Finding Peace In The Mornings

Monday, 4 December 2017

I have always had a love/hate relationship with mornings. I love lying in bed, all snuggled and cosy, wrapped in blankets and I hate actually getting out of bed. I love waking up and seeing beautiful, dreamy sunrises and hate that I tell myself I'm not a morning person.

Slowly, mornings have been teaching me to be present in the day. For someone who absolutley hates getting out of bed, seeing beautiful sunrises like this almost give me a sense of purpose in the morning; a reason to get up for the day.

Blurry eyed and still not fully awake, I peek out of my blinds and see this dreamy sunrise. I quickly grab my camera and my 55 - 200mm lens, throw my dressing gown on and my wellies and head out into my garden to capture the glowing rising sun. 

 Theres something that has always drawn me to sunrises and sunsets. Perhaps it's because they symbolise a new begining; a fresh start to a new day. Everyone always likes the idea of starting over again, especially if they feel like they haven't really succeeded the day before. I know its something I constantly feel; the want to start over again. But staring at this sunrise this morning, it made me feel excited to begin a new day, and this is something I rarely feel.

It felt good. 

The dusky pink hues have always drawn a sense of wonder and amazement from me. There is something about seeing the world in a early and new light that I have always found magical. Hearing birds cheep and the slight wind rustle the few leaves that Winter has spared gave me give me a feeling of calm and contentment. Time to start a new day.

I hope you have enjoyed these sunrises as much as I had. 

Love, K :)

Red & Blue Neon Photography

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Recently, I bought some new coloured gels for my flashguns, and I wanted to try them out. I've always loved photography and consider it more than a hobby than anything else. But I've recently been trying to 'up my game' and try out different things, such as my 'Witchy Happenings' series that I've posted on here. 

This move to use colour in my photography mainly came from watching Blade Runner: 2049 and the beautiful use of colour in the film and in the posters, and also the promotional character posters from Stranger Things season 2. I personally love the contrasting colours of the pink/red and blue.

I'm thinking about doing more projects with off-camera flash and gels such as these, and would love to photograph other people than myself! I'd also love to try different colour combinations such as orange and blue. In film terms, this is often called an 'orange and teal push' and is seen quite a lot in recent films, most notably, Mad Max: Fury Road.

I really enjoyed taking these images and thought that they turned out really well, even if they were just test images! I can't wait to share more photography projects with you all! I have quite a few planned, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled :)

Love,  K :)

Slow & Happy Mornings | A Playlist

Friday, 24 November 2017

As any other person would, I do love a good playlist, but I'm always shuffling from one playlist to the other, as they never feel what I want them to make me feel. Until now that is...

I love cinematic music and OST's (Original Sound Tracks, basically, film scores) so I've picked some of my favourites and some that feel like a good morning; the kind that makes you feel good about the day ahead and even better, excited for it.

Think 'happy-go-lucky', sweet English-ness, pancakes with maple syrup, flowers in the early sun and slow mornings. Birds singing sweetly, candyfloss skies and the soft golden light floating through your blinds. That's what this playlist is.

I'll add new songs as and when I find any worthy to be on the playlist, so keep your eyes peeled for any new additions to the mix!

The sun is gently rising above the horizon; the sky is candyfloss pink and the birds have come to sweetly sing you good-morning. It is a good morning. Relax and take your time with this beautifully selected range of cinematic sounds that make you feel rested yet ready. You've got this. Good morning... 

Here's a little infographic of the playlist for you guys to share! It hasn't got all of the songs on, unfortunately, but it does give you a taste of whats on the playlist!

I hope you guys enjoy the playlist!

Love,  K :)

Let's Talk About Image Editing & Retouching...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Let's talk about image editing and retouching...

Firstly, one of my many jobs as a creative freelancer is image editing. I mainly work with wedding photos and travel images but have recently noticed the want to change my own personal photos that I take.

I have always been against image re-touching in magazines and mainstream media as it is shared and seen more often than any of my own images or any other images that I edit, so why do I feel the need to alter my images in any way?

