Monday, 12 November 2018

NOVEMBER TO DO LIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, november to do list, christmas, autumn, winter, blogmas
I know it's a little late to be posting a monthly to do list but better late than never, right? I like to start each month with a list of all the things I’d like to achieve by the end of the month and by sharing my to-do lists on my blog, they’re more likely to get done. There’s no hiding from them, I see it every time I go onto my blog and every time someone leaves a comment. 

01. START SCHEDULING BLOGMAS POSTS
I’ve decided to give it a go and attempt blogmas this year. I haven’t decided whether to commit to the full 24-25 days or post every day for the first 12 days of advent. I should probably get a poll out on Twitter and make a decision soon because November is flying by and before you know it will be December.

02. ORDER A NEW LAPTOP
I bought an ASUS Eeebook back in 2015 and it’s served me well but I need something with more power. It's on its last tethers and can’t keep up with all the tabs and documents I need open so it’s time to upgrade. I have been putting this off for the longest time and now it's at the stage where some days it'll turn on and other days it won't. Trying to write a blog post at the moment is a struggle, will I make it to the end of the post without it crashing? I'm playing with fire.

03. VISIT A CHRISTMAS MARKET
It may seem a little early to be thinking about going to Christmas markets but in November, it’ll be less busy and I can almost guarantee there will be no kids. So, Becc4blog and I are heading to the Christmas markets in Bath next weekend. 

04. START MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
I’m that person who usually leaves it until the last minute but this year, I want to do things differently. I want to be on top form and have all my presents bought and wrapped by the middle of December and in order for that to happen, I need to be organised and start buying presents ASAP.

05. MENTALLY PREPARE FOR DECEMBER
You're probably going to hate me for saying this but I don't like Christmas. Tell a lie, I love the build up to Christmas but I hate the actual day, it just never lives up to expectations. So before the festive period begins and my hours at work rocket, I need to mentally prepare and just take the time to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed.

What’s on your November to do list?

Fran
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Thursday, 1 November 2018

WHAT OCTOBER HAS TAUGHT ME

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, new season, autumn, learning, self love, new journey, travel
October has been a month full of lessons. I started the month working at ASOS and ended the month with a new job, new car and new friends. 

Every situation in life is temporary 
I started working at ASOS towards the end of September and I quickly realised the environment and job itself was not for me. It felt like I was back in school and I didn't have the best time in school and it brought back some bad memories. So, I made the decision to take myself out of that environment and into an environment I can thrive in. I handed in my notice at the beginning of the month and start applying for new jobs almost immediately. Within four days of being unemployed, I had secured a full-time position at a nearby bar. I promised myself when I left Mcdonald's, my job prior to ASOS, that if I wasn't happy in any future jobs, to leave rather than tolerate it. The feeling of unhappiness was there from my first day but I tried to make myself like it but you can't force things that are not meant to be. I'm a lot happier where I am now and I actually enjoy going into work each day, which is how it should be. 


The world really is your oyster 
We've all heard this saying and I never truly knew what it meant. When you've been in school for 13 years, you don't really have the time or think of life in the real world but now I'm out of the education system for the next 10 months, I can. I have never looked into what the world has to offer, the opportunities that lie outside my comfort zone. Instead of spending my paycheck on material items, I opened a savings account dedicated to travel and experiences. I think it's so important to experience the world from different perspectives. Not only do you start to have a new appreciation for your surroundings but you learn a lot about yourself, your likes, dislikes, limits and boundaries. 

Part of adulthood is accepting loneliness
Adulthood is lonely. For 18 years of my life, I was surrounded by family, friends, classmates and teachers, 5 days a week. And now, it's just me. I still have my family, I still have friends but I don't have classmates and teachers, they've been replaced by colleagues. I love my own company and often do things alone but adulthood brings a new kind of loneliness. Gone of the days where I could call a friend and they would be round within 5 minutes. Now, it takes 2-3 weeks to plan to see your friend on a day that suits both of your schedules. Some of your friends are at uni so their assignments take priority, some have babies, have moved out, moved country and your schedules don't match up so a Facetime catch up it is. Yes, I make time to see people who are important to me and vice versa but there are not enough hours in the days to work, eat, socialise and get enough sleep for your 8am shift the next day. It can often feel like you're in the world alone and no one has time for you but the truth is, we're all in the same boat, feeling the same way and trying our damn best. You learn to accept that you're going to be lonely a lot of the time and find new ways to keep yourself entertained. 

What did October teach you?

