Summer Goals 2017

Featured image taken by me: beach huts in Lyme Regis

I think making goals for the season ahead can be a really nice way to put your priorities into perspective and help you stay organised and on track with what you want to achieve throughout that season.  Most of my goals for previous seasons always seem to be more academic, hence why I always feel overwhelmed by them and never end up fully doing a good job at it; they’re too broad and for a procrastinating soul like myself, they’re often not achievable! I’ve decided that for the summer season (even though I’d technically say we’re still in Spring, until Saturday I think, but I’m looking forward to summer in a big way!) I’m going to take my goals and really pinpoint what I want to get out of the season through them – and try not to focus them around school too much!

1. Visit more places

I’m going to do a summer bucket list soon, as I have lots of places I want to go and things I want to do this summer, but one of my largest goals is to visit lots of lovely places in the UK.  This is my first proper summer living down south, and not only do I want to make the most of the good weather (all my friends say it’s not really that hot, but having come from the 15 degrees maximum north of the UK to the sometimes 26 degrees south of the UK, I assure you the heat difference is immense and also very lovely) but I want to make the most of this nice weather in lovely places.  We’ve recently had some amazing spring weather and last weekend I went to two lovely beaches with my family: Chesil Beach and Lyme Regis, both of which were lovely.  I fell asleep on Chesil Beach, which was a huge pebbly beach but the pebbles weren’t hard and nasty, they moulded into really nice beds, hence my sleeping.  Lyme Regis was very English seaside, which I love and the beach huts were really pretty.  My main goal really, is to enjoy what the UK has to offer over Summer and visit lots of pretty beaches and take lots of lovely pictures, especially when my best friend comes down from Yorkshire to see me!

2. Stay on top of my homework/coursework:

I know, I said I’d refrain from the academic goals but this is one I want to achieve and strive towards.  Homework piles up really quickly, especially now I’m doing my GCSEs and I really do try to tackle it in an efficient way but it still seems to be drowning me!  Do any of you also get this problem?  I’ve decided to try get loads of homework done during the evening as soon as I get back from school, and not to do it the night before it’s due.  I have serious respect for those of you who can just do your homework and coursework the day you get it, no distractions or procrastination involved  because I always procrastinate on my phone!

3. Make my life more organised

My life is a mess sometimes, I’m never organised and even the simplest things like not packing my bag for school the night before really make me go into unorganised meltdown!  I’m planning on (not that we can promise this will happen!) making my life a little more organised; keeping my room clean and tidy, keeping track of my blog posts and always having something up to schedule, getting myself ready for school the night before, waking up early and other small bits and bobs to keep me organised on a daily basis!

4. Watch everything on my Netflix watch list

Am I the only person who gets irrationally annoyed when my watch list on Netflix is a mess?  I have so many things listed on there for me to watch and so little time; having already watched Gossip Girl and Skins, I’ve decided to rewatch both (and not for the first time either!) but this leaves me in a predicament.  I have basically no time to watch any of the others I want to watch like Riverdale and Stranger Things.  I cannot wait for the Easter holidays, because lazy old me will be going on a massive binging session, especially when the new season of PLL comes out!

So, those were my goals for the spring/summer months.  I hope you enjoyed them – what are your goals?  Have you got any netflix recommendations for me, even though my watch list is too long to function! Have a lovely week!

Soph xx

February Favourites

I feel like I haven’t blogged in a while which is probably true as I have missed a week, but it was my first week back at school and I had lots of tests and quizzes (all of which I did okay on, even getting an A in Chemistry which is my weakest subject so I was so happy with that!).  I should be back into the swing of things after this week, as I sit my Food Technology GCSE on the very day you are reading this – in fact, I will have done it by the time this is posted.  I can’t wait to have it over and done with and I really hope I can achieve the merit or better still distinction I am hoping for.

Onto the actual post, I’m coming at you with a February favourites and what I’ve been loving in this month.  I’m not sure how everyone feels about favourites posts – I feel like they can end up all too common at the end of the month, every man and his dog are doing them and your readers are littered with very similar posts.  Nonetheless, they can always be interesting to see what someone has been loving! Make sure to tell me in the comments if favourites posts are something you’d like to see more often.

