I'm now officially 18! Well, as of last Sunday. I had a lovely birthday as I spent Saturday night to sunday morning surround by my closest friends as we went out for the night. On Sunday, with us all feeling rough, a few people came round to mine along with family friends for a drink and a bit of cake- just the way I like my birthdays to be! I'm not the biggest birthday person but I really did have a lovely day. I received some lovely gifts from friends and family and so I thought I'd share some of them with you today!

Let's get the main present out of the way and that is my sewing machine that my Grandma gifted me. I was after a specific style for a while and when, sadly it went out of stock, this John Lewis sewing machine in mint green caught my eye(I mean, you can't miss it it's so bright!) and I thought it was a little different to a usual plain white one. I absolutely love it I can't wait to start some new projects over the next month or so.

As for my sister, we'd spoken to each other about me getting a kindle to take to uni and so she got me the Kindle Fire 7". It definitely doesn't live up to the functions of an ipad and it just seems to be a tablet made to just advertise other Amazon products but i think for its main use of reading books on I think it's great and I've already got a list of the books I want to download. My sister also picked me up some small bits of jewellery for River Island including some earrings that I absolutely love and a necklace that is just up my street.

I got a few other bits of jewellery including some Pandora Tiara Stud earrings off two of my friends which I absolutely love! They're dainty little tiara shaped that are great for everyday. My god mother got me this Joma Jewellery A Little Sunshine bracelet which I haven't been able to take off since I was given it. I've been looking for a bracelet like this is a long time. I hadn't heard off this brand before but I've fallen in love with the jewllery and the bracelets would make great presents for friends. 

Due to getting my kindle, I didn't ask for many books but I got two. My mum and dad bought by Franny and Zooey by J.D Salinger which is part of a group of stories surrounding a family that I've been wanted to delve into or a while now. My friend Kirsty, picked me up a book I've been wanting for ages which is Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I've already started and nearly finished reading this book and I love it! Kirsty also picked me up two of her favourite Kate Moss nail varnishes which have quickly become two of my favourites too: Mistify me and Venus.

My friends really did spoil me this year! One of my oldest friends, Lucy, picked me up the small Urban Decay All Night Setting Spray which has been something I've had my eye on for a while along with a bottle of Malibu which I would never say no to! Jacob knows how much I love Pretty Little Liars so got me a mug saying "I'm still here bitches and I know everything!-A". My friend Alice also knows how much I love Soap and Glory so picked me up a set of the Soap and Glory body sprays.

I seemed to have turned 18 and wanted nothing more than practical gifts as well as I asked my mum and dad for a new alarm clock with a docking station for my ipod/iphone and that's what I got. It feels weird waking up to my favourite songs and not an annoying alarm sound. I also wanted some kitchen things for my cake making and so I got a cake lifter which could also be used for pizza, hitting burglars and swatting flies. I also got a cake decorating stand which rotates so you can smooth icing etc. I'll be on the bake off next!

I received some other lovely gifts including some gorgeous John Lewis notebooks which, of course I will use. My mum and dad also got me some of my favourite Soap and Glory Righteous Butter. I also got this really cute cup with a straw that someone knew I would just love and they weren't wrong. 

I also received a few other bits and bobs as well as some money which I'm so grateful for and can't wait to take shopping. I was truly spoilt this year with turning 18! I tried to find as many links to the things I got as I could in case you were interested in buying any for your self or others!
I'd love to know when your birthday and how old you are?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
18, birthday, advice, lessons
Another year's gone by and I'm nearly another year older. I shared last year 17 things I'd learnt in 17 years and so I thought I'd do the same this year. I'm not sure I'll carry on doing this because I've struggled thinking of 18; who knows how long it would take me to think of 30! So here are the 18 things I've learnt in 18 years.

  1. Change is something to embrace and not despise
  2. Not all goodbyes are a bad thing
  3. Time with friends is precious- soon you'll be too busy 
  4. There's only so much you can plan- some things you have to leave to chance
  5. Trust your own instincts- no one knows you better than yourself
  6. Your closest friends aren't necessarily the ones you see all the time
  7. Your real friends are the one's there for you when you really need them
  8. Hard work really does pay off
  9. Why not dream big?
  10. Saying yes is amazing...
  11. ...but it's also OK to say no
  12. Appreciate what you have
  13. Great memories can be made anywhere- whether your up a mountain or at a friends house
  14. No matter how much you care about someone, sometimes they just don't care back- it may take a while to realise it and it doesn't mean you're a bad person
  15. Everyone argues- even those you're closest to
  16. Taking the road less travelled is fickle- sometimes the results aren't what you want but other times it couldn't have turned out any better
  17. Age doesn't bring knowledge- it's something you choose to learn no matter how old you are
  18. I still have a lot to learn...
So this is just a quick post and the last one before I'm 18. I really love reflecting on what I've learnt and I will continue to learn more as I get older which I will continue to share with you.

Do you agree with anything I've learnt over 18 years?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
This was a quick thought after last year's reading disaster to set myself some goals for reading more this year. One of my many downfalls is not reaching goals but hopefully this will change this year.

