Sunday, 21 December 2014

December Blogging Challenge Continued: Day 20

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Hello all! Yes, I'm finally back again with another update post/December blogging challenge. I really expected after finishing university for the Christmas holidays that I would finally have more time to blog, but unfortunately some other things have gotten in the way of that.

Even though I technically finished my last term of semester just last week, I came back to Preston to try and finish any outstanding assignments due in for when we get back. I managed about one day in the library before I somehow contracted the flu and have been bed bound ever since. I've even had to miss work during the busiest time of the year. Oops..

Anyway, I hope you can all understand why this December daily blogging thing really has been a challenge. I'll also be in work full-time hours the next two weeks so you can expect it to be a while before you can hear from you again.. I'm not making any promises in case I don't deliver but I will try to have something scheduled for the meantime!

Let's crack on shall we?

Day 12: A photo of your decorated house/room

I'm so annoyed right now because even after trying to pitifully decorate my uni room on a student budget, I completely forgot to take any pictures!! There wasn't that much to it anyway really apart from a bit of white tinsel and a novelty pink reindeer from Wilkos. Oh, I did add some fairy lights to my bed frame though that look pretty christmassy!

Day 13: Favourite holiday movies

1. The Polar Express - obvious classic!
2. Elf
3. Home Alone
4. The Holiday

Day 14: Fun things to do in your town during the holidays

Honestly, I can't really understand why anyone would want to come to my hometown Southport for Christmas - but each to their own! It is supposedly a tourist resort after all.

The Southport christmas markets are running until the 21st of December, we have plenty of restaurants around the pier, and the lights around town are rather nice this year, i'll admit. There's also a cinema if you'd rather stay warm indoors, and a bowling alley/laser tag arena nearby where I work! We have lots of Christmas deals on at the moment - not a shameless self-promotion there, honest!

If it were me, however, I would go to Liverpool for a Christmas day out - the shopping is a million times better, the docks are beautifully lit up at night, there's a ferris wheel, ice skating rink - just so much! See for yourself. Only a 45 minute train ride away from Southport.

Day 15: Your own tips on decorating the tree

This post is good timing since we finally got our Christmas tree today! I tried to decorate it the best I could with what we already had and I think the best way to make a tree look good is by sticking to a particular colour scheme. This year I went for a mixture of golds, reds, and whites: gold lights with a sparkle/dim effect give a look of stars, red lights and red tinsel are, well, obviously Christmassy! And white tinsel and baubles look like snow 
Rocking my sexy pj's ;-)

Day 16: A Christmas Recipe

I'm not a massive fan of mint but these mint oreo truffles look divine! Check out the recipe here.

Day 17: A DIY Xmas tutorial

Seeing as I'm not very creative I haven't been able to come up with my own DIY ideas but I quite like the look of these Christmas candle jars!

Day 18: A Christmas Day Make-up Tutorial

I'll come back to this one as a full post.. watch this space!

Day 19: A photo of you from last Christmas

Here we are! I can't get over how different I look with my brown hair! My favourite memory from last Christmas is the same as every year, all of us gathering around the telly after having roast dinner laughing our heads off at The Royal Family tv show.

20. Favorite childhood Christmas book

My dad used to read me and my brothers and sister The Polar Express book every Christmas and I absolutely loved it. It was like a tradition and my dad had the best Canadian story-telling voice. Here's a photo of one time many, many years ago - so cute!

Hope you all enjoyed this post - if I don't see you again til after Christmas, have a good one!

P.S I'm now on Facebook! Find my page here and make sure to give it a like! xox

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Trendz Touch Screen Gloves || Review

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Hey everyone!

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from the lovely people at Three Mobile asking me if I'd like to collaborate with them for a new campaign releasing some gorgeous autumnal accessories. I happily agreed and they sent me some pretty pink touch screen gloves to review (I'd never actually tried out touchscreen gloves before, and since I hate having to walk around with one glove on just so I can use my phone, I jumped at the chance to try these out!).

They come in either pink or black, and I'm definitely happy with my choice of pink. I'm slightly biased as it's my favourite colour anyway, but they really do brighten up a plain winter outfit.

