January 2015 Birchbox Review

 I was typing the title to this blog post, when I began typing 2014, it then dawned on me this is my first blog post of 2015 and my first Birchbox review in a new year, where did the time go?! I hope all of your new years have started well and continue to do so!

Right, on to the reason I’m doing this blog post, my January Birchbox. This month Birchbox teamed up with ‘Womens Health’ (the magazine company) to create this New Year inspired box of goodies. I think it’s the perfect choice of theme considering a large amount of people’s new years resolutions will be to shift the pounds piled on over Christmas and to become fit and healthy by exercising more and eating healthier! Along with all the products I received in my box, came a little booklet containing challenges all aimed at promoting better health! If you want to find out more about Birchbox’s beauty box subscription or want to receive your own January Birchbox, check out birchbox.co.uk.


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Activbod Cooling Finish Lotion, RRP: £12

The first product I received was a cooling lotion, This product contains a menthol formula to help cool you down after a work out. It contains scents such as pepper, zesty lemon and refreshing eucalyptus, it also contains vitamin E to repair and hydrate the skin. I can’t wait to work out, have a shower and try this out, it sounds really refreshing, which is exactly want you want after a hot and sweaty work out!

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Green People Intensive Repair Shampoo, RRP: £11.95

Hair care is something I don’t get very excited about, I tend to just use a shampoo on offer from the supermarket such as Tresemme or Herbal Essences. That being said it is still nice have a change and try a higher end shampoo. This shampoo is for repairing dry, damaged and coloured hair, which is perfect considering I dye my hair.  Its free from parabans, chemicals and artificial nasties, containing ingredients like green tea, yucca, aloe vera, sandalwood and orange. I hope this product isn’t so hydrating it makes my hair limp and lifeless, I will definitely be popping this in the shower and giving it ago.

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Korres Cirtus Shower Gel  RRP: £8

You can’t go wrong with receiving shower gel samples, you’re always going to need it, this one is in a lovely zesty citrus scent. The only problem is, I think Birchbox has sent me this in a previous box, which I don’t mind as it’s a lovely product but I’d prefer to receive something different. None the less this will get enjoyed and used.

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Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, RRP: £45

The problem with me receiving skin care samples is I am often afraid to use them as I have such sensitive skin and blemish prone skin. I stick to the same skin care and don’t like to switch it about too much, that being said this product does sound perfect for my skin. You apply this before moisturising as you do with most serums, It’s for all skin types, oil free and free from irritating chemicals etc.

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Stila Lip Glaze in the shade Kitten, RRP: £15

Ah a make up item, my favourite. I always love receiving make up items in my Birchbox’s as I am make up obsessed. I hear so much about Stila but have yet to try something from the brand, so I can’t wait to use this. It’s in a lovely nudey peach shade with gold shimmer running through it, it’s a very wearable shade and think it would look lovely over a nude lip. Very pleased with this.

Lifestyle Products

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Embrace Matcha Green Tea (30 Servings), RPP: £24.99

The first lifestyle item I received is a sachet of green tea. I think this is a powder not a tea bag and it contains up 10 times more nutrients than a regular cup of green tea! Green tea is known for its health benefits and this one can not only be drank like a cup of tea, it can be blended into smoothies, juices and served hot or cold. I wish I could get used to the unusual taste of green tea but I have yet to be able to enjoy a cup, I will definitely give this one a go though. I love trying new teas and other healthy drinks or snacks.

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Birchbox & Womens Health Exclusive Pilates Band

At first I thought this was a weird, rubbery over sized head band but after reading the card with the list of items in my Bichbox, I realised it was infact a resistance band used for exercising. I’m not sure whether this will get any use but it’s definitely something I might consider.

I don’t think this months box was my favourite but I’m never ungrateful as you can’t always love everything you receive in subscription boxes. Did you receive a Birchbox this month, what were your thoughts?

Anna

November 2014 Birchbox Review

Another Birchbox review and let me tell you this month is a gooden! Birchbox says ‘The November 2014 Cosy at Home Birchbox has come to the rescue with a selection of beauty fixes and pick me ups, perfect for the cold wintery days and nights ahead’. Sounds perfect, the winter air can really play havoc with our skin and hair! If you want to find out more about what Birchbox is or even want to order your own, head on over to the website HERE.

