May Favourites 2016

Where is the time going this year? I know everybody says it but this year really has flown by so far. Like always, I have a number of favourites to share with you today, many of which feature in the entertainment section.

Entertainment

American Horror Story Season One To Four- This show took me a while to get into, particularly season one and two, both of which I watched the first couple of episodes slowly and spread out and then when it got to half way through, I binge watched the end of the season as I loved it. My least favourite season so far is season two: asylum as it took ages for me to get into it and I never really loved watching the show like I did the other seasons. I loved season three: Coven best as it was the only one I was hooked on from the first episode and I loved the plot, the characters... everything. Despite the fact it took me a bit longer to get into season four: Freakshow, I loved watching it and would say it is my second favourite season. For me, it was definitely the scariest as it had more psychological horror, as well as gore, and featured clowns, dummies and all sorts of circus themed characters, which do scare me more than other things. I also loved the ending to Freakshow which I won't spoil but highly recommend watching. At the moment, only the first four seasons are available on Netflix but when I get my hands on the other seasons, I will definitely be watching and hopefully enjoying them. For anyone that doesn't know, I jus thought I'd point out that you don't have to watch the seasons in order; each season has a new story with different characters.
Not Too Deep- I've been watching and loving Grace Helbig's videos for a long time now but I'd never actually listened to her podcast *hangs head in shame* UNTIL I watched her video with Hank Green and was desperate to hear more so immediately headed over to her podcast for a listen. I wasn't disappointed and several episodes later, I found myself seriously questioning why it took me so long to listen to the podcast. If you haven't listened to it before, whether you watch Grace's YouTube videos or not, I highly recommend you give it a listen as it's thoroughly entertaining, it discusses a lot of topics that you don't find in a lot of chats or interviews and all in all it's guaranteed to make you smile and probably laugh a lot too!
The Gabbie Show: Ghost Stories- This month I stumbled across Gabbie's channel and watched a few of her videos, and by a few, I mean a lot. She isn't the luckiest of people and has plenty of stories about these unfortunate events. I love hearing about these stories, not that I want so much to happen to her but it sure makes an entertaining video. Whilst many of her stories are full of sass, wit and humour, I particularly enjoyed watching her ghost stories videos as I find things like that really interesting, if a little terrifying and the way she tells them is brilliant.
Bad Neighbours 2- I was a big fan of the first film as I found it was a proper feel-good film, full of plenty of laughs and the second is no different. Essentially, it's the same film again just with a sorority rather than a fraternity but for me, that was absolutely fine as I got to experience a new, very similar film just with an even better cast. If you're a fan of the first film and don't mind seeing a similar plot line again then I highly recommend giving it a watch; I went to watch it twice at the cinema and enjoyed it a lot both times. In fact, I really can't decide whether I prefer the first or the second film in the series.
Saffron Barker- I have watched so many of Saffron's videos this past month, both main channel and vlogs, and she has fast become one of my favourite YouTubers. I don't know what it is about her and her videos but she is so easy to watch and she comes across as having a really infectious personality which makes me want to binge watch her videos on so many occasions.
Meghan Trainor Thank You- I loved Meghan's last album and although some lyrics in her songs can be seen as quite offensive or controversial, she also has some amazing lyrics and incredible songs in general. She is one of my favourite artists and this album really solidified my love for her music. I can't even tell you my favourite songs as I just started writing them down and it ended up being almost 3/4 of the album so instead I'm just going to recommend you give the whole album a listen to.

Beauty & Fashion

Fleur Loves Eylure 3/4 Lashes- I only bought these towards the end of the month but I feel like I have worn them enough to confidently sing their praises. They are so much easier to apply than any other lashes I've tried in the past, they can be worn for both everyday purposes and special events, you don't have to worry about trimming them down and they give a natural, beautiful, defined look to your lashes. Whilst they aren't cheap, I think the quality definitely justifies the price and I will be repurchasing these on many occasions.
Collection Glitter Gel Liner- The Collection glitter eyeliners are so inexpensive and so beautiful! I bought one in the shade Funk which is a gold shade that I thought would look amazing with a gold smokey eye and whilst it does look nice with this look, it also looks lovely on its own. It's gives such a bold, beautiful, glittery look that no other eye product I've tried gives. I don't actually use this as an eyeliner but instead use it all over my eye lid where it works just as well, if not better.
New Look- My love for New Look has recently been rekindled as I've found myself frequently admiring the clothes and on several occasions, picking up or ordering a few pieces. (I plan to do a Summer look book soon with several of the items I've picked up). Whilst the store has always been one of my favourites, I haven't been bought loads from the shop in a short period of time for a while!

