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Archive: April 2018

The New IT Place in Town

If you follow any other Scottish bloggers, which I am sure you do, you will recognise this place, the new Italian restaurant everyone is shouting about. I see this little place on my way to university daily and I just knew I had to check it out, something drew me to it, maybe it was the fact it was Italian, if you read here regularly you know I go crazy for a good Italian, or maybe it was because of how fun and fresh the place looked with the gorgeous red logo and the greenery wall that every Glasgow based blogger has posed in front of, or perhaps it was all the rave reviews I have read over Twitter, Instagram and blogs over the past few weeks, but either way, I was ready to shove my face in the biggest bowl of pasta they had. 

I went along with my sister for a complimentary visit to their Glasgow restaurant, based on Buchanan Street, it is hard to miss. It is incorporated into the old HMV building, using what I assume is the second and third floor, but the entrance is on the first floor between Topshop and New Look Man. The first thing we noticed was how fresh everything looked, with gorgeous oak wood tables and plants and herbs potted on every single table. Once we got upstairs we were told to take a seat anywhere we pleased which I loved, there is something really nice about not being assigned seats in a restaurant, maybe just because it's not the norm. We ordered our drinks, I got a Vapiano ice tea in one of their gorgeous, branded bottles, the black tea peach vanilla. I love that they not only make their own iced teas, but they also have little branded bottles, it makes drinking them feel like you're getting the entire experience of the restaurant. It tastes very similar to the Wagamama peach iced tea which is one of my all-time favourite restaurant drinks. My sister got a coke, typical of her not to branch out and try something new. 

The New IT Place in Town

What I loved most about this restaurant was that you got to watch the chef make your pasta right in front of you. Once you have had a look at the menu and picked your dish you walk over to the array of counters and ask for your dish. I got the carbonara, picking the campanelle pasta, another great perk is that you get to choose from all the different kinds of pasta which you would like in your dish. They even have spelt pasta and pasta for kids, so there is an option for everyone. We spoke to the chef who was making my dish, whose name I have forgotten and watched him as he made the dish right in front of us, asking if I would like extras, garlic or chilli and so on. I added bacon and garlic to my dish and watched. He was so lovely and friendly, which is always great, good service is always a perk. My sister wanted a lasagne which you order from the pizza counter, so you don't get to see it being made, but she was given a buzzer to go over and collect her's when it was ready. We also got two garlic bread, a cheese-topped one and a normal one, we could have just gotten one to share as they were massive, the size of a small pizza. 

My favourite thing about the store, other than the food, is the cool and tech-savvy way in which you pay for your food. Upon arrival, you are given a card, similar to a store loyalty card and any time you make an order you scan the card to add the item to your bill. Each counter where you order had a scanner while the machines the waiters had to order your drinks and dessert had one on them. Once you finish and head back downstairs is where you pay, you hand over your card which is scanned one last time and your bill total comes up on the till. How cool and forward thinking is that? I've never seen a restaurant with that type of thing before so I was extremely interested in how it all worked. 

The New IT Place in Town

The New IT Place in Town
My pasta was absolutely stunning, I have never tasted a better carbonara and trust me, I have tried my fair share of carbonaras, it was incredible. It had the perfect amount of flavour, perfect consistency, just the right amount of garlic and bacon. If I could marry a dish, I would marry this carbonara. It was a huge portion and I have a tiny stomach so I didn't finish it in the restaurant, but one of the lovely waiting staff got it for me in a to-go box and I was able to take it home and finish it later, which I did and again, I adored every drop. My sister demolished her lasagne, she said it was one of the best lasagnas she has ever tried and she loves lasagne so that is definitely a huge compliment to the restaurant. The garlic bread was the only let down for us, they were a little too thick and doughy for our taste, but that is just our preference. 
The New IT Place in Town

The New IT Place in Town


After our mains, we ordered from the Dolci menu, otherwise known as the sweets menu. The desserts are available to see at the bar so we went over to look at them all. I am not a big dessert person, but their desserts are very unique, little glass jars and no cake, perfect for me who doesn't like cake. I picked the ciccolata foresta nera, which consisted of layers of white, milk and dark chocolate with Nutella, Italian sponge fingers topped with vanilla cream. I may not be the biggest dessert fan, but this was my favourite dessert ever, it was so creamy and delicious, I would definitely order it again. For the first time in a long time, I actually finished my dessert. My sister got the cioccolata bianca, a blend of white chocolate and cream on a biscuit base topped with salted caramel and honeycomb and she devoured it, she said it was absolutely stunning and she wished her portion was much larger. 

