When I came back from university last week I was over the moon to see a big ol’ box sitting on my bed from the delightful Bella Inizio after I was lucky enough to win her giveaway. And, oh my gosh, did she go to town on the goodies. She included some incredible Revolution products, to begin with, which I will be providing my first impressions on later in this post.

To begin with, I wanted to apologise for my blogging photos. They are not my best and that is predominately due to the fact that I have a severe lack of Christmas paraphernalia to add into the background to spruce it up a bit. So if they look as sparse as that 20-year-old Christmas tree your Auntie is currently dragging out that definitely looks worse for wear – that is why.

So… what was I lucky enough to receive? The first things I noticed were these lovely packaged scrubs from ‘Scrub Love’ that are for your body. I have seen so many people on Instagram and other social media platforms use and promote them and I have always been interested in testing them out! The yellow packaged scrub is infused with hydrating coconut oil in ‘Coconut Mango’. It supposedly leaves your skin smelling perfectly tropical as well as soft and glowing. I have found it here on Look Fantastic if you wanted to check it out, linked here. I am so excited to try this out!

The second one in the lovely pink and polka-dot packaging is in ‘Original Lovin” and is infused with coffee and vitamins to leave your skin feeling silky soft and moisturised. I found this one on Fragrance Direct if you’re interested, linked here.

Another amazing little treasure was the Benefit ‘Cha Cha Tint’ samples. I absolute love Benefit products – I actually named to get my hands on the They’re Real! mascara again, sometime – so I’m super excited to try out something new and interesting. I love the premise behind this product and I feel like it is perfect for creating a gorgeous, natural look. I’ll have to let you know how I get on with these!

I am absolutely obsessed with Yankee Candles, well… candles in general, and the Christmas Cookie scent has always been one of my favourites. To get a pack of 12 tealights is lovely! I can’t wait to start lighting these and feeling super festive! I don’t think my mum will be too pleased as last time I lit a candle in my bedroom at home, it got soot(?) all up the walls…. my bad!

The lashes are something I’m eager to try out too – probably for Christmas Day or if I have a nice meal out or something soon. Fake eyelashes are something I find always look fabulous on everyone else but I completely suck at them myself. I am trying to learn, but how does everyone else make it look so easy?! I remember attempting to try and put on a Cheryl Cole pair before and having the worst time. 5 years later and it’s a craft I’m still trying to master!

The set of three, gorgeously coloured eyeshadows are another thing I am so happy to receive! You can’t go wrong with having some incredibly bright colours in your collection and I can’t wait to test out some really different and unique looks with them.

The last things I wanted to mention were the absolutely incredible Revolution pieces she included.

I have always wanted to try Revolution makeup but I have never known where to start. I have heard such incredible reviews about their products so to be lucky enough to receive 3 is just insane!

The first I’ll mention is this great matte lip kit in the colour Noble. I am truly obsessed with the colour, just the perfect nude for winter, and the packaging with the copper is just to die for! I have already worn it essentially every day and the combination of the lip liner and the lipstick creates such a seamless finish that lasts for hours. The formula isn’t overly drying and sits perfectly. I have linked it on the Superdrug website here, if you’re interested.

Essentially, it is utterly gorgeous!

The next I want to mention the eyeshadow palette. Not going to lie, I may have squealed a bit when I opened it and saw the colours. Oh my gosh, they are just perfect! I feel like you can create so many beautiful looks with these shades – there is a great combination of matte and shimmery shades. I instantly went for a mixture of the dark reddy-pinks on the bottom row and I was generally shocked at how incredible the pigment is. The colours are so vivid and it has instantly become a favourite of mine. Again, the packaging is a gorgeous copper but unfortunately, I stupidly didn’t photograph it! It is understandable why this palette is rated 4.8 stars on Superdrug. I have linked it here for you guys, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Finally, I have to mention the stunning highlighter palette. I am currently besotted with all things shimmery and these were right up my street. They are such a perfect collection of shades and are exactly the right ‘iceiness’ for the winter months on cool, pale skin. I love them and they have, again, quickly become some favourites! I am now very much in love with all these Revolution products and I can’t wait to try out more!

