Friday, 17 November 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Secrets for the Mad (Dodie)

"When I feel like I'm going mad I write.
A lot of my worst fears have come true; fears that felt so big I could barely hold them in my head. I was convinced when they happened the world would end.

But the world didn't end. In fact, it pushed on and demanded to keep spinning through all sorts of mayhem, and I got through it.And because I persisted, I learned lessons about how to be a stronger, kinder, better human - lessons you can only learn by going through these sorts of things.

This is for the people with minds that just don't stop; for those who feel everything a thousand times more than others around them.

Here are some words I wrote." 

Dodie, or doddleoddle is a musician, songwriter, YouTube personality, and she writes. 'Secrets for the Mad' is a beautiful book, a collection of thoughts and photos, lyrics and words, and some truly stunning artwork. 

So this book is split into a few sections - 'my bad brain', 'obsessions', 'confessions', and 'life lessons'. Now I'll be the first to admit that reading about mental health is hard, especially if it's something you struggle with. But Dodie has written about it in a hopeful way, which is tricky to do if you feel as though you're stuck at the bottom of a well. She's included her darkest moments, but also how she's gotten through them - with her list of small but important things, and her friends and family. As someone who sometimes struggles with getting lost in my own mind, the fact that I can do something small like writing a list of happy things that could really help is a wonderful bit of information. 

In 'obsessions', we learn of Dodie's struggle with food, with alcohol, and makeup, as well as more. I think for younger people to see how damaging the media and social networking sites can be - we're all encouraged to be happy, to be skinny and this chapter just perfectly highlights these issues. It can't have been easy to write about these things, and it was tough to read about them, but as I've already mentioned, it's important. 

'Confessions' speaks of love and heartbreak, abusive relationships and how to process and deal with these. It was insanely difficult for me to read about these, having just gone through a break-up myself, but it was helpful to see someone else's perspective of the emotions and confusion I've been feeling. Loving is a part of life and to open up about the things in this section must have been incredibly hard. But again, it's processing, it's healing and I really respect Dodie for doing this. 

And finally, 'life lessons', what would we do without them? Learn how to cook with Daniel J Layton, find out that why you should understand and embrace your sexuality, and how families can change and recover from what they once were. This is, in my opinion, the most important section of this book because it highlights just how much a person can grow and learn from everything in their life. For someone only just in their 20s, Dodie knows so much and while she still struggles with things sometimes, I think she's someone for younger girls to look up to - she's kind, she's caring and she understands what it is to grow up. 

So yes, if you want to be inside the head of someone who doesn't understand what they're thinking, definitely pick up this book. It's emotional, but you'll fall in love with it. 

- Dottie x

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Autumn Hair and Skincare ♥

Hey all, 

With the colder months starting to creep up on us, it's about time to start switching up our hair and skincare routines to ensure we stay nice and soft and supple, hahah!
So, I'm going to divide this post up into a few sections: hair. face, and body. It basically makes it a bit easier for you to read and understand, and a lot easier for me to write! 


Shampoo and Conditioner: Sometimes with hair care products, I just use what my mum buys, so that can be anything from Herbal Essences to the (really nice!) Alberto Balsam range from Tesco. But, my favourites are as follows: 
Dove Intensive Repair shampoo and conditioner - great for heat-styled hair, it leaves your hair soft and shiny and smelling great.
Lush Daddy-O shampoo - smells amazing, again soft and shiny hair, and it also makes your blondes look blonder. Win-win!
Lush Fun - it's got a Play-Doh consistency, but it leaves a lovely sweet smell in your hair and leaves it so shiny! 
I also tend to use whatever shampoo and conditioner is on offer for just everyday, but the ones above are my favourites. I also heat style my hair a lot, so I use a VO5 heat protect serum which can be used on wet and dry hair, or the Superdrug heat protection spray if I've used a heavy conditioner or shampoo as I feel the VO5 one can weigh my hair down and it gets greasy quicker. Cool. 


Shower Gel: I tend to use anything from the Sanex shower cream range for everyday, but my favourite treat-yourself shower gels are The Body Shop's Satsuma shower gel, or Lush's Plum Rain, as it smells amazing and leaves your skin really soft without moisturising. 

Moisturisers: I use a few, mostly on my arms and legs, and they are: Lush's charity pot (on my tattoo), Holland & Barrett's aloe vera gel, or Avon's family moisturiser. I have also recently started using a massage bar from Lush on my legs and it leaves them softer than anything else! (Pro tip: if you exfoliate after shaving your legs, and then moisturise too, your skin will be so soft, and it's a really nice self-care thing to do). 


I'm trying to use up a lot of products that I purchased a while back, so I'm using a lot of products on my face right now. Here are my favourites...

