A Look Back At My 2015 Goals

This time last year I set myself some goals for 2015. Some were related to my blog, others to my writing and others were just general lifestyle aims. I'm actually just about to do the same thing for 2016, but before I start focusing on the new years goals I thought I'd share the progress I made with this round of goals!

Top 6 Books of 2015

2015 was an epic year of reading for me. I smashed my Goodreads reading challenge and although I may have swayed from my 2015 Reading Challenge in one way, I did read a ton of new books this year, despite the fact that I endured several reading slumps. I'm a creature of habit and I'm so guilty of re-reading books more often than picking up new ones, but during 2015 I feel I managed to kick this terrible trait. Just a little bit. If you'd like to know exactly what books I read this year, then feel free to click on over to my Goodreads profile, where you can find a full list! Why not add me as a friend whilst you're there? ;) But, for now, allow me to introduce you to my Top 6 Books of 2015!

What I Got My Boyfriend For Christmas

I can't count the number of times I'd uttered the words "I can't wait to give Luke his presents" on the run up to Christmas, but I know for a fact that I'd said them once or twice (or five times) here on the blog. So I thought that now that he's opened them and assured me that I was right to be excited about them, I'd show you what all the fuss was about! I got him one 'main' present and a few smaller 'main' ones, then I just did him a stocking. I hope you don't think that I'm doing this in any malicious way, or that I'm bragging - I'm just so happy with what I got him and we both want to remember it! I also thought that it might be helpful for anyone who finds the men in their life difficult to buy for - Christmas may be out of the way, but they do have a birthday before the next one!

What I Got For Christmas 2015

SURPRISE! I bet you didn't expect to see me pop up in your Twitter/Bloglovin' feed this afternoon, did you?! It's rare for me to upload a post at a time that isn't 8am, but the blog lighting Gods dictated that I couldn't photograph this post until about an hour ago. So here we are at 2pm!

8 Things I Achieved in 2015

I know that we're a mere five days away from Christmas, but right now I'm focused on another occasion that's looming on the horizon: New Year. I actually really enjoy New Year, and January is usually one of the best months for me in terms of motivation and confidence. Things to tend to burn out a little come February, but that's beyond the point... Either way, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to achieve next year, and also what I've achieved this year. I didn't feel like I'd done much of note this year, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised I've done some pretty great things. Grab yourself a hot drink of choice and some biscuits, this post is going to be a long one!

Lush So White Bath Bomb


So White appears to be a real Cult Classic for Lush at Christmas Time, yet it's a bath bomb that I'd never tried before this year. I feel like the reason I never picked it up is because of it's innocent white exterior - it looks especially plain when stood next to something like Golden Wonder or Father Christmas. But I was determined to try all of the Christmassy bath bombs this year so I got Luke to grab me one whilst he was in town a few weeks ago.

The Library of Fragrance Perfumes

If there's one part of my beauty stash that was completely depleted when I decided to become cruelty-free, it was my perfume collection. I've never really been an avid wearer of perfume - I was always more of a body spray/mist kinda gal - but I have to admit, I have missed the option of spritzing myself with something a bit more special. So when I was given the opportunity to review a few perfumes from the Library of Fragrance, I jumped at the chance.

20 Festive Blog Photo Props

It's always fun to accessorise blog photos with props that are relevant to the time of year, whether that's by using confetti hearts on Valentines Day or conkers during Autumn. I've been playing around with using different festive things when taking my Blogmas photos recently, so today I thought I'd share with you some festive prop ideas for your own Christmassy blog posts!

Current Favourites

I kind of regret not doing a November favourites at the beginning of this month, but I just couldn't get the items to photograph right. Plus I knew that I didn't want to do a December favourites because come January I try not to have any blog posts that relate back to the year that's just gone. It's probably really silly, but I just like the new year to be as fresh and new as possible! Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that instead of me doing two separate favourites, today I'm going to give you an edit of my current favourites. ARE YOU READY?

My True Love Gave To Me by Various Authors

Title: My True Love Gave To Me
Author: Various authors.
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 320 pages
Published: 1st October 2014

I had to include a Christmassy book review somewhere in Blogmas didn't I?! And what an adorable book it is. I'm sure we all know by now that I'm a particularly disloyal reader, and am always dropping books from my reading routine in favour of new ones. One of the most recent additions into my rotation has been My True Love Gave To Me, which is a collection of festive short stories written by a bunch of different authors. It's been nice to flit between this and the two other books I've been reading. Some of the authors featured include Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, Matt De La Pena, Gayle Forman and Stephanie Perkins, who also acted as editor.