We absolutely adored our food, although we found it difficult to move afterwards with how filled up on carbs we were, but we agreed to make a return visit asap and I am even trying to talk my best friend into making a visit with me next week. I love Italian food and definitely think everyone who does should visit Vapiano. They also have a vegan and vegetarian menu, a kids menu and free wifi, so I mean, you can't really have a bad visit in my books.

Have you tried Vapiano? Where is your favourite place to eat? Are you an Italian fan like myself? Tell me in the comments below. 

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THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH VAPIANO.
ALL VIEWS ARE MY OWN.
Does Being Jealous have to be a Bad Thing?

Just last week I was sat on the train, on my way home from my last day of university, about to take my book out my bag when I decided I might have a little flick through Instagram first. I scrolled down my feed seeing celebrities, bloggers, friends and so on, double-clicking almost every photo there is, my thumb hovered above one. A blogger, working with a brand I adore, a brand I would cry with happiness if I got the chance to work with, do I like it? Why should I? I bet she's bought her following, her content isn't even that great. I found phrases like these circling my mind and decided no, lets put the phone down. Trying to read was useless, I was too busy thinking of how guilty I felt for thinking those things and feeling sorry for myself for not being good enough to work with the same brands my peers are. It took a couple of hours, I was home and with my family before I realised, what am I doing? I could be as good as her! I could work with the brands she works with! This isn't me! 

It's normal to feel jealous sometimes, make little snippy comments inwards and outwards about people who we otherwise have no issues with, just because we think they are doing better than us. What I don't want is to let that control me, to become someone who is bitter and petty, who doesn't like someone's Instagrams because I am jealous, who rolls my eyes at the thought of someone doing well because I want that to be me. That's not who I am and it never has been, I have witnessed people becoming horrible, nasty people because they are jealous and it's just not how I want to react. What if I take that jealousy and channel it into being better? She gets to work with that brand because she works hard, her content is written with passion and her photography planned days maybe weeks in advance because she's always thinking of her blog. Maybe, I should look at her as a source of inspiration. 

Does Being Jealous have to be a Bad Thing?

I want to be where she is one day, have the success she has, work with the brands she has worked with so instead of closing myself off and taking a few days to feel sorry for myself, debate deleting my blog and moving on with life, I will work harder. These bloggers didn't get to where they are today through pulling the cover over their heads and crying about what a failure they are, they took their failures and picked themselves back up and got on with it. That's what I want to do, I want to channel that energy into motivation, I can go out there and be that blogger who has it all, who does it all and who cheers others on, not that blogger I was on the verge of becoming who doesn't like others Instagram posts and whispers about bots and buying followers under her breath. 

I found a whole new, surge of motivation and energy when it came to my blog, I want to work hard and love my blog the way I should be doing because I can be those bloggers one day if I just do what I am doing, work hard and enjoy what I am doing. That's what I found myself most jealous of, how happy these bloggers were, they didn't see blogging as a chore, which if you read my previous posts, you can see it was becoming for me. I wanted to find my mojo because look at them, they're happy and successful and they love what they're doing and here I am, writing content I enjoy writing, being creative with my photography, enjoying blogging and social media and everything that comes with it, just like they are. To think that the jealousy that washed over me could have totally control my thought process and I could now be sat not blogging all because I saw a post that made me compare my successes to someone else is ridiculous. 

Does Being Jealous have to be a Bad Thing?

I'm not just applying this thought process to blogging, I want to be that girl that doesn't get jealous, but gets motivated. I wish I knew I could change this energy back in high school when I was jealous of the cool girls bragging about their fantastic lives or when I was in university and my friend got a better grade than I did and I found the green-eyed monster make an appearance. It is time to take control of that negative energy and not let it affect me so dramatically anymore, I want to be motivated by those I am jealous of. Of course, I still will feel jealous now and then, it's natural, it's human, but I am done letting it control me, I don't want to lose out on days of creativity and working hard on something I enjoy because I got a little jealous of someone else's success. Their success is what will be in the back of my mind, egging me to do better, to get that little bit closer to where they are.

