Well hello 2019, I can now finally say that I am getting married this year... say what?!

13/10/2017 is the date etched in my brain as the most amazing and exciting day ever. The day he put a ring on it!! I never actually spoke about my engagement on the blog, it is something that's been mentioned on my social media but I never sat down to tell you how the engagement happened.

It was Friday 13th October 2017 and we were in Los Angeles about to have a private tour of the Warner Bros studios. Luckily for us we had friends in high places who were able to show us around without needing to be part of a huge group; thank god (this will be clear in a sec). Five minutes in and we stepped foot in the Central Perc set, sat down on the oh so famous orange sofa in the coffee house to have the obvious tourist photo. Little did I know what was about to happen, along with the poor lady who was trying her very best to get our two friends to be a part of the photos too.

It was all a blur, but seconds into the "photo shoot", Martyn got down on one knee and asked me to become his wife and obviously I said 'YES' along with the lady screaming and a very excitable gentlemen who worked there running in and saying 'He's her lobster' (Friends quote). A lifetime went by before the words 'YES' came out of my mouth, however video evidence says the complete opposite and Martyn barely finished asking me before my answer spurted out - oops.

Fast forward well over a year and we come to the year of our wedding :-) It has felt like a lifetime since we booked the date, it's been a whirlwind but also quite intense too, I really did not know what to expect. It's every little girls dream of having that perfect wedding right? Having those scrapbooks of every little detail of the 'dream' wedding! But not me, I thought about having a wedding one day but I never actually sat down to jot down what I wanted, I was too busy writing stories/songs and playing with dolls. Although I do have that board on Pinterest full to the brim with ideas; private of course.

We are currently seven months into planning and organising the wedding and I have learnt so much already, we have experienced a hell of a lot of stumbling blocks but also discovered a number of fantastic individuals who work in the industry who have been absolutely amazing and incredibly helpful in our journey!

This blog post could go on and on and on but I am just going to share with you the BIG things such as budgets and also the stumbling blocks we hit and how we overcame them. 

The first thing we did was figure out a budget, we knew it would be low but we loved the challenge to create the best day for us at a price that was affordable and didn't put us in any debt! I am now the person who deals with finances on a spreadsheet ... yes a bloody spreadsheet, who even am I? Jokes aside, this has been the best thing we ever did, this allowed us to know how much we needed to save and we put down an estimate of how much things cost so we could see what we were working with, if it was a no go or we could fit it into our day.

The spreadsheet we have is in the document sheets which both me and Martyn have access to via google documents and also on an app which is so handy when we have been sent through quotes. I would definitely recommend starting one whether it is planning your budget for a house move, general day to day life and weddings! 


Don't be a stickler, yes we all know that we cannot afford splashing the cash wouldn't it be lovely if money was no object, but your budget will change! We started out with an idea of what things were going to cost, but as we spoke to suppliers it was clear to us that things cost less than we expected - bonus! Things cost more than we thought - bummer! Our budget has switched around loads but we are still within a few hundred of what we agreed on! This is where shopping around and negotiating becomes vital. 

Secondly, came the venue and this is where we hit our first stumbling block and what a big one that was! I'm not being over dramatic here but it got to the point where I was seriously contemplating on not getting married for a long time. For me the venue is key, if it was not perfect then we could not have the wedding. It had to cater so many different factors; had to suit both of our personalities, be within our budget, suitable for family and friends i.e. wheelchair friendly etc and allow us to dress it up and have the perfect caterers etc.

We initially thought we had found the dream venue, perfect location, within our budget, suitable for everyone we would like to attend. It seemed to be too good to be true and guess what .. it was! The only issue we had was trying to barter them down on the minimum bar spend which was extremely high, little did I know the delay in us trying to reach an agreement was actually a saving grace. One day out of the blue, a local paper announced on their website that the venue was being sold for housing at the end of that year; we had zero communication from the venue owner but we could have lost a huge amount of money. So the search was back on and this is where it got very frustrating.

