Wow, I honestly can't believe that I'm 20! Almost 2 weeks later and it still hasn't sunk in that I'm no longer a teenager, despite my birthday being well and truly over. That being said, I had such a lovely time celebrating and was utterly spoilt by everyone. Although I'm back to reality now, I didn't want my birthday to pass without documenting it on my blog, especially since I know that a lot of you are eager to hear what I got up to! So if you'd like to know everything that I did on my 20th birthday, make sure you keep reading!

I started off my birthday to see that my boyfriend and one of my housemates had decorated the living room of our student house with tons of balloons and banners, which was such a sweet surprise that I wasn't expecting at all! My boyfriend also gave me some lovely presents, including this absolutely stunning Morphe eyeshadow palette and Ophra highlighter which you'll definitely be seeing a lot of in my upcoming blog posts. He also bought me a pair of trainers that I can't wait to wear in the warmer weather, some bath bombs for the perfect pamper evening and lots of my favourite chocolates (which I'm still making my way through, two weeks later!) I think the thing that stood out to me the most was how perfect each item was suited to me and how everything had been carefully thought of, and I honestly love all of it!

My three housemates (who are some of my closest friends and I absolutely adore) also completely spoilt me and bought me a Givenchy gift set containing a perfume, mascara and lipstick. These are all absolutely gorgeous but my friends are way too generous for going out of their way and doing this! Again, this won't be the last you'll be seeing of them on my blog!

After a chilled morning of getting ready and Facetiming both my parents and my grandparents (they came to see me for my birthday at a later date, but I still wanted to chat to them on the day), it was time for me and Aiden to head out. One of my favourite things for us to do together is play mini-golf, so that's exactly what we decided to do at Roxy's Ballroom in Manchester. This was such a cool and urban location and is deceivingly massive inside, and we had a ball (no pun intended) in the photo booth and playing mini-golf. I'll definitely be heading back there at some point, and if you're over 18 in Manchester and looking for a chill place to play mini-golf, pool, table tennis or beer pong then this is perfect for you.

After mini-golf, we decided to go for cocktails in Slug and Lettuce, since this is one of my favourite places to go for drinks and the interior is honestly to-die-for. We also went for food, which was a Nandos since I'd been craving one for the past few months and was dying to have my favourite sunset burger, and I'll admit it definitely lived up to the expectations. 

Of the evening, I decided that I'd prefer to have a cosy night in the house with drinks rather than going out, since we'd been out all day and also the previous evening to celebrate the end of exams. We spent the night with my housemates making cocktails, playing on the Wii and honestly just having a laugh, and it was such a lovely night together. Also, two of my boyfriend's friends decided to drive to Manchester to join us and they also brought me flowers, how sweet!

And that was my 20th birthday! I also had the chance to celebrate with and see my parents, grandparents and my boyfriend's parents within the following week, which was lovely and honestly I wasn't complaining about elongating the celebrations! Overall, my 20th was such a lovely occasion and I feel so blessed to have spent it with the best people who all made me feel incredibly special and loved! Also, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it such a special day, I genuinely don't know what I did to deserve the best people in my life. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and I'll see you soon with a new one!

Wow, long time no see! The last month has honestly been hectic for me and I feel as though I haven't stopped! Although you haven't missed anything interesting - after the excitement of Christmas wore down and the holiday blues set in, I've been drowning in revision and essay deadlines. Amidst all of this chaos, I thought it'd be nice to discuss my goals for the new year and little changes that I'd like to make in 2020, so I hope you enjoy hearing what I want to focus on!

Read more books that I genuinely want to read
Doing an English literature degree means that I naturally read a lot, and quite often I have an average of 3 texts each week that I study. Although I want to continue staying on top of this reading in 2020, I also want to make more time for the books that I want to read and that I'm passionate about, outside of my university curriculum. Working in a bookstore means I'm constantly seeing amazing new releases and intriguing books that I'm dying to read, and so I'm determined to make more time for these in the upcoming year. I'm also the sci-fi and fantasy section owner in my store, and so I want to ensure that I keep up-to-date with new releases and widen my horizons within this genre.

Establish a proper morning routine
When I'm at university, it can be incredibly easy to roll out of bed an hour before my first lecture begins, rush to get ready and then speedwalk to the bus stop to ensure that I make it in on time. However, I'm determined to make the most of my mornings this year and get up earlier to be productive and have a proper routine. Although I'm not back at uni yet, I've started by making sure I have breakfast every morning (either porridge or Weetabix are my go-to) and I've also been doing a workout a couple times a week, which has definitely left me feeling motivated and energised for the day. I've still got to finalise my morning routine, but once it's finished I'm sure I can write a post about it if that's something you'd like to see.

