I’m crazy, I’m sorry

Today started out great. I had a decent night’s sleep (bar a dream about T-rexes that were trying to eat me and the people I was with). I played some Animal Crossing in bed, and was really happy about getting an upstairs and moving things around inside my house. I’ve even customised the outside and will have a new look to my house entirely tomorrow which I am excited about. I got a Facetime call from my two best friends in Norway and ended up talking with them for over an hour which was amazing.

Then I started feeling annoyed. Annoyed at Animal Crossing, hating my island and the way it looks, impatient for upgrades and houses to move, annoyed with the trees, and jealous of everyone posting pictures on twitter with these beautiful islands, both super symmetrical and random ones which both look really cute and are things I can’t do (without directly copying them anyway…). Now I’m feeling irritable and snappy with everyone and everything – people on twitter (not even interacting with them, just seeing tweets), people I live with, cats, the sun, the game, TV shows, youtubers and their let’s play series… everything is just pissing me off and I don’t know why and I wish I could stop it because I don’t want to take my mood out on anyone.

I tweeted that. Got replies that it’s cabin fever, it’s due to the lockdown and not being allowed to go anywhere. Now, I don’t really go anywhere anyway, since moving to England – I only know the people I live with, plus some people online, no one living in the village or towns nearby, I don’t go out to see people, and if I do go to town it’s usually because of a specific shop or an errand like the bank. Then I realised, at least we used to have the option of travelling, going to cities nearby or anywhere in the country really, for days out and overnight trips, and we can’t do that anymore now, and we don’t know when we’ll next be able to.

I want to go to Lincoln, to Peterborough, to London. I want to finally go visit friends I’ve known online for years. I want to visit places I’ve never been before. There’s a baker I know of further south in the country and I really want to order a giant cookie or cupcakes from her and go down there with a fork in my pocket to pick up my baked goods and eat them before travelling back home (insert gif of Joey from Friends, from the episode with the all the cheesecakes)!  Check out her Insagram feed here.

I think it’s safe to say I’m going a bit stir-crazy. And I’m sorry if I’ve ever taken my shitty mood out on you, dear reader; I promise I didn’t mean it, and I’ll work hard to prevent it from happening again.

Love, Julie

Stay. The Fuck. Inside. #stayhome

It seems that, once again, not for the first time and probably not for the last, that I’ve taken a year long hiatus from blogging. I used to love it – when I was in high school, there was a point in time where I’d blog daily, multiple times a day even, and then I just… quit. When I moved to the city and started uni and turned 20, I could no longer keep a blog that had “teenager” in the name/url and where the url couldn’t be changed. The urge to blog came back a couple of years later and I started this blog, and I’ve been using it on and off since. I suppose, with everything happening in the world right now, I’m once again in need of an outlet… Random introductory paragraph. Anyway:

The world right now is in a weird state. Bar one trip to the corner shop on a Saturday evening 4 weeks ago now, there was a time I didn’t leave the house for 14 days straight. For me, that’s a long time. I told my mother this on the phone, and she ordered me to go for a walk. Norway and the UK are at different stages with the Corona virus situation and while we here in the UK took longer to lock down, close schools, close everything that isn’t essential, we’re not only allowed out for one form of exercise per day, necessary shopping, and to take care of older/family members who have to self-isolate (a lot of these terms get mixed up, but the way I see it we should all be socially distancing ourselves, while those who are more fragile self-isolate to further reduce the chance of catching the virus, and “quarantine” is for those who have actually got the virus, might have got the virus, or live with someone who have or might have got it). I place myself in the first group – social distancing, but I don’t need to isolate myself to protect myself or my family, so I can go out for exercise and essential shopping. But I was still isolating myself. Still, I followed my mother’s orders and went for a walk that afternoon. It was incredibly nice, the weather was lovely! But it almost felt eerie, being outside, like I was risking something, or feared being caught. I wore exercise clothes and had nothing on me except for a water bottle, my phone, and headphones, so I think it was clearly visible why I was outside, but I still felt like I shouldn’t be. I’ve been on a few more walks since then… But the world feels like a weird place these days.

It’s Easter now, Good Friday was yesterday, and technically it’s a bank holiday weekend now. I’ve heard stories that British people are flocking to the beach to enjoy the nice weather – as if it’s just a regular Easter weekend. To those doing that, I would like to say this is not okay. Walking ON the beach, if you live near it, might be okay, as your daily exercise, but it is NOT OKAY to travel to the beach in your car, or bring blankets or picnic baskets, it’s not okay to sit down and enjoy time with your family on the beach, because the moment you do that you’re not exercising, you’re not doing essential shopping, you’re having a day out. I saw a news clip on twitter where someone said that although the vast majority of people are following the rules, there are still some people who aren’t, and that they need to get in line and start doing what we’re told or else they will have to ban all outdoor activity altogether, meaning we cannot go for walks or runs or bike rides, we will be confined to our homes entirely.

I’m perfectly fine sunbathing in my garden, BBQ-ing in my garden, eating a picnic in my garden, doing strength exercises on the living room floor on my yoga mat, but the one thing I cannot do at home is walk. It doesn’t take me more than 20 steps to get anywhere in my house, as we live in a small bungalow, and although I haven’t tested I doubt it takes me more than about 15-20 steps to walk across the garden each way either. I am very passive when confined to the house, there’s nowhere to walk, no stairs to take, and I basically move between the bed, the PC, the fridge, and the toilet.

YOU CAN BE OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE, ON YOUR PROPERTY. You can do anything you go to a park or the beach to do, in your garden. But most of us cannot go for a walk around our own houses, because there isn’t anywhere to go. So please, just stay home and enjoy the weather in your garden, or on your balcony; open the doors and windows and by all means enjoy the weather – I’ve sunbathed in my bikini from inside the living room before! But please don’t leave your property for anything other than exercise and essential shopping, and of course work if you’re a key worker. For the sake of all of us. Many will suffer, mentally and physically, if confined to their house at all times, and if you can do this now, we’ll all be allowed out fully sooner, rather than later.

Happy Easter.

Love, Julie

Cosmetics Haul – Primark and Revolution ✨

Hello everybody! How are you? Well, I hope! Today I have a post coming with items and swatches from the last few days – yesterday I went to Lincoln for a day, I saw Avengers: Endgame (no spoilers but I loved it), and of course went into Primark! I didn’t buy much, but I wanted a few makeup things, and I got some other items as well. And today a box arrived from Revolution with some things I ordered last week, plus a goodie bag! I’ll put that last. The deal to get the goodie bag is still on as of right now (3pm, 1st of May), so if you want these items go spend £30 to get your £28 value bag of free goodies!! Every time they put the deal on it’s a new bag of goods compared to the previous one, and every goodie bag within the same deal will be the same, so don’t go spending £30 twice thinking you’re gonna get different stuff, you’ll just get two of the same alright, save the next purchase for the next time they put goodie bag deals on! I got this one, and I got one that I ordered at the end of January and got delivered at the start of February, but I think they’ve done one I between as well, so they do seem to do these quite often.

But without further ado, let’s get into it! We’ll start with the Primark haul!

Here’s a picture of everything I bought:

The Mentos chewing gum was because we really wanted chewing gum yesterday. And the breath spray, because I wanted to try it (it tasted delicious). I also got me some in-soles, the ones for the front of your shoes, and the ones to put behind your heel to reduce friction or to use when the shoes are too large (I have a pair of heels I plan to put these in). Then I got some “lace footies”, basically thin socks for ballerina flats. I like these lace ones, they have the anti-slip underneath, which makes them great in flats that are leather/smooth on the inside (as opposed to fabric)! So I got them in nude and white, I have nude and black already from before.

Everything else was cosmetics.

I got myself some face masks – a soothing aloe vera mask, a hydrating coconut mask, a d a brightening peel-off pomegranate mask! I haven’t tried either of these, but they were 80p each and I love face masks! Pro tip: use a flat foundation brush to apply them, much better than using your fingers, and those brushes are pretty much useless for anything else (they leave my foundation streaky so I never use them for that)!

