Sunday, 7 August 2016

Mini Makeup and Skincare Haul...

Hi There!

So I recently went on a mini shopping spree and I brought myself a couple of things. I didn't really have the aim of buying many things, but then once I got there, impulse takes over and I just couldn't help it. So here's a couple of things that I got. 

Good Things Miracle Mattifier Moisturiser
This stuff smells amazing. It's Blackcurrant and Goji Berry scented so it smells nice and fruity. I have particularly oily and blemish prone skin, so I wanted to try a moisturiser that would mattify my skin, without completely drying it out, and would try and calm my spots and redness. I'll give it a couple of weeks and see how this goes, if not it's back to the drawing board. 

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Overnight Purifying Gel
Similar to the moisturiser I got, I wanted a night treatment that would deal with my blemishes. I had actually planned to go and buy this as I had read some positive reviews on it. Even after a couple of days I have been able to see an improvement when I wake up in the mornings, and I 100% believe it has to do with this gel. 

NYX Lip Lingerie Lipstick in Shades 07 Satin Ribbon and 09 Corset
Unless you have been living in a whole, you will see that a lot of the Blogosphere has been posting about these lipsticks. I thought I'd see what the hype was all about, and I love them! They are nice matte, neutral shades, that I can easily wear casually of a daytime, or of an evening where I am going all onut fancy. 

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Shade Devotion
Oh My God this highlight looks incredible! I swatched it in John Lewis to test it out while my Mum was looking at foundations, and I knew straight away I'd have to sweet talk her into buying it for me. After a while of persuading it worked, and now I am in love. It is so glittery and shiney and highlightery, there are just not enough words!

Girl Without A Plan, Making Plans

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Who Am I Watching On YouTube???

Hi There!

Like many people out there, I am addicted to YouTube. I am intrigued to see how people live their lives, and if I'm honest it is also quite good company. If I'm lying in bed trying to sleep, or if  I'm just pottering round the house, I will often have a YouTube video on as it feels like I am with company. Here's who I am currently addicted to at the moment, and have been for a little while:

Jack (Sean) is a loud gamer from Ireland who I have been addicted to now for many years. Without fail his videos make me laugh because he seems like such a genuine guy! He cares for his viewers and knows exactly what they want to see, so he makes sure he produces every day, twice a day. He is a shouter that's for sure, which is only a bad thing when you have headphones on. I would definitely recommend watching him if you want a laugh, even if you don't really like gaming videos. (His skate 3 videos may be old, but they are what got me addicted!)

This videos are hilarious! Back in the O2L days I would always be most excited to see Kian's and JC's videos, and now that they have a channel together makes life so much better. You can see how close they are as friends and the banter they have together if too funny. (Super Glue Gloves is my one to watch here!)

Lauren Curtis
Who would I be if I didn't have a favourite makeup vlogger. Lauren has so many different makeup looks there is one that has to suit you. They range from strong dark makeup looks, to everyday looks, so there is one for everyone. She makes them as look effortless and they are really simple to follow. Even if you don't want to try the look, there are some useful tips in her videos as well. (I love, love, LOVE the Second Date Makeup Tutorial look!)

These boys were the first people I became addicted to on YouTube! I used to have posters of them all over my wall, I went to their first show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, I have their merchandise. I was addicted. It's safe to say that addiction has gone down, but only slightly. If I see they have uploaded a new video I will watch it straight away, but not only on this channel, also on their DareSundays and JanoskiansBlog channels. These videos may make you slightly cringe, but a couple of years ago they gave me the confidence to put myself out there and not care what anyone thinks, so I will always be greatful for that. (The Invisible Rope is a good place to start, but their Public Disturbance videos are fun as well!)

Where would we be without Zoella in our lives? It seems like everyone knows her now, and it seems as though she is a friend to everyone. She is so real in her videos. In her vlogs she is able to open up and tell us exactly how she really feels, and make us all really jealous at the same time for the life she has. I mean, she gets to live with Alfie Deyes, it doesn't get much better than that! She has such a wide variety of videos it's hard to put her into a category, so I'm giving her her own Zoella category. If you aren't watching her videos or don't know who she is, what are you even watching on YouTube?! (Best Friend vs Boyfriend is a funny one!)

