Why being an only child was actually pretty awesome

A lot of these blog posts are sparked by conversations with colleagues! This one was with a colleague who was feeling bad that she hadn’t given her daughter a sibling yet. When she realised that I was an only child she asked me how I felt about that as she didn’t know if she really wanted another child. 

There’s so much pressure to make sure your child has a sibling but it’s also really expensive, means you have to take time out of your career, have to put your body through pregnancy again, it’s adding to Earth’s overpopulation… There are so many entirely valid reasons why someone might not want that second child. 


As an only child, here are a few reasons why no one should feel guilty or horrible about making that decision. 

  1. I got to go on holidays, even just camping but several holidays abroad, every year. If I’d had a sibling my mum wouldn’t have been able to afford any holidays at all. Those holidays helped shape the person I am today and I’m so thankful I got to visit some fascinating places. 
  2. I have an amazing and close relationship with my mum that I’ve only really seen happen with other friends who are an only child. This is so, so special. Obviously this puts pressure on parents to spend more time with their children rather than telling them to go away and play but… 
  3. I’m not scared of being home alone. This might sound stupid but the number of times I see someone posting about how they’re never home alone and now they are, they’re freaking out. As an only child, obviously once you’re legally allowed to be left, you will be home alone and you soon learn to deal with the fact water pipes can make odd noises. 
  4. I’m fairly independent and rarely bored. I’ll happily make plans for myself and entertain myself without needing other people. This might sound like I’m antisocial to some people but I feel like it’s useful to be ok with being alone. 
  5. Again with a money issue, I was able to have dance classes and music lessons that my mum paid for till I was 18. This was such a privilege and one I wouldn’t have received had I had siblings. I wouldn’t be half as confident as the unconfident person I am if I hadn’t had those lessons. 
  6. When my parents got divorced, it was pretty messy. Whilst having a sibling could potentially have provided some comfort, as the eldest I also know I’d have ended up looking after any sibling/s I had. I’m SO glad this wasn’t the case. Obviously no one plans for divorce but if anyone was thinking of having a second child to bring their marriage together – that’s potentially the worst thing you could do for the child you already have. 
  7. When I wanted to spend time with friends, I could. When I didn’t, I didn’t have to. Whilst siblings provide that constant companionship, it’s not always what you want. Of course there were times in the middle of the summer holidays when it would have been great to have a sibling but *shrugs* I never had to cope with anyone beating me up/scratching me/pulling my hair out/all the other delightful things that only really happen between siblings. I’m happy to have ‘missed out’. 
  8. I got my own room and when my dad left I got my own space to study. I know plenty of people with siblings get this but plenty don’t. I know for sure that having a space that was mine to study in helped my grades. 
  9. I was spoilt but with time, not money. My mum came to every parents evening (even when my teachers were probably wishing she hadn’t as I wasn’t a problem child), she came to every concert I was in, when I was struggling to learn my times tables and had completely incoherent handwriting she had the time to spend with me and just me to help. 
  10. So long as your parents don’t spoil you, still make you do chores and everything that helps a kid become a functional adult – no one will even know you’re an only child. 

These are just 10 I can think of, if I think of more – I’ll update this list! I’m sure there are so many reasons that having siblings is great but there are so many reasons that being an only child is great too!

xo Fleur xo

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Having A Beauty Advent Calendar – 4 Days In 

This year, in a moment of madness I bought a £70.70 Look Fantastic advent calendar full of beauty bits. £70. And 70p.

Tbf I got a Glossybox for about 3 years and this calendar only cost as much as about 5 and a half of those. This is SO much better.

As you can possibly see from my face, I’m beyond excited about opening this calendar – it also gives you as idea of how freaking large it is! I’ve had to put it in my study as there is nowhere else it’ll fit…

It is a calendar that ends on the 25th December, which is so much nicer than ones that end on the 24th – I need something to open as soon as I wake up on Christmas morning 😂 This also means it works out as £2.80 per item. You would get a few more items if you opted for a Glossybox/similar subscription but I found that experience far less exciting.

So far I’ve received the Pixi Glow Tonic, a Rituals body lotion, an Inika blush and the This Works Sleep+ Pillow Spray. These are either things I’ve wanted to try or things I’ll definitely use. Perfect.

I think the most wonderful thing is how excited this calendar is how it’s making me excited for every single day! I actually want to get out of bed in the morning, even when I’m beyond tired. I keep saying that this is a one off purchase and I’ll never buy something so extravagant again but honestly it’s the best thing I’ve bought myself all year.

