FANDOMS

I feel like on this blog nobody really knows me. I write about beauty, fashion, advice and stuff (I mean can I really say that when I have 8 posts, probably not) and while those are interests of mine and what I enjoy writing about, that isn’t everything. There is so much more for me to share, and today I thought I would dive straight into the deep end and kickstart this idea by talking about something that is very relevant in my current personal life, yet quite out of place in terms of my blog: Fandoms.

I dunno about you but fandoms are a big part of my life, just that obsessing over something so much that I spend hours in the middle of the night researching in way too much depth until I have hit the bottom of the fandom rabbit hole just does something for me. It fills that void of emptiness inside of me that’s thirsty for information on random things like a long lost relative of a celebrity, or drama about nothing caused by crazy fangirls of my favourite childhood band, or just absolutely everything there is to know about a TV show. But why does this void exist? Is it because we’re too bored with our own lives that we must invest an unhealthy amount of time into someone else’s? Or is it because (talking specifically about fandoms of fictional movies, TV programmes and characters etc) the fictional world is more exciting than the real world and we want to live in the fantasy universe that fictional stories portray? Whatever the reason may be, you can calm down a bit and be a casual fan, or get even more hyped and fall deeper down the rabbit hole, either way, do what makes you happy. If staying up til 4am reblogging endless amounts of images and gifs of your favourite celebrity/character/your otp on tumblr and taking online quizzes to see which character you would be or if they would date you makes you happy, then keep it up (altho maybe don’t stay up til 4am every night, that’s not good). Or if you’d rather be a casual, calm fan and just be super chill sipping a cup of tea, that’s fine too! You do what makes you happy.
How do I always end up just giving advice at the end of every blog post? I guess deep down I just want to help people who can relate to me (aww).

So why is this relevant to you Bethany one may question. The thing is, last night..and the night before…and the night before that, I spent hours researching this one person. Just one person, who has hardly any information about them on the Internet. I don’t even know what happened or what over took me, I just wanted to and needed to know everything about this person. When I put this into words it sounds kinda creepy, but be honest, we all do it (at least I hope  im not the only one). And the fact that there’s barely anything online about this person yet I managed to spend at least 3 nights researching them in depth makes me sound a bit weird doesn’t it? I don’t even know how I managed to do that, im just the queen of making something that would take only a few minutes to do, last hours. And this isn’t the first time this has happened. Oh no. Ive fallen down the dangerous trap of fandoms many times in my life. Here’s just a few examples from the past: I spent hours taking trivia and personality quizzes about One Tree Hill instead of doing homework (anyone else remember that show? It consumed my life I loved it so much), searched certain tags on tumblr that shall not be named and just scrolled through them deep into the night, watched too many fan edits of certain youtubers that I got addicted and transformed into a human trash can, watched fan edits of my otp of the time until I cried with jealously wanting a beautiful relationship like them, discovered a website dedicated to fandoms and spent unhealthy amounts of time on there, again, when I should have been doing homework. But do you know what? It was fun. I enjoyed being part of those fandoms, it was and still is an escapism from the troubles of real life.

So I hope I have helped some fellow trash cans out there, and maybe even some lost and confused people who beforehand had no idea what a fandom was.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly different post. Let me know what you think to this style and topic and tell me about your thoughts and experiences with fandoms and which ones you’re a part of (if any). I quite liked this, I might keep it up and introduce more personal posts that look at a different side of me to the typical beauty and fashion loving girl.

Thank you for reading, see you again soon!

Update: I just spent an hour looking at the same picture of someone on different twitter and instagram accounts what is my life

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I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award!

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

I was nominated! I was super surprised when I saw that I was nominated by Tori from Dreams And Schemes (don’t forget to check her out) for The Mystery Blogger Award, which was created by Okoto Enigma. I would like to thank Tori for nominating me as it means the world! So without further ado lets get into this↬

mystery blogger awards

 Rules

1. Put the award logo/image in your post.

2. List all the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.

4. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

5. Nominate 10-20 people and notify them.

6. Link back to the creator of the award.

7. Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.

