Sunday, 2 October 2016

Writing Update #19

Remember when I said in the last writing update that everything's settled down?

lol no.

  • I've been working with TenEighty a lot - I've been with them for nine months now and I finally met the team in real life in August at Summer in the City (they're really lovely people!). I was a panel reporter at the YouTube convention and had such a good time. I talked more about it here. I was moved from news to Pulse, which produces lighthearted and fun articles. Soon, I'll be off to features which involves writing longer, more investigative think pieces - really looking forward to that.
  • My short story for the Dragonfly Tea competition got shortlisted! We've been invited to the Henley Literary Festival where they'll announce the winners there. Super happy about that, really looking forward to the day!
Real Life and Other Nonsense
  • I was part of a 72-hour gaming livestream for charity, helping to live-tweet the event and assist with the publicity side of things. We were raising money for Special Effect, a charity that aims to help people with physical disabilities play video games by providing technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, bringing families and friends together. We ended up raising £2700 which is incredible - big well done to the team and thank you to everyone who donated, watched and shared the livestream!
  • I have been job hunting, or trying to, and it's not easy. Urgh. 

A few months ago at a BedBoat magazine evening, Sam aka Samantics got on stage and began to perform. He uses a loop pedal, and made a track live with his voice, beatboxing, guitar and ukulele. Then, he sung and rapped over the top.


Check out my video for a little snippet - he's so good, definitely check him out!

I'm going to try and make these updates at the end of every month, rather than fortnightly as I think that's more manageable and I'll have more to talk about. Hope you're all well, have a good day!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Garnier's Fresh Refining Toner "Shine Be Gone" Review

I've been using this toner for around three months now and it's one of my favourites beauty products.

I'm generally skeptical about toner - I prefer to just cleanse and moisturise. Toner is used after cleansing to tighten pores, further clean your skin and add extra beneficial ingredients to your skin. I never believe anything that says it'll tighten your pores - that's not how skin works. Pore size is genetic, all you can do is keep them clean as when they're clogged they'll look bigger than they actually are. However, you can't actually reduce their natural size.

Anyway, this toner by Garnier is for combination to oily skin (still okay for sensitive skin) and claims to be enriched with green tea and moringa extracts to cleanse and purify your skin. It does contain alcohol, so if your skin is super sensitive I would avoid this.

However, I've been needing something stronger to help clean out my skin, especially around my nose where the pores get clogged up easily. It doesn't sting but leaves a gentle tingle and feels very light and refreshing. I add a little onto a cotton pad and swipe it over my t-zone - when I look at the pad afterwards, it's picked up the oil and you can see the discolouration on the cotton. When I don't use it, my skin breaks out more easily so I've been using this at least once a day, everyday.

Anyone else tried this toner? Got any other recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Lush Bath Bomb 'Honey Bee' Review

I went up to London recently and of course I had to pop into the Oxford street store - it is the world's largest Lush store after all. I've never had a bath bomb before but I'd been walking around London all day and wanted to a nice way to unwind when I got home.

I found the 'Honey Bee' bath bomb and took a sniff - this is the bath bomb version of the 'Honey I Washed My Hair' shampoo, which is my favourite scent from Lush.

Throwing it into the bath at home, it doesn't have an overpowering scent but still smells so gorgeous. It's got a wonderful sweet caramel smell without getting sickly. The bath bomb contains honey, aloe vera and a special type of clay called rhassoul mud. The mud is supposed to be cleansing but it felt quite grainy as it's hard for it to break up properly and it left little flakes at the bottom of my bath when I drained it. Also, the water turns into this very unattractive yellow colour.

Still, I really enjoyed this bath bomb and I'd love to get another one!

Price: £3.50
Cruelty free? Yes

Friday, 22 July 2016

Webcomic Recommendations!

I've been creating my own webcomics for over a month now. It's called 'My Mind and Me' and it follows those two characters - the mind is the darker shaded character who pops up at inopportune moments and me is the blue character.

It's a little comic that illustrates what goes on in my head, little scenarios in my life, and I occasionally discuss mental health issues with this comic. It's been super fun and I'm really enjoying creating these comics.

I made a video recently about my favourite webcomics, so if you want some recommendations, you're in the right place!

Recommendation Roundup

Hope you enjoy these recommendations, and let me know if you have any suggestions!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Lush 'Soak and Float' Shampoo Bar Review

This is the second shampoo bar I've used, the first one being the 'Honey I Washed My Hair'. If you're not familiar with shampoo bars, check out my review as I explain it there or click here for explanation on Lush's page.