That completes my May Favourites, I hope you've enjoyed reading about the things I've been loving this month. What have you been loving, let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading this post, if you enjoyed it and want to read more, you can follow my social media links to be notified when I upload a new post.

Love, Steph x
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Makeup Must Haves

I have tried a fair number of makeup products over the last couple of years, many of which I've loved, others I've not been so keen on, so I decided to compile a list of my all time makeup favourites or must haves, that I'm sure I will be purchasing and repurchasing time and time again.

L'Oreal Superstar False Lash Mascara- I haven't mentioned this on my blog for a while but it is still very much a favourite in my makeup collection. I sometimes grow to like a mascara and start using it on a daily basis causing the L'Oreal mascara to take a back seat and then one day I pick it up again and realise what I've been missing. It's great on it's own or more recently, I've liked using it with a touch of another mascara on top. The combination of the primer, the mascara and the wand works wonders on my lashes through lengthening, darkening and volumising them. You can build up the layers for a more false lash look but even one coat seems to make my eyes pop with my lashes looking like natural falsies.

Hoola Bronzer- I haven't had this product for as long but I feel like I've used it enough over the four months I have had it, to be able to confidently comment on how amazing it is. Hoola is a massively hyped up bronzer but definitely lives up to the hype, it's matte which makes it great for either a bronzed look or for contouring, which I like to use it for in particular. It's easy to apply and blend and lasts all day. I currently have a mini version but I am definitely going to have to get my hands on the full size product when that goes.

Maybelline Brow Satin- Whilst I've been reaching for a powder to fill in my brows over the past couple of weeks, Brow Satin is my ultimate brow product and one I continue to go back to. It's easy to use to shape, outline and fill in your brows, it lasts all day and it's [dark blonde] a good colour match for mousy blonde hair which is something I've struggled to find in other brands.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo- I own two different shades of Maybelline's Colour Tattoo range (Pink gold and On and On Bronze) and the only thing holding me back from getting more is my aim to only replace makeup products when they run out and to cut down on the amount of eye products I buy. However, these make the perfect base for an eyeshadow look whether you want to go for something simple or more extravagant. They apply smoothly and allow product to be applied and blended nicely on top and they last all day. I find that they are not only great bases, but also great as stand alone products when I don't want to do much of an eye look or when I'm in a rush.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow- This isn't a specific product as Urban Decay excel at eyeshadows no matter which palette you try. I love both the palettes I own- Vice 2 and Shadowbox as they contain all my staple gold and neutral shades as well as some slightly bolder shades. I have yet to try a bolder eyeshadow look with the Vice 2 palette but they look gorgeous in the case.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer- If you haven't heard about this product before... where have you been? This is one of the products I have heard about the most and I can really see why. It has been my go to concealer for a good while now and will remain that way for the foreseeable future as it is pretty inexpensive, it has a good coverage, lasts hours and blends nicely. I couldn't ask for more.

There are plenty more makeup products I could have put in this post but these were my top items that I feel I couldn't have a makeup collection without. I highly recommend all of these products if you haven't already tried them. Let me know what your must haves are in the comments. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you liked what you read, you can follow my social media links in the sidebar to the right of this post or in the top, right hand corner of my blog to see when I upload a new post. Thank you.

Love, Steph x
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An Open Letter To Mental Health Sufferers

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it seemed like an appropriate time for me to write this open to letter to anyone who may be struggling with a mental illness whatever it may be. Whilst I'm addressing people with a variety of mental illnesses, I am largely referring to anxiety and depression which I know a bit more about than many others and have a bit more experience in.

First things first, it's not your fault that you feel the way you do, it's not your fault you act certain ways as a result of those feelings and anyone who makes you feel that way is probably not the best person for you to be around. Whilst some people may not know what you're going through, they should be willing to take the time to listen, help and as a minimum, at least not judge you or make you feel worse.

Whilst it may seem endless now, it isn't! However difficult it gets, it can and will get better with time and the right treatment. Sometimes it helps to take it a day at a time or a week at a time and to find your way through one week and then at the end of that week, reflect and be proud of yourself for making it through and doing the things you've done before pushing yourself through the next week and so on. Eventually, a week won't seem so bad and you can start reaching out for longer periods of time.

