High-street skincare haul || two-week review


Though my friends tell me I’m pretty good with makeup, I never really started wearing a lot or experimenting it creatively until about three years ago. Following a rather tragic “emo” phase during my teens (with a lot of spider lashes and seriously backcombed hair), I was always quite a low maintenance stable girl. For college and every day, it was unusual to see me in anything more than mascara- and on a good day a liquid eyeliner.

However, as my passion grew and I became more and more involved in the community, I realised I had been seriously neglecting my skin for the best part of 20 years. Even now, two years later, I barely have a skincare routine. Since starting this blog, I decided to bring you with me on my journey to discover one!
Throughout my life, I’ve been very fortunate with my skin despite the neglect I showed it. (I only started wearing a makeup primer in the past two years!) I’ve never really had an issue with acne or problem skin in general. However, certain foundations can be slightly drying, and sometimes I get blackheads around the nose area- but I guess thats hardly surprising given my lack of skincare.
So, because I’m 22, and have fairly “normal” type skin, the things I am looking for from my skin routine is as follows: something that makes my skin less ‘dull’, a primer that shrinks/blurs my pores, and perhaps something that helps deal with or prevent the occasional hormonal breakout.
Before I committed to some more expensive products, I wanted to experiment with some high street products I had heard good things about. So, about a fortnight ago I sent my beloved husband off with a few things sneakily added onto our regular grocery shop. So, here is what I got and my thoughts so far!

1. L’oréal Paris Wrinkle Expert Day Cream
I know what you’re thinking! “But you’re only twenty-two years old!” and you are correct. I have always been hesitant about succumbing to the horrendous marketing fuelled ‘crisis’ that is ageing, however, more recently I have noticed that the creases under my eyes have become a little deeper. That’s absolutely fine, I would have no qualms with this, were it not getting in the way of my makeup and dramatic smokey eye looks!
Ironically, on closer inspection, this product actually reads “apply every morning to a cleansed face and neck. Avoid eye area”. To be fair, I wasn’t very specific in my instructions to my husband, as I simply put “anti-ageing cream”, so I take the blame for this one. However, I was always brought up with the saying “waste not want not” so I thought I would give it a try.
This product retails at £7.33. The first thing you notice when you open this product is the smell. Though not entirely unpleasant, it definitely has a ‘cosmetic’ scent. When applied the product is cold, smooth and doesn’t feel sticky, which I appreciate. When it’s on it feels soothing and your skin does instantly feel tighter and softer to the touch, though if you touch it too much sometimes some odd flaky residue can occur. The effect I noticed the most is my neck did feel a lot tighter (in a good way), and the skin there seemed to feel a lot better than it normally would.

Overall,  I would give this product 7/10, as the smell was a bit strong and it did leave some strange residues. However, it did do what it said and was smoothing and firming, especially for the price point. Overall, it was a good product, though I can’t say an incredible amount about its anti-ageing effects being only 22. It did however, make the skin on my neck and jaw feel a lot healthier and tighter. So, if you’re looking for some subtle firming on a budget, you should give this a try!

2. Garnier Micellar Extra-Gentle Cleansing Wipes

In the past strangely enough I always avoided makeup wipes and opted for baby wipes instead, as I found a lot of them were too harsh or irritating for my skin, especially around the eyes. These however, have been really wonderful. These retail at around £1.66, and are worth every penny. During use they feel a little wet, but not so much that you feel as though there is too much excess; they are gentle, cool and soothing around the eyes and face and leave the face feeling nourished, smooth and delightfully hydrated. So far I give this product a strong 9/10, as my skin feels so much better since I’ve started to use them to remove my makeup.

3. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

So HERE is a product I am unexpectedly super excited to share with you. I’ve seen/read a couple of people seriously raving about this, though honestly I was expecting to be disappointed, because how much difference could a ‘cleansing water’ really do right? Wrong. Here is what the product claims to do:

“Our Garnier Cleansing Water does not claim to help with acne. The Micellar Water is intended to cleanse the skin like a magnet. Micelles capture and lift away dirt, oil and makeup without harsh rubbing, leaving skin perfectly clean, hydrated and refreshed without over-drying.”

So far,  I have to say, I am living for what it’s done for my skin. Typically, I have been applying this with a cotton pad in the morning before doing anything to my skin, and at night after removing my makeup with the aforementioned wipes (which make it easier to remove mascara, I was never fond of putting cotton pads too near my contacts) in order to clear up any remaining makeup or other oils/residue left on my face.

First of all, retailing at about £2, this product is an absolute steal, as in the bottle I chose, you get 400ml of product that is well worth your time and money. It has little to no scent, with traces of one that reminds me somewhat of cucumber, but it is quite pleasant. I find this product does all the things I mentioned the wipes do (gentle, cooling, soothing, moisturising, hydrating), but possibly even more so. It soaks into the skin very quickly and leaves it feeling fresh, healthy and ready to go!

I would honestly rate this product at a stunning 10/10 because for the price point I really have noticed a difference, and I know that this is a product I will reach for again and again as part of my newfound skincare regime.

Frankii x

I hope you enjoyed reading my review of this little haul! Have you tried any of these comments? Let me know in the comments! 

Lets talk about marrying young…

If you’d have told me when I was 18 that I would be married in my early 20’s, I would have laughed in your face. After two abusive relationships and several bad breakups, I swore off dating seriously for the longest time. For me, at that point, I wasn’t ready to commit myself to anyone who would be anything less than Mr. Darcy himself. (lol!)
Eventually, I became the perpetually single friend, and actually- I came to terms with the idea that perhaps “true love” wasn’t on the cards for me. At the end of the day, it was never my ultimate goal in life. I have always been strong, independent and ambitious. From what I had seen from members of my generation, I wasn’t even sure a man could fit into that sphere, especially not one that was supportive, stable and not deterred by my intelligence and drive. The men I had dated casually had always told me how they loved that I was fierce and strong, and how they’d always dreamed of having a strong woman- but when it boiled down to it my success and independence made each and every single one feel insecure- and they would wind up with someone less driven. Honestly, I was ok with that. As I mentioned before, I wasn’t about to commit myself to someone who couldn’t at least support me and my big dreams.
The fact is, I don’t need a man, and in my opinion, nor should anyone. I think if it gets to the stage where you become obsessed with having someone in your life, you need to do the exact opposite, and take some time to fall in love with yourself and access the void you’re trying to fill in your own life.
>>>You should not rely on anyone else to fill in the holes in your own life and soul!<<<
Once at university during a drinking game, the group was asked to point to the person most likely to get divorced, and all but one pointed at me. The friend who I was closest to, who actually knew and understood me stood up and said how stupid that was, because he knew I would be the last to settle for anything less than a soulmate. He knew I would never marry someone who didn’t adore and support me, and vice versa. On another occasion, I was actually quite hurt by someone who told me they couldn’t imagine me being a mother. It was only on deeper reflection, I took it as a compliment, as it meant that it was apparent to others that there was more to me than just the immediate desire to breed. When I was feeling a bit down one day, I came across this article. This was something that stayed with me for a very long time, as it reiterated many points that I had always believed in.

In the 1950s, women were primarily housewives and getting married was typically the end goal. Back then, being a wife is what defined a woman, so I can understand why finding your special someone was considered an accomplishment. This is no longer the case, though. In today’s society, ladies are balancing much more than just finding a man.

