Shannon Michelle

Shannon Michelle

Beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger from the UK..

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

MILK & HONEY | BOOK REVIEW

I know I'm a bit late with this one and this post is way overdue, but I feel such a need to talk about this book. Milk & Honey written by the beautifully talented poet Rupi Kaur is quite possibly the most beautiful piece of art I have ever read.

One of my close friends bought me Milk & Honey for Christmas last year and although I literally finished reading the book the day I got it, I've been obsessed with it ever since. Now I've never written a book review so I don't really know how these types of posts go down or how they're written but hey let's just roll with it..

I really got into reading poetry last year, it started with posts I kept seeing appear on my pinterest dashboard and so many pieces of writing sort of just stuck with me and I thought "wow this is deep" and the more and more I read, the more I loved it. I discovered Rupi Kaur on Instagram where she posts hundreds of poems and I knew I needed her book "milk & honey" asap, especially when I started seeing people posting about it everywhere.

There are 4 chapters to the book, each serving a different purpose, the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. All as beautiful yet heart aching as each other, every simple piece of writing with as deep meaning as the next. All with powerful context and understanding the pain in every poem.

My favourite poems in the book are so simple yet so beautiful :

"it is a part of the
human experience to feel pain
do not be afraid
open yourself to it"

"if you were born with
the weakness to fall
you were born with
the strength to rise"

The book is all about the bitter and the sweet to life, the pain you feel, the love that you crave and the power to overcome things you never thought possible. Femininity and the human body, the beauty from the inside and the beauty that only some see on the outside and how much heartbreak a person may face. But all these things are worth experiencing, because you simply feel. These poems are brought to life as you feel the words that Rupi Kaur writes with such emotion.


I feel as though I relate to some of these poems and I definitely shed a few tears throughout this book as all of the poems are so heart felt and incredible. Most pages have very minimal writing and basic illustrations but each poem is as special as the next.

My favourite chapter was about healing, how she overcame the pain from heartbreak and how she became the person she is today, it is truly inspiring.

I couldn't recommend this book enough, especially to those that are looking into reading more poetry or those that wish they could express themselves through writing the same way Rupi Kaur expresses herself. I've always loved words, it sounds silly, but reading, writing, lyrics in songs, that's what makes me smile.

"milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look."



Have you read Milk & Honey?

Shannon
x

Monday, 4 September 2017

8 REASONS IM EXCITED FOR AUTUMN

Ahh Autumn, the season where it's acceptable to spend all day baking pumpkin spiced everything and snuggling up with your favourite blanket, watching Gilmore Girls and drinking your body weight in coffee. There really is nothing better.

You've probably found yourself reading about a million of Autumn related posts already, but really, what blogger isn't obsessed with all things pumpkin scented and Autumn inspired?! I always look forward to this season as it slowly gets more acceptable to talk about Christmas, eeek, and it's also the lead up to my birthday so the next four months are always exciting.

My favourite ways to spend my days in Autumn time include baking all things comforting, lighting sweet and cozy candles, wearing big ol' jumpers, listening to the best jazz playlists and being my most creative, whether that's grabbing a paintbrush and painting whatever comes to mind or getting out my laptop and losing myself in writing whilst drinking giant cups of coffee or hot chocolate, yummm.

Here's a few things I'm excited for this Autumn:

Photos -
Autumn is the perfect season for photos, although it's not always too bright and if you're like me who still relies on natural lighting to take photos it can be a little bit trickier to take good enough photos on days where it can be gloomy and when it gets darker earlier. Other than that I think photos tend to look cosier and there are so many autumnal props that can be used in photos (I can't wait to get hold of some). If you're feeling uninspired to take photos then websites like Pinterest and We Heart It are great places to gain some inspo. Being the Pinterest addict that I am, I created my own Autumn board so feel free to follow and use that as your source of inspiration!

Baking -
The options for baking in Autumn are literally endless! It's a perfect time to play around with different spices and end up making your home smell sooo delightful. I have so many things I plan on making, here are a few that I found that are totally worth drooling over:
  1. Apple Crumble FlapJacks by Charlottes Lively Kitchen
  2. Blackberry, Apple & Gingerbread Crumble by Wallflower Kitchen
  3. Clean Gingerbread Granola by Hedi Hearts
  4. Soft Pumpkin Ginger Cookies by The Veg Life
  5. Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts by Wallflower Kitchen
  6. Gluten Free Apple Spice Cake by The Pretty Bee 

Bubble baths -
Obviously no ones saying you can only take bubble baths in Autumn, but they sure are more enjoyable in the colder months than in the summer when it can be waaay too hot to even think about going in the bath and instead opt for a cold shower. I'm sure it won't be long at all until Lush release their halloween bath bombs and I can't wait to stock up on every single one of those asap. I love reading a good book while I'm in the bath and right now I've been loving "Flawed" by Cecelia Ahern.

