Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Why I stopped writing | My love hate relationship with social media and the world that comes with it

stock image courtesy of Over

I have a strange relationship with the internet. It simultaneously elicits joy and angst and yet, I can't step away. With the introduction of Apple's new screen time function, I've learned I spend an average of 4hrs and 16 minutes on social media A DAY. A statistic that is quite frankly...embarrassing.

Lets throw it back for a sec...

My first taste of social media began back in 2008 - when I installed Twitter, shortly followed by Tumblr. Back then, both platforms were a bustling hub for teen fangirls, and a way for us early adopters to get a close and personal look into the lives of our favourite celebrities. 

Making internet friends with like-minded superfans was the norm - Monday nights were reserved for group running commentaries following the latest episode of Glee, while the rest of the week was dedicated to deciphering Taylor Swift's latest album, gushing over how much we loved the Jonas Brothers and tweeting song lyrics from our favourite artists. For me, those early days of social media were a much needed escape from reality - I was dealing with my demons (which I've spoken about at length in previous posts), was a 10 on the introvert scale and was still incredibly young minded in comparison to my peers, who were all, at 14, exploring sex and alcohol - two areas which, back then, I had no interest in.

Next came Instagram, which I joined a year after it’s launch in 2010. A few years older and wiser from the early days of twitter, my 2011 Instagram profile documented my life as a fresh faced first year at university, and all the hilarity (and carnage) that came with it! It was during this time that I started my blog. A place that was once a diary of my personal style and wish lists, has now transformed into my little nook of the internet where I share, and often overshare, the authentic parts of my life - the trials and tribulations of a young millennial trying to navigate adulthood.

Fast forward to 2018 and social media is an entirely different place. We are now surrounded by perfectly curated feeds, the rise of the "influencer" and the idea that everyone's living their best life. What was once a realtime reflection of your day has turned into a pre-planned, carefully posed and expertly filtered snapshot of what probably was a relatively mundane moment in your week. Now don't get me wrong, I am 100% guilty of the above but I'm not ashamed or saying it's wrong. Creating an aesthetic, setting up shots and editing photo's is something I find enjoyable, but on the other hand, I do wonder if I'm part of the problem. I have no issues with admitting that my Instagram is deceptive, and a completely inaccurate portrayal of my life, but by buying into the Instagram facade, am I contributing to, albeit on a smaller scale, this false and unattainable reality that has been proven to have a negative effect on our mental health and self esteem?

But back to my blog....

Back in the day, writing was also used as an escape for me, and it still is! Being able to channel all my excess nervous energy into being creative has always helped calm my mind, and I guess, give me some sort of purpose. I always liked the idea that someone out there could relate to or even be helped by my writing, much like I was inspired and helped by some of my favourite bloggers. But with the blogosphere becoming ever more saturated, the standard of content becoming increasingly high and the fact that we are now defined by numbers and likes has, to be frank, dampened my spirits.

Even when I've been lucky enough to be invited along to events, or work with brands as an "influencer" (super appreciative of that btw) I've always felt a little bit like dead weight. I've often stood shoulder to shoulder with girls, some with 10 times my following, and wondered why on earth I was on the guest list! These events may look glamorous on the outside, and generally everyone I've met has been nothing but nice, but, as with everything in life, there's always hierarchy, and I never quite knew where I fit in.

Although I could chat for Scotland, I'm really not a confident person - fear and self-doubt always follow me around and with the ever changing world of social media, and my compulsive need to compare myself to others, I guess I lost faith in myself and my ability to create content people would want to engage with.

BUT, it's not all doom and gloom. I've been having a hard time at the moment in a lot of areas in my life, and by forcing myself to get out of bed, get dressed and log in to my blogger account, I've completely rediscovered my love for writing and how much it helps my mental health, even if it's just for an hour or two.

That being said, I want to develop a more positive attitude towards blogging and social media in general. I want to start writing for fun again and creating content I'm proud of - instead of producing what I think will get the most likes. My next chapter online will be about finding my place on the internet, and trying to establish a balance between who I am and who I want to be. 

Whoever that is, there’s one thing for certain, behind every #OOTD is still a girl who trips over her own feet and is probably posing to carefully hide the remnants of her fajitas she dribbled down her at lunch...

