Looking Back At My 2016

(photo credit: OhShinyPaperCo)

It's no secret that everyone has pretty much hated 2016. With all the celebrity deaths, Brexit, Trump, new toblerones... But, I'm all about seeing the positives. After all, 2016 hasn't been that bad. In fact, it's probably ended up as one of my of best years so far.  Just to show ya, I thought I'd make a bullet point list of all the good things that's happened to me in 2016!

Went back to University
In November 2015, I decided to defer my final year at Uni. I wasn't very well mentally or physically, so I felt that having a year out was probs the best thing to do. Honestly, it's the best thing I ever did. I finally got myself mentally better, after 10 years of struggling. Now, I'm back in my final year, loving it, and actually managed to pass the first two modules with good marks, wahoo! Oh, aaand I managed to get my ethics aproved for my dissertation so I can start my own research! Watch out for Eschle the researcher!


(Very) Last Minute Gift Guide For Men

Parker Pens

I know, I know. It's extremely late. BUT, I know there's still a few of you out there that still haven't finished your Christmas Shopping yet.  If you're struggling to get that special man in your life a gift, or even your Dad or Grandad, this posts for you!  OR, if you're sitting here like 'well what about women?!' then check out my Women's gift guide which is all about gifts for the ladies for under £20, so you don't need to break the bank!

1. Parker Pens

As pictured above, Parker Pens are the most timeless piece to give as a gift this Christmas. Not only do these pens look luxurious, they write really well. The London Jotter* range are also extremely affordable, which I found impressive considering I usually associate Parker Pens with high expense! In my opinion, it would make the perfect gift for your Dad, or a man in your life who loves to write in style!



What Dress Styles Will be Trending in 2017?!

Clothes Show 2016

These days, we are all in awe over Insta pics of our faves. We also all watch the red-carpet celebs walk, read the fashion mags, and scan the web for the hottest styles. I feel like we're all expected to be wearing what's 'in' and 'fashionable' these days, no matter what your bank balance is. I find this especially in the blogging world, we're surrounded by bloggers wearing the latest Gucci bag and Kurt Geiger heels, but frankly some of us just can't afford it! Though, do not fret, as I am here to show you how to wear 2017's most fashionable trends, but without the hefty price tag.

1. Cold Shoulders

For anyone who knows me, this is my all time fave style. I find it so flattering. If you don't like your arms (or you do), it works for everybody.  So I was so happy when it was announced that the latest cold shoulder trend will be off-the-shoulder prom gowns. Who remembers Princess Diana's gorgeous, dark green velvet off the shoulder gown? Well, this style is coming back in! Anywho, the look is back and you should get on it.



Women's Christmas Gift Guide - Under £20

As it's the 1st of December (eeeek, my favourite month),  I thought I'd start doing some Christmas Gift Guides. I've started off with an affordable one as I'm on a tight budget this Christmas! So if you're in the same situation as me, and are struggling to buy that perfect gift for your Mum/ Girlfriend/ Sister/ Grandma etc, then this would be perfect for you! 

I'd love to read some of your gift guides, pop them in the comments!



My November Favourites

I genuinely can't believe I'm writing this post - where has this month & year gone? Allthough, December is my favourite month so I guess I can't complain too much! There has been a lot of faves this month, but  I thought I'd just mention the few faves to stop this post from going on and on and on... So, without further ado, here are my 6 November faves.

1. Reach-Your-Back Tanning Mitt

Yes, you heard it right, a tanning matt that reaches your back! For yeaaars I've struggled with tanning my back. Pulling arm and neck muscles trying to reach my back myself, or running around my Uni flat begging someone to tan my back for me, it hasn't been the easiest of tasks lolz. So, when I was contacted to review this amazing Revolutionary Tanning Mitt* from Bronzie I just couldn't resist! It's so easy to use & has literally made my tanning dreams come true!

2. Leopard Print Make-Up Bag

Firstly, can I just say, this bag has COMPARTMENTS! We all know how much I love compartments in my bags, and this has a front pouch ahhhh! It's perfect for me to put my tablets in when I'm on my travels, just in time for the Christmas Season! The material is a 'wipe-able' material (idk if that's the right term but let's just go with it eh?). The bag, which is from Airee Fairee*, is only £3.50 which is an absolute bargain!