 
Candles -
It was so obvious that candles would of course be on this list, but hey, ya girl has gotta do what she's gotta do to be happy and if that's buying a million and seven autumn scented candles that pretty much all smell the same then so be it. I just wish it was a heck of a lot easier to be able to get hold of candles from Bath & Body Works in the UK because I'd be all over those, but Yankee candles will suffice for time being!

Halloween -
Oh my god, I love Halloween so much and it doesn't get hyped up half as much as it needs to in the UK. Literally everything about halloween excites me from the costumes, to the parties, the horror movies, the fun snack / baking ideas and decorating your home as scary as you like. It's all so fun!

Oversized Everything - 
Autumn is the perfect excuse to wear literally anything oversized to make you look warm and cozy, but jumpers are definitley at the top of the list. Jumpers are cardigans are two of my favourite wardrobe staples so I can't wait to find these babies in the deep depths of my wardrobe again. I'm already crushing on so many jumpers from Urban Outfitters, I want them all.

Netflix -
I'm sure we all find ourselves indoors a lot more when it's colder and Netflix is always calling for us on those days where it's raining or- okay it's calling us all the time. My absolute favourite thing to watch when it's a horrible day will always be Gilmore Girls, I don't care what anyone says, it's the most coziest tv show ever and I will rewatch it for the rest of my life .. Pair Gilmore Girls with a warm drink and some pjs and boom you have a perfect lazy day sorted.

Music -
I create playlists for literally every season, it's essential. I always throw some jazz on autumnal / wintery playlists as it's so chill but happy at the same time. I absolutely adore Ella Fitzgerald so adding her music to these playlists are a must. I love listening to music when I'm baking or cooking as it puts me in a great mood, so I can't wait to create and share my Autumn 2017 playlist with you all!

What do you love about Autumn?

Shannon
x

Monday, 28 August 2017

10 BEAUTIFUL QUOTES ON SELF LOVE







If you can't love yourself,you can't love anyone else!!LOVE YOURSELF,YOU ARE AMAZING IN YOU'RE OWN WAY
Sometimes it's hard to love yourself especially in the society that we live in and quite honestly, it sucks. I feel like we're all stuck in a position at some point in our lives where we struggle to truly love ourselves. It's something I know I've struggled with my entire teenage years. The pressure to fit in at school and look right, to looking as perfect as someone else on social media. We can't change who we are, but somehow that's what most of us wish we could do. It's horrible comparing yourself to others because there's something about someone else that you wish you could change about yourself.

I know some days I can feel really good about myself and I have many days where I wish I could look completely different, but I know that I shouldn't allow myself to think negatively about the way I look as I am who I am and there's no way of changing it. Honestly, I should embrace it. We're all unique and that's what makes us beautiful.

So whenever you're feeling low, here's a few quotes that will hopefully help you pick yourself up and realise that you are you, and that's perfect.

 "Happiness is the secret to all beauty. There is no beauty without happiness." - Christian Dior.

"I can't think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself."

"Self love is the greatest middle finger of all time."

"She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul." - F. Scott Fitzgerald.

"Be confident. Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something or someone we aren't. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses. It's only when you accept everything you are and aren't you will truly succeed."

"Another women's beauty is not the absence of your own."

"You are worth finding, worth knowing, worth loving. You and all your one million layers. Always hold that close."

"The strongest actions for a women is to love herself, be herself and shine amongst those who never believed she could."

"You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people."

"Allow yourself to transform as many times as you need to be fully happy and free."


Shannon 
x

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

LUCA AND GRAE WISHLIST

I was originally going to write a wish list featuring several brands, but I soon realised just how many of the items on the list were from Luca and Grae so I thought why not make it a brand feature post? it definitely deserves the recognition and to be spoken about a bit more. Quite a few of you may not have heard of the brand Luca and Grae, but their entire website is so dreamy so you should definitely go and check it out.

