Monday, 12 October 2015

Why Educating Cardiff Is Important To Me

Hello lovelies! I touched upon my absolute fascination and admiration for the show Education Cardiff in my Recent TV Loves post, and also mentioned that I might well open up about it a little bit more. About why I think it's important for young viewers, for the students in the school, and also for young adults like myself. I also want to point out that I am, in no way, drawing negativity on my school or the teachers I had. Many of them were fantastic.

*I may touch upon issues that some might find triggering. Be aware.

You may or may not have recently read my post where I briefly talked about my mental health issues, and the ways in which that affected my education, and as I saw it for a very long time my future (you can read that here if not). I talked about how the anxiety disorder I'm fighting now originally manifested itself as school phobia, which forced me to leave school for a while. I went from a relatively bright kid to a kid who'd took a lot of time out of education. Even before I left school, I wasn't attending the way I should have been. Looking back, I feel like a lot of my education level was stalled at around the Year 7 mark for a very long time. I want to make it very, very clear that my teachers did the very best that they could for me. I didn't do poorly in school. I received average GCSE results - 10.5 passes, mostly C's. All things considered, they were fantastic results and I absolutely want to stress that I'm not ashamed of them. But, when you've had a career in medicine in mind your entire life and you're suddenly told by everyone - before and after my GCSE results, or even my GCSE choices - that you're not clever enough anymore, that they aren't good enough, to pick another career, that "you won't even be clever enough to be a nurse". Well, where do you go from that?

So, how does all of this relate to Educating Cardiff, you ask? I do want to briefly talk about the way that the teachers in this school - and I'm sure hundreds of schools up and down the UK that haven't been given prime time tv shows - go above and beyond. We see teachers and staff really giving the kids a second chance, giving them the time and the tools to really dig themselves out of holes. Giving kids who are always late responsibilities before school that are fun, that they'll get out of bed for. Giving kids who struggle with issues outside of school a safe place to let that out. Giving kids safety and time and tools to actually appreciate their education.

However, that's not the main reason that I felt compelled to write this post. The reason I needed to write this is simply the staff and their own education pathway. So often in school, in my experience and in others' experience, you're told that the GCSE's you get are the GCSE's you get, and you either get your career or you don't. It's black and it's white. But, where do you go if you do your best but it's just not good enough? Where do you go if you're suddenly in your 20's or 30's or 40's and you're looking back and thinking "wow, 16 year old me really didn't take that seriously". The last year of school I put more effort in and I did my best and I got results that I'm proud of. That doesn't make them good enough though. If an employer or a university or whatever wants x amount of results and you haven't got them, what do you do then?

The representation of life after not good enough results needs to be there. I needed teachers to be open and honest about the fact that they got their first GCSE at 27, or that they spent their first year after school resitting their GCSE's. I needed teachers to say to me "look, what happened, happened but this isn't black and white". You can resit. You can look into access courses. There's a way out of this. I spent years going from one college course to another, and none of them fit. They weren't what I really wanted from my life. Had I have had teachers who could be a physical representation that there's a massive grey area of longer ways to your education, things might well have turned out differently. Maybe they wouldn't have. I had - and still do have - more issues beyond this. That said, there are kids sitting in classes right now, trying their best and just not getting the results they need. There's kids not taking things seriously who will regret that however many years later. Those kids need teachers who can say "I was where you are, and I did it. It was hard work and it was the long way around but I did it".

I don't want anyone, especially those still in school, to take away from this post that I think it's okay to slack off. That's not what I'm saying. But, life happens and young people need to have that representation there. I spent a long time resenting myself and my illness for the fact that I wasn't good enough because that's what I was told. You need teachers - and nurses and doctors and scientists and any other career - to be that representation that life after bad results happens. That life actually is one grey area, it's not good GCSE's = career, bad GCSE = life over. You can get GCSE's that initially rule you out of your career and you can just keep going. It's hard work and it's the long way around but there is another way if you want it.

