Brand Review: Yaoh!

I’m always on the lookout for vegan brands, and when I come across one I just get so excited. A few months ago I was searching for a vegan lip balm. I could have bought one online, but I was so desperate for one, so I went out to look for one. I searched in so many stores, Superdrug, Holland and Barrett, Boots and Lush. All the ones I could find had beeswax in them, not vegan. I finally found one at my local health food shop, can you believe it? I had to stock up, and I love them.

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Founded in 2002, Yaoh is a UK based company who use hemp oil in all of their products. I had never used hemp oil before, but it’s so ‘creamy’. It works perfectly in lip balms;1 they’re so moisturising and the flavours are amazing. Even if you’re not vegan you should really look into the Yaoh lip balms, there is no reason for beeswax to be used in any lip balms. Support the bees!

There are nine different flavours of lip balms. I have personally only tried four of them, but if they are anything to go by, then the rest will be incredible. The flavours are blueberry, watermelon, bubblegum, spearmint, Caribbean breeze, natural, coconut, mango and strawberries and cream. So much choice! The bubblegum one is my favourite, though.

The brand very kindly sent me some of their lovely products to try and review for you. I’ve tried them out for a couple of weeks now. Yaoh sent me their coconut and lime shampoo, summer breeze conditioner, a couple lip balms, tropical fruits body butter and the deep forest moisturiser.

4Shampoo and conditioner: I adore these products. I’m telling you, my hair has never felt this soft. Over the past couple of months, my hair has started to feel pretty dry and damaged, but the shampoo and conditioner have really changed all of that. My hair is so shiny too, and the red in my hair doesn’t look dull anymore. You can buy the shampoo in three scents, original, coconut and lime and tropical fruits. The conditioner is in two scents, original and summer breeze. They’re organic, 100% vegan and cruelty-free; they contain no harmful chemicals, parabens and sulphate. My Mum has also used the shampoo and conditioners and agrees with me about how amazing they leave your hair feeling. Completely untangled both of our hair; I have really thick hair, whereas my Mum has rather fine hair.

2Moisturiser: This moisturiser smells so good! It contains cedarwood which is what gives it this amazing scent. It takes me back to when I worked in a soap shop, and all you could smell was the cedarwood. It’s light, but creamy and leaves my skin so soft. It doesn’t feel too obvious on my skin. It absorbs really fast but doesn’t just disappear like some moisturisers I’ve used before. With most scented moisturisers I’ve used, the scent doesn’t seem to last that long, but this one lasts for so hours! It continues to smell so fresh, too. You can buy five different scents: dark forest, original, cocoa bean, tropical fruits and summer breeze.

3Body butter: I was sent the tropical fruits body butter, it smells exactly how you would expect it to. It leaves your skin smelling just as marvellous! Just like the moisturiser, it absorbs really quick so you’re not left feeling sticky. It’s creamy and my skin felt so soft after using it. A little goes a long way. I applied after exfoliating and shaving my legs and they were the softest I’ve ever felt them! The hemp oil really does some magic on your skin.

All of the products I’ve mentioned are free of any horrible chemicals that cause us harm, they all contain hemp oil and they’re all completely vegan and cruelty-free which is brilliant. Besides the products I was sent and spoken about, you can buy suncream, bubble bath, shower gel, healing salve, hemp seeds and hemp oil. You can shop all of the products here! You should definitely go and check them out, especially all you vegans out there! I am definitely going to be restocking my supplies when I run out. Thank you, Yaoh!\

Have you tried any of Yaoh’s products?

Bren.

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I have something to tell you…

Hey guys. I have something to tell you. Until the end of the year I am going to be taking a break from writing on my blog. I’m doing it to reevaluate my blog and I’m going to prepare to work very hard into turning this blog into a business. This means I wont be taking part in Blogmas this year even though you may have seen me say I would be.

I’ll be back in the New Year with new posts and a whole new look! I would be very grateful if you could stick around. I’ll still be active on my Instagram and my Twitter, I just won’t be posting any blog posts until 2019.

