The jingling festivities are over for another year (cryin') and I've been stalking everyones blogs to see what they got for Christmas. Since I've enjoyed reading these posts so much I thought I'd do a little one myself for people who like me, are nosey as hell. Firstly I don't want this post to be seen as bragging, it's purely written because I looooove reading hauls and I'm hoping you do too!

We're on the cusp of the new year and the amount of times I've heard 'new year new me' is still soaring, but it's true! New year really is the time when a lot of us reassess our lives, throw away the old, stale parts of ourselves and our belongings and move on.

I told you in my latest life lately that I'd been throwing away everything that wasn't necessary anymore. This sounds extreme but here me out- I've been such a hoarder all my life. Not quite on the level of the problematic American TLC shows but while rummaging through my drawers the other day I came across a birthday card from three years ago. Surely that isn't good for me. My mum is going to laugh at this post because she knows just how bad it used to be!

If there's one thing a prosecco filled, festive drunk girl doesn't want at the Christmas party, it's lipstick smudged all over her face or a shiny forehead from the sweaty shapes being thrown on the dancefloor. Fear not, I have you covered. Or rather surprisingly, Joan Collins has you covered!

She's a diva, a classic beauty guru and a woman of many talents, one of them is the cosmetics line she has created inspired by the power of women themselves, Hollywood glamour and Art Deco. 
Zoella interview photograph

It's been madness here for the last couple of weeks, hence why the short time away from my sacred lil corner of the internet had to happen. *cries* This blog took a back seat at the start of the month to make way for deadlines, critiques, meeting 'clients' (design agencies handing out our new university briefs) and some self-reflection.

That isn't to say there hasn't been some times where I've had a break, Alex and I have been trying to make the most of our weekends now and decided to head out to the Kendal Print Fair last week! It was amazing to see so many talented people working in the Lakes and left me feeling inspired to start making stuff again. 

Typically, illustrators are the most secretive and introverted when it comes to showing others what's between the two covers of their sketchbook. We're perfectly happy to show you the finished outcomes, the polished pieces crafted after drawing and painstaking hours on Photoshop, but even in critiques I've seen (and done this myself) illustrators panic when the client turns to a page that is full of messy ideas and scribbles that they won't understand.

I say NOOOOO let's not be ashamed anymore! Show us your scribbles! Show us the drawing you did of your lecturer in class, show us the reminders and colour palettes that you blobbed all over the page without realising it had gone through the page. Show us the mistakes you make before that finished piece so we know that we're not alone.
At this time of year, naturally I think a lot of us do a little 'soul searching'. December is a time when a people begin to reflect on the past year; on where we are and where we want to be, where we were at the beginning of this year and where we're ending it, who we're ending it with. Seriously, how did we get here 2016? It's been a hell'uva ride.

I've been doing a little 'soul-searching' myself lately, leading to the blatantly obvious connection that everything I have ever done has got me to where I am today, (neither entirely good nor entirely bad! ) hooray me. It means that all of the tiniest decisions I have ever struck a match to have landed me here, writing to you from my bed on a Sunday night. But I've been asking myself where I want to be this time next year and instead of sitting on my ass and saying I will (a common behaviour for me this year, oops) I've been connecting those thoughts and ideas into ways that will actually get me there.

As part of my new three-part series, 'Eco House' and in celebration of World Vegan Month, I'm showing you my favourite cruelty free picks from each room in my house! Everything from bathroom cleaners to my favourite vegan treats and make-up products. We'll start with the bedroom; my pamper products and make-up picks as it's been a tough few weeks for us all (with he-who-shall-not-be named elected) and we could all do with a little time off. Riiiiiight?!
My first two thoughts after receiving the invite to Bon Prix on the Rocks were something along the lines of 'OH MY GOD AN EVENT IN THE NORTH' and 'party time'! It's not often I get to doll myself up a little and go out (I'm in uni, I know it should be a regular occasion but clubs aren't my cup of tea) so I was super excited to choose my dress and get my best heels on.

I was in Leeds this weekend, pushing between people doing their Christmas shopping on my way to the Bon Prix on the Rocks cocktail party where everyone was dressed to the nines in sequins and lace, (post to follow)! The Christmas markets have started up already and towering fairy lights stop the city from going dark at night now (which is at about 4:30pm), so it seems that Christmas is on our doorstep!

As bloggers, we're always told that we need a niche. Categorise your ideas so you can target them at a specific audience- but we're not robots who can tap out seven hundred words on only eyelashes or skincare every day. Beauty is one of the largest and most successful 'niches' out there but to that I say WHAT'S GOOD? Literally, what else is good? As people, we have other interests, hobbies, talents- and so do our readers.

