September.

There is a lot of good things happening this month for me. The summer is now over and in a few days my entire family will be getting back on with their usual routines. This summer holiday has been really fun and I always enjoy spending time with my family. I’ll miss all of us hanging out together. It’s always good when the school holidays come around.

I know I’m officially an adult because tomorrow I’m getting a new mattress and (shamelessly) I’m really excited about it! I bought a new bed a couple of months ago and I’ve been waiting patiently and the time has finally come to put a new mattress on it. The only things I get excited about now is new furniture and new clothes. That’s normal right?

Next week me and Tiegan have plans to go to London to listen to Josh Savage, a singer/songwriter from Winchester, who I found through Stef and Hannah from The Michalaks. We both really like his music so we decided we would go down to London to have a listen. I’m thinking of doing a whole blog post on this day out so keep an eye out for that. You can find his YouTube channel here, I like his most recent cover of Dakota by The Stereophonics. (Who I just bought tickets for their tour in December.) I really recommend you give him a listen.

After that I’m starting my new job. I’m kind of nervous and I have an induction week in Bedford with the academy that runs all the training, since it is an apprenticeship. I usually get anxiety about these sorts of things but so far I’m only excited and really looking forward to getting stuck in.

After that, I start the job and I’ll be entering the adult world officially. Me and Fran from franciscarockey.blogspot.co.uk are hopefully going to meet up at some point during that week, which I am pretty excited about since she lives near by.

And then finally on the 30th me and Tiegan are going to see James Bay. It feels like it has been ages since I bought the tickets and I’ve had them sitting around waiting to be taken. Fran is also going to be there, which is why we are meeting up before hand and then hopefully we will meet up again for the gig!

What are your plans for the month?

Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Flickr

Advertisements

Being Happy With Depression.

We all know that there are plenty of misconceptions surrounding mental illness. As time goes on, more and more people are talking about their mental health and how we can correct those misconceptions we all too often hear.

Disclosing my mental health was never at the forefront of my plans when it came to my blog posts. Not because I don’t want to talk about it. I do and I think it’s important to.

But this is not a pity party. I’m perfectly comfortable and happy with my mental health. It’s not perfect. But that’s OK. Today, I wanted to talk about how, with the help of time and patience, I have become happier in myself and how my depression is now easier to live with.

I’m not going to get too personal, this isn’t about me. This is about other people who may be struggling and want to know that happiness isn’t impossible to achieve.

We all know now that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. We know it’s not a trait, or a choice. It is simply just a chemical reaction. It’s the way my DNA is structured. If you want to read more about clinical depression click here.

So how can I be depressed and happy? For a long time I would only feel down. Happiness came few and far between and any happiness I did feel felt fake. Now, I feel both happy and down and whilst not at the same time, I am living happy, with depression.

“Am I really happy?” Is a question I often ask myself. On a good day this is easy. There is a lot of good in my life and I choose to be happy about it.

On a not so good day, this becomes a little trickier. In the midst of feeling depressed, it’s easy to forget about all of your other emotions. It takes time and patience to understand your depression.

There have been a lot of steps over the last two years which have led me to a point of acceptance. My entire outlook on life has changed. About a year ago my dad introduced me to meditation. I find that there is a fine line between my happiness and my depression. Things can change very quickly and for no reason at all. With meditation I can find a sense of calm and begin to accept how I’m feeling. Rather than trying to fight it all the time.

It took a long time for me to be able to laugh at something honestly. To smile at something fully. To be able to accept all of my emotions and feel them as they are. Depression can often make you feel guilty if you feel happy in any way. This is something that takes a lot of time and convincing to undo. But it is possible.

Making and taking time for yourself will feel uncomfortable at first. Sitting and telling yourself that you have a lot to offer and that you deserve happiness just as much as the next person will seem ridiculous. And as awful as this is; the depression probably isn’t going to go away. At least for me, I’m still facing it every single day. But this doesn’t mean you have to hate it. It helps make us who we are. I’m only who I am right now because of all the things my depression has taught me. But it doesn’t define me.