Educating Cardiff is important to me because the staff give hope to an underrepresented group of children and young people. Life after bad results isn't talked about. Life after bad results certainly isn't talked about in school. I understand the temptation to not talk about it - what if they take away from it that they can slack off because there's another way later on? I do understand that. I understand why it's important to talk about doing your best the first time. I just don't think it's right. From a student who tried her best and still didn't do good enough, and from a student who is currently taking the long way to her career path, that conversation needs to be opened up. We need to start having that conversation, and what better way than with the people who have already been there and done it?

Bad results happen, but life after bad results also happens.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Grey Day Inspired Face of the Day (Feat. Kaiser!!)

Hello lovelies! I recently realised that I don't think I've ever featured a face of the day on this blog. Considering makeup and my love for it was what brought me to this little corner of the internet, surely that had to be fixed asap? Here's the makeup I've been wearing on this lovely, grey Sunday!

*All products are listed and linked where possible below!

First, I blended the Collection Illuminating Touch foundation in Ivory 2 (£3.99) with a damp Beauty Blender, then I used this Makeup Revolution Protection palette (£6) to correct the redness around my cheeks and the darkness under my eyes. I then used In A Nutshell, the second shade from the right in this Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette (£3.99), all over my lid and under my lower lashline, and took Eclipse, the black shade from the same palette, and dragged it out to a wing on the inner corners of my lower lashline. I finished off with this MUA Eyeliner in Snow White (£1) on my waterline and a coat of this Rimmel Scandeleyes Mascara in Extreme Black (£6.99). After that, I brushed through my brows with this Brow Define brow mascara from MUA in Fair (£2), and used the contour, blush and highlight from the same Makeup Revolution palette to contour and highlight. Then, I finished by lining my lips with this Essence lipliner in In The Nude (£1) and going over with this Essense Lipstick in Come Naturally (£2.30). Et Voila!

And, of course, how am I ever meant to do anything without my main man checking I'm doing it right? 

Leave me links to your recent makeup looks, I love having a nosey through them!

Much love, Maxine xo
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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Makeup Revolution Haul

Hello Lovelies! Much like most of the blogging community I'm sure, I do love a bit of Makeup Revolution on my life. So, I've recently picked up a few bits and pieces and I thought I'd give you a little look at what I got.

Makeup Revolution Protection Palette, £6. This is probably the one I've been the most excited about. I've been on the hunt for a new contour palette, and recently mentioned that I picked up another Makeup Revolution palette in the wrong shade but loved the formula, so I couldn't not try this. You get a highlight, blush, contour and face/setting powder (from left-right), and 3 concealers (far right). I was nervous about trying the concealers, but figured for £6 even if I didn't like the concealers it would be amazing value just for the 4 powders. However, I gave them a little try as soon as I could and they blend so much better than the other concealers I've tried from these. I'll be posting a first impressions in the next few days, so I'll give a full review then.

Makeup Revolution The One Foundation in Shade 1, £4. This is, surprisingly, a repurchase. On its own I wouldn't actually recommend this product - it's very watery and doesn't blend properly. So, why do I repurchase it? It mixes perfectly with other foundations to lighten them up. I've spoken at length on many occasions about how pale I am and how it's hard to find an affordable foundation that's also pale enough for me minus fake tan, and this solves my problems. This shade - shade 1 - is a perfect white, so a few drops really lightens and foundation, and I haven't really noticed it changing the formula of any of the ones I've tried it in. Definitely worth a try if you're pale like me!

And, finally these 3 eyeshadows, £1 each. I got them in Acid, Get Ready and U Know You Want To, left-right. Acid is a beautiful neon yellow, with a slight hint of lime in it. Get Ready is the gorgeous orange shade, and U Know You Want To is a lovely pink with a bit of purple in it. I actually picked these up for a Halloween look I have in mind, but I'm actually really impressed with them. I'd definitely pick them up in different shades. They're quite well pigmented and quite big sizes, especially for the price.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Friday, 9 October 2015

Recent TV Loves

Hello lovelies! As I've mentioned in previous posts, I do love a little bit of TV. Just a bit! So, I thought I'd share what I've been loving recently with you guys, 'cause I know I love reading what shows everyone else has been loving.

