Living out of your Hand Luggage

Packing is always a nightmare, never mind trying to live out of your hand luggage for any length of time. Nevertheless, I am about to do just that as I follow Green Day from Belfast to London, and home again over 5 days! We are going to be flying for the entire journey, and trying to be wise, we opted to only travel with cabin baggage. I guess we both like a challenge. You would think that my regular visits to Cambridge have me well versed in packing light, but as I usually travel by train, the fear of over packing this time is real.

For the following 5 days my life will be folded into my Ted Baker travel bag, a Skinny Dip backpack (which I can’t say is particularly big), and I will 100% be utilizing my trusted bumbag that I picked up at Boomtown, and the big ass pockets in my rain mac. Overall, I wouldn’t say I’ve got much space, but I will be able to make do with what I have. I just need to try my hardest to dwindle down my usual make-up collection!

So here is what I am taking with me..

T-shirts hand luggage Green Day Days n Daze Jack off Jill GLOSS packing travel

One spare pair of jeans
A top for each day
Underwear and socks for each day
A clean bra

Travel Packing Toiletries E45 B.Pure Superdrug Simple

A toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
Sun Cream
Make-up remover

Packing travel makeup NARS Illamasqua Sara Hill Kat Von D Urban Decay Seventeen Elf Charlotte Tilbury


Packing travel straighteners bobbles kirbles batiste bandana doc marten

Dry Shampoo
And that is it!

It’s so easy to pack things that you just don’t need. I usually trip up with my make-up bag by packing 3 different eye shadow palettes, 5 different lipsticks, a contour, a highlight and fifty different brushes… and the reality is, I just don’t wear that much make up. I end up weighing myself down. I’ve always found packing my clothes to be easier, because my everyday style has followed the same formula since I was kid – and that is band tee, skinny jeans, and Doc Martens. It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. You don’t need a fresh pair of trousers for every day of the week, if you are away for a few days, just take a back-up in case your originals rip. I always reckon if you have enough pairs of knickers, you’ll make it through your trip… even if it means a few unwashed clothes and outfit repeats!

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Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys Live Edinburgh Liquid Rooms Punk Punx

When I found out Dead Kennedys were playing in Edinburgh I knew I had to go! They are a punk gateway band, everybody knows who they are, and most people probably even have their classic DK symbol t-shirt hidden in their drawers somewhere (I know I do.) I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity to see one of the greatest punk rock bands live in the flesh, even if it was without Jello. So on Tuesday night I headed through to Edinburgh.

I met my friend Bethany in Spatch, a new chicken restaurant just off of the Royal Mile. I got some piri-piri chicken wings, and went a bit mad with my sides getting both their parmesan bread crumbed green beans and some chips! It was delicious! The food is dip-heavy, with my chicken coming with a blue cheese dip and the green beans with buttermilk ranch. Both of which complemented the food amazingly, i’d definitely recommend getting the green beans as a side to your meals – it was a nice switch up from chips. Bethany got the Roger Rabbit, a veggie burger, it looked HUGE! She couldn’t finish it, but she assured me that she enjoyed it.

SPATCH Chicken Edinburgh Restaurant Green Beans

Afterwards Bethany insisted that we go to Paradise Palms which is the most quirky bar that I have ever stepped foot in. There are teddies dangling from the ceiling over the bar, plants everywhere, Hawaiian shirts covering any gaps in the decor and plenty of mannequins dressed in only the finest vintage garb. It is wild. We weren’t there to try any food, but we did have some cocktails, and to our surprise we found one dedicated to our hometown – the Buckfast Daiquiri. Yep, you read that right. With a mention of our hometown in the description we needed to try it, and let me tell you, it is far too nice to taste like anything that would ever come out of Cumbernauld. I definitely see myself returning here.

Buckfast Daiquiri Paradise Palms Cocktails Edinburgh

Eventually it was time to head to the venue. Dead Kennedys were great. Although I forgot how absolutely annoying dad punks are, but that is an issue/rant for another blog post. Regardless, the setlist was incredible, they played everything you would have wanted to hear from Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Bouncing along to the sound of Chemical Warfare, California Uber Alles, and Holiday in Cambodia was pretty surreal. Although, I was a little bit disappointed that they didn’t link Kill the Poor up with a wee chat about the horrors of the Grenfell Tower fire that happened just days before; or even Nazi Punks Fuck Off with the terror attack on a mosque in London that happened that day! Despite their seeming lack of interest in British current events,  I am so thrilled that I got to see this band live, because I never really expected that I would. Fourteen year old me would be so impressed by myself!

