Blogtober: Day Thirty One

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Break out the party hats and streamers as I have officially made it to the end of Blogtober! I genuinely didn’t think I would get this far so I’m rather proud of myself at the moment. I can honestly say that I never want to blog every single day for a month ever again; it’s rather hard work! Trying to think of new posts and create content that I actually want on my blog was incredibly difficult and I did post a few things that I’m not totally pleased with. I guess it’s a learning experience at the end of the day though and I had a good time doing it.

While it may be the end of Blogtober it also happens to be Halloween. I really wish I could do a more Halloween themed post but I’m afraid to say, this is not my favourite day. I don’t really get the appeal of Halloween; I never have to be honest. I did go trick or treating as a kid and have been to a few Halloween parties in my time but it’s just another day of the year to me. I am currently munching my way through the sweets intended for the trick or treaters though so there’s one plus.

Despite my lack of ability to enjoy the day to its full extent I did do something slightly Halloween like today. There was a small article in our local newspaper the other day about a zombie parade that would be taking place on Dunfermline high street today. Upon seeing this, my other half and I chose to investigate and made our way to the town centre in time for the parade starting.

While there were around 30 people in the parade I don’t think it was advertised enough for people to be fully aware of it. I think a lot of people were completely confused when they noticed a bunch of people staggering towards them. Hopefully this will become an annual thing and will be on a bigger scale next year. The people in the parade did look really good though, there just needs to be more of them.

Today also happened to be the day of the rugby World Cup final, something I’m not overly interested in but was forced into watching regardless. I don’t fully understand rugby (I’m more of a NFL fan) but I’ve watched countless games during this World Cup so I guess it made sense for me to watch the final. I really had no preference over who I wanted to win but I really thought there would be an upset with New Zealand and Australia would take the win. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t put a bet on!

I did have a few items to help me through the final game though. When Tesco discovered I’m not a huge rugby fan they were kind enough to send me some items to get me through the day*. The box arrived this morning and inside was a few goodies that will come in handy for any major sporting event (Super Bowl 50 I’m looking at you). I received a rugby ball which will no doubt be thrown at my face by accident at one point, an inflatable beer bucket, a 30 foot long crowd mural and a Tesco gift card. My other half used to play rugby so I imagine he’s itching to get me on the rugby field near my house and teach me how to play. Oh Tesco what have you done?!

So that’s the last post of Blogtober finished, if you managed to stick with me for the last 31 days then you deserve a medal. I’ll be returning to my regular, sporadic posts from this point forward and I will definitely not be doing Blogmas! I think I deserve another tiny pack of gummy bears for making it to the end!

*Tesco kindly gifted me these items however, I am not being compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

Blogtober: Day Thirty

Friday, 30 October 2015

As a small child I wanted to be either a vet or a zoologist. I absolutely adored all animals (aside from spiders) when I was growing up and I thought working with them would be the ultimate dream. As I got older I started to realise that working with animals isn’t all fun and games. I knew fine well there was no way in hell I could ever put an animal down and soon after that realisation hit me, I no longer wanted to work with animals.

At 14 years old, I became a vegetarian. I don’t really like the taste of meat anyway but I also can’t stand the idea that the thing I’m chewing on was wandering around in a field a few days beforehand. I do occasionally devour a pepperoni pizza or a sausage roll from time to time but I rarely feel good afterwards. Vegetarianism is the obvious way forward for me and I’m rather happy to be – predominately – meat free.

Annoyingly though, not everyone can understand why I live my life without meat on my plate and feel the need to question me to death about it. I could explain until I’m blue in the face why I’ve chosen to be a vegetarian but it really wouldn’t matter; people want meat and are confused by those who don’t.

I’ve refrained from being a preaching vegetarian as it’s really none of my business if people want to eat meat but sadly, not all meat eaters are the same. I’ve lost count of how many people have tried to “educate” me on the benefits of eating meat not to mention the amount of times I’ve had a bacon roll shoved in my face. It amuses me to no end that people feel the need to involve themselves in my diet. It’s like they must convert me to their flesh eating ways or I’ll die of lack of chicken nuggets.

I can happily sit at a table with meat eaters and I hope one day meat eaters can sit at the table with me and not interrogate me. I don’t mind questions from people who are genuinely curious but if you’re going to shove a bloody steak in my face, I’d rather you shoved your head down the toilet. Now if you don’t mind, I have a zucchini pizza to enjoy.

P.S Tomorrow is the last day of Blogtober, I'm almost at the finish line! I'll bring the party hats, you bring the cookies.

Blogtober: Day Twenty Nine

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Aside from my place of birth, there are very few things about me that are Scottish. I have a blend of a Scottish and American accent (which occasionally comes out as Irish judging by the amount of people who ask me where in Ireland I’m from), I can’t stand Scottish food and I’ve never managed to toss a caber. That being said, I can’t resist a candle with a tartan design on the tin so when I spotted the Highland by Shearer Candle in Cranachan I had to buy it.

Worryingly I have never smelt Cranachan so I genuinely cannot tell you if this smells correct or not; I can tell you it smells nice though so there’s a plus. I have refrained from burning it for quite some time as I thoroughly enjoy getting the occasional whiff of it whenever I end up on the wrong side of the bed. I quickly lit it for the above picture and I’m not sure if I’m impressed with the scent when it’s burning. I didn’t exactly give it much of a chance though so my first impression may be wrong.

I’m a little worried by Shearer candles now that I’ve had 3 in my possession. The Black Vanilla one I had was incredible and I had it burning all the time but the Red Red Rose one I bought was disgusting and was swiftly thrown away, hopefully Cranachan will be amazing and will be burning every night. It does inject some Scottish flair into my bedroom though so there’s one positive! What actually is Cranachan though…?

Blogtober: Day Twenty Eight

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Every so often a post or a photo will appear on my Facebook newsfeed that encourages me to become a very annoyed human. Usually I don’t take anything I see on Facebook seriously but there’s one thing that is appearing rather frequently and I can’t help but take notice of it.

These posts/photos will usually follow the same pattern; they’ll encourage people to watch out for motorbikes while the comment section insists it’s the fault of a motorbiker if they are hit. I tend to ignore any moron who says something so idiotic but I find it incredibly difficult to ignore blaming everyone who rides a motorbike for accidents.

