Goals · Life · Summer

Here comes the Sun!

Summer is upon us!

My favourite season of the year! I’m so happyyyyy!

The sun will be shining all the time, I’ll get an amazing tan, I’ll get to wear shorts and bikinis all the time… And then I remember I live in England. Ah, well. I guess there will be sun at some point!

Anyway, as everyone seemed to love my Spring goals post so much and I have some more goals for summer, I decided to do a repeat of that post (which you can find HERE)

Walk 10,000 steps as many days as possible.

I was originally going to set this as a New Years Resolution but I realised with so many exams this year and therefore days spent doing revision, this was going to be near impossible for the whole year.

However, once I finish my exams on the 16th, I’m aiming to try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

I suppose, it would be better to set my goal as ‘Walk 810,000 steps’ because I already know there are some days where I won’t be able to walk this much without being killed (I’ll explain soon!) but I’d like to do it so that I walk the equivalent of 10,000 steps a day.

As I won’t be doing rowing training over the summer, this seems like a good way to make sure I’m doing at least some exercise over the summer and don’t end up going back to rowing in September unable to even walk anywhere!

Cut out excess sugar where I can.

I am a sugar addict.

That sounds so melodramatic but I’m not joking or exaggerating or anything. I eat sugar constantly and even if I’m not full, I need more sugar.

I’ve got to the point where I’m spending £20 a week just on chocolate which might not sound like loads to some of you but for me, I could be spending this on something better.

I don’t need the chocolate or sugar in general, I’m never hungry when I eat it and I purely have to have it because I’m bored as strange as that sounds.

Eating gives me something to do and I want to break this habit now while I’m still fortunate enough to do exercise so often and therefore can sort of deal with the sugar.

I need to stop the addiction before I stop doing as much exercise and the effects of my diet start to catch up with me.

Save money.

I need to have a word with my friends’ parents to find out whose idea it was for 4 of my friends to be born in less than a month of each other.

While I love getting people presents, it’s not been kind on my bank account. Given I started off May with no money, buying amazing presents hasn’t been easy given I have nothing to get them with.

Over the summer I’ve set aside several days for shopping and so I want to save up for those days because I’m in desperate need for some new clothes and shoes!

Go self-hosted.

I’m basically contradicting my last point but this has been something I’ve been thinking about since Christmas.

I decided then that I’d wait until after my exams to go self-hosted so that it gave me time to save up because it’s surprisingly (for me at least) expensive. As you can probably tell by my last point, that hasn’t gone to plan!

I’m still hoping to buy my domain name as I’m hoping to be blogging loads over the summer and it’d be nice if it was on a new spangley website! Maybe I’ll ask for it for my birthday (I actually just thought of that as I typed it and it’s actually a really good idea!)

Get a job.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times above, I’m low on money, I have no income, I’d like an income. I’ve not got a job yet is for three reasons.

One, I have rowing almost every night after school and for most of Saturday. I need time to do homework and relax so I just haven’t had the time to fit in a job as well.

Two, most places near me require you to be 16 before you can get a job and I don’t turn 16 until August (the ninth, for anyone wondering).

And finally, I basically live in the middle of nowhere so any job I have is going to require my parents for transportation and I already use them so much as a taxi, I don’t want to give them any more journeys to do.

However, if I can find a job that I can get to by bike or is somewhere that isn’t making my parents drive out of their way, I’d be very up for it!

Care less about money.

This is a spontaneous one I came up with just now because I realised how many of my points this season seem to be money related or at least depend on money and I know having fun with your life doesn’t depend on money.

I want to do some activities this summer that don’t require money and are so fun. I can’t think of anything yet but don’t worry, I am blogging a lot this summer so I will definitely keep you updated!

Do something for Charity.

Again, another spontaneous thought but continuing with my money theme still!

My family donates a reasonable amount of money to charities and my school does A LOT of charity work but even for all the sponsored events and stuff, I don’t feel comfortable asking people to sponsor me doing things so even then I just take part and make a donation.

But anyway, I don’t think I personally do enough for charity and I want to make a change to that this summer.

But please comment down below what I should do because I want to do something unusual and not just another sponsored something. Please help me think of ideas because I do want to make a difference!!

Make a photo album of my memories with my friends.

Finally, a non-money related goal.

I have well over 6000 photos on my phone and that’s not even including the blogging ones. I’d much rather be taking photos than in them because I never like how I look and I love photography but anyway, at parties, I’m normally the only one who walks around and takes photos of everyone and everything. Doesn’t that makes me sound so cool… not.

