Saturday, 22 July 2017

Our Paris Adventure

A couple of weeks ago, myself and my best friend took a few days to explore Paris! It's somewhere I've always wanted to visit and it was a huge step outside of my comfort zone. We had so much fun and I vlogged the trip, here's my video. 

Monday, 19 June 2017

'Fat Girls Can't Wear Crop Tops'

It's hot in the UK. That means less clothing. That means more skin. That usually means a lot of girls with their midriffs showing, wearing crop tops. That usually means fat shaming.

So today, to spite this and to boost my own confidence - I wore a crop top. I know! A bigger girl wearing a crop top? It's so shameful, right? Wrong. Being bigger does not make me a different species, or any less attractive than someone of a different size. Yes, my stomach is a little rounder than someone else's, and my boobs may make the top sit weirdly but - it's hot and if everyone else can do it why can't I?

I try to do something to boost my body confidence every week, may that be buying new underwear, fake tanning or doing something I never thought I'd do - like wearing a crop top. The bottom line is, 'fat girls' can wear whatever they like. And they will.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

My Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like A Bad Person

I feel like a bad person. My anxiety makes me feel like a bad daughter. My anxiety makes me feel like a bad friend. My anxiety makes me feel like a bad girlfriend. 

I feel like a shitty daughter when I can't tell my parents what's wrong incase I start to worry them again. I feel like a shitty daughter when I stay in my room and only come out to eat when I'm called to. Everyday I sleep till 11 because I have nightmares each night that keep me up. I feel like a bad daughter when I know my mum is worrying about me. I feel like a bad daughter when I push my dad away incase he doesn't understand. I feel like a bad daughter when I can't be the child they expected me to be. 

I feel like a shitty friend when I make an excuse about not wanting to go out. Or to the pub. Or to leave my room. When I stop drinking because I don't like not being in control. When I double check plans and am always over-organising. I feel like a bad friend when I can't be spontaneous. I feel like a bad friend because I'm boring. 

I feel like a shitty girlfriend. I follow my boyfriend around, because I’m terrified of being alone or stuck in a conversation with people I don't know. I hate how my anxiety means I take time to get used to a new situation. I hate how I'll never feel fully comfortable alone in his flat. I am quiet around his parents and his closest friends. I want to be the girl that makes them laugh and doesn't need alcohol to feel confident talking to the people who've known him longer than I have. 

I feel like a shitty girlfriend, because I am not fun. Even at night, alone together, there are times when my anxiety gets the best of me. When I know he's too tired to deal with me but he feels like he has to. When he reads my messages about anxiety attacks two hours later and feels guilty. Even though I trust him more than anyone I've ever met and I am not scared to be vulnerable around him, I will always feel like a burden. 

My anxiety makes me mad because I start fights over nothing. I read into messages. I get mad about looks and little conversations. And I look at every girl imagining how much more fun he could have with her - how much easier it could be. My anxiety makes me lie about how I'm really feeling when he needs the truth. 

My anxiety makes me feel like a bad person, because I ruin everything by overthinking everything. I worry about directions and timings. I worry about what people think of my worrying. I struggle to enjoy the good moments because my anxiety reminds me of the bad. My anxiety makes me feel like a bad person. It makes me doubt myself. It makes me hate myself and everything I know I should love. 
My anxiety makes me feel like a shitty that could not possibly be loved. Even though I know he does with and without anxiety. 

It’s still hard to fully open up with someone. It's hard to make someone understand when you don't understand what you're feeling. It’s weird to know that someone likes me for me, even when I’m having irrational thoughts that are uncomfortable to deal with. It's hard to watch the people around you get frustrated when you don't believe them. My anxiety makes me feel like a bad person - even though everyone in my life who matters would tell me I'm not. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Summer Beauty Wish List

I can't remember the last time I did a wish list post. Summer just around the corner seems to be the perfect excuse to make a new list of beauty bits I can't afford, but wish I could for the warmer months of the year.

It's beautiful and it blends foundation in so flawlessly. I broke my original one and trying to blend makeup with half a brush is not a great idea.

Morphe 350 Palette - £23.50
I've just always wanted this one and have actually bought it. Not to mention it's always out of stock. Anyway, it's ridiculously affordable at less than a £1 per eye shadow and Morphe eyeshadows are super pigmented and easy to work with.

Pixi Glow Tonic - £18.00
This is one of the products that changed my skin for good. It is a wonderful toner that leaves your skin glowing and fights acne. Nothing makes my skin feel or look as good, I'm so heartbroken that my bottle is empty.
I still can't believe I haven't tried this if I'm honest. It's a cult classic and it looks so glowy, gorgeous, covers beautifully and I NEED IT.
Again, a pretty affordable palette for the quality. Zoeva shadows are some of my favourites, the Cocoa Blend palette is gorgeous. This one just looks really versatile so it wouldn't be a waste of product.
I don't splash out on primers, my Rimmel one does it's job. But this would give me such dewy looking, long lasting skin - especially paired with my Born This Way foundation.
It's £33.00, yeah. For a powder. But like I've said, there's no chance of me buying any of these with my current bank balance, it's all hypothetical. I've wanted to try this forever because I love Charlotte Tilbury and how simple yet stunning her looks are. This powder seems to blur imperfections really well.
Weirdly for me, I've been so into using less foundation and covering blemishes well with concealer afterwards. The better my skin gets, the more sheer foundations appeal to me. This is a two in one which will give me natural coverage that's perfect for summer but will also make sure I can cover any scarring a pimples I still have.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz - £15.50
I've been meaning to repurchase this for ever because I've kinda given up with my brows ever being even or tidy. But using this product is the closest they've ever been to perfect. It's just so effortless.

