20 Before 20: Revisited // LIFESTYLE

This time last year, I wrote a list of things I wanted to accomplish or do by the time I was twenty years old.

This year, as I write this, I’m still nineteen. There’s still time, I suppose. But by the end of the week I have entered my 20’s. I will be in the third decade of my life. I will no longer be a “teen”. Read More »

Autumn Favourites 2017!

Wow… it’s been a little while since I’ve done a ‘favourites’ post. I tend not to make monthly favourites, purely because I’m poor, and man can’t afford enough new stuff to write about every month! Also because at this current moment, I’m making two blog posts and two YouTube videos (check out my YouTube channel here!) per month. Which may not seem like much in terms of content, but I’m happy with it.

So, to wrap up the November on this blog I thought it would be fitting to wrap up a few of the things I’ve been loving these past few months as the weather’s gotten colder (yessss), days have gotten shorter (double yessss) and the great C-word approaches (Christmas, I mean Christmas). So here they are!

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Wearing

Mustard Jumper – H&M

Ah yes, this is where I give myself away as the absolute epitome of a female blogger: the mustard knitted jumper. But damn, do I love it. It was super cheap (like £6???) and I’ve gotten so much wear out of it already. I must admit, I was worried I wouldn’t suit the mustard, but I think I get away with it. Definitely #worthit.

Tan Leather Rucksack – Accessorize

This was one of my more extravagant purchases of autumn 2017, which sounds a bit weird considering it’s a rucksack. And it’s not one of those weird super-expensive Swedish ones either. But for me, buying a bag from Accessorize is pushing it a bit. But I figured I need a good quality backpack to last me a few years of uni, and I use this every day. For uni, going to Connor’s house, and even taking to work. I’m mega-fussy when it comes to bags and purses, etc. so this was perfect. Even if it did slightly break the bank at the time.

Using

Fragrance Free Lip Balm – Superdrug

Ah, Winter. Thou art a heartless bitch on the lips and skin. Which is why I needed to find a new solution when my trusty lip balm ran out. And yes, I did actually go for the simplest, cheapest option out there, it was a good choice. A cheeky pack of two means I’m never without a quick fix for dry lips (try saying that five times fast), and they do the job.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Facial Wash

Speaking of winter and its effects on the skin, boy oh boy does my skin HATE the change in seasons. But this has seriously helped. A combination of a good face wash every day, moisturizer and drinking lots of water helps keep the breakouts mostly under control. Also, this one smells super good.

Reading

The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Okay so… I’ve read QUITE A LOT these past few months. Might have something to do with the fact that I have a BookTube channel all about the books I read. (and I’m almost at 50 subscribers so!!!) but yes, I’ve read a lot. However, as university work has gotten more prevalent in my life, reading has unfortunately gone on the back burner. So at the moment I’m slowly making my way through The Mortal Instruments (yes, I know I’m ten years late).

I started off not loving the world of the shadowhunters too much, mainly due to personal dislike for Cassandra Clare’s writing style, however the series and characters have definitely grown on me and I can see this series staying with me for a long time! If you want to find out about my opinions on this series as I continue reading (I’m currently on the fourth book), then make sure to subscribe to my channel!

Listening To

Harry Styles by Harry Styles

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Okay so I was never ever ever a 1D fan. Nothing against them, I just was slightly too old to love them, and slightly too young to hate them. But out of a need for new music recently (after listening to the same 4 bands for the past like 5 years), I decided to give Harry’s album a go. Even though I didn’t like Sign of the Times when I first heard it, I LOVE this album. I think Harry is by far the most talented out of the group, and his personal style truly shines through in this album. It has hints of classic rock, ballads, and even country at times, and I absolutely love it. Every song makes me want to sit staring out a train window and leave my old life behind in a turn-around montage, you know? It’s that kind of music.

Watching

Stranger Things

Come on. We all know this would be on here. If this isn’t on everyone’s Autumn favourites then they are LYING. I have not met one single person who hasn’t loved this show, and season two that blasted into my life at the end of October was everything I could have hoped for for my Hawkins children and more. I love each and every one of the characters and storylines so much, and this season truly did just expand on the Strange World and the characters I loved the first time around. It’s one of the best pieces of cinematic artwork I’ve ever seen, and I even used it as inspiration for one of my university presentations. That’s how much I love it.

The Vampire Diaries

It may have taken me eight years (this show first aired in 2009. 2009?!?!), but last night I finally finished The Vampire Diaries. And I full-on sobbed for the last five minutes of the last episode (sorry, Connor). I’ve been through many ups and downs with this show, and I can easily say it is not the best show I’ve ever seen. At times, it actually felt like I was physically being thrown into a fantasy writer’s worst nightmare, what with the plot holes and convoluted storylines, but I did feel an attachment to many of the characters, and I’m so glad it ended in the way it did. But if I think about it too much, I’ll never shut up. So let’s move on.