As for the touch screen function, I bet you're all wondering 'do they actually work?!' The good news is, they do! I was quite skeptical at first about whether they would but for the first time ever I can finally keep my gloves on when it's freezing outside and still use my phone. On the tag it says 'works for most touch screen phones' and so I can confirm they work for iPhones! Overall, they're a perfect winter accessory and functional too.

If you'd like a pair you can purchase them, (perhaps as a stocking filler or Christmas treat for yourself!), straight from the Three website.

Thanks again to Three Mobile for sending them! 

*Photos taken on Apple iPhone 5C. iPhone 6 now also available here.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

December Blogging Challenge; Day 11

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Image source: tumblr

Hey guys!

First of all, I'd like to apologise for the massive delay in releasing a new December blogging challenge post. I did start it with the best of intentions, but in my defense, I have been massively busy.

It's the last week of term at my uni and so everybody's been in a last minute mad rush to get their assignments done and submitted. I am one of them!

Luckily everything that's due this week has been completed, but unfortunately I also left my laptop charger at home last weekend. Meaning I hadn't been able to update my blog until now! So at the moment I'm currently in the library eating a rather gross cheddar & chive savoury sandwich and sipping hot chocolate from a cheap polystyrene cup. Student blogging at it's best.

Let's start with a very quick recap of the past week's challenges!

Day 5: Favourite outfit I wore one Christmas

Forgive me for the crappy quality of this photo, I had a blackberry phone at the time! This red sequined maxi dress is definitely one of my favourite Christmas assembles. I got it from Missguided in the exclusive range as an early xmas pressie from my dad :-)  I feel so glam wearing it!

Day 6 & 7: Best Gift I've Given/Received

Probably the most thoughtful and creative gift I've received was from my first boyfriend. He made me a pack of cards all attached together labelled '52 reasons why I love you' and there was a reason on each one! It was absolutely adorable. This year, however, my current boyfriend got me a beautiful Pandora bracelet with a heart charm and that's my new favourite ;-)

Trying to think of the best gift I've ever given is a tough one! I've bought something nice for my best friend this year but I don't want to give it away yet as she'll probably read this :-0

Day 8: A Photo of You in Christmas Fancy Dress

I bought an Elf costume this year for work but I am yet to wear it.. so watch this space!! ;-)

Day 9: Your top 6 Christmas songs Playlist

  1.  All I Want For Christmas - Mariah Carey (fave song every year!)
  2.  Jingle Bell Rock - Rogue Wave (always reminds me of Mean Girls)
  3.  Santa Baby - Kylie Minogue 
  4. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
  5. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues (it always makes me emotional and i don't know why!)
  6. Rockin around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee (i had to add a sixth ;P)

Day 10: An old family photo of a Christmas from years ago

There are no words.

 Day 11:Your Christmas wishlist

I best try keep this short!

  • Yankee candles. Lots of them. I go through them like lightbulbs were never invented.
  • Calvin Klein underwear set like this one please!!
  •  Lots of money.. being a student I am constantly in my overdraft! Even with a job.
  • For my family to be happy.
  • This t-shirt
  • Lots of Lush bath bombs.  
  • These Victoria Secret knickers!

 Phew! That should do it for now! See you soon for the next lot :-)

Em x

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

December Blogging Challenge || DAY 3

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Good evening everyone! How are we on this very cold winter's night?

Since I'm already late in writing another post for this challenge after only two days in, forgive me if this one is a little on the rushed side. Yesterday was full of appointments here and there, and a very important one to end with involving finally having my roots done after almost three months!!

Anyway, let's crack on, with firstly:

Day 2: Favourite holiday memory

This is a very easy one for me! It was around 2001 or 2002, I think I was about eight years old and my brothers and sisters and I had demolished through all the presents around the tree thinking that was it for this year. Little did we know there was a huge surprise waiting for us - I remember vividly the moment my dad pushed along this huge red tub/box thing across the floor and a little puppy's head popping out from inside. None of us could believe our eyes and I'm still amazed I did not just collapse from joy in that moment because I had wanted a dog forever. And this Christmas we finally got one!