These are obviously not all the YouTubers that I watched. I am currently subscribed to 105 channels, so there are many other channels I love to watch, such as Joe Sugg and Shane Dawson, but these 5 are the ones I'm currently addicted to. It will be nice to come back to this list in a little while and see if this has changed or if it stays the same. 

Who are you currently addicted to on the internet?

Girl Without A Plan, Making Plans

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Can I Get Through The Summer Without A Job???

Hi There!

So on my very last day at university, as I was walking out the doors, my seminar leader said to me, "try and do what you want to do this summer. Go travelling, relax. You don't get that many summer breaks so treasure them while you can." 

This is something I have managed to get away with so far this summer. I have currently been off for around 4 months, and if I'm honest, it feels like my feet haven't touched the ground. I've been travelling around to all my friends' universities, been seeing them once they have come home, been away on holiday, and had to deal with family issues, and this has seemed to take up so much of my time. My mind hasn't been complete for a while now, and I feel like I need to try and get that sorted. I'm so close to being myself again, but something seems to always get in the way, and this time it's my parents. 

I completely understand where they are coming from. I know I should get a job. I know I should try and get the experience. BUT I DON'T WANT TO! I can currently survive on my student loan. I haven't needed any extra money, go into my overdraft, or anything like that. It's definitely not about earning money. But I know I should get the experience. I should have a reason to get out of bed everyday. To get changed out of pyjamas. But for some reason, a job just doesn't seem to do it for me. Well, at least a paid job. 

I've been thinking of doing voluntary work. I have done it before for a couple of weeks at a St. Francis Hospice shop and I really enjoyed it. The people that worked there were lovely, even if they were about triple my age! It's not just that. The benefit I got from it was great! It may not seem like much, but I felt making sales or trying to organise the shop was allowing me to indirectly help people. And I really did enjoy that feeling. 

But I guess all good things always come to an end. If I can talk my way out of a job for the next month or so it will be a miracle. So I guess I should seriously start thinking of what I want to do. Paid work or volunteer? Step up or run away?

Girl Without A Plan, Making Plans

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Book Review: The Things We Can't Change Series by Kassandra Kush

Hi There!

"Just because something doesn't feel good, doesn't mean it isn't good for you."


So I am currently on a book phase. I recently bought a Kindle, even though vowing I never would because I would miss turning the page of a book so much, but I DO NOT regret it at all! The ease of being able to buy a book and straight away read it is sooo appealing, and it has definitely made me read a heck of a lot more. And this series of books was on the top of my lists to read! It may be relatively old (if you class the first book coming out in 2013 old!), but that would never put me off, and hopefully it wouldn't put any of you lot off either!!

So what is this series about? There is wayyyy too much going on for me to explain. But let me try and simplify it for you. Evangeline Parker and Ezekiel Quain could not be more different in terms of lifestyle. One is rich, has a "perfect life", a boyfriend that loves her, while the other has a strained family life, works as much as possible, and a front that is always up. Their paths cross after Evie's boyfriend Tony is caught abusing her and Zeke tries to intervene. You'd think it would be simple from here and Tony would stop, but that wouldn't be much of a book, yet alone a series, would it! You get to follow both of their stories through the five short books. How their lives interconnect, their relationship, and how they need each other through the hard times they experience. But most of all, they need each other to help heal.

The best part of this series is seeing Evie and Zeke's relationship evolve. They are people from completely different backgrounds with completely different groups of friends. But once they find they need each other, they have to adapt as Evie starts to face the brunt of a lot of rumors that Zeke is involved in to. The way Zeke learns how to help Evie handle her issues, and how Evie learns how to get Zeke to deal with his feelings is one of the most realistic things. Not everyone deals with situations the same, so you need to learn how to help others who are not like you, and that is exactly what these books teach you. You want to see these characters succeed and successfully handle their problems, but not only that, you are also willing them to get together because I mean. COME ON! They are the cutest people. (when you read the end of book 3 just be prepared for feels okay!)

