October Favourites 2015

I'm very sorry that this blog post didn't go up earlier, I thought I had scheduled it for Friday hence why it has Friday's date on it but I saved it rather than published it and I've only just realised!!!

October is my favourite month and this year's has been no different; no month is ever perfect and is often up and down but overall this month has been pretty great, filled with some very exciting and lovely moments and things. Without further ado, these are a few of my favourite things this month (I hope at least one of you sung that!)...

Fashion and Beauty:
Zoella Tutti Fruity Candy Cream Softening Body Lotion- I bought this last month in my Primark, Superdrug, Lush and More Haul (here) and since then I have been loving it so much! It feels incredibly soft on my skin, smells gorgeous and leaves me feeling fresh all day as every so often, I get a whiff of the scent. It's the only product of this range that I own but I'm sure I will be repurchasing this along with some other products from the Tutti Fruity collection very soon.
Benefit Rockitude- This was essentially a gift as I bought it with a voucher I got for my birthday and it is stunning. I love everything in the set: Rockateur (blusher), Benetint (lip and cheek tint), Highbeam (highlighter) and Ultra Plush in Rockateur. The products are perfect for creating a rose gold look which I have really enjoyed doing this Autumn. It was my first Benefit product but after seeing how much I love it, I'm definitely going to have to purchase some more from the brand.

Maybelline Mastergraphic Eyeliner- I'm bringing this one back as I spent months raving about this in the past but after I went off eye liner a bit, I stopped using it so often and now when I do use it, I remember why I loved it so much in the first place (that was a mouthful!) It's easy to control in order to get the ideal flick and it creates quite a bold, black line which I love.


Entertainment:
Lucy and Lydia- I've been watching Lucy and Lydia for a few months now but have particularly loved their videos this month. Their videos are always incredibly well edited, they always look stunning, demonstrating how to do some really lovely looks and their bubbly personalities are so infectious. If you haven't watched any of their videos yet, I highly recommend you do. You can find their channel here.
Sounds Good Feels Good by 5 Seconds Of Summer- As a 5SOS fan, I eagerly awaited the release of their second album, enjoying the songs released in the build up to it and when it finally reached me on the 23rd October, I was definitely not disappointed! The lyrics of a number of their songs are so meaningful and relatable that it just makes the whole album even better. My favourite songs are San Francisco, Safety Pin, Money and Outerspace/Carry On. My only criticism is that Carry On isn't longer because I love love love everything about that song, especially the lyrics!
Gogglebox- I've never really understood the appeal of this programme- why would I want to watch other people watch TV? However, this month I watched a couple of episodes from the current season and I loved them- they were absolutely hilarious so once I have a bit more time, I will definitely be watching a few of the other seasons as well as watching all of this one.
American Horror Story- This show took me a while to get into and so I've been watching it on and off for the past few months but this month I really started to get into it and have now finally finished season one and am looking forward to starting the next one.
Eye Candy- I am obsessed with this show! I love it- it's a horror, crime, thriller, mystery drama and has just had me hooked since the first episode. It has such an intriguing and exciting story that after every episode I can't wait for the next! I especially love the last two episodes that aired in the UK.
Hunted- You may have seen the likes of Zoe, Alfie and Gabby mention this TV show, I wasn't really that interested in it after hearing the synopsis but when I'd seen them all rave about it, I thought it might be worth trying. I don't know what it was about it but it was just so interesting and made an amazing show. I especially loved the final episode where by I was up on my feet and shouting at the TV (in a good way). At the moment, all of the episodes are on 4od (here) so if you want to give it a try, which I highly recommend, you can click that link and then let me know what you think about it.