Here I will show you a few examples of before and after images that I have edited.

The image above is a completely unedited photo that I took in my room with natural lighting. As you can see, I have many spots, I have a curve in the back of my neck (because I have awful posture) and if you saw a full-length image, you would see that I'm not the slimmest person you've ever met.

Now, the above image is classed as 'image editing' because no re-touching has been done. And if you were wondering, yes there is a difference between image editing and image retouching. Image editing consists of changing the colour, temperature, highlights, shadows etc, etc; no actual body/face alterations in any way. As you can see, I've brought the exposure up, applied a preset (which is a bit like a filter on Instagram), rotated the image a little to make it straighter and have highlighted the edges of the image for a brighter and cleaner background.

Now, this image is a whole new kettle of fish. THIS is image retouching. As you can see, no spots, I've made myself seem slimmer by 'tucking in' my chin and I've even gone to the lengths of taking the small bump out of my nose (which I'm sure I got from somersaulting off my bike down a hill once...). I've even taken out that bump out from the back of my neck.

The two images are very different, but only one is really what I look like. I haven't published the above images anywhere other than this blog post, and I don't think I ever would publish the last image anywhere, not even on Instagram. It's such an altered image, and if anyone I knew saw that, they would know that something was fishy and I would never want to promote such extensive retouching as I know how much it affects users on social media.

The next series of images take the question of image retouching to a similar level, although not as extensive. 

The above image is the raw image taken in my room (with the blinds closed) and is offset with two flash guns with a red and blue coloured gel.

This image is when I have taken the photo into Lightroom and applied the preset, brought out the reds and blues and did some minor adjustments to the exposure and colour. Again, no re-touching in this photo, just basic image editing.

 In the above photo, you can see that miraculously my spots have once again disappeared and my skin seems a lot smoother and even. The only difference between this photo and the end image of the last series of photos is that I have made no physical alterations to my face; I haven't made it seem slimmer, or widened my eyes or anything like that.

In terms of retouching, are any of these 'end result' images acceptable? Should we allow people to retouch their images, especially if it is seen in widespread media? It's an interesting topic and one that I have been thinking about quite a lot recently. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this issue! Leave a comment below and let me know!

American Gods - Neil Gaiman | Book Review

Friday, 27 October 2017

Rating: 4/5

'Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break'

Firstly, the only reason I haven't given this book a 5/5 rating is that it just took me so long to actually finish the darn thing, of which all of the blame I put on myself.

So, American Gods... where to start.

If you're a regular visitor to my blog, you'll know that I absolutely love sci-fi/fantasy anything, so when I saw American Gods on my local bookshop's shelf, I knew it had to be read. I've read a few of Neil Gaiman's books before, but they were all in the children's' or young-adults section of the bookshop, so when I stumbled across American Gods in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section, I was intrigued.

American Gods tells the tale of a man named Shadow Moon who has just been released from prison when his wife dies in a car accident (this is honestly no spoiler, it happens a few pages in). His journey in this seemingly new world that he hasn't been a part of for three years sees him meet the mysterious Mr Wednesday, who hires him as an 'errand boy'. From then on we encounter all sorts of gods and deities from all different cultures. I think that's one of the things that I really enjoyed most out of this book; the vast cultural scape that Gaiman covers in regards to Gods.

Another thing that I also really enjoyed was seemingly unnecessary storylines turning into something completely far from what I expected (in the best way possible!). There were a few characters storylines that I thought were going nowhere or felt like they weren't really needed. This was, of course, a huge mistake and I have no idea why I even doubted Gaiman's writing for even a second.; one characters motives/arc I didn't even see coming! It wasn't until Shadow pieced everything together that I even had an inkling as to what was going on.

But one of the things that I took most away from reading American gods was that of the struggle between the old gods and the new ('new' being 'technology' and 'media', etc), which I thought was a very true reflection of what is happening in our world today. We almost worship the screen in our hands and can't bear to be parted with it. Although this book was first published in 2001, it tells a story that is very relevant to how we all live today.

