SLIDER

Hi, I'm Holly.



A 32-year old Scottish Lass with a love for highlight, heels and homeware.

hollysturgeonofficial@gmail.com

NEWSLETTER

7.02.2020

The PERFECT Print

For those of you who don't know, myself and Chris are looking to find a place to live together (once lockdown lifts here in Scotland!). I'm not going to bore you with the boring details of the ins and outs, but the best part - decorating and furnishings - I am HERE for.


I was recently contacted by Photowall, who kindly offered me a framed print of my choice from their website. The opportunity couldn't have come at a better time - I also have a 25% discount code. Just enter 'hollysturgeon25' at checkout.

Photowall allow you to choose between print, poster, wallpaper or your own picture. You can then choose the size that suits you and frame of your choice (if desired).

I literally had hundreds of options to choose from. Categories include Art, Nature, Animals and Vintage. There's 18 categories in total to choose from. I had an idea in mind to get a large landscape scottish highland cow picture for above the sofa but with so many different designs and finishes to choose from, it was difficult trying to decide on one.  In the end I was able to find exactly what I had in mind!

The print took roughly 3 days to arrive which was much faster than I expected. It came in a box with bubble wrap inside to protect it. On the back of the frame (I opted for a matte black frame) there were fixtures prepared for hanging which makes things much easier.

Myself and Chris haven't found our home just yet, but I've taken photos of the picture in my room so that you can see it. We very luckily were given a beautiful red leather sofa and chairs from our lovely friends Gill & Lee, which works perfectly with the 'Scottish/Modern yet traditional' vibe we are hoping for.

For anyone who is looking to get some artwork for their home or as gifts, then check out Photowall and use my discount code 'hollysturgeon25' to get 25% off. The code is valid until 15th August 2020.

H x
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6.30.2020

20 week scan & Pregnancy Anxiety

You might have seen across social media that I had my 20 week anomaly scan on Friday the 19th June where we discovered we are having a beautiful baby boy!



So many people have sent both Chris & I such lovely messages and I just want to say a huge thank you for that. A lot of those people have asked me to share my 20 week scan experience and how I feel so that's what I want to do today.

I'm not going to lie, the second trimester so far has been a journey. I've been feeling lightheaded and extremely anxious to the point where I have sought help from my doctor, midwife and family. My family and Chris have been amazing as always but I have really struggled. The reason I want to talk about it today is not for sympathy, but to let anyone else know who is going through the same thing that you are not alone.

My anxiety is ongoing. I've had it for a long time and over the years, I've learned how to deal with it, but since becoming pregnant, much like other emotions, the anxiety has been heightened. I even at one stage questioned my 'sanity' and wondered if I was losing it. It turns out that my hormones mixed with a pre existing anxiety issue causing this level of anxiety is to be expected (although, please don't think that it will happen to you if you have anxiety and get pregnant, everyone is different!).

I have been having rough days where I pretty much wake up with anxiety and go to sleep being anxious but I also have days where I wake up with a positive attitude and find the day 'easier' to get through. When this all started (around 13 weeks pregnant), every day was a rough day and thanks to the support I've received from my family, Chris, midwives and mental health nurse, I'm now having more 'easier' days.

Things that have really helped me include:

- Being honest. I thought that being honest with how I felt made me vulnerable and would mean I would be judged or deemed a bad mother for feeling the way I do. I went through (and still do) phases of feeling like the end of the world is near and wondered if I will bond with my baby but actually after discussing this with my support system (family, chris, midwives & mental health nurse), I was soon told that these thoughts are perfectly normal and most pregnant women will experience these doubts. Getting even the daftest of fears off my chest really makes me feel more 'normal'.

- Meditation. I'm not going to lie, I thought meditation was for hippies and people with a much stronger mindset than me. After advice from my loved ones, I downloaded Headspace and began trying it. It works amazingly. Nothing works instantly, it's a process but bit by bit it helps you to retrain and refocus your mind on the here and now.

- Putting the 'what if's' to one side. I realised that the majority of my anxieties came from 'what if' scenarios. What if I have a panic attack in public? what if I am unwell? What if there's something wrong?. My mental health nurse told me that putting them to one side and only focussing on them if they arise - which by the way, of all the things I've worried about, 99% have never happened. I think it's because I have this mindset of 'prepare for the worst and hope for the worst' but instead of only doing that when something actually goes wrong, I do it for every scenario I can think of in order to 'protect' myself somehow.  Of all the things that I've ever experienced, not one single thing has been as bad as my mind has presumed or prepared me for. It's wasted energy.

- Reading. Normally, I'm not much of a reader. I used to think I could find more 'useful' things to do with my time and because I cannot mentally 'connect' to fiction books, I figured I would go down the self help/biography route, so I've been reading Ant Middletons 'The Fear Bubble'. I love it and it really helps to focus my attention on something other than myself.

- Challenging myself. For a while, I would keep the bathroom door unlocked when I went for a shower, 'Just in case' something happened and someone needed to help me. One day I was half way through my shower when I realised the door was locked. Instead of panicking and jumping out of the shower to unlock the door, I just decided to focus on the water and go with it. Since then, I've been locking the door as 'normal'.

A lot of these things might not work for you, but I just wanted to share what helps me.

What advice for calming anxiety do you have?

H x






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6.03.2020

#BlackLivesMatter

For as long as I can remember, I've always felt passionately about people being treated equally to others.  I've mentioned my dismay and loathe of racism on social media many many times, but to be honest, it's not enough just to say something 'inspiring' or preachy, I need to do more. A lot of us do. I'm being 100% honest with you in todays post on a subject that is understandably sensitive and I hope you will be equally as open and honest with yourselves.



I'm not going to monetize this post. If you have a spare £1 to spare, then the Official George Floyd Memorial Page is a great way to show your support. Alternatively, if you cannot support financially, then there are petitions you can sign/share which I will list at the end of this post.

A simple Google search of 'racial brutality' shows over 50 million results. Many of them with disturbing stories of black men and women dying at the hands of racism. A lot of you might be reading this and thinking "That's so sad but I'm not racist?". It's not enough to not be racist. We need to do more.

I live in a predominantly white area. Dumfries and Galloway is mainly a 'white' area, but there are many Black, mixed race & ethnic groups who do live here. I've never really heard of any racism in the town which is why I think it's so easy to disassociate from it. It's that old age tale of 'what you don't see you forget about'. I was wrong to be so naive. For that, I am sorry.

One time racism was an issue however, was when myself and my friends were in a pub alongside one of our black friends. Two older white, drunk men, came into the pub and said "Are those lassies being bothered by that *N word*?"  Our friend looked unphazed, as though they had heard that and much worse many times before. The manager of the pub happily removed the men from the premises at our request as we called them several expletives as they left.

Woopdidoodah, they were kicked out of a pub. It's not enough. We should have called the police and had them arrested for hate speech. We should have taken their photos and shamed them across social media. We just should have done more.

