Goodbye 2015

This year has been interesting, it started out as a mix of good and shit. This continued for most of the year.

I got into university this year, finally passed a certain exam that had been holding me back for a very long time, quit my job and made a few hair mistakes.

My personal life took quite a hit, but others around me seemed to be happy. For me, the positivity that I focused on throughout most of this year was from educational success and I’m thankful to be ending this year a hell of a lot happier than I started it, thanks to other areas in my life (which I like to keep private on here, if you hadn’t already noticed).

On the subject of privacy, I decided to delete my Facebook and make my new account more private. I was fed up of getting creepy requests and messages from complete strangers, this started to get out of hand and I’m glad I deleted it. I’m now less addicted to Facebook than I was and one of my resolutions will most probably be to cut down on social media because that’s not where real life is and it’s easy to forget that when you’re on it too much.

Maybe everyone should make that resolution and start living for the moment and not for likes on your profile.

I’m looking forward to what 2016 has to bring, but I’m not looking forward to the countless essays I have to write for all my modules.

2016 is going to be a healthier one and I am going to take care of myself and maybe get some of the ink that I’ve wanted for a while… Maybe a new piercing too?

Either way, I hope you guys have a great new year and I’ll try to post more on 2016 (maybe a resolutions list in early January).

Love ya, stay happy and be safe however you’re celebrating tonight!

XOXO

TFH.

 

 

 

Struggle and Triumph: Staying Healthy at Univeristy

I have been at university for three months now and before moving here people had warned me about weight gain, it’s also reported in articles with headlines such as;

‘The average student gains two STONE in the first year of university – with the main reason for ‘freshers’ flab’ being stress’  – Mail Online.

‘Students in the south east of England gain the most weight in their first year’ – Independent Online

I think it must have been around two weeks in that I realised I wasn’t eating the best meals and decided to start doing something about it.

My sleeping pattern was and still is rather messed up, but I’m working on it. I was finding myself short of any energy and then turning to sugar in hope that it would give me a boost. This did help, but then my skin was getting worse because I was having too much sugar and not enough nutrients.

I decided to start eating meat again after getting dizzy-fainting spells (Vitamins weren’t quite doing the job, I was eating quorn too, but it wasn’t working out). Eating meat definitely helped, I still wasn’t feeling great. I started reading a book that I’ve had for ages and flicked through before; ‘The Body Book – Cameron Diaz with Sandra Bark‘. In a nutshell, the book states basic nutrition, but discusses exactly what we need and why diets are never the way to go.

With this in mind I decided to eat more vegetables, make sure I had bags of nuts accessible for snacking as well as fruit. I already eat quite a lot of vegetables, so this was easy, I just changed what I eat with them by reducing the amount of processed foods I ate. I don’t like the idea of processed foods, so I try to avoid them anyway, but lunches are usually something from a meal deal or skipped completely – neither of which is good for me. I switched my lunches to salads and made sure I included some carbs and protein in every lunch I made.

I don’t like the idea of not knowing what is in my food, so have decided to make most things from scratch – this actually turns ot to be much tastier too.

I still need to sort out my sleeping pattern and I’m getting there, but I regularly fall into the late-night Netflix trap, or just get trapped within my thoughts, usually stressy ones.

Now that I am eating better, I should have more energy. I also decided to eat better breakfasts, this included trying out Overnight Oats – which I tried out for the first time last night and ate them this morning, it’s safe to say I have a staple breakfast choice that can be varied easily by changing what fruit, nuts and preserves I choose to put in. The Overnight Oats I had this morning were actually delicious and I may do a post on my favourite recipes once I’ve tried out a few!

I also made my own apple and raspberry crumble recently, which was delicious, even more so knowing exactly how much (or how little) sugar was actually in it – definitely making this again!

As it’s Christmas next week, I seriously doubt I will be able to eat as healthy, but I shall try and stick to it to the best of my ability as I actually look forward to my meals a lot more since starting this whole being healthy thing.

It’s safe to say I have avoided this whole university weight gain thing, probably because of my lack of alcohol intake since moving here as well as eating habits.

