My Top 5 Blogs of the moment!

Just a quick note about some blogs you need to check out:

1. The Only Exception I check this blog everyday, perhaps once or twice, maybe even more times, for new posts. It is written by my good friend Charlotte, and is a wonderful mix of personal life, reviews, fashion, makeup, giveaways etc. The information is always up to date, and fresh and I absolutely adore her blog <3

2. Mairead Clabby Fashion This blog is perfect for all your fashion needs, and host some great giveaways. Mai wants to work in fashion herself, and is slowly but surely building herself up a reputation through this blog.

3. Super Lucky Di This blog was recently featured in The People, as part of an article on Di Coke, the author. I always make sure to check out this blog for new competitions, as Di is always in the know about any new competitions that come about. If you can, take a look at The People’s website and read the article, she truly is super lucky!

4. A Little Bird Told Me I only discovered this blog a couple of days ago, and I must say I’m already hooked! I wish I could look as good as Jen does – she always manages to look amazing, and her blog is always chatty and refreshing to read!

5. Brittany Love Another favourite fashion/beauty blog of mine. Honest updates on Britts life and very readable. Definitely one of the best beauty blogs around!

All these blogs are definitely worth a read. What are your favourite blogs? Comment with your links πŸ™‚

For now,

xo

If I only had one more day…

Today is a bit of a personal post. Today, I am explaining my reasons for supporting the charities I do. As I have said in a previous post, I do support some local charities, but the two main charities I support are Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Care. Any research that can help towards the fight towards curing cancer, or any money that goes into paying the nurses who help and support cancer patients through their dying days is worth all the money in the world to me.

You see, I have had plenty of first hand experience with the dreaded C word, and I can assure you it is one of the most devastating illnesses anyone can ever go through.

My first experience with the illness was back when I was fourteen. This was the summer of 2004, and my Dad broke the news to me that my great uncle Roy was seriously ill. At the time, I didn’t know that he had cancer, as it was kept from me until a few years after his death. When my Dad told me this news, I hadn’t seen my uncle properly for around seven or eight years, except for family occasions once or twice a year. Although I didn’t know Roy had cancer, I can distinctly remember watching him go downhill and getting thinner and thinner as time went on. He wasn’t young by no stretch of the word, he was in his late seventies, but even so, to see someone dying slowly like that is a lot to take in at any age, let alone early teens!

This is a picture of my Uncle Roy in the sixties.

Anyway, I got extremely close to him again in his last few weeks, and although it was expected, it came as quite a devastating shock when I returned home from a sleepover at my cousins one Sunday afternoon to the news that he had died. To make it even worse, his funeral was arranged on the one day I had an important drama performance at school. I begged and pleaded my parents to let me off for the day, my class would have to do without me, yet they wouldn’t give in. To this day, that is probably one of my biggest regrets, not to get to say goodbye to him properly – and I don’t usually have regrets.

The picture above is of the woman who is the main reason I am so supportive of these charities. This is the only picture I can find of her on my computer, but this is my aunt, Heather. For the first few years of my life, my aunt Heather was always the life and soul of the family parties, always happy and smily, and its fair to say she was one of my favourite people in the whole wide world. As time went on, she started coming to fewer and fewer family parties, and she became more and more unwell. This started about ten years ago. About seven years ago, she got rushed into hospital seriously ill, and we were told to expect the worse. No one knew what was wrong with her, tests kept showing nothing, and yet she was obviously ill. She recovered amazingly, and was allowed home, but over the next few years, went downhill at a very rapid speed. Finally, about January 2009, the doctors found out what was wrong with her – she had cancer. Not only that, but she’d had it for over ten years, and it had been missed every single time she went into hospital. We were told that she had only a few weeks to live, and my family and I spent every moment we could round her house over the next few weeks. Every time we went home from her house, we expected the call to come, and it still didn’t. I must have said my goodbyes to her at least four or five times.

Eventually, it got to April -she’d amazingly held on for three months, and I’d just started seeing S. I confided in him that my Dad was going to see her on the Wednesday, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. He said to me that if I didn’t go, and something happened to her, I’d never forgive myself. He said that even that I’d said my goodbyes, so many times before, I should go and pay her a visit.
I went to her house with my Dad and my sister, and we were warned by one of the Macmillan nurses that she was extremely delirious and probably didn’t even know we were there because of the strength of her pain relief. The nurse left me, my dad, my sister and my cousin in the room with us, and I’ll never forget the moment when she opened her eyes and mumbled ‘Tony, where’s Tony?’. Tony’s my Dad and the oldest of his brothers and sisters. She then smiled at me. Just the fact that she wanted my Dad there was enough to make me smile – she was definitely holding on.

