What 2016 has Taught me

I’m not usually one to jump on to a bandwagon, especially one that isn’t fashion related but I can’t help but join in with nodding my head and heartily agreeing that 2016 has been a pretty rubbish year. Not just in terms of global events, celebrity deaths, the tragic loss of lives through senseless acts and tragic circumstances…and don’t get me started on the politics. But on a personal level too 2016 really has been a year that has pushed me to my limits both physically and mentally. Now, with a new year dawning it’s time to sit down and reflect on what exactly the last 12 months has taught me and what I can take forwards in to 2017.


One of the biggest things that happened to me in 2016 was the ending of my relationship. It was my first long term relationship and I had no idea what to expect. The split itself was amicable and mutual, we had simply run our course and it was better to walk away on friendly terms than to let it fester. There were some amazingly good times as well as some truly awful ones. I learned a lot about myself and I have no regrets. I think what I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer pain that finding out he’d found someone else and started to move on whilst I still struggled to accept we were no longer together, and how it felt like that pain was never going to fade. What I can tell you now, around six months on is that it does fade. You can mend a broken heart. You will survive it. I have no hard feeling towards Ben, nor his new partner, I truly do wish them the best…you can’t help who you meet or when you meet them. Him and I turned out not to be each other’s “happy ever after” as we’d once thought and that’s ok. It’s funny though, realising it’s possible to both miss being in a relationship but not the person AND miss the person but not the relationship simultaneously. I really didn’t think that was possible but it is, and now I realise this I can deal with it. Personally I now feel in a position that if I met the right person I could start dating again but I’m in no hurry. I feel like in the time I’ve been single I’ve re-discovered who I truly am and I’m learning to love that person (and how can you expect some one else to love you if you cannot love yourself?) It needs to be the right person and at the right time and I need to get myself properly sorted out..which leads me on to the next part of this post.
Anorexia. It’s been ever so present all year long getting in the way of everything I’ve wanted to do and worked so hard for. And I’ve let it. I spent the first quarter of the year in firm denial, and then once I acknowledged that I needed help I wanted somebody else to fix it. No-one else can fix it, it has to come from you (and after so many years I should bloody well know that). I was fortunate enough to be able to try a different approach to treatment thanks to my ever so generous (and probably somewhat desperate) parents and I suppose I thought if they threw enough money at the problem that it would somehow make it go away. After six months we realised that still not much was changing and now I am back under the care of my truly incredible GP and awaiting some therapy on the NHS and slowly but surely I am clawing my way back out of the dark hole I’d sunken in to. It’s a vile illness, it’s taken precious years of my life from me that I will never get back. I refuse to let it take any more. I turn 30 in April and I am determined that by then I will be at a point where I can start to live a normal life, eat and drink and be merry just like my friends and family and stop putting myself (and my loved ones) through the pain and torment. Of course being ill isn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t choose to relapse again and I struggle massively with a sense of feeling weak for giving in to it. But recovery HAS to be a choice you make, and one you make each and every day. You cannot leave an eating disorder behind without grit and determination- you can have all of the support in the world but unless you truly believe in yourself you will remain it’s prisoner. I know this now more than ever and this will be the year I kick it to the kerb. Just watch me.
The above are the most significant things that have marred the year on a personal level, the rest has been a series of smaller knocks that have added to the pile of “woe is me” that smothers me at times. Being signed off of work since April has been a massive blow, and as a consequence of that I’ve had to accept moving back to be with my parents, financial help and endless hours spent trying to fill my time whilst feeling utterly worthless. Anxiety has crippled me at times but I’m learning to manage it. I can socialise now and that makes filling time easier…the dark times are dark but getting less so. Depressing side of the post done it’s time to reflect on the good things that 2016 gave.
This year was the year I finally was able to move out from the parental home in to my own flat. Admittedly I only lasted seven months due to aforementioned break up of relationship but this was a massive step for me and something I never thought would actually happen. I learnt so much in that short space of time, most importantly that I could do it. I could live a life independently with nobody “senior” telling me what to do…and I can’t wait to do it all over again (hopefully by the end of 2017!) I loved running a home, creating that space and making it my (our) own. I’m sad it ended but grateful that it ever happened. It’s given me something to strive for- a goal to remember when everything feels dark.