 8. Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

Three things about me

  1. I love any and every form of art from paintings and makeup to poetry and photography. Beautiful and aesthetic things make me feel calm and at peace.
  1. I am very shy and meeting new people makes me feel very anxious. Because I try too hard not to embarrass myself or be awkward, it seems to happen way too often and I don’t stop thinking about it afterwards.
  1. I spend pretty much my entire life working. I don’t have a job, it’s all just college work, but because I love what I’m doing so much I spend all of my time on it. I’m also a perfectionist so that explains why I spend so long working.

The Questions

  1. What’s your favourite song, band or singer at the moment?

I’m loving The Chainsmokers, The xx and Troye Sivan at the moment and one of my favourite songs is On Hold by The xx, I love the good vibes it brings.

  1. What inspired you to start blogging and keep going?

The reason I started blogging is the least inspirational story ever, but basically at college as part of a branding and marketing project (in Winter 2016) we had to make a website or blog for our “brand” that we created. I made a blog using Wix and planned on logging my projects and college work on there, but it turned out to be too much work so I made it into just a website with an online portfolio of things I’ve made, but I really wanted to do blog as well, not about my fashion work but just about anything. I wanted to start a blog in the summer last year but never got round to it so I thought then was the perfect time to as I was basically being told to start a blog by my college tutors! I began to really enjoy it and use it as an escapism from college and my work as I spend most of my time doing that and it’s important to have a break. Although my blog is very small and I find it difficult sparing the time to do it, I keep it going because it’s fun. It’s a new way of being creative and I love the community. Looking at bloggers like Megan Ellaby and Poppy Deyes inspired me to carry on with it because I could get the point of blogging where my website looks as beautiful as theirs.

  1. What are your dreams or plans for the future?

There are a lot of things I would love to do in the future. I would like to be a fashion designer for a small high end brand, I really want to travel the world and blog about it and make like artsy videos of the different places as memories, I’d love to go on a mission trip and help people in poverty and visit the child I sponsor through Compassion, have my own little online brand/shop of clothes that I make. When I have children I would want to stay at home and work so I would hope that blogging would be able to be my job by then along with my own small brand and making my children’s clothes. I told you I want to do a lot in my lifetime!

  1. If you could have three wishes what would they be?

To end war and fear.
For the world to be as beautiful as it was when it first came into exist before humans destroyed it.
To end evil.

  1. What is your spirit animal (or item)? Be creative!

I just took the quiz to find out and this is what it says:
You are Bee Spirit Animal!
When Bee buzzes in as your Spirit Animal it’s a reminder to trust in miracles. Bee as a Totem Animal is for those whose greatest wish for all living things to co-exist in peace and love.
I think that sums me up quite well! But on the more creative side, I’d say my spirit item is a perfectly symmetrical succulent as it represents my love for the colour green, watching plants grow and how I like everything to look beautiful. Succulents don’t need an awful lot of attention, just like me! I need time on my own without human interaction in order to stay happy.

My Questions

  1. What do you like doing in your spare time/do you have any hobbies?
  2. Which Disney character do you relate to the most?
  3. Did you ever go through an embarrassing phase in your teens, for example emo, indie, goth, preppy etc.?
  4.  What is your favourite aesthetic and why? (pastel/grunge/angelic/artsy/galaxy etc.)
  5. What kind of music do you like the most and why?

My Nominees

Louise from https://louisebodlex.wordpress.com/
Palegirlrambling from https://palegirlrambling.wordpress.com/
Emma from http://www.glittersandroses.com/
Dollie from http://missdolly2013.wixsite.com/thedollscorner
Holly from https://adailydoseofholly.wordpress.com/
Zara from https://itsallzara.blogspot.co.uk/
Amy from https://amyquitecontrary.wordpress.com/

 Thank you so much Tori for nominating me! Be sure to check her out – Dreams And Schemes

 

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Feeling Confident in your Appearance – Makeup

The biggest change in my skin happened when I stopped wearing face makeup. As
a confident boost, instead of caking on layers of foundation, powder, contour etc I put the focus on a different area of my face – the eyes. Now I have really thick eyebrows and to even that out so they didnt look so dominant I started wearing eyeliner. Over the years I’ve gone through stages of various thicknesses and styles of eyeliner that it’s sort of become my staple thing. Not bragging, but I do get compliments fairly often about my eyeliner because it is so big and thick and apparently even (lol its never even) but thats boosted my confidence in my appearance because people are complimenting my makeup and art skills, and with that attention drawn towards my eye makeup, the focus is taken off the rest of my face.
Now you may not be an eyeliner kind of person but if you find an area of your face that you like to be the focus, whether that be your eyes, lips, cheekbones, or whatever it may be, then enhance that area as much as you can or would like to, making sure it doesn’t look too dominant on your face, keep it looking good, trying to avoid the use of foundation, powder or concealer, and you could see changes in your skin while still keeping up the confidence.

