Saturday, 20 February 2016

My Bucket List

 

On the plane home from my holiday in Gran Canaria a few years ago, I was taking photos (like the one above), when I thought about making myself a bucket list. I love the idea of these as it is basically a list of all the things that you would like to do in your lifetime; and as we only live once, why not try and do everything you can?? :) 
These are also very good as I often find myself seeing things or hearing about things and thinking 'I would really like to try that'; but then forgetting about it the next day. This way, I can add to my bucket list and not forget anything that I like the look or sound of! 
I like reading other people's bucket lists too as they show a lot about a person and what they are into, as well as giving me some more inspiration for my own one, so today I thought that I would share my bucket list so far :)

I have written my list in my 100 year journal which I did a post about that you can read here: My 100 Year Journal. It just means that everything personal to me is in this one book; not written on a piece of paper or saved on my computer where it could get lost or erased. I also like the idea of it being in a journal as it has more value to it then. 

Bucket List:
  1. Go travelling around America in an RV
  2. Learn Spanish
  3. Stay up to watch the sunset and the sunrise
  4. Go to a festival
  5. Have a professional photoshoot
  6. Long, romantic walk along the beach
  7. Have the perfect wedding
  8. Have 3 children
  9. Watch the Northern Lights
  10. Become fitter
  11. Live abroad for at least 6 months
  12. Kiss in the rain
  13. Pet a tiger
  14. Learn ballroom dancing
  15. Go to New York for Christmas
  16. Learn how to do a cartwheel
  17. Go on a cruise
  18. Visit at least 10 landmarks around the world
  19. Swim with dolphins
  20. Become a Youtuber
  21. Ride an elephant
  22. Go scuba diving
  23. Go to the airport and buy a ticket to anywhere and just go 
  24. Overcome my fear of falling
  25. Lie outside with someone and look at the stars
  26. Learn to skateboard
  27. Solve a rubiks cube
  28. Go in a hot air balloon
  29. Have a proper picnic
  30. See a play at the Globe Theatre


That is my bucket list so far, but I do keep adding to it every now and then because I always see something new that I would like to try, or I have seen my friends do something and they have recommended it to me :) If you don't have a bucket list then I would suggest that you make one as they are fun and also give you an idea of all the things you want to do during your life :) I will always be looking back at this list to try and find the time to complete everything on there, and start to build memories :')

xx
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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

My Lip Product Collection


I have previously shown you guys my mascara collection, which I have actually added to now haha, but I like these kind of posts where you can see what brands people have bought that are for the same use. You can read my other collection post here: My Mascara Collection.
As it is winter, and I feel like I am caring for my lips a lot more at the moment, I thought this time I would show you my lip product collection so far :) I have to say though, some of these are from when I was like 12 and had no idea what products were good haha :') 

Lip Balms


I use lip balms all the time! At the moment, my lips can become so dry and chapped because of the cold weather, and also because sometimes I don't really drink enough so I get dehydrated, so I have to save them with these :) 

Starting from the top left:
  • Love your lips lip balm - Raspberry Smile
  • Superdrug 'the little red tin' lip balm - Strawberry
  • Boots lip salve - Strawberry
  • M&S lip balm - Wowee Berry
  • Labello - Fruity Shine
I basically only use the little red tin now, because the others were just cheap and crappy really. But I have to say, the label strawberry flavour smelled so nice, but I finished my one and can't seem to get it anywhere! :(
I do highly recommend the little red tin though, because they are affordable, smell lovely and they are really moisturising. 

Lip Gloss


I don't really use lip glosses anymore because I feel like they just go all sticky and they annoy me. I just used to use them when I was like 10, because I felt all grown up wearing a bit of make-up haha :') 

From the top left again:
  • Colour Unlimited lip gloss - Baby pink
  • Collection Pure Gloss - Sweetie 9
  • Colour Unlimited lip gloss - Plum
  • Markwins International double-ended lip gloss
  • Barry M Glossy Tube - Strawberry
If you do want to buy yourself a lip gloss, I would recommend the Barry M one as it is the best that I have come across; not really sticky and it lasts quite a long time. I do use it from time to time, when I have run out of lip balm haha.

