I remember being 18 or 19, and being adamant that at 26, I would be a proper grown up, and really have my life together. I'd have a proper grip on adulthood, fiercely independent, with a strong career well underway, with an active social life but still with the ability to be a domestic goddess when required.

Oh, 18 year old Sian, how naive you were.

The reality of being an adult is much more difficult than you think, especially when you're living in that little uni bubble and think living in the big, bad world is a doddle. And don't get me wrong, while I'm not doing a terrible job of it, there are certainly elements of being a grown-up which are very much elusive to me. Do you recognise any of this list?

1. Saving money
To the people who have little saving pots squirrelled away, HOWWWW do you do it, please tell me your secrets?! I swear I get paid, pay my bills, put petrol in my car, get a food shop in and then BAM! money gone... (okay I sometimes buy make up too but STILL!)

2. Ironing
The most tedious job in the world. And I'm convinced that the clothes look more creased after I've ironed them. Now I just flat out refuse to do it, and will rock the crumpled look forevermore.

3. Sewing a button
The most basic of adulting skills and I do not possess it. I just take the item of clothing and button to my mum to deal with. (she tuts and rolls her eyes at me but she loves it really)

4. Making the bed without pretty much getting inside the duvet cover
It's the only way I know how and I'm sticking with it.

5. Getting out of the house on time
Yep, I'm one of those people. I can get up extra early to make sure I'm ready and out of the door on time, and I somehow still end up rushing around 20 minutes after I should have been in my car. Often with only one shoe on, unable to find my keys, checking 74367 times that I remembered to turn my straighteners off and with mascara on only one eye.

6. Not letting my house get a mess
I swear it must look like a messy teenager lives here 99% of the time. I think I need to just accept that I will always be a messy person. It's a personality flaw.

7. Ringing/going to the doctor's when I need to
It took my mum texting me twice a day, every day for about a week for me to book my smear test. Not because I was deliberately putting it off, but because I just kept getting busy and forgetting. (no excuse I know, but rest assured I did go!)
I'm the same when there's something else that I need to see someone about. I do the very 'British' thing of 'Oh I'll be fine for another week and if it's still the same I'll go then'. It's a habit that I really need to stop!

8. Remembering to top up the oil/water/screenwash in my car
As long as it starts when I turn the key in the ignition, it's all good, right?

Sian xo

Ah, the question everyone in a long-term relationship gets all the time and dreads. 

Since my relationship has passed the two year mark, I seem to get asked when I'm planning on getting married and having children all the time. I get asked by friends (often the ones who are already basking in marital bliss), family members (the ones we're close to, and the ones we only see a couple of times a year), work colleagues, people we only met in the half an hour previously...

It's like once you get past the first couple of years of being together, and you've figured out that you can (probably) put up with each other long-term, you just have to not only be looking towards these milestones, but have the actual timescales planned out.

And all of this is assuming you want the marriage and babies thing in the first place.

They don't even always ask the question outright. Often it's a little more subtle...

'How long have you been together now? Oh, long time then. Will I be hearing wedding bells soon?'
'Do you think you'll have kids one day? Are you thinking soon, or...?'
'You are getting to that age now where you need to be thinking about it...'
'You know Christmas is so much more fun and magical with kids around, have you thought of that?'

Well. I'm here to tell anyone who thinks that any of the above statements are acceptable, to stop.

It should go without saying that these lines of conversation can be incredibly damaging for people. For those who are maybe desperate for children but can't conceive, or have suffered a miscarriage, or who can't go through the 'usual' milestones for other reasons. And while it's never something I have personally experienced, I can tell you that for other reasons, being asked is bloody annoying.

Yes, Dan and I have been together for well over two years now. And while we have had conversations around what we would like a future together to look like, in my mind we have other priorities, both individually and as a couple. I've always been very much of the opinion that my career comes first, and although my career plan has changed quite dramatically in the last few years, I'm only just now getting settled into something which could be long term, and I feel like that needs to be my focus right now. There's no way of knowing when our priorities will shift, and until then, piling on the pressure by asking these questions really doesn't help.

And I'll be honest, I know that your whole life changes once you start going through these milestones, especially when you start a family. I'm not ready for that yet. I like spending days just the two of us, and sleeping in on a Sunday morning. I like spending our disposable income rather than having to put it into a pot to save for a wedding. And frankly, I still feel like I'm too young to be called a 'Mrs.'