Thursday, 22 March 2018

March Favourites | Beauty Edition

One of the best things about working in a beauty hall is discovering new products and trying out different things you may have never normally picked up. I am the biggest magpie when it comes to skincare and makeup and when someone mentions I product I haven't tried before, I have very little self restraint and you can bet it will be "added to bag" that night. Out of the new products I tired throughout February, and March I thought I'd share a handful of my new favourites.

Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser

HOLY GLOW, BATMAN! Laura Mercier does not mess about when it comes to glowy skin. I'm sort of known amongst my pals in the beauty hall as the one who loves to look so shiny that it borders on oily... but hey, ya gal loves a dewy finish! When the girls at Laura Mercier recommended their Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser for that "wet skin" look, I knew I had to try it out. Side note, the team at Laura Mercier in House of Fraser Glasgow are fabulous - they are all so kind, knowledgeable on product and happy to help with any queries of questions. Plus they are all a 10 on the babe scale! Definitely go pay them a visit! I can hands down say that this is the best tinted moisturiser I've EVER tried! It has a fuller coverage than most I've used before (however by no means is it full coverage, TM's will never give you the same coverage as a foundation) and gives my skin the most beautiful iridescent glowy shine. This product is almost half liquid highlighter, half tinted moisturiser and I am LIVING for it! For those who love a lightweight product and dewy finish, I'd 100% hands down recommend giving this a go.

Laura Mercier Candlight Mineral Illuminating Powder

I've always heard rave reviews about Laura Mercier's translucent setting powder however since we've established I like to look shiny, a mattifying powder will never be on my radar. However,  the beautiful Jacs at Laura, suggested I try their illuminating powder on top of their tinted moisturiser. When you first look at the product, it is extremely pigmented and highlight-y, and I was sceptical about putting it all over my face, but OH MY GOODNESS! This is the type of product that the more you buff it into the skin, the more natural is looks. For example, if you apply a generous swipe to your cheekbones, you'll have a banging highlight, but if you take your time, buffing the product gently across your whole face, you get the most beautiful all over radiance. Seriously, these two products together are a DREAM for those who, like me, are anti matte, pro glow! Plus, pro tip from Jacs - mix with your body moisturiser for a night out and you're whole bod will be deliciously glowing AND dust over your collarbone and legs when on holiday to give you all over sun kissed vibes. Lush!

Laura Mercier Lipstick in Sensual

Ok, last Laura Mercier product, I promise. I have been on the hunt for the perfect pink toned nude lipstick for a while now, and I think I've finally found my perfect shade. It's pigmented enough for everyday wear, yet nude enough to pair with a smokey eye. For fairer skin tones this shade is ideal - it doesn't give you "sicky lips" and isn't too deep that it then becomes a brown instead of a nude. It's deliciously creamy, matte but not too matte, and lasts me around 4-5 hours without topping up. Ticks all the boxes for me!

Peaches and Cream Lashes*

False eyelashes are one of the things I find that really amps up my look and makes me feel so incredibly glam. Whether I'm aiming for everyday subtle glam, or full on night out smokes, lashes just add the finishing touch.

Last month, We Love Lashes generously let me to try out a few pairs from the Peaches and Cream range and I'm pleased to say I'm impressed! I chose pairs 09, 19 and 20, as I prefer a wispier finish - with 09  being my favourite pair out of the three. Bold enough to hold together a heavy eye, but not too in your face if you're opting for a more natural look. What I love most about these lashes is the size - 9 times out of 10 I have to cut my falsies to fit my eyes, but the Peaches and Cream lashes fit perfectly on first application. The lash band is fine enough that you can wear them without eyeliner and I never had any problems with them lifting with wear at the corners of my eyes. And at £4.50 a pair, they don't break the bank! Win/win.

Bobbi Brown Face Oil

I swear I'm not being biased here - but this is the BEST face oil I've ever used. This little guy keeps my skin hydrated, healthy, soothed, and GLOWING. One of the main issues I have with my skin is that whenever I get a blemish or imperfection, the healing process seems to take FOREVER! I'm talking 2 months will pass and my skin will still be marked from where I had a whitehead. I find when I use my hyaluronic acid (find out more about that here) along with my Bobbi Oil, my skin healing process speeds up significantly, not to mention it leaves my skin looking radiant!

