It's crazy how quickly 2015 passed, and now it's time once again to pick my resolutions for the upcoming year. In my previous post, I reviewed last year's goals and said which once I had achieved and which ones I hadn't, so if you haven't seen that then you can find it here. Now, I will be deciding on my newest resolutions, so I thought it might be interesting to share them with you.

Goal 1: Make more of an effort with my makeup
Quite often, I'll go for a minimalistic makeup look or only apply a bit of concealer and mascara before I'm good to go. However, I've realised that I have a lot of makeup and might as well use it whenever I get the chance, particularly when going out and on the weekends. I really enjoy applying makeup and trying different products, so I definitely want to make the most of this and take the time to apply both more makeup and also vary my makeup looks.

Goal 2: Stick to an effective skincare routine
This is a repeat resolution from last year, which I completely failed at, so I thought it was only right to give it another go. I’m quite bad at sticking to a skincare routine, especially when I’m not wearing any makeup, and I understand that this is terrible for your skin. Now that I’ve got the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, I definitely feel as though I will be able to maintain an effective skincare routine and I'm going to try my hardest to keep it up.

Goal 3: Read as many books as possible
I go through phases of reading lots of books and then not picking up one for a while, but I definitely want to steer away from this bad habit and start reading books regularly. Reading is probably one of my favourite hobbies and I’ll happily spend all night with my nose in a good book, but I want to try my hardest to get through more books this year, as well as trying novels by new authors and choosing more challenging reads.

Goal 4: Work harder to improve my blog content
I’m always looking to improve my blog, and right now I feel as though my problem lies with my content. I’m happy with the appearance of my blog and I’ve definitely upped my photography more recently, but I really want to try my hardest to create engaging, captivating content that attracts my readers. I'll be working on all aspects of blogging in 2016, with a particular focus on creating the best posts possible.

Goal 5: Have a healthier lifestyle
I’m quite unhealthy, with a chocolate obsession and spending a lot of my free time on my laptop, rather than exercising. However, I really want to improve this and I'd like to try and exercise more often, as I actually enjoy it when I make the effort. I also want to eat better foods and drink more water, as I definitely find this beneficial but often don't do it. I say this every year and it never happens, but this time, I’m determined to change.

I hope you liked hearing what my New Years Resolutions are and I'll make sure to update you on how well I'm doing in the future. I'd love to know what your resolutions are for the new year, so make sure you let me know down in the comments. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful New Year since I'll next see you in 2016!

Love from Daisy x

At the end of 2014, I decided to set myself quite a few New Years Resolutions, hoping that if they were on my blog and visible for all of my readers, then I'd be more likely to accomplish them. This definitely happened with some of them, but others I failed miserably at and only managed to upkeep for a few weeks. In this post, I'll be sharing all of these and saying how I did with them for a final time, before I set my new resolutions in my next blog post.

1. Stick to a skincare routine
I love having clean skin that is well looked after, but I'm often incredibly lazy and don't stick to this as much as I should. Sometimes, I'll just use face wipes or micellar water when I really should make the effort to use a proper cleanser on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I didn't do very well with this resolution, but hopefully, I'll be able to try again this year and I'm determined to stick to an effective skincare routine.

2. Try out bold lipsticks
At the start of the year, I was very much scared of bold lipsticks and never wore them, but I've become more comfortable with them over the course of the year. Although I don't wear more daring lipsticks as often as I'd like, I've definitely improved with this and quite often find myself reaching for a berry lip colour, in particular the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Raplumzel. I actually wrote a post about my favourite bold lipsticks, which you can find here.

3. Experiment with eyeliner
I'm ashamed to say that at the start of the year I could barely do eyeliner and really struggled with it. Throughout the year, I've definitely improved this skill and I'm much more confident with applying it now. I don't wear eyeliner incredibly often, but I've definitely tried harder to make the effort. For me, pencil eyeliners are definitely the way forward, and surprisingly a £1 brown eyeliner from MUA is my favourite to use.