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Dr. Jart+ V7 Relief Vita Drop, Full Size – £26

The first and big item I saw in the box was this Dr Jart+ moisturiser, for sensitive and stressed skin, this is like a cooling gel consistency which feels very light but is still meant to be super hydrating for your skin. I have been using this for past week and I must say I’m not that keen. It is just too light for me, I don’t feel like I’ve moisturised my skin properly. However it isn’t terrible I just prefer my current moisturiser and will be going back to it. I was very grateful and pleased to receive this full size product by a brand I’ve heard lots about but never tried. I think this might work for some people but it just didn’t for me.

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Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask, Full size – £16

I remember getting a sample of the shampoo and conditioner by this brand in a previous Birchbox and I really liked it. I love the smell of this brands products. I’m not an avid hair mask user as my hair is very already very soft but I will defintely give these a go and hopefully they wont weigh my hair down. I think this is another generous sample size from Birchbox and I love that they come in little pots, which are easy to store in the shower (unlike little packet samples).


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Lord & Berry Bronzer, Full Size £19

I’m not sure which shade the bronzer I received was as there were two you could have received. I’ve been using this cute sample size bronzer non stop for the past week and I really like it. It’s a perfect matte bronze shade for my skin, and I love contouring with it. I think it’s a decent sample size as although it looks small, it will last quite a while. Make up items are my favourite things to receive and I was very pleased with this item, so much so I might buy the full size!

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OPI Coca-Cola Red, Full Size £11.95

This is possibly one of the products I was most excited to see in my box . I’ve never owned an OPI nail polish but know they are mean’t to be amazing, so I can’t wait to try this one! I love how christmassy this shade is, it’s a bright ‘coca-cola’ cherry red as the name suggests and its another full size product. The nail varnish alone is almost the cost of the Birchbox itself!

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Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil, Full Size £14.95

I have never used a facial oil in fear it will make my skin greasy and cause a huge breakout. Birchbox says this facial oil is ‘Designed with sensitive and unbalanced skin types in mind and perfect protection against the elements for your skin’. I was pleased with the size of the sample as it means I can give it a good try. It isn’t the consistency I expected its more of a dry oil than a greasy oil which is great for someone like me who’s worried about making their skin too greasy. My skins been rubbish at the moment so its hard to tell if my skin liked this or not. It has definitely opened my mind to facial oils so I’m going to keep using it when my skin is extra dry!

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Drinkwel Capsule Bottle, Full Size £32.99

This months lifestyle sample was something a little different. These are multi vitamin tablets with a difference, they are specifically designed to help with hangovers. You take 3 a day with food then after you’ve had a big night out, take 3 before you go to bed and apparently these will help you shift that hangover you’d normally get the next day! I’m not a big drinker so I will either let someone else try these or maybe I will give them ago next time I’m planning on getting drunk. I think it’s quite nice to receive something a little different!

That is everything I received in this months box and all and all I was very pleased.  What did you guys receive in your Birchbox and which product was your favourite?

Anna

October 2014 Birchbox Review

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It’s October which means it’s also Autumn, which also means we’re nearing the festive seasons. This months Birchbox is all going about gearing up ready for end of year goals, Birchbox says ‘we’re here to help you work it through your 9 to 5 and beyond – everything from your signature look to your to-do list’. Birchbox have also got involved with breast cancer awareness charity ‘Coppafeel’ informing us ladies on how to check and notice early symptoms of breast cancer as its breast cancer awareness month. This months little leaflet contained a helpful guide on how to check and what to look for when checking your breasts, it important, so get to it girls!! If you want to order your very own Birchbox or find out more about this subscription box, head on over to the website and October’s box is still available if your quick (https://birchbox.co.uk/).

To see what I got in my box.. keep reading!

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This months Birchbox contents came in a cute baby pink case, rather than the usual little Birchbox bag!

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Shaveworks The Cool Fix

The first sample I received was Shaveworks The Cool Fix. This product is perfect for any of you girls or men who shave/wax and suffer with redness, soreness, razor bumps or ingrown hairs. My skin is very sensitive and unfortunately I suffer with all of the above. Birchbox says ‘It contains a moisturising medicalm complex that immediately soothes irritated skin’. It contains natural exfoliating properties with things like glycolic and salicylic acid, removing dead skin cells which can cause ingrown hairs and infections! I was delighted to receive this, I already use a product like this, so It will be really nice to try something new and see which is more effective for this pesky problem. Also another generous sample size by Birchbox!

