Thursday, 22 June 2017

Lilly Singh How To Be A Bawse Book Review


So the other month I ended up in Waterstone's and noticed IISuperWomanII aka Lilly Singh's book How To Be A Bawse, which I'd not looked at in person yet since the release. It also happened that this book was a signed copy by Lilly herself and as I love her videos and I'd wanted this book for a while, I couldn't leave it behind.

Picking up this book, I was intrigued as I know Lilly is a very wise person as well as comedic so I had a feeling it would be an amazing book and I was excited to read it upon the news she was putting a book out.

This book is like no other motivational book I've looked at or read before, I feel like Lilly's points are very refreshing and make you open your mind to new possibilities and new ways of looking at situations and scenarios. I actually found myself using the advice the very next week after purchasing the book. The way in which Lilly structures and writes her advice and tips, is in a very bluntly honest fashion which I think works well in articulating how to be a 'bawse'. Lilly's charm and humour comes across really well and makes you want to keep on reading and keep on learning about how events in her life have shaped the way she thinks and how she can reflect and work on things in retrospect.

This book highlights the ways in which you can be a 'Bawse' and basically suggesting ways to improve your life and make it more successful. I feel like seeing Lilly's success and the fact she mentions how at one point in her life she felt she wasn't destined for anything great, but she wanted to be known for something, can really motivate and set it straight that if you work hard continuously while following her tips and being appreciative of what you have, can lead you onto good things. It's really well organised and structured which makes it much more interesting as you feel like you can't put it down once you've started.

I really suggest this book to anyone who wants to try a new outlook on life, or just intrigued on bettering your mind and soul.

Lilly has a truly motivational and purposeful outlook on life and I really enjoyed reading her insights and advice on how to conquer life.

Have any of you read the book? Or maybe you're a fan of Lilly's YouTube channel?

Let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!

Love & hugs,
Claire xxxx

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Let's Reflect: First Year At University (Anxiety/Grades/Independence)

Hey everyone!

So today I thought I'd do a small Reflective post seeing as I'm actually at the end of my First Year as a university student! That feels absolutely CRAZY and surreal to write but here we are.

I'm going to be honest here and say the very first day I arrived at university, was the worst day of my life. My anxiety was playing up, I felt sick and my door wouldn't lock and my university took hours to come and fix it while I was stuck in my room feeling unable to leave. Once my parents left I had various panic attacks and had no appetite, watched SacconeJolys and just felt absolutely lost. Can I just add, The SacconeJolys were my absolute saviours during the first few weeks of uni, alongside a few of my closest friends who kept me going, I love you very much. You guys probably know who you are! There was a small period of my first part of uni life where all I genuinely cared about was The SacconeJolys and watching them. Their love for their little family and love for the friendliest friends community got me through.

One of the main things I worried about uni was obviously making friends and actually attending the lectures, as well as generally living alone and fending for myself.
I have a small group of friends, I'm not on my own, there's people who care, it may not be how I thought it would be, but I'm really, really, grateful for everyone I've met at uni so far. I made a huge effort to get involved in chatting to people, bearing in mind I'm EXTREMELY bad at talking to people on my own, my shyness takes over, I was proud of myself for generally pushing myself, my social anxiety is still very much there.
Also, in regards to attending lectures, I attended pretty much all of them and stayed through them all, I feared I'd be unable to go to them or stay in them for the full time, it is still something I fear for next year, like a small recurring worry, but the fact I did first year, makes me grateful that I managed it.

I've experienced a lot of different things at uni, one main one being living independently, which is something very new to me as my parents are quite on the overprotective side at times, so living by my own ways was weird but also a sense of relief. It was hard to adjust to at first especially as I have limited cooking skills and took a while to feel like I actually felt settled and wanted there, but I can tell you as I was leaving my little room for the last time, I was feeling very bittersweet and like I was going to miss it, which I will do. Living independently is a huge step if you suffer with any kind of mental illness.

What I can honestly say about uni is that it is quite fast paced, something which has taken me a while to get used to and indeed I'm not sure if I'm entirely used to. Sometimes I'd find myself thinking 'how random is this, I would have never expected this a year ago'. Uni managed to train me to be a little more spontaneous and in some ways enjoy the spontaneous, however, when it comes to new terms and lectures, they were always a bit of a trigger.
However looking back from a year ago, I can't believe some of the situations or scenarios I've had and many trigger ones.
I can't believe it and I am really proud of myself as if I'd not come to uni, I probably wouldn't have had those opportunities. Even though university wasn't my immediate plan, it's something which has definitely changed me and made me grow as a person especially in the last year. Everything definitely happens for a reason, taking a year out was a great idea as I needed some time to rest, got some experience and then threw myself back into the whole 'education' system. I did apply for an apprenticeship which got ignored which I used to be slightly disappointed over, now I realise it was meant to happen.

