Why my anxiety controls me…

This is a weird one for me, and will probably be my most personal blog to date.

Anxiety is a huge part of my life, perhaps more so than I care to admit, and yet it is something I speak to no one (apart from the very rare few) about. Every single day, I think about it, differ from it, or make adjustments in my life in order to prevent or discourage it.

One of the reasons that I do not talk about it, is because I am embarrassed. I am embarrassed at how much control that it has over my life, and how much control I allow it to have. I find myself blaming my anxiety for things that I do not want to take part in, or throw myself into, and perhaps it is due to my anxiety, but it is also a very easy scapegoat.

I need to go back a few steps.

I had never suffered with any form of anxiety at all until the summer before I went to university when I was 18. I had my first panic attack whilst sat on the sofa, and I genuinely thought I was going to die. My chest seized, I had the sweats, I could not breathe, and it was truly horrendous. Until this point, like many people, I simply thought that a panic attack was a mental feeling, and I could not have been more wrong. It is so physical, it is petrifying. I was okay for about a week, not really knowing what was happening but then it hit me and I had about 2 weeks of not being able to leave the house, having multiple attacks every day and spending every second of the day fighting it. At this point, I did not think I would be able to go to university.

Well, I did go. I graduated in fact and have not let it hold me back from succeeding. However, it has never left me. I know people that have had bouts of anxiety and then are totally fine. For me, it has settled considerably but it is with me in some form every day.

I really do think (in a very patronising way!) that it is something that you cannot fully understand unless you have been through it.

I am scared that for my whole life I will be battling this and that there will be certain things (drinking, travelling, social situations) that I have to force myself to engage in despite freaking out inside.

I wish I could finish this post by saying that I have cracked it, and am fine , but unfortunately still looking for advice on this one!

 

TV Review: Apple Tree Yard

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**NO SPOILERS**

Last night saw the final episode of Apple Tree Yard on BBC 1. I cannot help but give my opinion!

This is a brief synopsis:

“Married with two grown-up children, Yvonne Carmichael (Emily Watson) lives a contented, conventional suburban life. But her world spirals into chaos, when a chance encounter leads to an impulsive and passionate affair with a charismatic stranger (Ben Chaplin). Despite all her careful plans to keep her home life and career safe and separate from her affair, fantasy and reality soon begin to overlap and everything she values is put at risk, as a life-changing act of violence leads to a Crown Court trial.” BBC

OH MY GOD I LOVED IT

From episode 1 I was gripped. The characters were fascinating, and the storyline was so mysterious it was impossible not to be totally trapped by the story. The series took part in 4 episodes, the last two taking place on following days, which was the perfect length because we weren’t left waiting too long for it to come to its conclusion.

Affairs are often portrayed on television, and I know that the drama has come into some criticism for the way that it portrayed a rape scene, almost with a message of, “a women who strays deserves it..” but I disagree and think that the shows producers were aware of this angle and actually played on it a little as it came out in the trail at the end. In fact, I thought the affair was portrayed really well, it was dirty and clumsy, taking place in back streets and secret rooms. There was no expensive hotels or fancy dinners, it was just quick and convenient and filled a void in both characters lives.

I am so often disappointed with endings of films or dramas as they reach a big climax and then just seem to tail off towards the end, but this one certainly didn’t do that. The whole way through the drama I was left feeling one way, and then in the last 10 seconds of the drama everything changed and I felt a completely different way. My mouth was left completely open. It was absolutely brilliant.

I would love to know if any of you watched it and what your thoughts are!

Beauty Products: What NOT to Buy!

The beauty industry is a multi billion pound industry. In every shop that sells beauty products, the shelves are literally spilling with hundreds of products that claim to do the same thing, with various price tags. Different companies compete to be the bestseller in whatever the new thing of the month is, or to have the lowest (or highest!) price tag.

I am a self proclaimed addict and total sucker for things like this. “A cream that can make me look like Kylie Jenner? SOLD!” I am honestly awful, and I have so many products that have been used only a handful of times before being chucked on the pile. That being said, I am definitely getting better, and I have learnt a lot over many years of wasted spends so wanted to share some of my thoughts on products that I believe are overrated. Now just a quick note, that isn’t to say that they don’t work for everybody, just my opinion 🙂

1. EOS Lip balm.

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This actually applies to soo many lip balms that are on the market, but this product is a big NO form me. the packaging is so cute and the way that it applies is a lovely gimmick but it dries your lips out. It left ym lips feeling chapped and sore, and most of my friends that had used the product  said exactly the same thing. There are so many lip balms out there that are scented or that have perfumes in them that actually dry out your lips – not what you are buying the product for! My tip would be to stick to medicated lip balms like Vaseline or my personal favourite, Blistex!