Fran
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Monday, 15 October 2018

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS


francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, new season, transitional wardrobe, autumn, favourites
If you don't follow me on any of my socials then you won't know that Autumn is my favourite season. I'm not a fan of the how early it gets dark but I love the cold weather and the changing colours of the leaves. These are a few of favourite things about Autumn:

Autumn Walks. There’s something different about taking a walk in the Autumn. The air is crisp, there’s a sharp breeze and a glimpse of sunshine between the trees. For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been enjoying going out alone on a Sunday with my camera at hand, capturing my surroundings and stuffing conkers in my pocket along the way, gotta collect those free blog props

The Hot Drinks. Back before I discovered coffee was a trigger for my migraines, I would buy and try all the new coffee syrups at this time of year. Now, I just stick to the herbal teas and the new hot chocolate flavours but I do love having a sniff of the new syrups even if I can’t drink them.

Autumn Fashion. You’re probably very tired of me saying this but I love Autumn fashion. I get excited for this time of year, every year because I can really start dressing. I’m not a fan of S/S trends as I like to be covered and Autumn allows me to do just that, leaving my house wrapped up like a burrito in my oversized puffer jacket. Read my last post to see what items are in my transitional wardrobe.

Candles. If I had the money, I would totally move to America just for Autumn period, stack up on bath and body works candles and come home after Halloween. I love candles and I’ve been after some Autumn scented bath and body works candles for years. Wasn't there a rumour that they're opening a store in the UK? I'll be first in line if it's true!

And finally, Halloween and Bonfire Night. Growing up, my family never celebrated Halloween because they’re religious. Now I'm older, I use it as an excuse to look gross on a nightout without being judged. As for bonfire night, any excuse to whip out my bobble hat, drink mulled wine and surround myself with the smell of smoke, is that weird? Probably but I love the smell of burning wood. 

What are your favourite things about Autumn?

Fran
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Monday, 8 October 2018

TRANSITIONAL WARDROBE PICKS

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, new season, transitional wardrobe, autumn
I’m loving this year’s Autumn trends. My bank account doesn’t like me right now but I’m going to be serving looks all season so it’s worth it.

1. Shearling/Borg jacket
I ordered my first shearling/borg style jacket just over a week ago and I'm waiting for 2 more to arrive. I may resemble a marshmallow when I'm wearing one but I absolutely love them. The one in the photo above is from Monki and I bought it in the navy as it goes with all existing items in my wardrobe and doesn't show dirt as quickly as the cream or brown versions.

2. Hi-Top Converses 
I didn't know I needed these until I saw one of my colleagues pairing it with all her outfits and I had to get myself a pair. I've only had them for a week but I've already worn them 48494 times. They're like the old skool vans of Autumn, they go with everything and keep your ankles worn. Win-win 

3. Brown Blanket Scarf 
Whether you're on your commute to work or going out for drinks, a blanket scarf is essential for the journey. It's multi-purpose and doubles up as a scarf for when your neck is cold, a blanket when your body is cold and can be folded into a pillow if you fancy a quick nap on your commute home. I went for a browny beige one from M&S this season as the neutral colours go with almost everything.

4.  Faux Fur Pom Beanie 
I feel like I say this a lot but I used to hate wearing hats. I was that kid throwing a tantrum in the middle of the street because my parents had told me to wear a hat to school. Fast forward 10 or so years and you couldn't get me to take it off. As soon as it gets slightly nippy outside, my hat is glued to my head and this one from Primark has a funky pom to spice up a dull outfit. 


What are your transitional wardrobe picks?

Fran
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Monday, 1 October 2018

LIFE UPDATE: WORKING AT ASOS, TRAVEL PLANS AND A SPONSORED SKYDIVE

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, new season, gap year update
Isn’t it so satisfying when a new month starts on a Monday? I can’t believe that there are two months left of this year, where has the time gone?! I remember the end of last year so clearly as if it were yesterday.

Roughly 45 days ago, I was preparing to leave for uni and 45 days later, I work at ASOS. Bet you weren’t expecting that. A few weeks ago, I decided that if I was going to take a gap year then I needed to gain new experience and one way I could do this was by quitting the job I've had since I was 16 and starting somewhere new. I applied for anything and everything, I had an interview for a new bar opening nearby and an interview for ASOS, I heard back from the bar interview before ASOS and I nearly went for it then the next day, I got a callback from ASOS.

