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 ♥




Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Teenage Ramblings...

Hello all! Some wonderful buddies and I have decided to set up a group blog, sharing thoughts, photos, art, poetry and just everyday ramblings about life. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, click right here to check it out! It was only created a matter of hours ago, so there's not much content there just yet, but it's going to be a pretty fun place to hang out once it's up and running. 

I'll be writing in a somewhat similar format to this blog over here, but it's a whole new adventure, growing a new audience, etc. etc. I'm very excited for this chance to learn more about blogging and writing in general. (Any tips would be much appreciated!) 

Anyway, I need to go and take off my makeup and go to bed as I am super tired! Here's to having more time for writing, blogging, photography, and fun!

- Dottie x

Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Well-Needed Break...

Amroth Wave Breakers
Hi gang, 

While I know I've been terrible at sticking to my schedule and writing weekly posts for the last few months, recently I've had a reason for not posting. I went away for a week with my family and my boyfriend, and it was such a refreshing and relaxing break that I would do almost anything to go back.. 

Amroth Beach
We stayed in a tiny town called Amroth, which is in Pembrokeshire in the south west of Wales. It's absolutely stunning there and my family and I have been visiting for years! While we didn't get up to much in terms of doing super-exciting things, we did really enjoy just seeing the sights, visiting various beaches and just generally exploring the local area, as we do pretty much every time we're there. 
So, we left home around 10am last Saturday (8th July), and arrived at 1pm. I spent most of the journey sleeping so it was all fine. We went for a wander on the beach, grabbed a cup of tea from the cafe on the beachfront, and then ate a picnic.. There's not a lot to say about Saturday other than my boyfriend managed to fall on the beach and break his pinkie finger, so my Saturday evening was spent in A&E! 
Tenby Beach and Harbour pictured below
Sunday was a lazy day on the beach in Amroth, and I had a bath in the evening with Lush's Fizzbanger bath bomb. The verdict on that one? Disappointing. 

We spent Monday in the little town of Tenby, which is super sweet! There's a little harbour, some cute boho and surf shops, and a lovely beach! I spent £50 on a super cosy Animal hoodie.

Tuesday was another lazy day, and it rained non-stop all day, so we just went for a drive to see all of the sights. Was pretty fun. 

Wednesday was lovely, we packed a picnic and went to the National Trust beach, Barafundle Bay. It's absolutely stunning there and definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. After our picnic we went on to an even more stunning beach at Freshwater West, which has made me crave the surfing life for some odd reason... We had Pimms O'Clock (well, I had cider) in the evening and that was Wednesday done. 

Freshwater West
I was really sad Thursday because it was almost time to go home, so my family went back to Freshwater West and my boyfriend and I watched a movie while we had lunch, then explored the Amroth beach some more before having a hot chocolate in the cafe. 

Finally, Friday was again a local hang-out day, cups of tea, ice creams, and a last pub meal before we had to head home on Saturday.. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my week, it was really just what I needed after the last year and a bit of working and learning, and I feel much more refreshed now, even if I am a little sad to be home..

Hah, this post was more than punctuated by photos, but I really enjoyed taking them! Can you believe they were all taken on my phone?! 

Anyway, I've eaten an entire bar of Galaxy chocolate whilst writing this so I need to stop now! Plus, I'm just filling space...

See you soon!
- Dottie x







Thursday, 6 July 2017

I Could Go Anywhere...

Recently when I've finished work early or had a short shift and just gotten in my car, I've been thinking about how I could just go anywhere, about how I could just keep on driving away from everything... It's weird, and yet it's something that I really want to do someday. 

Of course, there are so, so many setbacks to my plan - money, passport, nowhere to go, etc. and I think that's exactly why I want to just drive, and keep on driving. 

Because why not? 

What's life without a little adventure? 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Dottie's Recipe for the Ultimate Self Care Sunday ♥

Another post on bubble baths, fairy lights, and self-care. I know, I know. But, I've had a pretty crappy day at work today, so I feel as though I need to do this. 


Ingedients

♥ A bubble bath
♥ Pretty decent razors (I'm currently using some Venus ones because they're yellow)
♥ A body exfoliator (mine is Lush's Ocean Salt)
♥ Aloe Vera gel
♥ Cosy pyjamas
♥ Fairy lights (optional)
♥ Candles (optional)
♥ A good book or Netflix
♥ A playlist of your favourite quiet songs (optional)

