30 Day Song Challenge, Day 2

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Today's song is intended to be a song that reminds you of your parents. I am going to cheat here and show you one that also reminds me of my grandparents.

It was really hard to narrow it down because as a kid, we had a really extensive vinyl collection ranging from Rat Packers to '70s and '80s musicals (think hours of listening to the original cast albums of Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, Annie, The Fantasticks and tons of others).

I did love putting on Beatles music and listening to it with my parents, and this one was always one of my favorites to listen to with them. I don't know if it was the silly lyrics that made me like it so much, but it was always one of my favorites.:

The Beatles-- I am the Walrus

And my grandparents. Every time we visited, I remember listening to vinyls of some of the stars from the golden age of jazz, including Nat King Cole. This brings me right back to their house as a kid...and even though they've both now passed, it brings back memories.

Nat King Cole--Unforgettable 

What songs remind you of your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles, etc.?

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Amanda from Clasicgrl.com, My Queen of Hearts Sponsor

I have recently opened up my blog to paid and unpaid sponsorships. For now (the quantity and pricing may change, but I am really excited to start the series!), my paid sponsors will get their own post dedicated to them in addition to plenty of social media love and exposure.

Yes, Wednesdays are typically for YouTube videos, but as I was spending time with my family and friends here in the US, I haven't had time to finish filming one.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my first feature: Amanda from Classicgrl.com!

Amanda has been on a little hiatus from blogging, but is back and ready to dive in full force. I am so glad she has chosen to be featured on my site as I am really happy to connect with her. Amanda is also an expat living in the UK, however she is from Melbourne, Australia and living up in the Toon (Newcastle to the uninitiated!).

I started writing my blog in February 2014. I was working in a job I felt stuck in and started writing my blog as an outlet, then decided it was a great space to document things in my life. Things I've bought, things I like, things that make me happy, new experiences, old memories and more.
I'm from Australia and I moved to the UK to live with my boyfriend last year after being in a long-distance relationship for 4 & a half years! It was such a challenging and exciting time in my life and I wrote about it on my blog back in May last year here  and here.

Also, more recently, after living together for almost a year my boyfriend and I are expecting a baby! It was so exciting to write my pregnancy announcement on my blog here .

At the moment my favourite film is Paddington - I watched it recently with my boyfriend and fell in love with it! It is so adorable and funny, it's the best!

I have a confession to make - I love One Direction! I love listening to a bit of pop music that makes me want to dance and sing at the top of my lungs!

 I used to play the saxophone - I played it for about 15 years and stopped when I was going through a difficult time in my life. I still have one back at my parents house in Australia and whenever I pick it up I can still play it. I would love to get back into it one day.
I also used to dance when I was younger - and before I moved to the UK I started again and did contemporary ballet, jazz ballet and ballroom dancing for about a year. Since moving here I have bought new dance shoes and clothes but haven't found anywhere to do classes yet. I'm hoping to start dancing again after I've had the baby!
  Forcing my boyfriend to sing and dance to One Direction songs with me!

 This is such a hard question - I have so many! Aside from the big bloggers that everyone loves - Zoella & Sprinkle Of Glitter, I have made some new blogger friends during my time blogging. I love reading Katy's blog - www.littlemisskaty.co.uk, Kirstie's blog - www.ayellowbrickblog.com and Elle's blog - www.xgardenofedenx.co.uk. 

 My favourite city is probably Melbourne, Australia where I grew up - mostly because it is familiar to me and there is so much to do. London is too big and scary for me!

 I have a history of depression, anxiety and PTSD. When I found out I was pregnant I stopped taking medication and feel like I have been coping really well considering, although it has been very hard.
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Political Correctness and Disability--Are Semantics Helpful or Divisive?

NOTE: I get that this topic may ruffle a lot of feathers. But before you judge the post before reading it, please be aware that this post is in no way advocating for outdated terminology or otherwise abusive or inappropriate use of words. I am merely interested in a discussion with other well meaning individuals who are only looking to be supportive of fellow members of the disabled community and their friends and family.

