you can get anywhere in the UK but, with the biggest Lush store being there, we had to go. There's a shampoo bar that I love that they seem to only sell there so I had to pick that up along with a few other treats. I'm going to post a London haul soon so keep a look out for that. I realised how close the Crumbs and Doilies cake shop was to where we were and eager to try them out we headed there to pick up some cakes before heading home. Once home, we dropped our stuff and went out to the local bar again where every Sunday this DJ comes in. He's basically an old man but he plays some right crackers. He brings along his record collection of 45s and plays them. 


By this time both my sister and I were knackered and with my train that afternoon we decided to keep things simple. So we headed to Alexandra Palace armed with a picnic where we spent a couple of hours sat in the sun eating the cakes we got yesterday among other foods including Candy Floss grapes (who knew?). We then took a walk around and then went back to the apartment to grab my stuff. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the station to get my train home. 

I had such a great few days in London and got so many great things done. However, there's still so much I want to do and see so I will definitely be heading back there in the Autumn. 

Have you been anywhere nice recently?
Hope you're doing great,

Sarah x

Hi everyone, I’m Emma from the blog Emma etc. Sarah and I decided to share our favourite feminist reads in a collaborative blog post, so after reading this post you can head on over to my blog to check out Sarah’s selection of books. I often talk about books on my blog as well as other topics like beauty. I love recommending my favourite things so without further ado here are five great feminist books to read.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

This was my first dip into the world of feminism and after reading it I felt so angered but most importantly, inspired. Reading this book is so eye opening and I whole heartedly recommend you pick it up. It’s not a light read as per say, as it deals with some pretty serious topics and includes some, quite frankly, frightening statistics about sexism is this day in age. This isn’t a book to read all in one go, but to dip in and out of, or read one chapter at a time. Overall I’m so glad I read this as it started a love of feminist books and made me want to do something about issues in society.

Girl Up by Laura Bates

Following on from Everyday Sexism, Girl Up, by the same author, is targeted more at a younger audience. Instead of the saying ‘Man Up’, the author is encouraging girls to ‘Girl Up’ and start calling out or doing something about sexism. She discusses different topics many girls in the teen years have or will deal with, in a pretty humorous but inspiring way. You can get a taste for the book from reading some of the back cover - “Warning: This book contains feminist limericks, colour-by-numbers genitalia and dancing vaginas.” It is unapologetically addressing what many girls go through. Less self-loathing and more fist-pumping.

The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks by E. Lockhart

Steering away from the non-fiction, this book is a short but wonderful observation of the sometimes subtle differences between girls and boys. If you’re observant, you’ll see Sarah also has this book on her list. It’s really that good and has some of my favourite quotes in it. Frankie is a very sassy, smart girl who basically starts investigating a secret boys society set up in her school, and begins questioning girls are perceived a certain way while boys aren’t. This is honestly one of my favourite books and combines young adult fiction with some feminism which I am all for right now.

How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne

This is the second book in the Spinster Club series which Holly Bourne has dreamed up. The club is one where three girls essentially discuss feminism and eat cheesy snacks - I can’t think of anything more wonderful. Amber, one of the girls, leaves her home in England and goes to visit her Mum who lives in America. She helps out at a summer camp and in the process finds herself pondering about love and family, and of course, how feminism fits into all of that. This read combines a good ol’ slightly fluffy romance and a touch of feminism to make the ultimate summer read, or practically any time of the year. Holly Bourne has said she wanted to ease her readers into feminism with each book in the series, so get reading to start the ultimate finale What’s A Girl Gotta Do? which has recently been released.

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

This was the ultimate forage into the very serious and timely topic of victim-blaming and sexual assault. I have come to love Louise O’Neill and her passions about feminism since reading this, and I feel like this is necessary reading if you’re interested in all things #fem. Asking For It was indeed a very shocking and realistic book, one that I don’t think I necessarily enjoyed all that much. The reason I am recommending it is because it is such a realistic look into how victim-blaming effects a person. It’s honestly hard to read at points, but it is so engrossing, particularly near the end. It’s not all happy endings in the real world, is it?

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my favourite feminist books, and you’ve found at least one you would like to read. Remember to check out Sarah’s feminist reads on my blog here.

In the mean time, you can check out a Twitter group me, Sarah, and other bloggers are part of: @fem_collective. We’ll be hosting feminist chats very soon among other things.


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


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. 


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

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. 


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)
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
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. 


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. 


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. 


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
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.


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.


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. 


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


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

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

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
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. 
*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.

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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

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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.

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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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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*