Overall, this was a brilliant book and it certainly took me on an adventure throughout North American and time itself.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under the age of 18 as it has some strong sexual scenes, and swearing is on almost every page.

This book would be great for anyone who has enjoyed Gaiman's previous works, and anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking book.

I hope you have enjoyed the review! Let me know what you thought of American Gods in the comments below!

Love, K :)

Witchy Happenings

Friday, 13 October 2017

For so long I have always wanted to do a Witch/Halloween inspired photoshoot/series of images. So the other day I decided to go out with my sister and take some test images to see if we could achieve what we wanted, and I am so pleased with the results!

I had seen a few pins on Pinterest that really sparked my imagination for inspiration for the series, some of which included levitation. This was something I had always wanted to try, and I saw this as my opportunity to really stretch my technical editing side. I can't wait to make more images that have the same sort of spooky, modern day witch vibe. I might base the photo series on the 'Seven Wonders' posed in the American Horror Story series 'Coven'. Seven magical abilities a young witch has to undergo to unveil if she is the Supreme. 

Those seven 'wonders' are, Telekinesis; the ability to manipulate objects with the power of the mind, Concilium; the ability to impose one's will onto another, allowing it to control many parts of the mind (such as actions, thoughts, memories, etc), more commonly known as Coercion and Mind Control, Pyrokinesis; the ability to create, control and manipulate fire with the power of the mind, Divination; the ability to obtain direct knowledge about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the user's physical senses. This can be activated by just being around a person, focusing on specific tasks, searching for information, and touching objects, Transmutation; the ability to move instantaneously from one location to another without physically occupying the space in between, also known as Teleportation, Vitalum Vitalis; the ability to balance the scales between one life force and another. Witches can transfer their own life force to nearly dead people in order to heal them and can even resurrect the dead. Commonly seen side-effects are fainting and dizziness due to the strain. Can also be used to drain life force as well, and finally, Descensum; the ability to descend into the netherworlds of the afterlife. Witches are able to project themselves directly into hell, which takes the form of their worst fears.

So that's a lot to work with! I really hope to make something out of this as I am really interested where this could take me creatively! Hopefully, you'll see some awesome images very soon, just in time for Halloween!

If anyone would like a tutorial about how I made these images, just let me know and I'll put together another blog post with loads of details.

Love, K :)

It's Time To Talk - 'Letters To...' Series

Sunday, 23 July 2017

   Once again, it's time to talk...

   I've been somewhat open on here about my mental health of late, but there is still so much to talk about. I honestly really like sharing my thoughts and feeling on a platform where I don't actually have to interact with anyone face to face, as it makes me feel really uncomfortable doing so. Which is why I have decided to start making a 'Letters To...' series. 

If you are unfamiliar with various 'Letters To...' series, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Emily Diana Ruth have both done 'Letters To...' series, Carrie's being 'Letters To Autumn' and Emily's being 'Letters To July'.

I don't intend my 'letter's to be held to one particular month or season. I intend them to be for me, wherever, whenever. They are going to be a place and a time where I can say what I'm feeling and to acknowledge what's happening around me, and hopefully, in turn, will help clear my head and help me make sense of a few things, and hopefully, you guys will enjoy them too.

It'll be a mix of whats happening in my everyday life and possibly a few things that have been on my mind for a while, mixed in with some lovely footage for your eyes to have a gander over! I'm not going to limit myself to a particular number of videos for this series every month so they will be released in 'parts'.

I hope you guys enjoy the series! The first part will be up soon!

Love,  K :)

20 Years Of Magic - Harry Potter's 20th Anniversary

Monday, 26 June 2017

I can't believe it's been 20 years...

Harry Potter has been in my life for as long as I can remember. On the 26th of June 1997, Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone was published in the UK. I would have been 8 months old and little did I or anyone else realise what an impact it would have on my life. The first Harry Potter film I went to see at the cinema was The Prisoner of Azkaban, and it remains to this day my favourite book and film.