So that's what I'd buy if I became a billionaire over night, which isn't looking promising at the moment. Unless anyone wants to offer?

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

10 Things I Want To Do This Summer

1. Visit a new country with a best friend
This one's already in motion as I'm planning to visit Paris with my best friend Kelly. She's always wanted to be taken to Paris by someone who loves her and I'm going to be that person. I'm buzzing for Sephora!

2. Get a tan
Wether it be fake tan which I'm finally mastering now or real, nothing makes me feel as good as having a tan. I'm so lucky that I don't burn and that my skin likes the sun. But still SPF is a must!

3. Vlog 
I miss vlogging. I'm going to definitely vlog both of my holidays this year, some of my time in Winchester and my reaction to the PLL finale. I just love editing and making it look pretty. 

4. Have a picnic
It sounds so simple but I haven't been on a picnic in years. It's a great instagram opportunity and I like to think I'd make everything from scratch including homemade lemonade but I'm pretty useless so supermarket food will have to do.

5. Go strawberry picking
I've never been but it's something I've always wanted to do. 

6. Highlight my hair
Already done this one haha! I highlighted the ends of my hair last week and although it's super subtle, it's given me a lot of confidence.

Well, what would summer be without alcohol? I want to drink. Simple.

8. Successfully use the tube by myself
This is a huge goal, as ridiculous as it sounds. Travel honestly gives me the worst anxiety, even when I'm so prepared. And hopefully, I'll be using the tube and doing it this Sunday. Fingers crossed.

9. Finish Game of Thrones in time for season 7
So I was practically forced to start watching it and now I love it. I'm obsessed. As long as I get it done before the new season starts I'll be happy. Shoutout to Will for his SkyGo account, you da best.

10. Be happy in a bikini
Hahaha. This is so unrealistic but I'm gonna give it my best shot. I deserve to feel good, so I'm gonna try to.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Planned Spontaneity

STORY TIME: Some days you need to get out and be spontaneous. Not for anything in particular but the little things build up and you need to find something other than writing essays in bed and feeling sorry for yourself. Kelly is the person who gets me out.

I'm not a spontaneous person, I have to plan. If I don't plan, I stress. So I've found a good balance in planned spontaneity.

We had planned to do something just to get us both out. Friday night. Whenever she finished work. Maybe go for a drive. Maybe the beach. Weather permitting. We'll do something. But that was it. Enough of an actual plan that I wouldn't be stressing about what was happening but we had no details of it actually sorted.

So on Friday, when I actually had plans for the evening, we had a power cut. For two hours I waited. I couldn't shower so I couldn't get ready. I couldn't make a cup of tea. I couldn't pass the time by watching television. I couldn't cook. I couldn't even write my essay. I couldn't tell Charlotte I was going to be running late because my phone was dead, my iPad was dead and so was my laptop. I couldn't even call her because her prone was broken. We had no service, no wifi. So two hours later when it finally came back I had to rush to get ready and ended up leaving an hour and a half later than planned. But I wasn't stressed about it.

I picked her up and we did decide to go to the beach. She gave me a gift she's bought me. I let her direct me because I'd never driven to Hastings before. We got everything that had bothered us since we'd last seen each other off our chests. When we'd parked, we took a nice - windy - walk to get some chips. We bought some cokes. We ate on the beach and chatted. We fought off seagulls. We walked along the beach, people watched. We got back to the car and decided we wanted sorbet. We stopped at Sainsbury's for mango and raspberry sorbet and grabbed some cola bottles, some maoams and some teeth and lips. We drove back to mine. We watched lots of RuPaul's Drag Race and half an episode of Pretty Little Liars. I dropped mango sorbet all over the floor and cleaned it up whilst Kelly laughed at me. I drove her home.

Now that kind of cheap, cheerful and completely stress free evening could not have happened if we'd planned every detail. She said to me 'I like us being spontaneous' and I said 'it's more like planned spontaneity'. Planned spontaneity is the way forward from now on.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

5 Tips For a Long Distance Relationship

I've wanted to write something like this for a while but have never really got around to it. Now that uni is over until September, I have time to write again. This was post was high up on my list of ideas. I am in a long-distance relationship and have been for a few months now. Though I don't have a years perspective on it, I have had time to test out my own tips now. I assure you long-distance can work when you accept the situation, adjust to the struggle and stay positive about it.

1. Enjoy the time you have together.
I'm so guilty of this first one. As soon as I see my boyfriend I start thinking 'oh only 4 days till I'm leaving again' and through out the week I'll remind myself that I'm over a quarter or half way through our time together and so on. The end of your time together is inevitable but don't let that ruin the opportunity you do have. Have fun, go on dates, do little things you'd do if you got to see each other everyday. And when the last day comes around, don't be sad because it's over, be happy for what you've had and will have again.

