Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Post Erasmus Depression


How an I even begin to explain what has been going through my head through the whole of January. I was in a situation or state of depression with which some of you may be familiar and others not so much. I have been home from my exchange in Portugal for over a month now and I am only just beginning to get myself out of what people call the 'post-erasmus depression'. For weeks after I came home I pictured myself waking up to blue skies or hearing my Portuguese flat mates laughing and speaking in another language. It's just about the most heart breaking thing to realize that suddenly those experiences are now just a memory...

I arrived home just before Christmas to my familiar house in my familiar city only to find that it wasn't so familiar anymore, and that the place I had missed so much and cried for had remained pretty much exactly the same as when I had left it; something which I was quite unable to comprehend in my mind. As much as being reunited with all of my friends and family was an amazing way to end the year there was still an underlying sadness. It was just horrible to think that I would never again awaken to the sound of a Spanish speaking maid trying to get in the front door, or that I would take a pleasant stroll down to the river where I could sit and read my book or listen to music and feel so relaxed, or that I'd be able to take a trip to the beach in mid November or even the possibility that I'd discover something or learn something completely new about my surroundings every single day.

My heart genuinely ached for these times and I missed not just the city of Lisbon but all of the people with whom I'd shared some of these experiences and some of whom I have to sadly admit I may never see ever again. I thought about all of the interesting conversations and the people who had made me feel at home away from home. Locals who helped me navigate when I was lost, my flatmates who were ridiculously messy but made my heart melt by looking after me when I was ill, and all of those who just like me had come from another place to study and to learn all the things that I would study and learn. These were friendships built on shared emotion and legitimite conversation rather than small talk and familiarity. Don't get me wrong I did have my share of drinking buddies too but the connetion and the bond will always be there whether I ever see these people again or not, because we all experienced something together. 

I am proud to say that I opened myself up and went with my emotions and never ever once regretted it. I fell in love at first sight with a beautiful city and made friends with people from all over the world. Although my heart is sad that this chapter in my life is officially over it has made me wonder what else is out there waiting to be discovered. I wonder if I will ever feel so alive again. The experience was so liberating knowing that I had no one in the world beside me for almost four months but by the end I was surrounded by so many people and I'm so happy that even for just 4 months I got to live a life where everything was possible and every person was a new companion just waiting to be discovered and where every wrong turn was an adventure. Life can be so complicated and cruel and I'm glad I took the chances to escape that even for just a little while.

Has anyone else ever done a semester abroad? Would love to know all about your experiences?  
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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Feel Good Beauty Products


January just isn't a great month for anyone is it? We're all a little too chubby from over indulgence at Christmas as well as really feeling the pinch on our purse strings after spending that early December wage on presents, nights out and other festivities. I have to admit I get so depressed in January and I'm feeling it even more this month as I've come home from living abroad and I miss everything and everyone. Seeing as I've come home jobless and am trying my best not to spend I though I'd share a few of the products that really make me feel great when I use them...

Starting with my base I have to admit I am an absolute sucker for cult favorite Nars Sheer Glow. Yes I know everyone has heard this a million hundred times before but until I find a better foundation I will repurchase this until my dying days! I love not just how flawless this makes my skin look but also how it feels as it really lets my skin breathe which I must admit is something that most other foundations don't do. I get so many compliments on my skin when I use this and I really don't use a lot of product at all. If i want to look extra radiant I will pair this with something that has been a bit of a golden discovery for me and is the Topshop Glow Pot. I used to wonder why I never liked highlighting products that much after having tried so many powders and liquids, however the cream formula of this one is incredible. Unlike a liquid it is extremely blend-able and doesn't mess up my foundation if I apply it on top. It just looks absolutely beautiful and such a staple for my 'going out' look now!

If we are talking about contour I have to say that Clinique's Chubby Stick has been an absolute god send! It makes everything so easy and I love that I can just apply it and then blend it out with my fingers or a brush. It is such a nice natural shade and makes my cheekbones look incredible. I admit that when I first got this I found it so difficult to use and now I couldn't be without it! Also in the way of contour is Benefit's Hoola which I just find is easier sometimes if I'm in a proper rush but still want to chiseled cheekbones and sharp defined features. I have probably bought about ten of these in my lifetime as its one of the best bronzers out there for contouring due to its neutral tone and matte finish. if I'm really going out I sometimes even wear this over my chubby stick just to make my contour extra noticeable. 

