Everyday Sexism

Sunday, 30 July 2017

the little book of feminism

I was at work this week, and while I was serving two business men their morning coffees, they started talking about politics. As someone who is extremely invested in that subject - I mean, I spend £9,000 a year learning all about it - I couldn't help but try to get involved with the discussion. I looked over to these men while they were discussing and one of them caught my eye, and said the following:

Oh sorry, darling! I'm not talking to you! We're just debating politics, you see! Don't worry your pretty head about it!

The satisfaction I felt when I saw his face after I replied: "Oh, I know! I'm actually doing a politics degree right now! And I agree, I do think that Theresa May lost the general election due to cockiness. I mean, she attacked her core voters - the elderly - in her manifesto. From there I knew she'd really messed it up."

While, in the moment, being able to watch two businessmen become incredibly embarrassed that they'd just assumed I knew nothing about a subject because a) I'm a woman and b) I was serving him coffee really irked me and got me thinking a lot about everyday sexism, and it made me realise how much sexism I do experience in a day and how much we all do, even if we don't realise it. Whether it's just a man calling you 'darling' or 'love' in order to patronise you, or whether it's something more obvious like catcalling, we (as women, or those who identify as women) experience far, far too much. 

Why is it that when a man is assertive he's powerful, but when a woman is assertive she's 'bossy', or 'feisty'?

 I asked you guys on Twitter how many of you had suffered through some examples of everyday sexisms, and the response was very interesting. 

I found it so interesting that a large amount of people had never been catcalled. I have been catcalled a few times, mostly happening in the summer when I'm wearing shorts or a skirt and usually from men driving past in cars. The first time it happened I was 12 or 13 and walking home from school by myself. A group of lads in a car honked their horns and shouted "NICE LEGS". When they drove passed me, and turned around - they saw that I was literally a child and I think that freaked them out. Other people expressed that they'd had similar experiences on Twitter, which is horrific.

So this one ties into my earlier story, and it's something that happens a lot. However, I have noticed that it's usually older men who have this mentality and more towards younger girls. In my peer group, I do not notice this kind of sexism. The young men that I know all treat me like we are on the same level but I think this is just because we are all at uni together and all got onto the same course so they assume we are on the same wavelength.
This one had a very interesting response. I expected it to be extremely heavily weighted towards 'yes' and while 'yes' did win, it wasn't by the landslide I expected. When I was at school, the girls had the option of doing walking in PE while the boys had the options of sports like cricket, rugby and football. For me, at the time, this was fantastic because I loathed (and still do loathe) team sports, because I'm bad at them and always am the one who lets the team down. However, looking back, why the heck weren't we allowed to partake in these sports? Why were we given the option to walk as a PE activity!
This one really scared me. Only 7% of the people who answered this poll hadn't been called an "endearing" nickname by a man they didn't even know. Men often use this during arguments or disagreements when they want to diminish us and take away from our identity, like we are going to be less right because we are not being addressed by our names. It's also incredibly patronising and I feel it almost symbolises men wanting to take ownership of us; they decide what we are to be called, not us. This is something that irritates me to no end. When I am called one of these names by a man, unless that man is my boyfriend or a relative, I tense.
Now, this was extremely interesting to me. This happens to me all the time. I think it's because I have a tendency to share my political opinion, and despite being pretty educated on the subject (an A-Level and one year of Russell Group University education in the subject, to be precise) I like to think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to politics. Especially around the time of the general election - and the Brexit referendum - whenever I tweeted anything vaguely political I got a tirade of 45-year-old+ men trying to explain to me that I'm wrong and that I can't possibly know what I am talking about because I'm: a) a woman b) young c) a beauty blogger, and you can't possibly have make up on your face and know anything about politics. I once actually had a man reply to a tweet I'd written about how awful Theresa May was with "HAHAHA MAYBE IT'S MAYBELLINE HAHAH"... What does that even mean? You can quote adverts? I was extremely confused. I also especially got a lot of hate when I wrote an article for Journal.ie on the general election. The comments section of that was most unpleasant.
I was expecting this to be a landslide of 100% yes, because I can't count the amount of times I've seen someone make a joke about how the show should now be called 'Nurse Who' now they have cast a female doctor (implying that men can't be nurses and women can't be doctors - lol wut) and honestly, it's beyond a joke. In a show where time travel, shapeshifting aliens and squad trips to the moon are the key themes, what these men are finding unrealistic is that a woman could play the man character of someone who regenerates into a new bloody identity every few years.