First up, we've got NY Med. I love a medical show - fake or real - and after downloading the entire series on Sky On Demand I've been binge watching this before bed. This is set in a NY Hospital and follows the real-life staff and patients. It's absolutely fantastic, like Grey's Anatomy and 24 Hours in A&E all rolled into one. If you like either of those, definitely give this a watch if you haven't already.

Next, probably the show that's had me most gripped through this entire month, Eye Candy. I was in two minds about watching this when I saw the adverts - it looked great, but often when a TV show looks great on the adverts, they've showed the best bits then, you know? But, I gave it a go anyway and I am hooked. I've heard that this has actually already been cancelled in America, and am personally putting forward the idea that Netflix should pick it up and give it a second season.

Now, and oldie but a goodie - Educating Cardiff. For anyone who hasn't come across this before, we basically follow the staff and students of a school - this time Willows High School in Cardiff - through the academic year. I've loved the previous Educating... series', but this is my favourite for one reason and one reason only - the staff. I'll be the first to admit that as a student I didn't fully appreciate the efforts my teachers went to. Few of us did, if I'm being honest. But, the staff in this school are amazing for two reasons, in my opinion. Firstly, they care. You see Mr. Hennessy in particular going above and beyond for countless students - I suspect any and all of them - and giving them chances where I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't. Second, and in my opinion possibly one of the most important things, is that they didn't all follow the same education path you see. In my school at least, it was very much you get your GCSE's, they're what you're stuck with, you either get A Levels or you go to work. No in between. I'll go more in-depth in another post maybe about why this matters to me in particular, but I think it's important for the students to see that sometimes, things just don't work out like that, but there's always a way.

Finally, I couldn't very well not mention Casualty could I? I feel like I leave this out a lot, but I've been gripped for my entire life on this show! One of my earliest memories is me being absolutely devastated when Sam was pushed over that balcony. That must have been 20 years ago now! The recent double weekend episodes had me absolutely gripped. I didn't know whether to be more upset at Dylan being on the boat, Charlie and his heart attack or the Zax pairing being blown apart! I had full Casualty weekends with snacks and everything. I am that gripped. Kind of like Britain's Grey's Anatomy or ER, this was my first trip into medical dramas, and will always be my favourite. Sorry, Mer! And,McDreamy and McSteamy don't hold a candle to the Hardy/Knight brothers.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Superdrug Haul | Collection + MUA

Hello lovelies! I've got a bit of a haul for you guys today, I've been really into makeup again, I go through phases with it but the past few weeks I've been really into looking for new products to try out. Here are some super budget-friendly buys I've made recently from Collection and MUA.

First up we've got this MUA Skin Define Hydro Powder, £3. I don't normally wear powder, mainly because I've got the worst dry skin and I just think it makes it work. But, I was drawn to this, especially with it being hydrating. It says that this has got Vitamin E & Jojoba in it, so I'm really hoping I can see some hydrating benefits from this as well as just needing my makeup to last a bit longer.

Next Up, I picked up this MUA Matte Eyeshadow in Midnight, £1. I've got countless palettes lying around, but I haven't got a nice navy shade like this, and for £1 I thought you can't really go wrong. I remember trying these when MUA first came out and absolutely loving them, and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. This is very pigmented, and blends out like an absolute dream. I'm hoping to put together a FOTD in the next week using it so keep an eye out for that.

This Collection Extreme 24hr Felt Tip Liner in Black, £2.99 is actually a repurchase. It's so affordable, and in all honesty I can't not have this in my makeup bag. It really does last the entire day. On the rare occasion I pass out with my makeup on (we all do it, right?) I've woken up with mascara down by my lips and this still perfectly applied! I kid you not. I can't stress enough how much I adore this liner, and for the price I personally don't think you can go past it.

