Puppies in the snow!

Last week I said I was going to post some pictures of my dogs playing in the snow, so here they are! And please excuse the crappy quality; taking pictures of moving objects while it’s snowing isn’t easy.

Check, check, then check again!

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For my first proper post of 2017 I was going to post some cute pictures I took of puppies playing in the snow, but stupidly stressful things happened which I decided to talk about instead because it’s all I think to talk about right now.

On Wednesday I was in the shower, doing the usual washing of the hair etc and I did what every person should do and that is the monthly breast check for any oddities. Well, I found an oddity. This oddity was a solid lump in my left breast.

So I carried on showering, and it was only when I was shaving my legs (“possibly” for the first time in a month) did the panic set in. As any person who shaves knows, shaving is a dangerous business, and it’s even more so when your hands are shaking with anxiety driven adrenaline. I carried on like everything was normal, with a few extra cuts than before, and then I told my mum what I had found.

Now in 2013 my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and, while she was incredibly lucky in the fact that she’s cancer-free now and everything is fine, the paranoia that it might happen again is strong in both of us. So when I told her it was off to see me doctor later the same day.

The doctor wasn’t my usual one so it was a bit awkward getting my boobs out for her, but you do what you’ve got to do when you’re a hypochondriac with a long family history of cancer. In that appointment I also found out that the lump was actually quite sore. I think I was too numb from shock to realise that before.

The doctor told me that while it’s probably due to hormones, as my period had only ended a couple days beforehand, but because of my family history I should go and get an ultrasound of the area. I got an appointment for the ultrasound for Friday, so I had a day of tense waiting to do.

I was thinking of this situation like Schrödinger’s cat: I didn’t know whether the cat in the box with the poison was dead or alive, so it was both dead and alive before I looked inside the box. Meaning, since I didn’t know whether the lump in my breast was the evil demon of cancer, or just something benign, I thought of it as both harmless and deadly until I was told otherwise by professionals.

On Friday the ultrasound came around and I was freaking the f**k out! It was made a lot worse due to the fact that this was the exact same thing my mum went through with her cancer and when she went to get her scans done  and she ended up getting a surprise biopsy while they were at it. I didn’t want that! I’m bloody petrified of needles!

It turns out I had nothing to worry about at all. All that happened was the doctor put cold gel on my breasts, scanned them, and found absolutely nothing. Nothing. At all.

I had two responses to this, the first one being sweet, beautiful relief. And the second, irritation. I panicked, cried, and nervous ate for that! The doctor said it was probably hormonal, so that means I went through all that merde for nothing!

That night I consumed chocolate and Baileys, lactose intolerance be damned!

So, you may be wondering if there’s a moral to this story, and there is:

Check your breasts regularly, but, if you find something, don’t panic! There’s a 90% chance it’s something relatively harmless. Just get it checked out by a doctor, and only start panicking when you actually know there is something seriously wrong.

Also have some sort of support system to go through the trauma with you, because it helps to know you’re not the only one spending three days stuck on the verge of a panic attack (which is something I’ve got to thank them for, so thank you parents, Joe, Jess, and Jamie!).

Where I’ve Been

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Hello again. It’s been a while, and I am so so sorry about that.

A lot of things have happened since I last posted, and if I was to explain everything in details it would be a long post, so here’s a quick list (in no particular order):

  • I went to England a few times
  • I got diagnosed with OCD
  • I attended YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention)
  • I had a kidney infection
  • I fainted twice
  • I injured my knee through walking too much (not just from being incredibly unfit)
  • I start my A-Levels for the third time
  • I learnt to drive a VSP (voiture sans permis)
  • I continued on with my therapy and learnt some ways to handle my mental health issues
  • I read a load of books

So, it’s been busy time for me and I just couldn’t bring myself to blog. But now I will try to post at least once a week. And I’ll, hopefully, be posting on me book blog, Caffeine and Books, twice a week.

Wish me luck!

Ribeauvillé, France

RIBEAUVILLÉ, FRANCE

Over a week ago my parents and I decided to go out for the day to a cute tourist village in Alsace, France called Ribeauvillé which isn’t too far away from where we live.

The village is surrounded by the countryside and vineyards making it incredibly – and almost stereotypically – French. There are cobbled streets, small shops selling the usual tacky gifts you take back home after a holiday, interesting architecture, and plenty of tourists. I took my new camera with me to test it out, so here are some of the pictures I took. I’m sorry that they aren’t the best; I’m still learning my way around my camera.

Anywho, here they are!

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So, what do you think of the village? And, more importantly, are my photos OK?

 

March Favourites 2016!

