Sunday, 31 January 2016

Life | Dear January

Source Image.



Dear January,

You've definitely been a strange month. I've still been ill so I haven't been able to do a lot of the things that I originally had planned for you, but I've been able to do other things.

Most importantly and the moment that will always stand out for me as the moment of January 2016 is my graduation day. What an incredible day that was; when else will I be able to wear a hat and gown and get to run around pretending I'm actually a Hogwarts student?

You were the month I did a decent amount of online sales shopping and got some decent bargains, more than I would if I'd have just gone shopping in the sales as I normally would have! I kind of wished that I'd done a whole post on everything that I managed to pick up in January, however everything seems to have been all over my Instagram.

I've been able to spend a lot of quality time with family, friends and Ryan this month; mainly cause I haven't been allowed to do anything else. It's been really nice spending days with my Mum and weekends with my Grandparents.

So although you've been a strange month January where I've still been ill, trying to overcome whatever's going on and not being able to do anything that I originally had planned. You've been a good month so many more reasons.

Thank you for all the memories.

Beka. xo

Friday, 29 January 2016

Fashion | ARK Clothing Haul

You might have seen all over Twitter that ARK had an insane sale recently, and I mean 50% on top of sale items insane! So who can blame a girl for treating herself to a few pieces while off ill?

Jemma Tartan Midi Dress; Originally £19.99,  Reduced to £5, Bought for £2.50
I have been looking for a midi dress for at least a year or two but I could just never find one that I liked, until I spotted this one. I love the pink check pattern and the teeny tiny straps. It also has small lace panel towards the bottom of the dress too. It fits beautifully; the material has stretch in it so you can easily get into it and still breathe, but also while the dress fits properly without clinging to every lump and bump.

Ella Rose Lace Peter Pan Collar Tartan Dress; Originally £28, Reduced to £14, Bought for £7
I love smock dresses but I could never find one that looked right on me. This smock dress is very slightly tapered at the waist so it's every so slightly fitted and sits a lot better on me while still looking like a smock! I also love the peter pan collars; I always have and I own far too many pieces of clothing with collars on them. My favourite thing about this dress is that the collar is detachable for washing, thank you to whichever genius thought of that!

Labana Lace Playsuit; Originally £23, Reduced to £6, Bought for £3
Who doesn't love a good playsuit? They are one of those pieces that I think are timeless and I love them, however only being 5"2' I actually really struggle to find one that looks right on me and one that I love. As soon as I saw this little black number I knew it was going to be mine, the lace overlay at the top was just something else and I can't wait to rock it on a night out. It is a little short however so I think I'll be pairing it with a pair of tights!

Lincoln Tartan Check Skirt; Originally £15, Reduced to £10, Bought for £5
Is it just me that screamed "Clueless!" in my head as soon as I saw this little check skirt? I've just realised that I've bought a lot of check clothes recently, oops. I love the classic check look of this skirt and I've already started thinking of outfits of what I can wear this skirt with. It is a little short though, so tights will definitely be featuring in whatever I wear.

Springhill Aztec Cami Top; Originally £20, Reduced to £5, Bought for £2.50
I always find that Autumn and Winter are the best time to stock up on those summer and holiday clothes. I've picked up a couple of summer tops in some other sales lately and I loved the pink, blues and purples in this Aztec print top and I can't wait to wear it already.

Petty Mosaic Tile Print Top; Originally £18, Reduced to £5, Bought for £2.50
I wont lie, I love the pattern of this top and it's another top that I just can't wait to throw on when the weather is warm enough and it's enough to make me want to book a holiday right now. It was definitely the straps that made me throw this top straight into my basket, who doesn't love little daisies?!

Light Wash Baneberry Floral Pocket Shorts; Originally £22.99, Reduced to £5, Bought for £2.50
I'm a completely sucker and addict for shorts, there I've admitted it. Seriously I love nothing more than a good pair of shorts; I live in them when I'm on holiday, and I throw them on with a pair of tights whenever I can whether it's a gig or just a colder day. The little floral pocket also just adds a little something extra which is cute!

