17/ 03/ 17
I’ve been feeling really down about my blog lately. Feeling like I’m not good enough & that I’m not a “real” blogger. The ones that get all the engagement and mail and has gorgeous photography. They live exciting lives and I’m just here in my little village not even owning a passport.
It’s actually been effecting my mental health and self worth. I feel like there’s no point trying- I can’t compare so why bother trying.
The same with my Etsy store– I’ve only had a handful of sales and I feel like an utter failure because I’m not designing new content every day and getting lots of sales each week.
I felt the need to go out and spend lots of money that I don’t have, on things I don’t need, just so that I can blog about the same thing everyone else is.
Then I realised something.
That’s not me.
Never had been and hopefully never will be.
That’s not why I started my blog- I started it to try and provide help and advice to other people with mental health condition. To show that we aren’t as alone as our brains tell us and eventually maybe even make a little community where we can help and support each other!
I seem to have lost my way a little. I got caught up in the glitz and glamor of the lifestyle and beauty blogs I read and yes, I tried to be a part of it.
But that’s not me.
I’ve never used a Lush bath bomb in my life- we don’t have a bath and I’ve never really understood the appeal of them anyway.
I don’t stick to an Instagram theme and post three times a day- my life isn’t anywhere near interesting enough to even guarantee one post a day! I just post what’s going on in my life, even if it doesn’t look “pretty” or fit with what is already on there.
I don’t have a blogging schedule or editorial calendar- I blog when I feel like it & have something I want to write about. I won’t create content because I feel pressured into it. I might go a week or two without a post and then suddenly have the inspiration to write three in a week!
I can’t write in that awesome chit-chat personal style that’s so popular. I’m autistic, communication for me is seriously difficult! It might not come across like it but even simple conversations require a lot of concentration! Blog posts? It can take me hours until I’m happy with the way it sounds…and everything then, I’m never truly happy with it.
I don’t engage in blogging chats or schedule posts like I should. Like I said above- autism is a fun little beast. When I first started out blogging I was in a good place mentally, and as such I could join in these chats and grow my blog.
My twitter shot up from around 300 to over 1k in only a few months! Then things took a trip downhill and since then I’ve been trying to get that engagement and energy back, without any real success. Maybe it’s because my heart isn’t in it? Maybe it’s because I’m boring. Who knows. But I’m not going to try and force it anymore- if it’s going to happen, then it’ll happen.
I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. I read Hannah Gales new post this morning and it struck a chord with me, making me realise that just because my blog and shop aren’t huge, popular and mainstream (three things I’ve never wanted to even be!) doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile!
I was tempted to give up on both my blog and store but now? Now I’m going to dive back into it and see what I can achieve…just without the ridiculous pressure I was putting on myself before!
11/ 03/ 17
So I was lucky enough to receive a few products from Technic last week!
This is a brand I remember using when I was first getting into makeup, back when I was 15/16 and they’re still just as good today.
I took a week to fully try out the products I was sent to see what I thought and I must say, I’m impressed!
I very nearly didn’t get these products at all thanks to the postman!
Apparently he has difficulty judging size as he shoved the parcel through the letter box when it clearly wasn’t going to fit easily. It ripped the padded envelope that they were sent in and while nothing was damaged, it was pretty annoying.
There could have been something breakable in there dude!
However once I got over my hissy fit and swatched the products for the first time, I must say they are great quality, especially for the price!
I’m super picky with makeup, I tend to just stick to the things I know and love rather than taking a risk and trying something new. However this has definitely encouraged me to branch out and try new products- especially when they don’t cost a fortune!
Oh baby this is definitely my favourite item out of the bundle! I am super picky with mascara, to the point I’ve bought expensive stuff and ended up giving it to charity because I didn’t fall in love with it like I thought I would. This one however will be staying in my makeup bag and I will be stockpiling it so I never run out!