Those are my thoughts on everyday sexism. I don't know what I wanted to put across in this post other than how shit men can be and how sometimes I feel like we ignore the smaller details of sexism in favour of the bigger aspects of it. What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you experienced any of these things?  

Bright Summer Lipstick Picks

Thursday, 27 July 2017

liquid lipsticks

If you know me, then you'll know that I am a fan of lipstick. During the summer months, I love rocking the brightest, most vibrant shade that I can. This summer, these are the four that I have been rocking the most. They're all quite similar, but as any lippie addict knows they're different enough to be justifiable! 

My first pick is the MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip in 'To Matte With Love'. This shade is the first from the MAC Liquid Lip range that I tried and I fell so in love with the formula that I just had to buy some more. They're drying but not as drying as some liquid lippies I've tried. I love the boldness of this shade and it certainly makes a statement - all you need to pair it with is a lick of mascara and you're good to go! 

The next shade that I have been loving is the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in 'Succulent'. I don't think this is available anymore - I just went to check to link it and it isn't on their site - but a very similar shade is Lady Danger by MAC. Essentially, it's a very bright, orangey red which is one of my all-time favourite lip colours to make a statement. The formula of this one is really lovely. It's not too drying and it stays on all day; through meals and copious cups of tea! 

lip swatches
Left to right: L'Oreal 228, ColourPop Succulent, MAC To Matte With Love, Tarte Poppy

The next shade is more of a sheer balm, and it's by Tarte. The floral packaging of 'Poppy' was what first made me decide to buy it and it has lived up to its beautiful outside ever since. It has a really soft and creamy texture and is so nice to apply. It's great if you're feeling lazy and makes you look extremely put together due to its gorgeous red colour. It's also mint flavoured, which is really delicious and I have to do everything in my power to not to constantly lick my lips!

Finally, my last favourite this summer has been the L'Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in the shade 228. Let me tell you, not only is this the most gorgeous matte pink, but it smells incredible - kind of like those Palma Violets. It's matte but not overly drying and it's such a vibrant pink that it screams summer and holidays. If I was going away this year, it would be a staple for me while chilled out by the pool. The packaging is a gorgeous gold, very sophisticated and great to photograph!

What have been your summer lipstick picks this year? Let me know in the comments!

Goals for 2017... Well, what's left of it!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

I'm going to put it out there - 2017 has been my year. So far, so many wonderful things have happened to me and I am so grateful for all of them and we have so many more exciting things planned. While I'd be satisfied with how this year went if it ended tomorrow, we still have 4 more months of this fabulous year left. So, what are my goals?

To Continue Growing & Expanding My Blog

I am so proud with how my little corner of the internet has been growing over the last 7 months. While this blog has been online for 3 years, I've only started putting my all into it since January/February time. I want to continue to grow this blog and continue to be given fantastic opportunities out of it. It's my 2 year goal to be earning a steady income from my blog. Right now, it's earning me sporadic income, and I want to make it more constant and get my blog out there!

To Write A Book

I have been planning a novel for the past few weeks and I really want to have the majority of it written - or at least a first draft - by the end of the year. It's an idea that I am so excited about, I have mapped it out start to end and I really don't want this to be a book that I start and never finish. Eventually I'd like to try and send it off to some publishing houses and then, when they inevitably reject me, self-publish so I can hold a book in my hand that I have written.

To Start As I Mean To Go On at Uni

I want to start my first year as I mean to go on; working hard and aiming to get a First overall this year. When I started my first year, I thought getting anywhere near a First would be near impossible but after receiving a high 2:1 overall, my aim for this year is to get a First. That means doing all the readings properly, completing all my assignments with the upmost effort and generally just having a bit more focus in my first semester.

Here are my goals for the remaining part of 2017. I'm hoping the second half of this year will be just as amazing as the start of the year has been. What are your goals for 2017?

The Liebster Award

Sunday, 23 July 2017

It's been many, many moons since I first took part in the Liebster Award. I believe I have made that post private now (as I have with much of my post 2017 content!) and so I decided to do an up-to-date Liebster. I was tagged by the fantastic Chloe from Northern Girl's Guide To London, and I will be answering her questions.