Good Reads Reading Challenge

I have already reset my reading challenge to 30. The same as last year but this time I actually want to reach that goal or at least do better than last year. For me, it's really about finding the time to really get stuck into a book and hopefully this year I will make sure I have time to do just that.

More Series

I'm waiting for my reader count to go down when I say I've never finished the Harry Potter series which I even hate myself for growing up surrounded by Harry Potter fans and family who adore the books so, while I have read the first few, I'm going to aim to start the series again and get through them. Another is the Percy Jackson series. Again, I loved the films and so I don't see why I won't like the books. I bought them all second hand off eBay so I've got no excuse to not start reading them this year!

Non-Fiction Please

I'm a lover of facts and knowledge that probably will never come in handy. I also love expanding my knowledge in areas that I already love and I think there are a lot of non-fiction books out there that I will love; it's just finding them. It's a real aim of mine to ready more books based on real life stories- not just autobiographies but all forms of non-fiction. I'm off to a great start with my first book of the year being a non-fiction one. 

Keep The Reviews coming

This is something I'd love your opinion on actually. I currently wait till I've red a few books and compile my "Recently Read" posts but sometimes there are big gaps between each installment so I was thinking of doing more stand alone reviews especially for new releases that I urgently want to give my opinion on. So what do you think? I'd love to know how you'd like to see my review this year!

Out Of The Comfort Zone

I'm always reading young adult contemporary and I don't think that's going to change for a while but I want to explore new genre's as well. Historical fiction, maybe some of those mentioned on my Classics TBR. I really want to expand my reading horizons this year so fingers crossed I will do.

What are some of you bookish goals for the year? Any recommendations for books I should pick up to help me with my own goals?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

Dear Watson,

I think I'm finally coming to the realisation that things won't ever be how I imagined them to be. We left high school and I had every intention to stay close and in contact but things seemed to change too much. I don't think I ever did realise that it wouldn't work out as I'd hoped. I mean, it's been over a year and there's still murmurs of hope in the back of my mind. 

I'm not one to pass the blame but I think you were one of the mine reasons I couldn't seem to move on from high school. I guess I thought if things stayed the same, we would stay the same. I think you made me empty promises that I was too naive to believe. I'm yet to really forgive you for that but, at the same time, I don't blame you.  

It was obvious we were so different- polar opposites. I'd sit inside at lunch and read my book while you'd be out talking to your friends, playing football. I guess it was kind of  a 'closet' friendship in a sense- something we only kept to ourselves and, to this day, people are surprised to hear how close we actually were. I kind of liked that then. But now? I'm sat here thinking... were you embarrassed?

At the time I was blind to it because I was too busy laughing at pointless jokes you'd tell me. Our texts were filled with banter and secrets sharing parts of our life we didn't even realise we had. But then. School came and we hardly uttered a word when we were in a group. 

It's obvious one of us was more invested in the friendship than the other and it's not hard to tell which one of us that is. I mean, who's writing this stupid letter?

I tried, I really did but I started to feel like a nuisance. Our chats went from jokes to empty conversations like the kind you'd have with that next door neighbour you see once or twice a year. Something changed in that year after high school with you and I guess I didn't really fit into that change. 

I could never hate you. Not even slightly dislike you. You were too close to me to turn years of friendship into a bad memory;something of hatred. I'd never turn my back on you and I don't think you'd ever do that to me either.

Right now, you're happy. I can tell.That makes me even happier because you deserve it. As I go off and you stay here, I hope one day we reconnect, reminisce about old teachers and have another of oue in depth discussion of a film's pros and cons. Just like we used to. 

I really am happy for you and I seriously thank you for every time you made me laugh. I don't think I ever told you that- that the time you spent talking to me really made a hell of a difference .
More than you ever knew.

Sarah x

I feel slightly ridiculous having to write this but for someone who always fears the worst and for the sake of people not understanding what I really mean, I think it's best to start by explaining a feature(i guess you could call it) that I want to add to my blog over the next year. 

As I constantly say, I'm now in my last year of college and something I also repeat is how I don't deal with change well and I'm trying not to live in the past(seriously you could make a drinking game out of my posts) After college, I'll hopefully be heading to university and, failing that, I don't plan on staying around for long in the same town I've been in for my 17 years. Either way, I'll be moving and because of this, this year will be filled with goodbyes that will be uttered to close friends and family that hopefully will be just temporary goodbyes. But also, I want to say goodbye to people from my past in a more permanent way because I think it's time to grasp some kind of closure and the way I've decided to do this is through one of the only ways I know how and that is letters and I want to share them here, on my blog because why not? 

Because of this, I feel I'm best, before publishing any of the letters I've written, to start this off with a disclaimer.
The people I write the letters to and people I may include in this 'series' will all be real people who have impacted my life and I want and feel I should say good bye to. However, I may alter situations or even exaggerate certain scenarios for entertainment purposes as while I want to do this for me, I want it to be something you can enjoy. If at any points you may want clarification as to what bits have been altered, I will happily share it with you and I don't want you to think, because of this, nothing I write is truthful because a lot of it will be raw and real.
Also, my meanings for this series is pure and I intend to make sure that I don't publicly embarrass/shame/out anyone's personal life through these letters. This includes not using people's real names; as it stands now I'm not sure how I'll do this-maybe use different names- but I'll think of something (suggestions would be helpful!).