I got the 'Soak and Float' because my scalp goes through periods of feeling itchy and I occasionally have get dandruff, so I wanted something that would help soothe and clear my scalp. I didn't want to get another bottle of Head and Shoulders as that stuff makes me lose a lot of hair - a surprisingly common thing for a lot of people, although there's no scientific evidence linking the product and hair loss.

Anyway, this is much gentler. It contains rose oil and cade oil that helps sooth the skin and so far, it works fairly well. It hasn't completely solved the issue but it's toned it town.

I was a little freaked out about how it contains dried rose and marigold petals in it - I was worried they'd stick in my hair but these washed right out, even out of my mane of hair without a problem. It has a strong rose scent which I find quite pleasant and soothing.

Overall, a really nice product and I would recommend it to anyone with scalp or dandruff issues!

Cost: £5.95
Cruelty free? Oh yes. Lush is known for producing cruelty free, environmentally friendly, vegetarian friendly and occasionally vegan products.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Writing Update #18

Everything's settled down a little bit, so I'll try and get back into the swing of blogging! I've started making these writing updates in a video format - I'll still make a blog post but the written format will be more of a summary whilst the video will go into more detail about everything.

Writing Update

  • One of poems has been published! I'm in BedBoat magazine, a gorgeous new indie lifestyle publications. It's a gorgeous magazine run by lovely people, I'm so happy I get to be part of it!
  • I've also got a short story in Exetera magazine - it's about virtual reality. It follows a court case where a woman has destroyed several avatars and is on trial for mass digital murder - cheery stuff, I know! I'm on page 30.
  • I reviewed American Idiot the Musical recently - fantastic show! If you love Green Day, go go go. 


  • I met the lovely Sadie Horler who has a new EP out! She's a singer-song writer who does folk music, super talented - check out her music here. 

Real Life and Other Nonsense

  • I've moved out of uni, and have graduated which is weird and scary stuff.

That's enough about me, how are you all?

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Writing Update #17

VERY quick post as I haven't written in ages. End of degree is coming. There is a lot of fear in our souls. I'm working on my dissertation and a big essay - they're like big brick walls I have to break through because I hear there's light on the other side. So here's some stuff I've been up to since the last post:


  • A poem and short story has been accepted for BedBoat magazine, either they'll both be in the upcoming issue or split between Issue 3 and 4.
  • I wrote a poem title 'The Sky People' and I want to make a video to go along with the video and have animation but all my friends are in the same boat as me and finishing up our degrees. Will keep you all posted.
  • New radio play I was working on has unfortunately been cancelled due to being too busy with everything. 

Other Projects

  • I won the Paddon Award again (second year running) - which was uber amazing. I made a short film this year.
  • YouTube channel is going well but sadly I can't spend much time making videos right now.
  • Started a podcast with my younger sister. We've called it 'The Lemon Water Podcast'. It's still very rough as we're starting out but it's fun.

Ok that's all I have time for! Bye!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Garnier toner review

Cleanse, tone, moisturise.

All beauty guides chant this like some sort of creepy mantra. I understood the cleansing and the moisturising, but what's the point of toner?

I read a Wikipedia page did a little research - toner cleanses the face and apparently minimises the size of pores. I talked to a doctor (messaged a family member who's a GP) and it's not possible to actually change the size of your pores, it's just part of your face. When pores are clogged they dilate, so keeping them clean can make them less noticeable.

I started using toner a few years ago to see what it's all about. I've used a few in my time and so far I like this one the best.

Garnier Fresh Refining Toner Shine Be Gone!

This is a high street brand and is very affordable. I used to avoid toner that contained alcohol as I was worried that it would be too harsh on my sensitive skin. However, I suffer from blackheads so I fancied trying something stronger.

It's quite gentle and leaves a tingly feeling on the skin. I've used this daily for about a year now* and my blackheads aren't as bad as they used to be. I put a little on a cotton pad and sweep it over my nose and forehead. It seems to help clear the oil that builds up in the pores and manage the oil on my skin. This hasn't banished all blackheads, but it's helping me manage them.

Overall - very nice product.

Price? £3.29
Where can I get some? Boots or Superdrug
Size? 200ml
Cruelty free? No

*the bottle looks full because I photographed this a while ago

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Readathon Wrap Up - Seasons of Reading 'Winter's Respite'

I did the Seasons of Reading readathon - this one was the Winter's Respite which runs from 18 - 24 Jan. Actually managed to make another video, so this is my wrap up - you can see what I read and how I did!