I actually left it in the hands of my sister, she's incredible at finding things online. I honestly have no idea how she does it but she has helped us so much (more of this later on in the wedding series.) She put together a list of places that she thought fell into my ideal category and it was down to me to have a look through the pictures and speak to the venues. I will obviously go into more detail in a future blog post on how I found the venue etc but as of June 2018 we had paid the deposit and the venue was ours! 


The next stumbling block we hit was probably getting a wedding photographer! If you follow my social media channels: Insta, Twitter (little ole' plug there haha), this has been a pretty recent issue. I found what I thought was my dream photographer via our venue's instagram page (I'm not going to hint where my venue is until after the big day, some things I like to keep private to make it more special). 

I had zero clue what I wanted in a photographer, there are so many different styles out there, who knew! But the ones that stood out to me were the more natural shots and images that captured the beautiful light as we all know I am a sucker for fairy lights and sunsets etc. This one photographer captured all of this and more, we booked them in for a skype session and we knew that they were going to be the one but months went by before we actually sat down to book and by then it was too late. I am also a believer of things happen for a reason and within 24 hours of disappointment we then found our photographer who is absolutely wonderful, they really are a dream to work with. 

At this point in time, these are the only issues we have hit, but I know we have so much more planning to do that there could be more issues along the way. I have learnt so much but also this process has helped me discover my vision for the day. 

I would also say that be prepared to compromise, this may be the hardest thing you have to do. The main thing I decided on was not having a wedding car, as my whole day is taking place at the one venue and no one would see me arrive I don't see the point in forking out on hiring one just to drive 10 minutes from where I am staying the night before to my venue. The only people who will see me is my parents and bridesmaids, I am perfectly ok to miss out on a couple of shots of me in a fancy car if I am going to save a few hundred pounds which can go towards my dress or the florist. 

Another big thing I would say is look around at who you know, its not as weird as what it may sound haha! Who do you know and what do they do? My sister is a graphic designer and she has kindly offered to make our wedding invitations for us which is incredible and it also makes it that little more special as you have created a lovely memory in the build up to the big day! 

Martyn's mum is incredible at baking, especially when it comes to decorating cakes! She has made a couple of wedding cakes in the past for his cousins so it was only right that she got the opportunity to make our cake too. All of these things are a great way of saving money, I am not saying use and abuse our loved ones, if they offer you it as a gift then that is incredible but make it known that you will pay for their services. 

We are almost there, I promise. But I wanted to end the post by giving you two top tips if you are ever planning a wedding, no matter who you are, what you want from your big day or what budget you are working with! 

Always shop around and negotiate! This could sound like such a faff but honestly, the extra hours you put in is so worth it! There are so many times I wanted to go with the first thing I saw; the venue, the dress, the florist and even hairdressers for my bridesmaids but I haven't and thank god because I have discovered new companies who are so incredible to work with plus we have managed to save so much money!  

All that is left for me to say is Congratulations on your engagement and I hope you have as much fun as we are having booking your day!! I hope to see you popping back when my next post in the wedding series is live! 

Alice xxx



Wow, 2018! What a bloody year! 

Boy am I grateful to see the clock strike midnight on the 31st December 2018. 


One whole year, 365 days ago, I sat down with a notepad and wrote a number of aims I had for 2018. I decided to go against the whole new year, new me and resolutions as I quite frankly forget half of them and am just too lazy to complete them. 

Instead, I made a list of six to eight things I either wanted to achieve or change in my life for the better. I'm not going to share them with you as they are quite personal, some I may if they ever come to light in 2019 but all I can say is that 2018 was one hell of a crappy year! The only thing that did come to fruition was booking our wedding, this was probably the only highlight I actually have. 

I did however learn a number of life lessons which I will carry with me forever. 


The BIGGEST lesson I learnt was to cherish your loved ones! You just don't know what is around the corner, without going into details we had a couple of shocks during the summer time that turned our world upside down. Fortunately, things got brighter and I am happy to say that we got very lucky to be going into 2019 with these loved ones still around. 

Never take anything for granted, always take time out and make those memories that you can cherish forever! 