Other:
Pumpkin Patch Candles- My grandma bought a set of 'Pumpkin Patch' tealights from TKMaxx for us to put in our living room (which smells and looks so Autumnal by the way) and I am in love with the scent of these candles, they have a scent that combines all Autumnal smells to create what I think is the perfect Autumn scent.
Trick or Treat Imperial Candle- As some of you may be aware, yesterday was my birthday and so a couple of days before then, I received this candle from some of my cousins and was asked to open it at the time they gave it to me. The reason for this is that it is not your typical candle; inside is some jewellery, so you burn your candle and when it gets so far down, you can retrieve your gift. I think the whole concept of this is amazing, not only does the candle look and smell heavenly, the concept of it makes it really exciting to watch the wax melt down, waiting for it to get to the level the gift is at.
Marks and Spencer Watermelon and Coconut White Tea- Ice tea is quite possibly my favourite drink, watermelon is my favourite food and coconut is another flavour I love so this drink is ideal for me. I was worried the combination of flavours would make it a bit overpowering but it wasn't- I couldn't taste the watermelon that much but the coconut flavour was very noticeable. I really enjoyed it and knew it had to go in this month's favourites.
Meeting Sprinkle of Glitter- You may or may not know that Louise is one of my absolute favourite YouTubers; I love her videos, her blog posts and more recently, I loved her book (review here) so when I heard she was doing a signing near me, I knew I had to go. I had already bought her diary but bought another one from WHSmith anyway so that I could get it signed and could meet her. We got there a couple of hours before the signing started so that we were very close to the front and when I got to meet her, I was pleased that I managed to hold a pretty much normal conversation which seemed difficult in the build up to it due to the surrealism of it all. I think I mostly rambled to her about how much I loved her videos, particularly her latest one (which at the time was her 'Pink Hair Story') but it was a lovely experience and it made me very happy to get to talk to her after watching her videos for so long.
Meeting Megan- You may have seen me mention Megan a number of times on this blog and if you haven't already, you should definitely check out her blog here. For a while, we've commented on each other's posts, befriended one another on a variety of social media platforms and I would consider her to be a friend of mine. Last Friday, I got the chance to go and meet her. I'd been worried it would be a bit awkward at first as I'm not the best at starting conversations with people in situations like that and I wasn't entirely sure how to go about it but it turned out I had nothing to worry about. As far as I'm concerned, it didn't feel awkward at all and it was like shopping with a friend even though we'd only met just moments before, conversations flowed and we had plenty to talk about. My only criticism is that we only had about an hour so I would definitely be interested in meeting her again and hopefully spending a bit longer together.

That concludes this month's favourites, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you had a lovely month filled with a many things and moments that you loved. 

Love, Steph x

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Halloween Haul

Seeing as Halloween is very close by, I thought I'd upload my Halloween Haul including everything I've purchased for my Halloween/18th party. I'm not going to be talking about what I've bought in this post, simply showing you what there is, where it's from and how much it cost so that if any of you are having a Halloween party or want to decorate your house for Trick or Treaters and still don't have everything, you know what's on offer and where. I will be taking photos of the set up for my party which will go up in another post but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy nosying at what I've bought or you are inspired to buy some of these things yourself. Sidenote: I can't find the receipt for the products I bought from Home Bargains so the prices may not all be fully accurate but they are the prices I believe everything was and it definitely wasn't much more expensive if not.
Cake Stand 
Home Bargains
79p
Paper Plates
Home Bargains and Amazon
79p per pack and 
Gold and Silver Sparkly Pumpkins
Asda 
£1 each
Pumpkin Fairy Lights
B&M 
£2.99
Cupcake Cases and Stick Decorations
 I believe these were from Poundland but I can't be sure as I didn't buy them myself.
Trick Or Treat Sign 
Home Bargains
79p
Happy Halloween Sign 
Home Bargains
79p
Straws 
Poundland
£1
Napkins 
Amazon
£2
Happy Halloween Bunting
 Home Bargains
79p
Paper Cups 
Amazon 
£1.39
Pumpkin Bucket 
B&M
49p
Witches Hat Headband 
Amazon
£3.70
Halloween Bowl
 B&M
£1.49
Halloween Table Confetti 
Wilko
£1
Electric Flickering Candles 
Wilko 
50p each
Halloween Trick Or Treat Bowl
Wilko 
£1.50
Trick Or Treat Pumpkin Sign 
B&M
£1
Happy Halloween Banner 
Asda 
£1
Happy Halloween Bunting 
Asda
£1
Spider Ceiling Decoration 
B&M
£1.99
Halloween Balloons 
Amazon
£1.24
Vampire Teeth Sweets 
Primark
£1
Spider's Web
Amazon
£1.49 each
Black Plastic Tablecloth
Amazon
£1.32
I hope you've been inspired to get into the Halloween spirit and have some idea of what you could purchase for any upcoming Halloween events without spending a huge amount. If you want to see photos of the products I've mentioned from my party itself, then check back here over the next week as it will be going up as soon as I get a spare moment.