3. Loreal Clay Detox Mask

I heard so many amazing reviews of this mask in the Blogger world, so I just had to go and try it for myself. I wasn't disappointed, the mask made my skin feel the clearest it's ever been, and even got rid of my boyfriends' blackheads instantly! We've tried so many face masks and peels, and this is truly the only one that clears our pores out properly. I'm definitely going to re-purchase this when it runs out!

4. Gold Compact Duo

Now I know I only got this through the post about a week ago, but I'm fully obsessed. 2 of my must have face products (lipstick and powder) in one little case, what more could a girl ask for?! Much to my surprise, this Paparazzi Ready Compact Duo* is by the amazing Joan Collins! The best bit is you can switch up your lipstick as it fits pretty much all of mine - perfect for when you change your lipstick daily like myself!

5. Charcoal Tooth Polish

In this day & age, we all want to know how to get the whitest teeth don't we? I dunno about you, but I've tried gum moulds, toothpaste and mouthwash & nothing seems to budge those yellow stains. That was until I tried this Charcoal Tooth Polish*, boy are my teeth white. Ok I've got to be honest, they're not as white as I was expecting and I'm not a huuuuuge fan of the taste, but it's a hella' lot better than the other things I've tried in the past, and it's very quick & easy to use!

6. Vitamin E Oil

If you know me well, you know I love my oils. Since I was told that oils actually compliment and reduce oily skin, I've been lapping them up. The best bit about this Vitamin E Oil* is that it's 100% natural, AND you can put it anywhere. I put it on my face, hair and nails. The best results I've had is definitely my hair, my hair was so straw-like before, and now it's actually managable! My scabs on my face seem to be fading away too, though idk if that's the oil or just natural healing time, either or I'm impressed!

Have you tried any of these products? What's your November faves?

*Post contains PR Samples.


Struggling To Get Those Outfit Shots? Try Bidvine!

Find local service professionals

Unless you know a blogger who lives locally that's willing to take your outfit photos for you, they can be a bugger to take. I'm pretty sure all bloggers can relate to this topic. We've all tried to get ways around it though, haven't we? Whether it's a mirror selfie, an outfit selfie or spending hours getting your Mom or partner to take them, the struggle is real. No offense to them, but they just don't 'get it' like fellow blogger friends do, do they? They don't understand the poses, what looks good, the lighting, the background etc. But fortunately for me, Bidvine got in touch to help get rid of that outfit photo stress!  

What is Bidvine?

Bidvine is a site which allows you to hire pretty much everything you could ever want. From a plumber,  a reiki healer, a pet sitter or a software developer, they've got it sorted. My Mum is not too fond of our new little cute Gerbils, so perhaps a pet sitter would be great in the future... Anyway, I decided to use it for photography purposes this time!

How does Bidvine work?

It's actually pretty darn easy. To get some quotes (which can be texted to you, how awesome is that?!) all you have to do is answer a couple of questions to get the best match for you. You don't have to respond to any of the quotes, until you find one that's the perfect match for you. The whole process takes about 5 mins which is amaaazing. You can actually chat to the people who sent you the quotes, and they can send over previous work and their history of customer reviews - so you know that you're picking a good one. 

Personally, I'd 100% recommend Bidvine. It's quick, easy and affordable. It covers the whole of England, so is great to find someone local and build a relationship with them.

Have you used Bidvine? Let me know your thoughts!

*Post is sponsored by Bidvine. All thoughts are my own



13 Things I Want To Start Doing To Make Me Happier

Watkins Books

This post is a bit of a random post, but before sponsored posts and reviews became a big thing in the blogging world, I used to use my blog as a personal online diary & I want to get back to that.  Now my physical health is starting to get a hell of a lot better; I want to focus now on my mental health, in a bid to get myself to the person I want to be! I feel I have all this physical energy, but no mental energy to do the things I want to/need to do. I'm a strong believer of routine, so hopefully, these things  I'm about to list will kick my arse into gear and provide me with a routine to get me motivated for my day ahead!

1. Wake Up Early
Since I'm only in Uni once a week, and the rest of the week I work from home on a freelance basis, I can pretty much wake up whenever I want. Sounds good eh? Well, it's not! I'm now used to waking up between 11 AM and 1 PM, which means I wake up so groggy and feel guilty that I've missed a good part of the day. I want to start waking up at the same time every day, at 8:30 AM. No matter how tired I am, I will drink allllll the coffee and power through.

2. Go To Bed Early
I guess this goes hand in hand with waking up early. When you wake up at 1 PM, you aren't gonna' feel tired till about midnight logically. Which then means you aren't going to want to wake up early the next day...  I really do need to follow my own tips on how to get a better nights sleep don't I?

