25 Things I've Learnt in 25 Years

Oh HEY it's ma birrrrrthday! Exciting yes, but also slightly unnerving that I am now officially classed as 'mid twenties' and I can see 30 lurking in the distance laughing at me. Eek. Anyways, here are 25 valuable life lessons (ha) I've learnt in my 25 years:

1 - Getting to where you want to be will be hard work. Don't waste opportunities and don't wait for something to come to you, work work and work to get it!

2 - You will constantly ask your parents for advice about everything. And then you'll worry that one day you might be someone's parent and you won't know jack.

3 - However much you might have thought you were just one of those lucky people who could drink as much as you want with no consequences, you will discover in your 20's that hangovers do exist.

4 - You might be a bit worried when those millions of friends you had at school (yes I am exaggerating) just become acquaintances, but the few that do remain friends are the ones that matter.

5 - It's so important to look at your life with perspective. Stop wishing for something better and accept that what you have is a lot better than what a lot of people have.

6 - Eating well and exercising is actually important for your health, not just a way to try and make yourself look like a Victoria's Secret model.

7 - It's OK to say no sometimes, really.

8 - Overthinking the past is not productive. Forgive, forget and move on and you'll be a lot happier for it.

9 - You won't ever want to break with Christmas tradition. I'd like croissants for breakfast and a sack of presents under the tree that we can all open in our pyjamas forever thanks.

10 - Don't be embarrassed, ever. Anything that could possibly embarrass you is also something that you can laugh about.

11 - Sometimes life is not fair and bad things happen to good people. This is just something you have to learn to accept.

12 - It's totally acceptable to have a day where you stay in the house in your pyjamas eating chocolate and watching TV (as long as you don't do it all the time obvs).

13 - Walking is very underrated.

14 - Sometimes there is nothing better than being offered a cup of tea.

15 - It's great to set new goals and have ambition, but take the time to think about what you have already achieved.

16 - Pretending to be confident can actually do wonders for your confidence.

17 - Eventually you'll grow to not care about what's 'cool'. You'll dress how you want, listen to the music you like and watch what you enjoy on TV rather than what you think you should wear/listen to/watch.

18 - Where you used to be jealous of beautiful and successful women, you'll grow to admire and appreciate them.

19 - There's nothing like a bit of red lipstick to make you feel better.

20 - Eventually you will work out what does and what doesn't suit you fashion-wise. Once you've worked it out you're pretty much invincible (even if you do have a cry over not being able to pull off pencil skirts).

21 - You will never understand people who don't like chocolate.

22 - It looks like that Hogwarts letter really is never coming, but it's OK because you can still have monthly Harry Potter marathons.

23 - Sometimes people can be nasty, but the best thing you can do is just let it go (sang in the Frozen way if you so wish).

24 - There is always so much more to do, see and learn. Don't waste time.

25 - Be nice. That is all.

Amy x

10 Thoughts You Have Working in Live TV

Hello and happy Sunday! I've been wanting to write a post about my work for quite a while as I'm lucky to have quite an exciting job as a technical operator in news. Hopefully this post will give you a little insight about some of the thoughts that flash through my brain on a weekly basis...

 1 - Are we live or is this just the rehearsal? Genuinely cannot remember. I hope it's the rehearsal.  

2 - Oh, so this is broken. Wait, let me turn it off and on again. I fixed it! Practically an engineer. 

3 - Am I the only one who doesn't know what's coming next? Oh no, nobody knows. How reassuring...

4 - I wonder what everyone would do if I fainted right now, like would they prioritise the programme or my health? OK now I feel faint because I've been thinking about it. Don't faint Amy. 

5 - I wonder what this big button here does. Probably shouldn't press it. I should definitely leave it alone. OK I pressed it and it doesn't even do anything.

6 - I know I'm a Technical Operator, but please don't ask me to record something on the Sky box because I just don't know how...

7 - Don't sneeze until the presenter's mic is down. Don't sneeze until the presenter's mic is down. Don't sneeze until the presenter's mic is down. 

8 - What if one of the lights falls down on my head? That would hurt. I'd probably die. 

9 - This is a busy programme, but it's fine, what's the worst that could happen? Oh right, the top story isn't going to make, the guest hasn't arrived and we can't get the live connected...anything else?