While on a road we would travel frequently my dad was hit by a car. He was riding his motorbike home, he was around 5 minutes away but the woman in the car wasn’t paying attention. She chose to speak to her friend rather than check the road was safe prior to turning into a popular café. She never saw my dad and he didn’t have time to stop. She cut him off, he hit the car and that was that.

My dad was taken to one hospital but after realising the extent of his injuries, he was quickly taken through to Edinburgh. While doctors worked their magic on him, there wasn’t a whole lot they could do. His kidney was removed and he suffered from a great deal of internal bleeding to the point where the whole family were called to wait around for what medical professionals believed to be the inevitable.

The thing is though, my dad is stubborn. He may have slipped away at one point but then he decided he wasn’t quite done yet. My dad pulled through despite the fact the odds were completely against him. He had 120 pints of blood pumped into him during his hospital stay and, despite not being back to his previous health, he still does his best to lead an active lifestyle. The accident has made him more vulnerable to illnesses such as pneumonia which can be rather frightening when it puts him back in hospital but he’s still determined to fight every single thing life throws at him. He won’t even stay in hospitals for very long if he can help it.

Unfortunately our family fell apart following my dad’s accident. Things were said that should have never even been thought and as a result, we stopped talking to my grandparents. I won’t go into the full details as they don’t need to be plastered on the internet but I can tell you that it wasn’t pleasant.

I wish I could tell anyone who seriously believes that all bikers cause their own accident this story. My dad went out for a leisurely ride on a Sunday afternoon and almost never came home again. He was on a road he knew like the back of his and had years of experience with motorbikes under his belt but it didn’t matter; the woman just never saw him.

Of course there are motorbikers who drive dangerously but the same can be said for car drivers, it just so happens a motorbiker has less protection. They may (hopefully) have their leathers and helmet on but if I could show you how little of my dad’s leathers survived his accident I would. All I ask is that anyone who dares get behind the wheel of any vehicle looks out for anyone on a motorbike. I almost lost my dad due to someone not paying attention and I’d hate for anyone else to have to go through the same thing.

Blogtober: Day Twenty Seven

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Worryingly 2015 is nearing an end and there are a few things I wish to achieve before December 31st. I always make New Year’s resolutions but never stick to them so I’ve chosen to make mini goals every so often. Who needs a new year to achieve little things?

As the nights are longer and daylight is scarce I’ve really started to slack on workouts. The idea of getting out of my bed at ridiculous o’clock to run around in the freezing cold is not appealing whatsoever. My other half and I will be venturing off on a zombie survival experience in the next few months and I want to have some level of fitness before we run for our lives. I’ll need to brace the cold and get back into more of a routine.

The distinct lack of daylight also affects another one of my mini goals. Throughout Blogtober I’ve shown you some of my favourite art materials and, while I’m doing my best to draw more, the darkness means I have little time to do it in. I’m going to need to find a way around the early nights; I’m not making the mistake of painting by electric light ever again!

I really want to revise my wardrobe and autumn and winter seems like a rather good time to do it. Living in Scotland means it’s permanently cold so having layers to turn to is never a bad idea. I’m brilliant at picking out clothes for other people but I’m awful at dressing myself so I’m determined to change that. Knowing me I’ll just end up with a billion pairs of black skinny jeans and a scarf or two.

Revising my wardrobe also means throwing a few things away. I have around 40 pairs of shoes which really need to be whittled down along with the tops that lie crumpled up at the bottom of a drawer. I’m awful when it comes to throwing things away as I always look at the item and convince myself I’ll wear it again. Maybe I should enlist the help of someone else as nothing will leave my wardrobe if I do it myself.

So there we have my little goals for the end of the year. I really wish I could bring back the sun to encourage my legs to work in the morning but sadly, I was not blessed with such ability. On the plus side, the goal I set myself at the beginning of October is almost complete; there’s only 4 days left of Blogtober people!

Blogtober: Day Twenty Six

Monday, 26 October 2015

While I love blogging to the point where I decided to blog every day in October there are some things in the blogosphere that irritate me. I’m afraid day 26 of Blogtober is going to be my blogging pet peeves, who doesn’t love a good old rant though?

There’s one thing that’s really been annoying me recently and that is something that happens a lot in blogging groups on Facebook. Someone asks a question and 10 different people respond in the exact same way. I’m not sure I understand why people do this; surely to goodness they can see the first response (unless it was posted at the exact same time as theirs)?

Another thing that’s really starting to bother me is blatant plagiarism. I won’t name any names here but I’m sure a few bloggers are aware of the main culprits. If you must be a douche and steal someone else’s work at least use a thesaurus on some of the words so it’s hidden slightly better.

A lack of proof reading is a sure fire way to get me to leave a blog. Whenever I forget to proof read a post I find silly mistakes throughout when I finally go back to read it so it amazes me when people just hit publish without reading it over. An otherwise nice blog with a distinct lack of proof reading is a major pet peeve of mine.

Mirror shots for outfits of the days are fine for Twitter and maybe Instagram at a push but they annoy me for proper blog posts. If I like the look of your outfit I want to see the whole thing in detail, not a blurry shot taken in your mirror. Outfit of the day pictures are always awkward to take especially if you’re doing it in public but please stop with the mirror photos! You’re not doing yourself or your blog any justice.

The last pet peeve is something I know a lot of bloggers hate and that’s the self-entitled attitude of some. Sure it’s nice to be paid to write a post or be provided with free items but it’s not cute when bloggers hound brands for freebies. Remember that drama with the macarons (or is it macaroons? I don’t know the difference) and the girl was asking for £100 worth of free stuff? That to me was the definition of a self-entitled blogger. It’s a pain in the butt when a brand wants you to work with them for free but greedy bloggers are giving the rest of us a bad name!

There are probably a few more pet peeves I could go on about but I think these are the main ones for now. The blogging world is usually a great place to be so these things are only minor hiccups – although the plagiarism is rather disgusting – but they still annoy me to no end. Is there anything out there that doesn’t annoy me?

