- Sunday, 26 April 2015 -

Country girl confessions

Hello you lovely lot! This weekend marked my triumphant return back to bonny old England for my final semester of 2nd year. I stepped off the plane and breathed a heavy sigh of relief to have returned to civilisation - because for the past month I've been existing in a perpetual state of rurality, with shops scattered every 5 miles or so and a ratio where there's more cows than people. I went to bed this weekend drinking in the sounds of the city, practically vibrating with excitement that I could pop to the shops right now if I wanted to, a choice you never have when living in the country.

When you're from the country, going into town becomes an event - an escape from the humdrum happenings of provincial life. I remember as I teenager I yearned for a life lived in the town, the accessibility of it all. I eyed my fellow youths with envy as they strolled about the shops in packs, not having to be driven everywhere, literally having the world at their feet. But nope, I'm stuck at home in the middle of nowhere with fields as far as the eye can see. 

As a tight-knitted community, it's our duty to know everything about everyone; we make it our business to know everyone else's. Oh why yes, I have heard that Mary down the road is expecting and that Matthew Thomas just passed his driving test (albeit on his second go). I can recall the moment when I opened my GCSE results to discover I passed and on that very day, there came a crusade of congratulatory cards - because when you're living in the country, word travels fast.

You gain a certain amount of qualities and quirks when you live in the country, you develop a dialect all your own, as your speech becomes that little bit harsher and all the more inaudible, tractors are referred to as "her" and the answer to everything is "aye". We are a very resourceful bunch of people, having picked fruit for food and knowing how to gather eggs without getting pecked, we definitely aren't shy of a bit of hard work. 

I am and always will be a farmers daughter. I have many a memory ushering cows into fields and wincing every time my dad offered me freshly squeezed milk. My childhood primarily consists of me climbing clumsily over fences, picking apples off trees and being absolutely convinced that I could speak to animals. As an only child, making my own entertainment was expected, the outdoors was my playground and the animals, my friends. I'd spend hours frolicking in the fields going on adventures in the afternoon and then spend my balmy summer evenings fishing for tadpoles in a jam jar; life was good.

The sights, sounds and smells of the countryside are unmistakable - the luscious greenery that blankets fields upon fields, the hearty bleating of sheep, and of course the strong whiff in the air that tells you its silage season. I grew up surrounded by nature and am so thankful I have it to retreat to whenever my colourful city takes its tole; because you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.

- Wednesday, 22 April 2015 -

Drugstore Haul: Think Pink!

Hello my lovelies! For the longest time when I was younger, I despised the colour pink. I abhorred its affiliation with femininity and how mothers would plaster their babies in pink to validate the gender of their child by colour. However, in a twist of fate, pink's kinda become like my own brand, it's what people recognise me for, dubbing me "Claire with pink hair" and I'm okay with that. So, like a magpie obsessed with shiny objects, the moment I enter a store, I find myself subliminally draw to anything pink or pastely. 

Like, do you ever have a shopping splurge where everything's themed? A homeware haul where everything's pineapple printed or a collection of makeup that consists purely of natural tones, where some may call this obsessive, I call it organised! Whilst drifting around Boots quite recently, I managed to pick up a few bits and bobs - because no one ever goes into Boots with the agenda of buying the whole store, it's usually just face wipes I need or nail varnish remover, yet it still somehow manages to reel me in like a moth to a 3-for-2-on-selected-items flame.

Since sweeping onto the scene, Micellar water has proven hugely popular. Used predominantly to remove makeup, it appears to be the softer solution to dragging a face wipe across the surface. As I'm quite partial to a bit of pretty packaging, I eyed Soap and Glory's Drama Clean 5-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water, quickly skimming the label and learning that it included essences of peach extracts and cucumber juice - perfect for summer! As you can already imagine, it boasts a fresh, cucumber aroma, so it smells lovely and clean before you've even applied it to your face. As I'm quite prone to a pimple or two, I was hesitant to introduce this new addition to my cleaning routine, however I've found that it removes makeup effortlessly without causing any irritation at all.

