'What Do You Have to be Stressed About?'

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Ah yes, a question I get a lot.
A question anyone with anxiety DREADS to hear. Your breath is short and fast, your heart beating like crazy, you decide you need to get out of the situation when someone asks 'why?'.


It seems a simple question to anyone who doesn't live everyday with anxiety creeping over their shoulder. To someone who doesn't consistently feel self-conscious, to someone who doesn't think they're going to puke every time your seminar leader says they're going to pick on someone for an answer.

Rationally, you're right, what do I have to be stressed about? I have a roof over my head, electricity, food, clean water. But rational is not a word to describe the anxious mind. On top of the racing thoughts and the lack of sleep, the last thing I need to hear is 'I don't see what you have to be stressed about'.

So dear all the lucky lucky people who live their lives without being dragged down by these thoughts, please stop and think before you belittle someone's problems. You are not making it better, you are making it worse.

** If you feel you are struggling with anxiety or stress please talk to someone you trust, a mental health charity (e.g. Mind) or your GP. Don't go it alone. **


What Seeing Your Idol is Like

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Hi Everyone!

So last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing my absolute idol cant-stop-listening-to-her-know-all-the-words-and-her-birthday-and-middle-name; Lorde. 



So the night didn't get off to the best start, late out of work, taking ages to decide on an outfit and constantly re-doing my purple lipstick (because what other colour is appropriate for a Lorde concert?) I didn't get there as early as imagined. And I stupidly forgot I had O2 priority so I queued for an hour in a queue I didn't even need to be in. But STILL by some sort of strange miracle I managed to be in the 3rd row. Albeit, with my view substantially blocked by the tallest guy in the world and the girl who just kept moving exactly into my way. 



For anyone that doesn't see me on the reg wearing my Lorde top or see my 10 tweets a day about her, probably don't realise how much this night meant to me. From the second she stepped on stage I was completely overwhelmed. Melodrama is the only album that has ever made me feel every emotion under the sun, that makes me want to get up and dance while making me want to burst into tears. Melodrama is the soundtrack of my inner thoughts and I sure as hell made that obvious that night. I danced like no one was watching (they definitely were), I screamed as best I could considering I had lost my voice a day before, and I definitely cried my eyes out at least once (cough - Liability - cough). 


An incredible night that I will never forget. 
Once the encore is over, and the lights get turned back on, and everyone can see your smudged mascara and flaking lipstick, the dream is over. Until the next album.

5 days in Amsterdam

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Hello everyone!

So I recently went to Amsterdam for 5 days and it was probably one of the best trips I've ever been on - so I thought I'd share some of the top things I did while I was there.


While you're by Centraal Station, check out the Sexmuseum, which is only €5 for entry and is full of giggles while you're also learning a lot about the history of sex, and the red light district in Amsterdam. 


We went on a canal cruise, which was including in our iAmsterdam card (which I really recommend you get). We went in the evening so it got dark while we were cruising, which was really beautiful to see. A really relaxing ride. 



One of the best things to do in Amsterdam is to visit the Heineken experience, you get 2 free half pints included in the price (which was included in our card) and their 'brew you' ride is hilarious fun. 




Over in Dam Square is the tourist attracting Madam Tussaud's, which was abut €20 with a discount, which I thought was actually a bit pricey considering it took only about 45 minutes to wander around and take photos with every wax figure. Next to this in Dam Square is the Amsterdam Dungeons - somewhere I didn't venture (I'm a scaredy cat) but has great reviews. 




A good way to spend a few hours on a nice day is the Amsterdam Zoo, which is an underground ride away from the city centre but travel and entry were included in our card. We love zoos so this was the perfect afternoon for us and had some nice little cafes as you wander around.


Another underground ride away but totally worth it if you're a football lover is a tour of Amsterdam Arena - home of Ajax. I can't really comment as it all went over my head but my boyfriend loved it.




On the other side of the water to Centraal, is the impressive looking A'DAM Lookout tower, which offers a fantastic view of the city. The more daring can also go on a swing and swing over the edge - but I sure didn't. 



The best thing to do in Amsterdam is to visit the Anne Frank House, one of the highest rated attractions - for a reason. The house is hauntingly incredible, it touches your heart and brings you to tears. The queues to get in are also incredible - but if you visit late in the evening you're guaranteed a smaller line. 