Simple's Light Hydrating Daily Moisturiser 
Simple's Oil Balancing Day Cream
Superdrug's Vitamin E Eye Cream
Aloe Vera Gel (good stuff this)
Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream
Nivea Creme
I use quite a few moisturisers because my skin gets really dry around my eyes, and really oily on my t-zone and cheeks, so I use the oil balancing one there, and the hydrating one in my dry zones. I use the Nivea ones at night, because even if you have oily skin, you do still need to hydrate it!

The last product that I have a lot of hype about is Lush's Tea Tree Toner Water. I use it after cleansing my face in the morning and after showering in the evening and it both removes any traces of cleanser left on my skin, and I feel that it's improved the appearance of my skin. Plus, the tea tree really helps with combating any spots which is a bonus! 

My skincare routine is something that I've been working on for a while, and these are just the products that work for me and my skin. Obviously everyone is different and what helps my skin might not help yours but it's definitely worth trying some different products and routines and finding what helps your skin. 

I hope this was an interesting read, I've linked all of the products that I use so you can check them out. 

Happy autumn loves ♥

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman)

"Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life.
She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. 

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn to navigate the world everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life." 

This book caught my eye when browsing in my local bookshop; there was just something about the white cover and the title that I found intriguing. By the title, I assumed it would be a typical mental health type teenager-y story, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

Everything about main character Eleanor Oliphant is perfectly just-so, and the way the book is written is suits the story and character so well. I didn't find this to be a sad novel, it was punctuated by funny parts, and heartwarming parts that just seemed to make the more negative parts a little more bearable. 

I must say that it took me a little while to get into this book, as it sometimes does when my head is stuck in another story, but once I reached a certain point (I won't give any spoilers!), I found it impossible to put down - I loved it that much! 

It's almost written in the same style as The Perks of Being a Wallflower or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, but with a much more grown-up feel to it (of course due to the age of the character). 

As you can (sort of) see from the sticker on the cover of my book, this novel was included in the BBC Radio 2 Book Club, and you can click here to download a free chapter to see if this is for you!

So anyway, this book was quite different to any other I've read, due to themes and the way of writing, the 'voice' of the character as it were. I did enjoy it, and would totally recommend it to my friends!

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

I Saw Suzanne Vega...

Yep, that's right folks, I saw the real Suzanne Vega! If you don't know who she is, she's a rather obscure 70s/80s singer-songwriter with a beautiful style of acoustic guitar. My music taste is partly something I've picked up off of my dad - Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, and Suzanne Vega, so it was incredible to get the opportunity to see her live.

She was touring because it's the 30th anniversary of her album Solitude Standing (which, for those of you who don't know, is my favourite of her albums), and the 25th anniversary of the album 99.9°F. So the evening was split into two, one half for one album, and the other for the second album, with a little break in between. 

The first song on Solitude Standing is 'Tom's Diner', which is sung without music, just a vocal. The whole room was deathly silent as this song was sung and it was incredible. This was more than just a gig, as I wrote on my Instagram after it finished - it was a performance, a celebration of music and it was wonderful. 

The special thing about this concert was that it was seated - something I've never experienced before. I meant that I could close my eyes and forget where I was and just let the music unfold around me. It was magical, and I didn't get hurt or pushed over or anyone dropped on my head! 

One thing I found absolutely staggering was the progression in just five years - the sound had changed and evolved and the music became more accessible. Suzanne Vega wasn't just an obscure guitarist singing of goddesses, she made it to the charts, and even got a single higher than Nine Inch Nails! 

I left the venue feeling so inspired to play guitar again, and to write and to learn and it was wonderful. Words cannot describe this experience but it was incredible. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

A Funny Old Time


A funny old time.
It feels as though the whole world is tucked up in bed asleep.
Even the sun is safely hidden away,
The morning cold.

Everything is quiet.


A funny old time
Halfway between awake and asleep
And here I am
Not halfway but all the way
100 per cent
Completely there

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

My Favourite Nail Polishes...

I like painting my nails, it makes me feel more put-together and stops me from biting my nails. Instead, I pick at the nail varnish but that's beside the point. I've been quite busy recently but I thought I'd share a few snaps of my favourite nail varnishes, all from Barry M. 

The 'Plumpy' top coat is honestly amazing, it really does make your nail varnish last a lot longer, and the 'Iron Mani' base coat has repaired my nails and made them much healthier!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

♥ Five Happy Things ♥

I've seen so many bloggers writing posts like these (especially Jemma at, and I think it is a beautiful thing that can be so grounding and wonderful. So, here are five things that are making me happy right now...

1. I've finally decided on what to do at university, and now I just need to gather the motivation to go through the steps to apply. 

2. I've finally decided to quit my job, because it's making me stressed and anxious, and I feel as though the nine months I've been there are enough - I need a change, something closer to home. I wrote a little more about this in my most recent post on 18 Going on Eighty.

