Best friend gift guide

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Hi guys,
Hope you’re all well!
So, September is here. We’re actually halfway through September already, can you believe it? September is an exciting month for me… It’s one of my best friends’ birthday. She is the most difficult person to buy for; she is the pickiest eater, the most particular about her room decor and crazy about her skincare.
So, when UncommonGoods.com  reached out to me, I looked at their website and was more than impressed. I could finally find something special to get her and get some peace of mind! 🙂 I have found some great gifts that I really wanted to share with you and a gift guide was, of course, the best option to do that. UncommonGoods hold an amazing range of gifts for absolutely everyone and I am more than sure everyone will find something to their liking. What the company stands for, for me, is just a great bonus. Not only do they promote small manufacturers, but also put a big emphasis on being environmentally friendly to minimise their company’s impact on our planet. They also allow you to select a charity to receive $1 from them at the checkout which, so far, has resulted in them donating $1,000,000 since starting the programme in 2001. How amazing is that?
As stated, UncommonGoods do not only provide gifts for best friends; they can cater for just about anyone. Have a girlfriend that you’re struggling to buy for? Click here to see the gifts for girlfriends and make your choice! Want to make a gift extra personal? Look no further! (https://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/personalized/personalized-gifts) And with Christmas just around the corner (I mean… it is now less than 100 days!) it would definitely be worth checking out some of their amazing Christmas gifts (https://www.uncommongoods.com/gifts/christmas/christmas-gifts).
Now, for my personal, favourite choices…
1. I absolutely fell in love with pieces from this jewellery designer (Mary Steratore). I mean.. just look them, they are absolutely stunning. I don’t think there would be anyone who would dislike the look of them. My best friend often struggles with remaining positive.. so the positivity necklace would certainly be my choice. I personally also love the furry friend one; any volunteers to buy one for me?! 🙂
2.  Because my best friends is a little bit of a drinker (:)) of course I had to look for some amazing drinking accessories. I have found these absolutely amazing cocktail glasses (by Alison Thomas); not only do they look insane and super quirky, but also tell you what to put in your cocktail. I mean.. in case you had too much to drink and forget? I think it’s such an amazing idea.
3. Lastly, I just fell in love with these prints and artwork by Alena Hennessy. As stated before, my best friend struggles with thinking positive and with her low self-esteem. These inspirational quotes are just right and look beautifully. I would also definitely want one in my room.
Hope you enjoyed!
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What is in my handbag?

Hi guys,
Hope you have all been well. I had quite a busy few weeks and quite a lot of things have been happening in my life. Some good, some bad, but we’re getting there! 🙂
One of the good things was the fact that I have managed to get my hands on a new handbag. I do have to admit I have quite a lot of handbags, but rarely find ones that I actually end up using regularly.  I am usually a backpack kind of girls just for the pure comfort of them and whenever I get a new handbag, it just always ends up in the corner of the room.
However, when I saw this beauty I couldn’t help myself and had to get it (especially due to the fact that the price was significantly reduced…). It’s the Kurt Geiger Leather Emma Bowling Black Tote Bag (could the name be any longer?!) . I thoroughly enjoy using it, I think it is just the right size. Inside, there’s a pocket that you can put the most important bits in. The gold hardware makes it match most of my outfits and jewellery as I always tend to sway towards gold rather than silver.
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And what does a new handbag calls for?! Of course, a what’s in my bag post. Enjoy!
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And believe it or not but I do not usually carry a cat around in my bag (although it’s debatable, as I am obsessed). However, for some bizarre reason Pippin refused to leave me today and insisted on being in my photos. 🙂
  1. Glasses – Mine are from Mango. I’m shortsighted and I need them for driving. Also, I have noticed that without them, I tend to miss out on a lot of things going on around me. I feel like everyone else is seeing things in HD.
  2. Purse – Just somewhere I keep my cards, money (that I don’t have a lot of, haha) and ID. I really don’t like it much, I feel it’s a LV rip off, but I’m yet to get a new one.
  3. A Zoella mist – only because it smells nice and it’s tiny. I received a set of all 4 scents for Christmas and it is very handy.
  4. A hair bobble – I just found it inside my bag. I usually use the Invisibobbles but they are usually on my wrists. And because I panic and tend to over-prepare, there are always extras in my bag.
  5. My current favourite lipcombo – This featured on my instagram recently. Of course it’s NYX, there’s no surprise to that. I currently use the NYX Liquid Suede Cream in the colour Soft-Spoken, the Butter Gloss in Madeleine and a Suede Matte Lip Liner in Soft-Spoken. Beautiful.
  6. A Tangle Teezer – Because I have long hair…. I have loads of these laying around my house.
  7. My phone – I say it’s in my handbag but in truth, it is more often in my hand. Enjoy the lovely picture of my boyfriend and I. 🙂
  8. A notebook – Mine is from Sainsbury’s but I think it’s very pretty. Love the copper details on it. I always carry a notebook, as I write songs and sometimes get inspiration in the weirdest of places.
  9. Headphones – When I am alone walking, on the bus or in any public places I always listen to music. It helps me focus. Whenever I forget these, I panic.
Here is an extra picture, just for the pure cuteness of it.
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Julia x