 

I cannot thank the lovely Bella Inizio for choosing me as her giveaway winner and giving me the great opportunity to try out some amazing products! She is the loveliest person ever and I am so honoured to consider her one of my blogging friends. An amazing girl with an amazing blog!

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I love Christmas and I love shopping so combining the two is my literal heaven. I know that shops are getting crazy busy now and the slow onset of panic of “oh my god I forgot to get Dad’s Christmas present” is about to come on so I thought I would help in organising your life. In fact, I essentially finished my Christmas shopping about a month ago. Yep, I’m one of those. I’ve done some blogging and shop trawling to see what people are mentioning this year and hopefully, I will help in finding some alternatives that other places have already picked up on. Also, this time of year is perfect for bargains so get out there now! So if you’re in a rush, clueless about what to get her or even want some little hints to help inspire your own wish list, here is my Ultimate Gift Guide For Her Under £40.

Handmade Satin Underwear Set from Rock Box Boutique £39
There is nothing like having new and really amazing quality underwear that makes you feel amazing. I always find myself coming across incredible boutique companies on Instagram that handmake their underwear sets and before I know it, I am stalking their model’s pages and websites. I think they’re just stunning and totally different to what you cant usually get on ASOS, Topshop or other places alike. Underwear is something that is so lovely to receive (especially some pricey pieces!) and this is just a great example in my books. Definitely worth checking out some of the other gorgeous collections they have too.

Mimira Mug from Anthropologie £14
There is no doubting that the mugs from Anthropologie are some of the most amazing pieces of homeware ever. What is better than living out your Pinterest fantasy than owning one of these mugs? Their description states that “Each and every only-here piece is inspired by watercolour paintings and finished with a flourish of genuine gold.” I mean come on. How cool is that? They have several different designs that artists and other professionals have helped create and I just think they’re beautiful and a piece of art in their own right.

Solid Copper Photo Print £19
I don’t think it would really be my blog if I didn’t mention some rose gold or copper. All the people close to me in my life are aware of how much I am drawn to copper! I think that personal presents are literally one of the loveliest gifts you can give. It shows a lot of effort and interest in making a gift totally different and unique for that individual. Personal gifts, combined with photos, are therefore the best of the best. Imagine a friend or family member receiving this frame – it’s just super cute! I can’t see why anybody wouldn’t love it?!… I think this is just a Christmas wish list for me at this point.

Clothbound Classics Series: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens £14.99
For anybody that loves reading, I personally think that a gorgeous copy of their favourite book (maybe a childhood classic) is a faultless gift. Even maybe your favourite book that you want to share with them? Sometimes it’s possible to pick up signed copies or first editions and then you instantly have a sentimental gift for someone to treasure. One of my closest friends bought me the Puffin ‘In Bloom’ copy of Little Women and I love it to pieces and Adam also purchased me a gorgeous copy of my favourite book – featured here in my Books That Changed My Life post.

Personalised Coordinates Keyring £12.50
Yet another personalised gift! I have a real thing about coordinates and how special they can be and I think others would generally agree. If there is a precious place in mind that holds a memory, why not get the coordinates printed on something to show someone you care? It could be where someone asked you to marry them, where you had your first child, your favourite childhood place, your favourite holiday, the list goes on…Basically, it is something that means a lot to one individual and is almost secret as it is an utter mystery to everyone else.

Perfume Making Experience £39
Finally, the last present is something that involves a day out. I think, as a society, we are very materialistic and it is incredibly easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of gifts and constant anticipation for the next best thing. I mean take your beloved iPhone. You love it until the next new fancy one comes out with 1 extra gizmo and sure enough, yours no longer means anything. This is why I think experience days, tickets to a gig, anything where you can create a new memory with someone is an amazing gift. This one, in particular, is creating your own perfume which I think is absolutely lovely!