The problem though is that this books becomes slightly unrealistic in terms of how bad things can get. If anything bad in the world can happen, it will happen to either Zeke or Evie. I know some people in life can be extremely unlucky, but if you read these books you'll think your life is as cheery as anything because they definitely have worse lives than you. 

These books teach readers many things. The feelings of being in an abusive relationship, helping someone in an abusive relationship, feelings of grief, feelings of abandonment. This series has everything. Reading it at the time I have, where I am going through a loss in the family, I have found it has actually helped. Some of the ways Evie and Zeke were helping each other helped me to understand the way I am feeling. Don't get me wrong, sometimes these books got so dark I had to give myself a break from reading them, but then I guess it's all part of life. 

If you ever want to read a short collection of books, this series is one for sure. The issues these books deal with are some few people you know may experience, but the feelings are something everyone deals with. It helps you to understand how you need to act to help others, and how your feeling is normal. 

So go on and read them! Stop reading this! But get used to cliffhangers, they are killer ones!

Girl Without A Plan, Making Plans

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Day Trip to Brighton...

Hey There!

 So for many, many, MANY months, I have been moaning at my friends that I have wanted to go to Brighton. I've got to be honest, I have no idea why I have wanted to go so much. I guess being by the sea, and seeing all YouTube videos of people living in Brighton has made me want to go, and it definitely did not disappoint! So let's go through my day shall we...

Waking up at 6:30am was not a highlight! It has been agesssss since I've had to get up that early (apart from Greece where I had to get up a whole hour earlier than that and that was way worse!) and it was a struggle. I managed to pull myself out of bed and get in the shower and by 8:00am I was ready to get going. Skip to 3 hours later and I was getting off the train at Brighton, and I already loved it! The sun was shining, I could see the sea I was aiming for, and I was with my best friends. What more could you want!!

We walked past all these small cafes and shops and headed straight for the beach. It was so hot and sunny and I was back in my peaceful place, by the sea. We were all so surprised at how blue the sea was!! It felt like we were in a completely different country! (Even if it was just an hour and a half train journey away!) We sat on the beach for a while and we felt like we were in Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging (if you haven't seen that film get off my blog right now because it is one of THE best films ever made!)

After walking along the seafront for a while and going in the little knick knack shops, we went onto the pier where I got to smell the magical smell of sugary donuts, which just reminds you of summer. We went in the arcade where we obviously lost a lot of money, and probably some dignity on the dance machines aha. But it was a good ol' laugh so it was all worth it! And I also managed to top the leader board of Guitar Hero for Coldplay's Yellow and that was my mini achievement for the day. We then went on some of the rides at the end of the pier. One of my friends and I went on a ride called Galaxia where you basically went around in a circle and it bounced up and down, and with the music blaring and my hair going everywhere it was the most powerful headbanger ever! My other friends went on a Ghost Train, and let's just say that ended in tears. But what is a mini fairground trip without a go on the dodgems, so we have all ended up with bruised knees from crushed legs inside the little cars (they seriously need to make them bigger for tall people!)

Lunch was out next stop, and we ended up in a diddy pub called The Mucky Duck, and it was the cutest little pub ever! Their portions weren't diddy though (as you can see!) We went for two sharing platters, so that meant tortillas, hammoumi, onion rings (nom nom nom), chips, and garlic bread. We tried our hardest to get through it all but sadly we failed, but that wasn't because it wasn't good! Our bellies were just exploding!

The Lanes were next, and they were the cutest little shops. My Nan always recommended going there when I said I wanted to go Brighton, so I felt like I was achieving her little dream for me while I was there. We walked around for hours! Going down every nook and cranny and into a wide variety of shops (and let's just say Choccywoccydoodah is any chocoholics heaven!). But then the rain arrived, and me not being prepared for British weather didn't bring an umbrella. So into the shopping centre we went, and we found the nicest jewellery shop could Lovisa with the loveliest rose gold jewellery I've ever seen.