I've been a huge fan of the Barry M Gelly collection for a while now, usually indulging in the more minty tones, I decided to go for a change, and so picked up Rose Hip. Looking like I've spilt strawberry milkshake over my hands, Rose Hip has become my go-to summer colour - displayed as a candyfloss pink, it's sure to add a pop of colour to any outfit. After application, the Gelly collection gives your nails a glossy finish; I added about 3 coats onto my nails to make them nice and opaque, really giving the colour that boost!

I've been itching to try out a product from the Bleach London collection ever since it was released, as a brightly coloured hair gal, it was really only a matter of time before I was drawn into the shiny promise of a new product. Remaining loyal to my Directions hair dye, I decided not to opt for Bleach London's range of hair colouring, but instead was tempted to try their Rosé shampoo and conditioner. Anyone with coloured hair reading this will understand the struggle to keep the hue of your hair bright and intense, because after so many washes, it'll naturally tend to dull and wash out. Not noticing a huge change right away, I decided to persevere with the Rosé duo - and I'm SO glad I did! Just as the label suggests, yes, the changes are subtle, but I'm happy to report that if you're wanting your pink hair to stretch that extra mile without wanting to re-dye, then THIS is your stuff!

I'm a religious lipstick user - I never stray into the unknown territory of lipgloss or tinted lipbalm so this next product really was a game changer. I just love how the Clinque Chubby Stick looks, shaped like a pencil, you can just pop it into your purse on the go. I opted for Whoopin' Watermelon, which is a bright pink in appearance, the chubby stick glides on giving your lips a lovely and moisturised glossy finish. Unless you have naturally pale lips, you won't notice much of a colour difference - as my lips are already quite a bright pink, it's the sheen more than anything that'll make the difference. 

Have you bought anything from Boots recently?

- Thursday, 16 April 2015 -

A Little Life Update

Hello my lovelies! For those of you who know me personally, you will have been let into a little secret that developed earlier this week, no, I haven't been offered a blogger book deal, nor am I jetting off to somewhere in the sun, instead I've been awarded an internship at a wonderful creative agency in Newcastle! Many of you may know that internships in any industry are few and far between, so I was absolutely overjoyed to learn that I'd be joining the team at Keltie Cochrane, where I'll be honing my design skills as well as growing my insiders knowledge of the industry. 

I'll be working 4 days a week in the studio, granting me a glorious 3 day weekend to unwind and recharge. The placement spans over the duration of 3 months, where at the end I'll hopefully (fingers crossed!) be offered a full-time position. It's so crucial for me to get my foot in the design door, as experience really is everything these days, so I feel that the mounting pressure to obtain placement has finally been deflated and I can breath again and actually enjoy what I do.  

Right now, with the run up to university deadlines, I feel as though I'm a machine, merely churning out the work demanded - meaning that I've unfortunately had little or no time for blogging or any social media interactions this past while. However, I have been working on something special: my very own logo! Please have a look and let me know what you think :)

- Saturday, 11 April 2015 -

You Know You Were a 90s Kid When...

Hello my lovelies! I don't think I've ever lost grasp of the 90s - still captivated by catching them all on Pokemon, and breathing a little gasp of joy every time I see an original Polly Pocket sitting pretty in a charity shop, I love the nostalgia that blooms inside you, transporting you back to a simpler time. From time to time, I still like to indulge in the nostalgia of the 90s, whether it's flicking over to a game of The Crystal Maze on TV or simply screaming Wannabe at the top of my lungs as The Spice Girls come on the radio. There are some things that I don't miss though: I sometimes still can't quite believe the convenience of wireless internet, not having to experience the gruelling moan of the dreaded dial-up connection and the painful prospect of being interrupted as your parents declare that they need to use the phone during your mid-surfing session. Although I'd never ever want to trade my memories of the decade, these truly are the experiences every 90s child will understand...