Travelling is not the main focus of my gap year but I have some travel plans for the year ahead. At the end of next summer, I'm going interrailing alone around Europe for 10 days. I know travelling alone can be quite daunting but I'm excited. I’ve kept this a little quiet but I'M GOING TO NEW YORK in December 2019 to celebrate my 20th birthday. I have always wanted to go to New York and originally, I was going to wait until my 21st but that’s just too far away and I couldn't wait any longer. 

I'm terrified of heights but I've agreed to do a sponsored skydive in March. Some may call me stupid but Will Smith said that the best things in life are placed on the other side of terror and for that reason, I am going to push my fear. If you would like to donate then head over to Virgin Money Giving.

Fran 
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Thursday, 20 September 2018

ASOS LUST LIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, new season, wishlist, ASOS
Autumn is around the corner and my wardrobe is definitely not ready for the new season but I have accumulated a very very long list of saved items on ASOS ready for payday.

It seems last year’s teddy coat trend is here to stay and I'm not mad about it. I was a bit iffy about the trend last year but this year, I have fallen in love with this teddy jacket. It’s a bit more casual than the standard teddy coat which I like as it's more my style. 

Growing up, I hated being forced to wear a hat because they make my head look like a mushroom but last Autumn I decided to embrace my mushroom head. I want to spice things up a bit and get a few more different colours, I think this burgundy one would be a perfect addition to my Autumn wardrobe. 

This twisted v neck jumper isn’t the most appropriate for the weather but on days where you're feeling brave and you can bare the sharp breeze, this jumper is the one. I think it’s a nice piece to wear in an office, if you’re allowed to wear casual wear or for evening drinks with the girls. A very versatile piece which can be dressed up or down.

I have a confession, I hoard coats and jacket. The downstairs coat cupboard is fit to burst with coats and jackets I've collected over the years. Each year, I find an excuse to add to the collection because living in the UK, you can never have too many coats and jacket, amirite?
What’s on your lust list for the new season?

Fran
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Monday, 10 September 2018

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, printiki, making memories, university, saying goodbye
It's that week where all my friends are heading off to uni and I'm coming to the realisation that I'm going to be alone for the next 3 months until they're back for Christmas. 

This is the first time in my life, that I have had to part ways with most of my friends. Up until this point, we've worked together, gone to school together or been friends since childhood and met up at least once a week. I know, I know, I can easily go and visit them on the weekend and what not but trains from London to anywhere past Hertfordshire are not exactly cheap and with a full-time job, I will only be able to visit around my work schedule as well as theirs. 

To make the separation a little less lonely, Printiki gifted me 30 prints of my best memories. Their site was super easy to use, I imported 30 pictures straight from my iPhone and went for the square M style for printing with a glossy finish. There was an option to add filters and captions to your prints but I just wanted to keep mine simple. Originally, I was going to use them to create a photo wall in my uni room but as I'm now taking a gap year, I thought why not put them good use in my bedroom at home. 

Fran
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Monday, 3 September 2018

WHY I'M TAKING A GAP YEAR

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, university, gap year. student life, choice, adulting, career, future
You read that right, I’m taking a gap year. This isn’t a spontaneous decision, I have been considering taking a gap year since I started the whole UCAS process last year, but I got excited and decided to go ahead with going this year until results day rolled around. After withdrawing (this is a story for another day) from my firm and insurance choices, I was put into clearing and with little research got a place at somewhere I had previously applied to but declined their offer. After a few days of holding this place, I realised I didn’t want to go to a uni close to home and I felt pressured into my decision to go there.

Life comes at you quick and on the morning of results day you question every life decision you’ve ever made.

In two months, I’ll be reapplying to for what was my dream uni when I was first applying but I doubted myself and didn’t apply as I didn’t think I stood chance, but I have been in contact with the department for the subject I am applying for and I’ve been given the go-ahead to apply for next year.

So, what are you going to do over the next year? I have been applying for full-time jobs and by the time this post goes live, I will have heard back from the job I had an interview for last Monday. Fingers crossed I get the job, if not then my search will continue. I’m in a lucky position as I still have my current job which I have had since I was 16 and I can work there while applying for new jobs. I could stay at my current job for a year, but I want to gain new experience and grow as a person over the next year and I can't do that in an environment where I'm in my comfort zone. 

Are you going to travel? This is probably what is on a lot of your minds, whether I am going to travel during my gap year. The answer is yes but not until the very end. I am going to work all the way up until mid-August next year and travel for 2-4 weeks before I start my course. Yes, it’s not your typical 6+ months of travelling like most people do during their gap year but I am going to be saving from scratch and there are other things I would like to do over the next year aside from travel.