Bobbi Brown Skin Nourish Mask

This was a saviour during our recent bout of snow. On the few occasions I ventured outside, I would slather the Nourish Mask all over my face beforehand, and let me tell you, it protected so well against windburn, winter rash, and dryness from the cold temperature. Although the instructions say to leave the mask on for 5-10 minutes, I actually sleep in it around once a month to give my skin an intense hydration boost! It leaves my face feeling plump, silky smooth and helps with flaking around healing spots - such a handy little mask to keep on your side table!

So that's the lowdown on everything I’ve been loving recently! Being the beauty and skincare junkie I am, if anyone has any ride or die products they can't get enough of, let a gal know!

Until next time,
S.B x

*Peaches and Cream Lashes were kindly gifted to me by We Love Lashes, however all my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Tears, Smears and My First All Clear

1 in 4 women do not attend their smear test, and until January of this year, I was the 1. 

Although Cervical Cancer Awareness Week is long gone, I felt I still wanted to get my 2 cents in, because after having a minor scare, I cannot stress just how important it is to get your smear. 

Because I live in Scotland, and because of the year I was born, I was invited for my first smear at age 20. Back then, I was living in Aberdeen and not registered to a doctor so decided to "hold off" on getting tested until I moved back home the following year. That year came and went, and although it was in the back of my mind, I still didn't bother booking my smear. I'd convinced myself that my risk was so low, and that because England didn't start testing until age 25, that I'd just wait until I was 25 too. A few more years couldn't hurt...especially if other countries weren't testing women until they were older - I mean, Scotland was in the minority here!

Ignorance was bliss in my case, and I went another 3 Januaries scrolling past the Smear for Smear campaigns plastered over social media - politely ignoring the brave women who shared their cervical cancer stories and blocked out anything that was a reminder that I was yet to book my smear test.

If I'm being honest with myself, I was scared. I was scared it would hurt, I was scared the nurse would find something sinister upon just looking and I was generally just scared of the unknown. Plus, the thought of getting my bare naked hoo-ha out in front of a stranger, for her then to have a good rummage around, wasn't too appealing either!

My blissful ignorance continued until January of this year when completely out of the blue I developed what I soon discovered, thanks to Dr Google, was a symptom of cervical cancer. And not just a symptom of cervical cancer, the main symptom of cervical cancer. I panicked - frantically googling to try and calm my mind, but this only made it worse. I came across countless stories of girls my age being diagnosed with cervical cancer, many of whom had been turned away after asking for a smear test because they were told they were too young and their risk was too low - and by the time their cancer was diagnosed, it was too late.

Being anxious didn't help my situation. I had already given myself the diagnosis and decided my fate. Although it seems so irrational and strange to those who don't suffer from anxiety issues, to me it was extremely real, my brain had convinced me I had cancer and as such, I was already making plans to shave my head pre chemo, and googling "how to freeze your eggs" due to my impending lack of fertility. This is a small insight in to how my anxiety and OCD works - I become obsessed with an idea and cannot escape my own devilish mind. 

The one thing that stuck out to me whilst in my heightened state of panic was just how STUPID I'd been to skip out on my smears. God forbid if I did have cancer, if I'd gone for my smear when I was first invited, they would have caught the cells before they became cancerous and got rid of them! I was so ANGRY at myself for taking for granted something designed to save my life. Something that was free, accessible, quick and something I'd so ignorantly pushed aside.

Out of sheer terror, the next morning I phoned my doctor and booked my smear (I was still eligible to get mine early because of the year I was born) and luckily they could fit me in two days later. Because I was terrified, I took my mum with me, which FYI is totally fine to do if you're a first timer - you can have someone else in the room to hold your hand if it helps. I barely got in the door before I broke down in tears - bawling to the nurse that I thought I had cancer and that I was so scared of what was going to happen during the smear. Thankfully, my nurse was absolutely amazing! She assured me that she had swabbed other women with my symptom before, most of whom turned out to be absolutely fine. And as for the actual smear...a little uncomfortable, PAINLESS (I pinky swear), and so bloody quick! Seriously, I couldn't believe how fast the whole thing was over and done with. I wiped my tears, apologised to the nurse for being a hot mess and off we went!

