Things About Me That Bother Other People

Let’s face it, no one’s perfect, right? Fact is, you’re never gonna please everyone. You can be the nicest person, the best at your job, be a style icon and make the best cakes in the world, but there’s always going to be one person who doesn’t agree with something that you do.

Its ok to have different opinions – they’re opinions for a reason – and chances are you’re not gonna lose friends over liking or disliking something small, but you might be met with a few ‘what?!’s and ‘I can’t believe it’s. I’m no stranger to these reactions to certain things, and these are the ones I get the most ‘backlash’ from:

I don’t drink tea or coffee

Simply because I don’t actually like them. Coffee is something that most people don’t really seem to care about, but being British and not liking tea seems to be some kind of treason for some..

I haven’t seen that movie

There are a whole lot of movies I’ve never seen. I mean, no one’s seen every movie to have ever existed, but often when it comes to films that most consider to be ‘classics’, I haven’t the foggiest. To name a few, there’s Pulp Fiction, Slumdog Millionaire, any of the Bourne or Rocky movies and most films based on Nicholas Sparks novels..

I can’t do anything above lemon and herb at Nandos

I have such a low tolerance for spicy food and for some reason this really ticks people off. I’m a straight up lemon and herb or mango and lime, and when it comes to curry I won’t stray from a tikka masala or a korma, and even then I’ll probably drink a bucket of water.

I’m not really a drinker

I’m not tee-total, but I hardly drink anymore. When I do, I’m a total lightweight and I’m not even kidding when I say I feel the effects of one Koppaberg quite quickly, and to be honest that’s part of the reason that I do say no to that first drink. I’m totally ok with not drinking, but when I’m out with others there always seems to be at least one person that isn’t happy about it.

I can’t stand reality TV

With the exception of this year’s Love Island, I can’t cope with reality shows. Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity, even X-Factor, they all just drive me insane and the rest of the world’s evenings seem to revolve around them.

I’m not big on Halloween

While I like to carve a pumpkin, that’s pretty much the only thing about Halloween that I enjoy. I’m not a huge fan of Halloween films, I don’t much like spooky stuff and I definitely am not the sort of person who wishes away summer waiting for it.

I like the TV volume on 17

I do not feel the pressure of the whole ‘tv volume ending with a 0 or 5’ thing. On our tv at home, 17 is the perfect volume for daytime telly watching, or if its something that needs a little bit more then its 23-24. Soz.

Do any of these bother you at all?

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Kiko Cosmetics Sale Haul

So last week I had a day alone in Manchester, so naturally I gravitated towards the Trafford Centre, and after a morning of working away in Starbucks, I treated myself to an afternoon of shopping. I hit pretty much every store that had a sale sign in the window, and one store that caught my eye particularly was Kiko Milano.

Despite being well aware that I own enough makeup as it is, I always love trying new brands, and when that brand is not only having a massive summer sale but is also cruelty free, there was no stopping me, but I did only spend £25!

The first thing that caught my eye stepping into the store was the display of gloriously bright nail varnishes. I’ve always loved having colourful nails, and while I have always sworn by Barry M when it comes to nail products, over recent years they’ve opted to diversify and their original collection of nail paints just aren’t available in as many colours as they used to be. As soon as I saw the wall of Kiko Smart Nail Lacquers I fell in love, but not wanting to go too overboard I just chose two, which are actually two shades very similar to my favourite Barry’s that aren’t available anymore, and they’re only £2 each, so win win!

Nearer to the checkout, they also had a few ‘mini’ nail varnishes at just £1 each so I decided to nab two of those as well!

Next up, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this STUNNING matte finishing powder – its so creamy and blendable, plus its fine and super light! I also grabbed this pretty blush for just £3.80, which is also super light feeling and the shade, Breathtaking Azalea, is perfect for spring/summer looks.

