ACNE // Roaccutane 3 years update (Scarring, breakouts, improvements)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December, 2015 (click each image to see a larger version)  


It's been about a year and a half since my last acne update post in June, 2014, so I thought I would give you all an update on how my skin is going and address a few questions that I've been getting over email recently.
These pictures were taken today, no makeup! I've actually been off roaccutane completely since the beginning of November because I ran out of my prescription and didn't get a chance to see my dermatologist again (I'll book another appointment in the New Year though, before uni goes back). As you can see, my skin is far from perfect, however, it's doing okay! Since stopping medication I've found a number of things have happened:

1. There was almost an immediate increase in open and closed comedones on my forehead and around my nose area, which makes sense since they are the areas that produce the most sebum.
2. Cluster breakouts appeared in my chin area and around my lower and upper cheeks but they only occurred during my period.
3. My skin is a lot less red than it used to be when I was on full dosage. At the start of this year, Dr Pruim advised me to remain on 40g a week as opposed to 20mg per day, just as maintenance and overall, my skin looked a whole lot better.
4. MY SKIN IS OILY AGAIN. Which is both good and bad. Good: means my lips and skin don't peal or tear anymore. Bad: more pimples and congestion in the T-zone!

Due to the cause of my acne being both genetic as well as a possible hormone imbalance, it was recommended that I remained on medication as an "upkeep" as opposed to "necessity", and because my skin was technically clear at the start of this year, I was no longer eligible for the government discounts for my skin, so things got a little more expensive. Each consultation costs me about $135, as well as $50 for the 6 month supply of medication. Previously, it costed about $100 for the consultation (after government deductions) and $35 for the medication. The increase in price is a bit annoying but if it's looked at as a monthly cost, it's only about $30 per/m, so it's definitely worth it for me if it means the cystic acne doesn't come back.

May/ July/ August 2013 (click to view larger images)

Now, onto questions! It still amazes me and makes me very happy knowing that even after three years, people are still looking at these acne posts and asking me questions and knowing that they're not alone in their acne struggle.

"May I know after the accutane, did you have any indentations on your skin? Was there anything that you've done that improved your scarring?" - Jean, email

There was slight scarring, as you can see in the pictures but it is SO minor in real life, almost unnoticeable since it's so small. I was offered laser treatment to get rid of the scarring that is there, but it doesn't bother me, so I decided not to (plus it's quite expensive!). I take very good care of my skin and stick to a very thorough regime so I think that would've also contributed to the reduced indentations. 

"Can you tell me if you've experienced any long term side affects?" - Lynn, email 

I, personally, haven't suffered any long term side effects and I've been on this medication for three years now. Aside from bruising quite easily and shedding more hair than normal, I've been quite lucky. A lot of people have warned me about possible infertility, depression and weakened bones but unless they have a medical degree and have specialised in dermatology, then I tend to disregard their input as it can often come across as unhelpful and ignorant. Long term side effects are possible, but it's different for everyone. Do your research, talk to your dermatologist and weigh up your options - do what is right for YOU. 

"How do you deal with not feeling confident in your skin?" - Stacey, FB message

Practice. To this day, I am still paranoid about minor breakouts because I never want my skin to return to the way it used to look - acne takes a massive toll on one's self confidence. Taking care of yourself, drinking lots of water and wearing makeup (wash it off before bed though!!) were a few things that really boost me up if I'm feeling even the slightest bit worried about my skin. There's nothing wrong with wearing foundation if it makes you feel pretty, just don't feel like you NEED it to survive ;)! Surround yourself with true friends, who fill you up with love and support. And think happy thoughts! If you do, they'll shine out of your face like sunbeams and you'll always look lovely!

Alright, that's a wrap! Just a little disclaimer, I'm NOT a dermatologist, nor do I claim to be. I'm sharing with you what I have experienced and what I have read. I'm not endorsing roaccutane either, however I do think it is a remarkable product and I am grateful that it had the results it did on me. If you're struggling with acne, I completely understand what you are going through. As a young person, it's already difficult enough going through the process of growth and change, and not feeling confident in your skin doesn't help. I wish you the best of luck in whatever your endeavours are, feel free to email me on AVENUEMBLOG@GMAIL.COM if you'd like to talk about it or have any questions. 

