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Something Changed | Book Review (GIVEAWAY)

19 February 2018



Today I'm kicking off the blog tour of 'Something Changed' by Matthew Williams with a couple other bloggers. I cannot wait to share my thoughts, the author and what I experienced when reading this book. This is something very new to me; I've never really read anything quite like it before so stick around to hear my overall thoughts at the end of the post!

Order 'SOMETHING CHANGED' on Amazon here!


BLURB

Life can change forever in a moment...

In the aftermath of marriage breakdown how do we pick ourselves up and start again?
In August 2014 Matthew Williams was forced to do just that. In Something Changed he navigates us through his journey with wit and wisdom, taking in divorce, dating and self-discovery while facing the dark spectre of depression.
Hopes and fears, laughter and tears - all are encountered along the way to learning some important lessons about love, loss and life.

'Have you ever noticed how life's biggest lessons are also the most painful? Maybe that's just life's way of making sure we don't forget them...'



AUTHOR

Matthew Williams is an author, blogger, speaker and coach. He lives in the North East of England with his two young children. Matthew is passionate about positive change and turning life's challenges into lessons for creating a better future. He hopes that by writing about his own experiences he will be able to inspire others to make positive changes in their lives.

Something Changed is Matthew's first book. More of his writing can be found at his blog Love, Laughter & Truth.


MY THOUGHTS

Matthew Williams has written a book with deep meaning; sharing his mentally enduring battle with depression, his story of coping with divorce and dating anecdotes. The section that really hit home for me was Williams story of depression; the beautifully worded poems scattered throughout the book are hard-hitting and I, for sure, empathised with some of Matthew's thoughts. Mental health is such a important topic to speak out about; the stigma behind it is being broken down day by day in modern society which I'm extremely happy about. It is lovely to see a man's perspective of how mental health can have a dramatic impact on one's life; most men seem to shy away from talking about these sort of topics but it was refreshing to see Matthew open up about his troubles, struggles and endless battles with himself. Completely tugged at my heart strings! Being able to empathise with someone else who has suffered mental health issues was also reassuring - you are not in this alone. Overall, I feel like is an essential read for those struggling to cope with divorce, anyone who is currently dating new people or has suffered mental health in the past. It is also a great read for those unsure of mental health and want a greater insight if someone close to you is currently suffering right now. Every chapter is a snippet of Matthew's thoughts or a mini story - approximately 5 pages maximum to a chapter so you can easily pick the book up for five minutes+ every day! To conclude, I am extremely impressed with 'Something Changed' and would highly recommend this story of complete and utter reality to everyone.


GIVEAWAY

Fortunately, there will be a chance to win 2 x £10 Amazon giftcards and a copy of Matthew Williams 'Something Changed'. Fill in the Rafflecopter below to find out how to win - this competition is open internationally.



What is you favourite genre of book? Have you struggled with any of the issues Williams has opened up about?

Lots of love



Shaken Udder | Review

17 February 2018



I have become obsessed with milkshake over the past year. I love making myself a healthy milkshake full of chia seeds, almond milk, protein powder and banana for breakfast, even for a snack or dessert throughout the day. I LOVE THEM. Therefore, I'm absolutely buzzing to share with you an incredible brand today that I'm so lucky enough to work with - Shaken Udder.

Shaken Udder's fresh, delicious milkshakes were brought to life in 2004 and have since made their way into Harvey Nichols, Waitrose and are now sold in retailers, like Tesco. You can pick these up in a variety of superstores so they're easily accessible - they are also available to bulk purchase online! Fortunately, I was able to taste all of the 330ml amazing milkshake flavours that Shaken Udder have to offer! They also produce kid-size milkshake cartons or large 'Uber Udder' bottles if you have that ONE favourite flavour!