The most infuriating thing about being asked about when I'm going to get hitched or get pregnant though, is the fact that nine times out of ten, the person asking will already know in their mind what the answer should be. They almost always have a magic number in their head which is the 'perfect age' to get married or have a baby, often based on their own experiences, and forget that these things aren't 'one size fits all'. This is inevitably going to disappoint them when I answer, after nervously laughing for a few seconds, by dropping the bombshell that neither of those things are in the immediate future, perhaps even into my 30s. I tend to be met with a blank look, almost as if I must be joking. Then come the comments...

'Do you really want to leave it as late as that?'
'Nooooo, he wants to be putting a ring on it before then!'
'You don't want to be old parents, do you? You'll be in your 50s when your kids turn 18!'
'You can always go back to work when they're older!'

Sometimes I wonder what kind of response I'd get if I told them that we're already trying for a baby. Probably that I'm still young, and shouldn't I really think about buying a house before I worry about that?

What I've realised recently is that when it comes to the 'life' stuff, we'll never please everyone. There will always be a family member, or a friend, or someone we barely know who will think we're rushing, or leaving it too late, or being too selfish by waiting. Or they'll tell us that we should tick something else off the list first, or that I should think of my mum and how she'll be wanting grandchildren soon (yep, I've genuinely been told that). And because it's impossible to please everyone, we may as well just do us.

So, please, stop asking me. You probably won't like the answer anyway, and might well get something sarcastic in response.

Long-term couples, I want to hear your stories! Have you had much experience with this? Let me know in the comments, or over on my social media! (@siankathrine on Instagram & Twitter!)

Sian xo

The people asked, and I have listened...

For anyone who may have missed it, I popped a poll on my Instagram Stories a week or two ago, asking if 'Empties' posts are something that you would all be interested in. The response was overwhelmingly in favour! I'm very conscious of the fact that these kinds of posts are floating around the blogosphere a lot from various other bloggers, many of which probably do a much better job of them than I do! But we'll give it a go, please let me know what you think in the comments!

Love Beauty & Planet Shea Butter Shampoo
One of my little goals for 2020 is to incorporate more vegan/cruelty free products into my routine, including haircare. I've been using the Love Beauty & Planet range for a good month or so now, and I love it. The shea butter shampoo smells absolutely divine, it thoroughly cleanses my super-thick hair and leaves it feeling soft. I see a lot of recommendations for Maui haircare, which I have used before but I find it weighs my hair down a little and Love Beauty & Planet's offering is slightly cheaper (and it almost always on offer in one of the supermarkets if you look!)

Dr. Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil
I'm obsessed with this stuff. When I first opened it up, I was marginally disappointed that it was only a tiny little bottle, but it has lasted me well over a year. I love using it when I feel like my skin needs something really nourishing, its fairly light but still feels so soothing. I'm already on to my second bottle!

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid
I can say with 100% certainty that Hyaluronic Acid is one of my favourite beauty finds of 2019. I've suffered with dry skin for so long, but this has been an absolute game-changer for me. While I still have phases where my skin is dry in places, day-to-day it's so much better now that I've been using this. You can get different products and serums containing Hyaluronic acid but I love the Ordinary's offering, partly because you know exactly what's in it, and partly because it's just so affordable! I will never not have this on my bathroom shelf!

Pixi Glow Tonic 
After finishing the mini version of the Glow Tonic, I'm about to purchase the full size because I love it so much! It definitely lives up to the hype. It tones, gently exfoliates and brightens, as well as working a treat at helping to dry up spots. I will be honest though, if you have sensitive skin, be careful with this one. Mine has phases of being quite sensitive, and there are days or periods of time where this is just a bit too much, so I keep a more calming alternative in reserves.

Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm
This was my first Beauty Pie purchase, and I've just ordered a top up. I tend to use this as my second cleanse, once all of my make up is off. It's a balm texture, and the apricot extract makes it feel so luxurious when you apply. It always leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask
I adore this mask. While I find it's a little bit too strong for the recommended 2-3 times a week, I find it's absolutely perfect for when I'm in the middle of a breakout, when I'm feeling run down or after a heavy night on the vino. It literally drags all of the crap out of your pores, refines the skin and leaves you glowing. Word of warning though, it smells bloody strong! I think my eyes were watering like crazy the first time I used it! So worth it though.

