Wednesday, 22 November 2017

An Ode To Happiness

It's happened many of times now.

Once when I was sat on a cold brick wall outside a mediocre pub linking arms with one of 8 of my best friends about 2am, slightly tipsy and very excited for a Domino's feast that would accommodate us on our sleepover with only two rooms and blankets for shelter. 

We were having a chat with two (intoxicated but really lovely) local lads and an aphorism they surged in our direction has stayed with me ever since. I can't remember the exact words they spoke but it was something along the lines of "I can see you're all really close, I get that vibe. As long as you've got each other, as long as you look after each other, that's all you need." It was a passive drunken comment but it really struck a cord and has been a motto I've held on to ever since.


Thursday, 9 November 2017

Debenhams Christmas Gift Guide For Her

Halloween and Bonfire Night is over which can only mean one thing... the yuletide season is ready and waiting to be appreciated and saluted at full capacity. 

Once November approaches us it's impossible to avoid the 8 letter word whether you're an absolute scrooge or an ultimate advocate for all things extra festive.


I don't know how we got to a place where the word is literally embedded into the brain with a star shaped speech bubble. I don't know where the year went and I certainly don't know how my bank account is going to hold out over the next month. However, there is chance - because deal site Codesium published today a new storewide Debenhams discount code for you to utilise. If you use the code (YF23) you'll get 10% off £50, which means buying in bulk just got better. The promotion is live now through Sunday 12th!


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Body Confidence Before The Body

Everybody talks about the pre-body before the lifestyle changes, the one that is in your ownership, attached to your self image, and ultimately is the catalyst to the drive that throws you into a brand new routine.

And everybody talks about the after-body, the one you pin your goals on, the healthier, flourishing, refined result of interrupting your sitting down time with a heavy gym session and continuing until you're feeling happier and more positive with the reflection staring back at you.

But nobody ever talks about the in-between. The during.

Nobody ever talks about the trivial obstacles. The squeezing into your gym kit that just about fits, the over observant flaw picking that can set you back miles, the wobbly bits jiggling as you're exerting yourself, the exhaustion, the aftermath of soreness, the long process in which you begin to notice a shift in appearance, and the glossy media that can instantly knock you right back as the ideal gets shoved down your throat at a speedy pace.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Halloween Makeup: Red Jesterina

Happy Halloween, folks! 

I'm well aware for some it's just the October finale and another day trying to adjust to the clock change, the 5pm moon rise and the drastic drop in temperature but for me it's my favourite time of the year; a real opportunity to release my inner child, to spend unnecessary money on tacky novelty accessories, to gorge on too many sweets, carve pumpkins (badly), sit in watching classic horrors with candles burning and Thriller playing, take advantage of the dark, eery, breaching cosy atmosphere, and most of all get creative with fancy dress and play about with makeup - both new and old.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

A/W Trends With British Vogue

I'd say sitting front seat with a glittery chocolate strawberry, fruit on sticks, and a fresh smoothie at a Vogue event in collaboration with John Lewis over at the exquisite side of Leeds that makes me feel more affluent and superior than I actually am, is most definitely a peak of my blogging experience.

A few weeks ago now I was invited down to a group conference with the lead fashion experts discussing the newest, upcoming trends, what's hot and what's not, the key pieces you need in your capsule wardrobe, and the tips and tricks on how to seasonal style like a pro. Ellie, the fashion feature editor of British Vogue was our talker for the evening and was on hand to showcase her favourite autumn/winter transitional garments she'd picked up whilst racing round the second floor of womenswear like she was on supermarket sweep (the ideal dream, tbh.)


Friday, 20 October 2017

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Wednesday Wishlist: The Ankle Boot Edit

I think I have a problem. A serious dependency problem. The state of my happiness depends on how many pairs of ankle boots I can hoard with the excuse of "there's no such thing as too many". As soon as October moved in I was heading off on my seasonal hunt for the pairs I'd very much like to hanker up as the latest additions to my already crammed shoe collection, all synchronous with a lecture from my mother hen about how I have a chaotic obsession that still didn't seem to stop me (sorry, mum).

