Monday, 9 May 2016

20 Things I've Learned In 20 Years!


I've been MIA on here for quite a while now, and during that while I turned 21. Yay for being able to drink in most countries now! So, I compiled a list of tidbits I've learned over the years about myself and other things, that I thought I would share on here...

1. Set achievable goals. Achievable. Realistic. Non-ridiculous. It'll make you feel accomplished.

2. Learn to let go, even if you find it difficult. It can really benefit you. 

3. It's ok to make mistakes, they usually don't matter in the long run anyway. 

4. Bare faced with heavy black eyeliner is not a good look at 14, or any age for that matter.

5. It's alright to not follow the crowd; you do you boo. 

6. Let yourself be emotional, not all days will be perfect days. 

7. But then kick yourself up the behind, and gain some perspective, because you've had it pretty darn good. 

8. You're an introvert, and that is perfectly fine. 

9. Be your own best friend (only child syndrome!). 

10. Raw cookie dough is God's gift to us all. 

11. Saving money is not your strong suit. 

12. Spending money is. 

13. It's probably not normal to have had an unwavering crush on a celebrity for a decade (here's looking at you Zac), but hey I'm unique, not a stalker. Promise. 

14. Ms Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' will always be loved by you. 

15. Sometimes you surprise yourself and others by what you do, and that's pretty nifty. 

16. You still don't feel like an adult, but enjoy play acting at it on occasion. 

17. Nothing makes you feel more content than curling up on the sofa and watching mindless reality television, with a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Caramel for company. 

18. Continue to laugh often, even if others think it's too much. Your favourite joke that can be put to paper is "I used to play the rubber trumpet. I was in an elastic band". You can thank your dad for this one. 

19. The other is the 'Terror Wrist'. This requires actions, and is not as sinister as it sounds. 

20. You've had a fantastic start, and hope this learning journey, emotional rollercoaster and all the other cliches continue, as life's been blinking brilliant thus far. 

To the next 20 years! 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

To Be Read: Winter Edition!

I made a pact with myself to read twelve books this year. It's November and I'm half way through my tenth book, so for the first time in my whole existence I think (touch wood!) I may succeed in a New Years resolution (get in!). I know it's not book blogger status, with most reading twelve books in a month or three. But it's a personal achievement, and I'm pretty chuffed with myself (pats on back, and cracks open the chocolate to celebrate). Nevertheless, we aren't quite there yet, if my maths serves me correctly I need two more books to reach my target, and these are my possible and probable yet not definite choices for the final reads of the year: 

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. I'm sure you are all aware of Malala; the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who chose to fight for her right to education, resulting in her being shot in the head. Her story, is incredibly recent, and incredibly important, so I wish to educate myself on the matter, and learn more from her inspiring story. 

Ayoade On Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey by Richard Ayoade. On a much lighter note, I think Richard Ayoade is a fascinating and hilarious individual. I love his comedic style and timing. On that note I hope for lots of laughs from this one. I believe it is produced in interview style... with himself. It sounds very amusing, let's hope it doesn't disappoint. 

A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride. This work of fiction sits on the more serious end of the spectrum once more. You are thrown into the narrator's head, and experience life as she does; immersed within her upbringing, and the influence of her challenging relationship with her brother, who suffered a brain tumor as a child. I think this will be the most mentally demanding read of the three, although I'm happy to test myself with this one. It won the Women's Prize For Fiction in 2014, so it must be pretty darn good right? 

Please let me know any of the books you plan on reading this Autumn/Winter in the comments below, I would love to check them out. x

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autumn & Winter Nails!

Whether you enjoy a sophisticated deep red, prefer a fun n' fabulous glitter & sequined look, or dare to play with textures and finishes this season; velvet or matte... I've got your nails covered. Here are my top five nail polish choices for this currently chilly climate, and the festive period afoot. 

I adore the name first and foremost. I also think this is the prettiest polish by far in my entire collection; the glitter is stunning with the three shades within creating a gorgeous multi dimensional appearance on the nail. If ever I was to call a nail polish captivating this would be it. Not sure if I'm there quite yet...but yeah it really is.

This is the most understated, yet appropriate for the time of year. It's red but not your bright garish stereotypical red. It's demure and sophisticated. A tad more unusual than most reds on the market too, in my opinion.