The time is NOW to stop racism. It's not acceptable. It should never have been acceptable and whilst I, as a white priviledged woman, will never understand, I truly stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, with my black brothers and sisters. I won't try to lead the fight, it's not for me or any other white person to try to be the saviour. We shouldn't try to save the world, we should be joining in the fight against it as our black friends take front and centre stage.

I'm trying to educate myself on white privilege and racism in general. I hope you will join me by checking out the below resources.

I appreciate that reading something will never make me understand because I haven't experienced it.  I can't change that, but what I can change is my ignorance and lack of knowledge.

I'm sorry it's taken another innocent black life to be taken for the world to do something about racism. I'm sorry this has happened, but I truly want to do my part in making sure it doesn't happen again.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER #GEORGEFLOYD

WHITE PRIVILEGE

BLACK LIVES MATTER

SLAM MAGAZINE

JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD PETITION

Holly x

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5.26.2020

80's Jamie Genevieve Inspired Makeup Look

If you're a Jamie Genevieve subscriber then you probably will recognise that this look is heavily influenced by her 80s look that she did for #Jamiesweekofcolour





I added a few changes, I used different products to achieve the look simply because that's what I had to hand. I also added white to the lower water line and changed the shape of the eye makeup because sadly, I don't look like the goddess that is Jamie Genevieve so I switched it up to suit my eye shape. 

Products used:

FACE

EYES
White liquid liner by collection 
New look khol liner in black 
Ps brow 2 in 1 
Pixi brow gel

LIPS

Let me know if you'd like to see a specific look for me to recreate and I might (night emphasis on the word "might") film a tutorial. I might also recreate the look using more drugstore products too :)

H x

*This post features some press samples and affiliate links.
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5.20.2020

Plus Size Pregnancy

When I first discovered I was pregnant, I was instantly hit with this fear of 'I'm overweight, will I hurt my baby?' and 'Will I even get a baby bump?' In todays post, I'm going to talk about how I've experienced plus size pregnancy (so far! I'm currently 15+4) and tell you what the experts have told me.


For those of you who don't know,  I am a UK size 20/22 which places me firmly in the plus size category. My weight/height ratio makes me in the obese category.

You see and hear so many things in the media that are unfounded nonsense, but you also hear experts discussing things that are definitely not unfounded. I was struggling to find the middle ground between the two. I figured the only way to deal with my insecurities was to ask the experts.

I wrote down all of the questions I had in mind and throughout my appointments, asked different medical experts (doctor, midwives, pharmacist) for their thoughts.

DOCTOR

When I first discovered I was pregnant, I called my GP and registered as pregnant and asked if I had to do any further tests for the doctor. At first I spoke with a lovely medical secretary. I was understandably shaken and because of my anxiety it was obvious in my voice how I was feeling. Because of this, the lovely lady offered to transfer me to the doctor.

When I spoke to the doctor I explained everything and then burst into tears. The Doctor said 'Are you ok? was this unexpected?' I said 'I'm thrilled but I'm terrified' he asked what I was scared of and I said 'I'm significantly overweight'.

My Doctor replied with "ha! don't worry about that! It doesn't matter right now. You're otherwise healthy and if there are any problems that arise we will take good care of you and your baby. You're not at any higher risk than anyone else right now so let's just take each day as it comes".

I can't lie, his blasé attitude really assured me but at the same time, I felt compelled to discuss it with my midwife once I was assigned one.

MIDWIVES

I've spoken to quite a few midwives thus far and haven't actually spoken with my actual midwife yet due to Coronavirus/Covid-19. With that said, I've been very well taken care of so far and I've been able to speak to someone anytime I've needed to. On my 'booking appointment' which was a phone appointment, I asked my Midwife a few questions.

I'm significantly overweight. Should I be worried?

The lovely midwife replied by asking me about my health in general (I keep pretty good health). I was asked about my blood pressure to which I explained that I have 'white coat syndrome' (I get high blood pressure in a medical environment caused by anxiety).

I was told "Ok Holly, first thing's first. Congratulations!!! I am going to treat you the same way I would with any pregnant woman. When you're overweight you sometimes get high blood pressure which we will keep an eye on because of the risk of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia can happen to anyone at any size but it's straight forward to monitor and control your blood pressure should that be an issue. We will increase your visits in the third trimester just to keep an eye on you. Gestational Diabetes is also something we will keep an eye out for, but Holly, I've seen heavily overweight women sail through pregnancy with no issues and I've seen slim women have the issues we discussed. Pregnancy is unique to each woman and size invariably doesn't impact that much! The end result is equal in any woman - which is usually a happy healthy baby."

Am I 'High Risk'?

"Not right now, but we will monitor you throughout pregnancy just as we would with any woman"

Will I Squash my Baby?

"No. It's well protected in there"

Will I have any problems at my ultrasound? I've heard if you're overweight it's hard to see baby.

"Noooo! Just drink plenty of water and if all else fails we will do a T/V scan. There's always a way! We are more than used to different body types."

PHARMACIST

I also spoke to my pharmacist as I was advised to take 5mg of folic acid daily, Vitamin D and a baby aspirin daily. I asked him if this meant anything, to which I was told:

"It's a higher dose of Folic Acid because you have a higher BMI, it just means there's more needed. Everyone is advised to take Vitamin D and as for the baby aspirin, it's a preventative measure for Pre-Eclampsia. Many women are offered it."

HOW I ACTUALLY FEEL

I feel the exact same things as other pregnant women. I've developed a burning hip which tingles when I lie on it which I was convinced was being caused by my weight but after bringing it up to a midwife she informed me that it was simply the Uterus putting pressure on the sciatic nerve and that it happens to women of all weights.

Aside from that, I think my mindset has a huge roll to play in how I'm feeling. Anxiety is something I've had to deal with for many years but since becoming pregnant, I feel as though it has been heightened.

Aside from that, I'm ok. I feel so blessed to be pregnant and I'll update you every step of the way.

H x
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5.06.2020

My First Trimester

I thought my first trimester would be the easiest time of pregnancy. I thought I would breeze through it like I have seen so many times by celebrities who post their announcements looking gorgeous and talking about their blessing. In reality, I had a slightly different experience and whilst I am loving every minute of being Pregnant, I think it's only fair that I tell you about the realities of not only my first trimester but also being pregnant during a global Pandemic.



Once I found out I was pregnant, Chris and I decided only to tell our immediate families. We decided we wanted to wait until our first scan (at 12 weeks) before letting everyone else know. Why? Well it's strange, but the moment I discovered I was pregnant I became instantly protective of our baby and that included even just telling people about it.

The first thing I noticed is that EARLY PREGNANCY IS FULL OF TELLING LIES!!

