Friday, 29 July 2016

High on Helium! / Summer Balls (Flashback Friday)

This week's Flashback Friday is a few clips from two of the Summer Balls from 2015. They were a lot of fun. At the RUMS Ball we got high on helium and laughed a lot, while at the UCLU Ball, the fairground type activities included an extreme ferris wheel...eek!

Click here to see the video.

Scroll through for pictures.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Children of Divorce 💭

I just read a quote: "Children are not the souvenir of a relationship". It struck a cord in me because so many people now have multiple children with multiple baby daddies and I promise you, that will never win you any prizes.

I'm a complete traditionalist. I believe in the relationship, marriage and then have children lifestyle but I know that in this day and age, that is no longer the 'norm'. I don't believe in divorce because I think a child needs to have that balance of a mother and father (or of course same sex parents) because sometimes children need to be parented in different ways for different circumstance and honestly, sometimes one person just needs a break. Haha would you guess that this started out as a simple tweet and now I've had to make it into a blog post because I just felt so strongly about it.

I think a lot of young girls these days think it's 'cool' to have children younger honestly believe that having a child will make their relationship stronger. One thing I am totally clear on, is that bringing a child into an unstable and volatile environment will never make it happier in the long term. I'm not saying that they aren't good parents because I have a number of high school friends who are now parents to multiple children and their children seem happy and healthy. They seem to have it together. But that life would never be for me.

I want to have a stable environment. I want to be able to support my children with a steady 9 till 5 job (or longer) and have the solid marriage filled with love under my belt first.

I remember when my oldest sister first told me she was pregnant. She sat me down and said that she had something to show us on the computer. It turned out to be a ultrasound video of a baby and I was so shocked and upset that I ran to my room, crying.

Why was I upset?

Over the past few years, I have 100% opened up to the fact that different people have different ways of living and it turned out - surprise, surprise - that my way wasn't the only way. I had concentrated so much on the fact she wasn't married, she'd only been with her partner for what felt like a few months and she hadn't told me she was trying, that I hadn't grasped that my sister was going to be a mum! I was going to welcome this sweet little innocent baby into my life and she was going to make me a first time aunt. Once I got over myself, I went back downstairs and gave my sister he biggest hug I could muster up and started spamming her with question after question. When she told me she'd planned it and they had been trying, I was shocked because I'd conceived myself it must have been an accident. Why would a non-married couple want a baby together?!

The moment that my niece came into the world was the first time I felt true love; it was the first time I truly believed I would sacrifice anything to save and protect her. To this day, I'm not sure how many other people I could say that about.
Just to add, I never truly grasped how deeply in love my sister was until it was her wedding day, a year after their daughter was born they got engaged and the following year married. When her mother (my dad's first marriage) gave her unusual-for-a-mother speech she told the story of how my sister was when she came back from her first date with her now-husband. I remember crying because I'd never known how deep that initial connection was and I felt so guilty that I'd ever questioned. Here's to the two of you...

I'm going to get personal here. I come from a 'broken home'. I never heard of the term until I was just starting adulthood but I can see where it comes from. Both my mother and father love me with their entire being, that I have no doubt, but growing up I always felt I was missing something. Sure you get the double holidays, double presents and extra attention but at the same time, I knew what life was like before and I wanted it back.

My parents got divorced when I was 12 years old. In the space of a few weeks - literally - my whole life changed. I usually block out bad memories but till this day, I still remember when they told me and my little sister. They sat us down in the lounge and just said it. I don't quite remember what they said but I remember laughing because I truly felt they were joking. I hadn't seen it coming. My parents had always argued, they didn't sleep in the same bed, they barely 'hung out' casually together and they had complete opposite interests but in a way I'd always felt they'd balanced each other out: my mum drank, my dad didn't, so he drove and she enjoyed her nights out; my mum was emotional and my dad was strict so he was the harsher parent. What I hadn't realised was that that wasn't normal.

While I'll always wish my parents were together, I'm sure they are happier apart. I don't remember them fighting, I only remember my family being together under one roof but everyone in both families say that they are happier. They both now live with new partners. My mum's is a childhood friend who fits in with her family exactly. He drinks, smokes and enjoys a party just like her. He's a handyman and my mums the traditional housewife who needs a man to do everything for her. My dad met his girlfriend online, on a dating website, and they share the same passion for cycling. Hearing him talk about their shared trips and treks (they go on cycling holidays) would never have happened with my mum and she's also career orientated, currently completing a degree.