2. Mac Fix +

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Now, I do use this everyday, and quite like it, but would definitely not buy it again. It is very expensive and claims to fix your face for the whole day, giving it a shine free matte appearance. It is really refreshing don’t get me wrong, but I really do think that it is just water in a bottle. Very over-hyped, don’t waste your money.

3. Mac Make-Up Brushes

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To be honest, I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about MAC in general. I love their lipsticks and I have a  gorgeous highlighter from MAC but I think they bank on the fact that they have a huge cult following that would buy anything that they brought out without disputing it, and I think their brushes are a prime example of this. They cost an absolute fortune and are no better than real techniques which cost a margin of the price.

4. Real Techniques Brush Cleaning Gel

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I got this for Christmas and was so excited to try it, after using Fairy Liquid for years, I thought that this was going to be an absolute game changer. It is not. It leaves the brushed greasy, not clen at all, and takes twice the amount of time. I absolutely love the real techniques brushes, but this cleaner was not what I expected at all. I will stick to Fairy Liquid!

5. Face washes

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I am quite lucky not to have particularly spotty skin, but I do get lots of dirt and stuff (eww) clogged in my pores so like to wash my face and use face masks and washes. There are literally hundreds of different types and after trying all sorts, I would say that there is preferences for each individual but don’t be conned by thinking, oh this face wash costs £20 it must be fantastic. It probably wont be and you will be £20 worse off. Stick with a standard non perfumed wash that does the job.

6. Mac Ruby Woo Lipstick

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I generally really like MAC lipsticks, especially velvet Teddy which is my all time favourite but I got this one for my birthday, wanting a classic red, which is certainly is. However, it is almost too matte. It is really difficult to apply and makes your lips feel very clumpy and dry. I  like a lipstick that applies nicely and then dries matte where as this you really have to drag over your lips.

7. MAC Concealer

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I have never tried the liquid concealers, which may be very good but this one is not. It is heavy and doesn’t apply smotthly. It may be just of rcovering spots as appose to under eye but I did not like it at all and it is sooo expensive. iw illstick to my Collcection 200 £2.99 concealer, which is the best ihav ever used.

Right, so ranting over! Gosh, that was a moany blog wasn’t it? I know it seems that I am slamming brands like MAC and maybe I am a little, but my point is to look at the products themselves and not the brand, or the price, simply believing that, oh it is by MAC, it must be brilliant. try things out and make up your own mind. Most of all, Have Fun!

 

 

Long Distance Relationships: How To

Long distance relationships have a bad rep. Most people, when I tell them that I live over 3 hours away from my boyfriend, greet me with a, “I don’t know how you do it,” or “do you think it will last?” Well I am going to share my experiences; both good and bad, and give you some of my tips to take long distance totally in your stride.

I met my boyfriend at school, over 5 years ago. We lived in the same town and went to the same school and therefore, it worked easily. We saw each other most days and everything was perfect. I then had to go to university (he is a little younger than me!) and despite it only being an hour to travel from Liverpool to Stafford, we soon ended our relationship. Looking back now, it was not due to the distance at all, it was due to us both needing time to be young and selfish and have some time on our own. I really thought that this was the end of it; he was living in Newcastle studying Medicine and me in Liverpool about to graduate. However, nearly 2 years after we parted ways, fate brought us back together (neither of us could ever really let go!) and we decided to give it another shot.

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The main difference this time was that from the get go, we knew that there was a long distance between us and we knew that if we wanted to make it work, then distance was something that we had to deal with. It has now been a year since we got back together and I could not be happier. Now, do not get me wrong, I would love nothing more than to be living in the same town, of even City as him, but right now, that isn’t the way it is, and I would rather be with him from down here, than not with him at all.

There have been times when I have found it really hard. I have spent many a train journey back to Stafford sobbing my way home, but I know that this is just temporary, and if we can do this, we can do anything. There are also times when it has been great, we both I’ve completely independent lives and the times that we do spend together are very special, we go on dates, and really love each other’s company, and our relationship is miles stronger this time around.

These are my main tips for making long distance work:

  1. Always make time for each other. Whether it is a phone call each night, or a skype once a week, or a thoughtful card or text message, always make time to make sure that the other person knows that you are thinking about them. It is very easy to get caught up in your own world, but a short message in the morning to say that you have thought about the other person can go a really long way.

  2. Try not to leave it too long between each visit. We normally aim for at least once a month at an absolute push. We like to go for once a fortnight but sometimes this is impossible.