This is just some fun, every Christmas (eek can I mention the C-word yet!?) party needs a little sequin number, and this is just the one. Each application offers something different. In terms of how many sequins the brush applies to the nail, and what colour range comes from the bottle is purely luck of the draw though! 

This deep navy matte polish is sleek and stylish, not as harsh as a black nail, but just as daring yet delightful. Trés Chic. 

However I do love black nails, now the early nights have set in, I feel black is quite apt! The velvet texture is a fun gimmick to play around with too. 

Those are my five favourites for the season upon us. Please let me know in the comments below if I should check out any others. My nail polish collection is forever growing, I just can't help myself! x 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Current Favourites!

Hello you beautiful human beings! I am well and truly back into my university routine, being in my third and final year now (of my Sociology degree at least!), it's the beginning of the end..eek. So now I'm back to my stash of all things beauty and otherwise, I thought I should sit down and tell you about my current favourites. Since my last favourites was an ENTIRE year ago (whoopsy daisy), now might be a good time to update you. Right let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we... 

Make Up

My lipstick and gloss combo recently has been the Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in 'Grace' (£22 for full size) which is a pale beige nude. I will say on it's own it doesn't suit my skin tone that well, due to my pale complexion, it can wash me out. However with my sheer baby pink Laura Mercier lip glacé in 'Bare Baby' (£19 for full size) on top, it is a perfect union, for natural everyday make up. Both products wear well, and sit comfortably on the lips too (especially the Hourglass lipstick; velvety smooth...oh la la). 


It is well and truly Autumn edging closer to Winter every single day. Although I must say the Autumn weather has been so mild this year, it's refreshingly odd, not complaining though. I've probably completely jinxed us UK humans saying that...sorry. That was a tangent, if I ever saw one. Anywhoo as I was saying the colder months are upon us, and so the darker shades make their appearance once more. OPI's deep purple named "I Carol About You" (£8.95) from the 2014 holiday collection has resurfaced from the depths of my nail varnish collection, and I really love it. OPI varnishes are great, they last well (with a top coat) I only retouch them every 3-4 days, which is actually quite an accomplishment for me and my nails. 


Mac's "Turquatic" perfume (£23 for 20ml) is super duper lovely in my humble opinion. Firstly the bottle is unique with it's floral and grass theme, which looks cool on my dressing table. However it's like a weapon, the edges are extremely sharp (keep away from children..and me. Just kiddin' kids it's not that bad). The scent notes include anemone, lotus, orris and Corsican blue cedar (honestly I don't know what half that stuff is, but it smells good all together!). To me the scent is quite a strong slightly muskier scent, with a hint of licorice, which sounds insane to me, I hate licorice to taste but I guess I don't mind it as a scent? How bizarre.


Co Lab's Extreme Volume Dry Shampoo in the Rio tropical scent (£4) is wonderful at making your hair last between washes, it absorbs oils and doesn't leave a white cast in the hair. The extreme volume version is great at adding that bit of oomph! to my limp fine hair, which is just smashing. 


Sheet masks are such a fun pampering pick me up, they make you look like a scary ghost or serial killer, which is great for snapchatting (SUCH FUN!). I got my masks from China this summer, from Etude House (80p each), but there are many variations on the market. In terms of logistics I just pop the slimy sheet of skincare goodness onto my face for twenty minutes, and immediately after my skin feels so much softer and looks more plump with a renewed glow. 

In addition I just want to mention my Pink Grapefruit Hand Cream from The Body Shop (£4). It's a hand cream filled with moisturising oils, which make your hands feel beautifully soft. Really it's the pink grapefruit scent that makes this one my fave though. It smells delicious. 


These shoes (£45) are a love/hate item. Clearly I love them. They're from Next, which is a tad unusual for me, as I never shop in Next, but I went in with a friend, and haven't looked back since! haha. I love the sophisticated school girl vibe the shoes give off. They are black lace ups (very past Natalie aged 10) but with a 3/4 inch heel (very present Natalie aged 20). They're comfortable enough to wear with skinny jeans on a daily basis, but look great with a skirt or shorts too for a dressed up look. 