Look #1:
Bronze/gold eyeshadow blended with dark brown in the outer corner and crease, and white in the inner corner.
This look focuses on bringing out the eyes and making them bright and draws attention to the easily applied but eye catching shades and long lashes.

Look #2
Darker, smokey shades of taupe and purple with winged liner.
The dark eyeshadow gives more of mysterious look and the eyeliner and white inner corner makes the look dramatic diverting attention from other areas of the face.

Look #3
Subtle eyes with dark lips
This look focuses on the lips making them a bold, dark colour standing out against the subtle eye makeup.

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Look #4
Thick winged eyeliner with white eyeshadow in inner corners.
This is my everyday look because, as I said, i have very thick eyebrows so i focus on my eyes with dark wings. This is probably the most dramatic look of the four so it’s not for everybody but it does make me feel a lot more confident, as do the rest, when on the odd occasion, i go for a different look.

I hope these tips have helped some of you and that you now feel more confident in your own skin! I’ve found that by not covering up my flaws I’ve learnt to accept them, so hopefully you can too!

DISCLAIMER:
Not sure if this is necessary but hopefully it’s clear that I’m not suggesting that everyone has flaws or that people who wear face makeup have low/no self confidence, because I’m not, I believe everyone is perfect the way they are and you are free to do what you like , but I am aware that people like myself struggle with self esteem issues due to acne and/or general unhappiness with their image and while some people may wear makeup, particularly face makeup, because they enjoy the art of makeup and/or to boost their confidence, others wear it as a mask to cover what they don’t like about themselves. Here I wanted to reach out to those people and suggest ways of helping you accept your appearance when it can be very difficult sometimes.

 

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A small person in a big world: Tips on making new friends and moving on from being shy

Im not very well known. I don’t wish to be famous but I do wish for people to notice me. Ive always been a very quiet person and I spent my last few years of school trying really hard to be invisible, and being the quiet and pretty much already invisible person that I am, I achieved it well. But now that I’m out of that school and away from those people I want to have a fresh start. When I started college I thought that was going to be my fresh start and it was but it didn’t go exactly as planned as now I have no friends at all, not from school or college or anywhere, and that’s because I taught myself to be invisible, and a little too much, so much that nobody is noticing me and I’m finding it difficult to make myself known to people.

I know I’m not alone on this so I thought I would share my experiences and knowledge of the subject, so here we go…

Tips on moving on:

So you’re quiet, shy, awkward, whatever else you would describe yourself as (without being too harsh on yourself, always remember to love yourself:)) and this is perhaps due to something that happened in the past or maybe you’ve just always been like this (I relate to both) and now it’s time to move on, grow, and become confident. Better said than done, I know, but it can and will happen if you really want it to.

Tip number one:
Take up a new hobby/do some volunteering/get a part time job. Doing either of these will force you to meet new people and giving them your best first impression allows them to see the side of you that you want everyone to see and know, they won’t have a clue that you’re known as the “quiet one”. I can relate really well to this one. At college before I went for my frst university interview I had a mock interview with a career’s adviser and one of the questions she asked me was “how would your peers describe you in one word?”. Okay, first of all, what kind of question is that? And second of all, my “peers” don’t even know me cause I’m a tiny little mouse that says about the equivalent of one sentence a day, so of course there’s only one word they could choose to describe me, “quiet”. And that’s what I said! After the interview she gave me feedback and on that particular question she said “maybe think of a different word, quiet can be seen as a negative, and I didn’t actually think you seemed quiet at all, you came across quite confident”. I mean, wow. I was shocked like what just happened?? So yeah what I’m saying is (getting back to the point) this career’s advisor lady had never met me before and her first impression of me was really positive and took me by surprise, so if you try really hard to give a great first impression, even if its just to a sports or dance class or whatever, it will make a huge difference and I guarantee you will enjoy yourself so much more and get on with people and if youre confident enough to make the first move which is something I always found terrifying, but I believe in you, we can do it together!