If you'd like to see my previous acne posts, you can click on the links below: 


tulips // christmas outfit

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dotti skirt. H&M heels. Witchery sunglasses

I bought this skirt for a number of reasons, mainly because the print reminds me of a watercolour tulip painting I did in year 12 and also because there was a $20 discount off the original price, and I'm a sucker for a price reduction. It's also very pretty, and very festive! I think skirts like this deserve to shine on their own, so I kept everything else in this outfit pretty low-key; white top, nude heals, you get the drill. Oh! And I totally forgot to mention my hair cut! Basically I bit the bullet and got a bob. Best decision I've made in a while... it's very low maintenance and makes me feel very flapper-girl-ish!

I'm finally home for a few weeks and I'm so excited for all the family to be together again for Christmas. The only downside to having a big family is that it is such a mission reuniting everyone because we are all so scattered, but I think it makes time spent together all the more special :) Over the last few days I've been devouring books, watching lots of old films and joining in on the sarcasm and banter exchanged between my two younger sisters. Man, those two have significantly increased their sass levels in comparison to this time last year - I haven't laughed so hard in such a long time! Speaking of which, the youngest has been begging me to play Monopoly for the last half hour and I think it's time to step away from the laptop, crank up Nat King Cole's Christmas album and commit! Wishing you all a happy, safe Christmas, wherever you are in the world. 

being a heroine/hero in your own story

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Painting by Rob Gonsalves

I'm a romantic, through and through. However, as much as I love the classic story of a princess being swept off her feet by a knight in shining armour, my daydreams are often filled with my own goals - flourishing in a creative career where I am not only making a difference in the lives of others, but waking up in the morning with a grin because I'm doing something I know I was meant to do. 

In speaking with a dear friend of mine, the subject of heartbreak has come up quite often. I think everyone experiences some form of it, to an extent. I, for one, don't think my heart has ever been truly broken romantically, more so a little weather-beaten, with tiny little bruises that have slowly healed themselves over time. Throughout this year, I'll admit, there have been times when I have questioned my relationship status and my romantic life. Why on earth has nothing has happened yet? These relationships had potential, I'd think to myself. Why have they withered away into nothing, leaving me confused and a little flustered? No matter what happens however, the sun still rises and sets each day, regardless of unrequited love, and there's nothing stopping you from doing the same.

Today I thought I would share a few of my thoughts on this. Though I'm only 18 (almost 19, okay!) and my story has really only just begun, this is what I've learnt so far. 
1. Keep busy. My friend Marilyn has reminded me to pursue my dreams no matter what, focussing on bettering myself and sharing my gifts and talents with the world, emphasising the fact that love will makes its way into my life naturally, just by me being in the right place and right time and if it's meant to be. I guess this point is about remembering what you're good at, and focussing profusely on it, because the other good things will come when they are supposed to.

2. Be inspired.  Read exciting books, go on adventures, learn and create. On Saturday I went out dancing, dressed up with my friends and had a lovely time wearing a pretty dress and twirling to Elvis Presley and Billy Holiday. As eloquently stated by Helen Keller, "No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit". 

3. Listen to good advice. My Mother, and others (from the book How to be Parisian by Sophie Mas) on love and life:
"If he's the right horse, he'll come back at a gallop".
"Be financially independent, so that you love only for love"
"Love alone is not enough. You have to work at it".
"Love many, trust a few, always paddle your own canoe"
"As a girl thinks, so is she".

4.  Know, share and confide in people. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice highlights perfectly the result of even the most fleeting look exchanged between two individuals; "A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment". It's so easy to romanticise and idealise situations and people that one can easily be led astray by the workings of imagination, as opposed to reality. Know, share and confide in people instead.

5. Be your own heroine/ hero. Perhaps you are Frodo undergoing a perilous journey to destroy the One Ring, or Anne Shirley, determined to accomplish her dreams of becoming a teacher, it's your novel. In the end, you need to be able to rescue yourself from the likes of snarky individuals, days that simply haven't gone to plan or even the Nazg├╗l Witch-King, because you never know when a Fellbeast could pop up and get hungry.