For those of you taking a gap year and doubting your decision, you won't always have this opportunity to take a year-long break but you will always be able to go to uni. 

Good luck to everyone going into their first year!

Fran
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Monday, 13 August 2018

CELEBRATING FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, female friendships, girl power, sisterhood
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, female friendships, girl power, sisterhood
“The stereotype is that woman are catty and unfriendly to each other meanwhile we’re making 500 new friends in every bathroom line we stand in”

It's not Galentine's day but I think we should celebrate female friendships more often. It's your girl gang who you turn to when you’re feeling down and you need to be uplifted. When you’re dating someone new and you want the group chats approval or when you’re going through a break up and you need the girls to help you snap back.

Growing up, I struggled to keep female friendships. I was one of those girls with more guy friends than girlfriends. I think it was down to not being a girly girl growing up, I didn’t wear makeup, I wasn’t interested in hair and I didn’t look at guys in that way, I wasn’t your typical 16-year-old girl so I didn’t feel like I had a lot in common with other girls back in school. When I went to college, I started to venture out of my comfort zone, I started experimenting with makeup, playing around with hairstyles, I started to have things in common with other girls. I think this is when I realised the importance of female friendships. I can be open with my own gender, sorry guys but you just don’t understand the emotional side of being a female with female problems. When you’re having your 5th hormonal break down of the week and its only Tuesday, you need your best girlfriend to vent to.

I feel like female friendships are always being torn down on social media but when female friendships are good, they’re good! There is nothing like having a group of your closest girlfriends for a weekly or monthly catch up. I saw a tweet on twitter that said: “43% of being friends with women is us soothing each other after the world has convinced us our expectations were too demanding/unreasonable”. I love the girl power that comes from a group of females who have each other's backs through thick and thin. I love being able to be completely open about my feelings and knowing another female will understand.

Female friendships are comforting, beautiful and amazing.

Fran
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Monday, 6 August 2018

AUGUST TO DO LIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, august to do list, monthly goals, change of direction, new month
Summer is slowly coming to an end and the random pangs of excitement for Autumn are starting to kick in. I thought it was only fitting to kick off the new month with an August to do list because are you even a blogger if a new month rolls around and you don't post a to do list?

01. LET'S GO TO THE BEACH 
A few days ago, I tweeted about how summer's nearly over and I still haven't been to the beach. This month, that's all about to change as some of my work friends and I have booked a minibus for the day and are heading to Bournemouth beach at the end of the month.

02. SORT MY SH*T OUT
Next month, I am off to university and before I move out, I have 101 bank statements, other random letters, PR packages and old clothes to sort through. I have been putting it off for a while now by dumping it in one of those huge IKEA bags because out of sight, out of mind right? Wrong, I have found myself peering in nervously as the stack has rapidly increased in size over the past 2 months. It's definitely time to sort my sh*t out before it gets any higher.

03. CLEAN THE MAKEUP STAINS OUT OF MY CARPET
When you're in a hurry, it's so easy to spill some of your powder, mascara, foundation or blush onto your beautiful cream carpet. All around my room, there are random splogs of makeup stains that I've been meaning to scrub out. As this is my last month living at home, I am making it my top priority to get all the makeup stains out of my carpet.

04. GET A NEW PIERCING AND TATTOO
Currently, I have 8 piercings and 1 tattoo and since I have been working full time over the summer, I have racked up a bit more disposable money than usual and have decided to treat myself to a new piercing and tattoo. I'm booked in for the 23rd so keep your eyes peeled on the gram as I will probably reveal them on there. 

05. IMPROVE MY PHOTOGRAPHY 
Photography has never been my strong point, I'm not a photography student, I haven't been taking photos from a young age and I've never owned a camera. All my photos are taken on an iPhone 8 Plus and then I use various editing apps to enhance the image. A few days ago, I discovered a new editing app called RNI Films which I've been playing around with and I edited the photo for this post using this app, I love the polaroid feel of it. You'll be seeing a lot of changing in my Instagram posts and blog photos over the next few weeks.

What's on your August to do list?

