Sunday, 20 May 2018

My Skincare Routine*

I have struggled with my skin for as long as I can remember, it is combination and acne prone specifically on my cheeks so when it comes to finding products that won't break me out... let's just say it's a mission. However, recently I have seen an improvement. It's not perfect but a lot better than this time 6 months ago with my biggest struggle being the scarring left over from the acne. I have also found keeping my products as natural as possible is also great opposed to acids found in many products.

In the mornings I keep it simple. I wash my face with The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Wash alongside a face cloth which I replace every other day to prevent the spread of bacteria. I have used this face wash for the last year or two so you might have heard me mention it before but I really swear by this product a lot! I then follow this with The Body Shop Seaweed Moisturiser which keeps my face hydrated in drier areas but also combats the oiliness of my t-zone. 

Moving onto the evening to remove my makeup I use a face cloth, warm water, and the Tea Tree Face Wash I used in the morning or every other day, The Body Shop Tea Tree Scrub which helps exfoliate the skin and cleans deeper into the pores. After drying off my face I remove any final traces of yuckiness from my pores with the Garnier Micellar Water on a cotton pad.

I then follow this with The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner then some new products I have only recently discovered from Organic Young who kindly sent me out a few things to #greenyouroutine. They are organic and cruelty-free with an ethical practice plus no nasty chemicals focusing on sensitive skin. I also love the fact 10% of their profits go to charity! Making it in my eyes an AMAZING brand! On the subject of there products, favourites  my favourites are the Clear Skin Cleansing Moisturiser containing Green Tea which really helps to refresh the skin. A little goes a long way too which is great. I then follow with the Clear Skin Purifying Serum which contains tea tree and willow bank on any problem areas. 

Alternatively to this if I find a particularly bad blemish I use The Body Shop tea tree targeted gel which stings when you put it on but I like that as I know it's working! Once a week I also apply The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask which is great a cleansing the skin and really giving it a good refresh. 

What do you use in your skincare routine?


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

My Anxiety Story: One Year On

A year ago I wrote a post... 

... My Anxiety Story. I wrote it with no intention of people reading it but for my own benefit. To help sort my head out, get everything out that had been causing anxiety, to try and look at it logically, find the cause. The root of the problem. It took me months to post but when I did I had such a lovely response it really pushed me into getting on the road to recovery. 

I had the idea to create this blog post to see just how much I had changed.
I would lay it out the same, include a similar photo 1 year on, write it off the top of my head, not go back and edit anything.

Exactly how I did this time last year.

Think of it as a response, speaking back to my 'old self'... As that's what I call it.

 'My Old Self' 

It's weird really as at the time I thought that was me forever. An introverted, self-conscious person who's anxiety defined them. Before beginning to write this blog post I read my old post. Link HERE (I'd advise reading it so this makes a little bit more sense) Now reading my old post makes me a bit emotional, not because of what I wrote but knowing how I felt when all those things were happening. However, I could sense my own determination and optimism as I knew the day I posted that blog post I would begin to recover. 

So, what happened after that blog post?

I had my A Level's remarked and passed! That was a huge relief as it meant I didn't have to sit another torturous exam. However, life still wasn't perfect. The adjustments to my new life knocked my confidence, all the change was very stressful plus I had added stress from other areas in my life which nearly made me back into the shell of a person I was two, three years ago. But then...

I worked a lot! I got my name out there, I went to endless opportunities, interesting interviews, meetings, volunteer positions and training schemes. I took it as a year out from expectations - which you can read more about HERE. I had missed the chance to go to university, I didn't really fancy it anyway nor college and I just wanted to make sure the career option was right for me. 

I then passed my driving test (after a very long time of trying) and bought myself a car, I changed my social circles making loads of new friends and surrounding myself with people I loved to spend time with doing things I loved. 

I then got myself an amazing job, one I would have only dreamt of this time last year. It truly is great so I am glad I didn't end up following the traditional idea of college and university. With all those things going on I don't have time to think. I had shifted my focus on to things that were so positive.


Why is there always a but? I could have just ended it there but recovery is a rollercoaster, a very fast one with a heck of a lot of highs, lows, twists and, turns. There were moments during this time though when I wasn't happy. Moments I thought why am I not happy, everything is great. I'm in a position some people would dream to be in. I'm in the position I dreamed of being in. Why am I not happy?! But it soon became clear why it's because it's my mental health there will always be lows. Moments from the past that catch up with me. Things people might have said, things people might do that take me back to the time. The time that wasn't good.