Let me just start off by saying I am disabled. I am disabled not in a way that you would be able to spot when I am doing my shopping or if you catch me in a conversation, and maybe not in a way you would see if we became friends. I am open about my disability (lupus SLE) and what living with it means, but it probably isn't the first thing I'll tell you about myself--it is just one of many things that make up who I am. That being said, there are very few words about disability, when applied to me, that I would take offense to. Perhaps if someone referred to me as "weak" or "lazy" (implying that the condition is my fault), I wouldn't be too pleased. Otherwise, if someone refers to me as "disabled," "lupie" (adjective lupus patients have come up with to describe themselves), "a lupus sufferer," etc., I find it hard to object to any of it. I also don't object to the notion that I do not live a normal life. My life is NOT the same as a normal, healthy woman my age. And that is okay, but it is a fact. I am not "normal" (whatever that even means!).

I recently came across a situation in which a woman was being bullied (via the Internet) for either a learning disability or being on the spectrum. I don't want to go into detail for fear of the person being identified, but people often refer to her in a very derogatory manner for not holding a job or for being an adult who lives with her parents. This infuriated me as it was obvious to me that the reason for her not living independently has less to do with a motivation problem and a lot more to do with another issue (can I say that? I can't even keep up!) that has not been disclosed (and doesn't have to be, as it is not our business).

I posted on a message board about this situation and how much it upset me. Although no one should be bullied, I find it most unfair for people to be bullied over something they can't help, such as a disability.

However, instead of people coming together to discuss ways to stop it or to express their frustration with the situation, I was met with a couple of people that were infuriated by the way I worded my post. One person was upset that I even inferred that this person may have a learning disability without knowing their situation and another was upset that I said she was not leading a "normal" life (the word "normal" is "highly offensive"). Apparently, the word "normal" is extremely offensive. I was also asked to refer to her as "unique" and was told I should say she is simply being bullied because she is "unique," like everyone else.

As a disabled person myself, this really frustrates me because a lot of these semantics almost seem patronizing. It is as if people are going out of their way to pretend the disability does not exist or to tell us we're just all "unique." In this way, I almost feel it brings even more negative attention to the disability, or is like giving us disabled folks a pat on the head to tell us "we're just okay as we are."

Secondly, I feel as though fighting over semantics (such as referring to a child as a child with autism as opposed to autistic, which I find confusing because many parents, including some I am related to, who are parents to children with autism refer to their child as both ways) takes the spotlight off of the real issues at hand. You can state your preference, especially when dealing with your own children, when it comes to semantics, but right-fighting and arguing over them over and over makes the person who is simply well meaning feel as though they shouldn't have even tried--or that they have gravely offended someone when all they did was speak in the vocabulary they know. It also, I think, makes the corrector feel a bit superior and makes the correctee feel very on edge and defensive.

Of course, as I stated in my warning, I am not referring to outdated terms or those that are universally offensive, but rather words that are different for different people. For example, some parents of children with learning disabilities I know are okay using the word "normal" or saying that their child is autistic, whilst others will say very angrily that these words are terribly offensive. Because there is no set guideline for things like this, it turns into making an issue over something that takes away from the actual issue at hand.

On the same token, I cringe when I hear words like "differently abled." We are all "differently abled" in that we are all good at some things and not so good at others, and those differ widely from person to person. But because I have bouts of arthritis that make it very hard for me to walk at times (and have since I was in my early 20s) doesn't make me "differently abled," but DISabled in comparison to my normal peers who do not have intermittent episodes of finding walking a challenge. Again, I find the "differently abled" language to be overly-cutesy, alienating and downright cringe-worthy.

Before I wrote this, I felt horrible that I may have offended someone. But then I read blog after blog after blog about people who have disabilities other than my own, and there seems to be a divide on semantics....but overall no real set guidelines or "acceptable terminology", other than that some people take it upon themselves to set you right and argue semantics no matter what.