No- not the awesome Childish Gambino album of 2013. You may have noticed that there's been some radio silence over here for the last two weeks! Don't worry, I haven't fallen out of love with blogging or spewing a million of my thoughts online, quite the opposite. 

Firstly, sorry for the quality of these photos, the nights are getting darker and gloomy days have been overhead for about a week now, I need to invest in some artificial lighting!

Does anybody else have that make-up riddled patch of carpet in front of their mirror, or smudges and swatches constantly on their hands while blending eyeshadows? I do, but maybe I'm just gross. 

When blending colours I have a particular brush that I love to use, something about the way it applies and holds pigment is *kisses fist* amazing but what happens when I want to use the next shade and the same brush? Those Morphe 35O reds and oranges aren't going away with a swirl on the carpet or the back of my hand, which is why I decided to give Shadow Switch a go.

Being told to 'get out of your comfort zone' is something that we're all probably sick of hearing by now, from school, from tutors and parents, from every man and his dog that just wants us to 'do better'. Lately I've been conducting a little social experiment on myself and for what feels like the first time in a long time, been pushing myself out of my comfort zone to do more things that give me the nervous butterflies, aka that feeling of 'get-me-the-hell-out-of-here... now'.

Firstly this is more of a journal entry than a post, a way of marking my little milestones and celebrating change. I understand everyone feels differently!

Everybody who's ever had a single thought about contraception knows about the pill or implant. There are so many forms of contraception out there that are less publicised but just as accessible for women all over the country, one being the IUD (the coil, inter uterine device etc). 

Non-hormonal contraception has been on the rise lately after studies confirmed that depression is directly linked to the pill and it's becoming more obvious that seizures, blood clots, osteoporosis and strokes are also related to taking forms of hormonal contraception. Methods such as noting your natural cycle and avoiding sex on certain days or the copper IUD and condoms pose less of a risk to your health.

It didn't take long after I discovered coconut oil for me to realise the extent of it's powers. I'm talking, wizard-level wonderfully magic for our skin, hair, body and overall health. Obviously in large amounts nothing is good for you, but adding a little coconut oil into your life everyday can make a world of difference.

Sometimes on my walks around the city I come across creatively brilliant things that I wish I'd thought of first and things I can't believe people have made with their own hands/heads. Bad Alice is one of these things that I wish I'd come up with first - a swap shop ran by two lovely girls, Hannah and Alice, where you can take your old clothes and trade them in for newer ones. SO GOOD, RIGHT?!

Recycled fashion is something a lot of people brush over for not looking as great as the current trends. Fashion bloggers like Lua from Le Happy have been blowing my mind with thrift store outfits and old tee's that complete vintage looks, it's hard for me to understand why they're not considered more by people on the hunt for new garms!

Samii Ryan along with Ellis Cooper, Elizabeth Isley, Mary Rosenberg and Alysha Nett to name a few, is one of my favourite bad ass gals to follow on Instagram. Beginning as a model, her experience with modern, alternative fashion and love of the industry has lead Samii to follow her dreams of creating her own jewellery and accessory line, BY SAMII RYAN

I love everything this brand puts out, from the design of the website to the products and the way they're marketed. All of Samii's pieces are unique, handcrafted, sophisticated and elegant while still screaming badass.

Exactly a week and a day ago I attended the wonderful Bloggers Blog Awards hosted by Hayley. I'd only been to one blog event before this, a secret event hosted by Mary so I was a little nervous at first but arranged to meet my new best friend (hey I've decided), Jess, at Leeds station beforehand.

Sarah's desk, flowers from Blossoming Gifts

Hello everyone! It's been a long while since the last catch up, and again so much has happened and is happening so this post may end up being a little rambly. In my last 'life lately' type post, I'd just moved out of my old place to head home for summer after starting up blogging properly again.

Officially, I'm in the new place with my boyfriend and two friends now (sat here with no make-up and my hair in a towel full of hair dye) and it's beautiful. Small, but beautiful and much more homely than the last house. My room is probably the same size but all of my furniture is lighter and wooden, giving a happier vibe in the place.

I'm a little dumfounded about how it's October already. It feels like yesterday that I was at Leeds festival, waking up in a hot tent every morning! As much as I loooooove summer, I'll take a blanket, hot drink and a warm bed over sweaty mornings and a warm breeze any day. 