Did you pick up anything in the insane ARK sale? If you did let me know, and look out for these picks coming up in #OOTD and #WIWT posts throughout the year!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Life | Graduation

Those are just a few of my favourite photos from my graduation ceremony last week. I was lucky enough to have so many tickets available that I could bring all the family members along that I wanted to.

It was a great day; one that was long and tiring, but also incredible. I cannot believe that I have finally graduated. I never believed in my wildest dreams that I would ever end up wearing the cap and gown and I'm so proud of myself for actually making it to this stage.

It was a great day of celebrating with some of the best friends I've made from university, whooping and cheering for ourselves because hell, we made it through what has sometimes felt like the toughest three years of our lives. I also got to spend it with every single member of my small family, with all the people who mean the world to me. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get over the feeling of immense pride both from myself and from my family and friends.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Friday First | The Danish Girl


I finally feel like I've finally managed to watch a film while everyone else is still watching it; rather watching it like three months after it originally came out.

As always with all the film reviews I'll keep it as short and sweet as possible without giving away any spoilers. However if you want to avoid spoilers all together, I'd stop reading now.

The first thing I will tell you is that The Danish Girl will make you cry; let me just put that out there. Whether it is just a small sniffle like me, or full on ugly crying like my mum was. Just be prepared and have the tissues ready for this film.

The film is based on the true story of Einar Wegener (played by Eddie Redmayne) and follows his and his wife's, Gerda (played by Alicia Vikander), journey as he discovers his alter ego Lili and plans to undergo one of the first sex-change operations. That is as far as I'm willing to go explaining the plot as I don't want to ruin it for those of you who might still be reading to see my thoughts but don't want to discover the entire plot. The book is based on Einar's own diaries, Man Into Woman; now published as Lili: A Portrait of the First Sex Change.

The film is refreshingly truthful. I'm not one for films that change a story or make it more dramatic for a film. The emotion was easily felt in The Danish Girl. Eddie Redmanye portrayed Einar's struggle, feelings and emotions truthfully and you really felt for Einar. Alicia Vikander also portrayed Gerda's own struggle and emotions perfectly, and you could really understand the difficulties that she faced. It wasn't a film where you were rooting for one person more than the other, you can relate to both characters really easily and I was truly hooked from the moment it started. The relationship between Einar and Gerda was portrayed beautifully and I felt myself falling in love instantly. 

I don't think I can shout about this film any more than I currently am and I really want everyone I know to go and see this film. Immediately after watching this film I downloaded the book to my Kindle and I can't wait to start reading into Einar/Lili's story even further.

Would I recommend The Danish Girl? I would, I found it to be a film that was incredibly educational without you even realising it at the time. I was drawn in emotionally straight away and felt myself falling in love. Warning: I was not emotionally prepared for The Danish Girl.
Would I re-watch The Danish Girl? I will. There are so many people that I want to make sure watch this film, so I'll definitely watch it with them again.
Overall score out of 5? I'd give it a 4.5. Now that I know it was based on Lili's own diaries I just know that there is more to learn about Lili's story that the film just couldn't portray. I loved it so much and I think the acting by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander deserves every award out there for telling this story so beautifully.

Have you watched The Danish Girl? Is it a film that you'd want to watch? Let me know!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Beauty | Body Shop Sale Items

As well as 'What I Got For Christmas Posts' reading about what people picked up in the Christmas sales are also some of my favourites; who doesn't like knowing about the fantastic bargains out there?!

I haven't really been anywhere to go sales shopping and I really haven't had much luck online this year so I wasn't holding out a lot of hope when I went with my parents to our local Outlet Centre.

The Body Shop is somewhere that will always catch my eye and drag me in; whether I'm online or shopping in the high street so I was over the moon when I discovered that there was a Body Shop Outlet Store!

The first thing I couldn't resist picking up was a managers special gift pack that came in the tote bag, which is going to come in super handy. The whole gift pack was worth £57 but it was priced at an incredible £20, seriously how can you expect a girl to resist?! The gift pack included the Smoky Poppy Bath Bombs, the Smoky Poppy Body Butter, a White Musk Smoky Rose perfume, a Vanilla Bliss Shower Gel, a Vanilla Brûlée Bath Jelly and a Berry/Fruits Lip Roll-On (which I've found out is a lip moisturiser!).