But anyway, thanks to this, I have loads of photos of things I’ve done and places I’ve been with my group of friends and I want to get them printed out and into an album so that I actually look at them and as a little thing to lift my mood when I’m not feeling great…

I hope you enjoyed this and I can’t wait for you to read the posts I have planned for over the holidays. Do stay tuned!!

What should I do for Charity? (see above if you missed it!)

xxx

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Uncategorized

What’s in my Exam Bag? 2017

Hello!

I’m sorry for the lack of posts in the last few weeks. If you follow me in twitter, which you totally should HERE (cheeky self promo!), you’ll know I decided to post when I can during exam season (i.e. until the 16th June) and then as much as possible in the holidays. I promise I have lots of posts planned to make up for my bad blogging this month.

Anyway, onto the actual topic of my post. It’s 5 days until my first exam/s (which are French and Biology for anyone who is curious) and I’m determined to keep myself organised during exam season because I’m normally not very organised and because of this out-of-character decision, I’ve already planned what will be in my bag for every day of my exams and I’m going to share it with you today. This post is a collab with Erin from ‘Everything Erin’ who is also sitting her GCSEs this year and so is someone I can have a mini panic to from time to time! Please do go and check out her blog HERE.


The bag

This isn’t my actual school bag but I decided it was more photogenic than my other backpack which I’m desperately trying to make last until the end of the school year but it’s currently more hole than bag and is only held together by Duct tape! Anyway, if you were wondering, this bag is from Accessories. I know lots of people at school make fun about the fact I have a backpack rather than a handbag sort of thing but to be honest, It’s just more comfortable for me. I know next year I will probably get a handbag thing instead purely because I need a new bag anyway and my backpack’s actually a bit too small for all my folders and stuff. If you know good places to buy these sorts of bags for reasonable prices, do let me know as normally I just go to Animal and buy one of their backpacks. I haven’t really explored other options…

Sunglasses

Ok, so I might be seen as either optimistic or very weird but for anyone who’s judging me, I’m preparing myself for all conditions! This might seem a bit of a weird thing to have in my bag especially as the school won’t let us revise in the gardens but there will be some breaks and I would hate to get a headache from the bright sunlight Britain is so well known for having (not…) My sunglasses are from Primark for £3 but if you ant ones that actually keep th sun out of your eyes instead of just looking like they will, there are identical ones in Accessorise for £12.

Tissues

These will be mostly for my tears which sounds so sad but as I seem to mention in every blog post, I’m a very emotional person and if an exam goes even slightly badly, is it 100% confirmed that I will dissolve into a puddle of tears. God help my friends in the next few weeks!

I’ve also got tissues because, again, I’m preparing for all conditions. I hate it when you sneeze in an exam and then feel you can’t sneeze again because you’ve already had your distraction for the exam. Do you ever find that? And even sniffles sound so loud when everyone else is SILENT.


Money

Another just-in-case item. I can give reasonable justifications for this one though. Basically, my school has a very strict lunch policy during exams for the year that is on exam leave and you can only have lunch for that day if you’ve signed up before a specific deadline. Knowing my organisation, I’ll probably forget and have to go into town to get lunch a few times!

Also the time that we’re allowed to eat lunch is such a small amount of time. We can eat lunch from 1:15 and our exams all start at 1:45 which might sound long enough but when you add in queuing, going to the toilet before the exam, last minute revision and being at the exam 10 minutes early, I expect I’ll get indigestion most meals from gulping down my food!

My purse is also from Accessorise and matches my bag even though, I don’t think they were part of a set. And, they’re my favourite colour, how handy!

Chocolate/ Snacks

Partially to do with how quiet the exam hall is and partially to do with the fact that I love food, I don’t know about you but I always seem to enter the exam hall hungry and my stomach rumbles loudly the whole exam and I slowly turn redder and redder because I feel like everyone can hear it rumbling. No one can but it sounds loud enough for someone in Australia to hear.

Also I can just predict that there are going to be some exams that are going to require a chocolate bar to pick me up after the exam (I’m looking at you, Physics!). I’m trying to cut back on my sugar/chocolate intake but it doesn’t count if it’s after exams, right?!