Have a healthier lifestyle
Following on from the last point, 2020 is the year that I really want to start living a much healthier lifestyle. Although I did this intermittently throughout 2019 and had phases of going to the gym and eating healthier, it's not something that I was consistent at. I've started getting back into working out again this year (although from home, since the gym is ridiculously expensive!) and I'm also eager for my dance classes to start again soon. I've also been making a conscious effort to eat more fruit and vegetables, as well as cutting out sugar and unhealthy foods where I can, and I've also been trying to cut down my meat intake where possible. It's actually been a lot easier than I expected - I'd become sick of takeaways by the end of December - but it's only been a few weeks so we'll have to see how it goes!

Up my blogging and social media game
I absolutely adore blogging and it's such a huge passion of mine, however, when I have necessary requirements like university and my part-time job, my blog can get pushed to the bottom of the pile. I really want to get back into posting frequently, both on here and on my social media accounts, and increasing the quality of what you see. I also received a ring light for Christmas so there's really no excuse for my photos to not be amazing now! I'm honestly incredibly excited for this year of blogging ahead, and I've already got tons of ideas that you'll have to keep an eye out for!

Focus on myself more
I love treating other people, but sometimes amongst my busy schedule and hectic life I can forget to treat myself. Whether that's by purchasing a new outfit, having a pamper evening or indulging in a slice of cake and a good book, I want to reward myself and dedicate more time to myself this year. Rather than seeing things like washing my hair as a chore, I want to try and indulge more in my hair and body care routine, taking the time to do little things that I enjoy like painting my nails and fake tanning. So not to be selfish or anything, but this year is going to be all about treating myself again.

Step outside of my comfort zone
I'm very much the type of person who stays within their comfort zone and will only do things that they're comfortable with, but I'm determined to change this and broaden my horizons more this year. I reached a point a few years ago of really challenging myself to be outside of my comfort zone, but when my mental health took a sharp decline I receded back into the comforts of the familiar. I don't really have any particular plans of how I'm going to do this, although my boyfriend and I are taking skiing lessons in a few weeks that I'm absolutely terrified of, so maybe that's a good place to start!

What are your resolutions and plans for the new year? I'd love to know down in the comments!

The arrival of winter means an entirely new wardrobe... right? Under the guise of a post-essay treat, I decided to purchase a variety of new clothing items from Shein (if you're not familiar, they are an extremely affordable online store - think Primark but online) and I couldn't help but add tons of items into my basket. Not only is winter well and truly upon us, but I'm going to Krakow next week and wanted to feel stylish while I'm there, plus Christmas and New Year means that I'll have various occasions and chances to get dressed up within the next few months. Although I majorly streamlined my basket and also ensured I had the best deals possible (a combination of Black Friday sales and my student discount), I'm in love with all of the items I picked up and thought that a haul post was necessary! Also, you're going to have to excuse the lack of fake tan, as I didn't realise how pale my body looked until all of the photos were finished. Anyway, on with the post!

Black Double Button Tweed Pinafore Dress

Anyone who knows me will understand that my go-to style for winter is a skirt or pinafore paired with a jumper, and so this Black Double Button Tweed Pinafore had my name written all over it. Tweed seems to be very in-style this season, having a fashionable look that is even a bit classy, and I instantly knew that I'd get a lot of wear out of this. Although it was incredibly affordable, I'd personally say that it looks a bit more expensive, especially with the button detailing down the front that adds some more interest. Although this looked monochromatic on the model (and perhaps in my photos too), if you look closely you'll actually see baby blues and dusky pinks running through it amongst other colours, which is definitely a nice touch that I wasn't expecting. I paired this with a tight-fitting jumper, and this in combination with the low cut of the pinafore is definitely flattering and accentuates your figure, especially if you're like me and have a slim build and small chest. One thing to be aware of is that it comes up slightly big - I ordered it in an XS but I'd prefer if the skirt was slightly tighter, but this is just me being fussy.

Double Breasted Front Tweed Skirt

Again with the tweed - you can tell that I was really loving this trend whilst placing my order! I knew that this item would fit the bill of my 'jumper and skirt' style perfectly, and as you already gathered I really like the gold button detailing down the front. Although I was initially tempted by the monochrome version on the website, I decided to opt for a pop of colour instead, and I'm really pleased I did as this is so different to anything else that I own. Although the colour looked quite muted online and is described as burgundy, it's actually a much more vibrant red - I personally love this, but it was unexpected. Like with the last one, this Double Breasted Front Tweed Skirt is slightly longer and wider than I'd like (again, I'm just being very picky as it still fits really well) so you might consider sizing down if possible.

Camel Double Breasted Coat

I've been on the hunt for the perfect camel coat all season (I remember seeing some in Primark way back in August, and since then they were always sold out of my size every time I popped in), but I stumbled upon this one on the Shein website and instantly fell in love. Although it was slightly more expensive than the other items, this was to be expected for a sturdy, thick winter coat, and it was still affordable once my discounts were applied. It's the perfect length for me, and despite being quite small it doesn't look too long, and despite being structured it's still comfortable and not restrictive. I can't wait to start wearing this, since this Camel Double Breasted Coat has definitely filled the gap in my wardrobe that I've had for quite a while!

