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Still Me by Jojo Moyes Book Review [NO SPOILERS]


I was a huge fan of Me before you when the book was first published, and loved After You (the second novel) just as much. When Jojo Moyes released the final novel to complete the trilogy, I was super excited and it went straight onto my 2019 TBR. I started the novel back in July 2019 but only just finished it this month. I'll talk about that in this post. Despite it taking me so long to finish it, I still wanted to write a review. So, lets get into it.


AD| How To Get Motivated: Changing your Atmosphere


As a student, I understand the struggles of feeling unmotivated. Sometimes your to-do list is full but lack of motivation makes it very difficult to cross things off. I have shared many motivaion tips on this blog, however they have been mainly focused on you. Today I want to share my tips on how to get motivated, just by changing your atmosphere or environment.

This post is in partnership with Photowall - a Swedish wall art company. The product mentioned was GIFTED however, all opinions are 100% my own.


My first tip is to work in a clean space. Working in a clean and clear space really helps you to stay focused and be productive. There is nothing worse than a cluttered desk. I find that when my environment is a mess, so is my headspace. I find it much more difficult to think and stay on task when I am surrounded by chaos. Make the effort to clean your room if you work at home, or find a spot that doesn't look like a disaster. Cleaning your room before studying can also be motivation in itself. Once you've started being productive, it isn't hard to keep that train going.

My next tip is to eliminate distractions. Distractions are subjective, so first you need to figure out what distracts you. For me, I can't be around my friends or family while studying (unless we're actually working together), because I'll end up chatting and things won't get done. I work really well by myself, so 90% of the time I'll be working on my own in the library. Another distraction is upbeat music. I always have my headphones in when working, however I rarely play upbeat music, as I find it very distracting. I like to listen to instrumentals and classical music a lot of the time because it's super relaxing and there aren't any lyrics to sing along to. I'm really good at blocking people out, so I don't mind being around people in the library, however I know people who have to work on the silent floor because seeing people just walk around is a distraction. Work out what takes your focus away from studying or working and try to eliminate it. If it's social media, turn your phone on aeroplane mode, if it's people around you, work in silent areas or completely seclude yourself from groups of people. I loved working in my uni accomodation in first year, because it was just me, myself and I. If you're like me and work independently, utilise that space. You have a desk and a private room. USE IT. Don't feel obligated to go to the library just because that seems like the most productive place to work. You can get just as much (if not more) things done when you work where you're most comfortable.

Speaking of comfortable, that is my next tip. Work in a comfortable atmosphere. When I say comfortable I don't necessarily mean fluffy pillows and blankets (unless that's your vibe), I mean working somewhere you feel is best for you. This is kind of an extension from what I just mentioned. Being comfortable is only going to benefit you and your productivity. It's very unlikely that you'll get much done if you're feeling uncomfortable and things feel "off". Don't go to the library if everytime you go, you feel anxious and don't stay at home if things aren't peaceful. Take yourself out of uncomfortable or awkward situations.

My final tip is to have visual reminders of your goals or visual motivation. I have a giant vision board in my room, and everytime I am in my room, I am reminded of my goals for the year. On my 2019 board, one of my goals was to get good grades at uni. Anytime I felt unmotivated to study, I would see that section of my vision board and start working. It's amazing how such a little thing like that pushed me to pick up a pen.
This year I decided my visual motivation would be a quote. I am such a huge fan of quotes. Fun fact, words of affirmation is one of my love languages, and the fact that I study English is enough to tell you that I love words. There is something so powerful about language. I get so motivated by reading quotes, so it made sense to have one on my bedroom wall. The quote I chose was "She gets what she wants because she works for it". I think that quote is so simple yet so powerful. When Photowall contacted me and said they wanted to work with me, I was really excited and knew exactly what I wanted. Photowall are a Swedish wall art company, that create unique and creative designs. They make canvases, wallpapers, posters and so much more. You have the choice of measurements and even the photo. They have a range of premade designs, however you also have the option to print your own image, which is what I did. I found the quote from one of my Pinterest boards and it came out exactly how I wanted. I'm in LOVE with my canvas and it has already kept me motivated since I received it. If you would like to get your own canvas or any other product from Photowall, I have a 25% off discount code to get some money off! The code is chellebelle2020 and is valid for ONE MONTH.

Photowall - https://www.photowall.co.uk/

You can get one for yourself to motivate you to work hard, or maybe you want to get something for your mum, since mother's Day is fast approaching. Whatever the reason, I hope you make good use of the discount and enjoy vamping up your room!

