Saturday, 19 December 2015

SLEEK // FACE CONTOUR KIT 'LIGHT 884'

Well I don't know about you but I sure do love a bit of contour.

When I look at other people who have perfectly defined cheekbones, I think to myself "damn, why can't mine look that good?!"... But then I discovered this little beauty and would you look at that, I actually have cheekbones now. 


I have been using Sleek for a couple of years now, and this has been my go-to contour kit ever since I discovered it. 



I use this in the shade 'light', because I am quite fair skinned. The bronzer is the perfect colour for me, and as for the highlight, it is just beautiful. The highlighter is quite subtle, yet you can absolutely tell that it is there. When it catches the light it looks all snazzy and shiny and wonderful.



This contour kit is a bargain at £6.49. The newest one I have, I received in May for my birthday. Even though the highlighter is on its last legs, the bronzer is still going strong and I use it every single day. Proof that you get your money's worth!

If you would like to give this bronzer a try, you can purchase it HERE

Friday, 6 November 2015

WHAT SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION & ANXIETY IS REALLY LIKE // LIFESTYLE

Image can be found HERE
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post regarding my Mental Health Story which you can find HERE. Many people have different interpretations of what it is like living with depression and anxiety, so I thought that being a sufferer I would post what it is really like, to stop misinterpretations and judgements.

From experience, I know people expect and see sufferers to just be miserable and 'sad' all of the time. It may look that way and that is the view that is portrayed through the illness, but there is a lot more to what is just being seen from the outside. The reason I placed a cloud as the photo for this post, is because that is what it is like. Firstly, it feels like a cloud is constantly hanging over you and you don't know whether the cloud is going to go and the day is going to be clear, or if it is going to rain for days on end. 

I have been living with depression and anxiety for 6 years now, and everyday I still find it a constant battle. I know that people think that if you have depression then you can never be happy. That is not the case at all. Some days I will be incredibly happy, but like I said before I have a constant cloud over my head which can make my mood change in an instant. Anything can trigger off the side effects of depression. Some days I feel as though I physically can't bring myself to get out of bed and go to uni. The thought of getting the bus to uni alone terrifies me, and I find that I begin to feel so so sick, but that it just the anxiety kicking in. 

I am on medication for my depression and anxiety, and have been for 2 years now. I chose to go down this route because I feel as though this is the only method that helps for me. After trying all sorts of methods, I found that this is a last resort as nobody wishes to be dependent on medication for a long period of their life. However, after living with my illness for 6 years already, I didn't see what the problem is with relying on something that will eventually make me feel better.

One piece of advice that I will give to sufferers is that you always have to be honest and true to yourself. If you can't do that then you will not be able to access and take the help which is available to you. Because honestly, in the end everything will be OK. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

MOTIVATIONAL MINDSET'S // #1


I am living inside of a motivational mindset kind of world at the moment. This doesn't mean that I am being motivational physically, but spiritually I feel as though I need to get myself out of this negative spiral, I am slowly finding myself sinking back into.

I decided to add a 'Motivational Mindset' part to my blog, where weekly I will add the quotes I am living by that week to encourage myself and the rest of you who feel the need to be motivated. 

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." - Auguste Rodin

Quite often, I sit there and think that whatever I seem to do is always a waste of time. This makes me feel quite crappy about myself in some aspects, because I feel as though I should either be constantly on my feet doing something, or dedicating myself to something full-time. However, I then thought that because I go to uni I deserve to have some time off. I have just completed my first year, and the course I am doing is very demanding. It is constant reading, working out logical problems and trying to find answers to the unanswerable. I deserve to have some time to myself, and it shouldn't be seen as wasted time. 

"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

Like I mentioned earlier, I feel as though I am slipping into a negative spiral again. I have a tendency to overthink, which leads to anxiety and not wanting to leave the house. It makes you feel so awful about yourself, because I look at images of girls with flawless makeup on Instagram, or perfect bodies styling gorgeous clothes and I just feel like a potato compared to them. I came across this quote one night when I was in bed. It made me realise that I need to stop comparing myself to others in the sense of the way I look, academically and how strong I feel about myself, otherwise it won't do me any favours in the long run and it will just be an everlasting cycle.

"Don't say 'maybe' if you want to say 'no'."

I'm the sort of person who will always say maybe when I don't actually want to do something. For example I will say, "I might do it later" or "oh yeah maybe". I had a chat with my manager at work, and she inspired me to start saying no to the things that I don't actually want to do. People will see you as a pushover if you always say yes. My manager made me see that it shows those around you that you have control and lead of your own life, and that you are flexible and can do things in your own time. 

So there is my first Motivational Mindset post. I thought that these quotes may get you through the rest of the week as they have done for me.