Divorce wasn't easy for me. Their divorce wasn't a mutual decision. Mum has always been open with us children and so we heard the good with the bad from both sides. As mum told her side of the story, dad told his (usually slightly more opinionated on his part). My little sister has always been a mummy's girl and while I wouldn't necessarily always take dad's side, given that no one else stood up for him, I always felt I had to take on that role.

In the time following the custody arrangement, originally my parents didn't speak. I, as a twelve year old, was left in the middle to conversations between the two and arrange visits and family gathering ect. I think that taught me to grow up a lot. But I also took my pain out at home. In school, I was the nerd who loved it, who wanted to be there and learn but at home I had pent up anger. Mum ended up seeking professional help in the form of a counsellor. I think I only had one or two sessions (I don't really remember because I thought they were pretty pointless) but her end decision was that I was being a completely normal teenager who was going through a major life adjustment.

I'm actually pretty emotional writing this. I have tears in my eyes as I type. All this from a quote...jees!

Anyway, the original point of this was that "Children are not the souvenir of a relationship".

I have heard that having a child is a bigger commitment than getting married. Marriage can end in divorce at any point whereas with a child, your stuck together forever, or at least for 18 years. Still, it's not the life for me, at least at the moment.

TV, books and celebrity have definitely opened me up to the idea that families come in all types. You don't have to be married first, you don't have to be the same sex (Grey's Anatomy). As long as there is love ready to smother the child, that's all that matters. But that's the most important thing to ask. Is my life stable enough to add a/another child to the mix or should I wait. Should I stop being selfish and give my child the best opportunity at life by having him/her/them later. Only you can answer that.

Please bare in mind, this was how I saw my life and I was young (younger) so I may have not seen things how they truly were and there were probably behind the scene things I never knew about. Take it at face value.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Finding Dory (Review)

Click here for the trailer.
The much-anticipated sequel to Finding Nemo has finally been released in the UK. It was a little frustrating how long it's taken between the release between the US and here but nevertheless, it's nothing in the grand scheme of things considering the thirteen years(!) between the first and this.

One year after Dory helped reunite Marlin reunite with his son Nemo, she is settled into her new life. While still seemingly oblivious to people's struggles with her, everyone welcomes her into the adopted family and life continue. When some long-forgotten childhood memories resurface, she embarks on a journey to be reunited with her parents, with help from her adopted family.

Along the way, she gets separated from the two clownfish and is forced to make new friends as well as reuniting with some old. A grouchy chameleonic octopus called Hank, proves to be the best friends who puts his own plans at risk to help her out despite his grouchiness; a near-sighted whale shark names Destiny, guide Dory through the pipes and tanks of the Sea World-like institution in California.
It's very much a same-but-different spin on the previous film but with less of the urgency and more of a focus and developing a story. I loved the flashbacks to Dory growing up, especially when she is a little fish. I was defintely a little shocked to discover she wasn't originally from 'the wild' but it also adds an extra dimension and the main struggle is getting in and out of the complex.
I think the disability feature is a really lovely component of the story. Showing how Dory's parents do their best to care for her despite a disability is one of those moments that children will realise that even though someone may be disabled, still treat them with love and respect. History recall, she suffers from chronic short-term memory loss!
I really like how Dory's personality is translated in the pace of the movie. Her optimistic personality and the anxieties created by her imperfect memory is transferred to multiple speed ranges from calm to a frenzied tone and sometimes darts from place to place, creating the anxious tone.
Overall, I think the film is funny and perfectly optimistic but with a lovely message about never giving up on the ones you love.

Monday, 25 July 2016

"Never Ending Summer" July Birchbox: Unboxing and Review

I didn't think I was getting a June Birchbox because they changed the box design and as someone with mild OCD I didn't like that idea so I decided to skip a month. But I ended up recieving both my July and June at the same time, watch my surprise unboxing below or click here!
I written a number of blog posts about this subscription box and I love them all. Click to read the last ones I've done: MayMarchFebruaryJanuary and December. Which is your favourite so far?

If you would like to get a box for yourself, just simple click here for a direct link and both you and I will get a discount! You still have time to get your own July box if you want too :)

Onto the products!