The next day, the 16th April, was my Nans birthday. Although my Nan had passed away 10 years previously, our family believed that Heather was trying to hold on for Nans birthday, as if she didn’t want to go until she’d let it go past. It came to the 17th April, and my Dad was to go and see my Aunt the next day. I was working my shift in the local pub, and my parents came down with their best friends, Mick and Val, for Val’s birthday lunch. After their meal was over, my Dad, Mick and Val all went home, whilst my Mum waited for me to finish my shift at 3pm. I’ll never forget what happened afterwards. Just before my shift was about to end, my Mum announced she was going to the toilet. 3pm came and went and I gathered my belongings and walked out into the customer side of the bar. My mum had left her bag by her seat, and I could hear ringing. Now, my Mum had said for the past couple of weeks to answer her phone for her if she wasn’t there, in case there was any news. Even as I reached into her bag, I knew what was coming. The screen flashed up with my Dad’s name, and as I answered, he shouted down the phone, asking for my Mum. I knew something was wrong, and I asked him what had happened. He then informed me that my aunt had died at 2.30pm that afternoon, and to get my Mum to ring him back.

He rung off, and I dropped the phone in shock, and burst into tears. My manager must have heard me crying, because the next thing I know, he was standing at the end of the bar with his arms wide open. He then helped me outside where my Mum was just coming out of the other door, leading from the toilets. I told her what had happened and collapsed on the floor, I just couldn’t get up. Even though I knew what was coming, I just couldn’t accept that she was gone. My manager was good friends with S at the time, and as S was working in London at this point, texted him to let him know. Everyone of my friends was at work, except one, so I rung him and simply said ‘It’s happened.’

He told me he was on his way down to the pub to meet me, and to wait right there. Within seconds he was there. Since he was walking from the other side of the village, this was quite a mean feat. It transpires that as he started his way down to the pub, my best male friend had just finished work and was on his way down too – this friend knew nothing of what had happened. He asked my friend, Duncan, why he was in such a rush, and Duncan told him. Apparently, Jim put his foot down, just so they could get to me as quick as possible. To this day, this shows me what true friends are -these two truly were there when I was in my hour of need.

To be honest, my Aunts final days wouldn’t have been half as comfortable without the MacMillan nurses there to treat her. Of course, she was still in agony, but they tried their best to make sure her last few weeks were as comfortable as can be.

Sadly, my family and its battle with cancer was far from over. As my aunt entered her final weeks, my brother had discovered that he was finding it hard to swallow food. Him and his wife went to their doctor, and he referred them to a specialist. It was here that my brother found out that he too had cancer. I can’t imagine the terror he must have felt, knowing that he had this disease, and that it was to claim his aunt in just a few days. It took a couple of months for him to build up the courage to tell my Dad and his mum (he’s my half brother), and asked my Dad if he could break the news to the rest of the family.
The day I found out I had been out with S for the day. I got home to Dad on the phone to my aunts answerphone. I could tell from his voice that something was seriously wrong, he was trembling and acting in an odd way. I asked him what was wrong, and that was when he told me. The next thing I remember is telling my Dad I needed my Mum, and jumping into S’ car to go to my Nans and meet her. It was an extremely scary time, and I was so glad when 2009 finally finished – because without doubt, it was one of the worst years of my life (my great-grandmother also passed away in the November of 2009).

Although my brother is still not out of the woods yet, he is recovering very well, and we hope he will be in remission very soon.

I also recently found out that my great aunt on my Mums side was suffering with the disease. Now, none of my Mums side of the family, except one great uncle, talk to this aunt, but even though I’ve barely said two words to her my whole life, I was still upset, as was the whole family – she is still family, after all. I have heard that she’s responding as well as can be expected to treatment.

I also recently attended the funerals of two family friends, whose lives had been blighted by cancer. One was my Grandad’s best friend, and another was the wife from one of the regulars at the pub I used to work at, and I had grown quite close to her. This disease is awful, and has affected so many people close to me, either personally, or through their families.

I ran the Race For Life last July, raising over Β£500 for Cancer Research UK. I cannot tell you how important these charities are in helping those suffering from cancer, and their families!