Tip number two:
Social Media!
I personally find this one challenging because it’s not easy for me to connect with people online and gain a following, but I’m sure you’re alot better at Interneting than I am so dont worry, you’ll make online friends in no time!
I mean, seems a bit weird me giving advice on making friends when I have none of my own…I guess just telling you to do the opposite of what I do will help with your social life, let me know if you do anything I suggest and what the consequences were..lol (I do actually know what I’m talking about, you can trust me).
Gaining followers on any social media doesnt happen just like that, you need to be active, following similar accounts big and small, posting new tweets/photos/statuses/content often, replying to others, commenting on posts, just being interactive, and the amazing thing about the Internet is that its a lot easier to not be awkward and to just talk to people in general. Obviously, be careful who you talk to, don’t meet anyone irl who you met online until you’ve chatted on skype and have a friend or responsible adult with you when you meet, and all that (seriously though, be safe guys). And if something does go wrong and you have an awkward situation occur, you can just block them, plus you don’t have to worry about awkwardly bumping into each other on the street, bonus!
I have actually made friends on the Internet before, none of which I’m still friends with now but it was great and I met my boyfriend on the Internet so it can be a wonderful place to meet people and make friends, just look for people you have a lot in common with and start a conversation! Again, easier said than done, I know, but if you plan a few conversation starters about similar interests you may have and appropriate questions incase your first attempt is a bit of a flop, then you should feel confident from the moment you press send on that first message, and it will either go so well that you’ve made a new best friend, or it won’t go so well in which case you learn from your mistakes and why it didnt work out, take a breather, and a little while later, move onto someone else, cause ya never know, this new person could be your new best friend. Always have faith that it will happen.

Tip number three:
Dealing with the same people at school/college/university/work when you want to move on
This is probably the hardest thing to do – trying to move on surrounded by people you’ve known for years (or maybe not?) What ever your situation is, if youre trying to start out fresh, being surrounded by people you know, even just a little bit, and who have already decided on their judgements of you is not gonna make it easy. The way to do it is to not care what they think. Now I have spent quite a few years practicing this and still find it extremely difficult sometimes to this day, however I am a lot better than I was a few years ago so it can happen, you can stop caring about what people think of you, but it will take time and a lot of determination. Something that has had a huge influence on me in this area is YouTubers. I spend a lot of my time watching YouTube and the people I watch are very positive, uplifting, optimistic and they encourage their viewers to be happy, live life to the fullest and be yourself, not be ashamed of who you are and not care about what other people might think of you, because nobody’s opinion matters. Listening to these people speak so passionately about self love and acceptance had an impact on me that I would hear their voices and their words speaking to me (kind of a bit weird) making me feel good about myself and like I can do whatever I want, look however I want and be 100% me without being afraid of what  people might think. So getting back to the point, don’t worry about what people around you might think of you acting a bit different to usual and speaking up a bit more, because to be honest, they’re either not going to notice, or they’ll be happy for you coming out of your shell a bit and might be interested in you and becoming your friend. Telling yourself things that inspire you whenver you’re worried about what people are thinking will help a lot, especially if you picture someone close to you saying it, it then feels more personal.

Tip number four:
Talk to me!
I know it’s a bit cliché the person sharing their problems and trying to help others at the same time telling you to talk to them if you need anything, or if you need a new friend, but I would love to talk to you guys on a more personal level and get to know you. Just a warning though, I’m awkward and quiet and find it hard to talk to people so prepare for that haha but other than that, I hope this has been helpful to at least one person in the world. If it has helped you in any way, even if its just shown you how awful I am at human interaction and now you feel slightly better about yourself, then be sure to let me know!

Thanks guys, talk again soon!

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January Favourites 2017

January is now over and with Christmas having just passed and having received many gifts that i have been using a lot recently (and loving) I feel like it’s the perfect time to look back on some of my favourite products of the month.

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The Zoella Soak Opera shower cream has been my go to for shower gel and it works wonders on my skin. It’s a rather odd jelly-like texture but a lot goes a long way and it lathers up very quickly with a pleasant scent leaving my skin very smooth and smelling amazing.

