24/06/2017

WHY THE 'S' WORD NEEDS TO LOSE ITS STIGMA


There's one word in the English Language which has belittled, dismissed, discredited, and doomed me for years. From jobs to hobbies, this word has affected how I have been treated and I think it's about time we changed our perspectives. This word is STUDENT.

For 7 years, I sat at desks, hastily jotting things down and being graded on my abilities - yes, you're managerial job may be more demanding, but that doesn't make learning any less challenging or hard. So why is okay to dismiss someone as 'just a student'?

In terms of bloggers, some of the best bloggers are, or started out as, students, so it's not to say that students are unsuccessful bloggers. But, take myself for example; a lot of students struggle to maintain blogs and revision because, whether you want to believe it or not, revision is consuming. So, I put my blog on hold while I revise for exams, lose a bunch of followers, go to Uni which means that I now have 3 or 4 more years of being a student, graduate, adult life catches up and, before I know it, I'm a 55 year old women that is no longer in the 'age range' for blogging. 

Students, or even young bloggers, aren't given a chance. Why? We're young. We still go to bed at night and suck our thumbs googling at the mobile spinning above us. NO! It has been discussed multiple times by experts that young people are becoming amongst the most head-set and topical people because, instead of of sucking our thumbs in bed, we lay scrolling through social media - social media being the worlds biggest and most instant news source as well as the home to the most manipulated news stories.

But, ultimately, we all go through hard times. I get that. Everyone, every age gets dismissed for their appearance, their gender, their sexuality. The world is cruel. Unfortunately, students get that mixed with a concoction of hormones. So please, next time you're looking through CV's, chose a young person. Or, next time you're looking for a blogger to send something for PR purposes, chose a young person. Or even next time you're commenting on a blog, chose a young person. Give us a chance. We're ready and waiting, we just aren't being given the breaks that we need.

I'm aware of the competitiveness around the world, but believe me, if you comment on a young person's blog, it probably won't make them the next Zoella, but it will make them feel worth it.

What's your opinion on this?

22/06/2017

I'VE SAID IT BEFORE BUT I'LL SAY IT AGAIN


I think it's time to put things straight. I'm a student, a hopeful, a girlfriend, a daughter, a jobseeker, a wannabe driver, a friend, a creative and, last but apparently least, a blogger. Yes. You read it right. Blogging, over the past god-knows-how-many-months, has shimmied right down my list of priorities. But, guess what. I don't think I care.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not going to tell you that this blog is shutting down because it definitely isn't and, right now, I'm starting a new journey in my life which is hopefully going to make blogging a bit easier for me. What I am saying is that I am not going to apologise for leaving this blog in the dark for what feels like an eternity. 

Here's why:
When I started my blog, I was a student. Admittedly, I was a secondary school girl crushing on boys, watching the soaps and 'playing out'. Now, I have just finished being a student. A-Level exams out the way (and hopefully bossed), I'm now enrolling myself on a gap year. No - I'm not going trekking around Thailand or 'finding myself' in America; I'm giving myself a break and a chance to get my feet back on the ground.

One thing that I've never really properly opened up about on my blog is my anxiety and, although I'm not completely ready to talk about it on my blog (because of fears that others will pass this a teenage cliche), I am happy to say that, this year has FINALLY seen things get a little better and doable due to my anxiety being taken care of by professionals. So, as a result of this, my gap year is like my chance to catch up. E.g. I stopped driving lessons because, mentally, I wasn't ready. Over the next year I really want to take advantage of my happier state and do things that were otherwise just impossible to me.

But what's that got to do with blogging? 
I'm not scared of blogging, it was never directly affected by my anxiety. The reason why I went so silent is because everything else got a lot more hectic in life and I had to prioritise things. Almost inevitably, my exams, family, partner, and friends had to come first. But, for me, it's not just about priorities. I generally just struggle to juggle a billion things at once. There's no way I would've walked out my exams feeling as proud and confident as I did if I had to squash revision time in between driving lessons, a job, and just living life. 

So now, instead of sitting on my arse all day, I am ready to get a job, get back to driving lessons, indulge in my passions that were once neglected. 

I've said it before, the whole "I left my blog, but I promise I'm coming back" and I'll say it again. But, this time, I want you to know that if I don't end up blogging every second of the day, that's because I'm enjoying myself. I'm taking care of my priorities, I'm enjoying the scenery, I'm indulging in the people and things that matter most. My blog has not, and will not be neglected. Expect more posts from me in the future. Expect, hopefully, more thought out posts a bit more honest to myself and my true character. Because I'm ready to start again and stop apologising for being a human being.


