10 Quotes That Help You Be The Best Version Of You

10 Quotes That Help You Be The Best Version Of You

I’m going through a bit of a difficult time right now. It’s not something that I want to share for now but I feel like this is needed. I need a bit of end of the week motivation to help me mentally and to keep me going. I sometimes find that difficult however there’s something magical about a string of words clustered together to bring hope, motivation and to help give you some strength to uneasy situations that you might be facing. And if you are doing okay, perhaps these might help you on a day that isn’t your best. I’m happy to share with you 10 quotes that will help you through a difficult time in your life!

Denim Jacket – New Look, Culotte Trousers (similar here) – New Look, Woman T-Shirt – Boohoo, Sandals – New Look

1. You must enter a relationship with yourself before anyone else. – Rupi Kaur

2. She has a zest for seaside strolls and putting her best foot forward. – Kate Spade

3. There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. – Aldous Huxley

4. Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else. – Judy Garland

5. I was attracted to the positive outlook on women especially exploring relationships with different people and being confident and comfortable and strong. That was the kind of thing that was appealing to me, because that’s what’s real, and that’s honest, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s what single women do. – Dakota Johnson

6. I…do not. Belong. To anyone. But myself. And neither do you. – Ariana Grande

7. Be you. You is awesome. – Laura Jane Williams

8. And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. – Mark Anthony

9. If I don’t get to see the beauty of the end of culture; then at least I’ve seen the culture of the end of beauty. – The 1975

10. Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is. – Anne Frank

Please feel free to add your own in the comments or share with anyone you believe needs this today.

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10 Quotes That Help You Be The Best Version Of You

Photography Masterclass With Viking And Elouisa Georgiou

At the beginning of July I attended the Viking Photography Masterclass based at the Botanist, Newcastle. The aim of the evening was to give bloggers like myself the chance to up our photography skills whether that be with a camera or a smartphone and ask any photography based questions.

The evening was organised by Viking, a stationary and office supply company, and Elouisa Georgiou, a Yorkshire based photographer who specialises in events, commercial, travel, interiors and food & drink photography.

Photo Credit: Kate

When we arrived, we were kindly given a named sticker with our Twitter handles on which was such a good idea and a glass of Prosseco or water depending on what you fancy. I grabbed a table with Amy, Alice, Becca, Kate and Mel who are all lovely girls. We were able to catch up and introduce ourselves to each other which was so lovely.

The first thing which Elouisa explained was to try and get out of our comfort zones and start shooting in manual rather than automatic. It gives you better control of your images which I completely understand. Ever since I have started photography as a hobby, I’ve tried to shoot in manual especially when it comes to still life photos. The only time I tend to use automatic mode nowadays is shooting outfit pictures with Alice.

The evening gave us a chance to explore creative portraits, product photography, flatlay images and food & drink photography by using boards to bounce light and prisms to refract and reflect the light – something that I’ve never tried before.

Firstly, here’s some key words that you may come across across when talking about photography. You may even have knowledge of these already.

Shutter Speed – This is how fast the shutter captures your image. For stop motion, you will need a higher shutter speed number compared to capturing motion where you will need to shoot at a lower shutter speed to create that blurred effect. Remember the higher the shutter speed means less light is being let into the camera.

ISO – The lower the ISO, the less sensitive the sensor is to the light. As the ISO increases the camera is more sensitive to the light. For clear and less ‘grainy’ images we always want to shoot with the lowest ISO possible.

Aperture – The is also known as the F stop, this controls the depth of field. When buying a lens for a DSLR camera, you will usually come across eg. EF 50mm f/1.8 so in this case the aperture is f/1.8. The aperture is the amount of subject you will have in focus in the foreground or background of an image. A wide aperture such as f/2 or low F stop has a softer focus of the background which lets in more light as well as creating a lovely blurred background . A narrow aperture such as f/22 or higher F stop has more focus in the background and lets in less light.

Elouisa explained that balancing all three of these without sacrificing one will give you a clear and attractive image. Tripods are useful for shooting at a lower shutter speed to capture an image without the motion blue if you don’t have a great deal of light.

So, what have I learnt? 

Natural light will be your best friend. The phrase is so true. When shooting my images, I much prefer natural light because my photos look better. Be aware of ambient light in a room, play around with colour balancing images.

  • Turn off or block out ambient lighting in the room
  • Foam boards are cheap and can help to bounce light
  • If the lighting is to strong, diffuse the light with a clear curtain
  • Use a tripod so you can shoot slower
  • Use natural reflectors in a room

Creative portraits is something that I’ve never really explored but given the chance to use prisms, glasses, bottles, windows and mobile phone screens added something interesting and gave my images a bit more of a creative field. I experimented with holding items over my camera lens to create interesting light and blurs and some of them worked really well. Shadows and reflections create visibility through a reflective surface which offers something different to your usual portrait.

I really like the creative portraits that I took at the event of Amy and Becca with the prism in front of my camera lens. I think they were really unusual and different to my style of photography.

