Body Image: Giving Myself A Break

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

If you've been following me for a while, you might have seen my last post about body image, where I talked quite openly about how low I had been feeling about my body.

Well, let me tell you. Two years on, and things aren't that much different.

The thing is, I've had body-confidence issues since I was roughly 15, which looking back, I know is incredibly young to start worrying about how fat or thin you are, or why you look the way you do. At school, I was always incredibly self-conscious of the fact that the other girls in my year were very slender, and I was the girl with big boobs and big hips, and slightly chunkier thighs than everyone else. Not necessarily 'fat' or anything, just... different. And at the age of 15, different is enough.

Fast-forward nine years later, and I still struggle. I've probably tried every diet and technique you can think of. I have periods of days, weeks, months where I hate what I see in the mirror. Going shopping for clothes for nights out stresses me out no end because all I can see in my head is the skimpy, tight-fitting dresses looking ridiculous on my body. (To the point where I was in tears whilst shopping for something for the office Christmas party and Dan didn't quite know what to do with me. Poor bugger.) And I still haven't put the oversized jumpers away, mostly because I can't face going back to the pretty dresses that I usually wear because I just don't think they look quite right.

It's often hard to rationalise and articulate how you feel about your body because your thoughts get so intertwined in your head, and it's such a personal thing that when it comes out, it doesn't make much sense to anyone else. But the best way I can describe it is that I have this idea in my head of how I should look. And that doesn't marry with what I do look like. I can't quite own my big boobs and curvy hips because I've still got my 15 year old self, who was 'different', somewhere in the back of my brain telling me that I'm not good enough to wear the bodycon dress.

And that sucks.

Especially when in reality, I know I'm not different, because no two bodies are the same. And no shape is less beautiful than another. I also know that when my two year old niece is older, I'll harp on to her no end about how being kind and loving and generous are so much more important than how you look. So why can't I give myself a break?

I think everyone is their own worst enemy. We self-criticise constantly, and we care so much about how others perceive us that we forget how to love ourselves.

So, I've recently decided to start loving myself more. By eating proper, healthy food, not just whatever I can grab. Pampering myself more often. Dressing in clothes I love without wondering what other people will think, and just wearing it because I love it. And accepting the fact that okay, maybe it isn't practical for me to wear shirts because you know, buttons. I'm not the only one.

Please, if any of this relates to you, try to do the same. You're beautiful. Okay?

Sian xo

February Glossybox

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Glossybox deliveries are one of my favourite times of the month, ever. And I was especially excited for this one, as February boxes are usually, in my experiences, some of the best ones! This month's box is a make up addict's dream, let's have a look, shall we?

First up is the Sleek i-Divine Eyeshadow palette in Storm, which is the perfect little palette for anyone who loves to experiment with eye make-up looks. It contains such a mix of shimmery nudes and bold, matte shades which are all super blendable, and it's so easy to build the colour to create exactly what you want!

Next is this little rose-gold packaged box of beauty! I received an eyeliner from Steve Laurant in my December Glossybox and absolutely fell in love with it, so you can imagine my excitement when I opened my box to find more rose gold! The packaging on these products are absolutely STUNNING - this time I received a Nude Pop Lip Tint, which is so perfect for the colder weather. I've been using it every day because it's the perfect solution for my currently dry lips, and adds the perfect little pop of colour too!

I also unwrapped the Icona Milano mascara this month. I have received this in a previous box and I didn't think much to it, but I gave it another try. And it's okay. I'm incredibly fussy with mascaras anyway and I found that this one just doesn't add the length that I like. I don't mind it too much underneath my Benefit Rollerlash, just to help fan out my lashes a little, but I definitely wouldn't buy it myself.

Now this little bottle is one of my favourites out of this month's box; the Studio 19 Make Up Mist Glow-Plexion. This is a 2-in-1 spray that can be used as a primer or a setting spray. I tend to use it as a setting spray the most as I need something to keep my make up in place all day whilst I'm in the office. And it works like an absolute dream, my make up doesn't budge. Success!