March Favourites

March has been a pretty good month for me. I got to see my boyfriend again for the first time in a couple months, and we got to celebrate our 2 year anniversary together. It was my birthday too, which was also pretty good.

Anywho here’s some of the other stuff I loved in March…

1

Scorpion – I found this on Netflix and I got addicted fairly quickly. It’s about a group of geniuses that are consultants for Homeland Security. It sort of reminds me of a cross between The Big Bang Theory and White Collar, both of which are also great shows.

Family Guy – I had never seen Family Guy before March. I know, I know, I’m weird. It’s just something I hadn’t watched before. But now I have and I constantly have it playing in the background when I do anything.

From Eden by Hozier – This song is also something I love having in the background while I do stuff. It’s just so clever and Hozier’s voice is one of my favourite sounds.

 

2

19th Birthday! – It was my birthday on March 28th which was scary. Being 19 is weird! It’s my last year of being a teenager! Anywho most of the next things I got for my birthday.

Sensuality by Liiv Botanicals – My boyfriend, Joey, got me this perfume for my birthday. It’s quite light and floral, which I’m usually not a big fan of, but it has a hint of musk which makes me love it.

Canon EOS 1200D – My parents got me this wonderful camera for this birthday and I adore it! Before I was taking photos with my iPhone 6, which was OK, but this camera is amazing! The quality is so much better and it’s making me want to take photos everywhere I go.

Turquoise and silver feather bracelet – This, again, was also a birthday present. It’s just beautiful!

 

3

Mint Julips lip scrub – I also got a LUSH gift card for my birthday so I decided to try some new products. This is great for dry lips and it’s minty too!

Honey Trap lip balm – This lip balm is the most moisturising lip balm I have ever tried! Seriously, it’s the best.

Handy Gurugu hand cream – My hands have been so dry recently that they started bleeding. Yeah, it was that bad. But this hand cream has saved my hands! They’re only normally dry now and not so dry that they give the Sahara Desert a run for it’s money.

 

4

The Complete Alice by Lewis Carroll – This is the last birthday related present on my list, and it’s probably the prettiest out of the lot! Not only does it have all of the Alice stories in it, it has beautiful illustrations and the edges of the pages are all shiny and red! It’s perfect!

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – This is my book of the month and it was a great read! I definitely recommend you read the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard if you like similar YA dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.

I’m going to be talking about the books I read in March on my other blog, Caffeine and Books, so click here if you want to check that out.

Anywho I hope you had a great March and that April is even better!

Makeup or Mask?

MAKEUP IS SIMPLY AN EXTENSION OF THE PERSONALITY AND COLORS, CLOTHING, MAKEUP ALL EXPRESS SOMETHING.When I started Sixth Form it was at a completely new school where I knew nobody at all. I used this to my advantage and remade myself. I turned up wearing thick foundation and concealer; my skin looked almost clear. No one knew that beneath the caked layers I had bright red blemishes and ugly purple acne scars.

This use of makeup continued. I never went to school without wearing makeup, even when I had a cold and my nose ran more than Usain Bolt. Even when I woke up with only half an hour to make it school because I slept through my alarm. Even when I my anxiety got so bad there was a 50/50 chance it was going to be cried off. I continued to hide beneath my makeup.

It took well over a year for the friends I made at that school to see me without makeup, and when they did I couldn’t stop apologising. I don’t know why though. It’s my skin and they don’t have to deal with it. They probably didn’t even care.

I realise now how much I hid behind that makeup. It gave me this sense of confidence that I never have with my bare skin, but also this sense of fear of people’s reactions if they saw the ‘real me’. There’s a fine line between when makeup is a way to enhance your features and when it’s just a mask. I think I crossed it.

After I left Sixth Form I stopped wearing makeup completely for a while. It wasn’t fun anymore; it was just a chore. I only saw my friends and family and I didn’t need to impress them. In a strange way this did help me feel more confident. I grew to accept my poor, blotchy skin and didn’t care as much about what people thought of it.

Over the past few months the condition of my skin has improved dramatically, to the point where I don’t really need to wear makeup. But now I want to. And I think that’s what makeup is supposed to be.

You should be able to feel comfortable enough to go in public without makeup and not care about what other people think. If you do wear makeup it should be a choice, something you actually want to do. It’s a form of creativity, a way to boost your confidence, not something to hide behind.

So here is me…

WITHOUT MAKEUP

What you see above is me both with and without makeup. A year ago I would have never have done this, but now I don’t mind. Both of them are me.

What’s your opinion on makeup?

February Favourites 2016!

