Wednesday, 31 December 2014

december 8tracks picks

8tracks has always been one of my main sources for discovering new music/artists. So at the end of every month I'm going to share with you my favourite playlist picks that I've been listening to constantly throughout the month.

The first playlist I've picked is "you make me a better person" created by seconds. This features songs from One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, The 1975 and more remixed with a backing track of rain, I always find this so soothing, not sure why. Some of my all time favourite bands are in here which explains my obsession with this.

Next up is "jams" by indiebabe. Featuring songs by Arctic Monkeys, Foster the People and Swim Deep, this is a good playlist to listen to if you're after some indie tracks with a good beat. I usually put this on in the morning whilst getting ready, it's pretty chill but has enough beat to keep your spirits high.

My final pick is "sarcastic" by moshmegently, this playlist is completely different from the other two. It features bands such as Real Friends, Brand New and Man Overboard and has more of a pop-punky feel to it, rather than indie like the previous two.


favourites of 2014

The New Year will start in just over 12 hours, so I thought it was about time I wrote a post featuring my favourites of the year. Best way to end the blogging year right? Basically going to cover all of the things that I loved this year from beauty & hair products to my favourite books and ablum's that I developed a deep love for over the last 365 days. So let's go!

Benefit They're Real Mascara - Truth be told I got the mini of this mascara in one of Benefit's gift boxes and I wasn't too sure about it at first. I was a sceptic. Initially I thought it made my eyelashes look horrid and fake but the more I used it the more I fell in love and came to the realisation that it made my eyelashes look naturally long instead of the awful clumpy way that a lot of mascara's I've used in the past have. I've yet to purchase a full sized product but I'm definitely planning on it as soon as I can afford to. 

Real Techniques Brushes - Before purchases any of these brushes, I was totally against using brushes that are used to apply anything apart from eyeshadows, blusher, and powder. However after applying foundation with the "expert face brush" I realised that they're quite no other way to apply make-up as flawlessly. In total I think I have around 10 brushes and hoping to add more to the collection! 

Urban Decay Naked 2 Pallette - I've actually been using this a lot more recently than I did when I first bought it, perhaps because I'm at uni and I put a little more effort in than when I was at college? Who knows, anyway I love this pallette. It's perfect for creating both day and night looks and has a lasting finish, especially when combined with Urban Decay's Matte Finish Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

Paco Rabanne Lady Million Perfume - I received this as a gift from my mum and she made such a wonderful decision. It had a fruity-floral scent which I adore and reminds me of spring/summer. I've been wearing it constantly since Christmas! Definitely a perfect present.

GHD IV Periwinkle Hair Straighteners - Another gift from my mum. The best one actually, my previous straighteners were destroying my hair and only had one function. But with these beauties, I can straighten, curl and wave. Perfect from creating different hair styles for both day and night.

Percy and Reed Heat Protect Styling Mist - Constantly styling my hair with heat, I needed a new product to protect my hair from damage and after spying this in TK Maxx for £5, I couldn't resist picking it up. I know that Percy and Reed is a highly established branch and having tried their finishing polish, I knew I couldn't miss out on this. It smells wonderful and works wonders on my hair.

Tresemme Superior Flexible Hold Hairspray - I've never really been a fan of hairspray until now, having short unruly hair has definitely drawn me to using the product more in a week than I've used in my whole life. It's become my new best friend whilst trying to tame my mane.

Argan Oil Conditioner - This product may only be £1 but it might just be the most amazing conditioner ever and it's so underrated. I know most of time you're paying for the quality of the product but in all honesty this is so much better for my hair than a lot of the more expensive conditioners are, which often leave my hair matted and tuggy, but no such thing has happened with this. It's definitely a keeper!

Woollen Jumpers - It's winter, everybody needs woollen jumpers in their winter wardrobe. Grey is usually my colour of choice but for christmas my wonderful Grandparents bought me a mustard sweater which I adore. I don't normally wear bright colours but it's to die for and apparently mustard is my colour!