I was talking to 2 friends recently, about how different things were a year ago and one of them remembered how nervous I was about starting uni and how terrified I was that I wouldn't be able to do it.

My mental health is still not perfect, I still have bad anxiety episodes, my social anxiety has increased a bit, BUT the actual anxiety of me not being able to survive and attend lectures?
I've been more sociable and adaptive to unplanned socialising than I have in years. Being away from home has given me a breath of freedom and even though I am missing out on some things and don't feel like my university life has been perfect, it's been better than I could have imagined. I've been spontaneous. I managed to go on a night out when it was only supposed to be a couple of drinks and even they were last minute and I wasn't feeling 100% before and hadn't ate as much as I would have liked but guess what - the night was amazing and I enjoyed it so much. Also managed to be in a crowd for a couple of hours during my uni's Final Fling which involved quite a busy drum and bass set, which I was surprisingly okay during (I was at the very side of the crowd so there was a space/gap where I could go if I felt I needed to escape which I think was the main reason I coped) but the main part is I enjoyed it and was fine.

Also, yes I'm terrified for second year as a lot of my friends are leaving as my flatmate is a Masters Student and a lot of the friends I've developed through her are also leaving which leaves me pretty much more friendless, but the most important thing I must remember is I survived and built a life here, away from home, myself with nothing, on that very first day of university, which like I said was the worst day of my life.

However, the point of this post isn't to worry about next year, it is a celebration of the last year and the fact that my life is in a very different place than it was last year, my anxiety isn't cured it's still very much there, but compare me to who I was in March 2016, and one of the days where I felt like I had absolutely nothing, fast forward a year and 2 months on and I've grown so much, tackled so many situations I never thought I would have done and I'm here. I'm surviving.

I guess this is for all of the people not sure whether to move away for university or whether to even go to university, you may think your anxiety or mental health may stop you, but I can tell you from my own experience, my experience may not have been 100% what I wanted but it is progress and I've grown so much in the time I've been here. Putting myself into situations and finding quick coping methods got me through.

Towards the end of first year, my main thoughts were Zoe's 'Say Yes' and also generally knowing I wanted to make the most out of my time, so I found myself saying yes to sometimes last minute plans, knowing that I wanted to make memories and try and spend less time thinking 'why didn't I go to that' etc. This was something which was quite brave but something I consciously made an effort to do. It isn't easy and it takes time to do but if you take small steps, it's something to try.

The truth is I've built something here and at uni and got into scenarios and situations and done small little things I wouldn't have done a year ago, got through them with little anxiety or even no panic attacks. And if you take anything from this post, please honestly believe that a year ago or even 2 years ago some of the things that I've been able to do, I honestly wouldn't have believed you. My life isn't perfect and my mental health/anxiety isn't fixed, but I'm actually doing okay.
I'm sure I'll be tested at the start of next year, in regards to settling back into an education and timetabled routine with new lectures and rooms and stuff, but what I have is the proof that this little Newcastle girl who used to go home before some lessons in sixth form even started cos she couldn't even bring herself to go through the door, managed to attend majority of her lectures minus possibly one, and survived them all (some with a little anxiety but PUSHED ON)

In terms of my work I've done mostly 2:1's, however I did manage a First in a group project which I was very surprised about but very glad for, as especially towards the end of First Year I really wanted to get at least one First.

I thank all of you for being such a good support to me and I regret that this blog became a little lost amongst it all, I really hope that I can manage to properly get these posts back even when I'm back at university next year.

Please let me know any thoughts you have, especially if you've just finished First Year!

Love & hugs,
Claire xxxx

Thursday, 15 June 2017

NYX Lip Lingerie Bustier Review


So I was in Boots recently, heading to the NYX counter (as I'm literally obsessed) and noticed that NYX had actually brought out new shades in their Lingerie range. As someone who already owns two of them and loves them dearly, I had to pick up another.

If you've not experimented with the Lip Lingerie range, it's basically a gorgeous range of matte nude shades, which have the most pretty matte finish and have the ability to look just as gorgeous during the day as they do at night.

Bustier is extremely long lasting and very opaque, it's matte finish isn't too drying which is definitely a bonus!

The only issue I've had with this particular one so far is that it sometimes has a tendency to come out of the tube in thick blobs rather than a smooth formula, I'm not sure if I just got unlucky with this particular one as I've never had that problem before with my other two Lingerie lippies, but it isn't too big a problem as it smoothes out when it's on the lips.

Here is a photo of what it looks like (apologies for the cropping, my skin is not that great atm and I didn't feel confident enough to show much of it)
Bustier is definitely very similar to Embellishment yet less purple, more brown toned. I'm really glad I bought it, I would own all of the NYX Lingerie shades if I could afford them all haha!
I will more than likely be picking up another from the Lingerie range, as they are such a pretty and unique range of shades compared to other high street.