Her name is Honey and although she is very old now she is still with us today, fighting cancer but at the moment lively and well. 

Day 3: Where I'd Most Like To Travel To For Christmas

Another dead easy one! I've been told New York is amazing around Christmas and it's definitely on my bucket list to spend Christmas day there one year. Just seeing the sights and all the decorations on the streets would be magical and oh my, imagine the shopping! But then again, I'd love to go to New York any time of year :-)

Do you have a great holiday memory you'd like to share? Where would you most like to spend Christmas this year?

See you all tomorrow for day 4! xx

                                           BLOGLOVIN | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Monday, 1 December 2014

December Blogging Challenge: Day 1

Monday, 1 December 2014

The holiday season (and my favourite one, at that) is here once again! And this year, I plan to do something special.

I've made a list of daily blogging challenges for myself to complete, and anyone else is more than welcome to take part. They will be as 'Christmassey' themed as possible, and my reasoning for doing this is simply because it's fun. And also because it will probably help kick my butt into gear and get blogging daily again, at least for this month!

Here's the best I could come up with for all 31 days:

  1. Favourite winter accessory
  2. Favourite holiday memory
  3. Where you'd most like to travel to for Christmas
  4. Your best 'winter assemble' outfit
  5. Your favourite outfit you've worn one Christmas (and why!)
  6. The best gift you've ever received
  7. The best gift you've ever given
  8. A photo of you in Christmas fancy dress
  9. Your top 5 Christmas songs playlist
  10. An old family photo of a Christmas from years ago
  11. Your wishlist for this Christmas
  12. Photos of your decorated house/room!
  13. Your favourite holiday movie(s)
  14. Fun things to do in your city/town during the winter holidays (you never know who could be visiting..)
  15. Your own tips on decorating the tree
  16. A special Christmas recipe.. doesn't have to be your own. I'm not an amazing cook either ;-)
  17. A Christmas D.I.Y tutorial on anything you like if you're feeling extra creative. I'm gonna really try my hardest to give this one a go!
  18. A 'Christmas day' make-up tutorial
  19. A photo of you from last Christmas and your favourite memory from it
  20. Favourite childhood Christmas book
  21. Your favourite holiday drink (from Costa, Starbucks etc..)
  22. A photo log of a day you spent in your hometown (all the christmas decorations, for example). You can use Instagram to make them look extra pretty!
  23. 5 must-have wardrobe items for the Winter 
  24. Your plans for Christmas Eve
  25. How you spent Christmas day
  26. A kind thing you've done this year for someone else (donated clothes to charity, worked in a homeless shelter etc.)
  27. Photos of any presents and nice things you received!
  28. 5 important life lessons you've learnt this year
  29. 5 achievements and proud moments of 2014
  30. One big change you made this year
  31. Your resolutions for next year
As it's now the 1st of December, let's start with Day One!

My favourite winter accessory of the moment is definitely a cute pair of earmuffs. I had some leopard print ones last year and this year some nice white fluffy ones with knitted flowers on each side - not to mention they're also headphones! A close second and third is knee-high socks and beanie hats.

You can purchase the ones I'm wearing here.

What's your fave statement piece to wear during the cold months?

Thank you all for visiting and enjoy your December!



Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pink Boutique Hair Extensions || Review

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Hey everyone!

Apologies again for the serious lack of posts - past few months I've just been trying to settle into uni, and for now, assignments, social life, and trying to live off pasta is occupying much of my free time!

Yesterday I received my first order from Pink Boutique, an online fashion store full of lots of lovely little things. I wouldn't say it's necessarily cheap, especially on a student budget, but seeing as I still had a little bit of 21st birthday money left over, I figured I'd treat myself. :-)

Along with my order of a new outfit (fashion post to follow soon, promise!) I also ordered some synthetic hair extensions. Mine have got a little tatty since I wore them almost daily at Freshers, and even though they were human hair, washing and brushing hasn't saved them much :(

I decided to get some wavy/curly style ones, and I have to say I'm very pleased with the quality!

I wasn't expecting anything fantastic with them being synthetic, but the colour and shine of my set made them look just as good as human hair ones. I haven't attempted brushing them yet, just because I'm afraid I'll completely brush the waves out too, but I'll post an update in a few weeks to let you all know how they're lasting.