Tartan Scarfs - Aren't tartan scarves the must have accessory?! A super chic way of reviving an old outfit into a newly composed one. My collection is growing by the day. Something every girl needs in the wardrobe.

Boots - I never normally like wearing boots, I'm more of a converse-type girl, but after picking up some lush camel boots from Topshop with fur edging I can't seem to get enough of them! They're super comfy and go with pretty much every outfit, pretty good fashion pick for only £42!

Butterfly Clips - As I mentioned in my December favourites post, these have been a total lifesaver ever since getting my hair cut short. Best £4 I've ever spent! They turn a floppy irritating fringe into a cute and quirky hairstyle. 

Great Divide / Twin Atlantic - Twin have been my favourite band for over 4 years now so obviously I couldn't wait for the release of their new album, Great Divide, in August. After hearing the first single from the album, Heart ad Soul, I knew it was going to be bigger and better than anything they've ever done and I was right. Featuring songs like "Cell Mate" and "Fall Into the Party" this album was everything I'd hoped it to be and more. They've sort of morphed their sound back into how it was in the days of Vivarium but with a little more pop/rock sound to it as well. Top notch if you ask me.

x / Ed Sheeran - I love Ed Sheeran, his sound is so raw and beautiful and this album is perfect for a day of relaxation or even to listen to whilst studying. My favourite song is definitely "I'm a Mess" it's just so beautifully written and pretty emotional, I'm a sucker for an emotional song! If you haven't listened to this yet then I really recommend that you do because you're missing out!

Four / One Direction - I've loved One Direction from the start, maybe not openly at first but now it's pretty much common knowledge that I'd do anything to see them live or meet them. I'm not even sure what's started this newly found obsession with them however I wont question it. Their new album is definitely different from all the others, to me anyway, there's something about it that puts me in a good mood whenever I hear just one of the songs. "18" and "Night Changes" are definitely two of my favourite songs on the album!

I Forget Where We Were / Ben Howard - Where do we start with Ben Howard? I absolutely adore this man, I always have. His music is incredible, nobody can argue with that. His new album, I Forget Where We Were, is something else. He's kept his folky sound but there's definitely something different in his voice that I love. The whole album is perfect, I can listen to it from start to finish on repeat for hours!

Girl Online / Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella) - I literally just finished reading this book and it's already made my favourites. At first I was a bit uncertain about the whole idea behind the book but once I got into it, I really enjoyed the story. I felt like I really connected with Penny, as I also suffer from anxiety. The book definitely helped me to deal with some of my own issues and I'd like to thank Zoe and her debut novel for that.

You're the One That I Want and Billy & Me by Giovanna Fletcher - Giovanna Fletcher is my favourite author of the year, after finding Billy & Me in the library I fell in love with her style of writing and the characters were written so well in both books. Billy & Me was definitely my favourite, however I do have a soft spot of You're The One That I Want. I'm a sucker for a soppy book and these tick that box for sure.

The Divergent Series / Veronica Roth - This series is quite possibly my favourite series of the year, with the release of the movie the whole hype around this series I just had to pick these books up. And I made no mistake, these books are everything from action-packed to lovey dovey. A weird but wonderful combination - one that was made for these books.

The Maze Runner Series / James Dashner - I haven't had the change to finish reading the series, unfortunately but from what I have read, this is definitely going to be the next Hunger Games. I've fallen in love with the first two books, the plot is captivating and the characters are simple incredible. If you enjoyed THG then these are definitely worth a read. 

This year, over all, has been a pretty good ones. Obviously there's been ups and downs but I've found there's been a lot more positives than negatives. The first thing that I'm totally grateful for this year was passing my exams and finally getting into university. I never dreamt that I've make it this year, especially when I'd only applied to one, but I proved everybody wrong and did it, and now I'm having the time of my life. I also moved to Dundee and into halls. Sharing a flat with 5 amazing girls for the past 4 months has been absolutely incredible and I can't wait to go back to the flat and see them all again after Christmas. With the risk of sounding soppy -  I've been missing them loads since I left on the 17th December. Ever since moving to Dundee, things have been looking up and I couldn't be more happy. I've met some really amazing people and I can't wait to continue meeting more!

