Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Back to Uni with Home Bargains*

I absolutely love the back to school feeling, and I am so sad that this will be my last! I love the rush, the new timetable, the new uniform (or clothes!) and of course new stationary. 

I'm not going to lie, but when Home Bargains got in touch asking if they could send me some of their new back to school stationary range, I was pretty excited. I'm the classic blogger/student who  loves stationery and always have far too much! They have loads of basics, perfect for the money saving university student, from highlighters, post it notes, rubbers, pens, and glue - always useful things to have in your student flat. I can tell these all will come in super handy not only for myself, but for my flatmates too! 

Please tell me that I am not the only one who loves buying or getting notebooks, even though you don't always have a purpose for them?! The ones that they sent me have such a girly design. I especially love the pale pink one as I love notebooks with curved edges and it is so cute. I will probably use this for all my notes whilst I am in Edinburgh next month as I will finally have a use for it! They also sent me a 3 subject notebook and a folder which I always need as I go through paper like there is no tomorrow. I also will definitely use the diary to put in all of my deadlines, meetings and extra lectures. I can't wait to jazz it up with some colours and washi tape.

Home Bargains have some great things that won't break the bank, perfect for back to school. Everything was between 49p and £1.99 which is so good. I wouldn't have even thought to go their for the stationery, but the quality was a lot better than I was expecting. Whilst perhaps not up to Paperchase or Oxford Notebook standard, it is a much cheaper alternative, perfect for my stationary fix for this new school year. 

*This post was written in collaboration with Home Bargains who sent me some of their back to school range to try. 

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Sunday, 26 July 2015

The blogger made me buy it | Tangle Teezer

I have been reading blogs for quite a while, especially beauty blogs before starting my own last summer. Whilst I wasn't, and I'm still not, a huge beauty/make-up buff, I really enjoyed reading them. I had read about Tangle Teezers for ages, and was always put off buying one because of the price. However, I recently received an Amazon voucher, so I finally purchased one.

I've been using the Tangle Teezer for a few days now. I have thick mid length hair, so I was hoping that it would help de-tangle after washing. However, I have a few problems with it. I am not sure if you can buy different bristle lengths, but the bristles on the original are far too short for my thick hair. I have to brush my hair in sections, where with a normal hairbrush, I can quickly get through it all. 

I also wasn't expecting how light it would be. The plastic makes it feel cheaper than it is, which was a little disappointing. The shape is both a hindrance and a blessing. One thing that I actually love is that it is small and light enough to chuck in my handbag, but whilst I have been brushing, it has flown out of my hand. 

Another thing that I actually quite like about it is that is causes a lot less damage. I am already noticing that I am losing less hair when I brush with the Tangle Teezer, especially with wet hair. Once I do make it through all of my hair, it does smooth out the flyaway hairs and does give it a smoother look. 

Do you swear by the Tangle Teezer? 

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Moving back home

I never really had a strong group of friends growing up. I was stuck in the middle of two groups, not really in either of them. At the time, I didn't really mind. I was determined to get my grades so I could move away from university and start all over again. It's not until you move back home when you start thinking about if you should have done things differently.

I recently tweeted that all I seem to be doing is watching Netflix, reading and crocheting at the moment. Some replied, saying that that sounds perfect. From the outside it does, but from where I am sitting, having a limited amount of people to meet up with at home makes it is different than it seems. Of course I am enjoying catching up with Pretty Little liars, but when I see my friends from university out with their home friends enjoying the sun, I can't help but be jealous. I wish I had those people who I could go to back to at home.

I do have friends at home, a few good friends who I see maybe once a week if I am lucky. They too have boyfriends or friends from school who I never really fitted in with. I don't get invited to their outings, and whilst I don't know if I would actually go, I sometimes get FOMO and wish that I was.

Moving back home comes with other struggles. Losing my independence, just generally living with my family can sometimes drive me a little crazy and I guess I'm just feeling a little trapped, where at university I feel so free with my amazing new friends.

I always enjoy being in my own company (classic introvert!), being alone, but not lonely. But for the moment, I am alone, and feeling just a little bit lonely. 

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Someone told me yesterday that they had never seen me so confident, and I couldn't help but smile at the comment. I also did something that I never ever do, and that was to make a phone call, Without thinking, I picked up the phone. It wasn't until afterwards that I realised what I had done. I no longer felt my pulse increase and my face flush red as I dialled the number. What was happening?