For my face i have been using the Neutrogena visibly clear pink grapefruit daily scrub and the Clean & Clear advantage oil control cream wash. I have naturally very oily skin and the Clean & Clear cream wash has helped balance the oils in my skin and prevented spots. The Neutrogena scrub has also helped with spots and using both of them together leave my skin feeling clean and fresh every morning.

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Continuing my morning routine I use Simple kind to skin protecting light moisturiser on my face and neck to give a smooth base for makeup and occasionally, when I have the time, I have been using The Body Shop frosted cranberry body butter. This leaves a silky smooth sheen on my skin and a beautiful scent that lasts all day so I can smell of delicious cranberries from morning til night.

For removing makeup at the end of the day i have been using the new Simple kind to skin dual effect eye makeup remover. I wear a heavy amount of liquid eyeliner and mascara everyday and I have been looking for a makeup remover that will remove all of my eye makeup and this one does exactly that! With just one cotton pad I can dab off all of my eye makeup without having to rub or pull at my eyes which I usually have to do to get it all off and results in sore red eyes, this however removes makeup without the need of rubbing so is perfect for me!

A scent that i have been loving is the Zoella Let’s Spritz! body mist as it has a very pure, bright scent and although it’s quite summery, I have been loving it in the winter as it reminds me of the sweetness and freshness of summer.

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Moving onto makeup, now I only use drugstore products because I can’t afford high end brands but I’m a strong believer of drugstore makeup being as good as i need my makeup to be and I don’t feel that I need to spend a lot on makeup, especially as it’s not a necessity for me. For priming my face I’ve been using the Loreal Infallible Mattifying Base primer which provides a smooth surface for my face makeup and keeps it lasting all day.

The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (apologies for the writing being rubbed off the bottle) works really well for concealing dark circles and blemishes. It blends well into the skin and the Loreal primer holds it in place all day. For my face, I only use concealer and no foundation or powder as I tend to go over the top with it and completely cake my face in foundation which isn’t good for my skin or my self esteem and learning to accept my face as it is, so concealer just lightly covers up any blemishes and makes me look more awake giving me the small confidence boost I need in my appearance.

For eyebrows I have been using the Collection eyebrow kit in Blonde. I am a brunette however the two brown shades work together to achieve my natural brow colour rather than the dark brown almost black shades in the Brunette kit. This kit comes with three powders which stay on fairly well throughout the day, a small angled brush and a clear brow mascara (mine has gone brown from the powder) which locks the hairs in effectively.

Maybelline Falsies Volum’ Express waterproof mascara gives my eyelashes loads of volume and length making them stand out against and above my thick eyeliner, something that is difficult to achieve without false lashes.

Other Maybelline products I have been using a lot are the Colour Tattoo 24 Hour cream eyeshadows. My favourite shades are On & On Bronze and Leather Effect Vintage Plum which I tend to wear just on their own when in a rush and don’t have time for my usual full on dramatic eyeliner wings.

I’m not a common user of lip products but as soon as I saw Tanya Burr using her Martha Moo Matt Liquid Lipstick in YouTube videos, I fell in love and had to get it. However, I only managed to do so in January as it has been constantly sold out! But to make up for the lack of use beforehand, I have been wearing it almost everyday and loving it. It doesn’t dry your lips, the shade goes with any look and is perfect for any occasion, plus, it smells great – what more could you want in a lipstick?

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Gingerbread hand cream…hmmm…I wasn’t too sure on gingerbread scented items when I first saw this but boy does this hand cream smell good! I mean, what better way to start the day than with deliciously-gingerbread scented, moisturised hands.
Unfortunately, as this product was part of a limited range, it is no longer in stock.

Now I enjoy a nice scented candle, Midnight Jasmine to be precise. They add a certain vibe to my room that just makes me feel calm and at peace, with the beautiful scent hitting me as I enter the room.

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This outfit has been a favourite this past month with it’s warm tones and soft, comforting fabrics making me feel snug and content in this season’s very cold weather. None of these items exist in the shops anymore but it’s pretty basic and simple so easy to recreate.

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Why Be Normal?

Why Be Normal?

I usually have a very boring, simple style with what I wear but Lazy Oaf has recently been a brand I have been loving. The quirkiness and individuality their clothes bring reveal the weird but wonderful side of me. The embroidered quotes and images and unique silhouettes are what draws my attention to the clothes. I love that even though I’m a fairly boring person with the least exciting style, I think I could pull it off and still feel comfortable – something that tends not to happen with me.

