Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Liebster Award

Hello Everyone, 

I have been nominated by the lovely Seat 31d for the Liebster Award. Thank you for that. For people who don't know what this is, it is for new bloggers who don't have many followers to help them gain recognition. I have a list of questions set by Seat 31d to answer, and then I will nominate other bloggers, and set my own questions for them to answer. The bloggers I nominate can answer my questions and set 10-15 questions for the 5-10 bloggers they nominate too. 

1. Would you rather be able to Instagram but never Tweet or Tweet but never Instagram? 
I think I would rather Instagram but never tweet. I love my selfies too much. And with my exchange year, I want to be able to share my pictures of what I'm doing. 

2. Where do you want to be in five years time? 
Wow, this is going to be a deep one. I would love to be working in a magazine, or perhaps a newspaper. However, if life shows me a different path, I'm not going to deny it. I would want to still be blogging, perhaps with this blog, or another version of this blog (more on this later this week). 

3. What's the most recent book that you've read?
I just finished the end of a series called Girl in a Box, with its 10th book titled Limitless.I really enjoyed it. It has a pretty cool anti-heroine, who has all the smarts, although she doesn't know it.

4. If you were given one million pounds tomorrow, what would you spend it on?
Honestly, just because it has been on my mind so much, I would probably buy a 2 bed flat in Aberdeen for next year. And the rest of it I would save (oh, such a risk taker aren't I?). Apart from buying as many books as I want from Waterstones of course. 

5. What would your perfect day consist of?
Today, it would include a day where I have no work to do. Aside from that I don't really mind. Spending time with everyone I love would have to on that list too. And good food. And a book. Okay, I do mind a little. 

6. What is your favourite blog post that you have written?

My favourite blog post that I have written would have to be my post on Sex. It was such an interesting way to go, and a completely kind of post. I have always enjoyed writing about probing subjects that touch people emotionally in some way, and it was back to that sort of thing. 

7. What is your favourite post that you have read on someone else's blog? 

I read so many posts from different bloggers, my one favourite post is hard to decide. I really enjoyed this recent post by Olivia Cheryl, and this one about wearing make-up by Zoe London, and another about blogging itself by Jennypurr. These perhaps would be my favourites, but its so difficult when you are reading daily updates. 

8. What is the biggest life lesson you have learned and who was it from?

The biggest life lesson I have learned was the harder I work, the luckier I get. A lot of what I have done could be put down to luck, but I believe it is how I work, and being myself that clinches it. If I am asked to do something, I will do it with maturity and hard work. This was put to me in many different forms throughout my life from my Mum, Dad and others. However, it was especially put to me by my Uncle Dave in exactly those words. 

9. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, which one would you pick? 

I think it would have to be Hercules. One story that I remember from being small is getting Hercules on video out of the library (yes, that wasn't so long ago), and I had it out for the week. Apparently I watched about 10 times in the row, taking it out immediately and rewinding it. That's good enough grounds to only watch one movie for the rest of my life I think. 

10. What's your most memorable experience of 2015 so far?
My most memorable experience of 2015 so far has to be climbing up a tree on Valentine's Day. It was for photos on my blog, and I thought it was a good idea, but I got stuck up the tree. I had to get some help getting down, but it still makes me smile anyway. 

11. What fear would you most like to conquer?

My fear of needles. I would like to give blood one day (if I ever meet the requirements of the NHS), and a fear of needles stands in the way of that. This irrational fear that is completely in my head caused me a lot of problems, and I need to get over it. 

I would like to nominate 

1. Olivia Cheryl from OlivaCheryl
2. Taylor from Repressing the Crazy
3. Emer from Emer O'Toole
4. Katrin Albert from Katrin Albert
5. BexOoo from The Vegetarian Option

My questions to them are:

1. What TV show are you watching on Netflix at the moment?
2. Coffee or Tea? 
3. If you were stuck on a desert island, what three items would you take with you and why?
4. What beauty item can you not live without?
5. How did you start your blog, what was the inspiration?
6. What did you imagine yourself to be doing right now 5 years ago?
7. Describe the best day you've ever had. 
8. Where in the world would you most like to travel to and why?
9. What would be your superpower? 
10. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
11. What is your greatest achievement to date?
12. What were your dreams when you were small, and how have they changed as you got older?