Lastly, while I’m not normally one for individual eyeshadows, I decided to pick up this little duo-shadow because the colour combination was super pretty and very me. Its not the most pigmented, but the two shades compliment each other wonderfully and its perfect for a subtle look, which is more my style anyway!

Have you tried any Kiko products before? I’d love to hear any recommendations!

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Improving My Sleep Habits

Sleep and I are fickle friends; its a love/hate relationship really. The fact is, I really cannot function without it, and while everyone says this, I am the kind of person that can rarely make it to midnight, and more often than not is in bed by 10pm, if not earlier. I am also a napper, and if I am tired and need sleep, it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, if my body decides its time to sleep, I probably will – I think my finest moment was falling asleep while standing on a train in Japan. Oh yes.

The hate part of my relationship is that sometimes sleep doesn’t like me. I can be a fairly vivid dreamer, and while some nights I’ll sleep like an absolute baby, other nights I’ll be awake on the hour every hour. I’m not an insomniac, I’m just fairly restless, and some nights actually feel more draining than they do refreshing and restful.

So I’m in the market for anything I can do to improve my shut-eye, and I’ve already identified a few changes that need to be made in the hopes that I can see some real progression, and from here on out, I’ll be doing my best to stick to these new habits.

Clearing the clutter

I have this awful habit of leaving things in my bed when I’m about to go to sleep. Chances are my laptop will be on there somewhere, and probably a notepad or two, plus my iPad and maybe even some clothes that I haven’t got round to putting away yet – no more! From here on out my bed will be a place for me to sleep and just me.

Not getting into bed until I’m ready

I also have this horrible habit of getting into bed as soon as I get in from work, fully dressed with a full face of makeup, grabbing my laptop and getting a bit of writing done before I go to sleep, or putting on Netflix for a bit. The problem with this is that I then rarely want to get back out, so sometimes I’ll end up going to sleep without taking of my makeup and sometimes even sleeping in whatever shirt I was wearing that day so I don’t have to get up and change. Yikes, right?

Now, while I still have no issue with getting straight into bed when I finish my day at work (so much more common now I’m working 12 hour shifts), I won’t do it until I’ve eaten dinner, brushed my teeth, getting fully changed and all makeup off. I’m even making more of an effort during this time to get everything for the next day out and ready for the morning!

Having actual pyjamas

As I mentioned above, pyjamas are a bit of a fluid concept for me. I do have them, but sometimes I’ve been known to just grab whatever comfy top I can find rather than using actual pyjama options. Yes, I do have a few t-shirts and tops that I still have designated as pj options rather than day-to-day wear, but I’m training myself to remember to reach for these instead of any old shirt I can find.

Setting a pre-sleep skincare routine

More than just remembering to take off my makeup before bed, I’m actually working on sticking to a proper skincare routine before bed: makeup off, cleanse and tone face, moisturise etc. As well as being so much better for my skin, its actually a great way to wind down before getting into bed, and a little bit of self-care goes a long way!

Reducing the number of screens I’m on

I can be that person who is on my phone checking Instagram while trying to write a blog post on my laptop and also Netflixing on my iPad in the background. I like to consider myself a multi-tasker but really I’m just overstimulating myself. Now I’m on 12 hour shifts, I’ve found that I’m not reaching for my laptop anymore as soon as I get home, so I’m trying to make it more of a habit to leave my laptop for my days off, and instead just watch a movie or plan blog stuff in my notebook in the evenings after work – which also helps towards not sleeping with a laptop in my bed!

Doing distracting jobs

I’ve written before about the strange things that are the only things that I can stay awake doing, so rather than being on my many screens right before bed, I like to mix things up a few nights a week by getting other things done, like cleaning my makeup brushes, sewing or writing to-do lists for the coming days.

I’ve been trying to do all these for about 2 weeks now and I feel like I’m already seeing small improvements, so here’s hoping for the best!