Finally, we have a mini Ciate nail varnish. I've used this brand before and I love it, they do some gorgeous shades and the actual nail varnish is pretty chip-resistant, so I was thrilled to get one of these! This cute little bottle is a gorgeous shade, I love wearing brighter colours now that Spring is finally around the corner so I'll definitely be getting some wear out of this!

Have you ever tried any of these products before?

Sian xo

Valentine's Day

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentine's Day is everywhere right now. From the lacy lingerie sets in shop windows, to heart-shaped helium balloons, to the pink-and-silver displays in Pandora. Not to mention the queue of men outside on the 13th who have clearly forgotten. It's as if we've barely packed away our Christmas trees before the shops are filling up again with huge bouquets of roses and teddies with cheesy messages on them.

I've had lots of different types of Valentine's Day. From the odd one where I've received one of the aforementioned teddies, to ones which I've wanted to climb under a rock and ignore due to my completely tragic single state.

My personal favourites include Valentine's Day two years ago, where I was single for the first time in five years, and very publicly insistent that I was to hide in bed all day and cry at my impending spinsterhood. Luckily one of my best friends wasn't having that. She turned up on my doorstep, M&S Dine In for 2 in hand, and we drank wine from 1pm, then went out and got hideously drunk on cocktails. And it was wonderful.

Another favourite was last year, when I got a lift home from work from an incredibly flirty taxi driver. Who apparently couldn't believe that I was on my own on Valentine's Day, and ordered a pizza to my house after dropping me off with his phone number on the receipt. No, I didn't call him. But if that isn't modern-day romance, I don't know what is.

What I don't really get about Valentine's Day is the gimmicks and the expectation. The older I've got, the more I've realised that relationships aren't hearts and flowers and over-the-top statements of love. The relationship I'm in now definitely isn't. As a general rule, I roll my eyes at him approximately 50 times a day and have to try my very best not to suffocate him with my pillow when he snores like a freight train. Don't get me wrong, he never fails to tell me that I look pretty on a daily basis (even when I don't) and we laugh so much, but if we were to have a gimmicky, cheesy Valentine's Day, it would just feel kind of unnatural.

And then there's the expectation. The expectation, especially on guys, to do something extravagant for their significant other on the day, whether that's an expensive gift or a lavish dinner, or a day of surprises around every corner. And do you know what, if you can do that, then fab. But a lot of people can't. I know that Dan certainly couldn't, and nor would I want him to. We both work incredibly hard but still always seem to be having to watch the pennies, so any ideas of flamboyant gifts on Valentine's Day just aren't a reality. But that's fine! I don't want him to feel the pressure of it, and I definitely don't want him to feel guilty as we both find posts of '#luckygirl #spoilt' all over our social media. It's one day. 

I've experienced lots of different kind of Valentine's Days. This year, I'm going to be cooking dinner for us both, like always, and if he's very lucky, I may put working on hold for an evening to watch a film. It'll have to be Disney though. Obviously.

How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day this year, if at all?

Sian xo

Skincare For The Lazy Girl

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Okay, I'll be the first to hold my hands up here. I am completely rubbish when it comes to my skincare routine. And by rubbish, I mean lazy. I never remember to exfoliate, and you can forget eye creams, who has time for that?!

Yes, I know. Bad blogger alert. But hear me out. I'm up at 6am for work every morning, and I am in no way a morning person. And then by the time that I'm getting ready for bed, I'm so ready to crash that standing and spending ages on my skin is the last thing I want to do. Weekends are the time for a skin pamper for me, and that's when I give my face some serious TLC. But during the week, I'd rather have an extra ten minutes in bed, if I'm being honest.

Sound like you?

In celebration of the lazy girl, I've put together my easy-peasy skincare routine that will probably take you under five minutes - perfect for those of us who just can't do mornings!