2018 was the year I struggled with my mental health, obviously the above didn't help but I just felt very lost! I feel like the majority of the year I was stuck in limbo; there were so many things I wanted to achieve, by putting that much pressure on me and wanting these huge changes to happen kind of pushed them all away! 


My second lesson, do not be afraid to speak out. It has taken me a good eight months to realise that I needed someone to go chat to, someone who is a neutral and wants to listen and has the advice to get me through different scenarios. It is not weak to get that help, it is perfectly ok and not scary at all! 

Finally, do not compare yourself to others. We are all very different people, we may like similar things but we are each unique, the world would be a very boring place if we all did exactly the same! 

The blogging community can be amazing but also very alienating; the growth and opportunities has been incredible since I started five years ago. Please do not be harsh or bitchy or gutted or jealous of someone who has shared adverts, sponsored posts/videos or going on these press trips etc, everyone works extremely hard to get these opportunities, your time will come one day. 


Do not be disappointed that your blog hasn't got the same reach as others who started around a similar time to you. We are all different, we will all have our time one day! You are incredible, keep it up! 

Looking ahead to 2019; I'm taking each day as it comes, I still have similar aims to what I did in 2018 but I am not going to put the same amount of pressure on myself as it isn't healthy. What I do know is, 2019 is the year I am getting married so I have got so much things to plan and get sorted before the big day! 

I hope that 2019 brings you a lot of happiness! 

Alice xxx




Mortgages

This is where our story gets complicated so I will keep it as short as possible for you. It took us a hell of a long time to find somewhere to accept us and give us a mortgage in principle. There are so many companies or banks to go through, so definitely do your research as we got messed around a couple of times. This is not always the case as a couple of my friends got theirs straight away; ours dragged on for around two to three months.

As we were getting a new build, the housing company had mortgage advisors they worked alongside. The company was based three to four hours away from where we lived but we scheduled in a home appointment with one of their advisors, the day she was meant to come we were informed that she could no longer make it and we would be on a Skype call with another advisor. He went through all of our finances and I mean everything, it is pretty scary to see how much money we threw away on a daily basis without seeing any benefits.

For some reason, I didn’t get a good vibe from him and I thought it was pretty rude that they just did a Skype call on our initial meeting. It seemed far too unprofessional, rushed and negative so we decided to take our business elsewhere. Do not be scared to do this, you are well within your right.
We then wanted to get ours through Barclays Bank as I am aware they are quite loyal and can get good deals. We must have been in that bank for four hours filling in paper work, getting credit checks etc before being told we needed to give up the dream of purchasing that particular house we fell in love with. What was worse was the fact we put down a mini deposit on the land with it being a new build.



I’m not being dramatic but I went back to work in tears, it was like my whole world had crumbled down, I had worked so hard and it was as though we were just going to lose our dream house or not even get on the property ladder.

Fortunately, through my own work I discovered a local financial advisor who was a dream to work with and I regretted not going to see him sooner. We spent a couple of hours in his office going through most of our finances and giving him the details of our home and voila we had a mortgage in principle, we just had to wait on our health checks to be processed alongside other paperwork.
I would say that if your financial situation at the time of taking out a mortgage is suitable, go for the longer fixed rate – it does mean the monthly payments are slightly higher than a two year fixed rate but what it does mean is that your payment will be exactly the same for four years before you have to remortgage.

Once your fixed rate is up, the monthly prices will dramatically rise as they will be on a ridiculous variable rate (I believe that is). This is when you keep an eye on the house prices, if they have risen or dropped, this will affect your mortgage when remortgaging and the rates too.



Solicitors

There was still a long road ahead and we knew things could easily fall through, luckily there was no chain. If you are unsure on the lingo, a chain means that there is more than one person in the process, so someone could be buying your house or the person who is moving out the house you would like is buying another etc.

A top tip is to keep the decision of buying a house hush, hush. Tell as little people as possible so if something does go wrong there are less people to inform, plus until the payment has gone through and you have the keys in your hand anything could happen unfortunately.