ABOUT THE MILKSHAKES

These milkshakes are full of B12, which provide natural immunity support - they are also gluten free, made with real fruit, contain no artificial colourings/flavourings and the perfect source of calcium. Five perfectly crafted flavours are available: strawberries & clotted cream, salted caramel, chocolate, vanilla and banana. You are guaranteed to find one that you will love! My absolute favourite was banana; however, I found the CHOCOLUSH helped me to cure my chocolate cravings when I was trying to eat healthier. The packaging is quirky yet simplistic. 

Shop the products:





SHOP THE BRAND HERE

Have you ever tried Shaken Udder before? What is your fave milkshake flavour?


Lots of love

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These products were sent for review; however, all opinions are honest and my own.

Valentines on a Student Budget | ft. Lily & Abi

9 February 2018



Valentine's is a day that most people have a love/hate relationship with. Personally, I really enjoy the day no matter what I'm doing. I love sharing the love with my friends and family, as well as my long term boyfriend that I will be spending Valentine's day with early this weekend for the fifth time! If you haven't got a partner, don't worry...grab your gal pals and do something fun. My best friends at uni (Hattie & Megan) are the most amazing people in the world and I cannot wait to be spending this Valentine's day with them in Lincoln (despite not making any specific plans yet...). Being in a long distance relationship is really strange as my boyfriend and I have been together for so long and in each other's companies throughout our childhood. However, it's been a lovely break to spend my university days so far with my best gal pals - it makes it even more exciting to see my boyfriend now that we don't see each other every day! Anyway, this post is all about how to do Valentine's day on a student budget with you best mates! I hope you all enjoy...

This post is in collaboration with my blogger besties Abi Hunter and Lily Rose - make sure to head over to their blogs after you've read my post to check out their variations of Valentine's Day. They are my longest blogger besties and I'm hoping I finally get to meet them at some point this year. Head over to their blogs and check out their amazing content - I love them a lot!

Abi's Blog
Lily's Blog






Dates in the Day

In Lincoln, there is an overwhelming amount of quirky cafes, tearooms and small independent places around ever corner - I'm definitely not complaining though! Something cute and simple to do with your friends, boyfriend or family (if you aren't into the whole cheesy concept of Valentine's day with an intense dinner etc) is go for a hot drink, cake or brunch in the day. Stereotypically, everyone seems to go out in the evening to spend Valentine's day but why not do something different during the day? To keep the budget student friendly, find a new cafe near you, take your friends and change it up! The budget is much more affordable than any fancy restaurant and you will be able to chat away and enjoy the comforts of the cafe environment. I feel like this is a lot less intense if you are going out on a first date or you're not a fan of the whole dinner situation.




Something we love to do at university in general is window shopping. This may seem really stupid but going out with your friends and just having a look around the shops is just as fun as if you were going on an entire shopping spree. It gets you out the house, chatting to your friends and may even come across somewhere new that you haven't before. We absolutely loved this cute little succulent and flower stall that a man had set up near the market. There are so many little markets and fairs that go on in Lincoln city central; if you live near by, you should have a look on the Visit Lincoln website to see what's going on. 





"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things"

The element of change is a concept that always scared me; however, I've come to realise that change is such an incredible thing. This has allowed me to venture out more and trying new things. One of my favourite things to do in Lincoln is explore the area; every single time we leave the house we happen to find somewhere new. There is so much to do compared to my tiny hometown (obviously this may not be the same for people how lived in large cities before). If you are into experiencing new things, like myself, take a road trip to a random place - it could even be a nearby city or town that you are yet to explore. I always find trying somewhere new is sentimental, as you will always remember the first time you do something, you you were with and all the small details of what you did. Here are a few more expensive yet adventurous Valentine's Day ideas that are VERY different to the cliche dinner date:

Escape Room
Zip World
Ice Bar
Cafe Brunch
Silent Disco Boat Party
Creative Workshop (calligraphy, cocktail making)
Sky Diving


Make sure to check out the other girls Valentine's Day posts by heading over to their blogs down below. 

Abi's Blog
Lily's Blog 


What are you doing this Valentine's Day? 