Method

  1. Run yourself a nice warm bubble bath. The bubbles don't have to be anything at all fancy, I used a Radox Stress Relief one today, and it costs around £2.00 and lasts for such a long time.
  2. Lie down in the bath and either read a book, or just take the time to relax and not worry about tomorrow, or what happened today, or yesterday. In fact, try not to think at all. (it's difficult, I know)
  3. When you are sufficiently relaxed, it's time to start to move because otherwise you'll fall asleep! (learnt from experience...) If you are someone who washes their hair in the evening, do so, even if it is difficult in the bath because otherwise you'll have to do that in the morning and no thanku. Next, it's time to shave your legs. Get a nice lather on them with your body wash or shower gel, and then take your time shaving, you don't want any nasty cuts!
  4. It's time to exfoliate now, yippee!! 
  5. Wash the rest of you, give your body a nice rinse off and get out of the bath and wrap yourself up in a fluffy towel. Sit and play on your phone for half an hour. 
  6. Okay, you're probably in your pjs by now, so it's time to crack out that aloe vera gel and moisturise! Seriously, aloe vera gel is the best body moisturiser I've found, so you have to try it out! Your legs will be super soft come morning!
  7. Make yourself a nice hot chocolate or another relaxing hot drink, such as a chamomile tea or any tea really, and snuggle up in bed, with the lights down and your candles lit or fairy lights on. 
  8. Netflix, read, or just listen to music and play games on your phone and listen to chill music. However you relax best, do it.
  9. Finally, make sure you go to bed in plenty of time to feel well-rested for your tomorrow! (use the website sleepy time to find out when you should go to sleep to feel well-rested!) 

I know that life can be incredibly busy, especially at this time of year when you're trying to get school, college, or uni work finished before summer, but it is really  important to take some time out, and a Sunday is always a good day as it prepares you for the week ahead. 



Now, I need to be going to sleep at 10:30pm as I'm up early for work tomorrow!

I hope this helped, love to you all ♥
- Dottie x

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A Few of My Favourite Things...

There's something about the way the world looks after a rainstorm in spring... Everything seems so alive, so vibrant that I wish there was a way to capture it, in a way different to taking a photo. I want to be able to smell the damp air and hear the birds singing and feel the weight of the atmosphere... I love it, the colour, the way the light under the trees is a soft, dark sort of green... It makes me remember that the world really is beautiful place. 

I find peace in curling up in bed at night during a thunderstorm, allowing the rain to lull me into a peaceful sleep amongst cosy blankets and soft sheets. 

I love the first mug of tea on a cold winter's morning, feeling it warm you right to the core. I love ending the day with a great-scented bubble bath and a good book, before settling into clean sheets and having a dreamless sleep. 

I love dressing up, doing my hair and makeup and feeling incredibly confident in myself. I love dressing down and loving how natural I look...

I love days where I can take my time getting up, when I can properly taste my breakfast and drink my tea and watch the world go by...

Friday, 26 May 2017

Things I've Learnt Recently...

• if you don't feel like washing your hair, plait it, sleep on it, then curl it the next day. Also, dry shampoo is your friend.

• going out in shorts and a crop top isn't as scary as it sounds.

• sunshine makes me sleepy???

• blood tests aren't scary.

• dresses are super easy to wear and look adorable, yet literally no thought goes into picking one out and putting it on. Easy peasy cute outfit.

• blogging, working, and completing my college course is difficult; I suck at time management and basically want to sleep all the time. I'm trying though.

• blogging about little things I've learnt makes me feel productive when this post took two minutes.

Love to you all ❤

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A Blog From my Bath

Hello, I am currently in a bubble bath and haven't written any decent content in a long long time! I am absolutely terrified that I am going to drop my phone but I'll attempt to write a post for you all...

Today I wanted to write about how you don't notice yourself making progress, you don't notice the little changes until they've all summed up and become a big change.

The thing that I've noticed this most with recently is my work, and how I get on in my workplace. When I first started working at a DIY/hardware store, I was totally out of my comfort zone, I felt anxious every single day and I hated it, absolutely despised it.
But now, while I still struggle with the hours (6:30am or there until 9pm?? No thank you!!), I am actually quite proud of what I've accomplished. I now have the knowledge and ability to sell screws, locks (such as the ones that go in doors, 6-pin locks and such), power tools, and much, much more, because I've given it time, And tried to better myself.

People always assume that they're terrible at something simply because they've not been doing it for very long, or they've not given it a chance.
I've done this too... I'm fairly certain that I've written about my first job, you can find it if you have a search around, but I was there for all of about a month before giving up. Sure, at this time I was also struggling with confidence issues, both in myself and outward confidence, but I gave up instead of allowing myself to grow.

*blog is now being continued from a coffee shop*

I think what I was getting at after being sleep deprived and exhausted is that you have to allow yourself to grow, and you have to struggle a bit before things start to get better.
For example, I went to work on Monday.  Before going to work, I had a bit of a panic attack, but managed to quiet it and get in my car and go to work. Sure, I was a crying a little while driving and felt absolutely terrible the entire day but I did it, and am stronger now. Yay.

I understand that sometimes, it is so incredibly difficult to push yourself to get out of bed when all you want to do is shut the world out, switch off your phone and cease to exist for a couple of hours, but that's not always possible. You'll notice yourself getting stronger, day by day.

