Wanderlust Wish List

I’ve been experiencing a lot of wanderlust as of late and so with that, I wanted to share the beautiful places I’ve added to my bucket list. No doubt they will be so many places I have missed out, so please leave me a comment with anywhere you think I need to be adding to my list or any place you’ve visited and loved. All of these places are easily accessible from the UK  and affordable to travel to.

Cherry Blossom Avenue – Bonn Germany

 

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Cherry Blossom Avenue, Bonn Germany. Photo credit robert.linden/Flicker via the Huffington Post

I first saw a picture of this magical place ten years ago and have been slightly obsessed with it ever since. Located in the west of Germany and with the Rhine running through its centre, this town boasts beautiful gothic architecture and a fairytale feeling reminiscent of the classic Grimm stories.

Blossom season itself only lasts for around 3 weeks in April but if you unfortunately miss out then never fear! there is still lots and lots to do here, including numerous museum and parks and if you’re into classical music then you’re in luck, Bonn in the birthplace of Beethoven and being steeped in history, its perfect for a weekend away.

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Castle overlooking Bonn via people don’t have to be anything else Wiki https://goo.gl/images/jy1GLn

The Faroe Islands

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I don’t even feel the need to sell this place to you because look at it!!! WOW, it’s bloody beautiful. Being from the UK I’m a big fan of open green places and rolling hills but the charming rugged feeling of this place is just breathtaking.

 

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Sørvágsvatn lake – image via handluggageonly.co.uk

Located between the tip Scotland and Iceland and made up of 18 islands, this place is an adventurers dream. The country is self-governed but comes under the kingdom of Denmark, whose influence is really visible in the cute multi-coloured buildings.

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If you’re not a fan of the great outdoors then this isn’t the place for you, but if you are then the Faroe Islands are a relative smorgasbord of views to capture and mountains to hike.

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The Faroe Islands is also a great place to try and spot the elusive northern lights. Although not guaranteed, the best time for this tends to be throughout the Autumn and Winter months when the sky is clear and the temperature’s cold. I’ve have never seen the northern lights but have always had this on my bucket list. From the looks of it, the Faroe Islands look like a fantastic place to be able to experience this. Just don’t expect to find a Starbucks down the street! this is a very rural setting so be prepared for walking boots and lashings of rain from the temperamental and fast changing weather. I Imagine though that it is totally worth it to experience the amazing sights this place has to offer.

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Madeira

I’ve already mentioned in one of my previous posts about my desire to take a trip here at some point in the near future and I’m currently spending most of my spare time scouring the internet for a good holiday deal and you’re about to see why!

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Madeira north coast

 

 

 

Only a 4-hour flight from most UK airports, Madeira is close enough for a week’s holiday but far away enough to feel like you’re basking on a far-flung tropical island.  The volcanic rich soil means that it’s home to a vast array of botanical delights as well as a wonderful selection of homegrown fresh fruit and vegetables.

 

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View of Madeira’s capital Funchal from Madeira botanical gardens

Due to its location in the Atlantic, the temperature never gets too hot in summer or too cold in the winter, making it a great place to visit if you want to save money by going out of season. Don’t be fooled by this relaxing island though, there is so much to do! hiking trails, whale watching, scuba diving, paragliding, boat trips and that’s before you’ve even had time to sit down and open a book!

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The great attraction about Madeira is that you can make it as active or relaxing as you like. It’s affordable and with pretty guaranteed sunny weather what’s not to love?! It’s no wonder the Portuguese island has been voted Europes best island destination on more than one occasion.

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Skellig Island – Ireland

 

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Skelling Micheal

If you think you recognise this place then that’s probably because it was featured on the end of the latest Star War’s movie –  the force awakens. Thanks to this, Skellig, located just off the coast of County Kerry, has enjoyed increased visitor numbers. Being a world heritage site, the early monastic outpost isn’t the type of place you stay for a long weekend, but for a day trip it’s fantastic!