Small Notebook

I want to know exactly how I felt each exam went and have it recorded so that on results day I can match the feelings with the results and also writing my thought s down as soon as I leave the exam will make sure my post on my exams will be as accurate as possible. And another reason for the notebook, which I’ve only just thought of, is to make lists of what featured in the exam to work out what might come up in the second paper.

I’ll probably take a notebook I bought from IKEA last summer as part of a 3 notebook set because they look nice and are small enough. Plus it’s cheap enough to ruin by talking about exams in!

Revision stuff

Duhrrr… I mean it’s not like I’m going to revise before an exam is it? (That was all sarcasm, I feel it doesn’t quite translate across the computer screen) It’s mostly just take the syllabus for that subject, the briefest notes I have on the important things and a revision guide apart for the ones where I have the whole morning to revise, where I’ll also take practice questions as well. Sorry if that was boring to any of you, I thought it might be interesting to anyone in the same situation as me…

Hair stuff

At the moment my hair is really annoying me. It’s not really long enough to not look funny in a bun or plaits but it gets in my face when I lean forwards over some work. And I have so many short pieces of hair that just won’t stay put. They insist on getting in my mouth and eyes and just generally annoying me so much. I’ll be taking hair bobbles because no one cares how stupid your hair looks once your in your exam as long as it doesn’t distract you and my annoying short hairs will probably be held back by approximately 36528 hair grips just to make sure they don’t get in my eyes. My head will be more hair grip than hair.


Revision pencil case

with: Pens, highlighters, rubber, ruler, maths stuff and pencils. Plus calculator. Have you seen then new pastel highlighters from Stabilo by the way? They make all my work look a lot more interesting and less boring. 100% recommend!!!

Headphones

Before my exams, I’m going to behave like an Olympic athlete. You know, hood up and head down, vaguely bouncing along to some obviously very motivational music and just generally ignoring everyone else. I know it sounds rude, but I really do not care how stressed everyone else is for this exam, I’ve already got enough stress without adding your stress to it!

I hope some of you found this interesting and if not, I promise there will be no more exam related posts shortly.

Stay tuned for my next post whenever that might be!

xxx 

Life · Me

Does drinking water really benefit us that much? An experiment

Every article we read to do with health and fitness tells us we must drink more water. Apparently it’s the ‘elixir of life’. Plants need light and water to survive. Are we really that different? Now that the longer days are here, I decided to embark on a experiment. 1 month of water drinking. What change would it really bring to me? Is it worth all the praise it’s given?

Starting picture & initial thoughts

I’m not a big water drinker. I mean, I only drink water but I hardly drink any at all. The smallest recommendation of water to drink is 2 litres a day, I hardly drink 250ml a day. I don’t drink full glasses, just sips here and there and I know it’s not good. With the amount of exercise I do, I think I should be drinking closer to 3 litres but for now, any improvement is good.

I wanted to see what drinking the right amount of water can actually do.

I’m not a pretty picture to begin with. I have terrible skin and have done for a while, I have a malfunctioning digestive system and my hair is always dry. I struggle with energy and get dizzy when ever I stand up. I’m hoping that water will help me with all this.

I can’t help but hope that water is as great as it’s portrayed to be. There are so many beautiful women who claim water is the secret behind their beauty. It’s such a simple thing that we take for granted and if it can provide staggering results, it will honestly amaze me. To be honest, although I’m hopeful, I’m not expecting much other than an increase in the number of times I go to the toilet a day! Maybe it will stop me being so dizzy 24/7 but other than that, I think my problems are deeper set. We’ll have to see!

 

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My trusty water bottle

 

What does water claim to do

In preparation for this experiment, I’ve scoured the web to see what water is claimed to do so that I can provide a complete analysis on water and it’s abilities.

From what I’ve gathered, water is capable of:

  • Stops headaches and dizziness
  • Clears your skin
  • Plumps out your skin/ Gets rid of wrinkles
  • Helps remove toxins and fight infections
  • Aids weight-loss
  • Keeps you ‘regular’ (in terms of toilets habits!)
  • Improves concentration
  • Helps you exercise better
  • Boosts energy
  • Keeps your blood thin enough and therefore your organs healthy
  • Helps your kidneys and decreases chance of kidney stones.

This list might not be interesting to some of you but for me, it seems to be capable of solving every problem I want sorting. The one’s in bold are my main interests. I don’t want Kidney stones but I haven’t classed that as a main interest as I can’t actually record any difference it makes as it’s not visible. The same with keeping your organs working. Of course I want that but I don’t have the medical equipment needed to track any differences water brings.