I hope to see you all when I’m back. Thank you all!

See you soon!

Bx

My Birthday Tag!

Hey guys, it’s my Birthday! I’m twenty-one today and I thought it’d be fun to do a Birthday tag. I found this tag on bookbum.co.uk so go check her out. Let’s start!

Can you name any celebrities who share a Birthday with you?

Yes! I share a Birthday with Drag Queen RuPaul, actor Danny DeVito, director Martin Scorsese and actress Rachel McAdams! Some pretty cool people.

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Is your Birthday on a national holiday?

Actually, when I Googled this it seems like there are loads, but here are some of my favourites: Electronic greeting card day, National unfriend day and The Little Mermaid day. I can get behind some of these holidays!

Who died on your Birthday?

Queen Mary the First died on my Birthday in 1558 which is pretty cool, I’m fascinated by her and the rest of her family. I’m not really familiar with anyone else who died on my Birthday but it seems like quite a few Royals from around the world died on this day.

What is your sign?

I’m a Scorpio. I love being a Scorpio, we’re really misunderstood. We’re not nearly as bad as everyone thinks we are. Oh well, one-day people will understand why we are the best sign!!

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What is your Chinese sign?

I was born in 1997 so my Chinese sign is the Ox. It means we make strong decisions, we’re empathic and we’re supportive.

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What weekday were you born on?

I was born on a Monday. Right at the beginning of the week. I like that I was born on a Monday, makes me feel balanced – new week, new life!

What song was number 1 when you were born?

Unfortunately, the song that was number 1 in the charts when I was born was Barbie Girl by Aqua. I was hoping it would be something really cool that I could use as ‘my’ song, but I’m not sure I want to do that with this song. Yikes.

How was the weather when you were born?

So, I asked my Mum if she remembers and she said it was cold (November in England) but dry, which is unusual! I decided to check to see if she remembers correctly and, well… Who is right?

17th weather

Did anything important ever happen on your Birthday?

  • Well, I know that Queen Mary the First died on my Birthday which means Queen Elizabeth the First then became the monarch of England – although she obviously hadn’t had a coronation.
  • In 1603, Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason
  • 1796 Napoleons forces beat Austrians in Italy
  • 1894 Serial killer H.H Holmes is arrested in Boston
  • 1970 Russia lands Lunokhod 1 unmanned remote-controlled vehicle on the moon

So, a lot of pretty cool things. I was really surprised at how many awesome (and some not so awesome things) that happened on my Birthday throughout history.

What are you doing for your Birthday this year?

I’m having a little get-together with some of my friends. I’m also going to see ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the cinema (I hope future me really enjoys it). I’m looking forward to a laid-back Birthday this year, so I hope that happens!

Thank you for reading!

Bx

Autumn And Winter Everyday Minimal Vegan Make-Up

Now that Summer is over I’m starting to wear make-up again. I hate wearing make-up in the summer because it gets uncomfortable with the heat. Specifically this year, unusually hot summer here in England.

Now that the weather is getting colder it’s important to look after

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£2.99 each at Superdrug

your skin. That means moisturiser. Moisturiser is so important in Autumn and Winter because the colder weather can really dry your skin out. It’s important to use a moisturiser that will give you all day protection; preferably heavy duty, even if your skin is oily. SPF is also a super important step in your skincare routine, all year round. Your skin always needs protection against the sun, SPF prevents sun damage to your skin which can result in nasty illnesses, and also premature ageing. I like to use the Superdrug Vitamin E SPF 15 moisturiser, then I use the Superdrug Vitamin E leave-on-mask. I always moisturise twice. It’s a trick they used to do in the 40’s and 50’s to help keep makeup on, and it’s one of the best tricks I’ve ever tried. My skin feels amazing and moisturised all day. Always apply moisturiser to clean, dry skin; I use Witch Hazel on a cotton pad to cleanse my skin.

