Straight up, this is all I need to say. Make sure to LIKE this post!
Straight up, this is all I need to say. Make sure to LIKE this post!
Hello again, internet!
It feels like I haven’t posted in months. My last post was a week ago, but before that I didn’t post for about two weeks, which explains this feeling of coming home 🙂
So I’m back, and here to explain why I disappeared, plus what you can expect – for the rest of 2017. Because yes, we’re almost at December (which is f*cked up – where did the year go???), which means there will be a final round of posts before preparing for the new year ahead!
So, first off:Basically, it was school.
Don’t get me wrong, I like school, and I know I’m extremely privileged to be able to have an education. However, because we’re coming up to Christmas exams – and we’re really getting into the swing of things since the start of school is over – it means an extra study workload on top of my usual two-hour homework. i.e. ZERO blogging time.
Our exams start this coming Thursday and continue until the next Wednesday. I plan to not post at all apart from on the weekend until the exams are over (keep reading to find out what’s in store!), so I can focus on getting good grades – you won’t be seeing me until next Saturday, I’m afraid!
Once the exams are over, I plan to go back to my regular schedule of posting three/four times a week. School should be quieter, and the holidays are coming, anyway!
Deep stuff, I can assure you.
Sound good?Tell me the one major thing you plan on doing before 2017 finishes – be it for your blog, health, fitness, reading, school/uni work, or just general goals!
(also, don’t forget to hit LIKE – it lets me know you want to see more posts like this)
Following up from my last post, My No-Shampoo Story, I decided it would be fitting to write a post on haircare tips and tricks.
Quick hair history:
Until I was about eight or nine, my hair was well past my shoulders, but then I was brought to the hairdresser’s for a trim. On average I get a haircut about once a year (shocking, I know, but anytime I ask someone to take my to a hairdresser’s, it’s always put off “until next week”).
In June 2016 I chopped off my hair to a bob-length, but since then it’s grown out a fair amount. In July 2017 I had a haircut, which was done in layers as my hair had gotten very damaged.
Since about August 2017, I’ve been mastering the art of caring for my hair to keep it as healthy as possible – you’re now going to find out the secrets of my hair health!
(1) Brush your hair regularly.
Quite honestly, this has been the breakthrough. If you had asked me in August 2017 if I enjoyed brushing my hair, you would have been met with an incredulous-sounding answer such as “You serious?!”
However, before I decided to go no-shampoo, I was reading a lot of articles and watching a lot of videos. And a recurring piece of advice was to brush your hair regularly, as it distributes the oils from your scalp all over your hair.
This was revolutionary. I now brush my hair at least twice a day, sometimes more. The result? My hair gets nowhere near as greasy as it used to. I find it’s also really relaxing, and helps to ease any tension in scalp.
(2) Try the no-shampoo method.
I talked more in-depth about the no-shampoo method in this post, but basically I stopped using shampoo for two weeks in the hopes of it helping my hair. I really didn’t like the feel of my hair/scalp without shampoo and conditioner, but I must say that it really restored my hair to a healthier, more natural state.
While you don’t have to go permanently “no-poo,” I recommend even trying the method for a week or two to see what happens – for all you know, it may be the best haircare method you’ve ever used!
(3) Wet and loose for bed!
This is only something I’ve started doing a few weeks ago. Basically, my hair goes pin-straight if I blow-dry it fully after a shower, but I’ve now started to leave it damp and it gets a nice, slightly curly texture.
As well as that, I now use an empty spray bottle filled with water, and spritz water on my hair before I go to bed at night. Again, it gives it a nice texture, and I think that it also helps somehow in keeping it a little cleaner!
I also used to tie up my hair in a bun at night, but now I find that it’s (a) more comfortable and (b) much better for my hair to go to sleep with it loose. Try and see!
(4) Use conditioner.
One of the reasons why my hair used to be very damaged is that I wasn’t using conditioner for a long time. I wanted showering to be as fast as possible, and so I just did a quick scrub-and-rinse with shampoo. Inevitably, my hair became very dry because it wasn’t getting the moisture it needed, and I had a load of split ends and brittle hair.
I know that some people say not to use conditioner every time you wash your hair, but I have to, otherwise my hair gets extremely dry. But if you wash your hair every day (see more in the next point) I recommend perhaps not using conditioner, as it can make your hair become greasy faster.
(5) Don’t wash your hair every day.