Since getting married myself, especially considering I was only 21 at the time, people have assumed that my views have changed. I frequently get asked if I am pregnant, or when I plan to be, as though that is the only logical option for a married woman- As though I have already achieved my ‘end goal’.
Although marriage/engagement/childbirth are happy times to be sure, anyone can get married to anyone, and that doesn’t mean to say it will last. Anyone with a working set of reproductive organs can get pregnant. Literal animals do that every day. The whole institution should be celebrated 100%, but what I’m saying is, no one would go up to my husband and start a conversation by asking about what he’s done/is planning to do with his genitals.
Before I go any further, I just want to make that point perfectly clear. If that’s all you want from your life, then great!! It’s exciting and its tough! Please please please don’t think I’m trying to undermine or devalue what it is to be a parent. My feminism is broad and all-encompassing enough to accept and applaud you for that. I know that when I have children, I too will probably want to stay home because I hate the thought of anyone else looking after my future cubs. But for me personally, I want to have achieved in my own life so that I can inspire and teach my offspring to achieve. It’s just that I see so many young girls who get pregnant at 16 and suddenly think they are the Virgin Mary because they brought life into the world- and that’s what I am aiming to combat with this post. I want to open up a dialogue where women from all walks of life are celebrated, but it should never be assumed that basic biology is the “ultimate achievement” for women, because we are so much more than that. It is no longer the 1950’s, and women have fought tirelessly all throughout their lives to create a world in which we have much more equal opportunity. Life is short, but it can be so rich if you work hard and just give it a chance. So why then, are people still more interested in the fact that I am married, than my academic/career/other achievements or goals? When I meet women, if they have babies then great. If they’re pregnant then great- congratulations! But I’m not going to degrade them by talking about parenthood as though It’s the only interesting thing about her. A mum has interests, hobbies, opinions and things that make her who she is outside of the realm of babies- and without that I think she’d go insane!
The main reason I am even writing this blog is to forward it to people every. time. I get asked when I’m going to get pregnant. For the record, I do want children. I want 3. I love the idea of being 80, hosing dinner parties and BBQ’s and sitting outside in the sunshine surrounded by my kids and their kids and so forth. I think about it often, and can’t wait to become a mother because it is exciting. But even when I give birth myself, until I’ve raised a good human being I won’t classify basic biology as an achievement. I know that I wouldn’t be half the person I am today had I not had a mother who had experienced the world, achieved things of her own and had thousands of stories to tell me, wisdom gained outside the realm of relationships and childbirth.
The real tea is, my sister is 10 years my Junior, so I have already seen/done enough ‘parenting’ to know the reality. Children are not just a cute hobby that you take on for a couple of years while they are cute and still cuddly. They are not a vessel to save a failing relationship. They are a 20+ year commitment of blood, sweat and tears and wanting to kill the rude spotty teenager you once held in your arms. It means stopping in your tracks and turning your whole life upside down in order to raise a (hopefully!) decent human being. Again, if your children get to 18 and they are healthy, kind, respectful individuals I do think that is an achievement, but finding love and getting pregnant is not. For me, to do this, I will need to have seen enough of the world to know myself, to have achieved enough on my own and to have enjoyed life, travelled and fallen even deeper in love with my life partner to even consider children. Some women aren’t that way, they are different and motherhood is their ultimate dream. That’s ok too! But don’t assume that parenthood is all there is to life for a woman, and don’t assume that a childless woman’s life is empty or less than your own. I hate it when people say to great women who have worked hard and achieved, CEO’s, Dr’s, PhD graduates, charity workers and politicians- “but when are you going to have babies?”, as though their lives are nothing without them, and that is the only thing a woman has to look forward to.