The first of five this month is the full size Love of Colour x Millie Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in Bohemian Rose. If you saw the unboxing you would have seen this was probably my biggest disappointment but it has genuinely grown on me a lot since then. It is actually really pigmented and very much true to it's colour. I love the packaging on the LOC products and that the design is very ergonomical. The pen-like chubby pen makes it really each to hold and apply. It is however very much a gloss and quickly wears away with any activity (eating, drinking, kissing, talking) causing it to build up around the edge and look very cakey so for sure you need to wipe it off and reapply. Having said that, I will end on a positive note and say that it is very moisturising making it perfect for summer!
LOC X Millie Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in Bohemian Rose - £9
Secondly, is a hair product from John Frieda for easing hair frizziness. This product definitely made it worthwhile getting the box because the price of the box almost matches this and it's full size! I tried it on my natural straight hair first and wasn't really happy with the result. I don't think anything really changed but it could also be the fact that the summer heat is a little crazy at the moment. I then tried it on my heatless curls and it did seem to tame them just a bit but nothing major, however it did smooth my hair out. After first struggling with the bottle, I finally got it open. Once the lid has been unlocked, it is easy to use but it's not like I was expecting. There is no scent which is good but I was expecting a mousse and instead it came out as a moisturiser-like consistency. Unexpected. I did end up using 4 pumps rather than one but maybe that's because it was the first time and my hair is thick and long.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer - £9.99

Onto the ELEMIS Hydra-Nourish Night Cream. It has virtually no smell; it has none in the bottle and on your finger, once I started to massage it into my face it got a little stronger but barely. I don't even know how to describe it other than a cream-y smell (not the food). I love the packaging because I think it's really lightweight and easy to carry around. I love the squeezy bottle because you can get almost the perfect sized portion whereas with what I'm used to, pots, I take a swipe and always always ALWAYS end up having to put some back in. Given the hot weather here at the moment, I've not been wearing anything during the day because I know I would just sweat all my makeup off so I do feel like it is getting the moisture sucked out of it so for once I was actually really excited to get a night time moisturiser. I personally prefer lightweight moisturisers and this is defintely a thick one. Despite taking a small amount and rubbing it in, it still took a while to soak in and it feels like another layer because it is so thick but it is defintely moisturising. I also like a cooling moisturiser at night, especially after a hot shower, but unfortunately this one isn't at all; I even tried it after putting it in the fridge but it didn't work very well so for that reason I think I'll be sticking to after sun, as my choice, in the summer.
ELEMIS Hydra-Nourish Night Cream - £43
Next up is a nail polish from Nails Inc. This picture doesn't even do it justice how small this product is. It is so teeny tiny that it is so hard and fiddly to apply. Not only does it not give you much product but it also means that the brush is small so it takes much longer to cover your finger hence much more time consuming that normal. Having been used to OPI for years now, I love how thick they are and pigmented so unfortunately this Nail Inc doesn't compare at all. I will however admit that it is a gorgeous pink blush colour.
Nails Inc Nail Polish - £14
Finally the Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water. Once I saw this I was actually really excited to try it. I've always worn BareMinerals makeup and use purely water to take it off, followed by my Clinique face wash. Having said that, I've recently been trying to find a liquid foundation that I love by trying my sister's leftovers which require something a little more substantial to remove it at the end of the day. This is very light and non-sticky. I love the fragrance and overall it's very refreshing. I wouldn't say it's a heavy duty makeup remover but it does release by foundation more than regular water so it's perfect for the use I want.
Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water - £15
So that's if for this month's Birchbox post but next month it looks like the box will be a wash bag! 

Friday, 22 July 2016

Motorcycle Madness! (Flashback Friday)

This week's Flashback Friday is from Winter Wonderland 2014. I went to Covent Garden just before and then afterwards I booked in to see one of the circus shows. I thought it was honestly pretty rubbish except for the motorcycles who, very cleverly and bravely, performed.

Click here for the video.

Scroll through for pictures.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

We Need To Talk! SacconeJoly Inspried 💭

Did you read this morning's post about this new 'Thought Thursday' series? Click here if not!

I debated writing a post on this topic for a long time but I've decided to go ahead and write it. I think as an individual, I am quite an opinionated person but I often keep my opinions to myself, especially in my personal life. But this blog, my blog, is a platform for me to do just that. It's my platform.

I love debating topics and I have always welcomed comments which discuss things that I have written but there is a way to go about it and while I have never gotten hate, I know that many online social media influencers and people that are now doing social media as a career do.

I recently watched a SACCONEJOLYs video called 'WE NEED TO TALK!' and it really struck a chord with me. I am so glad that Jonathan chose to share his side of the stories with us, his viewers and subscribers, his friendliest friends, but I'm also sad that he and Anna have had to deal with all that have been thrown their way.

So many influencers have had to deal with things like this and I am sure that many of them don't share all the ins and outs of the abuse with us but another family that did were Sam and Nia. At least, they're one of the major stories that sticks out to me. When Sam did a pregnancy test for Nia, everyone was amazed and their channel viewers quickly grew in number. When it was released that they had a miscarriage just a day or two later, they received so much flack saying that they had lied and made the whole thing up. Having followed them for so long, I actually felt so guilty and I had nothing but the greatest sympathy for them.