2.  Communication is key - but don't go overboard.
It may seem like you have to talk 24/7 to keep things going, but that's not strictly true. Sure, you want to know the details of your partner's day as if you were there with them but don't compensate for the distance with excessive talking. For example, when we're both busy and need to get on with stuff, we let each other do that without bombarding each other's phones with messages. But we always say good morning and night. Share details of your day but don't talk too much - you'll run out of things to say and become agitated. Take messages at face value, don't read into the words and put yourself into a bad mood by overthinking. Remember to give each other space from constant communication, even though it seems ironic.

3. Don't stop living when you're apart.
I have a tendency to sink into an awful mood for a day or two after seeing my boyfriend. It ends quickly and I get motivated for the next few weeks or month. It's important to remember that life doesn't stop when you're apart. Make plans for the future. Enjoy spending time with your friends and family. Keep busy, tick things off your never ending to do list. Work on yourself so that you can work on each other in the future. And countdown to the next time you can be together again positively, instead of negatively.

4. Find a good social media balance.
Facebook video calling or FaceTiming is essential because seeing the other person's face is so much help. Snapchat each other when you can. Tag each other in funny posts. Share tweets via direct message that make you laugh or remind you of the other person. But, do not post excessively about the other person on every platform. There are ways of appreciating your partner without unnecessary, over-the-top PDA. The occasional post is fine. Your relationship is just that, yours, and nobody else wants or needs to see it 24/7.

5. Be honest.
I'm lucky in the fact that my boyfriend is brutally honest and tells me exactly what he's thinking because he cannot lie to me. If you're feeling overwhelmed or insecure or jealous or angry, the best solution is to talk about it. It may seem like a fight when it's really just a chat and maybe it will turn into a fight but fighting is healthy. Things have been unbelievably tough recently but if we ever have a problem, we don't avoid it, we talk about it, that's what makes it easier. I always feel so much better afterwards. We're stronger when we're honest.

Above all, remember that everyday you spend apart is a day closer to the distance being over for good. That's the ultimate goal.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

An Open Letter To The Best 1st Year Friends

With first year over and so many memories, I wanted to take time to thank my closest friends at uni for putting up with me this year. I guess I'm just not really over it being over it yet.


Dear Monique,
Hey you! Remember when I wrote all that cheesy stuff about you on here at the beginning of the year? How long ago does that feel? 'She is the reason I get out of bed on the days I only have one lecture. She brings me iced tea when I’m in a bad mood.' Both of those still apply. Thank you for never making me pay you back for all that iced tea. I can't wait for the raspberry stuff to come back. I'm so thankful I decided you were most normal girl on our group chat before uni even started. I'm so thankful I recognised your watch across the lecture theatre. I'm so glad we both got put in the same group. I'm so glad we went for that Starbucks when you became 'Monick'. After that there was 'Moany' which I take credit for fully and will have to start claiming copyright on if everyone keeps using it. I'll miss your moaning this summer. Moaning about walking so much, moaning about guys, moaning about not having tea. I'll never forget that Cathedral date we had, what a life changing experience. I'll never forget that night you spat nuggs over me, B and Nat because you were crying so hard. I'll never forget the night of the cornrows. I’ll never forget the time I offered to drive you to the station and I took the wrong exit on the roundabout. I’ll never forget the night you lost your phone and made me trek across Canterbury extremely drunk to get it back. I'll never find anyone who gets as hangry as you. Long live #MoniquesMidnightFeasts. I know I haven't always been the best friend and I'm not very good at functioning like a normal human but I feel like you were one of the first people who made me love nights out and never made me feel rubbish about my anxiety. You baby sat me for a long time and then I started returning the favour. Thanks for not letting me forget my jacket that night in Chem, thanks for that night at mine when we drank wine with nuggs and chips, thanks for being one of the most honest people I've ever met. Also, nobody takes a selfie like you. I hope your house next year is everything you want it to be and you finally find someone who's gonna treat you better than these guys who do not deserve you. 'It’s genuinely a nightmare to think that if I’d been put in a different group or had deferred my application I would have walked down the Powell corridor and would have no idea who she was. I’d still think she looked pretty great though. She is pretty great.' I’m going to hate not spending everyday with you next year. Love you eternally X

Dear Mill (not Mills as we learnt quickly),
You’re just wonderful. I remember when I first saw you I thought you looked so cool haha. Even when you joined our little family late, you became a sister to me and I’m so thankful. You’ve always been my voice of reason. Apart from the times you’re an awful influence when I’m in the mood to shop. But even then, thank you. You make me feel like less of a psycho on a bad day and give me the best comebacks when my I don’t know what to say to someone. You are honestly the sassiest person I’ve ever met with the best insta feed. I’ll never get over your love for the ‘fajitas’. I thank god for you when it came to group work. Or honestly any work. Not only did group projects stress us out and frustrate us to no end, you have always helped me with my assignments. I’m an organised person for sure but you’re always slightly ahead of me and we swap work all the time. You always know the answers. I think you’ve taught me to reference better than any lecturer. You always remind me how long we have left till we can go home, you give me so much motivation to just get through the day. You are the only person who gets how ugly I feel at midday on a Tuesday. Although you never look ugly, you just don't look bad ever. You're the best at making me feel better because you don't take any crap from me. Thanks for the trips to Zara, Topshop and Eat dot. Thanks for the mutual Charlotte Tilbury love. I’m so so happy you didn’t drop out when you said you would, I wouldn’t have made it through this year without you at all. Never forget how strong you are and how good a person you are. You’re so genuine, gorgeous and kind. Go on, be a famous radio presenter now. I believe in you. Loving you always X

