Wednesday, 21 September 2016

I've moved blogs! Follow me over at

Hello everyone, i've been working on a new website and blog for a while now and due to changing my domain and blogging platform you can now find my blog here ( I'm really excited to finally share it with you all, it is going to make blogging so much easier and I have lots of new blog posts planned. Don't worry all of my old posts are there and you can also follow me on bloglovin here to keep up to date with all of my blog posts.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Birthday Trip to York

Hi everyone! This week I celebrated my 20th birthday, I feel like i'm getting old now that i'm no longer a teenager....i'm also not entirely sure how I feel about that. To celebrate, myself and my boyfriend Troy took a trip to one of my favourite cities....York. I haven't been here since I was younger but its always been somewhere I've wanted to revisit and what a better time to visit than on my birthday. We stayed at the Fort Boutique Hostel right in the centre of the city and this made it so easy to get around as everything was on our doorstep. This also meant we could come back at any time and even relax for a bit after a day of walking before heading out for an evening meal.

For me York is one of those cities that no matter how many times I walk down the same streets i'm still amazed by how beautiful it is and how evident the city's medieval heritage is. The streets are old and winding and have many tiny alleyways and cut throughs which are a reminder of the city's medieval past and how the streets used to be used. 

Although we got lost many times it was easy to find our way back as all the streets seemed to link together and nothing is too far away to visit in a day. Another reason its the perfect city for a short break!

One of the main attractions we visited was York Minster but we mainly just wandered around the city and explored places on foot without planning where to go next which was fun and spontaneous! Of course as a book lover (and hoarder) I had to go in every second hand book shop we stumbled upon and out of every shop we visited my two favourites were the Minster Gate Book Shop and Grimoire Bookshop.

On another note, for the past year or so I have been collecting vintage clothing which I am going to be photographing soon and selling on my depop which i'm so excited about. I cant wait to share with you all the quirky items i've found on my travels. I will also be posting about the clothing on my blog here so you can view the items in more detail. If you're interested in vintage clothing check out my depop shop, my username is @charolivia.

Charlotte x

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

My Essential Skin Care Products: Clinique & Lush

After years of trying many different high end and low end products as well as natural products such as coconut oil I have finally found a few key products that work with my skin and help it to feel its best. I now use them on a daily basis and they have formed the base of my skin care regime. For the past few years I have been battling hormonal acne and it is finally beginning to clear up. Don't get me wrong it has its good days and bad days, but these products have helped keep the rest of my skin in good condition and help clear up my breakouts and red marks left behind after a breakout. I wanted to share the products that are helping me and hopefully help some of you reading this who also experience the same problems as myself.

After trying what seemed like every facial wash and moisturiser available in Boots, from Simple to Freederm I never found a brand of skincare that I could rely on or would not make my skin worse. Having sensitive skin  as well as being prone to breakouts and dry skin I found it very difficult to find products that would fight the breakout but not irritate my skin. I'm sure many of you have had this problem too. After conducting extensive research online about skincare products it became apparent to me that trying to find one to choose from was a minefield. Did I really want to spend £60 on products that I was unsure would even work? 

Being new to the high end skin care market I did not want to buy something expensive if it was not going to help my skin. So I decided to trial the Clinque Anti-Blemish 3 step system and bought the mini versions of the different steps which include a cleanser, toner and moisturiser for £25. This mini kit lasted me just over and month and I was using all 3 steps everyday. After being impressed with the results I decided to invest in the full sized versions of the products and have not looked back since. However since buying all 3 products in the '3 step system' I have since replaced the Clinque Toner with the Lush Tea Tree toner as I felt that the Clinque toner made my skin slightly dry.

Cleansing Foam - Step 1: The cleanser takes the form of a foam and it's very gentle on the skin and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and calm. In the past I found that using gels I had to really work it into my skin and left my skin feeling irritated and dry but the foam allows you to gently massage the cleaner into your skin. The full sized bottle usually last me around 3 months as I use it everyday. The bottle costs £18 and you can find more information about it here.

Tea Tree toner water - Step 2: After using 2 large bottles of the Clinique Anti-Blemish toner I decided to change to the Lush Tea Tree toner water. After using the Clinque toner I felt that it would dry up my skin (this may just be as I have naturally dry skin) and I wanted to try a more natural product that would also fight the breakouts and after using the Lush toner for 4 months now I can say it works wonders on my skin, as well as being significantly cheaper than the Clinique toner. At only £4.50 for a 100g bottle it definitley delivers value for money as well being cruelty free.  The Tea Tree oil has been scientifically proven to be antibacterial and antifungal, which means it helps fight those pesky breakouts! I like to apply the product by putting about 3 sprays onto a cotton pad and wiping it across my face. After my pours feel tighter and my face feels refreshed. 

