Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

My gradual dislike for YouTube ‘Creators’

I know I am not the only person who has discussed the decline of popularity of some of the *previously* most loved and popular YouTubers, however I have some of my own opinions on these YouTubers. I started watching YouTube as a young teen, I don’t actually remember some of the first YouTube channels I was subscribed to, it is completely possible it was just a bunch of ‘Make-up Tutorials’ because I was a 12 year old girl after all. YouTube had started to become very popular for those kind of videos when I was a teen, apparently YouTube was no longer for funny cat videos (I’d take a cat video over a Jake Paul/Logan Paul video any day). YouTubers like Meredith Foster, Bethany Mota and Zoella became some of my favourite YouTubers. Flash forward to today, they’ve become some of my least favourite.

Pretty much all of my teen years were spent watching ‘Zoella’ before she ‘wrote’ her books, brought out a beauty line or homeware line. I don’t know if Zoe was always a very talented manipulator of younger viewers or whether she was once a genuine, humble, selfless young women making videos for ‘fun’. Now, I don’t know which one of those statements is true, I hope it is the second one but even the thought of her realizing she could con young viewers is just as bad to be honest. Obviously, most people who are in tune with the ‘scandals’ (if you’ve call them that) of  YouTube are probably aware that Zoe, or should I say her ‘management’ decided to charge £50 in Boots (Boots sold for the recommend retail price set by the supplier) for a 12 day advent calendar that was worth around £15. A lot of people have had a lot to say, when I saw the calendar in store myself I personally thought it was rather steep for a 12 day calendar, it’s not like it’s a Chanel beauty advent calendar after all, but when I saw videos of what was actually in the box, I was utterly shocked. I was shocked that she thought, or her management thought they could get away with charging £50 for products you could get in Poundland or Home Bargains for under £15.  Like I said I used to love her, whether it was a genuine ‘Zoella’ I loved, or my young mind looked up to her because she was so good at making you believe she was like you, I don’t know. Her videos about her fight with Anxiety and her cheating ex, related to me, so as a young naïve girl I related to her. She could have very well went through those horrible things, but now I’m wondering whether it was just an act for views, subscribers, and eventually money. I also cannot be the only person who has noticed her content has gone down hill in recent years, she doesn’t seem to put much thought into the things she posts these days, I stopped watching before Christmas 2017 because her videos became boring, unoriginal, and repetitive. I stopped watching ‘PointlessBlog’ years ago because it became painfully obvious how much of a fake he was, however it took a little longer to see it with the ‘perfect’ Zoe.

As for other YouTubers, I have to say that my subscriptions bar has gotten pretty small these days. I was coming onto YouTube, seeing a load of videos from people I no longer care to watch. One of those people who I unsubscribed to was Oli White, he is one man that I cannot stand anymore. I am pretty sure I found out about Oli many years ago through watching Joe Sugg’s videos, but in recent years Oli has become unbearable, mainly for two reasons – the excessively loud shouting in videos like he’s filming at a concert where no one can hear him and the other reason being his crappy personality.

However that is NOT the thing that pisses me off the most, surprise, surprise, it is about the prices they charge for their ‘merch’. Merch can be a great thing, it can be a way for  fans to express their feelings towards an artist. Most musical artists will have merch when you go see them at a concert, but the difference between YouTuber merch and merch at a concert is that merch at a concert is cheaper. That is INSANE to me. I pay less for a t-shirt supporting a world famous artist then a t-shirt with a few words on from a ‘famous’ YouTuber. I recently found ‘JAACKMAATE’ on YouTube and started watching his videos (more like binge watching…its not creepy, I swear) and I completely agree with ALOT he says about YouTubers, including his video about Oli White’s hoodies. I’m sorry but I could never justify myself paying £30+ for a hoodie that says ‘what is up’ on it. I know for a fact that I can get a hoodie with more detail on from BooHoo for £15. I could NEVER justify the price to my mum either. Something I have always said, as I don’t see the point in big, expensive name brand products is ‘you’re not always paying for the product, but for the name on the product’. I don’t care if your shoes are Nike and cost over £100, if they’re shit quality, they aren’t worth it just because they have the Nike name plastered on them. I know for a fact I can find good quality products for a fraction of the price name brands will sell them for. These YouTubers aren’t stupid, they know people will buy the products simply because they’ve got their logo stuck on them. Prime example is Alfies Deyes’ tops, his tops are literally plain t-shirts with a ‘PB’ logo on a small part of the t-shirt. Creative!!! Who is buying these? I wouldn’t be wasting my money on these, not for me, not for future children I may have. Nope. Nope. NO. Like with most of the world, greed is playing a big factor in the production and selling of unoriginal, boring, predictable products.

Every ‘big’ YouTuber has their own merch these days, like they’re some massive artists with TONS of talent. Now, I do agree some products brought out by YouTubers are quality products, but most YouTubers are just throwing products out that take 5 minutes to design and £5 to produce for greedy reasons. It’s not because they want to ‘share their designs and work with us’. That’s bull! They want money.

I feel like I have slammed YouTubers throughout this whole post, which I guess I have, I could have said A LOT MORE. I am not even going to touch the disappointment of the human species that are Logan and Jake Paul. Regardless of what I have said in this blog post, I do still watch some YouTubers and still do have some favourite channels including; SORTEDfood, Lindsey Hughes, Joe Sugg (just hope he doesn’t turn out like his friends), Gabriella, Laura in the Kitchen, CupcakeJemma, Emma Blackery, and JaackMaate. Looking at that list, most of those are cooking channels, oh well, they still count to me, otherwise I’d only have 4 people to watch on YouTube, which is kind of sad.

If you have an suggestions for any more YouTubers who aren’t greedy, rapists, homophobic, bland, boring, unoriginal, uneducated, vein, racist and/or sexist I would love to hear about them!