Whilst shopping a few weeks ago, I saw someone who I used to work with. I didn't especially got on with them very well, but instead of pretending that I hadn't seen her, I walked straight over and said hi. It was a very brief and somewhat awkward encounter, but I wanted to show her how much I had changed in the past few years. I walked away feeling pretty happy with myself.

Looking back at even a few years ago at my 17 year old self, I can't believe how different I am. I would feel uncomfortable talking to people or doing anything by myself in fear that people were making fun of me. Yes, I still feel uncomfortable meeting new people and socialising in large groups with people who I don't know very well, but things have changed, definitely for the better.

It definitely didn't happen overnight. I used to wish that I would. I thought going to university would make me into this super confident person, who would talk to anyone and everyone and suddenly love socialising and clubbing. This pressure on myself for living up to the expectation that I had crafted hindered me, and made me feel like I was a failure, adding to my anxiety and made me feel defeated. But, you don't realise how far you have come until someone else realises. It was my mum who first told me after my first year of uni that I now stood taller, spoke with more confidence and looked a lot happier. Then I started to believe it.

 Recognising your flaws and accepting them was definitely my first step towards confidence. I started to realise that I didn't love clubbing, and that I preferred being in my own company and that this wasn't weird. Once I wasn't living the lie and accepted that the life that I wanted wasn't achievable, I felt more assured and happier with the person who I have become. Talking to people also really helped. For example, talking to shop assistants or bar staff instead of ignoring their questions or giving one word answers is so helpful. I would have a problem talking to strangers or looking people in the eye, but now, I make the effort to ask people about their day and to smile to people on the street. It's the little things that help.

I constructed this idea of the life that I wanted when I started university, now two years in, I'm so glad that didn't happen. Who knows what my life would be like. But for now, I'm just happy. I think I have finally become the person that I want to be. We get so caught up abut changing ourselves and trying to be like other people. But just be yourself, and your confidence will shine through.

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Monday, 13 July 2015

Soap & Glory First Impressions

I very rarely buy body skincare, it's always something I forget. However, I recently started using Soap and Glory's 'The Righteous Butter' as I received a sample size in a giveaway, and I knew I would want to repurchase again. As Boots currently have an offer in which if you spend £10 on Soap and Glory, you get a full size 'The Righteous Butter' free, I thought I might as well try some of their other products. I thought I might do a first impressions post. I used all the products last night, so here are some of my first thoughts on them.

"The Righteous Butter" 

After looking for some moisturiser , I remembered that I had this. It smells absolutely divine, I don't know why I hadn't tried it before! I usually hate moisturising because it made my legs feel really greasy, and the softness wouldn't last for very long. However, this is so different. I used this after shaving, it didn't irritate my skin at all and didn't have a greasy/slippery feel. I have quite a lot of this to get through now, but this is definitely my summer essential!

"Sugar Crush Body Scrub" 

This is something that I bought to bring up my total to £10. I have never used a body scrub before, as I said, body skincare is not something that I usually care about, but I was pretty excited to use it. The first thing I noticed was the smell. The lime is overwhelming, and I wasn't sure that I liked the strong smell at first. However, once applied, the smell doesn't stick around, which I was quite happy about. The whole sensation is very odd. As implied, it feels like you're rubbing sugar or sand on your body, which is a very weird sensation. I used it before shaving, and it does feel like it was a closer shave. Where I am using it is also on my arms. I have Keratosis pilaris on my arms - it is completely harmless and means that I have small red bumps on my skin. I read that using a scrub helps, so this is where I am excited to see the most usage. I also believe that a little goes a long way, so hopefully this will last me through the summer!

"Heel Genius - Amazing Foot Cream" 

Yes, I'm writing about a foot cream. I hate my feet, especially in summer, so thought this would be the perfect product to try. The directions say to wear socks after application overnight, but, if you know how hot it has been in the UK, this isn't really feasible. So I have been doing it in the evening and wearing socks until bed, so this may hinder the results a little. I am already seeing some changes, making my feet someone bearable. I wasn't expecting the cream to be blue, but it has a toothpaste like tendency. It says to use this every night, but my first impression is good!

Have you tried any of these products? 

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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Learning to Crochet

Having finished exams over a month ago, and now having moved back home for the summer, I am finding myself a little bored. In my 'Student Summer, what to do?!" post last week, I mentioned that I have started crocheting to fill in my time *I know people will be asking why I don't have a job, unfortunately no one will hire me when I can only work for a month!*.

