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Lets talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Hello November. Goodbye Sunlight. 

The day of the year I dread more than most the day the clocks go back and this year that was on 28th October, I didn't mind the extra hour in bed, or that day, in general. It was a pretty good Sunday, but the loss of light which was ahead was stuck in my head. Knowing that it wouldn't be until March when those long nights became longer days all over again. Sat my desk that day, knowing when I started it was only just getting light and when I finish the light will be completely gone. Limiting myself to going out in the evenings because the dark is something I fear. The person I become not having those extra hours of light struggles through the next few months. SAD also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression which comes and goes throughout a seasonal pattern. Most of us struggle with change which is out of our control, but this goes deeper than that. The change for most of us who struggle with SAD is unbearable. The lack of light makes us a shadow of who we were in the summer. SAD doesn't just affect people who struggle with the winter months, it can be the same for the summer months too. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder brings out the worst parts our depression and there's nothing we can do about it. For me personally, it makes me want to hide out in my bed a lot more, as the idea of going outside is not something I want to contend with. Getting up and going to work seems to become more of a struggle each and every day. The energy I had in the other 5 months of the year, zapped from within me. Looking forward to the months of being able to open the curtains and feel happy to be awake. SAD can often make us feel like we want to hibernate and not see our friends, not go out, and finding it hard to sleep at night and then almost impossible to stay awake in the light. One of my bad bouts involved me failing to sleep at night due to constantly waking up, then sleeping all day until it was dark again. I think I went 4 days without seeing any natural light and it made me feel so ill, but I couldn't overcome it. 

Despite this, Christmas is still one of my favourite times of the year, and this is something which helps me to get through those really bad days. The upcoming excitement of the streets being covered in lights, a huge tree making its way to the middle of the town, my house being filled with bright and quirky ornaments and of course the best Christmas songs and films around. The spirit of people coming together churns out some of the person who has been hiding inside. I find it a lot easier to cope on days when I feel like I have things to look forward to, and as much as I hate to admit it on the days when I eat better, I do feel the benefit. Taking those daily vitamins is a great way to boost your mood from within also, I often don't realise how much they do for me until I stop taking them. Vitamin C and D are my best friends for giving me an extra boost.

Until recently I had suffered in silence about Seasonal Affective Disorder and when a work friend and I started to discuss how every single morning at work felt like we had to wade through water whilst feeling like we have weights on our ankles which was pulling us back down, no matter how hard we tried to stop it. He told me about SAD lights and what a difference they make to each day, this is called light therapy. Most light boxes emit 10,000 lux, which boosts the serotonin in your brain and helps you cope day to day during these times For someone who didn't even know these existed, it was a huge relief to learn such things are available in these bad times. This year, I've started to research in purchasing my own lightbox. who sell these lights also have a huge section of information on their site about the different types of light boxes you can get to suit your lifestyle as well offering information on SAD itself, which can be useful to share with friends and family. also recommend getting light in as early as possible to boost your energy throughout the day. 

For now, until the sun returns for another summer ahead, I will try to make the most of the light around me, whether that is real, or artificial. It all makes a difference.

Lets talk about the dark side of social media.

Ever since I was 10 I've had my own computer, at first it was an absolute tank that you could only use paint and word on, but it was my own computer and it felt great having this amazing piece of tech in front of me. I was 14 when I got my first laptop, the freedom to browse the internet how I wanted, creating those social media accounts, signing up to MSN, because everyone at school had it, and you wanted to be like your classmates, you'd ask for their 'addies' in lessons and write them in your notebook, and if it was someone you really fancied, you'd usually ask your mate to get it for you. I joined sites like Bebo, Myspace, Piczo and Facebook. Facebook was not even that much of a big deal back then like a fair few people had it, but Myspace and Bebo were the ones, sadly neither of them exist anymore. I became friends with many online people, those to this day I haven't met, we spoke about everything and when I was lonely, I always knew there would be someone online I could reach out to. 

I was 15 when Tumblr took off, I would spend hours upon hours looking at blogs that people had created, at first it was all of the bright coloured fun ones, I even went to a meet up with another friend I knew in rl, in Birmingham and we all took a photo together which I had in my room until I was 18. Although I found it hard to reach out to people at the meet as a lot of people were internet famous, I felt a part of something. Slowly I fell into a trap of the dark side of Tumblr, the blogs were less colour and more black and white. I watched Skins around this time too, and I was constantly reblogging quotes about Skins, which if you've ever seen it, you'll know the themes within it are hard-hitting. From following the blogs who were sharing these quotes, I'd fall deeper into their blogs, and looking back I wish I'd shut down the computer and stopped. There were blogs on self-harm, including how to do it, videos of people who felt depressed and suicidal and were sharing their thoughts online. My escape of online was becoming my worse enemy and I couldn't even see it. The people on the site were my friends, they felt the way I did, and nobody else did.

I felt myself being sucked into this online cycle of self-harm and depression. I didn't link the two until I was older, I started to use the site a lot less and things felt better like I could breathe again. But I kept going back, I was getting messages about down people felt in my ask box, and I knew I had to respond. My followers were growing and along with it so was my self-esteem, these people really wanted to follow the content I was posting. The quotes and pictures were eating away at me, but when I started college, I took a step back and began to realise how toxic it was for me. 

I joined Twitter in college and quickly became my favourite social media platform, I ended up talking to like-minded people, it made me feel a part of something again and I liked it. I became part of the blogging community and everyone was supportive. Taking part in chats, reading each other's posts and taking part in cute swaps. Although I still find myself a part of the blogging community, I don't think it will ever be like it was again. The social media I find myself using the most and have done for years is Instagram and as much as I hate to admit it, Facebook too. Even if I don't post anything on Facebook, I can spend countless hours of my team looking at my feed, half of the time just looking at the same stuff over and over and I feel like my brain is melting sometimes. Something doesn't really exist until it is on Facebook it feels sometimes. I am guilty of being a part of it too. 