Friends and family have been my absolute saviours this year. I’ve always been extremely close to my Mum but this year I feel like my Dad and I have really bonded too. It was probably the ferrying me about to and from hospital appointments that did it but we’re closer than we ever have been and I couldn’t be more grateful for that- I’ve always looked up to my Dad, admired him and wanted to impress him. I held him at arms length because I was afraid of letting him down but I realise now that if I speak my mind, heck, even just speak he’s a fount of knowledge who has worked exceedingly hard to get to where he is today. I feel like he is now my friend as well as my father and that pleases me more than words can say. My Grandad too, we’ve always been close but this year I feel we’ve gained a deeper understanding of each other. He’s always there in my time of need, even if it is just to sit in the Waitrose cafe with me and listen to me rant about the world.

Friends. Where would we be without them? Firstly there is Trudi. Old faithful best friend Trudi who is honestly…well, there are no words to describe just how much this girl means to me. She is my best friend but it goes beyond that. I’m not going to try and do it justice, I can’t do her justice. She just is a legend. And my other friends that despite my years of isolation have welcomed me back with open arms. I feel so lucky. Then there are the new friends, the “internet” friends who have amazed and inspired me (Caro and Amy I’m looking at you especially!) The kindness of relative strangers has floored me this year and I couldn’t even begin to list the names of the people who have made me smile or touched my life when everything felt hopeless.

Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this post now. It’s all over the place but that’s ok, I’ll still publish it because it’s true, it’s me. It’s poorly written and rambling but it’s me. There is so much more I could and would like to say but I won’t because we’re almost 1500 words in and nobody wants to read all of that (gold star to anyone who has even made it this far!) I’ll just end with a thank you, two simple words that cannot even begin to convey the true gratitude I feel towards everyone who has stood by me- friends, family, colleagues, blog readers, strangers who smile in the street. All of you have kept me going and I’m going to make 2017 an amazing year for myself because of it.

And looking on reflection, perhaps 2016 wasn’t so bad after all. I’ve grown so much and learnt more in twelve months than I maybe have in the last 28 years. There’s a lot to be said for that- silver linings and all.


A last word, I promise! I’m also eternally grateful for the wonderful experiences I’ve had from this here blog. It always amazes me when a brand or person wants to collaborate and I’ll never take it for granted. I plan to plough a lot more in to this space on the internet next year, I’ll take a few more days break…a week perhaps to get my feet back on the ground and then it’s on. Fresh content. More effort…I can’t wait! I do feel however that I’ve barely scratched the surface of a couple of subjects in this post (namely friendship & my journey with anorexia) would anyone be interested if I did a couple of more in-depth posts on these?

A Christmas Break

Merry (almost) Christmas everyone! I’ll be back posting in the new year but wanted to take this chance to say I hope you have a wonderful Christmas full of love, laughter and happiness.

My plans don’t extend much further than chilling with my family and friends, watching copious amounts of TV (hello Great British Bakeoff) and perhaps a little bit of sales shopping.

Whatever you get up to make sure you enjoy it- see you in 2017!


Time to #GetReadyWithRimmel

The other day another really exciting surprise package arrived from Rimmel London containing a selection of products to create a festive face of makeup. My party nights have been and gone and I have no plans for New Years Eve so I thought I’d pop together a super simple “home for Christmas” face of makeup to go along side some little product reviews.
All of the products in the package were ones I’ve been meaning to try for a while so I was really excited to get stuck in. The Wonderfull Mascara* promises full volume without the clumps and despite feeling incredibly “not there” thanks to it’s Argan Oil formulation it really does deliver on the volume front. It perhaps doesn’t add as much length as I would like but for a natural daytime look I’m a fan and my lashes feel pretty good for it!

The Kate Sculpting Palette* is something I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while now. I’m yet to dip my toe in to the contouring trend and to be honest I probably won’t but using this palette I did manage to get a bit more definition on my cheekbones and gave a lovely glow to boot. At £6.99 I think this is really good value too as you essentially get three cheek products in one.

We all know I’m pretty obsessed with lipstick at the moment and the Kate 15 Year Lipstick* in this beautiful nude shade is a welcome addition. Inspired by Kate Moss’ favourite reds and nudes this is a long lasting lipstick that applies like a dream. Perfect for looking like you’ve made a bit of an effort when actually you’re over full, in need of a nap and tired of watching crap TV over the festive season.

