Finding myself as a blogger.

Finding myself as a blogger.



Back in 2013, I was a college student and loving life. I had made new friends in college and was happy to explore their hobbies more. Apart from taking up becoming an amateur filmmaker, I also discovered the world of blogging. My best friend at the time Char was talking about how she had these online friends, Charlotte and Hayley and I knew from reading their blogs it was something I wanted to be a part of. I set up my own blog in a matter of days and took to Twitter to talk share the news of my freshly born blog, Dungarees & Donuts and began writing my first post, all about creating Barbie cupcakes from a packet mix, I took 3 really bad quality photos, threw some words together and put it up and I was as happy as Larry. 

Back then it was all about the tags, the Christmas crafts and gift guides and the 'awards' and of course, Sunday night was the night you needed to be around for the best chats, #lbloggers followed by #bbloggers. You'd get to know other bloggers, you'd read their blogs and leave comments, it was cute! Photos were small compared to the writing aspect and a lot of us were at that beginner's level which included taking photos on our phones, never did I dream that blogging would become what it is today and especially not for me. Everything seemed to be fresh back then, and ideas were easy to come by, and now we are in 2018 it seems like most things have been done, your photography skills need to immense to even get a look in and for the most part it feels like it's about who you know, rather than what you know. 


During the last two years, I have found myself in an on-off relationship with blogging to the point where I've considered packing it in all together, and it can be hard to get out of that mind frame, you see your friends getting all of these AMAZING opportunities, their posts keep getting better and their social followings are hardcore. I was obsessed with comparing myself to other bloggers and what they were doing, rather than what I was doing. In hindsight, I've done pretty well for myself and keep doing well, I've worked with brands I used to love when I was younger and could never have imagined one day I'd be working with them as an influencer. Through blogging, I have met some of my best friends, including Liz who actually lives near me(!!) and back in 2015 I created a blogger chat on WhatsApp which has gained and lost many members over the years but it's still going strong and I couldn't imagine not having my girls on hand (Sarah, Kim, Elena, Aoife, Jess and Fii) to name a few, along with my more recent blogger pals! 

It's taken me 5 years to finally be happy with the content I am creating, including the photos and taking the pressure off has really helped me along the way. It used to be all about the scheduled posts (making sure I had at least 20 posts ready to go) to work to my own schedule whether that is one post a week or one hundred (slight overreaction), I am creating better content that I am happier to share with people and couldn't imagine being without my blog! My goals for the next 5 years are to keep creating awesome and relatable content, build up my Instagram even more and keep loving what I create!

P.s. The 5-year anniversary post and giveaway will follow!
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Will Bond
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That Boohoo Dress.

That Boohoo Dress.



2018 is the year that I have been most confident in my skin than I have been in years, since starting this blog back in 2013, I have only featured myself a few times and safe to say I've changed a lot, my style has grown into something I love and although I will always keep the fishnets and black tees as part of my style, 2018 Olivia loves colour! I have fallen madly in love with dresses and forever seek out them out. Long has gone the days of baggy tees and leggings, move over a new girl is in town! Recently Boohoo sent me this tee shirt dress and asked me to show how I would style it, I was straight to the challenge. The dress feels quite warm and it is very comfy and if I didn't want to wear fishnets underneath, shorts are the way forward. I usually pair my comfy dresses with a pair of converse. In this case, I went for my bright pink ones as I wanted to add a pop of colour to my outfit, along with my hair I think they complimented the dress well. 


This dress is great to relax in with a pair of sweats as it works as an oversized tee, or great to wear as a standalone piece, paired with some heels or in my case Dr Martens. I am a huge fan of how oversized this dress is as it doesn't make me feel uncomfortable and it is super floaty for those hot summer days. I would say this dress is a great all year round dress as it can be paired with some many different items as it is super simple, yet you can create it into something much more. I think that Striped T-Shirt Dress from Boohoo is going to be a firm staple in my wardrobe for the foreseeable. 

What is a staple item in your wardrobe?
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Olivia Jade
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My journey to living a more sustainable life.

My journey to living a more sustainable life.



2018 has become the year when plastic straws are becoming extinct and being replaced with alternatives such as paper straws and it appears to be the year we have begun to take notice of what we are doing to our planet than ever before. Summer is a time filled with BBQs, parties and lots of time in the heat. During this time there is a lot of waste created, from plastic bottles and cups at festivals to cans and bottles at pubs and even the waste created at parties with plastic cups, bottles and paper plates. 