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How do you deal with that green-eyed monster? Do you let it take over or do you control it? Tell me in the comments below. 


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5 Tips for Better Brows

When people say eyebrows can completely change a face they aren't joking, for me, it is one of the first things I spot about a person. One of the facial features my eyes draw towards and sometimes I find myself thinking of the ways in which different people could make their brows even better. I'm not a brow expert, just a brow obsessive and over my brow obsessed years I feel like I have learnt many tips and tricks for perfecting the brows that suit your face and your style. Right now, big brows are in, long gone are the days of having three eyebrow hairs, goodbye to the over plucked, over waxed looks of the early 2000s and in 2018 natural, almost bushy looking grows are taking centre stage among celebrities, models and runways. Lucky for me I inherited my dad and my grandad's overly bushy, dark brows and so I don't have to do much to make this trend work for me, but it hasn't always been that way, I too, overdid the plucking and left myself with a single strip of hair above my eyes. 

Getting from that point to this point wasn't hard though as I had never had my brows waxed, I only ever plucked them myself resulting in no weird bald patches or growth problems that can be a result of a bad wax. I spent about 6 months growing out my brows and from that point, I have embraced the more natural look, but I do enhance them just as everyone else does to make them look the way I want them to; natural, dark and shaped. I often get questions surrounding my brows, the products I use, the shape and so on, so hopefully, this post will help anyone suffering from bad brows or just wanting to take their brows to the next level. 

5 Tips for Better Brows

DECIDE YOUR STYLE
The problem with brows is that there is no walkthrough for everyone, each person has different brows, each person has a different shade, a different preference and a different style. Picking the style of brow that you want can be beneficial in finding the perfect product to give you that style. For me, someone with thick, very naturally dark and hairy brows a pencil is perfect for filling my brows us, filling sparse spaces and continuing that natural look. For others, a pomade is more beneficial because they have light, sparse, thin brows and a pomade can create a much deeper, darker and thicker look. Thick, but light brows might be best suited to a powder in order to achieve a natural, yet deeper look. It is all about finding the style you prefer and trialling different product types to find what works best for you. For me, Benefit's Goof Proof and Gimme Brow will forever be my go-to duo. 

NO CLOSE UPS, PLEASE
If you are scared of going too deep, applying too much product or making your brows look like you've drawn them in with a nice little Crayola colouring pen then the best way to prevent this is to step back from your mirror. A simple, yet effective step (literally), taking a step back and filling your brows in from a full face profile view opposed to a zoomed in, brows only view can prevent you from going too dark as you can see how your brows look in proportion to the rest of your face. Doing this can also help with the shaping of your brow if you are using your pencil to add to the shape, sometimes a close up can result in just following the lining of your brow whereas a further away glance can help you to reshape and reangle your brows in a way that can make them pop. 

5 Tips for Better Brows

FILL THEM IN BEFORE PLUCKING
Sounds like an incredibly tedious task but by filling in your brows before you pluck them you prevent any overplucking from happening, even just by drawing the outline of the brow shape you are aiming for and avoiding within the outline. It is the perfect way to help anyone who has a habit of overplucking or is new to the DIY style of brow maintenance. I have been doing this since I just began my brow journey and it makes the task so much more simple and quicker, no worrying, no having to stop and reexamine if you're taking away as much as you should be. 

FILL FROM THE MIDDLE
Filling your brows from the outside in or the inside out is a big no-no, often leading to darker brows than anticipated and the overdone look no one pulls off. If you start just before your arch with small strokes continuing to your arch and down to the outside before going back to the inside and stroking upwards and outwards to create a more natural look. Strokes inwards at the inside may look good on Cara Delevigne but most of us can't pull it off so focus on small strokes bother upwards and towards the rest of your brow to cover all sparse areas and create a more natural look. 

5 Tips for Better Brows

DON'T BE AFRAID TO GROW THEM OUT
With big brows being in right now growing them out won't have a major effect on how you look. Often we get scared to not pluck out brows in case we look messy and unkept but right now is the perfect time to experiment while the messy, unkept brow look is in. It can take a total of three months for your brows to properly thicken up, so give your brows time and rock the messy look while you wait for your bushy brows to make an appearance. 

What tips have you got for anyone wanting to have better brows? Tell me in the comments below. 