I genuinely have no idea how people can wash their hair every single day. For me, I physically can’t because of three main reasons:
As well as that, washing your hair every day strips your hair of its natural oils. At the very least, start washing your hair every second day, and try holding out as long as possible. If you really must wash your hair every day, use conditioner only every second day to keep your hair from being too greasy.
What are your thoughts on these tips? Are you the kind of person who washes their hair every day, or are you one of those luck few who can stay clean for a week? Let me know your own haircare tips as well!
The whole “no-poo method” has been pretty big on the internet lately. And being the hippy/spiritual/natural type person I am, I decided to try it.
Want to find out what went down?
For those of you who don’t know about this no shampoo method, let me explain.
Basically, you stop using shampoo and conditioner when you wash your hair. You can use rinses like apple cider vinegar and baking soda, but the aim is to be just using water.
On top of that, apparently your hair won’t require as much washing as usually would – you can go for over a week according to some people.
In short, it sounds brilliant.
(well, not to those of you who are going “Eww, no shampoo? My hair’s gonna be gross!”)
To be honest, I actual do lie the concept. After all, didn’t our ancestors the cavemen go without soap of any kind for hundreds of years?
As well as that, the majority of grocery store shampoos nowadays tend to strip your hair of natural oils, and overall wreck havoc on your scalp. I love he idea of going all-natural and returning your hair to its original state.Initially, I was absolutely terrified to try the method. I’d read up beforehand, and people were discussing the “two to six week adjustment period” when your hair adjusts to having no shampoo. During that time, your hair is a lot greasier that what it normally is.
Also, I’d read about the different washes and rinses you could do with your hair; the most common one being apple cider vinegar and baking soda. My mother stocks baking soda, but I’d never even seen apple cider vinegar in a store, never mind in our cupboard.
After much deliberation, I jumped in headfirst (no pun intended). I ended up not actually using any rinses/washes for my hair, and just scrubbed my scalp and rinsed it with plan ol’ water.
I stuck this out for two weeks.FAIL. There’s no other way to put it.
Because believe it or not, this has actually been pretty restorative for my hair! I’ve never seen such good results from shampoo and conditioner, and plus? My hair now takes at least two days to start looking greasy, so I can last without a shower for longer.
I actually recommend that you try the no-shampoo method. If it works for you and you want to kepp it up, great, but if not, maybe you’ll get an effect like I did.
What are your thoughts on this no-shampoo method? And have you tried it out? If so, what were your results?
Today’s post is pretty special – I’m very excited to be participating in the blog tour for Kimberly McNeil’s book: Meg Mitchell & The Secret Of The Journal. This blog tour is hosted by Laura at Unicorn Quester – you can see full blog tour details here!
Stories never end. They just get bigger.
You only have to turn the page.
Meg Mitchell lives in a castle, but she’s no wilting princess. Raised in an alien world by adoptive parents, she spends her time fighting Centaurs, training as an Andai warrior, and chilling in her favorite willow tree.
But when Meg uncovers her birth father’s journal, she discovers a cousin she didn’t know existed. Meg and her little brother and sister travel through an interdimensional rip to San Francisco to search for their cousin, setting off a chain of events no one could have foreseen.
When her sister is kidnapped, Meg enlists the help of teenage detective Barb Taylor and her genius little brother Jim. Following clues dropped by a mysterious benefactor, they embark on a cross-country adventure to rescue her sister and find Meg’s cousin.
Family is everything to Meg, but not all is as it seems. In her quest to reunite her family, she may lose more than she ever imagined.
Barnes & Noble ~ AmazonAmy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.
Website — Facebook — Twitter — Instagram — Google+
Want to dive into a new world? Enter to win an e-copy of Kimberly McNeil’s Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal as well as get a preview of her upcoming short story Stan Hawthorne & The Broken Sword. Open internationally.
Whilst working on some fun stuff for my ecourse, the following question came to mind:
How can you make money as a book blogger?
I like to think that I’m somewhat of an expert blogger. After all, it’s been over a year since I first started blogging, and since then I must have tried every topic, niche, and strategy available to have a successful blog.
After discovering the secret to a successful blog (which I’ll be revealing in my next post – subscribe to be notified!), I decided to go back to book blogging. A short while later, the question arose to me: can yu actually make money as a book blogger?
The short answer: you can.
In this post I’m going to discuss several ways in which you can start earning a little extra cash from your passion. After all, if you’re putting effort into it, why not start gaining something?Yes, I know that you probably know. But I’m still listing this for the people who aren’t familiar with Etsy or Society6.