Blogtober: Day Twenty Five

Sunday, 25 October 2015

While I’ve been conquering the world of cooking (when I say conquering, I mean burning) I do still enjoy having someone cook for me. I’ve somehow made more hungry visits to the Fettykil Fox this year than I have in my entire lifetime and yesterday’s trip was visit number 3.

There were 8 of us sniffing around for food and such a number made it rather difficult to find space in the bar. While the Fettykil Fox is a fairly large bar and restaurant, space fills up rather quickly so a 7.30pm arrival means you’re almost destined to stand around awkwardly in hopes someone will vacate their table.

Fortunately we had a table booked for 8pm and it was ready a little earlier than expected. We were given a table right next to the fireplace so it was a very cosy area. The chairs did make it a little difficult to relax due to their rather stiff back; I guess the chairs ensure your posture is on point but they also give you a very sore bum.

While the majority of the table opted for a starter I decided to be the one to sit without any food in front of them. None of the starters really caught my eye and the idea of the Italian bean and mozzarella soup was rather disturbing – what’s wrong with plain old tomato for a soup of the day? I ended up surrounded by prawn cocktail, lamb kofta and garlic mushrooms and, although it all smelt delightful, I wouldn’t have chosen any of them.

As a fussy vegetarian I make a point of checking out a restaurant’s menu prior to walking through the door. I was extremely disappointed to find that the Fettykil Fox were advertising just one vegetarian option on their online dinner menu but, as it turns out, their online menu is lacking quite a few things and there were in fact 3 veggie options. I ended up going for something I’ve had before at the Fettykil Fox and that was the courgette, carrot and chickpea burger with chips and gherkin relish.

The first time I ever had this burger I found it to be rather dry but this time around, it was fabulous. Annoyingly the mayonnaise that had been slapped on the bun was anything but generous and the one piece of lettuce and few tomatoes were hardly inspiring. The chips made up for those failures though as they were to die for! If I could just have a plate of those chips I would!

The other items that were ordered by the humans sharing the table with me were sea bass (which didn’t go down very well), hunter’s chicken (which lacked in barbecue sauce on one plate), fish and chips, steak and ale pie (minus the pastry as the consumer doesn’t like pastry, weird I know) and a bread board. For the most part everyone seemed to enjoy their main meal but it was agreed that things could’ve been better.

When it came to desserts it was just the person sitting next to me and I who chose to share one. We went for the Belgian chocolate brownie which was quite possibly the best part of the meal. The brownie came with ice cream but, as I’m not an ice cream fan, that was devoured entirely by the person I was sharing with. The brownie itself however, was incredible. It was the perfect amount of gooeyness and was as chocolatey as can be. If it was acceptable to have a pudding for a main course the brownie would be my choice!

While we were all a bit stuffed by the end of our meals a few of us weren’t overly pleased with the food. Some weren’t happy due to their own choice in food while others were left a little disappointed by what was served. There is a rather large selection on the Fettykil Fox’s menu – although every time I go they always seem to have run out of a few items – and it's their downfall at times.

There are possibly too many items to be made for them all to be 100% perfect every time which is a shame as they all sound delightful. Saying that though, the comfortable, rustic atmosphere of the bar and restaurant and the friendly staff ensures that you’re destined to have a good time even if your food isn’t completely up to scratch.

Blogtober: Day Twenty Four

Saturday, 24 October 2015

In Blogtober: Day Six I mentioned I wanted to read American Sniper; I’ve now finally remembered to borrow it from my other half and have placed it next to my bed in hopes I’ll pick it up. There are a few other books lurking away in my cupboards that are also waiting to be read. I thought after I ploughed through The Girl on the Train that I would then devour everything else but I failed miserably. I’ve now set myself a goal to read 3 books by the end of the year.

As previously mentioned, I plan on reading American Sniper and this will no doubt be the one I finish first. I thoroughly enjoyed the film adaption of Chris Kyle’s biography so I’m eager to see how different the book is. Annoyingly because I’ve watched the film version I will be imagining Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller throughout. Always read the book first kids!

Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices is a book I’ve owned for quite a while but I’ve barely managed to get through more than 50 pages of it. I bought it shortly after it was released with the intention of reading it straight away but I just couldn’t find the motivation to do so. I do have a strong interest in American politics but the beginning of this book is rather dull. I really want to get into more of her time as Secretary of State but there are a lot of pages to get through before the fun starts.

The Professor of Truth by James Robertson is a book that actually belongs to my dad but I’m intrigued by it. The Professor of Truth is based on the Lockerbie bombing and, if I’m not mistaken, it presents another side of the story that is hailed more as the truth than the story we all know. I’m sure my dad mentioned one of the James Robertson books he read is rather dull so hopefully it’s not this one.

I have chosen rather substantial books to get through by the end of the year but there’s no harm in challenging myself. I used to be able to completely dive into a book as a child, even with a number of distractions but I seem to have lost that ability. Now I need absolute peace and quiet to fully concentrate on a book so no more classic Who Wants to be a Millionaire for me.

Blogtober: Day Twenty Three

Friday, 23 October 2015

While I’ve been in a rather positive and happy mood for a month or so there are little things that make me that bit cheerier. Simple things like people thanking me for holding a door open for them or a happy salesperson always brighten my day. It seems to be a rarity these days for people to actually be polite because they want to be so it’s nice to stumble upon a fellow happy person.

I’m not the best when it comes to surprising people or even comforting them when they’re having a bad day. It’s not really in my genetics but I am trying to make people feel that little bit better. While my other half surprises me with flowers and chocolate sundaes I bring him M&Ms and let him watch awful shows about zombies. They’re both little things but they make us appreciate each other that little bit more. I do think he has plans to eat me based on the amount of food he surprises me with though.

I also ensure I’m as polite as possible to anyone who assists me in a store or over the phone. Working in customer service roles really made me appreciate how nice it is to have a polite person on the other end of the phone as opposed to a big old grump so, I try to be that polite person. Admittedly I do get frustrated when the person helping me clearly can’t be bothered but I refuse to let that destroy my mood. I’m a fairy princess crapping out glitter and positivity.

Of course I have those days where I’d rather roll around in a pig sty than deal with people but I try to remind myself to remain kind and adorable. I may be having a bad day but that doesn’t mean I have to take it out on the poor, unsuspecting people around me; that’s what inanimate objects are for. I may act like a douchebag from time to time but only towards people who deserve to be taken down a peg or two. Ah yes, I’m not always a fairy princess who apparently has a serious glittery bowel issue.

