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Get to Know the Blogger 2017

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So I’ve almost had this blog two years now – which is mad! I still remember my boyfriend helping me come up with the ‘blogger bee’ name! Which obviously I give him massive thanks and all my gratitude because the name really has stuck with me and means so much to me. You can see a lot of change in my personality and such throughout my posts I believe, that honestly I could not identify if you just straight up asked me if I have changed since 2015.

I thought I’d make a little updated post with 10 facts about me – so you can get to know me, the blogger!

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1 – I’m currently studying a BA(Hons) in English Language and Creative Writing – I always loved writing growing up, but drifted away from it massively after high school even though it was my best subject – I’m so glad and do not regret going to do it in University and have pretty much finished my first year and just waiting on my final grades! It was such a good year.

2 – In my second year, I’m going to be doing an assorted pick of modules but have chosen to do a module called UWLP, which is a University Wide Language Programme, and essentially means I am going to be studying a second language for a module throughout the second year! I picked French and I’m honestly so excited but nervous for pushing myself to try to learn a second language!

3 – Since around 14 I’ve also been massively entranced by art & design, mainly focusing and switching between photography, illustration and 3D computer art. When I was picking my GCSE’s in school, I told one of the art teachers I was planning to pick GCSE Art and she actually told me not to and that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. But as of now I passed GCSE Art, I got a DMM in BTEC Level 3 Art and Design during college and did a year in a 3D Game Art apprenticeship!

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4 – You could say I started my working life when I was 16 and started doing volunteer jobs during college which included a volunteer receptionist in a holistic therapy centre in my hometown, cub scouts assistant and a couple of weeks volunteering in an animal shelter near where I live! I’ve had 8 paying jobs over the past few years of my life which have taught me a lot! I’ve worked in shops and a cinema, I’ve even been lucky enough to be part of the lovely Manchester vegan diner V Rev’s team for a while!

5 – I have four tattoos! My tattoos mean a lot to me because they are all things that represent me well, have special meaning to me, make me smile and make me feel more confident with my body! My favourite tattoo is the one on my arm that was done by the amazing Lauren Sutton, the tattoo is a lovely rendition of a sun and moon with the words ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ written inside. I chose it because I believe the sun represents my dad and the moon represents my mum.
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6 – I’ve always wanted to try and help people/organisations in my own way growing up. I’m no saint or massively charitable as I’m still growing up myself and I completely understand that not everyone has the money to regularly give to charity but I always want to try and do something. I adopted a penguin from WWF last year with a monthly donation, for a year I had a monthly donation going to the Cats Protection and right now I have a small monthly donation going to the UK Bumblebee Conservation Trust! I recommend looking into all of them as even if you don’t want to do monthly donations they have lovely shops with great merch where the money paid goes towards the organisation!

7 – I’m part of my University’s wonderful theatre society! I was part of two after school drama clubs in primary school but was very shy onwards up until even now, I’m still naturally a very reserved person – but during the first few weeks of University I was so drawn in by Almost Famous Theatre Company that I couldn’t not join! They put on amazing shows throughout the University year and this year they’ve done 5 brilliant shows! I was lucky enough to be in 3 of them which were the Miscast Variety Show, the summer Variety Show and Company. I massively recommend checking out one of their shows next year!

8 – I have no idea what I want to do ‘when I’m older’ or when I leave University and whenever I’m asked I pull a face and shrug. It doesn’t necessarily scare me anymore as I know a lot of people are in the same boat even people who are older than me. I’m constantly reminding myself that I’m at the building block ages and I’m not meant to have anything set in stone or sorted out yet. However, a lovely job that would be a dream job of mine or something I’d like to achieve one day, is write my own children’s books and illustrate them. Reading is such an important part of childhood that all kids should be able to experience and access. It’s great for teaching so many things including actual academic stuff or morals and things to reflect on in the real world and I’d love to be able to contribute to that with my own art and writing. I actually wrote about my feelings on it once!

9 – I’m a sucker for learning new stuff but have always had really bad concentration and really bad at sticking to stuff which is a shame and if I could go back in time and give younger me a push to stick to things I would. Growing up I’ve had guitar lessons, keyboard lessons, ice skating lessons, trampolining lessons and even tried out at netball clubs and used to go to drama clubs and dance classes for ballet and tap. I’m really proud of myself for returning to a drama club in University but my last club I was regularly doing was a dance class that I left in 2014! I’d love to maybe try to teach myself something new or join a new class/club one day soon.

