Thursday, 29 December 2016

Working in Retail - Is It for You?

There are so many great things about working in a busy high street retailer, but there are a lot of bad things, too! In today's post, I want to sum up both the pros and cons, and write a little about why it can be a good thing to work in retail. 

I spent a month (in the run-up to Christmas, ahh!) working at my local HMV, which is my favourite place, but it got busy and therefore stressful! I did really enjoy my time there, because everyone I was working with was lovely, and more than willing to help me out when I needed it. I loved being able to talk to customers about music, movies, and vinyl, as these are things that I feel really passionate about! 
While I obviously had shopped in the store before, I quickly discovered that my knowledge of the products we sold wasn't as good as I thought it was, and it definitely took me a while to get the hang of using the track system to search for items we did have in stock. 

Working in retail, you will definitely get people that treat you like shit, that's just the way it is. There are some really terrible people in the world, who just want something to shout about. Sometimes, it ends up being you. (or, in my experience, a 5p carrier bag. Madness). Despite the odd negative customer, most of the people you'll encounter will be just lovely, so don't stress too much about that one! 
Another thing that I found about retail work is that it can be pretty exhausting, as you're on your feet all day, and around people almost nonstop. Particularly around Christmas, shops get incredibly busy, but if you're working somewhere that you like, it's not that bad. 
People will ask you lots of questions, and you probably won't know the answer! That's okay though, as there will be other employees around you to ask! 

Despite all of the negative things I've just mentioned, retail work feels pretty rewarding, as you'll get good customer reviews, and people will say such lovely things sometimes! You also get to feel good about helping people, particularly if they're trying to pick out a present or something.
It's also super duper nice to be earning, and therefore spending (or saving!) your own money. It's definitely a good way to start feeling a little more grown up. 

If you're at your place of work for a long time, you'll eventually get to know the place incredibly well, and being able to look back and see how much things have changed since you started is such a great thing!

SO, after that lil section about retail work, what do you think?! It is an exhausting but rewarding job. If you're 18 or under, you'll get paid a tiny wage, as big retail bosses are crap, but it's still so nice to be working, right?!

I hope you've all had a good Christmas, and will have a good New Year! I also hope this was helpful, let me know in the comments, and also tell me about your retail shopping experiences/working experiences!

Until next time,
- Dottie x

Sunday, 25 December 2016

I Have a Lot to be Thankful For ♥

It's been a long time since I sat down and wrote a blog post, almost everything that has been posted lately has been scheduled weeks in advance... It's currently around 10pm on Christmas day, and my mind has been non-stop all day. I think it's time to get some of those thoughts out of my head, right?

This festive period has felt increasingly different as the years have passed. It no longer contains the amount of joy and excitement as it used to. I know that as soon as November came around this year, I was beyond ecstatic, but as the big day has come closer and closer, stress levels rose, and my excitement has fallen dramatically. Right now, today, I don't feel happy, or sad, or anything in particular. It's just another day. But I am thankful that I got to spend it with almost everyone that I love. 

This year was the first time that I have had a job for more than a few weeks. Summer was spent at a holiday company as a cleaner, as was my October half-term break. This Christmas period, I have been working at HMV, which was both an amazing experience, as I got to spend time with some wonderful people, and it was something that stressed me out and exhausted me beyond belief. I've recently felt that I've not had enough time to do the things that make me happy, like writing blog posts and enjoying music. I always see that people comment on my posts, which makes me feel so happy and loved, yet I never have the time to reply. I hope that all of you know that I love you for the kind feedback you give my blog. 

I have been working weekends since November, and last week I worked six full days, including Christmas eve. I've gotten up at 6am on each of those days, which I didn't think would make me as tired as I am! Nonetheless, I'm glad that I got the opportunity to work with some lovely people, and in one of my favourite stores.

Because I've been working so much, I haven't had nearly enough time to spend with my two beautiful best friends, who I honestly miss more than anyone... It's been too long since we were in endless fits of giggles at each others' stupidity. 

I miss my perfect boyfriend, despite being able to see him almost everyday. There is never enough time to spend with him, and that hurts. We always seem to have to say goodbye...

Despite all of this sadness that I feel for people I barely get to see, I'm still thankful that I hear from them everyday, because they are part of my support system when things get bad. We're there for each other and that means more than anything. 