4. Vary my eye makeup
My problem with eye makeup, particularly eyeshadow, was that I never strayed from my comfort zone and instead only worn neutral looks. I'll admit that I haven't improved a fair deal with this, as I will still quite often wear a bronze or champagne eyeshadow. However, I have experimented with some more pink-toned eyeshadows, particularly those from the Naked 3 Palette by Urban Decay, so some progress has been made.

5. Make my blog more user-friendly
I feel as though I've definitely taken a step towards achieving this resolution, as I've been working hard to improve the experience that my readers have when visiting my blog. The most noticeable change has been my template, which went from being a boring, unoriginal template that I was unhappy with to something that looks more professional and easier to navigate. I'm always looking for ways to improve the experience that users have on my blog, but I feel as though entirely changing the appearance and layout was a step in the right direction.

6. Use social media more often
2015 was the year where I fully introduced my blog to social media, broadening its horizons on the Internet. I created a Twitter account, which has really helped with promoting my blog, and I've also become an avid Pinterest user. I made a Facebook page, which I'm still working on improving, and more recently I've started an Instagram. Although a few of these are in the early days, I feel as though I've accomplished this goal.

7. Film a video to accompany my blog
This goal wasn't attempted, simply because I still don't feel ready to start a YouTube or film videos. This is definitely something I want to do in the future, but for now, I'm comfortable with just blogging and find that I'm not yet ready to explore this new form of media. However, there's definitely a possibility for the future, which I may think about soon.

8. Work on my photography
With my addiction to Pinterest has come a newfound inspiration to improve my photography. Although I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be with my photos, I feel as though I've really progressed over the year. I've definitely paid more attention to details, ensured that the lighting was good and used editing in an effective way to make my images much better, so I'd class this as a success.

9. Have a blogging schedule
I'm proud to say that I managed to stick to my blogging schedule throughout the year, producing two posts ever week that I was proud of. One of the problems that I had in 2014 was that I often took breaks and missed posts when I didn't feel like blogging, but in 2015, I managed to overcome this and prepare in advance so that I'd always have a post to upload.

10. Interact with other bloggers
This year, I've made many new blogging friends and started talking to a lot of other creators, which I'm really pleased with. I've gained loyal readers and also found many new blogs that I've fallen in love with. However, I think there's always room for improvement, and I'd love to be able to talk to even more bloggers in the future.

I'd love to know what your resolutions from last year were and whether you achieved them or not, so make you let me know down in the comments! Thanks for reading and I'll see you on Wednesday, where I'll be setting my new resolutions for 2016.

Love from Daisy x

Christmas is literally right around the corner, but surprisingly, a lot of people may not be fully ready or feeling the Christmas spirit. I know that my festivities started weeks ago, but it's never too late to start preparing for the special day and going out of your way to feel a bit festive. I've compiled this list of some of my favourite ways of embracing the Christmas spirit, which will hopefully be helpful for you.

Decorating the house - I'll be incredibly surprised if your Christmas tree still isn't up by now, but if you haven't got one then why wait? It's never too late to decorate your house or add some final touches if your decorating is done, as this will set the mood for the upcoming days and make you feel a lot more festive.

Wrapping presents - Some people prefer to do this as soon as the gifts have been purchased and others like to wait until the last minute, but if you haven't done this yet then I'd take care of it now. Rather than allowing this to become a boring and laborious task, lighten the mood by watching a film or listening to some music, as this will make the hard task seem much more bearable.

Watch some Christmas films - I'm a huge lover of Christmas films and they instantly put me in a better mood, so now is the perfect opportunity to watch some. My favourite has to be Home Alone, but there are definitely plenty to choose from that will keep you entertained and feeling festive.