Lip Pencils


As you can see, I don't own very many of these haha. I got the little silver pencil in a massive make-up kit that I bought in Makro when I was about 12, and the other one I picked up because the lady in Boots said that it would go nice with my skin tone. But before that, I never really bothered with pencils or liners.

  • Markwins International lip pencil
  • No7 Precision lips pencil - Nude
I do use the No7 pencil every time I apply lipstick now, just because I feel as though it looks nicer, and that way I have basically drawn a good outline haha.

Lipstick


I never really used to be into wearing lipstick because I never really thought that I could find the right colour for me. But now that I know a lot more, I absolutely love them! I am always looking out for new ones to try and I am going to be building up this part of my collection a lot more! 
I will actually probably have to do a lipstick collection before long haha. I definitely have a few Mac ones to try :)

From the top left again:
  • Markwins International lipstick - Light Brown
  • Markwins International lipstick - Berry
  • Markwins International lipstick - Red
  • Markwins International lipstick - Light Pink
  • Halloween costume lipstick - Black
  • Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color double-ended lipstick - Nude
  • Rimmel London Kate Lipstick - 107
  • Rimmel London Kate Lipstick - 45
  • Little Mix Lipstick - Jesy
  • Kiko Rebel Romantic lipstick - 05
  • No7 Moisture Drench lipstick - Sugar Plum
All of the Markwins International products are from the Makro make-up set; all of which I never used because they were such bad quality. However, I do now use the really nice case to hold all of my nail varnishes :) £20 well spent Paula...
I really don't like the Maybelline liquid lipstick as it seems to rub off straight away, so I think I'll be sticking to using the standard lipstick from now on.
The bottom row of lipsticks I would really recommend though :) They are either really pigmented, have a lovely colour, last long, and are all really good value for money! I especially love the Rimmel London ones, so definitely try some of those out if you haven't already :)


So, that is my lip product collection at the moment; some of it dating back years so I probably should just throw it away haha, but I hope I have inspired some purchases as I definitely get some of mine from these kind of posts :)
Hope you are all having a lovely week so far :)

xx



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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Photography Portfolio 3 - Love


For my A-Level, I needed to complete various portfolios covering different topics in order to get a good grade. For my 'Personal Study', I chose to photograph still life objects which can be used to represent love. To be honest, I chose this because I knew that it would be quick and simple, as I was behind on the other portfolios haha; not good. But I was pleased with how these photos came out, considering I did this in a bit of a rush! I have posted a couple of these photography posts, which you can read here: Photography Portfolio 1 - Dance, Photography Portfolio 2 - Big Cats. Considering that it was Valentine's Day a few days ago, I thought it would make sense to post this now haha :) 


One way of using objects to represent love is obviously with words. The first way to use words that I could think of was by using Scrabble letters. All I did was set them up on my floor, focused my camera on the letters so that the background was blurred, and then used Photoshop to make the image brighter! I like how the letters were reflected onto the wooden floor; it makes the photo stand out more and just makes it look more interesting than just for letter tiles haha.


I thought a bit more about this photo, as I pictured a typical Valentine's Day date and what things are normally included. At first I thought of roses, but I didn't have the time or the money to go out and buy a bouquet, so the second idea was candles, and I definitely had enough of those to use haha. So again, I set these up on my floor so that they spelt out 'Love', and took the photo. I then played around more with Photoshop so that the background was black, therefore the candles were more in focus. I mainly used the Brightness, Curves and Exposure tools to do this. Again, I like how the light is reflected on the floor; just makes the images have more depth; making them look more 3D. 


This photo was a pain to edit because I used the 7, Q, A and 3 playing cards to spell out 'Love', but then had to erase parts of the letters or numbers so that they actually looked like L, O, V and E. I also used the brightening and Exposure tools to make the cards stand out more. I do like this photo though as it isn't what you would normally think of to represent love; I just had to be creative with the objects that I had at home! I obviously used the Hearts suit, because you know, it just made sense.


Hearts are another main representation of love, so I tried to find ways of creating hearts in the unconventional way, and came up with this. The pages were annoying and would not stay in this position, so I ended up having to hold them down and use take the photo with one hand. But it came out okay so it's all good :) I just use the brightness tool to put more focus on the heart, and then the exposure tool to make the shadow in the heart darker, so that it stands out more.