As for Instagram, I love the platform as it allows us to be creative, I enjoy spending hours creating amazing content and putting it on a platform to share. But it can often take over real life, and as a fellow creator, I know my content is staged, and so is most other people. Nobody really sits on their bed with their toothbrush and perfectly brushed hair or in the park with their friends with a perfectly set up picnic, gazing into the distance. Plus the food you see on there usually has a million and one filters on. I love Instagram as for me, it's an escape from reality. It's great to see some bright and colourful pictures and who cares if they're edited and set up. Take them with a pinch of salt. 

In the current day, I feel like I have a better relationship with social media, but I do often wonder how I would function without it. In terms of blogging Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are something I feel I need. But if I wasn't a blogger, I would if I could take a step back. Food for thought on this one, could you take a detox from the social media? I'm not too sure I could. 

Lets talk about: Relationships and Mental Health.

Without a doubt, being in a relationship when you suffer from a mental illness makes it 10x more difficult especially for me as someone who has BPD I previously wrote a post about dating when you have BPD and I thought it would be interesting to delve more into what it is like when you get past the dating stage. I find the start of relationships the most difficult part as it's so new, and I wonder what is ok to tell that person without scaring them off, as well as struggling to comprehend my own emotions in these new situations. That new person doesn't know about your triggers, how to cope with you when you're having a bad day or may not even be aware of the condition in itself. Each relationship is different and in some relationship, one person has a mental illness or both of you might, and the severity of each persons illness may vary and that's where it gets complicated. If you both suffer from different issues it makes it somewhat easier in real life situations to deal with, especially with anxiety as most of us know that some people struggle with situations more than others. My boyfriend struggles with things I often don't and vice a versa. I do think being in a relationship with someone who has had a first-hand experience of mental health does make them more empathic towards you and your situation, but also those who have been around others suffering as they understand somewhat what you are going through.  

Emma from Emma Jots says: 
I suffer from anxiety, depression and extreme stress. I also have chronic IBS which is brought on by all of the above. I have suffered with self-harm in the past and always felt extremely vulnerable because of my mental health issues. But my husband really understands and he gives me time, and he looks out for me all the time. We get through it and come out stronger. I do feel like I am a drain on him at times but he gives me the caring side I need.

Like Emma, I do often feel like I am draining on Will and it can be hard to get over the hurdle of them wanting to be with you because they want to and not because they have to, and in my head, this will always be something that I worry about. The care that is shown to me by Will does really help with my mental health and even when I end up getting unwell and taking my feelings out him, he is understanding of why. 

Alice from Danity Alice advised:
Communication is key, and someone who is supportive and understanding is great as she knows even on her bad days she can rely on him for support.  

Like Alice, I agree that communication is key, without it, it does often cause issues in a relationship, trying to keep a front on things is often when I find out that it causes issues within a relationship. 

Alice from Alice Loyallaloen shared her personal experience on the subject here:
For me, I think a positive way to approach this type of relationship is it’s about understanding the triggers that another person has and realising that to you it may not mean much but to another person I may mean a lot. Patience and compromise and realising that nothing is a direct reflection on you and your relationship. Mental health is at times irrational and illogical so it’s about being supportive and understanding the realities of what someone else feels. I have been in relationships that have been sooo toxic because of misunderstanding my mental health. There were horrific arguments all because of a complete disregard for support and kindness. I even had issues with a previous partner thinking that I did not have a problem and that anxiety isn’t a thing. If someone does not understand and acknowledge your mental health issues then there is no point in a relationship with them in my opinion.

Alice gives a great point in this about stating that mental health is at times irrational and illogical and it is, it takes away any of the feelings that a 'normal' person would have and amplifies them and this is often hard to deal with, a small argument can turn into a huge one, and unless it is spoken about it will keep spiralling out of control, I do find it hard to admit when I am wrong and often when I am struggling as it makes me feel weak. I am starting to learn a lot more about myself and with the help of BetterHelp who is an online service who offer help from trained therapists as well as a huge range of articles to help you along your journey, I am starting to learn how to function better as part of a couple After being on your own for so long and being with someone who doesn't really understand what you are going through, it can be hard to let your guard down. 

Finally to finish off the post I thought it would be interesting to get Will to share his thoughts on Relationships and Mental Health. 

Will says: 
I think being able to understand and communicate mental health issues is really important in relationships. Without those two things, it could cause conflict and tension. It can be really hard to open up about mental health issues but when you're with someone who gets it and understands things can start to look up. I think since I've learnt about what mental health issues Olivia suffers from it's helped me to be able to make things better for her. We've been able to talk about it and we have both made lots of progress together.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this post, it is great to understand from other points of view from what it is like to suffer from mental health issues in a relationship and how you overcome it.

*This post was sponsored by BetterHelp and always all thoughts are my own and they're a great company who do some amazing work. 

The best ways to cure a hangover AD.

Lets talk about hangovers, it's the festive period and alcohol is in high demand, with all of the Christmas parties, meals and other events, we can end up, shall I say a little fragile? We've all been there on the morning after the night before vowing we will never drink again, being tagged in some of the worst photos ever, and a text from my best mate asking where you ended up going. You guessed it, you remember minimal of night before (probably for the best) and just want to eat all of the Mcdonalds breakfast, shower and sleep, oh and possibly untag those photos too. In collaboration with Natures Best today I am bringing you some tips to help you along after regret of the night before. Unfortunately we cannot erase any of the mistakes you may of made (including that ex, you said you'd never speak to ever again!) However we can help with some advice to help you along the way. 