I also grabbed one of the Vanilla Body Mists and treated myself to a White Musk Libertine perfume as I almost cried when I heard it was being discontinued! A little Coconut Hand Cream may have also jumped into my basket while I was paying...

I picked up a few products that are my old favourites from the Body Shop but I also have quite a few products that I am so excited to try.. Like the bath jelly, for some reason it really reminds me of the Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Honey Bath which I will forever lust over!


I think it's fair to say that although I might not have got a lot in the sales, I definitely got my money's worth in the Body Shop. Expect many reviews coming throughout the year!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Friday First | Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk

Okay hands up. Who isn't surprised that I'm already reviewing a Soap & Glory product? Because I'm not.. I'm not even ashamed or sorry. I received a few Soap & Glory bits for Christmas and I also treated myself to the 'Whole She Bang' in the Christmas sales, so expect a few new Soap & Glory reviews coming up this year.

Today I'm starting with a product that I've actually been wanting to try for a while; Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk.

Peaches and Clean claims to be able to "remove make-up and impurities in one clean sweep" by being "gentle, effective, melts away make-up (even waterproof mascara), and re-energises your complexion in two minutes" (soapandglory.com). Peaches and Clean claims to have "a special clogged-pore formula with PEACH & GOJUICE™ extracts and an OXYGINSENG™ daily skin detox which will help to purify and clarify, invigorate, soften skin, and melt away makeup, dirt, and impurities for a smooth, luminous complexion" (boots.com).

Does it live up to it's claims? Well yes and no. Let's start with the word gentle, this really does depend on your definition of the word. When I used Peaches and Clean for the very first time I actually found the scent to be incredibly overpowering, it actually reminded me of how the peach soothers actually taste (does that make sense?). However this has softened with continuous use, I guess I've just got use to the scent? Although overpowering the scent is gorgeous and isn't irritating like other scents are to skin, so I'd say it is gentle.

For me it did not live up to the claims of removing my waterproof mascara. I recently fell asleep in my makeup (I swear not to test this claim, but due to being ill) so the first thing I wanted to do was wash my face and get yesterday's face off. Peaches and Clean easily removed what was left of my foundation and the previous days moisturiser and what not, but it really could not move my mascara at all and I had to reach for my trusty camomile cleansing butter from the Body Shop to remove it. I was also washing my face with a muslin cloth to help gently exfoliate my face, but also because I couldn't bend over a sink to wash my face.

It would be unfair to comment on if my skin is any smoother, any more luminous or if it's been re-energised because I'm currently ill and my skin is shit. So I'll let you know about this claim on twitter!


Will I continue to use the Peaches and Clean? I will. You get an incredible amount of product in the bottle which is going to last me a life time as you only need a couple of pumps at a time. I'm currently using it after my morning exfoliation and continuing to use my camomile cleansing butter at night to remove my face from the day.

Would I repurchase the Peaches and Clean? Part of me feels like £8 is a ridiculous price to pay for a face wash, but another part of me is screaming that it's worth it just for the amount of product you get. I'm not 100% sure yet, I'll see how my skin continues to react to it and if I see a huge difference or not.

Would I recommend the Peaches and Clean? Again, I'm not 100% sure yet. I feel like I've reviewed this product at the complete wrong time because my skin is shit. I might do a follow up review to let you know if I've changed my mind.

Overall score out of 5? A 3. I haven't seen a massive difference to my skin and the scent can be slightly overpowering, but it is a gorgeous scent. Let's see how my skin reacts to it and if I see any benefit..



Do you currently use Peaches and Clean? If you do, what do you think? Would you like to try Peaches and Clean? Do you use any of the other face washes from Soap and Glory? Let me know!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Life | Japan Goodies

So I felt like the luckiest girl in the world when my cousin and his wife came to visit on Boxing Day and not only had bought us all Christmas presents, but had also bought us all gifts from their recent trip to Japan!

Japan is somewhere that I would love to visit so the fact that I now have my own gifts and items from there is just incredibly special to me.