Funny story actually, (loose on the word funny), on the Saturday after we discovered my pregnancy, Our Neice Khloe was round but she had Chicken Pox!! I had to hide in Chris's bedroom for hours so she didn't see me (otherwise she'd want to see me) so we had to lie to her parents and say I hadn't had the pox before so had to avoid her! Avoiding a 3 year old - especially the cutest wee 3 year old ever, is impossible! but we managed.

On top of that, on the same day, Chris & I's friend, Darren, had a weightlifting competition (which he absolutely smashed and came back with a medal!). The 'boys' (grown ass men) all went to support Darren whilst the girls (laaaaaydies obvs) had a wee gathering at Stephs (Darrens beautiful wife) where we had wine and lunch together with their gorgeous children. I had to rely on Vicky, my sister in law, to help me hide the pregnancy. Our friends are like wee inspector gadgets and would know instantly if I said I wasn't drinking (your girl here loves a wee rosé) so we made a plan to say I was taking antibiotics for severe toothache (which they believed... except for DI Gill). We went out that night and somehow, managed to keep it quiet.



Literally two days after this, lockdown was announced. I started to self isolate seperately from Chris as pregnant women are at an increased risk (due to the unknown aspect) of catching a more serious version of the virus and potentially passing it to their baby. Chris is a key worker and so we've been living seperately for 7 weeks.

HOW DID I FEEL PHYSICALLY?

I didn't really get any symtoms other than missing a period until around 6 weeks which is when I started to notice things changing.

NAUSEA

The first symptom I noticed was Nausea. I was never actually sick (and so far haven't been!) but certain smells and ANY hot food really made me feel sick. This continued and increased in intensity before getting slightly better nearer the 12/13 week mark. I still get the weirdest feeling of either needing to be sick or needing to sneeze the minute I start to eat anything. I usually end up sneezing which is frustrating because the feeling usually continues throughout an entire meal meaning I can never enjoy it. I can't eat pizza anymore it makes me feel sick instantly and the smell of vimto is enough to make me want to leave a room.

CRAVINGS

I haven't had a huge amount if i'm honest. I had, and still do now and again, have a craving for ice cold milk. I'm not a big milk fan regularly so this was quite a shock. I've also been eating more sweets rather than crisps which is the complete opposite of what I normally am like. Crisps FTW.

ROUND LIGAMENT/PELVIC PAIN

Every few weeks, even now at almost 14 weeks, I get pains in my hip and sometimes if I stand too quickly, I get a sharp pain in the bottom of my stomach. This has been going on since around 7 weeks so I'm almost used to it now but at the start I was quite scared by it.

BOOBS

My boobs hurt so bad!! My nipples and the sides of my boobs just ache, especially at night time. My pain started around 8 weeks and I still have it but it sometimes goes away then comes back.

CONSTIPATION

Around about the 10 week mark, I started to get constipation for a few days then I would get an upset stomach for a couple days. I actually had some bum bleeding (Sorry TMI) from it and panicked but after a call to my midwife she assured me all was fine.

DREAMS

Vivid AF dreams. Grandad from Mrs Browns Boys and wee Bob from River City were both in my dream a few days ago. So weird!

EXHAUSTION

There have been days where i've felt like I just wanted to sleep all day long. I make sure to keep to a routine everyday so that I don't indulge in laziness too much (the odd time is fine).

MOOD SWINGS

NGL, I've had some anger issues. Small things annoy me for no reason. My Dad asked me to pass him the TV remote which was right beside me and I told him "I could literally stab you in the face right now". OBVIOUSLY, I don't ever get physically angry, but there are times where the rage is real. Ontop of that, I cry...a lot. I don't normally cry all that easily, but now, if I'm on the phone to Chris you can bet your ass I'm probably going to sob about not being able to see him, or as it was the other day, crying (full on sobbing) because my dad interrupted me when I was on the phone to someone. Fail.

MENTAL HEALTH

Speaking of my mood swings, I thought I'd let you know about how I'm feeling mentally. I feel as though I have this mental checklist and everytime I resolve one thing, I move on to irrationally worrying about the next thing on the list. At the start of my pregnancy, I was in disbelief that I was pregnant. I constantly, right up until my 12 week scan, questioned if I am even pregnant and wondered if everything was ok. At the same time, I felt (and continue to feel) so incredibly grateful to be pregnant. At the start of the pregnancy I was obviously shocked and overwhelmed but I have had no doubts about the love I feel towards our baby. I feel so protective that I spend my days googling things (please don't do it unless its for a practial or 'how to' type thing) and I freaked myself out BIG STYLE. As soon as I heard a horror story I would start panicking that the same would happen to me instead of just feeling sympathetic for the person who did experience it. I know that probably makes me seem like a terrible person but I'm trying to be 100% honest.

VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS

Because I am overweight, I take 5mg of Folic Acid daily, a baby aspirin (to avoid pre-eclampsia) and Vitamin D.

GREAT THINGS

I just feel on top of the world knowing that I'm growing a human inside me. Whenever a new symptom comes along I'm actually pleased because it's a good sign that the baby is doing well. My hair is thick and shiny which I love and whilst I don't have a defined bump yet, if I lie on my back (briefly), I can feel a bump. I love measuring myself weekly to see how I'm growing and knowing that I'm passed the first trimester feels like a huge accomplishment.

There's loads more I have to tell you but I'll update you every Wednesday on something baby related so make sure you keep an eye on my blog!

Stay Safe

H x
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5.01.2020

Do you need a lockdown reward?*

Life under lockdown is not without challenges. The health advice from WHO and the government agree that the period of self-isolation is not over yet. As such, you need to find something to brighten up the mood. When every day turns into the same indoors experience, a lockdown reward can become a necessary coping strategy.

What are lockdown rewards? It’s a little thing that puts a smile on your face. If you’ve been following your friends on social media, you’ve probably spotted a few new pictures of cakes. Food is the most obvious reward during self-isolation. And, it’s also the one indulgence you should avoid at all costs. Overeating and piling too much sugar-loaded food can affect your mood for the worst – without mentioning that it doesn’t do your health any good. So how can you reward yourself safely under lockdown?



Avoid skin and hair damage

Self-care is the best thing you can do to lift your mood and help yourself stay motivated day after day. Indoors air and stress can put your hair and skin through a lot. From split ends to dry skin, you’re going to tackle those unpleasant issues quickly to feel good and beautiful. When going to the hairdressers isn’t an option anymore, you can focus on conditioning and nourishing your hair. Give your scalp a break from over-shampooing that can dry the hair follicles and cause itchiness. As for your skin, you may be experiencing more breakouts or oiliness than usual. The best approach to fight off lockdown skin is to look for quality skincare products. Products that protect your skin from damage, such as the Colorescience range, can help tackle dull complexion and other lockdown complaints. Feeling confident about your appearance can transform your perception on the lockdown.