Normally I use Benefit They’re Real or Rollerlash but as I’m sure you know, the cost of these are astronomical and I hate having to use them when all I’m doing is going into unit for a lecture.
Now I’ll not need to as I’ll be using for my day-to-day go to product! It’s easily jumped to the top of my favourite products list, that’s including High End products too!
The brush reminds me of They’re Real as it’s really thick and adds a lot of volume to my lashes, even just with one coating.
Add a second coat and I’m in eye lash heaven!
Oh my days this one was scary to try! I’m so pale I could easily pass as a vampire…
I normally use a rose gold or champagne highlighter, as they’re the ones that tend to add a highlight but doesn’t leave me looking like an idiot, so trying this baby was a nerve-racking experience! However I needn’t have worried, this actually looks really nice on me…as long as I apply it with a really light hand!
I used my Superdrug B. Fan Brush (which I talk about in this haul here) to apply it with and this was definitely a good call. You can start with a light dusting and then add more on if you want to, rather than adding too much and then needing to take it all off and start again.
I would say this is more of a highlighter for parties, it’s probably a little too intense to use for my day-to-day routine. However I also tried this out as an eyeshadow and it looked lovely as an inner corner highlight. If you’re a normal skin colour (i.e. not a Twilight cast reject) this highlighter would look lovely for summer, adding a little bit of a bronze at the same time as a highlight- win!
Okay so I need to admit something here; I’ve never used an eyeshadow primer before! Usually I just apply my normal Porefessional primer over my eyelids when I do the rest of my face and this works to keep my shadow in place.
Having never used one before I don’t really have an experience to compare it to, however I will give a warning here- every time I used this it made my eyes sting at first.
Now I have really sensitive skin and it regularly reacts to makeup so this is probably the reason behind this. However I just wanted to put that in as a warning for anyone else who might struggle with sensitive skin and thinking of buying this.
However for the purpose of this post I soldiered on and tried it out with my Urban Decay Naked3 pallet. It added a lovely shimmer underneath and my eyeshadow lasted through a university day so I’d say it’s pretty good at lasting, especially as I have a habit of rubbing my eyes when I’m bored and it still didn’t budge!
This is such a novel way of putting on my eyebrows, it’s like using a felt tip pen!
Now unfortunately this shade is a little too pale for me, I like my eyebrows to be on the dark side. However I tried it out regardless and I must say- it was pretty easy to apply with!
The thin section is great for creating an outline and then the thicker area is good for filling in the main bulk and oh boy does it stay on all day! I struggled to take this off afterwards, I had to really scrub my face with Mercilla Water to get it to come off.
If you’re looking for something that is long-lasting and will not budge, this is definitely something to be considered!
I tend to stick to my Rimmel Stay Matte powder religiously but I have to admit, the colour correcting setting powder is not too shabby! I’ve never used a loose powder before and honestly me trying this out should have been recorded, as I would easily have gotten £250 from You’ve Been Framed!
Once I figured out how the hell to get into it (tip: there is a clear sticker over the holes which you need to take off first- just incase you’re as daft as I am and was stood shaking it upside-down in confusion for at least 10 minutes before noticing!) I applied this with the pointed end of a beauty blender as I found this much easier than with the sponge provided. It’s a lovely neutral colour that added a bit of brightness to my face and didn’t settle into my pores and fine lines- always a winner for me!
I think that would could probably use this powder to bake with, if that’s your kind of thing. I’ve not had the chance to experiment with this (yet another thing I’ve not done..my list is getting soooo long now- it’s starting to scare me!) but its something I would love to try out.
If you’ve any tips on how to bake effectively, send them my way- I need all the help I can get!
Have you tried any of Technic’s makeup? What are your thoughts?
05/ 03/ 17
Getting behind the wheel of a car has got to be one of the most anxiety inducing acts I’ve done in a long time!
The thought of being in charge of a moving vehicle that could hurt or kill someone if I did something wrong very nearly had me giving up on learning before I even started…again.