All over clearing treatment - Step 3: This is last step (if I do not apply extra moisturiser) and is the step that makes my skin feel at its softest. Having tried endless anti-blemish moisturisers or natural oils such as coconut oil this has become the only product that works well for my skin and I consider it my holy grail skin care product. At £20 for a bottle its not cheap and as a typical student on a budget I decided once to just go back to my Simple moisturiser and I soon paid the price, my skin broke out again. This product has helped change my skin dramatically and without it I notice that my skin begins to breakout in areas it wouldn't usually. I just apply a thin layer all over my face as the last step and after my skin is less red and feels so soft. 

Moisture Surge moisturiser - Step 4: The final step in my daily regime is using an additional moisturiser if my skin is feeling dry. You can use the all over clearing treatment on its own as it is a moisturiser but for my skin it does not provide enough moisture. This is the best moisturiser I have found so far and it leaves my skin feeling soft but not oily. In the past I found that the moisturisers left my skin feeling oily and as a result my foundation would start to come off during the day. I use this in the morning and evening when needed and I've found it works very well under my makeup. 

Oatifix Facemask - Step 5: Recently I have been using this facemask about 1-2 times a week as an additional step in my skincare regime. Having previously used the Mask of Magnaminty which is quite exfoliating, I wanted to try something that was more moisturising and soothing on my skin. This mask is made with fresh bananas, illipe butter, oatmeal and ground almonds and mildly exfoliates the dead skin yet moisturises at the same time. I leave this mask on for around 10 minuets then gently wash off with warm water. After removing the mask my skin feels very soft and the redness around my blemishes has been reduced.

I'd love to hear what products you're loving at the moment and your skincare stories! 

Charlotte x

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Friday, 1 April 2016

Spring has arrived

Hello everyone, it's been a while since I last wrote a blog post (over a year in fact). I didn't plan on taking such a long break, I guess university work just got in the way and I lost the motivation to write about the places I've been and what I've found on my travels. Being a photography student i'm always taking photos for assignments or being bombarded with images by other photographers and it made me loose sight of taking my own personal images of the places i've been. This was how I began to fall in love with photography, before I knew about theories, conceptual meanings and the wider photography world. So here I am again, posting about the places i've been and sharing my experiences with you all.

A few days ago during the bank holiday weekend I visited the beautiful and historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon with my family before coming home for the Easter Holidays. It's hard not to think of all things Shakespeare when you think of Stratford but moving away from the tourist spots you begin to see some of less known and hidden gems of the town.

We happened to visit on the warmest and brightest day I've seen in a while (since then the British weather has got very stormy and dull). It truly felt like spring had arrived and everyone had come out to see it. The parks were full of children playing and one of the highlights of my day was seeing all the cute dogs walk past and soaking up the sun. Having visited a few times before I had a rough idea of what sights I wanted to see but there was many places I hadn't visited before and while its nice to have a plan sometimes to fit everything in, on this occasion we just walked around with no specific places in mind. This is my favourite type of exploring, you begin to stumble upon shops and parks you never knew existed and fall in love with them. 

If you've been following my blog for a while now you'll know that i'm a sucker for books and  old and secondhand bookshops and this place has become one of my favourites. If you're visiting Stratford-upon-Avon be sure to pay a visit to the Chaucer Head Bookshop!

We walked around the grounds surrounding the Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried and where visitors can go visit his grave. Due to an Easter service taking place in the church we were unable to see it but it's definitely on my list of places to visit next time. After walking around we then headed onto the Old Town road and back into the town centre, there was no shortage of beautiful tudor buildings. 

If you haven't been to Stratford-upon-Avon before i'd definitely recommend a day trip to there and now is a perfect time to visit as the days are getting longer and the flowers are blooming. There's plenty to do and if you're a big fan of Shakespeare like me you will love it. Next on my list of things to do there is see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

I hope you're all having a good Easter holiday, i'd love to hear about what you've been up to so leave a comment below.

Charlotte x

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Trip to Dublin and Belfast

At the beginning of this month I went on a short trip to Dublin and Belfast. After the surprisingly fast 40 minuet flight we arrived at Dublin airport and set off to the Generator Hostel, which I have to say was one of the best hostels I've stayed in. Located in Smithfield, it is only a 15 minuet walk into the heart of Dublin which made it a perfect location for walking to bars, pubs, restaurants, shops and many of the galleries.

Being a photography student I got excited by the amount of urban art there was dotted around the city and how at almost every street corner there was something exciting to see. You never knew what you'd see next which was very refreshing and it made it enjoyable to walk around the city in the evening. (Even if it was -1 degrees)

We visited the Gallery of Photography and had an exclusive talk by Trish Lambe about the archive project they have previously undertaken and how they are now exhibiting it around different galleries. The project focuses on the role photography plays in constructing our histories. The use of informal snapshots, studio portraits, official photographs and family albums allows you to explore the wealth of ordinary and extraordinary people from all decades.