Step One: Remove Make Up

There's nothing other than Garnier Micellar Water for removing make up for me. I've been using this for a good couple of years now and I just love how easy it is. Pop a bit on a cotton wool pad, rub at your face and hope for the best. Perfect for when you've had a long day and you're already half-asleep. Nine times out of ten, this tactic works perfectly. 

Step Two: Cleanse

YES, PEOPLE. YOU NEED TO USE A CLEANSER AFTER REMOVING MAKE UP, NO MATTER HOW LAZY YOU ARE. Luckily, there are some amazing cleansers out there which require minimal effort. My current favourite is Naobay Equilibria Gel to Milk Cleanser. This stuff is fab for bringing problem skin back into balance, and works wonders for my ridiculously dry skin. Simply apply, lather until it becomes a milk, and rinse. Super soft skin, no work. 

Step Three: Facial Oil

I LOVE a good facial oil. They are incredible at softening and hydrating your skin, without much effort. Apply, dab, done. You may have seen me raving about my Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil in my January Glossybox post, and the good news is I'm still just as in love with it. It smells incredible, and is so gentle and nourishing from the second that you apply it. And it only takes two seconds!

Step Four: Moisturise

A step never ever to be missed, I'm afraid. My collection of moisturisers seems to be growing by the second, and I have so many that I love. The one that I'm currently using the most is Nip + Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser, because it just does an amazing job of sorting out dry skin quickly. 

Are you like me, a lazy girl when it comes to skincare? Or do you love spending time on your skin every day?

Sian xo 

Dear Teenage Eloise

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Dear Teenage Eloise,

I know that by the time you get around to reading this, you'll probably be rolling your eyes at me because I'll wail at how cute you were when you were two and where did the time go and why did you have to grow up. I'm going to take the opportunity to apologise for that now! I'm afraid you're always going to be my Little Star, no matter how big and cool you get. Sorry.

You're a lucky kid really, because you're surrounded by people who love you. You've got incredible parents and grandparents, and a multitude of extended family who will look after you and do anything to keep you safe. Me included. But I thought I'd take the time to sit and write you a letter to read when you're a teenager, because things may happen or you may face situations that we can't protect you from. And let's face it, everyone needs a few life lessons. So get comfy kiddo, because Aunty BopBop is going to give you a bit of advice.

First of all, your mum is always right. I've known her since I was five and she's never once been wrong (and yes, it annoys me too. I feel ya, kid.)

You're a clever little girl, always have been. Your education is so, so important. Don't waste it.

You could be the kindest soul in the world and there will still be a handful of people who won't like you. Don't waste your energy worrying about those people. You can't please everybody.

On that note, being kind and honest and generous is a lot more valuable than being pretty or popular, or thin.

For the love of God, don't let anyone tell you or lead you to believe that you must be settled down and married by the time you're 25. You'll probably have to go through your fair share of frogs first. And that's okay. And when one of the frogs turns out to be just that, there is no better cure than ice cream and your friends. Trust me.

Or maybe you won't have to or be inclined to go through the frogs and you'll just want to travel the world, or build a career first. Or maybe you'll meet the love of your life at 18. I don't know, and as long as you're happy, I don't care. Just know that there is no right or wrong way of doing things.

I've discussed it at length with your dad, and we have decided no dating until you're 40. Sorry, kid.

Please stay crazy. You're a little nutter, running around wiggling your tongue to make funny noises. Or feeding me juice in a tiny plastic wine glass and pretending it's a shot (not that you knew what that meant at the time.) Don't change, you're hilarious.

Even at two years old, I know that you can do anything that you set your mind to, and you amaze me a little bit more every time that I see you. Don't be afraid to dream big. Don't let anyone limit your ambition. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something or you're not good enough. Don't let anyone talk to you as if you are inferior or incapable. Because you deserve the world, Eloise Grace, and you are capable of anything.

I love you so much Little Star, and I will always be there for you.