Every blogger wants to achieve the best flatlay images for certain kinds of blog posts and I would say that mine have improved over time however these tips might help if your a newbie or just looking to improve your flatlays.

  • Use a tripod to help with stop any motion blur
  • Keep the shot consistent
  • Use the live view to help compose different elements within your flatlay
  • Don’t be afraid to go outside the frame; play around, have some subjects in shot and others half out the frame
  • Large gaps between subjects aren’t aesthetically pleasing
  • There are no rules to flatlay photography
  • Try and use a lens with less distortion to create the ‘perfect looking’ flatlay

I really like the flat lay image that I took of the snacks that were provided on the night however it would have worked better if I was angled at a bird’s eye view or used a tripod looking down so the sugar snap peas weren’t blurred.

Food, drink and product photography is the one that I personally want to improve the most and fortunately for me it’s the one that I tend to photograph the most of whether that be my favourite haircare range or what I’ve had to eat at a restaurant. It was really nice to be able to explore and have some time experimenting with the tips learnt at the masterclass as well as ask questions.

  • Practise using ‘magic angles’ to find your favourites – straight on, 45 degrees, bird’s eye view
  • There is no rule to say you need the entirety of the plate or product in shot
  • Bounce boards, menus and paper even out the light in shot to create light and shadow where you want it
  • Use what you can find to decorate the image but try not to make it busy
  • A lower aperture creates a lovely blurred background or move the product further away from the background
  • Don’t be afraid to focus on other details
  • Try and use a lens with less distortion to give more realistic proportional images

The image above was most definitely one of my favourites of the night because of the focal point of the image.

We had about two and a half hours to take a range of photos using the tips that we had learnt from Elouisa. After some time, we could send one to an email address for it be printed off and talked about what went well and what didn’t. There was so many amazing photographs that was shared on the night and it was super lovely to see so many skills. Elouisa shortlisted a couple of photos however Amy’s won and she was given a printer that was being used on the night. The printer used on the night was the Canon Pixma TS5050. I’m so proud!

On our way out we were kindly gifted a document with all the tips from the night and a tripod with a bluetooth remote which is going to come in super handy.

I just want to say a huge thank you to Viking, Elouisa and the Botantist for a fabulous evening. You can follow Elouisa on Instagram for photography tips and inspiration.

Are you a pro photographer? I hope this can help any budding photographers.

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10 Quotes That Help You Be The Best Version Of You

Hempz Herbal Haircare Collection Review

We all know how much I love discovering new haircare products especially when they are cruelty free and vegan friendly. I was more than happy to be given the opportunity to test out the new Herbal Collection from Hempz.

Hempz is a brand that I’ve tried a lot of over the past year. All of their products are enriched with 100% pure natural Hemp Seed oil which is known for high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals making it a really well nourishing ingredient for any formulation.

The Herbal Haircare Collection is made up of five different products that include: Shampoo and Conditioner, Dry Shampoo, Workable Hairspray and Flexible Styling Sculpt all of which share a delicious Hemp and citrus scent. As I mentioned before, the whole collection is cruelty free, vegan friendly and also free from sulphates and parabens.

The Hempz Shampoo & Conditioner have been specially formulated with gentle cleansers to not only help maximise the life of coloured hair but to aid the condition, soften and smooth. The Hemp Seed oil helps to nourish and strength your locks leaving them looking healthier and shiny. On using the products, the first thing you notice is how amazing they actually smell. Similar to other Hempz products I’ve used in the past, the scent was like a tropical paradise leaving quite a fruity scent. The shampoo foams up extremely well which is something that many other sulphate and paraben free shampoos struggle with. Both formulations are rich and thick to help de-tangle and calm frizzy hair as well as being able to seal in moisture. Another issue I’ve struggled with when using a natural haircare combo is that my hair used to get greasy quite quickly but after using the Hempz Shampoo & Conditioner, I can go up to a week without washing my hair which is brilliant for natural oils. My hair still looked and felt great after day four.

Next up was the Workable Hairspray which is designed to add body and volume. I’ve never really had a memorable experience when using hairspray in the past but that’s probably because I hardly ever used it. My hair is extremely frizzy and it gets worse due to humidity so when I heard the Hempz Hairspray works to guard against dryness, humidity and control frizz, I was excited to give it a go. I noticed that even after a full day of shooting photos or working, my hair style for that day would still be in tact which is fantastic! As far as controlling the frizz is concerned, it does do a fab job but I’m not sure whether it is a mixed combination of the hairspray and other products.

The final product I was able to try was the Flexible Styling Sculpt. Not going to lie to you, I was a bit confused when I first received this product mainly because of texture and formulation of the product. Firstly, a little goes a long way. It helps to provide hair with moisture, shine and protection whilst controlling frizz and combating dry hair. I’ve got to be honest with you, when I first started using the product I wasn’t sure whether I loved it or hated it until I went back to using it a couple of weeks ago and realised how much I’ve missed it. I melt a little bit in between my palms and then smooth it through the ends of my hair. It controls my frizz and emphasis my natural curls.