Basically, you can create anything you like – candles, device covers, shirts, mugs, notebooks, jewelery… the list goes on – and sell it on a website such as Etsy.com. It’s a pretty standard way of making money as a book blogger – just visit a few book blogs and you’ll see what I mean.
If you have some language skills, you can offer editing services for authors. This can be beta-reading, sensitivity reading, blurb writing, or just plain editing of novel. You can charge authors per word or page, and if the manuscript is of a decent length, you can get a pretty good payment!
The only catch here is that an author will be less likely to hire you if you don#’t have some qualification – at least, all the editing services I’ve seen have been offered by people who’ve either taken courses or who have actual college degrees.
But don’t let that put you off! There are no actual rules for when it comes to editing – really, it just depends on the author.
If you’d like to see examples of offering editing services, I recommend checking out this page from Arctic Books.
I’ve seen countless bloggers do this, especially women like Krista from Blog Beautifully. There are social media courses, blogging courses, writing courses, photography courses… it’s down to what you think you have the most expertise in.
Courses re totally customizable depending on the person. There are no hard and fast rules as to what you should create, how much it’s worth, how to promote it and so forth. One person could value their course for €10 and another person could value the same course at €100.
Quick tip: if you want to create a course, take a course! There are plenty of free courses online, and even if you may not need to take it, you can see how it’s done and get some ideas for yourself.
This is exactly what I’ve done. In August 2017 I decided to have a go at offering an ecourse, and so created Blogging For Better. At the moment it’s free, but I’m planning to expand it and then decide on an (affordable) price. Want to grab a spot before there’s a price? Click here!Again, this is very basic. Write an e-book – be it fact or fiction, a guide or a story. It’s relatively easy to do, and once you have an idea, all you need to do is write it.
E-books are something that can always bring you in a little “coffee cash” (i.e. €10 to buy your coffees for the week). People will always buy them, especially if they’re not too overpriced and are useful for the readers.
Plus, they don’t have to be long. I’ve seen e-book for blogging, social media, health, fitness, etc. that are no more than 30 pages. And yet the prices!
Remember, you don’t always have to rely on money just from a single book. Write a few short e-books, and create an ecourse. If you want to really draw in buyers, offer something at a discounted price when something else is purchased. For example, a person can get 40% off an ebook on social media marketing if they pay to do an ecourse about blogging.
Just make sure the book is something you have knowledge about. Don’t write an e-book on internet marketing when you’re a professional photographer. You know what I mean?
(P.S. Speaking of e-books, I’m in the process of creating something special for y’all! Make sure to subscribe in the sidebar to be notified of the reveal 😉)
I know next to nothing about this, but it’s something I’ve heard of a few times.
Basically, you manage someone’s social media account for them and optimize it for views/likes/shares/etc., which should in turn bring them traffic, which should in turn bring them revenue. And you’re paid a wage, not a commission (while, the people I know of anyway).
While I can’t really advise you on this as I don’t know much, you can try visiting Blog Beautifully, because I know that Krista (used to, anyway) do Pinterest Management.
Tell me the one method that has worked for you in monetizing your book blog!
We’re almost in November.
Where in the name of all that is holy did 2017 go?!
So that means we’re going to have a look at my experiences in October!
I actually read a pretty interesting assortment of books this month!
Hunger: a memoir of (my) body – Roxane Gay ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
French Women Don’t Get Fat – Mireille Giuliano ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ½
The Accident Season – Moïra Fowley-Doyle ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
[x5] How To Be Parisian –
Caroline de Maigret, Anne Berest, Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai [did not finish]
They Both Die At The End – Adam Silvera ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Every Day – David Levithan ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Dear Ijeawele, Or, A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions –
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
[x2] Genuine Fraud – E. Lockhart ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Witch Child + Sorceress – Celia Rees ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Spark Joy – Marie Kondo ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I, Coriander – Sally Gardner ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Let’s have a quick throwback to this month’s posts:
As you can see, there wasn’t the whole lot of content this month, but what there was, I tried to make it as good as I possibly could. Personally, I think this was the best post, but I also talked about an issue that’s important to me in this post.
I’m trying to think back, and now that I actually consider it, October wasn’t exactly an eventful month. I was sick a week or two ago, because #tistheseason for colds and flu, but on the bright side this means I’ve had my winter illness for the year! (i.e. I hopefully won’t be sick again this year).
I’ve started drinking tea an awful lot more lately, and it’s so nice to start my morning with a soothing mug of peppermint! I highly recommend trying this – and in case you’re wondering, I’ve been drinking Twinings’ Pure Peppermint.