Take care of your body, it’s the only one you’ll ever have – unless you believe in reincarnation, but it’s still the only one you’ll have in this lifetime.

XOXO

Hannah.

 

#TheStruggleIsReal: Winter Skin

Aloha! It’s been a while and as most of you know, I have moved to university. This experience has been time-consuming, stressful and mentally draining – it is the sole reason for my lack of posts.

Since moving here everything has been about reading and essays, meaning that I haven’t had as much time to myself as I would like (apart from the time that I visited home for the weekend and it was lovely) and all this moving around (plus cold weather, plus general stress) has caused my skin to self-destruct – and I mean worse than usual.

This could have been down to moving and hormones, but the weather certainly didn’t help, it caused my skin to get very pimply and dry. I couldn’t let it stay like this as it was really starting to put me down and I had to wear make-up to cover it – something I hate doing.

With this in mind, I started getting testers of various skin products to find the root of my problem. I went to Origins because I am a regular user of the “Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash”, where I picked up testers for the “Zero Oil Cleanser” and “Zero Oil Lotion”.

These products started off by clearing up my spots and after a week the effects had reversed, leaving my skin worse than it was before! The cleanser didn’t feel like it was cleaning my skin enough, but the moisturiser was good – it really was “Zero Oil” and kept my skin matte for most of the day, but in the end it just made my skin really dry.

After these products quite literally blew up in my face, I opted for something familiar and headed to BareMinerals where I decided to retry  the “Purely Nourishing Moisturiser for Combination Skin”. I used this for around 2 weeks, my skin didn’t react to it at all, but I came to the conclusion that this is a summer skincare only option for my skin type. I had already purchased it because it really is a dependable moisturiser, just not for me in the winter.

Once again, I was back to square one and decided to use something I already had for the time being and also start using night cream again. I had some of my trusty Nivea “Night Regenerating Cream” left, so I used that along with The Body Shop “Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet”.

I remembered how much I loved the smell of the Vitamin E products, which led me to browse the entire Vitamin E line on the Body Shop website. After looking at countless reviews of various products, I decided that I wanted to try out a new night cream, seeing as night cream is something that’s usually a safe option for my troublesome skin.

I didn’t buy the products online, I kept browsing products for a week or so and went into the store to purchase. While in the store, a girl insisted that the toner would be a good addition to my purchase, along with an overnight treatment oil and I decided to try them out as I was already getting something new anyway and rarely used toners and treatments. In total, I purchased the “Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream”, “Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil” and the “Vitamin E Hydrating Toner”.

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The difference in my skin was noticeable within a week, my skin was hydrated and my spots were reducing. I have finally discovered a skincare line that actually works with my skin, one that doesn’t make it worse and since using these products, I have gone back for more from the Vitamin E line. It turns out that the “Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet” wasn’t working as well as I thought it was and it was actually too harsh on my skin, it just took products that didn’t hurt my skin to realise what was doing the damage.

I now own most of The Body Shop Vitamin E range, the “Vitamin E Moisture Cream” replaced the “Aqua Boost Sorbet”, I also got the “Vitamin E Face Mist” to see what all the fuss was about and so far I can see the appeal, it’s very refreshing.

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All-in-all, I’m loving the Vitamin E range from The Body Shop and I think it will be my staple skincare range from now on. It rescued my skin from whatever winter/stress induced hell it was in.

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I will most probably be separately reviewing these products to help others figure out which ones are best for their skin too. If anyone else suffers from sensitive skin that loves to react and break out – I seriously suggest trying out this range.

Until next time,

XOXO,

Hannah.

Beauty: Coming Soon To BareMinerals – Blemish Remedy Acne-Clearing Foundation

As some of you already know, I went to LA back in March and while I was there (as well as all the exploring) I did some shopping.

I was on a mission for BareMinerals as I am already loyal to their products and knew I could get them cheaper while in the U.S. What I didn’t know was that there would be a few exclusive products that weren’t available in the UK.

I discovered two products that I knew I couldn’t get back home.

