Shannon Michelle

Shannon Michelle

Beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger from the UK..

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

30 QUOTES TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY

happily // ✧
Some days can be tough, and on those days we all like to have something that will help us get back up on our feet again with a smile. We all get a little down sometimes, and no matter how hard you try to stay positive, you simply can't be happy all the time. But it's okay, it's just how life works and everyone experiences a down day every now and then. Here are some quotes to help you get through it when life gets a little hard and hopefully will put a smile on your face.

  1. Regardless of how anyone else feels about me, I am going to choose to be happy and completely love myself today.
  2. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful - or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn't work out the way you once wanted them to.
  3. There's no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.
  4. Once you learn how to be happy, you won't tolerate being around people that make you think anything less.
  5. Purpose fuels passion.
  6. Sometimes, you just need a fresh start. A new beginning. A clean slate. Just get rid of everything going wrong and make it go right. Sometimes, you need to delete a number. Colour your hair. Quit your job. Purge all the negative things and focus on all the positive. Just do it.
  7. The world gives you so much pain and here you are making gold out of it. There is nothing purer than that.
  8. Just always be the better person. And make your intentions pure. What and who you are is what you'll attract, what you'll maintain. Pain is inevitable and it will always exist, but if you focus on understanding what you are feeling and why you are feeling it, you will overcome it.
  9. Be so full, that even if they take and take and take, you will still be overflowing.
  10. You are made of planets and oceans and no one owns them. Just like no one owns you.
  11. Stop looking around and comparing, start looking ahead and evolving. Love and live your life. Silence the noise.
  12. Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable.
  13. You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant and brave.
  14. In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.
  15. Little reminder: Life is messy, being human is messy. It's not as neat as our "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" would have us believe. We lust, we crave, we hurt, we fear.
  16. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
  17. Take a step back today, look at all these beautiful things you have.
  18. Live less out of habit and more out of content.
  19. Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.
  20. No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness. 
  21. It's okay to not have it figured out yet.
  22. Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things will always work out.
  23. A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset. When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start to feel like one. Time spent appreciating is time worth living.
  24. That is my vision for my life. Not looking backward at what I used to have. Looking forward at what I might grow into.
  25. Surround yourself with people who push you to be your best self.
  26. You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. The soul in you. The love in you.
  27. I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.
  28. Stop dulling yourself down for people that cannot handle your edge.
  29. The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day.
  30. For what it's worth: It's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over.
what's a quote that helps you get through a dark day?

Shannon
x

Saturday, 15 July 2017

SUMMER CHILL OUT PLAYLIST


I love having time to myself, whether that's reading a book outside in the garden with a cup of iced coffee or spending time in my bedroom on my laptop. No matter what my "me time" is, music is always a big part of it. Having a playlist depending on literally every mood keeps me happy, so having one for my chill out time is perfect to listen to quietly in the background of whatever i'm doing. You can follow this playlist on my spotify here if you would like to listen. But anyway, here are my current favourite chill out songs.