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So, first off I’ll start with makeup products.  There isn’t too much here but definitely some things I have really been enjoying!  First up is the NYX Lip Lingerie in the shade ruffle trim.  This is a more recent purchase which I bought in Bournemouth at the weekend, but i have been wearing it ever since and it is becoming a staple in my lip collection!  It’s a very natural colour, a dark pinky-mauve-nude and I will say one thing; it is very, very matte.  And with extremely matte things not only comes a gorgeous look but insane dryness of the lips.  I try not to use this too often just because it does in fact make my lips feel like the Sahara desert (a good lip balm is very necessary – I reviewed these ones the other week which I’ve been using and they’re great!) however I’m willing to sacrifice my lips to it because it’s so damn pretty!  The formula dries matte very fast and is very lightweight so not noticeable at all apart from if you smack your lips together, which is when it can be quite sticky.  The applicator is long and quite thin which makes it relatively hard to apply, unlike a doe foot applicator, however it is still rather easy.

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Then I have this lipstick from Jack Wills which I got for Christmas from a friend but have just recently started to use as it is a very pink-nude spring time colour and although right now the UK is not screaming spring (thanks Doris for ruining my week!), I for one cannot wait for warmer weather, which naturally I reflect in my lipstick taste!  It’s very moisturising and the colour payoff is lovely – it does tend to look bad on chapped lips so do make sure they’re treated with lip balm for a few days before you wear this.  The packaging is a matte navy with silver accents which I think is very chic and appropriate for Jack Wills.

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Last is not a lip product but actually an eyebrow gel by Pixi.  I never before realised just how crucial an eyebrow gel can be in your makeup routine until I got this in my M&S beauty calendar and have used it ever since.  I think it really polishes off a makeup look, and the copper lettering on it (although it has slightly worn off now) is absolutely gorgeous.img_3993

Next up is skincare.  I’ve recently been using the Neutrogena grapefruit face wash and not only is the bottle very aesthetically pleasing, the product is amazing!  The scent really wakes you up on a morning, but isn’t strong enough to irritate even the driest, most sensitive skin (aka mine).  It makes your skin feel very soft and super clean!  I’ve also been using the Superdrug hydrating face mask which you can see my review on here , but it has totally been my skin saviour during these freezing storms we’ve been having.

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Next up is the Garnier Micellar Water which I’ve re-purchased and been using again.  I cannot get over how amazing this product is, it’s hyped up in the beauty world for such a good reason – it hydrated your skin whilst literally removing makeup with one stroke.  It’s such a miracle product, everyone needs this in their skincare routine.

In my apparent hunt for spring, I’ve been loving fresh, fruity scents.  I’ve been using the body sprays from hollister more and more often than usual this month and one which I often use is Pallisade Beach.  This smells so fruity and tropical, very reminiscent of summer for me!  I always have one in my school bag and a couple at home and I seem to go through these like wildfire – it’s a good job that hollister have offers of 3 for 2 on them more than often.

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Last but not least is my diary. I got this for Christmas and have loved using it to help me organise my week and all the homework I have.  I think that especially for GCSE students, a diary is essential.  My school uses an online homework facility but as great as it is for accessing it anywhere and a good functioning tick list system, it never keeps me fully organised.  I love to use my diary to plan every aspect of my week, from school work to blog posts to what I’m doing at the weekend.  I’ve also included a picture of what a typical weekly spread in my diary might look like, although it’s not super artistic like some you see!

Hope you enjoyed this post – do we have any of the same favourites this month?  Sorry about the appalling pictures, it was dark when I took them and that was the only free slot of time I had to write and produce this post.  I’ll update them by the weekend when I’ve got much more free time!  Wish me luck on my GCSE, lets hope it went ok!

Soph xx

Eight Life Hacks To Make Your Life Easier!