Comment below with links to your answers, I'd love to read them. 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Hello Everyone, 

Today has been a bit of an off day. I can't seem to find any motivation to get my work done when I should be. I'm feeling like the tasks I have to do are too big that they're pretty scary to think about starting. My game has been off, and I have lost a bit of my working mojo. 

Its not that I don't know what I've got to do, I just haven't got the motivation to start doing it. I am distracted, and its getting difficult to remember the long list is there. It never gets any smaller no matter how much work I do, so what's the point. The goal of Spring Break is coming up, but the fun trip away may not happen as I hoped. I have so much work that I think I may have to be doing that as well as my sightseeing. So no break from work. 

This is a problem with American schools. The pupils can be easily burned out from the sheer volume of work they are expected to do. However, there are people who manage to skate by with barely any work. How can you get a degree by doing that? How can there be any value to something that some people work for and others don't? 

I am working from 9 o'clock until 11 o'clock every night to just about manage to get halfway through my list of assignments. Sometimes not even halfway. Readings more than fifty pages long, sometimes an entire book for one measly class that you don't even spend 15 minutes on. Its a constant battle, one that I am not winning. My grades are not bad, but nowhere as good as they should be. It feels like the lead up to finals week all over again. 

What I need to do is find some kind of motivation to get through what is going to be a difficult few weeks. Its hard to find something that seems never ending. If I promise myself that I will work for 6 hours and then get a break, its not going to work. However, if I promise to myself that for every hour I work hard (with no breaks) then I get a cup of tea and a fifteen minute read of my book, then perhaps it will work. Hopefully, maybe. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Review: Tanya Burr's Nail Polish

Hello Everyone, 

I know this is a little late in the game, as this beauty brand has been in shops for a while now, but I just have to tell you what I think about it. 

I picked up this nail polish with a bit of trepidation, I've had star branded make-up before, and often it has ended up in my junk pile of make-up that I save for things like Halloween body make-up or for re-gifting to younger girls wanting to own their own make-up (a.k.a younger sisters). They are normally cheaply made with awful colours or bad packaging that falls apart as soon as you open it. So I wasn't expecting too much from this nail polish, but I thought I would invest in Tanya and at least try it. 

Boy, were my expectations wrong?! The quality of it is much better than I ever would have thought. It does not chip easily, I have it on my nails currently, and it has lasted almost five days with no hugely noticeable chips. The colour is gorgeous, and the design is pretty good. One problem I have is the square cover for the screw top brush. I was really confused when I first used it as I couldn't work out why it wasn't unscrewing, 

As to the whole Tanya Burr collection, I love all the colours, and it is a pretty good range of different shades. The fact that she has named all the colours individually is really cute as well. It is slightly on the pricey end for nail polishes, but as a gift for someone (especially a tween girl) it would be perfect. The best story I have about this is that one of my friends in Albuquerque watches pretty similar YouTubers to me, and so for her Christmas present I picked her up a nail polish and a lip gloss while I was back home, as they are not available in the USA. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Hello Everyone,

This idea for a post has been playing around in my head for a while now. Months.So, this is going to be a long post. 

Sex. In America, sex sells. It does everywhere else too, but everything and anything is sexualised in the USA. It is one of the most talked about subjects, between both genders. A friend of mine, after only meeting a few times, straight up asked us how many guys we'd been with. Sex is a completely open subject; with most people being completely comfortable telling you about their previous sexual partners, comparing anatomy, different positions and levels of kinkiness. The arrival of 50 Shades of Grey, and its resulting movie, has also brought it into all kinds of media limelight and scrutiny (or since it last was there, which may have been not too long ago, as sex sells). 

