I am Bronwyn. My closest friends and family call me Bee. I have a little scar next to my eye from standing on a chair in nursery, shouting at the top of my lungs for a marmite sandwich and an undying love for foam bananas. I’m terrified of zombies (despite the fact I know they don’t exist). Having worked in a baby shop and children’s nurseries- I know a ridiculous amount about babies without ever having had one (and for some reason I could list off 15 pushchair brands, but struggle to recall what I learnt last week at Uni). I love cats, but fear them equally- for I find them peculiarly unpredictable creatures. I study history because I enjoyed it and it seemed to close the least doors for me in life. I’m an open book, my emotions are splashed across my face the second I feel them, I’m oversensitive, silly 80% of the time, prone to over-apologising and ultimately imperfect, but not insignificant. I am a people person. I like to please. I am working on accepting that not everyone will like me all of the time- and that’s OK. I have been, and still am, vulnerable at times and have found confidence isn’t borne out of things going right, often confidence grows when, quite frankly, the shit hits the fan.
I am a work in progress. I am enough. I belong. I am me: perfectly imperfect.
Remember you are too. Your best is enough. You belong. You are fiercely loved. You are perfectly imperfect.
Spring has sprung! With every new season I get super excited to change up my beauty products. I have a big box of makeup, but the tippety top ones get put in my makeup bag. Spring, to me, means lighter and brighter colours, and a spring spruce up of beauty products and skincare routine!
So today I thought I would share with you my favourite spring products so far. I will try and keep the pointless chatter to a minimal and run through the products I have been loving this March- and will be using into Spring!
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector, in Petal Shimmer: £18.50. A super soft textured lip gel with a deliciously sweet scent. I really dislike lipglosses that are goo-ey, when it feels like you’re applying slime to your lips! This just feels really natural and give my lips that little plump. Plus, there is very little colour to it, so it’s subtle and perfect for nipping out. I usually wouldn’t spend this sort of money on lipglosses (being a student/cheap skate) but I got this for Christmas and would totally buy it again when it runs out. They do this is several shades too!
Batiste Instant Hair Refresh, in Rose Gold: £1.48.This is one of my ride or die products. I use this almost daily. Recently, I have had SUPER knotty hair, and I have tried everything. When I went to my hairdresser she suggested washing my hair less often (before I was washing it almost every day- yup, bad habit I know!). So I’ve been trying out washing it less frequently and doing more exciting things with my hair to disguise the second/third day hair grease that is totally natural (but still ew). If you fancy checking out some of these hair style click here. Dry shampoo instantly refreshes my hair, banishing my oily roots and gives my hair a makeover without any water. It’s quick, easy and smells divine! My personal favourite is the Rose Gold, or the Cherry. I put it in the night before (anticipating the oily roots in the morning!) so I wake up feeling fresh.
Because It’s You, Emporio Armani: £48-£89. This is by far the most expensive product on my March favourites, buuuut it’s my absolute favourite. I am terrible at describing smells, so I’ll let Armani do it for me: it has notes of raspberry and neroli, rose absolute, vanilla and musk. Trust me, it’s lush. As a student my bank account quivers with the idea of buying this for myself- so I always ask for it for Christmas or grab it in Duty Free! When I was 12, my parents went to New York and came back with the Emporio Armani Diamond. I had been using it up until last Christmas, when I decided to spice life up, and try their newer one. And I am obsessed. I am an Emporio Armani girl for life.
Botanics All Bright Radiance Concentrate Serum: £8.99.I work with Botanics and lemme tell you, they are amazing! They constantly impress me with their amazing collections and high quality products. This concentrate serum is fantastic for adding that extra glow to your skin. Though I love the darker shades of Winter makeup, by the time Spring comes I’m itching to have that glowy, golden tint to my forever pale skin. You can buy this from their website here, or at Boots. I highly recommend!
Hollister Solana Beach Travel Mist, in Raspberry Waterlily: £5. A big throwback to school, everybody had one of these bottles in the bags! I still love the smell, it’s a super fresh body mist. Plus the size makes it really easy to carry around if you fancy freshening up.
I Heart Revolution Blushing Hearts Goddess Of Faith: £4.99.This is ridiculous value for money, as it’s huge, lasts ages and is super pigmented. I would own every single one of this collection if I could. This particular colour suits my fair skin tone really well and gives me that extra glow.
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: £21.50.This is a super-curling and lifting mascara, aka a roller for lashes! This is one of my all time favourites. As someone who has pretty short, straight eye lashes, I find this makes them look significantly longer and far more volumous. I have it in the Black shade. I also think the product itself is super cute!
