Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Birchbox Be Present Not Perfect March 2018

This is the third Birchbox I have tried and I have to say the box is extremely pretty. I was super excited to finally see what all the fuss was about with the Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara. 


First up in this months box is the BLAQ Hydrogel Eye Mask Under Eye Patches, R.R.P £22.00 for 5. I don't know if I am alone here, but does anyone else find these a bit gimmicky? I felt like I had some weird black slugs on my face, and to be honest the only thing I noticed after leaving them on for 20 minutes was that my under eye felt a little bit cooler. I wouldn't say that I noticed a massive difference in puffiness or that it lightened my dark circles at all.

I was not impressed to see what looked like yet another eyeshadow in my box and a brown one at that, this one was however a split bronzer and highlighter duo, from a brand I have never heard of. Manna Kadar Cosmetics Radiance Split Pan Bronzer & Highlighter Duo, retailing for £16.00. It is cruelty and paraben free, suitable for vegans but super tiny. Personally I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a teeny tiny almost sample sized looking bronzer, even if it is a duo.


Again having never heard of this brand before I wasn't expecting much, but this little bottle was a god send. I absolutely loved it. The Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, which was a trial size usually retails for £14.99, which for the quality of this product I would say is fairly reasonable for the full size.It smells sweet, keeps your hair super shiny and in place. Not only that but it protects against heat damage and is cruelty, sodium chloride, petrochemicals, gluten and sulphate free.


It was nice to receive a facial cleanser for a change, this Seba Med Antibacterial Cleansing Foam retails for £7.99. Having had a weird breakout when this box arrived I was eager to give this a try, it was actually very gentle yet refreshing. You could certainly feel it had worked because your skin felt stripped of some oils and dirt, without feeling completely dry. I wouldn't say that this cleared me up completely, I still had to use my go to Tropic cleanser but it definitely helped.


The main focus of this box has got to be the Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara, unfortunately a trial size. At full price this goes for a whopping £21.50, however I have to say that it is probably one of the best mascaras I have tried and would be worth the splurge.


My Verdict, as I said last month this is my last Birchbox. I really wasn't that impressed with the selection of products and the only thing that really stood out for me was the cute mini boxes. Let's be honest, I cannot carry on the subscription purely for the box, however I was a little sad to have missed out on the limited edition Cath Kidson box. The two main products I am happy to have trialed and will repurchase have got to be the Benefit Bad Gal Bang mascara and the Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Monday, 16 April 2018

Letting Go of Old Friends

Having had my fair share of heartbreak from boyfriend after boyfriend, you would think I would be used to being let down and the pain of a break up by now. 

After all it is considered a normal part of growing up and therefore we shouldn't really be surprised when it happens. The thing is when it happens to friendships it's totally different, life doesn't prepare you for friendship breakups. They are especially painful. 


We all have friends that we think will be our partners in crime forever, you imagine yourself being that old cooky couple causing havoc. You never imagine the day that you walk away, certain people are supposed to be there for life right?

But there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough. You realise that the friendship isn't actually working and is kind of toxic, you wouldn't stay in a relationship that is like that and pretty much one sided would you? So why should friendships be any different? When you have relied on certain people for so long it can be hard to turn your back and leave it all behind, I still find myself questioning my decision.


This year I decided that 2018 was going to be my year, I was going to stop doing things that I didn't want, that didn't make me happy and stop trying to please and make effort with people that didn't with me.

Just before Christmas, myself and someone I called my best friend of 10+ years had a big fallout. Not for the first time either, having her attack me in such a manor that belittled me for being myself, a coeliac and blogger I said enough was enough and called it quits. I know how loyal I am, I would do nothing to hurt anyone let alone those close to me. So I was deeply hurt and distraught.


I had done more than she would ever know to be loyal, to which I have several witnesses to back me up. I only wish when I had to the chance I had told my whole truth, however it is all a bit late now and to be honest I really do not want the drama of it now.