Christmas back home was absolutely amazing, I love it when the whole family gets together and celebrates, it's definitely one of my favourite things about my family, we're all so close. As per my family absolutely spoiled me and I'm so grateful for everything I received, as you can see some of my gifts even made my favourites of the year!  And as for New Year, I spent that with my family too, we had a blast! I hope you've all had as much of amazing Christmas and New Year as I have! 


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

banana & mixed berry smoothie

With my new year health kick approaching, I thought it was about time I tried to experiment with smoothies in which I can make for breakfasts and lunches. So yesterday I went to my local Sainsbury's store and picked up a selection of fruit to experiment with. I love going to Fuel Juice Bar in Dundee and I always pick up a Fat Burner smoothie so I thought I'd mess around with the ingredients and see how my home-made version turned out. I did add some of my own ingredients in place of the one's I didn't have so here's how to make my banana & mixed berry smoothie!

6 raspberries
3 strawberries 
1 banana 
5 blackberries 
3 tablespoons of fat free natural yoghurt 
ice cubes 

Basically all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into your blender or smoothie maker and blend it until it reaches a consistency you're happy with. Also you can add as much or as little ice as you like, it depends on your person preferences, I always add at least 4 ice cubes to get the consistency and temperature that I like. 

Let me know if you try this out! 


think pink bath bomb

Just looking at the design of this bath bomb made me want to use it as the first pick from my Lush Cosmetics selection that I had been given from my mum and gran for Christmas. Even though I'm a Lush fanatic, I've never actually tried this product so I was super eager to use it. 

With a sweet vanilla scent infused with tonka, this is the perfect bath bomb for a relaxing evening or even for a pre-night out bath. As it explodes, turning your water a beautiful calm pink colour, you'll feel your skin becoming silky smooth and luscious. Inside the bomb are paper confetti hearts which eventually dissolve but it's a nice touch which inevitably made me smile (it's the little things).  

At just £2.65, this is one of Lush's more reasonably priced bath bombs and one of their most popular products. It's definitely on my list to buy next time I'm coming home again.


favourite songs of 2014

This year has been pretty incredible for the music scene. Some great new bands have surfaced and old ones have returned, there's been some great anthems but which songs are your favourite of the year? Here are some of mine.


Monday, 29 December 2014

body image

Today's post is going to be a little different from anything I'll ever post on this blog but it's an issue that been on my mind for a while. So let's get to it. 

Body image is something that can be heavily influenced by the media. We all strive to achieve the media's idea of perfection, whether it's through dieting or wearing excessive amounts of make-up but should we really be letting such an unreliable source dictate to us what we should look like? No we shouldn't. 

For as long as I can remember I've been unhappy with the way I look, my weight, my acne, everything about me, I hated it. But after loathing myself for so long I realised that the reason behind this was the media. The media is constantly slamming celebrities for putting on weight or going out with a bare-face and in comfy clothes, but what I don't understand is what's wrong with these things? They're completely normal for everybody. As I mentioned in my "New Year, New Me" post, this past year has presented me with ups and downs, I spent half of the year trying to improve how I looked because people called me "fat" and other horrible names. Body image should be how you see yourself, don't let the media or society determine the way you feel about yourself. After all our bodies DON'T define us, our personalities do. 

Why should we let the media and society tell us how we should look? Isn't that something that we should decide ourselves? Shouldn't we be trying to be healthy, not trying to live up to society's ideals of "perfection"? Whether the media tells you "you're too fat" or "you're too skinny", don't listen to them. As long as you're healthy and happy, you'll always be perfect in somebody's eyes.


december favourites

With the final month of the year coming to a close, I thought it was a fitting time to write my first ever favourites post! After spending the majority of this month back at home, I've been able to relax and pamper myself more than ever, my favourites obviously reflect this. 

