Sunday, 29 May 2016

Demi Lovato Staying Strong 365 Days A Year Review

Hey everyone!

I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to do this post either as I originally planned to do this post last year!!

As a Christmas present in 2014, one of my best friends gave me Demi Lovato's Staying Strong 365 Days A Year book and I can honestly say it is an absolutely brilliant book.

*Picture Coming Soon*

Basically, Demi, following her own struggles, has put together a book and turned her lessons learnt into a journey for the reader to read at their own pace. It is written with a quote for each day of the year, and a little paragraph, which she has written specially to try and talk about what she feels about the quote and how it can relate and help you, with a daily goal to work on.

You can either read day by day, working on that particular quote or if you're having a particularly downbeat day, you can have a lengthy read through and take in more of the wise words.

I feel like this book is perfect for those who sometimes struggle with motivation and guidance, this book provides both as well as references to Demi's own personal life. I find it really comforting sometimes and there 365 quotes to get stuck into and absorb into yourself when you aren't feeling good.

I can't recommend this book enough to others! I love reading quotes myself, but this is sometimes just what you need to keep a bit of positive motivation when it's needed.

I believe it's available in Waterstones stores in the UK and also Amazon online, it shouldn't be too hard to get hold of!

I thank one of my best friends who bought it for me again, as it is definitely one of my most treasured items.
And of course, Miss Lovato herself for bringing out such a heartfelt and dedicated book.

Love & hugs
Claire xxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The 'Pick Me Up' Playlist

Hey!

Today I thought I'd share a little 'Pick Me Up' playlist which might be a good one for if you aren't feeling your best! These are definitely some of the songs I'd choose to get me through the negative moods. Here goes...

Marina & The Diamonds - Fear & Loathing
Cleopatra - Life Ain't Easy

Eliza Doolittle - Pack Up
Jess Glynne - Don't Be So Hard on Yourself
Beyonce - Pretty Hurts

Ed Sheeran - You Need Me I Don't Need You
Nicki Minaj ft Rihanna - Fly
Ariana Grande - Be Alright
Eminem - Not Afraid
Simon Webbe - No Worries
Whitney Houston - It's Not Right But Its OK
Mariah Carey - Up Out My Face
Aaliyah - Everything's Gonna Be Alright
Little Mix - I Won't
Christina Milian - Say I
Cheryl - I Don't Care
Demi Lovato - Confident
Lily Allen - Air Balloon
Mis-Teeq - Dance Your Cares Away
Alexandra Burke - Let It Go
Ciara ft Nicki Minaj - I'm Out
Destiny's Child - Survivor
Katy Perry - Part Of Me
The Saturdays - Higher
Bruno Mars - Treasure
Fergie - LA Love
Girls Aloud - Love Machine
Usher ft Ludacris & Lil Jon - Yeah
Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel
S Club 7 - Bring It All Back

One Direction - Live While We're Young
TLC - No ScrubsBeyonce ft Slim Thug - Check On It
Jennifer Lopez - Do It Well

Candi Staton - Young Hearts Run Free
Diana Ross - Chain Reaction 
Pharrell Williams - Happy
Olly Murs - Stevie Knows
The Saturdays - Ready To Rise

Owl City ft Carly Rae Jepson - Good Time
Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke
Destiny's Child - Happy Face

Lilo & Stitch OST - Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride (Maybe this is just me, but it's one of my favourite Disney songs so upbeat and cheery)

Hope you enjoyed this playlist and let me know if there are any songs you'd add to it!

Love & hugs
Claire xxxxxx

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Liebster Award

Hiya everyone!

So I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by the beautiful Sindhu! I was really happy for this nomination and it was a lovely surprise!


Sindhu's blog is a new discovery of mine but she posts lovely blogs about DIY and beauty/lifestyle and is really nice! You can read her blog here: http://www.withlovesindhu.blogspot.co.uk/

So here are the rules for the award:

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award &
you choose to accept it,
write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will help you out as well.
Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
Nominate 5 to 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less readers/followers.
List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.)
Answer the questions asked of you by the Blogger who gave you this award.
Once you have written and published the post, inform the blogger that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link to your blog post.

1. Tell us something about you. So we can know you!
I'm a big fan of chicken, it's probably my favourite food tbh. I also have a huge amount of love for Nandos and Dixy Chicken...

2. What is your blogging inspiration?
My blogging inspirations come from a variety of places. Sometimes motivational quotes or song lyrics can inspire me with mental health or uplifting posts, also my own experiences can inspire me to write about things. In terms of people, a lot of my favourite YouTubers inspire me to talk about things I like and enjoy. Zoe Sugg has been a massive inspiration for many reasons.

3. Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
I'm not great at thinking that far ahead, but hopefully, in April 2021, in 5 years time my blog will be more successful and I'll feel like I've done more with it and accomplished some of my goals and hopefully managed to control my anxiety better! I feel slightly sick thinking 2021 is only 5 years away. What. Even. Also I'll be turning 25 that year oh my gosh.

4. Do you like collaborating with other blogs? If so, on what topics?
I like collaborating with other blogs although I've not really done one lately! I'd love to collaborate with someone so let me know if you wanna! Some topics that would be nice would be mental health, beauty and lifestyle! Basically whatever we could agree on or both have something to say!

5. One place on earth you would love to visit before you turn 50?
I really really want to visit Disneyland at some point in my life! It looks so so good and I think it would be amazing!!

6. One thing that makes you happy all the time?
Music is something which makes me happy probably all the time as there's so many songs out there that I'm bound to find one that makes me feel even just a little bit better. It's a huge part of my life.

7. Your favourite skincare product?
I love my Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating moisturiser. I really need to invest in more skin products but the problem is they are usually quite pricey as expected to be honest because skin care is an important regime and to have the best care, the higher priced products tend to be better quality and more nourishing.

8. Your favourite makeup product?
My favourite makeup product, now there's a tricky question haha!! Probably either my Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara or my Palmers Cocoa Butter lipbalm as it does wonders for my lips!!

9. Your favourite YouTuber?
Tricky question!! I have a lot of favourite youtubers but the shortest list I can compile of them is Zoella, The SacconeJolys, Dan & Phil, Velvetgh0st, SprinkleofGlitter, MakeupbyLeina, Neesey, Eve Bennett, Heart, Lilly Singh, Patricia Bright.

10. Your favourite person?
I'm not sure I have 1 specific favourite person in my life right now, there are a lot of fabulous people I know which could be classed as a favourite person!!

The questions I have provided for my nominees are:
1. Your favourite YouTuber?
2. The last makeup item you bought was..?

3. Your favourite types of blog posts to read?
4. Favourite holiday you've ever been on? 
5. 5 of your favourite songs are..?
6. If you could collaborate with any blogger or YouTuber, would you choose and why?
7. Last concert you attended was..?
8. Favourite drinks..?
9. Favourite thing that's happened in 2016 so far?
10. Which of your blog posts are you most proud of?

I've nominated some blogs, I didn't pick them based on how many followers they have or anything like that, I just picked based on their blogs and if I liked them.
Blogs I nominate are:

http://www.eleanorclaudie.com
http://www.heythererobyn.com/
http://petiteseverina.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thatnorthernlassblogs.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thehannahlouise.blogspot.co.uk/
https://itsgeorgiaeloise.com/
https://lifestylebites3.wordpress.com/

Love & hugs
Claire xxxxxx

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Dealing With Anxiety During Exam Season

Hey everyone!

So it's a given, exam season makes anyone no matter how confident or comfortable stressed. It's not fun for anyone and in particular if you struggle with something like anxiety, it can be particularly debilitating.
You might already be living in constant worry, exam season is bound to heighten things and feel a little bit tougher.

I think for me, I did have the standard exam worry of passing and getting the grades I wanted and to be honest all of the usual worries anybody would probably have going into an exam hall and sitting an exam.
However, anxiety can cause you more worries than the average person and a lot of the time I would enter exam halls barely even thinking about what grade I was going to get and would be walking in there panicking whether I'd be able to get through the exam. Generally, all of my symptoms are heightened ridiculously during exam season and I think it's mainly because I'm sat in an exam hall surrounded by loads of classmates where I have to be silent and not a distraction to others and you have to put your hand up an ask the invigilators for things, like you can't just get up and leave if you're having a panic attack/feel sick/ need a breather etc etc.

I've obviously had exams that have gone well and smoothly, but I've also had exams and mock exams which haven't gone too splendidly.