Looking back over the years of friendship I find myself realising that she always tried to find ways to belittle me, taking stabs at me for being single and never taking me seriously when I found myself struggling with health issues. Yet I stuck by her, helped her whenever she needed it and going so far as to keep secrets that could otherwise ruin relationships.


I am in no way blaming her or criticising her because at the end of the day I stayed in that situation. I was the one that should have taken control, set boundaries and probably walked away years ago. Don't get me wrong letting go of this long term friendship hurt like hell and still does but I am so much better off for it.

I am a firm believer in quality over quantity, I have never had many friends and have less now but wouldn't you much rather have a few genuine people in your life, than many generic acquaintances.

I can now count on at least one amazing friend. Who accepts me for who I am, no matter what the circumstances, supports me in whatever I choose to do and gets my quirks and weird ways.


We can go months without seeing each other yet when we meet it's as if no time has passed at all.
Yeah it is hard to finally realise you need to walk away but, now I have removed myself from this horrible situation I can actually use the time I wasted trying to keep that friendship alive, on my old and some new friendships. You never know they may very well develop into the kind of friendships that I spoke about at the start.

Shirt: H&M
Skirt: Forever 21
Boots: Rocketdog
Cardigan: Primark
Glasses: Specsavers
Bag: Spectrum Collections


Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Staying Safe with Online Dating*

With so many different dating sites, apps and even just forms of dating we all need to be aware of how easy it is to fall into a trap. We need to be aware of our own safety and how to deal with situations that make us uncomfortable.


There has been a lot of media coverage on the Me Too Movement, which I think is partially good. I mean there is a risk of some people just jumping on the band waggon, not to say that the vast majority haven't genuinely had an experience of abuse, but hopefully you know what I mean.

If you have been a long standing reader then you know that I have had my share of abuse, from an emotionally abusive partner to being sexually abused at work. Most people have experienced some form of it at one time or another, it is a real shame.

I have had my fair share of bad experiences with online dating, a few times guys have tried to sway me into sending nude or naughty pics. To which I replied with a really dirty picture.. Harley asleep with her fangs out. Needless to say they didn't reply, but then would you if you got sent a dogs sharp teeth?

Other times I have been aware that the conversation was leading to dick pics... well I just quite simply said that I really was not up for that and do not see what the fascination is with it. The conversion slowly died off and obviously he was only after one thing. At the end of the day, it was no loss for me because I would have wanted to know sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately things don't always go so easily and we are forced into situations that we didn't ever think we would be in. In my early career days I was very impressionable, young and naive; which are all perfect attributes for men or women looking to take advantage. I was groomed in a sense to wear certain items of clothing, arrive to work early and form secret ways of communicating.

Alongside all this there were acts of sexual interaction that at the time I thought I wanted, however hindsight is such a wonderful thing, you realise that you were actually being persuaded into the situation because really you felt you had no other option. Luckily I never actually slept with this person, however it could have very easily have gone that way had I have not left the company when I did.

Being a female can be very difficult at times, so when you think about all the hassle we have gone through over the past 100 years, you should always be cautious in whatever it is you're doing. Be it work, going out with friends or even just dating. Never put yourself in a situation that you wouldn't want your friend or loved one to be in, be safe.

The main thing to be aware of when you are looking into a sex dating site or an adult dating site is to be vigilant if something seems off then it most probably is. If they are being abusive online then don't stand for it get out of there, remember there is a difference between fun play and actual abuse. Always tell someone, anyone that you are going to meet whoever it is online and where it is you're planning to meet. If you haven't met this person before, then set up a first meet in a crowded area, so you can get an idea of the person and check that they are actually who they say they are. Trust your instincts, your gut is usually right.

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Be Unforgettable in this Cut Out Skirt

Spring is finally here it is time to break out the pastels and our legs! I recently had a rummage through Primark and managed to get myself a new outfit. Honestly I couldn't believe that the skirt & shirt together came to a mere £18.00. It's funny that as we get older you find yourself caring less and less where your clothes are from and wanting to try and spend less; when I think back to when I was younger I wouldn't ever want anyone to know I was wearing anything that came from Primark.