My relationship with my body

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I have alway been a ‘big’ child. I even think I have considered myself as chubby. I was always taller than all the other girls, I was always more mature than the other girls. My boobs started growing considerably quicker, my acne started getting worse. It almost seemed like every one of my friends had a boy who fancied her, except for me. To make it even worse, my hair got greasy really easily and I was foreign; not that there is anything wrong with that, it just stuck out to the bullies, apparently.
Looking back at it now, it all feels so silly. The strive for acceptance is long gone, but at the age of 13 I really struggled to fit in. I remember sitting at my dining room table, talking to my mum and crying about how I will never have a boyfriend and that no boy will ever like me. As a mum, she always used to tell me I was beautiful and that my time has not come yet, but according to my logic, she didn’t know what she was talking about. I mean, she met my dad when she was 16 and has been happy ever since, so how can she know what being lonely feels like?
I remember she once pointed out that I have inherited her wide calves and ankles. I never noticed it before. Ever since, even in the hottest summers I used to insist on wearing black tights and jeans. My legs were not to be shown to anyone.
I was always the loud, obnoxious friend. I think I was trying to compensate for the lack of confidence in my appearance. I went through many stages; I was a rocker, I listened to hip hop, I tried to be like Rihanna in ‘We found love’ which was a big hit at the time. Nothing quite worked for me. I got really into make up to try and cover up the acne. I used to pile on layers of powder and fake tan (which were two considerably different shades. I looked ridiculous). Those days were the ones that I am, until this day, really ashamed of. Alcohol started appearing in the picture; I used to get drunk a lot and kiss a lot of boys. I strived for any chance of affection from anyone, even if it meant being called a slut the next day. It still makes me shiver, and oh god help me, I really hope my daughter never falls that low.
But one day, when I was about 17, I noticed that I wasn’t the tallest girl anymore. My acne has cleared and my hair was not as greasy anymore. Hey, a boy fancied me and I even got beeped at on the streets. I looked in the mirror. I wasn’t ‘chubby’ anymore. I have grown out of it. My brother always used to laugh at how skinny my arms were. All of that felt nice; it quickly became addictive. I really started caring about my appearance, I loved the attention that I have never received before. It’s a vicious circle. You are never going to feel good about yourself if it is only ever based on others’ judgements. But nevertheless, it felt nice.
But then, a boy happened. I absolutely fell for him. Oh dear, I even thought I loved him, which looking back at it now, I definitely did not know anything about love back then. But he was the first person to openly tell me I was pretty, beautiful, smart. I thought it was forever. See, I’m a very romantic person as it is, but if it’s the first experience of ‘love’ you have in your life, you’re doomed to become a lot more attached than you would normally. For the first time in my teenage years I felt so happy.
One day, he just stopped caring. He stopped ‘loving’ me. He ignored my messages, calls. I was devastated. My only chance for a happy ending was gone and I would now definitely, forever be alone. As bad as it makes me cringe, I begged for him to stay. I did not want to loose the only acceptance I have ever received in my life. But as much as you can try to make someone love you, it never works. But I tried in the worst possible ways that I am not proud of. I used to starve myself for days, hoping he would notice, feel sorry for me and come back. I am, until this day, thankful that he did not. This kind of blackmail is the most vicious and fucked up blackmail you could use, but this toxicity is definitely something for another post.
Before, I wasn’t big but I became even skinnier than before to the point where my friends would comment on how slim I was. And again, I loved it.
I met Bart when I was 18 and quickly, I learned what love really was.  He accepted me just as I was and I can’t explain how lucky I still feel to this day. Never did I feel that he would want to change my appearance in any way, shape or form. Even when naked, there was nothing I was worried about. I felt and still feel really loved. If you have someone like that in your life, you are a one lucky person. For a while I forgot about the boy who hurt me, about trying to be accepted by others and fit into the society. He increased my confidence and slowly but surely, it worked. Hey, I even started wearing shorts on holidays!
But over one summer holiday, when I was at home and off university, I started discovering blogging and youtube societies. I used to watch so many people, all beautiful, leading a perfect life with their perfect relationships and yes, you guessed it, figures.
Till this day I remember one Youtuber telling me to love myself the way I am, while undergoing a breast enhancement herself and having her nose straightened.
When I think about it now, all I can think of is how hypocritical the whole industry was and probably still is. Television, internet were all filled with people telling me to love myself while all not being able to do so. It’s easy to love yourself, when anything you have can be enhanced and when you look absolutely stunning. But what about the girl with the wide ankles and calves? What about the girl with the big nose? I wish I knew back then.
I found that calves and ankles liposuction was a thing. I quickly became obsessed. As you can probably tell, I do have quite an obsessive personality. It’s easy for me to delve on something and for it to become a thing I constantly think about. I started researching the cost, tips for money saving and testimonies from people who have undergone the procedure. I came to the point where I though I would be better at blogging if my legs were slimmer as I would be able to post short skirts and shorts outfit posts. I used to sit there and pinch my calves, hating them, to the point where it would leave bruises.
I talked to my mum and cried. I quickly realised that as well as having the liposuction, I would also want to make my nose smaller, lips bigger, boobs less saggy and get rid of that massive wrinkle in between my eyebrows. She looked at me and asked, whether I realised how many people would love to look like me. But I just didn’t see it. I was obsessing over the smallest things because that is what the whole world does. Ever since that day, I have decided to try and love myself the way I am. With the big nose and the wide ankles.
I exercise regularly, but nothing will ever change the appearance of my ankles or calves. It’s genetics. I value a healthy lifestyle for my own benefits, but I realise that I will never look like the fitness bloggers I once strived to look like. I still admire their hard work and perseverance, but it will never be me.
Now, I refuse to believe I am less because of the way I look. I refuse to believe I cannot be a good blogger, person, influence just because my ankles are slightly wider than everyone else’s and I have cellulite on my bum. I am telling you to love yourself. Without the interference of a surgeon.
Go and read a book. Travel. Sing and dance. Flourish as an intelligent, aware human being. Focus on experiences. You are nothing short of amazing.
I love you.
Julia.