10 - Don't mess this up Amy. If you do though don't worry, nobody will die, it's only TV.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Amy x

Products I Always Repurchase

However much I love trying out new products there are a select few that I never stray from and always repurchase, without fail! I suppose you could call these my all time favourite products (and no, they're not necessarily all that interesting)...

Batiste Dry Shampoo | I haven't actually ever tried a different dry shampoo because this one already does the job perfectly and it doesn't exactly break the bank does it? I try to only wash my hair every three days so this helps stop it looking flat, limp and greasy on that final day. I'm not actually mad keen on the scent of this one, but the tropical one smells coconutty and divine.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder | I've spoken about this product before and as with the dry shampoo, I've never felt the need to bother trying a different powder because I can't imagine one doing a better job than this! I always feel like I'm airbrushing my face when I use this, plus it stays put all day. Probably the saviour of my makeup bag.

Anna Sui Sui Dreams Perfume | I've been using this perfume since I was about 16 and when I say I repurchase it, what I really mean is my Grandma buys me a new one for Christmas every year. It's my all time favourite scent and I can't see myself ever not having it seeing as I've stuck with it for 8 years already. I first got into it because my friend bought me the body cream and I loved it so much I went the whole hog and got the perfume.

Vaseline | My obsession with Vaseline started when I was about 14 and my first love was the aloe vera version. I don't rely on it as much as I used to because the amount I was using probably wasn't good for me (can you get a big vaseline ball in your belly like you can a hairball?)...but I always apply it to my lips once in the morning and once in the evening and it's just so good. 

Barry M Nail Paints | I own so many nail varnishes, but most of them are Barry M because they're just so cheap, the colour range is so vast and the formula is really good. Can't go wrong eh?

Do you have any products that you always repurchase? Have you tried any of these?

Amy x

15 Signs You're Having a Quarter Life Crisis

1 - You're doing all these adult-type things like thinking about mortgages and buying fresh herbs, but you still feel like you're 10 years old playing grown-ups and you fully expect your mum to call you in for tea at any second.

2 - You double take at what you think is a 12 year old driving a car and then despair at how old you must look in comparison to this newly legal driver.

3 - You have a dilemma about your dress sense - is it still OK to wear crop tops and flowery dresses or do I need to start wearing power suits now?

4 - You're starting to worry that you're never going to be as wise as your mum because surely by now you should also be able to solve anything?

5 - You go to a nightclub and wonder how all these underage people got in. It's because they're not underage.

6 - Thinking about all the things you thought you would have achieved by now makes you hyperventilate.

7 - Discussing with your friends people you went to school with who have recently got married/had babies as if it's a massive scandal, but then realising that it's totally normal because you're all (supposedly) adults.

8 - Following the discussion with your friends about people who are married/having babies you suddenly wonder why you're not getting married or having babies even though you definitely don't feel ready for either of those things.

9 - You see somebody you used to babysit for in a local pub...drinking. You spend the whole night trying to convince yourself it's not them.

10 - Your criteria for a night out is going somewhere where you'll be able to get a seat and it'll be quiet enough to hear each other speak. Oh and your curfew is midnight.

11 - Every time you see friends from school all of your sentences start with 'remember the time when...' because it's much easier to think about the past.

12 - Every so often you'll come up with an amazing idea to go off and do something completely different like be a Disney princess or work on a ranch in Texas (although you don't actually follow any of those ideas through).

13 - Your hangovers are just horrendous. And you only had two drinks.

14 - You have a meltdown when you don't get asked for ID even though you hate having to root through your purse for it.

15 - Every time you're down a beauty aisle you eye up the anti-ageing ranges and think...NO NOT YET PLEASE.

Amy x

Vitamin E Eye Cream | The Body Shop vs Boots

As nice as this lady's sunglasses are I like to feel confident without having to cover up my eyes (pretty sure that's not why she's wearing them but roll with it). Everyone and their dog raves about the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop and rightly so, but following the hype both Superdrug and Boots have brought out their own, much cheaper Vitamin E ranges. I picked up the Vitamin E Eye Cream from Boots to see how it compared to my go to Body Shop eye cream. 

Consistency // This is the first big difference. The Body Shop offering has a thin, easy to apply consistency making it super quick to use and meaning you can apply your makeup immediately afterwards; excellent for those like me who like to keep their morning routines speedy. In comparison the Boots equivalent is actually quite thick and takes longer to sink into the skin, but as a result feels really nice and creamy. This also means that you don't need to use quite as much of the Boots version so a tube would last you longer.