Listen to Christmas music - There's nothing better than listening to Christmas music when you're not feeling festive, so why not put on some songs and brighten the mood? Whether you make a playlist, turn on one of the Christmas music channels or listen to the radio, I can guarantee that even a small amount of Christmas music will bring you festive cheer.

Open your advent calendars - It's around this time of the year when advent calendars tend to be neglected and forgotten about, as the novelty soon wears off. However, don't let yours be discarded and make the effort to stick to the tradition, as such a simple thing like opening a cardboard door can really prepare you for the festive season.

Do some festive activities - There are plenty of things for you to do at this time of year, which will help you to embrace the Christmas spirit. Why not go ice skating or play in the snow if you're lucky enough to have any? Shopping can also be fun at this time of year and is the perfect opportunity to finish buying presents. If you'd like to remember the real story of Christmas, I'd take the time to visit Church as well.

Get cosy and read a good book - This might not appeal to everyone, but I love feeling cosy and reading a good book in the winter. There's something about being lovely and warm inside whilst the weather is horrible that makes me feel festive.

Visit friends and family - All it may take for you to prepare you for Christmas is to visit some of your friends and family, especially those who you may not see often. Now is the perfect time to catch up and enjoy one another's company during this festive season.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope that I've helped you feel more festive. Since my next post will be uploaded on Sunday, I hope that all of my readers have a very Merry Christmas and I'll see you soon!

Love from Daisy x
Festive Lipsticks Daisies and Delights

This time of year is perfect for incorporating a bold lip colour into your makeup routine, especially with Christmas being right around the corner. There are many different lipstick options to choose from and products to try, ranging from bold berry tones and rich reds. If you're unsure as to what product may be perfect for you, my advice and suggestions might be useful. I've decided to share with my four favourite festive lip products with you, which hopefully you'll find helpful when deciding.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Lip Balm in Keep Mauving
This is my newest bold lip discovery but so far I've been incredibly impressed with it. When it is applied, it produces a pinkish berry shade that has a slight glossiness to it. Unlike a lot of lip crayons, it is incredibly pigmented and even just a light coat of this will provide an intense amount of colour. However, it isn't matte and still feels silky and comfortable on the lips. Also, it lasts throughout the day, making it a lovely alternative to a lipstick that I'd definitely recommend trying.

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Raplumzel
I talk about this lip crayon regularly on my blog, which is simply because I love it and think that it's one of the best of its kind. The colour is a gorgeous berry colour that I find really flattering, but it can also be worn lightly for a vague sheen of pigment, which makes it versatile for any look. This lip crayon smells delicious, is incredibly glossy without being sticky on the lips and is long lasting, so you don't have to constantly reapply it. I honestly couldn't critique this lip crayon, which is why it is one of my go-to products for the festive season.

Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Sepia
I was incredibly thankful to be sent this product around spring, but unfortunately, this colour wasn't appropriate for the season. Now that we've entered the colder months, I feel as though I've found a purpose for this lipstick and I'll definitely be wearing it more often. This hydrating, semi-matte lipstick makes it more bearable to wear an intensely pigmented product. Despite being a lipstick, this product isn't clingy on dry patches, which are often present on my lips in the winter, and it lasts for a long time, wearing down evenly. If you're looking for a more luxurious lipstick to wear during the festive season, this is definitely one to consider.

MUA Lipstick in Shade 13
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum is this lipstick, which is incredibly affordable at only £1. This vivid red is a gorgeous colour and instantly reminds me of Christmas, making it perfect for this season. It has an extremely matte formula, but it still looks really nice if a bit of lip balm has been applied beforehand. Another bonus of this product is that it lasts throughout the day and really doesn't budge, meaning you won't have to reapply it even after eating your Christmas dinner. I'd definitely choose this lipstick if you're looking for a festive yet budget option.

I hope you liked hearing about my favourite festive lipsticks and I'd love to know what yours are since there are many other alternatives that I might not have tried. Make sure you leave me a comment down below saying what your go-to Christmas lipstick is. Thank you for reading and I'll see you on Wednesday with my new post.