Aunty BopBop xo

Versatile Blogger Award

Sunday, 4 February 2018

I've never had anyone tag me in one of these awards before, but I was so thrilled when the lovely Jess at 'Foundations and Fairytales' thought of me! Thank you so much! (pssst, go check her blog out!

The Versatile Blogger Award is great as it helps you to:

  • find out things about bloggers you love
  • discover new bloggers
The rules if you are nominated are:
  • thank the person who nominated you 
  • write 7 facts about yourself
  • nominate 15 bloggers

7 Facts About Me

1. I studied Journalism at uni - I wanted to be a journalist from a very young age - around 10 or 11 I think, but I've talked very openly about how my degree threw my career plans into question for me. And even now, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do! But without a shadow of a doubt, my time at uni was the best of my life!

2. I have two younger siblings - a 20 year old brother and a 17 year old sister. Although, my brother acts as if he is the oldest and my sister is more like my twin!

3. The lady I call Grandma isn't my grandma by blood -  but she's as good as. She's an incredibly special woman whom I have known since I was 5 or 6, and she's been there for me through so much, and taught me even more. (And in all honestly, I have a lot of extended family who aren't related by blood, but I'm a big believer in you can choose your family!)

4. I taught myself to ride a bike when I was 18 - I wasn't confident trying to learn to ride a bike as a child, and my dad gave up trying to teach me pretty quickly. I found myself bored one day whilst on study leave for my A Levels, and found my sister's bike in the shed and decided I was going to teach myself to ride it. Two hours later, I did! 

5. The Lion King is my all-time favourite Disney film - I never get bored of watching it and I've even seen the stage version in London and absolutely loved it!

6. I have two tattoos - one of a dragonfly on my wrist, and the words 'sola gratia' on my ribs (that one hurt!) I'd love more very soon, but I have grown up things like a new car to buy first!

7. I've known my best friend since I was 5 years old - and she's never getting rid of me! 

15 Bloggers

(Sorry if you've already done it!)

1. Saira at Saira Says
2. Chloe at Chloe Hxx
3. Keira at Keira Toni
4. Becky at Uptown Oracle
5. Kayleigh at Kayleigh Lisa
6. Sophie at The Smurfy Gamers Blog
7. Olivia at Olivia Mulhearn
8. Lauren at Student Blog Life
9. Tobyn-Lily at Tilly Eagles
10. Kerry at Step in Time
11. Maria at No Spring Chicken
12. Ana at Caffeine Berry
13. Jenny at Jenny in Neverland
14. Saph at Simply Saph
15. Kimberley at Kimberley's Beauty Blog

Sian xo


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

It's been about 18 months since I got in my mum's car, the last of my things from my little house boxed up in her boot, and drove away from the city where I had spent the previous four years. The whole process of moving whilst finishing up at uni was nothing short of hell, so a big part of me felt relieved as I left Sheffield that day.

Since moving to Lincoln last summer, I've tried so hard to settle. But the truth is, Sheffield is home to me. It was the city where I did all of my growing up. I'm pretty homesick.

I'm homesick for city life. For finding quirky vintage shops on every corner. For knowing there'll always be a bus home until midnight. For wandering through Tudor Square during the summer and finding documentary festivals, summer events and something different every week. I'm homesick for cute coffee shops providing a refreshing change from my standard Starbucks.

I'm homesick for being less than five minutes away from my best friends. For being a city which has beautiful parks and green spaces right on the doorsteps for lazy summer days.

I'm homesick for climbing the steps at the back of the train station for the gorgeous view of the city at the top... But my lungs almost exploding in the process. I'm homesick for the Yorkshire accent and random conversations with kind strangers at the bus stop, and it being a travesty to be served PG Tips instead of Yorkshire tea.

I'm homesick for seeing the Arts Tower from the edge of the city and how you can know the streets like the back of your hand, but there's always something new to discover.

I'm just homesick.

Sian xo