I really can't put into words how much the books, films and characters of this fantastic series mean to me. Every time I open the books, it feels like I'm returning home; every page reunites me with old friends and every adventure I get to relive.

Harry Potter has touched so many lives throughout the publications of the books and the releases of the films, and now we have The Cursed child and the Fantastic Beasts films, it truly does show that the magic will always live on.

Bravery, kindness, understanding, hope and most importantly, love. These are all things that the book series have taught me, and it all started with The Philosophers Stone. Harry Potter will always be with me. I will read it to my children, my friend's children and they will read it to their own children. The magic will always live on, within us and within the wonder of the books and films.

Thank-you for 20 years of magic.

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

Love, K :)

Wizarding World Book Club!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Have you heard the news?! Pottermore are launching a Wizarding World Book Club, and I can't be more excited about it! I can't wait to delve into the books again, and this would be a brilliant starting point if you're someone who hasn't read the books before!

The Wizarding World Book Club aims to bring the wonderful community of Harry Potter and Wizarding World lovers back to the books and to celebrate them, as it's the 20th anniversary of The Philosophers Stone on the 26th on June! During the book club, everyone will have the chance to participate in discussing different themes every week, starting, of course, with The Philosophers Stone! You can participate on the Pottermore site or on the Book Clubs official Twitter! Every week, we will all be exploring a new theme of the wizarding world, diving deep into every little detail of each book.

It's going to be so much fun! 

I've also decided that as well as reading along with the community, I'll also be baking and making a Harry Potter inspired recipe each week so I've got something lovely to snack on whilst reading the books; which of course I will post on my blog, twitter and I'll also be making a video on my channel as well!

So get ready for an awesome few months of magic, wizards, cauldron cakes and pumpkin pasties!

The official start date for the book club is on the 26th of June, so get ready!

Love, K :)

The Snow Spider - Jenny Nimmo | Book Review

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Rating: 3.5/5

"On Gwyn's 9th birthday, his grandmother tells him he may be a magician, like his Welsh ancestors. She gives him five gifts to help him--a brooch, a piece of dried seaweed, a tin whistle, a scarf, and a broken toy horse. One blustery day, unsure what to do with his newfound magic, Gwyn throws the brooch to the wind and receives a silvery snow spider in return. Will he be able to use this special spider to bring his missing sister, Bethan, home?"

This was such a charming read and would be perfect for young children! I came across this book whilst browsing in my local Waterstones, as I was looking for a small-ish book to read, and The Snow Spider caught my eye!

This book was first published in 1986, and the cover of this edition is really beautiful. The Snow Spider tells the story of a young boy named Gwyn who learns from his grandmother that he is a magician. We follow his story from learning how to summon his magic and finding out what happened to his missing sister Bethan all those years ago.

Upon reading, you would have never guessed that this was written over 30 years ago! The themes and language are all very much as relevant as a book written today. The subjects tackled within this book I think are vital, especially as this targets such a young audience. The themes mainly circle around loss, coming to peace with that loss and being able to let go, which I found was quite cathartic whilst reading. 

It is implied early on in the book that the loss of Gwyn's sister, Bethan, has had a tremendous effect on his family home. No one speaks about it, Gwyn's father doesn't show him any affection and Gwyn's mother can't bring herself to accept that their daughter is gone. Throughout the book, we see these characters grow and (without giving too much away, I wouldn't want to spoil anything!) finally come to terms that their daughter has left them.

This is also implied in another way. Gwyn's grandmother, affectionally known as Nain, gives him three gifts for his birthday that he will have to give away to learn if he wants to uncover if he is a magician or not. Gwyn finds himself becoming quite attached to the objects but understands that he has to give them up if he wants what his heart desires. 

Overall, this is a very charming tale of courage and bravery. I found myself relating to Nain more than I would have imagined (the description of her front room is practically my bedroom!). In this edition of the book, there is bonus material for children to sink their teeth into if they want to know more about the Welsh legends that are included in the book.

Let me know what you thought of this book in the comments!