The final attraction I'll be talking about is the The Fault in Our Stars bench. Something that is only really meaningful for those of us who are Nerdfighters or felt personally touched by John Green or TFIOS. It's not for everyone, and it really is just a bench, but it is nice to see. 

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What are your top tips?
Lizzie 

BONDI SANDS EVERYDAY GRADUAL TAN MILK REVIEW

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Hi everyone!

So I recently invested in the Bondi Sands gradual tanning milk after being recommended it, as I was sick of practically being a ghost. I've had experience with gradual tanners in the past, infact I reviewed the Dove Summer Glow in 2014 (post here) where I talked about how disappointed I was.

So here I am again, to moan about yet another gradual tanner, it only took 3 years. 

I will mention some good things about this tan, it's 'cocoa butter scent' is actually really nice. It isn't horrendous to apply and if you don't like it, the smell doesn't really linger on your body. 
As a product, it applies well, the Dove Summer Glow is a sticky formula that leaves you feeling wet and disgusting all day, whereas after a few minutes you can't even tell that you've just smothered yourself in tan; it blends in super easily and doesn't leave a layer on your skin.




However, I have been using this tan now for 7 days and I'll be honest, I can't even tell. I apply it every night, and some mornings too, leaving time to dry (under the instructions on the bottle). I have asked my friends/family if they think I look any more tanned and they don't see it either. 

I'm not going to give up on this product, I mean I've spent £11 on the massive bottle. If it gives me a hint of a tan at some point it will be worth it (she says). 
Lizzie x 


Things I Didn't Need in First Year

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Hi everyone!
So before I went to university last September I was scouring the internet looking for 'Things to Take to Uni' lists. These lists are practically endless, and everyone's uni situations are different, in my case our flat didn't come with a toaster or a kettle, some are fully equipped. So this is a list really based around my uni experience, but don't forget you don't need to take the kitchen sink with you - because you will have to bring it back.
image: wehearit

1. A Clothes Airer.
Let's be real, you'll probably never wash until you go home. But on the off chance you do like hell are you putting it on an airer, you're dropping £1.30 for a tumble dry.

2. Lots of sizes of saucepan.
You need a big one and a small one. No questions asked.

3. High heels.
Worn once. Feet practically bled on Pryzm's dance floor.

4. A load of teddy bears.
Sure, they're sentimental for when you're missing mummy and having a wee cry. But let's be real, you've got a tiny lil single bed and they just get in the damn way.

5. A door stop.
You'll soon realise you don't like your flatmates and you sure as hell don't want anyone poking into the dump you call a bedroom.

Did you take anything unnecessary to uni?
Lizzie
x

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KAT VON D TATTOO LINER REVIEW

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As I'm sure many of you will know, Kat Von D's makeup collection has recently come to the UK. Launching in Debenhams exclusively in London, the collection is now moving northwards and has come to my local store in Birmingham.

So I recently invested in Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner because I heard it was the best thing in this mortal world. As I walked out of Debenhams £16 lighter I thought yes, my blackened smeared eyelids are a thing of the past. No longer will I have to touch up by makeup 2 hours into my shift because my eyeliner is somehow now on my eyebrows!

But, er, I was wrong.

But before I begin, I wanna say some good things about this liner: I really like this applicator, like it's the perfect shape and it's super flexible and you'll not really have a problem applying this even if you're cursed with shaky hands.
That's pretty much all I have to say, and that is at a push because I have also experienced applicators I get on better with than this.

BUT ANYWAY. I thought the clue was in the name with this liner: 'TATTOO'. But no, this gal smudges all over your eyelid just like the every other liner in this oily eyelidded woman's life. Not to mention if you try putting setting spray over this, before it dries there is gonna be black everywhere.

Not only the smudging, but this eyeliner seemed to dry out about 2 weeks after I bought it. I tested it in the shop, the line was perfect jet black and I thought fab, a black to match the look I'm going for. But alas, after 2 weeks of daily usage it's pretty much grey. Even on the odd day I can shake it enough to get a darker line, it continues to fade throughout the day. Henceforth, going against this whole 'tattoo' lark.