So there's the stupid TOWIE style disclaimer out of the way. I now want to direct this to people who I personally know. If you know me and read my blog (I know some do just not exactly sure who) and you think a letter published is about you and want it removed or altered due to certain reasons please feel free to mention it. Also don't hesitate to just message me to question anything if you don't understand where something has come from. 
Also, if you 'fear' I may write a letter about yourself and you don't want that happening, know that, like I've said, I don't mean to out anyone and I will go out my way to hide identities(wow this has got serious?) but if you still don't want to run any risk please just get in contact to me and I will make sure I don't include you in posts.

Like I said, I am in no means trying to hate on anyone, cause arguments, confrontation or hurt anyone's feelings. I'm doing this for me. It's a way of me giving myself one last push to moving on from the past.

This seriously is for mainly selfish purposes but something I want to make to share with you in attempts that you may have similar stories that I encourage you to share.

I really want to get things started with the letters as soon as possible and I hope this is something you'll enjoy reading and being a part of. 

If you have any questions/suggestions feel free to message me (twitter is probably the best way)
What do you think about this added feature?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
I thought I would re visit an old post of mine that I published nearly 2 years ago now where I spoke about my favourite products for the winter season especially for dry skin and so I thought, while it's still chilly and my skin is still dry I would share with you some of those products I've been loving. 


I tend to always carry a lip balm around with me due to the abundance of flakiness I seem to get on my lips and my go-to lip balms are the Carmex Lip Balm and the Nivea Lip Butter. They're both easy to throw in your handbag and hydrate your lips on the go. Due to the flakiness, an exfoliator is always good and the only one I've ever used and still love is the Lush Lip Scrub in bubblegum. It does it's job is a quick fix to remove any dry bits on your lips. A new addition that I have been loving that, while isn't travel friendly, I carry around in my bag is the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. This can be used for dry patches wherever needed but I bought it to use mainly on my lips. It's not something I' usually splash out on but I need to find something that will finally get rid of my constant dry lips and I think this is working!


Another new purchase that I've been loving for my skin is the Lush In Shower Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. I've used my fair share of in shower moisturisers but this one trumps them all really softening my skin and even going as far as to help my bumpy arm condition (scientifically known as keratosis pilaris aka chicken skin) which really does annoy me. I'm thinking of doing a whole post on products that help me with this so let me know if you'd be interested. 
Out of the shower Soap & Glory's Righteous Butter is one of my favourite body lotions. The smell is amazing but it also hydrates my skin even more. This with the skin conditioner leaves my feeling like a silk blanket!


I've become obsessed with the Body Shop Hand Creams, which I've mentioned before. It's one of those products that if I'm in reach of in the shop, I will have to pick up another to re stock. My favourite scent is the Shea. 

There just a few more products that I constantly reach for in the winter months. If you want some more suggestions please have a look at the original Winter SOS post.
What products do you reach for in the winter?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
Dear to 2016,

The idea of meeting you has scared me slightly. Are you going to be as great as 2015? Or are you going to e a repeat of 2012? I really hope it's not the latter. 

A levels are coming soon- sooner than I realised- and it's back to college I go to get my head down for the net six months. Focusing on my exams is something I have to do so I can go to where I so wish afterwards.

Another year, another change as I hopefully head off to university and, this time, I'm ready for the change and am even excited. Change of scenery, location. Change of people. While I'm scared, I'm also eager to get there to be entering into something unfamiliar. 

2015 lacked certain aspects that I hope you, 2016, will give me. I want to read more. I love nothing more than a good book so why not find the time to do more of what I love. More concerts. The atmosphere is addicting and I need to get another dose of the live music. Blogging. My blog has changed a lot over the years but I finally feel happy and content with what I post and that's just that- what I want; writing about everything I love. 

So I'll be finishing my A levels and starting a new chapter but I don't want this to be missing the people I love even if they're a hundred miles away. This year I want to make enough time amongst studies to spend time with friends; to capture memories of moments that will last a lifetime. I want to spend as much time with them before we go our separate ways across the country. 

There's so much I want to accomplish in 2016 it's overwhelming just thinking about it. But I have hope. Hope that with careful planning, I can achieve what I want and get the most out of 2016.

What are some of your goals for the next year?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x
First off Happy New Year! Hope you had a good time celebrating. I know I did. Now, I've seen many people do this before and I thought, I've put a lot of content on my blog this year, especially in the first half, and so I thought I would compile all my posts in a kind of glossary for you to maybe read a few posts from earlier in the year that you might not have read. It's also a great way for me to look back on the posts I've created this year and what I can do next year to make my blog even better. I would love to know which posts you like the most and which you don't- I'm fine with criticism!













What was some of the posts you liked and some not so much this year?
Thank you for sticking with me in another blogging year!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x