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view of the Skelligs, photo credit Marcus Rham via Flikr

The ruins are remarkably well preserved for a location being constantly battered by the Atlantic winds and include a 600 step climb to reach the ruined church and graveyard. Boats only run from May to September and take around 45 minutes. Not great if you’re seasick like me and if you think I’m joking (WARNING! please stop reading now if you’re eating or just don’t like the mention of vomit)…. I once projectile vomited onto the poor lady in front of me whilst on a choppy boat ride! yes the boat was full of people, yes it was highly embarrassing and yes I did have to lie down in the street in dramatic fashion when we left the boat. Luckily when the sky stopped spinning I was fine. So If you don’t want to make a complete tit of yourself like me and you plan going to Skellig Islands them maybe some travel sickness tablets wouldn’t go amiss.

 

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part of the 600 step climb

 

Thankfully after you’ve endured the boat ride there and back there’s the wonderful Country Kerry to Explore. I’ve never been to Ireland but always love the scenery. It’s really affordable to stay, eat and get around and in general, is just a bloody beautiful part of the world.

 

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Cloonee Lough, County Kerry Ireland

 

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Ring of Kerry, County Kerry Ireland

 

Do you agree with my wanderlust list? Any comments are very welcome and much appreciated! Have a great day…. x

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Liebster Award

I have been ever so kindly nominated for the liebster award by two amazing blogs – Hopeless Wonderer and teeann_ngoloyi. Please check out their blogs and follow because they are both great writers. They cover an interesting range of topics and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

So the rules are as following:

1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 blogs.
5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
6. Give them 11 questions to answer

1) What is the first moment you remember from your life?

Well, this probably going to sound a bit nuts! it is actually a repetitive dream I had while I very young. In the dream, it was the middle of the night, everyone was in bed and there was a strange ambient glow giving some light to my surrounding. I was wearing a white cotton nightdress that had some white embroidery on it and there I was, just casually floating down the stairs from my bedroom as if gravity was non-existent. I was never scared, just really peaceful. The dream stopped occurring after about the age of five and to this day I have no idea what the meaning behind it could have been. So if anyone could shed some light on this, I would love to know!

2) What was your last milestone?

It has honestly got to be starting this blog. Doing something like this, putting myself and my thoughts and opinions out there to be judged is bloody terrifying! but so far it has been such a great experience. The support bloggers show each other is incredible and to get so much positive feedback so early on into blogging is an amazing feeling! so thankyou so much to everyone who has liked, commented and followed me. It really does mean alot to me.

3) What is your favourite cuisine?

Italian food! nom nom nom! pasta, pizza, fresh ingredients and lots of cheese and wine. It’s a carb-aholics dream!

4) If you could give a speech to the whole world what would you talk about?

Self-confidence. It is something I’ve struggled with all my life. I’ve always been very shy and the face I put on to the world sometimes feels like an edited version of me, so I would love to talk about embracing who we really are and what we are all about and how we should all be supporting each other to be confident enough to show our true selves to the world, worry free.

5)Do you like fried or baked?

Baked if I’m trying to be healthy, occasionally fried as a rare treat.

6)Brown or white rice?

Same as above… I would usually have brown, but I always have white rice when having a curry!

7)Favourite Disney movie?

You can’t just choose one. My top 3 would be Aladdin because the songs are so fun, The Little Mermaid because I wanted to be Ariel when I was growing up but more for the red hair than the fishtail! and Sleeping beauty as it was one of the first Disney films I ever watched and I remember being mesmerised by Aurora’s colour changing dress at the end of the film as she was dancing with Prince Phillip.

8)Who’s your favourite author?

It has to be Stephen King. Even when measured against today’s standards of horror and gore, King’s book still stands up as being immensely scary and immersive. I particularly enjoyed under the dome, yes it’s a bit of a long read but Stephen manages to completely create and describe a whole town and its residents throughout the length of the book. The detail and the characters in it are fantastic. I know they recently made a TV show of the book which I heard mixed reviews about. My advice would be stick to the book.