Aside from the worlds obsession with pregnancy, I’ve lost a lot of friends through getting married. Oddly, the fact that I live with someone I love seems to have changed my relationships with many people. When I lived with 5 others at university, no one assumed I had become an entirely different person and avoided seeing me, so the fact that that’s happening now is bizarre to me. On the other hand, It’s shown me who my real friends are, because it’s shown that they are willing to grow with me, and just accept that I met my ‘forever friend’ a little bit earlier. No, I don’t really want to go out clubbing with you and doing all the stuff I used to do when I was single, because I just don’t find that appealing anymore. Honestly, I never really did, I was only doing it to be social. Since getting married i’ve realised the importance of actual meaningful conversations and transactions as a pose to that. I think some of my friends found this hard to comprehend. I can’t just tell my husband to f*ck off at the end of a 12 hour night shift because you want to hang out. Moreover, I won’t, because he’s more important than you. He’s not just some boyfriend I can pick up and drop whenever I feel like it, and I guess this offends some people, and if thats the case, then honestly, thats ok.

Another thing I also get is people looking quizzically when I talk about being strongly feminist, then also talking about my husband when I am ‘only’ 22 years old. I am a girl, who never aspired to get married, let alone at 21 years of age (now 22). However, when I met Austin, there was never a moment wherein he did not want to be on my team. He is not my ‘other half’, he is his own whole, and falling in love with him was not hard, stressful or full of nervous excitement. He never left me wondering where I stood, supported and vehemently encouraged all of my achievements. For those still confused, the definition of feminism is: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes“. In other words, equality for both/all sexes. My husband too, is a feminist. He loves the parts of me that I refused to give up, despite many a moron before him deeming them unattractive.  While circumstances (military) meant we moved faster than I would have ever imagined, I realised it was never marriage that I was afraid of- I already knew he was going to be my teammate for life. I was afraid of the wedding, and the judgement and drama that it always undoubtedly brings.
31.9.16 // Elopement
The only part of this I have struggled with so far, has been changing my name. Through getting married, for whatever reason I have lost several ‘friends’ who are seemingly intimidated by my circumstance. Also, by struggling in an abysmal graduate job market (Norfolk) that I can’t move away from, and being exceedingly proud of my lineage which could end with me- (my sister is Matthews-Allen), I felt for a short time as though I had left part of me behind. I felt hopeless, and depressed, as though I had “lost” Francesca Matthews. However, I understand now that this is natural, and was accelerated by my other struggles. Since then, this has become something that my incredible feminist husband!!! and I may review in the future, and perhaps we will become a “Matthews-Denney” household. While one day I would love to have a ‘party’, or a ‘vow renewal’ where I walk down an aisle wearing a white dress, for now, we eloped.
Because falling in love with Austin was natural, and right, like coming home in the winter to a fire roaring in the hearth.

On a less intense note, I’ve found myself suddenly interested in thing’s I thought I wouldn’t care about until I was a grandma. Gardening, HOMEWARE etc. I’ve always loved cooking, but cooking for someone who has different tastes in food is a challenge. In all, a lot of my interests have changed, but not the fundamentals of my personality. I’m still Frankii, I’ve just grown a bit, and will continue to grow alongside another person. I hate the term other half, because it infers that I would be a half without him, but i’m excited to build and grow together.

Another thing: You will argue about stupid stuff that you never thought possible to argue about. Dishes, housework, lack of attention. Living with someone is challenging enough, let alone when love/passion is involved. Prepare to have full scale arguments about toothbrushes not been left in the toothbrush cup! However, making up is also one of the best parts. You can argue about trivial stuff because you don’t have to worry that you are going to wind up single for doing so. Its surprisingly empowering!