If you’d like to buy a nice hoodie, t-shirt or cute phone case and don’t fancy forking out £30 for Oli White’s products, check out Boohoo! – (not sponsored, I just love Boohoo!)

Tweet me @lifeasshanx

Shannon x

Slimming World

My experience with Slimming World

I had always been on the ‘bigger’ size growing up. During high school I managed to maintain my weight, which, looking back is a miracle since I was always out with friends eating take-away and McDonald’s, but I guess all the walking we also did balanced it out. After high school, my anxiety started to get worse and I started to go out less and comfort eat. Between 2014 and 2016 I must have gained at least 2 stone. Even when I was working on my feet all day, I still gained because I was still eating badly. At the start of 2017, I felt miserable, I didn’t want to feel like that anymore. I was tired ALL the time, I was having to buy clothes 2 sizes up, and my skin was breaking out. I looked in the mirror and I just was so upset with what i saw, so angry at myself for letting myself get like that, and so self conscience about my weight.

My mum had started Slimming World with a couple family members in the January of 2017 and by April had lost 2 stone, it was in April that I decided what I needed was to do the same thing, join Slimming World. When my mum first started I was a bit on the fence as to whether this would work as we had both tried diets before and they never did work. But with her weight loss in just four months, I thought to myself  ‘ I want to try this diet now!’.

My first class was a little scary. I knew what to except because my mum had told me a lot already but walking into that room for the first time is the scariest part. My first class was spent having an introduction with some other new members and filling out some paperwork. I was given a pack with my ‘love food love food optimising’ book in, a few other booklets and four food dairies. I was also given a membership card. I was weighed and then I joined my mum for the class. During the class other people spoke about their week and weight loss or gain, some also shared recipes and stories from the week. The main book given to me had everything I needed to know inside. At the back they had logged my weight at membership and I could fill in my targets. My pin to login to the Slimming World site was also in the back of the book. The book also includes the four main food groups;

  • Speed foods – the book defines speed foods as ‘speed foods are very low in energy density (calories) so they have extra slimming power! For best results, enjoy at least one third of a plate of Speed foods at each mealtime(whenever you can) and reach for them first between meals.’  Examples; most fruit and veg are speed foods like apples, peaches, carrots, and mushrooms.  
  • Free Foods – the book defines free food as ‘most of the food you eat every day should come from the free foods list. We call them free foods because you can eat as much of them as you like. You don’t have to weigh, count or calculate quantities of these foods n any way. No fuss, just fill up any time on great-tasting, filling food.’ Examples – Potatoes, chicken, couscous, pasta, rice, and dried noodles
  • Healthy Extras – the book defines healthy extras as ‘ In addition to all the free food you eat to satisfy your appetite, each choose from our list of healthy extra choices. Designed to give your body the vital vitamins, minerals, and fibre you need, healthy extras include milk and cheese for calcium and wholemeal bread and breakfast cereals for fibre.’ Examples; 250ml semi skimmed milk, 30g mature cheddar cheese, 35g oat bran, 2 Weetabix, and 2 medium slices wholemeal bread.
  • Syns -the books defines syns as ‘On top of all that you can make more choices with our unique syns system, designed to take the guilt right out of eating. All food that isn’t free has a syn value – you simply choose how to spend your syns each day. Enjoy 5 to 15 syns a day – your consultant will help you decide the number of syns to aim for each day.’ Examples; Nutella (1 tablespoon) is 4 syns, Freddo is 5 syns, standard 1/2 pint beer is 4.5 syns, cola (250ml) is 5.5, and McDonalds Big Mac is 25.5 syns.

**Diet drinks like diet coke and Pepsi max are free and contain no syns. Dilute juice that contains ‘No Added Sugar’ are also free. Coffee and tea are free but you will need to count milk as part of your ‘a’ choice for that day.**

Although sauces like mayo and ketchup have a syns value, below is a list of completely free ‘added extras’ that have NO syn value no matter how much you use.

  • spices
  • salt, vinegar and pepper
  • fat free dressings
  • sweetener
  • low calorie cooking spray
  • stock pots, liquid stock, bouillon powder and stock cubes.
  • mustard powder
  • tomato purees
  • soy sauce
  • and a few others…

The book can be a bit confusing at first but once I got the hang of it, I was referring to the book less and less because I began to remember what’s free, what isn’t and I remembered the syn value for some of my favourite treats. The first four weeks I had to fill in a food dairy and give it in to my consultant so she can see if I was doing everything right and help advise me on how I could get a better loss.

Within my first month I had lost 8.5 lbs. I am currently 2 stone 5lbs lighter, I can now fit into size 12 clothes and I haven’t felt this good about myself in a long time. After trying MANY diets over the years, Slimming World has been the most effective and safest out of the rest of them. I would recommend giving Slimming World a try if you’re wanting a safe, healthy, balanced diet that allows you still to have treats and lose weight at the same time.

Shannon x

Advice♥, Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

What To Know Before Getting A Dog – Breeds

For the second part of my ‘what to know before getting a dog’ series, I want to talk about breeds. Like with coats, there is a breed type that will probably be best suited to you, your lifestyle, and your living situations. If you haven’t read my first post about the different types of coat types and how to look after said coat, here is the link! –

I have owned dogs with 2 different coat types – double and smooth. The reason being that they are easy to groom at home and personally like those kinds of dogs better. I currently have a Husky and two French Bulldogs. But, being a dog groomer I have groomed all 5 types of coats and have picked up quite a few facts and opinions on most common breeds.

When we are looking to buy a dog it’s important that we know everything we possibly can about the breed. It’s also important you understand what you will need to provide for this breed.