Monday, 24 August 2015

Little Stationary Wishlist // Lifestyle & University Advice


Stationary is one of my all-time favourite things, and I just love to buy it. 

Seeing as though I am going back to university next month, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to put together a little wishlist with the things I am currently wanting, stationary wise! The majority of this stuff is from Paperchase, as their selection is just the cutest at the moment. Even though it is quite an expensive outlet, I just couldn't help myself.

Last year at university, I had a NU Pad which had different sections in it. This was so handy for my different modules in lectures etc. however, I found that I had to purchase more and more as it just wasn't big enough to fit everything in. With this notepad, it gives you room for your different modules or subjects, with extra room for added notes. It is also colour co-ordinated, so that you can link everything up with different coloured pens etc.

Even though this is labelled as a 'candle holder', I couldn't help think that my pens would look so cute in this on my desk. Firstly, its white which means it will go with practically every room decoration or design and secondly, they look large enough to fit a good amount of pens in. I myself would get a few of these, purely because I would want to sort out my pens into different pots so they are easier to find. For example, I would put all of my writing pens in one, coloured pens in another, tools in another and highlighters in another one. Bits of ribbon could also be added around the pots to add further decoration.

Even though I have already displayed the 10 Subject Notebook, I think it is always handy to have a journal with you. I carry one in my handbag at all times, because I never know what list I might have to make, what phone number I have to write down etc. I may also have different ideas which I know I will forget, so having this is extremely handy. You can also keep this on your desk, or also in your handbag.

Pencils are a good shout. In lectures, I always get given photocopies of book parts which need to be read and annotated. I always use a pencil for this, because you can rub out any mistakes you make. Pencils are also good for doing first-drafts of essays. This way, you don't have to worry about making a mess of the paper with the pen, and little parts can also be added in easily.

Like the pencils, these are a necessity. When it comes to revision, these are a God-send. Pairing these up with the 10 Subject Notebook (or any other divided notebook for that matter) will make things so much easier, as you will know what is what and what goes where!

This year I have moved into a house with 3 other of my friends. Even though we are not properly living there until September, we have all still been making lists as a group of what we need to buy and do to the house. Having one of these will be the saviour of our lives. It can just be stuck to the fridge, things can be added to it and then the paper can be torn off and off we go. It is so much easier than reading through old messages to try and find what somebody said needed getting, or whether we need full-fat or semi-skimmed milk!

So those are a few of the stationary bits that I am lusting over at the moment... What are you guys wanting so far?


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

TO MY YOUNGER SELF // ADVICE


If you read my post regarding my mental health story (which you can find HERE), then you may or may not feel as though I have a lot of advice to tell my younger self.

In my opinion, I have a lot that I would tell my 13/14 year old self. Not a lot of it would be in a kind or sympathising manner, but then again I have to think that I can't be so hard on myself because of what happened in my past. Things are in the past for a reason and we learn from the mistakes that we make, it is the only way we can achieve and become better people in life. But anyhow, here is some of the advice I would tell my younger self.

Everything happens for a reason
My younger self wouldn't have taken this advice on board. As I was so full of self-hate, I was a very stubborn young teenager. Obviously, my 19 year old self takes this on board and due to what has happened in my past I do think this advice is very true. Without what had happened, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't be this strong, I wouldn't know how to deal with difficult situations and I wouldn't know how to take myself out of a negative spiral and place myself into a positive one.

Your parents/carers only have your best interest at heart
Me and my mum didn't see eye to eye when I was 13/14. This is down to the fact that I had an older boyfriend who she loathed, and because I didn't speak to her about how I was feeling and wouldn't let anyone in other than my dad. I constantly felt that I was being lectured, being told what to do and I didn't like it one bit. I felt too grown up for what I actually was. I have now come to realise that they did only have my best interests at heart. What they say, they mean because they love you. Even if it comes through to yourself in a horrible manner, they just probably don't know how to say it properly and just want you to understand.

Cherish your young teenage years
I don't feel as though I had the opportunity or option to cherish my younger teenage years. I didn't have the guts or courage to pull myself together, or rather pull myself into a positive spiral. I felt deprived of these years and I don't feel as though they really did exist at all. This could have been due to all of the circumstances that occurred, but then again I should have been stronger and enjoyed myself when I could. If I could go back in time and change that one thing, I definitely would.

Don't make any rash decisions
This is easier said than done. When you're looking at your younger self from an older self perspective, your mind has obviously matured and you have learnt more things throughout the years, even if it is only 5/6 years. But over the years, I learnt that the decisions I decided to make when I was 13/14, I definitely wouldn't have made them now if I was back that age again. I would have waited and thought things through, rather than think it was a good idea to make them there and then when the idea popped up into my head.