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What it is Honestly Like to Juggle a Blog

I've never been a full-time blogger, I don't think I ever will be, I don't even know if I would ever honestly want to be one. What I do know is that I adore blogging, I've always had this thing for writing, I loved English in school, all the way from primary one until high school, going into college I was sure I wanted to be a journalist, so blogging comes naturally to me. I am often complimented by teachers, lecturers and support staff alike for my eloquent writing skills, my ability to make essays flow and somehow not look chunky or rushed. So for me, it is a no-brainer, of course, I want to write my blog constantly, but I don't have the opportunity to do that.

I am doing my master's degree, a pretty heavy course with a lot of work and a lot of essays and since I have my eyes set on a distinction I focus a huge amount of my free time on doing my work, perfecting my essays and making sure I have the ability to get good grades. I often find myself reading blog posts titled "How to Juggle a Blog and University" or "How I Manage to Juggling Blogging with a Full-Time Job" but nothing seems to benefit me in the way it benefits these other bloggers. I often found myself wondering if I was cut out for blogging or if I should just quit while I'm ahead, the stress, the headaches and the lack of confidence I was accumulating from not being able to keep up with others were too much and I found myself comparing myself to others a lot. I guess that's part of the problem though, there are hundreds, and yes it is hundreds, of blog posts out there with tips and tricks to help your time management to encourage you to juggle blogging alongside your work or university, but no one ever actually admits how difficult it can be. 

What it is Honestly Like to Juggle a Blog

I found myself so down about my blog I didn't even want to open my social media apps on my phone because I knew I would find myself comparing how bad I was at time management compared to everyone else. It's not true though, everyone struggles and I want others going through this to know that. I spend the majority of my time either at uni, working on university stuff or spending time with my nearest and dearest because those are the things that are most important to me. My blog is usually among those three, but I just found it hard to squeeze blogging into my schedule, I would be at university so late that by the time I got home I all I wanted to do was get the work ready for the next day, shower, eat and sleep. For me, it got even worse, as a perfectionist, I find it so incredibly difficult to post anything that isn't up to my standard on my blog or send in essays that weren't living up to my standard of perfect work. So when I was getting time to write, schedule and edit blog posts I would actually end up not posting them because once I read them back over I hated them. 

I could have slacked off on my university work, but then I would probably not get the distinction I am aiming for and I'd feel like I failed myself. I could have stayed up later every night getting the blog posts ready but then I'd barely sleep and make myself unwell. The only option I seemed to have was to allow my blog to take a little dip into shallow waters, sink a little just until I had enough time to patch up the sail and get back out there and back in the race. No one ever tells you how stressful it can be to find that time, to juggle your passion with your future or your career, it is all made to be smooth sailing filled with schedules, coffee and dedication, but if you fail a little, if you allow your blog to take a back seat for a few months, a year even, you're not less dedicated, you're just finding it hard and that is okay. 

What it is Honestly Like to Juggle a Blog

I have finally begun to get back on schedule with my university work, I finish Thursday of this week then I have some essays due, most of which are well underway or finished at this point and so I have enough time to focus on my passion again. I can put my creative juices and my love back into blogging and not let my university fall behind either. For some people it can be easy to juggle, for most, it is not and that is perfectly okay, you're not super(wo)man, you are learning to find your own schedule, your own way of working. I never stopped posting for any length of time, I just allowed myself to focus less on blogging than I would have liked to, but with straight As, how can I possibly say it was a bad thing? 

I just wanted to give an honest and open run-through of how I have found juggling my blog with my university work. It's not easy and maybe if I tell you how difficult I found it maybe you can feel less alone about your struggles. I am not saying the authors of posts on how to juggle are liars, I love that they are trying to help others, I just find it hard to believe that of all of the fellow bloggers who study or work full-time alongside their blogs I am the only one to have completely hit a dead end and feel like my blogging life was falling apart around me. We all struggle, it is part of what makes us human.

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So let me know if you're finding it difficult too or leave me a comment of some things that make it easier for you. 

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A Day in Edinburgh

I recently took a trip to Edinburgh's Fort Kinnard to see the new Tomb Raider movie at the Odeon and had the best time. I have been so stressed over university these past few months so having a day off to relax and hang out with my best friend was so incredibly lovely. Edinburgh is somewhere I do not get to see enough, it is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited and if I lived just a little bit closer I would definitely head there a lot more often than I do now. My best friend, Ashley (check her blog out here) studies in Edinburgh so she's there quite a lot and I have to admit I am incredibly jealous of her for that. 