When picking a breed, do some research, write down;

  • Prices for food and treats (more or less depending on the size of the dog),
  • Bedding, blankets and toys (is this breed bigger and there for need a big bed? is this breed known to be destructive with certain toys?)
  • Harness, collar and lead (again, depending on size of dog, prices will vary)
  • Vet bills and insurance(will they be castrated? It is also the LAW in the UK to have your dog microchipped, failure to do so can result in a fine)
  • Flea and worming medications( these have to be done monthly in most cases and the bigger the dog, the more it will cost to keep these up to date)
  • Groom costs (whether you’re going to get a groomer to groom them on a regular basis or do it yourself, you need to work out average costs for that, see my last post that I linked earlier to get the run down on coat types and grooming prices).

By doing this before buying or adopting your dog, you know an estimation of how much you are going to need to spend monthly or annually. This will give you a better idea if you’re able to financially able to afford a dog. A lot of dogs end up in shelters or being neglected because people do not realise how much dogs can be yearly. You need to be sure you are able to pay for your dogs needs. They need; food, water, blanket, grooming, flea and worming, vet checks, exercise, and attention to thrive and be healthy, happy dogs.

The next thing to think about when looking to buy a certain breed is your living situation. You need to think about these things;

  • The size of the breed – a big dog that needs plenty of space needs a bigger place to live. A flat isn’t the best option for a large dog like a Husky or Labrador.
  • Other animals – not every animal likes each over, if you own a cat or another dog, you need to think about the kind of dog you want to get. Is it suitable for a home with other animals?
  • Children – although dogs have hearts of gold most of the time, they don’t quite understand their strength or that they could hurt their new family members by being too boisterous and playing. They will see it as having fun with the children but they can easy get carried away and knock children over. So most big dogs are not always suitable for a family with babies or small children. Although, with proper training, food guarding shouldn’t be an issue, it may still be with children. So, you need to be careful with any dog around young children who don’t understand that when the dog has a treat that you shouldn’t try and grab it off him/her. However, if you’re willing to get your dog trained in the right way from a young age and you watch your younger children around the dog while he/she is eating, everything should be fine with most breeds.

The final most important thing to think about before getting your dog is your lifestyle. Everyone has different lifestyles, they work different hours, they have families or maybe they travel a lot. Here are a few things to think about;

  • Do you go away for work or on holiday a lot? If so, who will look after the dog? Have you asked a friend if they will or will you pay for a kennel stay?
  • What hours do you work? Will you gone more them 8 hours at a time? If you are, is there someone else who can check in on the dog or be home with him/her?
  • Do you have a baby or small child? Do you have the time for a dog right now?
  • Are you able to walk the dog each day? Remember some breeds need to have more exercise then others and require longer walks. Do you have the time to walk the dog each day?
  • The most important question is, do you have the time and energy to give the dog all the attention he/she needs to be a happy dog?

Each breed is different. They’re known to have different personalities, temperaments and they all look different. Meaning, you need to pick a dog best suited to all the things I have listed above. Whatever dog you do decide to take home with you, remember that they rely on you, they need you, and if possible, always adopt, don’t shop.


Shannon x


Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

What to know before getting a dog – Coat Types.

It’s a new year, which means people have made goals, they have ideas of how they want their year to go. Some will set a goal of moving out, applying for their dream job or maybe even getting the dog they have always wanted. When thinking about the first post of the year and what it would be about, moving out and dream jobs where good blog post ideas but one subject that is most important to me is pet care. So many dogs end up in shelters and on the streets because people get dogs not knowing how to care for them or how much work is needed to keep a healthy animal. There are so many important things to consider and know before you buy or adopt any animal. You need to consider what is best for you and your future pet. So, for this series of blog posts I thought I would talk about the important things you need to know and consider before getting a dog. As well as an added checklist you can use if you do decide a dog is the right pet for you.

This blog post is part one of six blog posts that will be about ‘What to know before getting a dog). This blog post goes over the different coat types and which one may be best for you. The next blog post will be about what breed will be best for you. The last post will be a summary of all I have been over and a total estimated cost to buy/adopt, feed, groom and look after your new dog. 

It doesn’t matter how big or small the dog is, what kind of coat it has or what breed it is, dogs need plenty of attention to be the happy, healthy animals they should be. When looking online, I see a lot of people asking for the best behaved breed or the easiest breed to look after and although you may get a breed that is less hassle then another, you won’t find a breed that is totally self affiant. A dog is not a cat and if you work all day and don’t have time or the money for a dog, maybe an animal that requires less attention and looking after is better for you. Consider a cat, rabbit or even fish instead of a dog.

However, the size, breed and coat type of the dog do play a massive role in how you decide which dog is best for you. A lot of people don’t know what kind of coat there dog has, hence not knowing how to take care of the grooming side of having that dog. There are 5 main coat types; double coated, wire, wool, silk and smooth/short. Each of these coats needs to be groomed and looked after in a different way. You need to do some research on the breed and grooming needs before getting him/her.

I would have to say that in terms of coats, a smooth coated dog would be easiest and cheapest to look after. You can take these dogs to get washed, dried and de-shedded at the groomers for around 15 to 30 pound(dependent on breed) or you can wash, towel dry and de-shed at home without much experience. I would suggest getting yourself;

  • a pair of nail clippers (although groomers will do nails for 5 pound without the groom),
    wipes(cleaning ears, any cheap wipe will do, as long as its not perfumed, they’re fine)
  • a de-shedding glove (Amazon and Ebay have these for around 3-8 pound)
  • A towel (any towel will do but getting one just for the dog may be a good idea)
  • Cotton buds (For dogs that have face folds like your Frenchie’s and Pugs, these will get into these folds and clean them).
  • A shampoo (one for normal use and a flea shampoo to use once a month)

If you work out the costs for these items, it works out cheaper to do it yourself but if you would rather not do it yourself, remember to factor in monthly/twice monthly costs for the groom. If you are on a budget, a smooth coated dog may be your best option as they require less grooming and the grooming can be done at home by anyone.
Examples of smooth coats include; Staffs, French Bulldogs, American Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Lurcher, and Greyhounds.