Love from Daisy x
Since Christmas is quickly approaching us, I thought that it was only right to do a more festive, wintry post. I love Pinterest and spend a lot of time scrolling through the countless images to find my favourites. When it gets to this time of the year, my feed is exploding with berry lips, Christmas trees and everything in between. I thought that it might be fun to share with you some of my favourite Pinterest images that are perfect for this season, so I hope you like this post!

Winter is the time when regular makeup routines become bolder, with the usual pale colours being swapped out for richer, warmer tones. Quite often, peachy lips are exchanged in favour of a festive red or berry alternative, which is both striking and stands out alongside a polished makeup look. I also really like experimenting with different eye looks at this time of year, incorporating more plums and golds, but maybe even being daring enough to try some blues and greens. Finally, shimmer will become your best friend, as it’s the one time of year when there can never be too much glitter.

When the colder months arrive, so does the time to indulge yourself in a variety of delicious foods. Christmas means that you always have an excuse to eat some sweet treats and be less strict with healthy eating regimes. I especially like the winter themed desserts above, as they embrace the festivity and look amazing. Also, hot chocolate is necessary after being out in the cold, and even though it isn’t technically a dessert it is still indulgent and delicious.

One of my favourite hairstyles are braids, as I feel as though they can be worn in many different ways, either as a classy up-do for a Christmas party or as a more relaxed, messy look for day-to-day wear. All of the ones shown above are great ways of enhancing a boring hairstyle and adding some interest to your hair. Loose waves also look lovely and the wind will often contribute to any messy hairstyles. Obviously I couldn’t forget about the sleek, polished hairstyles, as I feel as though these are much more presentable and neat for when you want your hair to look perfected.

Last but certainly not least is winter inspiration in general. This time of year is definitely my favourite and I’ll use any excuse possible to embrace the Christmas spirit. One of my favourite things to do when it’s cold outside is to get cosy with a good book and a hot chocolate. Also, wrapping presents can be enjoyable and allows you to show your more creative side (if you’re any good at it!). Snow would be the icing on top of the cake, but unfortunately this is more of a rarity than a regular occurrence.

I hoped you like seeing all of my favourite Pinterest images from this season, and if you'd like to see more then you can follow me, as the link is in the sidebar. I hope you have a nice day and I'll see you again on Sunday with another festive blog post.

Love from Daisy x

I've just finished my mock exams in school, meaning a lot of my free time over the past few weeks has been spent revising. Although I've written some blog posts on revision in the past, I've discovered many more techniques since then and modified my methods so that they're most effective. When it comes to revising, there are many ways to go about it and techniques that you can use. I thought that it might be helpful to share my ways of revising, as the methods that I mention could be useful for you.

Write out All of Your Notes
This is probably the most important step for me, as I like to have a complete set of notes on each topic so that I can consult them at a later date or read them to see what I understand and what I don’t. Personally, I find that typing my notes is a lot quicker and is therefore a more efficient use of my time, but if you prefer to write out your notes then this also works well, especially since this gives you more freedom to add illustrations and diagrams. To compile the notes, I collect my school books, revision guides, online resources and anything else that might be helpful, so I have a broad selection of information to choose from.

Create Posters, Mind Maps and Visual Aids
If you want to make your revision fun or at least look appealing, more visual methods are great to use and can be really beneficial. Creating posters, mind maps and other visual aids can really assist with your learning and make the endless amount of notes seem more manageable. It works best if these are bright and colourful, with keywords or important phrases being highlighted. It’s worth playing around with these to see what works best for you, but I can guarantee that this will be more effective than bland, boring resources.