In case you didn’t know, I have a blogging ecourse! I’ve been experiencing a lull in people signing up recently, so if you want to sign up and grab a spot with no waiting list, click here.
Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning this is because in the course, there are opportunities for you to snag free printables/worksheets/guides. And right now I’m in the process of creating some new freebies, which I’m really excited to announce the release of.
So if you sign up in November, you’ll be one of the first people to try them out! But places are limited, as 1 week is required per client. Get your place now!
As well as that, I’m participating in a blog tour this week! On Saturday I’ll be posting a review of Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal, as well as doing an author trivia game – subscribe at the sidebar to be notified when the post is up.
Please like this post if you liked it – your likes let me know what posts I should be writing for people to enjoy!
I don’t think you can really describe yourself a minimalist until you have your signature wardrobe items, or your wardrobe staples.
What are wardrobe staples, you ask?
Wardrobe staples have the following criteria:
In short, they are the building blocks of your wardrobe. Without them, you’d be lost.
If you’re still confused, I’ll list you my wardrobe staples:
When I wear these items, I know they look and feel good on me, plus they make me feel like I can do anything.
Do you get it?
And the reason I’m talking about clothes in a minimalism post is this – a minimalist always knows what to wear, because they only have choices of clothes they like. By choosing some signature items for yourself, you’re showing that you don’t care about trends, as long as you wear clothes you love.
I’d say you probably have some signature items in your wardrobe right now. So my advice is this: go through your clothes, and ask yourself the following questions about each item of clothing:
1. Does this look good? (both generally and on me)
2. Is this comfortable?
3. Do I enjoy wearing it?
4. Is it versatile? (what other clothes match with it?)
5. Is it suitable for frequent wear? (i.e. not a belly dancer’s shirt in Siberia)
6. How can I style it? (tucked in, off the shoulder, knotted, draped, wrapped, etc.)
If you gave positive answers to a least no.s 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the above questions, you most likely have a signature item!
If you’ve gone through your wardrobe and can’t seem to find a signature item, perhaps it’s time to go shopping. Use the above criteria for picking out 2 – 5 versatile pieces you can wear whenever you want to look and feel awesome.
I promised you several weeks ago that I would share the story of my skin – how it started, what happened, and how it is now. Along with that, I’ll be giving you my honest thoughts and advice on how to deal with problem skin.
I’ll also show you the products I’ve used – scrubs, toners, cleansers, oils… I’ll tell you how the products works and list the benefits of it, as well as the – non-benefits? of each product.
Just a little side note: for privacy reasons, I will not be showing any pictures of my face. However, I’ll show you the products I use.
My skin problems go waaaaay back. Since I was… nine? Ten? No, nine. Since I was nine I haven’t had fully clear skin, and have been battling for a clear complexion since then.
So if you think I don’t know what having bad skin is like: think again.
I can remember when I was nine and ten feeling so horribly ashamed of my skin. I was disgusted with myself, and some nights I’d think I didn’t even deserve to live. And some people might look at my skin and say that it’s fine, compared to what they have, but in my own eyes I was a hideous monstrosity.
And remember: I was nine. What nine-year-olds do you see with problem skin?
Somewhere that year my wonderful mother entered, introducing to one of many facial products: rose water. And it did help, I’ll grant that – before this I hadn’t been using anything on my face, simply because I didn’t even know that’s what people did for problem skin.
The rose water helped a little, but not much. Then around a year later I was given this:
(Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Cleanser – photo from here)
And wow. You knwo the way all those skincare products say things like “results from day 1”? I sh*t you not, I saw results from Day 1.
I used this cleanser, as well as the Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Wash.
(photo from here)
I wasn’t really a fan of this, because it didn’t really do much, apart from just clean like a soap, but I used it occasionally nevertheless.
I continued to use the products on my face for a while, but then I started to notice that my skin was getting slightly worse. I figured that my skin had probably gotten used to the products or something, and they were getting less effective, so debated about purchasing something new.
Then I got a tablet – it was the first time I had such easy access to the internet, as I didn’t have any devices (excluding my Kindle). About a month after that, my skin was going through some rough periods, so I Googled “how to get clear skin.”
It was mindblowing.
I discovered some simple hacks like tea tree oil, and toothpaste (but never use toothpaste because it’s full of chemicals). And… I was also told to eat a healthy diet.
