Friday, 30 September 2016

It's Over! (Flashback Friday)

So last week was the last of the Flashback Friday posts and as sad it makes me, it also makes me feel like it's a  nice way to end the summer.

I have officially posted all the videos I have ever taken on my own cameras so even though there won't be anymore - at least until we manage to find someone who does reasonably priced video-to-DVD conversions - posted, there are so many to see!

There is a full playlist on YouTube and a full list right here on my blog.

Did you enjoy them?

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Body Confidence! (LouiseLIVE Part 2) 💭

This is part 2 of my LouiseLIVE post so be sure to check out part 1 here first! :)

Throughout the show, Louise touched on a number of really important and meaningful topics. From motherhood and relationships, to being a 'boss woman'. She handles her life with such a passion and grace but also shows and tells the dirty nitty gritty, like poor Darcy throwing up or those embarrasing moments when your child erupts with a word they should not say. You'll have to buy the DVD to see what I'm talking about!
With that being said, even with so many topics discussed, there was one clear one that stood out to me. Body confidence.

I expected the show to be a lot more interactive. I had prepared some questions to ask as we were told that we would have the opportunity to ask but there wasn't. Other than the 3 people selected to tell an embarrassing story (see Part 1), this was the only other part in the show that was even remotely interactive...if you could even call it that.

I've always loved my hair and I've always loved my... nothing else. I don't love anything else about the rest of my body. My nose is street but it's too pointed and has a pointy wide bridge-bone. My arms are too wobbly with no muscle definition. My belly is huge and fat. My legs are too short and wide. My face is full of acne, spots are acne spot scarring. When I look in the mirror, I tell myself I'm a 'fat, spotty bitch', because they're the words that hurt me the most.

Louise got the whole audience stood up and we had to look around at everyone. When we sat down, Louise asked if anyone thought anyone was ugly or fat ect. Of course, everyone replied no. I'd never thought about it before but when in public, how many people walk around the streets telling people they're fat, have a big nose, ugly feet. Very few. Most people don't even think about it. Most people just walk right past you.

I'm not saying I don't still have those insecurities. I do. When I buy clothes I specifically buy clothes that are loose and baggy around my stomach area and usually try to find ones slightly longer to cover my bum and tops of thighs. That's just what I do.

I've always admired how confident Louise is. She doesn't let other people's judgements stop her or slow her down. She doesn't limit what she wears because of her curvy figure. She's a beautiful, strong woman and a true role model.

At the end of the day, we, as in ourselves, are our own biggest enemy. No ones is going to come up to me and say 'you fat, spotty bitch' because people don't do that. I'm probably the only one that sees all the little flaws and realistically:

"Those that matter won't mind and those that mind don't matter." - Bernard M. Baruch.

Food for thought.

Overall, it was such a fun afternoon so thanks to Louise the laughs but it's just a shame we all waited in the rain afterwards, and she disappeared! It was literally pouring down. Luckily, I got to talk to some other girls who found another YouTuber, Dean Dobbs, who they took a quick picture with and then we discussed life, fun, jobs and uni. When the security came out to tell us she'd gone a different way, it was actually a little sad but I guess we understood. Especially because she had Darcy with her.

Once again, I did record a couple little clips and vlogged my day!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

"Heroes" September Birchbox: Unboxing and Review 📦

This month's Birchbox box is again a drawer box. I personally don't like them but I think they are now leaning more towards them. I have thought I could stack them and stick them together to turn them into a stationary desk drawer though which could look pretty; my other boxes are being used as yearly memory boxes which I love!
This months had a range of products which I was super excited to use!
Batiste Stylist Oomph My Locks XXL Volume Spray - £4.29
My hair doesn't really get greasy so I've only used dry shampoo a handful of times, usually Batisse brand. I love the scent of this one and it does do them job. It's also super easy to use and works to add extra volume to my hair too.
ModelCo® Highlighting Trio - £17
I personally picked this highlighting set because I've been wanting a highlighter for months. I was waiting for a powder and this is very much creamy but it's still pretty. It's not as shimmery as I would like and it's a little sticky at first but it does make my cheekbones look just that little bit better! The other two colours for blush and bronzer while a nice idea do not work for me at all and I would much prefer them not be there.
NUXE Prodigieux® Shower Oil - £10
This is perfect for this time of the year. The summer is coming to an end and with it, that slight English sun tan is fading. This is the perfect product to highlight the lasting remains of that brown tinge and I love how it also moisturisers my skin. Even better is that you can use it in the shower, saving time. I loved using it just after shaving so I didn't need to moisturise once out and dry.
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Blemish-Less - £29
The Laura Mercier primer is gorgeous. It's not at all sticky and makes my face feel silky soft, making it the perfect base for my foundation to glide on. I did find myself feeling a little more layered than usual so that is a downside but I think that's just personal as it wasn't noticeable. I also like that it's specifically for blemished skin so it appears Birchbox is finally listening to our customer feedback and questionnaire!
Polaar The Genuine Lapland Cream (50ml) - £15
The final product is yet another totally different product. I've never heard of the brand but apparently it's a highly sought after product and it doesn't disappoint. It smells divine and you get a decent sample size. I love that it is cold when going on, giving a cooling effect, and it's not greasy. It quickly dries, leaving no residue and I honestly love the smell! It's fresh and fruity!
Overall, I love the range of products in this box and how some of them I haven't heard of before. It seemed to have a nice range of high quality and priced products to cheap products which I liked and this box was well worth the money. My main issue is that the products didn't come in a bag inside the box as usual. The box itself has a simple and pretty design but most importantly is the theme for this month's box: Heroes.