10 – Video games have always been a massive part of my life and something that makes me happy. A fond memory of mine is honestly staying over at my eldest sister’s house and playing on the Gamecube or coming home from school and playing games on the family computer. I grew up on the Sims, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, SSX Tricky, Mario games, Pikmin and I even remember playin some really lesser known PC games like Spy Fox, Beach Life and The Movies! My current favourite games that I recommend everyone try include Persona 5, Persona 4, Bioshock, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Borderlands 2 and any Pokemon game!

So I hope you enjoyed getting to know me!

Thanks for reading,

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Birthday Blues

I’m not sure if I ever enjoy my birthdays. I stopped having birthday ‘parties’ at quite an early age due to not having much friends in primary school and as I grew up I’d stick to having small sleepovers with one or two friends and then finally in recent years either doing nothing or having meals with families. I feel blessed that last year I got to see two very close friends that are long distance and go and see a band live because I feel not much would have happened otherwise. Despite my small celebrations, I get really envious of other people who have big bashes or go out on big outings with lots of people because I do really like partying. I love dancing and drinking and celebrating with fun people but at the same time, as someone who is naturally quiet and introverted without alcohol, asking people and talking to friends is really anxiety building. I almost feel like I’m burdening people I care about by asking them to come out and have a good time, cause I mean that means they have to use their free time and money and I feel rather rude asking it. Is this strange of me? I feel like it is.

It also doesn’t help how far I live from a lot of my friends. The cheap alternative to these worries would to just be like ‘hey come to my house – small party!’, because there’s no worry of walking through the cold city tipsy and trying to save money. But alas, I can’t invite people all the way to my house if they have to get an hour train. It’s a ridiculous first world problem almost.

Does anybody else have this struggle when it comes to arranging outings? Or is it just me? I’d love to hear if anybody else has this kind of worry.

Thanks for reading!

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Bad Habits

Let’s consider this an open post apologising for a lot of my bad habits. In fact one of my current bad habits is the reason why I haven’t made a blog post in a while – procrastinating! I have been putting off and putting off writing a post for a couple of days because lately I get very worried that my posts won’t live up to the standard I want or they won’t be good enough so I shouldn’t write them yet. A slight case of perfectionist, is what you could call it.

But I hope to try and stop that pattern of leaving, what feels like, a massive gap between each post I make and write a lot more. I recently got nominated by another lovely blogger for a Liebster Award so I will definitely do my post on that later on and I hope to get a lot more posts under my belt in the next few days. I really appreciate what people tell me about my blog and posts so if anyone has any particular posts they enjoy and would like to see more of, please tell me in the comments! I do enjoy sharing my cruelty-free/eco-friendly reviews and such but I can understand if people enjoy other things. I did try poetry posts once and if people enjoy them, I’d love the feedback!

Forgetting to respond to emails and messages is also a massive stupid habit of mine. I never really like to ignore people on purpose, unless they make me uncomfortable or are rude to me. So chances are if I have not responded to you – it’s never something you’ve done! It’s me being featherbrained and forgetting to respond. Chances are I’ll remember at 2am in the morning and be like “I will respond first thing tomorrow!!”, then the next day comes and it will be lost in the sea in my head of thoughts and tasks I need to do. Alas, a public apology to any friends or acquaintances who might be still wondering where my reply is! I promise to get back to you as soon as possible and I always welcome a second message telling me to get my ass in gear!

But yes, March is kicking off and I am excited and hopeful to get a lot more done and be more productive in March. If anybody has any tips on being more productive or any posts they’d love to see me try in March, please comment!

 

Thanks for reading!

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February Updates✨

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I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit lately, but I’ll be honest I’ve been having a bit of a low moment the past few weeks and a very bad case of writers block. As well as that, on the upside, I have a new part time job! Which I’m enjoying a lot and gives me a bit of pocket money whilst I wait for University to start. Also have some possible writing opportunities coming up that I’m trying to plan for and hopefully when my writers block goes away I should be able to focus on that! But for now I’ll give you some updates from myself about what I’ve been up to in February and what stuff I’ve enjoyed!

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I got my nostril pierced! I did this piercing on a massive impulse, and didn’t really plan for it at all – although I’ve considered a nostril piercing on and off for a while, since I got my septum done. The guy who pierced it was really kind and comforting, and it definitely didn’t hurt as much as my septum did. However somehow my nose/skin did not react well to the jewelry and the skin somehow flared up/got swollen and then started to almost swallow the stud. It was kind of scary! Google reassured me that the piercing sinking into the piercing hole, is quite a common mishap in nostril piercings so I went to a local piercer to get them to have a look at and they changed it to a much better jewelry piece for my nose and now it has started to calm down!