Ingredients // I'm no skincare expert so I only have one thing to say in this section; the Boots version has SPF in it, which is a huge winner in my eyes (har har geddit?), but The Body Shop one doesn't. This means that despite the longer application time, I am more inclined to use the Boots one in a morning when I'll be out and about in the sunshine (or at least outside, thanks England).

Price // I like to get my money's worth when it comes to beauty products so if I'm going to be paying for a more expensive version of a product I need it to be worth it. The Body Shop eye cream is £13 and the Boots equivalent is £3.99. 

In this case, I'll be sticking with the cheaper Boots version because I don't personally think it's worth shelling out the extra money for The Body Shop one.

Have you tried anything from either of these ranges? Would love to hear from you if you've tried out the Superdrug range too - what's that one like? 

Amy x

What It's Really Like Growing Up With a Disabled Sibling

I umm-ed and ahh-ed over the title of this post for ages because actually I can't tell you what it's really like growing up with a disabled sibling, I can only tell you what it's like growing up with my disabled sibling. 

The reason I wanted to write this post was because whenever people find out that I have a disabled sister one of the first things they say is 'oh that must have been hard for you growing up.' Well I'm writing this to tell you that no actually, it wasn't at all hard for me growing up. I suppose some people may think that it was hard for me because I might have got less attention than my sister, but I never felt like that and I reckon it takes some pretty skilled parenting to achieve that so a massive hats off to my mum and dad.

Bethany was born when I was five. I'd been wanting a little sister for ages and I was completely over the moon. She stayed in hospital for a while because she wasn't breathing when she was born and the doctor told my parents she would only have days to live. The doctor was very wrong!

Bethany was in and out of hospital for the first few years of her life, which must have been really worrying for my parents. For me though, it was a chance to make friends with other girls whose siblings were in hospital, sing on the hospital radio station and play Sonic the Hedgehog in the playroom for hours on end.

I think children tend to see the best in situations and for me as a child, the best thing about every worrying situation involving Bethany was that I had a little sister that I adored and that fact overshadowed all of the negative.

Our relationship as sisters is obviously much different to most sibling relationships. I've always felt fiercely protective over her and these days I feel like I have the same type of unconditional love for her that a parent has for a child. Nothing makes me happier than making her laugh and if I ever see her upset or in pain (which luckily is not very often at all) it physically hurts me inside.

There is nothing hard about growing up with a disabled sibling because whatever experiences you may have because of it or whatever you might have to do or compromise is all made 100% worth it by the fact that your sibling is there and they are the most important thing in your life.

I suppose I'm not really saying that it's not hard, it's just so worth it that it doesn't seem so.

Luckily her hospital visits are very rare nowadays and she's generally a very happy person. She is immensely brave and takes everything life throws in her way completely in her stride. She can't walk, talk or do a lot of other things for herself, yet she's still learning and developing all the time.

I was lucky enough to attend Bethany's prom with her on Thursday evening and I was so proud. It's been nothing but a joy growing up with her and I can't imagine my childhood any other way. 

Amy x

5 Things I've Inherited From My Dad That I Wish I Hadn't

This post really isn't as mean as it sounds...I should have guessed that when I wrote my Mother's Day post that instead of commenting on the actual post the first thing my dad said was 'I look forward to seeing your Father's Day post.' So here it is Dad, I hope you're not disappointed...

5 Things I've Inherited From My Dad That I Wish I Hadn't:

1 - His sense of humour. It's really bad and when I was younger I would despair at his jokes (my mum still does) but now I despair at myself for not only finding them funny, but making similar ones myself...

2 - His obsession with turning off lights and plug sockets. When I was younger I was forever leaving lights on in rooms I wasn't in with the excuse that 'I'm going back in there' and my dad would drive me mad telling me to turn them off. I get it now Dad.

3 - His road rage sarcasm. When I was little my dad was forever making comments to other drivers like 'Oh you're welcome mate' when he'd let them go and they hadn't thanked him. I was forever telling him to stop it because it's not like they could hear him. I now live on a road where there's only room for one car to go and yes, you guessed it, I say 'Oh you're welcome' when I let someone past and they don't thank me.