This is probably my favourite photo. As part of all portfolios, we needed to respond to another photographer's work, so I found an image where someone had done this and used light to create a heart with a book and ring. It is all about the angle and then using Photoshop to create more contrast and then blur out the rest of the image. But my gosh did this take some time to do! Firstly, the ring wouldn't stand up for what ever reason, so I just had to lay it down, which did't really make a difference. Then the pages of the book wouldn't stay open, so i had to tape them down because I needed to hold my torch and angle the light with my other hand. But hay, I got there in the end and I like it :) Rings represent weddings, the declaration of love, and then hearts are just what comes to mind when we think of love. 

That's another portfolio of mine; probably not one of the best ones as you can see haha, but I was in a rush to finish this portfolio a week before it was due.....which is exactly why I suggest to do work when you get it haha. But I did make do with what I had so it was alright :)
Hope you all enjoyed Valentine's Day, whether you were spending it with a loved one or just chilling at home watching Netflix!

xx
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Saturday, 13 February 2016

My Tattoos


Tattoos are one of those things that people have mixed opinions about. Some like them so much that they cover themselves in them, some have a couple, some just like the idea of them, and some just don't like them. For me, I prefer to look at them as 'Body Art', as they are also called, because I love art and how you can show your personality through it, or create something that is meaningful to you. I have picked out a couple of designs that I like and still want to get, but today I just wanted to share the ones that I already have, and why I chose to get them.


Okayy, so these ones I got done altogether whilst I was visiting family in Ireland. I got these when I was 17, because some parlours over there allow you to get them underage with adult permission :) I knew that I wanted to get small ones on the wrists because I just think that they look lovely; so I chose a heart, a cross and an anchor. 

The Heart
One reason why I wanted a heart tattoo was because of its obvious links to love and emotions. I cannot wait until I meet someone, fall in love and have a family of my own - I am a sucker for romance movies and so yeahh, this had to be featured. 
The heart also represents life and strength due to the fact that our hearts are what keep us alive. It can also be linked to courage and trust; for example if you give your heart to someone as they say, you are being brave and trusting them not to break it.

The Cross
I didn't get this because of it's links to religion, I got it because it represents faith. I am a strong believer in faith, because you need to have faith in yourself, and you need to have faith in other people. If you don't, then you will never believe that you can do something, and you will never take risks. There have been many time where I have put faith in people and yeahh, they have let me down; but I still feel like it is a big part of who I am and so yeahh, I like this one :)

The Anchor
I love the sea. I love how free and open it is, how fresh the sea air makes you feel, and how being at the beach makes me feel relaxed and peaceful. I remember when I was little, I wanted to be a mermaid when I grew up haha, as I used to watch The Little Mermaid over and over again, so this basically symbolises my love for the sea. 
It also represents protection, stability and security, because anchors are used to tie down boats and keep them safe; and I just thought that was lovely :)


When I turned 18, I decided to get another tattoo which was this butterfly one on my shoulder blade. Sorry that the picture is a bit dark, I only had this black and white version; I must have deleted the original, but hopefully you can see it :)

The Butterfly
I got these because they have a beautiful meaning behind them. Basically, the Greek word for butterfly is Psyche after the goddess; the goddess of the soul. According to Greek mythology, she fell in love with a God called Eros, and went through many challenges to be with him. I just love that idea of someone fighting for the one that they love, and not giving up hope :') 
Also, in nature, butterflies are once caterpillars who transform at some point during their lives. So this represents rebirth and strength as they lead short but eventful lives; undergoing a complete transformation in the process.
So butterflies represent love, beauty, rebirth, transformation, spirituality, the soul, nature, grace and femininity. I just think it's beautiful :)


So, those are the tattoos that I have so far. I hope you like them as much as I do; I don't just get them without giving them proper thought as these are permanent; they cannot just wash off. So I want ones that mean something to me, and these definitely do. 
The only thing about getting tattoos for me, is the needle part haha. I have a big issue with them; like I have to go through this whole preparation thing beforehand, otherwise I'll go all faint and nobody wants that. But afterwards, I'm alright and I am very pleased with the results! 
I love looking at what tattoos people have and hearing the stories behind them, because everyone is different so the images or text that we get on our skin will all have a different meaning too, and I just think that's lovely :')

xx
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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Red Velvet Cupcakes


Valentine's Day is almost here and I was in the mood to cook something; so linking the two together I thought of Red Velvet cupcakes :) I have never made these before so I chose one of Nigella's recipes to go by. Everything was going well until near the end, when the cake mixture started turning brown/black instead of red, which I think was because of the cocoa powder that was added. So, basically I have renamed these Black Velvet cupcakes haha, they do taste nice though! 