Dearest darling Matthew,
First of all thank you for being my gay best friend because I’ve never had one. I’ll never forget the first time we met. You just staring at me and Moany before that weird bonding session where everything got weird. I was like, he must be the asian guy in the group chat lol. To be honest, I still can’t believe you’re English. Just kidding. Or am I??? I remember really early on when we went to take pictures of the Cathedral to instagram. I remember realising how lucky I was to be surrounded by such great people and how good a person you are. Sure, you’re a messy drunk like I’ve never seen before. Your drunk giggle is adorable. But you have such a kind soul and you always look after me. Remember that time you threw up in your garden then came in to tell me you’d thrown up in your garden as if I hadn’t heard when I was only a metre away? Even after that, you stopped my crying over nothing, told me to take my lashes off, wash my face and told me to go to bed. Thanks for homing me that night. Shopping in ASDA like an old married couple and you sitting with me whilst I got glam was so lovely. I know it won’t be the last. I’ll never get bored of hearing about your drunk mistakes and the people you pulled on your nights out. I’ll tell you what I will get bored of though. Promise next year that you’ll stop opening snapchats and facebook videos with your volume on full in lecture? I mean I have to sit next to you 4 days a week, I don’t want that embarrassment haha. And don’t shout that you want to leave when a lecturer is staring right at you. You are by far my favourite person to get snapchats from. ‘I know I’m supposed to be on a diet but I’m going to McDonalds because I’m drunk.’ I have so many wonderful pictures of you drunk. I’m so glad we finally got our 100 day snap streak! You’re the Phil to my Holly and I couldn’t be without you. Thank you for the best advice and for looking after me. I hope you appreciate me as much as I do you. Love you unconditionally X

Dear William (the original William),
Weird to think we wouldn't even be friends if Moany wasn't late in that one Tuesday morning. You introduced yourself as a ‘nerdy lad’ and although I cringed when you did, I don’t think anything could sum you up better. Remember that movie day we were planning with everyone? That turned out to be just us and Mon a little later. I brought you loads of cookie dough flavoured stuff because you were feeling sorry for yourself and we shared a tub of Ben & Jerry’s on your sofa and watched Let’s Be Cops. I’m so glad we did. You’re hilarious, although memes have taken over your life. Your drunk FaceTimes have been rather entertaining and I’ll always be available to help you finish off a script at 2am. The lighting in your room is awful for selfies but your strip lights are amazing. You cannot ever be trusted with sound production/recording again. Thanks for that night me you and Mon shared a bed. It may have been the hottest night of my life but I felt so happy to be with you both. Thanks for consistently meeting me by the underpass at half 8 on a Tuesday morning. I’m gonna miss your face being the 2nd one I see at that illegal hour. You were the first guy at uni I was really honest with. You’re just such a good guy and an amazing friend to me. I hope you know I’m always here. I look forward to many confusing Goran lectures next year. Love you man X

I hope next year you all put up with me again and that we still have a dance together in Chem if we drift apart at all. There were times I thought I'd never make it through and times I felt so dumb and stupid and down, but you guys make me the best version of myself. I love you all, thanks for the mems, the laughs and the best year possible. Xx

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Things I Learnt in My First Year