4 - His exaggeration of everything. Expect any story that either me or my dad tells to have been 20% duller than we made it sound, not because we lie but because we're good storytellers OK?

5 - His nose. So maybe this point is a little bit mean, but it's pretty self explanatory. Thanks Dad.

And just before you write me off as a complete bitch here are 5 things I wish I had inherited from my Dad...his generosity, his confidence, the way he doesn't care what anyone thinks, his determination and his athlete's metabolism.

Hope you all have a lovely Father's Day!

Amy x

My Current Skincare Routine

I've been wanting to do this post for a while, but didn't feel happy with all the products I'd been using up until now. My skin is quite normal (if there is such a thing!) although very prone to breakouts. I am no skin care guru, but these are the products that seem to work best for my skin at the moment.


Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Wash - This is a repurchase as it's so easy to use in the morning and really makes my skin feel clean. I apply this on dry skin all over my face and leave it on while I'm in the shower then just rinse off at the end. I can really feel it properly cleaning my skin and my face feels so fresh when I've washed it off. £2.32 here.

Lush Imperialis Moisturiser -  I'm a big believer in not overloading my skin with products before putting make up on so I only use two products in the morning. This sinks into my skin really quickly as it's very lightweight and a little bit goes a long way. £13.50 here.


Garnier Pure Active Micellar Water - I use this to remove my makeup with cotton pads. This is my favourite micellar water I've tried as well as one of the cheapest I've seen, plus you get a lot of product so it lasts ages! Win. £3.32 here.

Nip + Fab Deep Cleansing Fix - I love this product. I love that it smells so clean, I love how creamy and gentle it is, I love how big the tub is. A lotta love! I use this after I've removed my makeup to really make sure it's all gone and to properly cleanse. £7.95.

Lush Tea Tree Toner Water - This was an impulse buy and I wasn't so sure how I'd feel about a toning water but it's amazing. I simply spritz all over my face and then either go over with a cotton pad or if I've got time I'll just leave it to sink in. £4.25.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream - This is my first eye cream and I really like it. It's refreshing and I actually really do think it has made my eyes look brighter. £11.

Boots Botanics Radiant Youth Replenishing Night Cream - This is still a fairly new product for me, but it seems pretty good and smells amazing. I'm at a funny stage in skincare where I feel like I need to start thinking about anti-aging nice and early, but there don't seem to be a lot of products aimed at people my age. This seems like a good product for this stage, but if anyone has any recommendations please leave them in the comments below! £7.99 here.


No7 Beautiful Skin Purifying Exfoliator - This is great as it's really gentle and I don't like to scrub my skin too harshly. I use this once a week - usually on a Sunday night for a bit of a pamper! I always wait until I've got a money off No7 voucher to get this as well to make it cheaper (not that I'm stingy or anything - ha!) £8.50 here.

Soap & Glory Fab Pore - This is a really gentle mask and has an almost creamy consistency as well as tiny exfoliating beads which leave your face super smooth once you've taken it off. The only thing that confuses me is that it's labelled as a 2-in-1 mask and peel and I really can't tell you how it could be described as a peel! This will be a definite repurchase though. £10 here.

Lush Mask of Magnaminty - This is the mask I turn to on a really bad skin day. It smells really good (although might not be to everyone's taste) and exfoliates as you take it off as well. The only annoying thing about it is how difficult it is to take off without soaking your whole bathroom! £5.50 here.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Link me to your skin care routines if you've written about them :)

Amy x

Milan In Outfits

As you may have seen in my previous posts here and here I recently went to Milan for a couple of days (I'll stop banging on about it after this post I promise!). I wanted to show you all what I wore while I was there - the weather was beautiful and sunny, but not too hot so the perfect temperature for walking around and enjoying the sights! I also felt like I had to up my chic game a little because, well, Milan isn't it?

Day 1

outfit: black long sleeved crop top, sleeveless cream cardigan, dark blue mum fit jeans, leopard print pumps

Okay so it was maybe a little too hot for black long sleeves and a sleeveless cardigan, but I absolutely dig this outfit if I do say so myself so I didn't really mind paying the price of being a little hot; I actually surprised myself putting it together because who knew I was such a fashionista? (I'm joking by the way, I'm not an absolute cringe).