I am currently reading 'After You' (£12.99) the sequel to Jojo Moyes 'Me Before You'. I really enjoyed the first, a chick-lit filled with tears and laughter, and the second seems to be following suit. I highly recommend it, if you're into your light contemporary reads, with a bit of heart, and relatability thrown into the mix.


If you are eating healthy look away now. You have been warned. Now don't judge me. This is a safe place; no T, no shade, no pink lemonade. Lotus Biscoff Crunchy Biscuit Spread (£2.25) is heaven in a jar. Grab a spoon and dig in. You're welcome. 


My Primark 'Hello' lidded plastic glass. Perfect for on the go, but for me it is a big "HELLO! I'm a big glass of water, drink me, so you are the slightest bit healthier and stay hydrated!". Just a subtle hint to myself there. Plus it's super cute. 


I am a decade late to the party but Prison Break is just brilliant. It has everything; suspense, humour, heart, as well as great plot line, script and acting. I'm obsessed, although still on season one so no spoilers! For anyone who has been under a rock, like me for the past ten years, Prison Break is exactly as it sounds, men with a plan to break out of prison. To me, it's like a testosterone filled Orange is the New Black. Just splendid. 

On the reality end of the spectrum I am relishing in the ridiculousness and trashiness of Are You The One? season three, which is airing now. Some of the girls are nutcases and some of the boys are poo-heads (pardon my French), but that makes it all the more enjoyable to watch. There is also a part of me who is like get me in that house, and let me meet my perfect match! Basically it is a dating show, where ten guys, and ten girls live together, and with in the group each have been matchmake'd with their perfect romantic partner. However they don't know who their perfect match is. They must try to work it out with their hearts (and their heads) to win the grand prize fund; but with twists and turns and make ups and break ups, it gets pretty cray cray. 

...and there we have it, all my current favourites, this was fun, let's do it again sometime soon. Please let me know if you have any recommendations, in the comments below, as I am always on the hunt for worthy products/time consumers. xx 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

This One Time In China...

Summer 2015 has been incredible. I can't believe how much I have packed into this summer, but at the same time can't believe it's almost over. However one of my main experiences this summer is certainly the time I spent in China. Let's back it up, and explain that a little bit. I was staying a 40 minute subway ride away from downtown Shanghai for 7 and 1/2 weeks. Although trips to Beijing, Huangshan, and Hangzhou were had amongst that. I was teaching English as a foreign language in China at a summer camp, and travelling in between sessions. I was petrified upon arrival, for almost two months in a country I had never even contemplated visiting, prior to this opportunity arising; with people I had never met (the other volunteers teaching alongside me, who were lovely by the way!) ; and doing something I had never done before (teaching actual human children!). This was the furthest outside my comfort zone I have ever been. Sometimes I feel the need to push myself outside my little comfort zone of being home watching Netflix and YouTube. It's exciting but scary as heck!

However, this was a fantastic opportunity to trial teaching, and experience a new culture, and do some unexpected traveling. Overall it was one hell of an experience. It wasn't a holiday as such, as there were stresses and there was work involved. For instance lesson planning is tough and time consuming, and teaching with little to no experience definitely includes a learning curve or two.

Nevertheless there was a balance between work and play. During play time (haha) we travelled. A lot. We never stopped the whole two months (my feet still hurt, no joke). This included visiting exquisite Temples, beautiful parks, and The Great Wall of China!

 My Top Three Tourist Stops In China 

These are not actually in a particular order, despite them being numbered:

1. The Summer Palace in Beijing. It is absolutely stunning. It includes a beautiful park, lake and architectural structures. A lovely day out, casually strolling around, partaking in an ice-cream or two. Splendid.  

2. The Great Wall of China in Beijing. How can you go to China and not visit the Great Wall?! It's a must, it is a wonder of the world after all. Although I must admit it was a lot more hard work than I had imagined. The climbing is intense at times, for an unfit gal like myself haha. In addition we went on a day with a lack of great views, due to fog and mist, but nonetheless a very cool experience. So on a nice day it must be wonder(wall)ful! haha.

3. The Jing An Temple in Shanghai. We visited our fair share of temples while in China, to say the least. All are lovely, but this one is utterly breath taking. It is very grand, and you just feel very serene being there. Also we saw a Monk on his iPhone whilst there. That's a surreal moment, if ever I had one.

