15 November 2018

10 Things I Miss When I'm Not In Disneyland Paris

The Disney Blues are real, it's a fact.
That moment when the bubble pops and you're thrown straight back into reality, never knowing when you're going to walk down Main Street again. Instead of working, you spend your time browsing travel sites for the cheapest deal so that you can start the countdown and immerse yourself in the magic one more time. 

Sound familiar? I relate. 

You'll notice that my blog has been lacking some Disney magic and that's because I haven't been to Disneyland Paris in over a year. A whole 365 days...and counting. I really do miss it, a lot.

I've been watching my old vlogs and looking through old photos and it got me thinking about what I miss the most about Disneyland Paris. So here's a list of ten things I miss about my home away from home when I'm not there.

'Welcome' 

There's nothing that makes me feel more at home than that little voice saying 'welcome' as you scan your ticket (or pass) to gain entry into the park. It's a sound you'll get used to hearing and one you'll definitely miss when you leave.

'The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness' 

It's no secret that Big Thunder Mountain is my favourite ride in Disneyland Paris and there's nothing I love more than the safety announcement before the train rattles off underneath River Mesa. I miss being told to 'hang on to them hats and glasses 'cos this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness'.


The First Sight of the Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Paris is famous for the pastel pink beauty known as the Disneyland Hotel. Before you even see Aurora's Castle, you'll be welcomed by this beautiful hotel. Early mornings are a nightmare but when you're waking up to this view, they somehow become easier. 

The Shows & Parades

I miss everything about the entertainment at Disneyland Paris; the way the Cast Member's hype you up, the announcement five minutes before the parade starts and even parents shoving their children in front of me. Being sat at work just isn't the same as watching my favourite Princesses in the Starlit Princess Waltz. 

The Initial Character Hug

There's nothing quite like that first hug from your favourite character. Disneyland Paris is already so welcoming but the characters make it that little bit more magical. Some of my best memories come from meeting the characters and the hugs make the cutest candid photos - looking through them makes me miss Disney more and more. 

Watching Character Interactions

Being in Disneyland is one of the greatest feelings but I guarantee that you'll spend 70% of your time queueing for different attractions. Normally, you'll find me queueing to meet characters. This can get very boring, so to pass the time, I like to watch other people meeting the character whilst I wait. Not only is this absolutely adorable, but it gives you some ideas on photos and what you want to say to the character when you meet them. 

Any Food Is Acceptable

No matter what time of day it is, any kind of food is acceptable in Disneyland Paris. Popcorn before the fireworks? Chocolate doughnut for breakfast? Yes, please! 

Evenings In Disney Village

Spending time in the Disney Village is the perfect way to wind down after a hectic day in the parks. I love a cosy night in with films but nothing will ever compare to sipping Glowtini's in Sports Bar and browsing World of Disney til the late hours. 

Riding 'It's A Small World' To Pass The Time

It's normally the ride with the smallest queue which means it's a perfect pass time when you're waiting for the parade or Illuminations - and to save your aching feet. It's possibly one of the only times I'm able to convince everyone to come on it with me. 


Browsing the Shops on Main Street

There's so much going on in Disneyland Paris and it's very easy to overlook the little boutiques, bakeries and restaurants lining Main Street USA. There's nothing I love more than browsing the shops after a fun packed day in the parks - especially after the fireworks when I wait for Main Street to empty. I wish every street was like Main Street!

Truth be told, I miss everything about Disneyland Paris. 

So it makes me very excited to say that in just three weeks time I'll be returning to the happiest place on earth. My close friend Chloe and I spontaneously booked a short trip to celebrate the Christmas season and I can't wait to see Disneyland Paris in all its festive glory. So be prepared for all the blog posts - I can't wait to share the adventure with you!

What do you miss most about Disneyland?

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx



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14 October 2018

I'm Taking Roaccutane!

As many of you know, I’m very open about my struggle with acne. I’ve had acne for over 10 years and in my most recent skin update,  I was due for what I hoped would be my final dermatology appointment.

I’ve been taking antibiotics and applying a topical cream for the past six months in an attempt to clear my acne. When I last updated you, I finally had skin that I was proud of. It wasn't perfect but for the first time in my life, I felt confident enough to go out without makeup on.

As instructed by my dermatologist, I stopped taking the antibiotics at the beginning of September, two weeks before my appointment. For the first week, my skin was clear and I had no new breakouts. However, in the second week, my acne started to reappear. It wasn't as severe as it was in March but for a girl who'd been used to waking up with clear skin, waking up to breakouts again wasn't fun.