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

Thank the person for tagging you
Answer their questions 
Tag between 5-11 other bloggers 
Give them 5-11 questions
Let them know they’ve been tagged

Without further ado, I will now answer the questions that Chloe set for me! 

What’s your ultimate pet hate?

This is a hard one for me, as I am quite easily annoyed, but I think one of my main pet hates is when my boyfriend leaves his wet towels on the bed, or on the floor, or anywhere where wet towels don't belong. I hate the feeling of damp things - it makes me shudder - so having to pick up a wet towel is really not my thing! 

What’s your favourite animal?

If you know me at all, you won't be surprised that the answer to this question is DOGS! I am obsessed with dogs - any dog will do! Moving away from home has been hard because I've had to move away from my favourite dogs (Bertie, Archie and Skye!) but Johnny and I have a nice landlady who allows dogs, so hopefully it won't be long until we have one living here with us! 

What would be your death row meal?

I'm not sure how many courses they serve to criminals on death row but I'm going to go for three. For a starter, I think I'd have some kind of deep fried cheese (Camembert or Brie) with a cranberry sauce and a little side salad. Then, for mains, I'd have chicken, bacon and mushroom risotto - specifically made by Johnny. He makes the best risotto ever. For dessert, I think I'd have either profiteroles or panacotta. 

Where’s your favourite city?

London is very special to me, but I think I am going to have to say Bath. It's so beautiful and I'd really love to live there one day in one of those beautiful Bath stone town houses. It's almost as expensive as London, so it might be achievable one day!

If you could choose only one to use what would it be? Twitter/Instagram/Facebook?

Twitter. Without question. It's my absolute favourite social media. I've had it since I was 11 where I used to tweet Miley Cyrus in her Hannah Montana days asking if she'd email me because I wanted to be her friend. I'm glad she never engaged with me - I think she would've been a bad influence!

What’s your favourite cuisine?

If you'd asked me a year ago, I would've said Chinese. But, I think now, I have to say Italian. Pasta, pizza, risotto and panacotta are my 4 key food groups and they all come from one place: Italy! I also love a Caprese salad and I could murder a carbonara right now.

Least favourite household chore?

Cleaning the bathroom. It's so laborious. And it also involves cleaning the toilet which is pretty gross. Give me a sink blocked with gross, wet food any day! I hate cleaning the bathroom!

If you’ve ever been to London what’s your favourite thing about it?

I live in London and my favourite thing about it is the easiness of living here. Nothing is ever too far away and always so easy to get to. From living for 18 years in a sleepy Dorset town, living in London feels so convenient for me!

What’s your ultimate blogging tip?

Don't try and force anything. If you say you're a beauty blogger but are having a lack of inspiration with make up then there's no shame in changing your blog up and being flexible. It won't be your best work unless your passionate about it. 

Who’s your favourite blogger (big or small)?

I have so many, but the blog I've been reading and feeling the most inspired by at the moment is Chloe Tommo's. Her fitness posts, and her motivation is incredibly uplifting and makes me want to hit the gym err'day!

And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My mum is the queen of advice and recently something not so fun happened to me and she just said the simplest thing: "Rise above it." I think this can be applied to so many situations. Don't stoop to the level of someone who's hurt you, or hurting someone else. Rise above.

So, now on to my questions:

1. What is one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have?
2. What is your least favourite thing about where you live?
3. You're on Come Dine With Me! What do you cook to secure that £1000?
4. What is the last YouTube video you watched? Did you enjoy it?
5. Which 3 bloggers do you think are 'rising stars'? Who's gonna be huge?
6. Do you enjoy sport?
7. Do you have any interest in politics?
8. Tell us about your first pet (or stuffed animal if you never had one!)
9. You're pregnant! What do you name the baby? (Boy or girl!)
10. Finally, design & name a cocktail!

I know everyone and their dog has done this tag by now, so if you fancy taking on my questions and you haven't done it before, then go for it. Tweet me to say you've done it and I will look forward to hearing your answers. However, I am going to tag:

I can't wait to see your answers, ladies! Thanks again to Chloe for nominating me! 