3. Once I get home from work tomorrow at 12:30, I've got all day to relax. Four-hour shifts are both a blessing and a cure, but I'm really looking forward to my relaxing afternoon/evening tomorrow. I might bake some yummy cookies and curl up with a book.

4. I've got so many lovely Lush products to use up, and I love that! You may scoff and tell me how expensive they are, but I believe in treating yourself and Lush does that well!

5. A good cup of tea makes everything a little brighter. I don't know what it is about the magical healing properties of tea, but it works. You can't beat a good book and a nice hot cup of tea. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

A Cinema Under the Stars...

Some friends and I headed to our local park (well, kinda) on Friday 1st September to head to Hogwarts with the Alfresco Film Company! We went to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone played on an outdoor screen, under the stars and it was magical! 

We loaded up with flasks, blankets, camping chairs, warm layers, chocolate, biscuits, and popcorn and found a place to camp out with a good view of the screen. It was actually surprisingly busy, I guess because some of the films were filmed locally, a lot of people would be interested. 

So, as the sun was setting, we all put on lots of layers (I had a strappy top, a long sleeved top, a t-shirt, a jumper, a hoodie, a denim jacket, a raincoat and a blanket and I was still freezing cold by the time the film ended!) and watched the bats flying around our heads as we waited for the darkness and for the movie to start. 

I have to say that despite the cold and the numbness of my toes and hands, it was a great experience. Watching a film outdoors isn't something that I would usually think of doing, because y'know, outside but it was fun, it was a laugh and I loved watching the clouds drift over the moon and looking up at the stars! I'm waiting for the next Harry Potter movie to be played outdoors! (I may also go see The Lost Boys since I've not actually seen it all the way through. I'll be taking a hot water bottle though). 

So yes, if you ever get the chance to go to an outdoor cinema, I say just do it because it's fun and you'll be with friends eating yummy food watching a good movie and looking at the stars and what more would you ever need?!

- Dottie x

Monday, 28 August 2017

Tea, Early Mornings, and Things to Look Forward To...

Hello there... If any of you have stuck around and read my blog for a while, you'd know that I am not going to university like most 18-year-olds are. Instead, I'm working, and trying to blog, and planning university open days and hopefully actually applying for uni because hey, I think I know what I want to do now. 

My job sometimes requires me to start at 6:30 in the morning, and yes it is a horrible thought but there's something wonderful about being up at 5am and watching the world wake up. Like the middle of the night, the early hours of the morning are perfect and untouched and beautiful. 
Early starts allow me to have the rest of the day to do nothing, or everything depending on how I'm feeling and I like that. There's no anxiety just waiting around to go to work, I just get up and go and have a day to do what I really want to. 

Usually, what I really want to do after working is curl up with a mug of tea and a book. I'm really enjoying writing book reviews and reading books, and with a to-be-read pile almost as tall as me, hopefully I'll be doing more of both of those during the next year of my life!

I've got more than books to look forward to, though! I'm hopefully going to be writing for Noizze, a site that publishes music reviews, which is something I'm really looking forward to, since I've not done any proper music reviews in such a long time and I do really enjoy it. 

So yes, this post is just a little update to let you all know what's happening in my life. I'm excited! 

- Dottie x

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Being Normal - Lisa Williamson

"Two outsiders. Two secrets. 

David longs to be a girl.

Leo wants to be invisible.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long..." 

I picked up The Art of Being Normal recently from the Amazon book store (the best place to get books in my opinion), alongside Matt Haig's The Humans. I'd seen it around in a few Instagram posts and was curious to read it.
While I'm currently struggling to get into Haig's book (sorry, Matt!), I devoured The Art of Being Normal in under 24 hours. 

The story is gripping and so intriguing, switching between main characters David and Leo's perspectives. I became emotionally invested in this book, it made me smile, and it almost made me cry. For someone who hasn't experienced what character David has, it's definitely a good read because it opens your eyes to what it's like to be living in the wrong body, and Williamson wrote with empathy and knowledge of the issues covered in this novel, and she wrote so well. 

The plot twist(s) in this book are great, it leads you to believe one thing, and then does a complete U-turn (for me, anyway. you might figure it out!). Each character develops and has their own little things about them that you learn, and I adore the ending of this novel. 

I'd recommend this for anyone struggling with gender identity, or anyone who doesn't understand it. It really opened my eyes, and it will do the same for you. Otherwise, if you're a fan of John Green, Matt Haig, etc. and are just looking for something good to read, then pick this up. You'll love it as much as me!

(If you'd like to read my book review of Matt Haig's How to Stop Time, head over to my other blog, 18 Going on Eighty here).  - Dottie x

Friday, 28 July 2017

Stuck in a Rut...