In this day and age, in this industry, I think it's important to take everything said and done at face value. I don't read forums or negative articles about any 'celebrity' and only read the gossip writings that the person themselves promote. I think if we started to look into everything anyone has ever said and thought of it as a lie, it would make the world in which we live a very difficult, sad and depressing place to be. I choose to accept things for how the person wants to show it.

Just because someone shows their life to the world doesn't mean that I want every single detail to be out their. My diary is sometimes very different to my public blog posts and youtube vlogs and just as any self-employed social media influencer, a lot of it is edited. It's edited to show them in a positive way and it's edited for entertainment. Why would anyone want to show a video purely of them fighting their partner, just as I pick the best angle of selfie to post on instagram, out of probably 20+ pictures.

So please remember that in the future. Don't put out that which you would not want back.


As I'm sure most are aware, I'm very much honest in my opinions of subjects and sometimes they may be a little taboo and controversial. In the past, I've posted a number of 'thought' posts but I know they aren't for everyone so that is where I came up with this idea!

I am starting a new series where I will post bonus posts on a Thursday about my honest thoughts of topics that interest me around that period. I already have 4 scheduled and ready to go, with the first one starting tonight at the usual time of 5pm GMT. I know it's not for everyone but I would really love to start having some debates going on in the comments with more interaction. I am a firm believer in hearing out other people's side of the story and even though I may not agree, and people may not agree with me, it's important to politely listen to the other person's point of view.

A few of the thought posts I have already written are linked below. Social media (Facebook and YouTube) and my career/university are topics that are obviously really important to me so I do write about them a lot but if you would like a different topic feel free to leave it in the comments below.

I may have a slight reshuffle of topics and try to stick to a daily theme so that there is something for everyone each week. It may not always work out because I tend to write what I want to write when I want to write it but the rough plan will be:

  • Beauty Monday: Hauls, Reviews, Favourites, Hair and Makeup
  • Lifestyle Wednesday: Reviews, Life Updates and all the extras
  • Thought Thursday: this new series!
  • Flashback Friday: previous events from my life with videos :)

Of course, don't forget I'm still vlogging each week over on my YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe if you like them! This week in fact I posted 3 - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, because I ended up getting so much footage at the Yorkshire Show last week :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Week Long Curls + Tool Comparison!

There are so many 'How to curl' videos and posts out there that I thought I would do something just a little different. Instead of recording a step-by-step instruction to follow I thought I would share some top tips on how I get my curls and then how I style it to last a full week! I'm still amazed that it lasts that long but it does!

To start with, this is my natural, air dried hair. It is very thick and almost completely straight with a natural parting just off centre. I do like it straight but it also bores me after a while so I like to mix it up.

I use my TRESemme Volume Curl Wand to get the curls I like following a few simple steps:
  • Heat protect all over. I use VO5 Heat Protect. 
  • I make a parting wear I want it (for the next week!) and then brush it out to make sure there are no knots.
  • As my hair is quite thick, I split it into four layers. The first split just above my ears, the second in line with the end of my eyebrow and the third line just above the eyebrow apex so you have a halo left at the top. 
  • I secure the hair not in use with a scrunchie into a high and tight bun. 
  • Even though I have already sprayed heat protectant, I re-spray it on each layer as I drop.
  • I then take 1/2 inch pieces and wrap them around the barrel, with the wand facing downwards, away from the face on either side, meeting at the back in the middle. 
  • Each time holding for 20 seconds but that depends on you hair (trial yours first and be careful not to burn your own hair!).
  • Then let the curl fall into your hand and hold it so that it doesn't fall. Hold it until it cool down a little, around 20 to 30 seconds. This means that the curl will last longer and be tighter. 
  • Repeat for the whole layer. 
  • At each layer spray with a light hairspray. I use VO5 Ultimate Hold Hairspray.
  • Repeat for the next 2 layers. 
  • On the last layer alternate between curling towards and away from your face. Make sure the ones closet your face go away but then switch to prevent the curls from clumping and make it look more natural.
  • At the end let it rest for a good hour before you start messing. My hair tends to drop considerably in the first hour. Then start shaking them out from the root and then hair spray one last time. 

Day 1
To sleep I wear a stretchy head band and then tie my hair in a loose scrunchie into a half pony tail, so that it folds back on itself. 

For the second day, I often redo a couple of curls that have dropped out. On Day 2 I redid one piece, that annoyingly straight piece that is really obvious in the picture at the back. This is my favourite day of the curls because they are still defined and tight but much looser. 
Day 2
On the third day, I usually redo the front pieces but I didn't this time as I was only around the house. 
Day 3
The fourth, fifth and sixth day give loose, beachy waves. Which my oldest sister actually prefers.