Next up, over the past month I’ve been trying to get back into reading. I suffer from depression and sometimes I can get really drowsy and have no energy to concentrate on anything. It is an unfortunate symptom as it draws me away from doing things I really enjoy including reading, writing and even playing video games! I miss when I used to be able to focus on a video game for hours on end. But a week or so back I picked up a book in Waterstones called ‘Too Close to Home’ by Aoife Walsh, and so far I am really enjoying it. Growing up I was a massive fan of book series including Ally’s World and Sadie Etc by Karen Mccombie, books by Sarah Dessen, ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ – basically any book with a teenage female protagonist. I really like reading books from a teenage girl’s POV, because well I am one. It somehow helps me imagine the characters a bit better and Aoife definitely paints a really good picture of the characters in Too Close to Home. I admittedly find myself sometimes reading it, getting a bit annoyed at the main girl Minny for thinking poorly of her family members but she is an interesting character and her family are definitely interesting. I can’t wait to read more of it.

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Lush is still one of my beauty obsessions of course. Recently they released a bubble bar shaped like a Unicorn horn and there was no force on earth to stop me from picking one of these candy-coloured, ‘bubble-mania-in-a-stick’ beauties! Annoyingly, I’m not sure if they are still available as the website won’t let me on the page for it which is a massive shame because I’d recommend them to anyone who is a big fan of the candy-scented stuff at Lush. Did you like Snow Fairy or Prince Charming shower gel? Do you like the pink heaven you get in the bath from Sex Bomb or Twilight bath bombs? The unicorn horn bubble bar would be amazing for you! It does not leave any glittery/cream residue in baths and makes the water a gorgeous pink colour. If your local Lush store still has them, I’d definitely recommend picking one up!
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So last but not least of my February favourite products is a cruelty-free, vegan beauty product that I definitely recommend for any vegan/cruelty-free makeup users who want a cheap BB cream/foundation that includes SPF 15, UVA filters and ‘antioxidant protection’. Now I can’t say I swear by this BB cream to make your skin flawless – because it’s a very light coverage. However it definitely makes my skin feel moisturized but does a good enough job to make my skin tone seem even and lessen any redness.

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As someone who isn’t a massive fan of heavy makeup and wanted a cheap, cruelty-free alternative to my foundation this definitely is something I don’t regret buying! Hurray for Superdrug and their cruelty-free branding.

And finally I leave you with a link to a couple of songs I’ve really been enjoying this month! Have a listen and comment any songs you like too!

Hope you guys enjoyed your February!

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

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Small ideas to kick start productivity when you suffer from depression

This could be similar for people suffering with depression or people who have quite normal brain chemistry alike but a lot of days you just don’t have the energy to do anything. To me it makes me feel like my body is ill but there’s no symptoms I just feel drowsy and ready to nod off and you want to avoid everything. Sometimes on worst days, literally everything. Grossly enough, you might even avoid showering and feel content to just staying in pyjamas for a couple of days on end, making excuses not to see friends because you just don’t feel it’ll do you any good. You feel like your body is not up to it for some reason.

Anybody else feel this? It’s a bit of a pants feeling, but I promise you, some very small steps can help you boost your motivation and get you back on track.

  1. Wash your face – This is such a small step I know, but it will refresh you. There’s a good reason why it’s one of the first things you do to wake yourself up in the day. Doesn’t matter if it’s mid afternoon, evening or 2am, go cleanse your face with some water and exfoliate and then splash cool water on it. Your skin will feel clean and awake.
  2. Select a part of your room and clean it – Cleaning your room is a huge drain of energy when you feel like this, I understand. So pick a small part, this could be your desk, your bed, your bookshelf, wardrobe. Give it a good clean, for example your bed area: take your duvet off, sprinkle/spray a bit of essence or your favourite perfume on the sheets, make your bed again and then vacuum around it! Maybe even take it up a notch and budge your bed over if you can and vacuum underneath the bed! I’ll be proud of you even if you just make your bed!
  3. Shower – This speaks for itself. Take a lovely warm shower and use a nice smelling shower gel. If you have to go out and are in reach of a Superdrug you could pick up one of their shower gels for only 99p! Cruelty free and they will lighten up your mood with the delicious scents. The shea butter one will leave a sweet linger that will comfort you and make you smell as sweet as you are.
  4. Get dressed and take a walk – Taking even a small 15 minute walk burns around 60 calories and gives your body a good pump of blood circulation. You get some fresh air as well and if you take a walk in the day which is the best time for this productive walk – you’ll get some vitamin D from the sun which will improve your mood balance. Put on your comfiest, cutest jumper and take your music out with you and enjoy the scenery. Take a few photos of scenery you like for yourself. No need to put them on Instagram or get sad if they’re not good images. This is all for you.