Hey guys,

Today I’m here doing a collaboration with the lovely Jess from ChocolateDrops.  We have really similar blogs and I’m so glad she found me because she’s so lovely & I can’t wait for her posts!  You should all go to follow her because she’s amazing & deserves all of you lovelies!

So, for this post I’m doing a life hacks post, and I’m only doing eight because I couldn’t find ten interesting ones!  Hopefully these will help you all out or at least find you trying something new.

  1. Using dryer sheets over a hairbush will reduce hair static-ness (is that a word?).  Basically it will stop your hair from being static and also give it a nice smell.

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2. Spray bobby pins with hairspray before you put them into your hair to make them hod for longer.

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3. Iphone chargers are horrible, if we’re all brutally honest.  I mean, who hasn’t had a charger from apple that hasn’t broken?  If you put a small spring, like from around a pen on the charger, you can bend it and hold it at any angle and it will prolong the life of your charger.f75d71f1-0bc6-49c7-82e4-8261e1ffd1eb

4.  An empty chap stick (or any lip balm stick) is a great way to hold notes when travelling abroad.  You can conveniently keep it in your pocket and go out with money but not needing to bring a bag, which is great because in hot weather nobody wants to be lugging around a bag to just have your purse in it. Also, if someone took your bag they’d just think it was a lip balm, not your money!

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5.  To remove a stalk from a strawberry easily then use a straw.  This is so easy and doesn’t waste as much strawberry as it would to cut the top off.

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6. When using selotape (or duct tape or washi tape, whatever tape you use), loosing the end of it is such a pain every single time you use it.  If you put a paperclip on the end of the tape you shouldn’t loose it and it will be very easy to find when you need to use it next.

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7. If you tie rubber bands around the very ends of coat hangers it will stop clothes from falling off them, as they tend to do every time I hang up my clothes.

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8. When you buy new shoes and they fit, but just that bit too tight and you know that when you walk in them you’re sure to get a blister, this is how to stop that.  Wear some thick, winter socks and then put your new shoes on and blow them with a hairdryer.  This will expand the shoes to a comfortable size.

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So guys, thats all the life hacks I have for this post. If you didn’t remember this was a collab with Jen from ChocolateDrops who was linked at the start so please go check out her blog!!

I’m Not Good At Keeping Up To Schedules.

That’s it.  I’m scrapping my blogging schedule.

This one, below:


Credit to Mia from It’s All Part Of The Human Experince.

While I love it and still think it is gorgeous & I want to use it, I simply cannot.

As I person, I am highly unorganised & procrastinating is a keen hobby of mine (I mean Christ, right now I’m sat in bed cuddling my cat & composing this post.  And it’s 3:10pm.  And I have lots of homework ).  Proof?



You may think that having a blogging schedule would reduce said un-organization & procrastination however, it does not.  It in fact further increases them as I feel pressurised to do things, and pressure doesn’t help me when it comes to getting things achieved.

So, I have decided to scrap it, and allow my updating of this blog to be sporadic, and I’ll post whenever I want in as many large chunks as I want.  If I get excited one day and post 13684040 billion posts, I will.  If the next few days call for a little less & some extra rest & relaxation, then so be it!

However do not worry, as you will all still be getting posts from me & I will still remain very much active on my blog (I’d never ditch this place, I bloody love it).  And I’m going to try put loads of effort into blogging now & make my posts as top notch as they can be for all of you lot! You’ll still get varied posts (DIY, wishlist, reviews, tags & much more) & I may even stick to my schedule on days where I feel like being organised. But all in all, by scrapping my schedule, I am making a change for the better which will hopefully result in more posts for you guys and better quality posts, because I wont feel pressurised & forced into doing posts, which makes it chore-like & un-enjoyable for moi!

I AM TO PLEASE YOU ALL!!

Anyway, the reason I’ve vanished for a few days is actually because I was ill. I have been struck down with a cold, kindly passed on by my dear friend at school.  I was off school Friday & have been taken to my bed for the weekend, but I’m recovering & will be going into school tomorrow, living off of paracetamol!