Tips on Moving In With Your S.O.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The last 'tips' post I did on Chloe Alice Lily was Tips on Surviving a LDR - Long Distance Relationship for those who don't know - but time has passed since then and distance is no longer an issue for Johnny & I because we have moved in together. In the beginning, it certainly wasn't easy. So, here are my tips on moving in with your S.O, and what to expect if you are about to take that leap of faith! 

Expect Arguments

I was offered this advice a lot when we were about to move in together - expect that you are going to have some nasty rows. Johnny and I rarely fight but that first week, we shouted the house down at each other more than once and in one instance, Johnny even walked out (and I may have locked the door behind him...). However, we realised that we were arguing due to a mixture of stress and major life change and the arguments soon stop. Of course, we still bicker like an old married couple, but the vicious arguments have ended, and have been over for a while!

Respect Each Other

I am extremely controlling when it comes to home furnishings and cleanliness. It's taking time, but Johnny is slowly starting to respect that a messy house makes me quite upset, and is working on being a little tidier. Likewise, as much as I didn't like it at first, I had to learn to respect that Johnny wanted a motorbike and I had to set my fears aside and respect that he needs something mechanic to meddle with!

Understand There May Be a Shift

You're entering a new chapter and so is your relationship. Expect that your relationship might change a little bit. Hopefully, it won't change for the worse! I feel like we have changed; we were a unit before but now we are an even stronger one. The dynamic of your relationship will change. However, don't let the magic die! Remember, you are in a relationship, not roommates! Keep going out for dates, keep reminding each other that you love each other & keep that ... passion ... alive! 

Your Advice

I asked for some advice on Twitter and this is what some of my wonderful followers had to say on the subject:

What are your tips for moving in with an S.O? Share them below!

The Best of Charlotte Tilbury

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

 When I first bought a product from Charlotte Tilbury I felt fancy as shit. I'd just forked out £39 for four eyeshadows, and while I used a gift voucher I'd got for Christmas, I felt good. Like, sunglass emoji good. Since then, I've felt fancy more than once, picking up a few bits here and there. However, two things in particular have really stood out to me and they're something I use nearly every day. So, welcome to my best of Charlotte Tilbury.

The first item I want to talk about is the Golden Goddess Eyeshadow Quad. This quad is perfect for travelling and sometimes when I go on holiday it is the only eyeshadow palette I will take. While it doesn't have any matte shades (which is usually a big no-no from me!), you can easily create many looks with this tiny little palette and that gold shade (as you can probably see by the huge dent in it) is a holy grail for me! I've never found a gold shade of eyeshadow that is so flattering on my lids! It really does make me feel like a 'golden goddess'.  

The pigmentation of these Tilbury shadows is second to none. They're buttery, swipe on like a dream and are so pigmented that no Fix+ is required! You'd expect quality for the forty-odd quid you spent on them, and quality is what you get! My MAC eyeshadows pale in comparison to these! I attack that gold for an all over the lid shade, a inner corner highlight, a brow bone highlight and even a cheek highlight if I'm in a pinch and it looks insane. With this and Lime Crime's 'Aura',  you'd need never buy a gold eyeshadow again (yet, I still do!). 

My other holy grail product from Charlotte Tilbury is their Magic Foundation which has overtaken Nars in the race for my favourite ever foundation. It's a demi-matte formula which fits me perfectly and stays on my face all day, even in the height of summer. The shade selection is wonderful (I'm the shade 2) and it matches my skin tone perfectly, which I often find hard due to my yellowy undertones. 

The packaging is amazing; a frosted bottle with a white pump and a rose gold lid. Um, heart-eye emoji all around (why am I mentioning emojis so much in this post?!). It looks stunning on my vanity and stunning on my face. The formula is almost gel-like, which I really like. It means it's easy to apply and reminds me of Bourjois' Healthy Mix Serum, which I fell for many moons ago, but haven't gone back to it since. Price wise, it's not too bad either. It's £30 for a bottle which is cheaper than Nars, and only a few pounds more expensive than MAC! I'm obsessed with this foundation and wear it every single day!

Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette - Eyeshadow - The Golden Goddess
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation - Foundation - Shade 3

So, those are my favourite products from Charlotte Tilbury! Next on the list is their Gold Bar highlighter! What have you tried from Charlotte Tilbury?