I know it feels as though I write these posts all of the time, about how much I love blogging and how terrible I am at it because I have no time, or no inspiration, or whatever my usual excuse it. But this time, I don't have an excuse. I am just stuck. I feel stagnant, like I'm stood in one place unable to move forward whilst everyone else is rushing past making amazing progress, making amazing things and I'm just a little puddle, a little mess. 

I've been trying desperately to find words to create something I could be proud of, but instead the only word that comes to mind is 'stagnant', which I guess is what I'm feeling... I've tried to fill my days with lovely things, lovely people, and adventures. For the most part however, I've wanted to stay in bed. I have so much free time to enjoy and I'm not enjoying it. I don't know what to do, and I hate it. I just want to sleep, to waste my days playing games on my phone or mindlessly scrolling through social media. I've tried to read, but I cannot concentrate. I've tried to see people but I end up exhausted. I feel as though I have no purpose. 

I want to get better, and this is my way of trying. Please be patient with my while I figure out life. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Reasons To Stay Alive - Matt Haig

This book will make you cry. It made me cry, and if it did that to me, it'll do it to you. This book, for me, hit home, and it hit home hard. It's about the real-life struggle of recovering from depression and anxiety; it's raw and harsh and brutally honest. But it gets better, it's not all tough reading. It makes you feel better for having read it and having reached the happy ending. 

While this was definitely one of the most difficult books I've read in terms of context, I'm glad that I forced myself though it because it's made me see things a little differently. There's an interesting thought from Matt Haig about running and how it helps him to manage anxiety; he says that running gives the same feeling as a panic attack - racing heart, ragged breathing, etc. - but it isn't one. (this has kinda made me want to go running now? I'll keep you updated on that). 

The way that Haig has approached writing this book is absolutely perfect for the content. It's brutally honest, which is exactly what we need to break the stigma surrounding mental health, it's funny in all of the right places, and yet it manages to be sensitive. It covers everything from mental health stigma, to statistics, to how to cope, and it even tells you what celebrities have depression/anxiety, which I personally feel is brilliant to include because it made me feel so much more normal, and less alone. 

I want to say so much about this book, but I've only read it once (I'm working my way up to reading it again, I really loved it!), and I haven't planned what exactly I want to say. 
But, the world needed this book. The world still needs this book. I want everyone to read it, and understand perhaps not what it's like, but how common things like depression, and like anxiety are. This book lets the world know that no two struggles, no two battles are the same, but each one is valid. It also gives others the chance to get their voice heard, and to share their reasons to stay alive. 

I guess since I'm writing, or rather babbling, about this book, I'll give you my reasons to stay alive...

♥ a cup of tea on a cold and rainy morning 

♥ spontaneous visits from friends

♥ laughter - it's always there somewhere

♥ fairy lights and candles and cosy blankets - those things feel safe. 

I have quite a few others but I don't want those to take away from what I'm trying to say about this book. 

Read it. Read it again, and again because like with any book, you'll notice something new. Highlight the important quotes, things you want to remember. Make it your own. 

Make your own reasons to stay alive. 

- Dottie ♥

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Teenage Ramblings...

Hello all! Some wonderful buddies and I have decided to set up a group blog, sharing thoughts, photos, art, poetry and just everyday ramblings about life. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, click right here to check it out! It was only created a matter of hours ago, so there's not much content there just yet, but it's going to be a pretty fun place to hang out once it's up and running. 

I'll be writing in a somewhat similar format to this blog over here, but it's a whole new adventure, growing a new audience, etc. etc. I'm very excited for this chance to learn more about blogging and writing in general. (Any tips would be much appreciated!) 

Anyway, I need to go and take off my makeup and go to bed as I am super tired! Here's to having more time for writing, blogging, photography, and fun!

- Dottie x

Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Well-Needed Break...

Amroth Wave Breakers
Hi gang, 

While I know I've been terrible at sticking to my schedule and writing weekly posts for the last few months, recently I've had a reason for not posting. I went away for a week with my family and my boyfriend, and it was such a refreshing and relaxing break that I would do almost anything to go back.. 

Amroth Beach
We stayed in a tiny town called Amroth, which is in Pembrokeshire in the south west of Wales. It's absolutely stunning there and my family and I have been visiting for years! While we didn't get up to much in terms of doing super-exciting things, we did really enjoy just seeing the sights, visiting various beaches and just generally exploring the local area, as we do pretty much every time we're there. 
So, we left home around 10am last Saturday (8th July), and arrived at 1pm. I spent most of the journey sleeping so it was all fine. We went for a wander on the beach, grabbed a cup of tea from the cafe on the beachfront, and then ate a picnic.. There's not a lot to say about Saturday other than my boyfriend managed to fall on the beach and break his pinkie finger, so my Saturday evening was spent in A&E! 
Tenby Beach and Harbour pictured below
Sunday was a lazy day on the beach in Amroth, and I had a bath in the evening with Lush's Fizzbanger bath bomb. The verdict on that one? Disappointing. 

