What I got for my birthday: Age 23

I’ll start by saying that of course this post isn’t me boasting though I think considering the popularity of these posts on Youtube and on blogs the attitude towards them has changed. Honestly, the reason I love doing these posts is because I like having them as a log of my birthdays each year. I have a memory like a sieve so it’s nice for me to be able to look back and see what I got and did. Either way, I hope you enjoy this post and don’t think that I’m bragging!

This year I was 23 and ridiculously I wasn’t looking forward to it. I have a complex that the older I got the more I have not achieved enough for my age. I forgot sometimes what I’ve actually done and I should be proud. Also, I should not be paranoid about ageing – my chubby cheeks effectively make that impossible (at least for now!).

First of all thank you to everyone who sent me cards and well wishes, Rosie and her family, my nan and Grandad, Karen (to mention a few) – you all know who you are. Thank you to everyone who gave me birthday money as well, which went towards my Lazy Oaf sample sale expenditure. A few people also got me presents as well on the list I just mentioned including shampoo + conditioner and bath stuff – I’ve not had a chance to try any of this yet so haven’t included it below but it all looks amazing and thank you!

Also, my colleagues at work were lovely and got me gifts, which they didn’t need to do, as well as surprised me with a cake (which, was embarrassing because despite the way I look sometimes I don’t like attention, ha, ha).

From my boyfriend…

A camera!!!

Anyone who knows me is aware that a camera is something that I’ve wanted a long time for taking photographs when I’m travelling, for this blog (!) and because I wanted to start my own YouTube channel. I had suspected this might be what Martin was getting me but he tried to throw me off the scent several times by telling me I hadn’t guessed what he had got me yet. When I opened his present on my birthday my reaction was to yell at him for spending so much but he said he’d been saving up for a while and eventually I conceded to not forcing him to send it back.

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For anyone wondering the camera I got is a Canon 1300D (I also got a cute camera bag to go with it!) and it’s a DLSR so it can take photographs and also shoot video. I’ve already used it to film a YouTube video (check out my last blog post) and take lots of shameless outfit pictures such as this one:

From my boyfriend’s family…

A tripod

Since Martin was in charge of coordinating what I wanted for my birthday he asked his family to get me a tripod to go alongside my new camera for YouTube videos. This came in an absolutely unnecessarily big box so I was very confused when this first arrived but as soon as I knew my first present was a camera I knew what this was.

I’ve only used it a few times but I’d definitely recommend this tripod to beginners as it’s really easy to use and doesn’t have complicated mechanisms (if you’ve used a tripod before you should be fine with this one!)

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From my granddad….

Harry Potter charm bracelet 

This is actually super cute and beautiful. My mum told me my Grandad bought this at a craft fair and I’m not surprised as you can tell that a lot of care and attention went into this bracelet by someone who is truly a Harry Potter fan. I probably am not going to be able to show each individual charm and sorry that I don’t know exactly who made this but it will go great with my Ravenclaw Danielle Nicole bag.

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Owl ornament 

This is a fun addition to my many ornaments that litter our flat. I might try to vary the decor for the seasons so I think this will look great for autumn when I plan to go for a bit more of a muted palette than you are used to from me!

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From my mother…

Miley Cyrus glitter converse

When I saw the Miley Cyrus x Converse collaboration I got very excited and then very overwhelmed trying to decide which shoe was favourite. Eventually, I settled on this low top silver glitter pair as I thought they’d go with more of my wardrobe and I needed a pair of everyday comfortable converse. Since my mum was ordering these for my birthday I went safe with sizing and went for a size 5 (UK) but I think these are a tad too big and I should have ordered the half size. They’re not uncomfortably big however and if you were going to make me into a shoe it would definitely be this one. Still, it’s a miracle they’ve lasted this long without me making them a lot more dirty.

I’m pretty sure but I haven’t investigated yet that if you’re not a fan of the M.C. for Miley on the laces you can take that off. I would love to get the pink ‘Get Out of My Way’ lace locks from Just Peachy to put on here and if I save up enough to make another order (because I know it will be a big one, ha, ha) I’ll definitely post it here.

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From my friend, Callie…

Birthday cake

Every year Callie makes a birthday cake for everyone she knows on their birthday. I insisted that she didn’t have to this year but she is stubborn as a mule so in the end I just let her get on with it. I don’t have a picture because honestly I just forgot to take one but it was a super pretty pink Victoria sponge style cake that essentially was pure sugar! She also got me some Lindt chocolate as well which may or not have fallen victim to my stomach already but was special because she remembered that my favourite is the little blue extra creamy one.