This floral shirt is such a statement piece, with butterflies and many different floral sketches. It is actually quite a long shirt, so can be worn with leggings or jeans. Shirts like these are so versatile, making even the most non-girly girl look sophisticated. 


Do you have footwear that you rediscover your love for? I have had these suede boots for a few years now and don't actually wear them that often, however when I was putting this look together, they just seemed to finish it off. The chunky heel appears to be back in fashion and lets face it high thigh boots are never out.


Stand out with the cut out detail in this blush pink skirt, which is so pretty and really makes it perfect for spring and summer. It would also go great with a cami top too.


Leather jackets never go out of style, and always give any look an edgy vibe. Whilst a denim jacket would have gone well here too, the leather jacket fit better with the suede boots and gorgeous spectrum fire bag.







Shirt: Primark
Skirt: Primark
Boots: Primark
Jacket: New Look
Glasses: Specsavers
Bag: Spectrum Collections
Watch: Johnny Loves Rosie


Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Too Faced Store on Carnaby Street

Ever since the flagship store opened in December last year I have been itching to go! I know it is a little sad, but come on it is their only stand alone store globally and it's my favourite brand by far! Just look at how pretty the whole store is from the dollhouse till to the peach stand. 


This has got to be the focus point for the entire store, I cannot imagine any girl that doesn't want a dollhouse just like this all of her own. With the Too Faced goodies included of course, here you can find the mini's as well as their new exclusive pearl necklace.



I especially loved the set up for all the lippies, after all that is my signature piece these days. You can also get the new Peaches & Cream collection in the store, which has been displayed in a giant peach. I was finally able to have a look at the Peach Blur, which is the compact finishing powder of the Peaches & Cream range. I use the Peach Perfect Setting Powder, so when I tried the Peach Blur it really made no difference at all. It was a little disappointing because I was looking for a compact version of the loose setting powder, however, I am glad that I waited till I actually tried it in store.



Another item from the Peaches & Cream range I was dieing to try was the cream to powder blushers, I mean it is a strange concept to get your head around. Honestly though, they did exactly as described and I was gobsmacked.

Life's a Festival was also in store, I had been intrigued to try out the Magic Crystal Lip Topper. Having already had a dark shade of Melted Matte on, I tried out Unicorn Tears over the top and it created such a beautiful look. The only downside is that it is a little sticky and does make the Melted Mattes not last as long as they usually do.


I obviously had to get a picture on the mini bus, I would love a back wall just like this one!


Needless to say I did leave the shop with a mini haul. I have been using the setting spray for quite some time now and have to say it is incredible, I was just in need of a new one.

I did get one blusher in So Peachy and had to purchase the Unicorn Tears Lip Topper obviously, I also re-purchased a sketch liner as these are so pigmented.


Have you been to the Too Faced store? What did you think?

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Monday, 2 April 2018

March Lookback 2018

March has certainly been filled with lots of ups & downs, the start was such a great beginning for me and I honestly  thought it couldn't get any better. I had the feeling like this was really going to be my year, but then it all started to go wrong towards the end... 


Social

Well I said last year that I would go to the C2C concert whether I went alone or not. Guess what I went and I went twice, Friday and Saturday. It was such an awesome experience and one I will certainly do again, just hope that I can manage to go to a more American one next time if that makes sense at all.. it would be pretty damn cool to actually see someone like Florida Georgia Line in the States.

That said the Friday was spent with my Mum and we made a day of it, going down to London in the morning so I could actually go visit the Too Faced Store! I know sad right, but I really don't give a F***. It was so pretty and I was happy to finally be able to try out the Peach Blur compact which I had been debating buying for such a long time. Needless to say I didn't buy it, if you're wondering, the Peach setting powder is amazing and you literally cannot tell a difference with the peach blur.

The Saturday I met up with a fellow Country lover and we went back down to the O2 and had another night of Country fun. Honestly I loved it, but god was I shattered after. I think I must have been up over the two days for about 40 hours, which is pretty unheard of for me, needless to say I was a moody cow the following Monday at work.