Make Flashcards 
It has been proved that one of the most effective ways of revising is to test yourself or get others to test you. The best way to achieve this is by making flashcards, either with concise notes to condense down your revision or by having a question on one side followed by the answer. Although this could be adapted for any subject, it’s important to find out which ones it will be the most effective for. Flashcards can easily be created on paper, but another option is to use the app ‘Flashcards+ by Chegg’ to create them, which means you can look through your notes whilst browsing your phone.

Voice Recordings
If you are studying a language, making recordings can be really helpful and assist in memory when it comes to speaking tests. When I have to learn my French speaking test, I often record it on my phone and listen to it when I have a few spare minutes. This really helps it to sink into your brain and can assist with pronunciation as well. Another tip for languages is to listen to people speaking the language, for example on the radio, as this will help you adapt to the accent, pace and pick out words that you already know.

Past Papers 
I’d probably class past papers as one of the most important elements of revision as they can really help you understand what type of questions you may be asked and how to answer them, as well as improving your time management. By having a past paper and a copy of the mark scheme, which your teacher can get for you, you will be able to see where you are commonly losing marks and how to fix this. Also, exam questions are often worded in a way that is difficult to understand, so the use of a mark scheme will help you to understand what you need to include.

Revision Guides 
When studying for exams, revision guides can be really useful and help you to see what content needs to be covered. They will tell you exactly what topics you need to revise and often will have practice questions included in them, so they are an invaluable resource that you definitely need to get. My favourite revision guides are the CGP ones, as they’re really easy to understand and display everything in a much more appealing way. They are often be sold in shops or by your school, but you can also buy second-hand copies on Amazon for a relatively cheap price.

Rhymes and Acronyms
If you’re struggling to remember something, turning it into a song, rhyme or acronym can really help. I’ve used this multiple times and found that it always works really well and I can remember what I need to know. For example, I learnt all of a French speaking test a few years ago by fitting the words to the tune of one of my favourite songs. For maths, I constantly sing ‘The Circle Song’ to remind me which formula is for the area and which is for the circumference. As for history, I have multiple acronyms that help me remember things such as the terms of the Treaty of Versailles or the aims of the League of Nations. Whatever topic it is, I can guarantee that the use of these will be helpful.

Watching Online Videos
Like most people, I’m addicted to YouTube and spend hours watching videos online. What you might not realise is that there are many videos created to help you with revision or understand topics that may be difficult, especially for maths and science. If you don’t understand how to solve a certain problem or want to watch a video to back up your knowledge, I’d definitely recommend using YouTube. Also, my school has signed up to ‘Maths Watch’, which is a website filled with video tutorials for all areas of maths. Although not everyone will have access to this, I’d definitely take advantage of it if you do.

Making a Timeline
If you’re struggling with remembering the order of events, then making a timeline can be useful. If you study history, then you could use this method to remember the order of the events leading up to WW2 or anything else that you need to remember the order of. This technique could also be applied to English, as a timeline could be used for the events in a novel.

Re-Read Any Important Texts 
For English, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the texts, including key quotes and underlying themes. The best way to identify these it to re-read the texts, as they will be fresh in your mind and you’re more likely to pick up on further details when reading novels for the second time. I decided to re-read both of my English texts, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Crucible, over the summer and again later in the year. It’s also helpful to highlight and annotate them as you go if it’s your own copy.

Revision Classes 
My final tip is to attend as many revision classes as possible before your exams. Teachers will more than likely hold these in the lead up to your tests and attending them can be crucial. Usually, you will cover topics that you might’ve struggled with initially or practice exam technique that will help you in the test. Some people don’t go to these, as they think that they already understand the topic, but they can be useful to refresh your mind and there might be a section of the topic that you realise you don’t understand as much as you thought. Teachers give up a lot of their time to hold these classes, so I’d definitely ensure that you attend them, as your teacher will know everything about the course and the content and will therefore be the best person to ask for help.

I don't usually do tag posts, but I really enjoyed writing my previous one and thought that I'd bring you another. This is the unpopular opinions tag, which is very fitting as I have quite a few opinions that other people don't share. I thought I'd share these with you, but feel free to include your answers down in the comments and we can compare our opinions. Anyway, on with the post!