Dead Kennedys Live Edinburgh Liquid Rooms Punk Punx

I had such a nice time through in Edinburgh, and it was phenomenal to actually see Dead Kennedys playing live. But before I end this blog post I just need to give a shout out to the holier than thou lady on the Royal Mile who asked Bethany where she got her Metallica top, and scoffed when she said H&M. Your awful attitude was the funniest part of the night!

Till next time Edinburgh!

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Scott Monument Edinburgh Sunset

E.L.F Mascara First Impressions Review

Elf have always been a brand that had never quite reached my radar. I had been aware of their existence, but I (still) don’t know much about their products. Despite this, when I found out the brand had launched in Superdrug stores around the UK I rushed to my nearest store. Knowing they are a cruelty free brand, I seized this as an opportunity to buy myself some new Mascara. I have been fairly desperate to find a cruelty free mascara from the drugstore that I like! I haven’t tried many, just NYX (which I absolutely hated), so i got quite excited about trying something new!

I’m considering this as a first impressions review, because as I write this, I have only worn this mascara three times. I don’t really have high ambitions for my mascara, so I usually know almost immediately whether it is something I would buy again or not. Basically, i just want my mascara to turn my lashes black. If I could get away with it, I probably wouldn’t wear any! I want something will create quite a natural look and feel light and easy to wear throughout the day. With this in mind I decided to pick up their waterproof mascara because the temperatures here have been rising, so I needed something that would survive through even the sweatiest of shifts in my work.

Initially, I wasn’t really impressed by the packaging. It just didn’t sell the product to me, it looks cheap and wasn’t promising. When I first looked at it, I immediately thought “this is going to be awful.” It is a basic matte black plastic-y looking mascara tube with the brand name printed on. I had a conversation with my friend about it and we both agreed that it looked like something from our favourite childhood brand Internacionale (does anyone remember that shop?) I also found the wand handle to be incredibly long. I personally would have preferred if it was a little bit shorter to balance the weight of the brush a little better.  The brush is also quite basic looking, but that is no fault as it performs its job.

The formula is waterproof and claims to “achieve thick, full and long looking lashes.” The formula definitely lengthens lashes, and as you can see in the images above, it definitely thickens lashes too! I noticed the product was a little bit sticky until it has dried – after a couple of seconds of cuddling with my dog my eyelashes had stuck together! Realistically though, that is an easy fix. Most people aren’t daft enough to rub their face into their dogs coat immediately after putting on their make up! By the end of the day the mascara seemed to stay in place even through both sweaty gigs, and sweaty shifts. Despite the hard wearing formula, I didn’t find it difficult to remove using Simple Micellar Water.

Overall, I definitely do like this mascara. It looks very natural and that is what I like. It is a little bit sticky, but the mascara doesn’t clump as you layer it on. It also doesn’t budge throughout the day or flake into your eyes. I have worn this during two very busy, and sweaty weekend shifts in my work and also to a gig and it has managed to hold up nicely. While I wouldn’t consider it to be the best mascara that I have ever used. For the price I definitely think it is worth it. I’m still on the look out for a better drug store mascara, but this is my favourite that I’ve tried so far. If you have any recommendations about what I should try next, let me know!

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Candida Diaries: It’s been three years

panties yeast infection chronic illness

It’s been about three years since I had my first yeast infection. Not knowing what was happening to my body I ignored it and hoped it would disappear. Since then I have watched my body change, my lifestyle change, and even some of symptoms and nature of this ailment have changed. It took me a really long time to actually come to terms with this illness. There is so much that is just unknown about chronic/recurrent yeast infections so any treatment that I have had has been very muddled, and uncertain.