Who's your hero? Share an image of her with a description on Instagram or Twitter now to win big, with the #BirchboxHeroes and any category you like!

Do you want your own Birchbox Subscription? There is no better time than now to sign up. Click here now and on the link below to get £5 free to spend at the Birchbox Shop as a bonus! I love getting a little surprise present in the mail each month. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

My Student London Flat Tour! 🏠

Just last week I moved into my new flat in London, near Camden. I am so excited and so happy with it! I'm living with some friends who were in the same halls as me last year and I can't wait to spend time with people I not only like, but trust as well. After last year's disaster, hopefully no one will steal my food! 

My mum came over for the first few days and cleaned the entire flat and then I organised everything and decorated my bedroom. So here it is!

I have filmed a room tour on my YouTube channel here so go watch that first!

My room is very simple but I've added a few personal touches. I've stuck with the blue colour scheme so a lot of the items are the same as last year. With the bedding from my recent haul post and cushions and towels from 2 years ago, almost everything else is white. I love these two picture frames that I got from my 18th birthday; they have pictures from 2014 in. The second photo collage is from snaps from 2015 and then above the desk I'm going to have pictures from 2016 (ordered but yet to come in!) which will hang on clothespin banners, like the one at home which I love! 

I love Command hanging strips because they're super easy to use and are safe. I have a couple hooks for keys and towels on the side of my wardrobe. Then my printer cable and jewellery. I think they just keep everything neat, tidy and safe. Everything hanging around the room is also held up by the strips. 

I'm not sure how long the kitchen will last but I cleaned the cupboards and organised them. On the counter, a party station and tea/coffee; by the sink, simply washing up stuff. 
I still live with 3 other people so I'm sure they'll rearrange it all when they come but currently, the bottom double cupboard has a shelf for pans ect and then the bottom for food, while the one under the sink is full of all the cleaning supplies. The top cupboard now has all the dishes and a selection of glasses.

I love that even though it's a small London flat, we still have a little seating area in the hallways which comfortably fits an expandable table and 6 chairs. Plus the hooks are incredibly useful!
The bathroom is so useful with a separate roomy toilet and then a main bathroom with a bath and power shower. There's also 2 shelves for all our toiletries.

Finally, we have a really nice balcony out at the front of the flat and because we're the last flat, it's the most spacious. My mum brushed it down and then cleaned the windows so it makes a really nice little seating area where we have an outdoor table and chairs.

It's small but comfortable and makes me more excited than ever for university to start up again! :)

Friday, 23 September 2016

Hallie's 2nd Birthday! (Flashback Friday) 🎂

This week's Flashback Friday is a few clips from my gorgeous niece's 2nd birthday. I wish I'd recorded more back then because seeing her sweet little self and watching back, she was just so cute! We had a bouncy castle and she showed us her very innovative forward rolls, she read a book with her Aunty Jess and then fell in love with her Peppa Pig balloon.

Click here to see the video.

Scroll through from some cute photos.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

False Advertisement! (Louise LIVE Part 1) 💭

Last year, Louise Pentland, aka Sprinkle of Glitter on YouTube, did her first tour of LouiseLIVE. I didn't go but after hearing great reviews about it, when I heard she was doing another tour this year, I really wanted to get tickets to go, and so I did.

