Tuesday

The Language of Love


As Brits, many of us tend to keep our true feelings under wraps, but French fashion label La Redoute has created a beautiful campaign in which they ask viewers to really think about the language of love, encouraging us to be a little more French and speak from the heart. Although I probably tell Rich I love him a little too much, I find it a lot more difficult to be open with my family. With a little prompting from La Redoute, I've decided to open up and share how I really feel.

Grandma
Dear Grandma, Thank you for inspiring me in every aspect of my life: Career, relationships and, of course, style. Thank you for trusting in me and believing in everything I've done. Thank you for supporting me and taking me in when I was in times of need, even if you didn't fully understand my reasons. Thank you for giving me a model of life and family to aspire to. Thank you for instilling your passions in me from a young age- It's because of you that I read, learn and teach. Thank you for providing us with a stable home growing up. Thank you for always being there and always thinking of me. I love you with all my heart. 

Mummy
Dear Mummy, (Yes, I'm 26 years old and I call my mum "Mummy"!) Thank you for doing everything in your power for me & Jamie growing up. Thank you for putting up with me even when I was an angsty teen. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made for us and I'm sorry I didn't appreciate them at the time. Thank you for never judging me and for letting me live my own life and make my own mistakes. Thank you for always making me laugh with the silly things you get up to. And thank you for passing on your genes to me- I hope I look as young as you do in the future! 

Jamie & Myles
Dear Jamie, Thank you for always being there for me growing up (apart from the 15 months before you were born, of course!). Thank you for putting up with me getting bored and hanging up on you all the time. Thank you for telling me questionable, inappropriate jokes and telling me whenever something macabre is in the papers. Thank you for understanding my love for Alan Rickman and for buying me Snape's wand that time. 
Dear Myles, Thank you for making me laugh more than anybody else can. Thank you for going to see girly films with me even when you really don't want to. Thank you for still saying sweet things even though you're a too-cool-for-school teenager now. Thank you for being the little brother I always wanted (I'm joking, Jamie!). 

I truly love all of you, even if I don't say it enough. Thank you for being my family. 

Monday

101 in 1001 XXII


After the crazy jam-packed month in August, September has been a lot more relaxed in terms of my goals

#12 Attend an event
Helen and I were invited along to the Thomas Sabo opening in Southampton.

#13 Meet a blogger in real life
I met a whole host of bloggers at London Fashion Week, including the very beautiful Ellie.

#19 Attend London Fashion Week
Marie and I popped down to Somerset House to check out some of the London Fashion Week street style

#60 Put up a shelf
Ok, I didn't put up the shelf myself, but Rich stuck a few up. I have a proper post coming soon, but here's a peek. 

#96 Read 75 books (76/75)
Yay! I did it! Wonder if I can make it to 100 before my 1001 days are up?

#101 Watch all the films
I finally got round to watching the 1962 version of Lolita. I was surprised to find that the 1997 remake was almost identical in terms of the script. 

After I finished reading The Book Thief, I also watched the film adaptation. Although it's unusually true to the novel, I somehow found it a lot more beautiful than the soul-destroying heartbreak of the book. 

Review: Benefit Majorette and Dandelion Blush


Unless you've been living under a rock with no wifi (I know, rocks don't have wifi but work with me here), you will have heard about the brand new launch from Benefit Cosmetics: Majorette. If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know I'm a bit of a Benefit fan girl so I was over the moon when this very special package arrived at my door. 

As well as my own pot of Majorette, as well as a box of Dandelion, I had my very own personalised mug. Since my parents decided to make my full name Becky, I've had to live my whole life without personalised gifts (or worse, gifts emblazoned with Rebecca because "it was the closest they had"). Honestly, having a mug with my real, full name on is the most exciting thing for me! It also has a cheeky man in the shower and a cute majorette sneaking a peek! (Have you spotted what I've spotted?)

Majorette

Majorette comes in a sturdy plastic pot, which I really like. As much as I love the Box o' Powders, I worry about them being crushed in my bag. No such worries with this packaging! It has a handy mirror on the inside of the lid too, so you can apply it on the move.