A double coated dog would come in second for me in terms of ease of coat, however they are no where near as easy to groom as your smooth coats. Double coats tend to shed and any double coated dog owner will tell you, the hair gets everywhere, so that is one thing to consider before getting a double coated dog. You can take these dogs to get groomed at the groomers for upwards of 30 pound but with most double coats you can groom them at home. Even if you take your double coated dog in for a groom every 2 weeks or month, you still have to keep on top of their coat by brushing it daily/twice daily. Again, if you want to groom your dog at home, I would suggest you buy;

  • Good quality nail clippers (bigger dogs have stronger nails and little nail clippers may snap when cutting down on the nail)
  • Wipes (cleaning ears, any wipe brand is fine, you don’t need to buy the ones in pet stores, just baby wipes will do, just don’t get the perfumed ones)
  • A towel ( a towel that is just for your dog may be best)
  • A blaster (you may want to invest in a blaster, these are like hair dryers but so much more powerful, they’re great for drying your dog faster and getting rid of loose hair, they go for about 60 pounds on Amazon)
  • Shampoo ( you may be best getting this in bulk as it may be cheaper, you will more shampoo for larger double coats so getting a diluted shampoo may be best, as you add water to a small amount of shampoo and the shampoo lasts longer)

Double coats can be expensive to groom when going to the groomers every 2 weeks or every month and if you groom your dog at home, you need to be prepared for a lot of mess and you will need to carve out a good amount of time each grooming session for the groom and clean up. Either way, groomer or no groomer, you’re still going to need to brush your double coated dog daily. Examples of double coats include; Husky, Malamute, German Shepard, and Akitas 

Although Wire coats are easy to look after in terms of not needing to be brushed daily as they are less likely to matt up. They still need to be groomed every few months. This coat type is pretty simple to look after and most of the time you won’t even need to go the groomers every month, once every 8 weeks should be good enough for your wire coated dogs. You can groom these dogs at home but a little experience is required when it comes to cutting their coat. Examples of wire coats include; Fox terriers, Terriers, and Jack Russels 

I personally think the wool coats are one of the hardest to look after, even harder then the double coats. You cannot go a day without brushing your dog. Not one day. Think about that before buying a wool coated dog. A lot of people opt for a wool coat purely because of their cuddly coats and cute look but most people don’t know how to brush their dog to prevent matting and knotting up the coat. I cannot tell you how many bichons came into the grooming shop I worked in, matted and full of knots. People cannot be bothered to brush their dogs everyday, they would tell you they don’t have the time, they tell you they have been brushing him/her, but they don’t know how to properly brush a wool coat. A lot of people only brush the top layer with the wrong brush, this ends in matting and us having to shave the dog to the skin because their coat can not be saved. You need to use a comb and get right down to the root when brushing wool coats.  You need to be grooming these dogs daily and please remember not just to do this to prevent them from knotting but to help the groomer be able to groom your dog the right way, as lots of wool coated dogs are NOT tolerant to being brushed, combed and groomed as they are not used to getting it at home. You need to get these dogs professionally groomed every 4 – 6 weeks and you are looking at a cost of 30 pounds and upwards each visit. Don’t get them groomed enough and they will have to be shaved off because they are matted and this will end up costing you more as well. Examples of wool coats include; Bichon Frise, Poodles, and Cockerpoos 

These coats are similar to your wool coats in terms on grooming needs. They will to be brushed and combed everyday to prevent knot build up and matts developing. Most silk coats will need grooming at the groomers every 6 – 8 weeks. Like with wool coats, the price for grooming will be 30 pounds and upwards in most grooming shops. Examples of silk coats include; Shihtzus, Yorkshire Terriers, and King Charles. 

Costs for keeping a dog in terms of coat type/grooming needs; 

Double Coated Costs (estimated) :

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, brush, comb, nails and ear clean.

  • £30 – (monthly, starting price, higher prices are possible) for groom.
  • £8 – Brush + Comb (even if you get a pro groom, you still need to brush dog everyday)

Grooming at home –

  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME PRICE) – £6
  • Brush and Comb (ONE TIME BUY) -£8
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 2-3 washes, so around a month) – £6
  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1
  • Blaster (optional, towel drying will do off course, ONE TIME PRICE) – £60

Smooth Coated Costs (estimated) :

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, de-shed, nails and ear clean.

  • £15 – £30 – (twice a month or once a month) for groom.

Grooming at home – 

  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME PRICE) – £6
  • De-shedding Glove (ONE TIME BUY) -£6
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 4-6 washes, so around 3 months) – £6
  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1

Silk Coated Costs and Wool Coated Costs (estimated) :

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, brush, comb, body groom, legs and feet groom, face trim/styled, bum and underneath shaved, and tail trimmed.

  • £30 – £45 – (Once every 4-8 weeks, dependant on coat thickness, style wanted and dog breed)

Grooming at home – You can groom your dog at home by buying your own clippers, scissors etc, but I advise letting a pro do these coat types as they know how to properly style your dog. However you still need a few things to keep on top of your dogs coat.

  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1
  • Brush and Comb (ONE TIME BUY) – £8
  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME BUY) – £6
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 2-4 washes, so around 2 months) – £6

Wire Coated Costs

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, nails, brush, comb, ears cleaned, face styles, body clipped, bum and underneath shaved, trail trimmed and under feet shaved. 