I am ignorant of the fact I didn't even realise how much was at stake until the last few months when the movement has become a 'bigger deal' within society. Recently after reading an e-book created by Glasdon full of things that we can change to help save the environment, I Decided I needed to look into my own eco-footprint and make some changes, and the majority of the trades and things you need to change aren't really that difficult at all. Plastic doesn't actually decompose, and we will always have landfills full of the stuff. So it's always worth looking at alternatives to help save the planet, so what are my goals for living a more sustainable life? 



I have always been an avid collector of paper straws, so when plastic straws started to disappear I was happy that I already had my stash. I often hear people moan about having to use paper straws as they dissolve in your drink but the alternatives seem so much worse to me and a lot of drinks don't even need a straw, so it often feels like a waste with able-bodied people such as myself using them. Since the 5p plastic bag charge came in 2015, I can happily say I only take them if I really need to and usually opt for long life alternatives such as tote bags, they're great for the environment, long lasting and look so much better than an Asda bag, let's be honest. When carrier bags were free I'd take them without a second thought, even for smaller items that could easily have been carried.



It's so important with clothing that you no longer want to take to the charity shop or at least put into clothes recycling bin made for old clothes, so at least they're recycled in the correct way. Although, if possible taking them to a charity shop allows others to purchase them and give them a second life. It's a similar story for disposable cups from the coffee shop and as much as I am guilty of this (especially in Starbucks), I want to make the change to bring my own cup and get it refilled, and a bonus of this is some coffee shops even give you some money off. So it's a win-win really



As far as recycling of household rubbish and items go, there are different coloured bins which make this so much easier to separate them and in my house, I have two bins, one of which is a large bin for recycling and a smaller one for food waste, and it feels so much better knowing that the majority of stuff we put into the recycling bin will go on to be used again. I am constantly striving to work towards making my life as eco-friendly as possible and although I still have some huge changes to make, I am making that step in the right direction. 


*Post in collaboration with Glasdon, but all thoughts and feelings are my own. 

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Olivia Jade
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Top tips to optimise a small room!

Top tips to optimise a small room!


Are you living in a house with a small room? It might be nice and cosy during the winter months, and it might be a bit of a squeeze if you have guests over, but have you ever thought about making your living space look a little bigger? Don’t worry, there’s no moving house or knocking down walls involved! Check out these home style tips to make your room look and feel a little bigger than before!


Your Walls:
Dark colours and busy wallpaper are definitely a designers best friend, but they do tend to make a room look and feel smaller. If you stick to paler colours like cream, beige, pale greys and blues it’ll make any room appear wider and brighter. Don’t forget your skirting boards too! A modern style skirting board will make any room look brighter and airier than before.

Use mirrors:
It’s an old designer trick, but it does actually work! You don’t have to recreate a fun house, wall-to-wall style room to create the effect either. Try positioning one large, full-length mirror against a key wall or create a salon-esq feel with more than one mirror on a wall to create a statement piece.

The illusion of height:
Yes, you’ve been advised to keep your walls pale and light to create the illusion of space. But what about the illusion of height. To make your room seem higher and taller, consider painting the ceiling a darker colour than the walls It not only draws the eye upward, but it creates depth.


Your furniture:
You might be under the impression that having small furniture in a small space is the best way to create the illusion of a room. Well, in actual fact a large statement sofa or cabinet can do that for you. It leaves the space around it clear and makes the room look more spacious than it really is. Also, be wary of the type of furniture you purchase. If it’s square or boxy then it’ll look larger in a smaller space. Try to focus on furniture that has small, sleek arms or none at all. Visually, these pieces will look smaller than their square, boxed off counterparts.


Your rug:
Choosing the right sized rug is really important if you’re hoping to create a more spacious look. Understandably, most homeowners go for a smaller sized rug but this actually has the opposite effect – making the room look disjointed and squared off. Always go for a larger sized rug, and if you’re unsure of the size, always go with the idea that you all the legs of the main pieces of furniture in the room should be sitting on it. The front legs at least.

Say no to clutter:

Even the largest of rooms can seem smaller if they’re filled with clutter. So now is the time to have a good clear out. If you still find you have a lot of items hanging around then invest in some new storage solutions to keep them safe but out of sight. 

*This is a sponsored post, however, I have had full edtorial ownership over this and made it my own!
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Olivia Jade
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What I always pack for travelling!

What I always pack for travelling!