In the pot, the cream blush has a coral-peach shade, which applies pretty much exactly the same shade on my skin. The consistency is fantastically creamy, so it blends well, and, although it's fairly subtle at first, it's easy to build up to as bold a look as you like. My favourite thing, however, is that it smells like watermelon (although the actual scent is peach and pomegranate, it smells like melon to me!). As soon as I'd applied it, I was running up to Rich saying "Smell my face!" I don't know why this pleases me so much, but I guess it's not a bad thing to smell fruity!

I don't often wear orange-based blushes, so this is quite a new experience for me. Since most of my lipsticks are pink, they tend to look a bit clownish with this blush. I'm still experimenting with the perfect nude shade to complement my cheeks. 

Dandelion
Back in 2009, I nearly purchased Dandelion, but decided it was too subtle for me. Since then, it is the only Benefit blush I hadn't tried, so it was on the top of my list. How perfect that I was sent this box! 
Like all of the Box o' Powders, Dandelion is contained in a card box that, while sturdy, I still prefer to keep in the safety of my home rather than stuffing into my bag. When I do decide to venture out with it, however, there is that convenient mirror on the inside and the small brush which, while not the most effective brush out there, is certainly handy in a pickle.
As I suspected all those years ago, Dandelion is very subtle. However, as I have pale skin, it still shows on my cheeks, even if I have to layer it on a bit. The powder consistency applies well and stays put throughout the day, and the pretty pink shade is more in my comfort zone. I maintain that Benefit's blushers are the best on the market. 

Psst, by the way, do you want to know a secret? You can use Majorette under any blush to give it a little zhoosh. Ok, that wasn't really a secret. Tell everyone! 

Sunday

28th September 2014


Top: Primark
Skirt: Primark

It had been a little while since I'd had a payday Primark binge, so I rectified that this week. There are some really lovely autumnal pieces at the moment, such as this thick burgundy skirt. It's just like the Topshop skater skirts but only £8. Billy bargain! 

Rich and I went for a little walk in the park, which was the perfect opportunity to break out my inflatable backpack from Joe Blogs. I love it! 

Saturday

Review: Crocs


Caution: This post contains photos of my feet!

I have a terrible admission to make: I bought Crocs. In fact, I bought two pairs of Crocs. I know I'm an awful, awful blogger! In my defense, I was on holiday, my feet were aching and everybody seemed to be wearing Crocs. I would stand in the ride queues and stare jealously at their comfy feet as mine cried out from their Primark ballet flats. One day, in the Animal Kingdom gift shop, I made the mistake of trying on a pair of Crocs flip flops. Oh my sweet lord, it was the most amazing thing. It was like stepping into a cloud! Unfortunately, they were $60 and I figured that was just too much to spend on a pair of flip flops. 

The next day, we visited the mall, and Laura pointed out a Crocs shop. We made the best decision of our short lives and decided to pay a visit. After quite a while, trying on near enough every pair in the shop, I decided to buy the black Kadee shoes. I figured they were subtle enough to not look like Crocs, and versatile enough to wear with anything. Plus, they would be ideal for work.
Let me tell you: They are the comfiest shoes I have ever worn in my life. I'm pretty certain the sole is padded with feathers and it has little nodules to give your feet a little massage with every step. The downside? They're made of rubber. Not only does this cause several static electric shocks a day but, as you might imagine, they are very hot and sweaty. Not so bad in England, but in Florida, my feet were sliding around all over the place. My poor feet also became very swollen and, as a result, rubbed horrendously against the solid, unwielding rubber heel. 

The solution? Buy the flip flops! 

Oh, my glorious, sweet, Disney x Crocs flip flops! The greatest joy my feet have ever experienced! I don't even wear flip flops but take the feather-filled sole of my Kadee shoes, with the added bonus of no blister-inducing heels and you have The Best Shoes In The World. Seriously. Even the toe post is made of fabric so it doesn't rub or chafe. 

I should probably state at this point that this post is in no way sponsored by Crocs. I am just so overwhelmed with my love for these shoes that I think everybody should rethink the way they look at these poor, misunderstood things of beauty. Open your minds! Embrace the cushioning! Your feet will thank you for the rest of your life. 