I’ve always wanted to learn to drive. Neither of my parents can drive and as such I’ve been stuck suffering on public transport for most of my life. Stuck relying on one train an hour because I live in a little village, even though every other village on the line has one every half an hour. On a bus that turns up as and when it feels like it, normally 3 together after waiting half an hour for one. Can you tell I’m a little bitter?
The point is I’ve always wanted the freedom and accessibility that having a car gives you. The problem I that my anxiety gets in my way. Trying to figure out which gear you need to be in while paying attention to the road and still driving safely, plus trying to get the clutch control right…it’s not for me thanks.
So I cheated.
I’m learning in an automatic and I cannot recommend doing so enough!
No gears means almost no anxiety for me. I can concentrate on the road without any worry about any of that other stuff. Don’t get me wrong I still panic I’m going to hit somebody or make a monumental screw up- but thats my brain catastrophizing and I have coping techniques to help me stop that.
I’ve always said I’m a naturally good driver and learning in an automatic has proven that- I can instinctively drive really well! My downfall was gears, but now those have been removed (or at least since the car figures them out now rather than me) I actually look forward to and feel confident when driving.
Hopefully I’ll only need a few more months before I’m ready for my test, the gears problem might have been removed but I’m still crap at reversing- I can’t gauge distance to save my life it appears! I’m planning on writing a more in depth post one I actually pass my theory and practical test but I wanted to write this one now, to encourage anyone who has put off learning to drive because of their anxiety- or any other mental health condition for that matter.
Like I’ve said earlier, I couldn’t learn in a geared car for the life of me and it really put my off. If I’d have carried on trying to force myself to learn the “traditional” way I would have either given myself a meltdown or had an accident. Probably both to be honest. I cared too much that other people would take the piss out of me for “cheating” and “not being smart enough” to master gears.
Then I realised- so what? It’s my choice and what some random person thinks of me isn’t going to force me to do something I don’t want to. If you want to learn in an automatic then do it! It’s soooo much easier and I would recommend it to everyone! But put simply, do what works best for you.
This for me has been the big turning point, I found an instructor who not only realises how I best learn and adapts his lessons to match this, but he’s also someone I can get on personally. He’s a proper Yorkshire man: straight talking, common as hell and a great sense of humour! The last two I tried were really serious and set on teaching me their way, even when it was apparent that I was struggling to grasp the lessons that way.
Don’t be afraid to change instructors if the one you’re currently with makes you feel uncomfortable or you don’t think you are learning well with them- you’re paying for the lessons, make sue you get your money’s worth!
This one is something I really need to remember myself. I’m such a perfectionist and as such expect myself to be able to do everything perfectly the second I’m shown how to.
Erm, no girl that’s not how it works at all!
It takes practice, practice and more practice to master a lot of the maneuvers. There’s probably one, maybe two that you’ll be able to do easier than the others (three point turns are my specialty it seems), but even those will need to be practiced quite a bit before you’re ready for your test.
Once I’d had my first two or three lessons, I started to gain much more confidence out on the roads. I even drove myself all the way home without any help or prompts on my 6th lesson! Don’t give up if you feel discouraged at first, it takes time to relax and get used to the basics- even more so if you’re battling your anxiety at the same time.
07/ 02/ 17
As you may have noticed recently, I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging and social media front lately and I wanted to write a quick post to explain why.
It’s not for lack of ideas, I’ve actually got two pages worth in on of my (many) notebooks! The problem has been having the time free to write them. People still seem to think that blogging is easy and doesn’t take much effort (their words not mine) but it really isn’t!
Not only do you have to write the post but you then have to: proof read it, check that it’s SEO optimised (so grateful for the Yoast plugin for this one- you’re a lifesaver!), create the main pinnable graphic, set up and take the accompanying photos and then edit the photos. Plus the work doesn’t stop there! Once it’s live you then have to promote it on social media and reply to any comments you receive…it’s honestly like a full time job!