Open Front Pearls Beaded Tweed Jacket

The third (and final) tweed item in this haul is this gorgeous jacket, which has actually been sitting in my favourites on Shein since last year and I finally bit the bullet and purchased it. Items like this are so versatile, in my opinion - it's the perfect way to dress up a simple jumper and jeans, like how I styled it in the photo, or it could be worn over a dress for a fancier occasion. This Open Front Beaded Tweed Jacket feels very trendy and classy, and it'll also be perfect to take me through to the spring where I no longer need a coat but still want to wear a lighter jacket.

Contrast Leopard Panel Top

This was a really cheap t-shirt which I spotted and knew that I'd get quite a bit of wear out of in the warmer months, but it was too cute to turn down. I really like the look of a baggy t-shirt tied at the bottom, and it looks cute either with jeans or a maxi skirt. Although I probably won't be wearing this Contrast Leopard Panel Top for a few months as it's freezing in England, I definitely think I'll be reaching for this as we start approaching spring.

Dobby Mesh Puffed Polka Dot Sleeve Top

This Dobby Mesh Puffed Polka Dot Sleeve Top is very different from what I'd normally wear and is definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I fell in love with it on the website and thought that I would give it a try. In my mind, this is perfect for a date night or if I was going out for a meal or an occasion where I wanted to be quite dressy, and I think that it'll look gorgeous with jeans and a pair of heels. The top fits nicely, although there isn't much give to it so I'd be wary of this, and I adore how the sleeves look, and they are definitely a bold statement. I can't wait to wear this out, although I'll perhaps be a bit too cold since it's the middle of winter right now!

High Neck Snakeskin Fitted T-Shirt

It seems as though animal print is the other trend of this haul, but I've been seeing many different tops like this High Neck Snakeskin Fitted T-Shirt lately and knew I wanted to try one. The stretchy material means that it's really comfortable, and although it's slim-fitting it isn't at all restrictive. I thought that this would be perfect to wear of a daytime with tights and a coat, but I think it would also look lovely paired with a little skirt on a night out, meaning it gives the best of both worlds.

Crocodile Embossed Cami Bodycon Dress

I'll be completely honest with you guys, I felt a little insecure when taking photos of this outfit, just cause of how skinny I look, but I love the dress too much not to include it in this post. When I ordered it online, I thought that it was grey and black based on the photos, however it is instead a bright, metallic silver. Although this Crocodile Embossed Cami Bodycon Dress is definitely bolder than I expected, it is stunning nonetheless. I'm a sucker for cheap dresses to go clubbing in, and so for only a few pounds I couldn't resist this one. Although I envisioned this dress being for a normal night out, I definitely think that it has the wow-factor perfect for New Year's Eve. The dress is bodycon and therefore tight-fitting, but it's very stretchy and you won't feel uncomfortable wearing it throughout the night.

What's your favourite fashion steal from Shein? Let me known down in the comments!

You've probably noticed that I've been absent on here over the past few weeks, and that's because I've been drowning in work. Despite my university saying that they make a conscious effort to spread deadlines apart, I ended up with three essays due within 10 days of each other, and let's just say that stressed is an understatement! Trying to juggle the different essays was difficult enough, but I also had other lectures and seminars to attend with reading for each of these, my part-time job and other commitments, so I genuinely felt as though I didn't have a minute spare. Now that they're finally over and I don't have any more work due until January, I thought I'd share my tips for surviving essay season and coping with deadlines, so make sure you keep reading to hear how I did it!

Make a huge to-do list to organise your mind
When you're juggling different tasks you can easily start to get confused, and the last thing you want is to get the deadline dates mixed up so you hand in the wrong essay, or write an essay with the wrong word count. I like to make a note of all of these important details on a sticky note to make sure that I'm not going to forget them and keep it somewhere where I'll always see it. Then, I usually make a huge to-do list of everything I need to do for each essay (rather than simply saying 'write essay', I will break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks). This makes it clear exactly what I need to do and helps to ensure that nothing is forgotten, plus it's super satisfying ticking something off after a long day of work. 

Plan your time and make a schedule
If you're like me and have a lot of other commitments outside of school or university, then it's important to plan ahead and account for this. For example, I have work every Friday and Saturday, so I knew that any essays due on a Monday had to be done before this, as otherwise I would only have Sunday to do it all and that would be a very last-minute panic. It's also important to have a chill and spend some time with your family and friends, and by planning your time it is a lot easier to see when you can do so.