Friday

FF CVIII


This professor lives in a dumpster and it's actually really cute! 
Sophie's post on the Scottish referendum is incredibly well-written and fair. 
This journalist dressed like an idiot for LFW to see how easy it was to get snapped. 
Ellie's photos from God's Own Junkyard are amazing! 
Kaylah's photos from an abandoned school are so creepy! 
This no-sew cobweb cape is amazing! 

Weekly Wishlist
This sequin heart jumper is so cute.
Yes, I need a pink-collared fur coat
I love these engraved Mason jars.
What gorgeous anatomical heart plugs.
These Disney princess earrings are adorable, and you can choose which two you want.
Such a pretty mint banner necklace.

Other Favourites
Zoe's thoughts on YouTube celebrity culture are spot on! 
Are you taking part in Lucie's international beauty box swap?
How many of these 90s song lyrics can you complete? 
Regardless of your political leanings, you must watch 91-year-old Harry Smith's speech in support of the NHS

Thursday

Sober October for Macmillan Cancer Support



At the age of 20, I stopped drinking. Of course I spent my teen years getting drunk in dingy clubs but, the day after my 20th birthday, I realised that I didn't like alcohol. It was expensive, it tasted horrible and, to be honest, I was a nightmare when I'd been drinking. So, just like that, I stopped. Don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely teetotal. Sometimes I'll be offered a cocktail at an event and I'll accept but, when given the choice, I'll generally always pick the non-alcoholic option and I never get drunk. 

However, I am well aware that this makes me somewhat of an oddity for a common girl my age (though not as much as when I was at uni!) and that being completely sober for even a month would be a challenge for many. Which is exactly why Macmillan Cancer Support have launched their Go Sober for October campaign. Pledge to stop drinking through the entirety of October (although it may be permissible to make an allowance for Halloween!) and raise some money for Macmillan, a wonderful charity that provides support for sufferers of cancer and their loved ones. 

Don't get me wrong- I'm not an evangelical teetotal do-gooder. I strongly believe that everybody should do what they want and I'm not trying to convert anybody to the sober lifestyle. I'm not a killjoy! However, here are some of the reasons why I reckon you should try to go sober for October.

1. No more of that "Oh God, please don't tell me what I did last night!" fear.
2. Waking up on a Sunday morning without a pounding head and dodgy taste in your mouth.
3. Having the power to completely humiliate all your friends who were drinking.
4. Finding your skin looks amazing.

And, the best reason of all:

5. Being able to go out with £15 and come back with change.

Seriously, a night out for me now costs about £10 including entrance fee and I have the best time! I've never been one to rely on alcohol to lower my inhibitions, so I'm usually the first to hit the dancefloor and don't leave until 2am. Better still, I remember everything and I haven't made a total fool of myself. 

Give it a go and raise some money for charity. What have you got to lose?

For the record, this is not a sponsored post and nor have I been contacted by Macmillan. It's just a cause I believe in and have decided to support. 

Wednesday

The Christmas Boutique


Guys, guys, guys. There's only 3 months until Christmas Eve! Although, let's be honest here, the best part of Christmas is the build up so, really, we've only got 2 months until things get exciting. I'm one of those people who puts my tree up on 1st December without fail. All of my Christmas blog posts are planned. My lifelong dream is to have one of those really tacky, impossibly lit up houses. Yes, I'll admit it: I am a Christmas nutcase! 

With that in mind, it goes without saying that I was incredibly excited to be asked by The Christmas Boutique to review some of their decorations, even more so when I opened it up to find practically everything was in my favourite traditional Christmas colours of red and white.

These frog baubles may not be traditional, but they are so quirky I just can't help but adore them! I've already decided that they are going to be lined up on one of my office shelves, like the three kings of the amphibian world. 
While we're on the subject of baubles, let's talk about these adorable mini heart baubles. Sold in packs of 12, there are more than enough to adorn your tree. Just be aware that they come without strings to hang, so you'll need to have your own on hand. 