  3. Don’t make each other feel guilty
    This is something I have found quite hard. When the person is leaving, it is very difficult not to make it a sad thing, but his can make it harder. Try to stay as positive as possible.
  4. Enjoy your time together! When you are together, make the most of it. Go on dates; spend real quality time with each other. We probably spend more quality time with each other now than we ever did before.

It works for me, and it can work for you! J

Krakow: Places to See?

Following my recent, slightly disappointing (see previous blog) trip to Dublin, but my love for exploring cities, I have just booked a trip to Krakow in April with my boyfriend. I have always loved the idea of exploring Poland but I guess the cold weather rather put me off.

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The part of Dublin that I did not like was the lack of history and things to do there, and I was only there for 2 days! Therefore, my fear is that the same will happen in Krakow. In order to make sure this does not happen, I am going to plan like an absolute ninja and make sure that I know exactly what I want to do there before I go.

I am calling out to all of you lovely people to ask if anyone has any recommendations. Tips or advice? Places to see? I would love to hear all about your experiences! 🙂

 

Weekend in Dublin: My Thoughts… 

I have spent the last three days in Dublin. I had absolutely no idea about the city really, and I suppose that was part of the problem. At the beginning of December, me and my friend decided we wanted a city break- and due to the overpriced nature of flights nowadays, and everywhere being cold, we opted for Dublin! 


My work life has been quite hectic the past couple of weeks so I didn’t really have time to research our trip or what we were planning to do when we arrived which is definately something that I would not recommend. 

When we arrived we went straight to our hostel (which we were very pleased with actually!) and then felt a little lost. And that kind of continued for the whole weekend. Unless we were very blind, or just didn’t go to the right places, Dublin lacks a city centre of sorts. It had the generic shops and bars but it isn’t very easy to wander around. 

On the second day, we decided to go to Kilhainham Gaol, which was a good decision to make. *Note, book ahead!* but oh my gosh we got so lost. We must have walked for about an hour before eventually bumping into a kind local who agreed to take us there! But it was located in the proper backstreets of Dublin and one thing about Dublin that drove me mad, is the signage is awful! Nothing is signed and the city maps are totally useless as the scales are totally off. 


Anyway, once we got the Gaol, we were very impressed. We went on a guided tour which was fascinating and definately worth the €5 to get in. The history was fantastic and the tour guide had so much passion – this was a huge highlight of the trip. 

We then wandered into the city to attempt to go to Trinity College. After getting more lost due to the lack of signposting, we got there and realised you had to pay €12 to go and see the library which we didn’t want to do, but the grounds were very pretty and the college itself was lovely to walk around. 


The city just had a weird vibe. It’s very quiet and had lots of backstreets that make you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. Maybe we didn’t go to the right places, let me know if anyone has done Dublin!! 

I had a lovely time with my friend, and it was a nice break from the hectic nature of the real world, but I wasn’t sure about Dublin. 

Probably a ⭐⭐ from me in comparison to other cities I have been to. 

Let me know your thoughts! 

10 Interesting Facts About ME!

  1. I am short. Not like weirdly short but I am quite short. I guess I quite like it. I like being petite and I like having small feet. But I don’t like feeling stumpy. I also have big boobs so this doesn’t help the situation.
  2. I hate going out. Not hate leaving the house. But I really don’t like partying. I am 22 going on 70 but would much prefer a nice evening in.
  3. I have 2 tattoos. One is of a daisy on my back which I got when I first went o university, its huge and very dark and one that I am not so fond of. The second is a starfish on my foot which was inspired by a speech made at my graduation and something I want to always remember.
  4. I use Coco Mademoiselle as my fragrance and have done for many years. It is expensive but I love it!
  5. I am freakishly organised. I love anything colour coded. Totally obsessed with stationary and I don’t go anywhere without my filfoax.
  6. I love candles. I have a candle drawer that is growing by the day and yet I continue to buy more. I really really love candles.
  7. I achieved a 1st class degree from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts for my BA Degree in Community Drama. Noone has a clue what it is, but I quite like – adds to the mystery!
  8. I don’t like off numbers, especially on things like the volume on the TV or the radio. Especially 7’s and 9’s.
  9. I am a really rubbish cook. I really don’t enjoy it, and I wish I did because I know that some people really enjoy it but it just isn’t my thing. If it can’t be shoved in one pan and left alone then I am not interested.
  10. My boyfriend is two years younger than me and is currently studying towards a medical degree in Newcastle.

Role Models? 

I’ve never really had role models. Even when I was growing up, I never looked up to celebrities or modelled my life on anyone in particular.
However, in more recent years, I have looked at women in the public eye and applauded their bravery and determination for a lot more than what they look like. I am going to talk about 2 women here.