  1. Made to love you (acoustic) - Dan Owen
  2. Can't help falling in love - Haley Reinhart
  3. You said you'd grow old with me - Michael Schulte
  4. Bruises - Lewis Capaldi
  5. Hate u love u - Olivia O'Brien
  6. The night we met - Lord Huron
  7. Waves - Dean Lewis
  8. Only you - Selena Gomez
  9. Strong - London Grammar
  10. Burn it down - Billy Lockett
  11. Safe inside - James Arthur
  12. Silence - Grace Carter
  13. Why - Skinny Living
  14. Old Friends - Jasmine Thompson
  15. Wait - M83
  16. All in my mind - Isaac Gracie
  17. New York - St. Vincent
  18. Surefire - John Legend
  19. Like a fool - Keira Knightley
  20. Back to me - Daya
  21. Unsteady - X Ambassadors
  22. Little do you know - Alex & Sierra
  23. Running - James Bay
  24. Lover dearest - Marianas Trench
  25. Fly (acoustic) - Meadowlark
  26. Bloom - The Paper Kites
  27. Fallingforyou - The 1975
  28. Arizona - Frances Cone
  29. Things that stop you dreaming - Passenger
  30. Work song - Hozier
  31. From Eden - Hozier
  32. Arsonist's lullaby - Hozier
  33. I have questions - Camilla Cabello
  34. High hopes - Kodaline
  35. Bad at love - Halsey
  36. Patience - Shawn Mendes
  37. I can wait - Nikki Blonsky
  38. Creep - Haley Reinhart
  39. Just you and I - Tom Walker
  40. Pure - Luke Sital-singh
  41. All time low - Jon Bellion
  42. Reverie - Isaac Gracie
  43. The Luckiest - Ben Folds
  44. Golborne road - Nick Laird-Clowes
  45. Revolver - Vian Izak
  46. What do I know? - Ed Sheeran
  47. Water - Little Hours
  48. I love the usa -  Weezer
  49. Your guardian angel - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
  50. Green mountain state - Trevor Hall
  51. Morning - Marc E. Bassy
  52. Don't go - Rae Morris
  53. U just can't be replaced - Gnash ft. Rosabeales
  54. Twentythousand - EXES
  55. Time on the line - Jnctre
  56. Dear, Home - EXES
  57. The moments I'm missing - Nina Nesbitt
Shannon
x

Friday, 14 July 2017

30 HEALTHY HABITS YOU SHOULD ADD INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE


As I've grown up, I've picked up on some habits that have changed my life for the better and although I know a lot of people already follow some of these, I thought i'd share them for all of those that want to change a few things to make their day (and lives!) even better, gradually! A small change in your daily routine can completely change your mindset for the rest of the day and make you feel more positive.

  1. Stop eating for weight loss, instead eat for health. you'll feel so much better.
  2. Wash your face at least twice a day. I make sure to do this as soon as I wake up and also as part of my night time routine.
  3. Stop skipping breakfast! eating a healthy breakfast will leave you feeling satisfied and actually give you the right amount of energy to help you lead a productive day. If you're looking for a new healthy breakfast idea, try my favourite go-to granola recipe. It's the bomb.
  4. Stretch daily for at least 5 minutes. 
  5. Add more greens into your diet. It's so easy to add things like spinach or any other leafy green to pretty much any dinner, or try drinking green smoothies. The options are endless.
  6. Stop doubting yourself. You can achieve anything you want, you just have to go for it. 
  7.  Eat whole foods as much as possible. Swapping things like the usual pasta for wholemeal pasta has more nutrients and tastes just as good + avoiding processed foods will benefit your body so much.
  8. Drink warm water with lemon every morning to help digestion and rehydrate your body.
  9. Stop snacking when you're not hungry. Most people tend to snack out of boredom or dehydration, so make sure you're drinking enough water every day and if you're still hungry, reach for something healthy.
  10. Use Youtube for free workout videos. I follow Blogilates.
  11. Get 8 hours of sleep. There's no point staying up all night watching netflix when you could be sleeping so you have enough energy the following day.
  12. Set goals, long term and short term.
  13. Read outdoors. I love reading outside on a sunny day or in the evenings when the sun is going down, it's calming and helps me feel relaxed.
  14. Try new recipes!!
  15. Moisturise your skin every single day and night.
  16. Continuously learn new things. 
  17. Try DIY facemasks.
  18. Organize your clothes. Get rid of the stuff you know you won't ever wear again. 
  19. Take a 10 minute walk.
  20. Wear clothes that make YOU feel good.
  21. Stop putting things off. Get things done.
  22. Challenge yourself.
  23. Forgive. Stop holding grudges and move on. You'll feel a massive weight lifted off your shoulders.
  24. Try bullet journalling.
  25. Eat slower.
  26. Rise early.
  27. Take omega-3. 
  28. Always take the stairs.
  29. Judge less.
  30. Be kind. Always.

shannon
x

Thursday, 13 July 2017

OPTIAT COFFEE SCRUB | ARE COFFEE SCRUBS WORTH THE HYPE?