Evening 1

outfit: orange crochet style sleeveless top, black loose fit trousers, black platform shoes

As you can see by my evening outfit, which I was not at all cold in, my daytime outfit was definitely too many layers. Anyway, I adore this orange top and this was a perfect smart casual outfit for a wander along the canal for food and drink (and then more food, obviously).

Day 2

outfit: denim shirt over high neck cream top, black loose fit trousers

I may have forgotten to get a photo of my outfit on this day so my apologies to my friend for just cutting her out of this one, but I'm sure she won't mind. It was a little cooler on the second day so this was the perfect combination; I love a denim shirt as a cover up and felt much more chic than I actually am with the high neck vest poking out of the top.

Which outfit is your favourite?

Amy x

Two Days in Milan

You might have read in last Sunday's post (here) that I went to Milan for a couple of days last week with some friends and in this post I wanted to share some pictures of the trip as well as recommendations of things to do if you fancy going yourself!

I went with two friends from work and we chose Milan simply because it was the cheapest place on Skyscanner (anyone else love going on Skyscanner and searching for 'Everywhere' as your destination? Yep, that's how it happened). We were there for two nights and almost two full days, which actually was enough to see and do everything that we wanted to so it'd be a fab place to go if you're after a cheap weekend break. Here's what we got up to...

The Duomo // The Duomo is a beautiful building, the highlight definitely being the roof terrace - the roof itself is beautiful as are the views you get from it so I'd definitely recommend going to the top if you're able to (I believe there is a lift at least for part of the way, but we braved the steps #thighsofsteel). The inside provides the usual cool respite from the heat outside (one of my favourite things to do abroad is cool down in a church).

Exterior of The Duomo, Milan

Exterior of The Duomo, Milan

Candles inside The Duomo, Milan

Exterior of The Duomo, Milan

Exterior of The Duomo, Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and la Rinascente // There are two shopping centres off Piazza del Duomo worth a visit; the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is just beautiful especially the glass roof and la Rinascente is lovely for lunch as it has a roof terrace with a choice of three restaurants with a view of the Duomo and piazza. I wouldn't recommend actually doing any shopping in either of them though unless you're a millionaire!

Ceiling of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II interior

lunch of cous cous salad

Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione // Down the road opposite the Duomo is the Castello Sforzesco which is well worth a see and out through the back is Parco Sempione which is such a pretty place to stop and have an ice cream!

stone fountain, blue sky

huge tall castle, red brick

big red brick castle, blue sky

view across a park, blue sky

ice cream in the park

huge Marble Arch

Navigli District // The Navigli District is a system of canals, alongside which are lots of restaurants, cafes and bars so it's a lovely place to go for a coffee/meal/drink. We wandered down there at about 6pm and stayed until 10pm so that we could experience it both in daylight and at night time.

restaurants alongside a canal

people walking alongside a canal

Those would be my main recommendations for things to do although there is obviously a lot more worth doing and seeing on top of those! As you can see from the pictures the weather was absolutely beautiful for us and I'll share some of my outfits in a post soon!

Have you ever been to Milan or if not would you like to?

Amy x

What's in my Hand Luggage?

A post about hand luggage can only mean one thing...yep I'm going on holiday! I'll actually just have got back from Milan by the time this post goes live, but I'll have extremely important things to do (such as sleep) so more on my actual holiday next week when I've woken up. It's a slightly spontaneous trip with two work friends and I can't wait! 

Now, when I say hand luggage, I mean this is the only luggage we're taking as we got this holiday as cheap as we could. We're only going for a couple of days so that's obviously completely manageable, it just makes squeezing in all those liquids (and shoes) an interesting challenge. 

small suitcase laid out on floor surrounded by clothes, shoes and toiletries

Clothes and toiletries ready to be packed into a suitcase

My case is one of those nifty little ones on wheels and it makes me feel a lot cooler than I am! It was £13.49 from Argos which I'm pretty pleased with, although I'm sure I won't be saying that when it breaks on first use. But enough about the boring case, here's what's in it:

I'm taking two pairs of shoes, as well as the ones I'll be wearing to travel in. My leopard print pair are for walking around in during the day and my lace up flatforms are for drinks in the evening (as long as the weather is nice!)

Because we don't really know what the weather will be like I've packed layers and am taking outfits that will work with an extra layer over the top if it's cold! I've also packed a nice top for evenings. 

