Sunday, 19 February 2017

The only top coat you'll ever need. [Essie 'Good to go']

Hands up if you regularly sit still for 30 to 60 minutes to let your nail polish dry, only to smudge it straight away as soon as you resume to normal activities? Well, let me take all that frustration away. Get yourself Essie's 'Good to go' top coat and live happily ever after.

Essie 'Good to go' top coat, £8.99

Doing my nails has never been so quick and easy. I use Essie's 'Grow Stronger' base coat, paint two coats of nail polish and then 'Good to go' on top. Within a couple of minutes - I'd say no more than five to ten - you can do whatever you need to do. Gone are the days where you'd have to schedule an hour or two into your beauty routine to have a slight chance of not ruining your nails seconds after you finished painting them. I honestly swear by this (and Essie as a brand in general!) and have repurchased it a few times already!

What's your Holy Grail nail product?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

I don't have a post for today.

Fuck, I'm really bloody annoyed at myself.
It's Friday evening, and I've just sent an email to my dad which says essentially the same as this post (only a lot more in depth). I want to put it out in the open and I want to make a statement: from this moment, things are going to change.

Today [Friday], we had a work event. Many a picture was taken, and I look at every single one of them and think: shit, I look so unhappy. My skin is dull, my eyes are tired, my smile is practised. And I can't take it any more.

I am going to pull myself out of this. This is something I was always good at; but then there was one point in my life at which I couldn't do it, and ever since then, I haven't been able to get back on it. But I am now. I know which points in my life I need and want to change, and it's going to start now.

Because right now, all I do is waste my life and let me tell you, I don't have time for this.

Positive posts shall resume from next week on - I am not going to stop sharing my thoughts but fuck, we need to inject some sunshine in here.

'til then x

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Easy reads for your commute.

"There are little things in life that make me as happy as a book shop." - A sentence which I've said multiple times, and which you can find on a lot of short bios or posts I have written in the past. And it's true. I could lose myself for hours on end in book shops; the tranquillity of being surrounded by works of written art, the silence and peace which only a room with ceiling-high bookshelves can bring.

Whilst I do enjoy various genres, I like to read something easy on my commutes. Something that my tired brain doesn't need to work too hard on at 8am or 6pm. Here are my favourites of the past few months.

1. Billy and Me (Giovanna Fletcher)
This book is the reason why I want my own little cafe in a cute English town. A young girl from the countryside falls in love with a Hollywood star and finds her world turned upside down. Whilst there are romantic and heartfelt moments, the story also incorporates serious and relatable aspects which I like the combination of.

2. Always with Love (Giovanna Fletcher)
The sequel to Billy and Me, we now find the main characters trying to juggle a long-distance relationship and everyday responsibilities. Equally as heartfelt as its predecessor, the story shows the difficulties and lowlights of a seemingly perfect storybook.

3. How to Find Love in a Book Shop (Veronica Henry)
A book about books? Yep, I'm sold. This is such an adorable book, combining a few different storylines into one intertwining string, which I absolutely love (think along the lines of Love Actually). Exactly what you need to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling before and after a long day of work.

4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [Screenplay] (J.K.Rowling)
There couldn't be a book list without something Harry Potter-related, could there? Normally I read books first before watching the corresponding film but this time, I did it the other way 'round. And oh boy, as this is a screenplay and not a novel, it's so much fun reliving the entire film in your head. I devoured this within two days and loved the different style.

5. All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven)
I only bought this because Zoella's book club choices, which she does with WH Smith, was on 'buy one, get one half price' but I'm really glad I did. This story is something my teenage self would have loved to be in had it been made into a film; a cute teenage romance with a dramatic twist, incorporating all the emotions and two main characters you can't help but fall in love with.

What have you been loving lately? x

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


Recently, I feel confined; trapped. I find it impossible to share information with people without being haunted by the possibility of it travelling through the wrong people, ending up in a place where I never intended it to be and detonating into consequences I never wanted to happen. 

Trust is not something that comes easy to me as it is. Blame it on an emotionally abusive past and bad experiences; blame it on my ever overthinking mind which can't stop even at the brightest of times; but opening up and revealing personal information is something I struggle with every day. It's fine for a while, I might even be comfortable enough to let a snippet out into the open, but without fail, there will come a time where I regret even opening my mouth.