Speak soon,
Alice.

01/02/2017

JANUARY GOALS REVIEW



This year I have decided to give 'monthly goals' a go. At the start of January, I wrote down a list of goals - let's see how it went.

1) Eat at least one piece of fruit every day

I went through a period of time over Christmas where fruit was almost completely out from my diet so this year, I've decided to make more of an effort to eat fruit (and veg) more frequently in order to feel healthier. I have to say that, with the contribution of mum's weekly soup batches and a fridge stocked with berries (as well as being strict on the 'No more Drive-thru'), it's going very well.

2) Start reading a book

I've started one. There's no doubt that life is a bit hectic lately, so I haven't been getting into my book as much as I wish but, what I've read so far, is really exciting. I bought the kindle edition of 'The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck' as a way of easing my way back into books, so that I can get through some of my bookshelf across the year.

3) Post two blog posts

This post marks my second blog post of the year (and, although it's going up on Feb 1st, I'm classing it as January), which might seem like nothing to those bloggers that do daily blogging, but I am actually pretty proud of my self for getting a mere two up. I don't feel obliged or pressured to post but, whilst finding the motivation to blog isn't always easy, I am aware that every time I press publish I can feel really content and happy.

4) Start selling books

I had some books on my shelf that I knew wouldn't get read, I had two of, or had been read and wouldn't be looked at again. The pile of books that I planned to get rid of had been sitting in my room for a while so I aimed to get them sold/given away by the end of Jan. This past month, I managed to sell a great handful of books and give away a few too. On the whole: achieved!

5) Keep up with creating revision timetables

I decided to get uber organised this mock exam season by trying out revision timetables. I remember attempting to do these last year but, after procrastinating my days away, they failed. This time around, THEY WERE A GREAT SUCCESS!! I kept up with them and I really benefitted from them. What I think made it easier this time was not giving myself ridiculous amounts of work and being reasonable. Overall, the exams went well too.

6) Have a clutter-free floor in my bedroom
After Christmas, my bedroom floor was a bit hectic. Something that was a big job and consistently on my To-Do List was to have a clutter-free bedroom. It's never terrible, in fact my friends think I'm relatively tidy, but there's sometimes nothing better than perfectly spacious and shiny floors.

7) Have a no spend week

I don't know if I can safely say that I went a full week without spending a penny because I'm not sure if that would be possible for me at the moment. However, I have definitely noticed that I'm feeling more money conscious and I'm even starting to dip my toe into budgeting. I'll see if I can keep up with it over the next few months.


What goals did you achieve this month?

23/01/2017

THE PERFECT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS


My first bake (and blogpost) of 2017 had to be one of the delicacies that I only found love with in 2016: blueberry muffins. I feel like 2016 brought lots of great new foods into my life, and this is definitely one of them. So, this week after turning the kitchen upside down with flour and icing sugar, I snapped a few photos of my final product and decided to share the recipe.

I reckon that the only way I could make up for not blogging in a while (which was actually justified by my extremely busy schedule and mock exams over on my twitter), was to give you this recipe for these ultra delicious muffins.

Firstly, I'm going to comment on how easy these are to bake!! The most time consuming thing for me was cutting the greaseproof paper and folding it a few times - and even that is completely optional.

My ingredients were (for 12 muffins):
130g Golden caster sugar 
220g Plain flour
4 eggs
220g Unsalted butter
3 tsp Baking powder 
220g blueberries (or fruit of your choice)
Nutmeg
Vanilla flavouring
Full Fat cream cheese
Royal Icing sugar

1. Firstly, I preheated my oven to 200C (Fan) and cut out all of my muffin cases which I made out of greaseproof paper. I just simply did this for the traditional and rustic muffin look, but you can buy muffin cases from almost anywhere. I had a muffin tin (recommended because cupcake tins can be too small) and, I placed a muffin in every other pot - so I put 6 muffins in the oven at a time. I did this because I was aware that the greaseproof paper might be affected by over crowding.

2. Next, I creamed together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk. After lightly beating the eggs, I gradually added them into the butter and sugar and went back in with the whisk for a few minutes. The mixture doesn't look gorgeous at this point, but hang in there.

3. My plain flour was added gradually, along with the baking powder and nutmeg. With the nutmeg, you can add as much or as little as you like - I was a bit generous with it in my bake just because I LOVE the taste of it. You could also add a pinch of salt, but I left this out.