Love, Steph x

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Would You Rather Tag

Would you rather...

1. Go out with messy hair and nice make up or nice hair and no make up?
Definitely nice make up and messy hair because I always feel like make up brings an outfit together and can make your hair style look better whereas my hair doesn't improve my overall appearance without good make up.

2. Shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?
Shave my eyebrows because drawing on brows is a lot easier than wearing fake lashes everyday and so the solution is a lot simpler. Plus, my eyebrows are pale anyway so if they didn't exist it probably wouldn't make as much difference as if my lashes fell out.

3. Forced to shop only at MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?
I've never been to either of these stores and so have nothing from either brand but based on what I've heard and seen, I'd say Sephora if it's talking about the whole store as it has multiple brands to chose from but if it's just about the brand, I'd say MAC.

4. Wear lipgloss/lipliner look or 80s perm?
Lipgloss/lipliner look- I have no real reason other than the simple fact that it seems preferable over the 80s perm.

5. Leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?
Overdone blush- I blush a lot anyway so it probably wouldn't look a great deal different to my natural blushing (I hate how often and obviously I blush!)

6. Wear MC Hammer pants or Biker Shorts in public?
Can I cheat and say biker shorts under a dress?!? If not, then MC Hammer pants.

7. Have a bad orange-y spray tan or really weird tan lines that can't be covered?
Weird tan lines.

8. Have a bad haircut or bad hair colour?
A bad hair colour because it can be fixed quicker than a haircut can if a haircut needs to grow out.

9. Have YouTube or Twitter taken away forever?
Oh my gosh, this is the hardest one by far. As much as I love Twitter, I'm going to have to say have that taken away from me as I can use other, similar forms of social media whereas YouTube is harder to replace.

10. Give up using make up brushes or mascara?
Make up brushes! Mascara is my number one make up product so it's highly unlikely that I'd ditch that for anything and make up brushes can be replaced with sponges, hands or other brushes if absolutely necessary.

I hope you enjoyed reading this week's tag. Feel free to answer these questions and let me know so that I can check out your responses.

Love, Steph x

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Mental Health Awareness

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On 10th October 2015, the last Mental Health Awareness Day took place with people offering support and advice in a number of forms for as many people as possible. The hashtag #MentalHealthAwarenessDay trended on twitter over the course of the day, bringing mental health to the forefront of people’s minds. Unfortunately, mental health is often a stigmatised topic that many people are afraid or embarrassed to discuss for whatever reason, personal to each individual, despite the fact that 1 in 4 people experience some kind of mental health problem every year. Raising awareness for mental health in order to make it a more open topic is vital to helping as many people as we can in order to make a difference. If someone has a physical health issue, people around them empathise, offering to help them when they can, understanding their situation as best as possible. However, the same can’t be send for mental health issues, many people struggle to understand the effect it could be having on an individual’s life and so can’t or don’t empathise with their situation, they expect them to just get on with it. If you broke your leg, you wouldn’t continue to walk on it as if everything was fine and the same circumstances should be applied to your mental health!
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Whilst talking through your feelings and doubts when it comes to mental health can be a very difficult action to take, it can also be a very useful and effective one. Simply talking through things can help you to express your emotions in a healthy way and gain the advice and help you need. Unfortunately for many, their issues have been made to seem inferior or stupid when they’ve mentioned it to some people, including doctors but as difficult as it may seem at the time, talking to someone else until you find somebody you feel understands your situation and will help you effectively is key. If you don’t feel you’ve been given the right treatment, try somebody new.