Again, do your research into finding the perfect solicitor for you as you will be dealing with them on a daily basis. We got our solicitor through a company Taylor Wimpey had recommended and to be fair the lady we were dealing with was a god send. There are a lot of fees that are going to crop up throughout the process, so do not be alarmed if you have agreed the fee at the start and then it increases when it comes to pay at the end of the service, but do not be a push over and stand your ground! I even rang another solicitors to get some advice, they couldn’t tell me too much but they did confirm that our solicitors we were using were well within their right with this particular extra cost.
You will receive a hell of a lot of paperwork that you must read through! I did not have a clue about anything when I was reading them, it was so daunting but it does make sense as you go along. I also got my parents to read through them too to double check everything before I even signed the paperwork.

They will look into a valuation survey, property survey and the land the building is on. There’s so much that comes into play that is out of your hands but it is the case for everyone so do not worry.
They will keep you posted throughout the whole process and then it will come to the time that you finalise the offer and mortgage. Then all that is left to do is to wait for the exchanging of contracts, this is where your initial deposit will be paid and there is no going back!

Finally, you will get to the stage where you complete the purchase. Again it is out of your hands, you are waiting for that phone call from your solicitors to confirm they have transferred the remaining money owed to buy the property to the seller’s solicitor’s account, in my case it was Taylor Wimpey.
With ours being a new build, we sneakily went to our house before the money had been transferred and fortunately it was unlocked, don’t worry it was safe as the builders were still on our road. As we pulled up, I received the phone call from the solicitor to say that the final payment had gone through and we were home owners.

Soon after the lady from the sales team we had dealt with on our site popped down to hand over our keys and a lovely welcome home pack which had some coffee, magazine, biscuits and a mug which was lovely!

If you have purchased through an estate agent, you would either meet them at the house or go to their offices to pick up the keys. We didn’t go through this process so I don’t have a lot of information on this.

I have noticed that some building societies actually provide these cute packages when you purchase your house! It’s a lovely touch.


Hidden Extras

Please be aware that you will still need to pay out on a number of different things. Firstly, take out health insurance, it may sound morbid but if anything happens to you or your partner you know you have help with the mortgage. We did ours through our financial advisor who found our mortgage, it only took an hour and a few forms to fill out. A small tip is to take one out each as this will provide better cover rather than a joint one.

Take out contents and house insurance, it is a price to pay each year or you can choose to pay it through monthly instalments. Again shop around for the best deal for you but again if anything happens to your house whether it is a fire/flood/burglary you are covered!

This next thing is probably something most people forget; everyone will have set up their internet and Sky but do not forget a tv licence. It may be expensive but if you get caught out watching tv without one, you could be in a lot of trouble. It only takes a couple of minutes online and again you can choose to pay it in instalments or out in one go! We did ours the night before we picked up the keys so we knew we would be covered straight away.

There is probably a lot that I have missed off! But do not let all of this scare you off. Think about Chandler in friends the day he is getting married, think about each step as you go along, they are all manageable in their own right!

Finally, keep all of your paperwork in a fancy folder. There’s always going to be something you need to check on so keep everything!!

Good luck to everyone who are buying a house, I hope everything all goes well and enjoy your new life in your little abode.



Alice xxx

It has been some time since I've shared with you my favourite beauty products, seen as we are so close to Christmas and the New Year is looming it was time to look at my most used make up items. 

Typical blogger over here became a sheep and when we bought our house I also bought those Ikea draws that everyone man and his dog owns to store my beauty products in. Come to think of it, they were my first purchase for the house - oops.

I'll admit that I only use about 10% of those products but for the life of me I cannot get rid of any of the items I've not used in a while as I am such a hoarder, anyone else? 


Back in April, we took a trip to London which meant I finally got around to visiting The Ordinary store in Covent Garden (F.Y.I. There's more than one, who knew). I've longed to own some of their skincare products but never really took that leap of faith to make an order so getting those products in my hands was what I needed, particularly when it came to their foundation as god knows what shade I needed. 