I have really been loving the new Revolution Conceal and

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Foundation: £9 and Powder: £5 at Superdrug

Define foundation. It’s my go-to at the minute, it probably will be all Winter. The foundation comes in twenty-four shades, a pretty good range for the debut shade range. I use the lightest shade F0.5. It is a pale shade with pink undertones, it’s so perfect. The formula is lightweight, you can barely feel anything on your face. It’s a full coverage foundation but is also buildable if you want a bit more coverage. It claims to have a ‘demi-matte’ finish, and I believe this to be true. It is matte but also gives a soft sheen on the higher points of your face. I have combination skin, but recently my skin has been more on the dry side so I definitely think a double layer of moisturiser really helps. It probably is best suited to people who have oily skin more but using an oil based primer or moisturisers will definitely increase the longevity and quality of the foundation. It comes with a doe-foot applicator, which I know some people don’t like. I personally don’t mind it because it’ll only be used on my face. If you don’t like it, you can always put some on the back of your hand then apply. I prefer using my sponge to blend rather than a brush, but I think that is just personal preference. I use a small amount of the Revolution Pro Pressed Finishing Powder around my nose and on my chin – where I get the oiliest throughout the day. I find that I don’t need concealer with it so I just leave it as it is.

To contour, I use the Revolution Ultra Sculpt and Contour palette

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£3.50 at Superdrug

in Fair C01. The tri palette contains a contour shade, blush and highlight. It’s a pale shade I use very lightly on my cheeks, forehead and jawline. It adds a slight shadow which doesn’t look cakey. I really recommend it if you’re as pale as a ghost, like me. Also from this palette, I use the blush shade lightly on the apples of my cheeks, then brushed back along my cheekbones. I also place the product slightly below the apples of my cheeks to give my skin a natural flushed look; placed along my forehead, chin and nose too. I put blush everywhere, it’s my favourite part of my makeup. I sweep the highlighter from this palette along my cheekbones, cupids bow, browbone and nose too.

For my eyes, I use the same contour palette I used for my face.

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Mascara: £4.99 and Eyebrow Gel: £6.49 at Superdrug

I lightly run the contour shade through the crease of my lid and under my eye on my lash-line, then I blend that out with a fluffy blending brush. On my lid, I use the blush then blend out and into the contour shade with the same blending brush. Most of the time I just leave it like that, but now and then I’ll use the highlighter shade just on top of the blush shade on my lid; if I’m feeling fancy. I use the Barry M ‘Lash Vegas 2’ mascara on my lashes. It makes my lashes look longer and defines them. It is quite a wet formula though, so I recommend letting it dry a little on the wand before you apply it to your lashes. For brows, I use the GOSH Brow Sculpting Fibre Gel in the shade, Nutmeg. I don’t really tend to fill in my brows because they’re pretty thick, but the gel just neatens them up and gives them some colour.

I add a lot of lip balm and most of the time that is all I’ll do.

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Lipbalm: £2.95 at http://www.yaoh.co.uk and Lipstick: £4.99 at Superdrug

If I want to do something different I add the Barry M Satin Lip Paint in the shade ‘Truffle Shuffle’ 168. This lipstick is a wonderful nude shade. It’s not a matte shade which I really like, I think I’m over the matte lip look. It stays on for hours, but I apply lip balm quite often so I tend to reapply it a few times during the day. If you wanted to make it matte then all you have to do is apply some translucent face powder on top of the lipstick.

I love this natural looking, light makeup look. It takes roughly five minutes to apply so it’s perfect if you’re in a rush. This routine is also great for a day-night transformation; you can add a bold eye or lip to turn it into a going-out look.