If you feel yourself improve and then get worse again, that's absolutely fine. The road to recovery isn't a staircase, constantly leading up to 'everything is okay now', it's a spiral. You start in the middle and work out and sometimes you feel yourself improving, other times you feel similar to how you did at the start but as you work your way up and out of the spiral, these difficult times should occur less often. Hopefully this should provide some comfort in the knowledge that if things do get worse, it doesn't mean you're back to square one, it just means you are going through the motions to getting better.

Speak out. Whether you want a chat about what you're going through with your friends (who may end up sharing similar experiences that you didn't know about), a parent or trusted adult, a doctor or a counselor. All of these people can help through giving you someone to talk to, comforting you, giving you advice or giving you a solution... or step towards a solution. Whilst not everyone will know what you're going through, you may be comforted just opening up a bit and may have someone able to give you the encouragement you need.

If you aren't yet comfortable talking to somebody about it, you can do other things to help yourself including CBT which can be useful when done with a professional but can also be helpful when done on your own accord. To give it a try at home, you can sign up to MoodGYM for free, which was created by a group of Australian students to help improve your cognitive behaviour. If you then find the process helpful but would prefer to get face to face help, you can research getting help or can contact your doctor who will have links as well as a few other solutions.

You aren't alone. However alone you may be made to feel, it isn't the case. Even if you are struggling to reach out to someone you know in person, there is help and support online and over the phone where you can often remain anonymous or semi anonymous. Furthermore, whilst the people around you may seem to not understand or to be slightly against you, a lot of the time this isn't the case. The likelihood is they probably don't understand or realise what it is you are going through and/or don't know how to help so my advice to combat this would be to have a little patience with them over what they may understand and to maybe give them a chance to help out. I know that's not as easy as it sounds, I for one definitely struggled opening up to people but having also been the person offering support and help, I know how people can feel when they want to do their best for you but don't quite know how until they know more about what's going on inside. It's not that they don't care, it's just them finding the best way to help.

Mental health is tricky as there are so many silent sufferers. With the stigma attached to it, which does appear to be in decline, people are often afraid to speak out or don't feel comfortable sharing their personal experiences regarding mental health and that's okay but the more people discuss the topic, the more the stigma can decline and the more help people can access due to a heightened awareness. Anything you can do to help achieve this is great.

I know a lot of these things are easier said than done but hopefully you can take a little bit of comfort or help from this. They key really is to take baby steps. There are so many things I want to say to help people but a lot of it depends on specific circumstance and it's been a little bit difficult to actually collate all my thoughts and the things I want to say in this post, as it's all just whizzing around my brain and not really making much sense. Either way, I hope it's helped a little bit and if not I hope it's maybe made a few more people a bit more aware about mental health and the feelings associated.

Useful links:
Mind
UK Support Links (including phone numbers and email addresses)
MoodGYM

If you have any advice or comments you think I've forgotten, let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading this post.

Love, Steph x
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Why I'm A Feminist Part Two

On 8th March 2016, I uploaded a post in honour of International Women's Day where I mentioned some of the more general, yet important reasons why I identify as a feminist. In this post, I wanted to talk about a specific thing that happened to me which really confirmed my passion for the subject. It is quite a lengthy post but once I started, I just kept remembering it all like it was yesterday and wanted to give you as much context and detail as possible.

The school/college I attend does something a bit different to a lot of schools and has three weeks or so before we break up for Summer where we move up to the next year, getting us settled in before Summer ready to get straight back into it in September. This meant that last year, after I finished my AS exams, I had a couple of weeks off before going back for the three weeks before the proper Summer break. When we went back, England had a heatwave where it was reaching 30 Degrees Celsius. Naturally, people started wearing less clothing; shorts, strappy tops and so on which 'weren't appropriate for the working environment.'

After wearing tops that covered my straps but showed some of my shoulders most of the year, I didn't expect to be told this wasn't allowed when it was the hottest day of the year so far and especially when plenty of other colleges had already broken up.