Lots of love


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How University Helped My Confidence Grow

6 February 2018



Before starting university, many students will have left home with a lack of independence and confidence. When I first moved to halls in September, like most students, I was extremely nervous to meet my flatmates, I was worried about living on my own and anxious about starting my course alongside whether I would be on the same level as my peers. There are so many emotions that student’s feel which may appear quite overwhelming at first but you will soon realise that all the problems you encounter are important learning curves and preparation for adulthood.





To be honest, I was heavily dependent on others before moving to university. However, moving away from my hometown has given me a fresh start. My top tip to grow in confidence at university is starting the year with a fresh mind set; this way you will have a mindful approach to any problems you encounter. There are so many different things going on when you first begin that it can all get too much - how do I budget my loan? Can I sign up to a society around my work load? When do I need to look for a house for next year? The list keeps getting longer and longer…but eventually you will find yourself prioritising your different tasks and logically sorting out your problems one by one. Don’t panic – your confidence in approaching unique situations will spontaneously blossom and it is not till you sit back and realise that you’ve changed positively as a person.




Another very important thing to remember when moving to university is that you should NOT feel pressured to conform to the stereotype of drinking in all of your spare time. I like a drink from time to time but I certainly don’t spend every weekend partying and consuming alcohol. Your confidence will grow by standing up for yourself in what you truly believe in; your flat mates will understand if you don’t feel like drinking and want to stay in watching your favourite film accompanied by a hot drink and snacks. Likewise, they won’t feel offended if you’d rather focus on your studies instead of heading out for a meal or going shopping in town. University is very different from sixth form, college and secondary school – you are (mainly) surrounded by mature adults that will not judge you for your choices. Create the social life that you want and you can boost your confidence at university.






Finally, don’t feel scared to share your problems with your friends. Opening up to your flat mates, friends on your course or a relative can help ease the overwhelming whirlwind of university life. Adapting to the university lifestyle is extremely strange and it is inevitable that you will encounter new problems and worries; however, by reaching out to fellow students, or your personal tutor, you will be able to cope with any difficulties you come to face.

At university, you unwillingly put yourself first as you start to become independent, learn new things about yourself and to cope with new problems. Without knowing, your confidence will begin to grow and you will start to notice the positive, improved individual you’ve become.

OUTFIT - entirely from Primark (even the earrings, tights and nails!)

What has helped you grow confidence? If you are a student, do you agree that your confidence has grown since starting university?

Lots of love


Staying Healthy at University | Superdrug SOME BODY

4 February 2018



University life is all fun and games until your realise you have gained several pounds and realise you haven't done any exercise for months and months. The beginning of the year is all about motivation, finding a new routine and pushing yourself to the limit. I'm enduring the classic new year's resolution of improving my lifestyle by bettering my diet and increasing the level of activity I'm doing. If you are struggling, like myself, with your awful university budget, going for a simple walk/jog or doing a 30 minute ab/leg workout in your room will help increase your heart rate and stop you from retiring to your bed as soon as you've finished your day's lectures! I've become a lot more active over January and I'm going to make it a real effort to eat healthier, lose weight and work harder in February.

I have been lucky enough to work with Superdrug on this post and share some new incredible products that will help you stay happy, healthy and motivated to achieve your desired goals. Superdrug have released a NEW health range - SOME BODY. The range was created to spur those on to achieve our new year goals - just a single compliment from another can give us that motivation we need to carry on. If you ever notice a change in someone's behaviour or weight, give them a compliment to congratulate them on their achievements!



"When it comes to getting fit, losing weight, or focusing on our health, positive acknowledgement is very useful. Hearing that we are looking good from people, and that the time and effort we have invested in our health are bearing fruit, actually spurs us on to do even more." ~ Dr Becky Spelman, Registered Practitioner Psychologist


Vanilla Pure Whey Protein Powder (RRP £17.99) 
If you are looking for something to cure your sugar cravings, the Some Body Vanilla Pure Whey Protein Powder is the one for you! I have the biggest sweet tooth and struggle to keep myself away from chocolate so something to replace the ridiculous amount of calories in a chocolate bar is a must! By adding this protein to your diet, it will help to achieve 'lean and healthier muscles' whilst you are working out. After trying this out over the past week, I'm obsessed with the taste. It is honestly a liquid form of vanilla sponge cake...YUM. These powders are also available in chocolate and strawberry flavours.