So those are my tips for staying motivated, just by changing your atmosphere. I hope it was helpful.
If you have any other tips, let me know in the comments.

Again, a big thank you to Photowall for working with me on this blog post.

Thanks for reading,
Have a great day x

ELF Putty Primer Review


I love trying new makeup products. I find doing makeup so relaxing, so having new things to try and love is always great. After watching several JuicyJas videos, I became really eager to try the putty primer from ELF. It took a little while for me to see it in UK stores, but by the time I did, it was coming up to Christmas. Instead of purchasing it myself, I put it on my Christmas wishlist. My brother was kind enough to get it for me and I've been testing it out over the last few weeks. Here are my thoughts on the product.

Basic Information: 
Price: £8.00
Amount: 21g
Shade: Universal Sheer

You can get this product from the ELF website, Superdrug and Boots. 

This product has been compared to the Tatcha Silk Canvas primer as they are very similar in texture and purpose. I have not had the opportunity to try the Tatcha primer, so I cannot say from my perspective that it is a dupe.

This primer is a very different texture to what I expected. Although it is labelled as a putty primer, it's actually more solid than you would think. It melts like butter on the skin and a little goes a long way, but it isn't goopey or "squishy" as such. I like that, as it's mess free and I know it's going to last me AGES.

This product is specifically designed for blurring pores, so I don't use it daily. I wear it when I have slightly heavier makeup on or a full face. The areas I have larger pores are my cheeks, nose, between my brows and chin. It doesn't slip and slide around which is fab and because it is sheer, you cannot see it underneath your foundation or even on your bare skin, if you choose to wear it alone. It makes my skin look smooth and hydrated which is always a good in my books.

There is no fragrance in this product which is great as I am on the journey of going fragrance free in my skin care/makeup products where possible.

The product is pretty long lasting too which is a huge plus.

Overall, I have been really liking this product and I think it is going to replace my Maybelline Baby Skin Primer!

Have you tried this primer? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading,
Have a great day x


January Round-Up 2020


The first Round-up of 2020! It has been a fab month and I'm so excited for the rest of the year. This time last year was quite a difficult time for me and I was dealing with a lot of internal struggles, so I am so grateful that this year things have been the total opposite. I feel so content and at peace.
Anyway, for you nosy lot, let's get into the stuff you really care about, what went on in Jan.

P O R T U G A L

I entered the new year in Portugal this year, which is definitely more exciting than my usual motive - staying at home lol. It was my brother's 18th birthday on Jan 2nd, so the family decided to take a trip overseas to celebrate both new years and his birthday. We flew to Faro on December 31st and spent the first 5 days of the year in Albufeira. I really loved visiting a new country and it definitely gave me the travel bug.

A S S I G N M E N T S

If you follow me on Instagram (shameless plug - @chelle._babes ), you will know that I had a whole week of assignment writing in my uni library. I get distracted at home, so I made the effort to get my butt on campus everyday for a week. I spent a total of 19 hours doing assignments that week and I'm so happy it paid off and I managed to submit all my coursework before the deadline. I'm actually so proud of myself because that week taught me that I have a lot of self discipline and motivation. Definitely more than I thought.

C A T C H   U P S

January was a month for me to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a while. It was lovely to just sit down and chat with the girls. I made it a personal goal to meet up with at least 3 people I hadn't seen in a while or wanted to catch up with in January and I was able to meet that goal pretty easily, since there are so many people that I hadn't had the chance to spend some time with recently. I think it is so important to make time for people, to just check up on them and have a little chinwag. I definitely want to keep up with that during the year and make the effort to see people in my life.

P H O T O - S H O O T

I had a fun photoshoot with one of my besties Humaira (you can read her blog here). We went into the city centre and took a bunch of pictures for future blog posts and Instagram content. It was great to get out of my comfort zone and also discover some new locations to take pictures in the city. We took the pictures at peak times and there were constantly people walking by and starring at me but as time went on, I got a bit more comfortable and it didn't bother me that they were looking. The pictures turned out great and I can't wait for you guys to see them! Thank you Humaira for being my personal photographer and hype-man for the day hehe.

B A C K    T O     U N I

Somehow January felt so long yet it flew by so quickly. A very hard one to explain and grasp. Before I knew it, the Christmas holiday was over and it was time to go back to university. Semester B began and getting back into a bit more of a fixed routine made it feel like 2020 had really started. I don't know why that is.