Love, K :)

Lush 'Lullaby' Shampoo Bar | Beauty Review

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

I have always been a bit sceptical when looking to buy the solid shampoo bars from Lush. It wasn't until the ethical reasons for buying them made me do so! Lush sell their shampoo bars free from packaging and are made from natural ingredients, so if you're worried about your impact on the planet, it's good to know that you are helping to reduce waste by buying these products.

As you have probably already guessed, the Lush 'Lullaby' Shampoo Bar is a solid shampoo which required no packaging (unless you want to buy one of the small tins available at Lush stores to pop it in!). And also, as stated before, I have always been a bit hesitant to buy one on the means of how good that they wash hair. I'm so used to using my regular shampoo which I know does well for my hair and cleans and conditions it. But recently I have been taking actions to see how I can reduce the waste that I create and one of those ways was to reduce the packaging that I consume in my daily routines, one of them being when I shower. 

I don't know about you guys, but I have a mass of half empty bottles on the side of my bathtub from Christmas presents and mismatched conditioner and shampoos. It makes a task for when it comes to cleaning the tub, and that's how it got me thinking about how I can reduce the waste of plastic bottles. The only store that I know of that sells waste-free products was Lush, and that's why I decided to give their shampoo bars a try!

The 'Lullaby' shampoo bar contains so many lovely ingredients for your hair, including Oat Milk which soothes and calms, Ground Almonds, Organic Jojoba Oil which moisturises, French Lavender Oil for a lovely relaxing scent, Roman Chamomile Oil, Lavender Absolute and Neroli Oil.

The first time I used this bar, I was really unsure of how well it washed my hair, as my hair didn't feel as smooth as it normally does when I wash it in the shower. I lathered the bar up by running it a few times onto my hair and soon enough there was enough shampoo for me to clean my hair. After I dried my hair I was blown away from the results! My hair felt soft, smooth and smelt amazing! My hair had a soft bounce to it and looked really healthy. 

Overall, I was really pleased with how this solid shampoo washed my hair, and I'm even happier that it had no packaging, so less waste!

Let me know what you thought of this product if you have used it! I can't wait to try out more products in the solid shampoo range.

Love, K :)

Mental Health

Saturday, 22 April 2017

It's time to talk. I've struggled with my mental health for a few years now, and I've always been so scared to talk about it to anyone. There are somethings that I'm not ready to talk about yet, but I'm feeling like my issues with mental health are starting to be something in which I can share with people and hopefully, it will help them as well as me.

A few weeks ago I took time out from social media, mainly my Youtube channel. I felt like it was all just getting a bit too much. I have these episodes where I'll be mentally okay for a few months, and then it will hit me all at once, and that's what happened a few weeks ago. I spent a full two days in bed, not motivated to do anything (even though I had film planning, editing and writing to do), I binged on junk food and slept for probably a good 16 hours on both days.

This has happened a few time in the past 4 years, and I always thought that was me just being lazy. I've always been labelled the 'lazy one' in the family, and my parents have always told me that I am, while also telling me to stop being so.

Please understand that I am not labelling myself as depressed. I know people who have depression and I wouldn't want to seem like I am somehow intruding onto the very serious mental illness, as I know that self-diagnosed mental illnesses have been at a bout of controversy at the moment and I wouldn't want to make people's actual issues with depression seem trivial or less important. I haven't been to the Doctor or GP to tell them how I feel, and that is a personal choice. In fact, I haven't really told anyone how I feel, and again, that is the choice that I am making. I feel better when I talk about my own mental health on platforms such as this, as (if you haven't guessed already) I don't really feel comfortable talking about it to those closest to me.

But let me be clear; being able to talk about mental health on any spectrum is a good step forward, and everyone should encourage it. If you are struggling with your mental health and want someone to talk to, go to a trusted friend or family member; they will be more understanding than you think, or perhaps a GP or therapist! There is no shame in telling people how you feel. With that being said, if you don't wnt to tell people how you feel, that's okay too, but if you are really struggling then please, find some courage and bravery (because I know you are both very courageous and very brave!) within yourself to accept that you might need a little help.