I was bought the cutest little drawstring bag which not only has a Disney print of Cinderella's Castle and Minnie but was also filled with little Mickey Mouse shaped jelly sweets. I was also given a Minnie Mouse makeup bag (which is fantastic quality, it's really well made), which was filled with a Japanese mascara and what I think is a Minnie Mouse lip balm; I haven't yet opened it but I'll be doing a review on both so we'll find out then! I also received the cutest pair of socks with a little kitten reading books on, you might have seen these when I shared them on Instagram not long ago!

I was also given two little Rascal toys and a little frog that is sitting up.. Completely random gifts you might be thinking; maybe. However they were from little grab machines which my cousin's wife was incredible at! They might be random, but to me they mean just as much as any other gift. I'm the kind of girl that keeps the tiny little things that no one else would think much to, but if it has a meaning to me it will probably be kept.

They also bought a box of mini green tea Kit Kat's for us to try and a mini chocolate bars called Black Thunder. Which I have yet to try, but I'm sure you'll find out on Twitter what I think when I do.

This might seem like a random post but I just could not wait to share my Japanese goodies with you and just write down how grateful I truly am. Honestly, my gifts are so special I just sit and stare at the bag they are still in.. Which just happens to be a Disney bag!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Friday First | Boots Fresh Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner

Let's start by pointing out the obvious, we're in 2016! Can someone please tell me where the last year went? Also, we survived Blogmas. I can quite honestly tell you that I will not be taking up daily blogging anytime soon, December seemed to be the most stressful month of my life. I somehow only missed one day and that was because I ended up in hospital.

But let's celebrate being back to normal blogging and kicking off 2016 with a much loved Friday First!
So I'm starting off this year with a product I discovered completely by accident. You might have noticed that in December me and Ryan went to Edinburgh for a few days, you might have also read the blog post. Anyway if you're anything like me you can have everything organised day's before and then suddenly remember that you need shampoo and conditioner so that you can actually have a shower while you're in the hotel.. So cue me running into Boots on my way home one day and just grabbing any old shampoo and conditioner!

The range claims to have been "formulated to help moisturise and smooth hair for a revived, fresh feel" as well as one "that delivers fresh, clean and conditioned hair that smells as good as it looks" (boots.com).

So does it live up to it's claims? It actually did and I was pleasantly surprised. Both products were only £1 each so truthfully I wasn't holding out much hope, plus I lived in a hat during my days in Edinburgh because it was so cold and raining so if my hair looked awful it wasn't going to make too much of a difference.

You might have seen on my Twitter around that time that I was looking for a shampoo that would really clean my hair as I felt like I was suffering from a huge amount of product build up. I was amazed when I was styling my hair after using both the shampoo and conditioner to find that my hair felt squeaky clean, smooth and it definitely felt moisturised. Despite it being incredibly windy in Edinburgh my hair still felt great when we got back to the hotel room, so brownie points there!

I know some people find coconut quite an overpowering scent, especially when using both a shampoo and conditioner.. But these don't smell overpowering with coconut, in fact they smell quite sweet and really pleasant. There is definitely the coconut scent, and I'd be incredibly annoyed if there wasn't, but the sweet nutty scent is definitely more what I get from this product and I'm in LOVE with it. For £1 each these definitely might be my new favourite hair product.


Also girls, sneaky tip.. It works fantastically when shaving your legs and you've ran out of shaving gel and you're moisture bars are almost dead.. Come on, we've all been there!


Will I continue to use the Boots Fresh Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner? I will. I have less than a quarter of my shampoo left so it's fair to say I've loved this product after Edinburgh too!
Would I repurchase the Boots Fresh Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner? I will. It's incredibly priced at £1 each and I've already been working out when I can next go to Boots to pick this up.
Would I recommend the Boots Fresh Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner? Definitely. I've been suffering with dry hair and product build up lately and this range definitely lived up to it's claims of cleaning and moisturising. Please give it a go for £1!
Overall score out of 5? A 4. I'd love to give it a 5 because I really do love it so, so much. However my hair has this wonderful habit of suddenly turning against a product that it loved the day before.

Have you ever used anything from the Boots Fresh range? Do you think that you ever would? Let me know!