I picked up their 'Coverage Foundation'  in shade 1.0N Very Fair Neutral and I am obsessed. I'll admit that I was not a fan of the foundation at first, for what is meant to be a high coverage product it seemed far too light weight and just didn't cover those pesky spots and imperfections which is a huge issue for me. But after persevering as I'm not one to throw products away unless they are completely the wrong shade, I switched up my tool from a stippling brush to a beauty blender and BAM everything changed! 

Following the advice of wetting the beauty blender first I added a small pump of the foundation to each cheek and forehead before dabbing it in. The product blended thoroughly and the coverage was consistent and thick covering those imperfections, where as the stippling brush seemed to drag the foundation down my face and most of the product remained on the brush. 

Similarly, the same has to be said with my favourite higher end foundation from Nars Natural Radiant Longer Foundation, I had the same issue. Safe to say I was even more disappointed with how expensive this product is BUT again applying it with my beauty blender gave it a more consistent and thicker coverage. I would certainly recommend this product if you are looking for something a little more expensive but not a ridiculous amount. 


My go to eye shadow product towards the back end of the year has to be this Sample Beauty palette, now this was actually a gift from a family member. Now as you can see I have only used a couple of the shades particularly the top right one, this is amazing to add a bit of depth and shadow to the shadow area of my eyelid and then I add a little bit just under my lower lash line. 

On a day to day basis, I don't wear a lot of make up when it comes to work mainly because I prefer to have that extra time in bed than get up early. Anyone else with me on that? But when I do like to make an effort I love to do a bit of baking .. yeah you heard that correct. 

I just like to brighten up my under eye as I suffer horrendously with dark circles no matter how much sleep I get. After applying my foundation and concealer I like to get a different beauty blender (are you bored yet?) and dust quite a large amount of the Revolution Bake Finish powder under my eyes and leave them there until I have done the rest of my make up, I then get my powder brush to get rid of the loose powder. 



I'll be honest here, I have never really understood the use of setting spray, for me it just hasn't worked. Then I discovered Elf Setting Spray, I'm not going to lie it came in the 3for2 offer so had to take advantage of it and I loved it, I actually need to repurchase as I've run out and it isn't until I ran out that I realised how much this product actually worked! 

Onto lipsticks and the one I have been reaching out for the most is from Urban Decay, it is the most beautiful and natural shade who h is perfect for everyday wear and if I want to add a bit of depth I'll add a bit of lipliner to make my lips looks a bit more plump. 

Finally but no means least, I have recently discovered the Benefit Hoola Contour Stick thanks to the mini in a magazine. I love a good freebie! I've again been reluctant at purchasing such a product, contouring scares me a little, more so because I'm not the best at creating those cheekbones. But the product is so creamy and super easy to blend - I'm not even going to mention what with... I know that when I can afford it, I will be purchasing the full size product. 

These are all the products I have been loving this year and will hopefully be my go to products for 2019. 

Alice xxx




I am not entirely sure if being a home owner, I notice things in the news a lot more regarding house prices and the struggles of getting yourself onto the house ladder or if it is just a coincidence. Not going to lie, I’m constantly on Zoopla to see if my house has gone up in valuation, always sad when it has gone down in price – not that I am moving on anytime soon, it is just addictive.

It has been two years since we picked up the keys and took that first step through the front door of our own house. I still have to pinch myself that I am a home owner, I am aware that it isn’t that easy and not everyone is as fortunate which is so sad!

I am extremely fortunate that I was able to buy my first home at the age of 23, me and my other half worked our backsides off and missed out on a lot of socialising with loved ones to save. It was a huge learning curve but I believe this is where I got my first grey hair from as the process was far from easy, if things could go wrong then they did.

Being a young home owner, I wanted to do a series of blog posts that gives you an insight into how we managed to own our home but also the difficulties we found and top tips to help you along the way. You could be bored and just not read on but if I help just one person out there then I will be happy.



Here goes...

We knew that we couldn’t afford to purchase a house the “normal” way but after visiting a new build estate in our local area we discovered that there were two other routes we could take when buying a house.