I really hope that when I'm an old granny, and technology has progressed to insane levels, I can look back over my blog (if it still exists) and tick off everything I thought I wouldn't be able to achieve or perhaps was too out of reach. Maybe one day someone will pick up my book and say to themselves "Perhaps my adventure will be inspired by Maria Savage's today; perhaps I will move to a big city, learn many new things and fall in love with life, just like she did!".

I hope one day I'm not just my own heroine, but someone else's too.

Hello from Brisbane, and the life of Maria!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Me, feeling like a proper lady on the steps of the casino in Brisbane city!

The amount of times in the last month that I've written 200 words of a blog post only to toss it aside aimlessly in hopes of "finishing it later" has been astounding. I love to write, I really do, and taking photos and being creative and all that jazz, but being so busy with other things has killed my vibe. Since we last spoke (or, since you last read), I finished my first year of university, was promoted to a barista at work (which is all very exciting and new!) and have celebrated one year since graduating high school. How profound is that? I can't believe it's been 12 months and it's a nice feeling knowing I've achieved something/s during 2015. So, here's a little recap of the last four weeks for you.

Overall, my new job is going well! I say "overall" because today was a bit terrible, but I think it was one of those days. I managed to smash an expensive cafe plate and glass latte cup, flick filthy mop water up into my face and whenever I went to chat with a customer, I fumbled over my words and when I awkwardly tried to resurrect my broken sentences, I only stumbled further. Despite it all, I have to laugh because I said to a co-worker right before I clocked on, "This is going to be a marvellous shift, I'm sure of it!". Oh, the irony! I am quite happy with things in that aspect though, I've made some lovely friends and it's always nice being able to recite the orders of those who come in on a daily basis. At least I have some element of my life together, even if it is remembering whether or not someone's cappuccino is 1/2 strength or not! 

University went as well as can be expected when you have stressful few months involving personal dramas, and I won't lie and say I got straight 7's the whole way through, but I am happy with the grades I did achieve. UQ treated me well, and honestly, that campus deserves all the praise and hype it gets because it really is beautiful. QUT will be my uni though next year! I submitted my application last night for a dual degree with Business and Journalism and am SO EXCITED to be studying something that I am naturally quite good at. It's so nice to be on holidays. I exclaimed my excitement about finishing right before my last exam to one of my roommates saying "Ah! Holidays! I can sleep in, watch movies and have fun with my friends!", and her response was "Maria, you do that anyway". Haha, at least I can do all of those thing without feeling a pang of guilt. 

Onto more personal matters, I'm doing much better than I was in late September through to mid-late October. A lot of growing up had to be done to cope with financial stress and all that kind of thing, but I'm doing okay. At the moment I'm just relishing in the fact that I'm on holidays! Mum's saying "Love many, trust a few, always paddle your own canoe", has been the daily mantra in surviving adulthood over the last few months and as always, I'm incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful group of people in my life who love and support me the way they do. And, for all those nosey-bodies who have inquired relentlessly on my tumblr about whether or not there's been any romance in my life, here's your answer: Nope. And that is totally okay, because, to be quite frank, as much as I would love a Gilbert Blythe in my life to help me cope with things that bother me, it's much more rewarding in the long run if I can do it all by myself. :) 

With Moon River playing in the background and a pot full of chicken pasta on the stove, it's definitely time for me to depart and say goodnight. I'm not sure when I'll be back with another entry, but hopefully it'll be soon. Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves! xo

Let It Be

Sunday, October 18, 2015

You know the saying, “When life gives you lemons…”?

Well, in the last few weeks, Life didn’t “give” me lemons, per se. No, they were absolutely pelted at me. Consecutively. And also to a lot of people who I love very much, so it’s been a little bit sour lately. All I wanted by the end of last week was my Mum, and for my worries to be limited to whether or not the character in the book I am reading was going to have a happy ending. Being home really puts things into perspective for me, and although lately things have been sad/ stressful/ difficult, here’s what I have to say about it:

When I moved out of home in February, I was 17, and had absolutely no idea what I was signing myself up for. As this year is starting to draw to a close I can’t help but be incredibly proud of everything I’ve achieved since leaving the Sunshine Coast and heading off to uni. I was originally never going to leave home (well, a least for a couple of years), because it was comfortable, familiar and I knew exactly what to expect. It was like a straight road; I knew exactly what was ahead of me as far as the eye can see. Moving out was like a foggy forest trail and I could only see about 100m ahead. When I got my acceptance letter from UQ in January I knew that it was the right thing to do and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve learnt so much about myself and life in the last few months and I’m incredibly lucky to have such beautiful friends, supportive family and an awesome network in general. I think it’s really important to keep the big picture in mind when you hit MAJOR bumps in the road and that’s exactly what September/ October was like for me. A major bump.