A Day in Edinburgh

We made our way up to Edinburgh and took a taxi from Waverly to Fort Kinnard, it is not too far from the centre and is in such a lovely area of Edinburgh, just beside some housing estates with a view of gorgeous hills I'd love to hike up. It was my first time visiting Fort Kinnard and I was amazed by how large the outdoor shopping mall was, not only is there a massive cinema, there are about 10 different places to grab a bite to eat, a New Look, a Primark, a Waterstones and so much more, have a look here to see just how many shops there are. After a little scan around the shops, we both decided Chiquito is where we wanted to grab lunch, one of our favourite Mexican restaurants.&nbspI adore the atmosphere in Chiquito, so laid back and relaxed, the wait staff are always delightful and the food never fails. We ordered their little 6 dish street food option and split them 3 each, I got chicken fajitas, chicken, chorizo and sweetcorn quesadilla and pan-fried chorizo, and we shared a side of sweet potato fries. I swear, if my body and bank account were up for it I could definitely eat at Chiquito every day, their food is absolutely delicious and always cooked to perfection. My favourite was the fajitas, I always get them when I am in, they are the perfect mild dish for anyone scared of spice, whereas the pan-fried chorizo could definitely be too much for someone not as big a lover of spicy food as I am, it left my lips warm and in urgent need of a good coat of lip balm. Our waiter, whose name has slipped my mind, was absolutely wonderful, he was so sweet and talkative and spoke to us about everything and anything, something I adore in wait staff.

We sat in Chiquito chatting, gossiping and complaining about all the annoying people in our lives as friends do and not once were we ushered to leave or quicken our past despite how busy the restaurant was. That is something to love about any restaurant, coffee shop or store when they allow you to just hang out and feel at home, pick at your food for a while well you chat. Once we left Chiquito we made our way just two doors over to the Odeon, I haven't ever been in an Odeon as far as I can remember, but I was thrown by the layout of this cinema. Once you walk through the front doors there is a massive Costa to your left and where to by your tickets and your snacks to the left. As someone who is so used to being in a Cineworld where you buy your snacks on the floor I quite like the layout of the Odeon. It is so convenient, especially in a group as one person can grab the tickets while another grabs the snacks and on your way out a coffee can be picked up and took to go. 

A Day in Edinburgh
So now, I could probably tell you all about the movie, a typical review of it, tell you how much I loved it, but instead I want to tell you five reasons you should watch the new Lara Croft, a new take on a review, so here are the five reasons you need to watch Tomb Raider with Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft.&nbsp

1. IT IS NOT A REMAKE
If you are like me and were a little apprehensive about watching the new Tomb Raider because Angelina Jolie is the only Lara Croft you can think of then you have nothing to worry about. The new Tomb Raider is not a remake of the Angelina Jolie versions, it is based on the newest reboot of the games or as you may know it if you are a Tomb Raider gamer 'The Definitive Edition one'. It follows the storyline of Lara's dad Richard Croft who has gone missing and although he is thought to be dead by everyone else, Lara doesn't believe it is true and instead makes her way to his last known location to find out what exactly happened to her adventurous dad. There are a few key changes between the game and the movie's storylines, none which I will mention as they are key parts of the storyline, but it is a completely different storyline from the first version.

2. SHE IS THE PERFECT FEMALE ROLE MODEL
Relentless, adventurous, loyal, badass, strong, these are just a few of the words that can be used to describe Miss Lara Croft. For women and girls alike she is a strong role model, always following her gut instinct, taking on opportunities that others tell her not to, never giving up on herself or those she loves. Lara is a perfect role model and I strongly advise you get your daughters, nieces and sisters to watch this movie (although maybe wait until they're a little older, it is a PG 13). After watching the movie I felt so empowered to just follow my ambitions, take no one's crap and just go out there and be unapologetically me, even when I am annoying, just as Lara does.