Before that, I thought the only reason people ate healthily was because they wanted to lose weight. And I’ve always been skinny enough, I guess (it’s in my genes though),so it never really occurred to me to eat particularly healthily. And besides, my diet at the time didn’t seem too bad, so I never thought of eating differently.
Yet here I was being told about the concept of “what’s on the inside shows on the outside.”
So I tried. At first, when I read online, I was told to cut out sugar and dairy. I didn’t really pay much attention to sugar, as I knew next to nothing about it at the time and how it’s in pretty much everything. Dairy, however: the idea that milk was full of hormones seemed logical at the time, so I told my mother that I needed to cut down on dairy for my skin.
Her response was “You need to cut down on bread, not milk.”
For a while, I ignored her advice – I gradually saw how much bread I was eating on a daily basis, so no wonder I had breakouts.
And then this year, I tried cutting down on bread for a week – and I just went “Woah” at the end of that week – my skin was almost fully clear. But then of course, I ruined it a short time later by binging on sweets.
Since then… I guess it’s been a yo-yo. I’ll eat okay at home, but then we’ll have a family holiday/getaway/event and I’ll eat sugar and bread, undoing my hard work. Then I’ll vow to never eat bread again, until another holiday/getaway/event comes along. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, but I’ve decided to be more careful when it comes to eating outside of home.
I’ve talked to you about the physical aspect of this story – now it’s time to get down into the mental side: how this affects me psychologically.
IT’S FUCKING HARD.
When my skin is more or less clear, it’s great, but on days when I have really bad breakouts all I want to do is curl up in bed, have no contact with anyone, and cry until my skin is clear again.
But of course, there’s school, friends, extracurriculars… as much as I want to do that, I can’t. I have to go out acting like the happy, friendly, clever girl friends and classmates see when they meet me.
And I’m not trying to be funny. The worst part is that I know I can have clear skin – I don’t have any special acne or anything (you’ll notice I haven’t actually used the word acne once in this post until now), so clear skin is from what I do to myself. Which is absolutely killer – come a breakout, and I’ll think “Oh, why did I have that dessert on Friday?!”
As if feeling disgusted with myself wasn’t bad enough, all around me I see tall, beautiful girls with porcelain skin, who are clever, sporty and popular.
That certainly doesn’t help – I’m not trying to be the whiny-bitch-in-the-corner girl, but sometimes I look at other girls and think, “They get to eat bread and sweets and dairy with not a single spot. How is that fair?”
On a lot of bad days, I look in the mirror and debate if I deserve to live. It’s that bad. And the worst part is, I feel like nobody identifies with me because it’s all “Oh well, just give it a week of eating healthy and your skin will be fine again!”
There’s not really anybody I can talk to. Well, I mean, I probably could say something to my mum, or a good friend, but in all likelihood my mother’s response would be to just wait and eat healthy, while friends would think I’m being whiny.
That’s a reason why I love blogging. I can talk to you people without you seeing my face, only my words. No matter how bad I’m feeling, blogging helps as it’s a way to express things that I can’t with the people around me.
This is going to sound pretty cheesy, but: you really have no idea how much I value blogging, and all the internet friends I’ve made. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you people so much.
Now we’ve covered the story of my skin’s past, let’s talk about the present.
I want to tell you that today my skin is fully clear, and I’ll never rebound again. Oh, I really want to tell you that.
In truth, I’m still battling breakouts. They happen every few weeks or so, but I’ve managed to limit them with a healthy diet and exercise. And when they do happen… well, just read “In My Head.”
I appreciate that you read this post. Thank you.
Please share it to spread awareness about people’s struggles with acne and skin problems, because together, we can change anything. ❤
Hello everyone! 🙂
Recently I’ve been browsing YouTube, and have come across a few beautiful “morning routine” videos. These videos are created by vegans, yogis, fitness enthusiasts… they are full of happiness, health and light.
These videos have inspired me to change my (slightly boring) regular morning routine, so let’s take a challenge!
Every day starting tomorrow, I am (and you are, if you want!) going to try to make my morning routine as fulfilling as possible. This means:
I’ll be more likely to put in extra effort if I make this public, so I’ll check back with you at the end of the week with an update.
And if you want to try this challenge too, feel free! You don’t even have to make it public, but if you want comment below telling me your thoughts and aims for the coming week.
Sorry this post wasn’t as exciting as you might have expected, but join in on the challenge! And if not, I’ll have a minimalism post coming on Monday, so make sure to click SIGN ME UP at the sidebar 🙂
See you soon! ❤