Soap & Glory Rich and Foamous Body Wash
This has been a favourite of mine ever since I bought it 2 years ago, and I'm sure it'll be a favourite of mine. With a scent like popcorn, it's almost the alternative to bingeing on sweets. Who needs to eat sweets when you can smell like them? 

Herbal Essences Bee Strong Hair Mask
Having previously bleached and dyed my hair numerous times, it often feels and looks limp. However this hair mask has the ability to bring back the shine it lacked and also make it look so much healthier. Definitely worth a buy if you dye your hair a lot and need to nourish it. 

The Body Shop - Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask
My skin has been dreadful ever since Christmas, eating junk food definitely has it's downfalls. But having naturally oily skin anyway, I'm really prone to getting spots. I just seem to have made it worse with the chocolate and sugar overload. This mask is made for deep-cleansing, it draws out impurities and controls excess oil. It's definitely my go to mask when my skin is in need of rehab. 

Soap & Glory Thick and Fast Mascara 
I recently bought S&G's HD version of this mascara however I only really love it when paired with the original. The combination of both gives the eyelashes more of a boost than I could ever have imagined. I absolutely adore the original mascara, perfect if you need a subtle extension for an every day look!

Claire's Butterfly Clips
After getting my hair cut much shorter than I ever thought I would, these butterfly clips have been an absolute lifesaver. Whenever my fringe is playing up or the wind keeps blowing it in my face, I just pop a couple in my hair and voila, my hair's not irritating me any more and I can attempt to bring back 90's hair styles ;)


Sunday, 28 December 2014

my week in pictures #1

So it's the end of the first week on my blog and I'd day it's been pretty successful. It's so much easier to write on here than it was to on any of my other blogs and I'm happy with it. It's been a pretty chill week, I had an amazing christmas with my family, got some amazing gifts and gave some amazing ones too. I've been spending a lot of my time watching movies, The Fault In Our Stars had me in tears just like the book did. My gran bought me a beautiful Hamsa Leather watch for christmas, which I adore! I've spent the past few days since christmas pampering myself with luxurious hot chocolates and picking some goodies from my pamper box! I also had a browse through my all time favourite book for the first time since I moved out, I forgot to pack it, and it reminded me how much a book can impact a person's life, much like The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Finally I've been getting a lot of migraines lately, more than likely a result of eating so much junk food and sweets, so I've prescribed a day of sitting in the dark with candles on whilst watching Gossip Girl and planning future posts for the blog. 

How has your week been? 


Saturday, 27 December 2014

new year, new me

Yes of course the title of this post is totally a cliche but I mean it completely. With New Year approaching I thought I'd reflect on how 2014 went down and how I plan to improve next year. This past year I surprised myself with how much weight I could lose if I really put my mind to it, however moving to halls and starting university threw my weight-loss out the window. Since starting university I've put on all the weight I'd lost and more, of course it's the result of bad eating habits and no exercise - something I'd promised myself I wouldn't do. However, because 2015 arrives in 5 days I've decided that it's about time I concentrated on eating healthy and finding the time to exercise to redeem a healthy lifestyle and get back on track, not just to lose weight but also to improve my wellbeing and make myself happier. I found the above list on Pinterest and thought that it'd be a great way of encouraging a healthier and better lifestyle for myself, so here's my own list of things that I'm going to try do this year. 

1. eat healthier - just because junk food is cheaper, doesn't mean that it's the right thing to buy in Tesco's when you've ran of decent food. Buy some salad for a change. 

2. drink more water - fizzy juice and alcohol isn't so good for you either, maybe try drinking water most days to help flush out any toxins from the bad stuff.

3. exercise more often - in fact exercise, period. I know it's difficult to find the time to exercise with a busy schedule but it's important to be healthy, even if you just walk to or back from uni a couple of times a week!

4. stay organised - organisation is the key to being successful. 

5. take time to relax - overworking yourself isn't going to help, it's important to have some down time, even if you have work due the next day or you're exams are coming up. Being a stress-head is only going to make things worse. 

6. try your best - it's okay to give in sometimes, just do your best and you'll be the happiest you can be. 

