Wish list!

Photos removed to avoid copyright infringement. 

I can't believe that my birthday is so close!! This year, I'll be leaving teenager-hood behind as I hit the big (and slightly dreaded) T-W-E-N-T-Y!

I only dread it because I will no longer have the safety net excuse of "Oh but I'm just a teenager". Bills, taxes, moving out, growing up- it all becomes more of a scary reality.

So to perk myself up a bit with the whole "birthday" thing, I have put together a wish list of items I currently love! I've already had people start to ask me what I would like as a gift and I always find it hard to think of something on the spot- plus I always hate to ask for particular gifts as I feel so rude! So whilst I had a free moment, I thought I'd compile a list of things I am currently lusting over that my friends and family may find useful...! Hehe!

I adore these Giambattista Valli Mac lipsticks!! I haven't currently got a Mac lipstick (but have wanted one for so long!) and I particularly like these colours! The Fuchsia pink is particularly lovely.

Michael Kors new perfume range looks incredible- yes I want them purely for aesthetic purposes! But I've read a few reviews and apparently they smell divine too, so I'd love these!

I love pink, I love heels and I love Barbie...so naturally I loved Sophie Webster's Barbie collection! My favourite are the butterfly wing heels, but I don't know if I have an occasion that I could ever wear them?! Maybe just around the house! 

Back at the start of the summer, I was going to treat myself to this camera for my holidays! Then I published my own magazine, and that took a large bulk of my finances! This camera looks nice, takes incredibly good photos and videos and is a nice, compact camera that would fit into my handbag easily! 

Marc Jacobs watches are lovely! I particularly love this bright pink one purely because it just looks so different and I haven't seen anyone wearing one!! I think it's very "Flo"...

I have quite a collection of Marc Jacobs perfumes...not only do the bottles always look absolutely beautiful, they always smell equally as lovely! 'Sorbet' came out in the summer and it smells amazing!

Two fab films I saw as soon as they came out that I haven't been able to grab on DVD yet...one being my favourite fairy tale and one featuring my favourite actor!

I have wanted a Chinchilla for ever!!! One year, I very nearly got one and then decided the cage was too big for my room. However, after a recent visit to my pet shop I fell quickly back in love with them and now desperately want one!

Mini tsum-tsum's to add to my ever growing collection! Including now Abu and the Genie from Aladdin...they're just so irresistibly cute!

I love the Addidas superstars by Pharell Williams...the two prettiest colours are definitely Super Purple and Semi Solar Pink! 

Makeup Revolution is my go-to for almost all of my make up, but most of all eyeshadow palettes! I have so many already but you can never have too much, right? 

A couple of years ago, I hunted for soooo long for a Matte top coat nail varnish. I found one that broke the bank a bit at £8 but it was so worth it! However, when it ran out, I couldn't find a replacement that I liked. I miss having matte colour nails, so really want a new mattifying top coat polish...and as I am the queen of Barry M varnishes, picking a Barry M one seems fit really!

What items are you really lusting over right now? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace

Back to school!

This isn't going to be a very long post at all...it's just the opportunity for me to put a collective group of links together!

This time last year, I did quite a few posts all about different back to school aspects. People begin going back to school next week! (Where the hell did "summer" go?!) so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you those links to help you out!

Are you starting year 12, or going back to sixth form to start year 13? I've been there, and can help you out with some top tips to help you through the next academic year! You can read them here

If you're heading back to sixth form/starting sixth form, chances are you're getting spoken to a lot about your future and what you plan to do with yourself! The biggest option school's will push at you is university and you'll be introduced to the dreaded UCAS process! It can be a very stressful, confusing time, and there are a load of different options when it comes to the "future" part beyond sixth form. You can read my personal pros and cons regarding uni here

If you've already decided that university isn't the way you're going to go, then I've written a post all about the different options you have and how you can go about getting yourself into them, such as internships! You can read that here

In  a more lighthearted light, here is a funnier post on 10 people that you're likely to meet in September, be it at Freshers week, the start of a new college or a new job! You can find out who they are here

And finally, if you're at an all girl's secondary school/sixth form/college then maybe you'll relate to my own personal experience, which you can read all about here

What are you doing this September? For the first time, I won't be "going back" anywhere! I am starting my distance learning though, so I'm looking forward to doing that! Let me know what you'll be up to in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace


Bratz Doll Review*

When I was really, really young, I played with Barbie and Cindy dolls. I think most girls did. As I got older, a two types of new doll's came on the scene- cooler, more grown up, stylish dolls. These were Bratz and MyScene's. I adored both of them, and had a massive collection of dolls and clothes, accessories and cars, CD's and DVD's, and getting rid of them all when I became a "grown up" was quite a sad affair. After a while, the dolls stopped appearing in shops and Argos catalogues altogether and that seemed to be the sad end. 