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Ultimate Gift Guide For Her Under £40! Please let me know if you would like me to make any more of these guides and if anything was useful to you.

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Hey guys! Yet again there has been a rather large break between my posts. It seems that I have quickly slipped from three posts a week to a measly one. I could list a whole host of reasons and/or excuses as to why I haven’t been so active on WordPress but to summarise – we all know that sometimes life gets in the way. This has meant that I have only really been reading posts I see on Twitter, as opposed to Reader. Side note: hit me up on Twitter and send me links to your posts! I have sucked. Big time. I am, obviously, planning to rectify this because Christmas is quickly coming around and I have a whole list of post ideas to share with you guys! On that Christmassy note, I hope you like the photos from the York Christmas Market that I’ll be featuring in this post alongside some of my thoughts.

Finally, yes you may have noticed that my blog took a “mature”(??) turn a while ago, and this has also resulted in less posts. I adore writing on beauty and fashion and other bits but I love more meaningful posts and this has generally meant that I prioritised quality over quantity.

So, less waffling! I wanted to talk about what being in my 20s means to me. I would love to know what you guys either plan to do in your twenties, are doing or did. Do you like your twenties? Did you travel? Study? What did you get up to!?

For me, your twenties seem to be a massive period of huge life decisions, judgement, and fear. Basically, a lot of emotion.

Right now, I am 21 and I am in my final year of university. I have some plans for the next few months and years but I am very aware that these will be trampled by some curveballs from life. I will, fingers crossed eh, graduate next summer and be moving to York officially. Hopefully, I will have a job that I am happy in and is one that provides me with some fab career options. I might be thinking about having my own family and settling down in the years after that and doing all the white picket fence crap too.

But. This is all very daunting. I often wonder if the decisions I am making now are because it is what is just expected of me. It is just presumed that you leave university with a good grade, get a job and live happily ever after in the house you buy, with your 3 kids and a labrador. In reality, there is a lot of debt, fear, and uncertainty. I have heard people mention recently in university that the pressure since being in their twenties has been astronomical. By your 30s, your parents probably had all the free-for-all, lack-of-responsibilities fun that they planned to have and became, what I deem, a fully-fledged adult. They most likely had children, married maybe and owned their home. Increasingly, people are making references to our generation having their 30s as their 20s. Education and career dictate so much of our lives that finances are strained and we don’t get the ideals of previous generations.

I could go down a whole other track about politics but that’s for another day!

I find it super interesting how more and more people want time to themselves after university and choose to travel or take a year out from studying or finalising career moves and get a low key job and essentially, just get by. There is less pressure, you can enjoy yourself and see the world and you have your whole life ahead of you. So why do we, as a society, push 20 year olds into this created norm where we study, get a successful career and have a family. Look at the people around you. The people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Are they all doing the same thing? No. Were they all successful? No. Everyone hits bumps in the road and this ideal that we create for people to grow up in to is constraining and means that people “rebel” against it. Fuck you Brenda, maybe I won’t get a 37 hour unpaid internship just to get the job of my dreams at 21 when I can see Bali, Singapore, and Thailand and consider it after when I have a great tan and have made some questionable decisions about tattoos in foreign countries. Yanno what I mean?

I think that in your 20s you are pressured to fitting this “success” norm that doesn’t really happen for most and I find more and more hope and joy in seeing people break away from this mould. After being in education the majority of our lives, I think most of us deserve a break. A well-deserved one at that. People underestimate how draining it can be as a student (you know, not all of us are out every night and spend all of our money on alcohol and dubiously cooked chicken nuggets!) and how, nowadays, we are all pushed in to doing 101 things on top of our degree just to stand out from the crowd. I’m not saying I’m a shining example but on top of a very independent research and reading heavy degree, but in the last three years, some of the things I have done include:

  • Been elected the course rep three years in a row
  • Held down a job in a busy retail environment while writing essays and revising for exams
  • Visited China for almost 4 weeks to teach in a nursery
  • Volunteered consistently at a local hospice doing fundraising
  • Multiple positions in different societies

And you know what, it means I’m quite tired. I love all the extra stuff I do, and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t, but sometimes the idea of escaping for a year or two after my studies is really appealing. In your 20s it seems more and more like we have to cram everything in, in a short amount of time, to be happy and successful and it’s just not true. I think people in their 20s should spend some time finding themselves, understanding what they want to gain from life and having fun. I mean, it’s going to take you at least 100 years to buy your house anyway…. might as well enjoy life!