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer: £4.19.Tried this donkeys years ago, and have never gone back! Long lasting concealer, that doubles up as a base for eyeshadow application. I use the shade 1 (and am itching to try their new shade 0) and apply it to any imperfections and blemishes, as well as under my eye, down my nose, on my chin and on my cupids bow to highlight and sculpt my face. Love. It. Plus- £4.19- barrrgaiin.
Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Makeup Remover: £5.49.This eye make up remover literally melts the makeup off my face! It’s fab. Again, all natural and removed all traces of make-up from around the eye area, while the botanical infused formula soothes. All the ingredients that go into these products are from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew Palace. If you haven’t been, I definitely recommend a visit. The gardens are beautiful, especially for a picnic in the spring! Click here to order it from boots!
GALifornia Powder Blush Travel Size Mini: £12.50. This blush is a mixture of bright pink and with shimmering gold and adds a sun kissed glow to your skin. It’s perfect for spring!
L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Paint Matter, in the colour Hollywood Beige: £6.99.This comes in multiple colours, but this is by far my favourite! It’s a soft pinky nude and lasts up to 8 hours. It makes for the most flawless pout and smells delicious.
Tanya Burr, in Wild Safari and Birthday Cake: £6.99.These are my absolute favourite lipsticks. I have several of the other colours too. They’re so reasonably priced, smooth to apply and hydrating to my lips. Plus, the colours range from nudes to fun colour pop shades. I love the bright coloured lips in Spring, I feel like it can pull an entire outfit together and make a real statement.
MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick, in Mehr and Velvet Teddy: £16.50.I often switch between these two, or combine them. Velvet Teddy has a more brown tone to it, and Mehr is more of a raspberry tone. I personally love matte lipsticks as I feel they can double up as sheer lipstick as well, by adding some lipgloss, or even a lip balm on top. MAC lipsticks last such a long time too. Both these colours are subtle, but make my lips look fuller and plumper.
So there you have it, my March favourites, and the makeup I shall be wearing into Spring. I hope you enjoyed reading this!
I am a free, independent woman, who don’t need no man. (This is not to say I don’t very much appreciate my man, but that’s by the by!)
I have always been very set on this. My life is my life. People can add to it, but my life will always remain exactly that- mine.
One of the best, most valuable life lessons that my Mum has taught me, is the Cherry on the Cake Theory.
Metaphorically speaking, the cake is life. In life we should surround ourselves with people we aspire to be like, people that make us happy and (most importantly) people who add to our lives. That make our lives that little bit sunnier. People come and go- and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s really easy to find someone special and fall for them, hard. My Mum has always maintained that this someone should be ‘the cherry on the cake’. They should make life better. But they should not be the cake itself.
My Mum knows a lady who lost her husband at an unfortunately young age. While they were talking she asked her how she managed to cope with it, and the lady responded that she had her own life too. That her husband wasn’t her entire life. He was, naturally, a huge piece. But she kept a piece for herself.
The point is, no matter how happy you are with your partner, it’s so incredibly important to keep your own life too. Keep in touch with your friends, have your own hobbies- have your own life. You’ll have more to talk about, you’ll be happier and you’ll never feel isolated.
If you’re anything like me, sometimes (daily) you run late. Whether you snooze the alarm one time too many or mess up your winged eyeliner, something always happens to make you have a last-minute panic. Though I love the idea of simply being fashionably late, I know that really my lack of punctuality soon becomes unfashionably annoying.
During this getting ready frenzy, my hair usually falls to the bottom of my ‘to-do’ list. And, let’s be honest, having your hair ‘did good’ makes you feel ready to take on whatever the day may have in store for you! You can channel the g l a m. So I put together some tips I have learnt over the years to make getting out the door (with your hair intact!) that little bit easier.
Here you go!
Spray your bobby pins with hairspray.
This way they stay in place all day!
Spray your toothbrush with hairspray to tame baby hairs.
I have always had baby hair at the front of my head… and they can really wind me up. As a child they would curl up and out, sort of like horns. I saw this hack online, tested the theory and it worked! So yay, bye horns, I win.
Put your hair in a high pony tail, then curl it.
I have this theory that if you wake up feeling even remotely crappy, you should spend that extra 5 minutes on yourself. Then, if it’s a reflection or a mirror in the bathroom, at a glance you look in control (even if you don’t feel it!). For some reason, having my hair put together, and giving others the idea that this girl has extra time to do her hair in the morning gives me great comfort. Nobody need know about the bed hair frenzy!
