Homesick

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.

Love,
Sian xo

24 Life Lessons at 24

Sunday, 28 January 2018

24. Mid-twenties. The kind of age where I expected that I'd be a fully-fledged adult, preferrably married, with a baby on the way. A big house and a steady job, you know?

Well I'm 24 tomorrow, and my life hasn't quite worked out the way I'd pictured it would have done by this age. And don't get me wrong, I am more than okay with that. But I've learned a hell of a lot of life lessons in my 24 years. And I thought, what better time to share some than for my birthday post!

1. Drawing rings around your eyes in black kohl isn't a good look on anyone.
2. You actually very rarely 'stay in touch with people', no matter how often you promise.
3. I definitely should have learned to drive when I was 17.
4. It's okay to admit that you've had a hard time.
5. Shutting people out is never, ever a good idea. In my case, you have your besties just turn up on your doorstep when you try!
6. Sixteen year old me definitely wasn't fat. And I frequently wish I could have told her so!
7. I definitely should have savoured every moment of uni that little bit more.
8. Don't listen to what those girls used to say about you. Eventually, it'll be the making of you.
9. There's nothing wrong with coming from a 'broken home', and don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
10. You'll make the best friends that you'll ever have at uni.
11. You'll always hate it, but Mum is always right.
12. Bad boys are not good for you!
13. On the note of boys, don't care so much about what they think! Other things need to come first.
14. You should have binned your hair crimpers way before you did. Seriously.
15. It's okay to not have your shit together by your early twenties. Let yourself live before worrying about all of that.
16. An adventure doesn't have to be to some far-off corner of the world to count as an adventure. Exploring your own city or taking a drive to your nearest woods is just as good.
17. Sometimes, it's the ones that you least expect that stick around.
18. Don't feel guilty about being a little bit selfish sometimes.
19. Your weight doesn't define your worth.
20. Your mental health is so, so important. Look after it.
21. Don't let anyone ever talk down to you or make you feel inferior.
22. Life won't always go according to your plan. But there's nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board.
23. You'll always go running back to your mum sometimes, no matter how old you are.
24. The people who aren't supposed to give up on you, may do just that. Luckily though, you can still choose your family.

Do you relate to any of these?

Love,
Sian xo

January Happiness Journal

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

There's no denying it, January is pretty dreary. And that's coming from a January baby. It's dark for 23 hours of the day, the rain seems to be never ending, you're skint and the only thing that can console you is the fact that you still have a stash of Christmas chocolate in reserves.

I decided that I was going to start doing Monthly Happiness Journal posts, and January seemed like the perfect time to start, to help me to remember the little things that made me happy during this seemingly dreadful time of year - even if it is just the little things.

Starting to blog again.

The obvious one, but still incredibly important. I've been so so overwhelmed this month by the amount of support I've been getting from this lovely community - the views on my blog have never been better, the engagement I'm getting is awesome AND everyone has been incredible with their comments and messages telling me how much they've enjoyed reading my posts. I never thought anyone would even read my blog anymore if I'm being completely honest, but coming back has been like coming home, and I won't be quitting again!

Eating healthily.

You know when you've eaten so much junk over Christmas that you feel like your body is crying out for a piece of fruit?! I definitely felt like that for the first week of January. BUT my office has started a weight loss incentive and competition which has forced me to get back into a routine of eating healthily, and it's been so good to be eating properly again and not feeling lethargic and sleepy from all the rubbish!

Phone calls with Eloise.

Nothing makes me happier than answering my phone and hearing a little voice shout 'BopBop!' and listening to my Little Star babble on at me about her day. I've been in some cloudy moods this month, but there's nothing like a phone call from Eloise to make me feel better!

A surprise visit to my old workplace.

I popped in to pick up a parcel that had been delivered there by mistake and all of my favourite people seemed to be in at the same time - and I was so happy! I've missed my little work family a lot since I changed jobs and having a quick catch up with them and getting hugs put such a huge smile of my face.

Time to chill out after Christmas!

I normally take a bit of time out to relax over Christmas, but this year that just didn't happen! Between going to my mum's for a few days, to visiting Dan's family, to seeing my godparents and grandparents and everyone else in between, I felt like I didn't stop over the entire festive period! So now that it's over, it's been nice to finally have a little bit of spare time to actually relax and spend some time with Dan, just the two of us. 


What's made you happy this January?

Love,

Sian xo



January Glossybox

Sunday, 21 January 2018

January. The month that you finally shake off all of the glitter and sequins from the festive season and you just want to let your skin breathe. It's the perfect time to give yourself a little bit of TLC after Christmas. And this month's Glossybox is perfect for just that.