Stay brave x

K :)

Trollhunters - Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus | Book Review

Friday, 21 April 2017

Rating - 4/5

"Jim Sturges is your typical teen in suburban San Bernardino-one with an embarrassingly overprotective dad, a best friend named "Tubby" who shares his hatred of all things torturous (like gym class), and a crush on a girl who doesn't know he exists. But everything changes for Jim when a 45-year old mystery resurfaces, threatening the lives of everyone in his seemingly sleepy town. Soon Jim has to team up with a band of unlikely (and some un-human) heroes to battle the monsters he never knew existed."

I have been a fan of Guillermo del Toro ever since I watched Pan's Labyrinth in my Spanish class in year 9. And when I heard that he had written a book, I knew I just had to read it! It was everything I expected it to be from GdT, as his filmmaker style was eloquently transferred into his writing style, with clear connections and themes from his work in film.

I really enjoyed this book, although it did take me a while to get through; but that was down to personal reasons rather than the excitement of the book itself. I loved how this book started, taking a POV from the main characters father back when he was a little boy. It must have been an exciting read for younger readers, as I'm 20 and I was very hooked from the beginning. 

I really enjoyed the characters in Trollhunters, my favourite being Claire Fontaine (such a badass!). We are introduced to a wide variety of characters, and as the main two settings for this book is a High School in San Bernardino and in troll-infested sewers, we get a good selection of teens, teachers, and trolls that our main character, Jim Sturges, interacts with. 

Tollhunters also has within its pages some beautiful illustrations drawn by Sean Murray. I love a book with pictures as I feel like it kind of lets you into the mind of how the author/s would have wanted you to imagine their world that they have created. The illustrations truly are beautiful, but some of them are a bit gruesome! They come in super handy when faced with trying to think of how the trolls in the book look; they give you a helping hand.

Trollhunters is filled with young teenage love, wit, adventure and guts (quite literally). It was crammed with rich imagery and some of the most despicable trolls I have come across in fiction. There are moments of sadness, fear, loss and despair, but there are also moments of hope, love, bravery and friendship, which is what makes this story so great. It creates a family of misfits who battle trolls in the depths of night, and no one would ever have it any other way.

Overall, I really enjoyed Trollhunters and I think will be a great read for children from 10+, but it does have some strong language flittering every here and there, especially towards the end, so be warned, young readers! I hope this is part of a series as I would love to see Jim and his troll hunter friends progress through school. The ending of this story (without being too spoiler-y), does end on a bit of a cliffhang or at least is paving the way for another book to be written. I would definitely LOVE to read more from this world and possibly go to different countries!

Let me know if you have read Trollhunters and what you thought of it in the comments below!

Love, K :)

Lush 'Prince Of Darkness' Fresh Face Mask | Beauty Review

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

I recently bought a few items online at Lush the other week and I thought I would do a review of them, as I haven't done a beauty review in AGES and they are all amazing products. We are starting with the Lush Kitchen Oline Exclusive: Prince of Darkness Fresh Face Mask!

This mask of midnight contains loads of lovely skin perfecting ingredients, such as Kaolin and Fullers Earth; which cleanses the skin and absorbs oils, Powdered Charcoal; which is absorbent, soothing and antibacterial, Patchouli Oil; which has a relaxing and earthy aroma, Lavender Oil; which is balancing and calming and lastly, Fine Sea Salt which is mineral-rich and has antibacterial properties.

The first thing that I loved about this mask was just how dark it was! All of the other Lush Fresh Face masks that I have tried before were quite colourful, so it was interesting to see such a dark shade.

I loved the fragrance from this mask. The only way I can describe it is that it smells warm? I think with the combined smell of the Lavender oil and Fullers Earth it has quite a deep earthy smell which truly is wonderful! Perfect for feeling fresh.