This isn't exactly a revelation to me. I'm nineteen, so sex isn't new; it just struck me how much Americans talk about it. And how in depth. I knew more about my American friends sex lives after four months than I do about my friends from high schools'. Yes, people have sex, but it's an kind of abstract concept, a subject skirted around in polite company, no detail to it there. What happens behind closed doors, and all that. It's just accepted, and really only talked about in subtext. 

I said sex is the most talked about subject in America. I don't have any evidence to back up this claim, but from my experience, it's true. Being curious about sex is encouraged, as well as asking questions about others' sex lives (and giving opinions on it). However, even though it could be the most talked about subject, its also the least talked about. I have barely heard any of my friends talk about the emotional questions about sex, which are the ones that I want to know about. 

I am not the most experienced with sex (this might play into why I'm writing this post), in fact, I am one of the least experienced people you could know in this subject. To put it simply, I'm a 19 year old virgin. (Sorry if that was too much information, I'm just being honest, and refuse to be embarrassed about it.) My friends, when doing the polls for our years' Yearbook, voted for me in the category of 'Most Likely to Become an Adult Movie Star', and I came second, because everyone thought it was that hilarious and ironic. I'm not doing it for religious reasons, and I don't intend to wait until marriage to have sex. It just hasn't happened. I haven't had that connection with someone that I'm looking for. I'd quite like to be actually involved with someone at least semi-seriously before I have sex with them. Its not a big deal, it is just how I feel. No matter how lightly America treats the subject, or Britain's ignoring it, sex is a big deal. And not just to fist-timers like me, but everyone. It creates an intimacy between two people that can't be replicated easily. 

I have a friend who struggles with this intimacy, easily developing feelings for guys after they sleep together, with the guys not reciprocating these feelings. She believes that guys only want to sleep with her, and so she lives up to this standard, sleeping with guys who she only recently met. Guys have picked up on this, and have strung her along as their 'booty call' when it is convenient for them, dropping her when it isn't. However, she wants this to change, and I believe she will start to treat having sex with someone more seriously than she has. 

I don't judge. People can do whatever they want with their lives, and if they choose to sleep with lots of people, then all I will say is 'make sure you use protection'. Nevertheless I judge and hate people who blame sex and relationships on other people. Someone, who will remain nameless, slept with someone on the first day that they met, said to them that it was against their morals to have done so, and to perhaps not do it in future, conveniently forgetting that it takes two to tango. You can't have sex with someone and remain totally blameless and judgmental about it to the other person. You can't have your cake and eat it. It's like when men blame women for looking desirable, making it okay to rape and sexually harass someone on these grounds, Not allowed. It angers me so much it is unbelievable. I don't get wound up by too much, but that will do it for me. Hypocrisy combined with a bit of sexism. I have plenty more stories that play along these lines, but I will save them for another time and another post. Guys, listen carefully, I implore you. If you or your friends do this, please point out the horrible double standard you employ. If you sleep with a girl on the first date, and then judge her for it, but when your friends do it, you give them a high five, stop and think about what you're doing. Why is this fair? When is this fair? Ask yourself, if this was happening your sister, or cousin, or girlfriend, or even daughter, anyone you know, how would you feel about this? 

Sex is a big deal, and it should be treated as such. Not such a big deal that it is a taboo subject, that's when judgments and uneducated mistakes starts to happen. It has to be discussed with as much seriousness as it allows. Don't be scared to ask about it, or bring up the uncomfortable issues surrounding it. If you are uncomfortable, or unsure about anything, ask. But remember to laugh. Sex is meant to be fun and enjoyable, no matter how much people like me rant about it. It is a closeness between two people who are living life in the way they choose, and that cannot be forgotten. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Valentine's Day as a Single Gal

Hello Everyone,

Since it has been a year since I started my blog, I thought I would revisit my most popular post from last year. And, since it was just Valentine's Day, it makes sense to do this one.

This Valentines' Day was an interesting one to say the least. Not filled with rose-petals and romance, but memorable either way. I got up early to work on some homework and reading that I had, and then breakfast with my roommate. After this I went outside to take some pictures with my GoPro. I was planning a Spring outfits post for today, but then some things struck me, and changed the post to the one I am doing now.