So where am I now? I’ve kind of given up. My doctors have always been reluctant to recognise this as a long standing illness. But I always wanted to be persistent, I always wanted to keep it on my medical records as an existing problem and insisted on having regular check ups.  But I just don’t have the energy to pursue it. I’ve grown tired of visiting my GP and hearing the same thing, and getting no further forward. In my own time, at home, I have researched loads of different methods which could limit yeast overgrowth, but very few of them would be successful without medical guidance.

It’s very difficult to continue being persistent when you know that there is nothing else that the doctors are willing to do for you. But I also know that there are other possibilities that could be aided by dietitians, or even acupuncturists.  It goes without saying that three years down the line there remains a desperation to get rid of this illness. I have researched all sorts of treatments all of which have no certainty to be successful. I want to try them, but I just need the support from medical professionals to take my illness seriously. Without that, it has been difficult to keep up any hope that I have to get rid of it. For now, I just hope that the many blog posts I have read from fellow sufferers are right, and one day I too wake up and my yeast infection has disappeared!

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We got Married! 

Brad came back to visit me and he was determined to visit another castle. He hunted high and low, all over the internet to find the right castle to visit but ultimately, neither of us drive, so we were really limited in our choice. Luckily a couple of stops away on the train is Linlithgow Palace – birth place of Mary Queen of Scots, and neighbouring is Saint Michael’s Church which was first consecrated in 1242.

St Michaels Church Linlithgow Scotland

Linlithgow Palace predates the formation of the Union (only slightly) and naturally over time the Palace became out of use and was burned out in the 18th Century so much of what we see today are ruins. Since then an array of animals have moved in from birds who sit in the bare window spaces; and bats who chill out in what previously would have been the wine cellar. It is a really beautiful palace to visit, there is a clear grandiose to the building, and there are loads of small details that still exist in the stonework of the palace which hint to that. My favourite area of the castle is definitely the Chapel space. You can imagine the room with painted glass windows reflecting an erray of colours through the space and people viewing from the arched balcony above. There aren’t loads of features or artifacts to view in this palace so the visit was over much quicker than either of us had anticipated, so we decided to head through to Edinburgh afterwards!

After a quick train journey we hit the shops. We both picked up some goodies from Pie in the Sky. I got a belt and choker, while Brad got some new wooden ear jewellery. We also stopped at the Royal Mile Market because Brad decided he wanted to be a ‘ring guy.’ I even found one that I really liked, but I couldn’t justify spending £20 on a piece of jewellery I know I’d hardly wear.

After we got bored of shopping we continued up the mile to go to Camera Obscura. I had never been before, but Brad being the big tourist that he is, insisted we go because it’s really fun. He wasn’t wrong! We done everything from turn our faces into monkey’s and get lost in the mirror maze! Before we left we even got married! For £2, the pink Autowed machine wed us in unholy matrimony in a short ceremony totally not recognised by the law. Yet somehow, we managed to prank everyone on Facebook and got a number of congratulations after our humble little ceremony!

We accidently recreated this Queen Cover

As the night hit, we met up with my friend Bethany and went to Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburghs most haunted pub and naturally home to Edinburgh’s goths. I was completely taken away by their coffin shaped tables. The pub is connected by a series of underground tunnels with some chambers that shoot off with pool tables and jukeboxes. They even have an inhouse cinema and gig space. Pretty cool, right? I must admit that my personal highlight of the visit was being mistaken as a ghost by some tourists. That is a new one for me!


Rubbish picture, but this gave me life!!

Overall, we had a really fun day visiting the palace in Linlithgow, and then spontaneously visiting Edinburgh and conducting our very own sham marrriage. The rest of Bradley’s visit was a bit more relaxed, seeing friends, eating vegan food and watching movies. We had a really lovely time together, and i’m so pleased to finally call him my husband. 😜

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Linlithgow St Michaels ChurchLinlithgow Palace FountainLinlithgow Palace tattoos alternative punkLinlithgow Palace Chapel alternativeLinlithgow Palace Chapel alternative punkLinlithgow Palace Chapel punkCamera Obscura Edinburgh alternative disturbiaCamera Obscura Alice in Wonderland alternativeCamera Obscura Edinburgh Optical Illusion alternativemirror maze Camera Obscura Edinburgh AlternativeOur Wedding Autowed Edinburgh Camera Obscura

Why this General Election is SO Important…

I have a few friends on facebook who – during the weeks after the election was announced – have declared their intention not to vote, and how they would rather sit around and wait for the “revolution.” But I am here to inform you all, the revolution has already begun and the fascists are winning.
It might not be a revolution that is taking place on the streets, however the Brexit outcome is the biggest change to our constitution perhaps ever.

