Thursday, 15 September 2016

18 Things I've Learnt in 18 Years


Well I'm writing this the night before my 18th birthday with a hot chocolate in hand and face mask setting and without being totally boring, I'm not exactly hyped about legally buying my first drink or all the other things that come with the big 18.

However, despite my lack of excitement, on such a momentous birthday-eve I am taking the time out to reflect on the past 18 years I've been alive and share with you some of the things I've learnt in my not-so-long life. To celebrate my 18th I'm going to go wild and do one of my favourite things... write you guys a list, woo enjoy!

18 Things I've Learnt in 18 Years

1. School years were the best years of my life so far. For some this may not be entirely true and while I was in school all I wanted to do was leave, however after leaving and entering the 'real world' I can see how easy my time at school was and how lucky I was to spend 6 hours everyday with some of my best friends; eating lunch together, running through the corridors and learning so much everyday. I'm glad I made the most out of my schooling and came away with some grades I'm really proud of but if I could go back in time and live through it all again, I would.

2. Document everything you can. Take photos, videos, keep a diary and use social media. The best thing I did with my time was taking photos and videos of myself with family and friends and posting them online, copying them onto discs and memory sticks. Looking back now (of course) most of them are totally embarrassing and cringe worthy but I've made them private on social media and I know in 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years time I will look back with fond memories, laugh and thank myself for pulling out my original brick work Samsung camera phone all those years ago to document some of the best times of my life.

3. Laugh at yourself. This is one of my favourites, I'm a clumsy person and for a long time I would be overcome with embarrassment over the slightest mistake, trip or fall but I soon realised if I laugh along with it in these moments, they will change from 'omg how awkward was it when' to 'omg how funny was it when'.

4. Listen to stories. The best times I shared with my Grandad when I was younger were moments spent sitting with him listening to stories of him in the Navy, family holidays, his paper round, his mother and his firefighting career. I think personal accounts of moments in time and experiences can provide a lot more insight than a book or Google and a lot can be learnt by listening to someone else's memories and mistakes.

5. Sometimes its good to be alone, in silence. I find this is when blog ideas, questions and to-do lists come to mind and I can really focus on myself. Its also nice to shut off from the outside world occasionally - stop listening to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and sit and think about what you want to do in the next week and reflect on what has happened the week gone by.

6. Make time to do things for you that make you happy. For me, its my blog but it could be a sport, reading, painting, filming, taking photos, baking or even cleaning. Do something proactive with your time that makes you happy and improves your day.

7. Put 100% effort into everything you do, even if you don't enjoy it. By putting in all your effort into everything you do you can look back and say you tried without questioning 'what if I tried harder'. Revise for exams, meet deadlines and spend the extra time on your jobs instead of scrolling through social media.

8. Make time for socialising. Especially through exam periods, summer jobs and seasonal family holidays friendships can be forgotten about subconsciously and you will miss it without realising. At least once a week make time for a skype call, a cinema trip, a sleepover, a late night drive, a meal or shopping spree to keep up with friends and stay active in society! I try to make sure to message 3 of my closest friends everyday to check in and see how they are (if they haven't already) as well as arranging to meet up regularly, but sometimes it can get hard and life gets busy but don't take it personally and try not to leave it so long next time.

9. Read books! I may be slightly bias towards this one as an English Language student but since really getting back into reading I have noticed a HUGE difference in my communication, spelling, style of writing, creativity, positivity and sleeping pattern! Yes, of course reading can help with grammar and communication and emotions I'm sure you've heard all that before, but sleeping is a big benefit to reading for me as I find it the perfect way to spend my last hour before nodding off to sleep (I also never used to dream before regular reading)...

10. Drink water and lots of it. For skin, hair, nails, digestion, energy, concentration and general health water is key! I haven't ever been a big one for drinking plenty throughout the day as my body never lets me know it needs hydrating but since making more of an effort in the past couple of years to drink more I have noted a great improvement in all of the above mentioned.

11. Save money but live life. I never understood these people who save everything they earn and sit at home not doing anything with it. Of course its vital to save but isn't it more important to LIVE? What if the world ended tomorrow or you were hit by a bus? You let all those great night outs, holidays, adventures and memorable parties pass you by because you didn't want to pay for the taxi, spend money eating out or buy that dress you keep eyeing up every time you walk by the shop. Save your money for bigger things like a car, house or whatever else but please don't save it all! Come up with a system, pay your bills, buy your groceries and split the rest into a percentage break 60/40, 70/30 or even 80/20 to save/spend.

