MARCH REFLECTION/APRIL GOALS

Welcome to another monthly reflection post! I feel like these are getting harder and harder to write because my life is just getting more and more boring. I bet by September I will literally have to write nothing happened. Great blog content!

  I HAD TONSILLITIS

I think this is just about the only thing that happened in March. I was down for a good week and a half with the worst case of tonsillitis I have ever had. It was so bad that I couldn't eat anything, I kept throwing up and all I could do was nap and cry and be sick. I can't watch Twilight anymore because I associate it with being sick. Same with the Alice in Wonderland audiobook - Alice fell down the rabbit hole and I threw up. Good times. But yeah, I got over it and now I'm back up and doing stuff. It took a while to get over the exhaustion and it was hard to tell when I was fully recovered because I'm permanently exhausted anyway.

I HAD ANOTHER INTERVIEW

I feel like most people wouldn't be so open about their unsuccessful interviews but that ain't me. I like to try and be as open as possible on my blog and my job hunt is no exception. This is the 2nd interview I've had this year and this time I didn't get it - I was a little down but I was easily able to just pick myself back up and carry on. I know I say this every month but I really hope and pray that April is the good month.

  CRISP BAN

So last month I set myself the challenge of going without crisps for a whole month. Long story short - I failed. I had maybe 3 packets of crisps - which is really not bad compared to my usual 300. Plus I've become obsessed with quinoa chips, I dunno if they count as crisps but they taste so damn good. My skin cleared up so so well for the most part, I've got a couple of pesky little ones just now which is probably due to the quinoa chips, which I've been so reluctant to admit.

  APRIL GOALS

In April I've decided I'm going to give up buying materialistic things. I have a massive spending problem so for a whole month I am not going to buy anything unless I absolutely need it. Like, if all my black jeans miraculously get holes in them. I will only buy petrol and food and other necessities. Someone please remind me of this ban every single day because it's gonna be so difficult. Potentially more difficult than the crisps.

I'm also going to read and comment on at least 3 blogs every day throughout April. I don't read blogs as often as I'd like and I definitely don't comment on them enough - I definitely appreciate any and every comment I get on my posts so I'd like to make several other people feel accomplished too.

I'm also going to continue the crisp ban cos I'm quite enjoying how clear my skin was at certain points throughout March. I'll maybe allow some on the weekends so I don't go stir crazy without them.


  What are your goals for April?


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SPRING ADVENTURES

We were blessed with several of the nicest days ever recently so my usual habit of sitting inside and binge-watching Netflix was tossed aside in favour of some exploring. I really enjoy being outside when the weather is nice and I also really enjoy not having to wear a jacket because all my jackets ruin my outfits.

 

On Mothers Day this year we headed to Falkland to explore the woods there. We went to see the really cool waterfalls that you could walk behind and we did not get to see them as we got a little bit lost trying to find a cafe. We also found a map on our way out and discovered there are also some witches caves somewhere in the insane amount of woodlands so we're already planning on going back to investigate those a little more.


We came across an old, empty school building that we walked around and I attempted to take photos of. This is the only good one in about 60. All the fountains around the building were empty and most of the windows were boarded up - we assumed it was totally empty until we saw a man standing at the window watching us. Little bit creepy. There were also some escaped chickens and a couple of pairs of abandoned football boots that were literally caked in mud.


There was also this pretty cool door that made me feel like a proper blogger. Note to self - get some properly fitting jeans. All the full length photos make me cringe because my jeans look awful. Also I swear I don't have a spare tyre or a baby bump (as much as I'd like one), it's just the way my top is creased.


The thing I love most about Spring is definitely the flowers. I love to photograph them, they make me very happy. There's not quite as many as I would like but there was enough to take some pretty photos. My favourites are cherry blossoms - I could look at them all day. If someone would like to buy me a cherry blossom tree for my garden that would be great.


I must admit I felt like a bit of a hipster at first with the hat and shirt combo but I actually really, really like it. The hat is from H&M and the shirt is from Zara. The tshirt is from Primark and is my favourite item of clothing right now - I love it, and for £3 I could probably stock up on a wardrobe full.

How was your Mothers Day?


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THE DISNEY TAG

Happy 100th post to me and my blog!

It only seemed fitting that my 100th post be the Disney tag - I am a ridiculously huge fan of Disney. Massive thank you to KATIE for tagging me in this - it was so much fun to do!

FAVOURITE CHARACTER - Belle from Beauty & the Beast without a doubt. She will always and forever be my favourite.

FAVOURITE PRINCESS - Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. We're both stubborn af.


FAVOURITE HEROINE - It has to be Mulan, she's a badass.

FAVOURITE PRINCE - John Smith from Pocahontas. He's kinda dreamy for a cartoon.