Therefore I would put forward some advice which I wish to offer:

* TAKE BREAKS
As hard as it seems, do remember to take breaks and take care of yourself during this time, overworking yourself or exhausting yourself isn't the way to go. Taking breaks to unwind and treat yourself is a definite must at this time of year! It's deserved! Just make sure you don't spend all your time breaking and do r

* TALK TO YOUR TUTORS/TEACHERS/MEMBERS OF STAFF
I've mentioned before in my panic attacks post (link at the bottom of this post) that talking to a member of staff can be a really helpful move. I did my Year 10/11 exams without telling any of the staff about what I was facing which was probably not the best move.
Talking to my sixth form tutor did help a bit as we came up with a solution to sit me near the back of the hall where I felt more comfortable and somewhat out of the way really. She was reasonably okay with it but I don't really think she understood how much it affected me really. Despite that, it was definitely the best thing I ever did regarding exams and even just talking about what options you have can be a real help, and have you feeling like you can concentrate on what you're doing. As my teacher said when I told her "shy bairns get nowt", if you don't ask or talk about your options, you never know what you might have and it's always good to know! Also they don't ask for parents to sign anything, but if you wanted to you could always bring a doctors note regarding your illness to the school and I'm sure you could talk about options for all of the exams. I didn't receive any extra consideration as that's not what I asked for, but honestly I encourage you to talk about it as it can really benefit you everyone deserves to be able to sit their exams in comfort.

* TAKE SOME FRESH AIR
Fresh air is extremely helpful in any time of doubt or stress, sometimes something as little opening a window and taking a few deep breaths of the fresh air and taking in the general senses of the outside world can be helpful! It's incredibly refreshing and can work wonders, be slightly cautious if you suffer from hayfever but I think it can do good!

* TRY AND SLEEP MORE
Try and get sleep, pulling an all nighter the day before your exam isn't going to help matters and sometimes you need to remember extra care around this time of year. It may be hard if you struggle to sleep around this time of year but any effort could make a real difference.

* BE AS ORGANISED AS YOU CAN
I know how difficult particularly at GCSE it can be when you've got English literature revision notes to your left, Geography case studies to your right and maths revision papers circling you, but honestly being organised is key for revision. Something which I actually didn't do very well, organising my revision notes and making sure everything was tidy. No doubt whenever I'd revised anywhere it would look like a bomb had exploded because there was just everything everywhere. No no no! Keeping things tidy with racks and folders with appropriate subjects and syllabus' can ensure that you can find whatever revision material you need at which point. This can be extremely helpful if you suffer with a mental health problem as you don't want to waste time worrying about where things are, keeping organised can massively help!

* TRY AND EAT/DRINK SOMETHING BEFORE THE EXAM
I've honestly been there. Anxiety in particular can put you off your appetite/make you feel sick and sometimes it does get like that before an exam. Basically me every single exam. However, going in having had a drink of something and a bit of food inside you can make a difference, I am fully aware of how difficult this can be as it was something I struggled with massively in exam season but it does help a lot!

* DON'T FRET.
Exams aren't the absolute end of the world, there's more fun to come and honestly, whatever you have your heart set on doing, there's ways of getting there and there's ways of finding YOUR WAY of getting there. Trying your best and remembering to read the questions more than once is all you can do.

I hope that this blog post may help any of you who are finding this time of year particularly difficult.
I also link my Let's Talk About Panic Attacks blog post so be sure to give it a read if you need it.

Please remember to look after yourselves during this time of the year and remember it is okay! <3

Good luck to everyone with exams!!

Love & hugs
Claire xxxxxxxx

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream - Birthday Suit Review

Hey everyone!

I'm well aware I seem to have done a lot of lip product blog posts recently, but it just appears that I'm loving a lot of those at the moment!



Today's blog is about the Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream, in the shade Birthday Suit. I mentioned this in my Current Beauty Wishlist blog post last month and also my April Favourites. I've been wanting to try out the matte lip lacquer trend for a while now, just to experiment and play around with it. I'd not been sure what kind of shade to go for and was particularly torn between MUA's Dash and the product I'm about to talk about.



This being my first ever Sleek product, I didn't really know what to expect although I've heard a lot of good things about them from various vloggers as well as blog posts raving about their blushes and palettes. That being said, I'd still never tried any of them until last month.

I finally decided to go for Sleek's Matte Me Lip Cream, in the shade Birthday Suit, which is a beautiful shade, of a slightly darkened nude. I've seen people compare this to Dolce K from Kylie Jenner's lip kit collection and it does look highly similar but I can't really comment as I don't own it.

It says on the tube that it is an "ultra smooth matte lip cream" and basically when you apply it, it applies like a lip cream/lipgloss and then dries matte in a minute or two.

As with most matte products, your first expectation is that you're going to dry your lips out with the product, but with this lip cream, it wasn't the case. I was actually really really impressed with how light it felt on my lips and how smooth the finish was. I had applied lip balm prior to the application, to moisturise and prep my lips for this but I was still highly impressed by it. It is EXTREMELY light on the lips, you forget you are wearing anything on them. As with every matte product, they are a little drying, but I find these not to be completely drying and if you take care with moisturising and prepping your lips first then it really does make a difference. The matte finish is absolutely lovely and looks really flattering on the lips, it lasts a long time and when it is starting to fade, I find it isn't as badly noticeable as some other products I've tried, which is nice!!