According to the World Mental Health Foundation, ‘10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.’ Similarly, according to Mind, ‘90% of young people with mental health problems will experience stigma and discrimination, which stops them seeking help, living normal lives, and sometimes, makes them give up on their hopes and dreams.’ This is a huge percentage that can be decreased with the destigmatisation of mental health which we can achieve if society becomes more open to the discussion and starts to accept the impacts of mental health, allowing people to get the help they need! However, this change could take a long time to come around so in the meantime, there are a number of things we can do to improve our mental health and limit the chance of it ruining life’s experiences…

Talk about how we feel: Whether big or small, all feelings are important and impact us, so by discussing them with others, whether that’s a doctor, a parent, a friend… anyone, it can help let some of the thoughts escape your mind, even if it’s only temporary and can reduce the chance of everything building up to a point where you can no longer handle it.

Spend time with people we care about: It can help clear your mind and improve your mood to take a break from daily stresses by spending time with others you care about, doing something you enjoy. It can give you the breath of fresh air you need.

Do something you love: Linking to the previous point, taking time out of your day to do something you enjoy, can help clear your head and bring a bit of positivity to your life for a bit.

Accept that it’s okay not to be okay: There are so many times when we have to carry on as if nothing is wrong, often smiling or laughing more than normal to cover how we really feel, but you don’t always have to do that. Sometimes all you need is to just accept everything is not fine and spend time having a good cry, curling up in bed or listening to sad music which can really help let things out and make you feel a bit better afterwards.

Take a break: If you’re doing something you find stressful or have a hectic day, taking a bit of time out to de-stress and focus on yourself can really help.

Eat well: When you don’t feel great, eating habits can also deteriorate, either by eating more or less than usual or eating less healthily. The best approach to take is to fuel your body with healthy food which doesn’t leave you feeling a bit rubbish afterwards and occasionally treating yourself to an unhealthy snack if that’s what you fancy.

Exercise: Exercising can be the last thing you want to do when you feel a bit pants but if you get yourself out there and do something, your body often thanks you later and makes you feel slightly more perky. The release of endorphins and use of energy can also help declutter your mind and feel more positive.

Ask for help: Possibly the most important and the most difficult but admitting you’re not okay and requesting help can have such a big impact on your mental health and life in general both short and long term.

If you want more information on mental health and the help out there, you can visit:

I hope some of you found this post useful, if you have any thoughts on this subject that you want to share, leave a comment below.

Love, Steph x

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19 Questions Tag


1. Where were you born?
England

2. Were you named after someone?
Not as far as I'm aware.

3. When was the last time you cried?
Last Friday night with laughter whilst watching Gogglebox.

4. Do you have any kids?
Nope.

5. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
I think so... I hope so.

6. Do you have any pets?
Yes, a dog, a cat and a horse.

7. Do you use sarcasm?
Yes- a lot! Although, not as much as I used to.

8. Would you bungee jump?
Probably not- I think it would be a great achievement but I'm scared of heights so I don't know if I could will myself to do it.

9. What is your favourite cereal?
Special K Red Berries.

10. What is your eye colour?
Blue.

11. Scary movies or movies with happy endings?
This is a tough one as I love them both but probably movies with happy endings as they always cheer me up and are usually really feel-good films.

12. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
One younger brother.

13. Computer or TV?
Computer as you can do a lot more on that, including watch TV shows or films rather than just watch something on a TV and do very little else with it.

14. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
Either eyes or smile.

15. Favourite smell?
Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Perfume, Cakes in the oven, Cinnamon, Lush Melting Snowman (which sadly I don't think is in this year's Christmas range) and Rituals Diwali Delight.

16. Furthest you've been away from home?
Florida.

17. Do you have any special talents?
Unfortunately none as far as I'm aware.

18. Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, writing, blogging, working out at the gym, listening to music and shopping.

19. Are you in love?
No.

That concludes this week's 'Tag Tuesday', I only had very short answers for this one but I hope you enjoyed reading them anyway. Keep your eyes peeled over the next week or so as I've got a bonus post going up as well as a different, more serious post on Friday.