'The acne isn't coming back, it can't be.' 

I knew that the antibiotics weren't a permanent solution but when my dermatologist confirmed that my acne was making a comeback, I couldn't help but feel disheartened. I'd taken tablets every night for six months for the acne to come back after two weeks. Everything seemed so pointless. 

For the rest of the appointment, we discussed my next steps. 
I could try yet another antibiotic, with no guarantee that it would work, or I could be prescribed Roaccutane (a drug I had been offered in my initial consultation). If you've heard anything about Roaccutane, you'll know that it receives a lot of negative press for the severe side effects that it can cause. After a long chat, we agreed that Roaccutane was the best solution

The following week, I returned to collect my prescription. I had to have a blood test and do a pregnancy test - it's incredibly important that you don't get pregnant when taking Roaccutane as it can cause severe birth defects in unborn babies. This is something that I will have to do every month when taking the drug. My dermatologist weighed me, measured my height and prescribed me with a starting dosage of 30mg. I'll be honest, this is a higher dosage than I was expecting. 

What happens now?

I'm officially part of the Roaccutane club. 
I've stocked up on lip balms and moisturisers and I've spent my nights watching Katie Snooks' monthly diaries. If you've been on Roaccutane, then you'll know that no experience is the same and no matter how many people you talk to, everyone has something different to say. It's definitely something that needs to be researched before a final decision is made and it should be used as a last resort. 

There are some amazing bloggers/YouTubers who have talked about their experiences on Roaccutane. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Katie, Sarah, Primrose and Mercydes.

Monthly Updates

As I write this blog post, I've just taken my first dose of Roaccutane and if I'm being honest, I'm absolutely terrified. The past few days, my skin has improved massively and I started to wonder if it was a good idea to put my body through such an intense drug. However, the more my skin has fluctuated, the more I've realised that Roaccutane could be a permanent solution to my acne.

It could make my acne disappear for good. 

If things go to plan, I'll be taking Roaccutane for the next four months and I want to bring you along for the journey. I'll be taking photos of my skin every single day and updating my blog on the first Sunday of every month with photos, side effects, products I've been loving and anything else I've been feeling. 

This will not only help me to monitor both the changes and improvements to my skin but also *hopefully* remove some of the bad stigma around the drug, giving an honest account of what it's like to take Roaccutane. I also think it's incredibly important to share and be proud of our imperfections. I'm trying to be confident in my skin and I think that this is a perfect way to do it. 

I'm hoping for a positive journey to clear skin. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. 

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx


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9 October 2018

Perfect Autumnal Eyes

Eye make up has never been my strong point but I'd like to think that I've upped my game over the past year. I've been watching tutorials, practising every day and it's now a favourite part of my make up routine. As my technique has improved, I've been treating myself to more high-end palettes including Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Too Faced. 

My most recent purchase was the Anastasia Beverly Hills 'Soft Glam' palette and, teamed with the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette, it's the perfect autumnal combo. 

When the Naked Heat Palette was released I didn't understand the hype. That is until it arrived on my doorstep, beautifully packaged, and I fell in love. I'm all about burnt oranges and shimmering bronze shades in the autumn months and this palette is a perfect combination of both. It's very versatile, sporting a wide variety of colours meaning that a look can be created for every event.

I only need a small amount of the shadow on my brush as the colour pops immediately. I've only ever used the original Urban Decay Naked Palette which was never very pigmented, so this came as a very pleasant surprise. 

The Naked Heat Palette is my go-to for an everyday autumnal makeup look. I don't think you can beat Low Blow (brown matte) in the crease, Cayenne (terracotta matte) in the outer corner and Ounce (ivory shimmer) in the inner corner. It's the perfect natural autumnal blend. If you want to add a slight shimmer then add Scorched (metallic deep red) or Lumbre (copper shimmer). 

In all honesty, there isn't a shade in this palette that I don't love and that's very rare for me to say. It's my holy grail palette for the autumn-winter months and I'm especially looking forward to using the darker, burgundy shades for Halloween.

If you follow me on Twitter then you'll know how long I've had my eye on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette. I was going to wait until Christmas to expand my collection but a 20% discount on Beauty Bay finally tempted me to add it to my basket. 

I still can't get over how beautiful it is, both on and off the eyes. If you love natural shades with a slight shimmer then this is the palette for you. There's a shade for everyone and it's the perfect palette to create a glamorous, glittery smokey eye. In my opinion, it's a combination of the Naked palette and Naked Heat - what more could you want?