Have you tried any of the NYX Lip Lingerie shades?

Which are your favourites?

Love & hugs.
Claire xxxxxxxx

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Liebster Award #2

Hey everyone!

So a few weeks ago, the lovely Chanelle from Chanelle Hayley nominated me for my second Liebster Award. Her questions are below and I shall answer them now!!

1. Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?It's definitely not my favourite topping for a pizza, I've eaten it on pizza before but if I was choosing I'd probably opt for without.
2. Do you believe in soul mates?I'm not 100% sure about this, I believe that people come into your life for the right reasons, you meet people where it really feels like fate upon meeting them, in terms of soulmates I'm not 100% sure. If you'd asked me this a few years ago I would have probably said yes, but thinking now I'm not sure.
3. What’s your dream job?I wanted to be a singer when I was younger but since I can't actually sing, I'd say something in the media industry maybe even blogging!
4. Favourite song from your childhood?Scooter - Posse was one of my favourite songs as a child, as was Love Machine by Girls Aloud! I had a lot of favourites to be honest!
5. What’s your favourite fashion trend currently?I'm loving the mesh trend and the cold shoulder trend recently, I've been obsessed with buying clothes over makeup recently, and a lot of my wishlists on Boohoo and New Look include clothes which are either cold shoulder tops or mesh related.
6. What’s your middle name?Louise :)

7. What’s your favorite TV show?I love EastEnders and Corrie, but I tend to love reality TV programmes and sitcoms, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Malcolm In The Middle never get old! Also Family Guy never gets old either!
8. What is your go-to drink when you’re out?Alcohol-wise it's usually a Vodka and Coke (single or double depending how I'm feeling). If I decide to choose a cocktail it will probably be a Blue Lagoon or Sex on the beach or long island iced tea.
9. Do you drink alcohol? I do! Not to a very extreme amount but I do love a good drink.
10. What is something about you people might not expect? Any hobbies, talents etc.Erm I'm not someone who has loads of hobbies/talents. I'd say people don't expect me to have a bit of a dirty mind/potty mouth at times, I played Cards Against Humanity the other week and my flatmate was even a little surprised at me!
11. What question do you hate being asked?When I was younger it was probably stuff like 'why are you so skinny' because it's pretty disrespectful but people don't acknowledge it. I'd probably say anything too personal.

Well that's all of the questions done, thank you Chanelle for tagging me to do this tag!

I tag anyone who wishes to do this tag, and you may use these questions:
1. Favourite animals?
2. Favourite pizza topping?
3. What is your longest ongoing friendship?
4. Favourite dessert?
5. Have you ever broken a bone?
6. What's your go-to drink when you're out?
7. Favourite form of social media?
8. Do you prefer your birthday or Christmas?
9. Who was your first celebrity crush?
10. Favourite types of films to watch?

Love & hugs,
Claire xxx

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Spread Love

Hey everyone!

This post is dedicated to those who suffered because of the Manchester terror attacks. I send my love to you.

I feel like this is an important post for a number of reasons. There has been a lot of tragedies in the news lately, a lot of people hurt and even worse killed, a lot of difficult things to read and hear about happening.

What I want to say is that it's so incredible seeing how a lot of people have reacted, the amount of love shown following the attacks and the generosity of a lot of the public. The first reaction is to help and show love.

Spreading love is HUGELY important, spread it everywhere, the ones you love and see everyday, the ones you don't see everyday, your friends and family but most importantly strangers too.
Don't limit your love to just people you know, spread love and kindness and positivity to people you don't know, that's what is really important. Be kind to people, it costs nothing and it can make a real difference. I feel like a lot of love and kindness to strangers has happened since the attacks, which is great as LOVE CONQUERS HATE.

Love unites us all and spreading it to everyone is crucial, so we are all included.

Right now, the One Love Manchester is taking place, raising money to help the families and friends of those involved and heavily affected with the tragedy in Manchester.

There are many ways you can donate and show your support.
The JustGiving fund page is linked here.
You can also buy merch from the One Love Manchester shop linked here.
Ariana is also re-releasing One Last Time as a charity single in aid of the victims, you can download that here.

Love always wins,

Love & hugs,
Claire xxx

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

March 2017 Favourites

Hey everyone!

I've got March Favourites to discuss today, who can believe it's April already?! I certainly can't!! Also March became the first month I've been away from home for the entire month from uni, I was away from February 19th - 3rd April, the longest I've ever been away from home.

Anyway, on with my favourites!