Don't just focus on one task
Although it can be tempting to focus solely on one task until it's perfect, you then run the risk of not leaving enough time for your other tasks and therefore they will be more rushed and haphazard. As difficult as it may be, juggling the various essays and working on them simultaneously will help to ensure that they are all done and are good quality, plus it'll hopefully prevent any all-night study sessions in a desperate attempt to finish.

Speak to teachers and utilise office hours
This is something that I was quite reluctant to do last year, since it can seem quite daunting speaking to an academic and sharing an essay idea on a subject that they are an expert in. However, this year I have realised just how much it helps, as talking through your thesis and debating aspects of your essay plan will really help to refine your ideas and perhaps open up new possibilities that you hadn't previously considered. Their job is to help, so I'd definitely utilise their knowledge and get advice wherever you can.

Remember to take care of yourself
Just because you're in an intense period doesn't mean that you should neglect self-care. Whilst I had my essay season, I made a conscious effort to eat a healthy and balanced diet, as constantly reaching for junk food over and over again will make you feel worse both inside and out. I also tried my hardest to sleep well and tried to be asleep before midnight when possible, as although it can be tempting to stay up all night trying to fit in extra work, you simply won't be as productive when you're tired, or it'll hinder how much you get done the next day.

Treat yourself at the end of it
Once all of the work is finally done, you deserve to reward yourself! Whether that's by going out for celebratory cocktails or buying that handbag you've had your eyes on, you deserve to de-stress and treat yourself.

What are your secrets to surviving essay seasons? Let me know down in the comments!

It's no secret that I absolutely adore Flower Beauty: I use their products every day, feature them quite often on my Instagram and also wrote reviewed their Light Illusion Foundation and Concealer a couple of months back. So you can imagine my joy when a parcel of their products landed on my doorstep last week - it was like Christmas came early! I thought it was only right to share the products with you and give you my first impressions, so make sure you keep reading to hear what I think of them. Before I begin, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the team at Flower Beauty for sending these out to me and I'll definitely be using them often! Now, on with the post!

First up is the Flower Beauty Supernova Celestial Skin Elixir, which just from a first glance looks absolutely stunning. I remember Barry M coming out with some highlighter drops similar to these a few years ago and everyone went absolutely crazy for them, but I never got the chance to try them out, so now I'm excited to have something similar! This product claims to hydrate, prime and smooth the skin whilst adding a stunning glow, and I can definitely say that it does just that. If you're in the mood for an all-over radiance then apply this product under your makeup and the pearlescent glow will subtly show through - enough to give you an illuminated look without being too over the top. It also looks nice applied lightly to the tops of your cheekbones over any makeup for a warm and radiant glow that is much more natural than applying loads of highlighter. So far it's a 10/10 from me, as it's perfect for injecting the glow that my skin is longing for in the dull and dreary winter months, and I can't wait to also give it a try on my body as apparently it looks dreamy on the collarbones!

When I saw that the Miracle Matte Liquid Lipsticks were included in the parcel I was honestly made up, as it was only a few days earlier that I was in Superdrug swatching them all and was very tempted to buy one. They sent me four gorgeous colours that pretty much have me covered for any occasion: an everyday, wearable nude; a girly blush pink; a bright, pillarbox red that is definitely perfect for Christmas; and a vampier mauve-purple shade. They apply with a very intense pigmentation, which is especially surprising for the darker shades as they aren't patchy in the slightest, although they do take a little bit of time to dry down. If you're a matte lip lover then these will be perfect for you, and they also act as a lovely base for a lipgloss if that's more up your street.

From left to right - 'Bare Honey', 'Nude Blush', 'Dark & Stormy' and 'Scarlett Letter'

The next thing that I received was the In Your Prime Pore Minimising Primer, which was a pleasant addition to my collection as I've needed a new primer for quite some time now. Perhaps one of my biggest makeup struggles is that my foundation quickly wears off my nose, and so having a primer to maintain my makeup always makes a huge difference. I definitely think that it helped to minimise my pores too, creating a blurred and perfected base for my makeup, and I can't wait to keep trying it.

The final product that I was sent was their brand new Seal The Deal Luminizing Setting Spray, which I was thrilled to receive as I've seen it all over their Instagram recently. I've tried a few setting sprays in the past, and I often find that they act as though they are doing something when really they make no difference - however, this one actually works! It creates a gorgeous glow (not a wet look like some setting sprays) and honestly locks my makeup in place all day, and I think this will now be an important step in my daily makeup routine. It also leaves the skin feeling incredibly nourished and hydrated, there's genuinely nothing that I can fault!

Thank you again to the team at Flower Beauty for sending me these products (and all the way from New York as well!) as I am honestly made up with them, and I'll probably be including them in a makeup tutorial sometime soon if that is something that you guys would like to see. Let me know down in the comments what your favourite product from Flower Beauty is, as I'd love to hear which one is your fave!