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Oil: £5.69 and Witch Hazel: £2.59 at Superdrug

To remove my makeup at the end of the day I use the Superdrug Restoring Skin Oil. This product is basically exactly the same as Bio-Oil but a fraction of the price. I actually prefer it. It doesn’t clog pores or cause pimples and acne. My makeup just dissolves off. You don’t need to use much either so it lasts ages. Not only does it remove your makeup quickly and easily, but it also has so many benefits to your skin. It hydrates and prevents ageing, evens out your skin tone. It’s perfect for all over body use too, I really recommend it for everyone. After using an oil cleanser, I use Witch Hazel to remove any makeup I missed with the oil. I think it’s important to double cleanse, just to make sure you get rid of all of the products on your skin to prevent impurities. I then do another double layer of moisturiser, this time I only use the Superdrug Vitamin E leave-on-mask.

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All of the products I’ve mentioned are amazing and I really encourage you to check them out. If you try or already use any of them then let me know what you think! I’d like to know other peoples opinions on them.

Thank you for reading!

Bx

 

 

My Favourite Movies – Part 1

Yep, this is part one. I’m not sure how many parts I’ll actually write about all of my favourite films. I’m a cinephile so I have a lot. There is something magical about movies and the way you get sucked into them. I’ve always loved watching films, I even wanted to be in them when I was younger. I mean, I’d still love to be a part of a film, but the chances of that are rather slim now. Anyway, whilst I’m not in them, I like to watch them. I have a heap of films I adore so I thought that more than one post was the best way to express my love for them. Anyway, let’s get going.

  • Cruel Intentions (1999): It’s cliche, sad and funny all at the same time. It stars a rather handsome Ryan Phillippe as Sebastian Valmont and Sarah Michelle Gellar as his evil step-sister, Kathryn Merteuil. They come up with a plan, to feed their egos and reputations, to ‘deflower’ the new headmaster’s daughter, Annette Hargrove – played by Reese Witherspoon, before school starts again after summer. I’m pretty sure you can figure out what happens… But that doesn’t stop me from loving the film. Based on the book ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ by Pierre Choderlos De Laclos.
  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006): This film single-handedly changed and defined my life. It’s so inspiring I can’t even begin to tell you. The scene where Meryl Streep tells Anne Hathaway how fashion and the fashion industry works, you know the one with Andy’s blue sweater, was ICONIC. What a scene! Andy gets a job as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the chief and editor of the fashion magazine – Runway. Let me tell you, they don’t call Meryl Streep the greatest actor of all time for nothing. This film is a perfect example. I just love it so much, if you haven’t seen it I really recommend watching it.
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): A classic. A cult classic.
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  • Nell Campbell, Tim Curry and Patricia Quinn in the Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Now, this film really did define who I am as a person. Everyone has seen film right? If not, what the Hell are you doing? It’s legendary. Starring the wonderful Tim Curry as an alien transvestite from Transylvania, what more could you want. I first watched this film when I very young, about four-years-old, oops… I think if I had never seen this film I would be a very different person. It’s the campest, most wonderful musical you could imagine. You won’t be able to help but do the ‘Timewarp’.
  • The Great Gatsby (2013): As you all know, because I bang on about it all the time, ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald is my favourite novel. Baz Luhrmann captures what the book is about in such a beautiful way. I tear up just thinking about it. Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as Jay Gatsby and Daisy is the best possible casting, I think. They both seem to encapture the characters personalities without romanticising the toxic relationship they both have. Don’t even get me started on the incredible cinematography and soundtrack, I’d be here all day!
  • Romeo and Juliet (1996): Another Baz Luhrmann starring Leonardo DiCaprio. But this time, it’s 90’s Leo… Am I right gays and girls? Everyone knows the classic tragedy by William Shakespeare, and there have been countless recreations of it, yet Baz’s version is a stand-out to me. Visually and musically it is so iconic and beautiful. I could sit and watch it over and over again – crying each time. It’s the most wonderful film.
  • Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (2018): If you read my Travel Bucket list post then you’ll know I was truly inspired to pack up and travel on my own to so many wonderful and beautiful countries and cities. I want to live my Donna Sheridan life to the limits (minus the baby part). This film only came out this year, but I’d been waiting ten years for the sequel to the brilliant first film, ‘Mamma Mia’. I love ABBA, musicals, Meryl Streep and Greece, so what is there not to like? I cried (a lot), laughed and sang whilst watching this film. Go check it out!
  • Batman: The Dark Knight (2008): I adore Heath Ledger and getting to see him play the infamous Batman Villain, The Joker, was something pretty special. I love Batman so this is the perfect mix. Christopher Nolan directed the trilogy: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. These dark takes on the Caped Crusader fill me with such joy. They are everything I would want in a superhero film. It’s iconic, and Heath’s mind-blowing performance will truly stick with you forever.
  • The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011): Growing up watching the Harry Potter films was something I’m pretty grateful for. They’re so amazing. I just love everything about them, they mean a lot to me really. I love nothing more than just sitting down and having a major binge session, watching all eight films. Believe me, I’ve done it multiple times.
  • Titanic (1997): I cry every single time I watch this damn film.
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  • Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
  • Without fail. I cannot deal with how sad it is! Another 90’s Leo film that makes me want to curl up and cry. A love story mixed in with the true events of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Kate Winslet, Rose, and Leo, Jack Dawson, have continued to be close friends and that makes me so happy. I just love it when they get together. I’m such a sucker for a sad, romance film.
  • Wuthering Heights: Again, this book to film is one of my favourites of all time. It has also been made multiple times, but this 1939 version starring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier really triggers some emotion in me. This black and white film is so beautiful. I love everything about it. Laurence Olivier really portrays the bitterness, love and control Heathcliff is all about. I made my Mum watch it with me and she loved it too, so you know it’s a great film. If you have only seen more modern takes on ‘Wuthering Heights’ then I really suggest watching this version because there is just something truly special about it.

