Hello lovelies!

Today's post is kind of a big deal because it's something I've wanted to talk about for a long time on my blog. But up until now, I've been too nervous to write about something which is so sensitive to so many, myself included. I want to write quite a few posts on mental health and I hope that as my confidence grows these posts might help and inspire at least one person.

For almost two years now, I have battled with depression and anxiety. A lot of factors contributed to it and it very nearly ruined my life. There are a million and one ways to fight mental health issues but I'm just going to tell you a little bit about something that's helped me.

After a really bad year, I referred myself to counselling through my university. I wasn't really sure about how talking to a stranger about my feelings would help me, but after hitting rock bottom, I decided that anything was worth trying.

Within a few days of applying online, I had a triage appointment, where I was asked about what I'd been through and what I felt I needed help with the most. I was then "matched" with a counsellor who the service thought would suit me best and would be able to help me, and it was so reassuring that I wasn't just being randomly assigned to someone.

Helen, the lady that I was assigned to, was absolutely wonderful. She made me feel at ease straight away, took things at my pace and reassured me that it was okay to cry. Tiny things which make a massive difference. The first session was pretty intense, but I went home feeling so much better about getting emotions off my chest that I'd been bottling up for months.

Over the course of nine months, Helen and I began to work through every little thing that was causing problems and contributing to my depression and anxiety. I had trouble sleeping, she gave me tips to help. I had panic attacks, she taught me breathing exercises to keep them under control. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, she told me to set myself tiny goals for every 15 minutes, even if it was just getting in the shower, so that I could get myself to uni. Again, tiny things, but it was practical help that I could use.

All the while we were figuring out why I felt the way I did. I talked everything out with Helen, even things which I thought I had forgotten about or seemed really insignificant. She helped me think about things differently, so that I could come to terms with certain things that had happened to me.

I slowly began to feel like my old self again. And I know that I wouldn't be at this point without counselling. Even now, if I'm having a bad day or I'm in a busy club and can feel the panic starting to rise, I still use the advice that Helen gave me to keep it under control.

I'm certainly not saying that counselling is for everyone, but it can be an absolutely brilliant way or accepting your past and start to move forward. Just having someone to confide in helps immeasurably. I cannot thank Helen and UCS Sheffield enough, they've been absolutely invaluable to my recovery.

I'm sorry that this post is uber-long and a bit of a ramble! I'm pretty nervous about posting this, so please let me know what you think, or if you need to have a chat about what I've talked about, or anything else, you can tweet me (publicly or privately, it's up to you) @SianKathrine

Sian Kathrine xo

Hello lovelies!

I'm a very lucky girl. I'm at my dream university, studying my dream degree. It's something I've wanted to do since I was 11 years old and I've worked really hard to get to this point.

When I tell people that I'm studying Journalism, it's usually met with one of three responses; "Oooh, will I be seeing you on the telly soon, then?!" (GUYS, newspapers and the radio are still a thing, okay?!)

Or it's "well, that sounds interesting, I bet you get to do all sorts of amazing things!"

Or my personal favourite, "Is that really a proper degree?" (Yes, people do actually say this to me. And yes, it IS a proper degree!)

On Monday, I start my final year and I thought now would be a good time to do a post on what it's really like to be a Journalism student and the work we have to put in.

1. Shorthand
Most journalism courses will put emphasis on shorthand and encourage you to get a shorthand qualification. Shorthand is soul-destroying. It's literally like trying to learn another language- you have to practice a little bit every day. When you don't practice, you feel guilty for not practicing, it's like a little niggle in the back of your head all the time! Three years in, I still need to master it and with every new term I promise myself that I'll nail it this time and pass. Maybe this year- we'll see.

2. It isn't glitz and glam
No, I don't get to report on really exciting stories. I mean, every so often you get a little gem of a story, but 90% of the time, you're sat in an incredibly boring council meeting, or spending your day in the lobby of a court waiting for a delayed case to start, wondering how you're going to hit your word count. Or you're begging a local councillor to give you an interview for news-day but they're either not responding or reluctant to waste their time with a student because they have a million and one other things to do. Journalism is so heavily reliant on other people that there is no winging it, no inventing stories at the last minute.

3. We have to do a little bit of everything
This may have been a little naive, but I never would have thought that I'd have to study a bit of politics, a bit of public affairs and a bit of law. I've had to buy some ridiculously thick textbooks and wade through some long and incredibly boring topics, which I did not expect from such a vocational course!

And between all of this, there's long nights in the library, battling with editing, white-balancing and slow news days.

Despite all of that, I do love my degree. It's hard work, but still the best decision I ever made. So the next person who tries to tell me it isn't a real degree can read this post and eat their words!

Are there any harsh realities you have to go through at school/uni/work?

Sian Kathrine xo
Hello lovelies!

Like pretty much everyone else in the world, I've got a real obsession with MAC lipsticks. The pigments are amazing, they last all day, and there are so. Many. Colours.

Every few months, my payday treat to myself is a new MAC lipstick (the idea is that I allow myself a little treat so that I don't go crazy on the spending... It doesn't always work that way for me.) While I'm counting down until my next payday and I'll soon be choosing my next shade, I thought I'd share with you the little collection that I've built so far.

Left to Right: Fanfare, LadyBug, Brave, Capricious, Costa Chic

Fanfare is a beautiful pink shade, which I tend to wear when I want a little pop of colour. The formula is really creamy with a gorgeous sheen, but not at all sticky and really wearable. It's such a lovely girly shade which you can all the time.

For anyone who's only just started wearing lipstick, trying to rock a red can be a little bit daunting. LadyBug is the perfect beginner's red lipstick. Its rich texture lets you build the colour up layer by layer, which means it is subtle enough to wear during the day but you can also use it for a bold night-time red.

Brave is my go-to shade. Subtle and flattering, Brave is a lipstick that every girl needs in her arsenal. I love it as a day-to-day lipstick to give a pretty, natural-looking finish.

Capricious is my all-time favourite Autumn lipstick. The pigment is perfect, just the right amount of purple without looking over-dramatic. I'm so excited to start wearing this colour more over the Autumn!

I was bought Costa Chic as a present, and I was pretty worried about where or not I'd pull off such a bright colour. But it's a fabulous shade, especially for summer and makes such a nice change from my usual soft pinks. 

Swatches left to right: Brave, Fanfare, Costa Chic, LadyBug, Capricious

What's your favourite lipstick? Do you have any recommendations for my next purchase?

Sian Kathrine xo