Why takeaway isn’t a reward

We’ve mentioned it earlier. Food is no indulgence. As such, while it’s tempting to fall into a lazy routine and order another takeaway meal, you need to be careful over your diet. Under lockdown, your body needs the right nutrients to fight off stress and protect your immune defenses. Cooking from scratch is always a good idea to avoid processed ingredients. More and more households are embracing the joys of cooking from scratch. Unlike baking, which is going to lead to sugar rushes, learning how to cook your essentials can change your relationship to food. For a start, there’s nothing more satisfying than making your own pasta—secondly, the act of cooking taps into a self-care routine too.


The DIY hobbies are your salvation
Creative hobbies can relieve stress. But they do more than that. They let you express your imaginative side and make new things. Becoming a maker rather than a buyer is an instant mood lift. Bored with your wardrobe? You can make a new dress in an afternoon – yes, you can! The lounge is looking dull? How about giving it a fresh coat of paint? Your reward lies in the pride you take each time you look at your creations. ‘I made this, and it’s beautiful.’


As self-isolation shows no sign of ending soon, it’s time to consider the best lockdown rewards for your mood. While staying at home can save lives, it also creates new mental health challenges. Rewarding and motivating yourself need to be part of your self-care routine.
*This is a collaborative article
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4.29.2020

Finding Out We're Pregnant

Chris and I have been together a little over a year & a half. From the beginning of our relationship, we've both been totally open and transparent about what we hope our future would look like. Part of that is marriage and children.



I've always said that I would - in an ideal world - like to be married before we have Children, but always agreed that if we fell pregnant then it would be a blessing and I would be over the moon. I've wanted to have the same surname as my child which is why I wanted to be married first and as an extra layer of security (probably sounds crazy!).

Chris on the other hand has always wanted children straight away. This pregnancy was not planned - as you might not be surprised to hear haha - but I just wanted to let you know about how we found out we we are having a baby!

I had missed a period but I was still getting a lot of the same symptoms of one. Cramping, nausea, emotional, yanno',  the usual joys of being a Woman. My periods are usually like clockwork, so for me this was pretty unheard of.

At the time, I was taking Noriday (The mini pill) and was always really careful taking it.  It might also be worth mentioning that I had a really bad tooth abscess at the time so I was taking a high dosage of Antibiotics.  Anyone starting to figure it out yet? Oh good, you're a step ahead of what I was!

On March 11th, (I always remember this date because it was the day before my Dads Birthday!) I went to Chris's house for the day as we had both taken a rare day off. I decided to nip to Superdrug and pick up a pregnancy test 'just incase'.

I got to Chris's house and couldn't take the test - I had stage fright haha peeing on demand is HARD! (I mean not anymore... thanks baby!) so Chris made me drink a bottle of water then I went and tried again.

After a minute or two I checked the test and it clearly had two lines which indicated I was pregnant.  I just stared at the test, had a mini panic attack and cried whilst Chris patiently just sat staring at me waiting for me to say something.

I said "Chris.. Oh my God. NO? OMG!"
he said: "Holly.. WHAT DOES IT SAY??"

I just wept and said "I'm pregnant".

Chris instantly hugged me. We both stared at each other for a while. Read, re-read and read again the pregnancy test instructions and gave each other another huge cuddle as we both became less shocked and more happy with the news.

Chris instantly reassured me, as I panicked and had ZERO cool about it, telling me he was thrilled and he loved me.  After that, I called my doctor and was told about the next steps (My doctor said the pregnancy test is as accurate as the one they give to test) so they instantly referred me to a midwife who asked me a few questions and informed me of an app to download with all of the info we would need, like guides, notes, my medical records etc.

After the calls and the initial shock, Chris just turned to me and said:

"Ohhh the pill doesn't work when you take antibiotics"

Chris had known this ALL ALONG and forgot to tell me! WEE BIT TOO LATE NOW SON!

This is the greatest blessing of our lives and I am beyond grateful to be pregnant.

So there's how we found out! I've got tonnes more to tell you such as how our loved ones reacted, how I'm feeling and a huge chat about the first trimester.

I'm going to try and make Wednesday "Baby Chat Day". If baby chat is a trigger for you or if it's just not your thing then you know you can avoid a Wednesday on my blog.

Pleeeeease share your experiences or questions below or on social media (@hollysturgeon on Twitter & @hollysturgeonofficial on Instagram)

Lots of love,

H x
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4.28.2020

Something to tell you...

I've been waiting on this day for what feels like an eternity and now that the day has arrived where I can actually tell you, I feel as though I want to wrap my news up in bubble wrap and protect it forever for some reason but here goes...


I'm so excited (and nervous) to tell you all that Chris & I are having a baby. I'm Pregnant! I've been for my first scan and everything is looking good. I'm currently around 12 and a half weeks pregnant and I'm due in early November.

I've got 101 things to tell you about how we found out, if it was planned, if we plan to find out the sex, how our loved ones reacted and all about the first trimester. I've been keeping notes since we found out and I will be sharing them with you in the coming days but I just wanted to let you all know about our exciting news.

Myself and Chris refer to it as Chicken Nugget because I just figured I was eating too many. LOL! 

If anyone has any suggestions or questions, please let me know and if you'd rather not see baby/pregnancy related content then I understand, so I just wanted to let you know that I'll still be uploading loads of beauty and plus size Fashion related content. I might have a dedicated day of the week where I talk about pregnancy/baby stuff so that you can avoid it if it's not for you.

I would love to make this a safe space for people to discuss any and everything so please be respectful in the comments - I know you lot are awesome so it goes without saying!

Anyways, I'm rambling. There's the news. AHH!! I can't believe I can finally talk about it.

Love always,

Holly, Chris & Chicken Nugget
x
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3.13.2020

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

So, Coronavirus/covid-19 is scary enough without me going on about it. I struggle with anxiety and know that so many of you lovely lot do too. Talking about the C word is a real trigger for a lot of people which is why I'm making my blog a safe, C word free zone. This is the last time it will be mentioned here on my blog and social media.

So moving on from that, I wanted to have a wee chat about Mothers Day.

This post contains gifted items and affiliate links.

Mothers Day 2020 (UK) is on Sunday 22nd of March, which can mean only one thing - Finding a nice gift, preferrably without breaking the bank.

I thought I'd come up with a few suggestions - some beauty, Fashion, something sentimental and something boozy.

BEAUTY




Roccabox is a monthly subscription box that is aimed at all Women any age, any size, any lifestyle. The box is filled with five beauty bits that's value exceeds the cost of the box (big style!). Brands that you can expect to find in your box include Huda Beauty, St Tropez, Charles Worthington, Touch In Sol & Living Proof to name a few.

The boxes cost £10 (+ £3.95) postage per month. The price drops a wee bit if you subscribe for 3, 6 or 12 boxes. Each box is pink and filled with shredded paper for displaying the products. I even love using the boxes for storage or drawer seperators for beauty products.

For more information and to buy Roccabox, click here.