Things that helped me through were:
  1. Reminding myself that what I’ve done so far is great and worthwhile
  2. That life shouldn’t be seen as a ticking time bomb… you shouldn’t feel like you *have* to have a uni degree by age X, or that you should have your license or a boyfriend at X age etc. The keyword there is “have” and “should”. Under what governance? Society, that’s what! It’s a shame that so many young people (including myself) get so caught up in what is expected of them that they forget to value what they already have/ achieved.
  3. Asking myself that question, “will this matter in five years?”. Most likely, the answer will be no. 
It’s been really lovely visiting home the last few days. It’s so relaxing and spending time with my family was exactly what I needed to do. Yesterday I caught up with some of my schools friends at the beach for drinks and a catch up which was really refreshing and today I hung out with two of my roomies and friends at Kondalilla Falls. The weather has been absolutely beautiful lately too, so overall, I’m feeling pretty healed. And also, maybe like a tiny weeny bit tan? Okay, maybe not. #palegirlprobs
Anyway - onto the photos! So, this is probably the best representation of my natural hair ever shown on Avenue Maria and it’s the direct result of waterfall explorations and air drying in the sun. It’s bit crazy, and very curly and I’m embracing it, as you can see. The dress I’m wearing is also very ‘Maria’ I think. It’s very special to me, it was a spontaneous purchase which I paid off over the period of about six weeks in order to save my bank account the shock of a $130 instant drainage. The spring collection at Portmans has been very hard to walk past whenever I visit Queen St. mall and this floral midi was one of those “I just can’t continue living without it!” purchases. 

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend! Remember, life gets sweeter (see first para), everything is temporary and you’ll be okay. I’m now going to do what I often do after writing up a blog post… sip some rooibos and watch an Elvis Presley movie. Night!


Thursday, October 01, 2015

*dramatic inhale/ exhale* Ahhh, Spring! My favourite time of year! Now, I'm sure you've all heard me say that during the year, but this is my actual favourite time of year. Often you'll wake up to warm sunlight, nice breezes, then the day will conclude with grey clouds or perhaps a storm. It might rain during the night, and everything will be green the next day. Not only that, but flowers start growing again, and everything that disappeared during the Winter is finally back again to thrive. Believe it or not, these photos were taken in a swamp. One that is usually crawling with mosquitos, but today Mother Nature cut me some slack cause she knew that I wanted to take some photos and they all seemed to disappear to the other swamp nearby. Chur to you, Mother Nature. 

I decided to come home for the rest of the week and visit my Mum and sisters because I think I was getting a bit too caught up in the city life and I needed a breather. It's easy to lose yourself in the constant social happenings, the hustle and bustle, and the stress of being independent. For the most part, I'm ridiculously happy, more content with life than I ever have been, but lately I found myself in the middle of things that I didn't want to be in the middle of, I was running around like a headless chook trying to get jobs done and became a total shrew in the process. When you start crying because your clothes got wet on the washing line cause it rained, that's when you know it's time to come home and talk to your Mum. I've been home for 24 hours and I already feel like myself again - mainly because the food here is so damn good and I went to bed at 9:30pm last night. Shut eye does wonders every time. The only downside to being home, aside from my little sister loading my bedroom up with minion toys that talk during the night and scare the shit out of me, is that everyone here watches The Bachelorette. I could write a whole paper on my distaste for that show. And tinder. And all those things, but I won't because I would be better off spending my time reading Anne of Green Gables and appreciating what true romance is, as opposed to this codswallop that has my Mum and sisters  (and the rest of the population it seems) hooked. Pish tosh. 