Shared Ownership
This is something we were already familiar with due to family members previously taking this route. There were a set number of houses on the estate we fell in love with that were given to our local council to sell. Now the Shared Ownership scheme is great for first time buyers, you have a choice of different percent of your mortgage to own. We had the choice of owning 50% of the mortgage or 75% of the mortgage and then your deposit will vary and the amount of mortgage you are paying out on. The council will own the rest which can be bought back from the homeowner or you may decided that you will never buy back the rest.

There are downsides to this, if you want to move on then you will need to buy back the rest of the mortgage which is pretty pricey, so keep that in mind. Also if you wanted to do work on the building like taking out a wall, adding a garage or extension, you would need permission from the council.
We didn’t take this route in the end purely because we couldn’t save the right amount of deposit we needed which was a shame.

Help To Buy
This scheme is much more popular and is more well known. With not being able to go through the Shared Ownership’ route we were relieved that there was another way more suited to our financial situation where we could still afford the house we fell in love with, which at that point was a show home and our house was technically rubble at that point.

Help to Buy is fantastic, it is a scheme run by the government to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder, without this we would not be in our house today we would probably still be renting.
All we needed to do was to put down a 5% deposit and the government would put down the rest which is bloody amazing but there is a catch which I will discuss a little later. For us, it wasn’t the monthly mortgage payments we would need to fork out on as we were used to paying rent on our flat, it was in fact finding that huge lump sum to pay out the deposit!

Now, because we put down a small deposit (which did turn out to be quite a bit more than everyone anticipated in the end due to cock ups by the bank society we have our mortgage through) it meant that our monthly payments would in fact be slightly lower. We were in fact only paying out an extra £50 a month more on the mortgage for a three bed terraced house with two car park spots and a lovely garden than what we did the two bed flat. I know we had extra bills on top but it was a no brainer for us.

Here is where I talk about that catch ... after paying off your mortgage for four years, on the fifth year, the monthly payments will increase as you need to pay back a percentage to the government for what they leant you with the deposit.



Deposits
This is the daunting part and the part you wave all your money goodbye. In reality, it isn’t so scary looking back. For me I always wanted to own a home, someone once said to me ‘always own a home, never own a car’ and that really stuck with me. There’s a lot of value and money in property but with cars, they lose valuation as soon as you take your brand new car off the forecourt of the garage.
Our life changed quite quickly after both securing full time jobs and it was clear that we would be moving out of our parents a lot earlier than expected. More because Martyn lived an hour and 20 minutes away from me, with the way jobs worked out he ended up moving and it was only fair we both had our own space so we started to rent.

Because of this, we had a short space of time to start saving for a deposit. Now we always knew we wanted to buy a house together but we didn’t realise it would happen as soon as it did. This meant buying a house the “normal” way was out of the window, so going down the Help to Buy route was the only way.

We moved back in with my dad which meant we were saving £400 a month on rent and the extra on bills to put straight into our savings. However, this only happened once we knew we had a mortgage in principle (more on that later).

Martyn’s mum had then discovered Martin Lewis the Money Saving Expert and he was discussing the help to buy ISA. From doing our research we took the plunge and each opened up an account with a local building society. You must put in £1200 for the initial payment to set it up and then each month you will need to transfer up to £200 a month, for every £200 you put in the government will give you a bonus of £50. It is quite complex and you will need to research this more yourself as the amounts you put into the account has changed since we did this.

If you cannot afford to do this just by yourself, set the one account up and both put money into it. You must have a sum of £1,600 in the ISA before you can claim the bonus from the government. This is automatically done and the money can only be used for the funds consolidated at the completion of the property transaction.

Do not confuse the ISA with the scheme; they are two completely different things. If you choose to buy a house without taking on any of the above schemes, you can still do the Help to Buy ISA – AMAZING!

I’m going to sign off the first instalment here as I am about to go onto mortgages and this is quite a lengthy process, so I don’t think it would be right to bore you any longer.