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How to Create a Disney Inspired Desk Space

In reality, my desk is a very fluid space. It goes from my creative space, complete with sewing machine, a million pins and strewn with fabric off-cuts, to my blog photo studio, to the place I pile up rubbish I need to get off the floor, all in the space of a few hours at times.

Every now and then, however, I can bring order to my little desk, and last weekend was one of those occasions. With the help of my recent Disney Store purchases, I was inspired to create a magical little work space, perfect for any dreamer and doer.

Want to create your own? Here’s what you’ll need!

The desk lamp

Proper lighting is super important when it comes to an area that you’ll be working in – eye strain is not cool. My desk is a subtle nod to the classic Pixar lamp, but there are a tonne of cool Disney themed lights out there to match the look you want.

Adorable stationery

Can anyone honestly say that they don’t have a weakness for cute stationery? Notepads, pens, sticky notes, you name it, I’m all about it. Right now, Disney Store are absolutely killing it with some of their stationery, but there are so many places you can buy Disney inspired products on the high street and online.

My Mickey Mouse highlighters were from John Lewis a few months back, but there are similar ones now available on the Disney Store website!

All the mugs

I’m all about any excuse to buy a new Disney mug, but they’re so multi-functional! Sure, you’re gonna need a lot of mugs for drinking from while you’re busy at work, but they also make for excellent pen pots, or storage for push pins, paperclips.

Practical decorations

I’m obsessed with my new Mickey and Minnie washi tape dispenser and Mickey glove business card holder from the Disney Store, they make for great desk centrepieces but are also actually useful. You can also find practical uses for some of your favourite Disney items; how about using a Funko Pop as a paperweight?

Magical artwork

Now your desk is kitted out, bring a little magic to your walls! My desk is surrounded by Polaroid style prints of my favourite Disney trip photos from Sticky9 (who also do cute little magnets!), but there are also so many amazing Disney artists out there – try Etsy and Redbubble!

How do you bring magic to your workspace?

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An Open Letter to Anyone

Dear stranger,

Hey, how’s your day going? I’m asking you this in case no one else does. If it’s been great then I’m so happy for you, you’re incredible. If it’s not been such a good day, I’m here if you ever want to talk.
I may not know anything about you and your life, but I bet you’re a good person regardless. I’ll always believe the best in you. I know it’s not always easy to see the best in yourself.

I want you to know that you are always good enough. Your hair looks great and that outfit looks amazing on you, and if anyone doesn’t think that then they’re just being ridiculous. You can look and wear and do and say whatever you want. Never apologise for being you.

I also want to remind you that it’s ok to not feel ok all the time. Whether your glass is half empty or half full, you can always top it up. Please never feel alone.

Whenever you can, recycle, turn off anything electrical that’s not in use and don’t litter. These might seem like insignificant things but in doing so you’re saving our planet and providing future generations with a life. One person can make a difference and you can be that person.

You will always be unique. Try not to compare yourself or your life to another person – they are just as unique as you are. Life is unpredictable, and that’s ok.

Tomorrow is always a fresh start.

I wish you all the best, always.

A stranger

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Its Okay to Have an Instagram Life

Everyone knows there’s two sides to life: the life you actually live, and the life you share on Instagram. One is polished, with perfect lighting and edited to highlight the best bits, and the other is all the messy stuff in between. We all know which is which.

People spend a lot of time joking about things being ‘Instagram-worthy’ or having an ‘Instagram life’, but life isn’t always Instagram-perfect, and that’s more than just common knowledge; its fact. Even if you don’t have a carefully tailored theme, you still choose to share exactly what you want on your profile, and let’s face it, has anyone seen someone post a photo of them doing laundry or 8 hours into a Netflix binge.

And d’you know what? That’s ok.

There’s nothing wrong with cultivating a perfect Instagram feed. We all know that no one’s life is perfect, but its nice a small outlet where you can put together all the pretty and happy moments of life. Now I’m not talking about being false – especially with all the recent blogger photoshop drama – I just think its part of our nature to show only the good bits, and I don’t think there’s any problem with that. Its an outlet, not a documentary.