SENTIMENTAL


For me, sentimental gifts are the best. Something you can look back on in years to come is better than some fancy chocolate (although, if any of you have spare chocolate, fire it my way!) which is why for Valentines Day, I gave Chris a personalised photo cube as you can see in the picture. Gift Pup have a whole range of different Photo Cubes for different occasions, including Mothers Day.

The Photo cubes are made of Oak and have space for four 7cm x 7cm photos. Costing just £24.99, this is the ideal sentimental Mothers Day gift.

To buy the Mothers Day Photo Cube from Gift Pup, click here.

BOOZY

 If you're looking for an epic Mothers Day gift that won't leave you bankrupt then look no further than the Pink Mermaid Gin from isleofwightdistillery which is infused with island strawberries. I've put it to the test, purely for review purposes 🙄 and its becoming one of my favourite pink gins!

The bottle of this literally looks like a Mermaids tail and is a small batch gin which stands in at 38% ABV.

Priced at £35.89, this is a gin that any pink gin fan would love. Plus, what mother doesn't enjoy a wee drink on Mothers Day? I know mines certainly does!

To buy the Isle of Wight Distillery's Pink Mermaid Gin, click here.

FASHION

If you're looking to buy your mum something Fashion forward, I've found some great deals!

- Simply Be - 30% off head to toe looks.
- New Look - £5 Free when you buy a £30 Gift Card.
- Missguided - 25% off everything using code 'lucky'
- Boohoo - 25% off everything

Whatever you decide to get or do for Mothers Day, I hope you have the best time!

H x









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3.10.2020

A serious chat about Blogging

Hi everyone, 

Bear with me, I feel a wee bit like I'm in a nightclub. Not only am I a fish out of water, but everywhere I look there's people at least a decade younger than me! 

How Chris & I feel about Blogging right now - LOL!

I'm 33. I've been a Blogger/Content Creator/Influencer/WhateverTitleYouWantToGiveUs for ten years. I am an 'OG', which, obviously, I'm too old to know what that even means. Blogging is my 'thing' and I know it inside and out, yet right now, I feel as if I don't know it at all.

I first started blogging back in the prehistoric days when there was no such thing as 'buying followers' or 'For the Gram'.

Picture the scene - people just wrote down their thoughts on life and shared their opinions on products so people knew what was worth the £. Makeup tutorials invariably didn't contain an affiliate link, they were usually made, simply to share tips on application, styling and technique. Mental health was openly discussed for the first time and it became a 'safe' (or as safe as the internet can be!) place for people who needed to know they weren't alone. It became a place to share opinions and be heard without using traditional media.

As with errrrrything in life, where there is a platform, there is an opportunity to monetize or benefit from it. Brands saw that people were being influenced by what bloggers/youtubers/whatever recommended, and so began kindly sending out products to us to share our opinions on.

In those beginning days especially, we would receive hundreds of requests to review specific products. People began seeing us as someone they could rely on to let them know if something is worth their dosh. Keeping up with buying so many products to review or swatch became impossible, so the fact we were all being so kindly sent products to feature was, to us, an ideal way to continue doing what we loved without the added expense.

I remember using BlogLovin', which a lot of you won't even have heard of, and 'amassing' 500 followers. Back then, this was enough for brands like Clarins, Clinique, Nars, Revlon and dozens of other brands to send me products to review. In fact, in most cases there was no 'PR contact' or PR agencies. If we wanted to approach a brand, we invariably emailed them or (Gasp!) phoned them.

At this point, the influx of new Bloggers started to creep in, because they, understandably, saw the opportunity to get 'free' products from huge brands. Brands started to create guidelines on who they can send to and invariably, those with the most experience, or who offered the best photos of their products, as opposed to those with the higher follower numbers, were the people that they opted to work with.

I would say the 'innocence' of it went on for a good two or three years before the industry became an 'industry'. The balance between talking about everyday life and talking about products became more product heavy, because bloggers, including myself, began doing more for brands to keep them 'in' with them and to ensure we were chosen to receive their products (again, invariably not just because we wanted the free stuff, but because we wanted to continue blogging without the added expense and trying new products was exciting to be a part of). Being chosen to work with, made me personally, feel important and 'heard' which is something I had never experienced in my life. I was always a very small fish in a very large pond, but blogging made me feel the opposite way. Self indulgent? probably. You'd be lying if you think you wouldn't feel the same.

Ontop of all this, I really felt like I was part of a 'community'. I used to chat regularly to other OG Bloggers (WhatIHeartToday, ViviannaDoesMakeup, Pixiwoo, SprinkleOfGlitter, Pixi2woo, Zoella and so many others) in the comments of our blogs, on Twitter (which was new at the time) and Youtube. Lush bath bombs, Jodie Kidd Light As Air Foundation and Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer were invariably the top of our discussion points. It was really nice feeling like I was part of something.

Before we could count to 10, huge events like vidcon and meet and greets were taking place which brought on a side of blogging that became about more than getting 'free' stuff. It was about recognition and fame. People were flocking to the events to meet some Bloggers, but mainly youtubers. Youtube was really starting to take off in 2012 and narrowed that bridge between what we see on screen and the those watching it. I could watch a Tati video and feel like I was her friend, like I knew her and if 'normal' (whatever the hell that even is!) people could be heard on this big platform, then so could everyone.

The problem with this is that we, bloggers and youtubers, all started to be more aware of what we shared on the internet, knowing that millions of people could see it. I can only speak for myself when I say this, but I began selling a version of myself that didn't really exist. I would take all the best angled, well lit, selfies.  Show myself using products from brands that without being sent it, would never be able to afford otherwise. It became less about having 'real people' being relatable and more about people feeling as though they had to keep up with what we were using, what we were wearing, buying and even the lives we were living.  With that comes a lot of pressure and for me personally, with every negative comment under a video or blog post, came this overwhelming 'need' to improve what others saw of me.

As this was ongoing, Blogs were being featured in traditional media, like magazines, radio and television which further painted this picture of an ideal life to consumers. More and more new blogs were being created and before we knew it brands were vying to work with us. Bloggers were becoming Brand ambassadors and were invited to red carpet events. I, with my 1000 followers was being invited to meet with celebrities and brands to promote their products. I was asked to go to festivals and award ceremonies. Bloggers were loathed and misunderstood a lot by traditional media. I remember being called a 'leech' at one stage because we weren't 'qualified' like typical journalists.

At this stage I, and many others, started taking things like SEO, social media & promoting really seriously, knowing that the more people saw our content, the more we benefitted. We could work with all the big brands, meet the celebrities and walk the red carpet if we just kept on creating content. It sounds all so self indulgent but bear with me, I can explain!

Understandably, as more people started seeing Bloggers in the press, many others flocked in their droves to start their own Blogs and email brands asking for products. This is when brands started to become much more strict with their product placement. I do completely understand this and in my heart, whilst I always hoped that Blogging wouldn't turn into an 'industry', I always knew that it would. I can't blame people for wanting their chance at the same opportunities and seeing what we started, become something that people aspire to do is something I am proud of.

