Tuesday, 19 September 2017

My Favourite Nail Polishes...

I like painting my nails, it makes me feel more put-together and stops me from biting my nails. Instead, I pick at the nail varnish but that's beside the point. I've been quite busy recently but I thought I'd share a few snaps of my favourite nail varnishes, all from Barry M. 

The 'Plumpy' top coat is honestly amazing, it really does make your nail varnish last a lot longer, and the 'Iron Mani' base coat has repaired my nails and made them much healthier!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

♥ Five Happy Things ♥

I've seen so many bloggers writing posts like these (especially Jemma at Dorkface.co.uk), and I think it is a beautiful thing that can be so grounding and wonderful. So, here are five things that are making me happy right now...

1. I've finally decided on what to do at university, and now I just need to gather the motivation to go through the steps to apply. 

2. I've finally decided to quit my job, because it's making me stressed and anxious, and I feel as though the nine months I've been there are enough - I need a change, something closer to home. I wrote a little more about this in my most recent post on 18 Going on Eighty.

3. Once I get home from work tomorrow at 12:30, I've got all day to relax. Four-hour shifts are both a blessing and a cure, but I'm really looking forward to my relaxing afternoon/evening tomorrow. I might bake some yummy cookies and curl up with a book.

4. I've got so many lovely Lush products to use up, and I love that! You may scoff and tell me how expensive they are, but I believe in treating yourself and Lush does that well!

5. A good cup of tea makes everything a little brighter. I don't know what it is about the magical healing properties of tea, but it works. You can't beat a good book and a nice hot cup of tea. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

A Cinema Under the Stars...

Some friends and I headed to our local park (well, kinda) on Friday 1st September to head to Hogwarts with the Alfresco Film Company! We went to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone played on an outdoor screen, under the stars and it was magical! 

We loaded up with flasks, blankets, camping chairs, warm layers, chocolate, biscuits, and popcorn and found a place to camp out with a good view of the screen. It was actually surprisingly busy, I guess because some of the films were filmed locally, a lot of people would be interested. 

So, as the sun was setting, we all put on lots of layers (I had a strappy top, a long sleeved top, a t-shirt, a jumper, a hoodie, a denim jacket, a raincoat and a blanket and I was still freezing cold by the time the film ended!) and watched the bats flying around our heads as we waited for the darkness and for the movie to start. 

I have to say that despite the cold and the numbness of my toes and hands, it was a great experience. Watching a film outdoors isn't something that I would usually think of doing, because y'know, outside but it was fun, it was a laugh and I loved watching the clouds drift over the moon and looking up at the stars! I'm waiting for the next Harry Potter movie to be played outdoors! (I may also go see The Lost Boys since I've not actually seen it all the way through. I'll be taking a hot water bottle though). 

So yes, if you ever get the chance to go to an outdoor cinema, I say just do it because it's fun and you'll be with friends eating yummy food watching a good movie and looking at the stars and what more would you ever need?!

- Dottie x

Monday, 28 August 2017

Tea, Early Mornings, and Things to Look Forward To...

Hello there... If any of you have stuck around and read my blog for a while, you'd know that I am not going to university like most 18-year-olds are. Instead, I'm working, and trying to blog, and planning university open days and hopefully actually applying for uni because hey, I think I know what I want to do now. 

My job sometimes requires me to start at 6:30 in the morning, and yes it is a horrible thought but there's something wonderful about being up at 5am and watching the world wake up. Like the middle of the night, the early hours of the morning are perfect and untouched and beautiful. 
Early starts allow me to have the rest of the day to do nothing, or everything depending on how I'm feeling and I like that. There's no anxiety just waiting around to go to work, I just get up and go and have a day to do what I really want to. 

Usually, what I really want to do after working is curl up with a mug of tea and a book. I'm really enjoying writing book reviews and reading books, and with a to-be-read pile almost as tall as me, hopefully I'll be doing more of both of those during the next year of my life!

I've got more than books to look forward to, though! I'm hopefully going to be writing for Noizze, a site that publishes music reviews, which is something I'm really looking forward to, since I've not done any proper music reviews in such a long time and I do really enjoy it. 

So yes, this post is just a little update to let you all know what's happening in my life. I'm excited! 

- Dottie x

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Being Normal - Lisa Williamson

"Two outsiders. Two secrets. 

David longs to be a girl.

Leo wants to be invisible.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long..." 