Putting together my Instagram feed gives me so much happiness. Sure, it comes with the annoyance of the constant follow/unfollowing and the struggle with growth, but I would still say its my favourite social media platform because I’m a visual person and I love taking photos and posting them to Instagram. I love finding Instagrammable spots, or putting together cute shots just for the purpose of posting. It makes me happy, and whether its all entirely accurate to how my life actually looks, ultimately happiness is the goal, right?

On the flipside, I think I’m probably the most honest when it comes to Instagram stories. Sure, I’ll put the photos that I want on there, but recently I’ve also been using it as a way of sharing my venting my feelings through chatty Insta-stories, and I love seeing other people doing the same.

I’ve learnt over the years to not compare myself to the lives that I see on Instagram for this very reason; I know that the life I put on Instagram doesn’t reflect, so I don’t expect everyone else’s to. I just hope everyone is happy.

My life might not be totally together but at least my Instagram feed is cute.

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Dear New Bloggers

It’s pretty strange to think I’ve been at the blogging game for almost 4 years now, and that’s not including a few blogs I’ve had prior to this one!Very often I do still feel like a new-ish blogger, primarily because I was blogging for a good year or two before I joined Twitter and discovered the rest of the blogging community, but the fact is I have been at this for a little while, and so today I thought I’d share some advice for those who are just starting out.
You should not be analysing your stats straight away

I don’t actually remember ever looking at my blog views when I just started out – I’m not even sure I knew how. You have to remember that it is gonna take a little while before you see a real growth.

Be in it because you love it

The reason I never looked at my stats when I first started this blog is because it wasn’t the reason I was writing. If you don’t love writing, or whatever you write about, then blogging is never gonna make you truly happy.

Don’t expect brand work straight away

I see a lot of new bloggers complaining that they haven’t been approached my brands yet, or posting a million #prrequest tweets with no response, and even when you’re an established blogger, these opportunities may not always come up. I personally don’t work with many brands and I’m perfectly happy with that because I like writing about my own stuff, and when I am approached, I appreciate it so much more!

Set your standards

Don’t think that just because you’re new to the scene that you should sell yourself short. When I first started out I did so much work for free because I didn’t think I could ask for a budget, and I also accepted any opportunity without thinking about how well it actually suited my blog, which I would never do now.

Know the game

Do a bit of research about what you should and and shouldn’t be doing. I’m not saying you need to learn how to code or anything complicated, but find out about SEO, follow vs no-follow links and the general rules around sponsored content and disclaimers.

Get involved in the community

The blogging community is so lovely and so welcoming and supportive. Sure, the occasional drama happens, but for the most part you’ll meet the sweetest people, and I guarantee a good portion of your blog readers will be fellow bloggers.

Photography is important

They say a picture’s worth 1000 words, and there’s definitely an element of truth in that when it comes to blogging. Find your style, learn what works for you and have fun with your blog photography. Remember, a marble background doesn’t have to be your thing.

Bloglovin and Instagram can be nightmares

I would say these two platforms are by far the hardest to grow, and here are my top tips for each:

Your Bloglovin won’t grow unless you actually use Bloglovin yourself. Make the effort to follow others, read and like posts and frequently share your link, and you should see some movement.

Post on Instagram because you like it. I hardly ever use my Instagram to bring traffic to my blog, I just genuinely enjoy posting to Instagram, and I like it that way.

Appreciate your niche

Not every blog has to be a beauty blog or a fashion blog; your blog doesn’t even have to have one topic. I describe this blog as a lifestyle and travel blog, with a helping of fitness, fashion and Disney magic, and that doesn’t even cover everything that I write about. You do you.

If you’re ever in need for any more tips or advice for blogging, I would recommend you take some time to read through the blogs of Maria and Corinne, who have tonnes of great posts, but cheesy as it sounds, just have fun!

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