Drink ALL of the water:  
Okay, so don't actually drink *all* of the water, but give it a good go. Hangovers are caused from dehydration mainly, I always like to have water before I start and a lot of it when I get home and wake up in the middle of night. It is recommended to have a glass of water after every drink, but that may possibly break the seal haha. Natures Best recommends drinking coconut water, they say: "Coconut water contains extra electrolyte minerals such as potassium, sodium and magnesium – the minerals that are easily lost in sweat and urine and that are particularly important to have in the right balance in our cells and blood. "  They also advise to give sports drinks a wide birth due to the amount of sugar in them. 

Replenish your body with the 'good stuff': 
Natures best advice the reason this is important is due to "the liver is responsible for processing and breaking down about 95% of the alcohol we consume. So to help your liver to do this – and to get rid of chemicals such as acetaldehyde – try to include foods that promote liver function, both before and the day after drinking." This basically eliminates all of the food on my hangover ritual list, two slices of white bread when I return home, and I am all about that large pizza, with extra sides. We are advised to stock up on the good stuff like vegetables and wholemeal versions of your faves, such as bread and rice. 

Chill out and relax:
The last thing after a night of drinking you want to do is go out and do normal everyday things, your body often needs time to recover and sleep is always a good thing to do in this case, I am a huge fan of having a really long shower, some food to make me feel a little more human, a face mask, lots of Netflix (hello new Black Mirror!) and even take little naps. It's all about what makes you feel better as you know best how to make you feel better.

Prepare the night before: 
Before drinking it is key to line your stomach, and although it takes a little longer to get drunk to start with, your body will thank you later. It is likely to irritate the stomach lining if you are drinking on an empty stomach and this may cause vomiting. Which nobody wants to be first to 'chunder'. Another tip which I seem to forget everytime I go out, DO NOT MIX, this is when things start to go wrong, mix your drinks and there's more chance of throwing up. Natures best advises the best drinks are actually those such as spirits like vodka mixed with fruit juice, this gives your body some of the nutrients it needs as well as tasting fabulous at the same time, vodka and cranberry anyone?   

What are your go to hangover cures? 

*Collaborative post 

Lets talk about breakfast!

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know over the last few weeks I've put myself on Slimming World as it's time to make a change. For a person who is extremely fussy and has a phobia of trying unknown foods as well as being a vegetarian creating quick and easy meals most create is pretty challenging. However I never seem to struggle with breakfast, hands down breakfast is my go to. If I could live off beans, toast, hash browns and eggs I would. Recently Milk&More conducted a survey up and down the country to find out the breakfast habits of the nation. As well as finding out which of the 5 breakfast tribes people fell into.

So the 5 tribes on offer are: 
1. Protein Packed – Eggs and traditional fry-ups
2. The Quickie – quick-fix foods such as cereal and toast
3. Healthy – fruit salads, juices and smoothies
4. Long-lasting – slow release foods such as oats and porridge

5. On-the- go – bakery items, yoghurt drinks and biscuits.

I quickly figured out I fell into the protein packed category with eggs on toast or beans on toast being my go to on most days. Plus again being the fussy eater that I am, none of the others really appeal to me. Which tribe are you? 

Some of the findings from the nations favourite breakfast are as below: 

Residents of south-west London are far more likely to have an egg-based breakfast – indicating a penchant for a nutritious protein-filled start to the day. This part of the country purchases four times more eggs than any other. On the other side of the nation, South Wales is the epicentre of the great British fry-up, with the most number of orders for bacon.

The title for the healthiest region of the U.K. goes to Hertfordshire, with the county’s residents stocking up on fruit and veg, we assume this region is keen on smoothies and fruit salads. . This supports the findings by the Family Food Survey 2015 that shows increases in purchases of fruit and vegetables between 2012 and 2015.

Those living on the Isle of Wight are the most likely to consume a sensible energy-boosting breakfast, which provides a steady flow of energy through the morning. The demand for oats are the highest in this region, with traditional oats twice as popular as the flavoured varieties. 

Although the Midlands was not featured in the survey I feel like we are definitely more of number 1 or 2. Toast and cereal are a massive go to for so many on the way out of the door.

What breakfast tribe do you fit into?  

*Collaborative Post 

University Essentials With Home Bargains!

University students are always on a hunt for a bargain, whether you're a fresher or in any other year or even just like cute stuff, this is the post for you. I was recently sent a box of goodies from Home Bargains of perfect items to take to university/for your student house. The best part? The entire box (everything featured in this post) all together cost less than £20! I couldn't believe it when I added all of the items together and it was a little over £18 which is crazy! Below I am going to share with you these items and how much they cost in case you want to pick up any of these items! 

I am actually obsessed with stationery and can spend hours and hours in Ryman and Paperchase as well as searching for the perfect planner and notebooks online. I've never thought to look in Home Bargains for stationery before which is a little stupid of me, as they have some great deals! So I was sent a pack of flavoured gel pens (throwback much?) which are £1.29 although I can't say they're super scented they are pretty colours and perfect for making your notes more interesting! The mini highlighters with the cutest little faces on are only 89p (so cheap!) and are again useful for when making notes or just to have a cute face in your pencil case. Finally the vintage weekly planner is the best way to keep meal organised as well as to write down plans and is great for a desk buddy and is only 79p! I use mine for blog ideas as well as food for each day (when I remember.) Home Bargains also sell clear pencil cases for 49p and a variety of other notebooks and pens!

Home bargains stationery

Let the drinks begin: 
I could not think of another way to title this collection of items, so I decided to just name it based on what the items will be mostly used for and that's drinking. So the biggest bargain in the whole haul is the mason jar/drinking glass for 59p, I've seen this go for more than £4.00 in other shops so to see them at just 59p is great, lets face it is in halls/student housing you do not want to spend the earth on pretty things as they'll get wrecked. So for a little over £2.00 you can have 4 of these bad boys. Next are a box of plastic straws, honestly they come in so handy for reasons you won't even know, plus they're always good for drinks and someone always wants a straw. For 100 straws it is 69p! On to the ice cube tray, ice can be a good idea in theory for drinks, especially if you drink anything on the rocks, and carrying a bag of ice from the supermarket to your accommodation is never fun (totally not speaking from experience) The heart ice cube tray is 79p and makes the cutest ice cubes.