If you've been following the blog for a while you probably would have figured out by now that I am a coffee scrub addict. I believe that coffee scrubs are the perfect skin remedy and soothe my face more than any other kind of skincare product. I reviewed the Scrub Love "coconut affair" coffee scrub a around a year ago which you can find here - and I was absolutely obsessed with it, so I decided to give the brand Optiat a go. Optiat kindly sent me one of their "Vanilla Velvet hit the sheets" scrubs to test out and share my opinion with all of you other fellow coffee (scrub) lovers out there. They have a selection of 4 scrubs to choose from, all with a completely different scent ranging from Lemongrass, Mandarin, Vanilla and peppermint.

As soon as the vanilla scrub arrived in the post, I was so excited to test it out straight away. This particular scrub is described to be perfect for a relaxed, quiet night in, helping you unwind after a long day. I personally prefer using it in the morning as it leaves my skin feeling soft and fresh and strangely makes me feel more confident about not wearing any makeup as my skin just feels 100% better. This scrub is perfect to use before bed also as it helps you feel refreshed before bedtime and makes you feel like you're going to have a better nights sleep. It would also be perfect using as part of a night time pamper routine to make you feel that bit more fab.

The instructions for use are so simple! Just dollop (I cringe every time I hear that word, but I just had to) a small amount of the scrub onto your hands, ensuring that your skin is fairly damp beforehand, then simply massage the product into your face in circular motions until your face or wherever you want to apply is completely covered. Leave for a few minutes - the longer you leave it, the softer your skin is left feeling. Then rinse it all off with warm water until all the product is off. You'll then be left feeling gorgeous and ready for a beautiful nights sleep.

Coffee scrubs do wonders for the skin as the coffee grounds are used as a natural exfoliator, whilst the caffeine stimulates blood flow, effective against cellulite and stretch marks. I actually couldn't recommend coffee scrubs over the average exfoliator enough, i'm so in love with them.

You can find all of Optiats scrubs here for £9.99 or their travel size versions for £6.99. My travel size version is still going and I have had a lot of use out of it, possibly around 8 uses with even more left to go. These would be perfect for taking on holiday if you've had a long day out in the sun or to take to a friends house for a girly night in. The brand also has 6 gift sets to choose from if you know a coffee scrub addict like myself - these would be the perfect birthday or even Christmas present (yes I am excited for christmas time already, i must be crazy..) The options include the "large gift box" consisting of all 4 full size coffee scrubs, the "small gift box" consisting of all 4 travel size scrubs, perfect for someone who wants to test all the scrubs out before purchasing their favourite full size product. You can also change these gift sets around so you can choose the combination of scrubs you want.

The other gift sets include the "Men's gift box", "hangover healer", "post-gym lifter" and finally the "night-out prep". All of these boxes consist of different goodies along with one full size scrub. I'm definitely intrigued by the hangover healer box the most, everything looks so good!

My only fault with the product was that I expected to be able to use it in the shower as my Scrub Love scrub was recommend to be used in the shower/bath and worked wonderfully, but when I used this one in the shower it ran straight down my face almost like my skin was too damp. The difference between these products was that the Scrub Love product was more like coffee granules whereas the Optiat scrub was more like a paste formula. Other than this I thought the scrub was beautiful and smells so delightful it makes you want to eat it!

I would definitley recommend trying coffee scrubs if you still have yet to or are curious about how good they actually are as more and more brands are starting to come out with their own ranges. I think the Optiat prices are great and you really get what you pay for. Go get yourself your favourite scrub from the website and become part of the #scrubsquad on instagram sharing a selfie of you and your scrub!

shannon
x

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

dealing with the loss of a loved one.