In honour of finishing uni tomorrow, here's my endless list of some of the things I've learnt at uni (and note how none of them are academic related).
  1. Tea makes everything better
  2. Iced tea makes everything better
  3. Spoons pitchers/'piltchards' also make everything better
  4. Do not let MJ stick his 'ore' in your drink
  5. Group work can be fun
  6. But group work can also be a soul-sucking, demon that destroys all the happiness you've ever had
  7. Group work will never turn out the way you planned it
  8. Group work is actually just a few people doing a hell of a lot more work than everyone else
  9. And the finished product is always average at best
  10. Do not trust Will with the responsibility of sound recording
  11. If you want to avoid the embarrassment of everyone turning to look at you in lecture, do not sit with Matt because he is likely to open a snapchat or facebook video with his phone on full volume
  12. Matt is also prone to saying something like 'do you think he'd notice if we left?' or 'shall we just ditch the second half' when the room goes quiet and the lecturer is looking straight at you
  13. Most nights out will involve baby sitting someone
  14. Most nights will also involve holding Matt back from going home with someone 
  15. Most nights will involve you spilling something down yourself
  16. Most nights will end in you losing/forgetting your coat, your money or your dignity
  17. Referencing is the devil and your tutors will just tell you you're doing it wrong but not how to fix it
  18. Sometimes they send people who are closer to students than lecturers to hold your seminars and they will not know the answer to any questions
  19. Your tutors literally have no idea what they're doing
  20. None of them will be able to work a simple powerpoint
  21. Or a light switch
  22. Or work out that the volume is turned off on the computer
  23. Double spacing an essay makes it ugly
  24. Cooking with Nat and B usually ends in some form of domestic
  25. Or an elaborate Disney channel dance routine
  26. Fajitas will always be there for you
  27. Monday night is Buzzfeed quiz night
  28. B's ugly cow clog slippers are going to haunt you
  29. Doodling is a very productive form of note taking
  30. You will never get sick of watching yourself back on camera or hearing your voice in recordings
  31. Tim's tips are the best
  32. Bry is bae
  33. Shadows however, are not bae
  34. Max can bs his way through anything
  35. You will wear makeup and regret it when you look awful later
  36. You will not wear makeup and will regret it when you look awful later
  37. You will ALWAYS look ugly by midday on a Tuesday
  38. Basically, you're not allowed to look nice
  39. 9am's are the worst
  40. You'll have to push through the tiredness
  41. You do not have time to watch a television series whilst at uni - even if you try and excuse it because you're doing a media course
  42. Bullies do not end in school
  43. Matt's drunk messages, snaps and selfies will entertain you in the early hours of the morning
  44. Student accommodation bathrooms are disgusting
  45. But you will be forever grateful to the people who home you when you have nowhere to stay
  46. Nothing feels better than doing work early and submitting it before the deadline day
  47. But sometimes it just feels good to submit something even if you know it's a bit rubbish
  48. A trip to Tiger and Zara is essential
  49. Being really drunk and messy is good for the soul
  50. Planning a coffee study date will just end up as a coffee date
  51. The moving bookcases are the coolest thing about the library
  52. Google Scholar is a lifesaver
  53. You can always rely on Harry to give his review of the week's film class before you go in
  54. Do not waste your extensions
  55. Stick with Nat in fresher's week, Nat gets you free stuff
  56. The Doctor Who society would be incomplete without Charlotte Barcham, it's loyal captain 
  57. Moany will never stop moaning about walking
  58. Goran is a mystery that will never be understood
  59. Trying to decide where to eat for lunch is a demanding task
  60. Do not let Max steer you into McDonald's
  61. Follow Mill into Eat. instead
  62. Harry's messages are the only entertainment available in some lectures
  63. The cathedral is a great place to escape to
  64. Tuan will never stop being Tuan
  65. Most people on your course are a lot more clever than you
  66. You will feel constantly dumb
  67. Visiting your boyfriend at uni will leave you slightly underfed but happy because you get to clean
  68. He cannot cook a student meal without some kind of meat and this seriously offends you
  69. But meat feast pasta is better than it sounds
  70. You will threaten to drop out at least 10 times a week
  71. Millie will do the same
  72. Public transport is expensive and awful
  73. Canterbury traffic will frustrate you to no end
  74. Work will not understand that uni is your career and your priority
  75. You will learn not to cry every time you get drunk
  76. You don't have to enjoy uni everyday but you still have to do it
  77. Staying in bed once in every few months is not a sin
  78. £9,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for what you're actually getting
  79. £5 is also a huge amount of money for a student
  80. Getting to actually go home after a crappy day is a relief
  81. Visiting your boyfriend will be like a mini holiday and you will not want to return to reality
  82. You will appreciate your friends above everything

     I've had a pretty great first year, with major ups and downs. It's still the best decision I've made as much as I've moaned about it recently. I'm excited to do the modules I chose and to continue doing things I love doing next year. I'm glad I still maintain strong relationships at home, at uni, with my family and with my boyfriend despite uni being my priority and that's my only goal for next year. That and to be happier alone too. But for now, summer 2017 is calling...

    Sunday, 9 April 2017

    My Current Philosophy For Inner Happiness

    Let me just say, the title of this post is not a great one. It's pretentious and I'm not philosophical. I barely understand what the word means. I honestly just couldn't think of a better way to sum up my latest epiphany.

    For a few years now I haven't been sure on exactly who I want to be. The way I used to see it was that I had so many choices on who to be... I could be the Elana who eats clean and cooks from fresh, works out properly several times a week, only drinks water and looks good as a skinnier, less wobbly girl. I could be the Elana who is messy but elegant with it, curvy and fabulous, without a thigh gap, eating whatever she likes, comfortable in her underwear and not ashamed of her fat rolls. I could be a party girl who tells her anxiety to do one, drinks a lot and goes out when she could be studying. I could be the Elana who's always a blogging, beauty queen, pretending to have her life together mega star. I could be naturally pretty and wear next to no makeup and baggy jumpers all the time and be focused on purely academic stuff. I could cake my face in product, do cut creases and use so much highlighter everyday and enjoy expensive lashes. I could spend all my time reading, writing or watching movies or travelling or taking up any hobbies I want. I could be constantly on the go or constantly looking after myself. 