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KMS California Hair Play Playable Texture

KMS is a brand I’ve seen used in many salons, so its nice to receive a generous hair sample form a well-known high quality brand!  I’ve said before I’m not an avid hair product user but hairspray is something I do use! Birchbox says, this product builds texture and volume with repeated applications but without the stickiness and build up! I am looking forward to curling or styling my hair and using this non-sticky formula to hold it in place!

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Balance Me Cleanse & Smooth Face Balm

I have recently bought a new cleanser and face cream, so I’m not sure I will use this, I will either give it to someone who would like to use it or use it when I run out of the my others, as this does sound like a lovely product. It’s a face cleanser for all ages and skin types, even dry and sensitive skin! It contains a huge list of beneficial ingredients and it even contains tiny grains oatmeal that gently buff away dead skin cells, but gentle enough to remove make up daily. Again really impressed with the size of the sample, which is important when trying out a product to decide if you want to go a head and purchase it!

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Pixi By Petra Shea Butter Lip Balm (Honey Nectar)

This was the product I wanted to receive the most, so I was pretty happy when I saw it hiding in my little pink Birchbox case! I have been using this product a lot as you may be able to tell, by it not looking quite as perfect as it did when I first received it. I often find with tinted lip balms they have hardly any colour pay of and are never THAT moiturising. This lip balm on the other hand is lovely and creamy on the lips and smells like sweet shea butter. The colour pay off really surprised me and I love the peachy, nude shade I received, its something I would pick out for myself!  I really love this product a lot and would definitely purchase it when It runs out.

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Cattier Pink Clay Mask For Sensitive Skin

Face masks are a big love of mine, perfect to pamper yourself with, especially during a warm bath in these colder months! Birchbox says that it contains things like shea Butter and peppermint which restore, refresh and nourish the skin. It also says this clay mask  is formulated for even the most reactive skin, so you can be sure that any skin type will stay calm, which is reassuring considering the state my skin has been in lately! I used this once and it did feel lovely on the skin, but after one go its hard to say if it does everything it says, but none the less I was very pleased to received these sachet’s, you could easily get two uses out of each one!

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Birchbox Pink Lipstick Pen

This months lifestyle product was this cute lipstick Birchbox pen. Of course in the baby pink shade for breast cancer awareness, pens are always handy so I can’t complain about receiving this!

I really loved this months Birchbox, what did you receive in yours and were you as happy as I was with mine? and if you’re not subscribed, are thinking about subscribing after seeing the goodies I received?

Anna

July 2014 Birchbox Review

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This months Birchbox theme was ‘sun, sea and sand’ very fitting as its summer and the sun has been paying us brits quite the visit this July! You can still get yours up and until the 31st of July so if you like what you see head on over to the Birchbox website to find out more HERE.

Here is what I got in my box this month…

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WHISH THREE WHISHES LAVENDER BODY BUTTER Full Size: £14.50

I have never heard of this brand before so I have no expectations on what it will be like. Body butter is something I always need and love so its a good thing for me to receive. Birchbox says this contains lots of moisturising ingredients like organic aloe, shea butter and raspberry butter for dry skin and seaweed extract contains natural skin-firming peptides. The scent of this is lavender so I think this would be perfect to use after a hot bath in the evening just before bed.

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BALANCE ME WONDER EYE CREAM Full Size: £20.00

I’ve only recently started using an eye cream and so far I’ve only tried one, so I’m looking forward to trying a new one. Birchbox says that this eye creams i3 in one formula, softens, smooths and brightens your eye area. With ingredients like Roman chamomile, lemon, cucumber oil, witch hazel, anti-oxidant spruce knot, virgin coconut, rosehip oil and carrot oil. Sounds good to me! I also think this is a generous size considering you only need to apply a tiny amount of eye cream!

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WELEDA MILLET NOURISHING SHAMPOO Full Size: £8.95

I expect I will use this product if not,someone within the family will. Since having dyed my hair red I have been using shampoo’s for coloured hair, those who have had red hair will know how quickly it fades. It says ‘don’t expect it to lather’ on the Birchbox website which makes me think I won’t like this. Although it’s probably not the case, when a shampoo doesn’t lather up I feel like it’s not cleaning my hair probably. It’s not a bad thing to receive if you’re not bothered about using colour shampoo! I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I like the fact this is in a bottle, I can’t stand sachet samples, so that’s a plus!

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LAQA & CO SHEER LIP LUBE IN MENATOUR (PURPLE) Full Size £14.00

I love receiving make up in my beauty boxes so I was very happy to receive this. I would have maybe prefered one of the more natural shades but I do quite like this purple colour. It’s very bold and bright shade so I will have to be feeling a bit daring when I wear this, it felt lovely and moisturising when I applied it to my lips and has a minty scent.