Accepting your emotions as they come and go is the easiest way to balance them. Accepting that you feel happy and allowing yourself to feel it is important. Do not be in denial about your happiness. It is there and it should be felt. Accepting your depression, your down days and all the awful things that come with it are important too. If you’re in denial about your sadness, you will always be ignoring it. Pushing it back and it will always fight its way forward and it gets uglier every time it appears. Once you accept that those feelings are there and that they need to be felt, it becomes so much easier to understand them. Then it becomes easier to overcome them. You begin to know what to expect and how to deal with it.

It can be difficult to accept. I’m not trying to make it sound easy. Sadness is not a nice way to feel. It’s painful. I’ve spent more of my time crying in the last two years that I have my entire life. Finding happiness with depression and having them run alongside each other is hard and sometimes terrifying.

A lot of people now assume that my depression is gone because I’m a lot better at dealing with how I feel. I can sit and enjoy spending time with those I love and not let my depression interfere. But it is still there. I still have bad days, weeks and sometimes months. I do have a brighter outlook on life now and I do handle my depression much better than I once did. But I can’t change my DNA. I can’t change the way my brain and body works. This is just how it is.

I’ll always be changing and growing. I’ll always be finding new ways to live a little easier. The point is, everyone deserve happiness and I just want to tell you that you can be happy too.

DSC_0049A

Thank you for reading if you have made it this far. If you have any questions then please leave them down below. Of course, this entire blog post is relative to me. Take what you want from it and make it relative to you.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”wpid-img_20150809_193713a

Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Flickr

Writing For Myself.

Back when I started blogging a few years ago, I started writing my blog out of boredom. I love writing and I have always loved reading blogs so I just wanted to give it a go. My blogging was inconsistent and didn’t really have a theme. I’ve been blogging for six months now, fairly consistently despite my recent 2 month absence. I have still been writing up posts just not posting them.

The reason being related to a post I wrote last week about being more honest  and I briefly said that the lack of honesty is why I hadn’t posted in a while. When I started this blog back up this year I knew that I wanted to talk about the things I love. And I have, but it still doesn’t feel true to who I am. To be completely honest with you, I got sucked into checking my stats all the time to see if people were actually reading. Over the last two months I have been thinking a lot about what I want to post and who I actually want to read it (not that I don’t appreciate those who have read my blog thus far, believe me, I do).

I would like to be able to write posts on subjects which I am passionate about, and I am passionate about a lot of different things and I have a lot of opinions. I would like to be able to write about them confidently and share with my readers what I think. I’ve always been afraid of writing posts like these because I don’t want people to think that I think I am always right or that I think my views are the only views that matter. I want to feel free to write about the things I love, the things which have helped me and made me who I am. The things that I believe could be helpful in someway to someone else. I don’t want to write posts which people are only reading to fill their time. I want to write posts which have something you can take away with you and use in your life. Or at least think about.

So from here on out, my posts will be a little different. If you don’t enjoy them then feel free to unfollow. I will still be talking about beauty products occasionally because I love to! But I will also be talking about things that I think are important. I know not everyone will agree with me. That’s perfectly OK. In fact that’s great! I want to learn what YOU think and what YOU know.

wpid-img_20150809_193713a

 Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Flickr

Lets be honest…

How many people on social media do you follow that seem to be living the most incredible lives? You can probably name quite a few.

So let’s all just be honest with each other for a minute, how much of what we see is real? How much of what we see is genuine? And how much of what we put out on the internet is a genuine representation of our lives? When we put up posts on the internet we only show people what we want them to see.

I’m not against a perfectly posed photograph, or posting one that you feel really good about. I just wish we could all be a little more honest online. I wish we all felt more comfortable posting honest photographs, of how our lives truly are. And that we weren’t so afraid of critical judgement from others for not living the perfect lives that society tells us we should be.

Posting all these perfect photographs is great and I love to look at them, but it encourages us to be unhappy with our lives because someone always seems to have it better.