9) What kind of magazines do you read?

I haven’t read a magazine in years. Most content from magazines are now available online so I haven’t felt a need to pick one up in quite some time.

10) If you could go anywhere where would you go?

I would love to go somewhere completely tropical like Hawaii. Although not too sure my frizz bomb hair would agree. I would inevitably end up doing a Monica from friends, braids are totally the way forward in this situation FYI. However, as my bank balance is currently telling me (!) I live in the real world and therefore Hawaii and my Monica braids are but a distant dream. So instead I’ve decided I’d quite like a trip to Madeira. Can I just say this is based on nothing other than some pretty pictures I’ve seen and no actual research so please don’t book a trip based on my review. I have a few weeks booked off in September (strategically when it’s less hot and humid!) so the goal is to get me and boyfriend out there for a few weeks of sun and sea.

11) If you had your own mythical animal which one would it be? (Animals from books count)

As I am a mega Game of Thrones fan (who isn’t right? so basic) I’d bloody love a direwolf! ahh, you thought I was going to say a dragon, didn’t you. No, definitely a wolf for me and if I get to be picky about it I’ll have Jon Snow’s Ghost please and if you could throw in Jon Snow too, that’d be great.

11 random facts

1) I am a black belt in Ju-Jit-Su… that’s right, I can kick some ass.
2) I am the clumsiest person you will ever meet.
3) I was once on a game show called 50/50
4) I swear way more than is necessary, I can’t help it! but I read somewhere that people who swear more often are more open and honest… So I’ve got that going for me at least.
5) I absolutely hate rocket. It tastes revolting and it seems to be on everything. I am sick of picking it off my pizza!
6) I’m into anything supernatural or paranormal. I find it incredibly interesting and intriguing.
7) I bloody love gaming, but I am truly terrible at it. I panic and button mash. Sorry to anyone who has every played with me and my battered PlayStation controller.
8) I have way too many clothes. I have been guilty of buying the same thing twice because I either forgot I already had it or lost it amongst my existing amassment of garments. It drives my boyfriend mad.
9) I hate cooking.
10) I work in fashion retail but my ideal career is working with animals.
11) My favourite place I’ve visited is Argentina. The food is amazing, so many places to see and things to do and it’s super cheap to eat, stay and get around.

Blogs I nominate:

Rather than nominating certain blogs in particular, I would like to nominate anyone who has taken the time to read this long and winding insight into my life and mind, that deserves an award in itself! So yeah that’s you! This is a super fun blog post to do, so please have a go and share this onto to other bloggers who think might enjoy doing this too. Have fun and peace out guys x

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30 and Childless

I find myself infuriated and slightly disappointed in myself to be writing this post. I have everything I need in life right now. I’m not struggling to put food on the table or really having to worry about how I will pay my next bill. No, I’m doing ok. Except for one thing. I’m 30 and I’m childless.

I feel embarrassed to be writing about this. Admitting that you desperately want a child and don’t yet have one, when you are surrounded by friends and family who do, almost feels like you’re admitting you are unfulfilled and that just makes me feel plain ‘ol ungrateful. I try not to be of course but when you don’t yet have something that you desperately want and everyone surrounding you does, it does promote a slight twinge of envy within me. I sometimes have to reign myself in from having a full on brat style ‘b b b bbbut i want it!’ tantrum. I’m supposed to be a 30-year-old grown ass woman, not a whinge bag 8-year-old crying because I didn’t get the toy I wanted.