  • £25 – £40 – (every 6-8 weeks)

Grooming at home – 

  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1
  • Brush and Comb (ONE TIME BUY) – £8
  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME BUY) – £6
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 2-4 washes, so around 2 months) – £6


It depends on how much money and time you are willing to spend to make sure your dogs coat is kept clean, looked after and presentable, but if you do not want to spend your spare time brushing your dog every day, I suggest a smooth coated or wire coated dog. If you want to keep prices down grooming a smooth coats or double coated can be done at home and never needs to go the groomers. If you don’t have the time to brush your dog everyday, don’t want to spend a lot on grooming and don’t want to groom at home, a wire coat may be best for you. If you have the time to brush you dog every day and don’t mind going the groomers every month and spending money on pro grooming every month, a silk or wool coat may be for you. Whichever you pick, remember to look after your dogs coat and remember before buying or adopting, inform yourself on grooming routines for that coat type.

Next blog post will be about breeds and which breed will be best for you and your living situation. 








Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

It’s another New Year with no resolutions

A few years ago I decided to scrap making ‘New Years Resolutions’. Mainly for the fact that I find them stupid, but other reasons include;  not keeping to them anyway, life happens, we can’t control and over organize every minute of a year to fit your resolution, it’s not possible. So, instead of telling friends all the things I want to do next year, I look back on the year I have had. I can hope for things to happen in the future, in the next year but making resolutions just usually ends up in disappointment the following New Year. Some pretty amazing things may happen next year, and I sure hope they do but with good things, bad things also happen. We have to learn to accept that we can’t control everything and that sometimes we can’t always do what we set out to do, by accepting that, we avoid the feeling of failure a little less.

Today marks the first day of 2018, it’s not really a special day, it’s just another day, another year but we live in a world obsessed with new beginnings and fresh starts, so to some, this day is something more then just a Monday. But, the truth is, we can have a fresh start on any day of the year, it doesn’t have to be today, tomorrow or in 2 weeks, it can be whenever you’re ready. Maybe these next few months are going to hard, maybe you have lost someone close to you or had an argument with a friend, but that doesn’t mean your whole year is ruined! You decide when your fresh start begins. Not a calendar. Just for today, try not worrying about the year ahead, don’t worry about what will or won’t happen and look back at the year you have had. The mistakes you have made and learned from, the days out and holidays, the achievements and accomplishments you have made this year.

Look back at the good things from the past year.

This year I have lost 2 stone with Slimming World and I bought loads of new clothes, that I can FINALLY fit into, like my new leather jacket. I went on my first holiday without family. I met my boyfriend and I made some pretty big decisions about my career and moving out. I finished my Level 2 diploma in animal care, I made a 2 tier cake for a wedding anniversary.

I’m pretty happy with everything that has happened in my life in the last year. There has been sad moments, moments filled with confusion, anger and sadness but like every other year, I got through it and I’m ready for another year of exciting things! I just don’t know what they’re going to be, and I’m actually okay with that.

What is your best memory from 2017? Let me know on twitter – @lifeasshanx

Shannon x

Cooking With Shan, Uncategorized

5 Baked Goods To Bake At Christmas Time

As Christmas is less then a week away, it’s time to head to the shop and stock up on all the essentials needed for Christmas day. The turkey, the table wear, party nibbles and of course the desserts and sweet treats. There is a lot on offer at most supermarkets these days, you can buy your Christmas pudding or yule log in the bakery section at most stores but nothing beats home baking, more so at this time of year! The smell of cinnamon and ginger fills your house while the gingerbread is cooking and all of a sudden it feels so much more like Christmas time. So, today I have listed my top ten favourite baked goods to make during the Christmas season.


Mince Pies 

Although I am not a fan of these small treats, I do like to make them and it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without taking a box of homemade mince pies to our family get-together on Christmas Eve. They’re simple enough to make whether you make them from scratch or use the cheat way and buy everything boxed, either way you do it, you’ll still get that homemade look and taste.

You could make your own pastry or mincemeat but if you’re new to baking or want a quicker way, buy the jarred mince at your local supermarket ( they range from around 90p to £5) and buy premade short crust pastry. All you need to do is; lightly grease a cupcake tin, cut the premade pastry into circles, add a spoonful of the jarred mince and cut out a circle or star shape and place on top, egg-wash and pop in oven for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top once cooled and serve! Easy enough right?

Here is the link to MY recipe on Lifeasshan! –


I have never actually thought of making these for Christmas before this year but I came across an image of these cute French treat with a reindeer design on top and an idea was formed in my head. So, this year I decided to make up some macarons which is quite easy once you’ve got the basics down. I used cocoa powder to make them a brown colour and filled them with a chocolate ganache(cream and chocolate; warm cream, add chocolate pieces, wait 30 seconds, stir and leave to thicken to desired consistency). Once my macarons were filled, I added white chocolate on the top, letting some drip down and added two red sweets and a fondant holly leaf to each macaron. These were my mini Christmas Cake inspired macarons (as a non lover of Christmas cake, these are a perfect sub for me…and they looked way cuter).

Chocolate Yule Log

A classic at any Christmas meal, I believe. This cake is great for the non Christmas cake lovers in the family (mainly the children), who will still get some cake and custard after their Christmas meal, just minus the orange peel and raisins). I love to make a yule log at Christmas because they can be personalised to your families preferences and the children can help decorate it with fondant snowmen and logs. My brothers pester me to make them this during the Christmas holidays.

Gingerbread People OR House 

Another classic at Christmas… gingerbread. Whether you keep it simple with gingerbread people or whether you like to create a whole house for your gingerbread people, ginger is one of those spices I always associate with this time of year. You can buy gingerbread house kits in the likes of Tesco for £4 or you can make your own gingerbread and create whatever kind of shapes you want.