We were told at the start not to record any of show because the show I attended in London, would be recorded for the LouiseLIVE! DVD. Honestly I was a little upset because I was vlogging my day and I was hoping to get some great clips to add in. I still vlogged the day but obviously didn't record the show, except for a couple little clips. Click here to watch or down below.
I was super excited to go so when I woke up on Saturday 3rd September and arrived at the O2 Shepherd's Bush. I honestly wasn't very impressed with the seating arrangements because annoyingly, the rows weren't numbered or lettered at all so it was really hard to find my row. I asked two people and then counted back to mine but when I sat down, the girl next to me said that it wasn't the right row. When she told me which it was, I looked back to mine and it turned out someone was sat in my seat anyway so it appeared that other people had suffered the same problem. Even the people working didn't know!

It's crazy to me how much of live shows are edited and faked. With this being a recorded show, I feel like I got a total eye-opening into how the TV and filming industry work. I've never been to any show recordings before, and I'm sure that they all do similar things in terms of 'faking' things but to me it was totally new.

The running joke throughout was that Louise kept saying 'edit it out' for future reference. I'm sure - I hope - most the time she was joking because otherwise there is going to be very little actually on the DVD! To me, it felt like a major part of the show ran on the idea of it being filmed.

The weirdest part had to be when after the interval, the producer came out and asked us to redo the intro. Like right back at the beginning. He wanted to refilm the start because they had some technical difficulties; we literally had to act like we'd never seen her before. So she came out and we all acted and cheered again but it felt so odd and unnatural. Especially when she went on to do the whole welcome speech and told the exact same story about a girl and her mother she met in the Meet and Greet. I felt like I was the only one who didn't think it was normal or right. Was I?!

My favourite part was when the guests went on stage. I loved how they told their 'most embarrassing story'. The first was hilarious about Nando's while the last was...let's just say it never went anywhere. The Nando's story was so funny! Basically, she went to fill up her drinks and the nozzle fell off into one of them. She didn't know what to do so she walked back to the table with it in her drink and then all the staff started crowding around the machine wondering who stole it. Embarrassingly, she ended up going back up and someone pointed saying she had it! Before she could tell them she slipped and the drink went everywhere...aha! Poor girl. The worst thing was that it happened TODAY!

She told it way better than I did so be sure to buy the DVD which has it in! I think it was great that she was picked because otherwise the show would have been very tiresome; they had already pre-picked specific people before the show started so clearly they already knew what the segment was. I would defintely be interested in the hearing the process because I couldn't tell if Louise had no idea what they were going to say or if she'd already heard the gist because she was filling in bits and pieces and stretching the segment out.

The ending was so much fun with the glitter cannons! Even though I was expecting them, I wasn't ready. She said she had another little surprise so I thought it was something else! Yesterday, she kind of ruined the surprise when she said she'd nearly choked on a piece of confetti but it was still a little shocking.

After she left, I was waiting for her to come back and ask us to refilm! Luckily - and unluckily! - she never did.

Please note, this is not in anyway a complaint towards the BBC or Louise but it was just very eye-opening into how the TV world works. I loved the show and will definitely be trying to go again next year...hopefully! Make sure to come back for next Thursday's post :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Medicine Year 1 Review 💉

It's come to the end of summer and the start of university again so I thought I would write up a little cheat sheet for those preparing for Year 1 Medicine and the specifics at the UCL course.
Medicine is extremely hard and challenging but most importantly, you have to remember why you are doing it and think of the end goal. Having completed first year, I struggled but I also passed. It doesn’t matter what grade you get because at the end of the day, a pass is a pass. You’ll have mostly lectures and science to learn but also, the opportunity to speak to patients and they’re the moments everything suddenly seems worthwhile.

The year, at UCL, starts with Foundations of Health and Medical Practice. I honestly didn't get the module for the first part. Until I spoke to one of the course organisers, I couldn't grasp why they were teaching us about all these seemingly random things. But first off, a lot of the content many will have covered before either by general knowledge or through A-level and GCSE courses. They are trying to make sure everyone has the same level of understand because different courses and exam boards teach a selection of different material. Some of the things I knew others didn't, like blood groups, and vice-a-versa, like meiosis. And then they through in some brand new stuff that completely throws you, like embryology. But don't worry too much because the new stuff is usually covered again in later modules. Finally, hey quickly run through investigative medicine but you won't get tested on it this year. 

Infection and Defence is the second module of year 1 and seemingly the most put together. After the shambles of the introductory module, Foundations of Health and Medical Practice, it’s nice to have a solid timetable with clear end goals. Also, the single best answer questions put at the end of most lectures and a final lecture each week make everything click and you realise how you will be assessed in the future.