Advertisers and brands began creating strategies to work with us. At this stage, our 'readership' (follower count) was, primarily, what brands focussed on. The more followers you have = more exposure for the brand = more sales = more money. It makes sense, and in their position, I am certain that I would do the exact same, but this is where the 'industry' began to be resented and cheated.

We went from having less than a couple thousand bloggers worldwide in 2010, to now having millions in 2020. I, and so many others, started to feel like a very small fish in a very big pond but there were sharks in there and I must admit, I never saw what happened next coming.

To support each other, people began creating groups where creators could follow each other which would boost their follower number and therefore boost our profiles. I liked this idea and I'm not ashamed to admit that even to this day, I like to do this. I am all for supporting each other honestly and fairly. If a brand asks if I participate in these groups, I am very happy to admit it.

Moving forward from 'support groups' was the beginning of the dishonesty in the industry and something I will never be a part of.  Services became available to grow your platform, thus making you stand out to brands and advertisers. There is a service for everything, you can 'buy' followers, likes, comments, subscribers and even a better DA.

I get that using services like this is tempting. I have looked at growth platforms in the past and whilst I'm proud to say I didn't use them, I have paid for advertising before, where I promote myself via google adwords and other online platforms, which in my opinion increases the likelihood of growth in a genuine, relatively organic way.

It's hard to resist being able to get 10,000 'real' followers for £25, but in my opinion, if it seems too good to be true, it's because it usually is. These followers are not real and whilst you may look impressive to brands etc the bigger picture shows that these people are scamming you and YOU are scamming your readers, brands and advertisers with fake stats.

Your readers are the people who will be here in five years. I might have 4100 odd followers on Instagram, but I can guarantee they have all interacted with me since following - not on every post obviously! I wish!

Surely having 4100 followers who talk to me, like my posts, share my work, shop through my links and enjoy being a part of my life is better than having 41,000 followers who don't interact with my content at all.

This imbalance has caused so many problems. I went through a phase of being bitter and shaming everyone who I came across that was using these 'get famous fast' schemes. I felt cheated. It has taken me 10 years to get to where I am today and because of people who cheat the system, people like me are on the brink of doing something else.

I can't tell you how many times I've sat at my computer and sobbed my eyes out because another brand who I've proudly worked with for all those years adopted a new 'blogger outreach system' that meant I was surplus to their requirements. Brands who used to send me products every month and who I did a lot of work for - free of charge in the majority of cases - until 2 years ago when they decided I was no longer worthy of a Lipstick and instead had to take a back seat to those who cheat the system.

It's also worth noting that two brands pointed out that my age (33) is 'outwith the age aesthetic of their brand' but that's a whole other story. Ageism is real in every industry!

I pointed out to all of these brands that I valued our working relationship and asked for feedback on why they no longer wanted to work with me. I wasn't responded to in some cases and in others, I was told clearly that my audience doesn't compare to the whippersnappers who are 'new' to the industry. I've come to realise, sadly, that there is very little loyalty in this business. There is only 'what can you do for me?'.

I can hear a lot of you thinking I'm behaving in an entitled way. I'm not. I would go to the end of the world and back to prove myself and I know that I am owed or entitled to nothing. I'm just so sad that it's come to this.

A lot of people will be thinking that PR's an advertisers are able to determine the difference between those who are 'fakes' and the genuine ones. Believe it or not, in many cases they just choose not to. As far as some (not all) are concerned, as long as they stick to their guidelines (follower amount, age, demographic) then that's all that matters. If you're one of the ones who do care and you're reading this, there are also ways for 'influencers' to trick you - you can buy a good DA score, you can buy a good CTR, you can buy a UK demographic even if you're in Croatia, there are so many ways to cheat the system and I can't blame you if you're being fooled by it. I was too for a long time.

It might sound like I'm telling brands to only work with the OG's, I'm really not. There is room in the community for everyone, if everyone grows organically and honestly. My advice to PR's is to look for the individuals who talk about their life. You'll usually find the 'honest' ones aren't ALWAYS trying to sell or promote, and instead are trying to engage with their audience. If you want the best for your brand, ask for recommendations from others and be open to working with smaller audiences. I'd rather give my product to someone 'smaller', who engages with their audience rather than someone with a large following who posts about it and has to pay to be interacted with.

Yes, shade is 100% intended. I'm not sorry anymore. This has completely ruined everything this started out to be. I've spoken with so many others in my position, some who are suffering with depression because they created a business from their blogs, like I have, and no longer stand a chance. I've even had chats with someone who is suicidal because they have gotten into thousands of pounds worth of debt just trying to keep afloat. I've had my friends permission to mention this in this article because they, like me, think it's important to talk about it.

The saddest part of all of this is the inability to engage with new followers as easily. Gone are the days when I could ask if anyone knew how to flip an image on Twitter and could chat away to some likeminded people. Nowadays, If I ask for advice I'm sometimes given a link to purchase help which pretty much sums up todays blogging industry.

What does the future hold for me? God knows. I don't even know if the industry will survive and I really don't know what else I, or others, can do without cheating the system. I'm not willing to compromise myself or my integrity for anything, but it's tempting when you see how easy it would be.

If you're cheating the system, just stop. Please. Start doing things more organically. If everyone does the same then the work we get would be based on the work we put in and that, to me, is a fair and equal way to get ahead.

If you're a brand, a PR, an advertiser or another professional in this industry, please know I am not blaming you. I'm not shaming you. I'm desperately, DESPERATELY, trying to make a change.

I'd appreciate any comments on this matter with your own personal experiences. If you want to talk about your experiences or you have somewhat 'cheated' the system but would rather do it anonymously, please email me at hollysturgeonofficial@gmail.com - I will publish your comment anonymously (guaranteed).

If you're another blogger like me who wants to share support for one another, my links are below to follow - please leave me your links too :)

www.instagram.com/hollysturgeonofficial
www.twitter.com/hollysturgeon
www.facebook.com/hollysturgeonofficial

All My Love,

H x
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3.03.2020

Ways To Boost Your Confidence In 2020*

If you feel that you could often improve your confidence levels, but you are not sure how you would go about it, you are not alone. This is a position that many people are stuck in much of the time, and the truth is that it is the kind of experience that many of us are going to go through at least once or twice in our lives. The good news is that there are always things you can do to ensure that you can boost your confidence, no matter what kind of a starting position you might be working with. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best ways in which you might be able to boost your confidence in 2020.
IMAGE: CCO LICENSE
Work On Your Self-Esteem

It is always true that the best kind of confidence is that which comes from a high self-esteem, as that is a genuine kind of confidence that cannot easily be shaken. Or when it is shaken, it is going to rebalance itself pretty quickly in general. In order to develop this kind of confidence, you need to make sure that you are going to be aware of what it is that you genuinely like about yourself, so that you can focus on those things as best as you can. By doing that, you will ultimately find yourself in a much better position indeed, and you will find that you are going to have a natural confidence that shines through automatically. Building your self-esteem is a great thing to do at any time.