So you can only imagine how I felt when I discovered that Bratz dolls were relaunching, completely restyled and totally different! I discovered their Bratz app (which you should all download!) and their YouTube videos and checked out their Twitter account, and after some communication, they kindly offered to send me a doll to review! Of course I said yes, and I was thrilled when it turned up because it looked like this...

Pink hair? Check. Tonnes of accessories? Check. Addicted to her phone? Check. This doll was me!!! I totally envied her hair, it's such a gorgeous baby pink colour and looks so pretty. Rumour has it these dolls are based on bloggers, which is also pretty cool.

The packaging of the dolls has become a lot more exciting, with a funky shaped box and metallic, shiny colours that really pop! The box is also decorated with emoji's and hashtags, keeping the dolls current in today's society! 

The back of the box is covered in polaroid "selfies" of the doll, again making the dolls very current with today's society! There's also "quotes" from Cloe so that a child can really bring her to life in their mind and get to know her personality, which is very cute.

There was a tonne of accessories available with the doll, all colour coordinated and stylish. My favourite is definitely the pink iPhone with it's different cases that you can actually swap over like in real life! That is definitely a lot cooler than the flip phones that the doll's used to come with!

Of course, as soon as I got my doll out of her packaging (which took forever! I forgot how well tied in to the boxes toys are!) I began accessorising her right away! One development from the old doll's is that the new one's have jointed knees, so I could sit her down and make her pose far better than the old dolls, who had no joints.

Check out her cute phone!

So yes, I enjoyed being a big kid and reliving my child hood! These dolls are so gorgeous and far better than the originals- I am a little envious of the children who get to sit around and play with them all day long. I definitely want to add more to my collection! 

If you want to find out more about the Bratz relaunch, head over to their Twitter page here. They run competitions every single day so there's lots of fun to get involved with! You can also watch their webisodes here. Finally, make sure to check out their new, flashy, colourful website at www.bratz.com

I hope you've enjoyed this little review, and thank you again to Bratz for kindly sending me this doll to review- I love her! 

Do you have any Bratz dolls? Is there any you want? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace

All images used are my own.


Teenage Body Image- My battle.

The female body. We all have a love/hate relationship with ours, right?

For me, it's been almost a lifelong issue. No, I've never had an "eating disorder" so to speak, but as I've grown older and have learnt more about teenage body issues, I have seriously considered the fact that I may have suffered from body dysmorphia. Now, I'm not about to sit here and self diagnose, wallowing in pity. But I want to try and prevent other young teens going through what I have gone through and share with you all what I have learnt.

Since I was about 7 years old, I was always aware that I was much larger than all of my friends...or so I wrongly believed anyway. We couldn't clothes swap at sleepovers because I was afraid their clothes wouldn't fit me...so I'd sit and do make up, or watch instead. As I reached 10, 11, 12 and started to care about boys and the school discos, I was acutely aware of the fact that not only did my tummy stick out way more than everyone else's, I had a rounder face and a horrible nose and was just...ugly.

God, I want to shake myself!

Here is a picture of me, aged someone between 7 and 11 at a primary school disco, where I felt fat and unattractive. (Excuse the awful outfit!)

As you can see from the picture, I'm not fat. I don't have podgy arms, a sticking out tummy or a double chin. I look like a normal, healthy child. Yet how sad is it that I felt so strongly otherwise? I was so young yet my body image already affected me so much! 

As you can imagine, it got worse when I got older. Again, excuse the awful outfits (I can't believe I was allowed out like this!) but here are a few examples of photos I found on Facebook from 2009-2013 which were all commented on by myself complaining about my facial features and- most importantly- how "fat" and "disgusting" I look. Here goes...

In this image, I hated my legs.

In this picture, just thought I looked fat.

In this image, I referred to myself as a "fat lion"...I would KILL to look like this now.