Going away travelling can be a stressful experience for anyone, for me, I find it difficult due to the masses of anxiety that build up beforehand and I ended up forgetting just about everything I am supposed to take with me. Packing for a holiday is something I dread as I am more of a throw these items of clothing on the morning kinda girl, rather than planning each outfit, so I usually end up taking half of my wardrobe, shoes I haven't worn in years and just about every medication I've ever taken 'just in case'. In the past, I have forgotten items from my phone charger to my kind of, important inhaler, oops.



I was recently introduced to an app called Medsmart which is your virtual medicine cabinet, where you can store a list of all of your medications, set reminders of when you need to take them and it's great for in an emergency to allow a full list of your medications and conditions to be listed. The app is also completely free with no hidden charges within, this app works well for me as it allows me to make sure I have all of my meds packed and I also live with the fear of something bad happening and the people around me not knowing what possibly could be wrong. The Medsmart app has over 20,000 medicines listed, some letting you know how to take a certain medication and most of them listing the ingredients in. It also includes a share button to allow you to be able to send a list of your medication to somebody else, this is great if you were in a foreign hospital and they do not have your medical records. You can download Medsmart here for Apple devices and here for Andriod




In my hand luggage, I always need headphones as they're key to surviving any long journey, some earplugs are always good for a long haul flight as nobody wants to hear the snoring of Barry from two rows behind. I also would need to include my inhaler, a hair bobble, my phone, a possible colouring book and some snacks, can't beat a few packs of sweets on the way really. Oh, and a really good book or two. I tend to store the majority of my medication in my hand luggage as they are easily able to be accessed. 



For my suitcase the fun really beginnings, like I said above I am awful at picking what to wear in advance so I pretty much chuck in anything that I've worn within the 3 years which is remotely sun-related in case I may need it. Enough makeup to last me around 6 months, my toiletries which are in another bag similarly sized to makeup bag, I mean you never know when you're going to need more than one deodorant and how many hair bobbles you may lose (those things are forever getting away) and are you really going on holiday if you don't take double the amount of pants and socks for the days you are actually going for? Shoes are usually the thing that I spend the least time thinking about, I pretty much live in Converse so I add my trusty pair of pink converse and a pair of sandals in my case and I am good to go.

The final few things I always add to my luggage are a map of the place we are going to (Google Maps is so unreliable), a phrase book for those go to phrases I may need such as 'where can I get a pizza from?' and enough of the currency to have a royally good time. Oh, and I may possibly need my tickets and passport, could be helpful! I would love to know what your travel essentials are in the comments below and also if you use this app what are your thoughts on it?

*This post is in collaboration with Medsmart but all words are my own and if you haven't yet downloaded their app, I'd recommend it as its a lifesaver! 

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Olivia Jade
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The truth about reaching out.

The truth about reaching out.


**TW** This post contains themes which may be triggering, including suicide. 



20th of July 2017, the day I passed my driving test, that day is often in my thoughts and not because I passed my test, due to the passing of Chester Bennington. Growing up I was a huge fan of Linkin Park and they were one of the few bands who really spoke to me, I felt heard by someone. As a 14-year-old, their music was something I'd listen to most days on my iPod shuffle, Minutes to Midnight being the album I listened to most frequently and although their music is *sad*, it helped me through some dark times of my own. So to hear that Chester Bennington had taken his own life, it was hard to comprehend. There had been many interviews posted online about his struggle and despite the fact he was perceived to have 'everything', he was ill. You couldn't see from the outside, but on the inside, it was eating him up. Like most of us who suffer from mental health issues, it does sometimes feel like the 'easiest' way out, and for those of you who have never felt in that way, you are lucky. Those thoughts completely consume you and once they've trapped you it's hard to break out. Chester wrote songs which shouted out about his pain and how he felt and we all listened but did we do enough? 

Mental health is as important as your physical health. 

Fast forward to April 2018, and on the 20th of April I came on to Twitter to find the news of Avicii passing. Avicii who was a DJ who worked with some of the biggest names in music had died. I couldn't help but wonder what had happened to him. A lot of rumours quickly started to emerge how he died, starting with things like his previous health conditions. It took until the 26th of April for his family to confirm what had happened, they released the following statement saying he "really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace" Despite Avicii having 'everything', it wasn't enough to save him. Like Chester, Avicii was struggling with his inner demons and despite having so many people who love and care about them, it's often not enough to stop the thoughts. A lot of people during these times blame themselves, but really it's usually the thoughts within their own heads. As someone who has felt in such a bad way it did seem like the way out, it's a really scary place inside your head, which you can't even escape. 