So it is a bit of a short post, but I don't really have any other advice to give to my younger self, and even if I did then it wouldn't be too nice. Writing this post has definitely made me think, and i highly recommend writing one of these for yourself if you can.

Jessie x

Monday, 27 July 2015

WHAT I LEARNT IN MY FIRST YEAR OF UNIVERSITY // ADVICE


Before moving to university, everybody has their thoughts and perspectives about how their first year is going to 'pan out'. I had visions of my first year being completely different to what I have encountered. Definitely not in a bad way though, as I wouldn't change it for the world! But I thought that I would share with you what I learnt throughout my first year of uni, and maybe you could take a little bit of advice from this too!

All that lovely new kitchen-ware you bought?...
You will not use it. Not in a bad way, because you can save it for when you move into your house for the second year. When I moved into halls last September I brought plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs and everything else you can imagine. Except, Victoria Hall in Manchester supplied us with everything we needed without informing us first. So there was all of my nice new kitchen-ware sat in the cupboard, not being touched. However, even though I barely touched it, it still managed to get lost and when I was packing up everything of mine from the kitchen area to take into the new house, I noticed how many of my pans didn't have lids and how only 3/9 of my shot glasses actually made it.

What dignity?...
Okay so that is a bit of an exaggeration. You will have dignity - don't you worry - but I am focusing on how you look. It will get to the point at university where you really don't give a stuff about what you look like. I would stroll to the Spar in my dressing gown, and makeup from the previous night. It's just how I began to roll, and you will notice that everybody else around you is exactly the same. 

You're lovely and quiet?...
If you make friends with the type of people I made friends with, you will definitely not see your quiet  side very often. This isn't a bad thing, as I had so much fun hiding my quiet side and showing my true colours. I began to feel like I could be myself around complete strangers, who became my best friends. 

Oh THAT reading list...
Reading list? Nope. Every lecturer always bangs on about how you need to buy certain books for the course you're studying, because they will be needed and extremely beneficial. Beneficial maybe, but certainly not needed. I study Philosophy, and my lecturers would give us text book photocopies to take away with us, regarding what we had to learn. Don't get me wrong, I bought a few books off my own back to annotate, but I didn't need them. I just thought it would be easier than me scribbling my life away on photocopies. 

Who said your diet would consist of pasta and soup?
This myth is one of the biggest lies I have heard during university. Everyone always says "you looking forward to living like a student?", or "get ready for your diet of pasta and soup!". All vast lies which shouldn't be listened to. Me and my friends would often cook together, and the meals we would make up were amazing! One time, me and Minnie from Through Minnie's Eyes even had steak. Now come on, if you find the right shop e.g. Aldi, Lidl etc. you can eat meals which are half decent and enjoyable!

Night's out will become your new favourite hobby...
So when you go home and your parents ask "you found any new hobbies that you like?", maybe not mentioning that you attend all of the student nights throughout the week apart from a Sunday is a good idea. No matter how hard you try and stop this vicious cycle, you will always find yourself at the local student night, sipping away on £2 doubles pretending to be Kanye West. And yes. You WILL enjoy it.

So there is just a few of the things that I learnt throughout my first year of university. I will write a follow-up post on this, but for now here is a few to get your heads around.

What're you most looking forward to at university?

Saturday, 25 July 2015

GUEST POST | 'THROUGH MINNIE'S EYES' // HER ALL-TIME FAVOURITES

Minnie from 'Through Minnie's Eyes' has done a guest post for my blog... And here it is!

Guest Post // 'My All-Time Favourites'
There are certain hair and beauty products/tools that are my 'all time' favourites and are used on a daily basis. Some of them are favourites that I have had for years, and others are fairly new. So, I thought it would be good to share them with you...

Favourite Hair Straighteners/Curlers

Cloud 9- Touch Hair Straightener... I am obsessed with these! They warm up within 3-5 seconds by touching the plates together. They turn off automatically within 20-30 seconds of not being used, which is a good safety measure. The heat setting can also be changed to a lower temperature by touching the plates together 3 times. Their overall result is amazing, as I have long hair it used to take me about 25 minutes to straighten my hair by layers with my GHD's. But since having these Cloud 9's, it takes me a maximum of 10 minutes and the result is so smooth and still has that fresh shine to it. Love them!
They are £99 and you can find them HERE, if interested.


Umberto Giannini-Curling Tongs... I've had these for 8 years and they are now slowly dying on me. I've looked everywhere to find a new one to buy, but it turns out they have been discontinued. These are the only tongs I've found that work on my hair. The curls last for two days and that's without any hairspray to hold them in. Hoping they will last even longer than eight years.

Favourite Hair Product?