Sugarpill Cosmetics x Little Twin Stars eyeshadow palette 

I’ve wanted this for quite a while simply because it is so adorable. However, I could never bring myself to buy it because my heart told me to get the set even though I wouldn’t wear the lipsticks but wanted the makeup bag and box whereas my head told me I just needed the eyeshadow palette. Luckily, Callie listened to my head and got me the eyeshadow palette, which I love. Honestly, it’s quite small for what I bet Callie paid for it but after trying it out a bit there is quite a bit of product in there. I think this is more for people who really love Sanrio or the particular shades in the palette though. For me, it was worth it for the pink glitter shade in there on its own because it is literally my perfect pink glitter eyeshadow (I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when I used it all).

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Primark 101 Dalmatians bag 

I’ve styled this on my Instagram already but on reflection I think my face in the image ruins it ha, ha because I don’t think having a grumpy face is really me so am considering deleting the post (but I don’t like doing that so am conflicted). This is such a cute bag and I love that it’s huge as I didn’t really have a bag like that where I can chuck all my stuff in. It will also be a great addition to any Disney trip, as I feel 90% of my wardrobe is me thinking about how it would look at Disney!

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There’s my little birthday haul – thank you again to all my family and friends! While twenty free has not been treating me amazingly so far; I think the rest of this year will definitely pick up!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

-Blog posts Thursday and Sundays-

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Happy National Siblings Day: Why I love having sisters

I’ve been informed by the internet that it is National Siblings Day today. Although, I think this may just be for America; I’m going to write something anyway because I think sometimes we take our siblings for granted!

Luckily, growing up I don’t think I had too many squabbles with my siblings (I think to be honest we all lacked the effort). Most of the memories we share of each other is either of me bossing them around (i.e. most people’s memory of their time with me) or the ridiculous things we got up to, which leads me to the reasons I love having siblings.

The memories 

I don’t think anyone gets your in jokes as much as your siblings do. Although, the tale of my sister getting her head trapped in a table I find hilarious when telling anyone; I’ll admit it doesn’t lead to hysterics as much as it does when told between us. Also, I don’t think you get the full weight of the look my (other sister – they’re twins) sister had on her face when she looked like a mermaid after almost being swept away by the sea unless you were there to witness it.

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Helping each other by learning from each others mistakes 

As the oldest sibling I feel like I had the opportunity to make most of the mistakes but they didn’t feel as bad when I realised that at least hopefully my sisters would learn from me and not do the same thing. However, the only downside is that being the oldest also meant I was always the guinea pig in regards to parenting and my sisters got to go into town by themselves and have phones at a younger age than I was.

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Sharing information 

I don’t think this is unique to a family of only sisters but personally for me I love that we all have a similar shared experience that we can draw on, i.e. we can all truly sympathise when the other has a painful period.

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My sisters are awesome 

I am so proud of my sisters. They’re awesome, way more stylish than I will ever be and truly independent, sassy, little (in height) women. One of the best parts of having sisters is getting to see them grow up and go through life and continue to get more and more awesome.

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Someone that I can always talk to 

Sometimes for me at least talking to people can require putting in a lot of concentration and effort but when you talk to your siblings you can just be yourself because they already know all the bad/ ridiculous things about you anyway. It’s the same sort of relationship you can also get with your significant other or a close friend however there is that added security that they can’t abandon you because otherwise my mum would yell at them (ha, ha).

They know exactly how to roast you

This might seem like a bad thing to some people but there is something weirdly reassuring about someone knowing you well enough to know exactly how to make fun of your silly moments. The added benefit is you can roast them back as well.

For me however the best thing about having siblings is having someone to gossip with or talk about things you’ve mutually inherited. An added plus is when you can steal each other’s clothes (though I stand by they’ve stolen more of mine than I ever did of theirs).

Also, while you’re here go check out my sister’s art project for her University course: @_we_are_1_ on Instagram and give them a follow! My sister is a great photographer so you won’t be disappointed!

April (April is the Cruellest Month)

– Blog posts Thursday and Sundays- 

My top nine blog posts of 2017

So I was scrolling across Instagram and I saw one of those posts with a user’s top nine posts for the year, and I thought it might be fun to do it for my blog. Mainly, to be honest because this is helpful for me to see what kind of content everyone likes, and also because it gives me an excuse to reminiscence over what I’ve written for the year.

Overall, I’ve actually posted 44 posts this year (45 once the post before this post is published). Honestly, I hadn’t realised it was that many (though it might seem a lot to some) so it made me feel a little bit better about this blog, as lately I know I’ve not been putting enough time and effort in.

My first post if anyone is interested was on March the 15th 2017 (so this blog is still less than a year old!). At this time of writing 23 people follow this blog, which I know only makes this blog a small drop in the ocean but means so much to me.