Fran
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Monday, 16 July 2018

PHOTO DIARY | THE LAST TWO WEEKS

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, photo diary, summer log
Throwing is back to the old school blogging days with a photo diary, weekly summary kinda post. If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen that I have had an eventful, last two weeks. At the beginning of July, after months of chatting on Twitter and Instagram DM's, I finally got to meet Becca. I took her to a few of my favourite instagrammable spots in Shoreditch, no bloggers day out is complete without shooting content amirite? I have enough photos on my camera roll now to do me until September. To end our day together, we headed to a random pub in Waterloo to watch the England vs Colombia game. I love the atmosphere in pubs during the World Cup, everyone is so happy and cheerful. Unfortunately, it's not coming home this year but it might come home in 2022, keeping positive! 

Last week, Incredibles 2 came out and of course, I went to see it on the day of release. The cinema was packed with adults which was expected, 14 years we waited for this! Also last week, my Mum and grandma bought most if not all of my university essentials. Seeing boxes of homeware dotted around the house is making it feel a lot more real.

What have you been up to the last two weeks?

Fran
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Thursday, 12 July 2018

I'VE CHANGED AND THAT'S OK

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, change, acceptance, growth
This post was inspired by a tweet @hello_october_ retweeted on Twitter. It read, '6 months from now you can be in a completely different space, mentally, spiritually and financially'- It got me thinking, I've changed and that's OK!

As you move through different stages of your life, you change. I am not the same person who I was 5 years ago, 2 years ago or even a month ago and that's OK! I have noticed that bloggers and influencers get a lot of stick for being different to the person they were when they first started their platform and I just don't get it. Change is a sign of growth. If I was still the same insecure 14-year-old who I was when I first started this blog then I wouldn't be where I am now. I have learnt how to be confident, how to love myself and through that, I have developed as a person. 

Everyone changes over the course of time. Some people, change for the better and others change for the worst.

This time last year, I was in the first year of college. I have a small group of friends who I thought I'd be friends with forever. I was single and had just started taking interest in the opposite sex. I was outgoing. In a year,  I am no longer friends with anyone from that small group of friends, so we weren't meant to be friends forever. I am no longer single, I have been dating mystery man since January and things seem to be going well. I am no longer as outgoing as I was, is there such thing as an outgoing introvert? 'Cause, I think that's the best way to describe me. 

I've changed and that's OK! I am now a person who is happy, accepts herself, has learned to love and be loved, and a person who is continually striving to better themselves to reach their full potential. 6 months from now, I will be at university and God knows what type of person I will be then. 

Fran
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Monday, 9 July 2018

MY PLANS FOR THE SUMMER

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, summer plans, university
There are nine weeks between now and the day I move out of my family home and into student accommodation for the next four years. I want to make the most out of the next nine weeks and my plans for the summer are finally starting to come together. 

July is set to be a busy month for me. I have already ticked off few things off the list of things I wanted to do this summer, I sold my first car, got my first tattoo and met up with Lucy and Becca before they set off on their summer travels. This weekend, I am taking part in the North London Tough Mudder Race, which I am very excited about. The gym has taken a bit of a back seat recently as I am working full time and after a 10-12 hour shift, I can't think of anything worse than heading to the gym. However, since selling my car, I have had to walk everywhere so, I am still keeping my fitness levels up. As I said earlier, I got my first tattoo last month and I have booked to have my second at the end of this month, so many people told me that once you get your first, you want to have your entire body covered, its true! I have set up a Pinterest board and everything. 

There will probably be a few unplanned days out, random nights out and family bbq's throughout July and August. The main thing I am excited about this summer is Reading Festival. I went for the first time last year, read the post here, and I had the best five days of my life. A lot of my friends are off to uni at the end of summer and we will all be scattered around the country so we decided to create one last memory while everyone is in one place.

What are your plans for the summer?

Fran
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Thursday, 5 July 2018

REFLECTING ON FOUR YEARS OF BLOGGING

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, reflection, four year anniversary
I am going to try and keep this post short and sweet otherwise I will end up rambling and before you know it, I will be talking about a completely different topic. 

I have been blogging since Sunday 22nd June 2014, that's 4 years and 13 days. I started my blog after months of reading Zoella's blog in admiration. At school, English was one of my strongest subjects and so the writing side of blogging came to me naturally. The first post I ever published was a review of the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner, which you can read here, that my older sister got in a Glamour magazine and decided to give to me as it was the start of my makeup exploration years. I didn't take the photo I used, I took it from Google images and sourced it underneath. I used to write like a robot, none of my natural speech came through and reading back, it sounds scripted and fake. The post got 94 views, which I am pretty sure were all from me just checking back every few hours to see if I had gone viral, I thought this was how it worked you see, that if you posted something on the internet, it instantly went viral. I was wrong.