When my boss sat me down for a chat, revealing to me that someone had been spreading rumours about me that could have cost me my career, I could physically feel my walls going up. Giant doors locking themselves like the Hogwarts entrance when Sirius Black was spotted in the castle, I said to myself it was time to give up hope that loyalty, honesty and trust were values that still existed in this world.

They say you should not set your expectations to a standard based on your own moral values, but if I do not use my own values, whose do I use?

"No one understands you when they first meet you. It takes so long to fully grasp you, most people just give up in the process."

An actual quote someone once said about me.

Acceptance and being understood is something I have struggled with all my life. This does by no means mean that I was unpopular; even more so, I fit right in, because I got along with almost every type of person. But there was never a greater understanding; a deeper interest in who I was as a sensitive, reflective person who constantly analyses their surroundings and company.

I value trust. Honesty. Loyalty. Friendship. Unconditional support. If someone confides something to me, who am I to do anything with it other than keeping it to myself? Other than being non-judgemental, accepting their feelings and opinions, even if I don't agree? Is this not what any kind of relationship should be about?

Vice versa, I fear judgement; I fear that whatever I am feeling in that moment will make the person see me in a different light; a negative light. But most of all, I fear that I won't be understood. More often than not have I put my heart out to someone and got a superficial reply which immediately showed me that I was heard but not understood; that it took the person too long to grasp what I was saying that they just gave up in the process.

With all of this being said, now more than ever, I will always stand up for myself.
The only person I am stuck with forever is myself, and I am going to voice my opinion if and when necessary, within the appropriate boundaries and word choices, but I will not stop being myself for the fear of having incompatible opponents giving up. I won't stop being sensitive towards the world, and I won't stop seeing the beauty in everything. I will continue to battle the negativity I encounter on a day-to-day basis, and even when I am forced to sit in a dark cloud with thunder & lightning all around me, I will try my hardest to make the sun beams break through and spread.

And it will be worth it, because I will not stop to strive for more; for a better version of myself.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Me online vs. my job in real life [A short comment]

The inspiration for this post came after I read a blog post by one of my most favourite people in the world, Hayley, called 'Personality Within Professionalism', and a commentary post by Eve Young titled 'Should we censor ourselves?'. I strongly encourage you to read those first before continuing with my share of thoughts.

It's not that I've never thought about what I put online. In the past, I have deleted numerous tweets, posts, even entire blogs because I was too scared that someone I know might find it and judge me for it. I had built up a decent amount of following on Tumblr, but as soon as a question came in which could have only come from someone I know in real life, I deleted the whole thing. Too great was the burden of keeping myself to myself, for the fear of being misunderstood.

For nearly a year, I have been in my first proper full-time job. I work as an Executive Assistant, which means that I have a close relationship with the CEO and somewhat represent him in day-to-day situations; even more so, it does state in my contract that acting on behalf of him is part of my responsibilities. With that, I have felt a greater, a different, pressure of keeping my online identity clean; of not giving anyone a chance to reflect badly on me and, ultimately, my work and my boss.

Therefore, the question that arose was: should I keep my social media profiles in harmony with the person I am at work? My simple answer to that is No.

"Could it be that we’ve become so desperate to impress that we’ve lost sight of the qualities that would make us stand out in the first place?"

Now, there are restrictions on this. I would not purposefully risk my job by putting words and pictures on my social media channels which will ultimately shine a bad light on not only me as an online identity but me as an entire human being, reflecting a range which could easily cost me my job in the most mundane way.
But I am also not going to change who I am as Lisa; a girl who loves books & coffee, Alice in Wonderland & Harry Potter; who rants about her pet peeves and Transport for London on Twitter, who puts poetry and selfies on Instagram, who's got thoughts and feelings to share in order to connect and help others. This is who I am, this is who I want to be, and I am going to stand up for myself.

"In my opinion, if an employer reads a blog or a thread of Tweets you’ve written [...] and then comes to the conclusion that you’re an undesirable, that means they don’t share your core values or would dismiss them and in that case, are they somebody you really want to work for anyway?"

I guess ultimately it comes down to which career you plan to go into, how important your online presence is to you and others, and how much it could affect your work if you put the 'wrong' photo up on Instagram. Different sectors require different behaviours, and consequently, this is a very individual approach to make.

Just keep this in mind: the only person you are stuck with forever is yourself, and if I were you, I'd rather get along with them. So if being yourself online means someone comes to the conclusion you cannot do your job properly, it might be time to move on.