I got me some new lip liners – I actually doubled the amount of lip liners I own with this purchase haha! This is what they look like:

This is in the same order as above. “Toast” is a brown nude, “Spice” is a darker brown nude, “Ruby” is a more bright red, and “Victoria” is on the deeper side. I expect the red ones will go nicely with the next items, and the nude ones will go nicely with some other lipsticks I have from before!

These next ones are lipsticks I first saw on Primark’s Instagram profile: the Primark x Miss Gloria lipsticks! I wanted all four, but the Primark I went to didn’t have “Everyday Goddess” or “You Do You, Babe”, so I only got “Powerful Woman” and “She Is Fearless”, both red ones.

I love the mechanism here – you push the bottom and it pops out like this, then you can pull the lid off. When you’re finished you push the bottom back in again, and the lid stays on!

“She Is Fearless” is a brighter red, and “Powerful Woman” is a darker red mauve colour, from the looks of it.

I swatched “She Is Fearless” first:

On the right I only went back and forth a couple of times, whereas on the left I went over it multiple times to see how the colour would change. As you can see, it got more intense and more bright with multiple layers.

Then I swatched “Powerful Woman”:

To be honest I expected this one to be much darker, definitely not as pink. And as I went over it multiple times… It didn’t get darker, just less opaque. I’ll still wear this, it’ll be nice for summer I’m sure, but I expected a much darker browny red.

After swatching this I went back to “She Is Fearless” to swatch it next to it, to see the difference on my skin… And the lipstick broke. It was £2.50 so not a huge loss, but I was still upset. I’m gonna try and fix it by melting the edges in the tube and “glue” it back together, well see if it works. If not, I can still use a lip brush to apply it, it’ll just be harder to bring with me when I go somewhere…

Lastly, I got a mascara. I only have two working ones at the moment and I’m not 100% happy with either. Primark isn’t exactly shy when it comes to dupes and the packaging, it’s usually pretty obvious, and this looked like a dupe for the L’Oréal flash lash wings butterfly effect mascara which I love but haven’t been able to get for a while. I don’t have high hopes but we’ll see!

That’s it for the Primark section, now let’s move on to the Revolution stuff!

Firstly – THANK YOU REVOLUTION for reducing plastic waste by limiting bubble wrap and just strapping the products to a piece of cardboard with cling film! So much easier for me to dispose of as well! The brown piece of cardboard just pulls straight out of the box and the clingfilm is easy to rip off.

Here’s everything I ordered. This was quite a highlighter heavy haul, I won’t lie. I’m kind of obsessed with it… So, what we have here are 5 single highlighters, one bronzer, a brow pomade, two contour and highlighter sticks, a setting spray, and two packs of skincare products – “never basic” , and “always extra”.

The skincare products are a fairly recent launch of Revolution’s, they made these little 5ml bottles and put them into two separate sets so people like me can try a few different once before buying the full sized bottles, it’s genius really!

I only got one picture of all six products but the “never basic” set is on the left and the “always extra” set is on the right. The following descriptions are taken from the Revolution website:

Plumping & Hydrating Solution – 2% Hyaluronic Acid
Thirsty? Drink up with our hydration hero! The ultimate ingredient for dehydrated skin, Hyaluronic Acid attracts moisture to the skin’s surface for lasting hydration that plumps up dehydrated skin – leaving your complexion looking smoother, healthier and feeling silky soft.

Fine Line Correcting Serum – 0.2% Retinol
Ideal for sensitive types or those new to Retinol, this all-round skin booster uses a low concentration of retinoid to improve the appearance of skin. A form of Vitamin A, this ingredient encourages the natural cell turnover of your skin to reveal a smoother complexion, softened appearance of fine lines and more even tone.

Blemish and Pore Refining Serum – 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc
Meet our skincare hero for oily skin types prone to blemishes, congestion and enlarged pores. Using two skin-friendly ingredients, Niacinamide and Zinc, this lightweight and gentle serum helps to reduce the appearance of active blemishes and prevent further congestion, whilst regulating the skin’s natural oil production and soothing the skin. (Source)

Conditioning Serum – EGF Serum
Nourish lacklustre skin with some plant-based goodness! This lightweight and versatile skin-conditioning serum is our unsung skincare hero for giving skin a fresh and healthy look while softening the appearance of fine lines.

Nourishing Oil – CBD OIL
Meet our favourite skin super ingredient! Formulated with cannabidiol (an extract from the flowers and leaves of non-drug hemp), this groundbreaking ingredient helps to calm and soothe skin prone to dryness and sensitivity with its ultra-nourishing properties and high concentration of rich fatty acids.

Rosehip Seed Oil – Gold Elixir
Rich in essential fatty acids, this ultra-nourishing oil promotes supple skin and even texture. The added subtle gold flecks instantly boost radiance for skin that’s as good as gold! (Source)

I know Revolution has many other serums and skincare items like these (here), but I’m happy I get to try a few different ones like this, and they’re only £5 each! The only one I had from before was the hyaluronic acid one, but I look forward to trying the rest! I’m especially excited for CBD Oil and Gold Elixir!

The setting spray I got is just the green tea scented fixing spray from I ❤️ Revolution, it was £6, and had good reviews, and my other revolution spray is running low so I thought I’d just try a different one this time.

I’ve never had a brow pomade in my life. I’ve had tons of different pencils, from the ones that need sharpening to the twist-up ones to the skinny twist-up ones, and also a lot of different powders, but never a brow gel or a pomade. So I thought I’d try. I got the shade medium brown, I don’t really like how it looks on my hand but I think it’s about the same as the brown pencils from Primark that I’ve been using and I think it’ll be fine once it’s on my face.

Contour sticks is another item I’ve never had before – I’ve only used powder contour and bronzing. I got Medium 1 and Medium 2, I didn’t find a light one in there, and I knew the dark one would be too dark. These looked pretty similar in colour on the website, one looked more pink and the other more yellow, but 02 is a lot darker in person than 01, but again, they were really cheap and I’m sure I’ll find uses for all four shades!

I’ve actually never bought a single bronzer shade, ever. I once got a thing that was like half bronzer/contour, half highlighter from Physicians Formula, the first contour/bronzer/highlighter product I ever bought (more on that in a post coming soon), but other than that all contour and bronzers I’ve used have been in kits/palettes alongside highlighter and/or blush. So this is my first single full-on bronzer, with a little sheen to it, too! I’ve only used matte products before, as my forehead tends to get oily, but I’m starting to like more shimmery products on my skin now that the weather is nicer and my skin has gotten less oily as I’ve gotten older. For example, I recently used shades from the “Strobe Lighting” palette to set my face, and the “Gradient highlighter: Sunlight Mood Lights” as blush (both from my last revolution haul, post here). So I really look forward to wearing this on my face sometime soon! 😁 Oh, and this is the Reloaded Bronzer in the shade “Holiday Romance”.

Last but not least, the highlighters! I have been eyeing these for a long time. And I mean like, two months. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t too positive in my first impressions post of my last Revolution haul and the free things I got in the goodie bag then, but the Skin Kiss highlighter in “Ice Kiss” grew on me quickly once I started putting it on my face. It’s glittery! And so pretty. Many of my old favourite highlighters seem dull by comparison now… I quickly started watching reviews, especially Sophdoesnails’ videos (here and here) about the skin kiss ones, and the “Frozen Kiss” caught my eye quickly – she described it as a more silvery one than “Ice Kiss”. So I decided to get it! I also considered “Star Kiss”, but reviews said it was more blue in person and I already have a blue-toned single highlighter, I don’t need another.