The worst part of the whole thing was the 4 week wait for my results, as you can probably imagine - my brain was in overdrive and my anxiety was yet again at a peak. 4 weeks on the dot later, a letter addressed to me branded with the NHS logo was wedged through my letterbox. I cannot tell you how nervous I was opening that letter - I could barely rip the envelope open for my shaking hands. The words on the page were all a blur as I frantically searched for phrases relating to abnormal cells and further testing however much to my surprise, those words were nowhere to be found. Everything had come back normal and they didn't want to see me for another three years. I cried the whole afternoon. I was so overwhelmed with emotion - mainly relief, but also angry I'd let myself get into this state.

Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones, and as for my symptom, it seems to have subsided, but is definitely something I need to keep an eye on. That being said, cervical cancer does not mess about. Around 60% of women who require follow up tests  after receiving abnormal results will also need treatment to remove cancerous / pre-cancerous cells. 60%. I've got friends who have had pre cancerous cells lasered off, and friends like myself who have never been for a smear. If you are reading this and are due your smear, PLEASE book it! I am the biggest wuss and have the lowest pain threshold, but I promise - it was uncomfortable at worst. Period pain, getting my ears pierced and burning myself with the straighteners were all miles more painful than my smear - three things I'm sure most other women my age have gone through and dealt with. Please don't play chicken with cancer, a few moments of discomfort is better than a cervical cancer diagnosis. 

If I've convinced at least one woman to book her smear after reading this, I've done my job.

Until next time,

S.B x

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Celebrating Blogging's Perks with this Season's most unique accessory | JORD WATCHES

It's no secret that blogging comes with its perks, and recently I've been lucky enough to be approached by a handful of brands who want to work with me. So, when JORD watches reached out, I decided to be a little bit selfless, and instead of choosing one of their gorgeous wood watches to keep for myself, I decided to share this particular perk with Steven (that's my boyfriend for any new readers).

Needless to say, he was on board and more than excited at the fact he was going to receive a completely unique piece of wrist candy. Upon having a browse of their website the thing we both loved most about JORD's selection of watches is that they are all minimalist enough to wear every day yet they are a statement piece, adding that little something extra to your outfit.

After picking out the watch he liked best (we went for the Hyde Kosso and Gray) and sending away his wrist measurements (JORD provide you with a handy tool to help you do this if you are unsure of your size), all that was left to do was wait for the watch to arrive.

I only had to hear "has my wooden watch came yet?" from Steven every day for around a week before the postman turned up with his gift. It was immediately ripped open and on his wrist  before I even managed to grab my camera to take pictures of the packaging (which, fyi, is absolutely stunning). Steven is not easily impressed, or shares my particular obsession with fashion or accessories, but honestly, he's made up with his new spring accessory, and much to his delight has received lots of compliments on his watch.

Ok, so a little feedback from Steven. After wearing the watch for a week the biggest thing he noticed was how lightweight it was - it was comfortable to wear on his wrist all day and as JORD helped to get the size just right, the fit meant it stayed in place without rubbing or moving around his arm. He also said he liked how it went with his "every day" clothes but transitioned well when wearing something smarter for a night out. Plus, it's completely different to anything he'd buy for himself, which he loves. I think that's a 10/10 in my book!

And lastly, a little note from me. Sometimes I completely lack inspiration when having to buy gifts for people - whether that be birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries or mother and fathers day...but JORD has definitely given me that little nudge I needed to look for more unique and personalised gifts for my loved ones,  and hopefully it's given you a little inspiration too.

One last thing - if receiving a killer watch wasn't enough - JORD has been kind enough to allow me to host a giveaway! By just entering, you'll receive 10% off of any JORD watch- and one lucky winner will receive an $100 gift code to spend online - how exciting! If you'd like to enter, you just have to fill in this fun little form and you will be instantly emailed with all the details. The giveaway will close on 18th March 2018. Good luck and happy shopping!