The first product in my little pink box this month was the Beauty Beneath Original Formula food supplement capsules, designed to fight the signs of ageing from the inside out, and is jam-packed with antioxidants and vitamins. In all honesty, I haven't tried these, only because normally it really isn't my cup of tea. But I'm also a little paranoid of showing signs of ageing from your early 20s, so maybe I'll give them a whirl soon!

Next up is the Nailmedic nail & cuticle energizer. This couldn't have come at a more perfect time, as my cuticles especially get so dry (no, I didn't really know that was a thing until recently, either) and this is great for in between manicures.

I also received the EE Green Tea Primer, and I was really excited to try this one because of how many benefits green tea has! The primer is incredibly easy to apply, and feels quite refreshing on the face. I definitely saw a difference in how my foundation went on after using this, so that's a definite win for me!


My collection of blushers seems to be growing by the day, but Glossybox has only enabled my addiction by sending out the Apicia Paris Blush Creme. My first mistake the first time I tried it was putting way too much on - so top tip, less is definitely more when it comes to this! But the cream is super-pigmented, a honey pink shade with a pretty, subtle shimmer, and it lasts all day! It's perfect for a little pop of colour to brighten up a dreary January!


Last but not least, my favourite product from January's box! In a little brown box, from Dr Botanicals, the Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil. I am completely and utterly smitten by this product! I love facial oils anyway for nourishing my skin and locking in moisture, but this one is by far the best one I have ever tried! The rose extract makes it smell incredible, and it's so incredibly lightweight on the skin, leaving no residue or oiliness whatsoever. And my skin was SO soft afterwards, to the point where I probably could have got away without moisturising if I wanted to. I almost cried when I did a bit of research and realised that it retails at £55 normally, but I'd argue it's worth it... My bank account may be taking a hit once this bottle has been used. Oops.


Have you ever tried any of these products?

Love,
Sian xo

Winter Beauty Favourites

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Winter's such a funny time of year when it comes to your beauty routine, because everything just seems to start rebelling. Skin, hair, lips, they all just seem to completely dry up as soon as the cold winds hit and you're left despairing at how you're going to fix it and still look half-human.

For me, winter is all about looking after yourself. Taking your routines right back to basics and giving your skin and hair a little bit of much-needed TLC. There's been a fair few products that have seen me few the last few freezing cold months so I thought I'd put together a little post to share them with you!

Lush Ultrabland 


Sometimes you're lucky enough to find a product which seems to answer all your beauty prayers in one little tub. For me, Ultrabland is that product. It seems to quash any skin problems that I may have, any time of year. Dry skin? Ultrabland. Redness? Ultrabland. Just looking a bit haggard? Yep, you guessed it, Ultrabland. This little product is brilliant for stripping your skincare right back to basics, it's no frills, no fuss but the super-creamy formula just leaves your skin feeling hydrated and soothed, even after just one use. (I probably sound like an advert, and I don't mean to, I just love this product so much!)

John Freida Sheer Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner



In the Winter months, it's so easy to just let your hair colour fade, but especially as a blonde, that's your worst nightmare! I'm a little bit fussy when it comes to my haircare, but I keep coming back to John Frieda time and again, because it keeps my blonde vibrant and glossy, as well as looking after all of the strain I put it through with blow drying and curling. 

NYX Lip Lingerie in Ruffle Trim


I'm normally rocking plum/red tones all Winter long, but this year I've been more in favour of nudes, and I've become obsessed with matte lipsticks (mostly because I can't be doing with the effort of reapplying it throughout the day!) This particular shade has become one of my holy grails, it's such a beautiful brownish-reddish tone which is flattering on everyone and lasts all day!

Lush Oatifix Face Mask


Another favourite from Lush, this little face mask has been my skin's saviour of the last few months. It looks SO weird when you put it on, as it just looks like you've smeared porridge oats all over your face, but when you rinse it off, it leaves your skin feeling ridiculously soft and nourished. It's also infused with banana so it smells AMAZING!

Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil


I picked up this cleanser a couple of months ago after a foundation consultation at Bare Minerals, when the lady who I spoke to commented on how dry my skin was and recommended an oil-based cleanser to try to sort it out. I'd never tried Burt's Bees before but heard good things, so I thought I'd give it a go. And I love it! It's a very lightweight cleanser, which hydrates the skin without leaving it feeling sticky or like you've got a lot of residue left behind. 