Improve Your Looks

When it comes to working on your looks, it’s always worth bearing in mind that this does not mean that you need to try and make yourself look a certain way or that you have to follow a particular cultural trend. Rather, you should aim to make yourself look as attractive to yourself as possible, and not worry about anyone else. As long as you like what you see in the mirror, you should find that this is all that matters when it comes to keeping your confidence high. That could mean that you want to get a facelift, or it could just be as simple as taking better care of your skincare. Whatever it takes, it’s bound to help you with your confidence considerably.

IMAGE: CCO LICENSE
Get Social
 

Most of us need some degree of a social life if we are to enjoy ourselves and enjoy being ourselves. Of course, how much you want to socialize is up to you, and everyone differs in the specifics of this. But you will probably need some kind of a social life if you want to feel good about yourself, so you should make sure to work towards making that a reality if that is something that you have identified as important in yourself. Whether that means seeing the occasional friend, or whether it’s partying every weekend, that’s up to you - the important thing is that you are going to want to ensure that you are socializing to the degree that you enjoy. You will find it easier to feel good about yourself this way, and you’ll just be enjoying life more too.
IMAGE: CCO LICENSE
Develop Some Communication Skills

Many of us struggle with good social communication. If this is an experience that you know well, you are going to want to work on this if you are keen to make yourself feel more confident. The good news is that there are always improvements you can make here, and you shouldn’t find that it is too much of a problem to try and make it a reality. But you’ll also want to think about what kind of communication skills you specifically need to work on, so that you know what you are actually going to need to do. Once you have developed your communication skills further, you are going to feel naturally much more confident in yourself, in a way that is likely to feel unshakeable. That’s a great feeling, and one that you can hang on to for good.

Focus On Yourself

Lastly, just remember that what all this comes down to largely is focusing on yourself. That doesn’t mean ignoring your loved ones, it just means that you put yourself first and that you promote your own needs wherever necessary. By doing that, you prove to yourself how important you are, and that ends up being an important part of this entire process. Bear that in mind, and you should be fine.


*This is a collaborative piece.
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2.11.2020

Smoky Seduction

If you're after a Valentines look that will steal the show, then this one has your name all over it! 




(This post contains gifted products & affiliate links)

I call this look 'Smoky Seduction' because whilst this features a perfectly pink pout, the focal point is the smoky seductive eye makeup. 

I worked some warm tones through the crease and a purple hued taupe shimmer across the lid, with a darker shade on the outer corners. It's actually a pretty easy look to create - add a slick of eyeliner, some lashes & some bottom lash mascara and you're good to go in terms of eye makeup. 

For skin, I kept this glowy and used a lot of cream/liquid products rather than powder to keep it dewy.

-
PRODUCTS USED
-
FACE
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer 

It Cosmetics CC+ Foundation* 
Maybelline Fit Me concealer 
Laura mercier Setting Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Wand Pinkgasm*
Mulac Cosmetics Rose Liquid Highlighter Oil*
-
EYES
MULAC cosmetics Single eyeshadow in Lazy addicted*

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette*
KISS products Lash Couture in Tulle*
Kat Von D Vegan Beauty Lash Liner & Tattoo Liner*
Mulac cosmetics Gentleman Mascara*

Primark beauty PS Retractable Eyebrow Pencil 
Duo adhesive Eyelash Glue
-
LIPS
Maybelline Color Sensational 875 Vivid Rose


What look are you planning on rocking for Valentines Day? 

H x
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1.30.2020

Deals Of The Week

If you're feeling a wee bit spendy or there's something you need to get but want a good deal then welcome to my new feature: Deals of the week.



I am a blogger (D'uh!) and part of my income is based on affiliate sales using networks. The brands on those networks very often give us prior knowledge of sales and deals which are upcoming in the hope that we will promote them and generate sales, which also in turn benefits us as creators because if you buy something using our link, we get paid a small commission at zero cost to you.

This post contains Affiliate Links. Obvs.

Anyways, every week I will be letting you know about the most recent deals online and maybe even give you some prior knowledge too!

Mobiles.co.uk 
£10 off Vodafone and O2 Handset Contracts with code: PAYDAY10
>> http://tidd.ly/536f64ab <<

Evans Boutique
24% off EVERYTHING for 24 Hours.
>> Visit Evans Boutique <<

HQ Hair
£20 off selected Cloud Nine! Ends 31/01
>> Visit HQHair <<

Look Fantastic
40% on selected Urban Decay sets PLUS an extra 5% off, PLUS receive a complimentary Urban Decay All Nighter Deluxe Setting Spray 15ml when you spend £35 on the brand!
>> Visit Look Fantastic << 

The Body Shop
£10 off £35 - Valid from 2nd Jan until 11th Feb.
>> Visit The Body Shop <<

Little Mistress
20% with code WELCOME20 - Ends 03/02

Missguided 
Up to 60% off everything
>> Visit Missguided <<

I'll be adding to this post so keep an eye on it for new deals!

H x



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1.29.2020

Winter Hair Care Tips*

My hair is something I am fussy about. Living in Scotland means it's pretty much always cold, but during the winter it's obviously even colder which really plays havoc on my hair which is why I wanted to share my Winter Hair Care Tips.


Quit using Dry Shampoo (at least for a wee while!)

Dry Shampoo is designed to strip the hair of oil which in turn, makes your hair dry and whilst it's in your hair can be difficult to brush which results in breakage. Give it a miss for a wee while!

Condition twice a week

I'm not big on using conditioner. I have limp hair at the best of times and adding conditioner can often just make my hair feel heavy and lifeless. With that said, using conditioner twice a week does make a difference, even if it is just on the ends.

STATIC!

It's literally the bain of my life. Wearing hats and scarfs or wooly jumpers has meant my hair has more static than Boris Johnson. Right before I go out I rub a tiny amount of hair oil in my palms and smooth it all over my hair.

Get yourself to the Hairdressers

Of course, having the works done at a salon can be pricey and a real luxury but having a trim will help to keep your hair in good nick. If you're a big fan of bleaching your hair, why not opt for Balayage hair colour instead? This cuts down on the amount of bleach you're using during winter? as we all know. bleach really isn't our friend when it comes to keeping our hair in good condition.

Wear a hat
If all else fails, shove a hat on. It's freezing out there afterall!

What advice have you got for winter hair?

*This is a collaborative post.
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1.21.2020

6 Happy Tasks For 2020

it's 2020 and I have about a million 'New Years Resolutions' that I will undoubtedly fail by the time January has ended. I'm happy to admit that I'm faddy, but I reckon if I create a list of things to do that are 'easy' but will make me happy, then I'm more inclined to do them which is why I thought i'd make a list of 6 happy tasks for 2020.