One of the products was a miniature version of the BareSkin Perfecting Veil in Light/Medium, this came with a miniature brush and both products came in their own little clear BareEscentuals bag.image

The second product was like a dream come true for me. Anyone that has followed my previous posts will know that I have very difficult and sensitive skin, it reacts to so many products and that’s one of the main reasons that I trust BareMinerals. My skin doesn’t reject BareMinerals because the products are natural, no matter how many products I try, I always end up going back to trusty BareMinerals!

After discovering that this next product existed I was in awe. As a girl with spot-prone skin, when I discovered that there was in fact a BLEMISH REMEDY FOUNDATION, I lost it. After doing a colour test I found that I was (of course) the lightest shade ‘Clearly Porcelain 01’. I went to purchase it, only to find that my shade was out of stock and naturally I tried to get the next shade up, also unavailable. This was just my luck.

The assistant then tried another colour test and discovered that the third shade ‘Clearly Cream 03’ actually fit my skin tone also. I then purchased this product and was over the moon with my new * ~ MaGicAl FoUnDaTiOn ~ * It wasn’t until getting home and doing a little research that I realised I should have purchased way more while I had the chance.

It turns out that the foundation was not only exclusive to the U.S. but it was exclusive to Sephora. Even the U.S. BareMinerals doesn’t stock it!

When I got back home I wanted to try Complexion Rescue as it had just released to UK stores, so I went to my local BareMinerals within Debenhams to get a tester (this was a liquid and I wanted to make sure my skin was ok with the product prior to purchasing). After I got my tester, I showed the woman at the BareMinerals stand the products that I picked up in the U.S.

About a week or two later after trying and loving Complexion Rescue, I went back to buy it. The woman was excited to see me and tell me the just the day before, her manager had shown her that the Blemish Remedy Foundation is a product that will be released to the UK soon! She didn’t know exactly when, but I’m sure after the hype of Complexion Remedy dies down, it will be time to unveil Blemish Remedy to the UK stores.

I’m so glad that I got to try the product before it had even released to the UK, because I know that I love it already. I have the product in the ‘Clearly Cream 03’ shade, but as soon as it is released I will get my true shade of ‘Clearly Porcelain 01’.

I can’t wait for this to hit the UK and would recommend the product to anyone with acne prone skin.

What exactly is it?

It is a loose powder foundation, it comes in a different pot to your usual BareMinerals foundations. The foundation is released through a mesh-type layer, this minimises wasting of the product and keeps you from putting too much on your face.

If you have previously tried the Blemish Remedy powder solution, this foundation is basically an advanced version of that as a foundation. It does what it says in the name, it is an acne clearing foundation!

For anyone else that has already tried Blemish Remedy Foundation – What did you think of it?

I shall discuss my thoughts on Complexion Rescue soon.

XOXO

Hannah.

LA Baby!

Hey everyone!

I haven’t posted in ages and I have no excuse. This time last week I had already returned from LA and was probably getting over the last of my jet lag.

I’ve always wanted to go to America, felt a pull towards the country as a whole. I felt I would fit in better there than I do in England and I’m pretty sure that feeling had proven to be right after my visit. I felt more at home away from my home country!

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This was initially an educational trip, we visited places linked to our course of study. I study Creative Media Production/Print Based Media, which covers pretty much all media platforms and I, personally am focusing my career path towards journalism or film studies. The places we visited were perfect for my current course and possible future career, we went to Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Magazine where we got to see what it’s like to actually work in that environment. They were currently working towards publishing deadlines, which gave us a chance to see a real and working newsroom in all its glory.

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We went to Venice Beach, Olvera Street, Santa Monica and obviously, Hollywood.

Everywhere we went was breathtaking, each location was different and full of character. I loved Venice Beach and I can’t illustrate exactly what it was like there because it changed at every turn! While wondering across the beautiful mix of sand and skateparks, a few others and I discovered a basketball game being reported by William Baldwin. – I tried searching the internet and found nothing, so I have no clue if it was an important game.

Just a pathway away from the basketball game there was a film crew setting up for what appeared to be some sort of dance movie, it was probably for a really popular one but I don’t particularly watch them (they’re all the same to me).