This has been extremely therapeutic writing this, I can tell you πŸ™‚

If you would like to donate to my JustGiving page, in memory of my aunt, then you can find it here

Thank you for reading

xo

New Directions.

Just a short post today, I’m afraid.

I’m not too sure where this blog is going just yet, I don’t want it to be all about fashion & beauty like so many other pages, nor do I want it all about me.
I’m a competition addict and a shopaholic, so expect my buys and my wins to feature a lot within the blog, however, I am open to any other ideas about what I can post about – obviously, I will write about whats going on in my head, but if you would like to see any features, I’m more than willing to give them a shot!

Today has been pretty uneventful. I worked for six hours, and came home to my boyfriend asking me if I wanted to go out to dinner. I however opted to get a takeaway, and we ordered pizza for him (Super-Sized Alligator with cheese stuffed crust for him, and Chicken & Mushroom Pasta for me!) It was yummy!
We then decided to go down to our local pub quiz, and although my boyfriends team won, and I have been frequenting the quiz for longer than I care to remember, I don’t believe I will be going again, due to the actions and complete and utter rudeness of the Quiz Master tonight.

Last things last, I found the most gorgeous little bag in Boots on my lunch break today! It’s a lunch bag that costs one pound, and forty three pence of that pound go to Macmillan Cancer Care, a charity that is very close to my heart as they helped to nurse my auntie through cancer in her last few days. I wish for the life of me I could remember who it’s designed by, but unfortunately, my Mum saw it and has stolen it off me, so until tomorrow (when I go and buy another one) I will remain clueless to who its by. I have tried looking on the Boots website, but I cannot see anything about it on there, so will have to let you know tomorrow.

What charities do you hold dear to your heart? And why so?

xo

Whats In My Bag?

1. This is my day to day bag. It’s a brown, leather bag from New Look, which cost Β£23.99. I absolutely adore it <3 I bought it with the gift card my Aunt gave me for my 21st birthday, and I am going to use it religiously until it either breaks or until I find another one that I like just as much. The thing I like most about this bag is that it looks far more expensive than what it is.

2. Impulse, from all major retailers, “Into Glamour”. Apparently, this is a ‘blend of exotic oriental scents and citrus notes’. I rarely use it, as I always put on deodorant and perfume before I leave the house, but this is perfect for a quick spritz if you feel a tad self-conscious about yourself.

3. Purple makeup bag, Avon. This holds most of my day-to-day essential makeup products, and its almost always overflowing.

4. My purple Blackberry <3 I would be lost without this phone. I use it for all the obvious reasons, and then some. It is my way of keeping in contact with the rest of the world no matter where I am, and I have never had a better phone – fact.

5. Gold toiletry bag, Champneys. This bag originally came with a Champneys bath set that I bought for myself just before Christmas in the Sainsburys 3 for 2 offer. Since the bath products have now found their way into my bathroom, I use this bag to carry the rest of my makeup, my diary, any giftcards I have received, and any other little bits and bobs that would otherwise be floating around the bottom of my bag.

6. Brown mock-croc purse, Smooth Criminal. I am currently on the lookout for a new purse, and I didn’t even mean to buy this one in the first place! I’ve grown to love it over time, but the only reason I originally bought it was because I had no cash on me, and the item I was actually buying cost five pounds. My friend who works in the shop isn’t allowed to take card payments under ten pounds, so we both decided I should buy a new purse. This holds my life in it, pretty much. It holds my money, my bank cards, my loyalty cards, photos of my loved ones, receipts, everything you could ever imagine. A good purse is an essential, because those are the things you never want to lose.

7. My house keys. Pretty much says it on the tin. The reason for the Rottweiler keyring? I love Rottweilers, put simply. Blockbuster and Clubcard keyrings are self explanatory.

8. My inhaler. I have asthma, and although I don’t really suffer from it too much, I always carry an inhaler around with me just in case. Its also handy to have as most of my family and friends suffer from asthma too, and generally don’t carry one around with them!