The agonising disappointment of opening up a new CD only to discover that the lyrics on the leaflet are missing. How else are we to rhyme off all the words of track number 3?!

"Aww, my Nokia 3210 has just ran out of battery" - said no one EVER. 

Rolling into school with those stick-on earrings attached to each ear, nodding in pride as you confess to your friends that yes, you did just have your ears pierced.

Being absolutely buzzing as you come down to breakfast in the morning and cracking open a new box of cereal, only to find to your delight a new fiddly toy to amuse you for all of 10 minutes.

You feed it, you nourished it, you loved it. Yet somehow your damn Tamagotchi pet still managed to die.

Kitting out your room with inflatable furniture, dream catchers and a mountain of Beanie Babies sat in a corner.

Attempting to keep up with the current slang of your classmates with phrases like "I know you are but what am I", "Talk to the hand because the face ain't listening" and "Take a picture it lasts longer" Sassy. As. FUCK.

Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were the greatest TV channels on earth. Wanting to be Bubbles or Blossom but never Buttercup (The Powerpuff Girls) and desperately wanting to know what orange soda tastes like (Kenan and Kel).

Pokemon trading cards, Pogs and Tazos were basically playground currency.

Thinking the Goosebumps books were scary, only to be exposed to the television series and never wanting to sleep alone again.

Whenever a friend approaches you asking where you got your sweet accessories or bitchin' clothes from, only to respond with either Tammy Girl or Claire's.

Having a love/hate relationship with your Furby.

When technology was so much simpler - repairing a Nintendo game cartridge by blowing in it and saving all of your shit on floppy discs.

Going on a long drive with your parents and torturing them with hours upon hours of obsessively playing Bop It.

- Saturday, 4 April 2015 -

Penny For Your Thoughts

Hello my lovelies! Does anyone else find themselves engulfed in their own thoughts? Caught in a turbulent current of swirling emotions, there are times where I wish my mind could just switch off. At night time, when I'm lying in bed waiting for sweet sleep to carry me off to dreamland, I find that instead, a flurry of thoughts consume me, and while I wait for the usual stampede of stress to rear its ugly head, my mind plays host to what can only be described as complete randomness: "will they ever discover a new colour?" or "instead of elections, I'd like to see politicians go into the Hunger Games". 

I've always had a very colourful imagination and from time to time I do share my crazy little thoughts and theories with others - I remember I once mentioned to Martin that isn't it strange to think that the brain actually named itself (I'll just let that sink in), only to be met with a remark like "HOW do you think of these things?" So, I thought I'd share with you dear readers a taste of what goes on in the mind of someone who probably thinks a little bit too much...

I wish that everything I add to my basket when I do online shopping, will miraculously appear in my wardrobe

Why isn’t there a unicorn emoji?

The skin on coffee/soup/hot chocolate is evil

I wish I was a jar of Nutella. Then I’d make everyone happy.

Is it me or is Kevin Spacey really hot?

Whenever I don’t wear makeup it looks like I survived something fucking terrible

When I get a ladder in a new pair of tights it feels like the WHOLE UNIVERSE IS AGAINST ME

I wonder why dogs and cats hate each other so much, was there some sort of feral battle that history left out?

Rappers really scare me

Ya’know what I miss? Beanie babies, oh and toys in cereal boxes *sigh*

Imagine if a Lush store flooded though…

Do you ever just wish you had a tail? Just me? Okay.

Why can’t I have a cool name like Violet or Zelda or Princess Lululunatrixiebell

Whoever invented crocs obviously just wanted to watch the world burn

Why does Katy Perry think I feel like a plastic bag? 

Maybe I’ll just watch one more episode on Netflix *10 episodes later* WHY!?

Why couldn’t have Ariel from The Little Mermaid just written down what was happening to her?