On to the alcohol itself, shots from Home Bargains are always a must for pres, you can get 4 shots for 99p the ones pictured are strawberries and creme ones however there are a few other choices, and the tube shots are 39p and totally worth stocking up on. They're not the best tasting things in the world, however they're cheap and get you tipsy and you can also purchase other alcohol in stores such as beer, wine and other spirits. 

Home bargains kitchen items

Home bargains shots

Lets talk kitchens: 
As well getting super cheap cleaning supplies from Home Bargains (honestly get them from here rather than the Supermarket you save SO much!) You can also get a 16 piece cutlery set for £1.79 and for student accommodation when stuff just happens to go missing a lot it feels a little less painful when you've paid less than two quid that's for sure. They're pretty good quality for the cost and I would recommend as I always just end up repurchasing them. However if you want to stop others using your cutlery I would buy the most standout cutlery ever so if you see people using them, you know they're yours. You can also buy a variety of foods from Home Bargains including Pot Noodles (welcome to university!) and they're only 65p, as well as pasta pots which you chuck in the microwave for a few minutes and chuck over pasta, easy dinner. I've noticed from the times I've been in Home Bargains also sell pasta bake which is amazing to make on your first day and split into many portions, read more about my freshers tips here. I would advise buying branded food in Home Bargains as it is often a fraction of the cost. 

The main event: 
In university if you're not at lectures or out with your friends you're usually in your bedroom, so you need to make it as nice as possible. Often the rooms are quite small especially in halls so it's worth finding things which will take up as less room as possible. Home Bargains sell a great wash basket that folds up into a tiny disk when not being used and is only 79p! As well as this to make your room more homely you can purchase some fairy lights for £3.99 and they're battery powered so easy to use and they just make it feel more comforting. As well as this putting pictures up of family and friends back home, often helps with the loneliness you can feel when you've moved away from home. Home Bargains also have some fab picture frames for 99p and they're small so easy to put on your desk etc. Final item in the hall is this lovely candle, I am forever raving about the candles which you can get from Home Bargains for £2.99 you can get a HUGE one the size of the large Yankee Candle, which is mad! For £2.29 you can get a smaller stronger smelling candle and also it is more space effective, woo!

Hopefully this haul helped you with some ideas for essentials on a budget! 

*Contains PR samples

*TW* Lets talk about suicide.

By any means this isn't a glamorous topic to talk about, however it's a real topic and it affects a hell of a lot of us. Mental health is something that we need to talk about, we need the stigma to break down and we need to be brave and stand together and fight against it. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and it's time for us to talk. Did you know an average of 18 people take their own lives every single day? And the worst part about the horrifying stat is that it can be mostly avoided, through talking, through support. I am telling you this from someone who has been on the edge and ready to jump on several occasions. Mental illness is a fucking lonely place, I'll tell you that now. It's scary, you feel like there is nobody in the entire world who actually cares about you, your own brain starts to convince you that you're worthless, that nobody would notice if you weren't here anymore, that life is too difficult to carry on. Some of us are 'lucky' and manage to talk ourselves down from 'jumping' or have others who make us realise, but what about those who don't? What about those who are alone, or who don't feel like they can turn to anyone? What about those who take their own lives?

Suicide doesn't just affect one type of person, it can affect anyone. We wake up and take notice when celebrities take their own lives, take Chester Bennington for example, that man was a legend, he had a great career, a family and a lot of things most people dream of, yet it wasn't enough; mental illness destroyed that man, and he felt like he had no other way out. He screamed out for help in a lot of his songs, but nobody seemed to take note until it was too late. The world was gutted - me included - that someone so amazing could take their own life. But what people don't realise suicide isn't just a choice you take lightly, your whole brain turns you upside down, convinces you not to fight and when even the voices in you are telling you enough is enough, of course we are going to want to give up. We took note of Chester, but what about all those other people who also took their lives that day? Do those people even cross your mind? So many people are struggling and nobody even bothers to reach out. Your friend starts acting different, disconnected, cancels plans and is avoiding you. Don't be mad, check in. It's a lot easier to be mad, don't get me wrong, but what if they need you? What if this is their cry for help in disguise. As someone who has taken multiple overdoses, and self-harmed for the past 10 years, I am lucky to be here. I've taken so many tablets in the past that I don't even know why I've survived, but I have. I am lucky.

Don't get me wrong, there are days where I consider “what if, maybe it would be like ___” etc. However, I have my boyfriend and some supportive friends who are often able to help me out of that dark place. But what about those who don't feel like they can talk to their friends? This mainly happens to males, due to the idea of being judged and not being manly enough, and to be honest that's not okay. MEN have just as much right to talk about mental health as any other person on the planet. Men experience feelings the same way in which everyone else does, and being told to “man up”, or “get a grip” isn't helping. Mental illness is not as simple as getting a grip. Trust me if it was, so many of us would have done so by now, am I right? But do you know what makes me really mad about the situation? We tell people to get over it, assume they're okay because they seem happy, tell them everything will be fine and get on with it, but honestly this isn't enough. You wouldn't dare turn around tell people who have had a stroke to just get on with it. We already feel guilty enough, and that's why we hide our struggles but your words stick with us forever.

I understand a lot of people are scared to admit they have a problem, because who wants to be branded as 'mental' and ‘unstable’, right? I am glad the stigma is moving in the right direction, but there shouldn't be ANY. It's an illness, just like any other. Needs medication, treatment, days off, support just like any other yet people don't seem to understand until it's too late. I am asking you - if you only do one thing today, reach out to someone you haven't spoken to in a while, find out how they're doing. Make their day. You can do this. Together we can do this. We can change the world. For anyone who feels alone, my inbox is always open to chat, I am happy to listen to whatever you need, I promise. Remember there are so many numbers to call including Samaritans who are open all year round, anytime you need on the free number of 116 123. You can talk to them without feeling judged and it's nothing to be ashamed of! 