Now, the highlighter section of Revolution’s website is a bit of a maze. There are a lot of products on there. I prefer powder highlighters, especially when I wear a full face of makeup – creme ones are better for when I just wear some concealer and eyebrows and mascara maybe. Anywhoo… I noticed the Reloaded highlighters and the Strobe highlighters the most. And I noticed a lot of shades seemed really similar. So I did some more research, watched some more videos. More of Soph, and this person and this person…

And in the end I narrowed it down to two highlighters from each range: “Set The Tone” and “Just My Type” from the Reloaded highlighters, and “Magnitude” and “Supernova” from the Strobe highlight range. Plus “Frozen Kiss” of course.

From left to right on my hand, you see “Frozen Kiss “, “Set The Tone “, “Supernova “, “Magnitude “, and “Just My Type”. I included two full-sized pictures here so you can see them up close and from two different angles – especially the one on the right by my knuckles looks quite different in the two photos, I think.

From the pictures below I’ve flipped the pans around so you can see the names on the back of each one.

“Frozen Kiss” is a silvery white, and quite glittery. I expected nothing less, as “Ice Kiss” is very glittery as well (which is why I think I hit pan in about one month of using it, that it’s very glittery and also has a bit of kickback). I look forward to using it on my face a lot, although I think it’ll be more of a wintery shade for me.

“Set The Tone” is almost completely white. If I had to pick one, I’d say it leans more towards silver than gold, but really it’s right in the middle and not particularly either one of them. It’s just so very white. And beautiful! Shiny, but not glittery.

The two Strobe highlight shades were the most exciting ones for me. Looking at them in the pans, I struggle to tell the difference. There was also a chance they’d not be very shiny. Remember the “Strobe highlighting palette” I got for free last time (link here, so you don’t have to scroll)? The white-green duo-chrome was bright and beautiful, but the pink and gold ones were so matte I’ve been using them to set my foundation with lately! Fortunately, that was not the case with the two I got, they’re both very shiny and bright and beautiful. “Magnitude” is a pale yellow gold, perfect for my pale skin. “Supernova” is more of a white gold to me, it’s not silver the way “Frozen Kiss ” and “Set The Tone” are, on my hand anyway. But definitely not as gold-gold, or yellow-gold as “Magnitude”.

The last Reloaded highlighter, “Just My Type”, looked like it was gonna be a darker gold, something I could use in the summer. To my surprise, it has rosy undertones, it’s more of a rose gold colour on me! I’m not really into pink highlighters at the moment, but I’m really excited to try this on my face! It’s more peach than straight up pink, but in other lights it looks more gold, which I find super exciting!

To sum up the highlighters, the Skin Kiss one is more glittery than the Reloaded and Strobe highlighters. And just because a shade looks similar to another shade, it might not actually be. There was another strobe one I considered – “Northern Lights” it’s called. But the reviews I found said it has a green shift to it, and from what I saw it looks pretty much identical to the white one in the “Strobe Lighting” palette, and I don’t need another green toned highlighter anytime soon if I’m being honest. I’ll still use it but I don’t need a duplicate!

Alright, that’s all the things I bought which came to a total of £41, and therefore I got a free goodie bag! Let’s have a look at that:

As before, the goodie bag items game in a separate package (in the same box), all black and bubble wrapped on the inside, and it contained 4 items this time too, which were as follows:

I ❤️ Revolution “Mermaid’s Heart” eyeshadow palette

I ❤️ Makeup Unicorn Tears Silicone Sponges

I ❤️ Makeup Lip Lava liquid lipstick in the shade “Shockwave”

I ❤️ Makeup “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” eyeshadow palette

I have never tried a silicone makeup sponge before. I saw it in ads on Facebook a long time ago, and then I watched Tati Westbrook try one and fail (here), while others have loved them, so I’m not quite sure what to think. I’ve never bothered buying one to try. But now I’ve got three free ones and I look forward to seeing how I get on with these! Maybe they’ll work with face masks too.

This lip product… Probably won’t get much use with me, to be honest. It is HOT PINK. It is more like a gloss than a lipstick though, so maybe… We’ll see. I have to try it with a neutral eye look someday and see what it looks like. It has vitamin e in it, which is good. First impression not great, but who knows!

The eyeshadow palettes was what I was most excited about. I’ve seen the “Mermaid’s Heart” one along with unicorn and dragon palettes before so I had an idea what to expect, even if I didn’t remember exactly, I knew it was very… Oceany. I knew nothing regarding the “Parental Advisory” palette at all, and even so, I did not expect this:

IT IS HUGE. 36 shadows. THIRTY SIX SHADOWS. And 12 in the “Mermaid” palette. I’ve just got 48 eyeshadows FOR FREE. How mad is that?! And I just got 7 new blue/turquoise shades which I’ve been craving lately, but I was hesitant about buying a palette like the blue donut or the “Deep Dive” Reloaded palette because realistically, how much would I really use them? But look at them… How gorgeous are they?! Let’s have some swatches:

Look at how beautiful these are… With each shade, I swirled my finger in the pan, went back and forth over the shadow twice, and then repeated. Absolutely stunning. A beautiful mix of mattes and shimmers, even distribution actually. I can’t wait to play with this palette! I even feel like the two palettes compliment each other nicely too, don’t you think?

Next I have some swatches of the “Parental Advisory” palette, now because there are so many shades I actually had to divide it in two, and I did the top two rows first, then the bottom two rows:



I’ve kept the pictures full size here so you’ll be able to really see what’s in each row clearly and appreciate the colours because wow I am amazed!

Not all of these shades were super pigmented but I think there is a ton of super stunning shades in this one! There are several highlighting shades inn here, one or two that’d be possible to use in my eyebrows, and other than that, many stunning shadow and liner colours! I see some shades I’m sure I have in other palettes, but also a lot of unique ones.

And, is anyone else getting Urban Decay Naked palettes vibes from this? I see a lot of Naked and Naked2 in the neutrals here, also a few shades from Naked Reloaded, and some from Naked Smoky – tell me I’m not crazy?!

That is all for today! This was a long post, but I had so much fun trying all of these products and I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading about them!



PS: I started writing this entry at 3.15pm, it is now 7.05pm… (it’s taken me about an hour to fix the pictures (arrange into mosaic tiles etc, so not actually taking the pics, I did that before I started writing), edit, add abut 5000 tags… and before that I was writing everything out on my phone! But still. That’s a lot of time spent on a blog post, holy sheet…).

Urban Decay ‘Game of Thrones’ Collection

It is finally here! The makeup collection that Urban Decay has been teasing for months on their Instagram page – the Game of Thrones collection! To view the full collection, this link will take you to their UK website where you can see the eyeshadow palette, highlighter palette, lipsticks, eyeliners, lip & cheek stain, and the full vault of everything including two eyeshadow brushes shaped like Longclaw and Needle (Jon and Arya’s swords).

As soon as I found out about it (which was later than a lot of people, I’m sure, as I tend to kinda live under a rock when it comes to a lot of things), I knew I’d want it. Maybe not all of it, but definitely some of it. They revealed the whole collection on their website weeks before the launch, and included a countdown, giving everyone plenty of time to look at the items and decide what they wanted. For me, it quickly became clear that the only product I really really wanted, was the eyeshadow palette. Had I had £198 to spend on the vault I probably would have gotten it, but living on a budget with very few splurges at this point in my life, I decided I could get one thing and one thing only, and my choice was an easy one to make: I don’t use eyeliner pencils. I just don’t like using them. The colours were cool, but I don’t use them normally so why would I use these? None of the lipsticks REALLY spoke to me. I have a lot of lip products (as you will see in a later post, I am working on a makeup inventory one as well), and I struggle to get through them enough as it is. Plus, they are expensive for just one lipstick! I most likely wouldn’t be able to use any of the highlighters. I adore the packaging, but I don’t really like pink highlighter and both of the gold ones looked way too dark to work for me as well. The lip and cheek stain was intriguing, but again, I have a lot of lip products, and I struggle enough to use up the powder blushes I already have (seriously, I’ve had MAC “peaches” since 2014 and there’s only a slight dent in it, doesn’t look like I’m close to hitting pan even). The brushes, had I been able to purchase them individually, would’ve been cool to have as collector’s items, but I couldn’t, and no doubt they’d’ve been really pricey as well. So what’s left, is the eyeshadow palette. £45 for 20 eyeshadows really isn’t that bad, and I know I like the formula of my other UD eyeshadow palettes. Plus, it really seemed like the highlight of the whole collection!!