I'm glad that I have had the opportunity to work, and therefore spend my wages on things that are important. I have a car now, and have had so many amazing experiences seeing live bands, Cirque du Soleil, etc. 

I can't remember what I saw today that reminded me of all I have to be thankful for, but I'm glad that I saw it. You see, I have more than I could ever ask for right now, and I feel as though I don't appreciate that enough. Right now, it doesn't feel like Christmas, which is odd as I've always been so excited... Now, I'm just exhausted. 

My mind has been telling me that it's wrong to not feel happy on this day, that I should be over the moon about all that I've been able to give and receive, yet all I can think about is how Christmas has become more and more about commercialism and spending money. People always ask "oh, what did you get for Christmas?!" and I don't see how that really matters? People have just become so obsessed with making money, and gaining material items of so much worth... All I really wanted this year is to see those around me light up with joy, which did mean spending money, but it wasn't all trivial items... I put so much thought into the gifts I got for people, and I really hope that means a lot to them. 

I guess that the point of me taking time away from people is to get these thoughts out of my head and try to make some sort of sense out of them. Basically, Christmas is different now, and I don't like that. It doesn't make me anywhere near as happy as it used to, I don't want to just have a load of pointless presents that I'll forget about. I want it to matter, I want my life to matter. I just don't know how to go about that. 

Anyway, I hope whoever is reading this is having a meaningful, love-filled day. 
- Dottie x

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Few Little Face Products...

Hello gang!! In the run up to Christmas, I'm sure we're all searching for the perfect beauty products to care for our skin and keep us looking our best for the party season! So, I thought I'd share a few of my favourites with you!! 

Left to right: Simple Kind to Skin Light Moisturiser | The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser | Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Face Scrub

In the mornings before I do my makeup, I use the Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Face Scrub (linked in photo caption). As someone who gets pretty frequent spots, and insanely oily skin, this has to be one of my holy grail beauty products! It keeps my face fairly matte throughout the day, and as it contains witch hazel, it's also awesome at fighting blemishes. 

Something that I didn't realise for the longest of times was that no matter your skin type, you must moisturise! My favourite one for the day is Simple's Kind to Skin Light Hydrating Moisturiser, and I've been using it for years! It's unscented, and provides just the right amount of hydration for my face!

Finally, before I put my foundation on, I use The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser primer. While it is quite pricey, it's the perfect base for my makeup, as it really helps to fight the shine! On top of that, it's tea tree, so even more blemish fighting from this little product! It took me a while to find something that works this well, and finding a primer can be pretty overwhelming as there are just so many out there. But, if you are also a sufferer of oily skin, this is going to be perfect for you! 

Left to right: Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub | Nivea Daily Essentials 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner
In order to remove my makeup in the evenings, I use Nivea's Daily Essentials 2 in 1 Cleanser & Toner on my face, and their 3 in 1 Miceallar Water to remove my eye makeup. Both of these products are incredibly gentle and remove makeup without the need for scrubbing, so I love them! The cleanser lasts for such a long time, as you only need a little bit to remove an entire face's makeup, which I must say I adore about the product. 

A few times a week, I use the Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub, which I picked up about a month ago. It's so great to be using a product that is filled with natural ingredients, and my face is loving it! Finally, I moisturise using either the Simple one above, or a slightly heavier Nivea one, depending on what my face is needing. 

I hope you guys found this little skincare guide helpful, it's always a bit confusing to find products that your skin needs!

- Dottie x

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Stress & Mental Health

Hey guys, it's time to sit down and write another pure, honest, and from-the-heart post. And to be honest, right now I'm not doing too brilliantly. 

Last week, I was really poorly, feeling dizzy and sick, and experiencing general flu-like symptoms. I've had no energy for months, feeling constantly exhausted and lacking in motivation. This all finally got to me, and I also suffered a few panic attacks and just stress-related breakdowns. 

I've experienced symptoms like this before; when I was in Year 11 (two years ago, about this time of year) I was struggling to fit in all of my revision for mock exams, and would end up coming home from school with piles of work due in, and I would just break down, and sob for hours, unable to even comprehend how I was going to do it all. You see, I'm a bit of a perfectionist so every piece of work I hand in had to be completed to an unreasonably high standard, which I couldn't keep up with. 
Growing up, I always achieved the highest grades, and I felt (and still feel) so much pressure to ace every test and exam. Of course, this pressure gets to anyone eventually. 