 The experiment

So here we go, my plan of action:

From Monday 27th March to Thursday 27th April, I will be drinking 2 litres or more a day and recording anything I notice. The 2 litres will be spread throughout the day but in particular when I wake up/Breakfast and after school and dinner. I won’t be changing anything else about my lifestyle REALLY dramatically during this time.

To make sure I drink enough, I will carry a water bottle with me and actually refill it and not be afraid to go to the toilet during lessons as this is one thing that stops me drinking water. If I don’t drink the water, I don’t need the toilet, therefore I don’t need to ask to go to the toilet. Simple! That’s how much I hate the school toilets! However this needs to change. If I fail to drink all 2 litres in a day, I’ll drink the excess the next day on tops of my designated 2 litres for that day.

Week 1 thoughts

Week 1 started off fairly successfully. I didn’t really notice anything different until the last few days of the week, other than a huge number of trips to the loo!! I don’t actually know how many times people normally go for a pee each day but for me, before this experiment, it was twice, maybe three times a day at most.

Since starting this experiment, I’ve been going to the toilet 5 times a day at minimum which is really a huge increase for me! After just 2 days, my family said they felt my skin was looking a lot brighter and while the bigger blemishes weren’t gone, the smaller ones seemed to have disappeared. In the last few days, the bigger blemishes also began to disappear although the redness was still there.

Towards the end of the week, I noticed a huge improvement in my digestion. Everything about it was becoming more ‘normal’. 2 Litres is actually a lot less than I thought it was and as long as I remembered, it wasn’t too hard to drink enough. The dizziness was still there throughout the week especially when standing up after a long time sitting down and I didn’t really notice an increase in my energy.

 

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How much water it felt like I was drinking some days!

 

Week 2 thoughts

Drinking water this week has been so much harder and I have no idea why… even though it felt like I was drinking a LOT of water, I still ended up having to ‘binge’ on water at the end of the day. I know it’s apparently not as effective as drinking it slowly throughout the day but at least I’m still drinking it, right?

I’ve really struggled with my lips drying out this week which isn’t something that normally happens to me. I don’t know if it’s at all related but I thought I’d include it anyway. I’ve really noticed improvements with my digestion which is great and in my opinion, my skin is looking a lot better. I haven’t noticed an increase in energy at all and I’m getting even more dizzy. I really don’t know why it has got worse.

I haven’t done much exercise this week so I don’t know if anything has changed there but I do think it’s improved my concentration as revision has actually gone OK this week!

Week 3 thoughts

This week was a week spent completely at home and so it was a lot easier to remember to drink my water. Suddenly I was back to full water and I spent 3 or 4 days feeling generally ‘squidgy’ from the amount of water I’d drunk. I was constantly feeling bloated even when I was ‘weeing’ constantly! As usual dizziness was a unchanged factor of my week. Digestion was really great and my skin was OK. Not much changed between week 2 and 3 other than feeling like a marshmallow filled with water!

Week 4 thoughts

This was a sports based week as I went off to France for Rowing Camp so it was really tested that side of water drinking. I was still feeling dizzy but it wasn’t as bad as it had been for the last few weeks and made me feel a lot more concentrated. I can’t say I felt a massive burst of energy but my rowing definitely was some of my best rowing and the energy levels might have been due to how hot it was out there.

As I was out in the sun, I did tan and burn a little bit but this burn didn’t peel for once, instead it just faded to tan. I’m putting this down to the water keeping my skin more moisturised. A friend complimented my skin for first time ever!!! I don’t know if any of you know how happy this makes me but it proved to me that the water was providing actual results with my skin not just ones I was forcing myself to imagine.

Results & Final thoughts

These final few days, any dizziness I’ve experienced has been as a constant feeling at the back of my mind but it’s presence hasn’t been too bad. I think being hydrated has helped me deal far better with being tired too, I feel much more awake even when I’ve been awake all night. I have to say that I have been impressed with how water has helped my skin and also my digestion.

Of course, this experiment isn’t a completely fair test as I’ve been living my life while drinking more water so every day has been different. However most of the changes my life has gone through recently should have hindered the water’s power, not helped it. For example, I’ve re-introduced chocolate, sweets, cake and biscuits into my diet at the start of week 3. I can’t say I noticed a massive difference since reintroducing it all whereas I know I have in the past years, particularly with my skin, so I completely thank water for this.

