July Favourites 2018

Just like that, July is over, and we're now only 5 months away from Christmas. The warmer weather is still around here in Newcastle, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it while it lasts. One of my new year's resolutions was to go cruelty-free on cosmetics, skincare and haircare - and I'm proud to say I've definitely kept that resolution going, as you'll see that everything in this post is cruelty-free! 

My first favourite is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. I had been wanting this little gem for a while, but I didn't want to pay the delivery for just one item. This stuff is incredible. You use a cotton bud to apply the pink sediment to your spots and leave it on overnight... by morning spots are significantly reduced. I find it's particularly good for larges whiteheads. Although I haven't had this too long, it's fast become a staple in my skincare routine and I'd highly recommend it. 

My next favourite is another newbie in my life - the RCMA No-Color Powder. I bought this after researching powders to prevent flashback in photography for doing wedding makeup. Because the powder is colourless, with no pigment at all, it doesn't change the colour of your makeup or create flashback in photos. It sets my makeup really well, and I find it's very longlasting.

I've been slowly replacing my Rimmel and Maybelline lipsticks with cruelty-free alternatives and I got this Revolution Lipstick in the shade Awaken a couple months ago. I've started wearing this a lot this month. With the heat, I found matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks were too drying and felt uncomfortable; so I started to wear more moisturising lipsticks. This one, in particular, is very soft and smooth on the lips, and the colour is gorgeous. It's very much a "your lips but better" kind of look and it's really affordable too. 

The other week, Eric and I enjoyed a trip to the beach. I stupidly had a mini nap in the sun and of course, suffered the consequences of sunburn on my back. I've been using this Solait Moisturising After Sun Body Butter to soothe and calm it, and it's helped so much. I like this after sun in particular because it's in a body butter texture instead of the usual oily, runny liquid that feels sticky on the skin. This reminds me a lot of The Body Shop body butter, but this was SO cheap.  

I've always been the type of person who always wears longer handbags or crossbody bags - then always complained about painful shoulders. I don't know why I never got a backpack earlier, but I'm glad I've finally come to my senses. I picked up this Rainbow Disney Backpack from Primark, and I've started collecting pins to attach to it. I've used this bag every single day. It's big enough for everything I need inside it and feels far better to carry around. I can't wait to finish adding pins to it, I love how cute it looks. 

My last favourite may seem a bit random, but I've genuinely played Sea of Thieves on PC every day for the last month or so. It's a great pirate game where you essentially do quests like finding treasure chests, skeleton skulls and other goodies to raise your reputation with different groups and gain coin. You customise your characters clothes, weapons and items as well as your ship. You can always play multiplayer, which I personally think is best, and there are also other gamers on the same server. If you're a gamer like me and like to play with friends, you'll love this game. It's immersive, imaginative and fun!

Please do tell me what you've been loving this month too - I'm always looking to try new things. Especially if anyone has any recommendations for cruelty-free foundations with no flashback, as that's something I'm looking into at the moment. I hope you're enjoying the summer!

Why Should I "Come Out" - Sexuality

Rebecca at Newcastle Pride in 2018

Last weekend, I went along to do the pride parade in Newcastle and proudly stood alongside the LGBTQ+ community to show support. I genuinely believe that love is love, regardless of gender, sexuality, or how people may want to identify themselves, and I’ve believed this from quite a young age.

I’m not really one for labels (they’re for clothes, not humans), but I supposed when thinking about the definitions I identify as Bisexual. I might even be Pansexual, I’m not entirely sure myself, I don’t really like having to label myself. If you’re not sure what they mean – Bisexuality is an attraction to both men and women, and Pansexuality is where you’re attracted to any person regardless of their gender or sexuality, so it can include people who are non-binary, transsexuals, etc. For me, it’s all about personality. I never “came out” so to speak.

Last weekend got me thinking about how people of the LGBTQ community have to come out to the people around them.

A pink, purple and blue poster saying Bi Furious

I know coming out is such a personal thing to do, and for some people, it’s an important part of understanding their own identity and they’re very happy and proud to do so. I never came out myself because I always felt like… why should I have to?

In my mind, love is love. Why do I need to declare what I’m attracted to as if it’s abnormal? Why do people not come out as straight? In this day and age, we should be able to fall in love with anyone, without having to declare ourselves as gay, bisexual, or whatever label.

I knew I was attracted to both men and women when I was around 16 years old. I didn’t come out, I just spoke about both genders in conversation – having crushes on both male and female, flirting with both boys and girls and so on. I miss how open-minded and how little people seemed to care in our teenage years.

This post isn’t particularly about anything too deep, I suppose I’m just using it to vent that I really don’t think everyone other than straight people should feel the need to come out as if we have to hide and then declare ourselves to others. Some people really enjoy coming out and that’s important to them as a person, which is brilliant too – whatever you are happy and comfortable with. But if you don’t want to, you don’t have to put yourself into a category or label, I know I don’t.