So yes, I married young. No, that does not make me anti-feminist. No, I am not pregnant. No, I do not plan to be any time soon. Yes, I have my own goals and life ambitions. No, that does not mean that I don’t love or support my husband, because he is not fragile and insecure enough for his value as a man to feel depleted by my success. In short, let’s stop starting conversations with women, by asking them about their relationships and babies. If I am pregnant (assuming I actually like you?) I will let you know. For now, I’ll be over here arguing over dirty dishes or planning my next holiday!
As always please feel free to leave a comment, share your opinions, struggles and experiences with me regarding similar or different misogynistic/sexist assumptions, I love hearing from you, and I truly believe in the power of education through discussion and debate!
Love and Light,
Francesca xx
disclaimer/TLDR: AGAIN If you are a young housewife/stay at home mummy reading this please know I am in no way seeking to undermine you or offend what it is that you do. I have the utmost respect for full time mums and/or women who don’t have the same desires and ambitions I do. It takes a lot of hard work and true grit to run a home/raise good, pleasant children and I know that. I am just talking about my personal experiences, and seeking to educate others not to assume that this is the only/end goal for all women because we are not all the same. When it comes to the time I do have children of my own I will probably not work either as I think I will be one of those mothers who couldn’t bare the idea of anyone else looking after my precious ones. This is why I am so adamant on achieving my own goals beforehand! But, from my past year of being unemployed post-university I found myself depressed and under-stimulated, though I know this is not true of ALL women, and that is OK. But I definitely think not all dialogue with women should begin with discussing these topics, as this would never happen when talking to a man. There is, (and should be) so much more to a woman than just her marriage and childbearing. xxxx

Liebster Award! || Nominated by Queen Sapphire

First up, a huge shout out to my gal Jess (@QueenSapphireUK) for nominating me! If you haven’t already I definitely recommend heading over to hear beautiful blog over at Queen Sapphire Lifestyle
The Liebster Award is an online exclusive award where bloggers nominate other blogs as a way of connecting and supporting the blogging community. It’s also a fantastic way to allow your readers to get to know you a little better!

Here are the questions I was asked along with my answers!

What is the one make up/skincare product you just can’t live without?

I think for this one I would have to say my Jeffree Star Skin Frost in shade “Peach Goddess”. In the past I had never really used highlight that much, and Peach Goddess is not only blinding, but beautiful and versatile. It’s a toss up between that one, and “King Tut”, which is a beautiful gold that I often use on my eyelids too!

If you could move anywhere and money wasn’t an issue, where would you move to and why?

As a British girl, I am always drawn to the California lifestyle that you see on the television. I am always drawn to the ocean, but I’m not sure if realistically California would suit me. Perhaps out in Malibu, far enough from the chaos of LA, or the South of France.

What is the best thing that has happened to you this year so far?

Probably the best thing to happen to me so far this year was receiving an unconditional offer to study an MA at the UEA. Also, starting this blog!

What is one thing about yourself that you wouldn’t change for the world?

This is a tough one! Probably my creativity. There’s times when I wish I could be a bit more practical and pragmatic, but I love being my creativity. With my imagination, I can be in a world instantly that doesn’t require Maths anyway!

How do you feel about the blogging community?

So far my experience has been great! I’ve only been doing this for about a month now, but I’ve bene lucky enough to be added into a group chat with some lovely girls. I know there are aspects of the blogging community, the beauty sphere especially that can be “bitchy” or full of drama, but so far i’ve stayed clear- & I’d like to keep it that way!

Do you have any beauty tips you think anyone reading this should know?

Hm… I think my main one would be EYEBROWS. Eyebrows shape and frame your entire face, they are important whether you want a natural look or full drag. Nothing draws attention to your eyes like a beautifully sculpted brow. Also, using baby oil to shave after reading an interview with Emma Watson has been life changing. 

You’re posting a beauty/fashion haul, what are the 5 brands we will definitely see in there?

Oh god, that’s tricky for a girl that wants everything from everywhere. Fashion is such a mixed bag for me as a plus girl, but the ones I can give you are probably ASOS, Bravissimo, Levis and (does Primark count as a brand!?).

As for make-up as I’m sure I’ve already mentioned I adore Jeffree Stars Velour Liquid Lips, I have a sizeable collection because I love the formula! Probably Armani, it’s my favourite treat yo’self boujee brand by far, and my past 3 perfumes have been from there. I also love me some Urban Decay shadows, and Lush bath bombs!!

What lead you to start your own blog and what has your experience been like so far?