Trying to balance that with a full time university course where you have to do three projects to do at once, trying to build up my etsy store (which you can find here), learning to drive, spending time with Chris, having some kind of social life and then taking some “me time”…I’ve honestly burnt myself out.
It’s too much to fit in, something had to give and unfortunately this time it was blogging. As much as I love it and would love to actually take it further, at the moment it’s the think that is at the bottom of the to-do pile.
So unfortunately I might be a bit quite on the blogging front for the next few months. I finish university for the year at the beginning of April so after that things should start to pick back up again! As much as I don’t want to do this I need to put my mental health first and cut back on my workload.
I’m sure I’ll be able to get a post up every so often but please bear with me. On the plus side I got a First for my Web Design project so all this hard work is paying off!
Until next time you can follow me on social media (Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin) to see what I’m up to! I’m a total convert to Instagram Stories now and trying to up how much I post on there. Also you could have a quick look at my etsy store and see if anything catches your eye (like the above print). I’d love to get to 10 sales by the end of the month!
Until next time lovelies x
28/ 01/ 17
One of the biggest temptations when working from home is stay in your pjs all day and work from your bed with your favourite show on in the background.
I know I’m guilty of doing it (hell I’m writing this post now while laid in bed, setting a great example here Jade!), but it’s really not a productive way to work.
Whether you are full time self employed, have a side hustle, a student or anything in between, here are some of my top tips for working at home- and actually getting shit done!
Having to get up and 6:30am most mornings for uni, I know how tempting it can be to press snooze and have “5 more minutes” but lets face it, is that extra five minutes actually going to help you?
All it’s going to food make you feel more sleepy. While you might think it’s not really important when you get up since you’re working from home, having “working hours” helps you take things more seriously and make it feel like a “real job”- something that can be hard to achieve with no one to hold you accountable but yourself.
I am such a hypocrite here as I do this all the time, but tying in with the last post- you can easily waste half an hour just checking Facebook, Instagram and your emails while still laid in bed.
Put simply, they can wait.
The world will not stop turning if you don’t check your phone the second you wake up. The trick I use is to push away the covers and get out of bed the second I wake up. It wakes you up and stops the temptation of hitting snooze.
Again this one ties into the last point. I always make sure to have my clothes out ready for the next day, so when I force myself to get out of bed I automatically go straight to where I put them and start getting dressed. Now I love just staying in my comfies but it doesn’t help your mindset.
Pjs mean sleep or relaxing. Actual clothes bean going out and doing something. The clothes you wear don’t even have to be anything fancy- I usually wear a pair or leggings and my Sheffield Hallam hoodie! But I’ve turned these into a kind of uniform, so that when I wear them my brain knows I’m going to be working
As a recovering anorexic I can promise you that trying to work when you are hungry is all but impossible. Don’t get me wrong you can do it, but when you look back at the work you will wonder what the hell you were thinking.
The one thing I always try and eat (even when I’m not hungry) is breakfast. It’s actually true what they say, it helps wake your brain up and I can definitely tell when I’ve not had it as I turn into a real morngy cow.
Well more of one than normal…
Your brain associates your bed with sleep, so when you try and work from it your brain automatically gets you ready for sleep- meaning you start to feel lethargic and loose all motivation to do whatever it is you were planning on doing.
Having a dedicated desk not only helps with organisation but when you sit at it, your brain knows it’s time to switch to #girlboss mode (or #guyboss…)
This one is kind of difficult as everyone works differently, but in a standard working day you should take a minimum of 3 breaks. It gives your eyes a break from looking at the same thing and stops you feeling burnt out or from loosing motivation.
Now personally I don’t have a set time for taking breaks; sometimes I’ll read or go on the Xbox every few hours, other times I’ll just go make myself a coffee, grab a snack and flick through social media for 10 minutes before I’m back into work again. Do whatever works best for you at that moment!
What are your top tips for working from home?