    The list of possibilities went on. Although the problem was that, in my mind, I had to pick just one. How could I be happy, but eat what I want at the same time without feeling guilty and fat and all those awful things? How could I have time for cooking, exercise, work, a social life and uni all at once without going insane? How was I supposed to decide who I wanted to be?

    So, on another late night of sorting out my life I decided for once and for all just to be everything I want to be, all at once. In pure Camp Rock, Demi Lovato style: 'Why not try everything? Why stop? Reach for any dream'.

    I'm gonna be the Elana who can wear any look she wants to and feels amazing. I'm gonna be the Elana who cooks if she wants to, orders takeaway if she fancies it, enjoys party food and birthday cake, drinks alcohol, fizzy drinks or water and enjoys food without the added guilt. I'm gonna be the Elana who works out in the shed with her brother when she can and has fun with it, but doesn't feel bad when she doesn't have time because she's earning some money or working on an essay. I'm gonna be the Elana who pushes herself to go out more and lets herself actually have fun but also has nights in bed with Netflix when she needs it. I'm gonna be the Elana who fake tans when she needs a boost, moisturises when she remembers, is consistent with her skin care and takes her meds every single day. I'm gonna be the Elana who writes about what she wants and gets her work done but lets herself be a stereotypically unorganised student from time to time. 

    The bottom line is, the people in my life will love me and stand by me no matter which version of myself I chose to be on which day. I enjoy what I want, when I want, how I want. I'm organised but I'm beginning to allow for spontaneity. I'm finding a balance. I live everyday of my life like I'm the most important person in it and let myself be human. Most importantly, I don't stay up worrying about things anymore because 9 times out of 10, I know they'll sort them selves out by the morning. Tomorrow will always be kinder. And tomorrow is a new opportunity to be whoever I want to be - as long as I'm happy.

    Saturday, 8 April 2017

    All About Brows: Tinting

    I know, it sounds terrifying doesn't it? Tinting your own brows, especially for someone as accident prone as me, sounds like a guaranteed disaster. But it really doesn't have to be. 

    I hated my brows. I've stopped filling them in and if I feel like I do want to I only draw in the arch a little. They're uneven, they grow in different directions and they always have been so I don't have the patience to make them look like they're sisters let alone twins. I'm embracing the natural brow. Tinting helps to pick up all the little hairs and makes them stand out so much more and make it so much easier. I use the Eyelure Brow Tint.

    It's super easy. You have to use vaseline as a barrier cream (hence the oily looking pictures) around your eyes and the skin around your brows, not that the dye would stain that badly if you did accidentally mess it up. Then I mix 1cm of the cream dye with 4 drops of activator in the plastic tray with the stick provided. I scoop it onto a clean spoolie (I bought a pack on 100 for about £1 on eBay) and brush through my brows, coating all the little hairs - even if it looks like they're full of product I put on as much as possible. I usually leave it on for 5 minutes, which the pack says is the maximum you can do and take a wet cotton wool pad and wipe it off. I didn't manage to get very good pictures of this at all because the lighting was awful so you can't see the difference but, it gives me so much confidence.

    After I've tinted I usually pluck a few stray hairs but seriously limit myself so I don't end up with an over-plucked 90's nightmare. The brow razor pictured below is useful for getting rid of unwanted hair above the brow but you have to be super careful and light handed. I also use a threading stick to get some hairs, although I mainly use this on my lip.

    I cannot recommend brow tinting enough. One pack lasts so long and it's cheaper than paying £15 in a beauticians. I dare you to embrace the natural brow. 

    Friday, 7 April 2017

    My Skin Story: The Third Installment

    I did not time this post well at all. My skin has broken out recently and while I’m okay with that and I know it’s not really in my control for the most part, I should have taken photos at a better time. Ah well, at least I’m honest.

    My skin is surprisingly good. There are still breakouts on and under my jaw and under my chin and the occasional cheek breakout but the area around my brows is fairly clear and my forehead is never really a problem. I am so happy with how far I’ve come. To look back at those original photos of it at it’s worst makes me feel so much accomplishment for being so consistent and positive about finally clearing my face. Every time I feel the need to complain about my breakouts or scarring now I look at those pictures and remind myself how painful and embarrassing and time consuming it was when my skin was that bad. It's even so much improvement from the last post, I didn't realise until I had a look back for reference. Check both those here and here.

    So, what have I been using? Recently, I’ve stuck to what I know and been as gentle as possible. I’ve used coconut oil when I can’t afford a cleanser and when I can I always use a cream cleanser and hot cloth. If I’m going drugstore it’s Soap & Glory’s The Ultimelt but if I can afford Liz Earle my heart will always pine for Cleanse & Polish. More nights out mean more makeup wipes (gasp) because I just want to get into bed but I always make sure they’re moisturising and that I don’t pull too harshly on my skin. If I can afford Pixi Glow Tonic, which I haven’t been able to in a while, I’ll use that, otherwise I’ll double cleanse with Garnier’s Micellar Water.

    Occasionally when I need that extra bit of help, I love Soap & Glory’s Fab Pore 2-in-1 Facial Pore Purifying Mask and Origin’s Out of Trouble Mask. Both work wonders. Origins Super Spot Remover still comes in handy for huge angry spots like the ones on my left jaw in the pictures.