However, before I get soppy, without further ado, my most popular post of 2017 was…

Lazy Oaf Sample Sale Haul 

I am still a bit upset that there has not been a part 2 to this post, as I was unable to make the sample sale in December. However, I am determined to make the sample sale in June next year, so be prepared for a part two. I tried to be as honest about the whole experience as possible, so I hope the post has helped some people who haven’t been to a Lazy Oaf sample sale before. I know the posts I read about the December sample sale were very useful (with my main take away being that prices have gone up due to more of the stock being one off pieces rather than samples), so I can only hope that my post has done the same for some people- especially as it’s my most viewed post!

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What I got for my Birthday: 2017 (Aged 22) 

Although, I know that I personally love watching videos or reading posts about what other people got for their birthday or for Christmas because I’m nosy; I am still shocked this is my second most viewed post. Mostly, because I find this kind of content interesting usually because I have been following someone for a certain amount of time, so know that the gifts they are likely to receive would also be something I’d want also. I don’t think that’s the case with my post, but thank you to everyone who has read it, and I hope it inspired you gift wise, or at least made decent reading.

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Hello Kitty Topshop Pop Up Shop Mini Haul 

I am not going to lie I’m quite pleased this is my third most viewed post, as when I did attend the pop up shop; I hadn’t been able to find that many blog posts or vlogs about the shop at all online. While, my photography skills are still very much lacking I did try to show the entirety of the collection, and give an idea about prices, so visitors knew what to expect. I still use the phone case I bought from that trip (though I think I need to update!) so it’s nice to know the trip that I am reminded of a lot in my everyday life is on this list.

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This Belle ‘Beauty and the Beast’ cosplay is goals 

This was actually the first ever post on this blog, so it will always have a special place in my heart. First of all, I just want to say a big thank you to the cosplayers and all the photographers who helped make this post a reality. Especially, as it really is the content that you all provided that make this post come to life. I have admired the cosplayers in this post for a long time so it was absolute honour to conduct this interview.

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Image: Laura Beresford Photography

Feminist Reading Journey: Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

While my feminist reading journey posts are definitely not over though perhaps on a little bit of a hiatus; it is definitely encouraging to know that this is one of my most viewed blog posts. I have no idea why this post is so much more popular than the other posts in the series. Perhaps, I actually reviewed the book more than usual in this post, and didn’t go off on a tangent though I just read back the post and there was a big tangent before the post even started!

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Image: The Kawaii Kollective

Dodie’s ‘Secret for the Mad’ Book Review (and Pop up shop) 

Since ‘Secrets for the Mad’ is up there with my favourite books of 2017 (let me know if you’d like a whole post about what were actually my favourite books of the year); I am very happy that this is one of my most viewed posts as it is also one of my last posts of 2017. I’m also very happy to say that I am going to see Dodie in April next year (I can’t wait!!!), so hopefully there will be a concert post coming your way (which, will most likely be my first ever concert review/ post!).

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Riverdale’s Archie and Miss Grundy and the worrying repeated sexualisation of student-teacher relationships

Ok, so I have a major confession in relation to this post and that is that I really need to catch up with Riverdale. As I ashamed to say I still have not finished season one. Something, I am going to make sure I change this year, especially since so many of you seem to enjoy this post. If I can get organised enough, I’d love to do reviews of episodes or of seasons as a whole.

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Image: Riverdale/ The CW/ Netflix 

I’ve officially finished my Master’s degree 

This post was one of the posts I was most nervous about sharing this year, but I am so glad I did. Since then, my courage about what I post, and even what I say in ‘real life’ has gone up so much. Yes, I’m still nervous, and unbearably awkward when I don’t know someone well, but I’m a lot more honest, which is just such a relief for me on so many occasions.

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The Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf Collection is here 

I’m happy that there is at least one other fashion related post on this list because fashion is really what I would like to try and blog more about this year. This collection is what truly got me into Lazy Oaf, and since then not only has my ‘style game’ in my opinion got more quirky and improved, but I’ve had so much fun talking to people who love the brand also. I can’t wait to see what the brand comes up with in 2018, and I hope to expand my collection even more this year!

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So there it is, my top nine for 2017. I know since it’s New Years Day this post is coming maybe a bit late. But I also know I’m unashamedly going to be posting more reflective posts all this year (as long as it’s the first week of the year it’s ok, right?). I personally can’t wait to see what this year will bring from fellow bloggers, and on my own blog. I’m so happy that I finally actually have a blog after wanting one for years so to be honest I’m over the moon and ecstatic everytime I get a view or a comment.

Thank you to anyone who has read my blog and made that happen.

April

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