Wednesday, 26 July 2017 / Nottingham, UK

Inspired: How I Use Pinterest

As a creative person, I need to have a constant flow of inspiration. Sometimes inspiration throws itself at me if I'm particularly conscious of what's happening around me but other times I have to actively search for it. 

It's been said that no idea is ever original but just a tweaked version of an idea by somebody else. It's the stamp that you put on a concept that makes it unique. 

When I first started writing, I thought that I had to come up with an idea or a concept that hadn't even been touched by anyone else. After beating myself up that I couldn't do it, I soon realised that it was impossible and that piece of advice always helped me move out of Writer's Block.

One of my biggest (actually, I think it is the biggest) sources of inspiration for literally everything is Pinterest and below are a few of the photos that are inspiring different parts of my life.

Collage of photos from my Pinterest

1. White Lace
Other than being obsessed with white at the moment (more about that later) I'm really enjoying wearing lace. It's so delicate and can make any outfit look just that little bit more feminine.

2. Short Hair
This was actually one of the photos that inspired my haircut. I am one of these people that see's a style looking good on someone else and then rushes out to do it without thinking it through. Some may say impulsive, I say inspired.

3. Vintage Light Leak
Simply, I'm obsessed with the light leak effect in Afterlight. It looks cool.

4. Photography
Whenever I see a cool photo on Pinterest, I want to grab my camera.

5. Simplicity
Like I said, I'm enjoying the colour white a lot recently. I love the clean, untouched simplicity of it. If I had my way, I would have my whole house and wardrobe white!

6. Messy Hair
I'm using Pinterest a lot for inspiration on how to get that messy, 'I-just-rolled-out-of-bed' look.

7. Portraits
Oh my God, I just love looking at portraits. I often use them to inspire characters in my writing and I just love people, I love to I imagine what they are like, who their family are, where they live, their experiences. Strange, I know.

8. Style
I Pinterest a lot for style inspiration. At the moment, I'm loving the tomboy with a dash of feminine vibe.

9. Holiday Wardrobe
I was on Pinterest constantly before my holiday trying to get inspiration for what I could wear.

If you're interested in checking my Pinterest out and following some of my boards, click below and (hopefully) get inspired:

As this post is all about inspiration, thank you Marianna for inspiring me after I read your post Inspired Right Now!

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Liebster Award: Q&A

Hello lovely people,
This is a bit of a different one for me and a change from my recent 'emotional out-pour' blog posts because I've been nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Chloe from My Crazy Beauty Journey. So, in following the rules, I'm going to answer the list of questions that she sent my way! Here goes...

1) Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I love writing! Anything that allows me to write regularly, help others and incorporate photography and design along the way is perfect for me so blogging was a no-brainer, really.

2) Lipstick or Lipgloss?
Lipstick but liquid lipstick! Or lipliner... if I'm allowed that as well? I much prefer the matte look.

3) Who inspires you?
Public figures? Maya Angelou and J.K Rowling... Personally? My Grandad has inspired me in story telling and writing.

4) What’s your go to outfit?
 At the moment, ripped jeans/dungarees, a t-shirt/sweatshirt and chunky sandals! I can't shut my drawers and my wardrobe is bulging but I can never find anything to wear... does anyone else have this prob?!

5) What’s your favourite place that you’ve visited?
 This is really hard as I don't think I've ever been anywhere that's really taken my breath away (this is on my list of things to do in my life and I can't wait!) So, I'd have to say Amsterdam, I think! I loved the chilled out vibe and I do love a good city, definitely worth a visit!

6) If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
Pizza! If it wouldn't make me fat and give me constant stomach cramps... Realistically, perhaps some sort of fish and vegetable combo which I pretty much eat every day anyway! (Wild, I know)

7) Netflix or YouTube?

8) What’s your dream job?
You've probably guessed it - a writer.

9) What’s your favourite T.V. show?
Hmm, I'm not a massive watcher of 'T.V shows' as I tend to watch YouTube, films or one off series.... A few of my favourites have been Skins, This is England and (guilty pleasures), Made in Chelsea and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

10) Where do you see yourself in five years?
 I see myself with Tom (I have no idea where, hopefully in Nottingham) in a house that we've bought... I'd love to be in the same job I am now or even have moved freelance if I dare!

11) What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
I love having my blog as an emotional and creative outlet. I'm a very deep person and can't keep it all to myself as I'd drive myself crazy. I also love that other people can maybe benefit from reading my experiences.

Now, here are my nominations for the award...