I've never had to cope with losing someone, someone that you love so dearly you couldn't imagine a life without them in it. well here I am, coping.

Last month on May 18th my boyfriend lost his dad. I thought nothing could possibly get worse than that, but the following night on May 19th my granddad passed away also. Both losses were never expected and I think that's why i'm still in shock. I can't help but think about the heartache I felt those nights every day since. I never imagined the day I'd lose one important person in my life, let alone two in such a short space of time.

I feel like no matter what I say in this post I won't ever be able to write exactly what i'm feeling because it is quite honestly indescribable. I hate looking back onto both those nights, they're still so fresh in my mind almost like it all happened yesterday. I couldn't sleep for what felt like forever, there was so much going on in my head and dealing with the reality of everything that had happened was keeping me up at night. It's exhausting when you lose someone. You feel like you can't breathe. You feel numb.

My grandad was one of the most important people in the entire world to me. I've always been close to him ever since I was a little girl and I never imagined the day that he would be taken away from me. He was a truly wonderful man with a heart full of gold. He used to try teaching me how to play guitar, something that I thought I wanted to get into again a few months ago. I remember one Christmas he bought me three old Audrey Hepburn movies because he remembered me telling him that I loved her, I gave him a big hug and told him I would watch Breakfast at Tiffany's that night, I have since then always classed that as one of my absolute favourite films and will now always remind me of him. I guess in some ways I consider myself very similar to my granddad, I think he's where I get my love for old jazz and rock n' roll music from. His memory will live on in my heart forever and I hope to make him proud of everything I accomplish throughout the rest of my life. He is and always will remain a light in my life and I'd give anything to just have one last hug and conversation with him.

We all have to cope when we lose someone that we love, but coping is a strange concept. I don't think you ever really get over it. You just have to live with it as best as you can and live each day as you usually would. We regret things like not making the effort to see them as much or we point out silly things that we should of done, but life can't be reversed and all you can do is live each day with love and show those around you how much you care about them.

If someone close to you loses someone that they love all you can do is be there in their time of need to comfort them however they may need it and although you might feel like you're doing nothing, you're doing a lot more than you think by just simply being there by their side and offering kind words and comfort. Everything is unpredictable, no one really knows how to "handle" the suffering that comes with loss. The sadness, the anxiety, the heartbreak and mostly the unknown. It's daunting, but somehow we have to manage.

The night my boyfriends dad passed, I didn't know what to do. I felt so hopeless and that I wasn't doing enough to be there and comfort him in such a traumatic time. I understand now that although I still want to help him through his heartbreak as much as I possibly can, I will still be here to offer support whenever he may need it at whatever time, no matter what and that's the best thing I can do.

"The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal yourself and will rebuild yourself around the loss you've suffered. You will be whole again but, you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to."

Thursday, 20 April 2017

HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO WORKOUT



I think we're all guilty of making a new years resolution to start working out more and eat healthier in the new year and suddenly before you know it, all good intentions are thrown out of the window after a few weeks / months and you end up stuck in a rut. Seriously we've all been there, don't feel bad about it. I've been really interested in looking into fitness and nutrition lately so please don't hate me too much for the huge pile of blog posts I have lined up around both subjects.. anywaaaay, I've been really getting back into exercise lately and I've been finding new workouts that I am loving, so I thought i'd share some tips with you lovely lot on how to motivate yourself to get up from that sofa and stay fit and healthy for good!

Create A Playlist - This is without fail one of the first things I do to motivate myself to work out again after having more time off than I should be having.. create a playlist that will make you feel like you want to get up and dance and you'll be good to go! I love throwing a bit of Beyonce and Kehlani into my playlist as they make me feel just that bit sassier and make me kick some butt when I workout. 10/10 would highly recommend.