Argan oil of Morocco... I've been using this for about two years. You just rub in a few drops to the ends of your hair when damp after being washed. Ever since using it, the ends of my hair look healthier even though I tend to use a lot of heat on my hair. It prevents the ends being dry and having a dry/frizzy look to restoring the shine and softness.
Any organ oil will do the trick. This one is £6-8 and you can get it from HERE, if interested.

Favourite Lip Product(s)?

Lush- Mint Lip Scrub... This is one of my new favourites. It smells and tastes amazing and works wonders. It has become part of my daily routine before applying my makeup. It leaves your lips feeling nice and smooth, perfect base for applying lip balm or lipstick on. 
It costs £5.50; there are a variety of flavours and you can find it HERE, if interested.


EOS Lip balm... Again the mint one is my go to one but I also have blueberry, strawberry sorbet, honeysuckle honeydew and summer fruit. They smell good, look good, and feel good on your lips. 
I got mine from Canada but in the UK they are about £6.50 and you can find them HERE, if interested.


MAC- 'Matte Yash' Lipstick / 'Stripdown' Lip Pencil... The new lip combo that I am loving at the moment. It can be used on days out because it's a simple nude , however it can also be used on nights out if you were going for a more dramatic eye but want a simple lip.
The lipstick is £15.50, you can find that HERE, and the lip pencil is £12.50, you can find that HERE, if interested.

Favourite Make-Up Product?

Anastasia Beverly Hills- Powder Contour Kit... This is in the shade Medium to Tan. I absolutely love this product! Ever since I got it, I've used it everyday without fail. Before I got this I used to use the Sleek one, but this one is so much better to use because it contains all the shades needed to emphasise the eyes, cheekbones, nose and jawline.
It costs £39 and you can get it from HERE, if interested.

Favourite Perfume?

I have two perfumes that are equally my all time favourites:
Thierry Mugler- Alien... I love the scent. It's very musky and mysterious. When it first came out, I was obsessed! It got to a phase where every Christmas for 3 years straight, I would get 4 bottles as gifts from different people. I would never complain and still to this day I wouldn't because I love it. The smell doesn't wear off which is always a pro for  perfume, and makes the perfume last longer.
The bottle in the photo is actually a refill bottle, but for the normal 60ml bottle, it's £69 and you can find that HERE, if interested.


Zara- Fruity... Another perfume that is long lasting. It's a nice light smell that I use as my everyday perfume. It's a cheap one that I don't mind using up quickly because it is easily replaced. It costs only £10 and you can find it Zara stores, if interested.

Minnie

"Great things never came from comfort zones"

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

MAC // LOOSE PIGMENT IN 'COPPER SPARKLE'


For me, the best part of doing my makeup is my eyes. I am constantly playing around with different eyeshadows, and trying out different looks. I never stick to one look daily!

On my birthday in May, my uni friends surprised me with a few goodies from MAC, and this pigment was included. I have never owned a pigment before, but I was constantly using my flatmates pigment for nights out as it was so pretty and easy to apply.


'Copper Sparkle' is a gorgeous burnt orange tone, with an illuminous shine to it. I don't like to wear this on a daily basis though, as it is too pretty to just bring out. I save this for special, special occasions.

I usually match this pigment with either brown/orange toned eyeshadows within the crease, or I quite often put a black throughout the crease of the eye and then carry this pigment underneath the bottom lash line. If done quite subtly, this looks gorgeous and makes the smokey eye 'pop'.

Not a lot of this product is needed, and can be used with either a dry or wet brush for application. If a dry brush is used then it will be treat like a regular eyeshadow however, if a wet brush is used then the colour will be a lot more prominent, and it also stays on the lid better too. 


'Copper Sparkle' retails for a price of £16.00 and can be found HERE.

Have you tried any other pigments from MAC? What do you recommend?

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

ELIZABETH ARDEN // CERAMIDE LASH EXTENDING TREATMENT MASCARA


Without mascara, I do not feel as though my makeup looks complete. Even when I am not wearing makeup, I always like to put on that little bit of mascara to make sure that my face just doesn't look like a blank canvas. 

I struggle with making my eyelashes look long and gorgeous. I have such short eyelashes- it is a joke sometimes honestly! For a long time, I have had such a rollercoaster ride with trying to find the right mascara that will give me both length, and volume... But I may have just found this within this little beauty. 


I never actually bought this mascara myself, infact my nan gave me this from an Elizabeth Arden gift set she had. I was so so grateful as I had been needed another decent mascara for a while, and I couldn't wait to begin using it!

When I first applied this mascara, I thought to myself that I would only apply one coat and see what happens. Well. One coat is all I needed! My lashes looked amazing and I couldn't have been anymore satisfied with the product.


This mascara is available to purchase on its own, and isn't needed to be bought as part of a set. On it's own it can be bought for £22.00, and can be found HERE.