I can't go on a plane without some form of entertainment so I'm taking a book and a magazine for the flight (although I'm really hoping that I'll be able to sleep!) and I've also got an Italian phrasebook, which will hopefully help us slightly while we're there and don't understand anything anyone is saying.

It wouldn't be hand luggage without the ugly plastic bag of liquids included would it? Luckily I didn't need to buy anything new apart from the mini deodorant and mini toothpaste as I already had minis from gift sets and sample sizes of things, which I always save for such occasions. I also had free samples of moisturiser, shampoo and foundation already which was very handy! I'm also taking some anti-bac hand wipes because you never know when you might need them!

Going away means I get to use my lovely little Cath Kidston make up bag, which has got all my non-liquid make up products in. I'm also taking a separate little plastic bag with my jewellery and little extras in like cotton pads and a nail file. Prepared eh?

I'm taking two bags - one bigger one for the plane, which is from Accessorize and another smaller one for walking around during the day, which is from Primark. Obvious essentials are my passport and some Euros! 

I can't wait to show you some photos from the actual trip, but until then, ciao (I actually had to look that up in my phrasebook! Great start Amy...)

Amy x

Please Don't Accidentally Body Shame

I've seen a fair few posts about body image recently and I feel like sometimes they fall into one of two categories that seem to oppose each other. Some people are championing curves and saying that skinny models are unrealistic and unhealthy, which in turn has spurred skinny people to write about how the fact that skinny is now viewed negatively makes them feel bad about themselves. To me, this is madness. It's almost like people are writing posts about body image designed to make people feel better about themselves but in the process body shaming others - say whaaaaat.

Body image is a tough subject to write about because how can you make every single person of every shape and size imaginable feel better about themselves by telling them all the same thing? You can't really. So I'm not going to try and make people feel better about themselves with this post, because chances are if you feel bad or self conscious about your body then reading a blog post isn't magically going to make you feel better about it. I'm not even going to try and persuade you to accept who you are because I'd be a massive hypocrite seeing as I don't really want to accept my body the way it is. The thing is, absolutely everybody has hang ups about their body whatever their shape or size (if you don't then boy would I love to know your secret!).

I'm all for trying to raise body confidence and in no way do I want this to be a negative post - I just want people to think a little bit more when writing about body image. I know it's hard to get the balance right and it feels nice to try and make other people feel good about themselves, but if it's making a different group of people feel bad about themselves in the process it's not ideal! At the end of the day it's about how you feel in your body rather than what it actually looks like so don't body shame others who are probably just as self conscious as you.

I hope this post hasn't come across as really negative, it's just something that's got me thinking. Does anyone else agree?

Amy x

A little change to my posting schedule

Recently I've found that I've had so many ideas for blog posts that I'm having to put them on hold for aaaages until I can actually post them as I've only been posting twice a week. The simple solution to this problem is...I'm going to start posting more often (hurray!).

So from now on I will have a new blog post up on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. I'm going to try and make my Sunday posts a bit more lifestyle based so I'm excited to share some of those with you!

I'd also just like to say a big thank you to all of you who read my blog - I didn't think that anyone would actually ever read it apart from my parents so thank you for all your support!

Amy x

My 95p Skincare Saviour

Since Christmas my skin has been on a bit of a bender. However healthy I ate, however much I cleansed and exfoliated, however much water I drank, it just didn't seem to be working. Then I discovered this gem... the Skin Therapy Overnight Calming Blemish Serum. I was originally in search of the Witch Overnight Clearing Serum, but couldn't find it anywhere in Hull and whilst searching Wilkinsons for it in a last ditch attempt I stumbled upon their own skincare range and this serum leapt out at me.

The description says: Our tea tree overnight calming blemish serum has been developed to help prevent breakouts and reduce redness. This formula helps to leave you with a blemish free complexion and visibly clearer skin.

It does say to apply all over the face and neck, but as I have combination skin (oily t-zone, but dry cheeks) I only apply to my forehead and chin. I apply quite a thick layer of this before bed and you can feel it begin to tighten and dry up oil and breakouts. For this reason I wouldn't recommend this to people with dry skin as it is quite drying, but for me it's been perfect. I wish I'd done a 'before' photo so I could show you the difference it's made - my breakouts have pretty much cleared up and when I do get the odd spot it clears up so much quicker when I apply this. The best part? It costs 95p! Definite win and I will be repurchasing this product.

Have you tried any Skin Therapy products before?