I was up before 8am on Sunday the 14th, release day, to be ready to order at 8. By 8.06 I was checked out. I received it at mid day on the 18th. The following pictures were taken as I unboxed the item:

We’ll get to swatches and the actual eyeshadows in a second, but first I want to talk a bit about the packaging, and the names. Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions, they are subjective, and you’re certainly free to disagree. Also remember that for the following 8 paragraphs I am not talking about the eyeshadows specifically, nothing to do with the formula or shades, but pure packaging, colour story, and name choices.

First thing first: I love this product. As a collection item, it’s magnificent. It’s a big box, big mirror, an actual iron throne, a couple of quotes, one of which is one of my favourites in the whole show. As a makeup item, the packaging isn’t exactly the most practical. It is huge. It takes up a lot of space, I actually have it sitting on my desk because shoving it in my drawer will mess up the order of everything else. There is a lot of stuff here I don’t need. Or at least, that I wish was optional. My only real wish for change, packaging wise, is that the pull-out drawer of eyeshadows had a lid itself, something like the original Naked palette, just a small magnetic one. so that I could store the eyeshadows in my drawer and put the throne on a shelf for show. I’ve seen people complain that the palette itself doesn’t have a mirror so you have to put it down to pick up a mirror, but that’s not really an issue for me, as I’m used to that with a lot of the items I have anyway.

Now let’s have a look at the colour story and names for this palette. I’ve inserted pictures below so you can see them more clearly, apologies if they are a little blurry, my phone camera tends to only want to focus on one thing, I guess I should really use an actual camera where I can change the aperture and do macro photography for this, really…

The palette is divided into four sections. You can refer to them as locations: North of The Wall/Hardhome, Winterfell, Kings Landing, and Bay of Dragons (Dany’s new name for Slaver’s Bay which she liberated one city after another before departing Essos for Westeros). Or you can refer to them by names: White Walkers/Freefolk, Stark, Lannister, Targaryen. Personally I prefer the latter, and to use Freefolk for the top one. There really is no rule to how you choose to refer to each section of this palette. But I do like that they’ve sectioned it off. Now that so many of the major houses and families are gone, these really are the main players left – the White Walkers, the Freefolk, the Starks, the Lannisters, and the Targaryens, and those loyal to them (such as the Ironborn, the Bear Islanders, and others). But I guess if you really think about it, they were the major players from the start as well, weren’t they, and the other houses pledged their allegiance… but enough show analysis! Let’s get to my thoughts on the colours and names.

There are a lot of different shades here, practically the whole colour wheel! Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet… And black, and silver, and gold, lots of gold! With these shades, you can create practically any look you want.

In the top/first section, I feel like the icy blue shade really should have been titled “White Walker”, for the colour of their eyes, while a more icy, snowy, cold white or silver could have been called “Frozen North”. “Take the Black” is a fitting name for a black shade so I have no issues with that. “Free Folk”, though a stunning shade, could probably have been some sort of different colour, maybe a cool toned matte transition shade of some sort, I don’t know. It is beautiful! “Hardhome”… I have no specific feelings about, really!

In the second section, I have more issues with the names… None of the dire wolves were orangy brown, so why is that first shade named “Nymeria”? And wouldn’t “Winter is Coming” be a more fitting name for a brassy brown shade, rather than “Winter is Here”, what with being both the words for the Stark house and relating it to the fact that none of the Stark children had seen winter until now? “Weirwood Leaves” is fine, and I guess I have no issues with “The Sight”, although I don’t associate any kind of green with those words, but I do like the woodsy green colour in this section a lot! Now that I think of it, maybe it has some connection to the Children of the Forest, their green eyes, the foresty green of this shade… Hm. Maybe it’s not that badly named at all. My issues are not with the shades, I love the colour story, it’s the names of the shades I don’t particularly like (not for all of the shades though, some are quite fitting”.  And while gold goes really well with the other colours in this section, it’s not really what I associate with Winterfell, and there’s so much more gold to come in this palette, they could perhaps have chosen a different colour here, maybe something more silvery (but don’t get me wrong this shade is stunning, as you’ll see a bit later!). The shade “Free Folk” here, maybe, and then a cool toned matte in “Free Folk”s place in the top section would’ve been lovely, I think!

For the third section, “Red Keep”, “Casterly Rock”, and “Lannister Red” are all perfectly named shades in my opinion; the colours and the names go well together, even though “Lannister Red” is maybe just a slight bit too brown – although for me that makes it more wearable. What confuses me here is why a peachy pink shade has been called “House Lannister” – surely something more red and gold would go better here? Peach is definitely not a colour I associate with the Lannisters, The Rock, or Kings Landing… Speaking of Kings Landing, the shade with the same name is beautiful and glowy and regal, but I almost feel like “Winterfell” would’ve fitted more in this section, due to it being the capital city and where the royal family lives, and “Winterfell” is more of a regal colour to me. That being said, “Kings Landing” wouldn’t’ve fitted anywhere else either, to me, as a shade, unless perhaps in the last section, which we’ll come to next.

The fourth section, consists of two purples, two golds, and a pink. I reiterate, I absolutely love the shades themselves. I used all five of these in a look I did a couple of days ago, and I loved the look more than I thought I would (I don’t really wear purple eyeshadow). The two purples are different, and the two golds are different, but I feel that gold especially has already been covered, and perhaps it wasn’t necessary to have another two of them in this palette. “Stormborn” is indeed a stormy colour, it has dark undertones and I feel it’s appropriately named, given that Daenerys was born during a storm, and the Targaryens are known for their purple eyes. What I don’t associate with the family, is the gold shade named “House Targaryen”, given that their sigil is red and black, and their words are “fire and blood”. I would’ve thought something more dragon-like, or a purple shade here maybe. “Dothraki” I can see being a greeny gold colour, given that they roam Essos, there’s desert and the great grass sea… So I don’t really have any issues with that. But a colour called “Bend the Knee”? It should’ve been more powerful, not the summery lilac that it is (but again, stunning). Perhaps “Bend the Knee” and “House Targaryen” should’ve switched names? And lastly, “Bay of Dragons”… Another gorgeous shade, but I don’t really see the connection between the colour and the name, again. Thinking about the Bay of Dragons, the colour “Kings Landing” feels closer, more appropriate, than the pink in the last section, to me. It just feels a bit misplaced, I don’t associate pink with anything in the Game of Thrones universe, really. So while I love all the colours, I feel like this one had the most distance between the colours of the shades and the shade names.

Now. Let’s have a look at the colours themselves, some swatches, formula, texture… All the fun stuff! But this time, let’s go from the bottom and up! Keep in mind – these are all swatches done with my fingers, on the back of my bare hand, so they’ll most likely look different when applied on a primed eyelid with a brush. These swatches are a couple of layers each, they can be blended out into almost nothing, but I wanted to pack them on to see the colours properly.

Targaryen – Bay of Dragons

Earlier, I said that the bottom section has two purples, two golds, and a pink. And that’s true. But as you can see, they’re two very different purples, and two very different golds. “Stormborn” reminds me of a storm, you know those summer thunderstorms where everything goes dark really quickly but it’s not because it’s dark outside, it’s just the clouds? That kind of dark. It’s a beautiful shimmery purple with dark undertones. “Bend the Knee” however, is light and lilac, it almost looks pink from some angles. “House Targaryen” is a more sandy gold, more towards rose gold than yellow gold, whereas “Dothraki” is a yellow gold leaning towards green, and it’s brighter. “Bay of Dragons” is a rosy pink, a bit sheerer and more crumbly than the others even though they are all shimmers. Some have referred to the round shades as transformer shades, others as eyeshadow toppers, so that might explain the different texture.