But I’m going to go now & draft some posts so I’ll have some ready to post tomorrow (or whenever) if I’m not feeling up to making one tomorrow night (I intend to post, but god don’t hold me to it).

If I can be bothered, I might put a post up later today but I’m not sure.

Anyway

Zalfie Fanatic Out ☻

Blogging Schedule

Well, I’ve made one, and I’m going to try my hardest to keep up to it.

Like seriously, I promise. Oh no, I’ve made promises I most probably wont keep again. What am I doing?

Anyway, thank you to the lovley Mia over at It’s All Part Of The Human Experience (former blog being Okaaythen, mentioned a lot on this blog) made some quite honestly beautiful blogging calenders for her followers, one of which I have taken and written on in a horrible way as I wasn’t actually sure how, or with what app?  Or what thing she even used to make them? However she did, they are wonderful and I am using one.  So, here it is, and here is my blog schedule.

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So as you can see, I’ve put some shitty font all over this and hoped it looks okay, which it probably doesn’t.  Anyway, here is the explanation:

WIW days mean Whatever I Want, stating that I can write about anything & everything I want, whether that is one of my frequent school rant/dairy style updates or another list of some description, it will happen on those days.

List days are exactly that.  I will do wishlists, monthly favourites, gift lists and many more.  Lists are my life.  Just so you all know!

On a Wednesday I’ll do a DIY which could be anything from room decor to recipes.

Fridays will be inspiration posts, from wardrobe inspiration to christmas decor.

Sundays are going to be a random post from my drafts, seen as that is basically full of stuff I want to post but haven’t gotten round to.

Where the lovely calender says ‘Unassigned Date’ I’m basically just saying my drafts folder again and those are some posts I want to post.

Anyway, here are some of the posts that are coming up for you lot:

  • Murder Notebooks – book series review.
  • Winter wardrobe inspiration.
  • Desk tour (organisation etc)
  • Drugstore makeup favourites
  • Starter kit for makeup

That is only a few posts as I have way more that I’d like to do, but today is just another short post to let you all know!

Zalfie Fanatic Out!

Back To School With ZF: Organisation & Study Tips

So, here is the first part to ‘back to school with ZF’.  Sorry it took such a while to get to you, but my laptop died and I have only just found the charger after I came back from my Grandma & Grandad’s.

So, here are my organisation tips for a successful, procrastination free school year!

1. When writing notes or studying, writing in colour rather than black/blue ink.  The information will stay in your mind much better.

2. Another study tip, introducing a new scent/taste while studying and have the same scent/taste while doing the test you’re studying for.  This will make you remember what you were studying.

3. Write things down.  I always write things down to make myself stay organised.  I think everyone should own a diary/planner.  I get one provided by school & I write most school related things in it (homework due dates, events etc).  It helps me stay organised and on track with my work.  Then at home I have a weekly planner (like pictured below) to write down blogging details etc.  This helps me keep updated with my (un apparent) schedule.


That is my exact one.  If you’d like a more detailed guide to how I plan this out then I can definetly do that for you guys!

4. Make sure you are prepared! There is nothing worse than not having pens/pencils or couloiringg items.  You’ll need these for projects and other homework, so it’s best to have them.  I recommend that everyone at school has at least the basics:

*optional/if teachers require it

A pen & a spare pen

A pencil & a spare pencil

A sharpener and rubber/eraser

A ruler

A highlighter

*green/red biro

I think those should be in anyone’s bag as a minimum, and that is what I bring with me to school in a pencil case.

Then for at home you should have some colouring things for if you’re making a poster etc.  Also havin a few spare pens, pencils and other basics at home is a good idea.

This way you can try and complete your homework on time and to a decent standard!

5. Organise your computer.  I don’t know if it’s just me (it probably is, and it’s probably weird) but I tend to do a lot, if not all of my homework on the computer. So, here’s the weird part, I organise my computer.  Take for instance this:

School Work – would be the name of my file. Inside the file I’d have mini child files, which are subject names.  Say I’ll have Maths, English, Geography…. You get the gist?