Amy x

10 Things I Love About My Mum

In light of it being Mothers Day tomorrow here are 10 things I love about my Mum (I love more than 10 things about her obviously even if she did let me walk around in those odd sunglasses, but I wouldn't want to bore you!):

1 - She is the most caring and genuinely kind natured person I know.

2 - She can solve any problem. Is this a general mum thing? If it is I'm not sure I'd make a very good mum! She literally always has the answer and knows how to fix everything!

3 - She's taught me to be strong. She is the definition of someone who just gets on with things.

4 - I can talk to her in exactly the same way I would my friends.

5 - She puts everyone else before herself, which makes it even nicer when I can treat her on Mother's Day because she hardly ever treats herself!

6 - Her cooking. I swear everyone says their mum is the best cook, but mine really is.

7 - The way that she's brought up my sister and I to feel totally equal even though we have completely different needs. Sometimes people will ask me if I ever felt left out or overlooked as a child because of my sister's needs and the answer is 100% no. (I guess my dad gets some credit for this one too!)

8 - She's so thoughtful. This year she had the idea that we should arrange a day out together each month, which is lovely.

9 - She always cares what I have to say, even if I am talking utter rubbish!

10 - She is beautiful, inside and out. End of.

Amy x

Learning To Say 'No' More

How many times have you gone out with friends when really you'd rather have stayed home? How many times have you agreed to do something at work that you really didn't want to? How many things can you count that you only do because you feel obligated?

I've recently learned to say no...and shockingly, the world doesn't end when I do. Nobody hates me for saying no, I haven't lost out on any opportunities at work and I sure feel a lot happier.

For years I've been a 'yes' girl. Yes to every single outing my friends are going on because I didn't want to miss out, even if I couldn't really afford to or was super tired. Yes to absolutely everything work-wise because I was desperate to be hired permanently and wanted to earn as much money as I could. Yes to so many things that I didn't want to do. I think a phobia of saying no is something a lot of people can relate to.

I'm not saying you should be completely selfish and only please yourself, but trying to do everything and please everyone is exhausting, which is really not good for you. So once in a while, say no. If you'd rather stay in on a Saturday night, save a bit of money and have a bit of relaxing 'you time' then do that. If you'd rather not do some overtime at work because you've been there for 10 hours already and don't think you can face anymore, then don't. Saying no is easier than you might think and people understand because sometimes they want to say no too.

I haven't completely changed my ways; I can't stop the stab of guilt I feel when I tell a friend I'm not going out and I still do most of the overtime I'm offered at work. But because I bit the bullet and said no a couple of times, it now feels like I have the option instead of feeling obligated.

It's all about finding a happy medium and I think I'm well on my way to finding mine. I hope you manage to find yours too whether you're a 'yes' girl like I was or whether you actually need to say yes more often.

Is a fear of saying no something you can relate to?

Amy x

Is The Undateables A Problematic TV Programme?

woman lying on bed eating popcorn with a TV remote in hand

Carrying on with the first post of each month being about a topic that's been on my mind...

Have you ever watched the Channel 4 show The Undateables? I'd always avoided it on principle because it looked obscene; I thought the title seemed unnecessary and frankly quite cruel and it completely put me off. These are people who have most likely faced enough ableism in their lives without being branded as 'undateable'.

However I caught the first episode of the current series by chance and decided to watch it out of curiosity, to see if it was as horrendous as I expected it to be. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised, as the concept of the show is actually really nice. 

If you've never heard of it, the basic premise is that singles with learning difficulties or physical disabilities are brought together by matchmakers to go on their first ever date.

I totally agree that everyone is entitled to love and be loved and a lot of good seems to have come out of it in terms of a confidence boost, and in some cases a life partner, for the participants so the fact that this lovely and well meaning premise is completely ruined by branding these people as 'undateable' is beyond me and a major flaw in the programme.

To find out a bit more I did some researching and watched some of the online videos of past participants of the show, which tell you a bit about how they are getting on now. It was clear to see that they'd gained such a huge confidence boost from appearing on the show; just going on that first date seems to have given some of them the self-esteem to date successfully and go on to find love. 

As much as I adore that the show has done this for them and that hopefully it does the same for others who even just watch it and feel empowered by it,  I just can't get past the fact that the name undermines the whole point and is simply just offensive.