This is an incredibly unpopular opinion, but me and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green simply didn't get along well. I think it's due to the fact that I read Looking For Alaska a couple of months prior to trying this book and thoroughly enjoyed it that made me have extremely high hopes for it. Although it was well-written and I liked the characters, I felt like we didn't really connect with them and the story as a whole wasn't as captivating or emotional as I would've liked.

I had a hard time deciding on this one, but I think Twilight is my answer. Love is the wrong word, as I have more of an appreciation for it, since it was my first foray into young adult literature. I don't know if I'd like it as much now, especially with having plenty of other books under my belt, but the eleven year old girl who picked up this book was amazed by the concept and enthralled by the writing of Stephanie Meyer.

As much as I like Tris and Tobias in the Divergent series, part of me really wanted Tris to end up with Uriah. I'm not sure if this is a common vision or I'm unique in thinking this, but I feel as though they are more suited to each other and they had a natural relationship that didn't seem forced. Uriah is such a lovely, honest character, and throughout the trilogy I hoped that he would end up with Tris.

I'm an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction books, so contemporary novels don't particularly interest me and I hardly opt for them. I like books that are interesting and unusual, being different from everyday lives, so this genre is obviously not meant for me. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, as I loved Looking For Alaska by John Green and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Emmett from the Twilight series. I don't hate him as such, but I feel as though he was often irrelevant to the plot and lacked the importance of the other Cullens. Also, as most of the books are told through Bella's eyes and she isn't close to him, I feel as though we never get to fully realise who he is and therefore I didn't like him as much as the other characters in Twilight.

I'm sad to say that I struggle to get into Maggie Stiefvater's books. I've heard nothing but great things about her books, especially The Wolves of Mercy Falls series and The Raven Cycle series, but every time I've attempted to read one I've really struggled to get into it. I'll probably try again in the future, as everyone else seems to love them.

It pains me to say it, but I'm getting tired of seeing dystopian novels. This is a trope that I love and find to be really effective when done well, but a lot of the current young adult books feature halfhearted worlds that lack development. I'd honestly much prefer the author to go down a different route than to produce yet another dystopian novel that requires the detail required to make it stand out.

I currently have no interest in reading the Lord of the Rings series, despite it being incredibly popular. I have nothing against it but it's a huge commitment for a series that my heart isn't entirely in. The premise of it simply doesn't appeal to me at this moment in time and I have other plans for my future reading. This doesn't mean that I'll never read it, but it's likely that I won't get around to it in the near future.

I absolutely loved both the film version of Breaking Dawn part 2 and its book counterpart, but the film was better in my eyes. The major difference between the two is the huge battle scene which we see in one of Alice's visions, which added tension (and tears in my case) to the most pivotal scene of the series. However, this wasn't included in the books, due to them being from Bella's perspective, meaning we never got to experience the exhilaration and emotions from this scene.

I've just realised that Twilight was mentioned three times in this post! I'm really sorry if you disagree with any of these opinions and I hope that you won't hold me against it. As I said earlier, I'd love to know your answers for these questions, which you can leave down in the comments for me to see. Thanks for reading and I'll see you on Sunday with a new post.

Love from Daisy x
NaNoWriMo 2015 Daisies and Delights

If you aren't aware, November is National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. Online, thousands of people attempt to write a novel in only 30 days, which is a lot harder than it sounds. The aim is to write 50,000 words, which averages at around 200 pages of a book. I've always wanted to write my own novel, so I decided to partake in this event and try my hardest to reach the goal. Although I didn't quite make it, I thought that it still may be beneficial to share my experiences and thoughts on the event, as it may help any of you who are considering taking part next year.