I hope you're all doing well and keep pushing yourself to be better.

Love,
Dottie x

Monday, 8 May 2017

LIVE REVIEW: The Skints @ The Frog & Fiddle, 05/05/17

After catching The Skints supporting Less Than Jake in October last year, I absolutely had to head down to the Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham to see them on their 'Nice Time' Beer Run Tour. 

I'd like to start off by saying how awesome the venue is! All old beams and craft beers and old-style pub, and the gig room is quite literally an old barn, pretty great! 
I had a Nice Time....

So, after I'd grabbed a beer from the bar, I headed into the music room to see the support act, who was a DJ, and there was about 3 people in the room. Jamie Rodigan was playing some pretty cool reggae/old two tone stuff, but nah, I wanted to drink my beer and save my legs. 

The first support band was all-girl punk band, The Tuts. Playing proper raw punk with pretty harmonies, The Tuts challenge everything that you think a punk band should be, even wearing sparkly clothes with Dr Martens! I've only even seen one all-female band before, and The Tuts definitely blew them out of the water! It's clear that the girls are all very switched-on and politically minded, singing songs about how their gender will always hold them back in the music industry, and how we need something decent to vote for in the upcoming elections. Definitely check out their songs Tut Tut Tut, and Always Hear the Same Shit. 

Jamie Rodigan played another DJ set as The Skints' team was setting up, and this time it was a lot more fun, with everyone singing along and dancing to the super fun reggae and ska hits, from Bob Marley to Madness. 

Finally, finally it was time for the band that all 200+ people in the barn were waiting for - The Skints! As much a dance band as a reggae band, it is impossible to confine The Skints to just one genre. It's so easy to get caught up in the chilled out, yet insanely fun sound of the band's music, Opening with Up Against the Wall Riddim (I think?), the entire audience was immediately bopping along. 
We were also treated to a cover (which I didn't know, sorry!), the ska-tastic Friends and Business, and The Forest for the Trees, along with so many others from previous albums, Rise Up, Rubadubdub, and Rat-at-at
Closing their main set was Cutlure Vulture, and of course everyone, band and audience alike gave it their all, singing and dancing as loud, and as much as possible. To chants of "one more set!" from the audience, guitarist/vocalist Joshua Waters Rudge crept back onstage behind a potted tree, which was part of their stage decoration. He was shortly followed by the rest of the band, and we finally got to see main vocalist and drummer, Jamie Kyriakides, who donned an acoustic guitar and played Sunny Sunny all stripped down. The most amazing experience I've had at a live gig was when I closed my eyes as they were playing this song - it felt like it was just me and the music, and it was so odd to see so many people when I opened my eyes again! 
The sound of The Skints is an odd one; it's so bass-heavy, you can feel yourself moving because of it, but over the heavy low end is such a chilled out reggae sound, it's such an odd combination - but it works. The Skints sure know how to party, and picked the best venue to do so!

Before they left the stage for the final time, Joshua hinted at touring again over summer, after new music was released, so maybe stay tuned for an album review?

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I'm Not Dead....

Hello! It's almost 10pm and my body is telling me to go to bed, but I needed to write this little post to let you all know that I'm not dead! 


Over the last two weeks, I was enjoying my Easter break, and some time off from college. I gave myself plenty of opportunities to see friends, have a rest, and just generally look after myself. I went back to college today, and things are starting to get pretty stressful; I've got around six to eight weeks left to complete what currently feels like an awful lot of work, and on top of that, it's looking unlikely that I'll have a day off over the next three week. This is because I do three days a week at college, and my work is so understaffed, I'm having to do four days there. 

This little post is just to let you all know that if I'm quiet over the next few weeks, I'm very stressed and exhausted, and am trying my best to look after myself. However, my life hasn't been, and hopefully won't be all work and no play, because I'm starting to really enjoy photography, so even if I'm not here blogging, I'll be thinking about it!
I have lots of ideas for posts written and planned out, I am just struggling to find the time and motivation to actually write, and take photos. 


I promise to try and get back to blogging once I have more free time!
- Dottie x

Friday, 14 April 2017

What "Treating Yourself" REALLY Is

Treating yourself is getting up extra early to watch the sunrise
Because it makes you wonder at the world. 

Treating yourself is baking cupcakes 
Because it makes you happier than anything else. 

Treating yourself is taking a nap at 3pm, after starting work at 7am
Because hell, you deserve it. 

Treating yourself is taking the time to do your makeup just so
And wearing dark lipstick
Because it makes you feel powerful enough to take on the world.

Taking the time for a solitary coffee-and-book date
Because you love the calm that settles over you.

Treating yourself is shaving your legs in the middle of winter, or wearing pretty underwear
Because it makes you feel so damn good about yourself. 