The Happy List #8

I've tried to write this post about twenty-million times (read: twice) so far, but the words just aren't flowing right. Apparently all my mind wants me to talk about is my mental health (which is crap) and Christmas (which is exciting) but there are lots of cute little things I want to remember so today, instead of titling this post 'Life Lately' like I was going to, I'm going to give you another Happy List! I know I only did one like two weeks ago, but what can I say? You can't have too much happiness, right?

1. Exchanging Christmas cards with Victoria. How sweet is this Christmas card that Victoria sent me? It's a pug in a jumper wearing glittery reindeer antlers! Seriously though, it made me so happy that  Victoria asked me if I'd like to exchange cards with her. It also meant that I had to go out and buy a Christmas card for the first time in my adult life!

6 Books I Still Haven't Read

I don't think that it's unusual for a reader to have a collection of books on their shelf that they still haven't read yet, and I feel like if you're a book blogger then it's a probably-definite thing. I very rarely buy books that I don't want to read instantly, so it's not really a surprise that my collection of TBR books is fairly small - but still, today I thought I'd share with you 6 books that I still haven't read.

Lush Yog Nog Bath Bomb


Last year, I fell in love with the scent of Lush's Yog Nog soap. It's very unlike anything I usually like (I'm a sucker for anything sweet), but it's warm spiciness drew me in. I didn't pick up any of the soap because I knew I'd never use it, but when Lush released a bath bomb this year with the same name and scent I couldn't say no!

Things I'd Like For Christmas 2015

Since I've been dishing out Christmas gift guides left, right and centre since the beginning of November, I figured that it was about time I showed you what I'd like to get for Christmas this year. Of course these are all material things, so my other personal Christmas wishes (such as happiness, love, health for my family and a roast dinner) are being hung on the Christmas tree instead. I haven't exactly asked anyone for any of these gifts (aside from one or two) and I genuinely don't mind if I don't get them. This is just what I'd like!

Bedroom Details #2

I'm so so pleased with how my bedroom has come together this year. I've replaced almost all of my old mis-matching wooden furniture for a bunch of white bookcases of various size, I've organised my books in a more practical yet visually appealing way and I've played around with displaying artwork and photos. The most recent change in my room has been the inclusion of this Ikea Billy bookcase, and today I thought I'd give you a lil tour.

Things To Do Before 2016

Welcome to Blogmas 2015! I've been seriously debating about whether or not I was going to join in with Blogmas, but then I thought why the hell not? It's not like I value my free time or anything... I'm kidding! (kind of) So yes, this is just a little declaration to let you guys know that you'll be getting a blog post every single day from me from December 1st right up until Christmas! Not all of them are going to be centred around Christmas because 1. I'll probably have other stuff to talk about, 2. it'll probably get on your nerves and 3. I didn't want to alienate anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas. But yes. Anyway. Onto my to-do list.

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for 90s Kids

We all love a bit of nostalgia don't we? At least I know I do, which would explain why I'm currently playing Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly on my old PlayStation 2 at the moment (those graphics tho). So today I thought I'd throw together a gift guide dedicated to all of the things I loved as a child. (I was going to add a Tamagotchi into this post but, ya know, most of us are now attempting to adult now and I know how hard it was looking after them at school, let alone at work.)

Lush Star Dust Bath Bomb

Fiiinally I've gotten around to talking about some of the Lush Winter 2015 range! I did review the Sparkly Pumpkin bubble bar a couple of weeks ago, but as it was part of the Halloween collection I don't really feel like it counts. I just felt like talking about the two bath bombs I'd bought in October was a bit too early. So here we are in late November!

The Happy List #7

1. Christmas Shopping. I've put a lot more time, effort and money into my Christmas shopping this year and now I can't wait to give everyone their presents. I bought my mum something pretty special that she's always wanted but has never been able to buy and my boyfriend... well I feel like it's going to take him ages to open all of this gifts this year! He spoils me every year but this year I'm determined to spoil him. They aren't all massively expensive - aside from his 'big' present and one or two other things, they've all been under the £5 mark. I'm just hoping he likes them all!
2. Advent Calendars. This is the second and final Chrismassy point in this post, I swear! But I am very excited about my advent calendar this year - I bought the Makeup Revolution one! I've already dedicated an entire post to it, so be sure to check that out if you're interested. I also sneakily bought my boyfriend a Lindt advent calendar this year, as it's his favourite type of chocolate and I felt kinda bad about him having a regular one whilst I was opening the advent calendar of my dreams. We're literally counting down the days until December 1st!