If you ever need me on an Autumn/Winter's morning, that's where I'll most likely be! Tucked up in my bed sanctuary with all of those things. Obviously having a glorious bed makes actually getting up on cold mornings one of the most gruelling tasks of the day (but it's never as bad once you're up and about), so here's how you can make them a little easier:


Last week a little tweet popped up in my mentions from Velvet and Vibranium about the Versatile Blogger Award! (Speaking of awards, I attended the Bloggers Blog Awards yesterday and it was amazing, expect a post soon) Basically this is an opportunity to tell you a few things about myself and share the love in tagging some of my favourite bloggers. It's been a while since I've done a tag on my blog so here goes:

The season of humidity is almost over and Monica from Friends has got nothing on me, on the days that I can't be bothered to brush my hair it's like a lion has taken my place.

As you know, I've been trying lots of hair masks and products to tame my dry locks and give me a more sleek finish. For styling, GHD straighteners are what I use on the regs when I'm at home- the brand has become famous for just how brilliant their straighteners are so when Irresistible Me sent me their flat iron to use, I needed to see if it was worth making the switch!

The bandwagon has arrived and I'm jumping straight on it. How could I not for this Morphe Palette that's so perfect in colour for Autumn days and nights? 

A few of my favourite beauty bloggers have been hyping up this gorgeous rust Morphe palette filled with glitters and mattes.

For a while I've been on the hunt for the perfect red shadows, looking at the Modern Renaissance Palette from ABH and Meet Matt(e) Trimony  but in the end I decided to go for the Morphe 35O, because of the reds, burnt oranges (which I'm obsessed with at the mo) and balance of glitters to mattes. 

So, today's Sunday Post was supposed to be a tour of my new room/house, but the weather has been so bad here lately that the lighting for house photos has been terrible. Hopefully that post will come next week with a little sunshine! 

Instead, to keep with the theme of easy reading for Sunday Posts, I wanted to show a little piece of something I've been working on for a few long months (on and off, between events and classes). It's how I spend time on when I'm not chillin' in the blogosphere. You might know if you've been reading for a while or follow me on Twitter that I study illustration at uni, that art has always been my biggest passions!

At the start of summer, my boyfriend Alex found a huge door-sixed piece of wood in the basement of our old house so I decided to paint it. 

Hidden in the footpaths and windy lanes of the Lake District is Chesters By The River, a quirky and modern vegetarian restaurant/café, which welcomes dogs too with the only rule that once they start to outnumber people (and this has happened) that no more will be let in. 
Through Autumn come winter, my hair always needs some tender lovin' care between dying it and using heat on it to restore some life. Using heat on my hair and dying it so often have been the two things that make my hair lack a little lustre sometimes and I've been trying EVERYTHING to bring it back to it's regular shine.
lobsterandswan photography
It's been a long while since my last wishlist, but by this time next week I'll be properly moved into my new place for my final year of uni. I can't stop scouring the shops and internet for gorgeous homeware because having a place of my own and being able to do it up is a god send, honestly. I've found that with getting older has come a new love of being independent. 

Being at home (the one with my family) is wonderful, I wouldn't change my home life for the world but the allure of personal space has got me in it's grip. There's nothing more novelty to me than being able to decorate a place exactly how I want it, making it a representation of me- somewhere I feel completely chill and at home.
Elizabeth Ilsley
On social media we all look like the Hollywood version of ourselves, or at least we try to. I'm heading to a couple of blogger events next month and something I'm irrationally nervous about is people thinking I look totally different in real life (which of course I look different, can't filter these freckles and stray brow hairs in real life can I?).

Has it really been a full month since I last showed you my bullet journal? It's unbelievable that I've actually kept up with it though sneakily I've been using a new planner alongside to properly write down what I'm doing everyday. Changing the way I'm using the journal to suit me is probably what's kept me referring back to it.

I still have my index, key, goals and some post ideas have been migrated from August to September because I couldn't write all of the posts last month or I've grown tired of some of the ideas, but here's what's changed! :

Hello everyone! Firstly I wanted to thank you if you've been reading my blog lately, for making this summer the best few months my blog has seen- the growth here has been amazing, it's so humbling receiving and returning comments from real peopleeee! Makes me feel like there really are people out there who read my ramblings.

I'm hosting the Bloggers Do It Better (#BDIB) chat tomorrow night at 7pm and it's my first time hosting a chat EVER. Understandably I'm super nervous so please come and say hi! The topic will be 'Changing with the Seasons'. This is going to cover everything from yourself to blogging!