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Is water all it’s portrayed to be?

So, water promised me pretty big results and has it reached the expectations my research set out for me? Lets have a look:

Stops headaches and dizziness. I haven’t really noticed a difference in this over the last few weeks. The dizziness did decrease in the final week but, although I don’t know what helped, I don’t think it was the water. I only got 1 real headache during this experiment but I don’t really get many headaches normally.

Clears your skin. Yes, yes, yes! I’ve noticed such a difference. I sort of felt water would help but it still surprised me. This is definitely the area I was happiest the water achieved. I wish I’d photographed a before and after to show you the difference. Maybe if I start lacking in my water drinking again, I’ll repeat the experiment and include photos!

Plumps out your skin/ Gets rid of wrinkles. While I haven’t noticed if I’ve got rid of wrinkles (because thankfully I don’t have too many), I have noticed an increase in hydration, which I imagine would remove wrinkles.

Helps remove toxins and fight infections. I don’t really know but I haven’t got ill while drinking the water?! That being said, I’m not a very sickly person normally so it’s not saying much…!

Aids weight-loss. I can’t say I noticed any but to be fair, I wasn’t wanting to lose weight so that suited me. If anyone else does this experiment, I’d love to see if they notice any difference in weight…

Keeps you ‘regular’ (in terms of toilets habits!) Possibly the thing I was second most happy about. I’m not going to go into much detail because I’m talking about toilet habits for goodness sake, but if you struggle with digestion etc, I recommend drinking enough water!

Improves concentration. I assume it was the water that made me more concentrated for revision over the holidays although it might be the looming exams! I’d say it did help partially as I just had to remember to drink water so my brain was more switched on, if that makes any sense…

Helps you exercise better. I had rowing camp in the middle of this experiment, aka the ideal time to test this out and I must say while I’m not suddenly world champion, I feel it did help partially because I got less tired out and I sweated less which is surprising given how warm it was.

Boosts energy. I’ve not had ‘bouncing-off ceilings’ sort of energy but I think it’s increased. Or at least I’m not as tired as usual even though I’m getting even less sleep…

Keeps your blood thin enough and therefore your organs healthy. Not really something I can tell but I feel like they’ve been healthy in the last few weeks. I mean, they haven’t been unhealthy so therefore they must be OK!!

Helps your kidneys and decreases chance of kidney stones. Again, it’s not something I can really check… I’d like to think that drinking my water in the last few weeks has helped but I don’t really think a month will have helped in the long run! I’ll update you when I’m 80 or so with whether I’ve had a kidney stone or not!!!

The results, while not completely promising everything the websites have told me water would do, have encouraged me to drink more water. I mean, knowing me, I’ll forget within the next few days but I would love to keep it up during exams and through to Prom. Just imagine if I could take prom photos with clear-ish skin!! That would be amazing!

If anyone else wants to try and remember to drink more water, let me know and I might create a ‘Water’ group chat on twitter where we basically remind each other to drink water and share any results we find. Ok, that sounds very geeky but if you like the sound of it, let me know!!

 

xxx

(This is the longest post I’ve ever written (2200 words!!) and it’s something very different for me so if you’ve enjoyed it please let me know and if you’ve REALLY enjoyed it, I’d love it if you could share it with your friends!)

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Beauty · Reviews

Boots Botanics skincare review

I’ve suffered with bad skin for almost 6 years. In that time, I’ve tried literally every high street brand of skincare from the ones that gently do nothing, to the ones that burn off layers of your skin.

Recently, I’d been using products from ‘Simple’ just because it seemed like a safe bet. It wasn’t likely to sort it out but at least it made me feel like I was being careful with my face. I’d been told by multiple people that ‘Simple’ products were honestly the worst thing you could put on your skin both because of the perfume and chemicals that are in their products. One of the other brands they suggested I tried was ‘Boots Botanics’ products. To be honest, I’d never heard of this brand/range before.

The Botanics range has 180 products and uses plant extracts and the latest skincare technology. They’re working on decreasing the carbon footprint of the brand and is working with KEW gardens to ensure their plant extracts are as sustainable as possible. In case you couldn’t tell, they’re a Boots own brand and so only available in Boots.

I picked up 3 products from the brand and have spent the last few weeks trying them out.  My skin at the start was pretty terrible because I’d run out of any skincare products and had been too lazy/hadn’t had time to pick up any new stuff so it had a lot to do.