We are only in June of this year but another handful of celebrities followed in the footsteps of Avicii and Chester, including Kate Spade, who was one of the most creative and inspirational women in the world. Her designs were initiative and she spoke out for what she believed in, her bags which were bright and fun, was a showcase of her amazing talents. An idol to many designers and young women. A shock to the system, once again. But it wasn't long before the tweets and Facebook statuses started to appear, advising people to reach out. Sharing numbers of helplines and other ways to reach out, including speaking to someone online or that you trust. Sadly, even if we are to reach out, I feel like people have their own lives and often struggle to seek help on multiple occasions in the fear of 'bothering' people. Reaching out full stop is amazing, and I will never take that away from anyone as it does save lives, but what about those who need more than that? With the mental health services stretched thin, it's hard to get the help needed. 

I am one of those people who will open up to certain people during times of crisis. But I have been at points in my life, where I've thought about giving it all up. Staying alive can honestly be one of the hardest things when you feel alone. You constantly feel like a burden and don't know where to go from there. One of the worst things about mental health is, it convinces you, just about everyone in the world is against you, nobody understands and it's just not worth going through anymore. I don't know one person who has felt suicidal or committed suicide who didn't attempt to get some kind of help first and for a while managed to battle their demons. 



For most people who feel like suicide is the only option, they've suffered for a long time and no matter what help they get it appears to be their only way out, mental illness can take complete control of a person and they lose that person they once were. Mental illness is made up of tons of illnesses, people deal with these differently and sadly none of them are easy to escape from. For those of you who are still here but suffer on a daily basis, you know I'm here, you know you are amazing. You have the strength you need to keep battling through, we believe in you. 

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Olivia Jade
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Change, Communication, & Counselling

Change, Communication, & Counselling



At the beginning of last year, I wrote a post about regaining control after a toxic relationship and I know a lot of my readers found it of use with me sharing my own personal experience in that situation so I decided to delve a little further into this. In my life, I've been in five relationships, two of them ended badly, one of them I still speak to on occasion and one of them I would consider a friend and then there's Will, who I have been with for over a year. You can meet so many wrong people, before meeting the right one. This brings me back to the situation I was in last year when I met someone, that person never treated me as an equal and that was hard to deal with, I always felt in the wrong and was never made to feel loved and that sucked, I remember being in the room with said person and they wouldn't even speak to me, they'd act like I was none existent and I may as well have been invisible. Even today this is something that haunts me, and I think plays a big part in my insecurity, being around someone who is wrong for you, isn't often easy to spot yourself but everyone on the outside can see you struggling and wants to help you break free, but it isn't until you learn yourself that you can truly escape.




Don't let the person who didn't love you, stop you finding the one who will.

Relationships can be one of the most difficult times of your life if you're not with the 'right one', but even relationships with right ones can have issues, every relationship will encounter issues, after all, we are human. Sometimes it is too much to deal with and breakups happen, often a change in your relationship can be the start of a breakdown of the relationship that once was, but there are ways to go about attempting to work through these problems, such as getting relationship/marriage counselling which these days can even be done online, which takes away half of the pressure of sitting face to face with a stranger and talking through your problems. Communication is key in a relationship and if something isn't right it is always best to speak about, rather than bury it. 


Just because I let you go, doesn't mean I wanted to.

Relationships can only ever work if it is something you both want and if one person is more invested than the other? The chances are it isn't going to work and most of us have to learn this the hard way, this is the same as friendships and even with families. Despite putting in 110% one side, if the other side is only putting in 10%, that usually gives you the answer of what to do. As someone who has been on both sides of heartbreak, being heartbroken can be one of the worst feelings going, like in previous experiences it has felt like someone has physically ripped my heart out and although at the time it was the worst thing in the world, it helped me to grow as a person. With the shoe on the other foot, breaking someone's heart is the worst thing too, especially when you still care for that person but it just isn't right anymore. In those situations, the person on the breaking up end always tries to make promises which won't work, in aid of trying to keep that person and honestly it feels awful. Constantly like you're treading on eggshells, and that's never okay, you deserve more.



Life is tough, but my darling so are you.

As a person who has had some really terrible relationships, some okay relationships and some of the best ones, I've learnt that it is always ok to tell the other person how you are feeling which often helps the situation and in those times when it doesn't it's ok to put yourself first, you deserve to be happy. Remember that.


