May Happiness Journal

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

In all honesty, I didn't really want to sit down and write this post. The thought of writing a Happiness Journal when you've had so much happen, stuff that makes you feel devastated and exhausted and just low... I was pretty reluctant to even attempt it.

It wasn't until I sat down and thought about it that actually, there's been some really good stuff going on this month, in between all of the rubbish. And I think those things have kept me sane this month.

1. Time with my extended family.

My mum comes from a pretty big family, and we're pretty spread out all over the place. Time together is rare (weddings and christenings tend to be the main events) so it was really lovely to go out for lunch last weekend and spend some much-needed quality time together. They're a pretty funny bunch, especially my uncles, who I could sit and listen to all day when they tell stories about how mischievous they were as boys. We ended up spending the entire afternoon in a pub just chatting and laughing, which is a pretty perfect way to spend a Saturday if you ask me.

2. Snaps of Little Star at Disneyland.

My little niece went to Disneyland with her parents at the start of the month for her third birthday. At this point, I was feeling like absolute rubbish, but seeing photos come through over Whatsapp of her meeting all of the characters, running around giggling and just generally being an absolute cutie cheered me up no end. 

3. Passing my driving test.

Finally! This was my third attempt at my driving test, and I couldn't quite believe I'd passed when he handed me the certificate! I even picked up a car on Friday and the freedom I've got already is just awesome (but let's ignore the bills that go along with it...)

4. A trip to Sheffield.

A couple of weeks ago, Dan and I went on a little adventure to Sheffield so that I could go to the Liz Earle event at John Lewis. You know me by now, any excuse to go 'home' and I am there! I had a really lovely morning at the event, we had a late breakfast at one of my favourite spots and generally had a wander and some (rare) time together. (I want to move back even more now, mind you!)

5. Securing my first sponsored blog collaboration.

Earning money through your blog seems to be something of a taboo subject in the community, even though we all know that it happens. Personally though, I am more than happy to share the fact that I secured my first sponsored post this month! If I'm being honest, I never thought I'd ever get to this point, where someone would actually be willing to pay me real money to write for them. Whenever opportunities like this just give me that little bit of confidence that maybe I'm doing okay at this blogging thing!

What's made you happy this month?

Love,
Sian xo

Capturing the Little Moments With Panasonic*

Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Don't you just love capturing little moments on camera? The unposed, sans-filter, real moments. They're my favourite kind of photos. They always take me straight back to a memory, and never ever fail to make me smile.

I've teamed up with Panasonic to celebrate the launch of their Mirrorless 12-60mm Lens Camera to bring you some of my favourite photos of the 'little moments', and share the stories of why I love them so much!


I still don't know what we were giggling at. I remember this photo being taken as if it was last week. My first year of university, Christmas night out. We'd spent forever that evening getting ready, wrapping tinsel around ourselves and making sure we were just the right side of festive. We'd asked another flatmate to take photos before we headed out, already a little tipsy on cheap vodka and cranberry juice. One of us must have done something to make the others giggle, whether that was flicking her hair in an over-the-top way or joking about how utterly tacky we must look. I laughed until my stomach hurt and I had tears rolling down my face. By far one of my favourite uni memories.


My Little Star. This was taken about a week before my little niece's first birthday. She was so teeny then. We'd been out for tea, and her eyes lit up as soon as she saw the swing set. And I still find it impossible to say no to that little face. As we were swinging, her little giggle was absolutely infectious! I can't help but smile every time I see this photo, just because it pretty much sums up how much I adore the little tot.



I'd love to know what kind of camera this was taken on. I found this whilst digging through some old photos at my mum's house. This is my Nana & Grandad. Mum told me this was taken at one of their New Year's Eve parties, which they threw every year. Nana was tipsy at this point in the evening, apparently. Do you know what though? I still couldn't help but tear up a little when I found this. Decades together and seven children later, and look how in love they are! A fleeting moment, perfectly captured.