5 Things I Want To Achieve in 2017 | Lifestyle

Happy hump day all! How are we doing? We are almost a month into the new year, and 2017 seems to be going significantly better than 2016. Lets hope it stays this way. So far this month I've mainly focused on fashion based posts to get me back into blogging. Today I am bringing you a post about what I want to achieve this year, I decided I would share five things I want to achieve and then talk a bit about why. I hope you enjoy this post, I know you lot seem to enjoy my more personal ones so hopefully this is a hit!

1. Get my degree!
I am only a matter of a few weeks away from finishing my degree, my course has been a strange length running for three and a half years. I am in my final few weeks and I just need to get my dissertation finished and then I am done. I will officially graduate in the summer and I am super excited to do so. Getting a degree is one of the hardest things I've had to do and I've wanted to drop out so many times, but I am proud of myself for sticking with it.

2. Pass my test and get a car! 
I started to learn to drive a few years back and I've been learning/doing tests on and off since. I took my last test in September of last year and then for some reason gave up again. This year I will get a license, whether it takes the whole year or just a month, I will do this! Once I finally manage to pass my test I plan on getting car, I've been looking into my options and found that Moneybarn who offer car finance calculator also offer finance to help you purchase a car. It's a great way to get a car and be able to pay back the payments monthly.

3. Go to a festival 
It's been about four years since I went to my last festival and I enjoyed it so much, I would love to attend another one this year, I got invited to go to Bestival last year but was working *sad times*. I plan on using a lot of my holiday from work this year to be able to go to some festivals over the summer!

4. Get a full time job
During my time at university I've been working on the weekends in a call centre for a healthcare company, and I love it so much but I want to get a full time job this year, hopefully get some more stability into my life as well being able to save up to eventually buy my own house.

5. Better my mental health
Over the last few years I've worked towards bettering my mental health, and although it's going well considering how bad it was a few years ago, I know I can do more to make myself healthier. I am getting therapy and hopefully by the end of the year I will feel like my old self more.

*Collaborative Post

New Year, New Me? | Lets Talk

It's me, Olivia. I am back. In case you've forgotten who I am, it's been a while. I lost all of my willpower to blog, I started to hate my photos, my content and I couldn't even face logging in to Twitter. I went through something similar back in 2014 and I gave up blogging for a few months and I didn't want this break to get that bad so I knew as soon as it started to feel like something I 'had' to do instead of what I wanted to do, I took time away and now I feel ready to come back. I apologise to you lot for the content I put out over the last couple of months because it hasn't been my best, but I am going to keep trying to bring you new and fresher content. I plan on having a re-brand over the next few weeks so prepare yourselves for that. It will still be the same Dungarees & Donuts name which you've all gotten to know and love just more of me, I started my blog when I was still in college and I've grown a lot as a person since then. I love to blog about lifestyle and beauty, but I want more for my space on the internet, as you all know I am a huge advocate of mental health and taboo subjects and I want to keep talking about them, I want to keep breaking down the stigma and I will continue to do that. Dungarees & Donuts has always been my space where I can talk about what I want and nobody really has a say about what I can/can't write. I hope when I finally get my plans into motion you all enjoy what I have to offer. For the time being I plan on only putting out one or two posts a week because 3-5 can be seriously soul destroying and they do say less is more.

As far as me as a person goes, I am not one for the whole new year, new me stuff. But I am hoping to make 2017 a year I am proud of. I have been struggling with my mental health over the last few months more than I like to admit, I've been struggling to do anything other than get out of bed at a stupid time, go into work on some days, I am not enjoying who I've become. I feel like I am a shell of the person I was a few years back, but in other ways I feel stronger and ready to take on the world. I am ready to take the time to get better and work on myself. Later this month I will have finished with my university course and I will finally be able to take the time I need to figure out what I want to do with my life. I'm sure that will come with time though *I hope* 

My final request is something along the lines of let me know what you want to see more of on my blog and how I can improve, I want to keep progressing and making my blog the best it can be!

Over and out, 
Love Olivia!
(I have not signed out of a blog post in a long time!)

I've Changed | Lets Talk

In August marked my three year blogging anniversary and apart from my blogging break back in 2013 I've been pretty consistent with posting the entire time. Which originally started as 1 day a week, them went up to 4 and is now at a happy balance of three days a week with an occasional four. It's been three years and in those three years I've done a lot of growing up and I've changed a lot, my blog once was about beauty and occasionally random posts and it is now SO much more than that. I've used my own mental health journey and shared that on the internet, along with talking about subjects such as my own relationships and break ups, I've reached out to others on the internet and I will say that relationships are hard, but if you're struggling in yours it doesn't need to be the end. Although I didn't know this at the time, you can do things such as couples councelling online or even on your own, it is something worth looking into. I talk about my own personal struggles and illness as well as talking about other illnesses and trying to break the stigma on many things. My blog is a lifestyle blog, with a side of real talk and some food, fashion and beauty thrown in. I realise when some of my readers started to follow my blog many months ago, they didn't follow it for the real talk, but it is something that is important to me, so it's here to stay. I've changed as a person, I've gone from being a very shy and confused 17 year old to a brave, open and fun 21 year old who just about makes it through each day. But throughout everything my blog is something that has been a constant in my life, and I love you guys for that. You give me a purpose to keep writing on the internet. Whether this is the first time you've ever read a post of mine or you read my blog every week, I just wanted to say thanks.