I’ve gotten much more into beauty only in the past few years, actually. A few of my friends have suggested that I start a blog/YouTube on several occasions, because apparently I’m not bad with makeup. But, I was concerned that I wouldn’t fit in as I’m not typically “girly”, so put it off for a really long time. I only started about a month ago, on a whim, because I don’t know whether my husband will re-enlist into USAF or not (he’s American and I am British)- so I’m not sure where we will be living in 3 years time. I figured that in time, if I could even make the teensiest bit of money from being an influencer, that would be a viable career path that I could take with me wherever I go, and I could do from home without leaving any children we may have!

Do you like to cook? What is your favourite food of all time?

I love cooking, and I’m told I’m bloody good at it too! Hopefully I’ll get more organised and be able to post some recipes on here some day!! My favourite ever food is Chinese without a doubt. I love salt n pepper squid or chicken. It is to die for. 

Are you a money saver or a money thrower? Do you wait for the sales or something to be reduced or do you just buy things whenever?

It depends on the day, honestly. Being a student taught me how to save and to budget for sure, but sometimes when I feel sad or awful I definitely have my “Treat yo’self” days. (Yes that was a Parks and Rec reference, Donna is a queen ok?)

What would your dream home look like? What colours would we see, would there be themes throughout each room?

Ugh, I live for interior design. My dream home would probably be big, light and airy, with a lot of white and grey running through it to keep it feeling bright and peaceful. I love marble floors, big chandeliers and fresh cut flowers. I think I’d have a different colour accent for each room. But most of all, all i’ve ever wanted was to own a house with a swimming pool. I would probably never come inside again if that happened, though.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my answers!
I would like to nominate…
(This is very hard for a girl who has only been blogging for a month!)
@shoesaremything from canuckersem.wordpress.com
@rebekkablogs from allthatb.co.uk
@findmyway37 from mong82191.wordpress.com
@verozaccagnini from styleandtellblog.wordpress.com
@staceeytaylor from staceeytaylor.wordpress.com
@yelloitselo from eloisescott.format.com
The questions I have for you are:

What is your morning routine? What is your reasoning for doing it the way you do?

What made you want to start a blog? How has it been so far? What has it done for you?
Name one or two books that impacted or changed your life in some way and why?

What kinds of music do you listen to, when, and why?

Are you an early bird or a night person? Why? 

What do you hope to achieve through your blog? 

You’ve been invited on an impromptu dinner/drinks date with your friends. What’s in your bag/pockets? 

What are your go to hair products/styling techniques? 

Describe your favourite pair of shoes. 

What is your go to outfit for everyday? What is your go to outfit to go out-out?

Describe your ideal home. What’s the decor like? 

What makes you happy when you are feeling sad? 

Please do remember to link me to your answers when you’re done!!

if you don’t have a blog or you weren’t nominated, maybe write your answers in the comments below!

10 Tips to manage your Anxiety!

#1 Close your eyes

When I first feel a bit anxious I like to close my eyes and make myself think of 5 things I’m thankful for that day. What this does for me, is brings awareness to the way I’m feeling, but slows down my thought process and reminds me that it’s probably not the end of the world. Sometimes when my husband is stressed I’ll do this by asking him questions like:
“are you healthy?”
“Are you otherwise happy?”
“Do we have a roof over our heads?”
“Is it going to change our lives as we know it?”.
Normally then, he will slow down and be able to articulate more fully what’s going on.

#2 Pour a hot drink (Not caffeine)! 

I like to sit with a hot chocolate, or a herbal tea. This is because if you’re verging an anxiety attack, caffeine is our enemy. Caffeine will accelerate your heart rate and probably stimulate your senses which are already in overdrive. Take a minute to appreciate the mug warming your fingers, inhale the smell deeply and exhale. You might just feel better already!