All I know is manners don’t cost a penny and people who have yet to learn that aren’t worth getting your knickers in a twist over. Stay chill!

Blogtober: Day Twenty Two

Thursday, 22 October 2015

While I’m slowly but surely getting my way back into art I’m playing around with a lot of mediums to find which one I’m most comfortable with. I’ve had a lot of art supplies lying around for a while so I’m completely spoilt for choice. I am finding I’m better with things than I was when I actually studied art which is a rather delightful surprise. I think you’ve guessed where day 22 of Blogtober is going right now!

After watching season 2 of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and seeing a guy during one of the heats do an entire portrait out of Promarkers, I decided I wanted to try my luck with the rather bright pens. I bought 2 sets from Amazon but couldn’t quite get to grips with them. I abandoned them in a drawer but now I’ve decided to just go for it and if it’s a mess then it’s a mess. I’ve only really done one complete drawing with Promarkers so far but I was quite pleased with the outcome. It did remind me that I am awful with proportion though!

I’ve also been using watercolours quite a lot but I’ve refrained from saying they’re a favourite medium until I completely get to grips with them. Whenever I do a watercolour painting I always use my watercolour pencils for touch ups and details. I’ve had these Caran D’Ache Museum Aquarelle pencils for a while and I’m now starting to understand them. My first attempt with them was awful and now there’s a page in my sketchbook that I can’t bear to look at.

Ink and I have always gotten along like a house on fire. I was a bit wary about using ink before as I had no idea what I could really do with the bright colours I have. I’ve since discovered that ink is great for lettering and obnoxiously colourful paintings. There’s a rather fabulous photo spread of Sky Ferreira in an old issue of Another Man which is full of colour and is perfect for recreating with ink.

Despite the awful stench of masking fluid, it is a little miracle. I’m not the neatest of people when it comes to art so masking fluid is brilliant at stopping the ink I’m using from bleeding into the wrong area. Palette knives are also great for a messy person like me. I have far too much fun adding more and more paint and pushing it around the page in order to get some texture and interesting details.

Of course you can’t do much painting without some paintbrushes so they had to be included in this post. I prefer to work with finer paintbrushes due to my shaky hands and the ones pictured are the best I own. I’m also a sucker for outlining things (I blame that on an obsession with Miami Ink a few years ago) so these rather fabulous pens had to be featured. I do like to use my black Promarker for outlining as well but for the most part, I use the finer pens for such a thing.

Hopefully I’ll find the medium (or mediums) for me soon. I do thoroughly enjoy working with ink but as I appear to have multiple bottles of pink despite them clearly being marked as different colours I’m a little limited as to what I can do with them. Perhaps it’s time to invest in more!

Blogtober: Day Twenty One

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

While I’ve always been a skinny runt, I never really noticed until I had “teen” at the end of my age. People would often comment on my size at primary school and by all accounts, I was the skinniest in my class. The problem with being a thin human being is a lot of people feel the need to tell you about your weight. If I didn’t eat all of my lunch people would assume I was anorexic, if I ate a Mars Bar at break everyone would tell me that one day my metabolism would slow down and lord help me if I dared eat something healthy.

None of that really bothered me though; I didn’t really notice people were commenting on my weight so much until puberty attacked me. I suddenly became very aware of my skinny build, my lack of muscle and I could barely find my lady lumps. I started to cover my body up as much as possible; even when it was over 20 degrees outside I would still wear a black hoody zipped right to the top.

It was an absolute nightmare whenever a teacher demanded I zipped my jumper down so they could see my tie as I hated showing any skin. It was even worse when a teacher asked me to remove my jumper entirely as *gasp* there were 2 grey stripes along the collar.

I didn’t really become comfortable enough to start showing some skin until I was 18 and completely out of education. I don’t want to say education contributed to my lack of confidence but I guess to an extent, it did. Of course, my own insecurities and thoughts didn’t help matters. I think it was obvious to anyone with a brain that I wasn’t happy in my own body and there was really nothing I could do about it; I had to wait it out and hope that one day I could finally accept myself.

My turning point was when my breasts eventually appeared and stopped getting so lost in jumpers and tops. They’re not the biggest but they’re full and perky and exactly how I want them to be. Since I’ve accepted them for what they are, few people have had anything negative to say. Of course, there are always those people who just have to point out that they’re small but they always seem to be rather blessed in the chest department and ensure everyone notices. I can’t help but think they’re looking for validation and have to try and insult others in a bid to gain it.

While I’m starting to appreciate the rest of my body for what it is (particularly my butt which has earned me far too many sleazy comments, bleh) there are some things I would change. I’m not overly pleased with my stomach and my lack of definition in my arms bothers me but these are all things I can change with diet and exercise. I do struggle with my weight from time to time and went around 3 years without getting on the scales. I know I have nothing to worry about but the idea of gaining weight really bothers me.

I like being a skinny runt with some junk in the trunk and I aim to stay that way. If people have an issue with any part of my body then that’s their deal, it’ll be a long time before I even dare consider making it mine. Body confidence for the win!

Blogtober: Day Twenty

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Is it really day 20 of Blogtober? I’m rather proud of myself for getting this far, can I include this in my list of life achievements? It would really bulk it up a bit.

Anyway, day 20 is going to focus on another workout playlist. I’m getting better at working out on a regular basis now and as a result, I’ve had to add more music to my playlist otherwise I’d get bored. I’m keeping with hip hop and rap as I find the beat of each song keeps me motivated during an intense burning session. Here goes!

Eminem – Kings Never Die

Eminem was behind the beauty that is the Southpaw soundtrack and Kings Never Die is quickly becoming one of my favourite songs. The combination of Eminem’s voice, the lyrics and the beat always gets me pumped up to do a workout so this is the first song I listen to.

Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard – Beast

Another song from the Southpaw soundtrack features quite heavily in my playlist. Beast usually follows Kings Never Die and is used to remind myself that I am indeed a beast…a fluffy, sleepy beast. It’s the lyrics of Beast that gets me going and it’s a song I use whenever I need a bit of motivation.