Condition of the extensions after wearing for one whole day. Not bad!

I ordered the shade Champagne Blonde, and they're a pretty good match to my current hair colour. If you've read my blog before you'll know that I'm not a natural blonde, and so I originally thought I'd be best getting the Bleached Blonde shade - but the images made it look extremely light, almost white! So I opted for these instead and I'm glad I did :-)

I also have to say, it's a nice change going back to one-clip extensions! I always find there's too much faffing about with several-piece hair extensions, especially since my hair is already quite thick and I don't quite need so much more volume.

(P.S If you've noticed a slight pink tint in my natural hair, it's because I've used a pastel pink toning conditioner! Let me know if you'd like a tutorial post for that especially)

Also looks super cute with a beanie! ;-)

Have any of you guys ever purchased any extensions from Pink Boutique? Where's your favourite place to buy them from? I've heard FoxyLocks is pretty good but I'm yet to try them.

If you'd like to purchase some for yourself you can do so here.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week! xox

Monday, 10 November 2014

17 Things I Learned By I Was 17

Monday, 10 November 2014
Source: Tumblr

So, I may have stolen this list from a reblog on tumblr, but still, it's a pretty good list of life lessons!

I really enjoyed reading this and found it quite comforting. Hope you do too :-)

Em x

1. People will promise to never leave you. They will. It’s okay to be sad when they do.

2. It is always okay to cry. Always. Find a bathroom, bury your face in your pillow, and let it out. Cry in the shower. Cry in the car. Cry when you need to.

3. Boys will flirt with you for a while and then ignore you. Then, they will flirt with you some more. It will be confusing. You have every right to stop putting up with it.

4. Pay attention to what people say when they’re angry. When you make up and they tell you they didn’t mean any of it, know that they did. Also know that they wish they didn’t. Forgive them.

5. Never pretend to be someone you’re not. If you don’t like tea and classic novels, don’t act like you do to impress people. If you don’t want to wear leather jackets and combat boots, don’t wear them to please someone else.

6. People will be mean to you; they will spread lies, call you names, and talk about you behind your back. Eventually you will realize that it is petty and stupid and not worth your time. You’ll be right. Move on with your life.

7. Your friends will not always be there for you. When you really need to talk, they will sometimes not want to hear it. That’s okay. Take a deep breath and remember all the times you felt the same way. Exhale.

8. You will wait and wait and wait for your first kiss and your first date and your first relationship. The anticipation will kill you. You will keep trying to find the right person in everyone you meet. Relax. There’s no rush. The best things happen unplanned.

Source: Tumblr

9. Enjoy being young. Love that everything is spontaneous. As you get older, things become more and more scheduled out. Embrace the fact that you aren’t there yet.

10. Tell people how you feel. It will be terrifying in some cases and gratifying in others. It will create relationships and ruin them. But speak your mind, even if your voice shakes, because your thoughts may never otherwise be heard.

11. Sleep. If you go to bed late, sleep in. If you’re still tired when you wake up, go back to bed. If you can’t stay awake during the day, take a nap. Sleeping is a foolproof way of getting rid of your problems for a little while. Utilize it.

12. Talk to people. Talk to your sister about the guy she likes. Talk to your mom about her childhood. Talk to your dad about his favorite books. Talk to your grandparents about their families. Talk to your friends, talk to your pets, talk to the cute waitress at the restaurant. Learn things from them. Be inspired.

13. Always bring a sweater. Even if you think it won’t be cold.

14. Try new things. Eat a new food, try a new kind of juice, switch up the way you dress. You never know what you might end up loving. Life can get boring. Mix it up a bit.

15. Take care of yourself. Wash your hair with that good smelling soap you love. Eat fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of water. Go for long walks in pretty parks.

16. School is important. Try your hardest. If you don’t get something, ask for help. Do your homework. Show your teachers that you’re willing to work hard, and when it comes time to apply to colleges, you’ll be glad you did.

17. There will always be someone prettier, smarter, funnier, or more popular than you. The beauty of it is that it isn’t a competition.
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Let The Eyes Do The Talking

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Peaches and golds have always been my go-to choice of eyeshadow colour. 

