Seeking Validation on Social Media

The other day I had a moment of despair; it was the grim realisation that almost none of my friends bother to read the blog posts I spend so many hours writing and editing. For awhile I have been bugging them to read, to comment and to share; to support my dreams and help me grow. I posted status after status calling for help, but my friends didn’t respond. I’ll be honest here, the frustration and hurt left me sunk deep in a pit of apathy and self-loathing- if I couldn’t even get my friends to care about what I was writing, how on earth would anyone else ever be interested? I had thoughts of deleting social media, deactivating accounts and taking a break from writing. But of course I didn’t because like all of the writers I’ve ever admired, I decided to share the experience and write about it instead.

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What’s New For Lush Lakeside? | Bloggers Event| July 2017

There’s always something a little magical about stepping in to your local Lush, isn’t there? It’s a combination of things I think. The slightly dark, moody spot-lighting, the incredible displays of potion-like skin treatments and wooden boxes stuffed with vivid bath bombs and bubble bars. And then there’s the smell. If you’re a Lush fan you’ll know what I mean. The hypnotic scent snakes its’ way down the street, luring you in from afar…

What could be more magical than that? Well, a Lush with exciting new goodies to discover, of course! So when Lush Lakeside asked me to pop down and have a look at some of the wonderful new products (and some underrated products too) I could hardly contain my excitement.

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100th Blog Post!

Today is a special day over here at Pretty Little Finch. If you hadn’t already guessed by the title, this post is the 100th to be published up on the blog!

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind two years really. When I first started Pretty Little Finch it was a journal of sorts. Something to help me remember the good times when I wasn’t feeling so great, and an outlet for me to share all the thoughts swirling around up inside my brain. But as time has passed it has developed and grown. Looking back at some of my earlier posts I find there’s so much I want to rewrite!

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A Very Fruity Lush Kitchen Haul

After a little dry spell of around four weeks, the Lush Kitchen suddenly became very exciting again. What with it being Summer and Wimbledon being on, the Kitchen decided to release lots of fruity/strawberry goodies. As you may or may not know, I’m allll about those sweet scents so these past couple of weeks have been amazing for me!

Here’s what I picked up.

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Wildflowers

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that make us stop and think about life as we know it.

Recently I found myself in such a situation, and it prompted me in to thinking about circumstance; about how we can’t always curate our lives no matter the planning we put in, no matter the hours we spend obsessing and constructing.  I am one of those people who cannot stand leaving things to chance. I have to have a plan; even if the plan is wonky or flawed there has to be something in place – it’s what keeps my bones together.

When I was 15 I decided I would grow up to be a journalist. Although my plans altered and adapted as time and situations passed it was still a path I followed in my mind and in my actions. At a certain age I’d marry. Then I’d have kids. Then a dog would follow. Everyone thinks like that, to some extent – I’m not alone in my ignorance. In my mind there was a linear timeline of events that would pan out through my life; everything would happen in the order that I had imagined for it.

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But then life threw a curve-ball at me. And then another. And another. On it went and each time something new and unplanned was hurled at me I would adapt – because that’s what we are born to do. The plan would be revisited. Re-imagined. Tailored to suit the new situation – for better or for worse. It wasn’t ideal, no. It wasn’t what I had originally wanted for myself; but it was okay. And actually, I was quietly proud of myself for being able to survive the things I didn’t think I ever could have. When a therapist told me that I was resilient I congratulated myself on it, thinking it was a strength I possessed that would see me through anything that was thrown my way.

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But I was wrong again.

Because you see, even the best laid plans can fall apart. And even the strongest or most resilient of people can struggle to pick up the pieces after something bad has happened in their life. And even if you think you’re ready to take anything on, the chances are you’re not.

So when this latest bad news was delivered to me, I finally came to understand that although I thought I was prepared for sadness, upheaval, change etc… I really was not. And in part I still think it’s down to the fact that I hadn’t planned for this to happen so I hadn’t ever imagined it as a scenario that could play out. It made me think that I had a taken a lot for granted, just expecting things to be a given because well, I was too ignorant to imagine an alternative.

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Now I feel as if I finally understand the fickle nature of life. And I’m just about beginning to wrap my head around the idea that you can’t truly plan a single thing in life; each day is precious and you never know what’s around the corner. But that’s not where this post ends.

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I still believe in planning a future. I still believe in hoping for things. I won’t stop trying to carve the path I want for myself and my life even if in the end those plans don’t come to fruition. I won’t give up on my hope for a better future.

That said, I will appreciate and treasure the smaller things in life that I failed to appreciate and treasure before all of this happened. I will stop taking things and people for granted. I will not overestimate my ability to cope when things are tough. And I will take each day as it comes. Each day of rain, of wind and of storm.