FAVOURITE HERO - Hercules!

FAVOURITE ANIMAL - Pegasus from Hercules, I want one.

FAVOURITE SIDEKICK - Mushu! He makes me laugh every time.


FAVOURITE VILLAIN - Maleficent. I dunno if her standalone movie counts as anything but that film is one of my favourites.

FAVOURITE ORIGINAL CHARACTER - Tigger or Piglet! Do they count?

FAVOURITE LOVE SONG - Tale As Old As Time, I get chills every time I hear it.

FAVOURITE SONG - Belle's song from Beauty & the Beast, I'll Make A Man Out Of You from Mulan and Strangers Like Me from Tarzan. I have a lot of favourites!

FAVOURITE VILLAIN SONG - Mother Knows Best from Tangled.

LEAST FAVOURITE SONG - I'm not a big fan of most of the slower songs, like the classics from Cinderella. Oops.

FAVOURITE KISS - Jasmine and Aladdin! The carpet is the ultimate wingman.

FIRST MOVIE I EVER SAW - Beauty & the Beast; it's been my favourite ever since.


FAVOURITE CLASSIC - Snow White. I can still picture the scary trees very well.

SONG THAT ALWAYS GETS STUCK IN YOUR HEAD - I Just Can't Wait To Be King. Couldn't type that without singing it.

FAVOURITE PIXAR MOVIE - All the Toy Stories.

LEAST FAVOURITE MOVIE - Up, it's far too sad for me to handle.

FAVOURITE SEQUEL - The Little Mermaid 2. More princess/prince babies please!

OVERRATED MOVIE - Cars. I just hate it. And the second one. Why is there a second one?

UNDERRATED MOVIE - A Bugs Life. It's SO GOOD.

MOVIE THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH - Aladdin (because of the genie), Lilo & Stitch and The Emperors New Groove.


MOVIE THAT MAKES YOU CRY - Lion King, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

SADDEST SCENE IN YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE - When the Beast lets Belle go. I tear up every single time.

SADDEST DEATH - Definitely Mufasa, my heart aches each time.

FAVOURITE QUOTE - "For who could ever learn to love a beast." Beauty & the Beast. "Ladies don't start fights but they can finish them." Aristocats.


FAVOURITE THEME PARK - I went to the theme parks when I was really little so I must admit I don't really remember them, but I guess I have the best memory of Paris. So, Paris Disneyland.

FAVOURITE ATTRACTION - Is this like a ride? Cos I love the Its A Small World ride, I can still hear the song.

FAVOURITE SHOW - I loved the fireworks display over the castle. Not sure if it counts as a show!

I TAG:
JODIE
JADE
CESCA
AMY
CHLOE
SYSY

Hope you enjoyed this fun little tag! It's crazy that this is the 100th post I've posted on my blog. Here's to 100 more!

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HOW TO BEAT THE BLOGGING BLUES

I've taken quite a lot of time off blogging throughout my short time doing it so I feel like I'm somewhat of an expert at being a blogger but not blogging. It's difficult when you feel like you're not enjoying blogging anymore so I thought I'd just kinda share my tips on how to beat the demotivated feeling and my thoughts on jealousy in blogging.


In my experience, your blogging motivation will always return if you just give it enough time. I start to miss it after a few weeks and need the satisfaction of hitting publish and people enjoying what I'm writing. I definitely wouldn't recommend writing when you don't feel like it - if you're not fully into it I believe it shows in your writing. Plus, for most people blogging is a hobby and you should enjoy it. I suppose even for full-time bloggers, it's still somethhing that should be enjoyed but obviously there is more pressure to produce content more frequently. I always keep a little back up of several draft posts that are readily available should I feel as though my blogging break has gone on too long. The response to your posts might just be the thing that gets you back into blogging.

It's also okay to admit that blogging maybe isn't for you and you need to take an extra long break - maybe even a permanent one. I've come across a few people who are all very talented writers but don't feel as though they fit into the 'blogger' category. It can be quite a specific stereotype and when you say you're a blogger, people automatically assume you write about fashion and beauty and for some people that just isn't true. I feel demotivated quite a lot because I just don't feel fulfilled writing about beauty products and my outfit photos never look as good as other bloggers', but I don't always have enough ideas to write about anything other than what's sitting in front of me. Sometimes that's the easiest thing to write about though, a little review post can get you back into the swing of things very quickly.