In this image, there was actually an argument in the comments where people told me I was attention seeking because I thought I looked fat. I can understand now why they felt this way, but at the time, I genuinely thought I looked disgusting.

So, as you can see, I am not fat at all in any of these photos. In fact, I would shave all of my hair off and go blind if I could have this figure back again (slight exaggeration, but you get my point!). Not only do these images make me feel incredibly self conscious about how I look now, but they also make me feel incredibly sad. That poor, teenage version of myself who spent so many years of her life feeling "gross", hating how she looked, comparing herself to friends and feeling like an elephant next to their model like figures, and all along, there was nothing wrong with how she looked. 

From 2013- present, there isn't many full length photos of me, as I became acutely aware of how chubby I was (and this time, I really am). Here are some more photos...

Over the last two years, my weight and body shape has fluctuated a lot, uncomfortably so. When I compare the first group of photos with the second, I want to break down and cry. But like I said, this is not a pity party. This is for me to share my learning experience with countless of teenage girls who I see complaining about how they look every single damn day. So many slim, gorgeous girls that I envy complain they have bulging bellies, no thigh gaps, chubby cheeks...no. 

Of course, it's not that easy to forget and change your own perception of yourself. So to help others, I've tried to understand my own journey, and why it is that my weight changed so drastically. 

  • I got a boyfriend. They say people who get into relationships gain weight and I can tell you, it's true. Between ordering take aways for "date nights" and having him cook me horse sized meals that he, an energetic, six foot tall boy would eat that constantly consisted of pizza, pasta, cheese and pizza, my calorie intake became a lot higher. 
  • I exercised less. P.E stopped being a compulsory subject for me at A Level, so any exercise I did was down to me...and there wasn't much, other than walking to and from school/town/my boyfriends house.
  • Puberty. I started puberty aged 12 but it really kicked off about 15/16 years old. Suddenly, my boobs jumped from a B to a D then an E and landed at an F. Hips burst out of nowhere, my bum became bigger...and whilst all of this sounds great, along with the previous two factors, my belly grew with them and so it wasn't all good. 
  • I grew up. This meant I was in control of what I ate, with my mum no longer telling me what I could and couldn't eat. Of course, this meant less vegetables and more crisps. Big no no. 
If there's one thing I could tell my teenage, slimmer self, and all other teens who hate their near perfect bodies, it's this. Even if you feel that you look hideous, don't change what you're doing. Unless you know that you are unhealthy because a responsible adult or doctor/health professional has told you so I can guarantee you look beautiful and wonderful and fine. Don't change your diet, don't change your fitness routine, keep going just as you are...because one day, you will do what I and so many of my friends have done, and look back at photos of yourself. Except, rather than hating yourself and feeling regret, you'll feel happy when you realised you looked great then and still look great now. 

To lead a healthy lifestyle it is so important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and to exercise too. Even if it's just once or twice a week, exercise is so important and I wish I had done more. 

If you get into a relationship, don't make the mistakes that I did and let your diet go down the drain. My boyfriend constantly tells me I'm still as perfect as the day he met me- but I don't feel I am and would like to look how I used to.

So please, please treat your body like the glorious temple it is. You are gorgeous! You are, you are, you are! You won't believe it until it's too late, and if I can even prevent that happening to one person, I will feel satisfied. 

These images are the end of it for me now. This is the start of a new journey. I am no longer going to look at these photos and feel guilt, sadness and regret. I will no longer look at them until I have finished my new journey- my healthier journey. 

My aim is to slim down- not to as slim as I was then, I know that isn't attainable...I'm a child there! But as a woman, I want to slim down, from a 12 to at least a 10. From 11 stone to somewhere between 9 and 10 stone. I am going to cut out my sugar levels, eat more vegetables and move more. I will love myself because I deserve to.

So often, we hate ourselves for completely no reason. This has been the story of my life for about 12 years. I am going to suffer at the hands of my own twisted mind no more. I will love myself, I will love my body. When my boyfriend and friends and family tell me I'm beautiful, I will listen. I will love myself.

This is it. A new chapter. A new start. 

Love from,
Florence Grace

Disclaimer: This is a very personal post to me. I am not saying anyone else feels the way I do, has been through what I have been through and am in no way suggesting that anyone needs to change how they look to be happy. It's all very personal to me. If you have any issues, please email me at florencegrace13@gmail.com


Results Day!