If you’ve been debating getting yourself a beauty advent calendar each year since they started making them – go for it next year. Seriously. Especially because there are more affordable ones out there – which is what I’ll probably go for next year! I can’t imagine a better present to myself 💕

Did you buy yourself a beauty advent calendar? If so, which one? Aren’t there so many gorgeous ones out there?

xo Fleur xo

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Reasons I’m Excited for Christmas

I’m currently learning to love Christmas. The last time I saw my father I was wearing a Santa hat and decorating a Christmas tree. This isn’t too sad as it’s my choice I haven’t seen him since (one day I’ll talk about this on here) but it’s still a little painful. I’ve also spent Christmas in so many different places that I don’t really have any Christmas traditions, I’m slowly working on that… To an extent I also find it hard now I no longer have my strong belief in God and the transition to celebrating Christmas without religion has been interesting. I’m very lucky to have an OH who loves Christmas and making it special, so I thought I’d list all the amazing reasons I’m excited this year:

  1. I get to spend time with family that just doesn’t happen as much during the rest of the year. This is so special and wonderful❤
  2. Going to Christmas markets. I LOVE these so much! It’s also another lovely way to spend time with friends/family/loves.
  3. Board games! Is it just me or do these mainly come out at Christmas? I love them and I love spending time with my favourites playing them.
  4. I get two weeks off work – as I work in a school, I still get that lovely long holiday.
  5. I’m going to see Frozen on ice on the 22nd of December, this is clearly going to be one of the highlights of my year.
  6. Christmas makeup, I love gold, red, glitter, everything festive. I want to try the candy cane eyeliner this year, it’ll probably be a mess but it’ll be fun.
  7. Festive food. Yes, it’s excessive but it’s so delicious.
  8. Mulled wine/mulled fruit juice/mulled everything/spiced everything. Just give me the warm spiced drinks ok? Ooooh the festive coffee is pretty awesome too.
  9. Getting to snuggle up and watch Christmas films. I love being sat on the sofa with my hot water bottle and blanket at this time of year and Christmas films make me so happy.
  10. Buying gifts for everyone at once. I find birthday’s tend to sneak up on me so I’m rarely prepared. So whilst it can be a little stressful money wise, I love thinking up gift ideas and shopping for other people, preferably online though…
  11. Lights. I love fairy lights all year round but during the holiday season everyone has them up! It makes places look so much more beautiful.
  12. Singing Christmas songs. For me this mainly means carols, having been part of a choir for most of my life they’re the songs that stuck for me.
  13. The slightly tacky jumpers. They’re awesome and I hope they’re here to stay – they make Christmas Day so comfortable!
  14. Winter scented candles, it feels so right burning candles during winter and the scents are perfection.
  15. I feel justified in having evenings/days not doing very much at all. It’s dark outside and reading/film watching/sleeping becomes a lot more socially acceptable than during summer where you can’t waste that sunshine haha.

I’d love to know what you’re all looking forward to? Do you celebrate Christmas? If not do you still do some of these things?

 

xo Fleur xo

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FOTD to FOTN: Switching on the Christmas Lights

On Friday we went along to the Christmas light switch on in our local town – which was beyond exciting as we have NEW Christmas lights 😜 ALL the excitement! You can tell I live in a little town can’t you. I would be more genuinely excited if I didn’t prefer our old Christmas lights to the new ones #awkward

It’s an event we’ve been to for the last three years and one that when I was younger I actually sang at in my little infant school choir 🙈 so glad camera phones didn’t exist back then!

By the time I got home from work this left me around half an hour to get ready, which realistically is ages but I did have to find my Christmas jumper. I’d already gone for a festive look for work, so with the addition of a little more cranberry eyeshadow, some black eyeshadow as an easy foolproof liner and a whole load more gold eyeshadow in my inner corner I was ready to stand in the cold for an hour 😂

I do feel slightly like my work makeup would be most people’s nighttime makeup but… I just love eyeshadow too much not to use it every day.

Even with my mini ring light these aren’t the best makeup photos – it was only 5:20 when I took them too… I do have a studio light my mum gave me so I’ll have to get that set up to use soon.