It doesn't matter if it's day or night, formal or informal, blue eyes or brown, they just seem to look great on everyone. I remember, long ago, doing a little bit of research on what colours best accentuated blue coloured eyes. That's when I first tried the gold/bronze/peach combination, and boy did it deliver!

Ever since then I've been a fan, and I was even more wowed when I recently tried some of these same shades from the Mac range. Using the gold/white shade, I highlighted the inner corners of my eye, along the inner rims (where you would ordinarily place eyeliner) and underneath the brow bone. Towards the outer corner, I used a small shading brush to fill in the crease and blend with a gold/bronze shade. It's as simple as that!

Get the look:

So there we have it, hope you guys enjoyed the first beauty post in a long time!!

Leave me a comment letting me know what you think :-) have a great week xox

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A Letter From My Past

Thursday, 11 September 2014

This afternoon I received an email in my inbox I had almost completely forgotten about. It's a letter I had written to myself 11 months and 24 days ago on September the 16th 2013 using a website called The idea is you write an email to your future self, for you to open at a later date of any time you choose. It's a pretty cool thing to do as it shows you just how much can change in a year (or almost, in my case), gives you perspective, allows you to reflect, and reminds you what is truely important.

It's slightly personal, and some parts made me feel a slight tinge of sadness, but there are plenty of bits that made me smile, and I think it's kind of beautiful in a way. I also give some pretty solid advice, which could be useful to all of you too!

Here it is - enjoy :-)

Dear FutureMe,

Hello Emily! Right now it's about 3 in the afternoon and you're at Teds, being lazy and watching comedy central (as usual). Right now I'm still at college part-time, and doing an online course in sociology on the side. I'm awaiting news on my Travelodge interiew, I should hear from them this week.. Hopefully I got the job, I kinda need it right now with the state of my bank balance!

(I didn't get the Travelodge job in the end, but I'm kind of glad- I've had something much better!)

By now, you should be starting uni (or almost). I hope you got the results you wanted for your A-levels, finally decided on a university (you should have by now) and made the most of your year. I hope you were able to manage the course fee costs okay, and aren't still skint.. Though I suppose it won't matter as much now if you're getting a student loan! 

(Unfortunately i didn't get the exact results I wanted, but i still did okay despite having a horrrrendous year health and stress wise! I also didn't get into the initial universities of my choice but I have finally decided on attending UCLAN in Preston to study English Language & Creative Writing and i couldn't be more excited :-))

Do you have a job by now? If you do, I hope you like it and are getting a decent pay. If not, I'm sure you can't wait to finally be off the dole! (And if you really hate the job, and have at least given it a try and been there for a few months, for the love of god, leave!) 

(I do have a job now! Kitchen assistant/crew member at Premier Bowl. it has it's ups and downs but it's definitely a great place and i've met some amazing people out of it. I've been there since April now and even won employee of the month!)

Are you still single? If not, I hope you're happy in your new relationship, and have had a chance to meet many more new people by now (and not still moping on undeserving douchebags from the past!!) If you do have a boyfriend, I hope you've found love (if it's not still early days) and I hope they never treat you like you're ordinary. If you're not happy in the relationship, please find the courage to leave! 

(At this moment i am technically single but kinda seeing someone, haha. And things were actually going well until a few days ago! I'm hoping it all blows over soon though and I can get some clarity on what I should do. If things don't improve I will definitely cut ties.)

If you are single, enjoy it. Don't worry about it. You're bound to meet loads of new people at uni, make new friendships, have loads of fun, you probably won't even care about it. Another word of advice on the relationships and dating front - don't let anybody get to you! Seriously, 9 times out of 10 they are not worth it and you deserve so much better. Don't waste your time moping about some loser guy and don't let them get under your skin or keep you miserable for too long. You can be happy on your own and without them!

(Ugh, wish I had read this a lot sooner haha. The very next month after i wrote this i met someone new and got into a relationship with them in december, except they treated me horribly and i kind of regret the whole thing. Still trying to get over that horrific break up but I'm getting there, all in good time i suppose!)