The only downsides really are to do with the packaging. I feel like whenever I put the doe foot applicator back in, it brings out loads of excess product which I have to clean up so it isn't messy. Not sure if that's just me or if it happens to other people. Also the overall tube packaging isn't as pretty as MUA's Velvet Lip Lacquer packaging which I think looks stunning. This in comparison is very simple and a bit plain, but it's not awful and it wouldn't stop me buying it, because I love the product.

*Disclaimer, I have actually tried the MUA Velvet Lip Lacquer in Dash and I've got to say that the Sleek Matte Me cream is my favourite, the longevity, the application and the matte look on the lips was so much nicer than MUA's Dash. It's made me want to go and explore more of the Sleek Matte Me creams although I probably shouldn't, but I think a red shade but look beautiful!! Or their purples.

To conclude, I'm absolutely in love with this product and am really eager to try the other shades!!

Love & hugs
Claire xxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Frustration That Comes With Anxiety

Hi everyone!

I thought today's post would be a focus on the frustration that comes as a somewhat side effect or sideline of anxiety. I apologise this post is slightly later than when I'd normally post on a Thursday, but the day hasn't been the greatest!



I feel like anxiety is a very complex illness in the sense that it's not as simple as it seems and it can be hard for people on the outside who don't have a thorough knowledge or personal experience of how it can be.
Anxiety is very much feeling long periods of stress and anxiousness, the every day person may get stressed when there are somewhat "normal" or "big" things to worry about. The anxiety sufferer, it is a different story and it can be pretty much anything and everything.

Along with that, the frustration can come out of nowhere and solidly knock your mood.
I frequently get a few days, where the frustration keeps kicking in and making me feel really quite crap. I get frustrated and annoyed with myself for not being able to do things as easily as everyone else and having such an annoying mind. I get exhausted from trying to block out the things other people are doing that I wish I was but can't get through without a feeling of sickness or uncomfortableness. I feel really rubbish and just question everything and my self-esteem plummets.

I feel like I isolate myself because I don't want people to see me in a situation which I may be succumbed to a panic attack or anything. It's almost as if I want to barricade myself away like the way Elsa does in Frozen, she takes herself away to her castle to be away from everyone so she doesn't hurt anyone with her frozen powers. I feel like I isolate myself away so I don't annoy or irritate others if I know a situation could cause me to panic or is causing me to panic.

I feel like these are the times when I wish I could be there for other anxiety sufferers who are also feeling these nitty gritty irritating little spikes of fury over things they wish they could do but can't.  It's so hard when you really want to do something but genuinely feel like you can't physically do it/put yourself through it. This is another thing which I know first hand is really difficult to do. These things can be simple things such as going out for a meal or sitting in the middle of a row at the cinema or at a concert or bigger things such as holidays or nights out or travelling. Even going to work or volunteering can be difficult as you can fear making a mistake and fear that you will look like an idiot or be made to feel like an idiot (see the second sentence in my opening paragraph).

A lot of anxiety sufferers I'm sure can relate, as it's really quite frustrating and can really do bad on your self-esteem and confidence. You want to feel freedom and no boundaries in your life yet there are constantly things in your way stopping you from what you want to do and feeling like everybody else and managing to do things. I think it's underestimated just how debilitating, heartbreaking, frustrating, upsetting it can be sometimes.

It's also a pain because you often KNOW that you're being irrational or freaking out over something which doesn't require so much care to it, or isn't worth the worry, but you literally can't stop the worry/anxiety feelings from getting to you. You KNOW that it's ridiculous but you can't stop it or control it or calm down the thoughts easily and that's the frustrating part. Also a key thing is that the person suffering will probably always blame themselves and will always be more hard on themselves than you would ever be.

I'm not sure how to deal with it in a good way, but for me, once the mood has gone a little bit, I can try and resume where I was. I've had a lot of emotions these few months, my gap year hasn't been the brightest, there has been a lot of negative emotions in me but I think dealing with the frustrations and the anxious feelings in a good way could definitely help that! Not sure I've quite got that covered yet though!

Basically I just want to say that if you do get any of what I've explained or talked about, you are not alone and I know how you feel! And I am here for any of you that wish to speak of anything like this. Drop me a message on @eclairscaresofficial@gmail.com or @EclairsCares on Twitter!

Love & hugs
Claire xxxxxxx