I hope you liked the first part of my favourite films. If you haven’t seen any of the films on this list then please go and check them out. I like to think I have a broad appreciation for a lot of film types, so I’m certain you’ll find something you’ll like.

What are your favourite films?

Thanks for reading!

Bx

Places on my travel bucket list!

I’ve always wanted to travel. The only thing that’s getting in my way right now is money. I’m trying so hard to build up my career in writing so I can fund my travels – but I’ve not quite cracked it yet. I’m constantly dreaming of getting away from England and seeing the world. I finally watched Mamma Mia: Here I Go Again the other day – what an incredibly beautiful film – and it truly inspired me to work harder and build up the chance to go to all the places I’ve ever wanted to go. I’m not the best at flying, so I tend to stick with places I can easily get to by train or by boat, so that means Europe. I have always wanted to travel around Europe on my own. I’m constantly watching videos and vlogs on Youtube of people’s travels around Europe.

Greece:

  • I wouldn’t be living my best Donna Sheridan life if I didn’t go to Greece, would I? Either way, I have always wanted to go to Athens. All my life I have been fascinated with Greek Mythology so I’d just love to go and visit some of the sites of Mythology in Athens. I can’t even imagine how amazing that would be. I know there is a Mythological tour around Athens which I would love to do. One day.
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Athens, Greece
  • So, going with my Donna Sheridan life, I’d have to visit Skiros and Skopelos. Mamma Mia was partly filmed on both islands. The islands are so beautiful and are portrayed in such a wonderful way in the films I just can’t, not want to visit.

Italy:

  • Italy is the one country in the world I HAVE to visit in my lifetime. I just feel this connection with Italy that I can’t explain. There is one specific city in Italy that I’m drawn to the most, and that is Venice! What a beautiful place. There’s something about it that makes me want to physically see it. I get so jealous when I see people visiting and their photographs. A wonderful blogger I follow called Janja (Seeking Wonderful) shared a few blog posts about her time in Venice which made me feel the need to visit Venice. She has taken such beautiful photographs, Venice looks amazing. Go check her out.
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Venice, Italy
  • I also really love history, so visiting Pompeii is a must! Ever since I found out you could visit the site of this monstrous tragedy, I knew I had to go. It’ll be a special place which I know will trigger something inside me.
  • As you’ll know if you read my Art and Appreciation post, I love art. I have this fascination with Italian Renaissance art, and where better to see this than Rome? More specifically the Vatican City. I dream about visiting the Sistine Chapel and witnessing with my own eyes – The Creation of Man by Michelangelo. I can’t even begin to explain to you what that would mean to me.