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Results day has rolled around once more, and social media sites are live with the buzzing of anxious students, dreading the day, spreading rumours about impossible grade boundaries, and making jokes about how to deal with their future when they fail- which every student is deeming to be the inevitable.

I laugh at them now, but I know how they're feeling and what they're going through. This time last year, I was going through the same thing. I even wrote a blog post about my feelings- it was my first ever blog post and it conveyed my own nerves about my results. However, looking back on the year I've had since then, and how little impact my results have had on my life so far, I wanted to take this opportunity to reassure everybody who is panicking right now about what their future holds.

Relax. Breathe. It will all be okay!

AS Levels.
When I started A Levels, someone said to me "Don't even bother with AS results Flo- everyone f*cks them up and then gets A* at A2, it's just what happens". As it happened, I didn't fuss too much over my AS levels. I didn't even revise for my exams (Excluding Communication and Culture which I loved and desperately wanted to do well in). I hated two of my AS Levels, Business Studies and Critical Thinking, and couldn't wait to drop them at A2, so didn't bother with them at all. Product Design was going to be a flop as our teaching hadn't been excellent, so I was relying on my coursework to pull me through. English Lit/Lang came naturally to me, and, as I said, I tried hard for Comms.

When results day came around, my sheet looked a little like this:

Communication and Culture: C/W A, Exam B
English Literature and Language: C/W A, Exam B
Business Studies: C
Product Design D
Critical Thinking: E

So not appalling, and not fab- just okay. I was surprised that I had done better in Business than in Product Design, my preferred subject of the two, but I wasn't upset over my results and everything worked out fine. Nothing bad can happen at AS Level- unless you fail every single exam and your school kick you out (which happened to my boyfriend, who now runs his own business...but that's another story), but usually a school will just take away your free periods and make you retake your AS Levels. Not too bad, and definitely not the end of the world. So Year 12's, you can relax.

A2 Levels.
Okay, so at A2 obviously the pressure is on a bit more, as your results mean the difference between you getting into your first choice university and ending up lost with nothing to do- so it seems at the time, anyway!

You really don't need to panic. If you don't get your expected grades, there is always your second choice university and, if worst comes to worst, clearing/appeals. The absolute worst case scenario is that you don't get into a single university...but then you can always try again the following year, after retaking your exams. Several people do this, it's not uncommon or unheard of and will not ruin your life.

At A2, my exam results looked like this:

Communication and Culture: B
English Literature and Language: B
Product Design: D

I was so happy, the two subjects that I wanted to use in future had good grades, and the subject I took for "fun" didn't have a great grade, but I didn't intend on using it so I wasn't too fussed. I went home and celebrated, and this is what I urge all of you to do when you receive your results.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that exam results don't matter one jot, because in some cases they do. If you want to be a doctor, or dentist, for example, they will look at how well you did in Science, because it will be very crucial to you having a successful career. But if you don't get the grades you were hoping for, it really, really, really isn't the end of the world, the end of your life or your future, and I can not stress this enough.

There are so many other ways to get a career now- online courses, youth schemes, internships, apprenticeships, college courses and, of course, going straight into work. Whilst I was accepted into my first choice university, my path changed quite drastically. I was going to study photography in London...I took a gap year to study a course in Visual Arts, which ended up being a Creative Business course, began doing work experience and internships in the media industry on a random whim and bam decided to drop out of my university placement, study a journalism course online come September and have a job in my desired field, based in London.

I'm not saying that everyone's lives will work out in a straightforward way, with you getting what you want fairly soon after you finish education, and I'm not saying if you fail every single exam you take you'll end up a millionaire (see below)

It might for some, it might not for others. What I'm trying to say though is your results really are not the be all and end all...your path in life will change unexpectedly, you'll do things you never expected to, things you hadn't planned. It's unlikely your exam results will come in to it at all. My grades haven't affected my career so far, and after doing a brief question/answer on Twitter, many people said the same- with some even saying it was the same case with their degree, with many not even in a career related to their degree.

So if you're sat tearing your hair out, crying and stressing- don't.