Base

  • Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 52
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Warm Medium 3
  • Makeup Revolution Iconic Lights & Contour Pro
  • Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette in Hot Spice
  • Phee’s Makeup Shop Original Glow Pressed Highlight Powder

Eyes

  • Absolute New York Eyeshadow Primer
  • Makeup Revolution New-trals vs Neutrals Palette
  • Artist of Makeup Eyeshadow in St Tropez
  • Sleek Makeup iDivine in Storm (Cranberry shade)
  • Phee’s Makeup Shop Original Glow Pressed Highlight Powder
  • MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara in black

Eyebrows

  • MAC Eyeshadow in Omega
  • MAC Eye Brows in Fling
  • ModelCo More Brows in Light/Medium

Lips

  • Daytime: Sleek Makeup Matte Me in Birthday Suit
  • Nighttime: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi

I hope you’re all having a lovely day and enjoying the start of advent!

xo Fleur xo

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50 things to do in the evening

In various conversations recently I’ve come across a few people who don’t have much they want to do in the evenings – to the point where they do chores just to keep themselves busy?!

I feel like I’m probably writing this post for people like me to read, people who have a million and one things they want to and have to do in an evening… Never mind, someone might come across it who isn’t like us!

Some of these you probably do already, some of them are free and some of them cost a little more though as I never have money I don’t think any are too ridiculous. Most of them are also things you can do alone. No. 1 should probably be to read this post as it’s ridiculously long.

Doodling, not a whole evening activity maybe but certainly enjoyable!

Generic Activities

  1. Call your parents/friends up and have a chat. If you don’t want to do that send them a text and see what they’re up to. I know I don’t talk to all my friends enough, so this is always a lovely thing to do.
  2. Do some exercise. There are so many YouTube video 10 minute workouts or apps that give you a short workout. I find this often helps energise me and helps me be more positive towards my evening.
  3. Find a book to read. This is something I don’t do enough, I love reading and immersing myself in a story. I wish I made more time for it – New Year’s Resolution maybe?
  4. Put on an album by your favourite band and just enjoy having a moment listening to some music.
  5. Go to the cinema. Potentially to see something you really want to but sometimes it can be awesome when you go to see a film you wouldn’t normally choose. This is how I ended up seeing Beautiful Creatures, ended up being obsessed with the makeup & costumes, then read all the books.

Outdoor Activities

  1. Go for a walk with your camera and set yourself a challenge e.g. take a photo of 5 pink flowers.
  2. Ask if you can borrow a friends dog and take it for a walk, always amazing.
  3. Get up a map of your local area, find all the ‘attractions’ or just anything that sounds interesting then go and visit them one by one.
  4. Probably more of a summer activity due to lighting issues but as soon as you’re done with work; get changed, grab a friend and have a photo shoot somewhere as gorgeous as you are.
  5. Head to your local park (or maybe coffee shop/pub in winter) and sit for a while. You could take a book with you, your phone or just enjoy being in a different environment.
  6. Have a pamper evening. We all talk about doing this but I rarely actually do it. If it was planned in (planned in relaxing, what? haha) maybe it would actually happen?
  7. Go for a bike ride. This is coming from someone who loves cycling but there’s nothing quite as wonderful as a bike ride (probably not so much if you live in a city centre though).

Activities Using a TV

  1. Look through the TV guide and put on a TV show that sounds completely random – my most recent was Car SOS, was an amusing half hour whilst eating dinner. The
  2. Find a TV series on Netflix (or wherever you stream from) you haven’t watched (there will always be one) and start watching it.
  3. Find a documentary to watch, Planet Earth 2 is essential viewing right now if you’re not already watching it. There are more documentaries than I have time to watch them.
  4. Have a look on Netflix and have a look at the comedians and choose one of their shows to watch.
  5. Watch a film from your childhood that you haven’t seen since you were a child and see how well it’s aged! I need to do this with Bring it On at some point soon, I haven’t seen that film in ages.
  6. Decorate around your TV. It’s something you may spend a significant amount of time looking at, it deserves to be pretty… I currently have a few mini pumpkins and some lovely candle holders around mine.
  7. Re-watch your favourite film. You can’t really go wrong with this one.
  8. Re-watch your favourite series. I’m pretty sure I’m overdue for watching Buffy again.