So enough waffle. This post has been on my mind for a little while now as I realised just how many things I own, inspired by blogging or for blogging. Hopefully this will help any new or student bloggers that are following me as I don't have a lot of money to blow lately (being in my final year of university, I can't believe I survived the others) but blogging is a passion of mine and I'd like to show that you CAN blog and do Youtube on a budget!

Skincare is becoming increasingly more vital in my daily routine, especially since around this post in July (nothing to do with the post, simply a marker I can explain) I’ve had really bad dry skin around my eyes which I can only assume is eczema or psoriasis. Kill meeeeee. Winter slays my skin without having a condition on top of it haha. Do any of you have eczema or psoriasis? How do you deal with it?

But this is what I really wanted to talk about; since making the switch to only purchasing cruelty free products I’ve discovered SO many new brands I hadn’t even heard of before, one being Odylique.

Brow Product Flatlay with copper fairy lights

I've mentioned before that brows are one of my most honoured features. By that I mean, if there's nothing else on my face before leaving the house you best bet that I'll have my brows filled and taken care of- I feel like Kim Possible's pet mole rat otherwise, sorry Rufus.

Before you read this I'd like to mention that I'm not a make-up artist (damn, how good would we look all the time if we were?), this is just what works for me! Feel free to experiment, play around and use a freakin' sharpie if that's what you like to use. Here's how to get defined brows:

August Pawsome Box and discount code

One thing I love most in the world and couldn't live without is my little cockapoo, Mylo. We got him in 2012 after spotting him in a video with the rest of his adorable brothers and sisters, one of which lives down the road from us now, even though we picked him up from so many miles away!

He's my furry partner in crime. Every morning he hops on my bed for snuggles or sniffs and scratches my door until I let him in. He tags along to pick me up from the train station when I come home from uni and if there's one thing Mylo is, it's spoiled as helllll- but he deserves it. 

Leeds Festival Main Stage 2016

I'm writing this while the rain chucks down hard on the skylight at home and all I can think of is how amazingly dry my clothes are. But there's something enticing about hearing the rain on your tent in the mornings, trying to avoid trudging through the mud to get to the campsite breakfast stand (which always smells amazing) and knowing that by the end of the day you'll have seen your favourite bands in the flesh.
A lot of people think happiness is a constant that we can strive for. That eventually we will feel chipper as soon as we wake up, replacing any feeling of sadness or bitterness ever with shiny bright sunbeams that come out of our face. One thing you should know before starting your journey to happiness is this:

So it's now September. Can you believe it?! What the ACTUAL HELL. Yesterday it was June and I was camping in Scotland, right?

Despite nights drawing in, the damage from summer sun is long lasting- well into the cold winter nights I've been longing for. Our sun is renowned for blessing us with that glowing, healthy looking tan (or in my case, the only way I'll tan is if all of my freckles join together), but damages your skin in the process.

So myself and almost a million other uni students will be heading into their third year of study this September, some with a job planned or lined up for graduation and some who don't. I am one of the students who doesn't. 

I'm not afraid to admit that although university has been incredible, the first year of uni was a huge learning curve and my lessons/lectures aren't all I expected them to be. My anticipations and expectations for these three years were high, I don't know if I expected more because in TV university looks incredible, or maybe I just didn't choose the right course/university for my personal way of learning.
It used to be a bit of a tradition that when going away with family, mum and I would spend some time relaxing in the closest spa. Picture us soaking up quartz, salt and greek herbs in turkish and Japanese steam rooms, napping on water beds in borrowed robes and dipping in the mineral pool under the stars. 

This week has been absolutely crazy with travelling to Wales, spending time with my boyfriend's family for the first time and heading back for a few days of hard work before I shoot off to Leeds Festival.

Travelling a lot and being stressed is the perfect way to give me a hella' lot of forehead spots and dry skin never mind leaving me feeling a little tense and in need of some self-love. My days away this week were an absolute dream- the weather in Wales was beautiful and being by the sea felt like a little slice of Greece (or somewhere equally as far away from the UK as possible)!

If you're anything like me, trips away are few and far between! Getting to go away for a few days is such a treat especially if university is taking a toll or I just need to get out of the city. Days out in the Lake District are one my my favourite things do to in summer but it's not often that I get to go somewhere I haven't been before.

If you know me, you'll know that I hold brows sacred. They frame your face and whether they're done wrong or right, they really can change the way you look! Since Cara Deleveigne rose to fame a few years ago, big brows have come into fashion. We can't all get Kylie Jenner's eyebrow arches or PLL Aria's thick brows but a gal's gotta do what she's gotta do to get those caterpillars looking FLY.
Fishnet palm tree body, red asos bra, thong, PVC red midi skirt
At first I contemplated putting the phrase 'Female Nudity' in the title of this post but thought that with a quick google search, it might not attract the sort of readers I intended. But that's just the thing really: why does 'female nudity' and nudity in general have so many connotations of straight up sex?