Finally, we've got this Collection Illuminating Touch Foundation in Ivory 2, £3.99. I normally use the Lasting Perfection foundation, but they didn't have it in so I picked this up instead, because who doesn't love trying a new foundation? The Lasting Perfection foundation is a very heavy, full coverage foundation, which is something I personally love but is a habit I'm trying desperately to get out of. I would say this is more of a medium buildable coverage, so it's definitely a step towards not relying on a full coverage foundation day-to-day. One last thing to note, especially if you've used the Lasting Perfection foundation, is that this runs a bit lighter than the Lasting Perfection one. Whilst still a bit too dark for me minus fake tan, I'd say it's still maybe 1/2 a shade to a shade lighter than the same shade in the Lasting Perfection foundation. Just something to note. I'll probably pick up the lightest shade in this, and both in the Lasting Perfection foundation and do a comparison at some point.

*I'll post a first impressions post on each product, and give it as full a review as I can then.

So, that's it! I hope you enjoyed. Have you guys picked up any new buys you've been loving? Leave me links below, as always.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

X Factor Jealous Midweek Cover | Josh Daniels

Hello Lovelies! How fast has this week flown by? I'm already looking into Halloween looks and trying them out, so expect those posts soon! I feel like before we know it, it's going to be Christmas. I'm certainly not ready for it to be this soon into the year. Anyway, onto the music eh?

This week's Mid Week cover is one I'm sure everyone's heard by now, but one I want to personally recognise too, Josh Daniel's version of Labrinth's Jealous. I've heard the song a million and one times, and I've never interpreted the lyrics in this way, but it really adds another dimension to the song for me. And, of course, Josh's voice is outstanding too. I was with all of the judges, and I'm sure a lot of the nation, when they were emotional during this performance, so I just had to give it a bit of recognition.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

September Beauty Favourites

Hello Lovelies! My first beauty post of Blogtober, so it's only right that it's a round-up of the products I've been loving lately, right? Right! I've narrowed it down to 5, but there's actually been a lot more than this.

First, we've got my skincare saviour lately, Johnson's Makeup Be Gone Face Wipes, £3.05. I've been obsessed with these, I picked them up not really thinking when I was desperate for some new facewipes, and I'm in love with these. It's not often I really love using facewipes, they kinda just do their job and it's neither one thing nor the other. I don't hate them, but I don't love them either. Just me? Anyway, I'm truly obsessed with these, they've done wonders for my weather-beaten skin. I've had the worst dry patches, and since I've been using them they've really cleared up. One thing to be aware of is they leave a little bit of a residue on your skin, which I'm personally not too bothered by, especially 'cause I'll cleanse my face after using them anyway. But, if that's something you're not keen on, be aware.

Next up, we've got Makeup Revolution's Sculpt and Contour Kit in Ultra Ligh/Medium C04, £3.50. I actually meant to pick this up in C01, but for some reason went a shade darker and ended up with C04. In itself, the blusher doesn't really suit me and the contour is obviously a bit dark but I've been loving this highlighter. It's a lovely peachy tone, and the shimmer isn't too harsh but leaves such a nice glow. I'd absolutely buy this in the right shade, because the formula is lovely, but I'll probably buy this again purely for the highlighter.

Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer in Light, £7.99. Again, this was another on-a-whim purchase I made when my beloved Collection Lasting Perfection ran out and they didn't have another one. I'd heard good things about this, but I was a bit hesitant just because all the other concealers I've tried haven't stood up against my Collection one. Until this one. I'm truly in love, if I'm being honest, I wouldn't say it's better but it's certainly on par, which is quite the compliment coming from me! As you can see, I've made quite the dent in it, and I'll definitely be picking up another one. This shade is just slightly too dark for me, but not obviously so. So, that might be something to keep an eye on if you're as pale as I am!

Finally, my one true love of the month, Avon's Ultra Colour Matte Lipstick in Matte Grape, £5. I've always been a lover of bold lips, but this has barely been off them lately! I either swing between this and a nude lippie, but I'll be doing a fall lips post later in Blogtober, so you can read more about that then. This shade is such a perfect burgundy colour, and I get such a long wear time on it. I can easily go all morning and into the afternoon before I have to touch it up again. Absolutely my favourite makeup product of the month.