Semantics can be important, but when they become overly divisive, confusing and take the focus off of real issues, you have to ask yourself whether or not it is worth correcting strangers who have well meaning intentions. I would have no problem with someone asking me to personally refer to their child or relative or themselves in a certain way, but I will not call all disabled people or people who process things differently than most people simply "unique." This, in itself, is something I find severely patronizing.

The author of the blog Lost and Tired: Confessions of an Autism Dad had this to say on the subject:

"Why are some people so sensitive to the word Autistic when I’ve spoken to many adults on the Spectrum who actually prefer the word Autistic and don’t find it offensive in the least [sic].

I think it’s important to remember that whether you use the word Autistic or with Autism,  it doesn’t change the reality of the situation.

To be completely honest,  when you put so much negative weight on a single word like,  Autistic,  you can give the impression that there is something wrong with being Autistic as it means the same as with Autism."

The author of the blog Autism and Oughtisms had this to say in a blog post (which you should read the whole thing as she is much more insightful than I am!):

"However, I’ve often seen these “language corrections” been used to shut down discussion, and to exclude people from taking part in discussions. Such language corrections also often come hand-in-hand with condescending and judgmental attitudes, that also serve to make the person being corrected feel belittled and shamed, regardless of the message or experience they were attempting to share.....

Many people who are new to autism rhetoric, can be overwhelmed by these endless corrections. I’ve read comments and posts by some who were scared away from either writing about or commenting on autism, because nothing they ever said was “right;” no matter how kind, correct or insightful their actual writing is."

In the end, the woman is still being bullied and no solutions were proposed on how to stop it. But at least I know a couple of people's opinions on what is and isn't extremely offensive. 

To me, these semantics also affect discussions of genocide, genocide education and other similar topics when we are out educating the public....but that is a whole other topic! 

I hope I am expressing myself clearly and you all don't think I am this horrible monster. Underneath anything, all people just want to be loved and acknowledged and to feel special. And that's all I want for anyone else--and for us all, in turn, to do the same for each other.

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One Year Blog-iversary

There isn't much to say with this one, other than I can't believe I made it to one year blogging! At times, it has been frustrating and disappointing, but those few times have always been overshadowed by the wonderful, amazing times, which have been certainly very plentiful.  I've made some great friends, made some wonderful connections and grown personally and professionally. I am so thankful to everyone who reads my blog and watches my YouTube...you guys are amazing. I am especially inspired by the stories of so many lupus patients whom I have connected with through my work here and on New Life Outlook....and I only got the gig with New Life Outlook because of my blog! 

Thank you so much to everyone and I am looking forward to many more years to come blogging my adventures and reading about yours. 


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Night Skin Care Routine

Interested in my nighttime skin care routine? Yeah, it is super interesting, guys. That nighttime routine. ;) Here it is in video form!

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Darccy London Tulle Skirt and Nude Shoes

This skirt and these shoes were both purchases I didn't intend to make. I had seen both of them and thought, "Oh, those are cute." but wasn't going to press the "Buy" button on them. But I kept thinking and thinking about them....

  So...clearly I bought them!
And they go well with my leather jacket which, if you couldn't tell, is one of my favorite purchases of spring.
 You can never go wrong with a good pair of nude shoes.
Where the Items are From:
White T-shirt: ASOS 
Tulle skirt: Darccy

Shoes: London Rebel

Flower Headband: Original Sold Out. Very similar.
Bracelets: MantraBand
Leather Jacket: River Island
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My Morning Skin Care Routine

Curious about my morning skin care routine? Duh, who isn't?! (I jest, clearly.) Head on over to my YouTube to see how I care for my skin and keep it looking fresh and moisturized. Yum! Follow along for some product recs if you've got similar type skin to me and create your own skin care routine.