The brand was created by Aspyn Ovard who is one of my favourite Youtubers/Bloggers, her outfits are always stunning and her travel videos with her husband Parker are quite honestly the cutest and make me want to book a flight to near enough anywhere to explore somewhere new. I was so happy when I found out Aspyn had launched her own website sharing the most flawless designs back in 2016 and have been in love with it ever since. So here's a wishlist of things I am obsessing over at the moment on Luca and Grae.

1. Botanical Gardens Dress - $60
2. Notting Hill Striped Pants - $39
3. Prairie Floral Top And Maxi Skirt Set - $60
4. Lido Deck Striped Jumpsuit - $49
5. Daydreamer Dress - $37
6. Milla Striped Dress - $32
7. Flores Bordadas Denim Mini Skirt - $35
8. Palm Trees And Coconuts Romper - $65
9. Sweet Pink Alyssum Romper - $42
10. Blanc Tank Top - $17

I love how all of the items are so fresh and modern and able to make you look effortlessly stunning. I literally need everything from the site, like right now.

What are your thoughts on Luca and Grae?

Shannon 
x

Saturday, 12 August 2017

CREATING MY OWN HAPPINESS


Lately I've been stuck in a rut and i'm having a hard time getting out of it. I just feel like I can't get into the routine of doing anything. Like my motivation and enthusiasm to do the things I love are thinning out and as much as I don't want to allow myself to do this to myself, here I am letting it happen.

I'm trying to grow my blog as much as I can so I can hopefully pursue it as a career some day because I love writing so much, but then I start overthinking things and comparing my blog to others, thinking that it's not good enough, that I need a new camera and better equipment just so I can be better. I start comparing myself to other bloggers that look beautiful in all of their photos and wishing I could look like that and it brings me down. I hate being a negative nelly on my blog because it's my happy place where I love to spread positive vibes, but right now I really am struggling.

Life is currently a struggle, many personal things going through my head, trying to please other people and forgetting to please myself in the process, finishing college and not knowing what to do and thinking about how I am possibly going to make a success out of myself if I'm stuck without knowing what i'm doing.

There is so much I want to do with my life.

I want to travel around the world, see the romance in Paris to exploring the beaches in Hawaii. I want my life to be full of fun and energy. I want to write for everyone to read and feel inspired. I want to buy cute outfits to make myself feel fabulous. I want to drink endless amounts of iced coffee without judgement. I want to create the happiest of playlists so I can feel careless and free. I want to own the most gorgeous home with my boyfriend and the cutest Australian Shepherd puppy.  I want to start my own family. I want to try new recipes, no matter how bad they might end up. I want to go to Disneyworld with friends and enjoy myself. I want to smile at the little things that might seem silly to other people. I want so many things and i'm going to make them happen.

Over time I know that things will get better and I will be able to make these changes to my life, I can work even harder towards my goals and become the greatest version of myself that I can possible be. But it is okay to be down sometimes, no matter the reason, but everything will be okay as long as you have a positive mindset and I know that's exactly what I need to do.

I feel like maybe I was rambling a bit too much in this post and maybe there isn't much of a point to it, but I just want to say that you are the only person who can determine your own happiness and you are the only person who can help yourself to strive towards your goals and be your own boss. You got this. I definitely need to tell myself this more often when I am stuck in these sort of ruts, but it's okay because I know that in the end everything will be fine.

"You are a product of your own design, you are capable of everything you tell yourself. You are a product of your imagination, your handwork, you determination. You will only ever be what you allow yourself to be. Limits are only as high as you set them and goals are only as in reach as you allow them to be, if you cannot accept the fact that your life is down to you, and only you, you will not achieve greatness."
— 
Responsibility by Amy Kennedy
                what is your biggest goal?
             Shannon
            x

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

100+ BLOG POST IDEAS

pinterest | bellaxlovee ✧☾
If you're struggling with writers block, I hope this post helps you with some new ideas. To make this a bit easier, I've separated these ideas into the following categories: beauty, lifestyle, fashion, food & blogging. Leave a comment below if you liked any of these ideas!