What have your recent favourite products been lately? Leave me links, I love to have a nosey at what everyone's been loving!

Much love, Maxine xo
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Monday, 5 October 2015

Recent Music Loves

Hello Lovelies! A bit of a lighter post today! My recent music loves. I've been loving a lot of the new music that's been out lately, actually. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like the majority of what's been released the past few months has just been top class. So, here's what's been on repeat for me lately!

First up, the absolutely amazing James Morrison with his newest release Demons. I mentioned in my recent sweater weather tag that his very first album, Undiscovered, has been one of the albums that gets me in the mood for the colder months, and as one of my all-time favourite artists, you can imagine my excitement when I found out he had a new album coming out on the 30th of this month. If I had to pick one song that's been a stand out over the past few weeks, this would be it. You should also check out Higher Than Here, too.

Second up, Jack Garratt's Weathered. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I've been absolutely in love with this lately. I really don't know what else to say about this other than I absolutely adore it, and it you haven't heard it yet, give it a listen. I absolutely promise you'll love it.

Next, R.City feat. Adam Levine with Locked Away. I've got a bit of a soft spot for Adam Levine if I'm being perfectly honest (who hasn't?!) so anything he's even remotely affiliated with is a winner in my book! This is a proper belter for me, one to stick on and sing away to, which is always a good thing right?

Finally, an older song that's creeped back onto my playlist and hasn't been off repeat since. Aron Wright's Build It Better. I first heard this on an episode of Grey's Anatomy (of course!), and I fell in love instantly. It's not a song that I instantly think of, I tend to go through stages with it. I'll have it on repeat for what seems like weeks on end, then I'll forget it exists for months. It's got the same singer-songwriter vibe as Jack Garrat's weathered, and a lot of James Morrison's more mellow stuff, so there's obviously a theme lately!

Leave a comment below telling me what you thought of these beauties, as well as what you've been loving lately! Anything goes.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Hardest, Most Honest Post...

Hello Lovelies! I've been very apprehensive about posting this at all, and even as I write this, I'm planning out another post to put in it's place should I change my mind. However, if you're reading this I've obviously gone through with it. And, it's gonna be a long one, folks.

*This might be triggering for some people.

Now, it's no secret that I sometimes 'go missing'. If you follow me on any other social networks, I don't even post there for sometimes months on end. And, I never really explain it. Of course, there are obvious reasons, like the internet going down or the house being an actual building site. However, that's not always the case. Sometimes it's not the case at all. Others, it's a mix of them both.

You see, this time last year I finally began receiving help for mental health issues that I didn't even know I had. Some I'd been suffering with for a decade without speaking out. It's a tangled situation that even now I'm not sure I understand fully. But, it's a situation that even I didn't know I was in. And, that's probably the most scary part about all of this. That things had spiralled out of control so badly, but I hadn't even realised.

My anxiety disorder started when I was 11 years old, in 2004. I had a lot going on that year, with the transition up to big school along with family issues that I won't go into. It was a lot to take in, and for an already anxious kid, things just took over. I don't think I even knew it was really that bad, until I had to leave school because the fear was absolutely crippling. I took a little over a year out, and made the big decision to head back in the Easter of Year 9, when I was 14. Of course, my education had taken a bit of a beating, despite my mum's best efforts. However, my social anxiety hadn't even really started by this point.

Things really started when I was 18. I very quickly went from a typical 18 year old, doing the typical 18 year old things, to a very reserved, quiet person. My anxiety had always limited what I felt capable of doing, even if I didn't fully understand what was happening by this point, but for the most part my social life didn't much suffer. I couldn't get on public transport, or go to unfamiliar places unless I had friends around, but everyone was fairly understanding of this and made allowances.