Seasons of Reading Links:

-Facebook group

Books mentioned:
'The Road' - Cormac McCarthy
'On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft' - Stephen King
'Wuthering Heights' - Emily Bronte
'The Bone Clocks' - David Mitchell

Sunday, 17 January 2016

My Reading List - Seasons of Reading Readathon 'WintersRespite'

I'm trying to do the 50 book challenge this year, so I'm taking part in several readathons throughout the year. I didn't manage to complete the January AYearAThon as I started so late. But, I managed to blast through The Road by Cormac McCarthy - which may not be such a good thing as it's pretty depressing to say the least.

Seasons of Reading hold four readathons throughout the year (one for each season) and I believe they do an extra one at Christmas. I'm taking part in the Winter's Respite which runs from 18 - 24 Jan. If you want to see how your fellow participants are doing, the hastag on twitter is #WintersRespite.

The rules are very relaxed and there isn't a theme for this season. They have a big giveaway at the end of the readathons but you have to sign up on the site and link your wrap-up at the end, as winners are chosen from that.

I'm still busy getting back into university, finding motivation in this miserably cold month and I'm travelling across the country this week to visit friends, so it's hectic but train journeys are perfect for reading. Also, this is why I'm writing a blog post rather than trying to plan, film, edit and upload a book video. I might do a wrap up video, but we'll see.

My list consists of:
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. This is a rollover from the AYearAThon, as I could only get halfway through.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It's a classic that my friends are obsessed with, and it's been so cold and windy recently that it's perfect.
- The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. I only got halfway through when I first read it, so this is a great excuse to finish it.

If you want to follow my progress, I'm here on GoodReads.

Anyone else taking part? Let me know what you're reading!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Lush 'Honey I Washed My Hair' Shampoo Bar Review

This is amazing.

The 'Honey I Washed My Hair' shampoo bar' is a little round bar and looks tiny (mine's 55g) but it's fantastic. I can't get over how good this smells - it's like caramel and sweet without being overpowering. Before I used it, it gently filled the room with the amazing scent and now my bathroom smells great.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

AYearAThon #1 & New On Booktube

YouTubing has begun. No more am I just a viewer, I make things now. I've been on YouTube as a viewer for five years now and want to feel like I'm actually part of it, rather than just taking it other people's work.

The booktube community is very small which I like. People say they miss the old YouTube, how it was back in 2009-2011 when it felt like a shared secret. I like how the smallness of it means we all have to work together because we need each other, and it's interesting to engage with that.

Also none of my friends are that into YouTube culture so I'm hoping to find other people who are.

My links:

Friday, 8 January 2016

New Years Resolutions 2016

Let's make some goals! And yes, this is published late so it wouldn't get lost in the flood of other bloggers's lists. I previously looked over some random old goals I made in the past and here are my new ones.

I love setting out targets - it gives me a focus for the year and it's interesting to look back and see what past you wanted. This year I'm not setting any exercise goals because I just won't do them. I'm healthy and I always walk to wherever I need to be. There's a tiny child inside me throwing a tantrum every time I tell myself to exercise, so I guess I'll do it when I want to, not when I'm told.

There are a lot of project ideas that have been lying around for YEARS but no more! Currently I want to work on:
  • Two theatre script ideas
  • A short story
  • Six poems ideas
  • Finish off three poems
  • A novel - outline the plot, characters and world
  • Finish going through and editing a novella I wrote four years ago. 
  • Work on a radio play series to hopefully be released later this term

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Steak 'n Sushi, Exeter Review

Is there a better way to end the term than having a nice meal with good friends? I think not.

Steak 'n Sushi is one of Valentina's favourite places (I mentioned her in my Tea on the Green post - we're totally cafe/restaurant buddies now and I no longer have to eat alone). It opened in 2010 and apparently is Exeter's first Japanese restaurant. It claims that all the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced - judging by the food, I have no reason to doubt this.

The food was SO. GOOD. I can see why Valentina loves it, we have to go again.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Commentating on 'Out of the Woods' by Taylor Swift

This came out on New Year's Eve and it's quite a visually impressive music video to be fair. But I'm still going to provide some sarcastic commentary.

All images are screenshots from Vevo

0.00 "She lost him."
     There is more to life than finding/breaking up with romantic partners and I'm really bored of the same romance storylines. It's 2016. You can't keep telling the same story with different characters.

0.08 Trees start sprouting
     What the.
     Is this a Sleeping Beauty reference? You know, with the rose forest growing around the castle as she sleeps?