Back then, blogging was my hobby. I had no schedule, my photo quality was shit and I definitely didn't proofread before publishing. If the grammar police existed back then, they would've been down my throat. Blogging in 2014 was free, no one took it seriously, it was all just a bit of fun on the side. I miss the old school blogging days sometimes, there wasn't pressure to perform and by that I mean your blog could have a theme with orange and yellow stripes and no one cared. 2014-2016 were much simpler times. 

Now, blogging is still my hobby. What has changed is that I get sent products to try, I occasionally get some income, I get invited to cool events and I have made friends from all over the world who I wouldn't have known without discovering them online. The list could go on but the main thing that has changed is that bloggers have formed a community, through hashtags on Twitter, blogger chats, follow trains. A community where everyone is welcome. I will be honest, there are many problems within the blogging community that need to be addressed but I will discuss those another day. 

Over the last four years, I have grown (not in height, unfortunately), experienced, laughed, loved and cried. I never thought that when I started my blog on that random Sunday four years ago, that this is where it would be now. Sometimes, it doesn't feel real and I am waiting for someone to wake me up from this dream life I am living. I am proud of my little slice on the internet and I am excited to see it grow over the next four years.

Fran
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Monday, 2 July 2018

JULY TO DO LIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger
July has arrived which means its time to set some goals and things to do throughout the month. I had a really busy and productive month in June so I am hoping July is exactly the same.

01. PAY OFF MY CREDIT CARD
My main goal for this month is to pay off my credit card. I am down to the last couple of hundreds and then I will be debt free.

02. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE 
Last month, I set up a help to buy ISA with Barclays and an everyday saver. Before I go off to uni, I want to have saved a fair amount in both accounts and now I am working full time, its the perfect time to get started on building up my savings accounts.

03. POST MORE 
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I post once a week on a Monday at 6PM. This month, I want to post more because I have so many posts ideas and drafts that I want to publish so, I am going to try and get an additional post out on Thursday's at 5PM.

04. VISIT ONE NEW PLACE 
Last Wednesday, I drove down to Surrey to visit Lucy and she took me all her favourite places. This is something I want to do more of this summer, I want to explore new places and get out of my local area more, experience life outside my bubble.

05. EMBRACE MY NATURAL HAIR 
For the past two years, I have been straightening my hair almost every day or weekly because I didn't like my natural hair. If you don't know, my natural hair is curly like 3c/4a kind of curls, google it if you want to know exactly what it looks like. I haven't straightened my hair for the past 2 months and I am extremely proud of myself, this may seem like something small but for me it's huge. I have switched up my hair care routine and my curls are looking better than ever, yes it takes a lot longer to do my hair in the morning, yes I use a lot more product and yes more effort is required to manage it but I am learning to embrace the hair I was born with.

What's on your July to do list?

Fran
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Thursday, 28 June 2018

SUMMER WISHLIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, payday, summer wishlist, lust list, retail therapy
Today is my favourite day of every month, payday! Summer has finally arrived in the UK and the sun seems to be here to stay. So, now I have the funds, its time to add some summery pieces to my wardrobe. I've spent the last few days looking at the 37p in my bank account and adding items to my wishlists on ASOS, Pretty Little Thing and Pull & Bear, ready to move to basket and checkout at midnight on payday. 

If you read my wishlist last season, I was loving everything yellow and this season, I am still loving everything yellow. This yellow co-ord from Topshop was the first thing I popped into my basket as soon as I got paid, I went instore a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love. I love that co-ords have multiple uses, you can wear both items together or you can pair them separately, so you definitely get your money's worth in terms of wear. Also, loving bright coloured accessories. There's an Accessorize near me that's closing down so all their bags are super cheap at the moment, Dalal sent me the link to a yellow crossbody and while I was browsing the site, I came across this small yellow backpack. The best way to spice up a plain outfit is with accessories and this yellow backpack would be perfect for that. I know air max 95's are not to everyone's taste as they aren't the most aesthetically pleasing shoe but I like them. I went into a Nike store last week and tried them on and with the t-shirt dress I was wearing that day, issa look! I saw Laura wearing cycling shorts on the gram and I decided I too needed a pair of cycling shorts because I want to pretend to be an Instagram baddie and do a boujee pose in the mirror, you know.
What's on your summer wishlist?

Fran
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Monday, 25 June 2018

MY FIRST TATTOO AND THE MEANING BEHIND IT

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, my first tattoo, line work, tattoo
Suprise! Your girl got her first tattoo, finally! This has been long awaited and something at the top of my summer bucket list. If you follow me on Instagram, then you will have seen that I had this done last Monday at Adrenaline Park Studios by a tattoo artist called David. I have had 6 piercings done at Adrenaline in the past, so I felt confident going to them for my first tattoo. 