My mental health has scarred me and that's something else I will have to deal with. The mental scars I can't get rid of but have to push past. Have to keep working on. No one said it would be easy. 

Through working on my mental health I have managed to do so much that I would never have been able to do before which I try to remember. Looking how far I've come in a year is what keeps me going. I can jump on a train or a bus without a second glance, I have visited concerts, arenas, surrounded myself with crowds of people. I have partied, lived my life how I want and not looked back.

There's always going to be those moments of 'here it is again' but I just carry on living by the saying.

Yes, I Can! Yes, I Am! and Yes, I Will!

I feel like I'm in an even better place with my mental health, I know the problems could come back but theres not point worrying about the future no one knows what will happen. I still have regrets from things I missed out on but I'm living in the present and making up for it now as best as I can. 

I've taken the small steps and know I'm striding to the future. 


Monday, 14 May 2018

5 Things That Improved My Mental Health

It's the start of #mentalhealthawarenessweek and to help raise even more attention I thought I would do a few extra blog posts on my experience with my mental health starting with a positive one and hopefully one that helps a few people. 
As a background, if this is the first time you've read my blog, I have anxiety and panic disorder but slowly it is improving. I know the rough patches but I have also seen the light at the end of the tunnel. 

With more highs, lows, twists and, turns than the biggest rollercoaster. 

1. A Focus
This really could be anything, a small focus to help the anxiety at the moment such as watching a film, baking or meditation which are all great in the short term specifically with anxiety. However, the biggest thing that helped my anxiety was a big focus, something I could work on, work towards improving such as my career. I know for others their job is the creator of stress but something similar that you can focus on is a great distraction from many mental health problems. 

2. Cutting Out Negativity
This is the first thing I did on my road to recovery. This time last year I changed my social circles and have never looked back. It really makes a great impact on your life to have positive people around you 24/7. Anyone or anything you think is toxic just cut it out. It might seem hard but trust me its the best decision I ever made. 

3. Do More Of What Makes You Happy
We all have to do things we don't like but when you start agreeing to more things you don't want to do because you feel like you have to opposed to things you'd love to do you need to take a step back from life and assess whats going on as it will make you unhappy. Every day I wake up excited for what's to come and only since then have I seen how far I've come. 

4. Socialising
Some of you might be automatically thinking... parties, loads of people... followed by 'I can't do that' but I don't necessarily mean that - unless of course you love that. But as someone who suffers with anxiety I know a massive club with loads of people isn't a reachable thing to do but even a coffee with a friend is great or just sitting in the garden with a family member. Just having someone (positive) around you can really help improve your outlook on life and you can actually bounce of their energy.

5. Speaking Out 
Finally, one of the most important messages I think from this mental health awareness week and that is talking about it. Talk about it to anyone you trust even someone you don't know. I always used to head to teachers when I was in school as after I while I realised who would listen and support me. But friends, family are great or even seek counselling. 

If you do need help don't be afraid to speak out as its time to change the stigma.

Useful Numbers: Samaritans: 116 123


Sunday, 13 May 2018

My Current Playlist

As I sat thinking of what blog post to write I turned on my Spotify as songs help me get creative and instantly I thought why not share my favourite music. I'm surrounded by music 24/7 where I work it is on, when I'm driving in my car, when I'm working and when I'm relaxing. Basically, if you find me you'll find a song playing. I also have a very eclectic mix of songs from pop to R & B to ballads. Whilst live music and events are my favourite things to spend time at which means I get too listen to even more variety of music.

An artist I will have to mention first is Khalid who's songs are very chilled and relaxing but also have a good, positive dance vibe behind them. His album 'American Teen' has been playing for probably the last six months as I just love the songs particularly 'Location' and '8Teen'. I also love the singles he has been dropping since as you don't have to wait long before he releases the next one with at some points one a week. OTW and Youth with Shawn Mendes are possibly my favourites but out of everyone I have discovered lately, he is by far my favourite.

Talking of Shawn Mendes... Has he ever released a bad song? As I said I have been obsessing over Youth but also Lost In Japan. They are typical pop songs but I adore his voice.

George Ezra has also been a big hit with me the past few months with his new album 'Staying at Tamara's' although I know it's not everyones taste I can't help singing along and can really relate to his songs. Personal favourites have to be 'Paradise' and 'Shotgun'.