When I started blogging, I thought it would last as long as my other hobbies (a few months) but there is something SO different about blogging, whether that's the sense of community I always find myself in when I come online or the fun of having my OWN space on the internet. I love blogging and for the foreseeable I don't see myself stopping. I have bad days with blogging where I will sit in front of a screen and write the same three lines over and over and end up closing the computer down and stepping away in frustration. But I'll also have days where I can write post after post to the point where I have 20+ posts scheduled and that feels so damn good. I've met friends through blogging who I would never of met without it. I've been given fantastic opportunities which I could of only have imagined before. I even earn enough money to be able to afford to live from blogging and my part time job. When I sat in college all of those years ago and asked my best friend to help me think of a name for my blog on the internet, Dungarees & Donuts was just a silly idea which turned into my own brand. I now live and breathe Dungarees & Donuts, it's more than just a diary online. It's my website, my brand and it's a massive part of me and without that part I'd be lost.

I've had friendships that have lasted less time than my blog, I've had a relationships end, I've realised so many different things about myself that I didn't know before my journey started. I've gained weight, I've moved out. So many things have changed but the one thing which has stayed the same is my space online to be me and I am so happy for that.

Thank you for everyone who has stuck by me throughout the last three years, I couldn't imagine my life right now if it wasn't for you, so thank you!

Moving out, one year (and a bit) on! | Lets Talk

It's been well over a year now since I moved out of home, I have spent almost a year in a student house with some of my friends! There are so many things you take for granted living at home so I thought I'd share a little bit of a post about what I have learnt. It is a bit of a different post to my usual 'lets talk' styled posts but as it is something we all go through I thought it might be interesting to share with you all. I would love to know in the comments what age you moved out of home!

Food is damn expensive: 
Right up until I moved out I would often do the weekly shop with my mum (much to her dismay) and I would chuck stuff in the trolley left, right and centre and she would go mental about the prices of food. At the time I'd sort of shrug it off, but now I am the one paying for the shopping I am a lot more conscious of what I buy. Soz mum.

Heating and drying cost a bomb: 
Who knew how expensive it is to have the heating on?! I mean am a REALLY hot person and sleep with a fan on pretty much 365 days a year. But on occasion I want the heating on and Luke always wants it on, and in our student house it was on a lot of the time and that bill was expensive. Using a dryer is also MEGA expensive, but I am not one for a washing line (lazy life, hey I am still a student) so I am forever popping the dryer on.

There was a reason my mum moaned about lights: 
I used to get SO annoyed about the amount my mum moaned about electric bills and the lights being left on, and don't even get me started on the amount of times she said "I didn't know we were at Blackpool illuminations" but to be fair... she did have a point.

Cleaning your house: 
The strange thing about me is the weird jobs around the house that no-one likes to do I actually kind of enjoy, like cleaning the bathroom and doing the washing. Weird right? But the stuff I hate like doing the washing up and just general cleaning will get left until I do it myself. I spend so much time cleaning I didn't even think about the amount of stuff there is to do in the house.

One thing I’ve found useful, is to put clutter away into plastic storage crates and hide them under the bed. You can buy them online and in most homeware stores. Less clutter = less dusting.

I miss a dishwasher: 
In my new house, the kitchen is SO small there is literally NO room for a dishwasher *sobs* so I have to wash everything by hand, I miss the days of oh lets just pop it in the dishwasher and then take it out to use, one day I will get you back Dishwasher!

What do you miss most about living at home? 

Weight, Where Is The Middle Ground? *TW* | Lets Talk

It's another night where I am sat up at midnight writing a post about my life which lets face it you lot probably don't want to read but I can't help myself. Over this last year opening up to you lot has become a weekly thing and I am just used to doing it now. I just wanted to add a little trigger warning at the start of this post as you know I usually do when I talk about certain issues. Today is a big one for me and it's one I've hardly spoken about on my blog but it is something I've pushed to the back of my mind and tried to pretend it doesn't exist. I can say throughout my life I've never had a healthy relationship with food when I was a teenager it was always a problem with never eating enough. I would forever be under eating, skipping meals and forcing myself to not eat to stay skinny. I am lucky it never became such a big deal because it could have been way worse for me.

But I know looking back at photos that was not a healthy relationship to have. It was after one of my exes left me I started to develop another problem with food but this time it was the other way. I found a new boyfriend and his family taught me that eating was good, in fact eating a lot was good. At first it was a good thing I was gaining weight. I needed to gain weight. But then I couldn't stop. Food became such a huge thing to me, I actually feel weird typing this out because to anyone who has never had these problems you'll probably think it is stupid but to me this is how it feels. I would literally panic if I didn't know when I was going to be able to eat next, I used to get depressed hanging out with people who didn't eat a lot because I didn't want to be judged. I could see myself getting bigger and being more unhappy with myself but it felt right to keep eating.

It wasn't until I was a little bit older when I started to notice a pattern in my eating, and it's only VERY recently that I've noticed my triggers. I would never eat a lot when I was happy, it would always be when I was stressed. I felt sad, I wanted to eat. I would eat SO much food until I felt sick but I couldn't stop. *I'm still dealing with these issues now so it's pretty raw stuff* I rely on food far too much and I am so glad it's finally something I am dealing with because I am worried for my health. I hate the way my body looks at the moment, I hate going shopping with people in case the clothes don't fit. I NEVER try them on in the changing room because when I realise I need to go up a dress size my day is ruined. The worst thing I feel like when it is an issue with food it always people telling you, OH just eat more or you know you could just stop eating. I don't think they realise it's not that simple, oh damn I wish it was. I know that my issues with food are not ok, it is not ok to be in this relationship anymore, like a toxic relationship; it is time to leave. I will forever want to go back to you but this has to be the way forward. It was in the last few weeks when I was seeing my doctor at his late night surgery that I told him, once I started I couldn't stop. He's getting me some support for this issue and I am lucky I have a doctor who understands so well. For now, I am looking at ways to deal with my relationship with food in a more healthy way and I am so proud of myself for dealing with it.

I hope this post as every other helped in someway, shape or form. 