Here, today, right now I am working two jobs (one is at HMV and is only a temporary position), struggling to complete college assignments that don't capture my interest, panicking about what I'm going to do next year (I really think university is off the cards for me right now), not getting enough sleep, and not spending enough time with the people I love. I also want to try and get a blog post out every week, and I am finally starting to snap. 

Since around this time last year, I started to lose interest in things that I used to enjoy, such as listening to music (now it's mostly background noise), and playing guitar. I think I've written about that all before, but I've just realised that there's probably something not okay with that. 
I also feel constantly exhausted, even if I get the correct amount of sleep, which turns out to be 9.25 hours for someone of my age. I get up, go to college or work, and come home completely exhausted. I never want to get up and do anything, all I seem to do now is work or go to college. On my days off, which this week are few and far between, I sleep until midday to attempt to get rid of the feelings of fatigue. This does not work. 

I've just had enough of all of this. 

This weekend just passed (10th and 11th), I had to go into my work and ask for time off, as I was having panic attacks previously, and just generally struggling to do anything. While I feel incredibly guilty for not being in work (and now also stressed about money), I took the time to organise my room and ensure that everything is clean and tidy, and compile a list of all that I need to get completed and when for. 

I am as of yet undecided if this is helping, but I've made an attempt to make things better, and seeing my thoughts on paper really does empty the ole brain... I know that in the long run, having everything organised will help me to make the best use of my time and end up with plenty of free time to relax and stuff, but it is so much effort to not leave paperwork all over my desk, and washing in piles strewn across my floor. I kind of don't see the point in moving it, y'know?

I guess the important thing here is that I'm trying, but it's so difficult and I have so much to worry about. I really wish that I could stay in bed forever. 

I'm trying. I think this blog is the only thing going right in my life at this current moment. Nothing else is okay, including me. 

- Dottie x

Thursday, 8 December 2016

How to Travel in Time...

As I'm sitting here writing this, I'm listening to Tom Odell live in session on BBC Radio Two, and I can close my eyes and I'm back in 2013, in a grotty venue in one of my favourite cities, at my first gig watching him play this song live. 
I was drinking a beer the other day, and the taste suddenly reminded me of summer, sitting in a field, freezing cold with a warm lager in my hand, surrounded by people I used to be best friends with when I was little. There was fairy lights, and so much laughter and happiness, and it made me sad for a second, because I miss that moment. 

Humans seem to believe that it isn't possible to travel in time, and that once a moment has passed we'll never experience it again...That isn't true, these moments are alive in our memories, and in the little things that we notice at the most random of times. Sometimes, these memories and reminders can be crippling, yet others are so beautiful. I will always be one for nostalgia, I love to look back and remember the happiness. I know that I wasn't always happy, just as I am not always happy now, but there was so much joy in my life, just as there is now. It's just that the joy I experience now is different. I don't know how to explain it, but the things that make me happy now have changed so much... 

But anyway.

Some moments will never pass. They will never leave you. Your best friends laughing at the smallest things in an Italian restaurant, your boyfriend's smile or his 'I love you' eyes. Sitting with your parents in the garden, with a little fire burning, or the blissful peace of walking alone in the forest in autumn. These memories can be brought back, or rather, you can be brought back to them with the smallest of things. 

Humans can travel in time. I've seen it. I've done it. I love it. 

- Dottie x

Thursday, 1 December 2016

How Do I Write a Wish-List?!

Hello my friends!! I'm curled up in bed at this very second, and I'm cold and bored, so I figured why not make a wish-list on my blog?! Then, I realised that I don't know how to. So here's my attempt at a wish-list, yippee!!

Before I begin, I am going to clarify that all images are credited to New Look, I do not own copyright to them! Yay, legal stuff!!

Grey Chunky Knit Bardot Jumper
Black Platform Flared Heel Chelsea Boots
Blue Fray Hem Skinny Jeans
I really do love all of these items, I'd love to wear the skirt with a pair of fishnet tights, a big snuggly jumper and some chunky boots! The skinny jeans are of course a staple item for any wardrobe, and I don't actually have a pale pair of skinnys yet! As well as these few items I've found photos for, I want to purchase lots of new bras and underwear from New Look, because they do a brilliant 'three for two' offer, which is awesome for a student on a budget!! 

If you're interested in buying any of this stuff, the captions are links, so that's pretty cool, and I hope you enjoyed this mini wish list!!

- Dottie.