Alice xx


Skirt: Primark (similar), Shirt: Asos, Boots: Zara, Bag: Topshop (old), Jacket: H&M

Well hello, long time no see! This girl has ventured out of her shell and back into the big open world!
Ok, Ok, let’s not be so dramatic but I have finally decided it is time to get my head back into the blogging world after having a seven month hiatus. If you follow me on my social media channels, you will know that I haven’t been completely away from the internet, I am still very vocal on there but my creativity levels have shifted into the direction of my YouTube channel – here is something I never thought I would say!

Ever since I was a little girl, my love for writing was off the scale. I would be constantly sitting there with a notebook and pen in my hand jotting down notes, writing songs and stories; hence why I ventured into Journalism and my blog evolved back in 2013 after a trip to the Christmas markets in Manchester during my final year of University.

Fast forward almost five years and here I am age 25, a fully fledged adult who would like to rewind back to those Uni days where I could lay in my bed all day going through countless episodes of TV Series’ and a million films.



Let’s scroll back to a post I shared on Instagram  on the 29th December 2017; everyone always talks about new year, new me blah blah blah... don’t get me wrong this is great, if that is what gets them through the year then amazing; but if you know me, you will know that I struggle to stick to things. Who knows where my life is going to take me in a month never mind a year on. I decided to write eight things that I wanted to strive for in 2018; I am not going to share these things with you as some are quite personal and some could be laughable as they might not seem important.

Well one of those things has certainly happened, we booked our wedding date for next year and have already forked out on a number of substantial deposits (why are weddings so bloody expensive?) and we have the most beautiful venue ever and a bride and groom squad that have had a phenomenal part in our lives.

Other than this, 2018 hasn’t been so great. We were only discussing this year that my quote on the light box ‘2018 is the best year yet’ should probably be replaced with something more relevant to my/our life.

A lot of personal things have happened and my emotions have been a complete roller-coaster mainly on the downward spiral rather than looking up. My mental health has been questionable and I have kind of lost who I am, this may sound completely over the top but I don’t recognise myself anymore! I touched upon this in a recent video on my YouTube channel about why I seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth; little did I know when filming that video, more negativity would enter my life.
For me, my creativity levels just shifted and words would only come out through speech rather than written down, hence the lack of blog posts.

It is a bit frustrating when I finally felt like I had found my feet in the blogging world. I found my niche, my photography was reaching a level it hadn’t been before and I had been to a number of events that left me so inspired. My little blog and channel was finally growing, suddenly everything halted.


There are still another two months of this year to go and I am determined to make them ones to remember. I’ve taken a number of steps these past couple of weeks to get me to the point I am at now and I couldn’t be any more grateful for the support I have had.

Talking about your emotions can be so hard, it is not a failure, in fact turn it into a positive and know that when you come out the other side you are a much stronger and powerful individual!

Don’t be afraid to take a break, I am not talking about having a brew and kitkat. Take time out, look at what you need to work on whether it be mentally or those superficial things in life and work on them. Nothing is silly, it might not make sense to others but it does to you!

Phew, if you are reading this then you got through my ramblings. Thank you for your continued support and I cannot wait to be back creating new posts for you.

Alice xxx


I have seen so many people on my social media channels that are struggling with self esteem and confidence recently, it is not just with influencers who put themselves on the internet, but people in general and I can 100% relate to them.

I for one am conscious about a lot of things in my life and it’s not just every once in a while, it is all the time. We live in a world that sometimes feels like there is a lot of judgement, maybe hate, bitchiness and constant guides on how we should live, from what is healthy to eat, new ways to exercise and there seems to be a lot of skinny and fat shaming.

It’s very hard but I try not to get sucked into these things but with it being on the internet and plastered all over magazines and newspapers, it can be difficult to escape and does have an impact on my life and mood. I am constantly comparing myself to others and always doubting myself in every aspect of my life which again is so wrong and unhealthy. 

At the end of the day all you need to do is live a life that is suitable for yourself, if you are happy then that is the main thing. Do not live your life for other people, do what you want to do!!

As I’m extremely close to turning 25, I wanted to take a look back and see where my lack of confidence and self esteem started. 