 Overall, £16 isn't hugely expensive for a high-end eyeliner. I'd easily pay £11 for a cheap drugstore version so this didn't break the bank like other liners might've. But compared to my old friend the Supercat by Soap and Glory, I wasn't falling in love. I don't think I'll be buying this liner again, or recommending it to a friend.

Lizzie
x



Home Sweet Home, Manchester

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Home Sweet Home is based in Manchester's Northern Quarter (at 49-51 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW precisely). 
 I recently stopped there for breakfast whilst I've been staying in Manchester for a few weeks, and I mean, just look at that waffle. 
My boyfriend got the full breakfast, which looked fab. But for those sugar lovers like me I would 100% recommend this nutella waffle!! It has strawberries so I'm sure that evens out the immense amount of calories on this plate. 


This was probably one of the best breakfasts I've had, at only £7.50 in this gorgeous looking caf in the picturesque Northern Quarter this is a place I'd recommend to anyone.

Liz 
x

On Finishing First Year

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Today I had my last exam of first year.

Right now I'm listening to 'Perfect Places' by Lorde and watching people hide under their coats as they run through the pouring rain.
The rain would normally be a nuisance, since I'm about to go out for some drinks and wouldn't want to a risk a hair and makeup disaster. But today feels different. The air is warm, the rain feels fresh, the people outside are laughing about how wet they are while they wring out their hair. Today feels different.
I don't have anything exciting or profound to say about finishing first year. I mean, I turned up to some lectures, I lived in halls, I had some wicked nights out and some even better nights in. As I sit here now with everything I own boxed up besides this laptop I can't help but feel all weird inside. I'm sad about saying goodbye to my home, because this little box room always felt like home even with big bad Birmingham on the outside of it, so unlike my home back in Lincolnshire. But as I'm getting ready to meet my housemates tonight I don't want to be sad, I want to look forward to the summer, to travelling to London and Manchester to stay with some of my best friends in the world, for the work experience, for the holidays to Paris and Amsterdam. But I can't help but feel that little twinge of sadness every moment longer I think about first year.

Here's to the future, but for now I'll have 5 more minutes of nostalgia.
X

Poetry Snobbery and Why it Doesn't Matter

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Poetry. Defined by the OED as ‘Imaginative or creative literature in general; fable, fiction.’.

So lately, I’ve been really into reading more modern poetry by up and coming writers, including more spoken word and slam poetry. I was wanting to order some anthologies, and as luck had it Lucy Moon spoke about some of her favourites the other day in a new video, to which I caught myself in a web-surfing spiral (oops).




This lead me to Goodreads, where I was reading reviews of new poetry collections where I stopped and saw a review of a recent anthology ‘The Princess Saves Herself in This One’ by Amanda Lovelace. This book caught my eye, from its seemingly feminist vibes and its ‘milk and honey’-esque cover. This book has obviously been a hit on the internet, taking Tumblr and Instagram by storm as users share their picturesque shots of the short poems.



Now I won't lie here, the reviews of this collection are overwhelmingly positive, having a 4.03/5 average rating. But some of the reviews caught my attention, with a pattern being that these are just your average 'tumblr quotes' and that starting a new line every few words was not equivalent to poetry. And in some ways, sure, I completely understand where these readers are coming from, but the point of poetry is really being missed here. 

Literature is not about snobbery, or at least it shouldn't be. Literature is about having a personal emotional response to a piece of art, which many of the reviewers of this book do feel. The fact that some people can't see beyond their ideals of how a poem should be to enjoy what this poetry is giving us, is just hindering all of our artistic growth. 

The next time you read a poem, view a painting, click on a blog post, leave your ideals behind. 

The Princess Saves Herself in This One is available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/princess-saves-herself-this-one/dp/1532913680

C4 POP UP IN BIRMINGHAM

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Hi Everyone!

So recently I was lucky enough to take part in 4Talent and MyKindaFuture's C4PopUp in Birmingham, where I got to meet people from the TV production industry and work in a team with 5 strangers to produce a 2 minute factual film within 3 hours!

Overall the day was so rewarding, I got to work on my own skills within the field and learn about how I could work in a team of 6 very different people. I have made a short vlog from the day (linked above) and would recommend checking that, and 4Talent's website, out if you're interested in taking part in a day just like this later this year or in 2018.

Lizzie x