If you found this post useful you may also find my The Truth About Friendship Breakups

*In collaboration with Better Help, but as always thoughts are my own. 
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Olivia Jade
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Learning to cope with Travel Anxiety

Learning to cope with Travel Anxiety



One of my greatest desires in life is also one of my greatest fears. Travelling. I would love to explore the world a little more, and even my own country. Being stuck in a little town in the Midlands doesn't have a huge amount to offer and when you know there is a whole world out there, ready to explore, but what is stopping me? Anxiety. My old friend, and although it's stuck with me throughout thick and thin, I wish it would leave me alone. As someone who struggles with the idea of getting onto a train and going to the closest city due to what they may encounter another country seems like a whole other playing field. I have spent many hours planning trips that never happened and which involve me leaving my own town on a rare occasion and that has to be with people that I know, well. For me, it' the fear of the unknown, new place comes with the anxiety that I may get lost or something bad may happen. Travelling abroad comes with the idea of getting stranded in another country or something worse and don't even get me started on getting on a plane and being ok with it. There are so many other hurdles for me to overcome to allow me to travel as much as I'd like, but a starting point is like most with anxiety, working out the triggers and how to 'deal' with them. 

Getting stranded abroad this is something that you can never completely rule out of your mind, even people who don't suffer from anxiety find this one troubling. Whether this is from a cancelled flight, a lost passport or bad weather, it can happen. It's important to break it down into how to come to ease with each possibility. If your flight happens to get cancelled for whatever it can be scary as you don't know the next steps and for anyone with anxiety, that is a major trigger. To get in contact with hard to reach airlines CSG is amazing for sharing all of the numbers you may need, how much it will cost to contact them and further numbers for things when you return such as complaints. Also, with most cancelled flights if you will be waiting overnight for another one you can get put up in a hotel which is paid for to allow you to get some rest. I'd like to convince myself this is just an extra day you're on holiday, you get to visit a place you may not have previously been able to, and breakfast is usually on offer. Yay.

Having home comforts come along for the journey is something that I always find helpful as it allows you to have that comfort blanket. I often find experiencing lots of new things at once makes me have a *bit* of a meltdown. I usually make a bunch of playlists that I feel comforted by, my favourite book and even my favourite teddy, yes I am 23. It's the little things that remind me of home that make me feel safe, being able to access social media and people I'd usually talk to at home also makes me feel grounded like they're only a message away. As much as I enjoy having some social media free time whilst away, it is always good to have that resource there when you need it.


Plan out your stay before you go is such a must when you suffer from travel anxiety I hate not knowing what we are going to do so I can plan just about everything for that day, including places to visit, how much money I will need and what to wear. It can sound trivial when written in a list like above but for someone who suffers from anxiety its a make or break deal. I like to pack things way in advance and then double check them and possibly even triple check them as forgetting things sends me into a huge panic. Before leaving to go on holiday I now have to do so many checks for making sure I have my medication and inhalers as there have been far too many trips when I've forgotten. I often find a checklist helps to remember your must-haves. 

Hopefully, these tips help a little bit with your Travel Anxiety and I would love you to share any of your tips you have for overcoming anxiety whilst travelling in the comments.


*Collaborative post. 
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Olivia Jade
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Things you need to do when in Dubai!

Things you need to do when in Dubai!



Last month I created a post about things to do when in Spain, which seemed pretty popular with my readers. So when I was offered the chance to feature a digital map which allows people to find what to do dependant on their budget I knew my readers would love it. I've never personally been to Dubai, so this was great for me to learn some more about what Dubai has to offer. For someone who has read into Dubai, I have always assumed it is way out of my budget due hearing things about it being one of the most expensive places in the world, so after reading into it more I was happy to find out you can actually visit Dubai on a budget! After finding out that Dubai has now opened an IMG theme park which features Cartoon Network and Marvel which is inside has made it all that more appealing to the child within me. Reading countless articles about Dubai being referred to as one of the safest destinations in the world has massively changed my perception. The key things to remember when visiting Dubai is to dress moderately in public places such as malls, which means covering up your knees and shoulders. 

Along with great weather and some of the amazing, once in a lifetime experiences, you can do, it's worth adding Dubai to your travel bucket list. Although Dubai is known for luxury there are so many choices of things to do, some of them even under 50p! Including a cruise down Dubai's creek which sounds like a dream date. There are also a lot of things to do when you fancy a little splurge like visiting the Wafi Mall, which is in the shape of a pyramid! Finally, for those looking to go all out you can get a 24-carat gold facial which costs around £4800 (just a little bit on the pricey side, but it does sound amazing! For more ideas feel free to check out the map below to learn more about each destination.



Have you ever visited Dubai? 

*Collaborative post, all thoughts are my own and someone really needs to get me that gold facial asap.
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Olivia Jade
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