3. Eat Healthier
Since moving in with my lovely boyfriend Adrian, I must say we've eaten so crap. Takeaways, burgers, pizzas, crisps, chocolate, you name it. It's not very good for your gut, or your brain in that sense. Ya know, healthy body healthy mind and all that jazz. We've been much better as of recent, swapping crisps & chocolate for nuts and fruit; and swapping chips for sweet potato. So, every little change helps! I just need to carry it on!

4. Exercise At Least Every Other Day
When I was living in Coventry for Uni, I went to the gym at least 3 times a week. It made me focus more; I was a lot happier, and my body thanked me for it (I was also about 2 and a half stone lighter than I am now). Although I can't afford the gym right now, I want to make a conscious effort to run around my area 3 times a week in the mornings. I've got all my gear; I just need to make myself do it!

5.  Drink 3 Litres Of Water Every Day
This is such an important one for everyone; you should drink at least 2.5 litres a day! It's great for your skin, mind and body - so I really think 3 litres will help me get my arse into gear and make my days more productive!

6. Take Multivits & Remember To Always Take My Medication

This may sound like an obvious one, but trust me when you have a mental illness & a physical illness, it can be hard to forget or not want to take your meds & vits! Most the time I genuinely just forget to take my meds, but other times I put it off due to the nausea side effects etc. I need just to bite the bullet & take them, as well as my vitamins 'cause I know they'll make me better and have more energy etc!

7. Shower Every Morning
Again, this may sound like an obvious one (and a gross one), but I usually shower of an evening. However, I have found that showering in the morning wakes me up and generally makes me feel more motivated to be productive! It's just the thought of getting out of the warm bed into a cold bathroom that throws me off...

8. Putting Makeup and Get Dressed (properly Beckie, not in your PJS). 

I think when you work from home, you kinda of use that an excuse to not get dressed or even brush your hair...  I find getting dressed into one of my fave outfits & putting on my favourite makeup makes me feel so much better about myself and again, more motivated.

9. Have A Nice Breakfast.

No, I don't just mean a full English breakfast (well, if you're offering). I mean something that makes me happy, like a warm bowl of porridge with a banana, or even peanut butter on toast! Something that's tasty that will fill me up, so I start my day with a smile on my face.

10. Eat 3 Times A Day With Snacks.

I'm so crap with eating. I always forget to eat breakfast or lunch when I'm working from home, so then I feel very lethargic and grumpy and just end up feeling v unwell. If I make sure I eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (with snacks if I'm a bit peckish), I'll be able to have all the energy I need!

11. Play With Gerbils Of An Evening.

If any of you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you'll know I've recently got two ickle gerbils called Bruce and Milky Joe. I lav them to bits, and just playing with them and talking to them raises my spirits and relieves my stresses and depressive mood swings. I need to make a habit of getting them out & handling them every evening!

12. Read

I used to be such a bookworm. I love to read, and for some reason, I've stopped reading as much. I say some reason, but it's because of all this social media stuff that stops me. I used to love getting stuck in a book; I guess it's like a form of escapism for me. Like for example, how cute are these books from Watkins*?! They're such feel good books, and the organiser just makes me so excited to use it next year, eeeek! I've also just purchased a lot of books with my Uni vouchers, so hears hoping I'll be back into it soon.

13. Pamper

Who doesn't love a good pamper eh? Putting a face mask on, deep conditioning my hair or even painting my nails just puts me in a happier, relaxed mood for the evening. And hey, who will ever say no to a pamper evening?

What do you do to make yourself happier?

*Post contains PR Samples


10 Reasons Why Smoking Is So Bad For Your Appearance

Smoking Bad For Appearance

For those who know me, know my struggle with smoking and my on-off relationship with cigarette's. It’s took a hell of a lot of self-control and discipline, but I have finally quit smoking and haven’t touched one for around 2 months now! I'm so blady proud of myself. I guess I’m just writing this post, as everyone knows that smoking has negative effects on your health, but as a beauty blogger I’d like to educate you all on how the fags also have a large impact on your appearance as well.  Here are a few pointers from Dr. Kieran Bong, a facial aesthetics expert from Glasgow..