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts That Give Back

I did a gift guide like this last year and I was really proud of it, so I decided to do an updated version this year! I figured that there's always someone on your to-buy-for list that doesn't 'want' anything, so why not donate to a charity in their name? Or introduce them to packaging-free beauty products? All of the gifts featured are either great for the environment or give back to charity in some way - and the beauty gifts are, of course, cruelty-free and vegan.

Makeup Revolution Advent Calendar 2015

I feel like this post marks something very important in my life: my very first non-chocolate advent calendar! And more specifically, an advent calendar that I actually bought for myself... Wow, much adult.  
I've been toying with the idea of getting myself a beauty/lifestyle advent calendar for years. But aren't they just so expensive?! I could never justify it and was always happy enough to eat my Cadbury's one. That was until,a few weeks ago, when the Makeup Revolution Advent Calendar was on offer for half-price on the Superdrug website! Not only was this advent calendar desirable for me because I'm a huge fan of Makeup Revolution and their cruelty-free and sometimes vegan products, but also because when I decided to become cruelty-free I rehomed 90% of my make-up and I've been living on the bare necessities since then. This advent calendar seemed like the perfect opportunity to not only re-stock my make-up stash, but to add a little excitement to my life!

November Haulin' | ft Superdrug & H&M

I've been heavy-duty into Christmas shopping recently. I think I'm about 75% done now - I've just got to buy a lot of chocolate! I'm most excited about giving my boyfriend his presents, because I feel like I've done really well with his gifts this year. (I suppose I'll find out on Christmas Day!) BUT in-between all of the gift-shopping, I have picked up a few things for myself and today I thought I'd show ya what I got!

Christmas Gift Guide: £1 Stocking Fillers

I love stockings. And more importantly, I love stocking fillers. I'll generally get socks, pants, tea light candles, chocolates, sweets... all the good stuff! So today I thought I'd throw together a stocking filler kinda gift guide, but with a little twist: all of the gifts listed in this post are £1 or less!

How To Use: Lush Bubble Bars

If there's one thing that confused me about Lush when I first discovered them, it was how their solid products worked. Bubble bars, shampoo bars, deodorant bars, massage bars... you name it, Lush has probably got it. Out of everything, the one thing that confused me the most were the bubble bars. According to the sales assistants in Lush, you're supposed to crumble a chunk of bubble bar under running water. But I don't have fancy taps that spout warm water - I have a hot tap and a cold tap and I didn't fancy sticking my hand under either of them. I've since worked out a few ways to use the bubble bars, and today I thought I'd share them with you!

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

Title: Only Ever Yours
Author: Louise O'Neill
Genre: YA Dystopian (New Adult IMO)
Length: 392 pages
Published: July 3rd 2014
After reading this book, I was in two minds about whether or not I was going to blog about it. Mostly because with a lot of books, I take them personally and get emotional and I'm not always ready to talk about them. But I feel like Only Ever Yours is such an important book for so many reasons that I need to tell you about it. I also don't want to feel ashamed of the way it made me feel, because I don't think it's something to be ashamed of.

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts for Book Lovers

Welcome to my first Christmas gift guide of 2015!
Now that Halloween is well and truly out of the way, I can embrace my favourite time of the year without judgement. For me, Christmas isn't just about one day. Christmas begins on the 1st of November and the excitement builds every single day between then and the 25th December. I've already done a lot of my Christmas shopping (I know!) but just in case you haven't, I thought I'd throw together a few gift guides to help you out this festive season. And I know it may only be the 4th of November... but I'd rather get my gift guides up too early than too late!

Lush Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar

Whenever I go shopping with my dad I always exclaim "omg look how cute!" about a load of different things and he always replies with "how can a face wash be cute?" or "how can a candle be cute?" and in some cases I think he's probably right but in this case... HOW CUTE IS THIS BUBBLE BAR? It's a lil pumpkin. Adorable.

Halloween Reads

I was going to name this post 'Halloween Reads That Aren't Scary' but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that the books I've chosen are quite scary in their own way. Okay, so they might not be as intense as a proper horror but there's clearly a reason why I've chosen them for this post.

Goodreads Reading Challenge: Completed

I just completed my Goodreads reading challenge for 2015! Meaning I've read 25 books this year. I feel like this might be an odd number to a lot of people - some people have probably read twice as much, some people have probably read half as much. But 25 was a good number for me.