Staff had received complaints about students attire and so an assembly was held to discuss what was and wasn't 'appropriate' in which we were told, we couldn't have underwear on show- but no mention of covering the whole shoulder, couldn't have rips in clothing, no midriff showing, shorts and skirts must be of an appropriate length- closer to the knee than the hip and so on. Whilst these requirements applied to both girls and boys, the restrictions made things more difficult for girls by ruling out a lot more of what was in shops and wardrobes for teen girls. It was even more difficult for me given my height, which is exactly why I didn't wear shorts as I feel like they cover everything that should be covered but due to my long legs, they would probably have been considered of an 'inappropriate' length. We were also warned that anyone breaking these rules would be sent home.

After the assembly, I thought about what I'd wear the next day that wouldn't go against the rules but would be both comfortable and cool in the heat. I decided to go for the dress shown above with some skin coloured tights. I didn't have lessons that morning but decided to go in early anyway and get some work done- this was my first mistake! Our form tutor wasn't in that day so we'd all gone into the resource centre (library/computer area) as instructed and were sat completing some booklets to help with our uni applications. I was sat with three of my friends round a table when myself and two others were pointed at and told to 'go to SF14 now' along with a couple of others in the room. I didn't really know what was going on but headed off anyway and waited with over a dozen other girls and one boy for the teachers to finish their rounds.

When they came into the room, they explained to us that what we were wearing was inappropriate either for showing our shoulders, having rips, for wearing something that was too short or a few other possibilities. We were then told we had chosen to put clothing before our education as we had made the conscious choice to go into college wearing something 'inappropriate' even after being warned yesterday and therefore we had to go home and get changed. At this point I was so mad and humiliated that I didn't really know what to do. I went back to the resource centre to pick up my things, moaning all the while with my friends who also had to get changed, with several people along the way questioning why I had been sent home given that what I was wearing was fine. Not only that but I had the same style dress as one of my other friends who had not been sent home, not to mention the same dress as at least four of the teachers we passed. I had wanted to find out why I'd been sent home, which I can still only assume was that my shoulders were on show as that is what others wearing the same style top had been sent home for and I was sat down so my legs couldn't be seen (plus the skirt did fall closer to the knee than hip and I had tights on too). The only reason I didn't stay and ask the teachers during their discussion was I didn't want to be embarrassed further and I didn't stay and speak to them privately as I was on the verge of bursting into tears which I did not want to do.
I wish I'd have gone home and stayed home but being the type of student that I am, I didn't want to miss my lesson in the afternoon. Looking back I should have done as my whole day had been destroyed and I couldn't concentrate on anything in the lesson anyway. Once I got home, my dad asked what I was doing home and that was when I just burst into tears and not just a few drops- the whole waterworks! My brother had a friend over which made it worse as I didn't want them to see the blubbering mess as well.

Eventually, I calmed down, got ready for the second time that day and returned to college in a top and jeans, which looked less smart than the dress I had worn originally and was a lot hotter and therefore more uncomfortable. By this point, I seemed to be pretty big news as I'm not the sort of person who normally steps out of line, let alone gets sent home, and everybody seemed to be shocked about it especially given what I was actually wearing. Not only did the students seem surprised but so did the teachers who had been emailed a list of those that had been sent home. This meant, teachers brought it up a couple of times the next day as well as they were surprised to see my name, plus a few others, on the list- it definitely wasn't your typical 'sent home list'.

Whilst a lot were unhappy, not everyone did something about it however, I am the sort of person that should a situation arise where I feel I (or others) have been treated unfairly, I will do something about it. So, in true writer form, I went home that evening and drafted a letter explaining how I felt and asking for a reason as to why it happened in the way it did and had the outcome it had. I emailed it that night and our head of sixth form was good at responding, suggesting I go in and speak to her the next day, which I did. I never really got a proper explanation as to why my clothing was inappropriate as they didn't know exactly who was wearing what but based on my letter and explanation she said it sounded like it should have been okay and she did apologise for making me feel the way I did.

As you can probably tell by the length and passion gone into this post, it's not something I've forgotten at all, in fact I'm pretty sure I could recount the whole event exactly as it was, as it is ingrained in my memory. I can honestly say this was the most humiliated, embarrassed, hurt and angry I've ever felt which is probably why it still makes me so annoyed today.

The reason this solidified my feelings towards feminism was because of the inequality in the clothing options that I felt existed in the school, as although boys had some guidelines to follow, they were easier to cater to, from what was available in high street stores. Not only that but the whole situation humiliated me and made me feel awful and quite self-conscious, for a good while afterwards, that what I was wearing was too short or too revealing, which is not something I've ever had seriously play on my mind before. Even now, I do feel a bit nervous when I wear that dress but at the same time, I know I shouldn't do as there is nothing inappropriate about it, especially as a Summer, day time dress. All in all, I don't understand why a girl should be made to feel so terrible for having their shoulders on show.