As the shades are so pigmented, you only need a very small amount on your brush. The glitter shades really make your eyes pop and can transform your look from natural to glam in the dab of a brush. As this is the newest addition to my collection, I'm yet to use all the shades however my current favourites are Sultry, Rustic, Dusty Rose and Tempera. Sultry is perfect for any occasion and Dusty Rose is the prettiest shade of pink. 

Give me an eyeshadow palette full of matte brown, burnt orange and a shimmering gold, team it with a bold berry lip (Charlotte Tilbury's Glastonberry is a must have!), a mustard jumper and you've got my perfect autumn combination. Oh, and can't forget the pumpkin spice latte! 

What are your holy grail products for autumn?

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx





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11 September 2018

My Skin Story


I've had acne since I was ten years old. At least, that's the first time I remember going to see my GP about my skin. He prescribed me with some cream to apply each night and sent me on my way. At that age, my only concerns were playing out with my friends and wondering if Zoey would end up with Chase on Zoey 101. My skin was the last thing on my mind. It was only when I got to high school that it became more of an issue.

High School is nasty. Kids are nasty.
I was bullied because of my skin. I remember sitting in English and having girls ask, 'why is your skin so spotty?' and sometimes lads would ask me on dates as a joke. I had all the usual name calling that you'd associate with acne, 'pizza face', 'greasy face', 'crater face' etc but I learned to deal with it. At thirteen, my Mum was referring to my spots as 'teenager spots' and told me that they'd go when I was older.

Fast forward to Sixth Form and my skin was at its worst. I went back to my GP and was prescribed various creams but they didn't work. He then decided to put me on the contraceptive pill. It was called co-cyprindol and I was taking it for just over two years, including my first year of university. It was dreadful. My skin got progressively worse, I gained quite a lot of weight and my mental health deteriorated. I had to go and see my GP every three months and each time, he told me that he'd refer me to see a dermatologist. He never did.

Here's a photo of me and my parents in my flat when I first moved in. As you can see, the blemishes all over my cheeks are barely coverable with makeup. I'll be honest, I was ashamed. I expressed my concerns to people and they reassured me saying, 'don't worry, it's not the first thing people will notice about you.' I believed this for a while until a drama lecturer told me that I'd never get a job in the arts with 'skin like that'. I have never been more aware of my acne than I was in that moment. That was when I went into complete meltdown.

I came off the pill and my skin started to improve. I tried every branded cream, soap, scrub and facial wash and some products helped, but my confidence was at a complete low. Throughout uni, my skin changed - sometimes I'd go weeks with blemishes that were coverable with makeup, other times, not even a full coverage foundation/concealer would help.

In February 2018 I decided it was time to sort my skin out once and for all. I couldn't understand why everyone had such perfect skin and I didn't. No one seemed to understand. This year was a big year in terms of social events. I had a Leavers Ball, my 21st and my Graduation. I wanted my skin to be clear. I wanted to be able to stand in front of a camera and not feel self-conscious or wonder how I was going to edit my blemishes out. I just wanted to love myself again.

The First GP Visit

I went to visit my GP in February of this year. I walked into the room makeup-less and sat opposite a lovely woman with a kind, smiling face. I'll be honest, I sat there and cried. I told her everything; how disgusting I felt, all the remarks that had been made and that all I wanted was to have clear skin for graduation. She nodded as I spoke, jotting down everything that I said. Finally, I thought someone was listening.  

'We've given you everything we could possibly prescribe you, I think the best thing for us to do is refer you to a dermatologist,' she said. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then she started flicking through my medical records and her face dropped.

 'You should've been referred to see a dermatologist three years ago.'

She shook her head and began to apologise, all these years of confidence issues and self-doubt could have been sorted three years ago.  It took her five minutes to write my referral to the dermatology department at the hospital and she promised me that things would get sorted. There was just one problem, a fourteen-week waiting list. 

Why I Chose To Go Private

I went home to my parents with a prescription for Epi-duo, a cream I had previously been prescribed but hadn't worked. I told them about the fourteen-week waiting list and like me, they were shocked. Fourteen weeks. Four months to wait for a consultation and only four months until graduation. It was clear I didn't have the time to wait. 

We started to look at private dermatologists and came across the dermatology department at a private hospital just ten minutes from our house. I'll be honest, private treatment is on the pricier side and I'm incredibly fortunate to be able to afford to have this kind of treatment. After much deliberation, I rang to inquire and was given an appointment the following week. There's no way I could stand the fourteen-week wait. It got to a point where I was avoiding going out with friends. I was desperate.