When I was preparing for a creative writing assessment in school, I stumbled upon a website filled with ideas for NaNoWriMo stories. Intrigued by what it entailed, I decided to research into the event to find out what you had to do. As soon as I realised that it was a whole month dedicated to writing a novel, I was sold. I love both reading and writing and have always wanted to create my own novel, but I've found that I never have the time and I put off writing a book in favour of school work and blogging. I realised that having a scheduled time to write and plenty of people supporting me would be a huge benefit and so I decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2015.

At first, I found the event to be fairly easy and I quickly raced through my daily word count guideline, trying my hardest to put all of my thoughts onto paper before they escaped me. Since NaNoWriMo started towards the end of a school holiday, I had plenty of time to write and think about where I wanted my novel to go. This was definitely the stage where I didn't understand why so many people complained about NaNoWriMo being incredibly difficult, as I was doing extremely well in the early days and thought that this would continue onwards.

I was wrong. After the first few days, everything starts to get more difficult. Holes start to arise in your plot and it's easy for the direction of the story to take a complete turn. As I had exhausted my initial ideas, these days were simply filled with developing points and improving the existing content I had, since I couldn't think of anything new to add. In these days, I still managed to write quite a bit, but I only surpassed the target by a small amount every day.

About 9 or 10 days in, NaNoWriMo, for me, became impossible. I found out that I had lots of tests towards the end of November, some being mocks and others counting towards my GCSE's, meaning that these had to take priority. With an increase of school work and revision, writing started to creep towards the bottom of my to-do list and was usually slotted in right before I went to sleep. On top of this, I was now almost completely out of ways to develop my ideas and found that it was really hard to make the jump from a short story into a novel, especially in such a restricting time frame.

11 days into the challenge, I made the decision to stop writing. I needed to have a break, both to concentrate on my school work and to put more thought into my story. I had 20,000 words under my belt, which was above target at this point, but I couldn't see myself having enough time to get to 50,000, and if I did I was certain that it wouldn't be to the quality that I wanted it to be. However, I didn't view quitting the challenge as a negative, as I had left with some enjoyable memories and almost half of the first draft for a novel, which is an incredible step in the right direction. I plan on resuming my writing somewhere in the near future, but I definitely won't try and fit it all into one month.

Since I definitely learnt a lot from taking part in NaNoWriMo and realised that there's a systematic way to go about it, I thought I'd share all of my advice with you as it will hopefully be helpful and assist you in reaching 50,000 words.


Before NaNoWriMo Begins:
  • Come up with a basic plot idea or characters that you want to use. Although words that you write before the month can't be counted towards your 50,000, there is no rule against planning your novel and doing some world building or character creation before you start. It is, in fact, encouraged and helps you to have a smooth start to your journey.
  • Allocate a specific time to writing. Make sure that you plan ahead for the month and prepare a time to write, as this will make you more likely to stick to it. This is especially useful if you are going on holiday or will be busy during the month, as you will be reassured that there will still be time for your novel. However, don't be too strict with this, as it's okay to write more in one day or miss a session in another.
  • Plan out where your story is going. I think that my problem with NaNoWriMo was that I had a great idea for the start of the story and an equally compelling idea for the end, but I didn't have a clue how to get from A to B. Make sure you know where your story is going and maybe even the chain of events, as this will be particularly useful for your writing and also be useful if you want to include foreshadowing and misdirection.
During NaNoWriMo:
  • Try your hardest to write something whenever you can. Even if it's only a few paragraphs or developing some of your previous work, the words will eventually add up and a little can go a long day. If you take a break for a day, you're less likely to resume writing, so make sure you're consistent and dedicate yourself to writing a bit every day.
  • Let your story flow naturally. Although you might have planned out a detailed idea for your novel, if you find it taking another shape then allow it to. Sometimes the ideas which spontaneously arrive when you are writing are much better than those that you prepared earlier, so don't feel restricted into writing only what you previously planned.
  • Make use of the message boards. There are thousands of other people in the same position as you, all of whom will be willing to help and support you. Whether you need a good idea, help with naming a character or simply some motivation, consult the message boards for this help. I can guarantee that they will be useful and may be crucial when finishing your story.
After NaNoWriMo:
  • Don't beat yourself up if you don't reach your target. 50,000 words is a lot to achieve in 30 days, especially if you're busy with other commitments, so don't be upset if you can't quite get there. Instead, be proud of what you have achieved in the time and remember that this isn't final. You can always revisit your novel and add things in the future, so don't think that it's over and incomplete at the end of November.
  • Remember to go back to your novel in the future. Whether you complete NaNoWriMo or not, remember that your novel will only be in its first or second draft. There is still plenty of developing that you can do and changes that you can make before it could be considered a finished novel. Don't forget about all of your hard work and make a promise to yourself to revisit it in the future.
  • Take a well-earned break. After a month of hard work and stress, you deserve to have a relax and not worry about your story. Writing can be a draining process, especially in such a short space, so make sure you make up for your lack of free time in November and take a break. After a few weeks or even months, you may return to your novel with renewed passion and ideas, so it's good to have this time off for a short while. 
Overall, I just want you to be able to enjoy the month as much as I did. Regardless of whether you reach the target or not, you are left with some fantastic memories and a large chunk of your first draft completed. If you're considering taking part then I'd definitely recommend it, and you can join me as I can guarantee that I'll try again next year!