Blog 

Whilst there hasn't been much in the blogging world for us to actually review, I have managed to collaborate with a couple of brands. Studio 10 contacted me via. Instagram, which for me is pretty big news and means that all the hard work I am putting into my photos and posts is starting to pay off. I have also started to reach out to a few brands and managed to get a collaboration with Lisa Angel, again I am pretty proud of myself for achieving this.

I have also done a few more fashion shots this month with a couple more coming up, so am happy that this is moving along nicely. With that in mind, I have also started to branch more into lifestyle posts which seem to be paying off, as you guys appear to like them much more than the beauty ones I do. So thank you for the continued support on that.

Health



Well here's where things start to go a little awry for me, I have found out that I have Osteopenia. The thing is that having this doesn't actually bother me, the fact that I now have yet another thing wrong with me does. It just seems to be one thing after another, when will things just stop.

The good news, I have had my MRI scan results back and the abnormality in my liver has been ruled out as benign. So thats one less thing to worry about. I have, however, found a lump in one of my breasts. This is likely to be nothing, especially with my age and family history, so being perfectly honest I am not concerned. Yet it is a little daunting that the doctor has referred me straight away and I have an appointment fairly quickly.

Love & Letting Go

Well I had started to see someone that I had known for a few years, there had always been an unspoken feeling between us. Like we both knew we kind of liked one another and having slept together a few years back we knew that we obviously found each other attractive. Yet we never really did anything about it, just carried on talking on and off.

Well we decided to see how things would go and give it a try, keeping things on the "down low" whatever that really means?!?!? who knows...

I thought things were going ok, having quite a nice time over a few weeks. He works away a lot and lives a few hours away, which for me works quite well. I mean I quite like my own time and generally don't like to be clung onto. But obviously things didn't work out that way and he called it off.

We have stayed friends however which is good, but I am left thinking that I am just not cut out for relationships. I don't think people get my sense of humour or the way I am. I can be very dry or sarcastic. Yes it can come off as real or childish, but if you don't get it then who's problem is it? Not mine in my opinion, most of the guys at work and the few friends I do have find it funny.


Sadly this month we had to say goodbye to one of our family pets, she was actually my cat back when I lived at home. My mum took her on when I moved out because I couldn't take her with me, Shannon was a beautiful girl. She had a hard start, having been dumped at an RSPCA rescue centre because her previous owners wouldn't and couldn't give her treatment for her cat flu. They basically left her till she was on deaths door, so she always had a damaged nose which meant she snotted everywhere. But we gave her a wonderful life and home, and she gave us such a fun filled characteristic response back.  RIP Shannon.


Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

'The Noel' Felt Letter Board from Lisa Angel*

I have been after a felt letter board for ages, so when I was given the chance to work with Lisa Angel I had to jump at the chance to get one of these gorgeous boards. 




'The Noel' Felt Letter Board retails for £35.00 and comes in a variety of 4 colours. I opted for pink mainly because it suits my photos, it is my favourite colour and don't we deserve to be childish and girly sometimes?

There are slightly cheaper versions of these boards for £25.00, however you don't get the funky symbols with them and I will be perfectly honest even from the photos you can see the quality difference.


The letters are quite easy to use, however you do only get 155 characters in total. This might seem like a lot but it isn't enough to create longer quotations other than 'We Wear Pink on Wednesdays'. I wanted to write a chorus from one of my favourite songs 'Baby you a song, You make me wana roll my windows down and cruise' but there aren't enough y's for me to do that.

I have not been able to find a place to buy just characters either, it would actually be cheaper to purchase a dirt cheap felt board from eBay and use the characters from that. So that is the only negative I have against this particular board, if they added extra characters then it would be much better value for money and generally more practical.


Lisa Angel as a company are pretty great, I have purchased from them for years and have nearly never had any issues. I do love their price range and the variety of items in stock.

I have got an exclusive 15% off code running with Lisa Angel which will run out at the end of April, just use ROMANOV15 at the checkout. So if you have had your eye on any goodies or just fancy treating yourself then now is the time, plus they always have free delivery with no minimum order!