I'm yet to make any purchases but the lust is rapidly growing and I'm so ready to update last year's with the current styles, to wave goodbye to the summer solstice with a pumpkin spice latte in the occupied hand, to deposit my flats, sandals and mules, and bring in the new! My favourite thing about ankle boots is that they're never outdated, they're an investment and reclaimable as the months fly by and with the lack of warm weather we get in Britain, also wearable all year round, but there's just something about autumn/winter designs that have me squealing from the rooftops. It's the metallics, the suede, the velvet, the satin, the warm hues, the woven fabrics, the ornate prints, the mod and the retro and even the glam and the bright. Teamed with jeans, wide leg culottes, cropped trousers, and even skirts - you really can't go wrong. Those cut off shorties always win over faffing full length footwear!

Where ankle boots are concerned the horizon is broadened and I won't quit until you hear me clip clopping to my grave.

Are you an ankle boot lover?



Thursday, 21 September 2017

I'm Choosing To Smile

It's not always easy to radiate positivity, especially when your mental health is defying the often overbearing, enthusiastic life quotes on the internet. There's factors in the world that make it almost impossible to smile; you can wake up and feel that impending doom of the day ahead, something or someone can upset you or offend you and a downhearted mood can creep upon you. You can have the worst luck in the world, experience problems with a task you were determined to complete, be rejected, fight with a loved one, or switch on the news.  You can feel as though there's no hope nor reason to think optimistically but then an occasion or a person may prove you wrong. You can participate in your favourite pastime and feel the happiness building or bubbling. Or simply, like me, despite every concept being considered, you absolutely do not smile even when you're on a high, because the reflection staring back at you as you smile with your teeth makes you scowl with disgust. 


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Tune In, Switch Off, & Relax with Joy

Joy - a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. That's what the dictionary defines but it also deemed true in actuality, on a crisp Wednesday evening in Leeds city centre a few weeks back. I remember paying numerous visits to the old Joy store in The Light back when I was a teen; the quirky tea dresses and the tongue-in-cheek gifts being right up my street - and with a timely tour of the modern version I discovered nothing has changed since it moved over to their bigger and better Northern flagship store. The brand has kept its signature niche of glamour and edgy clothing tailored to suit playful personalities (think vintage style Cath Kidson meets Urban Outfitters) and quite frankly, with all its glory, it is just a great big bubble of joy.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

New Dessert House On The Block: Kaspa's Leeds

If you tend to lose all sense of control around sweet treats, then I'd find the nearest comfortable place to pop yourself down on to gather some composure before I continue, because there's a new haven in town and it's about to take the Leeds' restaurant scene by storm! Not that you can pick up a three course Italian here, of course, but it's about the equivalent in pudding form - an actual eatery dedicated to all your favourite after indulgences. Gelato and waffles being their speciality but catering for all your candied needs in one pink paradise.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Tips For Taking Small Steps Back Into Fitness

It's a bit hypocritical of me to sit here and talk about nutrition, health, and fitness when I've been the biggest slacker over the past couple of months. I don't have the leverage to start talking greens and shakes and HIIT training when a) I'm nowhere near a stable expert and b) I've been feasting like there's no tomorrow (truthfully it's just a serious case of holiday blues and no more bikini outings) but I suppose that's the whole point of this post - for my desire to get back on track and feel as invigorated and wholesome as I did when I managed to keep my head in the game - and of course, for anyone else who's having a similar problem. 


Friday, 14 July 2017

Latest In: My New Makeup Additions

I don't think there's any better feeling than replenishing both your beauty filled soul and your already over crowded makeup bag with - yep you guessed it - more makeup. It's always my pick me up and quick fixing cure to any downfalls in life; splurging on a few bits and bobs to A) switch your usual routine around and introduce some new brands, new shades, new ethics, and even a complete new, tweaked appearance into your daily ritual, and B) to just make yourself feel better, knowing you can put on a mask packed with glimmering pigment, golden coverage, and a general enhancement to your natural features so you can feel as confident as you do with a Snapchat filter permanently attached to your face (because there's nothing quite like a pretty panda transformation for some well needed compliance.)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Guest post: The Summer-style Essential Pieces

It's July - always the one to state the obvious! Which means we're more than halfway through the year, summer has arrived (in stages, I don't think Britain quite gets the memo) and it's a time for those motivation and inspiration levels to rise. Whilst I plan out the changes I want to implement within my blog *hopefully* over the next few weeks and whilst I work on other bits and bobs, I have a guest post for you to relish in; kindly written by the lovely Amy and which shall guide you along that can-be-awkward seasonal style...