It all stems back to high school, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed my time at school, had a fantastic support network and group of friends all of which I am still close to nine years on. But there were certain aspects of my time which I would love to have changed at the time; I was always the geeky quiet one who kept herself to herself, didn’t wear make up and was once of the tallest in my group for a long time which did make me feel like a beast. I hated it so, so much, why did I have to have an early growth spurt?

One of the earliest memories for me where I had “inspiration” in changing myself and that was when I watched Gossip Girl. I desperately wanted to be like them, live their life without all those scandals, craziness and dramas but have their fashion, beauty and general lifestyle. I loved the edgier vibes from Serena and Jenny and I always took pictures to the hairdresser so I could have the exact same style as them, I felt that I could be a little accepted more and felt so grown up even though I was only around 14/15.

Then make-up happened, very little I may add, but a bit of concealer, pink blush from Natural Cosmetics and a lot of black eye liner and mascara. How I got away with my eyes like that at school is beyond me but somehow I did.

Did I need to change myself to try and fit in, no not at all! It didn’t change my group of friends at school; it made very little impact on my life apart from making me feel a tiny bit happier in myself.
I truly felt more comfortable in my skin around three years later when I went to university, I’d lost a little bit of weight and that was purely for health reasons (my time at college was spent eating my weight in cookies and doughnuts) and found my own sense of style which I didn’t feel the need to worry about, I never compared myself to others or worried about what they thought of me, after all a big chunk was spent in pjs or on a lecture full of guys. 





Towards the back end of second year I started to feel self conscious again, maybe because I had started a new relationship and I wanted to show off my best self all the time which isn’t natural. I also got caught up in the world of watching reality TV, one show in particular; Made in Chelsea! Again the naivety got the better of me, I remember sitting there in my pjs, hair scraped back eating chocolate whilst having a glass of wine and sobbing to my boyfriend because I didn’t have that flawless look or impeccable fashion sense. Or in reality, I didn’t have a filter constantly on a lense following me around everywhere, a make up artist and hair stylist sorting me out every hour of the day.  

Now we move onto where I got into blogging, as you will discover I started Little Talks to get myself out of a bit of a rut but unfortunately we have had a vicious circle and blogging has started to affect my self esteem.

Third year was hell, absolute torture and I struggled so much in writing my dissertation. I must have rung my mum crying every single day, she used to set me around two or three tasks to do and then I would ring her back to go through it all before being set more tasks.  She had a patience of a saint back then!! My boyfriend had left uni and got himself a full time job as he was in the year above me and I was an hour away from all my friends and family. Plus I worked behind the SU Bar on all the big nights to fund my shopping habits so I missed out on the social life- on the up side, never had to deal with a hangover, instead I had to wipe up everyone’s puke around 3/4am. Oh the joys!

I started to blog to clear my head space and give me a bit of a hobby; I loved going to take a camera and tripod out of the media department for the weekend to take pictures of lots of different looks and beauty products. I loved it, I never felt judged, I could be so creative and feel free blogging was not as big of a community as it was now so everything was drama free! 



Coat: Primark (similar), Jeans: River Island, Shirt: H&M, Top: Primark (similar), Boots: Zara (similar), Headband: Accessorize (similar)


Fast forward four years and I’m still in love with blogging as I was when I first started, the community has grown and despite the drama, 99% of the blogosphere are lovely and so supportive. But now I suffer with low self esteem after comparing myself constantly to others; this goes from style to their relationship amongst one another and brands to the look of their blog and YouTube channel.

It isn’t a case of feeling threatened at all, I love to see everyone doing so well and at times I feel very inspired but I always feel like I am one step behind. I create a piece of content that I am so proud of and then maybe a couple of days later or even a few hours and I see another wonderful blogger putting out their latest post or video and I always feel a little crappy as it’s so much more creative than mine.

 Does anyone else ever feel like this? Deep down I know I am being ridiculous, everyone is different the world would not be the same if everyone lived their life the exact same way! How do people snap out of this or will it constantly be there?

Alice xxx

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