There's no right or wrong answer to 'is nudity degrading or empowering'. For different people, a different answer arises. Whilst some may feel empowered by wearing less clothes, some may feel empowered by having the ability to cover up. Whether you're a male or female, if you feel good about yourself and want to show some skin then who's to say that you shouldn't? 
Mega Matte Lipstick flatlay with open caps
Hello! A slightly different Sunday Post on the blog today! Are you as ready for Autumn as I am? I'm SO excited for deep purple lipsticks and layers of clothes but I'm also going to miss having an excuse to wear little lace bralets and maxi skirts. I love to buy underwear that can pull off as a bralet and wear it day-to-day in summer, purely cause even when it's only 16 degrees outside I start to melt haha.

One of my obsessions this summer has been matte lipsticks (see my other obsessions here!) So when Seventeen sent me an awesome package which included their new Mega Matte Lipsticks* in the shades 'Roses are Red' & 'Looking Buff', I was super excited. 
Some people are crazy cat ladies, I am a crazy notebook lady at the moment and PROUD. If you look back, every year the closer we progress towards September, the more organisation crazy I go- I swear it's subconscious. If you haven't read my bullet journal post yet, you might not have realised just how much planning motivates me to get things done

I don't always carry through with my plans but hey, it's okay to *ahem* forget something from your to-do list once in a while. Here are a few pieces I picked up from my fave craft store, The Range (sorry Hobbycraft) when I found myself in town with mum the other day.

We'll start with my current fave-

I'm seriously starting to think that Bullet Journalling has taken over the world. Being one of the least organised people to have ever walked the Earth, this trend is something that I not only love but NEED. Feeling organised makes me motivated and I've been saying for so long that I'd make a bullet journal. Before running home with WHSmiths supply of Moleskins I decided to test it out first, in a smaller, dedicated notebook.
A season of change was bestowed upon me and if you've been reading this blog lately you'll know that 2016 has been one of the craziest years of my life so far. This year has been an amazing, incredible yet difficult learning curve in which I feel I've discovered a new self, dropped old habits, cut negative ties and really shed the skin that I'd lived in all of my teenage years. 

When March/April came around it was time to look for a new house to live in in September. Alex, my boyfriend who I've known for so many years but only 'been with' for the whole of this year (almost) and I decided to move in together for the second year in a row, this time with new friends! 

Spreading negativity or stepping on anybody's toes is the last thing I want to do so I'll just clarify before you read, this isn't targeted at anyone or written to cause offence. I noticed these things a few weeks ago but wasn't sure if a lot of brands did this but lately within the Blogosphere, a few bloggers have said similar things about Coconut Lane and brands that are similar.

It's officially around a month until us students flee back to the cities- whether it's your first year or your last, heading back to university can be a little daunting. Student life has it's perks (holla at my flatmates and the ever irritating SLC) but living away from home can get me SO down if it's for long periods of time.

There are so many little things that missed about home while being at university, silly things that I didn't even usually notice before! Such as how comforting the sound of the washing machine is, haha. Things which were annoying before like adverts on the TV (I only really use Netflix at university) became something that reminded me of being at home; the familiar sounds and smells of the place I love.

Here are a few things you can do to make university feel a little more homely:
Great Scott, it's August tomorrow! We need to go back to June! I just got home for summer and it feels like only days away until Leeds festival, then back to university. Anyone else not ready for summer to end?

This month has been great for my beauty box (we all have a desk drawer or storage box filled with misc products, right?) with Studio 10 sending over their colour correction palette, which I've been using every day and some new Kylie Lip Kits to play with. What I've been really excited to show you are these summer essentials! 

Kudos to these guys for getting me through July's mini heatwave, a dry skin spell and bad eyebrow days.
You might have noticed my posts have been slacking a little this week (you can't polish a turd but you can throw a little glitter on it) because I've been prepping so hard for moving out without having a chance to sit down and enjoy a good writing session. I also have two vlogs after this one that I'm yet to publish which kind of sum up those busy days for you. 

I wish I could say I'm one of those morning yoga-on-the-beach Instagram girls but in all honesty I'm more of an eating-breakfast-with-my-eyes-closed kind of gal. Before September takes a third year dump on my doorstep, I'm trying to get my body and mind ready for the hard work to come!