The quotes that I added to this set reflect how this style makes me feel, because, Why Be Normal? Normal is boring (says me, with the least creative style anyone could have). And although it’s a bit weird, not gonna lie, I do love it and it’s creativity.

I view everyday things in life as art, not just what they are. Particularly with clothes and other man made things, I like to appreciate the ideas behind the garments and the time and effort gone into designing and making them. I always see fashion as a form of art rather than just essential items that everyone needs. The art in Lazy Oaf clothes is something you don’t see often in shops or out and about, it shows that everyone has a wacky side to them (and you can show that off and be super comfy at the same time) and you shouldn’t be afraid to share that with the world through your appearance, something that I may not practice, but do strongly believe in.

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My First Time Out – Anxiety and Stepping out of your Comfort Zone

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I may be eighteen but I’m no party animal. My first night out was New Year’s  Eve and being the socially awkward, insecure person that I am, it wasn’t as fun as it could’ve been.
I don’t have many friends but, fortunately, I have an amazing family who are basically my friends so nye 2016 we all went out (six of us) together.

At first, I was very nervous. I’m not too keen on alcohol, I get very anxious and worried about health and illness quite frequently and I always believe what I hear when it’s about health, so alcohol gets me worried and scared. I managed to have a drink (yes only one, although it was quite big) and didn’t worry too much about it as the night went on, especially as it had the least amount of alcohol out of all the drinks on the menu. We played drinking games, which were perhaps not the best way to introduce me to nights out, but it was fun anyhow.

I’m a very socially anxious person and I feel uncomfortable around people I don’t know, and even around my sister and cousins I couldn’t be 100% myself.  They were all dancing, drinking, laughing, having a great time, and then there was me, taking the occasional sip, or having no drink at all, standing, staring into space feeling scared that some drunk stranger was going to assult me. That didn’t happen, but that’s where my mind goes in those sorts of environments, unfortunately I just imagine and assume the worst.

Despite my experience not being the best, I did it. I went out and tried to have a good time. It wasn’t the most enjoyable night but I gave it go. Luckily for me, after we had finished in the town we went back home, played games and just chilled which was much more fun!

 

Advice:

If any of you feel too shy, awkward or anxious to go out and be with your friends, just think, if I don’t go, I never will. It’s true. If you turn it down once, you’ll keep turning it out down continuously missing out on the fun. It’s important to push yourself and do more things. You can do it. If you just say yes to one opportunity that you usually wouldn’t take, then you will create new memories and think, “I can do more things now, and make more memories”. Avoiding things that you could do, such as going to parties, will not help. Saying yes to things brings more opportunities as well as boosts your confidence and makes you feel like you can do things. Try not to be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. You may not know what might happen if you do say yes to things, but you do know what will happen if you say no; you’ll feel even worse about yourself, and think “why didn’t I just say yes and go for it? What’s the worst that could happen?” If you push yourself, you will experience new things, and even if you fail sometimes, at least you tried.

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Tips for being in a long distance relationship

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I guess you could say I’m in a long distance relationship. I live in England, he lives in Wales. Not quite on opposite ends of the world, but it does mean that we only see each other once every two months, or if we’re lucky, once a month.

As someone who struggles with this, I thought I could share my experience and wisdom (if I have any) to help any of you who might be in long distant relationships to know how to cope with seeing the one you love nowhere near as often as you would like.

1. Text, call, video call regularly/as often as you can – Me and my boyfriend used to text in every spare minute that we had at the start of our relationship. Now, we text less as we have busy lives, and only occasionally call each other as it’s often inconvenient to chat on the phone at the time that we want to, but we always manage to have a catch up at the end of each day. It’s important. Knowing that he’s there if I need him and that I can look forward to a chat at the end of the day always helps when you can’t just pop round or quickly meet up when you want.

2. Plan what you’re going to do next time
you see each other –
In order to make the most out of the limited time you have together, planning a few activities or trips to do will create fun memories for you both to look back on afterwards. When you’ve returned home, those memories will help you look forward to seeing them again and plan something new and more fun for next time replacing the pain of missing them with excitement.