In writing moment, these are the only shadows I’ve used on my eyes, as I haven’t worn makeup other than that one day since receiving the palette. They applied beautifully, but I think the colours faded a little over time, although it’s hard to tell, as I applied the shadows in daylight and it was dark by the time I went to remove my makeup. There was definitely shimmer fallout throughout the day though, I know that for a fact, as I applied my eye makeup first and my base after, but after a few hours I saw glitter on my cheeks that definitely wasn’t but there on purpose.

Lannister – Kings Landing


“Red Keep” is a beautiful copper red shimmer shade, exactly what I expected from the name, it really does remind me of the building in the show. “Casterly Rock”, another shimmer, is more brassy bronze, also stunning. As I wrote above, I don’t think “House Lannister” really suits its name, but it is nonetheless a beautiful peachy pink matte, great transition shade that goes with many of the colours in the palette. “Lannister Red” is an absolutely gorgeous matte shade as well, it’s a bit rusty, which I think makes it more wearable, and I can’t wait to wear it on my eyes! The topper/transformer shade is “Kings Landing”, a pale gold, almost looks like a highlighter from some angles on me. I bet it would look gorgeous on top of “Lannister Red”…

Stark – Winterfell

Along with the Lannister section, this is one that’s way up my alley when it comes to colour. First, “Nymeria” is a matte orangey brown, great transition shade. “Winter is Here” is a brassy brown again, slightly darker than “Casterly Rock”, but less shimmery, it’s got more of a satin finish I think. “Weirwood Leaves” has the same sort of finish, and it’s a beautiful burgundy red. “The Sight” has more shimmer to it than the previous two, and it’s a gorgeous forest green. “Winterfell” is the real gem in this section, it is like straight up glitter, except that it doesn’t require glue to stick down! It’s chunkier than the others, but it is a transformer/topper shade, supposedly, although with how pigmented it is I expect anything underneath it would actually be covered up!

Free Folk – White Walkers – Hardhome – Beyond the Wall

This is actually the section I struggled to name the most, haha. And I wanted to save the best for last, especially when it comes to that blue shade. Have you ever seen anything so gorgeous in your life?! But let’s do them in the same order as before, starting with “Take the Black”. This one, to me, was probably the least pigmented shade in the whole palette. To get it to that intensity you see on my hand, I went over it about 7 times with my finger to try and put more colour down (swirl my finger in the pan, go back and forth, swirl my finger in the pan, go back and forth… seven times.).  All the other shades I did the same thing twice with. Nevertheless, once I built it up, it is a stunning black with micro glitter in it – the black itself is matte. Second up is “White Walker”, a shimmery duochrome white blue shade, very frosty, very cold. To be honest, I’m surprised this isn’t the topper/transformer shade in this section. The highlight of the palette: “Frozen North”. I ONLY DIPPED AND SWIPED ONCE BACK AND FORTH WITH THIS SHADE! It’s definitely the most pigmented of all the shades in the palette. A beautiful shimmer! The next shade is “Free Folk”, a cool silver shimmer. And lastly, “Hardhome” is actually leaning towards pink, a pinky white colour, and warmer than the other colours in this section. This one I can also see being used as a highlighter, actually.

Now, I’m no expert when it comes to eyeshadow finishes. I can tell if a shade is matte or shimmery or in between (so, more satin or sheen), or straight up glitter, but I can’t really look at one and say that’s frost or metallic, not shimmer, or anything like that. So I’ve judged these shades to the best of my abilities, but I’m no expert. I did come across this post by Temptalia, which describes all the shades quite detailed, if you want to have a look. This post also lists all the dupes for this shade, how close of a match they are, and what the main difference is, so if you’re interested in any shades specifically, I’d definitely go check that out!

That’s it for this post on my thoughts of the Urban Decay Game of Thrones eyeshadow palette with my own swatches! There are already a ton of videos about this palette on youtube, the only one I watched before receiving the palette was this one by ThatGirlShaeXo, it was really the only video at the time I looked. Sophdoesnails did her own video (here) that I watched after receiving my palette but before trying out the colours. I think it might be fun to do another post about this sometime soon, where I try the shades with and without the topper/transformation shade, so I can see them next to each other, sort of like, topper on one side, shadow on the other, and shadow with the topper on top in the middle, just to see what the toppers do to the shades!

What do you think of this collection? Too much over the top? Had so much potential? Overrated, didn’t live up to the expectations? Exactly what you wanted? Let me know in the comments! ❤



Quick Update

Good Monday, dear readers!

It is Monday the 22nd of April, Earth Day, Easter Monday, and a bank holiday. It has been nearly two weeks since my last blog post, two weeks minus two days, as the week before last I posted both on Monday and on Wednesday. Last Monday, I didn’t have a post prepared, and I was in no mental state to write one. The last two or three Mondays for me have been… hard. Bad mental health days. Why Mondays? I have no idea. It could have something to do with me being rejected for literally every job I have applied for in the last few months, a feeling I am unfamiliar with up until this point (I’ve had a few jobs, but I was also in school and uni and not technically in need of them, and I’ve only been rejected from two – one I group interviewed for, and one I never heard back from after applying). It’s exhausting…

I spent much of the weekend before last playing the open beta of Anno 1800, re-familiarising myself with the game, as the closed beta in February was my first time playing any Anno game (read my post about that here). The game released in full on Tuesday last week. I spent a lot of the week playing it, trying and failing, trying different settings, with and without pirates, trying different building styles… I’ve gotten to the point where I have some of each population class now. But my single player save is kind of a mess at this point. I really just wanted to get to the end, but it turns out I’m having a lot of issues with my trade routes and I need more engineers and investors to get further in the game but I also cannot upgrade my artisans to engineers or my engineers to investors because I’m unable to cover their basic needs, and I get riots because I cannot satisfy their happiness. Hopefully I can salvage this, I might actually go back in and downgrade so that I don’t have as many different population classes to try to satisfy at once. I could just start over, but that feels like giving up on an island I was actually very happy with up until this point, so I’ll probably try to fix it.

The weather’s been nice. Yesterday, I actually sat on the step in front of the house eating my breakfast outside. It reminded me of my grandmother, the one that’s passed away. When I was little and spending summers there, the sun was at the front of their house during the day, and she’d often say let’s eat on the stairs in front of the house! It was a new and exciting experience for me, not something we did at home. But she’d make me a sandwich and a glass of milk or juice and we’d sit on the steps eating breakfast in the sun. It’s something I’ve done in recent years at my parents house before work in the summer too, bring my coffee and my food outside and sit in the sun! Another thing I did yesterday was clear out the garage. I started at around 11-11.30, it was 3.30 when I finished, I didn’t realise how long I’d been at it for and it completely exhausted me for the rest of the day. It felt very good to have done it though! I spent the rest of the day lying in bed, cuddling a cat or two, and rewatching Reign on Netflix. I watched this show about two years ago, summer of 2017. I couldn’t remember all the things that happened in season 1, I thought for sure some of those incidents came later! And now that I’m approaching the end of season 2… There’s so much I didn’t remember. Despite the many, many flaws and historical inaccuracies (women’s hair and clothing to mention a couple), I do really like this show, I think the actors are brilliant, and a lot of the story pains me, which of course makes me like it because it has an affect on me. Today, my back is aching from the hard work of yesterday, but it’s a good ache. At least I’m not having another Monday infested by depression and anxiety…

I am writing this post at mid day on Monday. This will not be my only post for today though! I have another, which I’ve been working on over the last few days, which, providing my pictures being good, will be up tonight at my “normal” posting time. It is about the Urban Decay Game of Thrones makeup collection, which launched just over a week ago, on the same Sunday as the new and final season premiered! I’ve watched the first two episodes now. What do we think? I’ve heard some people refer to them as fillers, but I don’t agree – fillers are empty and play no part in the upcoming events, I think everything we’ve seen so far is definitely important for upcoming events. They’re builders, if anything. With a few bits and pieces to satisfy the audience (Arya in episode 2, I won’t say anything else, but you can’t deny that fans have been begging for it for years!).