#3 Meditate

I know this one is a bit more on the hippy side but trust me, you should try it at least once! You can grab guided meditations on iTunes or Apple Music so easily these days. If not, hit up YouTube. I highly recommend this, not only for spiritual development but for your general health too. I try to set aside at least one time slot a week to really sit cross legged on the floor and become better acquainted with myself.

#4 Go swimming


For me there is nothing more spiritually healing than water. Get in the water and really concentrate on the feeling of the smooth water between your fingers, between your toes. Get some endorphins going, and then concentrate on your breathing. The way I see it is – if you keep breathing calmly and deeply, you can never really sink. 

#5 Channel your energy into something positive

This blog post was actually inspired by myself having a slightly wobbly day. I was feeling anxious and irritable and all I could think about was how much I wanted to kill my cat, who was yowling incessantly at the door despite having only just come in. Instead, I took a breather and did a few of the aforementioned coping mechanisms, then decided to share them with you! If you’re creative too, now is the time to write, paint, make. Throw yourself into a different world and really harness that energy. Once you’ve completed a project you will be able to stand back and appreciate your anxiety as a motivator. It doesn’t have to be a hinderance all the time!

#6 Pets

Whether you are a dog person, a cat person, a horse person, or even one of those freaks who likes snakes! (lol), I guarantee if there’s one being on earth who can make you feel better on the brink of an anxiety attack its your pet. Or your friends pet. Your family pet. Whatever. Whatever is going on in your life at the time, that being will look into your eyes with TRUE unconditional love and admiration- that is, unless of course you’re a cat/snake kind of person. (I KID!) But honestly, you are that little beings whole life, it’s family, it’s friend, it’s snuggle partner. Talk to them, stroke them, play with them. They understand so much more than you know!


I cannot stress enough the power of a boss lipstick. Got an interview? Boss lipstick. Got a date? Boss lipstick. Feeling insecure? Boss lipstick. I have two types of boss lipstick, I have a red for that classic Hollywood vibe that can turn me from “don’t look at me” to “don’t you know who I am?” I also have a dark which says “don’t mess with me today girl I will own you”. If I feel good on the outside, my confidence will almost always eliminate or at least neutralise any feelings of impending doom or self doubt. Have a selfie photo shoot. Remember you’re a god/goddess. Try it. Promise.

#8 Pamper yourself

On a similar note, take a moment to run a hot bath, pop a face mask on and cover your whole body in moisturiser. Burn candles, use the expensive bath bombs you’ve been saving for a rainy day. LOVE yourself. Really go to town and have an “I deserve this” day. Because chances are, if you’re reading this post- you do. It’s ok to have some down time and to really make time in your day to make sure you feel on top of your game when you wake up the next day. Skin care is my favourite because the next day when I’m glowing I like to think that I brought my inner glow outwards!

#9 Reach out

If you are feeling anxious it is always useful to talk out loud, it helps you to really slow down and find a solution, or at the very least comfort or peace. Sometimes bad things happen, and that sucks, but you should always surround yourself with a support system that’s genuine and that loves you. For me it is my husband and my close family. My grandma and my mum are my best gal pals in the whole world- which is something I’ve definitely realised since I entered my twenties and left my teenage self behind. It’s an unconditional friendship with someone who will always offer you honest advice. In my case I have a northern family who don’t sugar coat things, and sometimes I need that. Don’t bottle it up!

#10 Remove toxic people

This one I saved till last because it 9 & 10 are two of the most important in the long run, but this one is definitely the hardest. It might hurt at first, but it is so worth it. You are worth it. Anxious people are very often givers, or empaths. This means that naturally we can be quite naive and also sensitive. I will almost always recognise a change in tone, or a slight shift in a person- and yet sometimes I still struggle to cut ties with negative energies because I want to “fix” or at least “help” people. While this is often one of my greatest strengths, it has also been one of my greatest weaknesses, as it has left me prone to narcissists and “takers”. These are people who will be there for you particularly when the sun is shining but disappear when you need them most. People who if you pay attention, only have time for you when it suits them, or when they want something from you. This is so bad for your energy because it means you are literally feeding your energy and your lift into a bottomless pit, often for people who can’t or don’t want to be “fixed” or “helped”. One of the biggest life lessons I ever learned is that that’s ok! It is perfectly reasonable to want to surround myself with people who are genuinely as caring as I am. This may mean you end up with fewer friends than you thought- but my god will you notice a difference. You will instantly have more energy to put into healthy, sustainable relationships- without the gangrenous limb of a user weighing you down.