Probably my favourite product is the Magnifeyes Eye Contouring Palette*. Jam packed with a gorgeous array of neutral colours blend seamlessly to sculpt, shade and define the eye. There’s an easy to follow guide on the back of the palette to help you get your perfect look and there are endless combinations possible.

I’ve not been wearing eyeliner as much as I used to, I’m not sure why (other than my tendency to stab my eyeball which may have put me off) but it’s about time it returned. I’m really fussy about what liquid eyeliners I use and I’m always skeptical about trying a new one but the bold Liquid Liner* has impressed me. The ball tip to this liner looked scary but actually made application a breeze with no snagging. It’s waterproof and holds it’s promised shine well- without me ending it smeared around my face by lunch time.

Let me know what Rimmel products you’re loving right now- I’d say a good quarter of my makeup collection is made up of their stuff at the moment!


Products sent for blog consideration by Rimmel. Post contains affiliate links.

Monki See, Monki Do

A couple of weeks ago, having cashed in the contents of our piggy bank (saving up all of your silver coins pays off, trust me!) Mum and I headed in to Bristol for a bit of self-indulgent retail therapy. I already knew exactly where I wanted to spend my cash and made a beeline for Monki as soon as we were off of the bus- well, after a coffee stop of course.
I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not that Monki opened their second UK store in the fair city of Bristol. Already borderline obsessed with the brand the arrival of an actual store has ramped that up a notch and my wish list is out of control. Thankfully I managed to exercise some self restraint and left with just a couple of the many items I have my eye on- the rest I have earmarked for a Christmas money spend up!

Dress & Jumper both Monki | Boots: Long Tall Sally

I almost didn’t try this dress on. On the hanger it just looked a bit shapeless to me but I loved the print and with a bit of convincing I added it to my bundle for the changing room (and oh what changing rooms, nice job Monki!). The second I slipped this on I knew it was coming home with me, far from being the shapeless sack I had envisaged this dress drapes beautifully and I loved the midi length as well.

I also picked up this jumper which was an absolute bargain at £20. I intended both pieces to be separates but it turns out they also look pretty awesome layered up which means I’ve essentially bought three outfits for £45 as both the dress and jumper work well alone too.

I predict living in this outfit over the festive period, it’s warm and cosy and the dress has plenty of room for the inevitable festive food babies that will be occurring…the first of which is likely to be today as it’s Mum’s birthday and we’re off to an epic farm shop/restaurant for a celebratory lunch. Happy Birthday Mum!

Are there any shops that you’re currently obsessed with? I’m afraid you’re going to be seeing a lot more Monki on the blog in 2017!


A Sparkly Christmas with Browns Family Jewellers

I’m partial to a bit of sparkle- especially at this time of year when it’s practically mandatory to wear something glittery every day until New Years Day so when a gorgeously packaged bracelet from Browns Family Jewellers turned up at my door that contained something very sparkly indeed I wasted no time at all in popping it on with the glitziest jumper I own (thanks Primark for coming up trumps, again!)

This Swarvoski Tennis Bracelet (c/o Browns) is a beautifully grown up take on the humble friendship bracelet and totally different to anything I’ve ever been drawn to before. And yet I love it, the second I saw it on the website I knew it was meant to be mine- sparkly enough to outshine the Christmas tree and yet classic and clean cut enough to stand the test of time.

Browns Family Jewellers is a leading high street jewellers based in Yorkshire with over 20 years experience. They mix pre-loved pieces with modern and contemporary designs and aim to provide a personal touch to the service you recieve whether shopping online or in store.

It’s a little bit late in the game to be writing a gift guide I know, I blame general Christmas chaos and illness for that one. However should you wish to spend a speedy message to santa or treat someone special then you can still order from Browns up until this afternoon and get it in time for Christmas.

And it’s not just this little stunner that they sell of course. I’ve popped together a few suggestions for under the £100 mark if you’re still looking for that special something or want to impress.

Bracelet | Earrings | Necklace | Bracelet

I’m seriously loving those silver and copper earrings myself…a girl can but dream, I’m done and dusted with my shopping and have indulged myself a little too much to justify another purchase.

Anyway, enough hanging around and reading this post, there is last minute shopping to be done- chop-chop!