12. Learning to drive is hard and expensive but the best thing you will ever do. It will cost you a shed load in lessons, tests, insurance etc. but the freedom you earn with passing the tests and achieving your license will be liberating so it is all worth it eventually.

13. Dogs are the best animal in the world and the best pet to have. Completely bias I know but my dog is the one thing I love more than anything in this world. The compassion, laughs, lessons and opportunities to see things differently they provide is the best thing I have experienced in my 18 years of living. My black lab turned 13 on August 26th and is still as much my best friend now as the moment we met and I would give everything I have and more to go back to the day we picked him up and drove him home in the back seat of my Grandad's car.

14. Being wrong is ok and will happen. When you're younger you so badly want to be right about everything: your opinions, knowledge and advice but sometimes you will be wrong, totally way out, no where near the answer and that is ok. Don't take yourself too seriously, apologise if needed and laugh it off. Live and learn.

15. Working as a waitress is the best and worst job you can have. The friends you make, memories you share and laughs you have will make up for the screaming kids, rude customers and long hours, even if in the moment it seems as though you could drop your pen and walk out right then and there because what the hell 'who needs this? Not me!' but trust me, stick it out for a bit and you'll realise its not the best job ever, but my god its good.

16. Having high hopes and big dreams is OK, in fact its great! Aim high and believe in yourself, work hard and stick at it and no one can talk you down or take credit when you get there because believe me, you will.

17. Music is everyone's therapy. There is music for everyone and when you find your love for music, whatever genre, you will love every moment that life has to offer. Go to concerts, use your headphones, play it too loud in your room, learn the words and relate totally to the words of someone you've never met. Music is something myself and billions of others couldn't be without.

18. My last and most important point. Be kind, compassionate and caring to EVERYONE. In school I had at least one friend in every social group, spoke to anyone who I came into contact with and although you won't get on with everyone you meet in your life because of a clash of opinions or personalities, don't hold a grunge or put them down, smile and accept it. I'm a strong believer in karma, whatever goes around comes around, whatever you put out there will come back. So just... be nice.

Can you relate you any of these? What have you leant in your lifetime?

Until next time, Toni. xo

Sunday, 11 September 2016

I Thought I Hated Wipes?

Yes I know, I know. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm not a fan of make up or cleansing wipes - but these are a GAME CHANGER.

Garnier have released some new cleansing wipes that actually work! Although I would never rely on just wipes to remove make up etc. these are the first wipes I've come across where it feels like they're doing what they're supposed to. I can feel my make up lifting and my face being refreshed and I'm not left with a horrible sticky feeling after using them.

On top of the fact they actually wok, they're a great price. These wipes are the 'Start A Fresh' wipes and I picked them up from Boots [here] at £4 for 2 packs in a special offer! £4 for 50 wipes is 8 pence a wipe a I really cant grumble at that considering it takes 2 wipes (16 pence worth for anyone loving the price updates) for full make up removal and a 'fresh face' as promised on the pack!

As well as these wipes, Garnier have a whole selection of others to suit all skin types and required use!

All wipes can be found [here]!

1. Natural Cleansing Quilted

2. Oil Infused Micellar

3. Start A Fresh

4. Simply Essentials Facial

5. Active 2 in 1

6. Micellar Extra Gentle

There are literally wipes covering the Garnier stalls top to bottom in Boots so if you are interested in buying some of these, definitely don't go in blind like I did and be completely over whelmed where you grab whatever you see first and leave before the wipe madness becomes too much! Do some research on which wipes suit your skin and lifestyle best and will fit your intended purpose and budget! Just because I was lucky finding these that I love I think I still may go back and try out some of the others because they may provide me a better, more effective use.

So yes; to finish maybe I don't hate all wipes after all and maybe (just maybe) I can admit I've found wipes I love but no, I still don't and probably never will rely on wipes to completely remove my make up, I feel so much better after an exfoliator and cleanser washed off with some warm water, so maybe I wasn't entirely wrong...

Do you like wipes? Would you rely on a wipe solely?

Happy shopping wipe and non-wipe fans!

Until next time, Toni. xo