Another great thing about this mascara is that it doesn't have any fall down. The mascara doesn't crumble throughout the day, and stays right where it should- on the lashes. It truly is a fabulous product. 

What mascaras have you been loving at the moment?

Sunday, 19 July 2015

PERFECT DUPE FOR MAC STUDIO FIX FLUID // BEAUTY


I'm not usually one for dupes. I just prefer to stick to what I know and have found, as I think this makes it a little easier. However, I feel as though I have found the perfect dupe for MAC's Studio Fix Fluid. 

Firstly, I chose to go for MAC Studio Fix Fluid due to the fact that my skin is combination skin. I suffer from both oily and dry however, it is more to the oily side, so I needed a foundation which would last all day without budging and I found this within MAC's foundation. Although I love this foundation silly amounts, it does make me break out if I wear it on a daily basis. Therefore I set out to find a dupe, and ended up with Revlon Colorstay foundation. 


In the Studio Fix Fluid I wear NC15 (as I went to a counter and got matched up), so I gathered that I would need quite a pale colour to suit my skin tone. After trying all of the shades, I found that 'Ivory' matched NC15 near enough perfectly, so I settled for that. Usually with a foundation I always have to set it with a translucent powder, but I have found that with Colorstay I do not have to do this at all, and it does not budge throughout the day. This really impressed me, as with Studio Fix Fluid I have to apply a little bit of powder to just ensure that it stays in place. Another similarity Studio Fix Fluid and Colorstay have in common is that they are both SPF 15, which is important for daily sun rays on the skin. 


I bought Studio Fix Fluid for £22.00, and you can find that HERE.
I bought Colorstay for £12.99 from Boots, and you can find that HERE.


Yes the Colorstay is a little pricey for a drugstore foundation, but it is near enough half the price of the Studio Fix Fluid, and it is perfect for a daily foundation when saving your better one for special occasions. Also, it doesn't make you break out so what could be better?

Have you found any foundation dupes recently?

Thursday, 16 July 2015

11 THINGS YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT ME // TAG

I was tagged by the lovely Zenia from the blog 'Peplums & Petunias' to carry out the '11 Things You Did Not Know About Me' tag, so here is my version!

The rules for this tag are as follows. You have to answer 11 questions by the blogger who has tagged you, and then once you have answered those you tag 10 fellow bloggers and supply them with your own set of questions. Simple! So here is my take on the tag.

 What is your favourite cake flavour?
I am a lover of lemon cake. A strange flavour I know. I find chocolate cake too sickly for my liking, and standard cake just doesn't float my boat! However, if I had to eat one of those flavours then I would, it's just I am linked to the lemon!

Where are you originally from?
Because I study in Manchester, I constantly have people asking me where I am from. I am from the United Kingdom in a place called the Lake District. It is full of mountains and hills, and there are a lot of holiday-goers who vacate here because of the scenery. 

Best thing that's ever happened to you?
I know this might sound pretty cringy, but the best thing that has ever happened to me is accepting help for my depression and anxiety, and getting help for it. It has opened up so many opportunities for me including university, and having the courage to move away from my small town and fulfil my dreams. 

How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest, youngest or in the middle?
I am the oldest of me and my siblings. I have a younger brother and sister who are twins, and they are 13 years old. I also have another brother who has just turned 1 on my dad's side of the family.

Brownies or cake? Why?
I prefer a good ol' brownie. This is because you can make so many different types of brownies and add different things into them, to make them so much better!

What is the one thing you tell yourself everyday?
Because I suffer from anxiety and depression, every morning before I get up I tell myself "you can do this". This makes me realise that the world is my oyster and every day is a new day. It also gives me motivation to grab life with both hands and make the most of it.

Weirdest/creepiest/funniest dream ever?
This was definitely a weird dream. I had a reoccurring dream for about a fortnight of me running through a maze, and I couldn't escape. I never understood why I couldn't escape the maze, and when I woke up I was all panicky. I still to this day haven't looked into what the dream meant. 

Would you rather marry someone who loves you and has no money, or someone who has money but doesn't love you?
I, hands down, would genuinely marry someone who loved me and didn't have any money. I'd rather mean something to someone, and to me that is a lot more valuable than money will ever be. 

If you could be the CEO of any brand, what would it be?
This is easy peasy. I would want to be the CEO of Selfridges. I adore that store, and it has so many makeup counters and boutiques inside of it!

If you could only eat one food of the rest of you life, what would it be?
I would say pizza to this, but I think there is only so much pizza you can have in a lifetime. Therefore, I am going to have to say chinese food! There is such variety of this, and you can always switch it up and change the meals around. 