I loved seeing Newcastle filled with so many people, of all genders and sexualities, standing up for love and seeing people of all backgrounds and ages join in to support the community. It was really moving, and quite emotional. I felt truly proud to be in a nation that’s forward thinking, where people are free to love anyone, where same-sex couples can adopt children and get married.

2 people at Newcastle Pride 2018, holding a rainbow flag.

There’s still a long way to go for a more inclusive society, but we really are stepping in the right direction. That weekend, I felt proud to be British, and proud to be supporting such a diverse and beautiful community.  

Pink Parcel Review - Period Subscription Box

Pink parcel grey box with pink logo

Yay! Another unboxing and review! I haven't done a good subscription box for a while, so this is quite exciting for me since I love these kinds of boxes so much. They're like being sent random gifts from people, and there's always something intriguing about them for me. I have been kindly gifted this box from Pink Parcel, which is aimed at periods and your time of the month. 

pink parcel open with all boxes inside and leaflets

Inside the package, there are 3 smaller boxes and one fabric pouch. I like that you can't see whats in the box the moment you open it, it prolongs the surprise and makes it more fun! There was a box that said, "for you, a little something to cheer you up". The value of this box and the volume of products make this worth it. 

Pink parcel for you box

For You: A Little Something To Cheer You Up

This box was a cute little pamper session with everything you need to wind down when you're experiencing PMS or not feeling great because of your period. 

Magnitone Wipe Out Microfibre Cleansing Cloth
A cloth to remove makeup using just water, which is £14.99 for a pack of 2

Mudmasky Sleep Repair Renewal Nourishing Mask & Facial Detox Purifying Recovery Mask
2 different face masks, one of them being a nighttime mask, both retailing at £60 each

Balance Me Flash Cleanse Micellar Water
A 99% natural micellar water with hyaluronic acid to brighten skin, which is £16

We Are Tea Super Berry Infusion Teabag
A health-boosting antioxidant filled tea, which is£2.99 for a box of 15. 

Jelly Pong Pong Stardrops Light-Activated Glow Drops
A highlighter which can be mixed in with foundation to create a dewy complexion or used to highlight your cheekbones, which is £32

Joe & Seph's Popcorn with Caramel and Belgian Chocolate
Gourmet air-popped popcorn, covered in caramel and chocolate, which is £4.00 fo 80g

pink parcel for you products laid out

In the middle was a smaller box saying "for night, use these at bedtime". This was filled with 5 night time pads. These pads are specially designed for use overnight as they're longer, more absorbent and has wings to hold them firmly in place throughout the night.

pink parcel for night box

pink parcel blue night time pads with wings

The final box said "for later, keep these close by", which was filled with tampons and pads for during your period. The good thing about Pink Parcel is that you can customise this part of your box. You can decide to have just pads, just tampons or a mixed box; as well as choose the type of absorbancy to match your flow, whether it's light or heavy.

pink parcel for later box

pink parcel day time pads with regular tampons

Lastly, there was a really cute small pouch in the bag, which had more tampons in and some panty liners. These are perfect for towards the end of your period when it gets lighter, or if you experience some spotting. The pouch is perfect for reusing and keeping spare tampons or pads in your handbag.

Pink parcel white pouch with gold spots and drawstrings

Open pink parcel pouch with tampons and pantyliners

Can you believe this whole box retails at just £12.99 per month, with free delivery and no contract; so you can cancel at any time. You can pay for several months upfront too for a cheaper cost. They very kindly sent me a discount code for my readers to use, so if you'd like 20% off your first box, use the code "PP20" in at the checkout. This box is definitely worth the price, for how much you get, and I really enjoyed opening this! 

Top Tips for the Best British Beach Day

One of my all-time favourite things to do is to enjoy a day at the beach. In the UK we've been hit with a heatwave and I thought I'd share my tips to make your British beach day, the best it can be.

The Early Bird Gets The Worm
Getting to the beach early means you can pick the best parking space, and find the nicest spot on the beach to claim for the day. You won't need to worry about whether it'll be full or too busy because let's be real, everyone hits the beach in the UK when it's nice weather.

Prepare Your Summer Playlist
Take a Bluetooth speaker along and get the tunes on. There are some premade summer playlists on Spotify (like mine here), or you can make your own with your favourite songs. Some good summer classics can really get you in the beach-day mood.

Pack A Change Of Clothes
No one wants to wear soggy or sandy clothes on the way home. As a child my grandmother always packed us a change of clothes and we'd get changed behind a towel, or nip into the public toilets. It feels so much better to go home in!