By the way – the Easter egg arrived, and I put it in the back of a kitchen cupboard for a week. Then I got the two little packs of mini eggs out and had them last weekend. I didn’t get the actual egg from the kitchen until Wednesday night last week, and I’ve been eating a little bit every day. Since I count today as the last day of Easter, I will have the bit that remains today, probably tonight. All in all, things went well. The egg is so chocolatey that I feel ill if I have too much at once, which is actually a good thing, because it’s made it last!

I know I don’t have many people who read my posts, and I hardly ever actually get people talking to me in the comments, but I wanted to write this little update for my own sake. I’ve been so good at posting every Monday since the start of the year, last Monday was the first I missed, so to make up for it I’m posting two posts this Monday, and at least my post count is still up to date! Talk to me in the comments, tell me something good ❤



Living With Eating Disorders

A person who is an alcoholic, or a drug addict, can stay sober for 30 years, but that doesn’t mean they’re cured. They can’t just casually have a drink with everyone else, they can relapse at any moment in time, even though they’re sober and have been for a long time. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it illustrates the point.

Easter is coming up. Not yet, but soon. We do shopping once a week, and I was told to pick out which Easter Egg I want, it’ll be here tomorrow along with food for the next week. I have a hard time believing I’ll be able to leave it until Easter… Maybe that’s not a big deal to some, some people probably get a lot of eggs while they’re in shops and eats them like other sweets. But when I was young, we had a week off school, starting Friday before Good Friday, lasting through Easter Monday, and my brother and I wouldn’t usually get our Easter Eggs until the following weekend, because that’s when it really is Easter, not just Easter holiday from school. So I was brought up to enjoy my Easter egg during actual Easter, and I only got a small/medium sized one too.

You might think I’m overthinking this. That’s it’s not a big deal if I eat my egg before Easter, or that I can just leave it until Easter to eat it. I wish it were that simple.

I have super self-control when walking through a shop looking at all the good things. I have no issues walking down the candy aisle and smell all the chocolate in the air, I can just walk through and buy my things and leave, no biggie. But the moment I buy something, I have a really hard time not eating it once I get home. I’m just not wired to have a “snack drawer” or shelf or cupboard or whatever. It was fine when I was a child and my parents were in charge of handing out sweets to us (Saturday nights with TV, birthdays, Christmas, and Easter). But when I was, maybe around 10, my Mum started working away from home, that’s when the problems started.

I was fully aware of where to find cookies, sweets, and the chocolate spreads. And I was struggling in school, not with the material but with the social aspect. I’d come home and make myself two slices of bread with chocolate spread, a glass of chocolate milk, and a few pieces of chocolate, and watch 7th Heaven on TV while home alone. I was comfort eating. It made me feel better. This went on for several years.

The summer before I turned 15, I stopped eating meat. That’s a story for another time, if I haven’t already talked about it before, I actually don’t remember. My grandmother made a comment that I was gonna become skinny because of it. The same grandmother had earlier made comments on me being on the bigger side and asked whether I was the only one in my year in school who was. It stayed in my head. I’d already started working out a couple of years earlier, because my MP3 player broke, and my dad said he’d buy me a new one if I kept up my grades for summer term and started to exercise (he got me the 2nd generation iPod Nano, 2GB, which was a lot back then!). At some point, I started to notice the weight loss, and it drove me to keep going. I ate less and less. I exercised more and more. At the worst, I was down to one tiny bowl of cereal for breakfast, and a small portion of dinner that I couldn’t always finish, and I had dance class on Monday, PE on Tuesday and Thursday, aerobics on Wednesday, and I’d go running and biking on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I did strength exercises too, every evening before bed, which was what I’d started doing back when I wanted my MP3 player replaced (I still remember the first time: 10 push-ups, and 10 crunches, and I was aching a lot the next day. By the end I had a full hour’s worth of different exercises for my core, legs, and arms). I wasn’t healthy. I had headaches every day. I drank only water, and juice with dinner when the others had soda. I never ate sweets or crisps.

But here’s the thing. I never looked like someone with eating disorders. There weren’t any teachers or classmates who were worried about me. One teacher made a remark once, he’d seen me out running after school, said something about me being into jogging, when I rejected a Twist (which are like Celebrations) he offered me once (nothing creepy, I had to stop by school for a signature on something I’d forgotten, and he was in the teacher’s room). I never saw a doctor, I was never hospitalised or treated in any way. My parents knew something wasn’t right, I think, but we’ve never actually talked about it. Once when I’d been out jogging around mid-day on a weekend, and came home, I told my mum I wanted to go for a bike ride and she said absolutely not. And for several years after I got better, whenever I’d talk to my dad on the phone (when I’d just started uni), he’d ask me what I’ve eaten today. At this point, I was able to tell him the truth. A few years earlier (my first year of high school/upper secondary), I’d make up something about using my pocket money to buy something from the school cafeteria. That happened maybe twice during the year (other than ice coffee before science tests, which became a sort of ritual for me and a friend). So my parents were worried. But no one else had any reason to be. One girl made a comment on me becoming fit when high school started, but we were 15-16, a lot of people’s bodies changed over summer, she asked if I’d been working out and I said yes, but asked nothing further. I didn’t look like someone with eating disorders. But I had them. First one way, then the other.

eating disorder
plural noun: eating disorders
  1. any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits

I’m well now. Mostly. I’ve been mostly well for several years. I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most days. Sometimes I skip lunch, if I have a late breakfast and don’t want to have a late dinner. I don’t like eating late at night. I don’t like snacking, much. I try to eat mostly healthy. I still haven’t eaten meat since I stopped in the summer of 2007. The thing is, I know how easy it would be for me to relapse. With being unemployed, and away from my family and friends, with being located to mainly just one room in a small house, my mental health isn’t always doing so good. And a lot of the time I want to eat things I know I shouldn’t. Like yesterday, we had takeout pizza. We’re having Easter eggs being delivered tomorrow. And I’ve been craving sweets for hours, mainly due to talking about them with someone on twitter (really lovely conversation though!). I am able to not eat anything because I don’t have anything. I don’t even have cereal. But food is being delivered tomorrow, and I might go make tea in a bit, my hands are quite cold and I have a sleepy time tea. Sleep is another tool I use to control cravings and overeating; in writing moment it’s nearly 10pm and like I said earlier, I don’t like eating late, so I will have some water and/or some tea, and go to sleep, and breakfast will taste all the much better in the morning.

So you see which way I’m leaning at the moment. I want all the things I know I shouldn’t have. But then some days, I don’t want anything. Or I’ll be really healthy, those are the best days. But sometimes I feel like not eating anything at all, especially following a time of me eating things I know I shouldn’t. And I know I need to eat, and I do, and I have people around me who care about me and want me to stay healthy and well, who make sure I do, or at least that I don’t skip meals multiple days in a row, that’s really the danger I am in sometimes.