If you were stranded on an island and only had one person next to you, who would it be? Why?
This doesn't need any thinking towards it, as I would always choose my mum. As long as my mum was besides me I would know everything was going to be OK!

For this tag I nominate:
Camelia | MakeUp N Trend
Veena | Make Up World

The questions I am giving my nominees are:
Where is one place in the world you would love to visit?
Hot drinks or cold drinks? Why?
Summer or winter? Why?
What is your current beauty essential?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
If you got given the opportunity to run a store, what would it be and why?
What is your favourite seasonal event? Why?
What is your number one main hobby?
Dark or light lip products? Why?
Have you ever considered university?
What is your favourite piece of advice you would give to others?

Monday, 13 July 2015

MY MENTAL HEALTH STORY // LOOK AT ME NOW

I am going to throw it out there. This post is going to be hard for me to write, and it is quite personal to me. However, I want to help those who have experienced what I went through/what I am going through, and that can only be done through me pulling myself together and sharing it all with you. 


I had an extremely happy childhood. For 3 years, it was just me and my mum. My mum was my mum and dad rolled into one, and I admire her so much for doing that. Because of this, I became extremely close to my nana and granddad too, and we would spend so much time together. We went on holidays together, Sunday walks and me and my mum even lived with them for a while. I didn't have a clue who my biological father was, and it didn't bother me. My mum never lied to me about him, and never hid any facts from me either. She was always straight up about the situation.

When I was 3, my mum met the man whom I call dad, and who is the dad of my younger brother and sister. Straight away I wanted to call him dad, and he accepted me as his own child and still does to this day. He tries his hardest to do anything for me, and I love him so much. When I was 6, my younger brother and sister were born. Little did we know, my brother was born with ADHD and Autism, and my sister was born with Asthma. They were 6 weeks premature, and in and out of hospital. During this time, I lived with my nana and granddad, purely because my mum had to be at the hospital with my brother and sister, and my dad had to support her and also go to work. 

Now comes the difficult part. 

We moved house to another street up the road, as we needed the room as my brother and sister were well enough to come home. I befriended my next door neighbour- I knew her from school and I spent a lot of my time with her. She had a sister and 2 brothers, both older than us. Her brother ended up doing things to me which I didn't understand. I didn't understand why he would do them but I dismissed it. It wasn't until I got older that I understood the whole situation I was in, and I kept it a secret from everybody. That is when my downwards spiral hit.

My mum and dad ended up separating, and this had a huge impact on my life. I couldn't come to terms with why they had to part, and I thought it was because of me. I took it out on myself whilst hiding this secret of mine. I thought that they knew and broke apart because of me. Some would say I ended up 'going off the rails' at the age of 13, and this is when another rough part of my life occurred.   I call this part 'black'.

When I was 13, I got my first serious boyfriend. I was in a disgustingly dark place, and my boyfriend at the time was 18. I hid this from everybody including my friends and my family, however this is something which I shouldn't have done. From the very start, the relationship was very difficult. Through the 9 months we were together, it was a very temperamental relationship and also very abusive. However, I was besotted with him and thought that was what 'love' was. I was entwined with him, and spent every single day with him. I had no friends, no confidence, full of self-loathe, no aspiration to do anything in life and I didn't see myself doing anything. (Maybe I can elongate this into another blog post, what do you think?)

I was 14 when that relationship ended. But, during that relationship I had many councillors, therapists, doctors appointments and I lost a serious amount of weight. Nobody knew what was wrong with me, until I eventually told my dad what had happened and how I felt. They didn't agree with the relationship one bit, but what parent would? I am full of guilt and suffer this everyday for what I put my family through, and truly embarrassed of the way I acted. 

6 years ago, I would never picture myself to be where I am now. I never thought that I would be at university working towards a Philosophy Degree. I never thought I would feel happiness again, and I never thought that I would have friends who care about me. This is what the whole concept of this blog post is about.

I finally admitted to myself that I needed help. I decided that councillors and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was not doing anything for me, so I accepted anti-depressants. These were to help me with my depression and anxiety. At the beginning, yes they did help me. I wouldn't have been able to go to university without the help of them, and the little piece of confidence that they gave me. But it wasn't until the other week that I took myself off the 150mg of Sertraline that I was on. This is extremely dangerous, and I do not recommend doing the same as it made me very ill, and I was quickly heading into another downward spiral. My mum booked my another doctors appointment- hopefully my last one for my mental health, to get everything sorted once and for all. Here they changed my tablets to 20mg of something beginning with a 'C' (I cannot remember the name for the life of me!), and offered me help back down in Manchester which is where I spend the majority of my time because of university. I accepted it.