Disclaimer: I've not written this to slag off my sixth form as although it still bothers me now, it has been dealt with and I don't hold it against them (too much), I just wanted to share my experience with you to maybe show you some slightly smaller ways that gender inequality exists in our society.

If you read to the end of this post, well done and thank you, I hope you found it interesting! If you've had any similar experiences or have a personal reason as to why you identify as a feminist, let me know in the comments as I'd love to read them. If you liked what you read and what to read more, you can follow me on my social media links at the top right of my blog or in the sidebar to the right of this post.

Love, Steph x
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The Music Tag

If you don't know by now, I love music and after stumbling across this tag, it seemed right up my street and looked a lot of fun to do. There were originally 30 questions but some seemed kind of repetitive and I didn't want the post to be too long, so I've cut a few out. I've also tried to vary my answers as much as possible.

1. The last song you listened to?
Ride by Twenty One Pilots
2. The last song you purchased?
If I Were Sorry by Frans- Yes I did buy this after watching and loving it on Eurovision, not something I expected to say but I have no shame in admitting that.
3. A song you discovered on YouTube/Tumblr?
Fight Song by Rachael Platten- This is the last one I can remember discovering on YouTube which was ages ago now but I remember loving it and then not long after, it featured in the charts.
4. Favourite band?
At the moment I'd say 5 Seconds Of Summer have slightly surpassed Union J only because they haven't really produced any new music for a while but I do still love them and the two bands are almost neck and neck.
5. Favourite solo artist?
I can't pick one favourite but at the moment, it would probably be Meghan Trainor- her new album is insane, I love her voice and her songs are very uplifting, empowering and catchy.
6. Best live gig?
This is impossible to pick as I've loved every single one I've been to for different reasons: 5SOS always perform amazingly and put everything into the concert and their music; An Audience With Union J was an incredible experience as I got to meet the band as well as watch them perform and answer questions; McBusted created an incredibly fun and entertaining show and; The Wanted nail a theme and always sing amazingly. I think my favourite opening to a concert was The Wanted's last tour which left me speechless and emotional from the go.
7. Guilty pleasure song?
Queen Speech 4 by Lady Leshurr although I don't feel particularly guilty about it, it's just a song combining so many things I normally hate, but somehow love.
8. Song you used to hate but you now like?
One Dance by Drake- I wouldn't go so far as to say I now like it but it's become tolerable.
9. Song you used to love but now hate?
I'll hold my hands up and admit to the fact that I liked Blurred Lines when it was first released but quickly started to hate it as I realised what the lyrics actually were and the message behind the song.
10. Group you wish had never split?
The Wanted
11. Favourite song from a film?
The Climb from The Hannah Montana Movie
12. Song you grew up with?
There are so many songs that came to mind when I read this question but for me, the obvious one would be Aerosmith, I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing as my brother and I each had a song that was essentially 'our song' and that song was mine.
13. First song/album you ever bought?
I'm not sure which the first I ever bought was as I can think of some but I'm pretty sure they were gifts.. It could have been Top of the Pops 2003- the one with Fly On The Wings Of Love and several other bangers which I used to love singing and dancing along to on my portable CD player.
14. Favourite foreign language song?
Andalouse by Kendji Girac- It's so catchy and feels very holiday like. Kendji Girac is probably my favourite foreign language singer.
15. A song from the year you were born?
Fun fact for you, the song that was number one on the day I was born was Barbie Girl.
16. Most over-rated song?
Boyfriend by Justin Bieber- I cannot stand this song and I don't understand why it was so popular?! Alternatively, any by Drake, Kanye West or Craig David as I really don't see why they are so popular personally, I'm really not a fan of any of those artists. Although, at the moment, there is a lot of music in the charts that I question.
17. Song you can't help but sing along to?
There are a lot of songs I find myself singing along to without realising or without wanting to but one that springs to mind is Sorry by Justin Bieber, it's just so damn catchy!
18. Favourite parody song?
After Ever After by Jon Cozart
19. Favourite song at the moment?
This is tricky again... My top five would probably be: Better Than Yourself by Lukas Graham, Kindly Calm Me Down and Woman Up by Meghan Trainor, Ain't Your Mama by Jennifer Lopez and If I Were Sorry by Frans.
20. All time favourite song?
I can never pick one and it's always a tricky question but my top three would be: I'll Be Your Strength by The Wanted, I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith and The Climb by Miley Cyrus as they all have a deeper meaning to me than a lot of other songs.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Which songs and artists are you loving at the moment? Let me know what you thought in the comments. If you enjoyed reading this and want to read more, you can follow me on my social media links in the sidebar to the right of this post or at the top right hand corner of my blog.