N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton

After watching the film Straight Outta Compton I immediately went on a N.W.A binge and a few of their songs found their way onto my playlist. Straight Outta Compton has always been one of my favourites by them so it only feels right having them blast in my ears during a workout.

Public Enemy and Anthrax – Bring Tha Noize

Every time my other half and I say “yeah boy” the other has to say “bass” followed up with “how low can you go?”; we’re losers like that. I stopped listening to this song for years before I met my other half and now that we’re together, I can’t stop listening to it. The drumbeat is nice and quick so it keeps me going when I start slacking. If it comes on at the beginning of a workout it becomes a bit of an issue as it means I start running too fast and tire myself out.

Yelawolf – Louder ft Inkmonstarr

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve listened to Louder but I can tell you it’s a lot. I love Yelawolf and his fast raps can get me moving even when it’s 7am and I’ve had 3 hours sleep. I’m not overly crazy about the lyrics (particularly the “I come from the bottom of the bottle to the top here, I’m talkin’ lemonade” line) so I really listen to it more for Yelawolf’s voice than anything else. If the Travis Barker and Yelawolf EP wasn’t so short I’d probably have that as my full workout playlist.

I could prattle on but I think 5 songs is enough. Is it wrong that I’m now itching to do a workout? Does this mean I’m an exercise junkie (just ignore the times I’ve told myself I have a sore leg when I don’t so can’t do a workout)?

Blogtober: Day Nineteen

Monday, 19 October 2015

It’s day 19 of Blogtober! I’m surprised I’ve managed to get this far and major props if you’re still with me at this point. Blogging every day has definitely made me admire anyone who manages to blog on a daily basis without completely panicking.

Anyway, I thought I would do the ever fun ‘what’s in my shower’ post for day 19. I’m sure you’re dying to know what I slather on myself while getting squeaky clean in the morning. Here goes!

I know it looks like a lot of gunk but bear with me on this. There seems to be an awful lot of shampoo but for good reason (ok there is no good reason other than I have a lot of shampoo). The Faith in Nature shampoo and conditioner are the ones I use on a regular basis. My first experience with Faith in Nature was a positive one so I chose to purchase another shampoo and conditioner set (review coming soon).

The Lush Veganese conditioner is waiting to be finished. I used quite a good chunk of it before deciding it’s awful and I’ve left it sitting in hopes I’ll finish it off. I had high expectations for Veganese but it didn’t deliver.

Lush Dirty Springwash is the newest addition to my shower. I just finished Lush Snowman shower jelly this morning so, rather than showing you an empty tub, you’re getting a rather beautiful bottle of blue. I’ve missed using Dirty Springwash so I can’t wait to smell minty fresh again.

Lush King of Skin is chilling next to Veganese and Dirty Springwash. This is my in-shower moisturiser and it makes getting ready in the morning that little bit quicker. It’s not the best idea to keep it in the shower but if I don’t, I’ll forget all about it until I’m completely soaked.

The 2 bottles of Head and Shoulders are there for when my scalp gets a little bit itchy. I’m prone to eczema flare ups and I’ve found that Head and Shoulders really helps my scalp during a flare up. There are 2 bottles as one of them is almost empty and a certain person in my house doesn’t like using bottles that have little product in them; they can’t be bothered with the vigorous shaking of a bottle to get shampoo out.

Arran Aromatics shampoo and Avon shower gel are there as backups. I’m pretty bad at replacing empty products and have often found myself in the shower with no shampoo or shower gel. Sometimes I switch up my routine to include the back ups but for the most part, they’re just there for when my brain malfunctions.

That’s the closest you’ll be getting to me in the shower for now (and ever) so I hope you enjoyed it. I’m starting to really question the amount of shampoo I have now especially since I have more in a drawer. Shampoo addiction appears to have hit!

Blogtober: Day Eighteen

Sunday, 18 October 2015

I don’t understand the appeal of a cold, damp season where leaves fall on your head as you walk under trees and the fog ruins your hair. Everyone in the blogging community seems to love Autumn but I can’t stand it. I obviously have to be the negative one of the blogging world and discuss my list of reasons as to why I hate Autumn. It’s Blogtober, it’s allowed.

The overuse of the word ‘Autumnal’

I blame Zoella for this one, she used it in a video last year and all of a sudden everyone is saying it. Unlike fetch, Autumnal happened and I’m mad about it.

Return of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes

Can pumpkin spiced lattes not return to Starbucks without everyone and their dog taking a picture of them? The first few are fine but by the time the 500th picture is uploaded I’m ready to wipe out Starbucks of every pumpkin spiced latte they have.

The Cold Weather

Why does everyone like cold weather? Bring me the sun and heat any day as I cannot deal with taking my gloves off every time I want to use my phone. Major first world problems yo.

The Dark Mornings and Long Nights

Trying to run at 7am in Autumn means I am more likely to be hit by a tractor, step in some dog poop or think its nighttime and have a nap. The long nights are a pain in the butt as well, have you ever tried to find a black dog in your garden at 8pm? It can’t be done.

Christmas Appearing Way Too Early

Just ew. I do not think about Christmas until December and even then I’m not overly keen on it. It must be horrendous to work in a supermarket this time of year since you’re faced with Christmas every single day. Heroes, they’re all heroes.

My Steering Wheel is Too Cold

Yes people of the world, I am complaining about my steering wheel being too cold. It is too cold though, how am I expected to drive safely when it feels like I’m gripping an ice cube? I need a chauffeur. How much are chauffeurs and would they like to drive my battered old Mini?

P.S Before anyone thinks I’m genuinely that mad about my steering wheel, I’m not serious. I would still like a chauffeur though.

Blogtober: Day Seventeen

Saturday, 17 October 2015

There are some things in life that I can live without (crisps and shoes are not on that list) but when it comes to my daily routine, I have to have my favourites. I genuinely feel rather odd when I go to bed without certain lotions and potions; clearly I’ve turned myself into a routine monster.

While I do try to maintain a full on skincare routine, more often or not I just can’t be bothered. When laziness strikes I keep things simple with Garnier Micellar Water to remove my make up and Olay Beauty Fluid to keep my face moisturised. The Olay Beauty Fluid has been slathered on my face for years now thanks to my mum recommending it to me.