If we posted how things really are, across all social media, we would encourage others to post how their lives really are. We’d all come together and be understanding of the fact that we all are figuring out life. We’d all be happier with the lives we’re actually leading, instead of always wanting for the life someone else appears to have.

The same goes for the online blogging world too. It’s been around 2 months since I last posted because I felt that nothing I had to write about was good enough. What I’m really wondering is; can we stop stop pretending we have it all figured out and stop comparing our lives to those we see online?

Here are a few of my favourite photographs from the last couple of months, they aren’t perfect, but they make me happy.

image

image

image

image

Twitter| Instagram | Bloglovin’| Flickr

Having A Bad Week.

Last week was bloody awful. Definitely not one of my favourites. I have no reason for having a bad week though. It started off as just feeling super tired and wanting to sleep in, but by the end of the week I didn’t want to get out of bed or talk to anyone. I wasn’t inspired by anything, which you may have read about or noticed in my Photographers Gallery  post and I just felt like nothing was going the way I wanted it to. Of course I did get up and dressed because I knew I’d only feel worse if I stayed in bed all day. I tried talking myself out of it and even talking to someone else about it. But nothing was working and by the end of the week I had had enough. It was time to pull myself out of my weird little funk.

So, I spent an entire day doing nothing. Well, not exactly doing nothing, just taking the time to rejuvenate. Pull myself together. Let myself feel crappy for one last day and get it out of my system. So if you’re in a weird funk and everything seems to be getting you down, I’m going to share with you my favourite things to do which help me feel better and I hope that it gives you some ideas for when you’re having a bad day/week.

Here’s what I did:

The first thing I did was get changed. Out of my pyjamas and into some jogging bottoms and a clean t-shirt. You can stay in your pyjamas if you like. it doesn’t matter, you’re probably not going anywhere. I cleansed my face and brushed my teeth to make myself feel some-what presentable and to feel a little fresher. Then I made my bed and tidied up a little bit. It always helps to have a tidy space to relax in because mess can be frustrating. If your space is tidy then your thoughts will be too.

DSC_0083a

It was a rainy day so I lit a candle (Grapefruit by Yankee Candle) and made myself a cup of tea. I pulled out my Darling magazines and grabbed my favourite throw and made my bed comfortable. I like to be cosy. Darling is my favourite thing to read when I’m feeling fed up. It’s full of encouragement and inspiration for all areas of your life. It’s all positive too which makes it perfect for those not-so-great days.DSC_0086a

I’m pretty creative and I can get annoyed with myself when I’m lacking inspiration and interest in the normal things I love to do. I have a few creative books that I’ve collected over the years and they’re always my favourite things to go back to. The don’t require much thinking and just help to get the creative juices flowing.

DSC_0078aDSC_0089a

The Big Colour by numbers book is my favourite one to pull out. All the designs are right there for you and all you have to do is grab your pens and get started. There are a tonne of books like this going around now and they’re not expensive here are a few that I’d love to add to my collection.

The Art Therapy Colouring Book

Animal Kingdom

Mindfulness Colouring Book

You can find all of these and loads more like it here.

DSC_0090aDSC_0093a DSC_0091a

Two more of my favourite creative books are these 642 Things To Draw and 712 More Things To Draw. These are great for doodling. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to have and complete these books, they’re just great if you love to draw but need a little inspiration to get started.

These kinds of books are great for unwinding. They don’t require much thinking and are great for de-stressing.

DSC_0094a

Another thing I love to do is give myself some retail therapy. Online shopping is my favourite since it’s so quick and easy to do. I know a lot of people prefer actually going out to shop but it gives me anxiety and makes me feel rushed and under pressure to find things I like. Most of the time I am filling up my basket and not actually buying anything but since I was feeling so down I did really buy some stuff so you can expect a mini haul at some point.

At the end of the day I ran myself a bath and used my favourite products. Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed is perfect. Aromatherapy products are awesome. If like me you have trouble sleeping then stay away from tea! Stick to decaf as an alternative or try something new like chamomile or even cherry juice.