So, all my work will be organised into certain, subject appropriate files.  And inside those subject files, I’ll have more files separating my homework from notes.  And inside the notes file I’ll have topics, and in the homework file I will have draft files/the real thing.  This is what my Maths file would look like:

School Work

Maths

Maths H/WK.          Maths Notes.

Drafts.                      Algebra

Final Pieces             Data

So that’s just a (bad) representation of how my files are set out so I can be super organised!

6. Take notes when you’re in class, even if only very rough.  Write them up to be more understandable later, and you’ll benefit from them later.

7.  When you study with cute stationary you’ll feel more accomplished.  I don’t know that for sure, I’ve not tested it or anything but I’m pretty sure it’s true.  At least it effects me like this.

8. When studying you need a spot that is comfortable, well lit, free of distractions & a good size.  This way you’ll work way more & be much more efficient.

9.  Specifically if you’re studying for a big, important test, you should limit your time on the internet to only an hour a night unless you’re using internet resources for studying.  This is one of the steps to stay distraction free while studying!

10. Make sure your room stays in a tidy state to allow you to be calmer.  Then when studying you won’t be worrying about what you have to do.  Another thing to do is create to-do lists.

Okay so that is all the tips that I have come up with for you guys today!  I’m really sorry that this first post took such a while to get to you!  I’m spending most of my day today making lots of posts that I can post for you guys, so hopefully we can stay on a daily schedule!

Please comment with your ideas for what you guys want in the back to school series!!

Zalfie Fanatic Out!♥

Bedroom Décor Ideas ♥

Hey,

First off, I did write a blog post yesterday but have deleted it since then because I thought it too personal and it was pointless as it had all been sorted out anyway!  That is that, If you saw that post, you might know what I mean and if not, BOOM, it is gone and no longer matters.

Today, I decided to be productive and clean my room.  I now, am sat on my (made) bed with my (fake, and some real) candles burning, fairy lights on and my cat cuddling me.  It is just now, that I am writing a blog post to do with what … you guessed, bedroom tidying and décor!

First off, I’m starting on how to really clean your room.  If you do this sort of once every three months, in between you’ll only have to chuck some paper in the bin every so often and vac/sweep your floor, dust some surfaces and such.  Not a very big job.

Start off by going around your room with a bin/carrier bag (I use carrier bags as you can just tie them up and dispose of them easier) and throw away any unwanted paper scraps, school letters, rubbish such as sweet wrappers, tissues and make up wipes.  Anything else you want to throw away such as packaging is also a good idea.  If you have lots of rubbish, use a bin liner (a huge black bag, ask your dad or grandad, they’ll probably have some in a man cave or something).

Now, go through your cupboards in your desk or any other place where rubbish-y paper might be.  Go through papers, and if you want to keep them put them to one side, if you want to get rid of them, pop them in a carrier bag.  If your papers are confidential, you might want to shred them or burn them (OUTDOORS!!!!) if you feel necessary.

Any papers you wanted to keep and set aside, put them into a filing cabinet if you have one, or a folder with plastic wallets.  If you have neither, IKEA have some filing cabinets or storage units with drawers in them especially for filing which aren’t too expensive, or go to a local supermarket and you’ll probably find a cheap folder with plastic wallets already in it, or you can buy them separate.  If you’d prefer a nicer looking folder, places such as Paperchase and WH Smiths have some (in the UK) and in the US (I’m not entirely sure) Target and Michaels would do something.  file cabinet blog

This is the ERIK filling cabinet for 55 pounds in IKEA.  http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/40112915/

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This is the Butterflies Ring Binder from Paperchase and it costs 4 pounds.

http://www.paperchase.co.uk/stationery/filing-storage/lever-arch-files/ringbinder-butterflies.html

After you’ve filed away all your saved papers in whatever method you choose (the above were simply suggestions) you move onto the next step.  The step I always dread, polishing.  Don’t ask me why, I just do.  Firstly, I put all my items on the surfaces I’m polishing onto my bed (other than items I can’t move such as lamps). Then spray polish (your Mum will probably have some, if not pop out to tesco and buy some) onto your surface, and wipe it with a cloth.  Seems pointless, but really it does help your bedroom to have a polished (Hah, see what I did there? Polished, polishing? No. Okay) and smoother, clean look about it.  Do this to every surface and then replace your clutter from your bed back onto your surfaces.  This also allows you to contemplate where you’ll be putting your items, maybe you’ll change their position in your room?  Your choice!  If you feel you’ve got too much clutter, you can always throw it away, or save it neatly in some cute stacking boxes like these (http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/70240105/) from Ikea which are available in green, white and black and cost £8.75 for a pack of two.