Many hours later, we ended our shopping spree with our feet killing and our bellies rumbling for some food. We went in search of a coffee shop where we can get some tea and cake, so we went back to the lanes and went to Cafe Coho where they advertised they had the best loved cake in Brighton, so we definitely had to check it out. We all went for different cakes and drinks, and let's just say their Oreo Brownie is as chocolatey and gooey as it looks, but it was amazing! Time was getting on and the rain didn't look like it would let up, so off home we headed, drenched and tired.

This day was one of the best days of my life so far. It's been a while since I've laughed so much and felt genuinely happy. I cannot thank my friends enough for this trip, it meant the world to me that they listen and pay attention to what I would love to do (even if they have had to hear it for months). I wouldn't change anything, apart from probably the weather, about this trip, and it is something we are definitely making annual! I'd recommend going if you love the seaside and a small community feel because that is definitely what it felt like.

Where would you always like to go though? It doesn't have to be abroad, it can be local to you, like Brighton sort of is to me?

Girl Without A Plan, Making Plans

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Losing Someone Who Was Never Really There...

Hey There!

I feel like every time I have a heart-to-heart post it gets more and more depressing, and if I'm honest, that's just how my life is going at the moment. 

So on the 8th of July 2016 at 1:30am I lost my Grandad peacefully in his sleep. I did not know until the morning when I heard my Dad get a phonecall at around 6am, and I knew exactly as I heard that phone ring that my heart was going to break that day, again. When my Mum and Dad came into my bedroom, sat on my bed, and broke the news, I cried for a while. Anyone would who had just lost their Grandad, as well as their Nan within the same year. But then I had a little smile on my face because I realised they would be together again. I can imagine what they are like together, as I was lucky enough to get 18 long years of seeing them together, so I can picture my Nan moaning at my Grandad to get the ironing done and about what took him so long to get up there! 

I can imagine you're thinking, "what does the title of this blog post have to do with anything?", but don't you worry, I will tell you. My Grandad suffered with Alzheimer's. Anyone who knows someone with this disease knows how much of a struggle it is to see someone suffer like this. They start to lose their on identity, and it is like they are already passing away in front of your eyes but their body is still with you. He suffered with this disease for a number of years, so I guess you can say I started to lose my Grandad about 6 years ago. I could see he wasn't himself, even if I was only 13 and just about understanding what was going on. He wasn't the man I grew up with and used to go on holiday with so I guess I have been able to prepare myself for this day for a number of years. 

In July last year, just over a year ago to this day, my Nan had her first heart attack, and this was when we first thought about putting my Grandad in care. After much discussion the family went with the idea, and believe me when I say this, it helped. As a family, we didn't understand the strain of looking after him for my Nan, and it is something we wished we had done months, maybe years even, before. Obviously for a while the focus was on my Nan in the family because she was the one who needed the care and the looking after as she was now living on her own. But then once she passed, we knew we had to step up for my Grandad. 

Personally, once he went in the home I did not go and visit him. I couldn't put myself through that. I knew he wouldn't know who I was, and I couldn't have my heart break any more through that. Seeing my Grandad the last times I did, I just about recognised him as the man who cared for me and always pushed me to achieve my goals. My Mum and Dad tried to visit him once a week, or at least every fortnight, and they found it tough as they were seeing him lose himself and get worse and worse. We were all prepared for him to pass. We knew he was getting worse and the home told us to start preparing ourselves, and that is something I wasn't prepared to do. I had just lost my Nan, who was probably the closest person I have ever been to and will ever be to, and I didn't want to lose another Grandparent. They practically raised me for crying out loud! So these past few days I have been living in a constant anxious state waiting for a phonecall for the news, and getting that phonecall was a relief this morning because I knew he was in a better place with my Nan. 