Beauty:

  1. Favourite / holy grail products round up
  2. Makeup wish list
  3. Current favourite beauty trends
  4. Current beauty trends you don't like
  5. Everyday makeup look
  6. Date night makeup look
  7. Quick n' easy makeup and hair look
  8. Share your favourite highlighters
  9. "Fresh face" makeup look
  10. Try a skincare diy and share the results!
  11. Whats in my makeup bag
  12. Tips on cleaning out your makeup collection
  13. Favourite fragrence
  14. Monthly favourites
  15. Nail routine
  16. Roundup of your favourite beauty bloggers / vloggers
  17. Hair care routine
  18. Share your favourite makeup dupes
  19. Try a new subscription box and share your thoughts
  20. Review a new product that no ones talking about yet
  21. Summer skincare favourites
  22. Winter skincare saviours
  23. Share your lipstick collection!
  24. Day to night makeup look
  25. Underrated / overrated products
  26. Budget beauty finds
  27. Makeup look under £20
  28. "Get the look" inspired by a celeb
  29. Summer proof makeup
  30. Makeup haul
  31. How to keep your skin hydrated
Lifestyle / Personal:

  1. Morning / night routine
  2. How to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle
  3. Share your monthly to-do list
  4. Ways to reduce stress
  5. A day in your life
  6. Write about your dreams for the future
  7. Your current favourite Netflix picks
  8. Travel bucket list
  9. How to grow confidence
  10. Share your current playlist!
  11. Life cleansing tips
  12. 10 things to do before bed
  13. 10 things NOT to do before bed
  14. Book review
  15. Instagram roundup
  16. Host a giveaway!
  17. Talk about how you stay creative
  18. How to encourage yourself to workout
  19. 20 things to do when you're having a bad day
  20. Share your favourite everyday life hacks
  21. Talk about your favourite apps
  22. Try a Q&A post!
  23. Do a "Get to know me" tag!
  24. Share some productivity tips
  25. Share some healthy habits everyone should have
  26. How to become a morning person!
  27. 15 quotes to live by
  28. Talk about your workout routine
  29. What you did this weekend
  30. Share some back to school tips
  31. Talk about how you overcame something in your life
Fashion:

  1. Your current wardrobe wishlist
  2. OOTD
  3. Show us your shoe collection!
  4. How to mix & match prints
  5. Favourite summer accessories
  6. What's in my bag?
  7. Your current favourite fashion trends
  8. Current fashion trends you don't like
  9. 5 wardrobe staples you couldn't live without
  10. Your favourite fashion bloggers / instagram accounts
  11. How to declutter your wardrobe
  12. 10 ways to style a white shirt or other clothing item
  13. Share a clothing haul!
  14. Style inspiration board
  15. Talk about your style icon(s)
  16. Tips on thrift shopping
  17. Talk about your favourite designer brands!

Food: 

  1. Share your favourite recipe!
  2. Your favourite spots to eat abroad or in your city
  3. Your favourite food bloggers / instagram accounts
  4. How to clean up your eating habits
  5. Clean eating snack ideas
  6. Budget meals for the week
  7. How to meal prep like a pro
  8. Your favourite detox water ideas
  9. How you got into baking / cooking 
  10. Share your favourite comfort food / meals
  11. Your recipe book collection
  12. A list of food documentaries you've been loving
  13. Halloween treats
  14. Christmas baking!
  15. Try a recipe from pinterest and share your thoughts
  16. Write about a childhood recipe you loved!
  17. Share some baking tips
  18. Kitchen equipment you couldn't live without
  19. Date night meal ideas!
  20. 5 weekday meals you love

Blogging:

  1. Share some of the best photography tips
  2. What you've learnt during (..) years of blogging
  3. Create a helpful resource list!
  4. Tips on how to increase your blog traffic
  5. Talk about your photography equipment
  6. How to create the perfect flat-lay
  7. Why you started blogging
  8. What keeps you motivated / inspired to keep blogging
  9. An equipment wishlist
  10. A guide to google analytics

I hope you liked these ideas and have helped you gain some inspiration. 

What are your favourite type of blog posts to read?

Shannon
x

photo from pinterest.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

CLEAN EATING SNACK IDEAS

If you're trying to follow a healthy lifestyle or want to make gradual changes to your diet, snacking is a major part of it. Sometimes when we've planned out our meals for the day when we're being super healthy, we forget about the snacks in between meals. I personally don't snack as much during the day like I used to which I love, but sometimes it is really nice to have a little something to fill the gap between lunch and dinner or in the evenings. So here are a few of my favourite snack ideas, hopefully these will help you to eat a bit cleaner instead of eating processed foods between meals or to encourage you to try some new foods!