9. My work keys. Again, pretty much explain themselves. My keyrings on there are ‘strawberries dipped in chocolate are the best type of fruit’, a name tag, and a rhinestone effect-studded pen from La Senza that my manager bought me for my birthday πŸ™‚

Now, for the contents of my purple makeup bag.
10. Collection 2000 No.3  True Moisture Creme – the only pale lipstick I find that actually suits me.
11. No.17 Bronzer – I am never normally a fan of bronzer, however, this one brushes on easily and finely, and does not make any mess.
12. The purple makeup bag again.
13. Simple Kind To Eyes Revitalising Roll-On – handy for those dark circles under my eyes when I’ve been doing some pretty strenuous hours.
14. Lush Light Yellow Colour Supplement – I have only used this once, as I originally got it for free using a voucher from inside More Magazine. However, I must say this works wonders for me, and I will be buying it again.
15. Avon Color Trend Pencil Play in black – To be totally honest, I had used eyeliner maybe twice up until this year, as I just could not apply it to save my life. Now though, I wouldn’t dare live without it!
16.Avon True Colour eyeshadow in emerald – I have far too many eyeshadows, but this is my pick of the moment – the colour is just soft enough for day, but just about bright enough for night wear too.
17.Avon Mango Sorbet Lip Tint – I am not convinced as yet of this product, as it can seem a bit full on to me, however, I am prepared to give it another try and see if my opinion changes.
18.No 17 Makeup Brush – This came in a set with some other brushes that my friend bought me, and this was the one that I liked the most, thus it made its way into my makeup bag.

19. Diary 2011 – My best friend Sophie bought me this pocket-sized diary for Christmas, and its my own personal job rota -this is where I list all of my shifts, and any changes made in shift patterns, so that at the end of the month, I know how much money I am due in my wage packet. I could not do without this <3
20. Nivea Rose – This is the only lip care product, excluding Vaseline, that I have stayed loyal to over the years. It not only protects your lips but also brings them out in a little colour.
21. Vaseline – The must-have makeup staple. What can I say? This works wonders for everything!
22. Girl2Go Pocket Beauty Up The Volume Volumising Lip Balm – My friend Michelle bought me this for Christmas, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. You can really feel the difference after just one application.
23. Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Foundation in 001 Ivory – The one foundation I keep finding myself going back to. I can try and try more and more new products, but this will always remain in my top ten beauty must haves!
24 – Sex and The City Compact Mirror, Boots stores nationwide – My friend Sophie also bought me this for Christmas, knowing that I am a fan not only of Sex and The City, but also of pretty compact mirrors, and it has remained in my handbag ever since. I am not usually a fan of gold, but there is something about this mirror that I absolutely adore <3

Well, this was a look into my bag – one of many bags I own, I hasten to add – but more about that later. I hope you enjoyed. I would love to see what you all have inside your bags? Leave a link in the comments section if you have a similar post.

That’s all for now.

xo

About Me – Starting Over.

Yesterday, I decided that even though I started this blog a couple of months ago, I would actually get into my blogging in a big way, and not look at it as a chore or something that I only have time to do every other few days.

My aim is to post once a day, or every other day, depending on what I am doing.
I apologise now for not posting in quite a while, as I’ve had an extremely busy few weeks, what with working in a high street shop, and having at least five extremely important birthdays to attend – including my very own 21st πŸ™‚

Basically, this post is to let you all know a little bit about me, and what you can expect from me.

My name is Rebecca, but I prefer to be called Bex. The only people who call me Rebecca are my parents, people who email me, and the bank πŸ™‚ Even my grandparents call me Bex, they seem to actually prefer it!
I am 21 years old and I live in St Albans, Hertfordshire – home to Enter Shikari, and we also have a place on the new Monopoly board! Beat that!
Actually, I lie. I live in a small village outside of St Albans, but its so tiny, it may as well not exist πŸ™‚

I live with my boyfriend, who shall be known on here as S for now, as I don’t think he would like to be broadcast on here just yet. As I said before, I work in a shop, so sometimes have to work a lot more than I was originally scheduled to do! I love my job, but it is tiring and demanding at times, and the odd bad customer does make you feel really bad about yourself. However, sometimes you can have the most amazing customers and they will lift your spirits again. I met the nicest customer today, who didn’t exactly do or say much, but she made my day just a little bit brighter.

I am the youngest of five – I have three brothers and one sister. They are actually my half brothers and sisters, but I don’t call them that as that makes it sound as if I only love them half as much as any of my full blood family, which is totally not true!
I have no pets, so far, but me and Mr S are looking into getting a dog in the not so distant future.

Thats just a brief insight into my personal life so far, my next post is going to let you have an insight into my everyday life and routine with a ‘Whats In My Bag?’ post to kickstart the reinvention of this blog πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

xo