...and there we have it. These were just a few of my favourite places I visited, although there were many more amazing pit stops for tourists I could suggest.

Regardless of the fun adventures we had, one of the absolute highlights for me personally was learning and growing in confidence when teaching in China, as well as having great fun with the kids, my kids.

Nevertheless, to finish off I thought I'd mention something a tad unusual. The Marriage Market in Shanghai. It is like real life Tinder! Quite surreal. Parents have written profiles of their children, things such as a picture alongside a name, age, and sometimes even weight etc., displayed in the park for potential suitors to view... not something I have stumbled upon whilst wandering through any park in England before, that's for sure!

That's all folks! Hope you have all had a brilliant summer, and let me know where I should blindly go off on my travels to next, in the comments below xx

Friday, 8 May 2015

Summer 2015: To Be Read!

I am going to be traveling a fair bit this summer, giving me a lot of time to delve into a number of books I've wanted to read. At the beginning of the year I set myself a goal of reading twelve books in the twelve months. Nothing extravagant, but more than I had read the previous year. I am ahead of my target thus far, and I'm hoping I continue the trend throughout the summer. 

My reading pile consists of nine books. Quite a hefty backpack full! 

I am currently reading two books. Firstly 'Him & Me' By Michael and Jack Whitehall. I am a few chapters in and it consists of highly amusing anecdotes. If you are not familiar, Jack Whitehall is a young English comedian, and himself and his father have co-written a memoir. I love autobiographies, especially of comedians. Michael McIntyre's is great, as is David Walliams'. This one seems fun and an enjoyable easy read. 

The second book I have on the go at the moment is 'The Utopia Experiment' by Dylan Evans. This follows the true story of the author, who created an experiment to experience a post-apocalyptic technology-free and natural life. This led to the deterioration of his mental health, which ended up with him in a psychiatric hospital. Thus far it is an interesting read, but I wouldn't consider it a page turner. However, I am only a few chapters in. I will happily review these books at a later date, if anyone so wishes... 

Next I hope to read some highly coveted young adult fiction. 'We Were Liars' by E. Lockhart is highly recommended on BookTube (book reviewers on the interwebs). All I know about this novel is that it revolves around a family (or families?) who have a lot of secrets. haha! Not much of a synopsis, but I do not want to ruin any of the plot line for myself by researching it. It appears quite a quick read, so a couple of casual lazy day by the pool seem appropriate to see this one finished. 

Another YA novel I want to delve into is 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' by Jenny Han. A girl writes secret letters to all the boys she's ever had a crush on, and one day the letters get sent out to said boys. Drama ensues (I assume). It seems to be a sweet and easy read that I think will be perfect for summertime. 

Then a slight change of pace with 'Disclaimer' by Renee Knight which seems to be quite the opposite to a lighthearted YA novel. The premise centres around a woman who wakes to find a book on her bedside table, only to find inside the story revolves around her and reveals her deepest darkest secret (*dun dun duuuuuh!*). It's been a long while since I picked up a suspenseful thriller as they are not my typical read, but I am excited to venture into this somewhat creepy sounding story.   

Whereas 'Friendship' by Emily Gould is more my typical chick-lit novel I believe. It follows three young women, in a story with a central theme of friendship (bet you couldn't have guessed that!) with humour, wit and heart-break throughout. I love a book that makes me cry, so I hope this one accomplishes that. 

Moreover, 'A Man Called Ove' by Fredrik Backman really stood out to me in Waterstones. The blurb describes a grumpy old man, angry at the world, but goes on to say in the end there is something quite irresistible about him. The moral 'don't judge a book by its cover' springs to mind. It sounds delightful, and I can't wait to crack it open. 

Nevertheless one book that did attract me by its cover (haha woops) is 'The Boy Who Could See Death' by Salley Vickers. Eli can sense imminent death. Sounds enticing. Also I'm not quite sure if this is one story, or a collection of stories, so I shall have to begin reading to find out. 

Finally I chose 'Five Star Billionaire' by Tash Aw. I purely picked this up due to the fact it is based in Shanghai. I am spending seven weeks teaching in Shanghai this summer, so thought it would be fun to get me in the Shanghai spirit. I think it follows the story of five people from differing walks of life, trying to make something of themselves in the city. 