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Jamie's Italian Leeds: Super Lunch Menu

It's no secret that I'm partial to a good Italian dish. In fact, if I had to make an ultimate decision and eat at the same restaurant for the rest of my life it would have to contain a menu filled with Italian cuisine; no ifs, no buts. I shouldn't be thinking about pizza, pasta, bread specialities and fresh cuts of meat after a hefty indulgence on holiday but that can't be avoided when looking back on my complimentary visit to Jamie's Italian on a pleasant, sunny day last month.


Friday, 9 June 2017

Photo Diary: An Afternoon in Harrogate

As I'm sat writing this post the start of the general election results are rolling in. Now, I don't know the certainty of our future (or at least the next 5 years) but tensions and anxieties are obviously running high and my stomach's already done enough somersaults to host the next Olympic games at just a little over 10pm. By the time this post goes out in the morning there will be an official settlement and no matter what is to come, I feel like we'll all need a calming, captivating pick me up after what has been a frustrating, stressful, and fearful couple of months.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Heal Spa Harrogate: The New Place To Be

Healing. It takes time, it takes patience, it takes strength and it takes caring for yourself tentatively. With the newest spot in the tasteful town of Harrogate that process can be made easier to manage as it mixes beauty and relaxation with health, medical and wellness treatments. Heal Spa not only looks as though you've stepped foot into an interior dream but it provides the enriching therapy designed to rejuvenate your body into a dreamlike state!


Friday, 2 June 2017

Spring/Summer 2017 Primark Haul

It's that time of year again, folks! We're now into June, scarily halfway through the year but the official classification of summer begins. With the beautiful weather we've had over the past few weeks I'm feeling a little spoiled and I know it's more than likely to be jinxed and forecast to change drastically to what us Brits do best - dark skies and drizzle, but it's really upped my excitement to dress lightly, airy and colourfully, and it's also made me realise I do not own enough fresh, contemporary summer clothes.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Dangers of the Contraceptive Pill

I've been umming and ahhing about writing a post like this for such a long time now but I've held back in fear of sounding contriving and patronising and like I'm forcing points upon you. That's not what I want to do. What I want to do is aim to bring this subject to light, to really get to the core of my viewpoint and to generally make young (and older) women cautious and clued up when it comes to making the suitable decision for their own health. Funnily enough, it wasn't the many birth control fatality stories in the media, or the fact a year ago today I told my unrevealed tale of being a teen stroke survivor which contracted from that mini pill, but it was in fact Grace's tweet back in March where she used her platform to inform of the exact same case only devastatingly with her own relative. It often takes an influencer to influence you (which makes obvious sense, of course) and that it did. I thought, as the months went by, that it's time for me to raise awareness and encourage reflection from my own perspective. The perspective that knows just damn well how dangerous it can be.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Two Days, Two Press Dinners: Iberica and Browns Leeds

My little ol' blog brings me some superb opportunities and sometimes they all happen in the loop space of a short period after a dry patch on events. This happened almost a month ago, now (doesn't time fly by before you can even keep track?!) and it really was a treat to the taste buds for someone who's so much more open to the experience of new food ventures. One week, two press dinners, two beautiful locations in my much loved hometown, and plenty of time to discover fresh favourites, meet up with some lovely bloggers, chat to some passionate, aspiring individuals and soak in the essence of what made each restaurant distinctive in disposition.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