My favourite ways to relax

Hi guys,
I don’t know if you already know this, but I am a stress freak. I stress about pretty much anything; asking for help in shops, having to call someone. I even stress about the stress that I know is coming. Due to this, one of my resolutions this year was to learn how to relax. I found and experienced a lot of techniques and these I find to be the most satisfying. Enjoy!
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  1. Going outside – Recently we have been lucky enough to visit Poznan, Poland and stay in a lovely hotel and SPA – Hotelarnia. Despite the SPA being a very relaxing experience, what I enjoyed the most was the fact that the hotel was situated within a one minute walking distance to the local National Park which was beyond beautiful. It was so peaceful there, often not a person in sight. We sat down by the lake or on a forest glade and enjoyed the sound of… nothing! (well, maybe just the birds singing or frogs ribbiting). I think it is safe to say that I have not felt so relaxed in a long while.
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2. Spending time with your loved ones – Of course, not everyone has access to a National Park. Or even a normal park. What do I do when I am stuck at home and stressed out of my mind? I talk to my boyfriend, mum, friends. Nothing can cheer me up as much as they can and nothing else could talk me out of my worries as effectively. I honestly don’t know where they get their patience from, but I am forever thankful.
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3. Active rest – I do have to say I’ve been really good with working out this year. I have literally been doing it 5 times a week. Usually, this includes youtube videos which I have shared with you before, however, the hotel mentioned above offered rental of bikes. Now, I have not cycled in what seems like forever, so this was quite a challenge and I did end up with two quite nasty bruises on my legs. However, I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun! Being active makes me get rid of my worries and ‘shake them off’. I know that if I don’t work out when planned, it is going to be a bad day.
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4. Pamper night – I love a pamper night. Face masks, baths, candles… It doesn’t get any better than that. I like to put on some relaxing music or a favourite movie (Grease forever!), pop on a face mask (some of my favourites in the photo), lay in bed or a bath and just give myself some time with just me. I do the things I love and take time in enjoying them and experiencing the moment.
Those are my favourite ways to relax. What do you like to do when you’re feeling a bit stressed or under the weather? Let me know!
Julia x

 