3. Plan a surprise for them, even if it’s just small – My boyfriend has done this a couple of times and, although he told me in the end what it was both times so definitely failed at keeping it a secret, it made me really happy that he had thought of something that I would like and had planned the day around it (if your partner is at all like mine then it’s very impressive when they do something like that and actually take the time to plan something). It also shows that although you don’t see each other, they’re always on your mind and you want to make them happy.
Note: The surprise could be anything from a spontaneous walk or road trip to a dressed up fancy meal.

4. Buy/make each other gifts to exchange next time you see them – Buying gifts is an easy and sweet way to show you care. Handmade gifts always show that a little bit more time and care has been put into it, but I’m sure your partner would appreciate anything you give them. I’ll go into more detail about DIY gift ideas later on.

5. Set aside a time of day to have a meaningful bonding session – As you don’t physically see each other very often, talking face to face and spending quality time together just talking about anything from something stupid you did yesterday to your darkest secret is very important and can instantly make your connection stronger.

6. Play games – Turning the above idea into a game is super easy and can make it into a fun get-to-know-each-other-better activity.  If you’re wanting to keep it as simple as possible, just take it in turns to say something that the other person doesn’t know about you! Add a forfeit and/or reward for any extremely boring or disappointing facts or highly embarrassing stories for extra enjoyment. The classic two truths one lie game always creates a whole lot of fun too. Testing each other’s knowledge on the other person can be a great way to see how well you know each other. Write down a load of questions and jumble them up in a hat, then pick at random so that you don’t waste time thinking of a new question. Get creative with your own ideas as well!

7. DIY a gift – Being an arty creative person, I tend to make something for my boyfriend for every occasion as well as buying gifts and he always really appreciates and loves what I make him. If you feel that you’re not the right person for making gifts, keep reading anyway and you might surprise yourself and find the perfect DIY gift idea that is super easy for anyone!
– A jar of love – Write down on small pieces of paper everything that you love about them, including small       things like their smile or their sense of humour, and bigger things like something they may have done that really impressed you.
Optional: Paint the jar in their favourite colour(s) and add a label to indicate what’s inside.
– Open when… – I’m sure you’ve seen these all over the Internet and while it is a cheesy idea, it is the cutest thing ever and shows a lot of love and patience. To make this gift, simply gather some envelopes together and write on each one “open when…” and then, for example “you’re feeling sad” or “you’re feeling excited” etc. Inside each envelope, write a letter, poem, or short message that you think will fit with the mood you have written on the front. Add photos, objects, artwork or anything that you think they would like at the time they would open it. When I did mine, I did (insert number here) so it took a very long time to make, but he appreciated and loved it so much which made up for the hours spent on making it.
– Personalised art – If you can and like to create art then this is always a winner when it comes to gifts. I draw something for my boyfriend for every occasion and he loves and displays every single one of them. Ideas of what to draw include: a picture of you together, a personal image that you know means a lot to them, one of their favourite quotes with a small drawing to go with it, a quote that relates to you both or your relationship. If you’re not the artistic type, you could pay someone to draw/paint a picture of you together, or create a collage of your favourite photos together and frame it. If you have other creative talents, you could create a different kind of piece of art, for example, a song or a poem.

8. When apart, watch films/TV shows together – To make it feel like you’re physically together, watch the same movie or TV show at the same time and text each other or call and talk about your thoughts and feelings on what’s happening on the screen as if you’re watching it together.

9. Set goals on what you want to have done together by the end of the year: Examples:
– Visited somewhere you’ve always wanted to go to
– Gone to the zoo
– Seen a particular band/artist live
– Gone on a spontaneous road trip
– Gone on a hike
– Kissed in the rain
– Had a proper fancy dinner date
– Gone on a double date with a friend and their partner

I hope that my tips have helped some people who are in a long distance relationship and that after doing some of them, you will stop missing your other half so much and start looking forward to your near future plans together.

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Winter Walks

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On this beautiful frosty afternoon, my sister and I went for a walk around the village Castle Acre. The weather was too enticing for us to say no to a stroll, so off we went!

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Castle Acre is a small historic village in Norfolk with a church, small high street, a few houses, a Castle and a Priory. The traditional cottages and country roads give the picturesque place a cute and quaint atmosphere. Growing up, I used to visit Castle Acre quite frequently as I lived not too far away from it, so revisiting is always a fun and nostalgic mini adventure with my family where we remember good memories together.