Because like a wildflower, I will seek beauty in the bleakest of landscapes. Moments of happiness in a time that stretches ahead with uncertainty.

Like a wildflower, I will grow where I am planted. I have to bloom and strive towards the sun in order to survive- we all do.

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Art Swaps; The Enamel Pin Edit

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have not been gifted or paid to write it. I just wanted to share some cool artists and spread the (enamel pin) love!

When I started my Etsy shop Pretty Little Finch, I knew I wanted to create my own enamel pin. My personal collection is rather impressive; I just love the way a few well chosen pins can add a playful twist to any outfit. When I listed the Pastel Blue Tit in my shop I was excited to sell it, but didn’t think for one moment about the potential of swapping with other artists.

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A Family Day Out

I’m going to be diplomatic here; this wasn’t the best day out we’ve ever had (for reasons that will become clear later on in the post) however it wasn’t the worst. I really hate writing anything that could be construed as negative to a business; I’m not about throwing that negative energy out in to the world, but in the same vein I don’t like to lie/sugar-coat or pretend something was amazing when it wasn’t. So for those reasons I’m going to refrain from mentioning the name of the place we visited and instead focus on what we got up to. So here’s a little family day post for you!

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June Favourites

June has been a rather sad month for me and, if I’m being honest I haven’t felt particularly thankful for it. I did think about skipping the monthly favourites however I guess sometimes it’s good to reflect on the little things you have enjoyed. So here is everything I’ve been loving in the month of June.

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The Lost Art Of Writing In Books

Think back to your childhood. Do you remember writing your name and the date in the front cover of your favourite book? When I was around eight years old I found the most perfect – albeit battered and falling apart – book on birds for sale in our local library. I loved it so much that I wrote my name, the date and my age inside of it, thus claiming it as mine forever and ever.

I no longer have that book, and I no longer scrawl my name inside of book covers. But to this day, I’m still fascinated by finding secret hidden messages in books.

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Skin and Haircare Products; The Honey Edit

Honey really is a wonder product; it tastes delicious, it smells great and it has lots of health benefits. Brilliant at nourishing skin and hair, honey also contains antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It’s no wonder then that our market is so saturated with health and beauty buys packed full of honey. Here I share my ultimate favourite honey skin and haircare products.

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Menorca Holiday Diary

We have just spent a super-chilled seven days in Menorca and, whilst I don’t have any particular “days out” or “adventure” posts to share, I thought I’d post a few holiday snaps and write a little bit about what we got up to!

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May Favourites

May has been another super-busy month but not without lots of things to celebrate! This post is a little later than I originally intended, but we went on holiday so I’ve been super busy! Anyway here’s what I have been loving throughout May:

The return of Lucky Dip Club, My Rainbow Life box RRP: £15

I know I mentioned it in my previous April Lust List but this time it’s actually here! May saw the official release of the Lucky Dip Club in its’ new format; My Rainbow Life! The box features one super-cute and functional item that has been collaborated on with an equally cool indie artist plus the much loved subscriber mag ‘Girl Planet’. The great thing about the new format is that you get something you’ll actually use as opposed to lots of little bits and bobs that you might not. This months fun and functional surprise was a little treat tray. The idea behind it is that it can fit two treats (perhaps a hot drink and a yummy snack) and it’s there to remind you to TREAT YO SELF. And let’s be honest, we could all do with treating ourselves a little more. Well, probably not me. I probably treat myself too much but, whatever. Obviously my treat tray is going to be used for one thing and one thing only- hello handy bath time aide! Also, I have a feature in this months mag, just sayin’.

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Montagne Jeunesse Candyfloss Scrub RRP: £1 from Primark

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while you’ll know I love the Montagne Jeunesse face masks. The Candyfloss scrub is for sure one of my favourites. It smells incredible and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The perfect sweet treat for tired skin!

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Baby Bee Enamel Pin RRP $12 from Wawe Studio

I absolutely adore enamel pins and have a sizeable collection of my own. This super-cute Baby Bee pin from Wawe Studio combines my two greatest loves; bumble bees and kewpies! I just had to have it. It came packaged really well with some art postcards and a little pom pom – adorable!

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Into The Water Book by Paula Hawkins RRP £10 from Waterstones

Into The Water is the highly anticipated second novel by Paula Hawkins. Following on from the monumental success of The Girl On The Train was obviously going to be no small feat but, I’m actually really impressed with this book.  At first it is a little confusing getting to grips with all the characters as the story is told through multiple viewpoints. After awhile though it wasn’t a problem and I found that the different characters all added something to the story.