What are your goals for 2015? Let me know in the comments box


Friday, 26 December 2014

christmas goodies / pamper night

Well I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and got spoiled by your friends and family. I certainly did, I can't decide what was the best past; spending time with my family or the laughs that we had together. All in all, it was amazing! Now on to the topic of this post, I was very lucky to have been treated to a mountain of bath products, both of my favourites Soap & Glory and Lush products were amongst the ridiculous amounts of goodies I received. I love a pamper night as much as the next person so here's how I spent my boxing day evening. 

I've always hated my feet, they're definitely something I would change about myself if it was possible. I've always been super ashamed of how dry they are and how hard the skin is, which is totally disgusting I know, but my mum knew all of this and treated me to a JML Pedi Pro Deluxe to get rid of all the horridness so that I could transform my ugly feet into the smooth and silky feet they should be. I am super happy with how well it works, obviously it's going to take a few uses before my feet are how I want them but after the first use there's definitely a huge difference! 

Following this, I ran a hot bath and poured some of Soap & Glory's Orangeasm Body Wash whilst it was running to create fresh scented bubbles! I definitely love this scent, it's one of their best aside from Smoothie Star which is my all time fave! On top of the bubble's I added a Flutter Bath Fizzer which I think are sold in Superdrug at Christmastime? I didn't want to mix too many scents together so gave my Lush bath bombs a miss this time. 

After spending a long time soaking in the bath, I covered myself from head to toe with S&G's The Righteous Butter, the best body butter in the world! I then put some of S&G's Heel Genius foot cream on my newly soft feet and shoved some cosy socks on before making a creamy hot chocolate and diving into bed. 

There's no better way to spend the day after Christmas than to stay in pj's all day and then having a really relaxing pamper night afterwards. I hope you're all pampering yourself too and taking it easy during the holidays!


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

little things

Pollyanna has been one of my all time favourite movies to watch since I was little and of course it's played every Christmas on ITV3 but this year the game that the main character plays with herself often got me thinking: what makes me glad? What makes me really happy? But after a long hard think about this I came to the simple conclusion that it's the little things that make my day. 

Fairy Lights - I love fairy lights, there's something so quirky and magical about them that always makes a room look more homely and loving. This probably sounds ridiculous to some of you but it's true. After adding fairy lights to my room in halls it definitely looked a lot more homely and helped me settle in much easier. 

Candles - Another thing that makes a room look warm and homely. I'm always picking up the cheapest candles I can find, which in my opinion are often the best. I'm certain I have some sort of candle stock pile building up in my room.

Smiling - Nothing brightens up my day quite like a smile from a stranger, or even just a person that I know. It's always nice to know that someone's happy and spreading their happiness with others. I really like that. 

Books - If you know me at all you'll know that I adore reading. I can spend hours with a book in my hand or even my kindle. I often spend ages in charity shops looking for book bargains that I can share with my family. All in all I just really love reading and think that everybody else should as well.. 

Clean Bed Sheets - This is probably the weirdest one on my list. But there's nothing quite like coming out a hot bubble bath and straight into a clean bed that smells super fresh. 

These are just some of the things that make me happy and put a smile on my face. Although I'm always happy so there's bound to be more. 


Monday, 22 December 2014

first post

Well hello there, I decided that since it was coming up to New Year, I'd make a fresh start on a brand new blog dubbed "lifestyle junkie". I am ever so grateful of all the support I was given on my old blog and I'd be ever so happy if I got even half the support on here. I always forgot how difficult it was to stick to a particular genre of posts but on here I've decided that blogging about whatever I wish is the best way to go about things and to make it easier for myself to post more frequently. 

Since neglecting and quitting my previous blogs "paper dreams and plastic bags" and "a booky place" I've been awfully busy with uni coursework and exams (and also watching ridiculous amounts of gossip girl at once). But now it's Christmas break and I have a lot of free time I thought why not start blogging again? Especially as it's coming up for New Year and I wanted to find new ways to express myself. I hope to combine the work of my old blogs with some new aspects to create a general lifestyle blog which anybody can enjoy reading.