1. J.K Rowling – one of the most successful women in Britain, sitting on a small fortune, has been children’s bestseller for over 10 years with no chance of being knocked off, but none of that is the reason that I admire her. Before her success, Rowling was living on the breadline, not having enough money to top up her electricity meter. The only thing she did have was an idea – A good one. She got rejected by publishers 7 times before someone finally decided to give Harry Potter a chance. I bet all of those other publishers are kicking themselves! My point here is that she didn’t give up- she had sheer determination and believed in her dream, and I think this makes her a fantastic role model.

2. Michelle Obama – I don’t know an awful lot about her, but I know she, much like Rowling, came from nothing. She was thrust into a position she never asked for, and chose not to just be someone’s wife, but instead to forge her own path and do so with grace and dignity. She has repeatedly told young people that they can, and they will, and this is what makes her a fantastic role model.

I am not saying that I want to be an author or a politician, but I want to have determination, strength, integrity, bravery, and belief- all of which these two women have in their bucket loads.

Make up Must Haves: Everyday

This is a list of my everyday face and make up products. This is what I use every single day, along with brushes. 🙂

  1. Blistex Lip CrèmeThis is my all time favourite beauty product (maybe). It is meant to be an intensive moisturiser for your lips but I use it every morning before I put my make up on to keep my lips really soft and have never been able to find anything better.

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  2. Clinique Dramatically Different MoisturiserAgain, this is an all time favourite that I have been using for years and years. I first bought it in New York where it was really cheap but have continued to buy it in the UK. It is slightly on the pricier side, but last ages. I use one pump every morning and it last for around a year. I struggle with sensitive skin, and also hate sticky moisturisers. However, this moisturiser doesn’t leave a sticky residue and is kind to my skin.
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  3. No7 Stay Matte FoundationI have been searching for the perfect foundation for many years, and I am still not sure that I have found it but this one if one of the better ones that I have used. I have tried expensive brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown, but to be honest, I don’t think that they are significantly better than more high street brands and considering that they are double the price, you may as well go for the cheaper one. I tend to go for a full coverage matte base, despite not having terrible skin.

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  4. Collection ConcealerAgain, I have tried expensive concealers but always come back to this one. I cant remember the exact price but I think It is something like £2.99 which is crazy because regardless of price, this is the best concealer I have ever used, especially for under the eyes.
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  5. Benefit Hoola BronzerMy bronzer game has changed forever since discovering this product. I had seen it on loads of blogs but never wanted to fork out the money for it and I am totally aware that it is a lot of money to spend on a bronzer but it is so worth it. It is absolutely perfect for contouring and the brush that comes with it is the perfect shape. Love this!
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  6. Mac Soft ‘n’ GentleThis is a lovely product. I don’t think it is worth the price tag attached to it, but it lasts forever and gives a subtle glow. I am not a big fan of that massive glittery stripe look so this gives the perfect amount of highlight without being too overpowering.

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  7. Urban Decay Naked 2 PaletteI got this product for Christmas last year so I didn’t have to pay for it which is nice! It is a great everyday palette for someone that likes a bit of sparkle but with neutral colours. My favourites are the 2nd and 4th in from the left, which in future I will get as individual colours.
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  8. Rimmel EyelinerThis is a really nice product and is dirt cheap. It is a felt tip liner which I way prefer to the liquid eyeliner or pencil liners. It is super black which is also really nice. I have tried the posh ones but they all run out at the same speed so I may as well spend less!
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  9. Clinique MascaraI have mixed reviews about this. I have used this for years and love the fact that it has a really thin brush which means that the lashes look really long. It is also fab for bottom lashes. However, it doesn’t give a huge amount of volume or colour so I normally go over the top with a cheap one that just makes them super black.
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  10. NYX Brow GelThis is a cheap version of the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow but it is fab. I use a slanted brush and apply this to the whole brow and it stays on all day which is fab for me. Eyebrows are a big part of my make up as I have no natural ones (I do, but very thin!)
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  11. Sephora Brow PowderThis is a product that I picked up in Athens in Greece which I absolutely love! It just fills in the brows but isn’t massively waterproof so has to accompany another product. When this runs out, I will see if I buy another one as I will have to get it from another country so if I can find a cheaper alternative I will probably try another one.

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  12. Beauty BlendersThere was so much hype around beauty blenders before I tried them and I am not the worlds biggest fan of the big ones but I use the little ones to blend the concealer under my eyes and absolutely love them! Thumbs up 🙂

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    Much Love x