VITA COCO LEMONADE Full Size: £2.49

I don’t have a picture of this product because I drank it before I took my pictures (whoops). I love vita coco’s normal coconut water so I was quite excited to try this as I’ve not tried any of their flavoured coconut water before. It was okay but I don’t think I would pick it to drink again, I prefer the normal one if I’m honest. It tastes a bit like a creamy lemonade like cream soda but lemony (great description Anna)! I love receiving life style items in my boxes so even though I wasn’t the biggest fan after trying this I still like that I got to try it.

I have yet to be REALLY disappointed with a Birchbox, I think they pick good products and give generous samples and I look forward to receiving my box every month!

Related Blog Post

June 2014 Birchbox Review

What did you get in your Birchbox this month?

Anna

 

 

A Visit To Bournemouth Vintage Emporium

 

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I was very kindly invited to attend a press, bloggers and antique traders evening at a new shop which has recently opened called ‘Bournemouth Vintage Emporium’. As you may know I love all things vintage so I knew this event would be right up my street. You may remember a blog post I wrote called ‘Vintage Love’ about a place called ‘Molly’s Den’ you can read that HERE. This shop is like Molly’s Den but a lot smaller and more manageable to look around. Molly’s Den can be quite overwhelming so if you don’t fancy taking up most a day looking around the nooks and crannies of that warehouse, this shop is perfect for you, its not too big but not small.

Its got lots of little traders shops filled with beautiful furniture, cute ornaments, weird but wonderful items and, things that may not be vintage but are just lovely. It’s got a lovely atmosphere inside and its the kind of place you can walk around a few times and spot more and more things each time you go round. Next door they have a tea room where you can sit in a cute setting and have some refreshments, always handy when your shopping till you drop. I loved walking around and snapping pictures of everything because there was so many items I loved. Although my camera broke and I had to use my iPhone, so sorry if that’s affected the quality of the pictures!

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Yep, that’s me modelling a sailor’s hat (haha)

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The two pictures below are by lovely trader with the business name ‘Nouveau’. She up-cycles old furniture and gives them a new lease of life! You can take your furniture to her or she can pick it up for you, take it away and customise it however you want! How gorgeous are these pieces of furniture? I would love them in my bedroom! Got some old furniture that’s looking worse for where? don’t throw it out, let it have a make over or sale her items to up-cycle and be loved by someone else! Links will be added soon!

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The four pictures below are from another trader I got talking to, who’s dress I fell in love with, I admire her vintage, quirky style and items she was selling. Her shop name is ‘Bobby-Alice Vintage, she works hard searching high and low for beautiful vintage dresses like the one shes wearing. So if you have a special occasion where you want a vintage glamorous, individual dress she’s your gal. She doesn’t just sale dresses she has a wide range of clothing items and other bits and bobs. Where you can find her: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bobbyalicevintage or Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bobbyalicevintage.

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They even sale gorgeous wedding dresses, like the lovely girl is modelling above!

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I would definitely recommend heading down to the store and taking a look around, its like a surprise you never know what item you will find and fall in love with!

Links and info for ‘Bournemouth Vintage Emporium’

Address: 1172-1180 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth BH7 6DY

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bournemouthvintageemporium

Website: http://www.bournemouthvintageemporium.com/

Email: info@bournemouthvintageemporium.com

Phone: 01202 427797

Anna

Nourishing Nuxe: First Impressions

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I have never tried any products from the brand Nuxe, until now. Why I decided to dip my toes into a new brand of products was the fact I have very very dry chapped lips at the moment. I got sucked in by the generously sized free gift you received when buying two Nuxe products on feelunqiue.com so I ended up buying an extra unplanned product, oops. I haven’t used these products a lot yet but I thought I’d talk about my first impressions of these products and what I think of them so far.

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I had heard a lot of good things about the NUXE Reve de Miel Baume Levres Ultra-Nourrissant Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm although the price of this does means splurging a little, as it is £9.50 and that’s the most I have ever paid for a lip balm! I am glad I did, my chapped lips are clearing up and when you put this balm on your lips it just feels like its doing something and really healing your lips! Its a very thick consistency so its not glossy in texture or too look at on your lips. A lot of lip balms to me feel like I have just applied a lip gloss, which is all well and good if your lips need a little moisture, but when you have chapped dry lips it doesn’t really hit the spot. The smell of this lip balm is also rather nice, its very refreshing with a lemony citrus scent to it. Its not sickly and over powering, you just get a hint of it as you apply it to your lips. This is a good lip balm to apply at night to wake up with nourished lips as It is quite thick. Because my lips have been particularly dry I have been applying mine at both ends of the day as apart my morning and evening skin care routine for lovely soft lips.