Look at this fella's happy little face! Perched on a little swing, the string of which forms the hanger, the snowman decoration can swing to his heart's content. Can we also take a moment to appreciate the Christmas tree advent calendar? I can't wait to rill this baby up and hang it in my bedroom. In fact, I might even ask Rich to fill it up for me so I have a little surprise every morning! 

As we're talking about hanging things in the bedroom, let's turn to stockings. I don't have a fireplace so mine always lives at the foot of my bed. These tartan and burlap stockings are sold as a pair, which is useful. The burlap stocking seems much more sturdy than the thin fabric of the tartan one, and it has more bells too. They jingle and everything! 

My favourite of the lot is these two tea light holders with knitted covers. I'm gutted because the one of the left somehow smashed between my unpacking it and photographing it. I'm not sure how as I didn't throw it around or manhandle it. You may be able to see, right on the far left side of the photo, that it has left an incredibly sharp point which is a bit worrying. The knitted covers are so lovely, though, so I'll find a replacement glass to use instead. 
Finally, we have these two felt gift sacks. They're absolutely huge and the felt is really sturdy. The cartoon designs are perfect for kids or, you know, Christmas obsessives like me.

The Christmas Boutique has such a huge amount of decorations, ornaments and accessories. Pretty much anything you need is on there. In fact, there's 50% off everything at the moment, so check it out and get yourself ready for the festive season. There's not long to go, you know! 

Tuesday

On being an introvert


I'm pretty sure we've all noticed the anxiety "bandwagon" that's trundling through Bloggerville. Although I'm reluctant to call it that- hence the inverted commas- there is no denying that suddenly it seems as though every blogger and their cat has anxiety. Now, I'm going to state straight from the off that I have actually scheduled my own anxiety post: I suffer with severe anxiety and I've always been an incredibly anxious person. However, I recognise that anxiety and introversion are not mutually inclusive and I do think a lot of people get the two confused. It's just as possible for an extroverted person to suffer from anxiety as it is for an introverted person to be extremely confident. So, in preparation for my anxiety post, let's look at what it means to be an introvert.

Introverted people can be confident
Although I'm an introvert, pop me in a place where I feel comfortable and I can be remarkably confident. I'm happy to be the first one on the dancefloor, to have people staring at me, to know that people are talking about me. I'm a little eccentric and quirky, so it doesn't phase me one bit. Introverts aren't shy and quiet all the time.

Introverted people just like their own space
This is where that shy and quiet stereotype comes from. Yes, I can stay out until the early hours partying but, afterwards, I want to relax somewhere quiet. I need somewhere to retire to where I can just be left to my own devices. I prefer hobbies that don't require too much social interaction. Blogging is great because I can communicate with other people while still being completely on my own!

Introverts do not always stay inside
If I stay inside for too long, I start to get really angsty. I need to leave the house and get out. Even if that just means walking down the road to go to the cash point, I can't stay inside for days on end. (Unfortunately, my anxiety means I actually do stay inside for days on end, but I shouldn't). Introversion doesn't mean I can't see my friends, explore cities and occasionally party it up.


This post is hopefully a reminder that introverted people do not necessarily have anxiety, and people with anxiety are not necessarily introverts. For some, like me, the two occur in one person but they don't affect each other in any way. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because you like your own space, you must have anxiety. Self-diagnosis is not helpful. If you do think you have anxiety, please do seek medical advice as your GP will be able to treat your condition and make a huge difference to your quality of life. 

Monday

How to marry in Florida


I recently married in Orlando, Florida and I was absolutely amazed by how easy the whole situation was. Beforehand, I was a bit worried about all the legalities as I didn't really know what to expect so it was a huge relief to find the process was so simple. I know a few other bloggers who are planning to marry in Florida, so I've written a post based on my experiences as a UK citizen marrying in Florida.

Important note: I am not a lawyer and this is written from my own experience. Please do check with the County Clerk of Court before making travel plans, especially if it's been a while since September 2014 when this post was written. You can email most of them so it's easy to check out your plans. 