When we went to Olvera Street it felt like we had stepped into a new country within the country, it was full of history and felt very sacred. It is the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles and everything about it felt historical, this place was all about tradition. It amazed me that one part of LA could be so very different to another.

Next we went to Hollywood which consisted of studio visits and all the tourist-esque things expected from a trip like this. We did the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour and the Universal Tram Tour.

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I basically lost it when we went to Warner Bros. as it is the home of Pretty Little Liars. We walked around the outdoor sets of PLL; Rosewood High School, Hollis College, Most of Rosewood really. We didn’t go in the actually sound stage BECAUSE THEY WERE FILMING THAT DAY, I am amazed that I kept it together at all and didn’t have some kind of fan-fueled breakdown. Universal Studios was awesome too, with all the Back to the Future cars and Jurassic Park!

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I loved the tours more than the rides because it was great to get a real understanding of everything that goes into creating films, learning studio secrets and camera tricks. Me being me, I purchased just the right amount of merchandise, but I definitely could have got more!! (Someone take me back, I need the rest of the Pretty Little Liars merchandise section!).

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We had one full day exploring actual Hollywood, shopping a little (my money went on Victoria’s Secret and Sephora that day) and then we had dinner at the Hard Rock Café (where I obviously got a t-shirt).

I loved Hollywood, the studios were better for me as it felt more personal and I gained knowledge. Hollywood was good for photographing your favourite star on the walk of fame and they were setting up a red carpet that day which was interesting to see.

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On our last day we went to Santa Monica, it was a lovely place and I spent most of my time shopping and attempting to explore (harder to do when you have to stay in a group). I got some beautiful pictures, but the memories of being there are better. We didn’t have as long as I hoped in Santa Monica, but I managed to go in a fair few shops and pick up a Bloomingdale’s bag!

We then had a nice long plane ride home.

All-in-all it was a lovely trip, I love America, I love everything about it and it felt like home. Maybe one day it will be my home, but that’s another story for another day.

Currently feeling the blues of being back, but I visited my future University yesterday (my second visit) and I am 100% sure that De Montfort is the place for me. I have my place, it’s just a waiting game now. I have so many plans, hopes, dreams for the future and I look forward to sharing more of my journey with all of you.

Thanks for taking the time to read me rambling on and on, I love you guys.

XOXO

Hannah.

Paris Perfection!

Two weeks ago I went to Paris with one of my best friends and it was lovely in so many ways. I don’t know if it was the break from constant social media shenanigans, being away from multiple sources of stress or just being away from my routine but the feeling of escaping everyday surroundings was a relief.

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There’s something exhilarating about being somewhere unfamiliar, not knowing exactly where you are but still knowing that you are far from lost. This break — although it was only a few days — put a lot of my stress on hold and forced me to enjoy the moment I was in right there, right then. I was not thinking about the next day, because I didn’t want the one I was having, to end.

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Yes, we went to Disneyland and usually that involves rushing to get on every ride (plan, plan, planning), but for some reason it wasn’t rushed at all. Maybe it was because there were only two of us going around the park alone or because we were the least stressed we had been in months, but we were relaxed each and every day. We were actually late to breakfast on one of the days and didn’t make it to the park until around 10am! Yet somehow we got every ride done that we wanted to and some we even rode twice!

medialive001There was an actual purpose to this trip, which was the Media Live! Conference held in the cinema of Disney Village. I actually attended last year’s one too and they are well worth going to if you are a media student. The conference is great for any questions you have and could even bring out a little inspiration from within.

After our Disneyland days came to an end, we reached our last day and this day was spent getting the basic-tourist-Eiffel-Tower-pictures.

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Instead of going up the Eiffel Tower we decided to explore some of the streets around the landmark and have a deliciously French lunch in a rather posh restaurant that was hidden down one of the side roads and away from all of the tourists. We also found a stand outside the American Library in Paris which was giving away free books, so naturally we took as many as we could carry!

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All in all it was a lovely trip, a little chilly with only two rainy showers! I wish we could go every year and explore all there is to see in France as a whole.