I hope you enjoyed reading my first beauty empties post! Please let me know what you think and if you'd like me to continue with them in the comments!

Sian xo

Shop the products in this post:
Love Beauty & Planet Shampoo
Dr Botanicals Moroccan Rose Superfood Facial Oil
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid
Pixi Glow Tonic
Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask

Just in case you missed it on my social media (because I have whinged about it a lot), I turned 26 this week. And I'll level with you, I ain't thrilled about it. 30 is now officially close than 20, and all of a sudden the next milestone, the big three-oh seems awfully close.

I'm trying to turn this feeling of mild panic into a positive, by keeping in my mind that I have four whole years before a new decade of my life, where I can tick off as much of the bucket list as I can. Here's what I want to get done before my twenties are over, from the big goals to the silly little dreams and everything in between...

1. Buy a house
This is definitely a big one for me. Whilst I love the flexibility that renting offers and knowing that if the boiler goes on the blink, my bank account won't be the one that takes the hit, I definitely want to be looking at buying in the next few years. My absolute dream would be to buy somewhere that's a bit run down and do some work on it, but maybe that's being a little over ambitious! (Probably should start saving for a deposit first and foremost...)

2. Tick three travel destinations off the bucket list
I think with everything else that I want to get done in the next few years, three destinations is pretty reasonable. Included in my bucket list is San Francisco (which is already in the pipeline!) Italy, Prague, Australia, Portugal... the list goes on!

3. Secure at least one of my dream brand collaborations
I'd love for my online platforms to keep going from strength to strength, and I have a little list of brands that would be a total dream come true to work with, and if I can do just one of those I'd be happy!

4. See four West End shows
My sister & I have started a little tradition of going to London every year to see a show - so ticking four off my list is pretty reasonable! Some of the ones I want to see next include Mary Poppins, Waitress, Dear Evan Hansen, Harry Potter & the Cursed Child and the Book of Mormon!

5. Get a promotion at work (whatever route that may be!)
One of the things that I love about my job is that the progression route isn't linear. There are loads of roles I can move on to within my company, and while that often takes a lot of patience and loyalty, I think by my 30th I'll be ready to take the next step, which is an exciting thought!

6. Get back into creative writing
Creative writing was one of my first passions right from being a child, and while I love writing for my blog, I do want to go back to my roots and getting a little more imaginative with my writing. Even if my efforts just go in a notebook that is stored away in a drawer until inspiration hits and never sees the light of day!

7. Go on a girls' trip!
Can you believe I've hit the ripe old age of 26 and I've never been on a girls' holiday?! I KNOW. So that's something I definitely want to tick off the bucket list in the next few years - even if it's just a long weekend away somewhere!

8. Be able to drink more than one glass of red wine
Yep, I'm the girl who thinks she's all fancy with her glass of red wine, so sophisticated, such a grown up... until someone offers me a top up, I politely refuse and go straight back to my pink gin and lemonade. Don't judge me. I'll work on it.

9. Own a proper camera
This will definitely be a purchase that I'm going to have to save for for a year or two, but I think it's going to help me so much with my blog and instagram content, so it'll be well worth the investment!

10. Own a doggo!
I'd love a dog. Lots of people I know are getting puppies and it's making me so doggo-broody. The timing isn't right for me at the moment, but I think in the next five years I would definitely like to have a little fluffball running around the house! For now though, I'll just sign up to Borrow My Doggy and hope that will do...

11. Make steps towards dealing with my social anxiety
My social anxiety is something that I've especially struggled with over the last couple of years, and while I've generally got a grip on to the point where I can (mostly) function in social situations, I want to take steps to deal with it and property squash it out of my life as much as possible. Whether that's through counselling, or another route I'm not sure, but it's definitely something for me to look into.

12. Get better at knowing what to do when a light comes on on my car dashboard
Another one where I'm trying to be more of an adult. I think there's only so many times I can call out my stepdad when something seems to be wrong with it...

What's on your list before your next milestone?! Let me know!

Sian xo