I really hope you learned something or at least enjoyed reading 10 ways in which I deal with my anxiety! Let me know in the comments any of your favourite techniques, I love hearing them! See you next week!
Francesca x


Disclaimer: Just because these suggestions work for me doesn’t mean they will work for everyone. Everyone’s anxiety operates differently and has different triggers, for example- some people may find water claustrophobic where I find it relaxing and peaceful. x 

We should all put our phones down sometimes

I’d like to talk a little bit about the damage that the overuse of smartphones has in general. Not just for dating, but for all relationships, and for yourself.
The first time I ever realised how reliant my generation had become on social media was at a fireworks display around New Year’s Day. As I snapchatted a video of the beautiful seaside display, I looked up and noticed that not one person stood around me appeared to be present. Every. Single. Person. There. appeared to be watching the display through a lens of some description. As a media graduate, I adore expressing myself through photography, but at that moment I realised how often I would forget to open my eyes experience things first hand. No amount of megapixels or panoramic view will ever surmount to the beauty one can capture in their memory with their own eyes.
As a millenial myself, I’ve often been guilty of spending far too much time on my phone. I am aware I’m extremely active on social media, I probably spend a great deal of time laughing and sharing memes my Facebook friends have shared. My mother always upheld a strict “no phones at the dinner table” rule. As a moody teenager, this was an abhorrent concept to me; recently, however, I’m beginning to think she might have been onto something.
The idea for this blog came to me while I was sat in a coffee shop waiting for my friend, observing interactions between three sets of two people. Two of the pairs consisted of a young man and a young woman.
The first pair consisted of a man and woman, probably about my age, if not a little older. The conversation seemed to have many awkward lulls. While looking down, they would look up occasionally, laugh, and then their head would be pulled back down, almost as though it were drawn by a magnetic force.
The second pair were talking enthusiastically, smiling and using exaggerated hand movements. It was pleasant to witness two people enjoying each other’s company like that. From observing the way they looked at one another I would guess that they were in the early stages of dating. By contrast, I realised I couldn’t guess at the relationship between the first pairing at all.

Then, I noticed the one difference between the couples. The first pair had no phones on the table.
I wanted to say that the second pairing was a first date going badly, but as a millennial I am all too familiar with the concept of smartphone addiction. I’ve seen couples I am friends with myself, sat at dinner staring at their mobiles and forgetting to speak to one another. Some people almost look as they are on different dates.
The third couple, and perhaps the most tragic of all, appeared to consist of an elderly woman and a young man. Perhaps her son. The older lady appeared to make several attempts at initiating conversation with the gentleman, whom unfortunately seemed all too concerned with the device in his hand. This genuinely upset me a little. How rejected she must feel, I thought, to be sat opposite someone who seemingly appreciates your presence so much they cannot take their eyes off an LCD screen long enough to engage in even the smallest of conversations.

Basic manners aside, you may argue, how else are you supposed to stay on top of a constant flood of emails, social media updates, texts, and calls?
For the next fortnight I’m going to experiment by making a small step, nothing too drastic, but I’m going to implicate a no-phones-around-others rule. Notwithstanding small exceptions for occasional messages to my husband if I am engaged for extended periods of time, and of course the occasional commemorative selfie. I’m hoping that by putting my phone in my bag that bit extra I will be able to show my loved ones how significant they are by giving them the most important thing of all. Time.