You will need:
  • Each of your passports
  • Officiant certificates/ letter of good standing if you're taking your own minister
  • $93.50 (£58)

Who can marry you?
In Florida, anybody can marry you so long as they are ordained by an official member of the clergy, notary public or justice of the peace. This sounds pretty complicated but what it means is they need to be an ordained member of a church. Yes, this includes the Universal Life Church, which is the famed online church where anybody can get ordained for free, regardless of your beliefs. Although we weren't asked for proof of our officiant's credentials, I would strongly recommend you buy a certificate of ordination or a letter of good standing, (which are $5- $20 (£4-£13) if you get ordained via the Universal Life Church) so you can prove your officiant's legitimacy if needed.
Where can you get married?

More or less anywhere. In Florida, it's the person who is licensed, rather than the venue. Of course, use your discretion and I recommend checking beforehand if you're marrying on somebody else's property, such as a theme park. However, I do have to be honest and confess that we married at Universal Studios without permission and everything was fine!

How do I get a marriage license?
To marry in Florida, you need a marriage license. This is really, really easy to obtain for two marrying UK citizens. Although you can apply online, we chose to go in person when we arrived. We headed to the Orange County Clerk on North Orange Avenue (don't let your driver drop you off at City Hall instead or you'll have to walk the nine blocks to the right place!). 

When you get to the court, you will need to walk through a security screening similar to the airport. Your bags will be searched, and you're not allowed to take in aerosols or sharp objects, and you'll also have to walk through a metal detector. 

Once you get through security, head to the Passports and Marriage Department. There are marriage license forms available next to the door (just ask a member of staff if you can't find them) and fill it out. You'll need to include your full name, date of birth, address and passport number. Once you've signed it, you'll be called over to a desk to complete the process.

At the desk, the member of staff will check all your details and your passports. You'll need to sign a declaration that all information is true and then raise your hand as you swear it's all correct to the best of your knowledge. Once you've paid $93.50 (£58), the staff member will provide you with your marriage license.

What is the marriage license?
Your marriage license will be an A4 sheet within a self addressed envelope, which will have your details on, as well as both of your signatures and the signature of the staff member who has issued the license. At the bottom is your certificate of marriage, which needs to be filled in after the ceremony.

Getting married
Once you have your license, you can marry any time within 60 days. The ceremony is completely up to you. There are rumours that your ceremony must include the "do you?" "I do" section but I found no mention of this in the law guidance. We did it anyway as it's a key part of the ceremony but if you are dead set against it, check with the official when you apply for your marriage license. Witnesses are not required, although there is a space for them to sign the marriage certificate if you so wish.

After the wedding
Once the ceremony has taken place, the officiant needs to sign the wedding certificate in black ink. They also need to include the date and location of the marriage (this can be as simple as just naming the city) as well as their address. If you have chosen to have witnesses, they can sign the certificate too but don't need to include their name or address. 

Once the certificate's all signed, just send it back to the court using the envelope they provided. You don't need to go back to the court or do anything other than pop the certificate in the post. When they receive it, they'll stamp it, sign it and send a copy to the home address you provided. 

That's it! It's done. You don't need to register it back home, although the English registrar I spoke to suggested getting a few extra copies of your marriage certificate as they can be harder to obtain later. She explained that as long as your wedding is legal at the location you wed, it's legal in the UK. 

It's that simple! I was amazed by how quick and easy the process was. If you have any questions, ask away and I'll do my best to answer. Although, as I said before, the best person to ask is the court themselves. 

Becky aged 16- 26


The summer of 2014 has been a biggie for me in terms of looking back over my life. When I cast my mind back, there is an almost visual divide in the summer of 2004, which separates my life into two distinct parts: Before and After. If you read my password-protected post a couple of weeks ago, you will know the event that created this divide, but it was also a product of leaving secondary school and finding solace in rock (by which I mostly mean emo) music. It was also the summer that the final episode of Friends aired but I don't think that has any significance. I really think that summer was the time I transformed from a child into the person I would become later in life, so it's been quite emotional to suddenly find myself ten years down the road and I'm honestly very proud of the way I've turned out, even though my life is far from perfect at the moment.