I’ve been using the Garnier Micellar Water since it was originally released and I absolutely adore it. I tried to go back to make up wipes after struggling to repurchase the Garnier Micellar Water (it was sold out everywhere!) but my face felt absolutely disgusting after using just one. I never realised how little make up wipes actually remove.

Lush and I get on like a house on fire and after trying multiple products, Sympathy for the Skin is a firm favourite. I use it after every shower and occasionally at night when my skin is feeling a little dry. It’s the best moisturiser I’ve ever used and it seems to be awfully popular in my household.

There are multiple lip balms lying around my house but I’ve started to really favour Lush’s offerings. Whip Stick (the gorgeous chocolate scented lip balm) is currently lying in the bag I use on a regular basis so Lip Service is the one that sits next to my bed. While I’m not overly crazy about the smell of Lip Service I love how soft and moisturised it leaves my lips. The cold weather is currently wreaking havoc on my lips at the moment so Lip Service is a God send.

It’s safe to say I like to keep things simple and convenient at times. My lazy routine takes less than 5 minutes so it’s perfect for all of those times when I’ve demolished far too many episodes of Modern Family. I should really set an alarm for 10pm every day so I can actually do my full skincare routine. Oh who am I kidding?

Blogtober: Day Sixteen

Friday, 16 October 2015

I never used to bother about the whole PR/brand side of blogging. I was fully aware that people were writing sponsored posts but I never really thought much of it. That was until brands and PRs started to approach me about writing sponsored content. I was completely naïve to begin with but now, after multiple frustrating emails with PRs and hearing other people’s thoughts I’m armed with legal knowledge and common sense.

I’m a bit of an awkward turtle so I find the whole approaching brands and PRs thing a little daunting. I tend to refrain from doing it and let the brands and PRs come to me. Admittedly I do find the whole “what’s in it for me” conversation to be an uncomfortable subject but I’ve since learned it’s something I need to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those bloggers who demand money and free things left, right and centre but I am starting to realise it’s unfair for a brand to get something while the blogger walks away empty handed.

In the past few months I’ve had multiple encounters with PRs and brands regarding sponsored posts. The posts are usually something I’m genuinely interested in so I’m always down to do the posts until the matter of payment comes up. I’ve quoted some very odd prices just to see if the person I’m talking to will bite but they never do; even the cost of a meal deal is “outwith their budget”.

Bloggers get a bad rep due to some people being overly greedy but more often or not, we’re just looking to pay our bills. Sponsored posts don’t faze me anymore but the idea that bloggers should write posts for brands that require a hideous amount of time and effort for free is beyond me.

Blogtober: Day Fifteen

Thursday, 15 October 2015

While working on my post for day 11 of Blogtober my other half and I kept thinking of songs from our childhood as opposed to our teenage years. There were some rather amazing songs to get us through our childhood so of course, I had to share them with you. If I could still remember the dance to a few of these songs I would so do them!

1. B’Witched – C’est La Vie

I think this may be a contender for best song of the 90s. I still remember all of the words and will happily listen to it during a cheesy music binge at 2am. Weatherman was actually my favourite song of B’Witched but C’est La Vie always got me grooving as a kid.

2. Nelly Furtado – I’m Like A Bird

I had Nelly Furtado’s debut album and only ever listened to two songs from it. Obviously one of those songs was I’m Like A Bird (the other being Turn Off The Light) and I played it so much my bulky, silver CD player eventually refused to play it.

3. Robbie Williams – Let Me Entertain You

My mum was quite a big fan of Robbie Williams back in the day and I would always “borrow” his albums from her. Let Me Entertain You was my favourite song by Robbie Williams and I used to get so into it I would put my glasses on a chair, dance around the room and then sit on the chair and accidentally break my glasses in the process.

4. Papa Roach – Last Resort

While a lot of people my age seem to associate Last Resort with their emo teenage years, I associate it with my childhood. I was 7 when Last Resort was released and my brother played it so often, I had no choice but to love it.

5. Steps – 5, 6, 7, 8

Every Friday my friends and I would go to the swimming pool disco and would always end up dancing on the platform to this song. We had our own little dance to it as we were just that cool…

6. Linkin Park – Crawling

Like Last Resort, Crawling was released when I was 7 and I was actually given Linkin Park’s debut album for Christmas that year. Linkin Park ignited my love for nu metal and hard rock (a love I’ve since outgrown) so I guess I was always destined to be that weird mosher kid at high school.

7. Darius – Colourblind

From what I remember Darius was on Pop Idol or whatever the heck it was called and came third (I’m sure Will Young and Gareth Gates were also on it that year). I didn’t really watch the show but I heard Colourblind one day and demanded his album for Christmas. My brother kindly gave me it and, much like Nelly Furtado, I only listened to a few songs. Colourblind of course was my favourite and I distinctly remember trying to sing along but getting confused by the colours each time.

8. Shania Twain – Man, I Feel Like A Woman

Again, my mum was a big fan of Shania Twain so I would borrow the album with Man, I Feel Like A Woman on it and would subsequently break my glasses after dancing to it. For some reason it was only Shania Twain and Robbie Williams that caused me to break the thing I needed to see.

9. Liam Lynch – United States of Whatever

What even was United States of Whatever? It’s such a random song yet I somehow managed to listen to it hundreds of times. If I wasn’t waiting for the video to come on TV, I was listening to it on the Top of the Pops CD I had.

10. Avril Lavigne – Sk8er Boi

It was my next door neighbour who got me into Avril Lavigne. She had Sk8er Boi on CD and let me borrow it for a couple of days. I must’ve annoyed my parents so much with that song as I played it over and over again. It paid off though as we had a singing competition at a friend’s sleepover with this song and I won! I also won the competition for who looked most like a celebrity (I was Baby Spice and was given a rather large bra with a lot of socks stuffed into it to wear under a very short dress).

Writing this post has made me wonder how many times we had to go to the opticians due to all of the glasses I broke. I’m sure it wasn’t that often but I’m rather worried now as I listened to Robbie Williams and Shania Twain a lot. Actually, I listened to all of these songs a lot, I rarely listened to anything else. What a diverse child I was.