My First Dermatologist Appointment

On the day of my first appointment, I was terrified because I didn't know what to expect. My name was called, I walked into the room and immediately felt at ease. My dermatologist spoke so softly and was incredibly gentle and understanding. I instantly trusted him. He asked me loads of questions such as how long I'd been suffering from acne and the different products that I'd tried, even though I think he already knew. I told him that my ideal situation would be to have clear skin for my 21st in June and my graduation in July.  He then examined my skin with a huge light up magnifying glass and told me that my acne was moderate. 

He said that he could put me on antibiotics but there's no guarantee that they would work and because I was on such a short timescale, the only answer to my problems was Roaccutane.   It wasn't the answer I wanted but the answer I expected. Nevertheless, I was willing to give it a try. 

Then Things Changed...

The next morning I went for a blood test to check if I'd be able to take the Roaccutane and to decide my dosage. The following week, I sat back in the same chair and discussed my options with my dermatologist.  I'd spent the week researching Roaccutane and I'd scared myself. For each good experience, there was a bad one. I read about the drastic effect it has not only on your body but on your skin. I wasn't sure I'd be able to cope. 

My dermatologist could see how scared I was so he suggested that I start on the antibiotics and then if they don't work, we know that Roaccutane is a definite last resort. He prescribed me with Doxycycline (antibiotics) and Differin cream to be applied each night before bed. Then, he told me I was to go back and see him every 2 months. 

March 2018

Wow, I never thought that sharing this photo on the internet would make me so nervous.
Here is a photo of my skin at the beginning of March before I started any treatment. As you can see, my cheeks and chin are covered in red, angry spots. This was taken straight after washing my face. It was these particular photos that pushed me to go and see my GP because I was so, so unhappy. 

After taking Doxycycline and using Differin for a week I saw some minor improvements. My spots weren't as inflamed and I had minimal side effects from the tablets. I made sure to use SPF on my face each morning as both treatments can have bad reactions to excessive sunlight exposure and I tried to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible. So far, so good. 

After Two Weeks

As you'll all know, I'm a researcher. I like to know what I'm putting in my body and what I can do to prevent the nasty side effects. I'd read that my skin would get worse before it got better and during the first month, it did just that. In the second week of treatment, my skin was purging. It pushed all the badness out and even though I knew this was going to happen, I was slowly losing faith in the tablets. I needed to learn that a miracle wasn't going to happen overnight. With any skin treatment, patience is key. 

After a month, my spots had reduced dramatically. The scarring was slowly clearing up and I was happy with my progress. However, I knew there was still a long way to go. 

2 - 3 Months


Two months into treatment and I was feeling more confident about my appearance. My acne was coverable with makeup and my spots weren't as aggressive as they used to be. I went back to see my dermatologist and he asked me to rate my skin on a scale of 1 to 10. I rated it a 5. He prescribed me with another two months of tablets and told me that this would be the month of big changes. 

The next month, I turned 21 and I couldn't believe just how clear my skin was. My spots had virtually disappeared and the only thing left was scarring. I remember looking in the mirror on my 21st birthday and crying, it was the best birthday present I could've asked for. The people around me started to notice my confidence coming back, which was a beautiful thing to hear, and I was slowly wearing less makeup. 

July - August


The past two months have been unbelievable.
I'm actually getting a little bit emotional writing this because it's a true reflection of my skin journey over this past year and I'm really proud of how much it has improved. If you would've told me in March that I would have clear skin for my graduation, I would've laughed at you. In July, I graduated with skin that I was happy with. I had my official photos taken without worrying about blemishes and it felt amazing.

In August I felt confident enough to go out without makeup on and strangers started to compliment me on my 'glowy skin', something I never thought could happen. I cannot believe how happy I am with how my skin looks and I will never be able to thank my dermatologist for the confidence he's given me.

So, What Did I learn?

There have been times throughout my treatment where I felt lonely like no one could ever understand how much acne knocked my confidence. Acne isn't just spots. It's not because someone doesn't wash their face or eats too much chocolate. Acne is a real medical condition and the sooner it starts being treated like that, the better. 

Two of my inspirations, so to speak, throughout my skin journey have been Georgia Toffolo and Em Ford.  A few weeks prior to my first appointment, I watched a segment on This Morning in which Toff spoke about her struggles with acne and for the first time, I felt like someone understood. Then, I watched Em's video about her struggles with acne and I felt proud. I felt so proud of the little blemishes dotted over my skin and the scars they leave behind. 