Valentines' Day is a big deal in America. A much bigger deal than in Britain. It is a day that is heaven if you're in a relationship, and hell if you're not. I've been reminded a lot more that as I don't have a current partner at the moment, then I am failing miserably in society's expectations of me. I am supposed to be only trying to meet the guy of my dreams, as well as getting my career sorted and becoming financially independent from my parents. Having it all, and having it all sorted by the time I'm thirty maximum. Why does Valentines' day have to put so much pressure on people to have the picture perfect life?

I'm not sure if this is what guys feel at Valentines' Day, but as Barney Stinson points out, not having a date on 14th February means that a lot of girls get desperate, so guys can take advantage of this desperation. We feel like we have to be in a relationship, and be loved as a result. There is a failure in this way of thinking about Valentine's Day, that its encouraged to be in any relationship, no matter how new or unhealthy they are.

I have many happy Valentines' Days, my best friend would often leave cute little presents at my front door with no note attached, almost like my own secret admirer. Last years' Valentines' was pretty eventful and comedic. This year was no different. Long story short, I got stuck up a tree. I'm not normally this accident prone, but it seems something in me wants to take back Valentines' Day for me. I'm single, cool, and have no need for someone else to define me. Keep it in perspective. Its just one day of the year. Nobody should be ashamed of being alone, ever. I'd rather be a single, well grounded person than an emotional wreck in a relationship (and I mean toxic relationships that mess with your psyche and put you in a bad place). Take your Valentines' Day back for yourself in some way, and be happy with the way you are. Don't be ashamed of your singleness, and don't hate on those lucky enough to be in a relationship either. Let them have their celebrations together, and be happy that they have someone to share it with. You'll get it one day.

There are 365 days in a year. One of them is Valentines' Day. That's a lot of time where not being in a relationship doesn't matter. So don't let that one day make a difference. And remember: Tomorrow's another day.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Five on Friday

Hello Everyone,

It's time for me to revisit the fun link up Five on Friday, with AprilDarciChristina and Natasha. This one is full of my fun Go Pro pictures that I have taken in the last week. 

Although my hand looks pretty weird in this, and I'm not smiling, I really like the naturalness of this photo. I was actually fixing the camera as it had fallen from its spot, and I'm just in the right spot at the right time. 
This is me actually posing, and as you can tell, I need to work on making sure the composer and placement in the photo is much more thought through. The sun is slightly too prominent in the photo, drowning out anything close to it in shadow, which is may face in this case. I either needed to be sitting higher, or the camera at a different angle. However, its not the worse photo I have ever taken. 

I'm posing pretty hard in this one, but I like the way it turned out more than the last one. It's slightly more thought provoking. What is she looking at? What is she thinking about? What music is she listening to? Unfortunately I can't remember any of the answers. Make up your own. 


Just about to try to do some reading in the sun. And posing. With a rather large hat. 

And this is not a Go Pro picture, but a picture of a Go Pro. That number is the number of pictures I have on my memory card. 

Thursday, 12 February 2015


Hello Everyone, 

Last weekend, I went bouldering for the first time. A group of friends and I climbed a big hill covered in boulders. That's pretty much what we did for the day. It was really fun. I used to do things like this when I was a child visiting my cousins in Dundee, we would walk along the beach and my elder cousin and I would climb on the rocks as far as we could. This was like that, but more extreme. Lots and lots of fun. We were the slower of the two groups we went with, but mostly because we kept stopping for 'photo-ops'. There were some glorious views over looking Albuquerque, and the weather was fantastic. I didn't even get sunburned! 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

One Year On...

Hello Everyone, 

It's been exactly one year since I started my blog. Can you believe it? I've been doing this for a year. My most read posts are:

My Valentines as a Single Gal 103 visits

Letters From America: A Couple of Bad Days 63 visits

Glitz, Glamour, and a Giant Banana 63 visits

Alcohol 58 visits

Dealing With Disappointment  53 visits

Writing is my past-time. I do it because I love it. My blog has given me the chance to do something I love everyday, or as often as I want. I have had to deal with my own deadlines, school deadlines and everything else life throws at you, while writing my blog. It causes you to think about writing in a different way, having to think of new ideas everyday. You have to allow your brain to be constantly looking for inspiration, and open to inspiration from different places.