With this in mind, and with all the reflection I've been writing about lately, I thought it would be interesting to look at how my appearance has changed over the past ten years, mostly influenced by the subcultures I was interested in. I should also mention that, by coincidence, another blogger posted something very similar but she has kindly said she's happy for me to go ahead with my post. Unfortunately, I've completely forgotten who it was. I thought I knew but when I went back to check, I couldn't find the post. So if it was you, please do let me know so I can link you. 

July 2004 (16)

This was a couple of months before The Thing happened. Marie and I were each other's prom dates because we were rebels like that. My dress was from Monsoon and my stepdad's mum had managed to straighten my hair somewhat. You can clearly tell that I don't really have any sort of style at this point. I'm just a fairly average teenager. 

December 2004 (16)  
My emo transformation is beginning. Although I'm wearing a top and jeans from my pre-emo days, I've attempted to dye my hair bright pink (I didn't bleach it first) and I'm so alternative with my devil's horns. If you look closely, you can see I've started wearing winged eyeliner, which will become my go-to for the next 10 years. 

August 2005 (17)
More blooming devil's horns. Stop it, Becky. This is an odd photo because I'm wearing such a brightly coloured top. I was on holiday in Exeter at the time and remember it well because I refused to wear anything other than all black with fishnets and Converse when we went to the beach. You can see hints of my usual emo style from the thick eyeliner, black nails, multiple ear piercings and badly dyed black hair.

November 2006 (18)
My transformation was well and truly complete! This was actually my Myspace profile picture: I felt like a female Brendon Urie in my red corset and top hat. Red eyeshadow is smudged down to my cheekbones, and my friend Steph had drawn three little stars on my right cheek. In the days before thick-rimmed glasses became cool, this was the closest I could get to the nerdy specs I wanted. 

June 2007 (19)
As you can see, I'd chilled out a little by this point. That's my friend Steph, who drew the stars on my face in the last photo. Although I'm still wearing black, I've now moved to liquid eyeliner and nothing else, in an attempt to look more sophisticated. The braces are also finally gone. Hooray!

November 2008 (20)
Following on from my ideas of sophistication in 2007, I threw myself into the vintage scene. With dreams of looking like Dorothy Gale, I dyed my hair red and perfected my victory rolls. Red lipstick was an every day essential along with, of course, the eyeliner.

July 2009 (21)
In 2009, I decided to go one step further in my dreams of looking like a 40s starlet and got my tailbone-length hair chopped right off. Every night, I would put it in pin curls and bought a pair of vintage cat eye glasses on eBay. This is also the year that I got fat for the first time!

November 2010 (22)
Holy terrible webcam quality, Batman! In 2010, Laura and I discovered A Very Potter Musical and became a little obsessed with Team Starkid. This panda hat reminded me of a photo I'd seen of Joe Moses, so I snapped it up and named it Joe Moses Panda. By now I'd got bored of the whole only-vintage-and-red-lipstick deal.

July 2011 (23)
The year I lost a lot of weight. Honestly, other than that, nothing changed this year. I still had short hair, I still had the same glasses. However, at the end of the year, I decided to start my blog.

July 2012 (24)
By now, I'd decided to let my hair grow out. I began to straighten it every now and then, and I discovered I could create a pretty mean beehive when I wanted to. After a few years of experimenting on and off, I discovered continuous-wear contact lenses, meaning I could finally wear sunglasses!

May 2013 (24)
Other than this being the year I got fat for the second time, not a lot has changed. My hair is longer but it's still straight and my make up has not changed at all.

July 2014 (26)
These days I wear my hair down a lot and it's really very long. After a long while with my contacts irritating my eyes, I wore some form of cat eye glasses most days. Luckily I've now worked out that the irritation was caused by a reaction to my moisturiser, so I'm wearing contacts again. 

It's crazy to look back and see how I've changed over the years. I think I retain an element of my style from each year, such as piercings from my emo phase and cat eye glasses from my vintage days. Then, of course, there's the eyeliner that has been a constant for the whole decade. No wonder I feel so naked without it! 

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