Let me add though, that this isn’t something that I’ve longed for at all, I’ve never been that girl who has known since I was young that I wanted a family. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you that I’ve never really been bothered about kids. I always knew I wanted a family of course but I never gushed over newborn babies as if they were the cutest thing I’d ever seen, puppies and kittens of course but not babies. In fact, it wasn’t until I met my current partner that I actually seriously considered having children with someone. Then as my 30th birthday approached I felt this pang of need…the child pang… the chang as I like to affectionately call it (yes I am a true wordsmith). Let me tell you, this hit me out of nowhere and it might as well have hit me because I crying like I was having the aforementioned brat attack tantrum. My poor boyfriend had no idea where this had come from and what to say.  I hadn’t really talked about it much apart from the casual conversation of definitely wanting children one day when were ready. Problem was, I was ready now as if someone had flicked the baby making switch on in my brain.

I honestly don’t know if it was biology, being surrounded by more and more babies all of a sudden, or that fact that my mum kept telling me that I need to think about when I’m going to have children (the dreaded pressure we will all face one day… the mother pressure) but whatever it was, it had worked and I couldn’t shake the feeling or the need for a cute little squishy faced bambino. Let’s face it, there was only so long I could try to hold my cat like a baby. She hates it by way but I persevere nevertheless like a true crazy cat lady.

One thing I knew though deep down, was that it wasn’t the right time. Maybe in a year but not now… but of course that would be a rational thought though wouldn’t it! and I was thinking with the chang part of my brain. If I fell pregnant in a year then I will be 31 and 32 by the time the baby is born. If I want to have another child then I would more than likely be around 35 before I gave birth. I started to panic thinking that was too old, I’d surely have a problem pregnancy, I would struggle with two young babies at 35 and I would be 65 before they would be my age and wanting to move out and live their own lives.

After I’d finished having palpations and telling myself to calm the F down, I realised that was stupid! my own mum and dad were older than what I am now when I came along and they managed just fine (don’t know how! I was an incredibly dramatic child and a bloody nightmare!). My brother is currently unexpectedly, expecting his first child with his partner who is 36 and doing just fine. It just shows that you don’t have to have children within a certain timeframe or abide by everyone else’s expecations in order to be happy.

One of my friend’s recently told me whilst I was expressing these worries to her, to not take for granted the baby free time you have together because you will never get that back. She speaks from many sleepless nights experience by the way! I still think about that advice every time I start to feel like a brat attack or a chang is coming on. You will never get back that quality alone time that you get to spend with you partner and best friend or whoever it is you hold dear. Everything will happen when it’s meant to and if it’s not meant to right now then enjoy what and who you do have in life right now… in particular everyone favourtie friend, sweet glorious sleep!

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Come in, come in. We have PIE! | Fourth Friday Fangirling

Kate from All the Trinkets has kindly included me in her fourth Friday fan girl feature! Please give it a read as it includes lots of other interesting blogs she’s discovered this month. Also, don’t forget to check out her amazing blog too, for some fun reads by a super talented gal 💖

All The Trinkets

I gotta admit, much as I was excited for this feature, I didn’t get to explore as much new blogs as I wanted. But I still got to find really awesome posts and bloggers to share and feature for this month.

Because can you really believe that not much had happened in the blogosphere??? I refuse to.

Gathering all the posts I’ve bookmarked and blogs I took note all throughout this month, I realized that I unintentionally had a sort of theme going on.

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Perspective, inspiration and energy. Which, let’s face it, are pretty abundant here, don’t you agree?

Ever since I started college, I’ve always wanted to see things in different perspectives. I guess it started out after I watched a video of Hank Green where he said something about people’s differing worldviews and this book I read. Gosh, those were so long ago, I forgot what they…

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7 Instagram Accounts to Empower Women

As I’ve already previously covered, I have a love-hate relationship with most channels of social media, in particular, Instagram. However, if you dig deep enough past the reality tv stars and the celebrity endorsed crap they’d never actually use themselves, there are a wealth of accounts out there which seek to promote and empower women. These are 7 accounts which I love for making me feel inspired and more kick-ass as a woman. Check them out, they may do the same you too.