So far, I am absolutely addicted to crocheting. I know that knitting is seen as an old granny hobby, but it seriously isn't. Scrolling through Pinterest caught my imagination of all the adorable crochet (or amigurumi) animals that I could make. So I took the plunge. Ordering these crochet hooks off Amazon for £3.19 - an absolute bargain - and some wool from my local pound shop, I was ready to go. 

Youtube was my first port of call. I dived straight in with learning how to do a 'granny square' and found the youtube channel Bella Coco. Sarah-Jayne's videos are so simple to follow. It does take a bit of practice, especially with holding the needle and wool, and some googling, but I eventually got the hang of it and made my first squares. 

With my new skills, I turned straight to try and make 3D stuffed creations. I have given most of my first ones to friends, but I finished a Baymax today from Big Hero Six using this pattern and I am really happy with it. Because I don't have any fibre stuffing, I use scrap pieces of wool, or I cut up things that I tried to make, but went wrong!

I can't wait to find some more patterns and colours and carry on crocheting. I am completely addicted. I would love to make my own patterns and sell some of my crafts, but for now, I am happy with making my friends handmade creations. 

If anyone wants me continue with this little series, showing what I have made and maybe some tutorials, let me know! 


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Oily Skin Products Pt 2

I am always on the look out for products that will help my oily skin, and I think I know where I have been going wrong. I look for mainly skincare for spot prone skin, which has helped reduce my spots, but I think skincare for oily skin is helping my skin even more. Have a look at my last oily skin post if you are interested in some of my other oily skincare saviours!

I have added two new products to my skincare regime and they are working so well. Of course, the first is the beauty blogger cult classic the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. I had read a lot about this before purchasing, and I finally made the leap when I got my student loan in at the beginning of summer term. At £14, it is steep for skincare and something I never imagined buying, especially on a student budget, but I thought why not.

The first time I used it, I hated it. It made my skin feel so smooth, but made it red and irritated. I believed that it was making my skin even worse (spottier), so I stopped using it. However, for some reason, I tried it again, and now, it is working like a dream. I don't know whether it has cleared up my skin, but my skin feels so much less oily and is a great base for the rest of my skincare. I only use one pump as I don't use it to remove my makeup, and use it with my normal facial flannel. Whilst my skin still doesn't look incredible, I do really like using this. I will probably repurchase if I have enough money, but I may try a lower end one and see if that does the trick!

Second is the Simple Oil Balancing moisturiser. I am absolutely loving this! Considerably cheaper than the one I was using previously (Body Shop Tea Tree Skin clearing Lotion), this makes my skin feel so matte and definitely keeps the oil at bay. I am very impressed and I will definitely repurchase this when it runs out.

Do you have any more oily skin recommendations?   

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Student Summer - What to do?!

If you are a university student, you're probably on your summer holidays right now. Whilst 3 months of summer sounds like absolute bliss, weeks worth of Netflix can get boring after a while. Why not use this summer to build your CV and learn some new skills. Who know's.. it could be fun?

1. Relax 
Definitely relax. Take some time to catch up with family and friends. Be selfish, have lazy days. You've earned it!

2. Learn a new hobby
Learn a new instrument or pick up something that you used to love. Having hobbies is something that no one really talks about any more and it is a real shame. I have started to get a bit crafty and start crocheting - I will do a separate blog post about this soon! Dig out those old instruments, grab some paints and get crafty! You don't know what you could discover!

3. Volunteer
Finding a summer job is hard, so why not volunteer? Learn some retail skills, work with a charity or youth club. It is great to build your CV and learn some new skills that may help you in the future. Working with people of all ages is also a plus, it shows that you can adapt into new situations. They can be a future reference or just some new friends.

4. Read
Doing a university degree that require a lot of reading has meant that I haven't picked up a fiction book for a very long time. I am hoping to change that this summer by grabbing some new books and getting reading. Going on amazon or to the supermarket means that they can be picked up for cheaper than in places like Waterstones or WH Smith. I am currently looking for book recommendations, so let me know if you have any recommendations!

5.  Clear out 
Spend a few days having a complete sort out of your room. Give away some old clothes to charity and uncover some hidden gems. We all know that finding old toys and things is so much more fun than the actual cleaning itself!

What are you up to this summer? 

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