W A R D R O B E   C L E A R - O U T

When 2020 began, I found this sudden motivation to "revamp" my life. Not that I wasn't happy with my life as it was, but I quite liked the idea of making little changes here and there. One of those things was my style. In 2019 one of my goals was to find my sense of style and run with it, however I didn't make much of an effort to do that. So why not try again for REAL this time? I ordered a bunch of new clothes throughout the month but also cleared out my wardrobe. I got rid of a good amount of clothes this month. Some were thrown away because they couldn't be worn again and everything else was donated to charity. It was really nice to give to charity but also make some room for new clothes. I have a couple things that haven't been worn that I may sell too.

So that's a breakdown of what went on in January! I hope you had a great month. What did you get up to? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,
Have a great day x



The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid Review [NO SPOILERS]


If any of you remember, The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of the books I featured on my 2019 TBR. Unfortunately I didn't get around to reading it in 2019, but it's a book I had been wanting to read for a while. Luckily I received the book as my secret santa present last month (thanks Gabe) and finally got the chance to dive into it whilst in Portugal earlier this month. It has been a WHILE since I've posted a book review, so I'm happy to be sharing my thoughts with you all. Grab your tea/coffee - whatever your preference, and let's talk about this book!

First all of for any of you who are unfamiliar with the book, here is a brief description from goodreads:

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn's luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the '80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn's story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means--and what it costs--to face the truth

My thoughts: 

SPOILER ALERT I LOVED IT! 

This book has so many themes that you would think it would be a lot to read all at once but it was such an easy read and every theme was handled with so much care. It has themes of love, sexuality, race, friendship, fame and many more. I really didn't expect it to cover so much ground, based on the title. I knew it would refer to love, however  it tackles so many other important topics such as racial issues and power, but in such a subtle way.

I became really invested in this novel, to the point where I'd tell myself I'd only read one more page but would read several chapters. Speaking of chapters, I loved that each chapter varied in lengths. I'm not a huge fan of books with long chapters all the way through. In this particular book, some chapters were two pages long, whereas others were 10-15. It made it much more pleasant to read.

Evelyn Hugo is a very complicated woman and you often find yourself torn about your feelings towards her. There were moments that I admired her and other moments that I couldn't stand her. It made me empathise with Monique wholeheartedly. I wish the writer had gone a little deeper about Monique. Although this story was focused on Evelyn, I was left underwhelmed when it came to deciding how I felt about Monique because there wasn't enough information about her to work with. I did however love seeing her character development and her struggles with identity issues due to being a biracial woman in America. It was quite an enlightening insight into the realities of being biracial.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is someone I have heard so many good things about and this was a fab introduction to her work. I have other novels of hers on my TBR that I'm now so excited to read. Her writing style is so engaging and well done.  Everything was just done brilliantly. From the way she portrays each character to the name choices, it could quite easily be a real biography. I even googled a few character names thinking they were real Hollywood stars haha.

Overall I give this book 4 stars out of 5. The only things I wished was that Monique was slightly more developed on, and that the ending could have been more detailed. Perhaps that's just me not wanting the book to end though haha.

Have you read The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading,
Have a great day x

How to stay Organised: Spreadsheet Method


Back in November, I mentioned how I use a spreadsheet to keep myself organised during the semester. I got a couple of requests to share this method. This is not the only method I use to keep myself organised, however it has been a super helpful addition to my life, since I started using it in October. Hopefully this helps someone else, who may come across this post.

C H O O S E  Y O U R  P R O G R A M
I'm really unsure of what else to call this method, so spreadsheet method will have to do. Any spreadsheet program will work for this, however I choose to use google sheets rather than Excel, simply because it is so easy to add and check off wherever and whenever. I am an avid user of google drive, so I have my spreadsheet on me literally at all times. It makes it really convenient to keep on top of things.