Love,
Sian xo

*This is a sponsored post, but all work is my own.

May Glossybox

Sunday, 20 May 2018


The dreamiest Glossybox ever.

Oh I do love a special edition box. When May's landed on my doorstep, I almost squealed at the pastel deliciousness of it. I'll definitely be keeping hold of this one!

Inside the box though, was five equally dreamy products which were carefully put together to help us Glossies treat ourselves to a little pamper.


First up is the Kueshi double-effect make up remover. This came in travel-size, so has been perfect for me recently as I've been backwards and forwards so much! It basically works like a micellar water, feels really light on the skin and works a treat at taking all my make up off.

I've also received a luxury jelly foot soak from gelspa - and in all honesty I haven't tried it yet just because I've been so busy and haven't had time at all! It looks lovely though, and I'll definitely report back once I've given it a whirl!

Having already tried Maria Nila products from previous Glossyboxes, I was really excited to unwrap the True Soft Shampoo & Conditioner. I have to be so picky with haircare, but I love these little duo. It does exactly what it says on the tin (or bottle), and left my hair ridiculously soft and didn't weigh it down at all. It smelled really nice and light too. I'll definitely be repurchasing this one!


I think by far my favourite product this month is the super-cute TRIFLE Cosmetics Praline Palette. It contains six shimmery shades (and I LOVE shimmers), from khaki to deep purple to beautiful neutrals. They're all very workable, easy to blend and the colour is really easily buildable. I've been absolutely loving using it for day and night looks, and it's perfect to pop in your bag and take with you when you're out and about. Plus the design is adorable.



Love,
Sian xo

Getting My Glow On With Rimmel London & Influenster*

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

I don't know about you lot but I am thrilled that the sun has finally decided to make an appearance! It's finally time to get my pretty dresses out and dust the cobwebs off my summer wardrobe.

You might remember me mentioning previously how new I am to the self-tanning world. I've always been pretty self-conscious of the fact that I am ridiculously pale, so I've started dabbling with tanning ready for the summer months in the hope that I'll look slightly less ghost-like.

Influenster & Rimmel London recently gave me the chance to get a bit more practice in achieving the perfect summer glow, and very kindly sent me my first ever Voxbox! This particular box was packed with three different products from the Sun Shimmer range, designed to make self-tanning easy (perfect for a newbie like me!) Ready to take a look?


The first product was the Sun Shimmer Instant Mousse, which appealed to me straight away as I have only ever used mousse tanning products before, so I was excited to see how this one compared. What I love is that a little bit of mousse goes a long way, so I could see this bottle lasting me quite a while. Once applied, the tan develops within an hour, which is brilliant for on-the-go. The mousse applies really easily and dries quickly, so I can just pop it on, get dressed and done. No fuss, no transfer onto clothes, no streaks! Winner!

I've also been testing the Sun Shimmer lotion infused with Chia Oil. I'll be honest, I was a bit worried about using a lotion just because I wasn't used it, and I did naively think I could get away with applying it without using a mitt (I cannot stress this enough: always use a mitt!) so the first time I used it, it did come out pretty streaky. But with a little perseverance, it's actually become my favourite product out of the three! It smells beautiful (never thought I'd be saying that about a tan product), the lotion itself is really rich and creamy and it gives such an even, buildable tan. The below picture is proof of the results I got with the lotion - unedited!


Finally, for those occasions where you just need to tan for a night, the Instant Tan lotion is perfect. This little bottle gives the most beautiful subtle summer glow, streak-free and washes off easily with soap and water. Beautiful tan, no commitment! I've been using this inbetween the other products to top up my tan when needed, especially if the weather has decided I need to get my legs out!


The Sun Shimmer range comes in three shades from Light to Dark - I've been using the Light Matte shades as I'm fair-skinned and wanted a subtle bronzed look. But again it is really buildable if you were feeling a little more daring!

Thank you so much to Influenster and Rimmel - I've had so much fun testing out these tanning products, and for about £7.99 each, I will definitely be repurchasing!