Watching | I'm the kind of person that always has a million TV shows on the go. At the moment, I'm watching Pokémon Diamond & Pearl and am re-watching PLL from the beginning. Diamond & Pearl is possibly my favourite Pokémon season (aside from the original two) because I love Dawn! I think she's so adorable. Her Pokémon are some of my favourites too. I also love the introduction of the Pokémon Contests, they're much more entertaining to me than the usual battles. As far as PLL is concerned - I'm currently on Season 3 and Cece has just been introduced! It's so interesting to pick up on things that are relevant now that I know who she really is.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Genre: YA Dystopian
Length: 358 pages
Published: 2nd September 2014

Since becoming a blogger, it's a pretty rare thing for me to pick up and read a book I've heard nothing about. I came across The Jewel by Amy Ewing on Amazon, as it was listed in a kind of 'you might like' widget. I took a note of the name after reading the blurb and a little snippet but didn't ever look it up on my favourite book blogs. Then I came across it in the library the other day, took it out and read it within 24 hours!

4 Ways To Support Your Favourite Blogger

Re-useable cotton pads: The Crocheting Chemist // Custom Illustration: Dorkface.
1. Follow Them On Bloglovin' Blogging isn't all about the numbers, but if your favourite blogger is trying to make it full-time then the number of followers they have on different platforms is really important to companies wanting to work with them. I'm SO guilty of not following blogs on Bloglovin', but it's usually because I always read their posts via Twitter. I now make a conscious effort to follow all of my favourites!

Opening Up

This post wasn't supposed to be part of my scheduled programming for this week. In fact, I sat down intending to write something completely different but a few things have happened over the past few weeks regarding this topic that have actually really upset me and I feel like I just need to let it all out.

Top 10 Harry Potter Book Quotes

" Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain." - Arthur Weasley, The Chamber of Secrets.
"The world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters." - Sirius Black, The Order of the Phoenix.

Lush Sugar Scrub

I love scrubs. If I could choose only 5 beauty products to use for the rest of my life, a good body scrub would be in that list for sure. My skin isn't particularly flaky but it can get really dry, especially during the winter, and as I don't use body lotion I rely on scrubs to keep my skin feeling silky smooth. Judging by my success with the Lush solid shampoo bars, I thought it was about time to branch out into their body care. I picked up the Sugar Scrub, which is a solid body scrub made up of sugar, grated ginger and fresh fennel.

Wreck This Journal #5

I've been feeling really nostalgic towards my blog at the moment. I think it's because last A/W was when What Lauren Did Today began to flourish as a lifestyle blog, and I created a few seasonal series to celebrate Christmas. I'm planning on re-creating several posts from last year, so maybe that's where the feeling is coming from. BUT one thing I do miss a lot about my blog last year was posting about my Wreck This Journal. Not gonna lie, it has been gathering dust since my last post, which was December last year! I KNOW. It's terrible. But a little while ago I was having a read of Bee's blog and I suddenly remembered it. A few hours later, and I have two pages to show you today!

The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne

Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 448 pages
Published: 1st August 2014
I mentioned this book once before (in this post) and have finished it twice since then. I re-read it very recently so my thoughts and opinions on it are still fresh in mind, and I thought I'd jot them down and share them with you today.

Mini Haul | Lush & Waterstones

IT'S OFFICIALLY AUTUMN/WINTER. The Lush Christmas & Halloween range has been released! The range has been in the Lush Oxford Street store for a little while, but as of the 2nd of October, it's available in all Lush stores. I've been really ill for the past week or so, so I didn't actually manage to get to my local Lush on the release date, but I did yesterday! I also took a little trip into Waterstones and picked up a book for myself, as well as two Christmas presents.

September Favourites

I had so many favourites this month. So many, in fact, that I forgot about most of them and had to re-photograph this post because I left too many things out. In the end it worked out better because I prefer this round of photos so silver lining and all that.

31 Things To Do Before October 31st

Last year I wrote a cute Christmassy post listing '25 Things To Do Before December 25th'and everyone seemed to really love it, so I'm back this year with a twist - I'm going to list 31 things to do before October 31st, which is Halloween! I find that as soon as Halloween is over everyone really gets into the Christmas spirit. Even the stores and supermarkets, as their Halloween stock gets slashed in price and all of the selection boxes and Christmas trinkets come out to play. I feel like Halloween/Bonfire night (it's a UK thing) are the last hurrahs of Autumn so here are some Autumnal things to do before then!