The 3 products were: ‘Botanics Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser’, ‘Botanics Hydration Burst Hydrating Day Cream‘ and the ‘Radiant Youth Exfoliator’. They can all be found here.

My first impressions of the products are how unusual they are. I’ve never seen products like them in terms of their textures and so on (I have seen moisturisers and exfoliators before, don’t worry!). The exfoliator is far more like a herbal cream and doesn’t look at all artificial like all the other exfoliators I’ve tried seem to be. The cleanser is so different from anything else I’ve tried and I can’t decide if it’s a good difference or not.

Firstly, are they worth the money?

The moisturiser and exfoliator are going to last me for ages as they only need a little bit at a time. Too much of the moisturiser and you have it running down your face and too much of the exfoliator and you scratch your face off. They have a 12 month sell-by date and I can see myself using them for the whole 12 months without it running out.

However, the face wash is so thick, it runs out fast. For perspective, I started using these products on Thursday 16th March and by a week later it was beginning to get hard to get the wash out the tube. I don’t think I’m using too much, I think it’s just that as it’s a thick paste, there isn’t actually that much in the container, it just seems like there is. The face wash is £4 and lasts about 3 weeks although it was very difficult to squeeze the last few drops out of the tube.

I wouldn’t say it’s too outrageous although it does mean that due to the amount you have to re-buy it, it would be more expensive in the long run. I don’t mind this if it actually works, so let’s move onto the results!

Results

The first thing that I’ve noticed in my trial stage is how much more oily my face feels. My face is naturally very oily and shiny but due to so many years of harsh skincare, it’s also very dehydrated. Therefore, I chose to buy the ‘Hydration Burst’ cleanser to try and combat the dehydrated skin.

According to the Boots website, the cleaners is a gel that transforms into an oil. Applying the gel to my face left my hands very oily but made my face feel very hydrated. It then appears to turn into a soapy liquid as it lathers up a bit. It didn’t appear to be oily once it reaches this stage but it I don’t wash off all of the lathered up liquid it feels like I’ve left actual oil on my skin. The oily feel does make my skin feel plumper and more lively.

The moisturiser definitely moisturises and my only real criticism is that it take a while to dry/soak in and therefore leaves your skin feeling slightly sticky for a couple of hours. It does surprise me how little is needed to successfully cover my whole face. It’s honestly such tiny dots of cream.

The exfoliator tells you to ‘gently use weekly’. As I’ve only used it a few times due to the lack of weeks, I can’t give such a broad depth of review however I have noticed how hard it is to gently use.


It’s quite easy to accidently scrub at your skin using it and it leaves my entire face light red the next day rather than just the spot prone areas. I personally have found that the more I use it, the less red my face turns so I am happy to continue using it. I just advise that you don’t use it in a bad/angry mood!

In terms of packaging, I think it’s ok, not too complex but still looks professional. My only complaint is that the caps on the products don’t close completely and so I’m not sure I’d 100% trust myself to travel with them. I wish they closed with a reassuring snap.

Conclusion

After testing these for a while, I can say, my skin feels so moisturised and in really good condition but perhaps it’s too moisturised as it seems to be causing more smaller spots from clogged pores… I think this face wash is perfected for deeply dehydrated skin but not necessarily the right product for me.


I wouldn’t have a problem with continuing to use this face wash however I don’t see it sorting my skin (not that I really expected it to) and I think there are some less oily face washes out there. I’m interested in the other ranges ‘Boots Botanics’ have and may well try them out next. I will be continuing to use the moisturiser and exfoliator as I think they are OK and the exfoliator is the best one I’ve tried.

Have you tried the Boots Botanics range? What did you think?

xxx

(This is my first beauty(ish) review, I hope you all enjoyed it! If you did please comment below.)

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Collabs · Photography · Tips

10 tips to up your photography game.

As a blogger, when I see a blog post about photography, I assume they mean blog photography. After all, photographs are one of the key parts of blogging that differentiates you from every other similar blog.

However, it would be pretty hypocritical for me to complain constantly about how bad my blog photos are and then give you tips on how to take them so that’s not what todays post is on.


I haven’t really mentioned it much before but I’m actually quite a keen photographer.

I got a new camera back in October but haven’t had as much time to play around with it as I’d like. I know there are a lot of people who’d like to take good photos for whatever reason, maybe they travel and want something to remember their trips by. Maybe they’d like to be able to capture the beauty of the countryside around them or something like that. Whatever the reason, if that’s you, I’m bringing you my top ten tips to up your photography game. I’m no photography genius but I still hope these tips help!!