The End Of An Era l Lets Talk

Hi all, how are we doing? I am back on a Wednesday with a lets talk post! I am trying to get back into the swing of things blog wise because lately I have been all of the place with my blog and I am hoping this post shares a little bit more into why. Back at the start of November I decided to end my two year relationship, I made that call but it doesn't make it any easier to do so. Any form of a serious relationship I've been in, I seem to bail out of it. I always seem to settle and never be truly happy. The person who I was in a relationship with was someone I would of considered my best friend. We spent all of our time together, but for months something didn't feel right. I kept trying to push it to the back of my mind, but it wasn't going away and I knew the only way to stop the way I was feeling was to end it. It's been a couple of months now, but things have come to light which I've found are more important, like getting myself better, also I have been focusing on spending more time with my friends and being young. There is no need to stay in a relationship when you're so unhappy, you can do better. For a while I felt like I was staying because it made me comfortable and that is not a reason to stay with someone.

Breaking up with someone as an adult is so much more complicated than when you're younger, for starters there is living together, me and my ex signed a tenancy agreement which we are both stuck in a for a few months yet, luckily for us we have a spare room downstairs so it's easy to deal with living together. But when things are worth trying to fix, it's worth looking into the pros and cons of couples therapy, you can read more about this over at

Now although things didn't work out between me and my ex, I am back on dating websites like Tinder (if you can count that), I am not sure what I want at the moment, and that is okay. If I find someone then great, if I don't then that is okay too. But the main point of this post is just to let you guys know, I am still here and although my Twitter presence and blog posts are lacking a lot at the moment I hope to find myself and get back into blogging and be a better version of me soon. I just wanted to thank you all again for your constant support and being there for me.

2017 is gonna be my year!

*Collaborative Post 

Things I've Been Loving Lately #2 | Lifestyle

Hi all, how are we? I've put the Lets Talk posts on hold for the moment I as I have SO much more content to put out and I am just not feeling the serious styled posts as I've pretty much talked about everything there is to talk about. So today I am bringing you another things I've been loving lately post and this will include just about everything from TV shows to things I've bought! I hope you enjoy this post and let me know if you want me to keep creating them!

Mini Cheddars: 
Holy hell, I've fallen SO in love with these bad boys, I have pretty much been living off of these for the last few weeks I cannot imagine a life without these in!

Hollywood Mirrors:
I've been addicted to these mirrors, they have AMAZING lights on which makes doing your makeup so much easier *hello flawless foundation* and the style of them makes me want to buy them all, I definitely need one for my bedroom. Totally adding one to my Christmas list!

I've been a little bit obsessed with these for sometime, but since The Bear Grill in my town started to sell them, my addiction has become that little bit stronger. They have just added a NEW salted Caramel one to their menu, gotta try that soon!

Retro Sweets: 
I recently got sent the coolest jar of retro sweets and it is MASSIVE, I've been making my way through so many old favourites over the last few weeks. Palma Violets anyone? I've recently found a site which sells wholesale sweets in other words SWEETS IN BULK. Where you can relive your childhood dreams and also perfect for Christmas presents.

I've recently been working with a couple of brands in America who offer shipping to the UK and that means I've been able to place HUGE candle orders, and lets face it Bath and Body works offer well better candles than the UK.

Audrie And Daisy:
If you haven't seen this documentary I am pretty sure you've been living under a Netflix(less) rock for the last few months. It's an amazing eye opening documentary and although it had me in tears for SO long, it is so great that people are finally talking. Read more about it here.

The NEW Urban Decay Spectrum Palette
Urban Decay are on FIIIIRE this year with their fabulous new releases, from their massive revamp of ALL of their lipsticks to their gorgeous palettes coming out one after to the other. But as soon as I heard about the Spectrum palette coming out I knew I had to get my hands on it. Luckily for me it came through my door just a few days after coming out. I can't wait to share some fabulous 'out there' make-up looks with you all.

*Collaborative Post 

10 Times I 'Won' At Life | Lets Talk

I am forever talking about important issues on my blog, which I love more than anything in the world and I will continue to do so. But today I decided I would share something different with my lovely readers on my blog and share 10 times that I 'won' at life. By winning at life I just mean 10 good things that have happened to me, I thought it would be cool to share something a bit more upbeat and hopefully you enjoy this post, I would love to know about the times you've won at life in the comments.

1. The time I got added to my FAVOURITE brands press list.
That's right, I get sent things for my blog from my favourite brand. Every time I get a package from them it feels like I am dreaming.

2. The time I got the shoes I've wanted for ages.
I looked for this particular pair of shoes all over the internet for weeks and someone finally put them on Ebay in my size for a MASSIVE fraction of what they were being sold at everywhere and the sender was super lovely.

3. The time I made a best friend.
It sounds so soppy, but this year I finally found someone who I can happily call my best friend, I could spend every single day with him and I wouldn't mind. He's made me so happy and I couldn't imagine life without him. We do so many fun things together and he's taught me it's okay to be a little weird.

4. The time I got a job.
If you had told me two years ago I would be able to go to work again and do things with my life I totally wouldn't of believed you, as somebody who once struggled to go out of the house, this is a HUGE change for me.

5. That time I made a blogger Whatsapp group.
Earlier this year I made a blogger whatsapp group which has been my life line through so many things, I couldn't imagine not having these lovely ladies in my life. Kim, Lalia, Sarah, Elena, Jess, Aoife and Georgina you are my life.

6.  That time I got the confidence to go out without makeup on!
This has been many times since, but the first time in about 5 years I managed to go out without makeup on this year, and it was a super huge step for me as I am so self conscious.

7. That time when I got 100 likes on my Instagram photo.
It feels SO good to hit 100 likes on my Instagram photos and although it probably doesn't seem a lot to some people to me it's a big deal. It's also super exciting that it keeps happening.