Another favourite and I think a lot of other people love her and that's Dua Lipa. Her voice is in my head 24/7 due to her catchy songs... *sings* one kiss is all it takes falling in love with me *tries to stop singing* thank me later now I have that back stuck in your head. But her self-entitled album doesn't have a bad song. Particular favourites include Blow Your Mind and IDGAF.

Throwing it back a little I have been listening to The 1975's first album, let's be real I never stopped as who can get sick of songs like 'Girls', 'Chocolate' and 'Settle Down'. I also have been loving 'Love Me' from their 'I like it when you you sleep for your so beautiful yet you are so unaware of it' award for  the catchiest album title ever - NOT!

Then an even bigger throwback I have been living for songs from when I was young so early 2000's like 'Year 3000' Busted, McFly and older Girls Aloud. I swear these songs will never get old. I also think it's because since I started to drive they are great for a bit of car pool kareoke.

Onto songs that will probably grow old and I won't be a fan of in a couple of months - you know which ones I mean. The over listened to, over played but great songs. 'Playinwitme' KYLE and Kehlani, 'I wanna know' Bea Miller and NOTD, 'Drink About' by Seeb. They are my go to get in the mood for going out. Plus I have also been loving Charlie Puth, Anne- Marie, Drake, Stormzy and J Hus.

As you can tell that's probably the biggest mixture of taste but I suppose thats just due to the fact I'm surrounded by so many influences and artists.

What are your favourite songs at the moment? Any I should be listening to?


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ultimate Guide To Perfecting Your Smile*

When I meet new people, the first thing I notice about them is their smile, which also means their teeth. As I know I take so much notice of others smiles. I was forever conscious about mine. Like many people, I was raising a hand to partially block my grin or trying to stifle my smile, so it didn’t reveal my teeth specifically in photographs. My buck teeth with a gap and yellowing were my biggest insecurity so to make myself more confident I sorted it out with the help of a brace a few tips and tricks. I even read a load of posts like this which really helped which is why I wanted to share what I did or know works best. While it may not be achieved overnight, you can enhance your dental health and improve the look of your teeth; you just need a lot of perseverance.

Buy A Decent Toothbrush

First things first, seems the most obvious but your toothbrush will be your best friend! 
Get a good one and you will see a major improvement. While you may think that the electric toothbrushes that cost hundreds of pounds are a bit gimmicky, they do clean your teeth exceptionally well. A regular toothbrush can give similar effects specifically alongside a whitening toothpaste. It's great seeing stains lifting from your teeth over a couple of months - I took a before photo and regularly compared to see my progress - seeing the change really does make it worth it. Ensure that you clean your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. Some toothbrushes are so intuitive that they will notify you when to move on from a given tooth and help you develop safer and more advanced cleaning techniques - it's amazing what technology can do!

Floss Like A Pro

We all know we have to floss regularly, but how many of us actually do it? I know I didn't! 
Flossing takes time, but it is hugely beneficial to your dental health. Developing a routine of brushing and flossing as part of your regular beauty regime will see a massive improvement in your smile. Flossing gets rid of plaque, prevents tartar build-up and will ensure that you don’t develop gum disease. Flossing also freshens our breath and helps us to maintain our oral health throughout the day in between brushing.

Go To The Dentist

Seems an obvious one but many people forget about their teeth and therefore the dentist. Luckily I love a trip to the dentist (I know weird!) but even if you dislike the experience, it’s vital! I head over every 6 months for a checkup and just reassures me everything is ok. If you are virtually phobic, dentists like Natural Smiles, go out of their way to make you feel as relaxed as possible with soothing scents and even a TV loaded up with all of your favourite Netflix box sets to watch during your time in the chair. I found a dentist I get along with and takes their time, talking me through the process of any procedure which really helps or if it involves needles I just tell him to do it without telling me so there's no anticipation!

Quit Smoking

I have never smoked but it's one of the worst things for discolouring your teeth - even if you are a mere social cigarette every now and then, you could be staining your teeth with gunk. Yellow staining from smoking is incredibly hard to remove, so it’s important that you quit your habit. Specialist toothpaste with bicarbonate of soda can be more abrasive to lift stains but they aren't effective enough. Also, it won't just be your smile, but your health as a whole that feels the benefit. Smoking really is dangerous.

Now every time you smile at someone you can ooze with confidence over your pearly whites!


*the post is contributed(or)collaborative and may contain affiliate link*