Blogtober: Day Fourteen

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

While wandering around Edinburgh earlier today I started to notice the same thing over and over again. I’ve always been one to eye up handbags but I’m becoming bored of the usual offerings the females of Britain insist on carrying these days. As much as I love Michael Kors, I’m over seeing the bags everywhere I go. I love fashion (although you probably wouldn’t guess that if you looked in my wardrobe) but I’m becoming increasingly tired of seeing the same old thing. I think it’s time I do a part 2 to my fashion pet peeves. I mean no offense in this post by the way, I’m just a bitter 22 year old.

1. Guys in Too Tight Skinny Jeans

I don’t mind guys in skinny jeans but the super tight ones confuse me. How on earth did they squeeze themselves into them and is their blood managing to get round their body ok? There is one advantage to too tight skinny jeans on guys though; we all now know which of the wearers haven’t got much going on down there. Do a Lenny Kravitz and stuff a sock in your trousers.

2. Fake Designer Handbags

After spending too much time in Harvey Nichols and Mulberry I’m learning to smell a fake designer handbag from a mile away. There are some fake handbags that are so well made it’s difficult to tell them apart from a real one but then there are others where it’s just painfully obvious that they’re not the real deal. I don’t know why fake designer bags make my skin crawl as much as they do but I can’t help it, I just don’t get the appeal.

3. Clothes and Accessories with the Brand Logo Printed All Over It

I may be referring to Louis Vuitton bags in particular here. I used to really like Louis Vuitton when I was a kid and strived to purchase a bag as an adult but since I’ve grown up, I much prefer my brands to be a bit more subtle. The world doesn’t need to know who designed my bag; they just need to know it’s pretty.

4. Wearing Gym Clothes in Public When You’ve Never Worked Out In Your Life

What is the appeal of wearing a matching grey tracksuit in public? Do people seriously not realise how lazy and slobby this looks? I don’t care if you wear gym clothes around the house or throw them on when making a quick run to the shop but don’t wear them to dinner. It’s weird and I can only assume you haven’t showered.

5. Not Matching Your Shoes To Your Outfit

This annoys me so much it hurts! Like the gym clothes thing, I don’t mind if you’ve put on the first shoes you’ve found when running an errand but make an effort when an effort is required. Don’t throw on white trainers with a suit, don’t wear wellies with a dress (even when you’re at a festival) and definitely do not clash your shoes with your bag. If I see you wearing a pair of green shoes while carrying a red bag I will put tinsel and fairy lights on you as you look like Christmas.

I do apologise if I’ve offended you at any point during this post, it’s completely unintentional, I just happen to hate a lot of things. There are a lot more fashion related things I hate (like latex outfits used outside of sex shops and the bedroom) so I’m sure a part 3 will appear one day. Bring on the next trend.

Blogtober: Day Thirteen

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

While I’ve always tried to add a personal touch to my blog I seem to be lacking in more “me” posts. I’m not exactly one for sharing large aspects of my life with strangers on the internet so it’ll probably be a while before I get into the real nitty gritty. There is one thing I can do to help you get to know me a bit better (because I’m sure you’re absolutely dying to get to know me more…) and that is to share some random facts about myself. Blogtober: Day 13, the personal day.

My middle name came as a total surprise to my mum. Dad went away to register my birth or whatever it is you do when a baby pops out and decided to give me a middle name while he was at it.

I used to dress like my brother when I was a kid to the point where I would steal his old shoes before he threw them away. If he was wearing shorts and football top then I would wear shorts and a football top, if he added a hat, I would add a hat. I thought he was cool, I quickly learned otherwise.

I refrained from learning to drive at the age of 17 as I claimed I didn’t want to start learning to drive in the winter. The truth is I was rather worried about driving a car on a road with other people when I crashed a go-kart on a straight (I thought I saw Matthew Fox).

Alcohol and I met when I was 14. My brother’s then girlfriend gave me Apple Sourz before trying to fix me up with her cousin. She was a lovely girl and one of the few girlfriends of my brother who wasn’t called Natalie.

No matter how big the bed is, I will always sleep right at the edge. Weirdly anyone who sleeps next to me will roll into me during the night and almost push me out of the bed. It’s like they don’t want me there…

I first dyed my hair when I was 10. I used the wash in, wash out stuff and dyed my hair multiple colours ranging from red to purple to grey. They grey was supposed to be blue and I wasn’t cool enough to pull it off.

When I finally chose to dye my hair black at the age of 15 I accidentally dyed it green. In an attempt to pretend I meant to do that I added in some pink and I looked ridiculous for weeks.

I have an obsession with plucking my eyebrows and I get really annoyed when I can feel a stray. As soon as I know there’s a stray there I can’t stop feeling it. I need to start carrying tweezers with me.

I’m slightly worried that I’m about to give away all of the weird things about myself so I’ll end this post here. Sometimes I worry about the strange things I did as a child and teenager especially when I remember that I didn’t even notice how odd those actions were. Maybe one day I’ll go full on strange child with you. That sounded creepy!

Blogtober: Day Twelve

Monday, 12 October 2015

While I’ve had to cut down on my Lush purchases dramatically due to acquiring so much, I still somehow have quite a considerable amount lying around. My Lush drawer is still a bit too full to justify any more purchases but here is my current Lush collection. Happy day 12 of Blogtober y’all!

While I tend to gravitate towards the permanent Lush products, I do occasionally pick up some limited edition items. I do have a hard time getting the limited edition products since the majority of them are for bath use only and sadly, I am without a bath in my house. I tend to only pick up bubble bars and bath bombs when I’m going to be staying in a hotel with a luxuriously large bath.

The issue with having a bit of a Lush addiction means I’m forever racing against expiration dates. I have quite a few products that have to be used by December otherwise they’ll be thrown in the bin. I do my best to use each product before they’re due to expire but I always get too excited about newer items and use them first. What I need is a Lush spreadsheet with all of the products in order of expiration date.

I’m also extremely bad at buying large tubs of each item even if I’ve never tried the product before. There’s been quite a few things that I’ve hated but have a considerable amount of yet I still never learn. I really wish someone would stop me from buying the big tubs at times as the small ones are sometimes more than enough. I need someone to accompany me to Lush every single time I dare go near a store.