Activities Using a Computer/Phone/Tablet

  1. Obviously, find some new blogs to follow! There are so many exciting and interesting people out there – go and find them.
  2. If you haven’t already, start a blog. It might not be for you but it’s something that’s worth trying. It’s a space where you can write about anything you want.
  3. Download Hearthstone. It’s essentially a card game but so much more. It’s also free but feels like something that should have been paid for – always a bonus.
  4. You would need a computer for this one (and potentially be a tiny bit of a geek) but Guild Wars 2 is free to download and play and has years worth of content. I’ve currently played around 250 hours… You get to explore a fantasy world, complete a story, dress up your character – it’s perfect.
  5. Have a look at the trending game apps, even if they’re only fun for a few days there are constantly new ones being produced. They can be so addictive too!
  6. Go onto YouTube and watch the top trending videos – if you don’t already do this you’ll come across trailers, new music videos, some news and some awesome YouTubers.
  7. Again on YouTube, flick through your recommended videos until you find something completely random and click it. My most recent watch was a ‘No Poo: A Year On’ – if you don’t know what this means, you clearly need to watch one of those videos! I also discovered how much I love tattoo story videos doing this!
  8. Go onto Spotify and find some new playlists to listen to. Maybe find your friends and see what they listen to. Or another fun thing to do is type in a random word e.g. unicorn and listen to the top 5 songs that come up. I’ve found some hilarious songs doing this, so worth every minute.
  9. Look at the top charting podcasts. There is incredible content out there and you can listen to podcasts whilst doing other things too.
  10. Pintrest… Do I need to say more? Think of all the things you love and create a board for them. Design your perfect bedroom… The options are endless and so much fun! The ‘hacks’ can also be endlessly entertaining and/or useful.
  11. Similar to the previous idea but head onto Instagram and look at different hashtags that interest you and screenshot the most inspiring ones.
  12. Look up your family history. This might sound like the adverts you constantly see but the more I think about it the more I want to know about my family. For example, when I google my grandfather the first link is to the National Portrait Gallery?!


Playing with makeup is one of my favourite activities 🙌🏻

Creative Activities

  1. Try colouring in. It might seem silly but there is a reason so many adults, myself included, have taken up colouring in – it’s so relaxing and getting to be so easily creative is awesome.
  2. Head to Hobbycraft or tbh Poundland & similar and find some of those foil kits that come with the pen where you can scratch off the surface in the certain places to create a picture. You can even put these up around your house afterwards as they can be stunning.
  3. Take your makeup off and then put it back on but try something completely wild. This can be so much fun, especially if you know you don’t have to wear it out and can do the things you never would.
  4. Paint your nails and try some nail art (or if you know you’re terrible like I am, those 99p plastic wheel rings you can get from eBay are great for practicing).
  5. Find things in your house and try to take photographs of them that make them look completely different e.g. take a macro shot of your houseplant.
  6. Try sketching different things. All you really need is a pen/pencil and a piece of paper. Obviously this could become a serious hobby but sometimes it can be fun to try and capture the things around you.
  7. Get some HAMA beads and make decorations for your house. Last year I made a whole load of mermaids that I’ve put around my bedside table. I’ve also made place mats and Christmas decorations in the past. They also look cute stuck on the front of cards.
  8.  Try designing a tattoo you’d love. Even if you hate the idea of tattoos I think it’s really fun to try drawing in the different styles and just coming up with something that could look awesome. I currently don’t have any and seeing as needles terrify me, I may never have any but I love them.
  9. Create a mood board of all the things you’re loving at the moment. You can do this in real life using magazine clippings or using different software (I do love Polyvore).
  10. Take up a new hobby such as crochet, knitting, sewing, decoupage… The list is endless and once you find something you enjoy then you’ll rarely have a dull evening.

Random Activities

  1. Go through your cookbooks (don’t we all have a few that we don’t use enough?) and choose out meals that you want to try and bookmark them. This means you can choose one of these to try each week and actually get easy use from your cookbooks.
  2. Go to your local swimming pool for a swim.
  3. They’re slowly popping up around the country and they’re amazing – see if there is one near you and go to your local trampoline park!
  4. Look through the year, seeing when everyone you normal buy presents for birthday’s are. Then have a look for presents for them. I often realise a week before a birthday that I haven’t thought of anything – so having a look ahead of time can be helpful and fun too. Especially as online shopping is so much easier.
  5. Have a look at the websites of all your local theatres and see if there is anything you’d enjoy – then book yourself in.
  6. Look up events in your local area and plan to go to them. Obviously there are loads of things going on in the festive season but there are some awesome things that happen throughout the year too e.g. the unusual plants fair that happens every year down the road from me.
  7. Think of a period of history and google it. I know people say not to trust Wiki but it’s reliable enough for historical events… I’ve just been to Belgium to visit the WW1 graves and a few museums and I want to know more about it. It’s horrifying but also interesting to see how something like that happened. Communism in Russia and China is probably the history I’m most interested in though.
  8. Make a wish list. You know how you can never remember anything you want when people ask? Just me? If you have a list that you update semi-regularly you’ll always have an answer.

