Favourite Things About Autumn

It's the most wonderful time of the year. I know it's very cliche but I bloody love autumn and it's definitely my favourite season. However, it's also pretty bittersweet for me because as soon as autumn arrives, so does my SAD. It doesn't put me off though and every year I'm counting down the days until autumn arrives and it's acceptable to binge watch Hocus Pocus again. Here's a list of a few of my favourite things about autumn...

1. All of the best TV shows return - Hello Greys Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story and the Bake Off.

2. Candles. I love candles all year round but the autumnal scents like marshmallow pumpkin latte and pumpkin cupcake are just perfect.

3. Wearing plum and wine coloured lipsticks again, my favourites being Rebel and Diva (both from MAC.)

4. Halloween. I love Halloween SO much! Most people my age just use it as a night to get v drunk but I much prefer to bake Halloween themed treats and eat them whilst watching all of the best Halloween movies.

5. Packaging away the fan for another year and being able to sleep with a hot water bottle instead, completely joyous.

6. Buying festive drinks from Starbucks and Costa.

7. Fireworks. I mean, I get sick of fireworks pretty quickly when they're being set of every.bloody.night but I do really want to go to a fireworks display this year!

8. The leaves changing colour.

9. The fact it becomes acceptable to binge watch Halloween movies such as Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, Coraline and The Corpse Bride.

10. Going into supermarkets and seeing all of the Christmas chocolate, pretending it's an outrage because it's only September but really getting into full Christmas mode and starting that countdown (90 days to go!!!!!)

11. Being able to take long bubble baths with all of your favourite Lush products, without melting like the Abzorbaloff from Doctor Who.

12. Wearing ankle boots with EVERYTHANG.

13. No longer feeling guilty about that summer diet you never started.

14. Those cosy nights in, snuggling up on the sofa, with all of the candles lit.

15. The Halloween and Christmas range from Lush being released. Yay for Snow Fairy

16. Wearing cosy knitwear again.

17. That crisp, autumn smell.

18. Being able to wear onesies to bed again. Cosy yet inconvenient but I still love them.

19. Pumpkin everythang - candles, cupcakes, pumpkin spice baileys. You name it, I love it.

20. And lastly, it's coat season again!

What are your favourite things about autumn/fall?

Love, S

My First Relationship

I've always wanted to write a post on this topic because I believe it to be very important. I've written posts regarding this matter many times and just deleted them, instead of posting because I felt like it was way too heavy to appear on this blog, but it's time to change and share all my life experiences that have heavily shaped me as a person. The other night I found lots of old messages from my first boyfriend and I was so shocked at what I was reading, I felt sick. I think I must have blocked out a lot of what happened, I forgot how bad it really was. So, here goes...

[Trigger Warning: Abusive relationships, suicidal thoughts, alcohol abuse]

Growing up, I didn't really have many adult figures around me that had strong and healthy relationships. The way my Father treated my Mother gave me a very warped view on what was okay and what you should and should not accept. Even my friend's parents didn't have that strong unity, it was all just a mess of infidelity and divorce, and to me it just kind of felt like men would always behave this way and as a woman, you just have to forgive them and move past their mistakes. Due to social media, I feel like teenagers are a lot less naive these days and YouTubers are also making videos about very important topics such as how to spot the signs of relationship abuse. However, when I was a teenager this wasn't the case. I've always been and still am, a person who always tries to see the good in everyone, even people that definitely don't deserve it. I was very naive and thought everyone had a good heart deep down.

 I met Adam* in September of 2009, I didn't know it at the time, but meeting Adam would change me forever. It wasn't long until he asked me to be his girlfriend. At first, everything felt completely euphoric and we spent almost everyday together but none of this lasted long. So many of our mutual friends told me that he was cheating very early on in the relationship, he of course denied everything and I believed him because I thought Adam just wasn't like that, they must be wrong. We got past it and time went on and the abusive behaviour really started to show. Slowly, he began to control every aspect of my life. Who I was friends with, if I spoke to any friends I had to tell him the whole conversation from start to finish, if I was friends with anyone he didn't like he would make me end the friendship, he'd choose what I could and could not wear and if I said no, he would scream at me that I didn't love him, that I was a whore and if I don't do what he says he'll end his life. So of course, I always listened. The worst aspect of it all was, I knew I wasn't at all ready to be in a sexual relationship, but then came more manipulation and threats, so again I gave in. My life was just constant blackmail and arguments.

In March 2010, he went away on holiday. When he arrived home, I found out he had been cheating the whole week and I also found out that he had cheated on many other occasions too. He wanted me to forgive him, but he just couldn't deal with me feeling heartbroken and betrayed, so we broke up.

"I can't be bothered to listen to you cry anymore." 