If you suffer from a mental illness, I want you to know that you are not alone. Yes this story of mine is quite deep for a blog posts, but it is my mental health story, and without it I wouldn't be the person I am today. I passed my GCSE's, my A-Levels and I am currently working towards a Philosophy Degree. I never saw myself doing any of these things. It is okay to find yourself slipping into a downwards spiral, but remember where you were then and where you are now. I came across an amazing saying the other day. It goes...

"Even with all the unfortunate things that have been going on lately, I'm still happy. Instead of focusing on the negative I just remember how lucky I am to be where I am today."

And this saying gives me great inspiration. Remember, everything is going to be okay. Accept the help you deserve, and try and place yourself in a positive spiral. Have something to look forward to, make plans, read positive books and listen to positive music. It all really helps, trust me.

I apologise for the long post, but I wanted to get everything together and tell you about my mental health story. If you have any advice for me at all, or just fancy having a chat about your situation with somebody, then feel free to email me on: jessica.mckenzie@live.co.uk
I will reply as I can, and you can email me about anything. 

Thank you for reading,
Jessie x

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

SIMPLE SUPPERS // BACON, SPRING ONION AND CHEESE PASTA

I have decided that I am going to introduce a new segment into my blog, and that is 'Simple Suppers'.


Since being at university, I have definitely learnt how to cook with a small amount ingredients, and also learnt how to make something tasty out of them.

Pasta is a really good main ingredient when it comes to cooking with a small number of items. I find that anything can be thrown into a bowl of pasta, which is why I decided to share with you this recipe that I put together whilst being at university!


First you have to put some pasta on to boil. Any pasta can be used, but I love spaghetti so I always choose this.


Whilst your pasta is boiling, get together 4 spring onions, some pre-chopped bacon and some cream cheese.


I began with frying the chopped bacon until it was very nearly cooked. I prefer to have my bacon crispy, as it adds a bit of 'crunch' to the dish. Also, cooking it a bit longer gives it more of a smokey taste and makes it taste better.


I then chopped spring onions into the frying pan using scissors, and fried them until they went a bit softer. At this stage, I took some of the pasta water using an ice cream scoop, and placed it into the pan with the bacon and spring onions. Doing this means that when you add your cheese to the pan, it makes the sauce a little thicker and easier to eat with. It will also prevent the pasta sticking together in clumps.


I took the pasta off boil, drained it and then put it back into the pan I cooked it in. I added the bacon and spring onions and 2 table spoons of the cream cheese. After mixing it all together, I added pepper and bowled up!


This dish literally took 10 minutes to make. It is simple, doesn't create too much washing up to do after your meal, and it tastes like a carbonara!

Double cream may also be added when cooking the bacon and spring onions, to make a more creamier sauce.

What pasta dishes do you like to make?








Tuesday, 7 July 2015

QUICK & EASY CADBURY'S 'CRUNCHIE' BROWNIES

I love a good brownie. I like the way the outside of it is crunchy and then in the middle it is all soft and gooey.


So, I decided to root through the cupboards and see if there was anything I could use for baking. Luckily, I came across brownie ingredients along with Crunchie bars. I have never made Crunchie brownies before, so I thought that I would experiment! I am so so glad that I did. This recipe is so easy to follow, takes little time and makes delicious brownies!


Firstly, I preheated the oven to 180 C / gas mark 4. Following this, I crushed up the Crunchie bars and broke up the chocolate into small squares. I placed these into a bowl and put them to the side.

I then added everything to one bowl in the order shown above (excluding the Crunchie chocolate and the milk chocolate). I made sure to give this a thorough stir, so that the consistency was velvety. 


After I achieved the velvet consistency, this is when I added 5 of the 6 bars of Crunchie and the milk chocolate chunks. I made sure to mix fold these well into the mixture, so that the chocolate was hidden.

Make sure you have a tray deep enough for the brownie mixture to sit in, and that it has been greased of is lined with greaseproof paper. Pour in the mixture and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

When it got to around the 20 minute mark, I took the brownies out of the oven and topped them with the rest of the crushed Crunchie. I placed it into the over again for another 5 minutes, until taking it out for good.

Allow the brownie time to cool down and set. It may seem very gooey in the middle, but once it has cooled down it does set into a more dense texture, and it is also easier to slice!

Have you got any recipes you have discovered recently?

Sunday, 5 July 2015

TOP 5 TIPS FOR MOVING HOUSE // STUDENT STYLE


So recently, I moved into my uni house for my second year. I'm not going to lie, I am not brilliant when it comes down to packing. Trying to put things into order and deciding what goes were is not by strong point! So the point of this blog post is for me to show you what I have learnt, and what tips 'n' tricks I have learnt within the process!