Hopefully some of these will inspire you if you do find yourself at a loose end in the evenings🙂

xo Fleur xo

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FOTD: Loving Autumn

I have been loving Autumn this year, more so than usual. I feel like it has taken longer for the trees to shed their leaves and having finally submitted the last piece of work for my masters I can finally enjoy doing whatever I want (though I’m still waiting for my results which is forever stressful).

I’ve been loving using red and orange eyeshadows and this is a look I created that I loved. So I thought I’d share it with you all!

Base

  • Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in 52
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Warm Medium 3
  • Makeup Revolution Iconic Lights & Contour Pro
  • Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette in Hot Spice
  • Phee’s Makeup Shop Original Glow Pressed Highlight Powder

Eyes

  • Absolute New York Eyeshadow Primer
  • Makeup Revolution New-trals vs Neutrals Palette
  • Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow in Flamethrower
  • MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara in black

Eyebrows

  • MAC Eyeshadow in Omega
  • MAC Eye Brows in Fling
  • ModelCo More Brows in Light/Medium

Lips

  • LA Splash Studio Shine Lip Lustre in Catrina

I think this lipshade is going to be perfect for both Autumn and over Christmas – who knew I’d love green lipstick so much?! I do wish it was a conventional lipstick rather than a liquid one though. As much as I love the effect liquid lipsticks give I prefer the ease of reapplication with a conventional lipstick so much! Especially as I’m the kind of person who loves snacking…

I think this look also shows off how gorgeous the Makeup Revolution New-trals vs Neutrals palette I reviewed last week is. So pigmented and perfect for building up a smokey, blended eye look.

xo Fleur xo

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Conversations about weight #3

I’ve been enjoying my posts about weight and venturing into a different topic on my blog, so I thought I’d continue for at least this week and talk about the reasons I want to be heading towards a healthy BMI again. Also a quick shout-out to my amazing OH who took all the photos I’ve been using in this series of posts.


Some of these are very sensible, some are potentially ridiculous but they’re my main reasons for wanting to lose weight.

  1. I get acid reflux constantly and I’m on medication I take every day for this which completely stops the problem. However, recently it hasn’t been working as well / at all. Acid reflux gets worse with being overweight, so I need to lose some, end of story really. Needing to take multiple Gaviscon on a daily basis isn’t an option.
  2. I have a wardrobe full of gorgeous clothes that I don’t fit in. Including some that I’ve never worn (e.g. an amazing dress with a unicorn print). I mean, I need to wear that!
  3. I can’t give myself a pedicure anymore. I put most of my weight on around my stomach which means reaching my toes to paint them without smudging nail varnish everywhere isn’t possible anymore.
  4. I want to get back into cycling properly next year and I found riding with my lovely round belly was so difficult! I was constantly essentially kneeing myself in the gut – horrible!
  5. I may have signed up for a half marathon next year (should I do a blog post series about learning to run again?)  and I know that having a healthy weight will make this so much easier!
  6. I’m going on a school trip to Italy next summer. I coped about as well as a fly drowning in a pint of beer with the heat this summer and I know I didn’t have such as issue when I was thinner. Soooooo, I feel like being a little lighter might stop me dying from heat exhaustion immediately.
  7. My boobs have grown immensely with my increase in weight. Which is awesome but OMG I don’t know how large boobed people cope! They’re so heavy and the whole ‘if a bra is hurting you, you’ve got the wrong size’ clearly doesn’t apply once they reach a certain size… My back!
  8. As much as it sounds ridiculous and is a terrible reason, not having to endure people’s shitty comments would be amazing. I mean, I already know I’m never going to be a good weight in the eyes of my mum but at least the rest might pipe down!
  9. My body hurts all the time. I have an active job and am on my feet all day as it is – so I was always a bit achy at the end of the day. I can’t help but feel that the 3 and a half extra stone I’m carrying is probably making that even worse!
  10. I don’t LOVE how I look without clothes on, I do love how I look with clothes but I’m struggling with the naked me.

I hope these were interesting! I certainly found it fun thinking of all the reasons I do actually want/need to lose weight – hopefully writing them down will help motivate me too.

I hope you’re all having a great week!

xo Fleur xo