Feminist Probs

Genuinely funny account, helping to draw attention to the misogynistic problems many women still face in today’s world. Got to admit I still do the whole keys through the fingers trick as mentioned above. As light-hearted as the post is, it massively draws attention to the fact that women still don’t feel safe walking alone.

Rachel Brathen yoga_girl 

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Everything I've ever been through has brought me to this moment. How could I possibly have any regrets? There are no mistakes. It's all been purposeful. The pain and the joy. The love and the fear. The sorrow and the magic. Some of it, like death and loss, I still have a hard time grasping. But I have arrived at a place where I'm able to find a sliver of gratitude even for those most gruesome experiences now too. Because somehow, through it all, it brought me to this: Holding angel baby in my arms. Just look at the her. Look at her. And look at the sun. Her halo. Her entire being; every piece of her existence, from the top of her head down to the tips of her tiny little toes, is divine. How could I ever doubt that that life brought me here for a reason?

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I absolutely love this woman! follow her for a completely honest and refreshing review of life, love, and motherhood. She is completely straightforward and open with her followers and manages to create a fantastic, positive and caring community. If you think this account is just all yoga then think again. She has also just started a weekly podcast which is definitely worth a listen.

The Daily Feminist News

This was an account I stumbled upon whilst researching this post and I’m so glad that I did. Most of the facts featured on this account were new to me. I left feeling much more informed about women equalities and the issues we still face on a day to day basis. Although It’s great to think about how far we’ve come, it’s also motivating to know that we still have more to fight for and that we all need to rally as one. This account left me thinking, let’s not take our foot off the gas!

Emily Bardour  darth_bardour

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also i know i've already posted a photo almost exactly the same this morning but just a quick reminder that social media isn't real!!! the shit we post on social media is a facade. i do it, you do it, none of its real!!! it's not a bad thing to project a specific image of yourself on your social media at all, but you've just gotta remember everyone else is doing it. so stop comparing yourself to others ✨ i constantly catch myself sucking in my stomach and changing the angle of my body so that i look thinner (aka the first photo). it's almost too easy to do. so, i gotta remind myself that thinner doesn't mean better. my appearance doesn't define my worth. and my body doesn't need be changed to be deemed acceptable 💁🏻 let's choose to normalise and embrace our 'imperfections' and not hide them please 💎

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Get ready for some extreme fem love right here… ok so the reason I choose the photo above to represent Emily’s account, is because this photo right here is the reason I started following her in the first place. Barbour’s account as a model who has previously had to struggle to maintain the mainstream ‘desired’ model body is hard hitting in that every girl will be able to relate. All girls have a part of their body they hate. For me, it’s my belly, which is probably which I love this account so much for showing the squishy belly some love. Emily wants girls to embrace who they are, whatever shape and will gladly be honest about her own struggles with the hope this will have a positive effect on other women out there. Let me testify that it does! I am really grateful to see one of Emily’s posts on a day when I’m feeling down about myself. She reminds me that we are all beautiful and that we need to stop giving ourselves such a hard time. This account is one all women should follow for a bit of fem-spiration.

She Knows Now

This account provides inspirational quote’s and photo to help motivate women to reach their potential. It’s a great little pick me up when scrolling through Instagram to remind you that YOU GOT THIS! which you seriously do by the way! the real gold though is on their website which you can, of course, click through to via their Instagram. It’s filled with interviews of successful and inspirational women sharing what they know now from their own experiences and choices, and how it got them to where they are now. This is a great one for all those ambitious kick-ass goddesses out there and if you like a podcast, they have one of those too!

Adwoa Aboah

Model, mental health champion and founder of GURLS TALK, Adwoa is fighting for all women and girls to be able to openly express who they are and for women to support and encourage each other. The aim here is for all women to live in a world where they can be true to themselves and that’s something we can all get behind.