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette


I definitely couldn't write this post without mentioning this little beauty. I got the latest Naked palette for Christmas - I'd wanted it for ages but I was a little unsure of how I would use the colours and make them work for me. A scroll through Pinterest and a couple of hours of experimenting, and I am obsessed. I LOVE the fact that the colours are so different to what I would normally wear, they're so pigmented and blendable, and they work perfectly for the Autumn/Winter season. Anyone who's thinking about buying it, do it, you won't regret it!

Which beauty products are you loving this winter?

Love,
Sian xo

Realities of Working a 9-5

Sunday, 14 January 2018

A few months ago, I left my job at the gym and started a new one working in an office. When I left, I was SO excited to wave goodbye to working weekends, 12 hour shifts and late nights in the office.

And don't get me wrong, I love the routine of knowing exactly when I'll be home at night, having the same working hours each week and Friday feeling is just the best. But there are a few things I've had to adjust to, and some harsh realities I've discovered in the last three months...

1. 6am becomes a normal time of the day. I'm used to there only being one 6 o'clock in the day, and it certainly wasn't the morning one. But what's worse, is you end up waking up at the same time on a weekend too!

2. What I like to call 'Desk Podge', getting a little belly because you're sat on your butt all day, with a seemingly endless pit of snacks in your desk drawer.

3. Falling asleep at 9pm because somehow sitting looking at a screen all day is EXHAUSTING.

4. Feeling like you should have loads of free time now that you're working regular hours but actually, you still have next-to-none.

5. Popping to town or the doctors after work and realising that they shut at 5.30pm.

6. Going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark during the winter months. Is there anything more depressing?!

7. When you want to chill and do fun stuff at the weekends - until the entire two days are taken up by adult responsibilities like running errands, doing laundry, food shopping... and before you know it, Monday again!

Can you guys relate to any of these?!

Love,
Sian xo

A-Z of Me!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

I've been blogging on and off for a few years now - and I thought it was time where I did a post that in theory, is pretty simple, but hopefully, it'll allow you to get to know me a little bit more. (Because let's face it, we're all nosy people, and we want to get to know the people behind the blog, right?!) So, it's A-Z of me time! Some of these things you may know, some you may not - but it was actually harder to come up with 26 facts than you might think!

A is for Alex

Alex is my little brother - I say 'little', he's actually 20, and seems to have his life more together than I do! I don't talk about him on my blog or social media too much only because I don't see him all that often, plus he's a man of few words. Although he can be pretty funny sometimes, I guess.

B is for Blogger

Obviously.

C is for Cold

I'm ALWAYS cold. Always. And once I get to a certain point of cold, I become the whingiest bitch ever. Dan hates me for it.

D is for Devon

We've been going on family holidays to Devon most years since I was around three years old. And it's now my favourite place in the world!



E is for Eloise

You probably all know about Eloise. My godsister and most favourite little person. I didn't know it was possible to love a little girl as much as I love her, and I just swear she keeps on getting cuter as she gets older.


F is for Fear

My biggest fear is deep water - which stems from an incident I had on holiday in Spain when I was around 8. I almost drowned in the hotel swimming pool and I'd never been that terrified before or since. I'm slowly overcoming it... Slowly.

G is for Godmother

I talk about Sarah quite a bit too. My godmother, my best friend and my biggest fan. I don't know where I would be without her!

H is for Halloumi

Just... yum. I am obsessed.

I is for Isabelle

My baby sister and my mini-me. She's 18 this year and I couldn't feel more old.

J is for Joshua

I decided a long time ago that if I ever have a baby boy, this is what his name is going to be. Non-negotiable.

K is for Kathrine

Obviously my middle name, I have it all over my social media and blog, but the reason I love it so much is mostly because my Nana chose my middle name. We lost her when I was three weeks old but it just makes me super proud of my middle name!

L is for Lindor

My favourite chocolate ever! I only ever get it at Christmas and my birthday but I could sit and demolish a whole box in 10 minutes!

M is for Mummy's Girl

I am definitely not ashamed of this one. My mum and I have always been very close and I think there are few problems in life that can't be solved by a mummy hug!

N is for Naps

Is there anything more blissful than a little nanna nap to sort you out after a long day?! I don't think so.

O is for Overthinker

I am the worst for this. I've been known to call my mum in a blind panic wanting to know what's wrong because she accidentally put two x's on the end of her text rather than her usual three. Yep.

P is for Pandora

I am completely obsessed with Pandora jewellery. I've been collecting bracelets, charms and rings since I was 16 and I always sit with the latest booklet circling everything I like just before Christmas or my birthday.