Anyway, I digress! It’s really quick to spruce up your hair by tying it into a high pony and curling it. This way, you look fabby and it’s taken you no more that 5 minutes!
Spray hairspray on your hand for a softer look.
I can sometimes go a little overboard on the hairspray, and then you have the crunchy, tacky feel to your hair. And nobody wants that! So if you spray it onto your hands, you can give your hair that little bit more volume. This gives a more natural curls look and saves you the wasted hairspray.
Blow dry your hair with cool air after blow drying it.
Blow drying my hair can take me aaaages, and there is nothing more frustrating than styling my hair and five minutes later looking like I’ve had a run in with a rabid squirrel. So blowing cool air prevents your hair from going frizzy and sets the style.
It’s kind of like washing your face with warm water, followed by cool!
Put mousse in your dry hair, then blow dry it.
If you’re having one of those volume-less, non-co-operative hair days- then this hack is perfect. By adding mousse to dry hair, then blow drying it, you add the volume you were lacking!
I personally find volume-less hair the hardest to work with.
Use talc powder instead of dry shampoo.
For those desperate times. I can most definitely say for blonds (brunettes- maybe try this out first!) this works wonders. It acts as a dry shampoo really nicely.
Put dry shampoo in the minute you wake up.
Dry shampoo, my companion on lazy days, or those mornings when my hair is limp, volume-less and greasy! I try so hard not to wash my hair every day, it’s really not a great habit to get into- but greasy hair just makes me feel g r o s s. Soooo dry shampoo is a God send. But a top tip is to put it on the minute you wake up as it takes a while to soak up the oils.
I always apply it before I do my makeup.
Put dry shampoo in before bed.
If it’s day 2 (or 3 or 4!) of not washing your hair, and you know it’s going to be looking a lil bit greasy in the morning, put some dry shampoo in before bed. This really works, not only do I wake up and think ‘huh, that’s not too bad’, it also makes it easier to style!
Only wash the front section of your hair.
Ladies, this is when your hair just ain’t cooperating. Whether you slept on it funny, it rained or you just need to feelf r e s h-wash the front section. It may seem odd, but it works. It’s easier to style and doesn’t take anywhere near as long as washing the lot!
Have a ‘go-to’ hairstyle: mine is the low pony tail.
My go-to hairstyle is a low pony. Not only does it look slick, it means nobody can see the mess we call greasy hair!
I mean, you can go crazy: low ponytail, low bun, french plait… the skies the limit.
I hope these hacks help you spruce up your hair on those running late, greasy lookin’ (probably Monday) days!
Oh and here is a GIF of a dog who, much like me, hates blow drying his hair!
OK, so there are a looot of things that frustrate me about clothes of today, varying from flashing your knickers on a windy day to having a claustrophobic meltdown after getting stuck in a top in the changing rooms. Here is another list of 10 Wardrobe Malfunctions That Tick Girls Off.
VPL. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Leotards are the worst for this! You don’t want a dented looking booty, and even the ‘invisible pants’ are telling porkies #girlproblems
Windy days + skirts = a knicker flash. I would love to say I’m slick enough to be all Marilyn Monroe about this- but no.
Maxi dresses… being too maxi. I’m not even that small! I’m 5ft 3. Granted I’m not massive, but the Maxi dresses shouldn’t be a trip hazard.
Phones not fitting in pockets. This one I feel bad even putting in, because it’s super first world problems! I have an iPhone 7 Plus (pretty much an iPad) and it doesn’t fit in any pockets, it’s just another thing to remember to pick up.
The Changing Room Panic. This has happened to me on numerous occasions and as a result I rarely go shopping alone. I genuinely think I developed claustrophobia specifically with regards to changing rooms. The panic of putting a top on and NOT BEING ABLE TO GET OUT. You do a sort of jumpy wiggle in desperation. Arms in the air, breathing in as much as you can and preparing yourself to walk out of the changing room to ask for help. Mortifying. Please tell me I’m not the only one?
Gym leggings falling down. To clarify, my leggings aren’t baggy, this is not because I am skinny. It’s to do with the design. Fellow gym-goers are more likely to think ‘what the heck is that girl doing on the treadmill?’ as I run while holding my trousers up, in fear of mooning someone behind me. A bit like a waddling duck.