My experience at Adrenaline was outstanding, the atmosphere was nice and chilled, which put me at ease and all the staff were super friendly and cheerful. As for the process of actually being tattooed, David told me a story about his tattoos while he was preparing the transfer paper for my design. I could tell that he was passionate about his work and I felt even more confident in his abilities through listening to his story. The pain of line work on your ribs is not as bad as I was expecting, I kid you not, my nipple piercing hurt a lot more. I would describe the pain as how I imagine it feels to be constantly stung by a bee and after a while, the pain started to feel rather therapeutic like how I imagine acupuncture would feel. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking to get their first tattoo!

So, I guess you're wondering what the meaning behind my tattoo is? I start by saying that I don't believe tattoos need a meaning. Some people just want to be expressive using their body or simply like a design and would like it tattooed on their body for no reason at all. The meaning behind my tattoo is very personal to me but I am completely comfortable sharing it with you guys. About 3-4 months ago, I was going through a rough time and during that time, a lot happened, a lot that has changed me mentally. During this time, I discovered a German dramatist called Bertolt Brecht and one of his plays, Lux in Tenebris. The play is about a moralist who campaigns for the closure of brothels, that part is completely irrelevant to my tattoo but its interesting. Lux in Tenebris is a Latin phrase meaning light in darkness, a phrase that has stuck with me and something I now tell myself when things go wrong. 

Fran
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Monday, 18 June 2018

HOW I ACHIEVE GLOWING SUMMER SKIN

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, summer essentials, glowing summer skin, skincare, beauty
This post was made in collaboration with L'Occitane 

As the weather starts to warm up, I like to pay special attention to my skin to keep it looking glowy. Not only does the sun, tan the skin but it causes the pores to get clogged due to excessive sweating coupled with grime and dust, so I like to switch up my routine and opt for lighter products like serums and exfoliating cleansers.

The first step in achieving glowing summer skin is proper exfoliation. To exfoliate my face, I opt for products that contain glycolic acid as it helps to gently buff away dead skin cells. At the moment I am using the PIXI Glow Tonic which I absolutely adore and to exfoliate my body, I put a handful of body scrub onto a body brush and target areas of my body that are driest. 

Makeup wise, I like to opt for products that add luminosity to the skin. My favourite summer foundation is the Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. As the name suggests, it makes the skin appear more luminous and provides a light, weightless coverage. Brightening concealers are also a must during the summer months, I recently bought the Maybelline Instant Anti Age Eraser Eye Concealer after hearing so many great reviews, its high coverage so is perfect for covering up dark circles and brightening the undereye. To finish off a glowy makeup look, I use a highlight to add that extra glow to the apples of my cheeks, the tip of my nose and the brow bone. If I want to look like a glazed doughnut theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer is my go-to. It's marketed as a bronzer but it works really well as a highlight for my deep skin tone as it contains small bits of coppery gold shimmer which pop when the sun reflects on the applied area. 

How do you achieve glowy summer skin?

Fran
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Monday, 11 June 2018

NEW DRUGSTORE LAUNCHES

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, drugstore, new launches, beauty, superdrug
I went into Superdrug with the intention of replacing an empty Carmex and left with a whole basket of things that I didn't need but managed to justify as a blog expense. I am a complete sucker for new launches and I had to take advantage of Superdrug's 2 for £12 offer on selected Maybelline. I picked up the Maybelline Tattoo Gel Eyebrow Tint Peel and the Instant Anti Age Eraser Eye Concealer

Two words to describe the tattoo brow tint, life-changing! I have been using it for past two weeks and haven't needed to fill in my brows once. I don't want to give too much away as I have a full review which will include before and after pics coming up very soon.

Almost every drugstore makeup tutorial I watched over the years has featured the instant anti age concealer. Apparently,  this is "Britain's Favourite Concealer" and Maybelline have recently launched six new shades in the UK from deep to light and included more undertones.  I am yet to try it out but I have high expectations as I have read so many great reviews!

Have you picked up any new launches from the drugstore?

Fran
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Monday, 4 June 2018

A LETTER TO MY FUTURE SELF

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, success, blogging, future,  lifestyle, university, relationships, personality

DO NOT OPEN UNTIL MONDAY 29TH MAY 2023

Dear Fran, 

As I am writing this, it is Tuesday 29th May 2018. You are 18 years old and next week, you will be sitting 3 of 4 A-level exams, you should be revising right now but you have taken a break to write this letter. 