February Favourites

February was a mixed month for me. I struggled with quite bad anxiety at the beginning of the month, and towards the end I felt burnt out and had little inspiration for blog posts. So I’m sorry for the lack of posts. I’m going to try harder post wise this month. Anywho, here are my favourites from February

 

1

Deadpool – I’ve been looking forward to this movie coming out for ages, so when I got to see it I was unbelievably excited! It was a great, overtly hilarious, action-packed movie that I recommend to all lovers of comedy and superheroes and crude humour.

Meghan Rienks – I don’t know why but in February I started watching and re-watching her videos, particularly her daily vlogs. She just has a great personality and, in a way, she really helped me through the bad patch I hit at the beginning of the month.

 

2

Walks – Due to my anxiety I have trouble getting out of the house, so my therapist has told be to go on walks and see how far I can get. I’ve gone from walking down the road and back to walking the end of my village and back, which is a huge achievement for me.

Meditation – I have been listening to meditation videos on YouTube to help me relax, mainly to sleep, and it has really helped. My favourite YouTuber for meditation videos is Michael Sealey, especially his playlist for anxiety. Click here to check that out.

Podiobooks – This is source for free audiobooks which I have been listening to on my walks. Admittedly they haven’t got the greatest selection, but they do have some interesting titles. One I have been listening to recently is Cybrosis which is quite intense.

 

3

Large Faux Fur Throw – This is something I got for Christmas and forgot to add into my January Favourites. I call this my bear rug as it’s warm and fluffy and I feel like I’m being hugged by bear! I think it’s from QVC, but I can’t find it on the site so that’s why this has no link for it.

Apple juice – Here is where I embarrass myself. Before last month I had never tried apple juice. I hated all drinks other than water until the age of 12, so I never even tried many other drinks because I hated them all simply because I could. Now I am addicted to apple juice which is a miracle for me!

Doll 10 HydraGel Blush in Starlet – I have never really been into wearing blush as I felt like it just highlighted my acne. But with my acne being so much better I decided to give this a go. It adds a natural looking blush to my cheeks without it being obvious that I’m wearing blush, and I love that. It’s also cruelty free which is always good.

I didn’t read a single book in February so there’s no favourite book of the month this time, but hopefully there will be one in my next post.

So that’s my February Favourites post done. I hope I can post more in March, but I’m not sure as it is my birthday this month so I’ll probably be a bit busy.

I hope you have a great March!

 

 

January Favourites 2016!

JANUARY FAVOURITES 2016

This is my first monthly favourites post this year, and on this blog. I used to put this post on my book blog, so if you want to check that out just click here.

This one is going to be a long one because I happen to have a lot of favourites this month, so bare with me!

 

BEAUTY

Catrice Ultimate Stay Lipstick in shade 140 ‘Behind The Red Curtain’ – I am loving lipsticks right now and this one is my current favourite. This is cruelty free, a good price, creamy, bright, a wonderful red, and stays quite well too. Basically it’s pretty much perfect for me.

Doll 10 Precision Foundation Brush No. 4 – This was a Christmas present from my mum and is made from many incredibly soft synthetic fibres, and it has made my foundation look a lot better.

Coconut Oil – I have been using this as makeup remover, general facial cleanser, sometimes moisturisers, and a hair treatment for my thoroughly damaged hair, so I had to add this is!

 

LIFESTYLE

MacBook Air 13″ – I got this baby for Christmas from my parents and I absolutely adore it! It doesn’t require updating everyday like my old laptop, and it’s just so lovely! My parents actually filmed me opening it and apparently my reaction was hilarious. And no, I am absolutely not posting that video!

Pirongs 2016 Wire-Boung Week-to-view Diary in ‘Daisy’ – I’ve been trying to be more organised and this pretty diary has helped so much! I write everything down in here from blog posts to to-do lists, and it’s all colour coded.

‘Oh for FOX sake’ Mug – My boyfriend got me this for Christmas and I absolutely adore it! It’s the perfect morning mug for me because that’s generally how I feel in the morning – and there’s a cute fox on it!

 

TV AND MUSIC-2

Mythbusters – I found this on Netflix and this is the perfect TV show to play in the background when I’m doing other things.

Lose It by Oh Wonder – This is one of those songs that is so upbeat, well put together, but completely unique. I also love the music video.

 

JANUARY FAVOURITES

Graphic novels – I had only read a few graphic novels before last month, and I completely fell in love with the two I read in January: Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist) and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. I now really want to read more!