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30 Day Song Challenge, Day 1

I saw this on Facebook and thought as a music lover, this 30 Day Song Challenge would be a fantastic way to connect with my audience and share memories. I have been really loving '90s songs lately, so this is fantastic. This won't be every day for the next 30 days, but sprinkled throughout. Feel free to join in!

Today's topic is a song from my childhood. This one was pretty difficult as my childhood was filled with tons of music. I was a huge fan of musical theatre (and still am!) so there were tons of musical songs all of the time in my house.

But I picked Amy Grant's Every Heartbeat because I used to blast this in early elementary school and dance around the room. I, no joke, LOVED this.

But I'm also going to include Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill as this was the title song from my first CD. And my favorite song off the album...even if my mom wasn't too keen on the lyric "I recommend walking around naked in your living room."

What are your favorite songs from your childhood?

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Keeping the Looks Coming....Black Leather Jacket and Chi Chi London Skirt

Shirt: ASOS

Skirt: Chi Chi London 

Necklace: Michael Kors

Shoes: H&M Forever ago. Similars

Jacket: River Island




This skirt is super interesting to me, as it isn't one I would have ever envisioned wearing on a daily basis. When you look at it, it almost looks like a costume skirt, but I am kind of liking it on...

Here is the bottom close up and you can see what mean about the costume comment:

But I think with the right pairing, it can be pulled off. It looks a lot less full on the website, but it makes a nice challenge!
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What's On My Bookshelf Part II: The Parents House Edition

New video today, and it's a booktube. This time, I'm going to show you which books I have at my parents house and which classic books are my favorite. You also get to see a little peek at another background...how exciting for everyone involved! haha

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White Skater Dress Post

I decided to play dress up for you guys...

(Get free Delivery On Orders Over £20 via MVC)




Dress: ASOS (Get free Delivery On Orders Over £20 via MVC) SOLD OUT Similar below:





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Hey hey hey lovelies! I don't want anyone to accuse me of not being able to throw an awesome party, and since it's my 29th birthday this weekend, thus marking the last year of my twenty-something kind of life, I wanted to party and invite all of you!  Well a party that big requires a lot of planning and help, so I've asked these lovely ladies to help me host this party in order to offer all my attendees some fabulous prizes!  Are you ready to party?  You had better be...

Remembering Anne Frank #notsilent

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, the camp where Anne Frank perished. Today I am joining Anne Frank Trust UK and Penguin Random House to commemorate Anne's life with a one minute excerpt of Anne's diary. 

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How to Travel on the Cheap

How to travel on the cheap
Have you been wondering how to cheap on the cheap? Recently, I heard someone say they couldn't find a flight from the US to Europe for less than $1000. To me, that was crazy since I am always booking flights on the cheap! However, I realized my dad is always asking me to help him find a cheap flight, so there must be something to it after all of these years of travel that I've learned. So why not share?

Here are some tips I've compiled to help you bag a cheap airplane ticket and/or a cheap hotel room.

Reviewing Elena's Nature Collection Eye Makeup Remover

I found myself getting a bit silly with this one, I don't know why. It was so difficult for me to even speak that I think I just got a bit loopy. Ah well, you get the point and enjoy! 

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Mini Haul- Bracelets and Purse

I was supposed to be on a shopping ban...but then this happened...

My Very First Lookbook! Play Nice.

I must admit that I am not super happy with how my body looks right now because I've been very ill since last August and haven't been able to workout much because of ongoing pain. I hope you'll bare (is it bare or bear? I never know!) with me.

If you want to know where everything is from, you'll need to head over to watch the video on my YouTube channel. 

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What NOT to Say to Someone with a Chronic Illness

If you have a friend or family member with a chronic illness, it can be quite confusing. One minute they look fine and the next they're bedridden with a fever. So, what kinds of things should you and should you not say to someone who suffers with a chronic illness?

Pink Coat Outfit Post

Well, it has been a long time since I've done an outfit post...

The Cure for Lupus? New video!

Happy April! Start it off right by watching one of my videos! xx

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