Your life is yours and you can do pretty much anything you want, if you put in the dedication, the hard work and the commitment. I went from wanting to be a musician, to radio dj, to photographer, to radio dj, to writer, now content creator (with radio dj still being a dream at the back of my mind!)...our lives are constantly changing, and more important than the grades is the journey you live. Enjoy it. Sometimes you'll make the right decision, sometimes you'll make the wrong one. It's all a part of the adventure we call life- an adventure that is incredibly short, and at the end of the day, school and grades are such a small portion of your life.

No matter the outcome- although I'm sure you'll all do fine- remember to celebrate your self when you open your results! Even if they aren't as great as you hope, or maybe even if they're better than you hope, celebrate the fact that you made it through school! You revised for hours on end, you sat those God awful exams and it's over. You did it! You deserve a small alcoholic beverage just for that!

I have fingers crossed for everyone tomorrow, but it's not the be all and end all. Everything happens for a reason in this life, I promise.

Love from,
Florence Grace

Please remember this is a reference to my own personal experience. I am not saying that every one will lead the same life I have done so far.


Blogger Beauty Box review!

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I was really excited when I saw that the lovely Vix was starting up a new "box", a beauty box. I see people getting "boxes" all of the time- GlossyBox, Graze Box, Kawaii Box...there is literally so many boxes! I've always wanted to try one but never really been able to afford one, or found them to be worth the cost.

Oh Blogger Beauty Box, what a delightful discovery you were. For just  £10, with no additional postage costs, you are sent not one, not two, but five full size beauty products, all beautifully packaged and ready to use. When I initially signed up for the box, I thought the products would be sample sized, so when I found out they would be full sized, I couldn't believe what a bargain I was getting- especially when the individual costs of the products total to a lot more than £10!

The first box arrived at my house on June 30th, earlier than expected (brownie points for you) and wrapped wonderfully, in brown paper packaging with the logo on a sticker label. The box itself has a larger sticker with the beautiful logo on the front, and when you opened it a divine smell floated out, before I had even unwrapped anything! Everything was wrapped up in pretty pink tissue paper too, so it all looked very exciting!

As well as the five products, there were leaflets and pamphlets about the different brands, so you could really read about the products/where they came from/the brands and so on, which was really useful! 

My five products from Box 1 were: 
  • A face mask (which I forgot to photograph, sorry!)
  • Lipgloss
  • Lipstick
  • Mascara
  • Moisturiser 

The Lipgloss.

I have never heard of Dusty Girls, so was not entirely too sure about what to expect from the product. It came in very cute cardboard packaging (which is recyclable!) and really does reflect it's name, "Sun Shower", coming out in a pastel, peachy-orange colour which is great for a summer make up look! It doesn't feel too sticky either, I found, which pleased me too. 

The Lipstick.

I have always read reviews about W7 make-up so was pleased to receive this W7 "Fluorescent Kiss" lipstick. Being a huge pink addict, I was also very happy with the colour! The lipstick is great, it applies very smoothly and the colour lasts too- I wish I had purchased a W7 lipstick before! I'm definitely going to be purchasing more from this brand, and hopefully there'll be more treats from them in future boxes!

The Mascara.

After never trying W7 products before, you can only imagine my excitement when I saw not one but two products in the box! I was really pleased to receive a new mascara, as mine is close to running out now. I was especially pleased with the thicker brush, as I prefer these to thinner mascara brushes! I found the mascara coated my eyelashes evenly with just a few strokes and made my eyelashes look bold and dark, which is just perfect for me! I was over the moon with this product!

The Moisturiser.

MooGoo was another brand I had never heard of, but I really wish I had done! Not only is the packaging super cute, and there's a use of cow related puns ("Cover-Up, Buttercup"), but the actual product smells so divine, and I feel this may be why my box smelt so good! The cream comes out quite thickly, so you only need a small amount for one area of skin, but it rubs in very easily and leaves my skin feeling soft and smelling delicious! The tube is so large, I know it's going to last me a while too, which is a massive bonus!

Overall, I am more than impressed with this box, and I am so glad I signed up! It's definitely £10 well spent, and you most definitely get your money's worth out of it! I can not wait for the next box, I have no doubt it will be as fabulous as this one! Thank you Vix for setting this lovely idea up- go you!

You can find out more about the Blogger Beauty Box on their twitter here or email vixmeldrew@gmail.com

Love from,
Florence Grace

All images excluding the Blogger Beauty Box logo used are my own.

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