Love from Daisy x

Being a teenager, I don't always have huge amounts of extra money to spend on makeup and beauty products in general, so looking for a cheap alternative is usually the best way forward. Some people might argue that affordable drugstore brands don't offer the best quality of products, but I have discovered quite a few that never fail to amaze me. Today, I thought I would talk you through some of my favourite budget beauty brands.

Makeup Revolution
This brand has definitely made a noticeable appearance in the beauty community over the past year, and rightfully so. They produce amazing products that definitely feel more luxurious than the price may suggest, and are presented in gorgeous, sleek packaging that you wouldn't expect for such an affordable brand. Although I have only tried one of their products, being the Ultra Blush Palette in Hot Spice, I am definitely looking to expand my collection in the future based on what I've heard from other people. Their products start from as little as £1, making it an offer that you simply can't turn down.

Probably the first budget makeup brand that I discovered, MUA is commonly known for its extremely cheap yet worthy makeup items. I've tried a selection of products from their range and have been amazed every time, with my particular favourites being their Undressed Palette, which is an obvious dupe for the infamous Naked Palette by Urban Decay, and their matte lipsticks, which are intensely pigmented and long-lasting. This is a brand that I'd definitely recommend checking out, as the products are amazing despite what the price might make you think.

Miss Beauty London
Although I've only recently been introduced to this brand, I'm surprised by how often I find myself reaching for their products. Since they're sold in Pound World stores, all of their products are, you guessed it, only £1! This is incredibly cheap, especially when you realise that they are of a great quality. I tried their eyebrow pencil with fairly low expectations, only to find a smooth and creamy product that perfectly matches the colour of my eyebrows, and I've fell in love with their powder blushers. If you ever visit a Pound World store, there's no excuse not to pick up some of their products, as you simply can't let such an offer slide.

Although the prices are slightly higher than the previous, this brand is still incredibly affordable and offers some wonderful products for extremely low prices. I'm sure you've heard of their Lasting Perfection Concealer, which is my holy grail base product and is completely justifiable for buying at only £4.19. Also, I used to be addicted to their Supersize Fat Lash Mascara, which was really worth purchasing and provided me with lovely long eyelashes. If you haven't already, I'd recommend trying something from their brand as there's a lot of variety and great things on offer.

These are just a few of the budget brands that I've discovered, but I'm always on the hunt for more bargains and money saving deals. If you know of any other makeup brands that are relatively cheap (and preferably based in the UK) then let me know, as I'd love to try them out.