Greatest Inspirational Quotes 365 Days to More Happiness, Success and Motivation by Dr. Joe Tichio – This has a quote for each day of the year, so I have been reading a new quote each day and it’s given me something to think about each day. Here is today’s quote:

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” – Seneca

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This book is unbelievably beautiful and is now an all time favourite of mine. I wrote a review for it on my book blog, so if you want to check that out click here.

I hope you enjoyed my first monthly favourites post of the year, and on this blog!

9 Easy Blogging Tips for Beginners

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I have been blogging for over a year now and I have learnt a few things along the way, most of which I wish I knew from the beginning. So I thought I could post a few simple tips that might help first time bloggers set up their blog, gain more followers, and help enter the blogging community. This has nothing to do with the technical side of things, such as dealing with coding and widgets, but more of very easy to follow tips.

1. What content do you want to make? 

Before doing anything make sure you know what sort of content you want to make. Whether it is makeup, books, movies, lifestyle, just research other blogs who make similar content and see how they do it. You can search for them by using the tags on WordPress. See what sort of posts they make, how their blog is laid out, maybe even what social media they use. All of this stuff will help you.

2. Make sure your blog is user friendly.

Try to make your blog easy to navigate. Add things such as search bars, categories, and about pages to make things easier for readers. Also aesthetics do come into this too as a good looking blog will always help.

3. Join the community!

One of the best parts about blogging is the community, but you can’t just wait around and hope people notice you. Just by following other blogs, liking and commenting on posts and such you’ll quickly join the blogging community. I know commenting can seem a tad bit daunting in the beginning, but it’s honestly quite easy. Just go for it! Soon people will be noticing you, start following you back and, not only will your blog become more popular, you will gain friends along the way who like what you like.

4. Consider using social media.

Social media does help in connecting with your followers and fellow bloggers, and gives you the ability to simply chat with them too. Just having Twitter would make a massive difference! It isn’t necessary, but it will help.

5. Always reply! 

This one is sort of linked to the last point, and it is very important. When someone comments on your blog posts you must always reply to them! It shows you care about their comment and their opinion.

6. Use the tags!

Tags are amazingly useful things as people can search for a tag, for example ‘books’, and then they will find all the posts about books that use this tag. By using tags for every post you make it will make it easier for people to find your content.

7. Post regularly…

This is if you do want to regularly gain more following. I have realised that if you post on a regular basis, say twice a week, you’ll get more followers than if you sporadically post five or six posts over the course of a week and then just don’t post anything the next week.

8. But do not overwork yourself!

I have done this before and made myself post every single day. Not only did I not enjoy blogging anymore, my posts were becoming dull and were not a good quality. One good post is much better than several mediocre ones.

9. Enjoy what you write!

Blogging is a hobby! This is something you’re a meant to enjoy so make sure you actually like what you are creating!

 

Thursday 14th January 2016

 January 14th, 2016 was a tiring and emotional day for me. Many things happened that day, and I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while so I didn’t have to think about them too deeply. But I know I need to write this, for me more than anyone else.

I guess I’ll start from the beginning.

This was the day I had my first therapy session. I had been anticipating this day for a couple weeks and I had been panicking about it the entire time, so when the day came you could say I was a tad bit anxious.

Before my appointment my friend messaged me and told me Alan Rickman had died at the age of 69. Alan Rickman was one of those actors I had always wanted to meet, and not just because he played one of my favourite characters in Harry Potter. I wanted to meet him because of what I had heard about this personality. He seemed like an amazing person with a hilarious personality. So when I found out he had died I admit I did start to cry. I also thought of this quote from him I had heard ages ago, and that didn’t help…

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Unfortunately, not long after I found out about that, a different friend messaged me and told me they just had a panic attack, so of course I had to help them with that. So I was pretty much giving my friend tips with what to do after a panic attack (and there are actually ways to help after a panic attack) while I was crying on and off.

Then it came time for my therapy appointment.

I was a big mess of emotions when it got around to it, so much so that I almost had a panic attack on the way to the appointment. Luckily I calmed down quite a lot by the time it got to the session, otherwise it would have have been a lot more draining.

My therapist is lovely and very straight to the point, which I definitely appreciate. We went through practically my entire life story, and I do admit I did cry at some points. She gave me hope that I can do things in the future I stopped believing were possible, such as go to university. In one session she helped me a lot.

Afterwards I was unbelievably drained in every possible way. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone because I just didn’t know what to say. My mind felt as if it was both entirely blank and yet filled with millions of thoughts. I was sad about the loss of a great actor. I was worried about my friend. I was hopeful about my future. I was tired beyond belief. I was scared because I have so far to go. Shutting down my brain wasn’t easy that night.

My next therapy session is tomorrow and I just pray I don’t cry again.