The Happy List #6

September, you were pretty good to me.
1. My Custom Illustration from Jemma @ Dorkface. A couple of weeks ago I saw Jemma advertising on Twitter about her gorgeous designs, and pretty much decided on the spot that I wanted a custom illustration for my in-progress re-decorated bedroom. As it happened, she had a spare slot going the following week as someone had cancelled and it just seemed like fate! Fast-forward to now and I have the most beautiful custom illustration framed in my room! Jemma was SO so lovely to work with, and she really listened to everything that I wanted but also put her own creative spin on it which I really loved. (PS. you should totally check out her other designs & order yourself one because she's amazing)

Lush The Experimenter Bath Bomb

I feel like The Experimenter is the 'it' bath bomb from the Lush Summer Collection... at least as far as Instagram is concerned! It's so colourful and is such an exciting one to watch that it was really difficult to decide which photos to feature in this post. It's also very aesthetically pleasing when it's not dissolving - it's shape is very different to anything I've seen from Lush before, and the bright colours give a little insight to what's waiting inside. The scent of this one is also quite nice - it's quite woody and smoky but the vanilla makes it more pleasant. Definitely not what I usually go for, which would be something sugary sweet or fruity, but I quite liked it.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette in Golden Sugar

I'm not usually aesthetically drawn to make-up (packaging is a different story) but with the Makeup Revolution Golden Sugar blush palette, it was love at first sight. I picked this up when I was on holiday back in June as it was in-store and I'd only ever drooled over it online, and I've been loving it ever since.

Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb

It's been a long time since I've been really wow-ed by a bath bomb. I went through a huge bubble bar phase at the beginning of the year but when the Lush summer collection dropped in stores a few weeks ago it re-ignited my passion for a good bath bomb. I've already used Frozen and Yoga Bomb and loved them, but Intergalactic is on another level.

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Title: Am I Normal Yet?
Author: Holly Bourne
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Length: 434 pages
Published: 1st August 2015

Am I Normal Yet? is the second Holly Bourne book I've read within the last six months. I read The Manifesto on How to be Interesting back in April, then read it again in August. As soon as finished it, I hopped straight over to Amazon and ordered Am I Normal Yet? It arrived, and I devoured it within 24 hours.

10 Self Harm Alternatives

As of today, I'm one year self-harm free!! To celebrate this, I thought I'd list 10 self-harm alternatives to hopefully help some other people who are still struggling. If just one person can be helped, then I feel like my self-harm period won't be just a sad, destructive part of my life anymore. It'll be something that I've experienced, but that I've used to help someone else. That's my aim, anyway. I know that there are several different forms of self-harm, not just cutting, and I feel that almost all of the options listed can be used as alternatives for all of the different kinds.

The Mad Hatters Tea Party

On the 16th of August, my little sister Leigh turned 8 and to celebrate the occasion, my mum and I threw her a tea party! I had literally been planning for weeks in advance, and spent so much time rummaging around in charity shops and car boot sales for tea sets. I was also on a really tiny budget as we were renting a church hall which cost a small fortune in itself, but it was all worth it in the end! I took some inspiration from Pinterest and also kind of made things up as I went along depending on what I found in stores. Almost everything that I got for the table was from Poundland, aside from the tea sets, tea pots and plates which I sourced from charity shops.

The Happy List #5

I can't believe my last 'The Happy List' post was back in March! SO many things have made me happy since then, and I kind of regret not recording them. I think my problem with 'happy' things is that I don't realise how happy they make me until I look back on them, ya know? So I don't ever feel they're important enough to talk about at the time. BUT I'm going to rectify this wrong today, by talking about a few things that have made me happy recently!

Lush Brazilliant Shampoo Bar

It wasn't all that long ago that I bought Jumping Juniper, but my mum sorta accidentally DESTROYED it. (She left it in a tub under a leaky shower head. It essentially melted.) So whilst I was in my new-Lush-bath-bombs euphoria a couple of weeks ago, I managed to regain something resembling common sense and picked up a new shampoo bar. I was drawn to Brazilliant, a vibrant orange shampoo bar that strengthens hair. My hair isn't particularly damaged (nor is it curly/thick, which is what this product is meant to be for) but I thought that it's strengthening properties might help my fine, flat hair in some way. Plus, it smells divine.

Charity Shop & Car Boot Sale Haul

I think my favourite thing about summer is the fact that it's car boot sale season. There's nothing I love more on a lazy Sunday than waking up early, scouring through the clothing/books at the local car boot sale and then going somewhere for breakfast. My dad is an avid car-booter (is that even a word?) so it's become a kind of yearly tradition for us to go bargain hunting together. Another dearly beloved past-time of mine is charity shopping. I used to volunteer in a charity shop back when I was at college and I gained so much experience, as well as a complete wardrobe overhaul. If I'm being totally honest, 90% of my wardrobe is sourced from charity shops and car boot sales. I don't have the personal budget to shop in places like Topshop and Zara, so it's always nice to pick up something from there that is still in perfect condition yet is 75% cheaper.
I've collected a small grouping of clothes and books over the past two weeks or so across two outings, one of which was a car boot sale, the other was a charity shopping day trip that my mum and I went on. Today I thought I'd show you what I got!