You Will Need: 

  • 250 grams plain flour 
  • tablespoons cocoa powder (sifted) 
  • teaspoons baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • 100 grams soft unsalted butter 
  • 200 grams caster sugar 
  • heaped tablespoon christmas-red paste food colouring 
  • teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • large eggs 
  • 175 ml buttermilk 
  • teaspoon cider vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325°F, and line 2 muffin tins with paper cases.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating well, and when you have a soft, pale mixture beat in the food colouring - yes all of it - and the vanilla.
  4. Into this vividly coloured mixture, still beating, add 1 spoonful of the dried ingredients, then 1 egg, followed by some more dried ingredients, then the other egg, followed by the rest of the dried ingredients. 
  5. Finally beat in the buttermilk and the vinegar and divide this extraordinary batter between the 24 cases.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes by which time the redcurrant-sorbet-coloured batter will have morphed into a more sombre, but still juicily tinted, sponge - more maroon acrylic than red velvet, to be honest.
  6. Leave them to cool on a wire rack and do not ice with the frosting till absolutely cold.



This absolutely killed my arm, so I'd suggest using an electric whisk or an actual machine to do it for you. But yeahh, you see how it is red at this stage?? As soon as I used the cocoa powder, it went brown and then black after baking!! So next time, I won't be using cocoa powder.


I left them in the oven for about 25-30mins because they weren't quite done after the suggested 20mins. But, to test if a cake is done, you just need to lightly press down on the top and see if it springs back up. If it does, then it is ready :)


After they were cool, I decorated them. On Nigella's recipe, it says to make a cream cheese frosting, which there are also instructions for; so if you wanted to have a go at these then follow this link: Nigella's Cupcake Recipe. However, I didn't really like the sound of that, so I just bought a tube of icing and some buttercream, as well as some edible silver pearls :)



Baking is a lot of fun, so even if you don't like the sound of these cupcakes, then try something else such as cookies or brownies :) I will be doing a few posts like these because I do enjoy it, and as you can see, I'm no professional haha, it's just a bit of fun really. 
These basically look like chocolate cakes don't they? Ahh well!

xx
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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Photography Portfolio 2 - Big Cats


Photography is one of my main hobbies; I love taking photos and capturing different moods and emotions in an image. This can also work with animals; as I have tried to show in these images that I took on a trip to The Big Cat Sanctuary with my family a few years ago. Animals are very interesting creatures as they cannot communicate the way that we can; so we can only tell how they may be feeling through their expressions and body language. I especially love big cats as they are beautiful, intelligent and I also find them very cute haha; with tigers being my favourite animal overall!
I will be posting a few portfolios that I have put together over time. My first one was about Dance and how it can be portrayed in a still image. If you want to check it out then follow this link >>> Photography Portfolio 1 - Dance.

Anyways, here are my photos that I took throughout the day :)

A nice mixture of Lions, Cheetahs, Snow Leopards and other species; both big and small. The last image is of a species of cat that I have never seen or heard of before, but it was unusual and unique, and the way that it stared straight at me as I took the photo just makes me laugh when I look back at it haha. I also like the second photo as I caught the (Cheetah??) showing it's teeth. As you can see, the different cats are all behaving in slightly different ways and creating different moods; which is what I was hoping to capture. 



Also, looking at how siblings were acting with each other intrigued me, as I have heard that animals behave in similar ways to humans. I found that they were inquisitive; coming out of their little den to see the visitors. They also played with each other, fought with each other and were just adorable :') One of my favourite photos of the day is the one above, with the little lion cub yawning. It's just so cute!