Then, in July 2011, my granddad died. He hadn't been well for a very long time, but over the space of a few months he'd gone from an active gentleman with a few health problems to a man who couldn't walk from the sofa to the stairs. It hit me like a train. We knew he wasn't well, of course, but we didn't realise just how soon things were going to escalate to that level. He'd always been my best friend, he hadn't thought twice about standing in for my dad when he left, and in all honesty I couldn't have asked for a better father figure anyway. So, that afternoon was quite possibly the hardest of my life. I always knew it would hit me hard, but I don't think I ever anticipated the effect it would truly have.

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I carried a lot of guilt for the way things turned out that day. I completely went to pieces, and while my mum and sister stayed strong and phoned the ambulance, I was a complete mess. My best friend had just died in front of me and I reacted in a completely logical way. And, I blamed myself for that. 'If only I'd stayed strong', 'I should have been there for them', 'I should have saved him'. Of course, I couldn't. In my logical states I do understand that, and I understand that the way I reacted was perfectly normal, and that it's nothing to be ashamed of. In my logical states.

That was when my depression really took hold. I cut myself off from people, cancelling plans and ignoring texts, not even talking to family I lived with for days on end. Which, of course, only allowed my anxiety disorder to really take hold over my life and become totally unmanageable. I was unpredictable, one day I'd be 'fine', the next the thought of getting out of bed on a morning was crippling and filled me with terror. 

My mood swings were terrible. I'd go from 0-100 in a matter of seconds. I'd have all the energy in the world, then not enough to leave the sofa. I'd go from laughing to hysterically crying at the drop of a hat. I'd get angry and not know why. Sometimes I'd have no emotion or reaction at all. I didn't know what I'd be like from one minute to the next. 

That’s the paradox of loss: How can something that’s gone weigh us down so much?

I had my first night terror the following January. From then on, even sleeping was an issue that terrified me. I'd only sleep under certain conditions - if someone was there, if the TV was on and at just the right volume, if the lights were on, if people in the house were still awake. I'd have the same nightmare anywhere from a few times a week to a few times a night. This was the beginning of my PTSD.

I allowed this situation to spiral out of control for the next few years. It wasn't until this time last year - November 2014 -  that I finally spoke out. I didn't know what was wrong with me. It had taken me a long time to even understand something was wrong with me. My mum made me a doctors appointment the following day, and I received counselling almost immediately.

requested by scotsgaelic

I don't always understand the situation I'm in. I'm better than I was this time last year, but not where I want to be. I've got clear goals that I'm working towards, one step at a time. However, I really wanted to make this post because it's not something I talk about at all. Aside from a small handful of people, I don't talk about it at all. I've got close friends who don't know at all, and some who only know half the story. This is a post I had to write for myself, but also a post I hope will help even just one other person in my situation.

Speaking out was the best decision I've ever made. It was daunting, and it felt like my world would end if I did. But, my life began when I did. I can see a way out, even if I'm still a while away from it. That's what I want people to take away from this. I hope to put together a post about my recovering and coping methods soon, but I'll answer any questions before that asap.

I have credited images as best as I can, however if you see something incorrectly sourced and/or want something removed, I'll be happy to oblige.

Much love, Maxine xo
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Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Sweater Weather TAG

Hello lovelies! I've been so excited for this day to come. You know how I said last time that the work in my house was finished? Very, very wrong! If something could go wrong, it has done. But, I always planned to do Blogtober, and I thought this would be a great way to get back into the swing of things. And, with a nice little tag to transition into fall, too. 

This wasn't actually the post I had planned for today, but I saw Blair Fowler post this earlier today and just had to switch my posts up. Hope you enjoy! 