Q is for Queen

Dan always half-jokes that I seem to think I'm some kind of queen because I'm needy, demand attention and never ever make my own cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to make my own cup of tea. I just don't tell him that!

R is for Risotto

My speciality! I make an absolutely banging risotto, it's the first proper meal I ever learned to make (and still one of the few that I can actually cook!)

S is for Sheffield

I moved to Sheffield in 2012 for uni, and fell in love with the city as soon as I got there. Even though I've moved to Lincoln now, I still class Sheffield as home. I miss it so much and I'm determined to move back one day!

T is for Tea

I'm pretty tea-obsessed. One cup as soon as I wake up in a morning, one for on the walk to work, one as soon as I get to the office... I don't want to count how much I drink per day as that could get embarrassing.

U is for Untidy

Unfortunately, I'm not as organised as I like to think I am. I'm currently surrounded by clothes, make up brushes, and notebooks that need putting away... I'll get there in the end.

V is for Vino

Obviously. If in doubt, bring me wine.

W is for Writer

My first passion is and always has been writing. I feel most at home when I'm writing, and I so desperately want to make it a full time career one day.

X is for X-Salsa Dancer

(Okay this one was a stretch, but X is a hard letter, okay?!) I used to salsa dance a couple of times a week when I lived in Sheffield, and I'd love to get back into it but there's no classes in Lincoln!

Y is for Yawner

If I'm yawning in front of you, I'm really not being rude. Just between working two jobs, blogging, and everything else I have to do... I'm always tired. Always.

Z is for Zazu

Anyone who knows me will know that the Lion King is my all-time favourite film. And Zazu is my absolute favourite character!


Hopefully you've found out some stuff about me that you didn't know already! Leave me some comments with some random facts about you, I'd love to read them!

Love,

Sian xo

Why I Really Really Hate Make Up Shaming

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Today's blog post is one which I have had whizzing around in the back of my mind for quite a long time, mostly because I experience make-up shaming in one form or another on a pretty regular basis. But it wasn't really until I spotted a video which was the launch of Sleek's My Face. My Rules campaign that I decided maybe it was time to put my two-pence in.

I've always been what you'd call a 'girly girl'. I vividly remember being three or four years old and sifting through my mum's make up bag in the mornings whilst she was getting ready, wanting more than anything to be grown-up enough to wear her pretty lipsticks and carry around a powder compact like hers (not that I had any idea what powder did. I just wanted it for the mirror, really.) The older I got, the more I loved experimenting with make up and getting ready in the mornings.

I thought there was nothing wrong with that. And there wasn't. 

Unfortunately, other people told me otherwise. One morning, as I was putting my make up on ready for school (Natural Collection, of course), my dad commented that, 'it's all about vanity with you, isn't it?'

On a residential trip with my youth group, a youth worker told me as I got up fifteen minutes earlier than the other girls, 'It's ridiculous that you're getting up early to put all of that rubbish on your face. It's just shallow if you ask me.'

Friends still say to me sometimes, on a fairly regular basis, 'You need to stop wearing so much of that. You're just hiding what you really look like.'

Each and every time I got a jibe about how much make up I wore, I felt the need to defend myself. To tell them how self-conscious I felt about a spot on my chin. Or agree that yes, I am a little superficial and scuffle away, completely embarrassed.

Any of this sound familiar?

For me, wearing make up is in no way connected to being superficial, or vain, or shallow. It's not a way for me to hide what I really look like (and really - if anyone believes that I genuinely have ruby coloured lips or glitter eyelids, the problem definitely doesn't lie with me.) Putting on my make up in the morning is almost a form of self-care. I find it almost therapeutic, I guess. I feel more awake once my make up is on, and ready for the day in front of me.

And in all honesty, wearing make up has been almost a coping mechanism for me for a long time. As someone who has suffered with anxiety for four years now, I found that putting my make up on was like putting on my war paint. Once it was on, I felt slightly more like a functioning human than I had been when I first woke up with the knots in the pit of my stomach, and I could now face whatever was scaring me on the other side of my front door. (This did backfire on me a little when I went to the GP and he told me that I looked 'too well put together to have anxiety' but hey!)

It's an incredibly long-winded way to get to my point, but what I'm getting at is, there is SO much judgemental, negative and downright bitchy behaviour around us all of the time, that something as simple as whether or not you wear make up, the amount you wear and how you wear it becomes a point of criticism. Why?!