Love, Steph x
2

Sunny Spring Lookbook 2016

I really enjoyed creating the last Spring Lookbook featuring my recent purchases and it seemed to receive a positive reaction, so I decided to show you two more Spring outfit options based on a couple more purchases I made. Like the last lookbook, this post will be photo heavy but I will include a link and price to all of the items featured.

As I purchased the shoes from BHS which is no longer in business, you could have a look at these two options, which are of a similar style and price range, although they are slightly taller: Ego Jasmine Velvet Court Heels In Black and Frankie Single Strap Heel In Black Faux Suede
Blazer (unknown as it belongs to my mum, who bought it in America and kindly let me borrow it when we went out and it's several years old)

Collared Black and White Stripped Top Primark £6

Thank you for reading this post, let me know which trends you are enjoying this season and what you thought of this post in the comments and if you enjoyed it, why not subscribe to be notified when I upload a new post?

Love, Steph x
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Top Twelve Films

Twelve is not your typical number for a 'Top...' post but I have a lot of favourite movies across a range of genres so today I thought I'd share my ultimate movie picks with you and 12 was the smallest number I could get it down to.

'Chick Flick'


The Proposal- When people ask my one favourite film, I tend to say The Proposal as I have watched it so many times and still find it thoroughly entertaining. I laugh at so many moments in the film, cry near the end and could probably quote the entire film. It also has two of my favourite actors in: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds as well as a load of other great actors. I love how lighthearted it is and how easy it is to watch.
Bride Wars- Another film that's really easy to watch and has some of my favourite actors in. It contains some brilliant one liners and pranks or revenge schemes carried out by the two brides. I also love seeing the wedding dress and planning in general.
Wild Child- This is a classic! There aren't many young women I know that haven't seen the film and for good reason. It's got a great deal of wit and sass which I love and the characters, whilst irritating at times, are lovable and easy to watch.
The Last Song- This film is so emotional and beautiful! Starring Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear, the film is bound to be good. It has such a sweet, emotional story. It's one of my go to films when I'm in the mood for a sad film or in the mood to cry (does anyone else ever pick a film for that reason?) and actually made me cry so much that I got a nose bleed the first time I watched it- sorry probably TMI there?! Either way, I highly recommend watching this film if you've not seen it yet.
Pitch Perfect (2)- As a big fan of the first film, I was excited for the sequel but didn't expect it to be as good as the first... I was wrong! It's funnier, the plot is great, the cast is brilliant and the music is amazing! The only thing that puts me off is the over exaggerated German accent, particularly during the songs as no one I know from Germany sings like they are shown to sing in the film.

Disney

Inside Out- This beautiful film is suitable for anybody! It's perfect for kids but also has a lot of humour and information that you would miss as a child but lap up as an adult. I think it is an extremely clever film, it makes you think and subconsciously shows younger viewers that all the different emotions are okay, particularly periods of depression which I think would help comfort an inform people as they get a bit older.
Hannah Montana Movie- This is one of my guilty pleasures and also one of my go to films. If I don't know what to watch, I'll often put this film on as it's very lighthearted, entertaining, nostalgic and has some fab songs.

Series

Maze Runner- The first film in this series is brilliant and contains a lot of excitement, action and drama but the second film is even better! It combines so many different elements and works. I am very much looking forward to The Death Cure and would love to read the books which I do own but haven't got round to reading as of yet.
The Hunger Games- I loved the books and the films were no different. With incredible actors and acting, the story is captivating. I am gutted that the series is over and find myself getting very emotional at the last film. Whilst I love the last film, I felt like it was a bit rushed and too much was crammed in to the second part whereas if it had ended a bit later in the first part, I think the final film would have benefit from having more time to make some of the events seem more significant. My favourite is probably Catching Fire but I do enjoy them all.
Final Destination- The actual acting and special effects in these films are pretty terrible at times but I love the idea behind them. The whole not escaping death and dying in the order you're meant to creeps me out a lot but also fascinates me. I had to put this film in my favourites for the plot and idea behind them even if the films in the series are very similar to one another and aren't that great films in general.