  1. In addition to taking 10 years from your life, smoking can also add an extra 10 years to how you look.
  1. The best way of combating the premature ageing effects that smoking causes is quitting ASAP. This allows the quality of your skin to be reinvigorated and your health to be improved. 
  1. The sooner you quit the better it will be for your health, and a month after you stop your skin will also start looking better.  If you can't quit, then have you thought about trying an e cig*? 
  1. The carbon monoxide contained in cigarette smoke displaces the oxygen inside your skin.  Blood flow is reduced by the nicotine, which leaves your skin discolored and dry.  Many nutrients like vitamin C are also cut by smoking, which helps with protecting and repairing skin damage.   
  1. A chronic smoker will have classic signs of wrinkles and lines on their face, and it is especially noticeable around the corners of one's eyes (commonly called crow's feet) and upper lips. 
  1. Even the act of smoking leads to wrinkles.  According to Dr. Bong, sun exposure and chronic smoking are the two major factors that affect premature skin ageing.  Being exposed to heat from a burning cigarette repeatedly combined with smoking repetitive muscle actions like squinting your eyes so that the smoke is kept out, sucking your cheeks in and pursing your lips can result in the formation of wrinkles around your eyes, mouth and lips. 
  1. It is four times more likely for smokers to have difficulties sleeping - which can result in bags underneath your eyes.  It is believed that the withdrawal of nicotine overnight can cause smokers to toss and turn while in bed.  This results in them having poor sleep quality and leave them feeling and looking tired (this genuinely explains a lot, I used to struggle so much with insomnia!).
  1. The nicotine contained in cigarettes stains teeth yellow.  This is another way of making your look older than you actually are.  White teeth help make you look younger. 
  1. Cigarette smoke contains nicotine, which can stain your nails and fingers (niiiiice).
  1.  It is believed that the toxic chemicals contained in smoke may damage the DNA within hair follicles. That can result in some smokers having thinner hair that also has a result of graying earlier - which will give you an older appearance. 
What are your opinions on the effects of smoking? Are you an ex-smoker? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

*Post in sponsored by Simply E-Liquid
* StockPhoto


My New Fave Health Food Subscription Box

Life Box

I find in the blogging world, subscription boxes are very much hyped and I must say I'm very much in this hype! Whether that's Glossybox, Graze or even the newer boxes like Friction Free Shaving, I'm pretty hooked. They make life so much easier, and most of the boxes are very affordable & just 'make sense'. I'm gonna be honest, I wasn't a fan of the Graze boxes. Not because of the idea (the idea is great), just because I didn't enjoy the food. Again, nothing personal to Graze, just personally I didn't like the taste!  After cancelling my Graze subscription, I desperately needed another health food subscription box in my life. Thankfully, I was contacted by Lifebox* to review their subscription box and OHYGAWD I was impressed. The box was full of goodies, and goodies I would never normally try (hello Kale Crisps!) but were actually so yummy. Ngl, the first 10 minutes of looking at this box when it came through the door was spent pulling peculiar faces at the weird foods, but, they were delicious.

Life Box

I found one of the most impressive things about Life Box, is the fact it comes with so many different options. There's the Cleanse Subscription, the Everyday Subscription, the Junior Subscription and a Women's & Men's Subscription box too. They're many more but I'd be here for hours if I noted down all the combinations! The boxes are around £20 a month, which for what's included (picture below) I find is an absolute bargain. Considering most health foods are about £2 per item, I think it's a pretty good deal!

Life Box

Personally, the best bit about the box (for me), is the variety of different snacks, even including drinks, that you can get in this box. I love trying new foods, so this provided me the opportunity to do that without breaking the bank! The box came beautifully wrapped too with a ribbon and a little note/business card. Overall, I'd definitely purchase this box with my own money, and even as a little perk-me-up treat for a friend or family member!

Have you tried Life Box? What's your thoughts?

*Post contains PR samples. Campaign in conjuction with Simplyhealth.


4 Tips On How To Get FREE Beauty Products (Yes, FREE)

I think everyone reading this post knows that getting your beauty products for free is better than a huge discount or sale (in fact, I think its pretty common knowledge eh?). I have hay-ugeeee news though gals, you don't need to stoop to low tactics to get them for free either. All you have to do is follow these easy steps and you can now get all those lusted beauty products for free! You can thank me later..

1. Giveaways, Magazines & Awards

Women's magazines are always chocka block full of freebies. Even random sachets. Start by seeking out free product giveaways, move on to buy one get one free and focus on finding those that are offering free samples on their websites. Combine all of these and you'll soon be filling your make-up drawer with lots of great beauty products (not that I, or any typical beauty blogger need anymore beauty products!). The magazine SELF as an example, also seeks out people who are willing to test out products so you can apply to be a volunteer and get free products to test. So basically in exchange for an honest opinion, you can take home a variety of beauty products and try them out all for
yourself. How blady good is that?!