That warm feeling you get inside after making the time for a hot cup of tea on a cold morning?
Or that happiness that spreads through your body after a hot chocolate with extra cream?
Treating yourself
Isn't
Always
Spending
Money
On
Things
You
Don't
Need
.



Thursday, 6 April 2017

Where I Went/TMI Tag

Hello, it has been what feels like forever since I last sat down and wrote a blog post. The reason behind that is because I worked nearly thirty hours last week, on top of going to college. This is something that I just find very exhausting, so naturally when I got home each day, I'd just curl up and sleep instead of doing something productive.
To make up for my absence, I thought I'd give you all a little insight into my life, yay. 

1. What are you wearing?
I am currently wearing a military green cold-shoulder smock dress, and purple fluffy socks. I am a fashion hero...

2. Have you ever been in love?
I'd like to think I am, but having never experienced it, how do I really know?

3. Have you ever had a terrible breakup?
Almost...

4.  How tall are you?
5'6" or thereabouts.

5. How much do you weigh?
Less than I did three months ago, and less that I probably should for the amount I spend running around a warehouse/walking to and from college.

6. Any tattoos?
Yes, I got a daisy chain around my ankle in February.

7. Any piercings?
Six - nose, two lobe piercings on each side, conch, and helix.

8. OTP?
Who knows? (not me)

9. What is your favourite show?
Miranda 

10. Who are your favourite bands?
Biffy Clyro, Slaves (UK), Dead!, and Let's Eat Grandma.

11. Something you miss?
Weekends - I work mine now.

12. Favourite song?
Machines - BIffy Clyr0

13. How old are you?
18

14. Zodiac Sign?
Libra

15. Quality you look for in a partner?
Kind, warm-hearted, caring, and understanding of the fact that I need space. (also must like good books, bands, and movies).

16. What is your favourite quote?
"I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions" - Augusten Burroughs

17. Who is your favourite actor?
I don't really know actors...

18. Favourite colour?
Yellow.

19. Loud music or soft?
It depends on what I'm listening to, where I am, who I'm with, etc. etc.

20. Where do you go when you're sad?
My bed, its so warm and cosy and comforting.

21. How long does it take you to shower?
About 20 minutes...

22. How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning?
Anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours...

23. Have you ever been in a physical fight?
Nope

24. Turn ons?
Nice smile, friendly eyes, very open.

25. Turn offs?
Rude, waaaay too forward, making gross sexist comments.

26. The reason you joined the blogging community?
I wanted somewhere to share my thoughts and just be myself.

27. What are your fears?
Forgetting.

28. Last thing that made you cry?
I was very over-tired from working so much last week, I couldn't decide what to wear on Tuesday and was running late and ended up sobbing...

29. Last time you said you loved someone?
Today, to my mum.

30. Meaning behind your blog name?
I had a Wheatus phase...

31. Last book you read?
Allegiant - Veronica Roth

32. Book you're currently reading?
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

33. Last show you watched?
Clique on the BBC Three iPlayer.

34. Last person you talked to?
My mum.

35. The relationship between you and the last person you texted?
One of my best mates from college.

36. What is your favourite food?
Crunchy food like breadsticks, biscuits, etc.

37. Place you want to visit
Australia.

38. Last place you were?
A gym/swimming centre to register for a trial pass.

39. Do you have a crush?
I have a boyfriend so...

40. Last time you kissed someone?
Yesterday.

41. Last time you were insulted?
Jokingly would have been today. Properly, I actually don't know.

42. Favourite flavor or sweet?
Chocolate, especially cake.

43. What instruments do you play?
I used to play guitar, but haven't for quite a while...

44. Favourite piece of jewellery?
My Maori Fish-hook necklace.

45. Last sport you played?
I genuinely have no clue, it's been that long!

46. Last song you sang?
Eat Shiitake Mushrooms by Let's Eat Grandma - it's the album currently in my car stereo.

47. Favourite pick up line?
Do not ever come near me with pick up lines.

48. Have you ever used it?
Never in my life.

49. Last time you hung out with anyone
Yesterday after college.

50. Who should answer these questions next?
YOU reading this! Pick at least one to answer in the comments so I can get to know you!!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Tips & Products for Caring For Oily/Spotty/Teenage Skin

One thing that I've learnt, and begun to enjoy recently is my skincare regime. I've been trying to drink more water and making sure that I moisturise twice a day. But other than that, here's how I care for my oily/spotty/teenage skin...

As I've already mentioned, drinking water and moisturising are two of the most important things you can do. Drinking water is good not only for your skin, but for your body in general, so make a good effort to actually do it!! It'll leave your skin glowing and radiant! Also, no matter what type of skin you have, you need to moisturise. If you don't, your skin will produce more oils to compensate for the moisture it needs. That's most definitely not what you want! 