I struggle a lot with jealousy within the blogging community. It's a bad bad thing and if you can avoid it - do. I constantly feel like my photos and my content aren't as good as everyone else's and that makes me want to stop blogging altogether. I don't tend to get jealous about brand opportunities because that's not why I blog - sure, it's nice when brands reach out to you and recognise your hard work but I don't blog for recognition. And this is not me saying that wanting to work with brands is bad! I think almost every blogger dreams of making it big enough to work with at least one very well established brand, myself included. Anyway, back to the point I was making - photography is a huge sore spot for me. I do like my camera but I just feel like it doesn't live up to the standards of other bloggers' photography. Maybe it's my compositions or my lighting, I definitely don't have enough props or variety in my photos. The only thing to do is to work on the things that I'm unhappy with and get them to a standard that's right for ME. Although there is a massive community aspect within blogging, it is very much an individual hobby and your content and photography should be what you enjoy and what you like, you can't compare yourself to other bloggers because you and your blog are different. 


Yay for more rambly posts! Dunno what my point here was; does it even fully relate to the title? I'm honestly not sure. But blogging blues are a very real issue and I've had to work to overcome them quite a few times. I'm still feeling a bit iffy towards my blog and my content but I'm working on it and that's all you can do. If you're unhappy with something, only you have the power to change it.

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SPRING CHANGES

Spring is a season of changes and new beginnings - not just in life but within your beauty regime and your wardrobe. I've begun to change aspects of my skincare, makeup and clothing choices to coincide with springtime; if only the weather would co-operate and actually make it feel like spring. It's almost April - easy on the snow please.


First thing I changed up was my foundation. I find foundation really, really difficult so this hasn't exactly been an easy process. My regular, everyday foundation throughout Autumn and Winter was Estee Lauder's Double Wear - amazing foundation but sometimes it can feel a bit heavy on my skin. I've been trying for ages to find a drugstore alternative for everyday use because wearing a £30+ foundation to work really kinda just sucked.


So now I swap between Revlon Colorstay and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. They're both a lot lighter than Double Wear, and when I have a bit of a tan I can use my NARS All Day Luminous Weightless which is an amazing foundation that I cannot recommend enough.

 Going back to what I said about having a tan, I've been trying to moisturise my body a bit more (I've always been bad at that) and the only thing that seems to make me do it is if it's a moisturiser with a gradual tanner in it. Most of my foundations are too dark for me when I'm my normal shade so being a little bit tanned means I get my moneys worth out of the 700 foundations I have. My favourite forever is Bondi Sands - it doesn't smell like your standard fake tan and leaves me nice and golden brown.

 In terms of clothing, weather-permitting I've been only wearing a thin jacket or no jacket. I bought a few slouchy jumpers, dresses and tops that I have been wearing non stop over the past few weeks - I'll hopefully get to portray them in a lookbook style post soon.
I'm also really digging the embroiderery trend at the moment - I don't own many embroidered items but I sure do admire them.


I've been using facial sprays a lot more to refresh my face throughout the day - my favourites are Mario Badescu's Rosewater and Herb facial spra and Bio-Essence's Miracle Bio Water. I think the best thing is using either of these on a no makeup day; a quick spritz halfway through the day and you feel like you've just cleansed all over again.

I also feel like spring is a time to ditch the heavy perfumes and opt for something a lot lighter - like a body spray. I was very kindly sent this selection of newly released scents from Body Fantasies. They're very light and fresh and all smell insanely amazing; my personal favourite is the Cotton Candy scent. You can pick these up in your nearest Superdrug!

Another thing I've been doing is actually opening my blinds during the day - something I never ever did throughout A/W. I now do my makeup in natural lighting next to my window which I definitely should've done before but oh well. I'm trying to be a lot tidier and have already spring-cleaned the entirety of underneath my bed. We'll not discuss what was under there. Next stop - my bathroom!

What changes are you making in Spring?

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DR BOTANICALS REVIEW


If you read any of my posts or listen to any of my complaining, you'll know that my skin sucks and I'm always looking for something to help reduce scarring and basically just make my skin actually look nice. I was recently approached to try out Dr Botanicals Advanced Purifying Overnight Masque. You know it's fancy when they spell mask with a qu.


I've made just about everyone try this because I think it's so good - I honestly saw results pretty much instantly. I put this on before I go to bed, although it says it's a masque there's no need to wash it off. So I guess it's kinda more like a moisturiser. I always wash my face in the morning regardless, but I think if you don't normally do that, you should after using this. The first night I used this, the next morning my skin looked a hell of a lot smoother and clearer.


If you close your eyes when putting this on, it smells like you're at a spa. It smells quite citrusy and fresh - it's also quite goopy so you have to be careful how much you put on. It says you only need a thin layer over your face but there's been more than one occasion where I've pretty much smeared gallons of it on. (Not really, but would it be my writing if I didn't over-exaggerate at least once?) I've included some before and after photos but I'm not sure if you can tell just how much change there has been - you'll just have to trust me when I say that my skin feels a lot smoother. I guess you can kind of see that the redness has been reduced a lot and my skin tone looks a lot more even than in the first photo. Happy happy.