3. IT IS ACTION PACKED AND SUSPENSEFUL
If you, like me, love a good action-packed and suspenseful movie (my love goes further than movies, my bookcase is filled with thrillers) then you will love this movie. Not only is the action and graphics amazing, but it's always nice to see a fellow woman leading the action-filled scenes a la Wonder Woman. Tomb Raider is no different, Lara is amazing at beating down the baddies, from a chase with bikers to a chase with thieves to falling from a broken plane. Every few scenes you are perched at the end of your seat (I was) waiting for the next thing to happen, fearing Lara would be caught/fall to her death/touch the wrong person. It is a movie for those adrenaline lovers who love to feel their heartbeat out their chest at the thought of it all going wrong, well also knowing it never will (it is Hollywood after all). 

4. IT INCLUDES THE PUZZLES OF THE GAME
Maybe, just maybe, this is me showing my true geeky self to you all, but when playing Tomb Raider (I have had every single one that's ever been out and have pre-ordered the next) my favourite part is always the puzzles. "If I pull this lever will the door open?", "So I have to move this wall to get behind the next area, but I need a key..." just a couple of my inner monologues while playing Tomb Raider. The movie has these puzzles and games throughout it, making any Tomb Raider fan certain it is a true reincarnation of the games. Even if you are not a Tomb Raider fan but love a good puzzle, you'll love trying to solve them before Lara and crew do. 

5. THE END
The end of the movie steps onto the toes of the end of the second game; Rise of The Tomb Raider, bringing the true bad guy (or gal) to the surface and hinting at a sequel. I won't tell you too much, but that ending is suspense-filled and should shock those not aware of the storyline. Watch it now!! 

So are you a Tomb Raider fan? What is your favourite movie at the moment? Tell me in the comments below. 

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THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH FORT KINNARD AND ODEON.

I am a little bit of a coffee addict, I absolutely adore coffee which often means my teeth are easily stained, so one of my favourite things to do is to get some teeth whitening toothpaste to try to get rid of the horrible yellow tinted teeth and swap them for some bright pearly whites. The thing is, sometimes tooth whitening toothpaste don't actually do what it says on the back of the tin, other times they only work to an extent and then your dentist has to do the rest for you. It turns out I may have found the perfect whitening toothpaste and better yet a brand of whitening strips that actually work and sit at a fairly affordable price year round. No £100 kits, no damaging UV lights and better yet it's all cruelty-free. 

Achieving a Brighter set of Pearly Whites

Janina is a brand that until now I kind of admired from afar, I was always a little worried to try whitening strips and I always forgot to have a little research session through the web to find out if whitening strips are damaging or not, that is until now. Janina sent me out a wonderful care package with 24K gold toothpaste and a set of their 7 day whitening kit so I no longer had the excuse, I had to do my research. I scoured the web for hours looking into teeth whitening kits and it turned out, Janina's ingredients were some of the best out there most likely would not cause any damage to my teeth since they're not overly sensitive. So my trial began. I started to use the toothpaste first, starting with a coffee-stained smile I used the toothpaste for a week and compared the pictures from day one and day seven and it had definitely brightened my teeth, they looked a lot more white, shiny and they even felt a lot smoother. So after that week trial, I opted to use both products for a week, using the whitening strips once in the morning after I brush my teeth and again in the evening, once I had brushed my teeth before bed. The change was remarkable, I already thought the toothpaste had changed my teeth alone, but the change from day one to day fourteen was insane, as you can see in the photo above.

So, lets actually chat about the products, shall we? The 24k gold toothpaste is something I was incredibly interested in from the moment the press release hit my inbox, I mean isn't that the most bouje thing you have ever heard? Of course, I was interested, how can gold be in toothpaste? Well it turns out this toothpaste is like no other in more ways than one, not only does it have flakes of gold in the formula but the actual toothpaste is transparent, with a shimmer or gold and a slight yellow tinge to it. I hadn't seen anything like it before and honestly, I was a little scared. Can you tell I am very careful about what I put on my teeth? I swear my biggest fear is my teeth falling out. The thing is, it is a toothpaste, it doesn't have any remarkable difference to it when you are using it, it applies to the toothbrush in the way all others do, it feels the same consistency as all others and it has the same minty smell and taste that most other toothpastes do, but it is the effect on those pearly whites that justifies the purchase. After one use I saw no difference and I must admit throughout the week the change in colour was almost naked to the naked eye, it was not until I compared photographs taken in the same spot, in the same lightning that I realised how brighter and whiter my teeth had gotten in such a short time frame. 