Megan Ellaby

I couldn’t conclude this post without including my absolute favourite fashion blogger, Megan Ellaby. As a fellow Mancunian, I of course, have much love for her. Not only do I completely fangirl over her style (she’s my go-to inspiration when I’m in a style rut) she’s a really normal down to earth gal. she has a fantastic youtube channel where she does style videos as well as the occasional vlog of what she’s been up to. She’s really honest about when she’s struggling with what to wear and when she’s just not feelin’ it. All in all, she produces really fun content and comes across as the type of girl every girl would want to have as a friend.

So there you have it! please share with me any accounts that inspire you or just generally make you feel more like the kick-ass lass you already are!

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A little Bit of Sunset Love

 

“Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing” – Dr Seuss

Who doesn’t love a good sunset picture to help get through hump day? If there’s one thing I love in life, it’s how something as simple as a good sunset can make you feel not only reflective but re-energised and at peace, somehow all at the same time. So it thought I’d share some of my favourite photos of sunsets that I’ve taken. Disclaimer… these aren’t professionals by any means! they were all shot on an iPhone 7. Hope these help to brighten your Wednesday.

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Do any of you guys have some great sunset or nature photos? please share them with me to brighten my day!

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How to Beat Acne

My own acne journey started when I was in my early 20’s. Most of my teenage years were spot free, apart from the occasional bad boy which would always pop up at the worst possible time (all girls will know this to be the universal truth!), date, event, interview, if it was important, you can guarantee you’d have a little red friend to accompany you. Kind of like an angry mascot, but instead of cheering for you, it was shouting ‘hey don’t listen to what she’s saying, look at me! I’m bright red and ready to pop!’ eurgh!

Turns out them types of spots would pale into comparison against ones I would later develop. I can’t pinpoint exactly what triggered off my acne but the type I was suffering from in particular was hormonal cystic acne. You know them really painful under the skin ones that take weeks to go? yeah, them horrible bastards. These tended to be centred around my chin and mouth. I slowly learned through trial and error what did and didn’t work for me. Hopefully, by sharing this it could help someone else who is desperately trying to beat their acne, just like I was.

Products

Toner – The first major change I made was to change my toner. I now use one specifically for acne prone skin, called Skinetica. I actually buy mine in bulk from Amazon as it works out a lot cheaper. I tend to pay around £6 a bottle, which seems expensive but for me was a lot cheaper than the previous Lancome toner I was using. It contains very few ingredients so I felt like I wasn’t saturating my skin in lots of chemicals. It can be a little drying if you are using it twice a day like me, but nothing major and it leaves your skin feeling really clean. I found that it didn’t stop the breakouts all together but definitely reduced the severity and length of them. The reviews and testimonials really speak for themselves. I thoroughly recommend researching the internet to see what other toners are available exclusively online. You can find some fantastic one’s specifically aimed at acne which you just don’t get a great selection of in high street retailers.

Treatment – I started to use La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+)  morning and evening, which I personally feel has made a massive difference to my skin. Reviews tend to be a bit of a mixed bag with people either loving or hating it. I found it to be drying, so I’m careful to not use too much and not in areas where I’m prone to dryness anyway. I don’t know why it seems to work great with some skin types and not others, but if you look at the ingredients list, it contains a number of comedogenic ingredients, which for any acne sufferer is a big no-no. Despite this, by some miracle (!) it doesn’t break me out and seems to stop new breakouts from occurring. This has been the case for many other reviews I’ve read, so maybe it’s worth a try and it could become your holy grail product as well.

Don’t use too much – Your skin can only absorb a certain amount of product, piling on too much of one thing or a concoction of many things will only clog up your pores and stop your skin from breathing. Likewise using too much of one product will have the same effect. When I first started using skinetica, I would use so much of it that it started to dry out my skin, including my spots which would then become sore, red and dry, meaning they were even harder to cover. Too much of a good thing can be harmful. All products should be used in moderation and as instructed.