Until next time,
S.B x

Watch Gift Ideas

Saturday, 3 February 2018

24 Things I've Learned in 24 Years

On Tuesday, I celebrated turning 24. As well as frolicking around Dublin on the lead up to my birthday and drinking ridiculous amounts of gin and prosecco, I took a little time out to think about all the things I've achieved, and all the things I've learned in my 24 years. So without further ado, here's a little life advice from SuzyBlue...
  1. Don't live your life the way others think you should - it's nobody's life but yours, do what YOU want to do with it.
  2. Do not be ashamed of enjoying chips cheese and donner meat while sober (just don't make a habit of eating it regularly - it's disgustingly bad for you!).
  3. Sex is all kinds of better when it's with someone you love.
  4. Exercise regularly. 
  5. Do something that scares you every now and again.
  6. It's OK to not know who you are or what you want to do with your life when you're in your twenties.
  7. There is no greater feeling than being absolutely, ridiculously head over heals in love.
  8. Time heals everything.
  9. DO NOT take advantage of your health.
  10. Social media is not real life. Instagram is not spur of the moment - it's weeks of planning and 20 minutes of editing before anything goes online.
  11. Mints ease nausea, anxiety and digestive troubles (I know you know what I mean...).
  12. Take every opportunity offered to you - even if it's not what you want at the time, you never know where it will lead.
  13. Go on every job interview you are invited to - even if you know you don't want the job, interviews are always something you can learn and grow from.
  14. Don't take yourself or life too seriously.
  15. Do something you enjoy each month - whether that's getting your nails done, a spray tan or having a bottle of wine to yourself in the bath - enjoy your monthly "me time".
  16. Breathing techniques, mindfulness and meditation really help with anxiety disorders.
  17. Family, friends and loved ones are the most important thing - treasure them.
  18. Gin helps soothe all ailments
  19. It's totally OK to occasionally spend the full day in bed.
  20. Drink more water.
  21. Relationships take work - love is a choice, it doesn't just happen.
  22. Be kind to everyone you meet, you have no idea what someone is going through.
  23. Don't be afraid to take risks in life.
  24. Travel as often as you can, learn about other cultures, see the world.
S.B x

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

My Evening Skincare Routine

Skincare. What was once a chore has now become something I absolutely love.

Lets throwback to my early teens for a sec - I'd just started wearing makeup (dream matte mousse and kohl eye pencil, teens of 2006 I know you all remember) but was never properly educated on how to correctly remove my makeup and keep my skin clean. By the time I was 15 my skin was a riot! Clogged, congested, red and angry and no matter how many baby wipes I scrubbed my face with, my skin just wasn't improving. Now, don't get me wrong, coming out of puberty definitely helped, but it wasn't until I started taking care of my skin and developing a proper "routine", that I actually started to notice a difference.

Flash forward to today, and that simple three step routine of cleanse, tone and moisturise, has turned into a whopping, Korean inspired, 9 step nightly extravaganza - complete with peels and potions, oils and acids and sheet masks and retinol (to list a few). Lost yet? Don't be! Let me break it down for you.

1. Pre Cleanse

Keeping it real here, this usually involves a Johnson's face wipe on the train home after work. The ones in the purple packet are my favourite because they don't leave my skin feeling dry, and there's enough moisture in the wipe that it doesn't feel like I'm just smearing my end of day makeup around my face! Remember, using a wipe DOES NOT remove your makeup - it breaks down the harder to remove products such as eyeliner and mascara however most if not all of your makeup residue is still on your skin. Which moves us on to the next two steps...

2. Oil Cleanse

Because I wear an SPF and makeup daily, I ALWAYS double cleanse. I start out with an oil cleanser which breaks down the the remainder of my makeup, plus it keeps my skin feeling hydrated  (I find foaming or soapy cleansers make my skin feel really tight and dry). My go to oil based cleanser is Lush's Ultrabland. I've tried a few in my time, but this is the one I always go back to!

3. Milk / Cream Cleanse

Next up is a cream cleanser. This step is what actually cleans and rebalances my skin in preparation for everything else I apply. Bobbi Brown's Cleansing Milk is a strong favourite, however I've recently been using Pixie x Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse and I've been LOVING it! Plus my oil and cream cleanser is in the same tub! So handy.

4. Acids

Next comes the acids. I like to use a toner containing glycolic acid (Pixie Glow Tonic is my ultimate fave) to help exfoliate my skin without having to use beads or a scrub. Glycolic acid helps to increase cell turnover, evens skin tone, aids collagen production and helps fight signs of ageing (yay science!). My skin really thanks me for this little guy, it's one of the only products I've used where I've noticed a difference in my skin pretty much instantly - bright and glowy and really smooth - I really can't rave enough about this toner!