  1. GET RID OF ALL OF THE RUBBISH YOU FIND: don’t lie, you're bedroom is full of pointless objects and items that you have acquired over your time at university. My room definitely was when I came to the packing stage. If I a honest, I think I could pass for being a hoarder! Getting rid of the things that take up unnecessary space in your room will not just one, make unpacking easier but two, also make the whole moving process and lighter for you in the long run!
  2. DECIDE WHAT COLOUR SCHEME YOU ARE GOING TO GO FOR: there is no point moving if you do not know what colour scheme your new bedroom is going to be. I was okay with this, as I decided to keep the same colour scheme as the room in my halls. The colour scheme I went for was a mixture of pastel colours with a vintage twist. This colour scheme is so so easy to keep up with, as practically everything goes with each other, and it's simple to add little things  in too. 
  3. BEGIN PACKING EARLIER THAN THE NIGHT BEFORE MOVING: I feel very hypocritical writing this tip, but it is something I learnt during the packing process! Me being as stupid as I can be sometimes, decided that packing the day before the moving day, was going to give me enough time to get everything together. I was wrong. It took me hours and hours and hours to get everything together, and I spent half of the time gathering boxes to actually put my belongings in, which links into the second tip…
  4. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH BOXES TO PACK WITH: again, I feel super hypocritical. Instead of having everything packed into big cardboard boxes, (which would have been waaay easier to move with) I packed everything into little boxes. I felt the need to use the big Pandora box that I had stashed underneath my bed, and filling every single Selfridges bag that I had hidden underneath my desk!
  5. PACK IN SOME SORT OF ORDER: this will make things a lot easer when unpacking. You will be able to go through an order of one box at a time, instead of rifling through different boxes making the process a lot harder than it should be!

So there are the top 5 tips of mine for when moving. These will literally be a lifesaver… especially for a ditsy person like me!

Do you have any other tips for packing?

Sunday, 14 June 2015

MAC // 'DIVA' LIPSTICK

I have always had the opinion that a bold, red lip did not suit me, so for a long time I have put it off and always chosen to wear the darker purples if I was going to an occasion or somewhere more special. 

Spending the majority of my time around the MAC counter in Selfridges, I came to the conclusion that it was about time to ditch the dark purples for a while, and invest in a dark red lip colour. I was quite fussy however when I had to choose. This is because I didn't want to settle for a bright red lipstick, but instead a darker 'vintage vamp' type of colour. This is because I wear a lot of dark gold colours on my eyelids and I thought it may look better.


I picked up 'Diva', when I accidentally found myself standing at the MAC counter one afternoon. My flat mate wanted to start her own palette, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to question the beauty guru's and see what colour would suit me best.


'Diva' is a very dark red colour, and comes off the bullet as a matte finish. I prefer matte finish lipsticks as they seem to last longer on the lip, and even when they begin to fade they always leave a stain which I also believe to look quite flattering.


Trust me when I say you do not need a lot of this product at once. I made the mistake of applying a little too much the first time that I wore it, and it just got everywhere. I advise to use a lip brush at first for precision purposes, and then go in with the bullet itself to deepen the colour if you wish. The colour ended up staying on all night, no matter how many drinks I had or what I had to eat. I wore this colour with a gold eye look, and even though some may say that it's either 'lips or eye' I thought the look went really well! Definitely one of my statement lipsticks in my collection I would say.

The online link to 'Diva' can be found HERE, and the lipstick retails for a price of £15.50 which is definitely worth it!

What bold lip colours are you loving at the moment?

Saturday, 13 June 2015

MAC // 'DERVISH' LIPLINER

Since Kylie Jenner made an appearance with her fabulous lips, everyone wants one of those 'nude' lipliners to copy her looks.

I made my way to Selfridges in search of a lipliner that I could wear everyday, underneath different lipsticks just to enhance my natural lip line. I myself have been blessed with quite full lips (thanks momma!) so I never had the intention of making them look overly big, I just wanted a more prominent lip line underneath my lipstick.




When I got to the MAC counter, there wasn't a nude lipliner that caught my eye. Dervish was the closest to a natural nude that I could find, with a slight pink undertone to it. I wear it underneath any lip colour because of the basic colour that it is. 



Dervish is extremely loved as you can tell! I honestly wear this near enough every single day- unless I'm having a makeup free day that is. The lipliner itself is a soft nude with undertones of pink and a tiny bit of brown. It has quite a velvet finish, with a little shimmer being added to it. Originally I wanted a matte lipliner, as I thought that it may stay on better. However, this lipliner doesn't seem to want to budge underneath the lip colour that you may be wearing. 



It also doesn't change the colour of your lipstick either which is a benefit, as I thought that because I wear it with so many different lip colours that it would have an impact on them but it doesn't.

The lipliner retails at a price of £12.50 and you can obviously buy it online or from a counter. The online link is HERE.

What lipliner/lipliners are you liking at the moment?