Every morning, I will wash my face using either a cleansing product from Simple's Oil Balancing range, or Ocean Salt or Dark Angels by Lush. I'll then use either Simple's light hydrating moisturiser, or the oil balancing one. If I've used Dark Angels then I use Lush's Tea Tree Water before putting on moisturiser, to close my pores and remove any charcoal residue from my face and neck. In the evenings, I'll just use a thick Nivea moisturiser after washing my face with water in the shower. Once a week, I use Lush's Mask of Magnaminty, or Ocean Salt, depending on whether my skin is dry, or spotty. (products linked below!)
I also try to go makeup-free for most of the week, as it allows my skin to breathe, and I realised that masking spots can end up making them worse. Read more about why I don't wear makeup everyday here

While having oily/spotty skin is part of being a teenager, there are products that you can use to minimise this. So, here they are: 

Finally, you need to ensure that you aren't putting lots of makeup on your face and leaving it there. This isn't good for you, no matter your skin type. Remove eye makeup using a gentle eye makeup remover, such as the Nivea one, and then use a gentle cleanser to remove the rest of your makeup and any residue. Then, you can use a face mask (but not everyday!), and pop on some moisturiser to bring your face back to it's healthy natural state. It might take longer than just using baby wipes or makeup remover wipes, but it's a lot better for your skin! You also need to ensure that you're washing your face at least once a day, and you're using products that actually work for your skin. 

Finally, spots and your skin is impacted by more than just what you put on it; stress, the flu or being poorly can cause more spots, as can hormones, and your diet. Please don't stress it if you do have spots or oily skin because we've all been there, and we all understand. As unfair as it seems, it's part of growing up, so you kind of just have to accept it. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! I wanted to share the products that I've been using that have been working for me, as they might help some of you out there! I know that Lush is expensive, and you may have allergies to certain products I've mentioned, but as always, you'll end up finding what works for you, it's just trial and error. 

Now, go hydrate!!! 

- Dottie x

Thursday, 16 March 2017

5 Ways to be Productive When You're Not Feeling It...

If you guys are anything like me and you're working and seeing friends and going to college or uni or school, then you'll be almost constantly exhausted and feel like you still have so much to do. 
When it comes to days off, I know all I want to do is sleep until midday, and then watch Netflix in my pyjamas for the rest of the afternoon. But because I'm averaging about one day off a week, I usually end up with so much to do, despite not feeling it. 

So, here are my suggestions for having a lazy but productive day... 

1. Clean and tidy your room
This is an instant mood boot, put clothes in the wash, put everything back where it lives. Give the floor a vacuum, clean your mirrors and windows, put some fresh bedsheets on. You'll feel the benefits of this for a few days at least, unless you're really bad at keeping your room tidy! 

2. Wash your makeup brushes
This always feels like a massive task to me, so much so that I've not done it for at least a month... Maybe two. But this is good not only for you and your skin, but for feeling like you've actually done something. Yay!

3. Polish your boots
If you guys are like me, you'll basically live in leather boots/Dr Martens. I very rarely give mine the love and care they deserve, so make some time to give your boots and shoes a good clean. It's a great way to feel inspired to create some new outfits, and it'll take all of about five minutes. 

4. Get moving! 
Get outside and go for a walk or a run, or do some exercise in your own home! I never make enough time to do exercise, but I'm trying to do some yoga a couple of times a week. What better time to do something than a day off?! 

5. Read a book
I always feel like I've accomplished something when I've spent a day reading and finished a book. Try it! 

So, I hope these tips were helpful! A day off doesn't always have to mean relaxing, you can still get stuff done and feel good about it! 

- Dottie x

Saturday, 11 March 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Spinster Club Trilogy

The Spinster Club trilogy is a series of books written by author Holly Bourne. It follows a group of three teenage girls in college (UK) as they struggle with growing up, being okay, and being a feminist. The three books are called Am I Normal Yet?, How Hard Can Love Be, and What's a Girl Gotta Do?

Each book follows a different character and highlights the struggles of growing up. The first follows character Evie as she struggles with recovering from OCD and finding the perfect boy. The second features Amber, who spends her summer working at an American camp with her ex-alcoholic mother and a million and one difficult children. The third is a feminist quest from Lottie, who battles the sexism and prepares for a big uni interview. 

I really enjoyed reading these books, I do think they're great, and also a really good way to start to introduce teenage girls to feminism without all of the "men are pigs" "men who hold doors open for you are oppressing you" "all men are the same" nonsense. While not all of the equality issues are addressed (FGM, being forced to marry, etc. etc.), it does highlight how women face sexism in their everyday lives and I think that's important. 

I also like that these books highlight all aspects of teenage life - the struggles of school, the pressures of how to look and act, the struggles of finding who you are... These books have it all. Of course, they don't highlight normal life for everyone, and at some points the characters seem far from realistic, but it's fictional teen drama, so that's forgivable. 