We went at just the right time today, during sunset, although the sky was just a light blue in most directions, but looking in the right way, it was a beautiful mix of colours with the sun low and beaming in yellows and oranges over the Castle and Priory ruins.

My sister took me to the church and graveyard to show me where our great grandparents were buried and told me a little bit of history on our family. I find it so mesmerising that my grandparents and both their parents all grew up in the same village living only across the road from each other and working in shops that have now been turned into houses or tea rooms. It’s a completely different world and lifestyle now than it was all those years ago. I’m not usually one for having an interest in history but I don’t mind knowing the odd background story of some people and places, especially when it’s my family tree, it’s always fascinating to know where and who you come from.

Anyway, our explore of the church grounds was nice and pleasant with the cold crisp air and sun peering through the trees, just the way I like my winters.

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My favourite place to visit in Castle Acre has always been the Castle itself. The Motte and Bailey Castle ruins and grounds is perfect for an afternoon walk. The hills to climb and paths to follow make it a scenic and great place to get some fresh air and exercise, or, for younger ones, it’s perfect for exploring and testing your stamina by racing up and down the hills with friends as that is what I used to do every time I would visit.

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Our next stop was the Priory, an English Heritage site of artistic ruins. We didn’t go fully inside the ruins, just walked around the outside as it costs to go in and it was starting to get dark.

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I don’t know about you but I find ruins very artistic and aesthetically pleasing with the architectural shapes and structures of that remained. I tend to look past the history of the building and take a deeper look at the shapes and form. I guess it’s part of being a (kind of) artist. With every inch of movement you make, what you see changes. The shadows, lines, shapes, tones – it all looks different from every possible angle. And when you take a closer look, the detail in the construction of the buildings can be remarkable.


To end our mini adventure, we took a stroll through the village down the narrow, windy roads looking at the houses and cute cottages, being careful not to slip on the frosty paths.

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Japanese Paper Making Workshop

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Hello lovelies and welcome to my blog! Today I had an amazing opportunity to do a workshop with paper maker Elaine Cooper and, I must say, it wasn’t what I expected, however I had a great time making paper and learning all about Elaine and how she got into paper making.

Elaine Cooper is a paper maker from Wales who lives half of her life here in the UK, and the other half of her life in Japan where she makes paper for a living! She visited my college where she did a talk for the Art and Design department about her life as an independent artist and paper maker. A few weeks later my tutor approached me about a local workshop that Elaine was doing and she said that there was one space left if I would like it, so with a little voice in my head saying “try new things, say yes!” my social anxiety was defeated and I said yes! To be honest, I’m surprised I agreed to it as I usually don’t say yes to opportunities that I should, but boy am I glad I said yes to this one. A tip for those of you who feel too scared to say yes to new things and opportunities is to picture someone that you look up to, could be a parent, friend, celebrity, looking at you in the eye and saying “say yes! What is there to lose?” or something that would convince you to say yes, and do it! Anyway, back to the workshop…

To start off the workshop, Elaine showed us some of the paper that she makes and explained to us how she makes it (incredibly simple process) and gave us a tour of the studios that she works in in the UK. It was only me and two boys on this workshop so a once in a life time opportunity! The first thing we did was dye some of her hand-made paper using Indian ink. We folded the paper into small pieces first before dipping it into ink revealing bright, unpredictable patterns.

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And then came the actual making of paper. The workshop lasted for about five hours so we couldn’t make large pieces of paper because it takes so long to dry, so we made small pieces the size of a CD case. The first step of making paper was to take the fibres and separate them in cold water. Then, using a piece of mesh metal, you scoop up the watery fibres so that they sit on the metal, and press them down into an open CD case. We could add small pieces of torn hand-made papers to add pattern and colour and this was added before pressing the fibres down. Once the surface of the CD case was covered, we had to press a cloth down to compress the fibres, then flip the case over and tap it to release the paper underneath. Leaving them to dry took a good few hours on the radiator, plus a while with the hair dryer.  The paper is difficult to take out of the CD case so it can be very delicate and can easily fall apart, but nonetheless I’m really pleased with my hand-made paper, it looks very abstract and textural which are features that I always like in artwork.

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That’s it for today! Be sure to comment what you think and follow my social media to be updated on new posts!

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