8. The time I got the right diagnosis of my mental health.
I was forever feeling like I was getting fobbed off by the doctors and not getting the right diagnosis for my illness, I was being given different medication after different medication and nothing was helping. Finally, I saw a doctor who got it and helped me get the right therapy and that changed my life. Getting a proper diagnosis is always super important. Some people think visiting a private health care professional helps, an example of this would be Harley Street Clinic at UCH. Finding someone who you get a long with is super important in mental health.

9. The time I moved into my own house.
I loved living in a student house for the company of my friends, but I wouldn't trade living with my boyfriend for anything. It is so much better for having my own space and chilling out.

10. The time I got my tattoo.
When I got my first tattoo it was so much more to me than just getting a tattoo, it was a step in my journey which changed my life. I am still super happy with it a year later.

*Collaborative Post 

How To Throw A Spook-Tastic Halloween Party #2 | Halloween

Happy Wednesday lovers, how are we? You may have noticed if you are a regular reader of my blog that it isn't my usual lets talk post, it is infact a Halloween themed post. I have over scheduled the Halloween content to the point where I ran out of days before Halloween so I decided to share another Halloween themed post today. I did part of one of how to throw a spook-tastic Halloween party yesterday but as it was going to be SUCH a long post I decided to split it into two. If you missed part one, feel free to check it out here. Yesterday was food and make-up today is going to be costumes and mocktails  I hope you enjoy this post as much as the first and let me know what you are going as for Halloween in the comments. 

I decided I would put together my 5 favourite Halloween costumes with a twist for this section, when looking for these costumes I decided I wanted things which I haven't seen done lots of times over. If you want to get any of these costumes they are from Smiffys and still able to be purchased in time for Halloween! 

Zombie Alice:
I love Alice in Wonderland as a character and I love that there is now a haunted twist on her, the make-up would be simple to do alongside the outfit, it would just involve a lot of blood and eyeliner!

Zombie Bride:
After Mean Girls this totally rings a bell with me, I loved Cady's Ex Wife costume and I think this a fun twist on your typical bride. 

Cereal Killer:
I would say I am amused fairly easily, especially when it comes to puns. Who doesn't want to be a cereal killer this Halloween? 

Seven Deadly Sins- Lust:
I love all of the seven deadly sins costumes and Smiffys have had a good play on them. My favourite out of the bunch is the lust one.

Bride of Chucky:
I think this is by far one of the coolest costumes on the website, you can make it more Halloween styled by adding some fake blood.   


Sweet Flash Mocktail.
For this you will need:
- Appletiser (apple flavour)
- Mint Leaves
- Cloudy Apple Juice
- Black food colouring
Cocktail Shaker
- Something to serve drink in. (I went for test tubes) 

1. Pop 50ml of cloudy apple juice into a cocktail shaker along with 50ml of Appletiser and a couple of drops of black food colouring. Shake together well. 
2. Rip up some mint leaves into small pieces until they will fit into the test tube. 
3. Add the mint to the rest of the drink and shake again.
4. Tip into the test tubes. 

Vampire Blood Surprise: 
-Craft Syringes 
-Raspberry Puree
*To make it not a mocktail just mix vodka in with the lemonade 

Added extra: Buy some plastic spiders and then freeze them, this will create an extra spooky effect. 

1. Put half a tube/packet of raspberry puree into a pan along with two spoonfuls of sugar, and stir until it creates a thick paste. Then take off the heat and let it cool down.
2. Pour lemonade into the glasses which you intend to use for this drink. 
3. Add the spider ice / put the paste into the syringes. Then pop them into the glasses. 
4. When going to drink you can squirt the 'blood' into the drink for an extra shot of flavour. 

What is your favourite part about Halloween? 

I Have Relapsed *TW* | Lets Talk

For someone who suffers with an addiction relapsing can be detrimental to your health as well as those around you. Whether the relapse is with food, drink, drugs or even something like self harm it is such a difficult thing to deal with. You've gone through the stages of coming to terms with the addiction to only fall back into old habits, it's such a disappointing and scary feeling. As someone who suffers with what can only be described as a need to hurt myself, it feels wrong when I've spent so long dealing with my demons and falling back into that habit that consumed your life once before. I used to self harm daily, I would take a blade to my wrist until it bled over and over. This was a dark period of my life, I felt very alone. It took many years but it got to the point where when I was upset the last thing I would think to do is self harm and I felt like I was finding more positive ways to deal with it.

Earlier this year, I found myself slowing falling back into that cycle and like quicksand it was impossible to get out, it started with the thoughts and slowly turned into making up any excuse I could to be alone and to take it out myself. For those of you who have never self harmed, please do anything but; because it may seem harmless at the time but it becomes something you use to cope. I was 14 years old when I first decided to self harm, my best friend at the time told me it was a way he used to cope and I thought it sounded like a simple way out, one time turned into something I did daily. I would take to Tumblr and search for self harm, depressing quotes, suicide and other things that I really should of realised would make it worse. It was addictive to search, seeing what others were going through, I wasn't alone. I would learn new techniques and different ways of hiding my self harm. It was my secret and that's what I wanted it to stay as. I would wear massive jumpers in the middle of summer, I would sleep in them, I would freak out in P.E when I was told we would need to wear polo shirts. My self harm became less of a secret and more of something people just thought I was a crazy person for. In 2014, I gave up self harm and I promised myself if I managed a whole year without self harm I could get a tattoo, a tattoo on my wrist which I used to draw blood from. The wrist is covered in scars, but I knew it felt right to get my tattoo. I felt so good that I was able to get this tattoo, I was sure I wouldn't need to self harm again.

I can't tell you what happened this year to make me need to self harm again, but something changed. I felt lonely, sad and like self harm would once again be my only escape. Although it is something which is a lot different to me than what it used to be and I am more in control of my urges, I am still learning my triggers. I recently took to Tumblr and ended up in a bad way and although the guidelines are so much stricter than what they used to be I could still feel myself, feeling the way I used to feel. I am writing this post as an escape and to share with you that if you relapse there are ways forward, we can deal with this together. I am here for you.