    To moisturise I am keeping it super simple. It was a desperate purchase when I was poor but Superdrug’s own Vitamin E range is so good at calming down my skin and slowly healing it. It always feels light but moisturising and sits well under makeup if I do wear it. I do believe it’s helped my scarring. The Radiance Moisture Cream and Nourishing Eye Cream are a dream combination for such a good price. I’ll still use my La Roche Possay Effaclar Duo when I can pick it up. If I need something a little more I love using a drop or two of Rehydrating Rose Facial Oil from Neal’s Yard before bed or just before makeup. It’s too oily to wear out alone but it makes my skin feel amazing. I’m pretty sure it’s helped clear my scars too.

    We’re getting there… slowly but surely.

    For once, I cannot wait for the summer. I wish I could afford to book a holiday just to clear my scarring a little more. The sun is a miracle. Fingers crossed for a fairly sunny English summer. 

    All I can recommend is finding something that works for you and remembering that nothing’s instant. My skin has taken years to get to where it is now but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m glad I’ve been on this acne journey because I now understand skin care, makeup and all things beauty. I can help my friends with it. I am proud.

    I can safely say that 9 times out of 10 I feel beautiful. The 10% of the time that I don’t, I really don’t. But I now go to work for short shifts without it, I can go shopping without it, I happily facetime without it, I take my train journeys home without it. I’m still finding the courage to go to uni or a 8 hour shift without it when I want to but that will come with time. I still love makeup and love making myself feel more beautiful. I still enjoy putting it on and trying different products and looks so I am truly learning to be happy either way. 

    I’m not my acne, my acne is just a part of me.

    Thursday, 6 April 2017

    100 MORE Things That Currently Make Me Happy

    It's back, it's part three, it's 2017 edition. Whilst clean makeup brushes, mojitos, Neil Patrick Harris and mozzarella sticks are still and always will be relevant, the third instalment is well overdue. Apologies if I repeat myself but here it is, another 100 things that currently make me happy.

    1. self love
    2. noodles
    3. Ryan Gosling
    4. my friends who I can really be myself with
    5. cleaning my room
    6. working out with my brother
    7. my boyfriend (he's pretty bloody great at making me happy)
    8. submitting essays
    9. dmc's over text
    10. drinking games
    11. remembering to take my meds
    12. making my Mum proud
    13. actually publishing blog posts
    14. eduroam wifi (jks)
    15. POTATOES
    16. saturday night takeaway
    17. writing something I'm proud of
    18. majorca
    19. Gordon Ramsay
    20. watching PLL with Megs and Sof
    21. Felicity Jones
    22. when Will runs out of lives on candy crush
    23. any song by Damien Rice
    24. Bry
    25. Monique's love of tea
    26. chinese food
    27. Chuck Bass
    28. cuddles with Matt
    29. Barcelona by Ed Sheeran
    30. Soap & Glory
    31. the fact I got a 1st on an essay
    32. Emily & Andy
    33. ASOS orders
    34. seeing how far I've come
    35. my tumblr blog being 5 years old
    36. how clear my skin is
    37. monopoly
    38. watching my Disney vlogs back
    39. the idea of wearing summer clothes
    40. sending things back and watching the money come back in
    41. introducing people to things I'm passionate about
    42. Growing Over Life
    43. that people love me even though I snore
    44. driving with the windows down, radio up and glasses on
    45. waking up without a headache
    46. actually having something in my savings account
    47. that we're making long distance work
    49. not setting an alarm
    50. enjoying blogging again (even if it is procrastination)
    51. successfully cooking
    52. my car
    53. One Born Every Minute
    54. not being in debt
    55. napping in Will's bed
    56. cheese and marmite crumpets
    57. how adorable B and Nat are
    58. pitchers from spoons
    59. the drive-in
    60. London
    61. writing in bed
    62. trains (apart from returns)
    63. new ink pens
    64. being touristy
    65. wispa gold
    66. anywhere with better wifi than home
    67. playing The Sims
    68. work friends
    69. new beauty blenders
    70. having time to read
    71. my pay rise
    72. seeing my friends do great things
    73. sharing drunk stories
    75. a tidy wardrobe
    76. Boux Avenue orders
    77. Bluewater trips
    78. the fact people put up with my crap
    79. Ginger Chicken Udon from Wagamama
    80. this tweet
    81. buying magazines
    82. being bothered to fake tan
    83. plus sized insta models
    84. working through my netflix watch list
    86. being confident
    87. writing letters
    88. surprises for other people
    89. the fact I have no exams
    90. feeling like I have my life together for a while
    91. shuffling my music
    92. seeing my friends treated well
    93. Charlotte Kelly
    94. my nightly goodnight call
    95. planning stuff
    96. raw mushrooms
    97. the fact I'm gonna enjoy summer this year regardless of my body
    98. being called funny
    99. Mill's insta feed
    100. being happy

    Wednesday, 5 April 2017

    A Promise To Love Myself

    Overthinking is part of my everyday life. More recently than ever, overthinking has controlled me. It's a dangerous combination of self doubt, anxiety and mood swings that make my nights alone so horrible. It's become clear to me that I need to treat myself like I would my best friend, or a daughter - someone I'd love unconditionally. So from here on out, these are the promises I'm going to try and keep in order to love myself.