If you want to wear make up every day, then go for it. If you don't, rock the natural look. If you want to put on false lashes and contour to go to the supermarket, amazing! If you're a guy and want to start wearing make up, also amazing! But, if you'd rather have an extra fifteen minutes in bed in a morning and not bother, I'm actually a bit jealous! But PLEASE can we just stop associating make up with vanity, and a lack of make up with being a scruff? We have way too much negativity flying around as it is. Stop being judgemental of what others choose to put on their face, okay?!

Love,

Sian xo




7 Thoughts All Learner Drivers Have During A Lesson

Wednesday, 3 January 2018




1. 'Wait, how do I drive again?!'

Why is it EVERY time I get in the car for a lesson, I have a complete mind-blank on how to even start the car, let alone any of the complicated stuff like manoeuvres and roundabouts?!


2. 'I definitely used to know my left from my right...'

Such basic knowledge, which seems to go out of the window every time I get behind the wheel. It's also pretty essential knowledge... Do you think I can have an 'L' and an 'R' on my hands for my test?!


3. 'Could have sworn you had to leave a two-second gap from the car in front, so why is this big shiny car right up my arse?!'

The curse of the L-plates - people think they can intimidate you into driving faster/push you into messing up for fun by driving uncomfortably close behind you. 


4. 'I probably shouldn't swear so much, my instructor might think I have road rage.'

Personally, my instructor KNOWS how foul my language can be when I'm driving, whether that's because other road users are being infuriating, or because I've stalled again. Either way, he's warned me I should probably tone it down by the time I do my test...


5. 'INDICATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

This one is my biggest pet peeve. It's been drilled into me to indicate nice and early to let other road users know what I'm doing. Frankly, it's a pretty simple action which makes it a lot easier for everyone. So whyyyyyyyy do people not do it?! (Especially when I'm a naive, easily confused learner!)


6. 'Stalled again... Sorry, cars behind me! Shut up Sian, they can't hear you...'

I always apologise to cars behind me when I stall, or when I realise I'm going too slowly, or when I'm in their way whilst practising my reverse parking. And then I hear my instructor chuckle next to me and remember that they can't hear me... Oops.


7. (When I do something right) 'YES, NAILED IT! TEST, COME AT ME!'

It's the little things...


Do any of these sound familiar to you guys?!

Love,

Sian xo 


2017 Reflections

Monday, 1 January 2018





I've got a really bad habit of sitting on my mum's sofa on New Year's Eve, usually around 10.30pm whilst I'm nursing Glass of Wine Number 3, trying to categorise my year. Has it been a 'Good Year' or has it been a 'Bad Year.'

2016 was a Bad Year. Awful. I was pretty pleased to see the back of it.
2015 was a Good Year. And so on. So each New Year's Eve, I put my year into its little category and when it's been a Good Year, I look back on my Instagram photos and smile, and hope that the coming year is equally good to me. If it's been a bad year, I put it into a mental box with the rest of the Bad Years (2013, 2011, 2010 are all in there), re-lock the padlock and try to pretend that it never happened.

It was only really when I sat down to write this post that I realised how bad a habit this is. How on Earth could I possibly sum up 365 days in just one word? How can I put each year, where no two days are the same, into a box and just leave it there? Nope, I don't know either.

So that's ending this year. Starting with this post.

The only real way I can sum up 2017 is changes. I've been through so many huge changes this year that actually, my life is completely different to this time last year. And through that, I've actually achieved quite a bit.

I've changed jobs this year, for one thing. I left a job which was doing my social life, my mental health and my relationship absolutely no favours whatsoever, for one with much better working hours, one which I find interesting and I'll probably never stop learning. While leaving colleagues who I saw as family was one of the hardest things I've ever done, it's been a pretty good move for me.

I took my first driving lesson in May 2017, something which I'd been wanting to do for such a long time but had to keep putting off for one reason or another. The first time I got behind the wheel was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I've done this year! It's taken a lot longer than I'd anticipated but I booked my driving test last week for early 2018 and I couldn't be more excited!

Then there's the bloke that's still snoring away next to me as I type. It's 10am - lazy git. Yep, 2017 was the year that I managed to (mostly) shake off my trust issues and past-relationship demons and let a boy in. We've had a lot going on in the four short months that we've been together - but to be fair to him, he's pretty good at dealing with my needy, slightly princessy, constantly hungry, mardy-when-caffeine-deprived ways. It almost makes listening to his crap jokes and putting up with his snoring worth it.

So, there ends the Good Years and the Bad Years. This year's been all about changes, and do you know what? I'm pretty content.

Love,

Sian xo