We spent Monday in the little town of Tenby, which is super sweet! There's a little harbour, some cute boho and surf shops, and a lovely beach! I spent £50 on a super cosy Animal hoodie.

Tuesday was another lazy day, and it rained non-stop all day, so we just went for a drive to see all of the sights. Was pretty fun. 

Wednesday was lovely, we packed a picnic and went to the National Trust beach, Barafundle Bay. It's absolutely stunning there and definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. After our picnic we went on to an even more stunning beach at Freshwater West, which has made me crave the surfing life for some odd reason... We had Pimms O'Clock (well, I had cider) in the evening and that was Wednesday done. 

Freshwater West
I was really sad Thursday because it was almost time to go home, so my family went back to Freshwater West and my boyfriend and I watched a movie while we had lunch, then explored the Amroth beach some more before having a hot chocolate in the cafe. 

Finally, Friday was again a local hang-out day, cups of tea, ice creams, and a last pub meal before we had to head home on Saturday.. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my week, it was really just what I needed after the last year and a bit of working and learning, and I feel much more refreshed now, even if I am a little sad to be home..

Hah, this post was more than punctuated by photos, but I really enjoyed taking them! Can you believe they were all taken on my phone?! 

Anyway, I've eaten an entire bar of Galaxy chocolate whilst writing this so I need to stop now! Plus, I'm just filling space...

See you soon!
- Dottie x

Thursday, 6 July 2017

I Could Go Anywhere...

Recently when I've finished work early or had a short shift and just gotten in my car, I've been thinking about how I could just go anywhere, about how I could just keep on driving away from everything... It's weird, and yet it's something that I really want to do someday. 

Of course, there are so, so many setbacks to my plan - money, passport, nowhere to go, etc. and I think that's exactly why I want to just drive, and keep on driving. 

Because why not? 

What's life without a little adventure? 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Dottie's Recipe for the Ultimate Self Care Sunday ♥

Another post on bubble baths, fairy lights, and self-care. I know, I know. But, I've had a pretty crappy day at work today, so I feel as though I need to do this. 


♥ A bubble bath
♥ Pretty decent razors (I'm currently using some Venus ones because they're yellow)
♥ A body exfoliator (mine is Lush's Ocean Salt)
♥ Aloe Vera gel
♥ Cosy pyjamas
♥ Fairy lights (optional)
♥ Candles (optional)
♥ A good book or Netflix
♥ A playlist of your favourite quiet songs (optional)


  1. Run yourself a nice warm bubble bath. The bubbles don't have to be anything at all fancy, I used a Radox Stress Relief one today, and it costs around £2.00 and lasts for such a long time.
  2. Lie down in the bath and either read a book, or just take the time to relax and not worry about tomorrow, or what happened today, or yesterday. In fact, try not to think at all. (it's difficult, I know)
  3. When you are sufficiently relaxed, it's time to start to move because otherwise you'll fall asleep! (learnt from experience...) If you are someone who washes their hair in the evening, do so, even if it is difficult in the bath because otherwise you'll have to do that in the morning and no thanku. Next, it's time to shave your legs. Get a nice lather on them with your body wash or shower gel, and then take your time shaving, you don't want any nasty cuts!
  4. It's time to exfoliate now, yippee!! 
  5. Wash the rest of you, give your body a nice rinse off and get out of the bath and wrap yourself up in a fluffy towel. Sit and play on your phone for half an hour. 
  6. Okay, you're probably in your pjs by now, so it's time to crack out that aloe vera gel and moisturise! Seriously, aloe vera gel is the best body moisturiser I've found, so you have to try it out! Your legs will be super soft come morning!
  7. Make yourself a nice hot chocolate or another relaxing hot drink, such as a chamomile tea or any tea really, and snuggle up in bed, with the lights down and your candles lit or fairy lights on. 
  8. Netflix, read, or just listen to music and play games on your phone and listen to chill music. However you relax best, do it.
  9. Finally, make sure you go to bed in plenty of time to feel well-rested for your tomorrow! (use the website sleepy time to find out when you should go to sleep to feel well-rested!) 

I know that life can be incredibly busy, especially at this time of year when you're trying to get school, college, or uni work finished before summer, but it is really  important to take some time out, and a Sunday is always a good day as it prepares you for the week ahead. 

Now, I need to be going to sleep at 10:30pm as I'm up early for work tomorrow!

I hope this helped, love to you all ♥
- Dottie x

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A Few of My Favourite Things...

There's something about the way the world looks after a rainstorm in spring... Everything seems so alive, so vibrant that I wish there was a way to capture it, in a way different to taking a photo. I want to be able to smell the damp air and hear the birds singing and feel the weight of the atmosphere... I love it, the colour, the way the light under the trees is a soft, dark sort of green... It makes me remember that the world really is beautiful place. 