Action Comedy

Kingsman The Secret Service- I didn't expect to like this film as much as I did but it is brilliant and hilarious. It doesn't take itself too seriously and kind of honours spy films rather than trying to be a new James Bond... or that's how I see it. Colin Firth is great in the film but Taron Egerton steals the show. He is a brilliant actor to be able to change his character so much within the film but then also create a totally new character for Eddie The Eagle and excel in that too.
22 Jump Street- I laughed so hard at this film in the cinema and still laugh a lot now after multiple viewings. Again, I enjoyed the first film but for me this is in a whole new league. It has some brilliant and hilarious scenes. I particularly love the 'tripping' scene, the 'my name's Jeff' scene and the 'daughter realisation' scene- you'll know exactly what I mean if you've seen it and if you haven't, why not?

Thank you for reading this post, let me know what your favourite movies are and what you thought in the comments and if you enjoyed it, why not subscribe to be notified when I upload a new post?

Love, Steph x
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Surviving Exam Season

This isn't a revision tips post as by now revision will (hopefully) be well under way as exams are just around the corner... sorry for the reminder. Instead, I wanted to give you my advice on keeping mentally healthy throughout the exam season. The tips could probably also be used at any time of the academic year as it can all be pretty stressful and overwhelming but they will hopefully be particularly useful at the moment.

  1. Plan revision. Often people suggest making a revision timetable and whilst this works for some, when I tried it for myself, it put more stress and pressure on me, which just made me want to do less revision not more! Instead I have found it more effective to revise and work when I feel productive (or at least not unproductive!) and keep track of what I've done after. Alternatively, I'll list the topics I need to make reivsion resources for or need to go over and cross them off as I go along rather than dedicating a certain amount of time to each thing. Of course, if you find a revision timetable useful, you're probably better off sticking with that method. 
  2. Make sure you leave time to relax. Again, a lot of people suggest taking regular breaks as you're revising or working but I much prefer to work solidly and then have time for myself after I've done everything I want to get done. (Although, breaks are proven to help with concentration and help your eyes if nothing else!) Sometimes this means I do several hours in a block only breaking for food or to use the bathroom but I always try to give myself plenty of time to watch TV, relax in the bath, read a book or do whatever else just to unwind and do something fun afterwards.
  3. Get some healthy, easy to grab snacks. I'm sure I'm not alone in that when I'm working I often find myself reaching for snacks to keep me going and often the easiest to grab are not the healthiest which often makes me feel a bit bleurgh afterwards. Instead I like to grab a naked bar, some frozen fruit, some normal fruit, a rice cracker or something like that to nibble on while I work, which stops me from feeling worse afterwards.
  4. Have a water bottle handy when you're working. It's great to keep hydrated whilst you're hunched over a pile of notes or revision guides but there's nothing worse than knocking over a glass of juice and smudging your lovely posters or revision cards. A water bottle helps to limit the amount of liquid that could run onto your work should the worst happen.
  5. Exercise. I know, I know you've heard it before and it probably doesn't sound any more tempting now but I really do recommend you leave a bit of time to do a workout of some sort. As dull as it sounds, I feel so much better knowing I've taken time to look after my body but equally as important, it's great mentally as I have something else to concentrate on and little chance to think and overthink about the abundance of work waiting for me at home. For this reason, I like to make the effort to go to the gym rather than doing a home workout as I feel like I've gone out specifically to do it and so it needs it's own part of the day, away from education.
  6. Get out of the house. Whilst it's important to spend a lot of time working on your subjects and preparing for your exams, it's also important to get out of the house and not just to attend lessons but also to socialise. It's highly likely, and for good reason, that your social life will deteriorate but it doesn't have to drop off the face of the earth. Spending time away from studies with friends and family can help clear your head and give your mind the break it needs before continuing with your work later that day or the next day. 
  7. Remember that exams aren't everything. Throughout the majority of our school lives, the importance of exams is drained into us but what often gets forgotten is that exams aren't everything- preparing for and completing an exam to the best of your ability is important yes, but if it doesn't go to plan, there are other ways to get wherever you want to go. It's easier to say than do but bear this in mind and try not to put yourself under a heap of pressure when there are alternative methods.
I hope these tips come in handy over the exam period, if you think I've missed something out, let me know as any tips at the moment would be appreciated. Thank you for reading this post, let me know what you thought in the comments and if you enjoyed it, why not subscribe to be notified when I upload a new post?