One of my favourite things to do in Dublin was just walk around and explore the city on foot. There are so many interesting buildings and side streets to explore. We also visited the Irish Museum of Modern Art but we forgot to check the opening times so arrived an hour before it opened so we popped into the cafe for a brownie and hot chocolate. I think it's one of the best brownies I've ever had. 
While in Dublin we also had time to visit the National Gallery and I got to see another Monet painting in person which I was super excited about and it is one thing I can tick off my mental bucket list. If you're interested in art or photography like me i'd definitely recommend giving it a visit.

Charlotte x

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Birmingham Vintage Fair

I'm back! After what seems like forever I'm finally back with a new post! My impromptu break from blogging was not planned, I guess life just got in the way. After moving to uni and starting my course blogging got pushed to the side in my priorities and in a way I kind of fell out of love with blogging. I ran out of ideas and motivation to actually write the posts. However being in new area has given me the opportunity to explore new places and I feel like now is the perfect time to get back into it. 

Being a lover of all things vintage and quirky, as soon as I heard about the vintage fair happening in Birmingham I marked it in my diary. I've only visited Birmingham twice, once for the Frankfurt christmas market and the second to go shopping at the Bullring. I've never had a chance to actually check out the independent vintage shops or the Custard Factory where the fair was held. 

There was something for everyone whether you love flannel shirts, faded Levi jeans and jackets, brightly coloured knitted jumpers (some even had jewels stitched into them ...bonus)  or even 1940's style tea dresses'd find it here!

Some of my favourite stalls were the jewellery ones....

I could spend hours rummaging through rails of clothes, digging through boxes full of scarfs and belts which have been well worn. However after spending a an hour or so here we had a look around the rest of the Custard Factory. It has some incredible urban art, who knew graffiti could be so pretty?

If you want to see more of the places I've been or what I've been up to you can follow me on Instagram (@charoliviap

Charlotte x

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Let's talk about books: The Book Thief

Hello everyone, I thought I'd write about something different today and share with you one of my other hobbies which is...reading! Yep, take me to a bookshop and I will be your best friend. This is going to be the first post in my new series where I share with you some my favourite books and the books I'm currently reading. If you didn't already know I'm a bit of a book worm, and over the last year or so my book addiction has grown. Whether you are looking for something new to read, wanted to read a book for a while or are stuck in a reading rut then I hope I can help.

The Book Thief is set in Nazi Germany during World War 2 and tells the story of a young girl called Liesel who was living with her foster parents. One of the most interesting features about the book, which I have to admit I was a bit sceptical about, is that the book is narrated by ...Death. He follows Liesel around throughout her life on Himmle Street and it allows the reader to gain an insight into how difficult it was growing up in one of history's most horrific times. Although it may sound very dark, the nature of the conflict and situation is juxtaposed by Death's personality and humour which is often very satirical. This adds an element of lightness to the plot. The book also explores the close relationships Liesel forms with her foster parents, her best friend Rudy and the Jew who is living in her basement.

Death is essentially trying to understand the human race as much as they are trying to understand themselves, he questions the motives of the likes of the German leaders and even innocent children who have been brought up to know nothing but the teachings from their time in the Hitler Youth. To me it really highlighted the corruption of the time and gave a fresh approach to a very well told story. This in turn provokes you as a reader to questions your own morals and question what you already know of the war. 

When reading it I felt great empathy to those who were sheltering in basements during the bombing, really should I be feeling this towards people who were members of the Nazi Party? who would readily kill or punish anyone who had opposing views to them. Another question it posed to me as a reader was I in fact any better than them if I did not feel compassion towards these people? Death does an exceptional job of asking all of these questions in an unobtrusive way. Another one of my favourite parts of the book is how Death describes the colour of the sky and this is carried on throughout the entirety of the book. The colour of the sky depicts the atmosphere and more often the cause of death. In a way it is tragically beautiful.

Zusak's talent and way with words is very apparent in this book, his style of writing is so refreshing and very powerful. As you read on, you begin to understand the sheer power of words and language, particularly in Nazi Germany. Without giving too much away, the character Max is an excellent example of this. If you want a quick read this is probably not the book for you. I would take your time reading it, giving yourself time to understand the meaning behind Death's choice of words. To me, The Book Thief has become one of my all time favourite books and I would recommend it to anyone, but be will cry. 

If you are interested in finding some new books you can find me here on Goodreads. Here you can see what I think about the books I've read, what I'm currently reading and also what books I want to read! (This website has helped me so much in finding new books)

Charlotte x

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