I did really enjoy reading these books, so I don't want to pick them apart too much, or give any spoilers! There are so many important things covered in each book, and they definitely make for good reads! If you enjoy anything by John Green, then I can tell you that you will 100% love these books because they're just so much better than anything Mr Green has written (sorry... TFIOS is definitely overrated though...). 

So, here are the links to purchase them from Amazon.co.uk: 

So what are you waiting for?! Check 'em out and start yourself a feminist revolution!! 
- Dottie x 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Social Media-Induced Idea of a "Perfect Life"...

Hey look, I do it too...
In today's society, we are so invested in our online lives, and our online personas. I know that I'm the same, so I'm hardly judging anyone here. I find it fun to take photos and adjust all of the little things on Instagram to make it look enhanced. My heart swells a little when someone likes the photo. It's fun. And that's exactly how it should remain. 

I overheard a conversation the other day about what Instagram photos should be deleted, which should be kept, and how their "theme" is going... Now of course it's perfectly fine to want your insta to look good, I'm the same, but there's a point you reach where you kind of stop just wanting to share your life, and it becomes something of a problem.

I see it most in Instagram as it's the social media I use the most, but so many people try so hard to make it seem as though their lives are perfect, at least on social media. I'm not saying that you should post a photo every time you break down sobbing, but let your social media be messy. Themes don't matter, just post what makes you happy. 

In the online makeup community, there are so many photos and videos of people covering acne scars, and tiny blemishes that you cannot even see. This is what I'm talking about - creating a false sense of perfect, not showing any flaws whatsoever. I fail to understand what's so wrong with letting a little spot show, and there are so many "hacks" to stop getting spots when - newsflash - it's part of life and part of growing up. 

People will post photos of insanely skinny models and call it "goals". Think of the little girls reading that who perhaps have a bit of puppy fat or don't have massive boobs and think of the negative effect on them and their self-perception. 
People on social media fail to show the negative aspects of their lives, fail to show that they're human, and us looking at that can be damaged by that. 

We all look at people online and see skinny bodies, massive muscles, perfect makeup, amazing holidays, and the list goes on. We look at them and see our lives as so much less, pointless, worthless, because we don't have these things. 

What we don't see is the working crazy hours to earn enough for that holiday, the gruelling hours at the gym to achieve that perfect body. Social media doesn't show the breakdowns, and the arguments and the hard work and effort that goes into someone's life. 

The solution to this problem to take everything you see online with a pinch of salt - you don't know how good the person is at editing, what they do when they aren't online. We need to stop comparing our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel. 

Let yourself be real

Let yourself be messy, and free and laugh and have fun and put thoughts of likes and comments and followers out of your head. You have only one life, don't waste it all away wishing to be someone else. 

- Dottie x

Monday, 6 March 2017

Why I Don't Wear Makeup Everyday...

Makeup is fun, I'll give you that. I love going to stores and looking at new lipstick shades and buying new eye shadow palettes. I find so much joy in transforming my face into one that looks so perfect, and so different. 
Not many foundations I've tried will cover my lil spot scars

I used to do this every single day before work and before college and even before going to watch a few movies with my boyfriend. I kind of reached the point where it wasn't fun anymore, it was something that I felt I had to do, to be pretty, to be noticed, to be worthy of the love of my boyfriend. It makes no sense, I know, but I had to put makeup on, even if it meant I didn't eat that morning. It made it worse that I'd get home after a long day and just not bother to properly remove my makeup and treat my skin. 

It took a few months of this before I realised what I was doing to my skin, I was covering spots and just making my skin worse, and hating it. So I stopped spending on makeup, and invested in some good skincare products instead. (Look out for a post featuring these!). My cheeks are dotted with little acne scars from where I picked at my spots, and I occasionally get the odd blackhead from when my pores were so clogged up with foundation, but I've come to love this face of mine. 

I have started to choose sleep and breakfast over foundation, cared-for skin over perfect eyeliner. I feel much better for it, and all of those negative thoughts and feelings surrounding makeup have completely vanished now. 

Sometimes you've got to do things like this, for your mental health, for your body's health. It's the same as taking time out from a busy schedule. It's no big deal, and you're still you at the end of the day. 

But we're only human, and we have to make the correct choices for us. 

I am able to enjoy wearing makeup and dressing up now, much more than I did before. I get a sense of pride now when I look at my made-up self, because I went to the effort to look nice. And I can actually look like I've made an effort for events, etc. now! Which is quite fun! 😁 (I just discovered the emoji thing, it's quite cute!) 

So there we have it... Look after your faces folks, your skin will thank you for it!! 

- Dottie x

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Tips for Feeling More Confident Everyday...

We all have days where we are dreading what's going to happen, or we wake up feeling just a little apprehensive about what we have to get done that day. 