Lifestyle

Sleep Pattern –  I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but this is one thing that really helped me. I used to work a job which required varying shift patterns. This meant some nights I could be getting 4 hours sleep and other nights solid 8-9 hours. My body didn’t know what the heck was going on… in fact, I’m pretty sure it hated me for it. Two years ago I was able to change my job location, which required a shift pattern of 9-6 consistently. This meant I could go to sleep and get up at pretty much the same time every day. I began to consistently get the same amount of sleep each night and eat meals at the same time. Not only did my skin begin to clear up, I even lost weight because I could make healthier food choices rather than picking whatever would give me the biggest sugar boost to get through the day. This has also had an impact on my migraines…yes long time migraine suffer over here (hi!).

Birth Control – During my teenage years when my skin was a lot clearer, I was on the combined pill. I never had any problems whilst on this pill, and I never felt it impacted my skin. However, due to my migraines, I was advised to stop taking it and switched to the progesterone only pill, also reffered to as the mini pill or POP.  I’m sure there are many girls out there who have had no issues with this pill. For me, it was a nightmare!!! I was on various brands of this pill for 7 years, it affected my skin, my moods, my hormones and my periods. My advice would be if you feel that your birth control is affecting your skin, don’t put up with it like I did. There are so many options out there. Speak to your doctor and find out which one works for you.

Diet –  An oldie but a goodie when it comes to acne, or just spots in general. I used to love to sit there and stuff my face with sugar laden sweets and chocolate, it’s what gave me the energy to get through my busy day. When I’d come home I’d order a pizza, or get a burger. I knew it wasn’t great for my skin but I was too tired from work, stressed about my skin, and hormonal from my pill to care. Now that I’ve managed to sort all of those things, I’m able to make correct food choices. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat all of those things, but in moderation. I’ll only go and get some fast food once a week, rather than 3 times a week. I eat chocolate every day, but just a few rather than gorging on a full box of milk tray because they were on offer at Tescos (true story!). I’m not trying to be the fun police here, but this honestly has worked for me. Occasionally I’ll have a week where I don’t make the right choices and consistently eat crap. Within a week, without fail, an army of little spots will appear. I then remember how much rubbish I’ve been eating and proceed to run like a looney to the nearest supermarket to stock up on salad and blueberries (!)

So that’s my tips, hope they’re helpful… are there any tips you guys have for what’s helped you beat acne? or any acne makeup tips? I haven’t touched upon this area at all. would you be interested in me doing a separate post on acne makeup and non-comedogenic products? drop me a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!

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Politics, Blogs and Influencing Opinions

union j 1First of all, let me start this by making it perfectly clear that I believe everyone is entitled to their own political opinion and this post has not been written with the intention to try to sway someone one way or another, but quite the opposite in fact. So please bear with me while I dust off my soapbox…

In two days time, Britain will go to polls for what feels like the 12th time in last year (maybe a slight exaggeration!) to vote for whichever political party we most believe represents our values and ideals. Fantastic, democracy at work I hear you say! which I completely agree with, however, this election like no other before, I have noticed a dramatic climb in social media and social ‘influencers’ looking to shout about and impart their political views to their followers. The majority of whom will be young men and women still searching for whom to trust with their future. Therefore isn’t it important that these social media influencers with thousands of follows, actually appear to be unbiased, to allow their followers to make their own minds up? would it not be deemed irresponsible to purely promote support for one parties policy on the NHS, for example, without providing the opposing parties policies on the same subject?

Like I’ve said I truly believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but if you take on the title of a ‘social media influencer’ then you need to bear in mind that you are in fact influencing people’s opinions.

Personally, when it comes to this election, I am very torn. I don’t really feel like there any political parties, or leaders, who represent me as a 30-year-old wanting to live comfortably in a world I’d be happy to bring children into. Which means that, yep! you guessed it… I’m that undecided voter, potentially influenced by the social media blogs and Instagram accounts I follow.