Now briefly, for those of you who haven‘t yet realized that we do actually have a constitution, let me just go over it. It’s really simple and has one main principle and that is parliamentary sovereignty. (I know, exam has passed, and I don’t need to talk about this anymore… but here I am). Basically parliamentary sovereignty means we have an ‘unlimited’ government who can do whatever they want – they are our highest power. I’m sure that is no surprise to some of you. You all saw the controversy over who has power surrounding the referendum.

However, Brexit produced a result which is taking us out of the EU. This was a result that was largely not wanted by our parliament. It was a decision made by the British people and the government (and our parliament) have decided to push through with it. This introduces popular sovereignty, which is the notion that the people hold all power. You can see how this would be conflicting with the notion of parliamentary sovereignty.

The principle that government are actually pressing ahead with a decision that THEY DID NOT WANT, but was demanded by the people IS REVOLUTIONARY. Perhaps it is one of the benefits of Brexit – the people have been given power. But with the anticipated Tory government in action, it wont be the kind of revolution that the left have been longing for. It is clear that the Tories want to press ahead with a ‘hard’ Brexit that no one really voted for. The referendum was a two option poll which is ambigious because the Brexit process is much more complex than just leave or remain. There are a multitude of options in between that the British people will not be allowed to consider under a Conservative government. That is why I urge you all to vote.

It is so important to vote in this general election to make sure that your voice is heard. This election will dictate our future, and it will predict what kind of lives we can lead. I want to urge everyone to turnout at their polling station and make a choice which allows the British public a voice in the Brexit process. We deserve transparency. The Conservative party do not need to be our future.

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Cruelty Free Update: My Every Day Make-up

Illamasqua Skin Base NARS Sheer Glow Seventeen High Drama Sara Hill Luxurty Face Primer Urban Decay Primer PotionA year or so ago I decided I wanted to switch up my make-up routine and ensure that every single product that I use is cruelty free. So today I am going to go over the products that I use on a daily basis to hopefully help guide you towards some cruelty free and easy to obtain alternatives to your beauty routine.

Before I go on to list the products I use, I do have one confession to make. The one product I have struggled with finding an alternative for is my moisturiser. I was previously using some pretty heavy duty E45 cream to moisturise my face on a daily basis. I since picked up Aveeno to try. For some reason I was certain I had googled it and found that it was cruelty free, but when I double checked it after buying it, I realised I was wrong. So if anyone has any recommendations for a good cruelty free moisturiser, I am all ears! Now lets get into it…

Primer: Sara Hill Luxury Face Primer (£28) for the face, and Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion (£17) for the eyes

Foundation: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (£32) in shade light 3, mixed with Illamasqua’s SB 01 (white) Skin Base Foundation (£33).

Sara Hill Luxury face Primer NARS Sheer gLOW Foundation Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

: Seventeen High Drama Liquid Eyeliner (£3.99)

: I have been switching Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes (£23) and Maybelline Colossal (which you can see pictured) which is not cruelty free, but it was gifted to me at Christmas and I think I would be wasteful not to finish it.

: I rotate mostly between Jeffrey Star Velour Liquid Lipstick (£16) and Kat Von D (£17)

Jeffree Star Androgyny Kat Von D Lolita Urban Decay eye primer potion Seventeen High Drama

Make up Remover: Simple Micellar Water 400ml (£6.59)
One thing I have found quite difficult since transitioning to a cruelty free beauty routine is keeping the cost down. As you can see I spend well over £100 on just my everyday ‘essentials’. I don’t even use a lot of products daily. I reeally want to find a drug store alternative for my mascara that I actually like. Previously I have used NYX Doll Eyes Mascara and I found the product so clumpy and horrible that I just had to indulge in something that I knew would work. On the other hand, I have fallen head over heels with my Seventeen eyeliner, I have already gone through multiple little tubes! I wouldn’t swap it for anything!

If you have any Cruelty Free favourites that you want to share with me then please do! I’m always looking for new products to try!

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