Three words to describe 18-year-old Fran according to Emma: bubbly, intelligent and charismatic. I hope 5 years from now when you are reading this, you are still all of those things and have developed into a well-rounded 23-year-old. 

In a matter of months, you will be moving out and starting your first of 4 years at university. Did you finish uni and graduate? If you did, congratulations! If you didn't, I hope you are doing something you enjoy and that makes you happy. 

Do you have a boyfriend? I am hoping that 5 years from now you have found someone like-minded and funny but if not, you are still young and have plenty of time to meet someone, have kids and all that jazz, there's no pressure!

Most importantly, are you still blogging? Right now, you have been blogging for 4 years and if you have kept it up, that's 9 years. 9 years since you created your little slice of the internet. You have contemplated creating a vlog channel, did you ever do it or are you still anxious about the whole idea? Bite the bullet, there's nothing to lose! 

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope you are living a happy, fulfilling life and that you are surrounded by people who uplift you.

Fran
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Monday, 28 May 2018

MAY EMPTIES

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, small blogger, beauty, may, may favourites, drugstore, high-end, cruelty-free
I want to keep this intro short and sweet or I will end up rambling on about how quickly this month has gone and how we are nearly half way through 2018. I love reading empties posts, they remind me of the old school blogging days so I thought I would share my empties from the month of May. 

I have tried every deodorant on the market and this is by far the best. It's not the cheapest, at £2.99 for 200ml but it does exactly what it says on the tin, eliminates odour, keeps you feeling dry and provides 48-hour protection. This deodorant contains aloe and vitamin e which help to soothe and condition the skin, perfect if you have sensitive underarms like myself. It is currently on a 2 for £4 offer at Superdrug so there's no better time to give it a go.

The ultimate handbag essential. Like the Mitchum deodorant, I have tried many lip balms and this is one of the best. For £2.69, you get a long-lasting formula that soothes cracked lips and leaves them feeling smooth like a babies bottom.

Elizabeth Arden Intense Moisturizing Hand Treatment

This product has been hyped for years and I have always wanted to give it a go but I couldn't justify the price. I was gifted this mini back in March and have since repurchased a full size, a student on a student budget bought a hand cream for £22. Okay, hear me out... If you are a gin lover, a friend of mine claims it smells like Bombay Sapphire, you could be walking around with hands that smell like gin. If you're not a gin lover, the smell is glorious, I am crap at describing scents but I would say it is somewhat citrusy? pepperminty? I think the word I am looking for is fresh, it smells fresh. It has a thick formula that doesn't feel greasy or sticky and even after you wash your hands, they still feel moisturised. If you are looking to treat yourself to a luxurious hand cream, this is one to try. 

I first tried this micellar water back in 2015 and have loved it ever since. It is gentle enough to use around the eyes and lips and is completely perfume free, perfect for those who have sensitive skin. It removes make-up, cleanses and soothes with no need for rubbing or rinsing. Simply squeeze on to a cotton pad and it distributes itself across the pad. The product removes makeup really well and can tackle the most stubborn of waterproof mascaras. Once all your makeup is removed it leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed.  If you read my post with Fair Squared then you will know that I am on a journey to a cruelty-free routine. Now, I am well aware that Garnier is not a cruelty-free brand but I was unaware of this when I purchased this product a few months ago. However, I am yet to find a micellar water that compares, so if you have any cruelty-free recommendations then leave a comment or tweet me, @franciscarockey

I have been creating a skincare routine over the last few months (skincare routine post coming soon) and this is one of the cult products that I was recommended. My skin is clear but eczema-prone during the summer months. I have been using Glow Tonic for almost 2 months and I have noticed a huge difference in the texture of my skin, it is visibly brighter and a lot smoother. You know when you wake up in the morning and your skin feels tight and looks a little dull, this toner eliminates that tight feeling and injects a glow back into your skin. 

Last but not least, Pimm's. I was invited to a bbq earlier this month and I couldn't turn up empty handed, so I popped to Sainsbury's and picked up a few cans of Pimm's lemonade. I had never tried Pimm's before but everyone else in the alcohol aisle seemed to have their trolley full of it so I followed the crowd. I am not a huge fan of alcohol but this tastes like juice and I am all for alcohol that doesn't taste like alcohol.

What are your May empties?

Fran
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