I’ve been mainly well for about 9 years now. Or at least 7, maybe 8. I started to get better around 9 years ago, but that too was a process that took some time. It took me more than 2 years to get back into eating lunch on a regular basis. And it’s always a process, it’s always going to be a process, it’s never going to end, I don’t think. And that’s really the point I wanted to get across here. I may never have been in any physical danger, or maybe I would have been if things hadn’t happened to change the course I was on, I don’t know. But I was never hospitalised or in danger of dying, and I never developed diabetes due to how I was living and eating. But even though I’m, for the most part, stable, for now, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t still spin one way or the other, it doesn’t mean I won’t relapse into comfort-eating or not eating at all. Every day, I work at making sure it doesn’t happen, by eating my meals, and getting the nutrients my body needs, but there are times when I feel bad and I eat a whole pack of Jaffa cakes, and there are days when I feel so bad about my weight or the shape of my body that I want to go on a water diet for a week, there’s no denying that. But for now, I’m fine, for the most part. Let’s hope this stupid Easter egg (that I cannot wait to eat, I got a Cadbury mini eggs one!!) doesn’t ruin any of that…

If you’ve made it this far, this is the end! Thank you so much for reading, I know this was a long piece; this is something that’s really personal to me, and that I haven’t really opened up about in the past. Please feel free to talk to me in the comments – but if you’re gonna be nasty, I’ll just delete you, so let’s keep it civil okay 🙂



When one door closes…

This is not a blog post with a metaphor for new beginnings and opportunities.

This is about actual doors.

After 26 years of life, I have realised that people are different. But I was always brought up to open and close doors quietly. Push the handle. Twist the knob. If we slammed a door in anger, one of our parents would come in after us. My brother and I had multiple talkings to because of slamming the front door, because it made the threads in the light bulbs close by break and my parents would need to buy more. Not to mention, it’s loud. Slamming doors was not a good habit to have. My parents furthermore have always been the kind of people to nap after dinner, for as long as I can remember. And if we as kids were going out to play, coming in for a glass of water, et cetera, door slamming was disturbing.

I’ve never understood people’s need to just push doors closed rather than actually close the door. It doesn’t save much time.

That’s not to say I haven’t done so myself. Sometimes it’s easier to push the door closed with my foot, if I’m carrying things in both hands for instance. But those times are few and far between. I’d rather put my stuff down and then go and close the door.

I guess I just don’t understand people’s need to make more noise than necessary…



April Fool’s Day

Today is April 1st. Or as may of us know it, April Fool’s Day. If you google April Fool’s Day, you might come across this definition:

April Fools’ Day or April Fool’s Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) is an annual celebration commemorated on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes often expose their prank by shouting “April fool(s)” at the unfortunate victim(s). Some newspapers, magazines and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in smaller letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in every country. Little is known about the origins of this tradition.

Aside from April Fools’ Day, the custom of setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon one’s neighbour has historically been relatively common in the world.                                                                                                        (Wikipedia)

I don’t like this day. I don’t believe anything I read on the internet today, especially Facebook status updates. There are a lot of tweets too. Someone just tweeted that they just stumbled through a street, way too drunk, and even wearing flats. I don’t believe it.

A few days ago, I came across this on Twitter:


The most common one I see is people announcing pregnancy and engagement. And it’s not like it’s harmful… I just think it’s incredibly pointless, not to mention unoriginal.

Sometimes I see some funny ones from the media, who have people trained to write and are able to come up with something witty or believable. BeautyBay posted on Instagram that they have a new palette out, the “Prima Doner” palette with “buttery, greasy texture” and “scented shades” with names such as Nuggets, Garlic Mayo, Pepperoni Pizza, and Extra Gravy. That was pretty funny. What’s funnier is people tagging their friends and asking about the price! I saw someone else posting about a unicorn lipstick too, although I can’t find that one on my feed at the moment. Superdrug sent out an e-mail advertising the new trend: Glitter ears, for festival season. A local newspaper back in Norway has an article out today with the 20 best pranks they’ve played throughout the years.

Personally, I just don’t think April Fools are funny. I don’t think it’s funny to pull pranks on people, and I don’t like it when people do it to me. I find the whole concept ridiculous. I wish we’d get rid of it. But I can’t change the mindset of the majority of the world, so for now, I guess I have no choice but to go through April 1st being suspicious of everything I read and everything people tell me; alternatively barricade myself in a room with books and movies all day for the rest of forever.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, there’s nothing harmful about trying to make people laugh by announcing ridiculous makeup palettes and fashion statements, but most of the stuff people do is ridiculous and some of it can be harmful towards others and my personal opinion is that not much good comes from this day and it’s really quite pointless.

I hope you have a good day and sorry for being so negative, it’s just my two cents on this day, that’s all.



App Review: ActionDash

Our cell or mobile phones are hugely important in this day and time, perhaps especially so to us millennials. I was born in the early 90s, so I’m kind of in the middle of the generation. I got my first phone for my 13th birthday, or a few days before actually. My brother, who is three years younger than me, was 11 or 12 when he got his first phone. Many millennials that I know are proud to belong to a generation that grew up playing outside, as am I, but we’re also proud that we encountered technology like phones and computers at a young enough age for it to become natural for us to use them, we’re not struggling in the same way as older generations, but we’ve also not been enslaved by technology from a really young age like the younger generations. When I was around 15, one of my grandmothers said that the mobile phone was the older children’s pacifier, and when I was 17 and on exchange (and got to experience unlimited texting for the first time) my host mother said that to teenagers the phone was like an extension to the arm. I know there are a lot of millennials who don’t use their phones a lot, but I am not one of them. I’m on my phone a lot. When I’m not on my phone, I’m on my tablet or PC, or in a movie theatre – I even have to put my phone away so I won’t get distracted when reading books. I know it’s bad.

I have seen Apple iPhone users talk on twitter about how their phones are notifying them of the amount of time they’ve spent on their phone. Philip DeFranco tweeted about how much time he’d spent on Twitter specifically, that he tried to justify it with needing to use Twitter for work, but then he said he couldn’t possibly justify spending that amount of time on social media because it’s not all for work. I don’t use iPhone, or any Apple products, and I have no desire to. My phone doesn’t have a built in function to track screen time, so I went looking through the Google Play store, and that’s where I found ActionDash, a free to use app with the option of purchasing a pro version that will remove ads, among other things. The free version lets you see all the info about your screen time over the past week, so of course I went ahead and tracked it for a week straight, not restricting myself, using my phone as I normally would, so in this post I want to take you on my journey of how I’ve been using my phone for the past week!

Introducing: ActionDash

Let’s start with Saturday, March 16th. When I open the app I get the picture you see below, and I can scroll back through the past week, the 16th being the earliest day I could view at the time I took these screenshots.

I made sure to take the screenshots not on the day but the following day, so the data would be complete. And this is what we see: A wheel showing the 4 most used apps of the day, as well as “others”, number of unlocks of the phone, and notifications received, and at the bottom, a graph showing how long each session in each app has been. In this first image, the bottom two lines are missing, but we can still get the gist of what the graph shows: 1 session lasted 20-30 minutes, another lasted 15-20, three sessions lasted 10-15 minutes, 23 lasted between 5 and 10 minutes, 17 3-5 minutes, and what the picture doesn’t show is 1-2 minutes and less than 1 minute, which has been the longest bar on every day that I’ve checked the app!

On this Saturday, the app I spend the most time in was Instagram, followed by Twitter, Google, and then Pokemon GO. From what I can remember, this was a very antisocial day for me, I stayed in bed the majority of the day with the TV playing shows and YouTube, and I was scrolling on my phone the majority of the time as well. I promise, most days I do not spend 8.5 hours actively on my phone!