Miscellaneous

YouTube

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I know I’ve spoken about this multiple times in this post alone and I’m SORRY (but I’m also not sorry), but I’ve started a YouTube channel! I’m currently posting one video a fortnight, and trying to get motivated to do more (maybe over Christmas?) but I basically just talk about books! Books I’ve read, my opinions on books, and I even have a series on book recommendations for each of the Hogwarts houses!

I’m loving the whole feel of creating videos for my YouTube channel, and coming up with ideas for the future is just as exciting as seeing people commenting and enjoying them, and I can’t wait to put more effort into my channel into the future, since I’m finally doing something I’ve always wanted to do (make YT videos) while making it about something I’ve always had a passion for!

University Life

And finally, I’ve been loving uni life. While I’ve not been the typical fresher, what with living at home (check out why I decided to this here), and with not being really into the whole alcohol culture that comes with uni, I’ve been loving learning again.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to get a degree for a long time, but after deciding on what I wanted to do in the future, I knew it was a step I had to take to get where I wanted to go, and I’m going to embrace every second of it. Starting uni has given me the opportunity to keep my innocence and act like a teenager for a bit longer, something I won’t be taking for granted. I get to live at home with my family, I get to learn every day, and have spare time to spend on hobbies that I love. I’m loving university life, and I’m so lucky that this is a part of life I’m able to take part in.

So there you have it, a few of my favourite things from this Autumn. Much like everyone else in this world, I can’t believe we’re nearly over with 2017, but honestly I’m so excited for what’s coming up in 2018 as some pretty exciting things are in place already.

If you’ve got a favourites post, link it down below so I can check it out, and if you’ve been loving the same things as me then let me know, I’d love to hear about it, and also let me know if there’s any Christmas-y/Winter-y or other content you’d like to see from this blog!

‘Til next time,

Jess x

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20 Things To Do Before I’m 20

So, last week, I turned nineteen. It was a great day. I spent the morning with Connor and his family, relaxing, before coming home to spend the afternoon with mum and pampering myself before holding a surprise birthday party for my mum, which went better than I could have expected. I ended the night by going from the party to a club in town and then forgetting my door key when I got home.

And it was great.

But really, in all honesty I’m excited about being this age. When I was a kid all I wanted was to be older, and now that I am older and I can literally do… anything I want. It’s almost debilitating. I can do anything. So.. to counter that… I do nothing.

So, to celebrate the next year of my life, I’ve come up with a list of somewhat realistic, and somewhat ridiculous, things that I’d like to do by this time next year…

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1. Stop being afraid of of making phone calls

And actually learn how to make a phone call in a busy office… no one is listening, and I need to remember that.

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2. Save over £1000

Which I am well on the way of achieving! Result!

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3. Go on a city break

Another one. Athens and Prague in 2016 were some of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and having the independence to be wandering the world without adult supervision is something that I can’t wait to experience more.

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4. Go on a relaxing sun holiday

When I was younger I got bored doing the same thing on sun holidays, but now that I’m working full-time, and rarely see the sun when it rears its head in Britain, I feel the much-needed warmth on my face and a cocktail in my hand…

5. Take part in a blogging opportunity

Whether thats a sponsored post, a collaboration, going to an event… I want to start working with more people. (If you want to hit me up my gmail is jallen7137@gmail.com!!)

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6. Reach 1000 Twitter followers

Currently on 800+ so I think we got this. Might sound silly to some, but it would be cool.

7. Reach 200 WordPess followers

8. Host a giveaway

Keep your eyes peeled for this one… coming soon!

9. Start giving away books and clearing out

I’m hoping to start the practice of re-reading a book and then giving it away to someone, or to a charity shop, so that im not hoarding them any more. I have way too many books…

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10. Actually start my scrap book

It’s been about 4 years since I was gifted this gorgeous Paperchase scrapbook from my mum, and I have a huge box full of souvenirs from the past 10 years of my life to fill it up with. I just… never had the chance.

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11. Go to the beach

I haven’t been on a beach day in my actual home town in a long, long time. It’s something I want to do every summer but never have the chance to, and this year I can drive, so bring it on!

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12. Solo trip

I want to go somewhere new, completely alone. For a day, a weekend, wherever.

13. Buy a high-end makeup product

Like… really high-end. Not just something expensive from Boots. I wanna be reckless and buy something that my face absolutely does not need, but it wants. (Send me suggestions of what my first high-end product should be in the comments).

14. Eat better

I’ve fallen back into some horrifically unhealthy eating patterns and maybe that’s why I’m not feeling so great recently… time to crack out the veggies.