Other things you can do which can help to make you feel better are taking walks, listening to upbeat playlists, being with friends etc. Whatever makes you feel good. It’s also important to take time away from technology, turn off your phone and your laptop. They can both be distractions from what is really important to you, once you take them away you can begin to clear your head a little better.

Often advice I see is that when you’re feeling low you should make yourself get up and out no matter how you’re feeling. In my experience though it’s not always easy and you should never force yourself to do something you don’t want to. If you need to, it’s important to take time for yourself. Don’t have a pity party but make sure you let yourself feel the things you need to feel. If you keep putting them to the side or ignoring them, they’re not going to go away. It’s OK not to be OK.

DSC_0079a

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have liked my advice and little tips that help with making me feel better. It took me a while to get to writing this because it seemed quite personal but I thought it was important and something that I wanted to share. If it helps me then it could help someone else.

Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Flickr

This post contains affiliate links, more information can be found here.


The Isle Of Wight.

Last weekend it was a bank holiday so me and my family decided to take a trip away to the Isle of Wight. Every year there is a bike ride around the island called Randonee (I think!). This year both my dad and brother were participating so the whole family used it as an excuse to have a mini holiday.

Here are some of my favourite photographs from the weekend:

Saturday

DSC_0008A

DSC_0040B

DSC_0043

DSC_0045

Appley Tower. I remember walking along the beach many times when I was little. It’s about 15 minutes away from my grandparents house, so a quick walk to the beach was a regular occurrence. I love walking along here, the sea is so calming and I always feel little again.DSC_0042A

My brother-in-law being a fabulous model outside of Appley Tower.

DSC_0054A

Mark decided to walk along the sea by himself. We all turned around wondering where he had gone and then we saw him waving at us like this.DSC_0060A

My brother in-law, my niece and my dad. They were walking up the hill with her like this and I had to capture it. DSC_0023A

Before leaving my grandparents home I wanted to get a photo of all of us together. It was important to me because it is likely to be the last time that we ever see this house, since my grandparents are moving and selling it. It makes me so sad since I have so many memories in this house but I’m glad we have all left we some extra happy ones with lots of laughs and love.DSC_0011 (2)A

A quick photograph of all of us in our tiny caravan before going out to eat. This photo makes me laugh and my brother in-law looks like he is having the worst time!
DSC_0006 (2)

IMAG1695

One of the best photographs from the weekend! We took this because my Grandad told us that he always remembers us as a TEAM, because of our names; Tiegan, Ella, Amber and Mark. One of the sweetest things I have ever heard and we had never thought about it like that before! We don’t have many pictures of all of us together like this either.

Sunday

IMAG1703
Dad, Toni and Mark

Sunday was ride day and it was a few hours in and me and mum had to drive 40 minutes across the island because my brother thought he was going to have to change one of his wheels. After an hour of waiting, they appeared and told us that the wheel was alright and they didn’t need the spare! But it was OK because it was lunchtime and they had made it halfway so we decided to sit and have lunch with them.

IMAG1707

A few words of encouragement and they were off again!

I don’t have a photograph of them at the finish line! But they all did really well. I’m so proud of them because it was a 100km ride and my brother’s PB was only about 60km! If you would like to read more about my brother’s experience then I am sure he will have a blog post talking all about it at some point – His Blog.

IMAG1709

After getting back to the camp-site, me and Lisa decided to go for a run on the beach. We were so tired and feeling so lazy that we walked most of it!

Monday

DSC_0018 (2)A

Monday was our last day and we had to be out of our caravan by 10am. Our ferry wasn’t until half 5 so we had to make the most of the day. Plus the sunshine came out for us so it was extra lovely! We went for breakfast at Driftwood at Sandown Beach.