Have you ever used Rimmel's Sun Shimmer range? What's your favourite tanning product?

Love,
Sian xo

*These items were kindly gifted to me in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own!

On Being a People Pleaser

Sunday, 13 May 2018

I've always been a people pleaser. As a rule, I tend to put everyone else's wants and needs first, even if that means putting my own on standby. And I've been completely fine with that. Yes, it's rubbish at times when I've had to make sacrifices but it's more important to me that everyone else is okay. Just a trait of a kind person, right?

As it turns out, this part of my personality has become a point of criticism.
'You're too nice'
'You try to please everyone, that's why people walk all over you'
'You just can't say no to people, it's kind of spineless really'.

A girl can't win!

I'd never even associated what I thought was being kind and selfless with being a pushover or spineless. I never thought you could be criticised for trying to make people happy.

Do you know what's funny though? People are happy to bring you down for being a people pleaser, until they are the ones who want pleasing.

Once people work out that you'll put the happiness of others first, whatever the cost, they'll start to expect that of you. Even when they are the people who have made negative comments about how you are a people pleaser in the first place.

Can you tell I've been struggling with this recently?

There comes a point where you have to take back some control. For me, it's a case of remembering that sometimes, it's okay for my own happiness to come first. It's okay to say no to people, especially when they are expecting you to go out of your way for them. It's okay to feel frustrated that you can't win.

What do you think?

Love,
Sian xo

Pamper Yourself with Liz Earle & John Lewis*

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Who doesn't love treating themselves to a good pamper session every once in a while?!

When I was invited to John Lewis in Sheffield for a demonstration of the Liz Earle facial treatment, I jumped at the chance and couldn't have been more excited! Not only was it my first blogger event in ages, it was with a brand that I've heard amazing reviews about but never actually tried for myself. In all honesty, I didn't even know that they offered treatments, and I was so ready to try something new!

On arrival, we were greeted by the lovely Jayne & Dawn, who took us into the beauty room at the side of the store and were welcomed with a glass of prosecco (so we were already onto a winner in my book!) The room itself had a lovely, relaxed atmosphere and I knew right away that I would come away feeling very chilled out!


The treatment that Jayne showed us was all about achieving naturally radiant skin and working with your own beauty - as well as teaching us a little bit about Liz Earle and their products. Billie was our model for the morning - and by the time Jayne had finished, she was absolutely glowing!


The demonstration included a wide range of Liz Earle products and how you can combine them to create a natural glow, but with particular emphasis on the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. This is Liz Earle's signature product, which is hugely popular for its suitability to all skin types and its promise to clear and soften skin by gently cleansing and exfoliating the skin and bringing out its natural beauty. We were all lucky enough to be given our own Cleanse & Polish to take home and try - and I'm already obsessed! In the couple of days that I have been using it, I have already seen a huge difference in my skin; it is smoother, more radiant and my horrific breakout that I have recently had is starting to clear. (Not to mention the fact that it smells divine.)


Another of my favourite products from the demonstration was the Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer, which comes in a spray bottle and can be used under or on top of make up to refresh, brighten and tone. The tonic smelt like a spa and felt so refreshing - especially as it was a warm day! I'll definitely be back to pick that up as a little treat to myself soon.

I think, especially as a blogger, it's easy for me to get caught up in using all the make up under the sun, but the treatment as Liz Earle has reminded me that sometimes, less is more and you can look gorgeous with minimal make up. It all starts with your skin!

Thank you so much for having me ladies - I absolutely loved it and can't wait to come back for my facial in June!

Have you ever used Liz Earle products? Let me know in the comments!

Love,
Sian xo

*A product in this post was gifted to me in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own! 