*This post contains affiliate links

Thoughts On The Blogging Community

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Sit down, grab yourself a cup of tea - or whichever beverage you prefer - because I want to start a discussion. This discussion is about the blogging industry today, and how I feel it's great but there's definitely some things about it that have bothered me, and I'm going to address them.
I've had this blog since 2014 but I think I've only become a part of the blogging community on social media since January and since then I have met some incredible people and made some friends I hope I will have for life. The support I get just from tweeting "I'm feeling down today" is amazing - the girls that I know and love get on, support each other and are genuinely lovely. 

However, sometimes, on my timeline, there's serious drama. 

I've never been involved with the drama per say but a lot of the people I follow have. The first major drama I can remember being sucked into was the ongoing Bot Drama (if you missed it, Emtalks has a fantastic post explaining her thoughts on it) where people were using websites to find out if certain bloggers' followings were genuine, and then publicly calling them out on Twitter when they suspected they weren't. It was interesting to me to see which of my favourite bloggers were using bots, and at the time the public calling out seemed funny and the replies to these tweets from angry bloggers name-calling and using the frog and tea emoji was hilarious. 

On reflection, however, this really does demonstrate the ugly side to the blogging industry. I think the calling out is justified - if people are being paid based on their following and their following is faux then that's wrong, but calling people a "stupid bitch" is just rude - you can express your opinions without being nasty. I think we should rise above the people like this who feel like they need to cheat their way to a following and definitely not sink to their level.

Another drama that I have seen recently is the photoshop drama, where Amelia Liana has been accused of photoshopping herself into prettier scenes of cities she's visited, photoshopping birds onto photos (?!) etc, and a lot of people have called her out on Twitter. Ok, it's quite funny and a little strange that someone would feel the need to photoshop themselves into places they've never been or better versions of places they have been, but she's not hurting anyone. A lot of people in the industry have been really quite rude about Amelia, calling her sad, pathetic, shady etc. While I admit this is something I would never do, it seems really harsh to name call her like that. 

It's this ugly side of the blogging industry I don't like. People do shitty things all the time, and yeah, they're not right. But the situation is never helped when hundreds of people get involved and start hurling abuse at one another. It's that mob mentality that I think makes the blogging industry so dangerous. The faux girl gangs who viciously attack those who they think are wrong can sometimes make this wonderful community of supportive people scary and you can be frightened to share your opinion due to fear of being victimised by these people.

People in everyday life can look for drama and make arguments out of nothing, but with the blogging community, when it's all over your timeline and it's sometimes your friends that are at logger-heads, it can be pretty distressing. Recently, my Twitter feed was filled with drama about Zoella, claiming she was a snob for making a throwaway comment about Tesco clothing. Now, I watched that video and personally thought it was a ridiculous thing to get so worked up over - people say their clothes are 'only from' somewhere all the time! All my clothes are from Primark or H&M, and you'll always hear me say my top or skirt is 'only' from Primark! But, bloggers pounced and suddenly, everything was dramatic and strewn across my timeline.

Similarly, a blogger who is also an illustrator recently broke her laptop. Her friends decided to do a really nice thing for her and set up a crowdfunder to help her get a new laptop. And, of course, out came the problematic people who called her entitled and selfish when she didn't even ask for it! It got very nasty, and it was all a misunderstanding.

I get it. Drama happens in all walks of life, and it's never nice. However, I feel like there is another drama in the blogging community every day. I adore the friends I have made from blogging - those I've met and those who live on the other side of the world - and I'm so glad that this community exists for us to express ourselves and support one another but I feel like it has an ugly side, and I'm not comfortable with that! 

What do you think of the blogging community in light of recent events? Does it scare you how some people can be so vicious? Let me know in the comments: let's get a discussion going!

Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland (+ Giveaway!)

Thursday, 13 July 2017

So, fun fact about me. I have never once bought a YouTuber's book. Never. Not even Est矇e Lalonde's 'Bloom' (although it is on my to-buy list) has made it onto my book shelf. I think it's partly because they're aimed at younger girls - like Zoe Sugg's 'Girl Online' - and also partly because I'm envious of how easy these people can get book deals despite never before expressing an interest in writing and I, still, do not have a book deal. 