If anything, I've learned to be proud of who I am. I've learned that so many beautiful women suffer from acne and that it doesn't mean we're any less beautiful. I look at people like Georgia and Em and think they're absolutely stunning, so why am I not beautiful because I have acne too? My acne doesn't define me and the minute I stopped letting it control who I was and how I felt, my confidence started to grow. 

This is nerve-wracking for me to post but I feel like it's important to share photos of acne prone skin. It's incredibly frowned upon in the media and we need to change the attitude towards people with acne. When do you ever see a girl with acne modelling for Rimmel? Benefit? Urban Decay? You don't. Because people perceive acne to be an imperfection when in reality, it shows true beauty. I wish I would have realised this sooner. 

I'm due to go for my next (and hopefully final) dermatologist appointment in two weeks!
Have you suffered from acne?
If you have any questions on products or skin treatments then send them my way. 

We need to break that horrible stigma surrounding acne and embrace our imperfections. 

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx

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2 September 2018

How To Get Over The Guy You Never Dated

I think we can all agree that catching feelings is messy business, especially for someone who doesn't feel the same. As much as we make ourselves promise that we won't get attached, it's inevitably going to happen but just how do you get over that one person you couldn't call your own? 

 Personally, it's a situation I find myself in time and time again. I either go on a few dates and get ghosted or admire from afar and realise that the guy is completely out of my league. Regardless of the situation, that dreaded feeling lingers. A web of 'what if?' and endless amounts of wondering why I wasn't good enough. 

In recent months, ghosting has been a common occurrence in my dating life and it SUCKS!
I've been on dates with guys and things have gone really well. We've had a second/third date and then they just disappear. They delete from all social media, ignore messages and leave me with a bunch of feelings that I can't shake off. It frustrates me that people think that they can mess with other's feelings because they're unsure about their own.

When it comes to love and dating, I try to protect myself as much as possible. I don't like allowing myself to be vulnerable or taken for a fool but I'll admit, being ghosted is embarrassing. It hurts to know that you weren't on the same page; you thought they felt the same way with all the compliments, flirty banter and the good morning texts but it meant nothing to them. You feel like you were 'almost' good enough and wonder what you did to let them down. 

If this rings any bells then rest assured that you're not alone. After talking to a few of my girlfriends, I've realised it's a common thing for guys to do, yet it feels stupid to have all these feelings for a boy who you never made it official with. I like to refer to this kind of relationship as an 'almost relationship' and sometimes, I think they're the hardest to get over. 

So without anymore waffling from me, here are some things that might help you get over that guy. 

Remember that you're entitled to your feelings

Never feel like you shouldn't be sad because the relationship wasn't official. It's okay to cry and feel emotional, in fact, I guarantee that you'll feel better after a little rant to your girlfriends. 

Practice self-love

Remember that you are the most important person in this situation. Treat yourself how you deserve to be treated. Watch all the romantic comedies and Disney movies that your heart desires - it's nice to see romance go right even if your love life isn't working out. 

There's nothing wrong with you

Even though you might think that everything is your fault, it's really not. The fact that someone has messed with your feelings because they're unsure of their own says more about them than it does about you. Keep reminding yourself that you don't need them - you coped without them before and you can cope without them now. 

Switch Playlists

Make a playlist of all the songs that make you feel fierce. I'm talking Beyonce, Ariana, Whitney and Little Mix. There's nothing like a strong female playlist to make you feel like you can take on the world. 

Keep yourself busy

Channel your energy into something creative and occupy your mind. It'll defer from the temptation to check their social media every hour and sinking into the black hole of wondering why things didn't work out the way you wanted them to. 

Delete them from social media

Following on nicely from my last point, deleting the guy from social media always helps. I'm constantly doing this, so take it from someone who knows that checking their Instagram to see if they're in a relationship does not help matters. You need to be rid of them in order to move on. 

Your friends are your lifesavers

Guarantee, they'll be there to pick you up when you feel at your lowest and reassure you that the guy was punching anyway. You can do so much better, trust us! 

Treat Yourself

Knowing that you weren't right for the person that you wanted can really knock your confidence, especially when you don't know the reasoning behind their actions. My advice? Browse ASOS, treat yourself to that dress you've always wanted, go out with the girls and forget that he even existed. 

The final thing is to have faith.
In life, you learn that not everyone is going to like you, people can be horrible and not everyone treats people how they'd like to be treated but the right person will come along. Why waste time crying over a guy when you can be living the single life to the fullest? You'll also learn not to catch feelings when going on dates - if you don't expect things to go right, it'll be a nice surprise when you finally found the guy you've been waiting for.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has found themselves in this situation and what you do to deal with it!

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx

{Photo by Emma}
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