DSC_0040A (2)

DSC_0014 A(2)

Probably one of my favourite photographs from the weekend. Sandown beach is so pretty in the sunshine!
DSC_0050 A(2)

DSC_0055B (2)

Some cute pictures of Mark and my niece to end with. I got lots of pictures of my family but I didn’t want to put them all up because you’d be sitting here for hours! I loved this mini holiday, it’s always nice to have time with loved ones and just really appreciate them. I had lots of laughs with my sisters and it was really nice for all of us to be under the same roof. The Isle of Wight is one of my favourite places for a little get away, even when its raining it’s still a lot of fun because its cosy! Where is your favourite place to go for a weekend away?

If you have time then please check out my sister, my brother and my dad’s blogs if you want to read about their lives and hear their opinions on lots of different topics, and follow me on the social media below to keep up with me, my blog posts and my photography.

Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Flickr

Birchbox Favourites January – April

At the beginning of the year I decided to subscribe to Birchbox after toying around with the idea for a few months. I looked at a lot of different brands of subscription services and decided to go with Birchbox as it seemed like one of the most popular and also the most affordable. If you want to know more about Birchbox you can read about it here.

DSC_0142A

So far I haven’t been disappointed with the products, there are only a few which I haven’t used because I don’t like them for whatever reason, but since they’re only samples I don’t feel bad for not using them. Since January I have received four boxes, some featuring a theme and one which didn’t have a theme. All of them have had some really lovely products so I thought I would talk a bit about them. I haven’t reviewed any products on the blog before and I thought this would be interesting for anyone who likes the idea of a subscription box but isn’t really sure what they’d get and if they would like them. When you sign up you fill out a profile, stating the things you would like and wouldn’t like etc. So you shouldn’t get anything that isn’t to your fancy.

I can’t  remember exactly which products came in which box because I use them frequently so I didn’t think to keep the little card that comes with the box which tells you about the products.  If you’d like to see monthly reviews of each box then please let me know and I will do them.

These are my favourite products so far:

DSC_0145 (3)

Dr Jart+ Clear Away Gel

I really like this product. It came full size which was really exciting because I was only expecting samples when I signed up. My skin loves this stuff. Since using it my skin has been clearer and a lot smoother. Goodbye spots!

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

It makes me sad that this only comes in a tiny tube! I’ve been using this sparingly because I don’t want it to run out. Whenever I use this my skin always looks and feels really hydrated. My make up goes on so lovely when using this. I wish it didn’t cost £45 to buy a full size! I can’t justify spending that much on one product. If you know of any great affordable drug store serums please let me know down below.

Activbod Cooling Finishing Lotion

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts you might know that I exercise quite a lot. This came in one of the first Birchboxes I received but I only started using it recently. I’ve used it when I’ve worked out but had to quickly go out after or if it has been a really intense workout and I need something to instantly cool off.

Pommade Divine Remedy Balm

This product can be used for all sorts of stuff like dry skin, itchy skin, peeling, flaking etc. I used this on my tattoo after I had just had it done and it kept the peeling, from healing, to a minimum. I have also used this on my lips overnight when they have been really chapped and the next day they were completely healed! I was amazed by how quick it had worked.

DSC_0144a

Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil

I have used oil in my hair for quite a while now. It’s naturally curly so it can be really dry, especially at the ends. I was intrigued by this No Oil Oil and whether it would work for me or not. I was surprised when it did and just as well as my normal product and because it has no oil you can use this from root to tip, so I don’t have to worry about using this near my roots. No greasy hair which is always a bonus!

KMS California Tame Frizz Crème

I use this product every single time after washing my hair. It’s a pretty big sample size so it has lasted quite a long time. It does exactly what it says it does, tames frizz and has a light hold. Can’t really go wrong and I’m thinking of buying this in full size because I love it so much.

DSC_0143a

Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye-liner in Violet

This came in this months Birchbox and at first I wasn’t sure about it because it’s purple and I’ve only ever used brown or black eye-liner. I really like the way this looks in the waterline, it adds a subtle pop of colour and it lasts a long time when worn normally. I can see myself using this until it’s all gone.

That’s it for my favourites in the Birchboxes from this year so far. I love getting new products to test out and try.

Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’