I picked up The Art of Being Normal recently from the Amazon book store (the best place to get books in my opinion), alongside Matt Haig's The Humans. I'd seen it around in a few Instagram posts and was curious to read it.
While I'm currently struggling to get into Haig's book (sorry, Matt!), I devoured The Art of Being Normal in under 24 hours. 

The story is gripping and so intriguing, switching between main characters David and Leo's perspectives. I became emotionally invested in this book, it made me smile, and it almost made me cry. For someone who hasn't experienced what character David has, it's definitely a good read because it opens your eyes to what it's like to be living in the wrong body, and Williamson wrote with empathy and knowledge of the issues covered in this novel, and she wrote so well. 

The plot twist(s) in this book are great, it leads you to believe one thing, and then does a complete U-turn (for me, anyway. you might figure it out!). Each character develops and has their own little things about them that you learn, and I adore the ending of this novel. 

I'd recommend this for anyone struggling with gender identity, or anyone who doesn't understand it. It really opened my eyes, and it will do the same for you. Otherwise, if you're a fan of John Green, Matt Haig, etc. and are just looking for something good to read, then pick this up. You'll love it as much as me!

(If you'd like to read my book review of Matt Haig's How to Stop Time, head over to my other blog, 18 Going on Eighty here).  - Dottie x

Friday, 28 July 2017

Stuck in a Rut...

I know it feels as though I write these posts all of the time, about how much I love blogging and how terrible I am at it because I have no time, or no inspiration, or whatever my usual excuse it. But this time, I don't have an excuse. I am just stuck. I feel stagnant, like I'm stood in one place unable to move forward whilst everyone else is rushing past making amazing progress, making amazing things and I'm just a little puddle, a little mess. 

I've been trying desperately to find words to create something I could be proud of, but instead the only word that comes to mind is 'stagnant', which I guess is what I'm feeling... I've tried to fill my days with lovely things, lovely people, and adventures. For the most part however, I've wanted to stay in bed. I have so much free time to enjoy and I'm not enjoying it. I don't know what to do, and I hate it. I just want to sleep, to waste my days playing games on my phone or mindlessly scrolling through social media. I've tried to read, but I cannot concentrate. I've tried to see people but I end up exhausted. I feel as though I have no purpose. 

I want to get better, and this is my way of trying. Please be patient with my while I figure out life. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Reasons To Stay Alive - Matt Haig

This book will make you cry. It made me cry, and if it did that to me, it'll do it to you. This book, for me, hit home, and it hit home hard. It's about the real-life struggle of recovering from depression and anxiety; it's raw and harsh and brutally honest. But it gets better, it's not all tough reading. It makes you feel better for having read it and having reached the happy ending. 

While this was definitely one of the most difficult books I've read in terms of context, I'm glad that I forced myself though it because it's made me see things a little differently. There's an interesting thought from Matt Haig about running and how it helps him to manage anxiety; he says that running gives the same feeling as a panic attack - racing heart, ragged breathing, etc. - but it isn't one. (this has kinda made me want to go running now? I'll keep you updated on that). 

The way that Haig has approached writing this book is absolutely perfect for the content. It's brutally honest, which is exactly what we need to break the stigma surrounding mental health, it's funny in all of the right places, and yet it manages to be sensitive. It covers everything from mental health stigma, to statistics, to how to cope, and it even tells you what celebrities have depression/anxiety, which I personally feel is brilliant to include because it made me feel so much more normal, and less alone. 

I want to say so much about this book, but I've only read it once (I'm working my way up to reading it again, I really loved it!), and I haven't planned what exactly I want to say. 
But, the world needed this book. The world still needs this book. I want everyone to read it, and understand perhaps not what it's like, but how common things like depression, and like anxiety are. This book lets the world know that no two struggles, no two battles are the same, but each one is valid. It also gives others the chance to get their voice heard, and to share their reasons to stay alive. 

I guess since I'm writing, or rather babbling, about this book, I'll give you my reasons to stay alive...

♥ a cup of tea on a cold and rainy morning 

♥ spontaneous visits from friends

♥ laughter - it's always there somewhere

♥ fairy lights and candles and cosy blankets - those things feel safe. 

I have quite a few others but I don't want those to take away from what I'm trying to say about this book. 

Read it. Read it again, and again because like with any book, you'll notice something new. Highlight the important quotes, things you want to remember. Make it your own. 

Make your own reasons to stay alive. 

- Dottie ♥