#StartTheSwedishWay: A Guide To Spring With Rekorderlig*

Spring is a funny old season (but it's a good job funny is my favourite type of speciality). One minute there are bright blue skies and dazzling sunshine, nature blooming, flesh being unveiled from beneath the thick layers, evening strolls in the park as the lighter nights transpire, impromptu adventures near and far, basking in the fresh air, the ale flowing and music pumping; enjoying BBQ's in full swing with friends and family and social gatherings in the outdoor pub gardens. Then, just as you're packing away the jumpers and bringing out the flowy dresses, the next day can be a completely different story. You wake up to dull drizzle, plummeted temperatures, no sign of natural daylight and a dropped mood on top of that. Suddenly it feels like we've transported back to winter, cuddled up on the sofa with blankets with the heating on and all hopes for some everlasting warmth long gone. This incentive probably explains why when we get some glorious sunshine, we make the most of it - and that's exactly what I did!


Friday, 12 May 2017

Mental Health Awareness Week: My Experiences With Depersonalization & Derealization

I am an advocate for mental health. I avidly talk about it in real life and am becoming hell of a lot more open about it online. There's nothing more important than talking. Talking about your thoughts, your feelings, your troubles, your worries, your hopes, and even your recovery. There's no shame in me admitting I have had years of emotional distress that will always be a part of my growth but there's also nobody more proud of the battle with my mind and the demons I've faced head on, than myself. I've spoken about my struggles in previous posts and that's always usually from the encouragement of targeted weeks dedicated to increasing awareness, erasing the stigma and giving people the chance to share their experiences. This is why I believe it's so important to spread the word, to show mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, to assert it does not make you abnormal, to get it off your chest, to talk.


Monday, 3 April 2017

Inside The Blogger Bag

When Kipling so kindly sent this Life Saver bag in my direction it almost metaphorically paralleled its name. By appearance, it's certainly no ordinary bag and by practicality, it's certainly no ordinary bag, either. With its flamboyant symmetrical and mucho colourful print it's dazzling on the eyes but it's also the sort of bag that you can store with everything but the kitchen sink. The many compartments, the luxury details and the character of the bag deal to the functional needs of a typical blogger's diverse but oh so cliche range of daily adventures as well as being stylish for any occasion.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Seven Stages Of Online Shopping

You know the deal, you slump down on the sofa with a heavy sigh after a hard day of graft with every intention to treat yourself to the latest steal online; your phone grasped in your hand with the desired apps open and your laptop on the other side of the room begging you to ditch one piece of technology for the other. The road to a successful online shop is a long and strenuous process between wanting the items on your list and actually having those gems in front of you to cradle like a newborn baby. Online shopping isn't just online shopping. It's a test of self control and destruct, a therapeutic motive, an attentive gift to the torturous soul... and that's just the start!


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Remembering the Memories of Mum and Dad

Today is Mother's Day but, coincidentally, this year it's fallen on the day the entire circumference of my heart is occupied with the other half of my reason for being on this earth right now, right this minute. For me it's also a reflective, significant and woeful day, for me it's the day I miss the presence of beaming smiles and infectious laughs and annoying teasing, for me it's the anniversary of losing my dad. Today marks 8 years since he gained angel status. Now, it doesn't mean I'm not going to celebrate the unconditional love, friendship, care and compassion my mum has given me since birth but it means there's an extra space to include the appreciation of two incredible humans who shaped me into the person I am today.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Guest Post: Jewellery Trends of 2017

Are you a jewellery lover? Do you find yourself hovering over to the finery section when you're out shopping or thinking about the latest piece of bling to enhance an outfit opposed to the clothing itself? Then you'll love today's post kindly written by the lovely Beth.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Highlighters To Achieve That Radiant Winter Glow

There's nothing, and I mean nothing, I love more than a sun kissed, healthy glow amid a season where gloom is focal and natural lustre is all but a sidelined peripheral. During the winter days the lack of lighting can feel like a misfortune but it doesn't mean your face has to suffer. For what is missing from the outdoors, you can compensate for in illuminating makeup products because let's be real, when does makeup ever not solve a problem? (Apart from the dreaded 'sorry, we're sold out, sign up to receive an email when it's back in stock' notice that only adds to the mess, of course.)