2. Sample Sites

There are a variety of websites that have free samples for us gals to try! Try typing in Freebies UK* or Free Beauty Samples in your favourite search engine and you're sure to find some great deals. Sign up for future samples as well and you'll be notified when they have more available. Although, like any form these days, bare in mind that signing up for free samples does put you at risk for some spam.

3. Just Ask @ Your Local Make-Up Counters

Check out the local makeup counters and get to know the employees. Ask for free samples and special deals and you'll be surprised at how often you'll walk away with a goodie bag. While many claim that this doesn't work, just as many claim that it does. Likely, it's who you know and how you treat them as to whether or not they like you. Be polite and they may feel that they can't say no. What's the worse thing they can say? Also you can get a 10 day free sample from Estee Lauder by clickinghere. I recently got mine after being intrigued about their foundation - & I am in lovvveee with it!

4. Blogger perks

Beauty writers and bloggers like myself are lucky enough to sometimes receive beauty products to test and write about. If you have a great relationship with PR reps & have a good readership, you just might be able to get a few of your fave products in exchange for a good review. Keep in mind, however, that they don't send these samples out to just anyone. And please just don't start a blog for freebies, it doesn't work like that! The majority of us bloggers work so damn hard, and have been in the blogging game for years. So don't decide you're getting a blog just so you can get some free samples, 'cause with that attitude the likelihood of you getting some is very small!

If you have any more tips on how to get free beauty products, hollaaaaah!

*In Collaboration with WowFreeStuff



The Realities of Someone With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

chronic fatigue syndrome

I don’t really talk about it much on my blog, as I never know how to go about mentioning it without seeming like I’m ‘moaning’. Saying that, this is going to be one of my points. I always feel guilty that when I mention my CFS I’m going to be accused of moaning and being negative when that’s not the case. I just want to increase awareness for invisible and chronic illnesses like CFS, as not many people know what it is, and what the symptoms are. So, without further ado, I shall be bullet pointing the struggles and realities I go through on a day to day basis.


4 Tips on How To Get a Better Nights Sleep

If you're anything like me - you constantly have a battle with the Zs. No matter what I try, I still can't just 'nod off' like any other person. So, a quick disclaimer, these tips haven't completely cured my insomnia, but they definitely do help!


How To Be Productive When You Work From Home

As most of you already know (well, I think), I spent a lot of my days over the past few months, working for a razor subscription service called Friction Free Shaving. Until last week, when I get laid off. Yeah, it sucked, but it’s to be expected when you’re working for a start-up or as a freelancer, and I guess it’s just part of the working life. I’m ever so grateful for the experience it gave me, and now I’ve accepted it’s just a part of life, I’m happy being self-employed again.


Personality Quizzes - Do They Work?

If you're anything like me, you're sceptical about everything and anything. If anything promises a 'real' and 'truthful' result - I'm normally put off straight away. Probs 'cause I have trust issues and all that jazz, but hey ho, I think I'm normal.  Let's just say there's very little that can win over my trust and make me believe everything what it says.  So, when I got contacted to try out the new PersonalityMatch app  I was sceptical,  but I am pretty impressed.


My Experience At Rush Birmingham

Rush Hair Birmingham

Thanks to the lovely guys at AJC93, I was kindly invited to Rush Birmingham for a colour, cut and blow dry.  I had high expectations, and gawd did they meet them!  The crew at Rush went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable, fed and hydrated. They were all lovely, clearly experts and made me feel ever so welcome. My stylist for the day was Simone, and she was truly amazing. She made me feel comfortable, and we had a good natter. She sat me down before hand and made sure she understood exactly what I wanted (with her recommendation of course!). 

Rush Hair Birmingham

 One of the best things was getting free Lindt chocolate and juice, I've never been offered this before so I was thrilled (easily pleased I know eh?). They always say it's the little things..
I also got an amazing scalp and head massage, along with a hair treatment, which I was totally not expecting. I felt like I was a celeb the way I was being treated!

Rush Hair Birmingham

Rush Hair Birmingham

After it was all dried, I was offered a blow-dry. I've never had one of these before, and I'm definitely now a blow-dry convert! I mean, look at the results! I love how natural my hair looks after they coloured my hair using the balayage technique. Definitely the best hair cut and colour I've ever had. 5* from me!

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