Overall, I am really impressed with the Hempz Herbal Haircare Collection. The products I’ve tried have been amazing and I would definitely recommend them if your wanting to try something a little bit more luxurious. As I mentioned in my previous Hempz post (read here), I love the products that they come out with and would love to try their other products including their Aftersun and Milk & Honey Range.

Have you tried the Hempz Herbal Haircare Collection recently? What’s your thoughts?

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10 Quotes That Help You Be The Best Version Of You

A Summer Bucket List

Does anyone else feel as though this year is going extremely fast? It felt as though we had an extremely long January and then boom we are already a week into July. Before we know it we will be seeing the Christmas content creep up on us again. I’ve got a pretty busy couple of months ahead of me so I wanted to share with you what’s on my Summer to-do list.

I want to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone. This has been something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. Many who suffer with anxiety, depression or mental health difficulties will probably understand that we get stuck into a routine of comfort. A routine that we all know is our a safe bubble and when it comes to stepping out of that bubble we have those horrible anxious feelings that we like to avoid. Now I am not saying that everyone needs to step out of that bubble but it is about time that I did. Life is for living! I’ve quit my job and volunteered to work as a Support Mentor for the NCS over the Summer months which I am looking forward too. In fact, I would already be on the first week residential as your reading this. There are going to be a lot of challenges that I will be overcoming myself but the reason why I wanted to do this was to help young people step out of their comfort zones too.

Clearly, I’m going to be having an action packed Summer so once the holidays are done with I want to plan some time away. There’s nothing more exciting than being able to count down the days to holidays and trips. I’ve decided to look into potential holidays to book. Disneyland Paris, Amsterdam and some where reasonably warm in October are all on the top of my bucket list at the moment. When I was younger, I had the privilege to go on holiday for two weeks every year to places like Greece or the Mediterranean Islands. I have so many brilliant memories and I would love to create some now I am an adult.

This is quite possibly the most adult task however it’s something that needs to be done, but I need to save some money. I am addicted to shopping! Everyone who knows me well will understand that I struggle to save money but so far you are looking at a girl who has opened up a savings account after months of promising that I’m going to do it and who currently has £151 in that account. Can I please have a gold star? I don’t really know what I am saving up for but I need to get myself out of the habit of spending my money on pointless things. I’ve allowed myself one makeup/skincare order and one clothing order a month and that is it. At the time of writing this, things are going pretty well.

Finally I just want to be able to enjoy the sunshine. As you are all aware, we’ve been blessed with some pretty glorious weather. Whether that means have a couple of drinks in a pub with family and friends or having a beach picnic, I don’t really mind what it is as long as I am enjoying the beautiful weather.

What’s on your Summer bucket list?

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10 Quotes That Help You Be The Best Version Of You

My 25th Birthday Celebrations

Last weekend was my birthday, as you are probably all aware if you follow my social media accounts. I couldn’t quite believe that I was celebrating my 25th birthday and it didn’t really feel any different. As I grow older, I’m beginning to realise that there is nothing more important than time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a lovely day and some very nice presents that I am grateful for but the day itself was the best.

This year, I attempted to plan something myself but everything I tried was either too expensive or people couldn’t make it and really I just wanted to spend time with as many of my family as possible. The weather was certainly on our side with it touching about 21℃. I had a pretty relaxed morning opening presents and cards with a chocolate breakfast that included a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Cadbury’s Chocolate Figures and an amazing cake that my Aunt made. It was delicious!

We headed into town on the metro for my surprise that I knew nothing about until we arrived at the venue. I finally had a chance to do an Escape Room! I was so excited because I’ve been wanting to do one for months. We arrived at the entrance to Escape Newcastle which is based on Grainger Street above Pure Ink. I found out that we were going to be doing The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry game. It’s a linear game which meant that once you found the first clue it will lead onto the second and so on and so forth until you found your way out of the room. There was a camera in the room so if we were stuck, they could send us hints on the board. I had so much fun! I can’t stress to you how much I enjoyed it and I can’t wait to be able to do another one again, hopefully soon.

After we had finished, we went to George’s British Kitchen for cocktails and a starter then moved onto The Botanist for our main meal and, of course, I had to have a pudding. At George’s British Kitchen, I tried the After Eight cocktail which was minty and chocolatey and had Vodka in but you couldn’t really taste it. For food we shared the Chicken Goujons that had lashings of sweet curry sauce and Charcoal Grilled Halloumi which was served on a bed of sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry. Both starters tasted delicious and I would highly recommend them. I would love to return to George’s again for mains in the future.

At the Botanist, I tried one of the famous hanging kebabs. There is five to choose from but I opted for the Halloumi and Falafel which is served with garlic butter, mixed vegetables and sopped in sweet chilli and ginger sauce. It comes with a side dish of couscous but I asked for sweet potato fries. It was delicious! For pudding, I had the Chocolate Fondue with brownies, strawberries, honeycomb, toasted marshmallows, coconut balls and krispie squares which we all nibbled on in the end. It was a very unique concept which I really enjoyed too. Overall, I had a lovely and perfect little day full of celebrations for my birthday.

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