I find peace in curling up in bed at night during a thunderstorm, allowing the rain to lull me into a peaceful sleep amongst cosy blankets and soft sheets. 

I love the first mug of tea on a cold winter's morning, feeling it warm you right to the core. I love ending the day with a great-scented bubble bath and a good book, before settling into clean sheets and having a dreamless sleep. 

I love dressing up, doing my hair and makeup and feeling incredibly confident in myself. I love dressing down and loving how natural I look...

I love days where I can take my time getting up, when I can properly taste my breakfast and drink my tea and watch the world go by...

Friday, 26 May 2017

Things I've Learnt Recently...

• if you don't feel like washing your hair, plait it, sleep on it, then curl it the next day. Also, dry shampoo is your friend.

• going out in shorts and a crop top isn't as scary as it sounds.

• sunshine makes me sleepy???

• blood tests aren't scary.

• dresses are super easy to wear and look adorable, yet literally no thought goes into picking one out and putting it on. Easy peasy cute outfit.

• blogging, working, and completing my college course is difficult; I suck at time management and basically want to sleep all the time. I'm trying though.

• blogging about little things I've learnt makes me feel productive when this post took two minutes.

Love to you all ❤

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A Blog From my Bath

Hello, I am currently in a bubble bath and haven't written any decent content in a long long time! I am absolutely terrified that I am going to drop my phone but I'll attempt to write a post for you all...

Today I wanted to write about how you don't notice yourself making progress, you don't notice the little changes until they've all summed up and become a big change.

The thing that I've noticed this most with recently is my work, and how I get on in my workplace. When I first started working at a DIY/hardware store, I was totally out of my comfort zone, I felt anxious every single day and I hated it, absolutely despised it.
But now, while I still struggle with the hours (6:30am or there until 9pm?? No thank you!!), I am actually quite proud of what I've accomplished. I now have the knowledge and ability to sell screws, locks (such as the ones that go in doors, 6-pin locks and such), power tools, and much, much more, because I've given it time, And tried to better myself.

People always assume that they're terrible at something simply because they've not been doing it for very long, or they've not given it a chance.
I've done this too... I'm fairly certain that I've written about my first job, you can find it if you have a search around, but I was there for all of about a month before giving up. Sure, at this time I was also struggling with confidence issues, both in myself and outward confidence, but I gave up instead of allowing myself to grow.

*blog is now being continued from a coffee shop*

I think what I was getting at after being sleep deprived and exhausted is that you have to allow yourself to grow, and you have to struggle a bit before things start to get better.
For example, I went to work on Monday.  Before going to work, I had a bit of a panic attack, but managed to quiet it and get in my car and go to work. Sure, I was a crying a little while driving and felt absolutely terrible the entire day but I did it, and am stronger now. Yay.

I understand that sometimes, it is so incredibly difficult to push yourself to get out of bed when all you want to do is shut the world out, switch off your phone and cease to exist for a couple of hours, but that's not always possible. You'll notice yourself getting stronger, day by day.

I hope you're all doing well and keep pushing yourself to be better.

Dottie x

Monday, 8 May 2017

LIVE REVIEW: The Skints @ The Frog & Fiddle, 05/05/17

After catching The Skints supporting Less Than Jake in October last year, I absolutely had to head down to the Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham to see them on their 'Nice Time' Beer Run Tour. 

I'd like to start off by saying how awesome the venue is! All old beams and craft beers and old-style pub, and the gig room is quite literally an old barn, pretty great! 
I had a Nice Time....

So, after I'd grabbed a beer from the bar, I headed into the music room to see the support act, who was a DJ, and there was about 3 people in the room. Jamie Rodigan was playing some pretty cool reggae/old two tone stuff, but nah, I wanted to drink my beer and save my legs. 

The first support band was all-girl punk band, The Tuts. Playing proper raw punk with pretty harmonies, The Tuts challenge everything that you think a punk band should be, even wearing sparkly clothes with Dr Martens! I've only even seen one all-female band before, and The Tuts definitely blew them out of the water! It's clear that the girls are all very switched-on and politically minded, singing songs about how their gender will always hold them back in the music industry, and how we need something decent to vote for in the upcoming elections. Definitely check out their songs Tut Tut Tut, and Always Hear the Same Shit. 

Jamie Rodigan played another DJ set as The Skints' team was setting up, and this time it was a lot more fun, with everyone singing along and dancing to the super fun reggae and ska hits, from Bob Marley to Madness. 