Cinnamon & Honeycomb Pancakes 

Christmas morning is normally filled with eating chocolate out of your stocking and the afternoon spent starving waiting for your big feast. I like to make sure I have something proper for breakfast as we don’t eat till late afternoon and on Christmas day I am normally up early. I don’t want something boring on Christmas day like Weetabix, it’s Christmas! I want cinnamon and chocolate. So, I came up with these pancakes a couple years ago that are the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. If you’ve already got a busy day of cooking ahead on Christmas day or want to spend as much time with your family as possible, I suggest making the honeycomb and pancake batter the night before. You can follow any normal pancake recipe and just add cinnamon and chocolate chips to the batter and store in the fridge till Christmas day. Making the honey comb is pretty simple as well, just add sugar and syrup to a pan and heat and add bicarbonate of soda and pour into a tub, leave to set and break up into small pieces. Store in an air tight container. On Christmas day all you need to do is cook the pancakes and serves with chocolate sauce, honey or Nutella with the honeycomb pieces.

Honourable Mentions

 Is it weird that I have an ‘honourable mentions’ section? Oh well, here is some other things I like to buy or make as little extras during the winter months. They’re cheap to buy or easy and quick to make! So, these little treats may suit you better then carving out a whole 2 hours to decorate a gingerbread house to perfection.

If you’re looking for some Christmas inspired bakes, check out these youtubers/bloggers for their Christmas bake recipes! (These are some of my favourites)

Laura in the Kitchen; YouTube Channel and Blog

Cupcake Jemma; YouTube, Blog & Bakery Owner –

Jamie Oliver; Chef, YouTube Channel & Blog –

HowToCookThat; YouTube and Blog  –


I will be back in the New Year with lots of new, fresh posts. Next year is looking at being a very big and interesting one for me personally, so I imagine I will have a lot to write about, which is pretty exciting.

I hope you enjoy baking this Christmas season! Tag me in any recreations on twitter under the hashtag #xmasbakewithshan and remember to tag me @lifeasshanx. I am also under the same handle on Instagram!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! See you in January! 

Shannon x


***disclaimer – Images used are not mine, credit to original uploaders***
Advice♥, MyStorys, Women; It's safe here.

Why I NEED Feminism

Anyone who is a feminist out there has their own reasons for being one. Most of the time, these reasons are similar or the same to others, but their reasoning for needing it, that’s what different, because everyone’s experiences with the things that fuel the need for feminism in the first place are different.

Feminism. Yes, it’s a word and it’s not a bad one. Yet people are stigmatized for stating they are one. Just like periods, masturbation and fetishes, feminism isn’t taboo. It isn’t about some gender being a head of another. It’s about equality, something everyone should be concerned about. Yet, feminists get a reputation for being ‘crazy, lesbian, men hating ugly women’. Isn’t it funny how, when we are talking about equality and equal rights, people have to put a label on what they think the cause is about. They don’t agree with it, so they stick a label on the cause, they stigmatize these people. For what? The hope that less people will become a feminist? Because god for bid you become a ‘crazy, man hating women’ right? Wrong, it’s not funny. Not at all.

Although the feminism movement didn’t appear till the 1960s/1970s, women have been fighting for equal rights since 1848. The first women’s conference was held in Seneca Falls, America in 1848. It was at this time that women started to realise that in order to change society they would need their own organisations to do so. But it wasn’t really until 1897 that the move for women to have a vote actually started. Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. The word ‘suffrage’ means the right to vote. She wanted a peaceful protest. She felt that any violence would persuade men that women could not be trusted. Her tactics were patience and logical arguments. She argued that if parliament made laws and if women had to obey those laws, then women should be part of the process of making those laws: she argued that women had to pay taxes, like men, they should have the same rights as men. It was unfortunate that her progress was very slow.

She converted some of the members of the Labour party (known as the labour representation committee back then), most men thought women wouldn’t be able to understand how parliament worked and therefore should not take part in the electoral process. This made women angry, which prompted the creation of the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters.

The union became better known as the Suffragettes. The members of the suffragettes were prepared to use violence to get what they wanted. The suffragettes continued fighting for the right to vote, holding protests and even getting arrested for doing so. The Cat and Mouse Act was introduced to deal with hunger strikes that where being held by jailed suffragettes. The act would allow the suffragettes to starve while in jail if they did not want to eat, they would then release the suffragettes, so the government wasn’t responsible for the death on an inmate. Once they were fit and healthy again, they were re-arrested for any reason and this process would happen again. On the 8th June 1913, Emily Wilding Davison died after stepping out in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby on the 4th June 1913. She was a member of the Suffragette movement. She was their first martyr. In 1918, women over the age of 30( who also met a property qualification) were given the right to vote. It wasn’t until 1928 that all white women over the age of 21 had the right to vote.

Of course, it didn’t end there. There was a lot that still needed to be fought. For instance, the pay gap between women and men, discrimination in the work place and sexual and physical violence issues.

In 1948, The NHS was introduced, which gave everyone access to free healthcare, where as before only the insured (mainly men) would benefit. In 1974 contraceptives become available, free under the NHS.

In 1977, the first rape crisis centre opened in London.

In 1985, The Equal Pay Act allowed women to be paid the same as men for the work of equal value.

In 1994, Rape in marriages was made illegal.

What shocks me more then the years in which some of these things were legalized or made illegal is that we are still having to fight for the most basic human rights. Men still earn more then women in some job roles or in some companies. Women and men are still subjected to physical, sexual and verbal abuse by partners, little is being done about these issues. Sexual harassment is a massive issue, one that seems to get swept under the rug more often then not.

Women and men are being sexually harassed all over the world, every second of every day. If you’re in a room filled with people right now, you can bet they have been harassed at some time in their life, and most likely it was sexual harassment. It’s to common and it shouldn’t be.