1. Favorite candle scent? I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm not massively into candles. My favourite fall scent, however, has got to be anything with cinnamon in it!
2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? I've been loving red berry tea with a little bit of honey lately, but is there anything better than a massive hot chocolate with loads of cream? Can I pick two?? I'm going for hot chocolate and tea!
3. What's the best fall memory you have? Oooh, I don't know! Probably, if I'm being honest, my entire street used to have massive parties for Halloween and bonfire night. All the mums would club together and get loads of food and fireworks and all the kids would have loads of fun all wrapped up with hot dogs and burgers and tomato soup. It was so much fun!
4. What's your favorite book you're reading (or have read) this fall? I'm currently reading Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time, along with a few others, and I'm really enjoying it so far.
5. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner? Both! Can we do both? I'm doing both.
6. Best fragrance for fall? I'm not really the kind of person who'll stick to just one perfume, I switch around all of the time, so I honestly haven't got one!
7. Favorite Thanksgiving food? We don't have thanksgiving, but Christmas has got to be stuffing. We don't really have stuffing much through the year, but I love it. Is that weird?
8. What is autumn weather like where you live? Much like the rest of the weather, cold and rainy.
9. Most worn sweater? I got a sweater maybe 2 or 3 years ago, and it's big and comfy and it's got an owl on the front, and I absolutely adore it. I'm on the hunt for cute fall clothes though, so hopefully I'll have a stack of new ones soon!
10. Must-have nail polish this fall? I bite my nails too much to love nail polish! I really need to get into that. I love greys or deep reds, though.
11. Football games or jumping in leaf piles? Football games!
12. Skinny jeans or leggings? Skinny jeans, purely because it's slightly more protection from the cold!
13. What is something that nobody knows about you? Ooh, this is a good one! I'm not sure there's something nobody knows. Is there?
14. Combat boots or Uggs? Combat boots, I'm not a big Ugg fan.
15. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? I've never had a pumpkin spice latte, so I wouldn't know. I obviously don't think so, though!
16. Favorite fall TV show? Grey's Anatomy always comes back in the fall, so that of course.
17. What song really gets you into the fall spirit? It's an album, not a song, but all of James Morrison's Undiscovered always gets me in the mood for winter and fall, probably because I got the album for Christmas when I was probably 13 at the time, and I played it on repeat right through winter and Spring

So, that is that! I'd love to see your versions of this tag, even if they're from other years, so please send me links. 

Much love, Maxine xo
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Friday, 2 October 2015

Lauren Aquilina Time To Say Goodbye Mid Week Cover

Hello Lovelies! My favourite day of the week, of course, is the midweek cover. I know, it's not technically the middle of the week, but it's the thought that counts right? Right?! I'm quite excited about this song, it's been one of the few songs that I've had on repeat these past few weeks, so it absolutely had to be mentioned asap!

Lauren Aquilina - Time To Say Goodbye. I'm sure the majority of us have heard this version on the advert for the final series of Downton Abbey, and from the first time I heard it I was hooked. It's a beautiful song anyway, I'm sure most will agree, and this version certainly does nothing but add to that. Check out the amazing Lauren's YouTube here.

It's certainly been one that's really got me in the mood for the colder weather. 

Much love, Maxine xo
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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Puppy Loving | Meet Sabine.

Hello, Lovelies! It's been a while, huh? Sorry about that! You know how I said that the work in the house was done? Yeah. It didn't quite work out like that. We're still having little issues, but fingers crossed that this time all the big work has been completed.

So, now we've covered that, how about a bit of cuteness? Go on then! Whilst I've been away, we got a new addition to the puppy family. Meet Sabine! 

Aren't her eyes gorgeous? She's 15 weeks currently, and we've had her slightly over 3 weeks. 

We were, initially, worried about how Kaiser would take to her. Smiter has been through the transition of a new puppy before - when we got Kaiser - but Kaiser has been the baby for best part of 3 years now, so he was the one we weren't sure about. 

Admittedly, at first, we did have a few issues. He wasn't quite sure what to make of her, but after a little bit of growling and avoiding, they've become inseparable. We brought her home at about 7.30pm, and by about 10 pm that night he was following her around like, well, a lost puppy! Wherever one of them is, you can be sure the other isn't far behind! 

Smiter, on the other hand, was the problem! At first, he loved her. Then, he realised this wasn't a play date and he'd have to share his house with someone else. It's taken him a bit longer than Kaiser to really bond with her, but we did get there. 

So, that's the introduction to Sabine! I hope you enjoyed and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat for more updates of the three musketeers! 

Much love, Maxine xo
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