Original Flavour Protein Pancake Mix (RRP £3.99) 
Another product that Superdrug kindly sent over was this Original Flavour Protein Pancake Mix. Not only is this product extremely affordable, this makes the perfect healthy pancake substitute for upcoming pancake day. I can't wait to try these protein pancakes topped with my favourite berries and bananas! These are extremely student friendly as they're already pre-made - no extra ingredients to buy and high in protein. An amazing snack after a workout! This mix is also vegetarian friendly.




Cocoa & Orange Natural Protein Bar (RRP £1.49 each)
Snacking is something that all of us university students do, we cannot seem to help reaching for a bag of crisps (or two) and eating an entire bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk. However, Superdrug have created some delicious natural snack bars that are perfect for workouts, again high in protein. There are available in two flavours including: cocoa and orange, and salted fudge. These bars are soya and gluten free, suitable for those looking at managing weight and are low in both sugar and calories. The essential snack us university students need to power us through an intense workout after a long day in the lecture theatres. 


"New research from Superdrug has revealed that for 6 out of 10 Brits, a simple compliment in January is the way to stay motivated with New Year goals, with 88% believing more compliments need to be given in January than any other month to encourage, inspire and motivate during the bleak cold winter."


Don't forget to check out Superdrug's Some Body range; there are tea cleanses, night detox teabags, popcorn, protein shakes and flavoured water. Let me know if you are looking forward to trying the rest of this range out as much as me in the comments below...

How do you keep healthy at university? Have you complimented someone this week?


Lots of love

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This post is in collaboration with Superdrug; however, all opinions are honest and my own.


The Intruder | Book Review

3 February 2018



Throughout January I have made it a real effort to start reading again. It was one of my 2018 goals because I used to love getting stuck into a book; last year I seemed to be constantly busy (and to be honest I still am) but finding this time to read before I go to sleep has honestly helped relax my body. I'm so happy to have read 2 books this month, alongside university exams, starting my new modules and running both my 2 Youtube channels and blog. Today's book review is part of a blog book tour for 'The Intruder' and this is what I thought of it...



BLURB

"He has the key to hundreds of houses. Maybe even to yours.

William Heming is an estate agent. He's kept a copy of every key to every house he's ever sold. 

Sometimes he visits them. 

He lets himself in when the owners are out. But what will happen if he gets caught?

What will he do next?"



Why I Loved 'The Intruder'?

On first glance, I knew this was going to be a book I would love - anything mysterious, eerie and crime-related is right up my street.

The plot follows William Heming, a current estate agent, who has a fascinating, yet sinister obsession with hoarding the keys to every single property he's ever sold. In a first person narrative, Heming shares his stories as he invades a countless numbers of homes; from his younger intrusive ways and exploring his lack of empathy towards the world, we almost feel sympathetic towards Heming. Although the premise of this 288 page-turner is relatively sinister, there were several times I laughed at the anecdotes Heming tells through his life story. As Heming's journey envelopes, we watch his struggle to keep the police away and the severe consequences that he may face. It is clear that Heming himself has never realised, or even acknowledged these consequences because of his precarious mental state.

P.S Hogan has written both an incredible story - original and disturbing - alongside a significantly complex character that subsequently leaves the reader in a love-hate relationship with. If you are looking for a new thriller, I would definitely recommend reading P.S Hogan's 'The Intruder', as it is page-turner that you will ultimately love.


'The Intruder' will be released as a paperback on the 31st May 2018 but available as an E-book now here!

Make sure to go and check out all the other lovely bloggers that have reviewed this book prior to myself. Let me know if you purchase The Intruder yourself and what you think of it!


What are you favourite type of novels? 

Lots of love


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This book was sent by Penguin Random House prior to release for review; however all opinions are honest and my own.

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