I'm single as of now, and have only just really started dating this summer. Whilst it's been fun, it's also been a headache, because unfortunately not all experiences ended well. But, saying that, I managed being happily single up til then, and I plan to remain that way until someone fucking amazing comes along. Just be you and don't give a fuck what anyone thinks!

(Yeah, dating's been a pain in the arse. I've met a lot of people and had new experiences since i split with my ex, made some good memories but also met a lot more assholes. Trying to weed through them one at a time!)

I hope your blog's still going strong, and you've made some significant progress with it a year from now. I hope you've managed some kind of schedule, are writing more, and still loving it!

(Well, despite not being nowhere near as active on it as I once was, it has come a long way and I am proud of my work on here. It's like my little baby, haha. I'm still getting emails from businesses and nice people who admire my blog, still get views daily and have reached over 50 thousand views so far! I have a feeling I will get back into it soon, though, with my uni course specialising in blogging)

Lately, I've been feeling quite depressed. I guess there's been a few occurrences over the past few months to trigger it, but I have felt like I've slipped back into a mild depression again. I'm working really hard to get myself out of it, but I suppose most of all, I just need to be patient. I'm sure it won't last forever, and as long as I'm kind with myself and focus on thinking positively I can get myself out of it again. So, I hope you're feeling good and your head's in a much better place by now!

(I wish i could say it is, but I was diagnosed with clinical depression late last year. I did do the bravest thing and seek help, though - started off with counselling and am still taking medication to help me through it. I'm thinking of attending counselling again just to help me through traumatic recent events and so I can learn how to deal with my emotions healthily.)

Aside from that, I hope the body dysmorphia thing's improved, and you're learning to love and accept yourself the way you are. I also hope the eating disorder stuff is a little better to cope with, and you're not resorting to binge eating so much to cope with difficult emotions and fill in any voids. (And of course not hating your body so much!)

(It made me so happy when I read this part because I almost completely forgot this even used to be a problem! The books I bought really helped and I am so much more confident in my appearance than I used to be. Sure there's things I'd change but I'm definitely more accepting of myself now and embrace what I have. I've also eliminated my eating disorder too - I no longer hate my body and am learning to love it :-))

I'm also off to the doctors right now to sort my tonsillitis out, so I hope you're finally in good health, haha.

(This is kind of ironic because just this past week I've started getting ill again and have booked a doctors appointment for this following Saturday.. and it's a sore throat. Must be this time of year)

Anyway, I think that's all I can think of to say for now. Overall, I hope you're enjoying life, I hope you're happy, and I hope you're appreciating the small things I could be taking for granted right now.
Don't worry about the future, everything will work out. Stop brooding on the past, it no longer matters. Everyday focus on being a better person and loving those around you - and yourself! Have the confidence to go after your dreams and everything you want in this world.
And please remember - you are beautiful. You are talented. You are capable. You are strong and powerful. You are intelligent. You are loved.
You can do anything.
Change your life for the better, and if everything's going well, well done - we did it! :-) (if things aren't going so well, have hope and faith. Things will get better, I promise.)
See you soon (write another future letter while you're at it!!)
Oh, and I hope you enjoy the degree you chose, and that you gain some amazing opportunities out of it. Most of all, just have a fab time at uni and enjoy every second of it!
Love you and good luck! Xx

I couldn't have picked a better time to send this to myself, with moving in to university this Sunday! It's exactly what I needed to hear and has got me feeling a lot more positive about things.

Good luck everyone else who is off to university this year - write yourself a future letter to read when you're all done with your first year!


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Monday, 21 July 2014

My Sister Has A Blog!

Monday, 21 July 2014
Hey guys!

Today I wanted to introduce you all to my sister Sophie's brand new blog, Fridays's Look, which she started in around June. She's pretty new to fashion blogging in general, but she has an amazing style, a knack for finding bargains (unlike myself) and I, for one, am always envious of her lovely clothes!

Go take a look, give her a follow and leave some nice comments. You won't regret it! :-)

Have a wonderful week and see you soon xxx

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Back at Last! (& Why I Took A Break From Blogging)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hey everyone! Been a while hasn't it?