1 - Make LESS Lists

This might sound counter productive but I am a sucker for a list and because of this, I feel like every minute of the day is planned. Sometimes it's nice not to have plans and to plan as I go. Life is way too short to live according to a list all the time, so my first happy task is to plan my working day but nothing more (unless it's travel or shopping related).

2 - Stop Checking The Bank So Much

I'm going to struggle with this one, but my second happy task is to stop checking the bank so much. I, like so many others, am a relatively low income earner and find myself checking my online banking twice or thrice a day. I'm going to try to reduce this to once per day initially then after getting used to this, will then reduce that to thrice per week.  It's so important to be savvy when it comes to your money. but when you already know what is in your account, it's unhealthy to nano focus on it.

3 - De-Clutter

I think a good de-clutter is definitely on the cards. I feel like a nice open space makes me feel much more productive and content. I'm going to sell a lot of my clothes and bits on ebay or depop.

4 - Listen To A New Song Everyday

This sounds so daft but I'm one of those people who listens to the same music all the time. I love music and my day feels 'wrong' if it doesn't involve music of some sort, but I definitely need to branch out a bit so I'm going to listen to a 'new' song everyday. If you have any suggestions let me know please!

5 - Do something Spontaneous every month.

Like I mentioned before, I make lists for everything so I pretty much know how my day will play out. Because of this, I'm planning to do something spontaneous every month - nothing major, just head out for lunch sometime without planning to or something, I'll let you know how I get on!

6 - Leave My Phone At Home

I don't think I've left my phone at home once in the past 10 years which is quite embarrassing. One of my 6 happy tasks is to leave my phone at home now and again. I will always make sure there is a way to contact or be contacted in case of emergencies (I'll make sure I'm with my partner, Chris, who has all the necessary numbers etc) but I think it will be quite refreshing not to check my work emails at 11pm on a night out like I usually do.
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1.14.2020

Happy New Year!

2019 was quite an eventful year, to say the least, for me. I can't really say that I'm all that sad to see a new year and the end of what has been a sad time in my life, but what I can say is that I am so excited to see what 2020 has in store.


As you all will know, I lost my cat Nala last year. If you haven't heard, then you can read my post about losing Nala in August from mammary gland cancer. Shortly after Nala died, her twin brother, Simba started behaving differently than normal. We put it down to grief, but we soon noticed a small, firm lump on his neck. There lied the beginning of the same journey that we had just endured with Nala.

After speaking with simbas vet and having tests done, our worst fears were confirmed. Simba had cancer and there was no treatment as removing the lump would cause it to spread. We were told to expect he would survive a month maximum.

Simba deteriorated over time. His lump was pressing against his throat which made it hard to swallow food, so we ordered cat 'soup' which was filled with all the nutrients he needed to stop him from starving to death. We slept next to him day in and day out, lifting him if he ever needed to jump. His favourite place to sleep was the back of the sofa, but as he drifted to sleep he would fall off and stun himself. We boxed the sofa against the wall and placed cushions everywhere so that he could still sleep there without hurting himself.

When simba was first diagnosed, we started giving him CBD oil (just one drop daily) and whilst he didn't like it, simba lived a further 4 months rather than the 1 month maximum we were initially given. Simba was never in pain, which is why we were fortunate enough to not have to make the decision to have him put down.

After quite literally nursing him in our arms 24 hours a day, simba lost his fight at 8.40am on New Years Day.

I don't think i've ever cried so much as I did in 2019. It was truly heartbreaking for us to lose both Nala & Simba and our only comfort is knowing that they are at least reunited now. The two cats have always cuddled into each other day in and out. They were so close that I am absolutely certain that they both were meant to be together in life and in death.

Aside from that, being an 'influencer' in 2019 was far from easy. I wish the industry could still be at the same stage it was when I first started. It was more innocent then, the world was less cynical of us and we were less cynical of the world. It's been a hard ass journey.

Throughout it all, I've remained incredibly blessed to have my boyfriend Chris to keep me smiling when in reality all I wanted to do was cry. He truly is amazing.

I have no idea what 2020 holds for me, but I hope it's kinder to me than last year.

HS x
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12.17.2019

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide 2019

Ok so I know a lot of you already have your gifts sorted but if you're as disorganised as my lovely Boyfriend is, then you're in luck because there's STILL TIME to order online and there's some awesome late deals aswell.

It'll come as no surprise to you that a lot of my choices are beauty or fashion focussed but there's also a few homeware and lifestyle bits included too.

Spotlight Teeth White Strips  - Look Fantastic order on or before December 21st
£33.33


Teeth whitening strips might seem like a weird gift to get someone but I think they're fab! This has 28 strips and would be ideal for anyone who is keen on those 'new year new me' resolutions. These work really well and at £33 are a luxury gift at an affordable price.

HairHero Turbodry by Easilocks - Next Day Delivery before 3pm.
£79.99


This has been designed to be lightweight so it doesn't hurt your arms when you're using it for a length of time - hallelujah! if you're a man reading this who is looking for a last minute idea for your mrs - this is a godsend.

Missguided Babe Night - UK Next Day Delivery until December 23rd
£23.80


Fragrance is something that most people look into getting as gifts but it's hard to choose between them! this is a 'safe' perfume in my opinion - it's spicy with a sweet undertone with top notes of Orange, Jasmine and pink pepper.

Nudestix Lip Glace - Cult Beauty Next Day Delivery until 4pm December 21st
£24

This comes in a tin which looks like a gift box so it's easy to wrap and looks like a substantial gift. This is a non sticky lip plumping glace which is ideal for the festive season is a showstopper when it's opened.

Norvell Venetian Self Tanning Mousse - Until December 23rd
£25.99


This fake tan is designed with anti-orange properties making sure you get a 'natural' glow. You'll be seeing the new year in looking your bronzed best with this from Norvell.

Dafni Rose Gold Limited Edition Straightening Brush - Express Delivery 23rd December
£126


If you're like me and want to spend your time enjoying the festives with your loved ones rather than wasting time on our hair, then this is the solution for you. This straightening brush will sleek out your hair in no time!

BeGlow Tia - Look Fantastic Order on or before December 21st
£199 


This is like a face lift in a gadget! It's cleansing, anti-ageing and has dual pulse contouring which targets sagging skin and double chins. I've been using it for a short while and have really noticed a difference since using it.

Keuco iLook Move Cosmetic Mirror - Order by 19th December.
£216.72


This is certainly a luxury gift, but it's one that everyone who likes a bit of grooming will love. This has 5x magnification and is illuminated. You can move the mirror to suit every angle and can even choose between round or square shape. Bathrooms Online UK.

Other last posting dates for shopping include:


*This product contains a collaboration, affiliate links and gifted products.
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