My favourite breakfast – Creamy Coconut Porridge

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Hi guys,
Today I’m coming at you with a recipe. This is my favourite breakfast ever; it’s not only healthy but also creamy and delicious. As you have probably guessed from the picture and the title, it is a porridge. I have initially used the Deliciously Ella recipe but have since adapted it, but only very slightly. Interested in how to make it? Keep reading.
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 a cup of oats
  • 1/3 a cup of water
  • 1/3 a cup of milk of your choice (I use almond milk as I’m trying to cut out dairy as much as possible. However… cheese!)
  • 1/2 banana (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
Instructions:
  • Firstly, put the banana, oats, water and milk in a pan and allow it heat for about 10 minutes.
  • After the texture starts becoming thick, add the peanut butter, coconut oil and chia seeds (if using) and allow all of the ingredients to melt together.
  • Once done, put into a bowl and serve with any toppings of your choice. One of my favourites include blueberries and almonds flakes as shown in the picture above.
Enjoy!
What are your favourite breakfasts? Anything healthy I may want to try?

Birthday post – where do I want to be in 10 years?

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(Yes, this was my birthday cake, thanks mummy!)
So, I am now officially 21 as you all probably gathered as I keep going on about it. My birthday was one of the loveliest times this year (not that we’re that far into it!) and I’ve been spoilt rotten, especially with the amounts of food I have consumed within my birthday week.  But turning into a full grown adult (not according to my mum, though) made me realise that I am nowhere near where I thought I would be at 21 when I was 10 years old. Do I own a house? No. Am I married? No. Thinking about kids? Occasionally but then I remember that in my brain I am still a kid myself. So, how do I sort my life out? Here is a list of things I wish to achieve and look back to when I’m 31.
  1. Travel more. Everyone I know loves travelling or at least talk about how much they love it. I am going as far as to say that I… like traveling. I was never tempted to go anywhere further than Europe and that already would stress me out. Being the anxious person that I am, I have to have every little detail of my trip planned, going as far as having the exact bus timetable of the town on my phone, downloaded before I even get there. Being in new, unknown places scares me. Meeting new people, not being able to communicate, getting lost are just a few of my fears. I would like to see myself go past this and explore what the world has to offer without doubting my every move.
  2. Get married and start a family. I know some of you are probably screaming at the screen. This isn’t the sense of 21st century woman’s life, except.. it is for me. Ever since I was a child all I ever wanted to be was a ‘mummy’. I dreamed of a big, white wedding and my charming prince on a horse (exaggeration, I know, the love of my life is nowhere near the royalty!) and that feeling never quite went away. To think about getting married and starting a family in the next 10 years is scary; it really doesn’t sound like a long way away, at all! But bearing in mind that I think I have already found the one, it shouldn’t be this difficult, should it?
  3. Flourish in my career. I reckon this will be the trickiest one of all. I am not a one to settle for a job; my boyfriend always jokes how I would always find something to dislike about any career path I could ever choose. I am currently training to be a Primary School teacher. Do I love it? Nope. Should I? Probably! I just don’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life. But.. beside from singing, do I really see myself doing ANYTHING for the rest of my life? I think this thought of this far commitment really scares me and makes quite unhappy. I want to learn to love my job, enjoy it. Is this even possible?
So yes, these are my main points of what I would love to achieve in the next ten years of my life. Will I? Maybe yes. Maybe not. But that is what life is about; I heard a saying once that if you wanted to make God laugh, you should tell him about your plans and that is possibly very true which is a lesson I learned while planning my life out at 10 years old. However, I do still keep my hopes up (should I sign my boyfriend up for horse riding lessons? :))
Are there any goals you wish to achieve in the future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Are you completely opposite to me? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

What make up did I get for my birthday?

Hi guys!

So yes, it was my birthday. I am now officially an adult in all countries; I am 21. Still feel about 16 though, anyone feel me?

Today I wanted to show you all the make up I was kindly gifted by my family and friends. Part two of my birthday gifts will be coming soon with all the remaining birthday gifts that didn’t quite make it into the make up category. I am beyond excited to start using all of this!

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Anastasia Beverly Hills – Modern Renaissance Palette – £41.00
Sigma Beauty – Tapered Blending Brush (E40) – £12.75
Zoeva – Luxe Classic Shader Brush (232) in Rose Gold – £8.99
Zoeva – Luxe Highlight Brush (105) – £12.99
Zoeva – Soft Concealer Brush – £8.99
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown – £15.00
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz in Dark Brown – £15.50
MAC – Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre- £16.00