Finally, finally it was time for the band that all 200+ people in the barn were waiting for - The Skints! As much a dance band as a reggae band, it is impossible to confine The Skints to just one genre. It's so easy to get caught up in the chilled out, yet insanely fun sound of the band's music, Opening with Up Against the Wall Riddim (I think?), the entire audience was immediately bopping along. 
We were also treated to a cover (which I didn't know, sorry!), the ska-tastic Friends and Business, and The Forest for the Trees, along with so many others from previous albums, Rise Up, Rubadubdub, and Rat-at-at
Closing their main set was Cutlure Vulture, and of course everyone, band and audience alike gave it their all, singing and dancing as loud, and as much as possible. To chants of "one more set!" from the audience, guitarist/vocalist Joshua Waters Rudge crept back onstage behind a potted tree, which was part of their stage decoration. He was shortly followed by the rest of the band, and we finally got to see main vocalist and drummer, Jamie Kyriakides, who donned an acoustic guitar and played Sunny Sunny all stripped down. The most amazing experience I've had at a live gig was when I closed my eyes as they were playing this song - it felt like it was just me and the music, and it was so odd to see so many people when I opened my eyes again! 
The sound of The Skints is an odd one; it's so bass-heavy, you can feel yourself moving because of it, but over the heavy low end is such a chilled out reggae sound, it's such an odd combination - but it works. The Skints sure know how to party, and picked the best venue to do so!

Before they left the stage for the final time, Joshua hinted at touring again over summer, after new music was released, so maybe stay tuned for an album review?

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I'm Not Dead....

Hello! It's almost 10pm and my body is telling me to go to bed, but I needed to write this little post to let you all know that I'm not dead! 

Over the last two weeks, I was enjoying my Easter break, and some time off from college. I gave myself plenty of opportunities to see friends, have a rest, and just generally look after myself. I went back to college today, and things are starting to get pretty stressful; I've got around six to eight weeks left to complete what currently feels like an awful lot of work, and on top of that, it's looking unlikely that I'll have a day off over the next three week. This is because I do three days a week at college, and my work is so understaffed, I'm having to do four days there. 

This little post is just to let you all know that if I'm quiet over the next few weeks, I'm very stressed and exhausted, and am trying my best to look after myself. However, my life hasn't been, and hopefully won't be all work and no play, because I'm starting to really enjoy photography, so even if I'm not here blogging, I'll be thinking about it!
I have lots of ideas for posts written and planned out, I am just struggling to find the time and motivation to actually write, and take photos. 

I promise to try and get back to blogging once I have more free time!
- Dottie x

Friday, 14 April 2017

What "Treating Yourself" REALLY Is

Treating yourself is getting up extra early to watch the sunrise
Because it makes you wonder at the world. 

Treating yourself is baking cupcakes 
Because it makes you happier than anything else. 

Treating yourself is taking a nap at 3pm, after starting work at 7am
Because hell, you deserve it. 

Treating yourself is taking the time to do your makeup just so
And wearing dark lipstick
Because it makes you feel powerful enough to take on the world.

Taking the time for a solitary coffee-and-book date
Because you love the calm that settles over you.

Treating yourself is shaving your legs in the middle of winter, or wearing pretty underwear
Because it makes you feel so damn good about yourself. 

That warm feeling you get inside after making the time for a hot cup of tea on a cold morning?
Or that happiness that spreads through your body after a hot chocolate with extra cream?
Treating yourself

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Where I Went/TMI Tag

Hello, it has been what feels like forever since I last sat down and wrote a blog post. The reason behind that is because I worked nearly thirty hours last week, on top of going to college. This is something that I just find very exhausting, so naturally when I got home each day, I'd just curl up and sleep instead of doing something productive.
To make up for my absence, I thought I'd give you all a little insight into my life, yay. 

1. What are you wearing?
I am currently wearing a military green cold-shoulder smock dress, and purple fluffy socks. I am a fashion hero...

2. Have you ever been in love?
I'd like to think I am, but having never experienced it, how do I really know?

3. Have you ever had a terrible breakup?

4.  How tall are you?
5'6" or thereabouts.

5. How much do you weigh?
Less than I did three months ago, and less that I probably should for the amount I spend running around a warehouse/walking to and from college.

6. Any tattoos?
Yes, I got a daisy chain around my ankle in February.

7. Any piercings?
Six - nose, two lobe piercings on each side, conch, and helix.

8. OTP?
Who knows? (not me)

9. What is your favourite show?

10. Who are your favourite bands?
Biffy Clyro, Slaves (UK), Dead!, and Let's Eat Grandma.

11. Something you miss?
Weekends - I work mine now.

12. Favourite song?
Machines - BIffy Clyr0

13. How old are you?

14. Zodiac Sign?

15. Quality you look for in a partner?
Kind, warm-hearted, caring, and understanding of the fact that I need space. (also must like good books, bands, and movies).