    'I promise to let you be happy. I promise to give you time. I promise to be patient when you are feeling slow. I promise to let you be sad but to tell you when it's enough. I promise I will make you get back up when you've let it all out. I promise to allow you an extra hour in bed on the days your heart feels heavy. I promise to let you buy expensive products every now and then if it will make your hair stronger and skin clearer. I promise to make you say 'yes' to days out and nights at the pub and to seeing old friends. I promise to stop getting upset and mad when you fancy chocolate cake or something salty. I promise that you can enjoy alcohol without needing to cry after. I promise to let you be hungover. I promise to make you sleep when you're being stupid. I promise to let you off when you're so rundown by your thyroid that you can't finish the workout. I promise to push you when you need to write 1000 words for an assignment and can only force out 200 more. I promise I will let you grow as a person. I promise I'll push you to take opportunities. I promise I'll help you through uni. I promise you can let yourself be loved. I promise I'll love you.'

    Tuesday, 4 April 2017

    10 Things I'm Realising In My 20th Year

    1. Not everyone you meet is going to like you and that's okay
    I've realised recently that even if you're a good person and you do all you can to make people like you, some people simply won't get you and that's fine. As long as you don't go out of your way to add to the animosity, then live your life regardless of their opinion on you.

    2. Relationships aren't 50/50 all the time
    Wether it be a romantic relationship, a friendship or a relative - somedays you gotta give 80 when the other person can only give 20. You can't always give the same effort, sometimes the other person has to pick up the slack.

    3. Trains really aren't that scary
    Unless you get the wrong one, or lose your ticket, or it gets delayed, or you have five minutes to change or, the train is cancelled or you get lost on the platform...

    4. Dry shampooing your hair is a life saver
    I used to hate dry shampoo. I'm such a clean freak and used to hate not washing my hair everyday but if I'm honest I just can't go through the week without dry shampooing once now.

    5. Nobody at work really cares what you look like without makeup on
    Although customers will make comments about how different you look and the odd colleague will ask if you're sick or really tired, nobody really cares so you shouldn't either. Plus it saves so much time.

    6. You will never stop procrastinating
    As I write this I should be working on my essay that's due in two weeks but inspiration comes little and not often at all so I best get this out while I can.

    7. I really can't cook
    Like really, can't cook. Or do anything in the kitchen. I honestly struggle to make a cup of tea some times. I can just about boil some pasta but I never get the right amount.

    8. You're never too old for fairy lights
    When deep cleaning my room yesterday I took all my lights down to repaint the walls and dust everything. I seriously thought about throwing them out for half a second and then realised I can't be without them. Ever.

    9. Sleep is always the best option
    Ill? Sleep. Tired? Sleep. Overthinking? Sleep. Stressing about something unnecessarily? Just sleep.

    10. It's okay not know exactly what you're doing all the time
    As a control freak I like to know what I'm doing and what's going on every second of the day. But it's okay not to have everything sorted. I don't have my life plan worked out and I don't have things set in stone. I'm learning to be okay with not always being in control.

    Friday, 31 March 2017

    The Struggle of Feeling Uninspired

    I haven't been able to finish an idea in months. The metaphorical bin is full of half thought out blogs posts, poems, stories and rants that I am so sure of at first but end up disappointed with. 

    I want to write about my experiences: the complete stranger today who gave me such a genuine compliment before reflecting on the fact that nobody compliments anymore. I want to be funny: write about my mishaps and the way I pretend to be a successful independent woman. I want to give advice about love and life and uni and how to generally survive. I want to share my opinions with the world, even if the only people who see them are my mum and my boyfriend. I want to share makeup looks but I feel uninspired lately and am more and more concerned with the unsymmetricallity (is that a word???) of my face that I'd rather keep it natural and let my good skin shine through. I want to talk about just that, my skin, but I struggle to find time to plan it all out and give advice that people will find helpful. I want to talk about my health, my hair, my medication in the hope it helps someone but it won't. I want to try things and document them - travel to places (even if they are little coffee shops in the UK), attempt to follow a recipe, tick something off my bucket list. I want to talk about fashion as if I understand it and my passion for interior design. I want to write lists because I bloody love lists. I want to write about uni. I want to make videos - I miss documenting my days in a vlog and editing them to look back on. I want to talk about films I love, the shows I'm obsessed with, the things I'm listening to. I want to share my writing but my stories seem childish and lack originality. My poetry is not something people are interested in. I am constantly starting things and leaving them in the drafts folder. 

    I don't know what I want this blog to be anymore. I don't know how to find time and motivation to keep going. I used to love my blog with a passion and not worry about what I was writing. I'm not ashamed of it, so much has been documented on here that I'm thankful I started it. Call it an identity crisis but I don't know what to write anymore. Or if anyone is even reading.
    Maybe I'll figure it out. Maybe I've realised by actually finishing this post at midnight that this blog is my space to be truly me and to write whatever I want. I like that I've accomplished just this. Maybe I'll fall back in love with it.