I completely forgot to take a picture on Day 5 so I am deeply sorry. But from the two days either side you can kind of see that the hair would be in the middle of the two. I had a migraine and so instead just had a pj day, lounging around in bed watching movies in the dark and very quietly. 
Day 6
The last day is kind of only useful for hanging around the house. As I don't touch my hair, my hair doesn't really get greasy when I wear it curling but the curls start to fall flat. It's great for just a chill day that you may see a few people or you could wear it in a ponytail to make it a little more voluminous. 
Day 7
So overall, I tend to start my hair very curly and then it slowly drops into beach waves before having a just a slight wave.I know a lot of people don't like curly curly hair so just don't hold it while it cools to allow it to drop more or don't hold it around the curler for as long. If you want even curlier hair than mine, twist the hair pieces before wrapping it around the wand and/or use smaller sections. 

It's taken me a long time to get my hair curling routine right and to something that suits me. Even though it takes a while - almost an hour - it's defintely worth it because it lasts so long. Just remember, it takes a lot of time and practice. I remember watching youtube tutorial after tutorial and thinking it looks so easy but I could never do it and now I am so happy that I finally can do it!

In the past I used to use a curling iron that has the separators to wrap around the hair but because the spaces were so small and it didn't get quite as hot, it took a long time to curl my hair. I tried curling with straighteners but I've never been able to get the hang of it, but my hairdresser and sister both use them. I also have used the BaByliss Pro Perfect Curl which I did like at the time but I now regret because they are ridiculously expensive for what they do. 
Christmas 2014

Monday, 18 July 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence (Review)

It's been so long since I've written a review, in fact my last one was way back on with, so trust me when I say I am super excited to get back into posting them this summer!

If you haven't watched the first movie I would defintely recommend watching that one first as while it's not 100% necessarily needed to understand the sequel, I honestly think it helped. Until the day before I went to the cinema, I myself hadn't seen the first. While the movie genre isn't necessarily what I would personally pick, my sister really wanted to see it and after watching the trailer and seeing Liam Hemsworth, I was defintely up to give it a go! I actually ended up really enjoying the first film so I was super excited for the second. I was shocked when I realised how old it actually was because it comes across as only a few years outdated not decades.

Click here for the trailer.

As is obvious, the Earth is once again invaded by aliens and thanks to the previous movie, we can almost predict what is going to happen the whole way through. The plot is pretty much the same with the collective will and strength of humanity coming together to triumph.
David is now the first guy they call, not the desperately trying to persuade everyone, in an emergency. His father wrote a book about saving the world and all the children left over from the first attack have devoted themselves to their government, including the president’s daughter and stepson of Will Smith, now a national hero. Unlike everyone else, President Whitmore is suffering from PTSD and Dr Brakish Okun, the key scientist, has been in a coma all these years only to be awakened by the alien return.

Unfortunately, the ultimate fault of this movie seems to be the fact it focus' on overused CGI explosions rather than emotional acting. To top it off are the ridiculous plot holes, particularly the medical ones; a man getting up and walking after a supposed 20 years of being comatose...unrealistic to say the least.

I loved the new additions to the cast but also admire that they kept some from the original. I'm not a fan of Will Smith in general but even if you are, I don't particularly think he was missed from the film at all.

Unlike the original this one is set in the future, where deciphering the secrets of crashed alien ships has given Earth an incredible push forward in technological advances. From gravity-defying helicopters, space fighter jets and a base on the moon with weaponry set to protect the planet, everything seems to be working perfectly and amazingly, after the devastation of the last attack, the population seems to have worked together to build cities back up and achieve world peace.

It's almost unrecognisable as 2016 because the high-tech sci-fi world is so far fetch, at least from the world in which we live. But I did them and I was a little disappointed that the advancements weren't explored more.
Once again, this is another film that seemingly lacks of focus; with numerous subplots left unexplored, they seem to only be a distraction from the main plot. Why were they exploring the leftover ships? What has happened to them? What happened to the tribe left behind? What about the man?

It appears that there was very little new imaginative ideas and instead there are just a lot of comparisons to the previous attack. Admittedly, they get a little tedious towards the end, considering I'd only just watched it but in retrospect it may have been a different story if I needed the recap.

Having said all this, Liam Hemsworth was one of the main actors and I love anything in which he does so I did enjoy it. It just didn't reach my high expectations after the first and it seemed like they were almost at a loss of stories. I am still excited for the final film in the trilogy which is planned but it just won't be a film that I go back to watch time and time again.