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This post is massively inspired by the phenomenal Chloe Plumstead, who is my absolute favourite blogger out there right now. About a month ago she wrote a post entitled, “5 Cock Ups Which Prove I Don’t Have My Life Together” which has totally inspired me to write my own. Her post is linked here, and I would definitely recommend giving it a read. Some of the stories are absolutely fantastic and prime examples of how we’re all human and sometimes little white lies are necessary (or giant balls-ups) to make our way through life. So, without further ado, here are 5 times where I have messed up or totally embarrassed myself.

MY PANACHE FOR FALLING OVER

For some reason, I managed to inherit my mum’s clumsy nature. This means that I literally go arse over tit more frequently than most. Oh, falling over? That happens to me now and then. Yeah, you might think. Although, I seem to have a certain flair for always stumbling and falling over in the most serious of circumstances – or, when everyone can see. Take, for example, my three year anniversary with my boyfriend at the end of October. I had some little heels on that I know have zero grip and I kindly asked Adam to let me cling on to him as a shuffled like a senior across the hardwood floors. It was about 7pm, so the restaurant was reasonably full and Adam didn’t seem to realise how bad my shoes were. This mix really didn’t help my case and before long, I had gone flying and fell in front of everybody. Falling over isn’t too bad if you can quickly scurry away. Not so fabulous if you have to sit there for 2 hours after in front of all the witnesses. Needless to say, I ordered a large glass of wine and I definitely didn’t get up to go to the toilet. Adam also had the delight of me clinging to him like Jack on the raft in Titanic as I shuffled out after the meal (while being slightly inebriated).

CRIED IN BURGER KING ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS

This story involves my best friend, Raff. Raff and I have a tradition of driving to the Burger King in York whenever we have a bad day and spending hours complaining and opening up whilst munching down on some burgers. On more than one occasion, this has left at least one of us in tears. There is nothing quite like having a stricken-faced Burger King employee come over to your table late at night to inform you that she has locked the doors and we have to leave out the back whenever we’re ready. After a quick glance around, we realised we were the only people sitting there, stuffing our tear-stained faces with fries. As much as a good cry and a burger often helps after a bad day (or week), being ushered out by an employee is another height of shame that I haven’t previously experienced. The worst bit, we go there so often they know who we are, I recognise all the staff and they’ve definitely seen me in some questionable states at odd hours of the night.

RIPPED MY TROUSERS…OR SKIRT…

I think most of us have been here. Apparently, I have just been there more often than most. I never seem to rip my items of clothing when there is nobody around or I am lucky enough to have a long coat with me to cover myself. Instead, it’s normally in the most crowded place possible with no hope for me. The first time was when I was at school and decided to jump on someone’s back.  Queue a large rip and my trousers were essentially ripped from back to front. I just haven’t learned my lesson at all. Another time involved me being seconds from leaving the house for a friend’s 18th. Just as I went to put my shoes on, I completely ripped open my skirt. Queue me panicking as I have 5 minutes to put together a new outfit.

DRUNK TWITTER MISTAKES

A personal favourite was when I had a girls night before we all went off to university. In short, way too much wine was consumed and some pretty compromising photos were taken of me propped up, eating a slice of bread. This was actually the last time I have been ill from drinking (to my recollection…) and it is safe to say that ‘wine-drunk’ is nothing like being normal drunk. Probably took a solid week to recover. During this time, there were lots of photos being taken between rapping Nicki Minaj songs and eating crappy food – typical white girls. What I didn’t realise, until later on, was that rather than uploading one of these terrible photos to my personal Twitter account, I had instead uploaded it to the Sixth Form Leadership team account that I helped run as Head Girl. It also took me far too long to notice this mistake. Safe to say I logged out and handed over the details of the account very quickly.