I follow this with a few drops of hyaluronic acid - although it's had mixed reviews, I've been loving this one by The Ordinary. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it draws water to the skin helping to prevent moisture loss. As well as giving me a hydration boost, this nifty little serum helps repair the dry and damaged areas of my skin, leaving it looking smooth and instantly plump!

5. Sheet Mask (weekly)

Ahh the sheet mask - a Korean cult favourite! If you're new to the world that is Korean skincare, let me give you a quick sheet mask 101:

Sheet masks are cotton-based sheets infused with serums or essences that can contain a variety of different ingredients to target different skincare concerns. There's no need to wash your face after, just pat in the remaining essence and continue your regime! Easy as that!

I like to use sheet masks weekly - my boyfriend Steven bought me a whole bunch of Tony Moly masks for my Christmas (all with weird and wonderful ingredients) and i've been loving working my way through them. After a sheet mask, my skin always feels so soft, looks bright, hydrated and glowing. What more could you want?

6. Eye Cream

Next I follow with an eye cream - no matter your age, you can't forget eye cream! The skin around the eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show signs of age and fatigue, so it's super important to treat those peepers! I'm currently using Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Eye Cream - I love how cooling it feels around my eyes and my skin feels so moisturised and de-puffed - excellent!

7. Retinol

I know what you're thinking, but I promise we're almost done! As I move to the end of my skincare routine, I like to use a retinol based serum.  
Retinol is a form of retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A,  commonly used to give your skin a healthy boost by minimising fine lines and wrinkles, smoothing texture, and reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Now, I know I'm only 23, and luckily have yet to see a wrinkle or dark spot on my skin HOWEVER, thats the whole reason I'm starting to use anti ageing products now - to slow down the process and keep my skin looking youthful and radiant for as long as possible. Trust me, you'll thank me when you're in your 50's and you have the skin of a 30 year old! Note, you MUST use an SPF in the AM if you decide to use a retinol based product - retinol encourages skin cell turnover; this new skin is delicate and should not be exposed to the sun without adequate protection.

8. Serum

Ok, we're almost there - second last step! Penultimately, I go in with a serum. Serums contain the highest concentration of active ingredients that you can get without a prescription - ergo, they work, and they work well! My absolute ride or die, stuck on a desert island can't live without serum is without a doubt Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Sweet lord it's divine! It feels so luxurious on my skin and I have to admit, for me, it definitely lives up to the hype. My skin feels more hydrated, my redness is significantly reduced and it's SO soothing! And, because you only need a few drops per night, the bottle lasts forever - win/win! Side note - this product is heavily fragranced with plant/essential oils therefore it may aggravate sensitive skin.

9. Moisturiser

Ahh finally, the last step! The very final product I slather on my face before snuggling down under the sheets is the humble moisturiser. You wouldn't deprive your body of hydration, so likewise, you mustn't deprive your skin of moisture. Proper hydration keeps skin looking healthy, eliminates rough or flakey patches and keeps your face looking smooth, soft and fresh. Plus it fights signs of premature ageing, so don't skip out on your moisturiser! I chop and change between different formulas, but right now i'm loving Origins Make a Difference Plus for no other reason than it does exactly what it says on the tin!

Ok, have I lost you? I hope not!

This isn't something I put in practice overnight, I've developed this routine over the past year, adding in new products once my skin got used to what I was already using. Now, I'm not saying everyone should have, or develop a routine similar to the above - everyone's skin is different and i'm incredibly lucky that my skin isn't sensitive and can handle all of the different active ingredients I throw at it! If anything, I hope you've learned a little thing or two about skincare and it's inspired you to ditch the baby wipes and start taking proper care of your face!

Until next time,

S.B x 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Personal Goals for 2018

Ahh, New Year. The time where most of us wilfully vow to better ourselves - whether that be through diet, lifestyle, personal finances (I definitely need to jump on board that bandwagon) or through a long list of regretful resolutions we know deep down we won't stick to past April (flashback to the year I tried to give up fast food - I lasted 3 weeks).

In 2017,  I hold my hands up and admit I got lazy. There was countless tasks I started but didn't finish, lifestyle choices I was so excited about, but only stuck to for about a month, and endless evenings and days off spent basking in my own little sloth world in my cozy corner of the couch under a blanket with a glass of wine in hand. So, to curb my lazy tendencies and and habit of procrastinating, I've decided I need to challenge myself more, and start doing things that I enjoy, things that make me proud of myself and most importantly, things that make me happy.