And if 10 tips aren’t enough, today’s post is a collab with the lovely Jade from ‘Simply Jadey’ who is an wonderful photographer and will be setting up her own small photography business over the summer which I CAN’T WAIT for!!! Go and check out her blog because you won’t regret it! (And if you came from her blog, Hi!)

  1. Look for something unusual– Anyone can take a photo of the Eiffel Tower but who can take a photo that shows the delicate details on it? When taking a photo, it’s always going to seem more interesting (which is a goal when taking photos) if you take it in a different way from anyone else or if your subject is different from another person’s subject. Maybe you spotted a quirky little something and take a photo of that, it is likely to be so much better than a generic photo of something everyone else is photographing.
  2. If taking a photo of an animal, you don’t have to incluse the whole of it’s body– Something that I think shows the difference between a ameuter and more professional photographers is how they take photos. Do they include the whole of the subject so everyone knows what the photo is about or do they focus on a detail they find particularly interesting? Everyone knows what a dog looks like. If you’re taking a photo of your dog, focus on the characteristics that makes it different from every other dog you meet in the park.
  3. Take lots of photos everywhere- As the good saying goes, Practise makes perfect! Just take photos of anything and everything to see what works and just to get yourself in the photographing spirit. No one needs to know how many attempts it took you to get that 1 amazing photo so just constantly keep snapping away. The best photograph might surprise you. It might be the one photo you jokingly took in a rush rather than any of the other 100 that you took hours perfecting the angles/ lighting etc.
  4. Only keep the best- Your camera roll needs to be a gallery of your best work. There’s no point keeping a photo that’s out of focus or that could’ve been so much better if that man hadn’t been there. It’s not going to improve with time. Bad luck, delete it and try again. If you have 3 almost identical photos that are all equally good and you can’t decide between, choose a random one of the 3 and delete the others.
  5. Play around with focus/settings/lighting– Modern day cameras have so many different options in terms of how the photo is taken that even a complete beginner can learn to use. Make the most of what options you have even if you have the simplest camera or just your phone you still can play around with Black and White. Try taking photos with flash and without flash because sometimes, even if you think its too dark to have the photo without flash, it just doesn’t look right with it. Same goes with zoom, I guess. Have a go at taking photos really close up. Sometimes it provides the individuality your photo needs .
  6. Include the sky for silhouette or instant brightness. I really like photos that are set against a bright blue sky and I think it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of a bright sunny day especially photos of buildings. Sometimes people ca become a bit over-exposed in the bright sunlight but anyway… You can take these photos as silhouettes or still include the details but I personally really like including the sky in my photos! 
  7. Play around with angles. Not every photo has to have the object straight up in the middle. Have a play around, I know I keep saying this but photography is subjective. How you like to take photos won’t be how everybody likes to take photos but that’s OK. Angles really interest me as they can show something from a completely different perspective (does that make sense or does it make me look like a weirdo??)
  8. Take inspiration from others. Obviously as with everything in life, don’t go and straight out copy their work but if they take photos or edit them in an unusual way that you really like, have a go at taking photos in their style. I personally really want to take one of those long shutter photos of a road with all the lights blended together, you know the style I mean?? Visit a gallery or do a quick google to find some photographers and their styles to experiment with.
  9. Try out different styles/subjects. This is pretty much exactly what I was talking about above but try out as many styles as you can. It might surprise you which style you like and actually works. It might be the one you were think ‘nahh, not the sort of thing I like, bet it’s really boring to shoot’ and then try it and actually find you really like it. Go on, test it out!
  10. It’s meant to be fun. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t panic that you have to get perfect photos every time. If the photos are to remember an event by, just take some photos without spending the time to sit and think about what angle to take it from and so on. Don’t let the want to get a smashing photo get in the way of your enjoyment of whatever memory you’re trying to commemorate. Also, even though I wrote all these tips, they’re only tips not rules. There are no rules in photography. Do what you want, take photos of what you want and enjoy it!!

The reoccurring theme with all of my tips is generally, try stuff out and play around with it to find the photos you like. Anyone can take a photo of something but you need to find out what it takes to make it an interesting photo.

I’d love to see any photos that this helps you take and please share it if you think it helped!

If you have any tips I’ve missed here, leave them in the comments and I’ll have a play around with my photography using your tips!

xxx

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