Circulation and Breathing was my favourite module because it's the start of anatomy and it's more clinically focuses. A lot of patients have respiratory and cardiac problems, and while everyone has infections, the second module is more of a scientific module about the immune system rather than treating patients. Also, conditions from this module will become more chronic and long-term by the time we are practicing professionals due to the ageing population. 

Finally, we end on Fluids, Nutrition and Metabolism. The unit has recently changed due to feedback making it less packed than before thanks to ongoing feedback from students. I think the metabolism content from Charmain is taught extremely well but the anatomy is atrocious. I could barely understand it and pelvis is terrible. Spend extra time on the anatomy for sure, especially nerves and blood vessels. 

Throughout the year you have small group work with tutors who are experts in their own field. Use them! They are here to help. Unfortunately, how helpful they are depends on whom you get. My first year was terrible because he barely understood us and wanted to teach what he wanted rather than ask us but my second was amazing. He really let us choose what we were struggling with and opened up the room to questions constantly. 

The final key module is the now called CPP (Clinical and Professional Practice). Go to the lectures! If you go to the lectures and listen, you won't need to revise these topics, giving you more time to revise the science. Use the time in Thursday's tutor sessions and implement the knowledge. Lastly, the revision sessions at the end of the year are really helpful and run through all the key facts ready for exams the next week. 

There is a brief run through of all the important details for Year 1 Medicine at University College London and some quick tips along the way. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Trinity Walk Shopping Haul! (Back-to-School Edition) 🛌

Last week I went shopping to a local shopping centre near me with some old friends from college. I had to get a few bits and pieces ready for university starting in just a few weeks and had lots of fun hanging out!

From bed spreads to toiletries, here's a few of my must have items!

To start I headed to Debenhams to grab my key toiletries and make-up products. I needed to replace my make-up so I got a new foundation and my mineral veil which is basically a setting powder from BareMinerals. I usually use the Original formula foundation but as my skin is quite oily I decided to try the Matte formula and see if it reduced my shine. Read my daily make-up routine here, evening routine here and watch it here.

While in there, I also got a sample of Clinique's new foundation, a free 10 day sample of Clinique’s Superbalanced Silk plus a primer trial which I saw it being advertised on Twitter. Unfortunately, the Clinique counter wasn't manned so I couldn't get matched or the primer but I did get the foundation to test. I've been looking for a liquid foundation to fall in love with but I haven't quite found it yet. Maybe this will be it!

The final products I needed were my daily moisturizer from Olay and a new blusher from No7 as mine is almost reaching the end of it's life. I got both of these from Boots.

From Clinique I also got my face wash and face mask. I love the anti-blemish range and have now been using it for a number of years. I feel like it's massively helped with my acne and it also lasts a long time so it's well worth the £20. To see how I use them, read my night time routine here or watch here.

On to Lush where I got another sample. This time of the Self-Preserving Mask of Magnaminity in the smooth formula. I've gotten the rough formula before but found it to be a little abrasive so didn't use it all that often. When I saw this I thought why not give it a try! I also learnt, and here's a quick tip(!), that if you save the lush pots and take them back, you get a free full pot of face mask for every 5 you return! How amazing is that?

In terms of stationary, I have most of it from last year, I did need to get some ring binders though. I headed to WHSmiths but they literally only had block coloured ones so I decided not to get any and to get them in London instead.
 My favourite clothes shop has always been Dorothy Perkins and so I repurchased my favourite pair of jeans in two colours, black and blue-washed. These are literally the only jeans/jeggings I where. In fact, they're the only trousers I wear other than Warehouse black leggings but unfortunately the ones I like are no longer sold and all mine are ripping. I even managed to convince my friend, Sarah, to get a pair! In addition, I bought a new worktop ready for my hospital placements which is a gorgeous cut and has just a little bit of colour to pop on it.
Finally, I went to Asda LIVING and got a plain white fitted bed sheet and then found this gorgeous butterfly bedding which matches my blue colour scheme perfectly.

I love all these products and I'm now ready for university! All the products are linked directly to the sites. Are you ready to go back-to-school or otherwise?

Friday, 16 September 2016

My 18th! (Flashback Friday) 🎉

I didn't know I'd recorded anything from my 18th party but it turns out I did, how fun! It's a little dark so it's not that great but it's nice to have the memories of karaoke, dancing and shots!

Click here for the video.

I have already done a couple of posts on my 18th so click here and here to see them or scroll for more pictures. My birthday was smack bang in the middle of my A Level exams so I opened presents and ate some cookie but didn't actually celebrate until the 18th.