I guess what I am trying to say from this post is that losing someone who you never really saw, or who was never really there, is tough. It hurts exactly the same. But losing someone to Alzimier's over such a long period of time can be extremely painful. You are losing them for years at a much slower pace, and if that person is in a home, it is okay if you don't see them that or often, or at all. It is nice to remember someone for how they used to be. You want to remember them when there were happy times, and there was not the constant worry of what could happen next. No one is judging you for how you deal with the situation. We all cope in different ways, and I guess for me, leaving my Grandad with how I used to remember him is how I wanted it to be. I'd much rather remember playing crazy golf with him and doing crossword puzzles round his kitchen table, than him not knowing who I was and not being able to understand a word of what he was saying. 

I'm going to end this with a quote that I think best describes this situation right now. Some of you may be going through the same kind of thing, or some may have just lost a loved one. We can all be there for each other in one way or another, just remember that.

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. 

Girl Without A Plan, Making Plans

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Dealing With The Unexpected...

Hey There!

Over this past year, I have had to deal with so many unexpected things that I feel like I'm becoming an expert at it. When I say unexpected, I'm not meaning the happy, surprise kind. I'm meaning the, life can't get any shitter, kind. Not all of it has impacted my family, some of it has, but some of it has impacted the families of my friends, and that hurts just as much. I guess now I have tips on how to cope when life throws you a curve ball, so maybe they can help you out when you are in need. 

1. Set yourself a set amount of time to dwell on the news
When you hear something shocking and unexpected, it can completely knock the wind out of you. I freak out, panic, sob my way through the news I get, but that doesn't help anyone. I try and set myself maybe 2 hours at most to dwell on the news. I can do whatever I want during those two hours. I can cry myself through toilet rolls, or I can get angry and chuck stuff around, but once they are up this has to finish. You have to carry on when things get tough because otherwise you get stuck, and you get dragged down deeper and deeper until it consumes you (like quicksand). I know it is easier said than done, believe me, but you have to keep doing your thing and trying to move forward.

2. Go out for a walk
This is a nice escape. When you hear something you don't want to hear, getting fresh air is a good place to start. It can calm you down, but it can also help you process things as well. This time walking without headphones is okay because you can be left alone with your thoughts. You can take on board the things you have heard, and then let that sink in for a while. Once you end up back at your house again you can have more of a clear head. It doesn't solve things, but it keeps you from going mad inside your house.

3. Stay distracted
This is the best thing to do once you have had time to think about things. You cannot let your thoughts consume you, so you have to keep your mind occupied. It could be through cooking, cleaning, or even just watching a film. If you can distract yourself for even a minute, things seem better for a short amount of time, and slowly but surely these minutes will turn into hours and you'll find yourself moving forward. 

4. Give yourself a mental slap
This always works for me because once my Nan passed away, I now have her voice inside my head every single day. That might sound crazy, but it really helps in situations that I didn't see coming. I can imagine her telling me to "pull yourself together" and then giving me a slight tap, and that makes me feel better. It works though even by using your own voice. We are always talking to ourselves, even if you don't want to admit it. Listening to your own voice and having a go at yourself can be the perfect pep talk you need to pull yourself together and try and get on with things. 

5. Be with friends and family
This is probably the best, and most popular piece of advice out there. Whenever something happens, it is always best to be surrounded by family and those who love you. That's the only way you can get through things. But sometimes even family can feel like too much, and that is when you need your friends. If they are anything like mine, they will wait for you to open up about things, so if you don't want to, they are the best distraction. They will keep you laughing, and when things can't get any worse, they will always be there to help you get back together. But remember, you have to be there for them as well as they need you just as much as you need them. 

I get these pieces of advice may not be for you. I completely understand that. We are all individuals that deal with things differently, and no two of us are the same. But one thing I do know is that we are all strong enough to get through anything. I have no idea how long I have felt empty now and felt things cannot improve, but I'm plodding along. These points got me through the initial stages of hearing the news, but I'm still working on others to try and properly move on in life. 

Any advice will be greatly appreciated, and I'm sure other people will want help as well. 

Girl Without A Plan, Making Plans

P.S. I hope this helps at least one person out there because everyone needs a little help at some point (even if they are behind a computer screen)