There are a few things from Lush that people constantly rave about that I’ve yet to try so I’m sure I’ll be adding to this collection soon. I’ve also turned my other half into a Lush addict so I can always justify any future purchases by saying they’re for him.

Well, now that my room reeks of Lush I’m oddly happy. I should probably return all of these items back to their drawer now since I’m sure one of them will stain my carpet but they all look so pretty I don’t want to put them away. Does anyone have the address for Lush rehab as I think I may have a problem?

Blogtober: Day Eleven

Sunday, 11 October 2015

For whatever reason my other half and I were reminiscing about our teenage years and like many teenagers, music played a huge role in our lives. There were quite a few songs that defined our years but here are the 10 songs that provoke the most memories.

1. Lostprophets – Last Train Home

Ian Watkins’ heinous acts aside, Lostprophets were one hell of a band and Last Train Home is quite possibly one of their best songs. I probably got too into Lostprophets, fortunately I had grown out of them by the time their frontman was arrested.

2. Metro Station – Shake It

I’m not even ashamed by this one! It was an absolutely awful song but it was so catchy I think everyone had it on their LG Chocolate. I ended up buying their album but grew to regret my decision very quickly.

3. The Blackout – The Beijing Cocktail

Who doesn’t love a bunch of Welsh guys prancing about on stage? The Blackout were just one of those bands that fit in with my taste in music so well it was rather sickening. I bought their first album solely for The Beijing Cocktail and it was probably one of my most played songs during my teenage years.

4. You Me At Six – Save It For The Bedroom

Do you remember the original video where it was just a bunch of random moments edited together and the song was sung a little differently? That was my favourite version just because the “save it for the bedroom” part was sung so ridiculously it amused me every time I heard it.

5. Taking Back Sunday – Make Damn Sure

Who else had a major crush on Adam Lazzara? Whenever the video for Make Damn Sure came on Kerrang I insisted on turning it up as loud as possible. Now that I think about it, the video seems a bit of a rip off of Foo Fighters – Best of You. C’mon guys!

6. Mindless Self Indulgence – Shut Me Up

Where on earth did Mindless Self Indulgence come from? I swear they just appeared one day and all the emo and scene kids instantly loved them, I’m assuming Gerard Way’s relationship with Lyn-Z, the MSI bassist had something to do with it. Regardless of how they came to be so popular, Shut Me Up was a tune back in the day.

7. Fall Out Boy – Sugar We’re Going Down

I absolutely detest Fall Out Boy now and was annoyingly forced into seeing them live a few years ago but Sugar We’re Going Down was one of my favourite songs as a teenager. The only thing I never got about Fall Out Boy was everyone’s love for Pete Wentz.

8. Framing Hanley – Lollipop

Who knew a Lil Wayne song could actually sound good! Framing Hanley were never my favourite band but I could’ve listened to Lollipop all day. I was absolutely gutted when I discovered the girl in the video was frontman Kenneth Nixon’s wife.

9. All Time Low – Dear Maria Count Me In

I don’t think I could hate All Time Low more if I tried now (their awful performance while supporting Green Day at Emirates stadium only cemented my hate) but I listed to Dear Maria Count Me so much as a teenager it must’ve been up there with my most played songs. I cringe whenever I hear this song now.

10. Limp Bizkit – Eat You Alive

I could’ve gone for any Limp Bizkit song here but Eat You Alive was my absolutely favourite. I think I may have used it as my hate song for a lot of people; I was a very angry teenager who liked music far too much. When Fred Durst direct messaged me on Twitter a few years ago I lost my mind, the love is still there!

I would be more embarrassed about this taste in music if my other half didn’t get so excited about some of these songs. Worryingly, we’ve now had our old iPods on for quite a while now and there seems to be no end in sight. I might break out old Etnies, apply more eyeliner and put in my pink extensions. Teenage years to the max

Blogtober: Day Ten

Saturday, 10 October 2015

It’s official, we’re a third of the way through Blogtober. In 20 days you will no longer have to read my daily rambles (you don’t have to anyway but you know what I mean), assuming I make it to the end of course.

Anyway, I’ve decided today’s post will be my make up pet peeves as I’m a negative Nelly. Okay, I’m not always negative but there are some make up mistakes that irritate me so much I want to throw make up wipes at people. This is perfectly normal behaviour. Here goes!

1. Foundation that’s far too dark for your skin

I feel you on this one, it’s hard to find a foundation that matches your skin especially when you resemble a ghost like I do but c’mon, don’t just slap on the first foundation you find. The only people who can pull off bright orange faces are Oompa Loompas and even they look ridiculous.

2. Not blending your foundation

Ah yes, the dreaded foundation line. If you don’t know what this is just watch an episode of Jeremy Kyle; it’s featured at least once every episode. Blending your foundation shouldn’t be rocket science but many people seem to struggle with the concept. Just blend until your arm hurts.

3. Bright eyeshadow with bright lipstick

There are very few people in this world that can pull off bright eyeshadow with bright lipstick and it’s a look that should only be attempted by drag queens. I don’t know what compels people to wear bright blue eyeshadow with bright pink lipstick but I worry about them. It’s one or the other, never both!

4. Clumped eyelashes

While wearing horrific mascara in high school I was so annoyed by it I almost tore my eyelashes out. When my art buddy asked me what was wrong I told her my eyelashes were too clumped together for me to function and she informed me that mascara is supposed to do that. I almost covered her in paint for such an odd remark. If your mascara is clumping your eyelashes as opposed to separating and lengthening, you need new mascara and possibly a mirror.

5. Overdrawn eyebrows

Why? Just why? I don’t care if you pluck your eyebrows out and draw them back on but I can’t stand seeing people who have practically used a sharpie to draw over their natural eyebrows. If you want fuller brows, by all means create them but don’t overdo it. If you try and have a conversation with me I will stare at your eyebrows so much I won’t hear anything you’re saying.

I should probably end things here before I start dissing things I did in high school (too much eyeliner, weird eyeshadow application, patchy foundation etc). I’m awfully judgemental when it comes to make up but I just find it so strange that people would want to deter from their natural beauty with really strange make up application. Just stay chill when it comes to your face, you don’t need to resemble an Oompa Loompa with clumpy eyelashes and ridiculous eyebrows to be cute!
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