It was nice to get away from the real world and all the stresses that I face. Next up is LA LA Land at the end of the month and I honestly cannot wait!

Sorry it’s been so long, I have been a very busy girl!

Until next time…

XOXO

Hannah.

Status

Although in this current moment in time I feel as though I may be fine, I know that in the future I will look back and see these as dark, poisonous days and that time when I lost my way.

I got this.

Okay, there truly is no need for my incredibly crappy eating habits. The past week I have been steering clear from any chocolate and biscuits, and guess what? I haven’t died.

I try to stay away from chocolate when I can anyway as it destroys my skin and anyone who knows me knows that.

A weird thing has been happening since last week though. As I sort of caught up on a bit of sleep my body started to crave fruit and when I got my hands on some it felt great. I have decided that I am going to get into the habit of wanting to eat fruit, crave that instead of crap. It will benefit me profusely and will probably result in me having more energy too. Bonus! I can then have the energy to get my butt to the gym and become a better version of myself.

There is no downside to this plan. Obviously I will still treat myself, but it will be on rare occasions. At the end of the day, I only feel good about eating chocolate while i’m eating it. The aftermath of eating sugary food always leaves me feeling crap anyway and thats no fun!

So that’s what was on my mind. Pretty random, but there you go.

Love, love, love,

Han.

XOXO

2015, I am ready for you.

2014 has been a year of many ups and many more downs, but it all changes now.

As we move on to a new year I plan on making the most of everything and not letting anything or anyone get me down.

I plan to make every day count and stay positive. No negative thoughts (when possible). If I stay positive about everything in my life, I will have a better outcome.

2015 will mark a positive me. I will lead a healthier lifestyle, think optimistically whenever possible and carpe diem.

This time around, nobody’s going to rain on my parade.

If you are reading this, I love you.

XOXO

Hannah.

Beauty: Back to bareMinerals?

As many of you know, I try not to wear make up as much as possible, I just feel so fake and hate the way it feels on my skin.

As you also may know, my skin goes through good and bad stages and when it’s bad, it’s really bad and makes me feel absolutely crap.

When my skin is really bad and I need to go to work or out of the house, I do try to cover up a bit and for this I use the Bourjois Paris Healthy Mix Serum (in 51) — which I love and there is nothing wrong with it, but sometimes I prefer the way bareMinerals felt on my skin. Although the Healthy Mix Serum is light (and smells delicious) it can go oily after a while as it is a liquid, this isn’t really a problem for me as I carry the Healthy Balance Unifying Powder (52) with me for when this happens, but I don’t want to have to keep applying more crap to my face and with bareMinerals it took a lot less effort.

Back when I used to use bareMinerals I didn’t have a problem with it, it was more an issue of using the wrong moisturiser. My skin did not get along with the bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturiser and this not only affected the way my skin felt, but the overall accuracy of the loose powder foundation.

Now that I know which moisturisers work for me, I feel it’s time to give the ol’ BM another go. It was super easy to apply, I didn’t need to use much and it took a lot less time in the mornings. Instead of opting for the Original Foundation (in Fairly Medium) I think i’ll give the Matte one a go as it may be better suited for my Combination and sometimes Oily skin.

I have done my research and this may be it for me, I will still use my Healthy Mix Serum and others that work for me such as the Mac Face and Body.

However, there are a few that I will steer clear of, ones that I probably shouldn’t have splashed out on right away. One that didn’t work for me were Nars Sheer Glow (in Gobi) was way too much for my skin, it was just cakey and suffocating on my delicate façade.

A foundation that I haven’t completely sworn off was the L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique Eau De Teint, it was a little too oily for my liking but did depend on the state of my skin at the time (probably down the again, the wrong moisturiser).

I also want to give the bareMinerals READY To Go Complexion Perfection Palette, but we will get to that later.

All-in-all, from my experience the only solution for my skin is less stress, less sugar and more water (if only there was a magic spell for removing all stress from one’s life).

I will do an update on my decision when I have returned to bareMinerals and have used the product for at least one month.

Love y’all,

XOXO

Hannah.