To be honest with you, I'm not quite sure where to begin. It's been so long since I last wrote on my blog, it actually feels kinda alien to me now. Weirdly nostalgic too!

Since April, I've been having a little break from blogging. It's not that I didn't enjoy it any more - in fact, there's a whole host of reasons why I suddenly stopped. And I'm not quite sure I'm ready to explain all of them - my life has been extremely chaotic, full of ups and downs, in the past few months! But I did have many exams to prepare for, and this year was extremely important given my results will determine whether I go to university or not (yikes).

As well as that stress, I've also had to deal with a lot of drama in my personal life. I won't go into details but I'm still healing from the wounds of a toxic relationship and the pain of the break-up. My life went slightly off the rails since then, as I attempted to distract myself in unhealthy ways that simply numbed whatever unpleasant emotions I was feeling. I'm still in the midst of all that, slowly coming out of it and trying to learn how to be comfortable and happy on my own again.

It's been hard and I've had many setbacks. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm still battling depression, which only made an unwelcome heavier return due to recent life events. But I just have to keep reminding myself to be patient - recovery doesn't just happen overnight, and if anything, my illness is a sign that something (or many things) in my life need to change.

My self esteem hit it's lowest, but I'm striving to be that girl again who is confident in her own skin. That girl who is happy in her own company and doesn't need to rely on substances and others to provide validation that she's full of worth. I'm working on the relationship with myself and that's my most important priority right now.

As I slightly lost my sense of identity, my love of writing grew further apart from me. I started to believe that what I was doing, and my passions, were worthless and stupid. People in my life had shown no interest in what I did and so I soon believed it was unimportant too.

But writing is my outlet, and no one can take that away from me. Those who have hurt me - you have bruised me temporarily, but you have not damaged my soul forever. I'll come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever before.

I hope someday soon I can talk freely about my struggles and pain in order to help others who ever end up in the same situation. For now, I'm forcing my focus back onto my blog and ambitions.

Our life experiences and things that happen to us, don't have to define us. They shape us in the moment, but ultimately teach us valuable lessons. How we move forward from those lessons is what will make us or break us.

These lyrics from the John Legend song, All of Me, remind me that it's okay to fall, and that our emotions are valid. They don't make us any less of a person.

"How many times do I have to tell you, even when you're crying you're beautiful too, the world is beating you down, I'm around through every mood"

Peace and love x

Monday, 7 April 2014

My BRUNETTE TO BLONDE Transformation! Tutorial & Results

Monday, 7 April 2014

Hi my beauties! How are we all on this lovely Sunday afternoon?

Unfortunately I'm currently in bed, trying to nurse myself back to good health after being sent home from work due to feeling horribly ill. The downside is that I'm feeling pretty awful and I missed a full day's worth of pay - but on the upside, this does finally give me a chance to sit down and write a blog post!

Today's post is a hair dye tutorial of my exciting yet rather scary, brunette to bleached blonde transformation. I've been blonde for a couple of months now, and I still love it as much as I did the first time I set my eyes on the new me, so that must be a good sign! I'm not going to lie, the process has had it's challenges and moments of needed patience, but it's been worth it.

I'll skip right to it and show you how it was done!

Stage One: The Failed Attempt!

When I decided to lighten my already ombre hair, I actually had no intentions of going fully blonde. The main reason for that was because I was still apprehensive of whether I'd even suit blonde hair, so at first just decided to bleach the ombre parts whilst adding a little more blonde towards the roots.. but not quite all of it! Pretty hard to explain, but I shall demonstrate with a picture..

As you can see, in the photo where my hair is wet after washing the dye out, it's covering most of my hair but not quite all of it - and also looks rather gingery! Luckily, though, the colour brightened considerably once blow-dried and styled. I was really happy with the result, but it wasn't quite as blonde I had hoped.. I used Live Colour XXL Absolut Platinum 00A and was expecting it to turn my hair superrrr bleach blonde, but clearly that didn't happen, so I wasn't too impressed with the product!

Despite this, I did like how my hair looked overall, but decided after this move I was ready to go completely blonde and give myself a change.

Stage Two: The Complete Transition

No make-up and white hair- scary look!