My collection consists of many different products (because apparently I like to achieve the highest standard of rosy and golden as possible) but I managed to haul through my stash to pick out my favourites - in the range of powders, liquids and even a mix of both to brighten up any grey day. 


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Ten Reasons Not To Give Up On Love This Valentine's Day

Red alert: this is me not being a cynic for the first time in erm... 23 years? When the 14th February comes around I'm usually turning my nose up at all the commercialised gifts and lovey dovey mush shoved in my face wherever I turn but I guess as you surround yourself with new situations, attitudes can change and you can just about handle the sentiment of overpriced red roses, meal deals for two and the mad rush to please your loved one on what is actually just a normal day. I'm not saying I'm pro Valentine's just yet but what am I saying is I'm pro love; you don't have to allow a date on the calendar, bad luck with modern dating apps or a shitty ex who's dampened your spirit be the reason you're devaluing yourself and giving up on the world head first in a pack of chocolate not that I object that and a collection of Kleenex to wipe those tears away. 


Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Seven Common Myths and Misconceptions of Chronic Illness

I vowed to myself before the clock struck midnight on the 31st December 2016 to indicate a new year and a fresh approach, that I'd be more open about my crusade with chronic illness and incurable pain over on my blog. Not just because it's therapeutic for me mentally to let those burdens go but because for years I've felt alone with the stigma and misconceptions that tend to surround long term health conditions and I want to offer that supportive hand and reminder to the fellow spoonies who are at the forefront of these false statements that you're not on your own - because, ultimately, a perfectly well human being with no experience of often unintentional but still deliberate discrimination against the sick and disabled do not have the right to paint you in a bleak light, to tell you how you should be feeling and to make negative assumptions on how you live your life alongside your illness.


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Products I'm Currently Testing

As a blogger I'm lucky enough to receive beauty samples left, right and centre but I have to be careful because if I throw them into my blog basket (yes, the products have taken up residence in their very own designated space) then I can easily forget about all the new, exclusive luxuries I have to trial and eventually indulge in. That is until I give myself a shake and my room a revamp and rediscover those bits and bobs absent from my routine. Recently, I've been testing out a random bunch from various brands and I've loved the alternative introduction to my usual. It's been a while since I've mixed it up and I've really valued the change as well as the advances.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Fifteen Reasons To Be Happy Right Now

I'm not going to lie and pretend I'm a relentlessly positive person because I'm not and I don't believe anybody can remain all skipping through fields of flowers and humming lullabies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether we have an optimistic mindset, a cheery outlook on life, or a passion for productivity, we all have down days. There'll be triggers, a build up of annoyances and bad luck and that's okay - we can scream and shout and wallow in the cruel world but I think it's always important to let it all out of your system, hit refresh, and get back on track - sharply. A short term negative state is actually healthy, not because it's nice to beat yourself up but because it can help you move on to the next stage; to feel the euphoric highs I think it's necessary to also experience the shitty lows. However, long term unhappiness is not and along with seeking relief, it's sometimes stimulating to flick your reasoning to the present tense; reminding yourself why you originally felt that beacon of happiness in the first place. Without going all cliche 'how to beat the January blues', 'ways to interpret mindfulness into your daily routine' and 'let me force this cyber therapy' on you, I wanted to put a whole new focus on the word 'happy'. Not to question your existence as such, but to ensure you never lose sight of how important your contribution is, and how lucky you are to be sharing that, despite the obstacles that may be in the way. 


Monday, 9 January 2017

What I Got For Christmas

We're nine days into January now so Christmas seems like a distant memory, or at least to the people who have actually found the time and place to store their gifts instead of just staring at the heaped blockade hoping it'll eventually rearrange itself (ahem, I'm totally not referencing myself, here). I haven't seen many of these posts lurking around this year (or last year, whichever you prefer as you program your brain functioning) so that made me even more hesitant to list my presents but I figured if you're anything like me, you won't take sharing as bragging but instead sharing as caring because if there's ever a time to demonstrate curiosity meets nosiness it's in the post Christmas - still finding an overkill of glitter all over the house - period. 
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