I know this happens to me a lot, particularly when I have to drive somewhere new, or meet someone new, or just sometimes when I have a lot going on. When you've already gotten up in the morning and you have too much time and not enough to do, there are some tips I have for you to help you to take your mind off of your rushing thoughts, or to feel a little calmer. 

The first thing I try to do is to look how I want to. I make sure that I get up in plenty of time to pick out some clothes that I feel both confident and comfortable in. I don't usually wear makeup or do much to my hair, but if this helps you to relax and feel comfortable and happy with you, then please do it. It'll help you ♥ 

Something that definitely helps me to feel more confident is to wear my favourite scents. When I had just started college, I felt anxious/worried a lot, and something that helped was spraying some vanilla body perfume on my neck, where I'd move and sometimes smell it. It was such a comfort as it's such a warm and welcoming smell. Now, I have various scented hand soaps and body washes from Lush, which I'll wash my hands with before I leave the house. The scent stays long enough for me to stop feeling nervous and to start feeling confident in my situation. It sounds like a silly little thing, but it will help. 

When you're feeling nervous or scared of a situation surrounding people, try to understand that they are probably feeling nervous too, especially if it's a big presentation or an interview. You won't be the only feeling scared of your situation, and this always seems to be a comfort to me. 

By trying to relax and not think of the other things you have to stress about on a day when you have enough going on, you'll minimise the worry of the moment. Just think (not too much!!) about the task/day ahead. Just go with the flow, and try to block out whatever is on the horizon for you. Take some calming breaths and continue as best you can.
Fitting with this (ish..), try your best to feel confident in yourself, and to love yourself. Appreciate yourself for all that you can do, and know that you have the strength to make it though today's stress as well. You've got this!

Finally, the last tip I have to offer you is to Fake It till You Make It. Confident and self-love/appreciation doesn't happen overnight; it takes time. Just pretend like you got this, and pretend you know what you're doing and chances are, it'll happen. 

Again, you got this. You can handle today, and all of the other days to come. 
You can do it!!

♥ Dottie x 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Treat Yourself this Valentine's Day ♥

Valentine's Day originated in Roman times; on February 15th, they celebrated a festival of Lupercalia, a ceremony of fertility. As this was a Pagan celebration, the Pope Gelasius decided to rename it as a Christian feat day, and the 14th of February was henceforth known as St. Valentine's Day. There were at least three St Valentines in early Christian times... So basically, Valentine's Day is a great mystery based upon the celebration of our bodies being able to bring life... 

Today, Valentine's Day is kind of shoved in our faces right from the off; as soon as we reach January, there's red roses everywhere and posters telling us what we should buy to show someone we love them. But really, we don't need just one day to show people we're loved, we can do it any and every day we see fit... You don't need to buy them the perfect present for them to know how much they mean to you. 

Another thing that comes along with Valentine's Day is so many people feeling as though they should have the perfect partner... No.
Take today for you. Fall in love with yourself. Wonder at the world, and your place in it. We are tiny in comparison to the universe, but you are significant. You have a place here. Marvel at how lucky you are to be alive, and at what this world has. 

There are some amazing species on this earth, and you have the power to become one of them. You're made of the same atoms as the stars and the sand and the tallest of trees and you are wonderful. 

Appreciate yourself. You're so much stronger than you think you are, you can do anything if you truly believe it. You have the means of walking the earth and seeing the greatest of sights. 

Take today for yourself. Run yourself a bath, take a walk to your favourite place, eat that yummy-looking cupcake. Today, do whatever makes you happy, make your body feel loved. 

Today isn't about who is loving you. It's about you loving you, and knowing just what you're capable of achieving. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Independent Venue Week - Dead @ The Sunflower Lounge 26/01/17

Independent Venue Week is a 7-day long celebration of small music venues around the UK, and a sort of shout-out to those who own, run, and work in them. The week supports small bands and artists and allow fans to be right up close to musicians that one day might be headlining massive festivals.
Bex Saunders Photography
I headed down (up?) to the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham to check out Dead!'s performance. The band were supported by False Advertising, and Orcas

The first band to step up onto the teeny tiny stage was in fact Orcas. While they looked a little scared of the audience in front of them, when they got into the music, all of that went away, and for a band I'd never listened to before, they got me interested and definitely wanting to hear more!

False Advertising stepped up next, and immediately caught my attention with their heavy riffs and strong female lead vocal. (I'd compare them to Milk Teeth, but while they're in that "cool with female band member" section, I'd say the music is a little different). 
The band played with passion and energy, and definitely got the crowd excited for Dead!
Frontwoman Jen Hingley provided stunning and interesting vocals, accompanied by band members Chris Warr and Josh Sellers. Playing tracks such as Dozer and Give it Your Worst, I'd say False Advertising are definitely one to watch!