However, there was something about Wilde Like Me, a debut novel by Louise Pentland that called to me. Firstly, Louise made it very clear that this was not a kid's book, and was in fact for women her age and has adult themes (which I concur it does) and that she didn't want it to be known as a 'Youtuber Book', and to be honest, a lot of the reason why I did buy it was because it didn't have 'BY YOUTUBE STAR SPRINKLEOFGLITTER' splattered on the cover!  The first thing I noticed when reading Wilde Like Me was the sheer Louise-ness of it all. It's her voice. You can see it in the writing that Louise Pentland wrote this and so that really made my heart happy. 

The story-line is nice, with a few little twists and peaks to keep you interested. Nothing overly dramatic happens but it would be very out of place in this sweet story. There are a few instances where Robin Wilde goes a little, well, wild, but there are far more laughs than conflicts! It is very funny; Robin and her daughter, Lyla, get into all sorts of funny situations. One of the best in the book is where Lyla plays on Robin's "man game" on her phone and asks 'oh, is that a snake?'! 

I really liked all the characters in the Wilde Like Me - well, the ones you were supposed to like - although I felt like they lacked a little bit of depth. Also, some of the things that Lyla said were very profound for a 6 year old. Now, while these may have been based on what Darcy has said to Louise and I may be totally wrong, I just felt like they were a tad unrealistic, but maybe I've just been talking to the wrong 6 year olds. The women were certainly written better than the men and Robin was a really relatable, deep and interesting character. Her love interest for the majority of the book I felt was quite poorly written, and if you were supposed to fall for him like Robin did, then I definitely didn't. He felt awkward - almost Ken-doll like. His charming demeanor was almost creepy at times. 

All in all, Wilde Like Me was a nice and easy read. While it wasn't groundbreaking, it felt like a chat with a friend, and I really enjoyed the times I snuck away from Johnny to read this in the bedroom by myself. It was like a girly catch up. It was really hard to put down and I really enjoyed it. 

If you're a mum, you will most likely enjoy this. If you're not a mum but like chick-lits, you will very likely enjoy this. If you share Louise's sense of humour and find her videos very amusing, then you will definitely enjoy this. 

If you want to win a copy of Wilde Like Me, along with a MAC Lipstick and a £20 Coconut Lane voucher, then click here!
*This post contains affiliate links

My Affordable Homeware Favourites!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

I'm not sure if you know, but about 2 months ago, Johnny and I moved into our own flat in London. While we are renting and therefore can't make many dramatic homeware decisions, we have our own furniture and cookware. I was so excited getting all this stuff, and I want to show you a few of my favourites that I feel really make our house feel like a home. 

The first item which I really love is this gold pineapple from Primark! It was £5 and it's technically a candle, but I never light it and just use it to prop up Johnny's XBOX games in our TV cabinet. It adds a bit of glamour to the ugly neon green cases that all his violent and scary-looking games are kept in! Johnny always tells me that TV cabinets aren't supposed to look 'cute', they're supposed to be functional. However, I think everything can look cute, so why not add gold pineapples and fairy lights to everything. It also doubles as the cutest blog photo prop!

The next item I love also lives in our TV cabinet and it's this fake plant and tin pot from IKEA! I love this and I think that it's so nice to have a bit of greenery in your home. I wanted to liven up the cabinet and thought having a live plant that would need watering next to many, many wires probably wouldn't be very sensible, so we bought this fake one instead. I believe the plant was £2 and the pot was another £2, making this a real bargain. Again, it also looks adorable in blog photos! 

Johnny laughs all the time about my inner Monica Geller and one of the ways I unleash her is through coasters. I will not allow a drink to be put down anywhere without a coaster! These particular coasters are from TK Maxx and they were £11 for a set of 4, which is a little pricy but they are so cute that I couldn't resist. They're not on TK Maxx's website, but the brand is called Grace's Teaware so if you really like them, you might be able to find them on eBay or something. 

If you follow me on Twitter, then there's no doubt that you know about my love for wine. I am a big wine drinker and so choosing wine glasses was really important to me. I chose these from TK Maxx because I adored the shape and Johnny assured me they were really good quality. And, they were only £12 for 4, making each glass £3 each! I use them nearly every day and I love sipping from them while I watch my evening episode of Come Dine With Me! 

I love these letters that hang above our bed from TYPO (and the & is from Tiger). The C stands for Chloe and the J stands for Johnny (even though they have been mistaken to stand for Jeremy Corbyn before!) and they just sit above our bed, adding a really nice personal touch and, ok, it's a little bit cringy but it's not like they're in the living room!! 