Let’s have a look at the following few days of the week:

If we’re being honest, I don’t remember everything about all of these days, as I’m not writing it as we go, but I do remember some things so let’s see… As we can see from Sunday the 17th, I spent less than three hours on my phone that day, which was a better day for me emotionally than the 16th, I do remember that. I spent nearly half that time on Instagram, which I can easily see, as a lot of the time I’ll be scrolling on Instagram while watching stuff, it requires little to no concentration as I just take in the pictures and I don’t have to actually read the words like I do on Twitter. But still, we can see the same few apps repeated almost daily, Twitter and Instagram are on daily, which was no surprise. WordPress was on the wheel on the 19th, because I was reading a rather lengthy article, and I kept putting my phone down, and got distracted a lot, so I probably wasn’t actually reading the whole time, I just left the screen on when I put my phone down and the screen doesn’t black out right away. Let’s see, what else… Oh, Friday the 22nd – Google was my most used app! That was a bit surprising, but I know exactly why: I fell down a rabbit hole of wikipedia articles, which happens on occasion, this time it was reading up on Russian history, starting with Stalin, then Lenin, and then the Tsars that ruled the country up until the revolution in 1917. And because it’s wikipedia, every article contains links to other articles so I end up getting side tracked and yeah, that’s how that happened! I also spent quite a lot of time on YouTube that day – I usually watch YouTube on the TV, but we had to have repair people come by and then set up a new TV, so to stay out of the way I watched YouTube on my phone in another room. Saturday the 23rd was Community Day, so that’s why Pokemon GO won first place on screen time then, as the event lasted for 3 hours, although I wasn’t actually playing it the full time…

Now let’s have a closer look at the app itself:

This picture is from Sunday the 24th, if I’m not mistaken. Either way, it doesn’t matter, what I wanted to show you was the graph where you can see the app session length breakdown for the day. Out of 271 app sessions, 203 of them lasted less than a minute! Thinking about how that works in reality… one of two things happened: I got a notification, clicked on it, and went out of the app again, or I opened the app out of boredom and closed it again almost immediately. The first one isn’t that bad, in my opinion. The second one however, that’s the kind of stuff I want to avoid, a habit I really want to work on breaking. All those little one minute sessions, I really want to stop them.

You can also view the whole week in the same way you can each day:

Over the course of one week, I spent 33 hours and 4 minutes on my phone.

168 hours to a week.

56 hours spent sleeping, if I sleep 8 hours a day.

Sleeping and phone stuff comes to 89 hours, so let’s just say 90 hours of the week.

168-90=78. I’ve spent more than half my time sleeping and on my phone. 53%. For only 47% of my week have I been awake and not on my phone. That’s kind of scary.

Let’s have a look at some other ways you can track your screen activity using the app ActionDash.

If you click on the icons in the circle of the opening screen, you can view the stats for that app daily, showing the time spent in it over the past week, and hourly, showing the stats for the day:

At the top of the home screen, you have some icons you can click on and it shows you different things as well:

The first icon, the cake diagram, is the start screen, which we’ve already covered. Next to it you can view the stats for screen time. The next icon shows the stats for app launches. Next to that, you can view notification stats. Lastly, the padlock symbolises unlocks, and you can view the stats for that as well.

So as you can see, there is a LOT of things you can view and track in the free version of this app, which is what I’ve been doing. Like I mentioned at the start, it is also possible to purchase a pro version, which gives you the additional benefits of stats beyond 7 days, enhanced usage graphs, no ads, dark theme, advanced customisation, and the possibility of restoring manual backups. It’s a one time upgrade which will cost you about £5 (my app store which is in Norwegian Kroner says it’s 45,-). Is it necessary? I don’t think so. I don’t feel the need to track more than the past 7 days, and if I were to I’d probably do it manually every day as it goes by in my bullet journal.

Just to show you, this is what days beyond the past 7 look like:

I don’t know if these are accurate, or if they just show that I’ve spent some time in these apps. One of them shows six apps in addition to “other”, while the other one only shows three – it could be that you need to spend over a specific amount of time in the app before it shows in the pie chart, I don’t know. I just wanted to show you what it looks like if you don’t upgrade to the pro version.

Final Thoughts

Is an app like this worth it? Is there a point to tracking your screen time like this?

I think it can be useful, yes. By using an app that tracks your time, you can become more aware of how you’re ACTUALLY spending your time, and that’s not a bad thing.

When I first downloaded the app, I was a bit obsessed with checking in multiple times a day and see how the pie chart and time change. In writing moment, it’s 2.40pm, I’ve unlocked my phone 53 times, had 192 notifications, and spent 1 hour and 17 minutes on my phone. It would probably have been more if I hadn’t spent the past couple of hours working on this blog post. The obsession wore off over time, but the first couple of days… I spent a lot of time checking in on the app to see how I was spending my time!

Have I learned anything? Yes. I’ve learned that I am way too guilty of the crime of unlocking my phone for no reason, and checking in on apps for less than a minute.

Will I change anything going forward? Eventually, I would like to. I’d like to eventually blacklist a lot of the apps in Forest that I’ve had whitelisted for a few months now, to stay off my phone completely when I have a tree or a bush growing, and to spend time on my phone on purpose, not just picking it up out of boredom. Eventually, I would like to change the bars on the stats, so that the “less than 1 minute” bar goes way down, and some of the higher ones go up. I’d like to plan out that I can spend the next 10 minutes on Twitter, that I can go on Instagram in the morning and at night. That I can play Pokemon GO when I’m out on walks. Those kinds of things. I’d like to be more mindful when it comes to how I spend time on my phone, and this app helped me to see that.

Have to  ever tracked your screen time?

What do you think of it, is it useful?

Related posts: SleepTown App (stay off your phone at night) // 2018 in Trees (Forest: Stay Focused app) // A Very Satisfying Forest (Forest: Stay Focused app)




I need to say something, and it requires more than the 280 character limit in a tweet (do you remember when it was 140? And before the option to thread multiple tweets together before posting? How did we live?!).

Women. Recently I’ve unfollowed several of you on twitter for posting things along the lines of “all men are trash”. ALL MEN ARE NOT TRASH. Maybe you’ve had some bad experiences with some trashy ones, – cheaters, or men being dicks because you didn’t wanna sleep with them… They definitely exist. BUT SO DO GOOD ONES! But you know what? You’re never gonna meet them if you keep generalising and assuming everyone is gonna be like your ex or those men you meet on a night out or whatever.

And speaking of things we need to stop doing, as women, because we’re not doing ourselves any favours here. STOP CRYING RAPE WHEN THERE WAS NO RAPE. Yes you’re allowed to change your mind. If you’ve said you’ll sleep with someone, you can change your mind. You can change your mind at any point up until or during the act. If you’re going home with someone from the club and cjsnge your mind and you don’t want to sleep with them, LEAVE. If you’re in the middle of foreplay and you don’t want to continue, SPEAK UP. If you’re in the middle of having sex and you want to stop, SAY SOMETHING. What you CAN’T do, is go through with it, and then say you were raped when you regret your actions in retrospect!! Men and women, none of us are mind readers, and if you change your mind you need to SAY IT. You can use body language too, to signal that you’re not into doing it anymore, but unless you SPECIFICALLY SPEAK UP, you can’t expect the other person to know what you’re thinking or feeling because humans don’t work that way!

You have to realise, that if you go through the act without saying anything, and then accuse them of raping you, you’re hurting other people, people who weren’t involved in this at all, people who were ACTUALLY raped. It’s hard enough to be believed as a victim of rape, male or female, as it is, without other people hurting the cause and accusing people of rape when they didn’t say anything about it at the time. REGRETTING HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE DOESN’T MEAN THEY RAPED YOU. Rape is someone forcing you against your will at the time, not stopping when you ask them to, not respecting that you no longer wish to continue what the two of you were doing. If you went into it willingly and you didn’t say stop or no or that you’ve changed your mind, IF YOU DIDN’T WITHDRAW CONSENT at any point BEFORE OR DURING, YOU CAN’T WITHDRAW IT AFTER! You’re perfectly within your right as a human to regret doing what you did, but you have to deal with it like a fucking adult, you don’t go out and accuse the person of raping you – it hurts them, their life can be ruined by an accusation like this, and it hurts everyone else who is struggling to be believed that they were raped in the first place.

We need to do better, to be better. All of us. It’s not feminist to say that all men are trash. It’s misandrist. That’s the flip side of misogynist, which I also can’t stand. And I’m sick of seeing it everywhere, especially on twitter. Men are not better than women. Women are not better than men. We are all people, all of us are capable of being horrible, or being good. And I’m seeing way too much of people being horrible. It’s sickening. I wish we’d all stop and focus on what’s good in the world, what we can do to be good people, to be better, to do better.

Thank you for coming to my rant post.