Tops with make-up on in shops. This really aggravates me. I have a little hack for people who wear makeup and want to try clothes on. And it may sound silly, but I swear it works! Pull all your hair over your face + put the top on = no makeup mark! I always get super sad when I see a top I like but it’s smothered in a brownish nose mark around the neck.
3/4 length trousers looking like ‘ankle bangers’. I love me some floaty trousers. But sometimes they can look totally ridiculous! Like I say, I’m 5 ft 3 and some trousers are simply too long, I got some 3/4 length trousers, but they’re an awkward length. There is literally an inch between my shoes and my trousers. It’s a dodge look.
Flared sleeves. Flared sleeves are my favourite thing at the moment. But there is no denying that they get in the way. Washing up is a nightmare, eating dinner is beyond messy and putting a coat on makes the sleeves ruffle up to your shoulders so you look like a sumo wrestler.
Socks slipping off in your shoes. The most uncomfortable feeling. Plus you have to take your shoes off in public to retrieve the escapee sock.
‘I am not an early bird or a night owl. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon’
Being one step ahead is undeniably a wonderful feeling, but at what cost? I have learnt that at University, it is just as important to be OK, happy and on track. I used to put a lot of effort into being prepared for the week before it had even started, but sometimes you have to admit, being ahead of the game is hard work, and actually not necessary. So here are a few ways that I manage my time and maintain a healthy mindset when going into each new week.
How do you manage your time?
‘time is non-refundable. use it with intention.’
Time management is so central to any degree and maintaining a healthy mindset. I love the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ and it’s something I really try to live by. Here are a few ways I manage my time to work smarter.
Complete mymost important tasks first– if it has to be done, it’s top of the list.
Don’t over-commit– I take on enough. Why give yourself an unrealistic target? It’s not worth having mountains of things to do, but never finishing them to a standard you are proud of.
Have a good night sleep- boring but true. 7 to 8 hours is best to be productive the next day.
Work at your optimum time– I find I work best in the afternoon and when I get the motivation, I grasp it with both hands! Some people work best in the morning. Find out what works for you and plan your time accordingly.
Don’t procrastinate– as the Queen of Procrastination I can say this is a tough one. So I usually put my phone far away from my bed. Or even on a high up shelf, which sounds ridiculous, but my lazy butt won’t be able to justify reaching up to get it off of the shelf when I know I should be doing something else.
Give your tasks a time limit– it’s tough but more time efficient. For example, I can have hundreds of pages to read for pre-reading, but if I have a lot of other tasks needing to be completed, then I will allocate myself 2 hours
Leave a buffer time between tasks– I usually add 30% of the time I expected the task to take. This way if you run over, it’s OK and you have factored it in.
Think of each task as an individual one- looking at a long list of ‘to-do’s’ is enough to stress anyone out. So plan what you need to do to complete your tasks and focus on only one at a time. I even get rid of all my other tabs, so I can fully focus on the task at hand.
Exercise and eat healthily- I am a lover of chocolate and an advocate of treating yourself when the going gets tough. But, eating a healthy, balanced diet is key. Plus the gym is a great outlet.
Make weekends actual breaks– granted we all have work that runs into the weekend, but take some time off for yourself.
Create an organised system that works for you– I like to print of a calendar at the beginning of term and fill in all my deadlines and social events I would like to attend. Seeing it in this format makes everything look a lot less daunting.
‘the key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities’
How do you maintain your mental health?
Maintaining a healthy can be hard, especially when you have deadlines coming out your ears- so here are a few way’s that I rationalise my ‘to-do’s’ and maintain a healthy mindset.
Keep perspective- everyone has those days where things just go wrong. But tomorrow is a new day. A new start.
I write a list or a mindmap of everything on my mind, right before bed. It’s quite therapeutic, I pour out all my worries, concerns and to-do’s and go to bed with the knowledge I’ll pick up where I left off in the morning. You can even have a chuckle with yourself when you think ‘future me can deal with that’.
Value yourself- a friend said to me that you should be your own best friend. Like the phrase ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated’ but in reverse. Treat yourself the way you treat others. Value yourself and avoid self-criticism. Make time for hobbies and the things you enjoy the most.
Do not compare yourself to others– you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.
Take care of your body- eat a healthy diet, treat yourself occasionally, drink lots of water and avoid the consumption of things that aren’t going to benefit your body, such as cigarettes.
Find something that makes you happy. For me it’s chocolate. Some may say comfort eating is bad, but when you’ve got deadlines and need a boost, or even have had a bad day… treat yo self.
Surround yourself with good people- positive vibes are so important to maintaining a healthy mindset. People generally feel better with a bigger support network.