Into The Water opens with Nel Abbott’s death in the infamous drowning pool. It follows on to the tell the stories of her sister, her daughter, the policemen and women working on her case and the lives of those around her. It’s an intriguing story to say the least and, whilst it’s nothing at all like The Girl On The Train, I think it’s brilliant in its own right. Definitely worth a read.

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Sonny Angel Sky Colour Series RRP £7.95 from Didi Inspired

When the Sky Colour Series Sonny Angels were announced I have to say, I was super excited! The last set (Easter) were nice enough but nothing special. In all honesty the designs/colours left me feeling a little disappointed (so much so they didn’t even make it in to my monthly favourites?!). So it was a pleasant surprise to have something super-cute to bridge the gap until Halloween rolls around again.  Sky Colour Sonny’s feature cute weather-related hats such as rain, thunder, rainbow etc and they seem to be replacing the usual Summer series which features tanned Sonny Angel in holiday-themed hats and T-Shirts. I much prefer these as they are adorable.

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Fjallraven Kanken Backpack RRP £65 from My Kanken Bag.com

Prior to going on holiday I decided to get a new “travel” bag. One that would be suitable for carrying books, makeup and the essentials. I have wanted a Fjallraven Kanken bag for ages so decided to go with that as I wanted something hardwearing and long lasting; something that could accompany me on many adventures. This bag is super cute, comfortable to wear and really spacious! I got mine in Ochre which is pretty much mustard yellow. I definitely recommend this bag if you travel a lot.

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Space Girl bath bomb from the Lush Kitchen

And last but not least I was really loving the throwback Space Girl bath bomb from the Lush Kitchen. It smells super-sweet and it’s a great all rounder. For more info on it you can catch my haul post here!

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What have you been loving in May?

Life Updates.

It’s been a little while since I wrote a personal blog post and today I thought I would just check in with where I’m at. I like to reflect on what I’m doing every now and then as it’s good to look back and see how far I’ve come and acknowledge what I have achieved. I don’t think I do it often enough!

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Primark Haul May 2017 | Summer Holiday Shop

I’m off on my holidays next week and as ever I pretty much left buying the essentials until the very last minute. Luckily for me Primark is full of wonderful bits and bobs at the moment and it’s all very reasonably priced. Here’s what I got:

Tropical Bikini Top: £8

Tropical High Waisted Bikini Bottoms: £5

I had managed to pick up a couple of cute bikinis/swimsuits a couple months ago but definitely didn’t have as many as I would have liked. This bikini set is super-cheap and cute with a bright tropical print. What I love most about it is that the top is under-wired and features straps (as opposed to strings) so it’s very supportive and flattering. The bottoms are high-waisted too so these are great if you’re a little self conscious about your stomach.

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Black Swimsuit £13

I knew I wanted a swimsuit for the beach, as it gives you a bit of extra coverage which I like. What I quite often find though is that one pieces look quite childish. However, this one combines both comfort and style. It’s a super-flattering piece with gold detailing for a sophisticated finish. And at just £13 it’s a total bargain.

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Flamingo Print Cover Up Dress £4

This dress features a relaxed fit and flared cut making it ideal for lounging on the beach (worn over the top of a bikini) or by the pool. I love the playful flamingo print which gives me serious tropical-vibes.

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Beach Wrap £3

This bright beach wrap can be worn in multiple ways but I think I will wear it tied around my waist. It features a tropical palm tree print and comes in one size. The fabric is super-lightweight and floaty making it ideal for covering up but allowing you to still stay cool.

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Embroidered Floral Tunic Dress £13

This lightweight tunic dress features a relaxed fit, pretty embroidery detailing on the chest and three-quarter length sleeves with frill detailing. I absolutely love the design of this dress and think the embroidery is just beautiful – but I have to admit to not being keen on the sleeves. I’m going to chop them off and hope for the best!

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Ice Cream T-Shirt £5

This tee is probably my favourite purchase. I love the mint colour and ice cream design. It’s a nice soft, knitted T-Shirt that I think is just perfect for Summer!

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Pom Pom Trim Shorts £8

Crafted from a lightweight crepe, these shorts feature a comfortable waistband, embroidery detailing and a fun pom pom trim at the hem. I love the length of these shorts as they are a little longer than most in Primark and are quite flattering.

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Bead Embellished Sandals £10

Crafted from real leather, these sandals feature a vibrant and playful beaded design that I think will be perfect for warm climes.

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Candyfloss Scrub Facemask £1 each

And last but not least I picked up two Candyfloss facemasks. These smell incredible (good enough to eat!) and will be ideal for getting my skin ready for the sun!

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What have you been loving in Primark recently?