Why I DO Want To Be A Full Time Blogger

Sunday, 6 May 2018

I've seen an awful lot of posts going around recently where bloggers have been expressing exactly why they would like their hobby to stay as a hobby and not become a full-time career. Some have been incredibly well-written and raise some good points, but I have seen one or two which go along the lines of 'ugh, EVERYONE wants to be a blogger full-time, no one is original these days by just keeping it a hobby, why does it always have to be about that end goal...' and those kinds of comments, the kind that set off a little pang of guilt in anyone that does want to turn their blog into a career, and a sense of insecurity about the validity of their ambition, that have frankly, got on my nerves recently.

So, here's my two-pence about the whole topic. I definitely, unapologetically, do want to be a full-time blogger.

Don't get me wrong, I am under no illusions about how hard it will be, and I'm very aware of how far I am from even being able to think about giving up my day job. It takes so much hard work, determination, meticulous planning and probably a good few bucketfuls of blood, sweat and tears.



And yep, I'd definitely miss having a stable income every month. I may have to give up the odd gel manicure or two. Maybe even think about cut back on the amount I spend on make-up (sob). Working for yourself doesn't always come with a steady paycheck, and girl still gotta eat.

Sick pay just isn't a thing when you're self-employed, everyone knows that. No Christmas party. And although I love the idea of being able to work from home in my pjs, would I get lonely being at home all day by myself? What would I do without the bleary-eyed Monday morning chatter with my colleagues about our weekend over that first cup of tea, or sniggering across the office at the latest meme we've tagged each other in. That, I think, is what I'd miss the most.

And I completely understand that all of this would be enough to put bloggers off ever taking the leap from hobby to career. There's also always the fear that you'll stop enjoying it once blogging becomes actual work.

But in all honesty, that isn't the case with me. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to spend my life writing and creating. I'm so passionate about my blog and what I do, I can feel myself getting more animated and excited when I talk about it. I'm ridiculously proud of how far I've come in the last three years, I've built this little corner of the internet myself, it is mine and I've poured so many hours, so much inspiration and passion and love into it.

I've always promised myself that I would do what I love as a career, whatever that might be. For me, blogging is an absolute no-brainer. Why wouldn't I want to spend all day every day creating?

What do you guys think? Would you like to blog full-time one day?

Love,
Sian xo

Hallelujah for Forest & Shore Hair Oil!*

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

As someone who openly admits to putting her hair through endless torture; highlights, blow drying, curling, and anything else you can think of... I know how paramount it is to have a good haircare routine in place. Especially after a long winter, when the wind and the rain and the cold have just battered my hair, I couldn't be more ready to have it restored to its healthy glory!

Forest & Shore reached out to me recently and offered me the chance to test out their Hallelujah Hair Oil, and I was thrilled! I love having a go with new hair products and anything which will help my poor damaged hair and I am here for it.

First things first, can we talk about the packaging for a second? I honestly think it is some of the prettiest packaging I have ever seen. The bottle itself is simple and clean, which I love, but the box it came in has such a lovely floral print to it, I fell in love instantly!


The oil itself is made of completely natural, organic ingredients and is packed with olive, sesame, coconut, lavender and rosemary essential oils (all of which make the product smell amazing). The Hallelujah Hair Oil promises to restore dry and damaged hair and make it smooth and shiny. I tend to use it on wet, freshly washed hair, by popping four or five drops into my palm (bearing in mind that I have long and very thick hair), and running it through my hair on my fingers before blow-drying. I was really worried about the product feeling heavy or weighing my hair down but I needn't have, as it feels very lightweight and not at all sticky.

And oh my goodness, the difference. 

Even from the very first use, my hair felt softer and the ends felt far less dry. I've been using it now for just over a month and I've found that with repeated use, my hair is much more shiny and I'm not getting anywhere near as many split ends as I used to!

I really couldn't be more impressed with the Hallelujah Hair Oil. It's become my holy grail hair product and I genuinely don't know how I would live without it now! If your hair is dry and damaged and needs a bit of love, I couldn't recommend this product enough, and I will definitely be repurchasing when my current bottle runs out!

What's your go-to hair product?

Love,
Sian xo

*This product was kindly gifted to me in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.