I need feminism because these women fought for my freedom. They fought for my vote, my access to free contraceptives, my right to have a legal abortion, to study anything I like, to have any Job I want, to file for a divorce, to own my own property, to have my own money. Most importantly they fought for me to be my own person. To be me, not just someone’s daughter, wife or mother. They gave me the freedom and decision to be whomever I wanted to be.

I need feminism because I am a victim of sexual abuse and our country does very little for abuse victims. Schools aren’t teaching the important issues of the world, but as long as you know algebra, who needs to know about the suffragettes and what an abusive relationship looks like… right? No, they need to learn these things in high school because too many teenage boys, boys who have grown up in the 21st century still think its acceptable to smack a girl on the ass, or stare at her chest. There are people out there that think groping, cat calling, inappropriate messages and unasked for nudes are acceptable.

I need feminism because I am taught that walking alone at night, wearing a short skirt or flirting is dangerous and that I should not do those things if I do not want to get raped. I live in a world, where we sexualize children, teach teenagers what to do to not get raped and stigmatize women for living their life their own way. I live in a world where my 8 year old sister cannot take her top of at the beach, without someone telling me that it is wrong and she needs to out a top on. I live in a world where teenage boys are allowed to be young and silly. They’re allowed to be ‘boys’ but teenage girls need to careful and watch what they say and do. I live in a world where women fear walking down the street after a night out. Their heart beats faster and they start to panic when a man walks behind them in the dark. They get even more scared when that man approaches them, and he may only be asking her the time or for a lighter, but she has accepted in her head ‘this man is going to hurt me’. Why, why in 2017 is this even still possible? Why are women still living in fear? This is why I need feminism

I rejected a boy today. I was honest, I told him I didn’t have feeling for him and that I was attracted to someone else. He seemed fine about this at first, but suddenly his messages started getting meaner, he started picking at my past relationships, slut shaming me because I have talked about sex and stated I enjoyed it, I am not ashamed of that fact. Yet, he tried to make me feel like I shouldn’t talk about it openly, fuck him I thought.

So, what I took from this was, a boy who was told weeks ago of my feelings for another boy used verbal abuse to try an intimate me because he was mad at me for liking another boy or because, he wanted to make me feel bad about not liking him. It didn’t work. Neither of those reasons are okay. I respected that he may be upset but that does not mean I deserve any kind of verbal abuse for stating I did not like him, in the kindest way I could.

If I ignore a boys advances or messages, I start getting hate for it. I’ve been called a snob for ignoring a message on Instagram from someone I didn’t even know. I’ve been called a prude for not messaging back someone who sent me a nude at 1am on a Tuesday, waking me up. I have had people message me telling me I am showing a little too much of my body in pictures on Facebook. Apparently its okay for lads to pose in a mirror, flexing with no top on and caption it ‘finished my workout’ but not for a girl to post a picture in shorts and bralett captioned ‘feeling good today’. It’s the same f***ing thing!

Sexual Harassment isn’t just unwanted touching or advances. It’s all of those things I have mentioned and trust me, there are many more ways in which people are sexually harassed. It’s disgusting, we have come so far already, but we are nowhere near finished fighting for rights, for protection, for justice.

Shannon x


Baby Names I Love But Probably Won’t Use

I have seen this tag, normally done by youtubers floating around and I thought I would way in on some of my favourite baby names. There is one girl name and boy name that I adore that isn’t going to be on this list because they would quite possibly be the names of my babies, if I was to ever have some. Some names I love but simply wouldn’t use because I have a friend or family member with that name. Some I wouldn’t use because of their connection to someone I would rather not remember – basically some names were ruined by people, oh well. This is a list of baby names I love but probably won’t use, their meaning, origin, rank and why I love them.

Bethany    ‘Beth’

I love names that you shorten. For instance, this one. Bethany can be shortened to Beth. There has always been something about this name that I love, but for some reason, I could never use it for my own child. I don’t really know why. I like the name, just not on my own baby.

Origin – Hebrew.

Meaning – possibly means ‘house of figs’

Bethany was first listed in 1940-1949 and reached its top rank of #99 in the U.S. during the years 1980-1989, and is presently at #420. (2015 BIRTH STATISTICS)


I think this name is so pretty. However, I have a niece called Amelia, so I wouldn’t be able to use this name for my own child one day. My sister is also called Millie, which is a shortened version of the name Amelia, so that is another reason why I couldn’t use this name.

Origin – Latin and Old German 

Meaning –  Rival, eager work

Amelia reached its top rank of #12 in the U.S. in the year 2015. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2015)


I have a friend with this name, although I like the name, it would be too weird to have a childhood friend have the same name. So, that is why this one is also on this list.

Origin – Hebrew

Meaning – Mountain of strength 

Aaron reached its top rank of #28 in the U.S. in 1994, and is currently at #52. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2015)


I like names that begin with C, however this name is tainted. I would like to thank my friend for that one.

Origin – Latin, Scottish and Gaelic 

Meaning – Dove

Callum was first listed in 1995 and reached its apex position of #683 in the U.S. in the year 2015. (TOP BABY NAMES, 2015)

Calla (Girl)

I love this name. I think it’s simple and pretty. I don’t know when I first heard this name but ever since I have liked it. In fact the only reason it is on this list is the closeness the name has to favourite boys name. This name could be used in the future.

Origin – Greek 

Meaning – Beautiful 

Calla reached its top rank of #770 in the U.S. in the 1880s, and is presently at #1565. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2015)

Cassidy (Boy)

Again another C name. I like this name on a boy more then a girl, I know it is typically a girls name but as you can see I do like a fair few rare names. I mean the names I like aren’t out there by any means but they’re not all in the top of the charts. I like this name for a boy only because its different. I don’t hear it on a boy often.