Finally, at long last it was time for Dead! to play their set! As always, the boys brought an incredible amount of energy to the room, and very quickly got the whole room bouncing, singing, and dancing! 
Playing old favourites such as Phantom and We Are Dead, and treating us to some new tracks from their upcoming album, the band managed to capture the attention of everyone in the room. Frontman Alex Mountford put incredible amounts of emotion into his performance, moving around the stage with the energy of a man possessed. After letting us in on the 'secret' of not doing an encore, the band left the stage (too early at before even 10:30pm!!) sweating and exhausted, yet seemingly exhilarated.
Dead are a band that always manage to make their live performances energetic, interesting, and crowd-involving, and the show at the Sunflower Lounge was no different. 
Thank you, guys!  

Thursday, 2 February 2017

My Most Perfect Morning...

The perfect morning would see me waking up at about 8:30am - without an alarm (or three!) - feeling well-rested and positive about the day ahead of me. Before this perfect morning, I would have already scheduled my plan of what I need to get done and when, leaving me much more time to actually be getting on with tasks. 

On said perfect morning, I'd wake up on time and with freshly washed hair, instead of having to dry shampoo the shit out of it because I was just too tired to shower the previous evening.
I'd have the day's outfit planned and ready to put on - something stylish and flattering, whilst also being comfy and practical for the weather. 

I'd roll out of bed and put on my fluffy dressing gown, and pad to the kitchen where I could make the world's best cup of tea and drink it whilst reading a really good book. 
Once the tea was finished (and maybe even the book...), I'd pop some crumpets in the toaster (because this is my ideal morning, I'd obviously have a toaster that I can put crumpets in, like a normal human), and get the butter and strawberry jam out of the fridge. Whilst eating, I'd catch up on any missed blog posts from the wonderful people I follow, and then set to work writing my own. 

My most perfect morning would see me most at peace with the world already up and awake around me. 

My most perfect morning would see me confident, happy, and see nothing going wrong. 

I'd be organised, wake up in a clean room, feeling clean and safe and warm. I'd be happy, not at all stressed, and the kind of relaxed you  feel after the perfect night's sleep. 

Please can I have a most perfect morning? I feel it's about time it happened to me...

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Most AMAZING Shower Gel?!

Hello there! For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive an amazing gift box from LUSH! Inside it was:

Green Fun 
The Comforter Shower Cream
Bubblegum Lip Scrub
 Rock Star Soap
Refresher Shower Jelly

The aim of this post was just to take a few photos to document how pretty the packaging of these products is, but I kind of used up the green Fun before I had a chance to take any photos, so I guess this is kind of a review post too.
So, the box these (full size!) products came in was the cutest, made of recycled cardboard and covered in cute smiley faces, wrapped up in a pretty dotty ribbon. I thought that was a nice touch. 

I'll start by talking about Fun because I've used that one much more than the other products. It makes the most amazing bubbles when you crumble it under the hot tap of your bath; it smells so subtle, yet it's also really in your face, which doesn't make much sense, but you need to smell it to believe it. When I get out of the bath, my skin always feels really soft, and it doesn't leave a greasy residue like some other bubble baths can. I've not yet used it to wash my hair, but I want to so will definitely be buying this again! 

The Comforter shower cream smells so lovely. It reminds me of blackcurrant squash, and blackcurrant Soothers, which when I'm ill, always make me feel better. I guess that's the aim of this shower gel, too? I like that it's really easy to pour from the bottle (some shower gels are so difficult to get onto the bath poof/loofah/sponge), and it has the slightest hint of glitter. It doesn't lather amazingly, but the fact that it smells just so goddamn gorgeous really makes up for that. (Unfortunately it has almond oil in, so I probably can't buy again as I'm allergic...)

Ahh, the Bubblegum lip scrub... It's just so sweet (pun intended...) I'd been meaning to purchase/make a lip scrub for ages, as my lips get very dry and chapped, especially during the winter months. I use this lip scrub with The Body Shop's Frosted Berries lip balm, and it really does leave my lips soft and kissably smooth! (just ask my boyf). I'd definitely buy a Lush lip scrub again, perhaps the Popcorn one which I tried out in-store and it was salty and sweet at the same time, which kinda blew my mind...

As someone who really loves vanilla, the Rock Star soap is perfect for me. It's a creamy bar soap that doesn't leave your hands feeling dry after use, and it smells so soft and gentle, I really love it. There's not a lot that can be said about a bar of soap, but it does smell nice, so pro points for that, Lush.

Finally, I haven't used the Refresher shower jelly (party because I have no clue how), but the scent is so zingy and tangy that I really am excited to try it! 

So there we go, five lush Lush products (hah...). I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing and taking photos for this, let me know if you want to see more stuff like this!

Thank you,
- Dottie x

This was too cute not to post