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The second Nuxe product I caved in and bought was the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse OR Multi-Usage Dry Oil – Golden Shimmer. I’m pretty sure I had heard this product mentioned before, but It wasn’t something I used to take  much notice of. For a while I was completely against using any oils on my hair or body for the fear it would weigh my hair down and make my hair and body greasy. I recently got a sample of an hair oil which has nearly run out and I really enjoyed applying a small amount to the ends of my hair. It didn’t weight my hair down or make it greasy like I thought. Firstly this product looks incredible in the bottle thanks to the tiny gold particles in this oil, pictures just don’t do it justice. I was sold when I saw this product was not only for the hair but also for your face and body! Its a dry oil which means its not as greasy and slippery like a regular oil.I thought this product would be gorgeous in the summer applied to bare legs, arms or the décolletage area. I also think it will make you hair appear more shiny when the light reflects of the glitter particles, whether it will do that or not I don’t know. In summer our body’s need moisturising just as much as during the winter. The reasons for this are: the damaging effects sun can have on our skin. The drying effects of salty sea water and partaking in lots of shaving to wear shorts, dresses and bikinis. Also just so our skin looks and feels nice. Not only that the gold flecks in the oil will leave your skin with hint of golden shimmer in the sun, and the great thing is its not to noticeable so you don’t look like a walking glitter ball.

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My free gift was a NUXE Spa Le Parfum d’Ambiance 75ml, I’m not sure if you can buy this product by itself as I could only find the free gift link. I am always spritzing perfume around my room and on my bed, and its such a waste. I don’t  know if its a body mist or what but I have been using this around my room and it smells lovely. Its exactly like something you’d smell in a spa, clean and fresh with a hint of sweetness. I have been enjoying this a lot and its a lovely spring/summer scent. Its only available whilst stocks last so you better be quick!

Let me know if you’ve tried and of these products and what you thought of them in the comments.

Anna

 

Staying Strong 365 Days A Year: Demi Lovato

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I recently bought Demi Lovato’s book ‘Staying Strong 365 Days A Year’, I love Demi she is such an inspiration to me.  For anyone who doesn’t know who she is she’s known mainly for starring in Disney channel TV shows and for being a singer,  she’s also known a lot for her mental health struggles she voiced about not very long ago. She has struggled with eating disorders, self harm and bipolar.

She is probably one of the first celebrity’s near my age to be so open about the problems she has gone through, I respect her so much for being so brave too speak out about her struggles and the treatment she went through for the mental health problems she was suffering with. As you know I suffer with OCD, anxiety and depression, so I know how hard it is to speak openly about mental health problems, with the stigma that can be attached to it and thinking ‘will they think I’m crazy?’. She has recently started going through recovery and has a particular phrase she is known for ‘Stay Strong’ which she also has tattooed on her wrists.

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 I always wanted her to bring out an auto biography because I find her so inspiring and easy to relate too, so when I heard about this book I had to buy it.

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I usually hate reading and if your a person like me that struggles to finish a book, this book will be right up your street. Its mean’t to be read a page a day as its dated at the top for example ‘February 4’ and each day it has a quote with a little bit of writing about the quote and what it means to her  and how it relates to life, then it has a goal to achieve to do with the quote.

I think its a really lovely concept and is the perfect way to start your day, reading a positive quote and seeing a goal as a little reminder to try and achieve what the uplifting quote says. Its such an easy read as its literally one page a day for 365 days, as staying strong and positive all year round is not easy, whether your battling with mental health problems or not. Not only do I love the contents of the book, but the cover and design is so lovely and its a hard cover book,  You can buy the book HERE.

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I would also recommend watching the MTV documentary called Demi Lovato: Stay Strong, where she talks about her story and struggles with mental health and goes into a lot more detail about her journey, treatment and her time currently going through recovery. It’s very inspiring, so if you can find it online I’d really recommend giving it a watch. Also check out her music, she’s very talented and I love her songs as a lot of them we’re written during her struggles and treatment so there very strong , inspiring or touching songs, especially the songs ‘Sky Scraper’ and ‘Warrior’.