Origin –  Irish, Welsh and Gaelic  

Meaning – curly-headed; ingenious, clever

Cassidy was first listed in 1970-1979 and reached its apex position of #861 in the U.S. in the 1980s, but is not in the Top 1000 at the moment. (2015 U.S. SSA RECORDS)



Q&AS, Uncategorized

My First Time!

I love doing tags and this one has been around YEARS but I was stuck for a blog post idea, so a Q and A it is!

FIRST boyfriend 

My first was called Brandon, we dated when I was 14.

Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

No, I don’t. I can honestly say I don’t know where he is or what he is doing right now.


My first proper kiss was at 14.

FIRST album you bought

I don’t actually remember the first album I bought, but the first album I received was a Mcfly one!

FIRST Crush 

Oh god, the first boy I liked was a boy in primary school who ended up moving away when we was in year 4.

FIRST thing you did this morning 

Check my phone… I know I know, typical me.

FIRST best friend 

I had a friend called Chloe up until year 4 and she left to go to another school and we lost contact. Her and her family just kind of disappeared, I have tried to reconnect but she doesn’t seem to have an online presence.

FIRST word 

I think it was dada or cookie. Of course it would be cookie.

FIRST facebook profile picture 

NO! On a serious note though, it was probably a picture of a dog or something stupid like that.

FIRST CONCERT you went too

JLS ( I wasn’t the biggest fan, however my auntie got me tickets)

FIRST sleepover

Probably with my second best friend, Rachel. We would have sleepovers every weekend.


I worked in a dog grooming shop, my first job wasn’t until last year!

FIRST tv show obsession

Friends. It was the first box set I got, closely followed by Gilmore Girls.

FIRST favourite band







Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

What is school all about? – BACK TO SCHOOL.

The year was 2014 and I fled my high school as soon as the teacher said ‘good luck’ to my entire year as we sat in assembly waiting for the teachers to finish babbling on about our future and how they’re a big part of our success – haha, they were jokers them lot!

As you can gather from my opener, I HATED high school. Now, it wasn’t the learning part. I liked that part, weird right? I didn’t the students or the place. If I was to do high school again, I’d have done it a little different but in the end I think my life would have lead a similar path either way. High school was a time of pain for me, my dad died, my boyfriend hurt me badly and I was bullied. It wasn’t the best time in my life, but regardless of all that, I tried my best to power through. Teachers in high school are so intense, they are always in your face about exams and how you need to apply yourself more to your work. I think sometimes they forget your a teenager. You’re crushing on the popular lad who sits in front of you in English. You’re falling in ‘love’ for the first time, you’re getting your heart broken for the first time or the third. You’re changing physically and mentally. You’re having your first period, you’re trying to figure out how to use a tampon, you’re worried that your pad is going to move during gym and you’re gunna have a Carrie moment right there in the changing rooms. Basically, you have a lot on and to top all those lovely feelings and emotions off, you’re dealing with teachers telling you what you do now will impact you’re entire future. Truth is, it won’t.

Now, I am not saying don’t turn up and pay attention. I still think learning is important. I just don’t think 15 year olds need the stress that is put on them by high school teachers. You may get crappy GCSE results or amazing results. What’s important is what you do after that. Do you give up? No. You go to college or get an apprenticeship or get a job. Those GCSE’s won’t define your future. They can be important if you want to go to a highly respected college or uni yes. But they aren’t a deal breaker. Not getting good results isn’t the end of the world. You’re 16, you shouldn’t be putting the world on your shoulders. Neither should any teacher, parent or friend.

School is about:

1. knowledge – I do not just mean algebra, I mean life lessons. Like sex ed, finances and how to live in the real world, employability lessons and lessons on getting your house and paying your own bills. You shouldn’t just be taught that condoms are to protect against STD’s and pregnancy. You should be teaching ALL students the meaning of the word NO, how to respect the opposite sex. Telling someone how to use a condom is useless if they’re just going to rape a girl at a party because they thought ‘she wanted it’. Teach them that smacking people on the ass on the street is not okay. Why is this not being taught? Why?

2. Socializing and Connecting  – I have never understood same sex schools. I think its important that boys and girls mix in their teenage years. Most of the time they will end up growing up not knowing how to act around the opposite sex. Males and Females need to connect with the opposite sex when growing up, I think its damaging when they don’t. School is a in which teenagers can talk to their friends about familiar issues, they can talk about things they’re all going through together. I once a teacher who said ‘ you come here to learn not talk to your friends’ – never hated a teacher more in my life. Right, I am here to listen to teacher talk like they’re a walking textbook for 6 hours and then be given 2 hours of homework, so after an *entertaining* day at school I can go home, do homework, have my tea and go to bed – how interesting.

3. Change – You’re 11 when you walk into that school for the first time, everyone is massive compared to you, the building is intimidating and you’ve got a bag full of stuff you probably will never need or lose by Friday, you’re in year 7. Over the course of the next 5 years, you’re going to change. The things in your bag will change, your body will change, your thoughts and opinions will change. It’s called growing up, but so much of it is done in high school. The lessons learned, the mistakes made, the embarrassing stories forever engraved in your brain. That all happens between Year 7 and Year 11.

I wouldn’t go back to high school if someone had a gun to my head. Overly dramatic? Yes. I guess I just really hated High School.

It is September 1st 2017. A new academic year starts Monday, my brothers go back to school Wednesday (thank god) and a new year of schooling begins. One brother is going into his last year of high school – without a care in the world, may I add. Another goes into Year 9 – He doesn’t seem to bothered either to be honest. Is it a boy thing? Have a good year whether your going into High School, College, Uni or your working!

Shannon x