I know the name is probably supposed to be a bit of lighthearted humour and a spin on the fact that the participants clearly actually are dateable (because isn't everyone?), but is it really all that funny or ironic to brand people could already be low in confidence as undateable?

We had a bit of a debate about this at work and a colleague pointed out that the 'un' is apparently knocked away in the titles to essentially make the title The Dateables. As well intentioned as that might be, I managed to miss that (and I work in telly so I really should notice these things...) so I imagine plenty of other people don't notice either.

I feel like I haven't really reached a conclusion to this post, as I have such mixed feelings about this programme! Essentially, the programme itself is lovely and respectful, yet the title isn't. Have you ever watched The Undateables? If so I'd love to hear what you think and if you agree/disagree with me about the title!

Amy x

Quick and Easy Hairstyles

I have to admit that my hair is the one thing that I sacrifice in the morning to get that few extra minutes of shut eye. I'm right in the middle of one of my grow-it-really-long-then-chop-it-all-off cycles so it's a funny length to style. This means that it tends to be left down and to its own devices, sometimes still wet (ultimate laze!) or shoved up in a (genuinely) messy bun. Recently I've been trying to be a bit more adventurous and have put together some quick and easy hair dos. These literally take 5 minutes or less so hopefully they will inspire some of you!

A fishtail plait

If you don't know how to do one of these there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube. It's a plait using two strands of hair rather than three. Once you know how to do one it's really simple and quick and makes it look like you've put a lot more effort into your hair than you really have! Tie with either a clear elastic band or mix it up with a bit of ribbon.

Beachy Waves

This is a super quick look to achieve. I slept with a plait in my hair and then spritzed some Schwarzkopf got2b Texturizing Salt Spray through my hair in the morning. Et voila!

Half up twist

The ten second hairstyle, just twist the top half of your hair into a bun and secure. 

A plaited fringe

You can get away with this being a bit messy so depending on how much time you have you can make it as neat or keep it as messy as you want! I started right round at my left ear and french plaited across my head, pinning at my right ear. 

Big fringe

This is actually a bit messier than I would usually want it but I was in a real rush this day! Just back comb as much of your fringe and top of your hair as you want, spray and pin.

Amy x

Review: Benefit's Feelin' Dandy

I'm certainly not an excellent writer of beauty reviews, but I received this for Christmas and as it creates such a lovely delicate look I fancied putting fingers to keyboard and telling you all about it. I'm certainly more of a minimal make up look lover (mainly for the low maintenance aspect of it to be honest) and Benefit's Feelin' Dandy is the perfect little kit to help me achieve that. 

The set includes miniatures of High Beam, Posie Tint, Dandelion blush and Dandelion lip gloss. Also included is a handy 'Tips & Tricks' booklet, which tells you how you can use all the products at the same time if you wish and also which ones can be used for multiple things (clever eh?). The packaging, as is usual with Benefit products, is so pretty and bright, making the kit the cutest addition to your dressing table (or your floor if, like me, that's where you apply your make up). 

So, I'll run through the products individually as some I definitely like more than others:

High Beam // I've used High Beam for a long time because it's the perfect coloured highlighter for my skin tone and I'd just run out of my full sized version when I got this kit. I love how subtle it is, while still giving a lovely highlight and slight shimmer to the face. 

Posie Tint // Despite being able to use this on both lips and cheeks, this is probably my least favourite product in the kit. I find that when using it on cheeks it doesn't really blend very well and can look a bit streaky so I much prefer it on lips, where it does create a nice tint, albeit a little drying.

Dandelion Blush // I have quite porcelain skin so this is such a lovely pale pink shade for me. I use my own brush for it, as the one that comes in the kit is quite small and stiff and doesn't cover a big enough area for it to look natural. I'd definitely invest in the full sized version of this blush as it's perfect for me.

Dandelion Lip Gloss // I'm not usually a lip gloss person, but I absolutely love this one and wear it pretty much every day. It's so smooth and moisturising and tastes really good too (although I am aware that's not a particularly good reason for wearing it). It's got a very subtle colour and isn't at all sticky, which is really nice for everyday wear. 

Overall I'd definitely buy full sized versions of High Beam and the Dandelion Blush and the only reason I wouldn't buy the full version of the lip gloss is because it's not really a product I throw a lot of money at! This is a fab little kit for paler skin tones.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Amy x