Finally, this is our cushion set up. I love the colour combinations so much, and they really work with our charcoal sofa. The navy blue cushions are from Primark and they were £5 for 2, which was an amazing deal! The mustard patterned cushions are from H&M home and they were £3 for the covers but I bought the inserts separately on Amazon. Finally, I can't remember the price of the really fluffy grey cushion but it's from IKEA and it's honestly the softest pillow I've ever owned. I love to just rub my face on it - is that weird? - because it's so silky, like a little cat. 

These are just a few of my favourite pieces of homeware that we got for our new flat, and they're all so affordable too! I'd love to do a more kitchen oriented version of this post, so let me know if you'd enjoy that!

Body Confidence & Me

Sunday, 9 July 2017

I never write personal posts and I think it's through fear that people I know in my real life will find it and then know personal things about me, but this is something I really wanted to share. It's my struggle with body confidence. 
Through my childhood and teens I was very lucky that I had a fast metabolism and I could eat whatever crap I wanted, lie about on the sofa like a walrus all day and not gain much weight and it was something I never really worried about. I got boobs and a bum and I loved and embraced my body - it was my face I had issues with. When I was 14 I was ridiculously insecure about how I looked. I hadn't discovered how to use make up properly, couldn't work out how to make my hair right for me and worried that everyone thought I was ugly. 

When I was about 15, I discovered make up and since then, my confidence about my looks soared and now, I'll happily leave the house with no make up and I've kind of realised that these are my features, like it or not, and I can use make up as a tool to enhance my facial features. It's not my looks or so-called 'beauty' that are bothering me anymore. I've done a 360.

Since turning 18, I've had to be a bit more careful about my weight. When I was living at home, I was okay because my mum would always make and serve me nutrious meals with lots of vegetables and fruit and healthy things. However, when I started uni, I became queen of the takeaway and ready meals and I've put on weight. I was a very comfortable size 10 before starting uni and now I'm a 10/12. My stomach is no longer flat - it's all wobbly. I hate it. And I know that's not big for some people. I know people would kill to be my size. 

So, what I'm trying to say, is that I'm not very happy with how I look right now but that's okay. I'm working on loving myself, as I think we all are, and I hope one day to get there again. And while now I'm struggling to find parts about me that I love, I'm sure that soon I'll find them again. 

How I Edit My Blog Photos!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

I love these kinds of posts - I always pick up so many fun tips or things I'd never tried before from these so I thought I'd try my hand at making my own. I'm by no means any expert in editing; I don't have photoshop or anything, but I think that I can make my photos look a lot brighter, cleaner and vibrant than they did originally, so I thought I'd share how I get this result!

Firstly, it's so important to take your photos in bright, natural light to get the best results. I know that in the UK, finding a day with good natural light can be difficult but try taking pictures between 10am and 3pm, early morning and late afternoon light can be the dodgiest. I take all my photos on our bed because it's right in front of a huge window which gets such great afternoon light. 

I then upload my photos to my laptop, choose the best ones and airdrop them to my phone which is where I edit them. I used to use VSCO, but I now use ColourStory. I much prefer it - I love the way in which you adjust brightness! I got the results of the above photo with just 3 easy steps!

Firstly, I add the filter 'Pop' and adjust it; there's no exact way I adjust it each time, I just slide it until it looks perfect! Pop is better on brighter photos: if you're looking to brighten up a darker photo then I use the filter Everyday

Next, I adjust the brightness in the 'curves' setting, adjusting it again to taste. As you can see, this photo was already quite bright so I only had to adjust it a little bit! I love this setting on ColourStory because it's so visual - and you can make the smallest adjustments! 

Finally, I up the clarity a little bit if I feel like it's needed. It just helps add a bit of definition. And then finally, I save the photo, airdrop it back to my laptop and add it to a blog post! I also save the steps on ColourStory and create my own filter called 'Blog', so that I don't have to go through all these steps every time! 

I love the way I've been editing my blog photos at the moment. I don't like to toot my own horn or anything, but I feel like I'm making my photos look really lovely and attractive, and I'm so glad that I've found this style of editing: it makes a lovely Instagram theme as well!

How do you edit your photos? Let me know in the comments!