Despite this, I haven’t actually found any of these political opinions being thrown at me every time I click on an Instagram’s story, helpful. Quite the opposite, I find it off-putting. The reason being, that none of these opinions are providing me with any helpful information. No facts or figures are being given, no discussions about election manifestos. Instead, just a quick ‘vote this party because they’ll protect the NHS’ or ‘vote that party because they’re better for brexit’, but no reasons why are provided. The same can be said of facebooks targetted advertising, which Sky News have recently done an interesting investigation and report into, well worth a read.

My honest belief is that these ever popular Instagram and Facebook accounts should use their wide-ranging voice and influence, to direct people to articles and outlets which are providing actual useful information, facts and figures about how these political parties stack up against each other. Their followers could then come to their own conclusions and vote for a party who they feel would work best for them; based on their own personal circumstances.  How much better would it be if social media was resulting in more well-informed individuals? a force for good, rather than a force for the uninformed! and with that, I can retire my soapbox for another five years… hopefully!

The Importance of Writing a Diary

Although I am new to blogging if there’s one thing I am an expert at, it’s keeping a diary. I regularly kept a diary from the ages of about 10 up until 28. Sometimes I could go months without writing an entry, and when I finally did I would sit there for hours catching up on everything I had missed writing about. By the end, I would barely be able to feel my hand; I would kick myself for leaving it so long!

I always persevered with it regardless because for me writing a diary wasn’t a cathartic experience, no, I can’t write when I’m angry. Everything comes out like a jumbled mess, I use ALOT of swear words and I generally end up producing something which would need its own Rosetta stone to translate.

Instead, I have always used a diary to catalogue my life. Where I was at, what I was doing, who I was with. Now back in the day, my diary was basically a low budget remake of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. If you haven’t already seen this then you have to watch it, it will bring back cringe-worthy teenage flashback like nothing else. Be prepared to hide behind your hands’ people! As gut wrenching as that sounds, I now love looking back on that time as laughing about the insignificant things that I believe would be the end of the world. It really puts things into perspective and helps me to view my childhood in a much positive outlook that what I did at the time. Not to mention the trials and tribulations that were my love life *insert eye roll* boy was I dramatic!

I now use my diaries as a form of escapism from the real world – bills, work, responsibilities. I look back and laugh at how my biggest problems were falling out with my friend because we both liked the same boy or drunkenly leapfrogging over a bollard and smashing my face off the pavement. Yes, that’s right! I am a clumsy drunk.

Although it may be time-consuming, it is so worth it to remember the good times and the bad times. To remember what you learnt and how you learnt it. Although highly embarrassing, I fully intend to pass these diaries onto my children one day, so that they know that I fully understand everything they will be going through and that they can most definitely not pulled the wool over my eyes… I just might save the drunken exploits till their older!

This is Manchester…

For the people who are from Manchester, there’s never been any doubt that we’re a great city. We have a strange pride in how
northern we are. Some may say it’s misplaced, however we would say, “eyar mate, that’s a load of shite”

I was born and bred in Manchester. It’s constant rain which soaked you to the bone and the chimney stacks of long forgotten cotton mills, were etched into your psyche. It felt like a tough place to grow up, but it always felt like home.

Since the terrorist arrack on Monday 22nd of May, at the M.E.N arena, where 22 people tragically lost their lives, Manchester has had the spotlight shone on it like never before. One of the main quotes being rattle around since Monday has been this one.

Manchester Pride
Manchester Pride

My belief is that this idea of doing things differently doesn’t come from what or how we do things. It comes from who we are. We know who we are. We are Mancunians! We do things differently here, because we are different here. We’re tough, we’re innovative, we like to inspire and be inspired, we share and care. We are a community like no other. The spirit of Manchester is within each and everyone one of us who were raised to say I’m a Mancunian and proud!

Right now I have never been so proud to be a Mancunian. The love and respect our community has shown for each other is beyond belief. What happened on Monday was so unbelievably heartbreaking; but what has grown out it is love, not hate. That is why we do things differently here.