Achieving a Brighter set of Pearly Whites

The whitening strips are a little different, I had never used any before and followed the instructions very carefully. Within the pack you get 14 packets of two strips; one for your top teeth and one for your bottom teeth, shocker, I know. I brushed my teeth and then used a clean finger and ran it across the top set to get any excess saliva from the teeth before I applied the strip, it is the largest one of the two and folds over your teeth to lock in place. Repeating this action with my bottom set of teeth I had applied both sets and I must admit it did feel uncomfortable the first time. It was a little weird and if you are someone with insanely bad gag reflexes they probably aren't the best way for you to whiten your teeth, but the uncomfortable feeling has nothing on doing an x-ray in a dentist, now that is the worst. When I had the strips on I began to see how they sort of filled with a gel-like liquid, which is probably the layer you can see on the strips when you open them. Again, the difference between each day was not entirely visible to the naked eye and very hard to see but not as much as the toothpaste was. The difference over the week was absolutely incredible though, so much so that I purchased myself another packet of the strips and those are the ones I am using in this blog post's photography. 

I have always been someone who has tried to hide my teeth a little, I don't like that I have fangs and although my dentist has always told me I don't need braces I always felt like I do. Having whiter, brighter teeth has given me the confidence to no longer hide my smile and to accept that my teeth are not perfect, but they are me. I cannot tell you the effect having whiter teeth has had on me lately, all I can tell you is that I am in awe at how incredible these products have worked and I will be continuing to purchase both products for as long as I possibly can. 

Achieving a Brighter set of Pearly Whites

So, what toothpaste do you use? Do you feel more confident with a whiter smile? Tell me below in the comments. 

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THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH JANINA.
22 Lessons from My 22 Years

So, today is my birthday, I am officially twenty-two years old and I that feels weird, I have been on this planet for twenty-two years as of today and that's kind of crazy. It doesn't feel like it has been that long, I'm not even sure I remember half of it, but it has officially been twenty-two years. For many, I am young, naive, just a baby, a kid, I haven't lived enough to know anything. For others I am old, my niece often asks me why I still live with my parents if I am so old and when I will get married, move out and have a family. It's funny, isn't it? Being in your twenties is like being 100 when you're a kid, but when you're in your 40s it was half a lifetime ago. I am often told I'm an old soul, that I think too much, that I'm always in my head, but I guess it's who I am, it's something I have grown to like over the past twenty-two years and it has the ability to make me recognise the lessons like is giving me. I've been planning this post for a good six months now and ironically enough one of my favourite bloggers just posted the exact same post over on her blog and you really have to check it out, Pinja K's 22 Things in 22 Years

So here are twenty-two life lessons I have learned in my twenty-two years of life;

1. No one, but you, can make you happy,
2. No one knows what they're doing, don't worry about it too much,
3. Being number one isn't always important, 
4. If you don't think you fit in with your friends, change the friend group, not yourself, 
5. Change is scary, but most of the time, it's worth it, 
6. Don't judge people who don't like coffee, they only act that way because they haven't had their coffee yet, 
7. Stepping out of your comfort zone is usually the first step towards success, 
8. Dealing with grief isn't about moving on, it's about getting through it and you shouldn't feel guilty about it, 
9. The fight for success should never come before health, family and happiness,
10. You're probably always going to touch the hot plate straight after the waiter tells you not to, 
11. Life doesn't come with an itinerary, don't worry about keeping up with other people, things will happen at their own pace,
22 Lessons from My 22 Years

12. Judging people by their taste in music is wrong but also very accurate, so do with that what you wish, 
13. Always judge your gut instinct, unless you're on The Chase, then pick the smart option, 
14. It's okay to be a dreamer and have big ambitions, as long as you're willing to do the hard work that will get you there, 
15. Your version of success may be different to other peoples, let people live their lives and don't be judgemental of their choices, 
16. Those who constantly try to bring you down are reflecting their own insecurities onto you, don't let it affect you, 
17. No one looks good running for the train, no one,
18. Trying to be perfect is a waste of time and never works out, 
19. Having a nap can solve any problem, it may not be practical, but it works, 
20. Life won't stop for you, sometimes you just have to brush yourself off an get on with it,
21. Sometimes people just aren't going to like you, no matter how hard you try,
22. Instagram sucks.

22 Lessons from My 22 Years

What is one of your biggest life lessons to date? Tell me in the comments below. 

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