So you’ve done all that? That is incredibly productive and you should feel proud. You should never force yourself to do too many things in a day if you don’t want to. Taking a walk, showering and cleaning is productive enough! I hope these small tasks make you feel a bit more motivated to do other stuff. Maybe invite a friend on your walk, maybe do some small exercises in your room or even clean more of your room!

Is there any small things you do to motivate yourself?

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

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5 Youtubers I’m glad I discovered in 2015

Youtube is one of the most defining forms of social expression currently in our day and age. You have such a variation of creativity and discussion on Youtube, where individuals can dedicate their channel to vlogging and discussing topics important to them, sharing their talents whether it’s poetry, singing, art etc or even creating a visual diary of good times in their lives. I feel weirdly comforted watching youtubers make video logs of their days out whether it’s at conventions or concerts. Recently a lot of ‘youtube-celebrities’ are up and coming in fame and even get to expand their opportunities by being on the radio (Dan and Phil are a great example of this) or even interviewing the president (Seeing Ingrid Nilsen interview Obama was something I didn’t expect to see on my facebook feed today).

In 2015 I subscribed to quite a few new youtubers I hadn’t really watched before and I thought I’d share them here! Check them out if you’d like some new content to watch whilst on a train journey or just when you have some free time.

(Note: this list isn’t really in any particular order)

  1. Rose and Rosie (can I class both of them as one?)

I’m really surprised I only just discovered Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie (theRoxetera) last year as they come across as both the loveliest people ever. Not only are they an adorable couple and their wedding video made me cry, but they are hilarious and their sass with each other is just great. Rosie has her own blog which I have read a couple of times and I am very inspired by her, especially some of her posts on veganism and helping elephants with the company ‘The Elephant Pants’. They both just come across as lovely, humble people and whenever I watch their videos I really hope they have the great future they deserve ahead of them as a family.

2. Leena – justkissmyfrog

I discovered Leena mainly from her video celebrating her achievement of completing the ‘National Novel Writing Month’. She literally managed to write a novel in 30 days. How incredible is that?! I was massively impressed and just had to explore her channel when I saw this. She is a massive lover of books and often does reviews and book hauls. I actually took in her review of ‘How to Build a Girl’ by Caitlin Moran and actually put it on my wishlist for Christmas! So I can’t wait to read that!

3. Game Grumps

I used to rarely watch gaming channels although I appreciate them on youtube because they help give genuine reviews and opinions of games, as well it is also hilarious to see people experience shocks and twists in your favourite games and see their reactions. However Game Grumps was a channel I vastly appreciated being around in late 2015. I had a lot of rubbish experiences in the Autumn/Winter of 2015 with apprenticeships being unprofessional with me and other low moments, and on some evenings when I couldn’t sleep, as cheesy as it sounds, I would find comfort in watching Game Grumps because I would always end up in tears from laughter. Arin and Danny (the main members in Game Grump videos) are hilarious and always have great stories to tell during videos. The Wind Waker playthrough above is one of my favourites as Danny talks about growing up with OCD and Depression, and it’s a nice video because it really gives you hope that things can get better.

4. Dodie – doddleoddle

Dodie is an actual cinnamon roll in the world of youtube. Her vlogs and ukulele covers are really pleasant to watch and she has a lot of talent. I followed her on twitter for a while before I actually got around to watching her covers and honestly I kick myself for not watching her earlier. She definitely deserves a lot of the opportunities she will get in the future as she is extremely talented. Her cover of La Vie En Rose gives me little goosebumps and reminds me of sitting in the sun on a warm day – when there’s like occasional cool breezes and the air smells of clean, cut grass. If someone would like to make me a mixtape of Dodie’s covers so I can listen to them in the summer, I’d vastly appreciate it.

5. Savannah Brown

Go and listen to that slam poem. The first time and every time I listen to it I am left absolutely speechless. Savannah manages to cut through me with the way she projects that poem, she oozes the emotion and frustration behind every woman who has felt those things. Every girl who has been called a slut, every girl who’s been told they’ve been ‘asking for it’ when they’ve been cat called walking home from school, every girl who has been tricked and manipulated into toxic relationships with people who did not deserve their kindness and love. The line ‘Even though you keep telling me I shouldn’t be making noise in the first place / keep your mouth shut, unless I’m the one putting something in it. / It’s funny, the ones who cry whore the loudest, are the ones thirstiest for my blood.’ really hits me hard and makes me want to show everyone this poem. Savannah deserves a hell of a lot of praise and recognition for her slam poems and even her discussions on topics such as not pleasing everyone or gender are really inspiring and I just love listening to them so much.

 

Definitely check these great channels out! Feel free to share any youtubes you love with me!

Thanks for reading,

Helena x