Love, Steph x

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Halloumi Pasta Salad Recipe

Whilst this recipe isn't particularly Autumnal, I have been really loving making and eating it, even this season. It's also fairly healthy- other than the Halloumi which is supposedly one of the healthier cheeses due to being made from goat's milk but it is still cheese and so it does contain saturated fats. It's a great recipe for when you don't have a lot of time (or have time but don't want to spend it cooking) as it takes about 15 minutes to do everything from preparation to serving it. You can also add, remove or change ingredients based on what you like and how healthy you want to make it but here's what you will need to do and use if you want to follow my recipe...
Ingredients:
Pasta
Mushrooms
Cherry Tomatoes
Basil
Spinach
Halloumi
Chilli Flakes
1. Start by putting however many servings of pasta you need into a saucepan and boiling the kettle.
2. Once the kettle has finished boiling, pour it over your pasta and leave the pan to boil on the hob.
3. Whilst the pasta is boiling, slice your mushrooms and halloumi then cut the cheese into quarters.
4. Put a small amount of coconut oil into a pan and heat it until it's melted.
5. Then place the mushrooms into the pan on a medium to high heat with some salt and pepper seasoning, turning them every so often.
6. Once your mushrooms and pasta are almost cooked, place your halloumi in the same pan as the mushrooms, keeping an eye on them to ensure they don't burn on one side.
7. Whilst they're cooking, wash your tomotoes, basil and spinach.
8. Chop the tomatoes in half and slice the basil leaves.
9. When the faced down side of the halloumi is golden brown, flip it over.
10. Drain your pasta.
11. Pour the now drained pasta back into the saucepan you used, adding the halloumi, mushrooms, basil and tomatoes and stir them all in.
12. Place your spinach in the bottom of your dish and then pour your pasta mix on top.
13. If you're a fan of spicy food like I am, you can now add chilli flakes to the top of your dish, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also tastes lovely.

A combination of basil, spice (from the chilli flakes) and salt (from the halloumi) may seem like an odd mix of flavours but I honestly find that they work really well together and make the dish unique and delicious.

Love, Steph x

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The Furry Friend Tag

Today's 'Tag Tuesday' is a bit shorter than normal but it is all about my three lovely pets...

1. What are your pets name?
-Fudge
-Millie
-Harley

2. What kind of pets and what breed are they?
- Dog: Golden Labrador
- Cat: I don't know
- Horse: I don't know

3. How long have you had your pets?
- About 4 and a half years
- About 5 and a half years
- About 2 years

4. How did you get your pets?
- We'd wanted a Golden Labrador for years and were waiting until we moved house. Once we had moved, we just looked for one and bought her from someone whose labrador had had a litter
- Had her from a friend who had too many cats to look after and needed to rehome some
- Rescued him from a farmer who needed to find him a new home as he only had mares (female horses) so couldn't have a stallion kept with them and didn't have separate space for him

5. How old are they?
- 4
- 5
- 3

6. What are some quirky things about your pets' personality?
- Fudge literally gets into people's beds when we're not looking- she'll start on the sheets or on the pillows then will end up tucking herself under the duvet
- Our fence used to be rather broken so that if you weren't careful, you could bend it. Unfortunately, Harley worked this out and so whenever he wanted attention, he'd rub his back end against the fence, bending it in as much as possible, knowing we will have to go down and tell him off.
- Millie is very much an 'outdoors' cat (yes that does mean she brings in mice and birds... bleurgh!) but more recently she's become a lot cuddlier although it's usually when we're busy. For example, she'll come and sit on my lap whilst I'm working or she'll walk all over my laptop keyboard!

7. What does your relationship with your pets mean to you?
My relationship with all of them means a lot- I'm never alone when I'm at home as they're always there. I can sit and cuddle them whenever I want to which often makes me feel a bit happier. I love to play with them. I'd definitely find it really lonely if they weren't at home waiting for me.

8. What are your pets' nicknames?
- Fudgeling, Ling, Ling-Ling, Fudgey, Fudgeface, Goldilocks
- Milner, Milnermoo, Mil
- Harlz, Baby H, H Meister

Do you have any pets? If so, let me know a bit about them in the comments.

Love, Steph x

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