So, this year, instead of laying down strict, and admittedly unrealistic New Year's resolutions, I've decided to set out a handful of personal goals I'd like to achieve this year - without putting any dates, deadlines or pressure on myself to be the best, most amazing, superhuman version of myself by the end of 2018! So, lets jump in:

Eat better

Towards the end of 2017, I changed my eating habits dramatically. Being completely honest, this was mostly due to a wager I had with my boyfriend that I couldn't get in the shape I wanted to by December. Side note: he loves me the way I am but was sick of me crying over ripped insta models and wishing my bloated belly away without actually doing anything about it.
After successfully eating much better, exercising and noticing changes in my body (the good kind) which made me feel so much more confident, I had proved to myself that the body image I longed for which I previously thought was so unattainable, was actually in my sights after all. Not only that - I was physically feeling so much better! No more stomach aches, strange bowel habits (tmi?) and much less fatigue. It was only after the Christmas indulgence that I noticed just HOW bad my body feels when I fill it with junk! So 2018's first goal is to keep up eating healthily and limiting my takeaway and alcohol intake. (everything in moderation right?)


Similar to the above, 2017 became the year I attempted exercise. After quitting dance at 16 years old, physical exercise of any sort wasn't on my radar. I was a straight up couch potato, and at almost 24, I was finally starting to feel the effects bad diet and little exercise had on my body. Now, I'd be lying if I said my main goal here wasn't to have a shredded banging body, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't get there. I'm aiming for 20 minutes of physical exercise a day, 4 days a week - doable right? Plus, the effect exercise has on my mental health is second to none. I was always sceptical when told going for a run, or working up a sweat would make me feel better but I can wholeheartedly admit that I was totally wrong, and no matter how much I hate working out during the session - I ALWAYS feel better afterwards.


I have a creative mind, and lately I've been missing learning new skills. From a young age I taught myself how to use Paint Shop Pro, then Photoshop (google image "photoshop blends" and you'll see the kind of stuff 10 year old Suzy was into), then Final Cut Pro, then Adobe After Effects and most recently Light Room (yes, I'm a bit of a geek, but I hold the title proudly). I love the feeling of mastering a new skill, especially if it helps me out with things i'm passionate about such as social media, blogging and photography.  This year, not only do  I want to expand my skills relating to my blog and social media - but I also want to expand my skills in makeup artistry (my full time job). The skill and technique makeup artists have these days is spectacular, and I'm dying to master the style of looks that are in demand at the moment - watch this space!


That being said - I miss making time to actually showcase what I've created, whether that be posting on my blog, sharing photography on Instagram or *gulp* getting back in to making YouTube videos (one step at a time!). Instead of just messing around and having a thousand practise runs, I want to start putting myself and my content out there again, and feeling confident in doing so (#nofear). So in 2018 expect to see more blog posts, more on the gram (@suzycamlin if you're interested) and perhaps a Youtube video or two...


I've seen this goal on a lot of fellow bloggers recent posts - but it's so true! We are all guilty of reaching for our phones when we're bored, or spending hours and hours a day mindlessly scrolling though Instagram, or having a quick check of Twitter before bed and I'm calling it - enough is enough. This year I am going to make a conscious effort to start reading books again. Realistically I'm going to try for 4 books this year, and actually take time out of my day to escape to a quiet corner of the house and just read, no distractions.

Say Yes

Sometimes I feel like my anxiety limits me. I often skip out on things because I'm afraid, but this year I am really going to try to say yes more. There's no better feeling than completing something you thought you couldn't, or walking out of a situation you thought you weren't going to survive in. So this year I want to challenge the part of my brain that keeps telling me I can't, start telling it I can, and start having more FUN!

Say No

On the flip side, I know my limits. I've definitely been known to be a bit of a pushover, "go with the flow" type of gal, and this year I am going to stop agreeing to things that I know will make me uncomfortable just to keep face. I need to try and learn its ok to be selfish sometimes and there's no big deal in saying no once in a while.

Okay, so, take what you will from these, if you are anything like me (#slothlife) I hope this ignites some fire and inspiration in you to get up, get out and make 2018 your bitch!

Until next time,
S.B x