Pack A Picnic
Taking a picnic along in a cooler bag means you can enjoy more time at the beach without needing to leave for food or to pop to the shop. It's handy having a bag full of food, being kept nice and cool, to enjoy as and when you fancy it.

Create A Whole Space For The Day
By this I mean, create something you'll enjoy to be around for the whole day. Whether its taking a tent, umbrellas, plentiful beach towels and blankets. Make it cosy or open, with enough shade and protection to stay there all day.

Get Sun Protection On!
Looking after our skin is important, even in the UK. Make sure you get your suncream on, wear a hat and take care in the sun. Even if it's not too sunny, your skin is still exposed to UV rays.

Waterproof Your Valuables
I recently bought some waterproof pouches to place phones and money in so I don't need to worry about leaving valuables at our little spot if Eric and I want to enjoy some time down at the water. It means you have peace of mind and don't have to worry about anything being stolen!

Take Portable Chargers
Eric and I recently got a portable charger on Amazon, that keeps both our phones and other devices charged for the whole day. It's been one of the best investments we've bought because we use it so often. It means we can enjoy the beach for the whole day and take as many Instagram photos as we want.

Keep It Litter Free
Isn't it annoying when you get to the beach and there's leftover glass, plastic, used BBQs and other rubbish ruining the area? Do the environment a favour and take away your rubbish, it means the beach stays lovely and clean for your next visit!

Stay Hydrated
No one wants to leave the beach feeling parched, with a headache, and a mouth as dry as the Sahara desert. Be sure to pack plenty of water, and even try the reusable bottles that keep liquids cool for up to 24 hours.

There's nothing like a good old British beach day, and we might as well make the most of it since we don't usually have such nice weather here! 

Walk It for Crohn's & Colitis UK 2018

Last year, my first ever blog post, was a post about the Crohn's & Colitis UK Walk It event in Newcastle. I thought why not make it annual, and blog about this years Walk It event too! Just in case you don't know or you're new to my blog - I have Ulcerative Colitis (diagnosed in 2016) and I write an awful lot about it here on my little space on the internet!

It was held in the same place, a beautiful spot in Leazes Park, overlooked by St James' Park and the event was bustling with more faces than last year. The event definitely rose in popularity and I don't blame it! There was live music, photo props, face painting and glitter, and activities like "beat the bowel"; not to mention plentiful toilets for all us bowel buddies that needed them.

It was a scorching hot day - as high as 25°C. Unfortunately, that meant it was a little too hot for my dog Daisy to come along this year (her little paws would burn on the hot pavement), but Eric and I thoroughly enjoyed the heat. Well, that's until we got to walking, then we just felt like we were melting the whole way round! Because it was such a lovely day, Newcastle was heaving with people, so that meant there were even more people to watch our sea of purple t-shirts parade around the town, and I definitely heard a few people murmur the charity name as we passed by. The more people that find out about us, the better! Before I got diagnosed, I had no idea what these conditions were, so raising awareness is super important to me.

Last year I managed to do the 5k walk, when my colitis was considered moderate, so I was a bit more poorly than I am now. This year, my colitis is only mild so I really want to push myself and do the 10k walk. Now, I'm not a very fit person so I thought it would be a struggle; but to my own surprise, I didn't even whinge once! I'm usually a whiny person, so this was an achievement in itself. The walk stretched from Leazes Park, past St James' stadium, down Northumberland Street to Greys Monument... all the way down to the Quayside, across the swing bridge, past the Sage and back along the Millenium bridge. Oh no, it didn't end there. We went back up the hill towards Manors, and up to Northumbria University, to Civic Centre and the Great North Museum before making it back to Leazes Park. If you're not from Newcastle it would have been a fabulous walking tour!

When we made it back to the event village we were greeted with cheers, horns, medals and a good ice cold bottle of water. I'm definitely very chuffed I did the whole 10k walk, and it was a lovely day. Its such an accessible way for people to raise money for a great cause. I know lots of people do marathons or jumping out of aeroplanes but thats not something I'm quite able to do. So, to be able to join in with this event, and to feel like I'm helping in some way, makes it quite a large part of my year.

I hope that Crohn's & Colitis UK continue to hold these annual events in Newcastle because it's something I now look forward too for the summer. This year, Eric and I managed to raise £175 for the charity and so far in total (as I'm writing this) I know the charity has raised £153,840. They still have events across the UK to do, so that's a brilliant amount to have achieved. If you would still like to donate please take a look at my Just Giving page, which is still open for sponsors!

So thank you to Crohn's & Colitis UK for their endless achievement when it comes to raising awareness for Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, and for hosting such fantastic events. I'd also like to quickly thank Eric for supporting me, and doing all of this alongside me. And not forgetting everyone that donated to my Just Giving page, your money goes directly to the charity and will help provide information and support, fund important medical research and help the charity continue to campaign for better services and care for people with these illnesses!