Next, vac your carpet or sweep your floor if you have laminate flooring (wood).

Now you’ve pretty much cleaned your room, you might want to spray some air freshener or open some windows.  Take your rubbish bags outside to your bins and if there were any plates or cups in your room, wash them up or put them in a dishwasher.

Now onto decoration of the bedroom in general.  My bedroom is a shabby chic vintage style room.

For me, a big statement in my room is my bed.  It is a double and sits in the middle of my room.  I like it to look cosy and the only way to do that is have cosy looking bedding, throws and scatter pillows. My bed spread has owls and flowers on it and I have owl cushions and  some large square cushions that say “a little birdie told me” on them.  I also have a pink knitted throw.

Another thing that makes my room cosy is candles.  I have some small yankee candles in midnight jasmine (flowery scent, my favourite), Christmas cookie (vanilla scent, quite strong and slightly overpowering, not the best) and Orange spice (I think that is its name, quite an autumnal scent, really nice).  I burn them sometimes, but I also use electric tea-lights.  You can buy them from Ikea for around 2 pounds I think.  They’re long lasting and look as good as regular candles, and they stop me from worrying about burning the house down.  It would be AMAZING if they were scented but I’m not sure that’s scientifically possible.  Ikea also do some really nice scented candles and they’re so cheap!  They cost under a pound!!

Posters around your bedroom on your walls really help to give the place some personalisation.  I’ve got two big ones (one of Taylor Swift and one of Phil from YouTube) and a small one of all they YouTubers at Zoella’s beauty range launch party.  I got them all from a magazine.  They’re really simple, cost next to nothing and add a nice personal touch to my room.

Decorative letters are also something to look out for, I have some above my mirror saying dream from Dunelm mills.

I have hooks all over my room. not only are they really super duper useful to hang my clothes I’m wearing on, but they add a homely touch.

Although I’ve not got one, rugs can be a really nice touch to your room.  Tie in colours from you bedding to a rug for an all around bedroom theme.

Painting one wall a light pastel shade can give a statement but not make it too harsh (I have a duck egg blue wall, where my bed is).  Alternatively,  painting one wall a very bright shade of a colour can also look good, depending on your room style and personality. If your going to paint two walls, I recommend doing opposite walls the same colour.

Wall decals in the form of stickers are really cute and really easy to apply.  I have one coming out of a corner of my wall, Its a bird flying away from blossom branches.  If your a good painter yourself, you could paint your own wall decal on, or if someone in your family is, you can ask them to do it.  I have my Grandad who is an artist but I decided to stick to a sticker in case he got it wrong. I bought mine from notonthehighstreet.com which stocks loads of unique pieces.  Places like etsy are good places to go to for unique items for your room.  You can also use quotes.

One thing I’ve seen on the internet is wall photo collages.  YouTube have some great tutorials on these so why not check them out?

Lighting such as fairy lights really set a nice mood in your room.  It is important to have good lighting in your room, so I have a bedside lamp, a dressing table lamp, a lamp on my desk and candles.  The light from candles is really comforting.

You might want a place for you and your friends to sit.  If so you can get some beanbags and throw pillows and plonk them down in a corner of your room which is looking a bit boring.  Not only does this serve as a good place to chat with your friends, but you can have a laptop plugged in there, some chocolate, a book = ULTIMATE RELAXATION ZONE!

I hope you were inspired by this blog post and now know that you don’t have to break the bank to update your room!

Follow my blog for more posts like this!

Zalfie Fanatic Out ♥