1. Dion Diane 
2. Elle Belle's Notebook 
3. Through The Mirror 
4. Jess Who 
5.  SGX
5. Don't Faff
6. Life As Tilly Rose
7. Jenny Of Wonderland
8. Call Me Caz

...and here are your questions, girls:

1. What is your number one 'blogging tip' for people starting out?

2. Which social media platform is your favourite and why?
3. If you could be called a different name, what would it be?
4. What's your favourite piece in your wardrobe right now?
5. What made you start your blog?
6. Do you have any regrets?
7. What is your favourite song of all time?
8. Blogger or Wordpress?
9. Where do you find your inspiration for your content?
10. What skills have you learnt through blogging?
11. If you could live in one place in the world, where would it be?

I look forward to reading your answers and remember to pass it on to your favourite blogs too! Let's keep the chain going and get more people's blogs out there!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Life With Acne

Having a skin condition is irritating in every sense of the word. They're often sore, itchy and hard to get rid of. What happens when that skin condition is on your face, though? Your face is covered in painful cysts that are impossible to hide and take ages to shrink. When they finally do shrink they're never truly gone and you're presented with a dark blemish that makes it look like it's still there. Going to bed and waking up everyday is a demoralising experience. After slathering different topical creams on, praying that this is the thing that will work, you wake up the next day to find more cysts have appeared or you've irritated the ones you've already got and you've made them angry. Angry acne is not fun. I've been brought to tears by the pain of it and also how it looks. You feel ugly all the time. You feel like people are only staring at your acne and you're super aware of their eyes flitting down to it when they're talking to you. It starts to feel like your acne defines you.

I've had cystic acne that flares up and down since I was about sixteen/seventeen. As my peers were starting to suffer from bouts of acne during when we hit puberty, I was blessed with clear skin. I didn't need to worry or even think about my skin. It was when everyone else's hormonal symptoms started to calm that my face seemed to explode over night.

I tried over-the-counter products, steroid creams, antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, coming off the contraceptive pill, stronger antibiotics, more steroid creams until I finally accepted that nothing would work.

My acne is strange. Sometimes I can cover the blemishes and no one would know I had it. Sometimes my chin area is so inflamed that there's no way I could ever consider hiding the bumps. Sometimes the sun and sea salt on holiday works its magic and it disappears for a few weeks. Sometimes I get stressed and that stress seems to bubble up (literally) and parade itself on my face worse than ever.

I've had years to know what works and what doesn't, what makes it inflamed but one thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to get rid of it for good. My acne is manageable at times but other times, it is completely out of control. I have started to see a pattern, though, and for me, it seems to be stress related. 

Having a condition so obvious as acne that rears it's ugly head the most when you're stressed is one of the most frustrating and soul destroying things. I'm already stressed so seeing my face explode into acne only makes me more stressed and so the cycle begins.

Right now, I'm at a place where I'm deciding whether to go on the drug Accutane or Roaccutane or muddle along life with it as I've always done. How the drug works is it basically dries your body from the inside so, in most cases, this dries the acne out. It's only given to the most severe or persistent cases and it's well known for its (sometimes) drastic side effects but amazing results.

Honestly, the side effects scare the hell out of me. I already have dry skin and suffer from eczema so it's a given that I will be covered in dry skin and eczema whilst on it. Many people have reported severely cracked lips that you just can't get rid of. You can't drink alcohol as the drug works in your liver and mixed together it can attack your liver extremely dangerously. If you happen to fall pregnant, there's an 100% chance your baby will be disabled so you have to take a pregnancy test at the Drs every month. You have to be on double contraception. You have to go for blood tests and check ups at least once a month. You can't be in the sun light for too long but, most scary of all, you can develop mental health problems such as depression.

You're probably thinking, why on earth would you go on this drug?! I just think that shows how hard acne can be to live with. I'm in the dilemma of a deal with a few dodgy side effects for 6 months or possibly deal with acne for the rest of your life. I have my consultation in August and I'm glad I have a bit longer to decide. It's a massive decision and one that could essentially change my life. 

If I do decide to go on it, I plan to keep a diary/video diary about my side effects as I've found watching and reading other people's experiences so helpful. I would also love to hear if anyone else has been on it/thinking about going on it/or has any experiences with acne that they would like to share!

In the meantime, I'll keep you all updated on what I decide and I hope this has helped or resonated with at least one other person as I know acne is such a common yet still slightly misunderstood condition to have!


Thursday, 13 July 2017 / Paphos, Cyprus

Holiday Photo Diary

Not forgetting, we had Tom's Go Pro and had so much fun with it! You can see our footage below.

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