There we have it, an extensive list, but who knows I may conquer it, I may not...the plot thickens. Or as a good friend of mine misquoted once "the story deepens...". 

Let me know in the comments below, if you recommend any others, or if any of these are worthy of being first read...

Saturday, 25 April 2015

My Perfume Collection!

I only have a select few perfumes currently, so I thought I would chat through them with you. A couple of them are perfect for Spring too. Although scents are difficult to describe, I shall do my very best! 

Le Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier (50 ml) £48.50 - 

The bottle for this perfume is so sex-uh-al; a voluptuous female silhouette, oh la la. The perfume itself is a combination of oriental floral fragrances. There are notes of rose, and orange blossom spiced up with hints of star anise and ginger. While vanilla and amber are also involved to create a warmer scent. I would say it is the most mature scent in my collection. Although it is not my favourite, it is still well used. It is not the heaviest or lightest of scents, so it can be worn daily, or on a night out. A great all-rounder. 

Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs (50 ml) £46.80 - 

This perfume is extremely Spring appropriate. The packaging also looks adorable on my dressing table; the little daisies enveloping the lid, are super cute. It is a light fragrance that is floral yet fruity. The notes include blackberry, grapefruit and pear (sounds like a delicious smoothie to me). In addition there is jasmine, lychee, and blue wisteria as well as white-woods (is that white wood?) musks and coconut water. This perfume when broken down really does sound so on trend with the healthy folks of today. Coconut water and fruit, yum! Nevertheless instead of consuming it, I spritz it all over instead. It is such a lovely day to day scent. Bright, fresh and sweet. 

Nirvana White by Elizabeth and James (10 ml roller-ball) £14.50 - 

I was so intrigued by the Olsen twins line, as it was so talked about frequently when the perfumes first launched. I tested the black and white in store, they were apparently created to be paired together (is it a twin thing?). However I feel this is a clever marketing trick, to sell two perfumes instead of one. I don't know. I preferred the white though, so only purchased one. Ha! I avoided the ploy..well for now at leasy. The scent is a blend of peony, chic muguet and tender musk. It is sincerely feminine yet sophisticated. It may be found too floral for some, but I enjoy it. The roller-ball is white and gold, so sophisticated packaging for a sophisticated scent. A great one to stick in your handbag for on the run. 

Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules (30 ml) £27 - 

This was hyped up all over the blogosphere upon its release, due to its enticing formula. The product is supposed to interact with the wearers natural pheromones to create an individual scent for each person. This in turn is supposed to smell wonderful on you, as it is essentially formulated just for you (with help from your natural chemistry). I thought this was probably a gimmick. However, I have experienced the most wonderful (and over the top!) compliments whilst wearing it. They have come from two people, on different occasions. To the point one of them asked me to go and get my bottle of perfume, so she could try it on. She also said she could smell mine, on her way up the driveway to the house, and that she absolutely adored it - That is one powerful scent. She tried some on, and came to the conclusion she preferred the scent on me. Maybe it really does work! When I smell it on myself it smells rather masculine and overpowering. However on a night out I think it's fantastic, as you want something a little more sultry and long lasting. Also the compliments have certainly aided a positive review of this fragrance. 

Blistful Mistful by Zoella (45 ml) £9 - 

Cute name. I do love a good product name. This is my most recent addition to my perfume collection, and by far the most reasonable in price. I held out on purchasing this body mist by Zoe Sugg, as I didn't seek it out immediately, knowing it was targeted at a younger market. Nonetheless when I sniffed it in Superdrug, I was pleasantly surprised at the scent. It's soft and sweet, but not sickly sweet in my opinion. The notes are fresh, floral and fruity. This is obviously something I am interested in, evident in my other perfume choices. This will be great for a quick spritz on warm summer days. It's cheap and cheerful, go YouTubers!

Other perfumes I adore but do not have in my current collection include Pink by Next, and the Paris scent from River Island. Also Abercrombie & Fitch scents are great too. These are all more reasonably priced than a few of my high end perfumes, if you don't want to break the bank. 

Hope you enjoyed venturing into my petite perfume stash. Let me know your favourite perfume in the comments below, and I shall have to check them out and give them a sniff.