Visiting Italy would honestly be a dream come true. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And I will!

Ireland:

So I’m Irish. My family on my Dad’s side are completely, 100% Irish. Therefore, I have always had this connection to Ireland, but I have never been. I’d love to go and travel around the whole of Ireland for a few weeks, but there are a couple of places I have to visit.

  • Number one is Achill Island. This is where the majority of my family originate from so naturally, I want to go there. It doesn’t look like there is much there, but I want to go and see how I connect to the environment. Maybe even meet some family I have never met – I know there are so many people!
  • I also really want to go to Galway. It just looks like such an alive city. It seems so warm and welcoming I just know I’ll love it there. Achill and Galway aren’t too far from each other so I can definitely incorporate a trip to both areas in one holiday.

France:

  • I’ve been to France a lot of times before, but I’ve only been to Paris and surrounding areas. I’d love to go further and visit a place called Rouffignac in West France. I’ve recently been tracing my family tree and I’ve discovered that my Mum and I descend from France. I’m going to write a whole post about what I’ve found so I’m not going to give too much away. I’ll just say that they come from Rouffignac – a reason I’d love to go. Also because the scenery is so pretty.
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A landscape of Paris, France

When I manage to go to these places I’ll for sure take you all along! I’m excited to be able to complete this bucket list.

Is there anywhere on your bucket list? Let me know below…

Thanks for reading!

Bx

 

 

Why and How I started Blogging

So my blog turned one on the 18th of September, a month ago now, and I never wrote a post about it! I know, I’m a terrible blog owner. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you why I started blogging.

I’ve always loved writing. I wasn’t ever that sporty, or academically gifted (besides English), so I wrote. I wasn’t particularly good at it when I started, things take practice, but I enjoyed it. I would sit up late at night and just write. English was my best subject.

I used to have a blog, years ago, but it didn’t do too well, so due to my anxiety I deleted all traces of it. Therefore, you won’t be able to track it down! It really put me off blogging, just because it was so bad. My anxiety was telling me that I wasn’t going to be any good at it and that no one would even read it. In the end, I thought, fuck it! So that’s how I decided I was going to start a blog.

The first thing I did was come up with a name for my blog. It was a pretty simple decision. I have a tattoo on my wrist that says ‘Bandia’, which is obviously the name of my blog. It was my tattoo before, though. I spoke about it in my Tattoo Tag post – but it basically means ‘Goddess’ in Irish Gaelic. I just thought it was such a good name for my blog.

For the first few months on my blog, which was on Blogger, not WordPress, I hardly promoted myself. I didn’t use Twitter to promote my posts. I did use my Instagram a couple of times to promote, but my anxiety was still pretty high when it came to people reading and judging my writing. But then I started to get some views, and even some really nice comments that boosted my self-esteem. That made me feel braver. So in February of this year, I made a Twitter account for my blog and that helped me get more interactions – this boosted my self-esteem even more. I definitely started to feel better about myself and even happy.

I started blogging because I wanted some sort of outlet. I didn’t initially create this blog to turn it into anything big, but now I love it so much, I’d love to make it something I can make a career from. Writing is my dream career, whatever form. Writing for myself is the best feeling, though.

I’ve also met some really cool people who are so supportive and kind. These people have really boosted my confidence in my blog. The blogging community is just so wonderful and I’m very proud to be a part of it. If you’re a new blogger then you are welcomed in with no problems. It’s basically instant support from day one! Just make a Twitter, follow some people and you’ll be part of something great.

I will never regret starting my blog, it was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I also don’t ever intend on giving up.

I really suggest starting a blog. You can write about anything you want. Write about anything and everything. It’s so fun, and you could even end up making some extra money from it, who knows!

Thanks for reading!

Bx