*these photos have only been brightened - no other editing*

The results you get from this product are definitely reflected in the price - it's £79! Pretty expensive right? Now the exciting bit - I have a discount code! You can get this for just £19.99 with my code LOULABLOG. I'm debating buying myself another one with my own code for when I run out. If you use this code please message me and tell me so I can personally thank you and probably send you flowers or something. I appreciate every little thing.




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INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY

International Women's Day is one of my favourite days of the year - it's a day where women around the world come together to celebrate themselves and other women and I love the positive vibes surrounding it. I wish every day was International Women's Day. It should be International Women's Week; there are far too many incredible women to celebrate in just one day. If I were to sit and name them all we'd be here for too long. But there are a few things I want to say on the topic of IWD and feminism in general; it's a subject I love speaking about and there aren't enough people in my life to talk to about it.
I will admit I do find it difficult to treat someone the same when they tell me they aren't a feminist. Unless you are a misogynist or just blatantly ignorant, I see no reason for you not to be. If you say you aren't a feminist because it's called FEMinism I take that as a pretty big hint that you are a misogynist. The name isn't a big issue here people, there are actual serious matters that exist. Also, it takes a pretty selfish person to say that they don't need feminism because none of the issues happen to them. Probably also a lie because most women encounter sexism daily - despite the fact it's getting harder to spot.

I saw a girl earlier say that she wasn't a feminist because she thinks men should be the bread winners and women should be the caregivers. Fair enough, if that's what she believes then that's what she believes, but feminism is about giving them the choice. Feminism is making it so the woman doesn't feel like she has to stay home and the man doesn't feel like he has to make all the money. I dont care what you choose to with your life - I care when your decisions are influenced by society and the stereotypes of men and women.


I am greatly inspired by lots of women, past and present. I feel like there are so many women to look up to nowadays and we should be taught about them from a young age. We should be taught about Emmeline Pankhurst and her sacrifice for womens votes, Gloria Steinem and her role as a leader throughout second-wave feminism and how open Emma Watson is about feminism, as well as her HeForShe campaign which aims to get more men involved in feminism. Although, if you have to justify feminism by explaining how it benefits men, you're just reinforcing the fact that we need it. It seems as though people are reluctant to speak up about feminism and being a feminist. We need to stop being afraid of that word and be proud of our movement.

I am a female and I am a leader, an influencer and a feminist. And I'm proud.

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FEBRUARY REFLECTION/MARCH GOALS

I'm gonna try and do one of these at the end of every month so that at the end of the year, I can look back and relive each month again. Which is maybe not a good idea since I write about the bad stuff too, but life isn't all sunshine and roses. February felt like it was over in about 3 days, and it also feels like literally nothing happened so this should be an interesting post.


I CAME OFF THE PILL

I wrote a post last year about my struggles on the pill (which you can find HERE) but little naive me thought it would be okay just to swap what pill I was on and everything would be fine. Oh, how wrong I was. It literally took me until mid-February to realise that the pill was still making me act like a bitch and bringing my moods down way too much. So I pretty much just quit cold turkey, much to my mums disapproval. But I'm careful and I could not stay on that pill any longer - me and my boyfriend were one more week of arguments away from breaking up.

So now I'm just trying to decide what contraceptive I should go onto use now - I'm leaning more towards the rod but I pretty much know nothing about it. The doctors here are not the best and last time I went they didn't seem to want to give me any information about any other contraceptive methods so that's good. Also, how scary is the time leading up to your period when you first come off the pill?! No clue when it's going to spring itself on me.


I SAW A WHALE

Can you tell I'm just grasping at straws here? Although, it was pretty cool. For someone who hasn't really seen much wildlife other than maybe 3 seals and lots of squirrels, a whale was insane. There were pictures of it jumping out of the water, so I had high hopes, but all we saw was the whale doing the blowhole thing. SO DAMN COOL. It was totally worth almost freezing my fingers off.

MARCH GOALS

Seeing as this reflection post is a little short, I'm gonna add in a little bit about what I want to achieve in March.

Next month, I am going crisp free. This is a massive step for me because I love crisps, I rarely eat chocolate. But crisps do not love me and I get big, painful spots every time I eat a packet so it's about time I put my skin first and give up the crisps. If I can go the whole of March without any, I may reward myself with some but let's not get too ahead of ourselves, lasting the whole of March is a challenge.

I am also hoping for more success in the career area throughout March. I was hoping to be long gone from my old job by now but things haven't quite gone to plan. I know it might look like I'm actually doing nothing and just sitting waiting for opportunities to happen, but I swear I'm trying! I just hope March is my lucky month.


What do you hope to achieve in March?


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