Two weeks later, he was already in a new relationship. Was I finally free? Would the abuse stop? No. It felt worse if anything and because we were no longer in a relationship, he didn't have to be nice to me anymore, he had the control he wanted and also a long distance girlfriend who knew none of what was going on. As far as she was concerned, I was just an ex girlfriend that just wouldn't move on, but because of his behaviour they didn't last long and luckily as she was long distance, she could escape him easily. As we lived in a very small town, I could never have a life away from him. He'd always know who I was with and what I was doing and at this point, he'd isolated me so much that I felt like I would be nothing without him. The blackmailing continued and now, if I did anything he didn't like I would have to "make it up to him" in the form of sexual favours. We began seeing each other again because he swore to me he had changed and in true Sophie form I believed every word he said. Again the cheating started, the abusive behaviour continued and this time, he even hit me in the stomach, I became so unhappy that I started to fall into bad drinking habits. The arguments were constant and intense and sometimes it felt like the only way it would stop is if I ended my life. Enough was enough, but that did not stop his efforts.

I finally met Charlie in April 2011 and for the first time in years, I felt happy. He lived an hour away but it was perfect because Adam didn't know him, so he couldn't possibly ruin it. However, one of the first times Charlie came to visit me, we saw a friend of Adams in town and within minutes I had received a trail of abusive messages telling me how much of a whore I am for moving on. He always tried his very best to ruin the relationship I had with Charlie, he knew how he could get what he wanted and he did succeed at points. He would often call me, screaming down the phone, he literally sounded possessed but after a while he got bored and moved on to a new target. Charlie was such a lovely human and was always so supportive and he made me feel whole again and even though I'm no longer in a relationship with him, I'll always be thankful to him for this.

After writing this, I feel like shouting at teenage Sophie, that I should of got out of the situation sooner but when someone has control of you like that, it's so hard. I guess maybe you'll only truly understand if you've been through something similar. I also wanted to write about how much his actions have left a mark on me, even today and how it affects my current relationships but as this post is already super long, I'll write another one soon!

*Names have been changed to protect their identity 

Love, S 

My Blogging Story & Hiatus

Back in 2011, whilst aimlessly watching various YouTube videos, I stumbled across the likes of SWalkerMakeup, Sprinkle of Glitter and Zoella. I became hooked and spent hours upon hours binge watching every single video they had ever made and being only 16 at the time, they became sort of online big sisters who taught me all of the mega important life skills, like how to create the perfect winged liner, that it's not cool to over pluck those brows and how to fake tan between the toes.

My love for all things beauty grew at a rapid speed and I wanted to make YouTube videos, just like the girls I looked up to so much, but having pretty bad anxiety didn't make this an option, so I started a blog instead. I remember having the basic theme and I took all of my photos on my phone, but none of that mattered because I found so much enjoyment from writing blog posts. Even though I didn't have hundreds of followers, it was a great and supportive community to be apart of. However, I feel like there's been a huge change over the past five years. The YouTubers and Bloggers that I found so relatable, just aren't anymore. Long gone are the days where said YouTubers are making videos because it's what they enjoy, but because they know it's what sells and fits in with their pink and fluffy brand. Fully grown woman are acting as young as their online teenage audience to be deemed "relatable". 25 year old woman are making back to school videos and are embarrassed to address the topic of sex and insinuating it's a bad thing, which is very problematic in my opinion. Every grown woman I know enjoys sex, it's natural. And if I'm honest, I fell into this false online persona trap too.

I blogged between the ages of 16 - 20 and in that time, I've been through a lot of life changes that have drastically made me change as a person. Especially the death of my Grandfather and coming out of an unhappy four year relationship, but I honestly felt like I couldn't go off "brand" on my blog and talk about the things I wanted to. I had to fake this cutesy, online persona whom would never form an opinion about anything remotely important to avoid being seen as "negative" or I'd never have the chance to be the least bit successful. Because of this, blogging became to feel like such a chore and that supportive community I mentioned? Completely faded away. I frequently used to take part in the Blogger Twitter chats, which was the perfect way to make fellow blogger friends and find inspiration, but there became a complete switch and bloggers would tell you how to do everything. What you can and cannot write about, how you should write, when you should write, which camera you need and every single chat would end in an argument. If I hear the term "blogger drama" one more time, I'll vom. It became very exhausting to say the least.

Life became more busy and I had a lot less free time once I met Conor and was in a long distance relationship, so I thought I'd have some sort of break until I had the motivation to blog again; but it never came, which led me to stop blogging for nearly a year. I also fell completely out of love with reading blogs and watching YouTube videos, there's only so many times you can watch Zoella carbon copies hauling 10 berry lipstick shades that "you literally cannot live without this Autumn". I've recently began reading more blogs and watching YouTube videos again, but by very different creators who have interesting and engaging things to say, which has made me very much miss having a blog as an outlet and I feel like I have that inspiration back to begin blogging again, but this time with content that I want to write and that is true to me, not forcing posts because they need to fit in with some sort of theme.

I also just want to say how much I loved Sprinkle of Glitter / Louise Pentland's recent video on why she's "quitting" YouTube. The decision is very brave and in my opinion definitely for the best, it feels like the old Louise is making a return and that makes me so happy! This video also gave me that final little push to realise that all these feelings that I had regarding Blogging and YouTube are justified and it's never too late to start again.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

P:S: Please don't think I'm trying to tell you how to live your life / how to blog. You do you boo!

Love, S x

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