Workout Gear - okay so I'm not telling you to splash out on any designer sports brands that will suddenly make you want to work out, but if you can get hold of any gym gear from high street shops like Primark or even if you have a pair of leggings and a baggy tshirt at home it will give you a bit more encouragement to work out. I always feel like as soon as I put on my workout gear I make myself feel like I HAVE to workout even if i'm feeling too lazy, I end up doing it anyway and end up feeling amazingly satisfied afterwards.

Motivation Quotes - 99.9% of us are probably guilty of scrolling through instagram and ending up on a model's page and feeling bad about ourselves, right? I know I'm sure as hell guilty of it every now and then. I think the biggest question is simply "why?" why do we allow ourselves to feel bad about our bodies just because we think someone else has the perfect abs or perfectly toned legs? We're all different, but we're all equally just as beautiful, but if you feel like you want to feel better about yourself then it's simply down to your own actions. put in the effort, put in the work and you'll feel fab in no time! scrolling through pinterest and seeing motivational quotes always help encourage me to work out even when I really don't feel like it.

The Food You Eat - If you're eating foods that you clearly know aren't doing your body any favours, switch them up for something that's going to give you energy and feel good! A healthy lifestyle is made up of 70% healthy eating and 30% exercising so remember that next time you think of reaching for that cheeky family size bar of chocolate. Think about the things you're eating and how it's going to treat your body. Love pizza? don't worry, you don't have to give it up. Just make your own with healthier alternative. Cut down on the amount of cheese you're adding to the base or don't add any at all (it's just as yummy I promise), add some colourful veggies and tomato puree and boom, healthy pizza complete. You can also find so many healthy snack ideas online, put the effort in and you'll get the results you want!

Remember Why You Started - Every time I feel like I can't motivate myself to get up and moving I remember why I started. I remember the times that I put on a pair of shorts and felt uncomfortable wearing them because they didn't look as good as I wished they would or I remember the feeling that I get whilst working out and how much I love it and suddenly I feel bad for not working out.

Challenge Yourself - No ones forcing you to spend hours at the gym straight away, start with beginners workouts and ease yourself into a routine. Maybe add something new to your workouts each week, challenge yourself to do another set if you're into circuit training, do 2 minutes extra of burpees or do a few extra squats. you got this!

shannon
x

Sunday, 2 April 2017

HOW I LOST 42lb

Just over a year ago I made the decision to change my eating habits and follow a vegan diet. I wrote a post a year ago called "A healthier, happier me" which is probably one of my favourite posts to look back on and think about the different person I've become. I've been wanting to write a post for months now about my vegan story I guess you could call it, but I've been putting it off for a while because I didn't know how to word it in a way that people wouldn't think I was shoving my opinions down their throat. Anyways, today I'm finally going to write about my vegan journey so if you carry on reading it would mean a lot.
photo from pinterest

I've always struggled with liking myself ever since I was around 12 years old, I was always one of the bigger kids at school because of my height and going through puberty at a young age I grew boobs faster than a lot of girls my age and piled on a few pounds quickly, so yeah I was very insecure. Ever since I was 14 I was trying all sorts of diets to help me lose a few pounds so I could feel better about myself, but I would only ever put the weight back on again. I tried fad diet after fad diet and even if I lost 9lb I still wasn't happy and as soon as the number on the scales would stop moving down, I would give up. I became obsessed with trying to lose weight that I wondered when I would actually start to feel good about myself. I remember stopping fad diets all together and just began eating whatever I felt like eating, good food and bad food, I got to a point where I just didn't care even though I knew I wasn't doing any favours to my body and I would regret eating sugar in the long run.

On February 28th 2016 I was out shopping on my sisters birthday, I remember walking into Topshop and seeing my reflection in a full length mirror and I felt so disgusted with myself that I could of cried right there and then. I knew that I needed to make a change so when I got home I started talking to my friend who had already decided to go vegan a month before, I asked her for advice and the reasons why she decided to make that change, but then she told me to watch a video called "101 reasons to go vegan" (highly recommend watching it, it's brilliant) which was an hour long presentation explaining logical reasons about why we think it's okay to eat animals and the nutrients you can get from other foods. I watched that video late at night and suddenly the next day I cut out all things meat and dairy from my diet, it was simple and so much easier than I ever expected it to be.