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15. Go vegetarian for a week

I’ve tried incorporating vegetarian meals into my daily life, so a meat-free hot lunch at work, and Quorn products for dinner, but I’d love to start making a real difference to my diet and consumption.

16. Go for a massage

I’ve only ever been for a professional massage once before and, as someone who loves getting pampered, it was like my idea of heaven. Definitely treating myself when I get stressed soon.

17. Get into an exercise routine

What I’ve been working with recently…

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18. Go on a Colour Run

19. Play Lazer Tag

20. Get another tattoo

And there you go, my 20 Before 20. I will hopefully, this time next year, be checking back in with these to make sure I’ve done all I wanted to do, which would be awesome.

Until then, what do you want to do before you’re 20? Or 30? Should I make these into a series? Let me know!

Jess

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19 Things I’ve Learned at 19

It’s my birthday!! Shower me with gifts and love! Love me! Kidding. But yeah, I’m 19 today (scary Mary), and I feel old. 

Like, I know I’m not old. I’m actually very young. I’ve loads of living left to do. But, like every other entitled and narcissistic millenial, I feel like I have a wealth of experiences to draw on at my young age.

So, here are the 19 things I’ve learned at the ripe old age of 19. You’re welcome.

1. Always Give More Than You Get

Follow this, and you’ll never be in the wrong again. Always give 110%, and you can be sure that when things go downhill, you don’t have to worry about yourself, because you did everything you possibly could

2. Cover Your Arse

Similar to the last point, but honestly will save you so much time and arguments. Just do everything the first time, and make sure you think of everything before charging in.

3. If Possible, Take the High Road

It makes you look better. But, if they really hurt you, aint nothing wrong with getting it off your chest.

4. Don’t Be Petty

It’s ugly. You’re better than that.

5. Drink More Water!!!

6. Worrying About Money Won’t Give You More Money

Unless you are at critical situation, stop worrying about money. You’re so young. What the fuck.

7. Problem? Have a Bath

8. More Problems? Go Outside

Fresh air: it works. Who knew?

9. Laugh At Yourself, and Everyone Else Will Laugh With You 

In an awkward or embarrassing situation? Laugh it off. It’ll make everyone else comfortable, and make yourself feel better when they’re laughing with you, rather than at you.

10. Stretch More

Trust me.

11. Change Your Bedding, Do Some Dusting, and Hoover More

A clean environment makes for a clean and healthy mind.

12. Stop Playing Yourself Down To Everyone

You are interesting, you are funny, and you are pretty. I mean it. You know it, so prove it.

13. It’s Better to Be ‘Silly-Funny’ Than ‘Mean-Funny’

14. You Will Never Regret Making More Effort, You Will Only Regret Making Less

15. Stop Thinking Everything Means Something. It Doesn’t.

Sometimes shit happens, and we have to just accept it. It doesn’t have an almighty meaning, and it doesn’t count towards your karma-points. Learn from things, and move on. Stop making meaning when there isn’t any.

16. Stop Thinking Everything You Do Has To Mean Something. It Doesn’t.

You want to eat 3 cheeseburgers in a row? Go for it. You want to get a tattoo of a panda holding a rifle? Why the hell not? You want to write a book about what it’s like to be YOU? Do it. Not everything has to be Big and Meaningful.

17. Remember Your Age

You’re young. Stop thinking like an 80 year old. Do something stupid. Make mistakes. It’s okay.

18. You’re Allowed To Be Sad Sometimes

19. But Being Sad Will Get You Nowhere

Get help. Do things. Make connections. Nothing is worth feeling like it’s the end of the world, but having to smile anyway.

And there you have it. My impartial bits of wisdom that I have selflessly shared with you lot so you don’t make the same mistakes as me. But at the same time, what do I know? A year from now I could be making another one of these posts and say exactly the opposite of everything I’ve just said so… do whatever you want. Or something.

Honestly though, thank you for following me on this little blog for as long as you have, even if you haven’t for very long. I’m still working at this blogging thing (and generally this ‘life’ thing) and doing this makes things a lot more fun and interesting. I look forward to the next year of my life carrying on with this blog and meeting more of you lovely people.

Here’s to the next year (THE LAST ONE OF BEING A TEENAGER).

Jess x

The 5 Unexpected Benefits of Having Trichotillomania // A Beginner’s Guide to a Trichy Life

For about the past decade, I’ve suffered with a disorder called Trichotillomania. Here’s the NHS definition if you want to know more about it, and here and here are my past posts about the subject, if you want to know more from the horse’s mouth (or mine. whichever).

I’m not going to spend time explaining the whole thing again, so if you don’t already know, then do some learnin’, then come back to me. If you have any questions about Trich, mental health, or just want to chat, send me a comment.

Until then, here are the Five Unexpected Benefits of Having Trichotillomania…

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