This is my favourite photo that I took that day. I managed to completely blur out any bars that were in the way which I was quite proud of, and I managed to capture the dominance and maturity that the alpha male has. This is a White Lion; the father of the cubs that I showed you earlier. In the enclosure, he was sitting on the highest part of their climbing frame, and was just looking out into the distance as his cubs and mate played together on the ground. So I was just happy with the way that this photo came out :)


The last cat that we saw that day was this Black Panther. As you can probably tell, he wasn't in the best of moods; he kept growling and walking around. I am surprised that I managed to take this photo! I am pleased with it though; his eyes really stand out against his dark fur. He definitely looks as though he wants to kill someone though haha. 

Thats my second portfolio that I have to show you :) This is probably one of my favourites as it reflects more of my interests than some of the others, and it was done in my own time, not for a school project or anything, so it is something that I truly care about and have a passion for :) Hope that you liked them!

xx
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Friday, 5 February 2016

Room Tour


Last year I decided that I would do a complete make-over of my room. I was bored of the old layout and the furniture and colour scheme made the room look tiny. I wanted a room that was modern, bright and represented me. So I spent a few months designing the layout and colours, as well as the theme. I finally picked out everything; I knew I wanted my room black and white with a New York theme, carpet, perfumes and candles on display, and I wanted a book shelf. So, here is what I designed! :)





I decided that I didn't want wallpaper all over my room again; I just wanted a 'feature wall'; which is the New York mural behind my bed. I wanted something unique and interesting and this was perfect! :) I also wanted little fairy lights around my bed, as I think they are cute and give the room a little warmth when you don't want to turn the main lights on. I also decided to keep my home-made cushions on display as I felt that they fitted with the theme; plus I worked hard on them haha. My room looks bigger, brighter, and definitely more me.


I have a desk, where I normally do my make-up or work on my laptop. I also bought a drawer unit for extra storage space, and of course my bookcase :) I love that I can have my books on display because I love reading, and literature is a big part of who I am. Both of these units also provide display space; as you can see haha. I also bought a mannequin from Dunelm for £30. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase; I just saw it and thought that it looked lovely. It also now serves a great purpose as my necklace holder :')


On either side of my desk, I have my hairdryer and straighteners. I bought holders that could be connected to the wall as I thought that it looked nice and modern, as well as the fact that it would help keep my room tidier!



Something that I wanted, was to have my perfume collection on display. I spend quite a bit of money on different scents, and I wanted to be able to show them off to people, instead of hiding them away in a drawer; as the companies don't make the bottles as beautiful as they are, to not be seen. On my bookcase, I keep my candle collection and other little ornaments :)
Around my room, I have different photos and wall art dotted around, but I thought that I would just choose my favourites to show you. I picked up these three pieces of art in Gran Canaria at a market. There were loads to choose from, but I picked the ones that I either liked most, or that represented me best. I love art, and I thought these were different; plus, they go with my room's colour theme!




These are just some other little bits that I thought were worth a mention. On top of my wardrobes, I have some of my cuddly toys that I just couldn't get rid of. Some may find that childish, but I am very sentiments, and each of these has a story or memory behind it. I also have my memory chest; full of the things that I never want to lose or forget. 
On my windowsill, I have a large and VERY heavy tiger ornament. I love tigers so much, I wish I could own one. I know it doesn't really go with the rest of the room, but I had to have some sort of tiger feature haha.
On my bedside tables, I have a touch lamp which shines through the New York sky line; which I thought was pretty. I also have an extra loud alarm clock; because I will sleep through anything :') I also have tissues, a notepad and my docking station.
Next to one of my wardrobes, I have a few shelves that basically hold all things electrical (with a few of the McDonalds RMHC teddies to decorate it haha). I have my sky box, CD player, PS4, DVD player and mini fridge over there.
And finally, over my windows I have two wind chimes which I think are lovely. They make such a nice sound when the wind blows through the window; especially in Spring. I also have a dream catcher, because I like the idea behind it; plus it's blue and has feathers.....haha.



Thats my little space; I hope you enjoyed finding out a bit more about me :) Bedrooms are a great way to learn more about a person, as they are the most personal space that someone has, it's where they feel most comfortable and where they can be themselves the most. I love watching room tours online; they often give me ideas of what I could do in my room; especially when I was first designing it. I still have a few more bits to put on the wall, but it's just how I imagined it would be; I love it :)

xx
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