My Favourite Podcasts!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

I'd never really been into podcasts until very recently, when I found myself doing a lot of long train journeys with nothing other than music to listen to. This is when I discovered the world of podcasts. I love so many podcasts of so many different varieties, but these four are my ultimate subscribe-worthy podcasts - and I'm going to share them with you today!

My podcast journey began with My Dad Wrote A Porno, and boy was it a cracker to start off with! MDWAP is a podcast featuring Jamie Morton, Alice Levine and James Cooper, where they delve into the world of Belinda Blinked - an erotic novella written by Jamie's father under the psydeonum 'Rocky Flintstone'. Its hilarity comes in two parts: the terribly written erotica and the knowledge and the cringe factor that Jamie is reading his own dad's porn. We find ourselves enthralled as Belinda navigates her way around the Pots and Pans industry, sleeping her way to the top - who knew crockery could be so sexy?!

My Dad Wrote A Porno has 3 series and each episode revolves around one chapter of the porno. When I recommend this podcast, people think it sounds weird and honestly, before I started it, I thought it sounded weird too, but just give it a chance. It's had me crying with laughter on public transport before so trust me when I say it's a good'un. It's running now, so don't miss a new part every Monday and a new episodes of 'The Footnotes' featuring special guests such as Charlotte Crosby and George Ezra! 

Episode to start with: Series 1 Episode 1

The Guilty Feminist speaks to me on levels that I can't even begin to explain. It is a chatty podcast starring one of my all-time favourite comedians and ex-Jehovah's Witness Deborah Frances-White. Every week, Deborah invites along a guest co-host and also a special guest to talk about themes related to feminism and 'our noble goals as twenty-first century women'. It is hilarious, empowering, educational and mostly reassuring that everyone sometimes has un-feminist thoughts. 

Each episode starts with Deborah and the co-host saying 'I am a feminist, but...' and then stating something they think or do which makes them un-feminist. My favourite from the last episode was guest co-host Cariad Lloyd saying that she was a feminist but she is completely disgusted by 'jizz', despite the fact it is a natural bodily function for men, and she gives them shit for being disgusted by periods. Then, each co-host has a challenge to tell us about, related to the theme. One of my favourites was from the episode about dating, where Deborah told us for her challenge, she and her husband roleplayed meeting on Tinder, which was hilarious. 

I love this podcast for so many reasons. I think Deborah is phenomenal; I think it's highly relatable; it has taught me so much about intersectionality and has allowed me to open up my mind and learn more about the complexities of third-wave feminism. If you're a feminist, you will love this. I guarantee it!

Episode to start with: Episode 1, Nudity. 

Another podcast hosted by the wonderful Deborah Frances-White is Global Pillage, which was born out of a Guilty Feminist challenge for representation. It is a comedy panel show based around diversity, where panelists come from all places around the world and are a range of sexualities and genders. The unique element of Global Pillage is the involvement of the audience who also play as a team on the game, aptly named 'The Hive Mind'. 

This is a fairly new podcast to me, but the episodes I've listened to have had me in bits. My favourite round is the 'idiom' round, where idioms from around the world are translated and the teams have to guess what they mean. It's humorous and light but with a deeper more serious message about representation that is very important and that we should all make note of. 

Episode to start with: 4.5 Births, Marriages and Deaths

When I found out that two of my favourite bloggers were creating a podcast snooping around people's houses together, I couldn't contain my excitement. At Home With... follows Anna Newton (of The Anna Edit) and Lily Pebbles as they explore the homes of people such as food writer Madeline Shaw, blogger Kate La Vie, and most recently Liz Earle, ya know, the brains behind the Cleanse & Polish! It's such a relaxing podcast - a great one to listen to when you're in the bath - and it makes me feel all warm and cosy inside... and also green with envy at the amazingness of some of these peoples houses! 

Anna and Lily are two of the nicest people around; they're so genuine and you can really see this during this podcast. The guests they interview are always so interesting to me - be it bloggers I read or creators of products that I love - and not one episode of this podcast that is still in it's infancy has disappointed me yet. I'm so pleased for Anna and Lily that this has been such a success for them and I can't wait for more episodes in the future.

Episode to start with: At Home With Jo Elivin

So, there we have it. These are a few of my absolute favourite podcasts. I hope this blog post has at least convinced you to listen to one of them.

Do you have a favourite podcast? Let me know!

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