The bleaching process was not easy nor quick, but again, I fortunately had my friend who is amazingly good with hair and has plenty of experience with bleaching to help me out! We used the L'oreal Paris Perfect Blonde Creme Maximum Bleaching Kit, 2 bottles to make sure the job got done and to cover all of my long hair, and then rinsed out the dye after leaving for around forty minutes (with a plastic bag wrapped around my head to lock in the heat - it supposedly helps the dying process, even though you look a bit daft for a while!).

Next, we applied Touch of Silver Twice a Week Brightening Shampoo generously - and I mean extremely generously - all over my hair. We wanted to make sure there was no trace of gingeryness afterwards, so covering the hair in this lilac miracle worker helps considerably. After leaving that on for a little while longer, I rinsed that out, and the process was finished!

*Make sure not to leave the lilac shampoo on for too long, though - it may actually leave you with purpley/blue hair!

Once I got home, I was actually pretty scared the hair colour had come out wrong - before I had styled it properly again, it looked SO ginger, and I was convinced I would need to wear a hat for the next few weeks until I could wreck it with bleach again!

Fortunately enough, it looked a lot better once I'd straightened it and made it look all pretty, and it was only really the roots that were a more yellowy-colour than the rest of the hair. The hair colour transformation was a close-enough success!

Stage Three: Root Touch-Ups and After-care Treatment

After about 3/4 weeks, my roots were on the return, and boy, did I not prepare myself for this! I knew I would have to deal with the roots eventually but what was surprising was that:

a) Mine showed up surprisingly fast, probably because my hair tends to grow quickly

b) Not only did the dark brown hair show up noticeably on my roots around my scalp, but also on my hairline - pretty annoying!

So, after trying to wait as long as possible before bleaching again, I made another appointment with my stylist friend and had her use the same dye as before (and silver shampoo). One bottle was more than enough this time, seeing as the majority of my hair was already covered, but we went over the rest of my hair once more as well as the roots that genuinely needed re-doing.

The end result was much lighter and much better than the first time! My roots were done completely and I now had hair that looked more bleach blonde, compared to the yellowy tint I had before, haha. Oh, and the dye was left on for at least an hour this time - definitely helped!

Every week I make sure to deep condition my hair to keep it healthy - I've noticed since I've bleached it, it does have a tendency to frizz more and feel more dry (as if it wasn't naturally frizzy enough) but I knew I'd probably be dealing with that when I made the decision to go blonde!

Another product I invested in after bleaching my hair for the first time was the Bblonde Lightening Spray by Jerome Russell. I ended up buying this whilst looking for a toner in Tesco, and though it can take up to three applications before you start seeing results, it does make a difference and improve the blondness of your hair!

Taken one day after second bleaching treatment

Overall, the reaction I got from my hair colour change was pretty positive - I'd say about 80% of people I know liked the new look, even preferring it to my old hairstyle! That said, either way I'm happy with it, so that's all that really matters to me ;-)

Extra tips:

  • Bleached hair is high maintenance, so before you make the decision to go blonde, make sure you realise the consequences! Your roots will grow back quickly, especially if your hair is anything like mine, and so you will have to get used to the idea of bleaching probably at least once a month - leave it longer if you can bare it! 
  • As I'm sure everybody knows, peroxide is very damaging to the hair, so if it's the only thing you do please make sure you have some nourishing hair treatments, whether it be colour repair or damage repair, at the ready. They don't need to be massively expensive either - drugstore brands will do!
  • Your hair probably will go a brassy/ginger/yellow colour the first time you dye it- but fear not, a toner or lightening spray like I have should do the trick until your next bleach.
  • If you want to see what products I use on my hair already, you can find out in my hair growing secrets post here - the list hasn't really changed!
  • Do not exceed 10 applications of the Lightening spray - I'm not sure why you're not supposed to, but I'd rather not take the risk and find out!

So there we have it guys. I hope my experience/review helps you, and if you have any questions on anything I used, or anything else for that matter, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments! What do you think of the new look? Have you ever dyed your hair a dramatic or opposite colour?

Thanks a bunch for reading, and have a beautiful week. See you soon!

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