I FORGOT MY CLOSE FRIEND’S NAME

When I first got to university, I was very nervous about making new friends. Luckily, a girl called Jas was doing the same course as me and was in the college next to mine so we often went to lectures together and spent a decent amount of time chatting. I loved the comfort of having her around and she is now one of my closest friends. Side note: she has a great blog about reading and she totally inspires me to better myself every day. This is all well and good now but there was a time where I couldn’t remember Jas’ name. In the chaos and stress of working my way around the university, I hadn’t remembered what her name was. I felt absolutely terrible every time I saw her and the closer we got as friends, the more embarrassing it was. We went about 2 weeks like this until she put her number on my phone. I told her this story last year and I’m not really sure how it went down! I have definitely learned my lesson and make a much more conscious effort now to not embarrass myself.

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On October 17th, it was my 21st birthday. Last year I posted about 20 Things I Have Learnt In 20 Years and I wasn’t sure what to do for this year. I decided that it would be perfect to create a ‘photo diary’ of what I did with my friends and family as a little reminder for myself in years to come.

The Party

My housemates were totally amazing and did a treasure hunt for 21 gifts for my birthday. They totally understood that anything bought for my bedroom had to match my colour theme (yeah, I’m that person!) and spoilt me with presents that made my university bedroom feel like home. In second year, I had a very small room and I was really limited in the decorations I could have. So when I moved into my much larger room, it felt really empty and I loved getting photos, candles and more to make me feel more at home.

On the weekend before my birthday, we celebrated by hosting a house party. You guys may know that I am bit of a crazy, events obsessed loon so I almost tried to make it like any other event! We had drinking jenga which went down a treat and if you want to know how we did it, I have linked my pinterest board of house party ideas here which feature some photos of the game. It was really love to bring the flat and our friends together for a whole night.

We had tables for beer pong and flippy cup games too that got everyone bonding who hadn’t previously met.

We also got a Snapchat photo which was so much fun and totally worth it! I would definitely recommend getting one if you’re hosting any events as it’s something a bit more interesting and fun. They do Facebook ones now too if that is more up your street.

If you’re interested, the banner behind us (photo below) was from eBay and was only £2.99 here with free delivery! I have linked it if you’re after one.

We also got some amazing decorations from Poundland that we have left up because they were so cute. You could get these lovely paper pom pom decorations that you could fan out for such a bargain and I love them! If you wanted to get your hands on some, eBay have loads in so many colours. I have them linked here if you’re interested.

With The Boyf

Adam came up for my actual birthday which was so lovely and was actually the first time we got to see each other since I had gone back to university. We had quite a relaxed time but we did go out for a meal on my actual birthday to Prezzo. Basically, we are just suckers for Italian food! He totally spoilt me too which was so lovely and it was nice to just have some chilled out time together and cool down from a busy weekend!

At Home

I had an absolutely lovely meal at home with some of my family and Adam where I was surprised with the funds to go to New York. New York has always been a total dream for me and has been on my bucket list for years so I was speechless when I opened all my clues! If you haven’t seen my bucket list post before, I have it here if you’re interested.

My mum also completely spoilt me and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I love Gucci Premiere perfume and have been rationing a bottle for 3 years now so it’s was amazing to finally get another bottle! Mum also got me a ukuele music book as that is hopefully going to be my next Christmas present!

Finally, I treated myself. I have wanted another tattoo for ages and I decided to take the plunge and get the geometric cat I have been lusting after for around 5 years. I am totally obsessed with it! If you look at the top of my homepage, where my Instagram posts are displayed, you should see it there!

I do only have two tattoos but they both have a lot of meaning behind them so let me know if you would like me to discuss them in more detail in another post.

Turning 21 is a total milestone and I cannot believe how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing people. I cannot thank my friends, family and boyfriend for making it the most incredible birthday and one I will never forget!

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