16. What is your favourite quote?
"I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions" - Augusten Burroughs

17. Who is your favourite actor?
I don't really know actors...

18. Favourite colour?

19. Loud music or soft?
It depends on what I'm listening to, where I am, who I'm with, etc. etc.

20. Where do you go when you're sad?
My bed, its so warm and cosy and comforting.

21. How long does it take you to shower?
About 20 minutes...

22. How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning?
Anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours...

23. Have you ever been in a physical fight?

24. Turn ons?
Nice smile, friendly eyes, very open.

25. Turn offs?
Rude, waaaay too forward, making gross sexist comments.

26. The reason you joined the blogging community?
I wanted somewhere to share my thoughts and just be myself.

27. What are your fears?

28. Last thing that made you cry?
I was very over-tired from working so much last week, I couldn't decide what to wear on Tuesday and was running late and ended up sobbing...

29. Last time you said you loved someone?
Today, to my mum.

30. Meaning behind your blog name?
I had a Wheatus phase...

31. Last book you read?
Allegiant - Veronica Roth

32. Book you're currently reading?
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

33. Last show you watched?
Clique on the BBC Three iPlayer.

34. Last person you talked to?
My mum.

35. The relationship between you and the last person you texted?
One of my best mates from college.

36. What is your favourite food?
Crunchy food like breadsticks, biscuits, etc.

37. Place you want to visit

38. Last place you were?
A gym/swimming centre to register for a trial pass.

39. Do you have a crush?
I have a boyfriend so...

40. Last time you kissed someone?

41. Last time you were insulted?
Jokingly would have been today. Properly, I actually don't know.

42. Favourite flavor or sweet?
Chocolate, especially cake.

43. What instruments do you play?
I used to play guitar, but haven't for quite a while...

44. Favourite piece of jewellery?
My Maori Fish-hook necklace.

45. Last sport you played?
I genuinely have no clue, it's been that long!

46. Last song you sang?
Eat Shiitake Mushrooms by Let's Eat Grandma - it's the album currently in my car stereo.

47. Favourite pick up line?
Do not ever come near me with pick up lines.

48. Have you ever used it?
Never in my life.

49. Last time you hung out with anyone
Yesterday after college.

50. Who should answer these questions next?
YOU reading this! Pick at least one to answer in the comments so I can get to know you!!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Tips & Products for Caring For Oily/Spotty/Teenage Skin

One thing that I've learnt, and begun to enjoy recently is my skincare regime. I've been trying to drink more water and making sure that I moisturise twice a day. But other than that, here's how I care for my oily/spotty/teenage skin...

As I've already mentioned, drinking water and moisturising are two of the most important things you can do. Drinking water is good not only for your skin, but for your body in general, so make a good effort to actually do it!! It'll leave your skin glowing and radiant! Also, no matter what type of skin you have, you need to moisturise. If you don't, your skin will produce more oils to compensate for the moisture it needs. That's most definitely not what you want! 

Every morning, I will wash my face using either a cleansing product from Simple's Oil Balancing range, or Ocean Salt or Dark Angels by Lush. I'll then use either Simple's light hydrating moisturiser, or the oil balancing one. If I've used Dark Angels then I use Lush's Tea Tree Water before putting on moisturiser, to close my pores and remove any charcoal residue from my face and neck. In the evenings, I'll just use a thick Nivea moisturiser after washing my face with water in the shower. Once a week, I use Lush's Mask of Magnaminty, or Ocean Salt, depending on whether my skin is dry, or spotty. (products linked below!)
I also try to go makeup-free for most of the week, as it allows my skin to breathe, and I realised that masking spots can end up making them worse. Read more about why I don't wear makeup everyday here

While having oily/spotty skin is part of being a teenager, there are products that you can use to minimise this. So, here they are: 

Finally, you need to ensure that you aren't putting lots of makeup on your face and leaving it there. This isn't good for you, no matter your skin type. Remove eye makeup using a gentle eye makeup remover, such as the Nivea one, and then use a gentle cleanser to remove the rest of your makeup and any residue. Then, you can use a face mask (but not everyday!), and pop on some moisturiser to bring your face back to it's healthy natural state. It might take longer than just using baby wipes or makeup remover wipes, but it's a lot better for your skin! You also need to ensure that you're washing your face at least once a day, and you're using products that actually work for your skin. 

Finally, spots and your skin is impacted by more than just what you put on it; stress, the flu or being poorly can cause more spots, as can hormones, and your diet. Please don't stress it if you do have spots or oily skin because we've all been there, and we all understand. As unfair as it seems, it's part of growing up, so you kind of just have to accept it. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! I wanted to share the products that I've been using that have been working for me, as they might help some of you out there! I know that Lush is expensive, and you may have allergies to certain products I've mentioned, but as always, you'll end up finding what works for you, it's just trial and error. 

Now, go hydrate!!! 

- Dottie x