4. Gently fold in the blueberries.

5. The muffins can then be spooned into their cases and placed in the oven for around 20 minutes, until golden brown. At this point, the mixture should be thick, not runny. I always like to check a cake with a metal skewer too to check that it's baked through.

6. When the muffins are done, leave them to cool right the way down to room temperature. It's important that they cool because if you put the frosting on whilst they're warm, the frosting will melt.

7. For the frosting, I didn't measure my quantities because, again, I did it by preference. I roughly did around 100g of royal icing sugar and three teaspoons of cream cheese (I used full fat for full flavour). I whisked them together until the consistency was nice and thick. (It's optional to add some vanilla flavouring to the frosting, it can help take away any bitterness from the cheese).

8. Using a piping bag (or you could just use a spoon), I piped a good old dollop of cream cheese frosting to the muffins and topped it off with a little blueberry.

I'm really happy with how these went! They are very, very delicious too and I can't wait to bake more of them in the future.

How do you like your blueberry muffins?

05/12/2016

MY GO-TO SHOPS FOR XMAS GIFTING


If, at this time of year, I get completely tangled with what to buy who, there is always a few online shops that are great for saving the day. If you're struggling to think of ideas for your gifting this Christmas, check these websites for some inspiration.

This website is full to the brim of unique and original gift ideas. It is probably THE website for everything gifting. I find that the majority of items are a bit more on the pricey side, but the service and quality of the products has always impresses me. One particular thing that makes this website stand out for me, is the way you can personalise so many different things. 

On this site, you'll find quirky and funny gifts for everyone. There is a great little device at the top that lets you select 'Who For' and 'How Much' which makes filtering the gifts so much easier. Again, this website provides excellent service, delivery, and quality.

Known as a brilliant shop by many people, the website doesn't fail to keep up. The site is very festive and is promoting all sorts from a great gift guide, a bundle of cool stationery, and a stunning selection of wrapping paper. There's something about Paperchase that makes me feel so content.

Perhaps a bit more for an older audience, this website brings wacky and odd into one hilarious recipe. The gifts from this store are absolutely fantastic and never-seen-before. I would say it's for the older audience just because some of the products are somewhat risquĂ© or in some cases just explicit, but it also provides a selection of 'wow' gifts. Whether you've finished your Xmas shopping or not, you should definitely have a scroll through this website. 

The baby version of Firebox but a bit more tech.

When I went to fetch the link for ASOS, I actually got caught up looking at their gifts section. ATM there's a great 30% off gifts so check it out. This website collects the best of online shopping into one place. Go, go, go!






There are so many more, these are just my favourites. 
What are your go-to shops for gifting?

28/11/2016

MY FAVOURITE AUTUMN/WINTER MAKE-UP LOOK

This autumn I have been adding a tinsy bit more effort with my makeup; probably because I have settled with a look that I am loving.

This makeup look consists of my loveable NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation with my classic Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. The two base products, I feel, work really well for me when evening out my skin tone. I then add a basic white powder and a light bronzer: the white powder that I use is the small powder pot on the top of Soap & Glory's Kick Ass Concealer, and the bronzer is the Soap & Glory Solar Powder. In addition to that, I will sometimes add a tiny touch of blush, just to give myself a bit of winter colour. On this look, I used a blush-come-highlighter: the Soap & Glory Love At First Blush. (I should probably mention now that a lot of the products I use are Soap and Glory. It's just a coincidence). 

So, after my face/base make-up is done, I do my eyebrows using the Sleek Brow Kit and I only really use the wax from this, just to guide my brow hairs as well as tint them. 

Eyeshadow is totally one of my favourite pieces of make-up and especially glittery shades that become somewhat more acceptable in the winter/Christmas time. This makeup look uses Soap & Glory Lid Stuff 6 Limited Edition Palette, with the matte shade Nudecomer as a shadow in and just above the crease of my eye. Then in the inner corner of my eyes I used a white shimmery shade Moonmist, and across 3/4 of my eyelid I used Damsel: a very very cute glittery pink. Lastly, this eyeshadow look is pretty much completed with my new favourite cranberry shade in the crease and outer corners of my eye: the NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in 68 Flustered. 

I summaries the whole look with an application of Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Collagen Coat Mascara (which I loooove and will be repurchasing because it makes my lashes so soft and natural). Then, after lining my lips with a Topshop Lip Liner in Ceramic (which I've had for a while but only very recently fallen in love with), I used the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm.

I'm really content and comfortable with this make up look at the moment and I feel like it is just so 'me' with the pink and warm tones.


What makeup is included in your make-up look this season?