NYX Lip Lingerie - Beauty Mark
I decided to try out a darker brown liquid lipstick, as I've actually never experimented with it before and I was impressed with my Lip Lingerie in Embellishment so I decided to try out Beauty Mark. I was a bit unsure at first but got some good feedback from it and it's actually become one I enjoy wearing quite a lot. It's quite dark on me than what I've seen on other people.

New Look
I seem to keep browsing the New Look website and buying new clothes lately, I've been going slightly out of my comfort zone with clothes buying recently, a bit more daring than I would have previously been. New Look has a lot of great stuff in at the moment too and at a great price so it's been nice to browse!

Ed Sheeran - Galway Girl
It's been a very Ed Sheeran filled month, but Galway Girl is one of my favourite songs from recently, it's just so catchy and so upbeat and just puts me in such a good mood. I really hope it gets released as a single although it's charted really well anyway.

Ed Sheeran - Nancy Mulligan
Nancy Mulligan is another track which I've been loving from Ed's new album Divide. I love the irish influences on the album and this is another one which is very Irish and soooo catchy!

Ed Sheeran - Don't
Whilst on my Ed Sheeran spree, I forgot how much I loved 'Don't' and listened to it a lot last month too. Ed is a genius lyricist.

Pink - Raise Your Glass
I totally forgot how much I loved this song until I heard it on a night out and me and my flatmate found ourselves singing along to it at the tops of our lungs. A belter.

Charli XCX & CupcakKe - Lipgloss
Charli XCX released a new EP this month and I had two major stand out tracks which I became a big fan of. Lipgloss is so quirky and catchy.

Charli XCX - Babygirl
Babygirl is also extremely catchy and of very typical Charli style, her own electronic pop sound. I'm a big fan!

Flo Rida ft Sam Martin - Dirty Mind
I ended up listening to a Flo Rida Spotify playlist and discovered this as I'd not actually heard it when it was apparently released. Flo Rida is one of my favourite rappers and I love so many of his tracks and this is no different.

Drake - Passionfruit
There's something very hypnotic about the music in this, hits me right in my R&B heart. I love it and although I wouldn't say it's to everyone's taste, I appreciate it a lot. I genuinely can't stop listening to it at the moment.
(No link available but it's on Spotify and iTunes)

Thank you so much for reading my March Favourites!

Love & hugs,
Claire xxx

Sunday, 9 April 2017

What Anxiety Has Taught Me

Hey everyone!!

So I've been thinking of doing a post like this for a while, as many of you know, although I've been a worrier for years, I've dealt with anxiety in many kinds in recent years and even though dealing with such awful experiences has been tough, it has also been a really big learning curve and has definitely changed and developed me as a person. There has been highs and lows and many different obstacles along the way.

My anxiety has allowed me to be extremely open-minded as I try to be as understanding as I would want someone to be if I was in the middle of feeling bad. I feel like this is one of the more valuable things I've learned as it's allowed me to consider others a lot more as I make a big attempt to be the kind of person I'd want in my life if I was struggling. It's definitely made me a lot more aware of other people's pain and trying to help in any way I can.

One of the main things anxiety has really taught me is to be proud of myself for the littler accomplishments. When you have the easy ability to do the simplest and most everyday tasks taken away from you.

I've learned that there is so many different meanings of the word 'bravery' through my anxiety. Most people think of 'being brave' as something massive and very dramatic, but being brave can literally be reserved for any situation. Being brave is when you're having multiple doubts about turning up to a lecture, but you push on and go anyway, but it can be anything.

I feel like anxiety has given me the ability to be more grateful of things in life, even though my mind is often feeling unsatisfied, it's made me really make a conscious effort to appreciate the little things in life, which Jonathan Saccone Joly (one of my favourite YouTubers) also preaches. But it's really important as the little things equal to the bigger things in the end.

Sometimes you have to put yourself first, do what is best for you. You can't make everyone happy, but you do have to do things for yourself sometimes. It's something I'm still learning and attempting but I still feel like it's important to include!

I feel like you learn who's really there for you when you have tough times, surrounding yourself around people who raise your spirits and know how to uplift you when you're struggling, and understand that you may need reassurance at times can really help. I know when I started university, one of my best friends was an absolute rock to me, keeping me going and making me feel so much better when I had no confidence in myself and was generally lost. I'm really appreciative for everything she did for me as she really understood what I was going through.

Dealing with something as relentless as anxiety can be exhausting and it's only sometimes that this happens but there are times where I can acknowledge that I AM a strong person because of this and I left this to the end as it's something I'm still learning now as it's such an easy thing to forget and I'd say a good 75% of the time I forget I'm a strong person but it's something I encourage all of you to believe and remember in times when it's tough.

Thank you so much for reading this blog post!
What has your anxiety taught you? Or have you experienced an illness or condition that has taught you something? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Love & hugs,
Claire xxxxxxxxx