Love, Steph x

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The Beauty Tag

I love reading and completing tags so I was very happy when Severina tagged me to do The Beauty Tag as it seems ages since I last did one (although it probably wasn't as long ago as I think). If you haven't already had a look at Severina's blog I highly recommend you have a browse (after reading this post ;)) as it's so cute and positive and, not to mention, features a lot of pink which makes me very happy. She's also a lovely person in general and is always building up other bloggers which I think is such a great thing to do.

Severina's questions:

1. What skin type do you have?
If I'm honest, I'm not 100% sure about this one as it used to be dry but for the past six months or so, has been prone to breakouts on my T-zone so I believe it is combination with an oily T-Zone and dry to very dry cheeks, at least for the time being. 

2. What brand do you use for skincare and why?
I've always liked using Simple, particularly for moisturiser as it is the best thing for keeping my skin hydrated and soft, recently I've started using Clean&Clear to cleanse and tone which seems to be helping a little bit and I own the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which I also like to use but it is a lot more expensive and not something I can afford to replace every month which seems to be more or less how long it lasts. 

3. Do you exfoliate?
I use an exfoliating cleanser on my face but I only exfoliate my body a couple of times a month as I forget! 

4. Do you use fake eyelashes, why?
Not regularly, I like them for special occasions and I recently bought another, slightly more natural pair for daily wear (although I don't plan to wear them everyday). I tried them for the first time the other day and whilst I liked the look they gave my eyes, they didn't seem to make a MASSIVE difference to my trusty L'Oreal mascara so it didn't quite seem worth all of the effort. I would really like to give Fleur Loves 3/4 lashes a try though.

5. Benefit or Too Faced?
I have never tried anything from Too Faced so I'm going to have to go with Benefit. I own a couple of Benefit products and love them all, although most were presents and I think they're a bit expensive for me to buy myself as often as I do drugstore makeup.

6. What are your go to makeup tools?
I love a good beauty blender or the cheaper versions as it makes applying foundation and blending concealer easy and effective. I also love real techniques brushes and the eyeshadow brush that comes with most Urban Decay palettes as it's very good at applying and blending eyeshadows.

7. What's your favourite mascara?
I can not emphasise enough how much I love L'Oreal's Superstar False Lash mascara, it does everything I want from a mascara- it makes my lashes look longer, darker and more volumised so that they look like natural falsies without the effort of gluing natural false lashes to my eyes. 

8. All time favourite makeup brand?
This is tricky as I love several different brands for different things but if I had to pick one, I'd say L'Oreal as I don't have loads from their brand but the things I do have, I love a lot!

I tag:
To answer these questions:
Which beauty brand or product is worth the hype?
Which beauty brand or product is not worth the hype?
What kind of foundation coverage do you prefer?
Which foundation is your favourite?
What type of product do you buy the most of?
Who is your beauty icon?
Who is your favourite beauty blogger or YouTuber?
Which do you apply first, foundation or concealer?

Thank you for tagging me Severina and thank you to everybody else for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. If you answer my questions, leave me a link to the post below or let me know when you've done it and I can have a read. 

Love, Steph x
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Blog Update

If you're new, welcome, if you're a returning reader, welcome to my new blog design! If you haven't already noticed, I have given my blog a makeover and I'm very happy with the outcome. I'm still working on a header as I'm yet to decide exactly what I want and then I'm going to have to play about and hopefully create something half decent (fingers crossed!). If you have any suggestions or tips for this, please let me know in the comments as I'd love to hear some.

As I'm sure many of you will be aware, it's currently Exam season or there abouts in the UK, which means I will have to put extra time into my college work and revision. Unfortunately, that means a lot of time will have to come from what would would have been blogging time. I will do my best to upload regularly but rather than uploading twice a week, I'm going to aim for at least one post a week until the end of June and then Summer will be back to normal with maybe a few extra posts each week as I should have a lot more time then.

Sorry in advance for the irregular posting and thank you for bearing with me. I'd imagine a number of you will have less time to read blog posts anyway if you also have exams but for those that don't, sorry and I'll be back to normal soon!

Love, Steph x
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