1 -  Matcha tea: 
I used to, well actually still do, see so many people on Instagram and Youtube raving about Matcha tea/lattes. I tried matcha for the first time around a year ago and honestly didn't love it all too much, but I decided to try it again recently and have developed a liking for it a bit more, but I definitely think the more I start drinking it the more it will grow on me. Matcha is so good for boosting your metabolism and burning calories as well as being rich in fibre, chlorophyll and vitamins! 

2 - Fresh fruit:
This is the most obvious one that you've heard a million times before, but not only does fruit taste incredible anyway, but each kind of fruit benefits your body in some way or another. You can't really go wrong by eating it. Reaching for a cup of strawberries, blueberries or cherries is so much healthier than reaching for a chocolate bar which is just going to give you energy for all of five minutes until you have a sugar crash and zero energy, but hey we're all guilty of doing it anyway so don't sweat it. 

3 - Bell pepper slices with hummus:
Okay so hummus is my absolute favourite food anyway so i'm lucky that it's healthy and isn't causing my body any harm, but omg, try it with red bell pepper slices and you will cry tears of happiness (maybe not but you get the point), IT'S JUST SO DAMN GOOD.

4 - Raw protein bars
These are one of the best snacks if you're on the go or don't have much time to prep anything like cutting up fruit. You can make a big batch of raw protein bars and store them in airtight container to grab on the go. 
Here's a few suggestions to try:
Super Healthy Granola Bar by Eats Amazing
No-Bake Protein bars by Whole New Mom
No-Bake Superfood Granola Bars by Domestic Gothess

5 - Raw energy balls
These are basically the same things as energy/protein bars just in ball form. There are SO many recipes for these simple little creations and they all look amazing. I used to be obsessed with making these and will definitley get back into snacking on them again as they're packed with nutrients and give you the perfect amount of energy!
Here's a few recipes I've found:
No Bake Chia Energy Bites by My Fussy Eats
Raw Chocolate Brownie Bites (nut free) by Wallflower Kitchen
"Nutella" Stuffed Cookie Dough Balls by Nadias Healthy Kitchen (I will definitley be making these sometime soon!!)

6 - Carrot Fries
I recently started making these and they're so amazing you wouldn't think they're as healthy as they are! If you don't want to follow a high carb diet, then making carrot fries instead of potato fries is definitley a great alternative. I cut these into thin strips, put them onto a baking tray with a tiny amount of olive oil and sprinkle some seasonings onto them, baking them in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, depending on how how crunchy you want them, the shorter you leave them the crunchier they are. I also highly recommend dipping these in hummus! (these are in the photo above)

7 - Popcorn + cinnamon
Make some air-popped popcorn (around 2 cups) and sprinkle with a teaspoon of cinnamon and enjoy as a healthy movie night snack. I can imagine adding a little bit of coconut sugar into this would make it taste even better and give it a sweeter flavour while still remaining healthy and enjoyable!

8 - Apple + peanut butter
This is one of my absolute favourite healthy snacks! I simply cut one apple into slices with a tablespoon of peanut butter on the side, I also love sprinkling cinnamon on the apple slices as it makes this 100x more yummy, but is completely optional. You can use any other nut butter if you want, I would love to try this with hazelnut butter!

9 - Homemade tortilla chips + salsa
This is also another favourite healthy snack idea that i've been making for years. I slice one tortilla into small triangles and place them in the oven for around ten minutes to crisp them up. I then dip this into salsa or hummus and I love it! You could also dip these into guacamole but I'm really not a fan of avocado so I personally don't really like this.
Here are some great salsa and hummus recipes to try!:
Sweetcorn Salsa by Delicious Magazine
Lazy Day Salsa by The Slow Roasted Italian
The Best Homemade Fresh Tomato Salsa by Little Broken
Classic Hummus by Gimme Some Oven
Thai Peanut Hummus by Fooduzzi
Smoky Red Pepper Hummus by Poppy And The Bees

10 - Chocolate "Nice Cream"
Place 2 -3 frozen bananas (make sure you cut them up before freezing), 1 tbsp cacao powder and a splash of soy / any other plant milk (I use coconut) in a blender and blend until it forms a smooth ice cream like texture. You can play around with this recipe by adding things like dark chocolate chips or topping the nice cream with fresh fruit and coconut flakes. There are so many options! This is perfect on a sunny day when you crave ice cream but would like a plant based / healthier alternative.

These are just a few suggestions but I hope they helped you with some new ideas, let me know if you try any!

What's your favourite healthy snack?

Shannon
x