Control the controllables. Change what you can and don’t worry about the rest.
‘surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it’
The last weeks has been such a bundle of emotions. I’ve been moving into the flat with the girls, celebrating 21st birthdays, getting back into the gym, pre-reading non-stop- aaaand eating a lot of chips from a lovely little kebab shop called ‘Viallis’ (that I totally recommend to anyone wanting to pile on the calories!).
I thought I would share with you a few photos and give a little life update as we go!
I moved in two days before University started, so that I could be super prepared for third year! This year I am lucky enough to be living just round the corner from my boyfriend which meant that we (Hannah and I) went round his house for a big catch up and a few drinks.
(Little heads-up: I live with two Hannah’s! Do I have a way of differentiating? Nope- we’re just winging it! At least I know if I call out, someone will come!)
On our way out, we took some photos up against the lovely brick wall of our block of flats.
Just want to point out- I probably won’t be taking more photos out in the hall, because some moron has dragged bin juice down the stairs. The entire hallways stinks and lordy does it make me mad. It’s a bit of a standing joke with my friends that I have a hyper-sensitive nose- so the smell is mega offensive.
I thought to myself, we’re all trying to be friends, so I wrote a little (very polite!) note and stuck it in the hallway. I’m yet to have a response. But after following the Bin-Juice trail #callmesherlock, I know who’s done it. Safe to say I won’t take any parcels in for them. Ultimate sass.
The following day we did a little bit of shopping, bought a gym membership and waited for other Hannah to move in. It was super rainy so we decorated our little flat! Living with two girls is awesome.
On the Monday (aka first day of Uni!) it was Hannah’s 21st Birthday and we all went out to Kasbah. Kasbah is in Coventry, and we live in Leamington Spa, so we bought UniExpress tickets. It was super fun, getting all glammed up with the girls. I shall insert some pictures here.
We got some really cute face paints at Kasbah and some lufferly chips from a kebab shop (hence the need for the gym membership!)
We then had a standard first week of University. The usual- ‘this year is the most important year of your life’ lecture that I am pretty certain I have had nearly every year since the age of 13. Though, this time I believe them! So I booked myself a careers appointment for next week. One thing that does surprise me is how few career’s appointments there are on campus- Warwick University offers less than 10 slots a day for 24,000 students! Plus you can only book them 1 week in advance. I was sat on my laptop at 8am fighting for an appointment. Pretty frustrating.
So note to future or current Freshers- see a careers officer early on- get an idea of where to look and who to go to!
Here is a little picture I uploaded to my instagram (@abeesworldblog) of the beautiful autumnal leaves on the floor. LOVE IT.
Sort of sad story: I loved these shoes, I wore them almost every day on the cruise excursions and summer. A week before University I thought- they dont look as white as they used to, so I washed them. Rooky mistake- don’t do it! I melted the plastic and the soles fell off -.- so I used my sisters hot glue gun to glue them back together. I walked away feeling like a boss. Well, 2 days ago I was walking along and my big toe fell out of the side. Hot glue guns are overrated guys. RIP favourite, well travelled white shoes.
I posted a little bit about feeling homesick during my first week on my Instagram. If you’re someone feeling homesick, please do check it out. Whether you’re at University or started a new job away from home- it’s totally normal. So being brutally honest, I did feel a little bit homesick during my first week. Even as a third year! But one of my favourite things is getting little life updates from my family. So, incase you’re new to my blog (hello!), over the Summer we got a little/ actually rather huge golden-doodle puppy called Amber! And the little updates from my family are so funny! Top-tip for feeling homesick- get whatsapp, skype and keep in touch.
Here is a little picture of Amber and Jim from today:
The little brown dot, yup, that’s Jim- our ten year old border terrier. Amber loves him so frickin much- it’s adorable. When I first saw this today, I thought the brown dot was part of the dog bed!
After my little homesick spell and at the end of our first week, we all went out again. Which was also great! I am usually not one to go out clubbing. I have always been more of a coffee shop girl (and still am!) but we had such a lovely time and took some more pictures!
Other than that, I’ve been doing the shed loads of pre-reading for my course, going to the gym with the girls, taking photos of pretty Leamington houses, eating delicious lacto-free pizza, drinking Soya Hot-Chocolates and getting more and more excited about the Autumness!
I hope you enjoyed reading my little life update- I hope to be a lot more present on this blog again now that I’m all settled in University!
Have a wonderful week everyone,
I shall end this blog with an adorable picture of my gorgeous puppy 🙂