I also really loved the exfoliant in this mask, I think it may have been either the charcoal or the sea salt? Every now and then I like my face to have a good ole' scrub as my face can get pretty dirty from being at work all day, so a natural exfoliant is something I look for in a great face mask and I know that all of the exfoliants in Lush face masks are environmentally friendly; unlike micro-beads that are commonly used in many store-bought face scrubs/masks. I tend to use my face-masks in the shower. I apply the mask making sure I stay away from sensitive areas such as the mouth and eyes and leave for about 10-15 minutes then I dampen my skin, start scrubbing and then wash off!

Because of how dark the face mask is, it did leave a slight stain on my face after washing it off in the shower, but a few extra washes with a flannel or a face soap will work just as well to get it all off.

My skin felt very clean afterward but did feel the teeniest bit dry. I solved this by putting a little bit of facial moisturiser on, and Bob's your Uncle, my skin was lovely, smooth and clean!

This would be a great face mask for those of you who have oily skin (much like myself) as the charcoal and Fullers Earth are great for soaking up any excess oil and impurities. I don't think this wold be a good choice for those of you who have sensitive skin, as the exfoliant in it may be too coarse.

Let me know if you have used this face mask and what you thought of it in the comments below!

Love, K :)

How I Get Into Writing Mode

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Some of you guys may know that I love writing. In fact, I've got a Tumblr blog dedicated to it - booksandenchantedthings - and I know that writing is hard, believe me, I'm struggling right now! It isn't an easy task trying to write down what's in your head; I've struggled with this for years, from in school to even trying to tell my ideas to get them across to someone. Luckily I've found some ways that help me get into the writing mode which in turn allows me to get into that 'flow mode' and the words just spill out like magic. 

I would like to say, before starting to list things that may help you nudge into 'flow', that I have recently been writing on paper, not my laptop, and it has made a MASSIVE difference to my productivity! I am achieving 'flow' a lot better and find it easier to write in general. I gave this tip to a few of my friends and they have told me that they get on so much better with their writing now!

I think a break away from a computer screen and going back to the 'old school' way is a major difference for some of us, and maybe that's why it's so effective! Right, here are my tips!
  1. Sit somewhere with no distractions! I sit at my desk when I write, that way, when I'm at my desk, my mind is like 'time to write!'. This by any means doesn't mean you can't write anywhere that isn't a desk, just find somewhere where, if you are going to be writing or a long period (1 hour +), that's cosy and you know you won't be distracted.
  2. Grab a cuppa! I always have a tea with me when I write. It makes me feel cosy and tastes amazing!
  3. Biscuits! Writing is hard work, so you're going to need some fuel! I always have a few biscuits at hand; my personal favourites are chocolate digestives.
  4. A cold drink! Yes, I'm one of those people that go to bed with a cold and hot drink and I write the same way! I always have both, just in case you fancy something cooler after you've finished your tea; you don't want to be distracted by thirst whilst writing!
  5. A good playlist! I have made a few playlists for different stories that I'm writing and I listen to them on Spotify! I create a custom playlist so I can get the feel of what the story sounds like and then I write to it. This helps me feel like I'm more in the world I'm trying to write, which I think, helps me write more vividly. 
  6. Do a quick yoga session! If you're stressed or can't seem to focus, I really do recommend a bit of yoga! I know everyone's banging on about it at the moment, but I personally find that it helps! This video is only 8 minutes long and is made to help you concentrate to get that 'flow' and helps energize your body! I really love watching these videos and the host is SUPER LOVELY and really helps connect your body, mind and spirit, putting you at ease!
  7. Time to knuckle down! This is it; the moment you've been working towards! Whether it's pen to paper or finger on a keyboard, I wish you the best of luck on your writing journey! Remember, we all have struggles and set backs, but learn to take them in your stride and with a pinch of salt and a smile! Mistakes are how we learn! 
I wish you well, young ones! See you on the other side!

Love, K :)

How To Be An Earlybird

Thursday, 9 February 2017

I've never been an 'earlybird', just ask my family. I've always been the one known for sleeping in till very late, and by very late I mean like midday, maybe even 1pm... I know, it's crazy, but I have stopped all of that now, and if you too have trouble being an earlybird, then I have a few tips to help you wake up a little bit earlier, tried and tested by my very own self!