When I told my family about not eating meat or dairy products anymore they were supportive and only asked questions like why it would make a difference. I got comments from some people laughing and saying "yeah right, like that's going to last" and since then I've only proved them wrong. A year and 2 months later here I am, still following a vegan diet and feeling better than I've ever felt in my life. You don't realise how much of a difference a vegan diet makes until you follow it yourself, but I haven't missed meat or dairy at all throughout the year, I just don't think about it anymore. I lost weight gradually throughout the year and although it was a pretty slow process it was completely worth it. You get so used to eating really healthy food that you stop thinking about it as a diet, you think of it as a lifestyle change. I didn't ONLY follow a vegan diet because of my weight, I did it for the cruelty of animals. I absolutely adore animals, pigs being my favourite. I was in denial about how cruel farmers are towards animals and how many animals have to be killed every single day just so you can enjoy one meal. It's pretty disgusting when you really think about it. When I changed my eating habits my sister told me "I could never cut out meat, I eat it too much" and a few months later she became vegetarian. It is SO simple to cut out meat from your diet and I promise you that it is 100% worth the change. I am now 42lb lighter and am the lowest weight I've been in a very very long time. I try to work out as often as I can to help feel healthier and better about myself and I feel amazing. I know that I will never go back to eating meat or dairy as I know that neither things are actually good for our bodies and the many many vegan recipes that are out there are just so yummy that I would never even think of looking back into eating such dull foods again. Since becoming vegan I have discovered a huge love for making my own vegan recipes and cooking great food packed full of nutrients. Following a plant based diet reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer so I couldn't recommend following this diet not only to save animals but for your health.

A lot of people go vegan after following a vegetarian diet for a few months or years as they believe that you'll last longer on a vegan diet this way, but I've coped just fine with going straight into following this lifestyle. You can find endless amounts of information about the reasons you should become vegan and the list of benefits you can get from it. I have found that not only did I lose weight since I started, but I always have that boost of energy that I never had before, as well as my skin feeling so much healthier. Even after a year, I still get people asking me what the point in veganism is, other people saying that we need meat to live (I'm constantly trying not to roll my eyes at this comment) and other people just give me a judgemental look as if i'm crazy for cutting out animal products from my diet. It's quite funny how many people get offended when you tell them you're vegan, like why does it matter to them? it's my body.

Veganism is becoming more and more popular and more supermarkets are stocking up on vegan friendly foods (there's already so many options anyway), but if you're from the UK you'll notice that a lot of local supermarkets have a "free from" section which has a lot of vegan goodies. You don't have to totally cut out everything from your diet at once if you do decide to go vegan, it's just something I did, but take baby steps if you feel you can't do it all at once. A lot of foods you eat already are probably vegan friendly, you just didn't know. Like hello, oreos? get in my belly. I still eat vegan junk food sometimes when I have movie nights with my boyfriend. I just try not to make it a habit as I know it's not doing any good to my body and I don't want to gain the weight I lost as it's been quite the journey.

I'm so happy and proud of myself for making that change and if you are struggling to find a diet that suits you, I couldn't recommend trying to go vegan enough, even if it is just for a week! See how you find it. I used to hate vegetables and now I eat them every single day, plus you can make vegan food really fun and colourful by trying out different things. See for yourself, you might love it!

I'm also trying to focus on buying only cruelty free makeup products, even though i'm still in the process of using up old makeup that I know isn't cruelty free. There are tons of brands out there that are vegan / cruelty free such as Tarte, Too Faced, Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Kat Von D beauty.

I think that's everything covered, I feel like I've been rambling a bit, but hey-ho whatever I guess.

Would you ever go vegan?

shannon