P I C K  Y O U R  C A T E G O R I E S
What is it that you want to keep organised? Write down some of the things you want to keep on top of and make a little key or side note of each category. For me, a lot of my categories are uni related, however I also have some more personal categories too. My categories are:

  • Study session - Anytime I have arranged to study with someone or catch up on a missed lecture
  • Assignment - Deadlines for assignments 
  • Exam - Dates of exams 
  • Contact - Reminder to email or contact someone 
  • Dance - Anything dance related, whether it be events, committee meetings or times to choreograph/teach
  • Workshop - Dates and times of workshops 
  • Shift - Days and times I am working
  • Ministry - Anything to do with church responsibilities 
  • Meeting - Any sort of meeting or appointment 
  • Other - Extra reminders that don't fit into the other categories. E.g. errands 
C O L O U R   C O D E 
Once you have chosen your categories, assign a colour to that category. This is what will allow you to track everything. Make sure to make it clear which colour is associated with what category. I keep a key table at the side to remember the colours. My colours are:

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Besides the categories themselves, I also colour code the dates, to show their positions. If the task/event has been newly added to the spreadsheet or there hasn't been any sort of update to it, I keep the date blank. If it is in progress, for example exam revision or assignments, I colour the date in light green. If the task has been completed, or the date has been met, I change the date to be dark green. If the event was cancelled or an appointment has rescheduled, I colour the date red until it has been met. You obviously do not need to follow this exact colour pattern, however it is just what made the most sense to me and allows me to see what I have done and what is still progressing. 

F I L L   I N  Y O U R  S P R E A D - S H E E T 
And just like that, life is a bit more organised! Now you've set up your spreadsheet, all that is left is for you to fill it out. You have full control over what goes on your spreadsheet and how often you update it. I choose to split mine into months, however you can record things weekly if you prefer. I just find monthly sections are less overwhelming. 
You can even make individual spreadsheets if you prefer. I have a very similar spreadsheet for blogging, which is a little more minimalist. I record blog posts I want to post each month and then decide on dates I want to post them. Once I start writing them they become light green and once they are published, they turn dark green. Do whatever fits best with your lifestyle.

I hope this was a helpful blog post. If you make your own, please send me pictures because I'd love to see them!

Thanks for reading,
Have a great day x 

January Academic Goals 2020


It's the first month of academic goals! This month I have had what feels like an endless supply of work to do, but honestly that's probably my own fault. I definitely thought I had more time than I do. I only have a couple goals for the month of January (yet it consumes most my time). I don't want to waffle too much, so here we go!

N E W S   M E D I A   A S S I G N M E N T

In first semester I took a module called language in the news media. I actually really enjoyed it but I'm not enjoying the assignment as much. Not because I don't find it interesting, but because I left it last minute and gave myself a week to get it done. Submission day is Monday 13th 2020 and as I'm writing this, it's looking pretty good. I'm hoping to get it sent off tomorrow YAY. I've been making daily trips to the library and it's really helped me centre my focus. I work really well on my own, so as much as I want to have study days with friends, I think to get my work in on time, going alone is exactly what I need. 

L I T E R A T U R E   C A S E  S T U D Y

I took a literature module this year, which I really enjoyed and actually chose another literature module for second semester too. The assignment is a 3000 word empirical case study. AND BOY HAS IT BEEN STRESSFUL. We had the choice between a naturalistic or empirical study, and me being the one to love a good challenge, I chose the hardest one. Seemed like a good idea at the time but it's caused me a lot of stress at times. Thankfully all the data has been completely collected and recorded; all  that is left is to implement it into my essay and get it all written. I'm so ready to send this off soon and never see it again. It's taken up so much of my time! Hopefully I get a good grade and it all becomes worth it. Not only has it been demanding but it includes one of the things I hate writing the most.......literature reviews. Ew. 

G E T  A  N E W   U N I  P L A N N E R

This is quite a small goal for January, but before the semester begins on the 27th, I want to get a new uni planner. This is not the sort of planner you may be thinking of. I already have my diary planner and it has been saving my life as usual. I like to have a notebook where I am able to plan out my assignments and make notes before I begin coursework. I'm someone who cannot just type from nothing, to begin with. I like to come up with some sort of structure or ideas to go off. Having a notebook specifically for that is super helpful and I'm due to purchase another. I carried on using my previous planner book from first year and now the pages are getting limited, so what better time to get a new one than the beginning of the year and before second semester. 

I decided to document the process of meeting my academic goals, on my Instagram stories. If you want to see me achieve these goals and get a gist of what my day looks like as a uni student, follow me @chelle._babes

So these are my goals for the month! 

Thanks for reading,
Have a great day x

December Round-up 2019

My hair was a hot mess by that point in the night haha

HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS! Can't believe it's actually a whole new decade.....wow. First blog post of the year, we're going to take a look back at December 2019. It was quite a jam packed month and it is the final round-up of 2019. When this goes up, I will be chilling in Portugal....not a bad start to 2020 aye? Anyways, here is my December Round-up. ENJOY!