I have learned that numbers aren't everything in the blogging game (unless that's the whole reason you got into blogging). I used to try to advertise and boost my posts all the time, and in doing so, I really irritated the people I was trying to get to read my blog. A bit counter-productive, wouldn't you say? If you keep writing, then people will read. There is more to blogging than numbers, and you can't predict what will be a viral hit. Nobody can. So stop trying if that's all you want, these things barely happen to someone you know unless what they produce is really unique. 

I have done so many things that I perhaps wouldn't have done if I hadn't been blogging, or I wouldn't have recorded as much of my life. I have gotten better at photography, and at writing. I think more carefully about the words I use, and I have read a much more varied repertoire of writing styles that I wouldn't have read if I wasn't blogging. 

I'm still learning, and I won't always get it right. There will be times when I slip, and lose my focus, but I'm trying. I'm doing something that is out of my comfort zone, and I will get better at it in time. After all, you can't become a 'perfect writer', just better. The English language is so diverse, that there is no right way to finding a writing style. Other people will always have put it a different way, but that's fine. I'll find what I'm looking for, eventually. I'm just not entirely sure what it is yet. 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Going Out

Hello Everyone, 

Every girl loves going out. Especially, the getting ready to go out. Picking your outfit, choosing the accessories, and doing make-up. Its the only time it is perfectly acceptable to spend half an hour in the shower doing absolutely nothing. However, my favourite part is doing my makeup. I will spend so much time doing, just because I am going out. There are some items that I will never leave for a night out without them in my make-up bag. 

Simple Ultra-Light Gel Moisturiser
An extra light moisturiser is perfect as a base for make-up. It is especially good as being ultra light, it stops you looking quite so shiny when you're sweating on the dance floor. The gel formula holds onto your make-up pretty well too, so you don't really need a primer, unless you have ultra oily skin. 

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder Tansparent
Mattifying powder is a must when I go out, and this is the best one I have ever used on the high street. I use instead of foundation, but it can be used as a setting powder for your base, giving you a matte finish that lasts all day and night. It comes in a variety of colours, including Transparent, so it is suitable for all skin types. 

Rimmel London Gel Eyeliner in Black/Emerald
Depending on the look I'm going for, I will generally use either black gel eyeliner, or Kate Moss's Emerald. Everyone loves a winged eyeliner, and I love using interesting shades and colours, so these are perfect. 

(From left to right) Tanya Burr Lipgloss Vampire Kiss, Max Factor Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tint in 09, Clinique Red-y to Wear
Red lips are my signature 'look' for a night out, so I have a slightly large collection of red lips. I use stain, gloss and classic lipstick. These three are my favourite. The Clinique is a blue toned red that reminds me of Marilyn Monroe, it is a glossy, glamorous finish that reminds me of the Hollywood Golden Age. The Max Factor Lip Tint has incredibly good colour pay-off, it will last all day with no bleeding. The Tanya Burr Vampire Kiss Gloss was a Christmas present to myself, and it is gorgeous, it can be worn by itself or with the stain. 

Mac Amplified Lipstick in Violetta
Although you can never go wrong with a red lip, sometimes I want to try something a little different, and my love of interesting colours means that I am often drawn to this. A gorgeous purple with a slight shimmer to it with a satin finish, this is fantastic if you want to spice up your normal make-up look. 

L'Oreal Paris Colour Appeal Trio Pro Blue Eyes
Creating a smoky eye could not be easier with this little kit. This one is made specifically for blue eyes, but there are some for other colours too. It makes my eyes pop, and is very versatile with other palettes and in creating different shapes with the shadow. 

New Look Pure Colour Glitter Nail Polish in Rose Gold
This adds a little sparkle to every outfit. Simply apply a coat over existing nail polish, or for a more subtle approach, use a clear base coat, and apply on its own. Rose gold is a lovely colour, and will enhance any nail colour.