Lastly, I am a sucker for lip and cheek products and I have to say I have been really digging using The Body Shop's Honey Bronzer on my cheeks lately rather than a proper blusher as it's so natural and really suits my skin tone and brings out my blue eyes. Another thing is that a neutral cheek looks so amazing when paired with a statement lip, and speaking of I have been reaching more and more for my YSL Rouge Volupte in 34 which is a bright watermelon pink. I am so in love with the packaging of this that it could be any shade and I would still absolutely love it but this pink is amazing especially as its a shine finish rather than a matte. I honestly would say that the formula of it is ridiculous considering it isn't matte as I can wear this for most of the day without having to top it up too often!

What are your favourite products that make you feel good? Do you have anything you do in January to give yourself a little 'pick me up'?


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Friday, 1 January 2016

Here's to 2016


It's pretty great being back in Glasgow right now surrounded by all of my friends and family to celebrate Christmas and the new year, yet I can't help feeling a little bit sad that 2015 is about to officially end (by the time you guys read this it will already be over!). I can without a doubt say that I have had one of the best years of my life and that I can't remember ever feeling this genuinely happy or closer to my friends and family, despite having spent the latter part of the year away from them all...

In 2015 I truly embraced everything I have ever wanted to do or be. I visited a few amazing places, became a veggie, I bought a swanky new car and I ended the year at uni with an overall 1st in my exams, which led to me being invited to Lisbon to study; one of the best things I have ever done in my life! I met new friends from all over the globe and managed to reconnect with old ones too! Its strange how people sometimes come back into your life despite everything and its almost like nothing has changed. This year has been a year of letting go of the past and finally coming to terms with all of the things I never thought I'd be able to accept; my anxiety for instance has not once held me back and I've said goodbye to everyone who I have lost this year. My closest friendships are stronger than ever despite having a smaller circle of friends and even though some of them have moved away, got new jobs, or found love we have not forgotten about one another. I have found through living abroad that I am actually a nice person to be around despite spending a lot of my time worrying what people think of me or being too nervous or shy to talk to strangers. 

My perspective on just about everything has changed A LOT. I spend much less time concentrating on my looks and feel much more comfortable wearing no make up these days. I have also started to judge other people less which although sounds quite bitchy is something we all do at times whether you want to own up to it or not. At the end of the day discussing other peoples lives or choices can never ever make you happy and will always bring you down so why bother right? I've stopped being jealous of everyone on Instagram with the seemingly perfect life and started to realize how good my own is. I might never get to travel all over the world or have the most perfect skin or thighs or own a puppy, but I'm okay with that for now. I'm completely happy for once and it feels incredible just to be able to say goodbye to some of the most negative emotions which I thought would never ever go away. I have fully accepted who I am as a person and for once I actually like it!

Moving on in 2016 I want to try my best to continue being happy with myself and maintaining all of the amazing relationships I'm so blessed to have in my life. I'd also quite like to visit some of my international friends and depending on how funds are I might even pay a visit back to Lisbon! I think this year I will be trying my hardest to spend less money on clothes and make up and more on travel; afterall experiences can make you much much happier than any materialistic thing ever does; you are always going to be able to bu ya new nail polish but you will never relive your first encounter on the streets of Prague or becoming best friends with your tour guide in Barcelona . I'm also going to be finishing University in the summer although I will be heading back for another year to do teaching and I really want to get my head down and do well. I'd love to be able to find a good graduate internship during the summer so I can save a little bit of money. Speaking of I really think I have to move out of my parents house in the near future. Although technically I have moved out three times now at my age I really think I ought to be thinking about moving out permanently. My other half also got a flat recently and I'm super jealous so it has me thinking about doing the same. 

Overall, I am really sad at the thought of 2015 finally being over and yet I am so excited to find out what the future has in store for me. I have always been a massive believer in fate and everything happening for a reason and I never plan my life too much in case it has other ideas. I hate to set myself resolutions so all I will say is that I plan on being the best person, friend, daughter, girlfriend, student that I can possibly be this year as well as trying to embrace all of the crazy things life decides to throw at me! I hope that it can be as good as this one has been! 

2015 it has been a pleasure but its time to say goodbye! 

 



 
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