* I received this board from Lisa Angel for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased feedback, all my views and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in anyway. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

World Stationary Day Competition with the Old English Company*

Did you know that its World Stationary day on the 25th April? I didn't! I am a closet stationary lover and can't believe I was none the wiser.

The Old English Company have a great selection of stationary, homeware and accessories. I am especially in love with their selection of prints, particularly this Map of USA.


In honour of World Stationary Day the Old English Company have a competition running where you can win all four of their Planners, within the pages there are daily task lists for you to easily fill in. You also have the option to fill in the date at your pleasure, so you don't have to worry about missing a day or two. On top of that there is a large sized note section at the bottom of each page for anything you might need to remember or jot down.


If you want to grab your chance at getting your hands on all four planners from the Old English Company then head over to the Competition Page here. Be quick though because they will be announcing the winner on the 26th April.


* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information, all photos shown in this post are property of the Old English Company.


Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Dating a Coeliac*

Going on dates can be daunting at the best of times, we have all had good and bad dates I am sure. I know many people that have so many different funny and brilliant stories. Let me tell you, being a Coeliac to boot doesn't make it any easier.


There are many things about me that I try to keep bottled up or just generally dampened until someone is ready to get to know me fully, because I know I can be a little full on and just well odd. One thing I wish I could keep close to my chest until absolutely necessary is being a Coeliac, and to be perfectly honest I shouldn't feel the need to keep it a secret, but I do.

The problem is dating = dinner, which means I have to broach the subject of food and all the jargon that comes along with this disease. God I hate that word, sounds like I have something awful and infectious.

"You're not on one of those Gluten Diets are you?"

Even though there is more awareness of gluten free dietary needs, there is still ignorance around the seriousness of Coeliac Disease. There is little to no understanding as to what it is or what it does to us as individuals, I was recently happily shocked when someone at one of my meetup groups spoke to me about it. He was very enthusiastic about the fact that people these days are extremely unwilling to open up their minds to change and even to just ask questions for fear of looking stupid. It is something I come across daily, not just with my Coeliac Disease but with work and so on.

So when you you are struggling to even get across what it is you have, when it is fairly easy for someone to search it on the net, you are not really off to a great start are you?

Generally it would be best to select a restaurant to eat at prior to the date, because I could then call them up and check they cater with no fuss. This doesn't always happen however, so when you are wandering around looking for a new place to eat only to be hit with obstacles, it can be very off putting. Places initially saying they cater, but then giving you silly options like rabbit food and expecting you to be grateful. It can make you feel very insecure and come across as if you are difficult, first impressions are everything and if this is what it looks like, then it will look like eating out with you is a chore?

 "Eating out with you is going to be a Chore"

If the date has gone well and you're getting on great, then the end should close with a kiss right? Have you ever been worried about the fact that the other person has been eating gluten or drinking beer? No? Most people don't, but for me I have too. If it goes in my mouth and I have the possibility of ingesting it, I could get ill. So how do you ask someone to go wash their mouth out? You just can't can you... it's strange and they would run for the hills.. 'who is this crazy bitch?!?!?'

"You want me to what?? Wash my mouth out?" - Crazy Bitch

It's not all bad though, despite the initial introduction we don't take much work. I will always keep myself fed and try to keep some form of food on me in case there isn't anything about. We get super excited about new food, and are experts at reading labels. We are excellent interrogators too. 

But if the date still not going your way and it completely fails, then no fear there is a get out clause. Just head over to the bar and 'Ask for Angela'. It is a new scheme created for people on dates that are feeling uncomfortable or scared, that need a discreet way of letting staff within the bar/ resturant know. 

We Love Dates have set up a wonderful campaign that has been proven to work, 'Ask for Angela', so if you find yourself on a date from another free dating site or set up from one of your friends or whatever, and it just isn't going well, then go to the bar and 'Ask for Angela'.

* This is a sponsored post. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

Always be kind, you never know what personal battle people are fighting.

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