  1. Sleep at the opposite end of the bed - I know this may seem a little strange, but I tried it myself and found that it really worked somehow? It links more into the tip I'm going to give next, so let's give you some context for the situation: my bed is next to my desk (others may have a bedside table), and on my desk I put my phone, laptop, assorted drinks and what-have-you, so by sleeping at the opposite end of the bed, I'm less tempted to check my phone or go on my laptop. Also, the change in where I'm sleeping really made a difference! When I woke up it was a little strange as I'm used to waking up the other end of the bed, so perhaps the slight disorientated feeling helped to waking up more alert.
  2. Put your phone away from your bed - Now, this is where the previous tip comes in. Because I now sleep the other end of the bed, I put my phone on my desk so I literally have to get out of bed to reach it, which is great if my phone is my alarm because the motion of actually getting up from bed helps me feel more awake in the morning rather than reaching for it on my desk with just my arm. 
  3. Do some bedtime yoga the night before - I love doing yoga and have found that it really helps me feel relaxed for bedtime. One of my favourite sequences is the 20 minute Bedtime Yoga Routine by Yoga With Adrienne, which you can watch here!
  4. Light a candle a few hours before bed - I love the smell of Lavender, and the scent also helps to send you off to sleep! I have a Lavender candle on my desk that I light whenever I'm writing or editing at my desk, it's also lovey to light when you're doing your bedtime yoga!
  5. Plan your day the night before - I feel that knowing what I want to achieve the next day, what my goals are and things I need to do, really helps me feel relaxed the night before. That way, I go to bed with an optimistic outlook of the approaching day. Plus, it helps to keep me on track and stay organised!
  6. Graduate your alarm - To do this, I had to discover my natural waking up time, which was about 9:45am -10am. So what I did was, the next morning I set my alarm for 9:30am, then the next morning I set it for 9:15am, and the next day, 9am... Do you see where I'm going with this? I eventually made it so that I was waking up at 7am without that groggy feeling, which is something that I have hated. I feel that this method really works because it's not a drastic change, it's gradual, and it's easy on your body clock! For those of you who are really bad at waking up in the morning, why not try setting your alarm only 10 minutes or 5 minutes earlier each day, rather than 15 minutes.

So, there are some of my tips for becoming an earlybird! These tips and tricks have really helped my become an early riser, and I am feeling more energized and excited for the day, not to mention that I am able to get a lot more done! Its amazing what you can accomplish with an extra hour or two a day!

Let me know if these tips have helped you; leave a comment in the section below!

Love, K :)

I've Got Merch?! | My Redbubble Shop

Monday, 23 January 2017

That's right! I've designed my own stuff! You can view my Redbubble shop here! I have been working on these designs for a few months now, and was hoping to design a few things that related to my channel, my hobbies and things that I think you guys would like. I'm still working on a few more designs and will upload them when they are finished! This has been something that I have been wanting to do for a while and have been working on for about 4 months! It's so nice to, finally, be able to share this with you all!

I have been wanting to design a top and a few other pieces for a while now. This stemmed from when I do graphic design for one of my jobs! I really enjoyed designing things for Rebecca, my employer (and good friend) and thought I could use my new skills in other areas, and apply them on clothing and accessories! Redbubble was my first choice as I've heard great things about it and it ships worldwide!

The best thing about creating designs on Redbubble is that you can customise them however you would like! So, if you see a design you love, you can have it on what ever you like; from a tee, a jumper, hoodie, cup, book, sticker and many more things! You also get to decide what colour you would like your item to be. Creators and artists can have control over how much items are prices, although there is a minimum sale price as Redbubble have to carry out the order, make it, ship it ect, but I have tried my best to make the items available at the lowest price possible to make it affordable for everyone.

I really hope you guys enjoy the designs on my shop! You can tag your purchases with #KCxRB on social media so I can see them! I would love to see how you've customised a design I have made.

Love, K :)

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