What has been happening lately in your lives? 2015 seems to be the year of "first times" for me. A few weeks ago I shot an air rifle (I'm REALLY hoping that's the technical name for it or my guy friends will launch into a painful lecture about what I really shot with) and rode a motorcycle all within hours of each other. In all honestly, I'm 100% surprised I didn't severely injure myself while riding that bike because not only do I have a long running history of accidents occurring on things with two-wheels, but I also don't know what gears are nor what they do. By the end of the day, I'm pretty sure the engine on the bike I rode was completely flooded. But hey, I shredded that dirt road and I had a bloody good time. 
Anyway, I'm going to go read The Return of the King and have my fourth cup of rooibos for the day. I'll probably have an early night again too just because I can. Ciao for now! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hi, hello, bonjour, hola! And all of those varying linguistic greetings! It's been well over a month since the last update here and a lot has happened in the space of approx. thirty days. Not really sure where to start, except perhaps an overdue thank you for the response to the previous post in which I did open up quite a bit. I was really glad I published that in the end because I think it is important to emphasise how much an internet persona can differ from what is actually presented in real life. That being said, it's still me! :) Just one side! As for a life update, in a nutshell, things have been busy. I'm pretty keen to finish my first year of university (my stress levels reached an all time high last week and I turned into a ferocious, wild animal... a Savage). I also managed to get myself a job, FINALLY! It's awesome being financially stable again, there's something incredibly liberating about being able to pay bills with money that you've acquired at your own accord, as opposed to what the government gives you. I'm also going to Sydney in a few weeks for a ball, and to visit my brother and some friends. It'll be my first time outside of Queensland so I'm only like, a tiny bit excited.  

Anyway, today I decided to share with ya'll some NEXT LEV amazing tunes that have been keeping my musically inclined self amused lately. You'll notice there's quite a few songs from The Rubens' new album, Hoops, which has been on repeat lately. I love everything about their new music, it's very fresh and unique; two favourites include Hoops (obviously!) and Hallelujah. This mix of music is very eclectic and I guarantee that you'll like at least three songs. Actually, make that five, because it's just a great, random playlist with no genre specifications. Threw in a bit of Elvis too, just for good measure. 


THE TRUTH // Growing up with "Avenue Maria"

Friday, August 21, 2015
Not many of you know this, but I actually started blogging when I was 12 years old. Avenue Maria was originally “In Review”… a spinoff from one of the segments in Total Girl (a monthly preteen magazine in Australia). I had just finished my last year of primary school, and at the time, was idolising Teen Vogue cover girls and the works of street style photographer’s like the Sartorialist. Something I distinctly remember saying during the last few months of year 7 after we had just covered the birds and the bees,  was “Why is identity such a big topic in the puberty realm?! I know myself so well, I’m never going to struggle with this!”. I was right… up until about year 10, when hormones started kicking in to full gear, my acne was out of control and I had braces. Oh! And I also tweezed my poor little eyebrows within an inch of their lives and my hair hung in pigtails like two, lifeless rats on my shoulders. No joke. I was a bloody catch and you bet your bottom dollar all the boys that missed out on the opportunity to take me to the school discos are still crying. Guaranteed. 

Year 11 was more of an improvement, I was slowly coming out of my shell after having worked in retail for nearly a year and making friends seemed to come a little easier, despite cystic acne being at its worst. When it came to writing for Avenue Maria, I’ve always been very, very selective of what is published. I am a girl that thrives off of beauty, positivity and art. I avoided talking about things that upset me on my blog and managed to sugar coat things until everything seemed to be covered in this thick, beautiful, shiny gloss that gave a lot of people that I’m close with this impression I was living a perfect life. When I did try to “get real” in blog posts, I was often proud of them. For example, I’ll never been ashamed or regretful for posting my acne journey up. That was something I felt that I needed to do… I had an audience, I had a problem, maybe people within my audience also had this problem… why not speak out, offer some advice, help? Aside from that though, everything on Avenue Maria has been carefully worded, edited and structured to give the impression of a life that has little to no struggle or tears etc, which to me is so not me.

When I moved to Brisbane in February of this year, a lot of people that I met gushed about how much they loved my blog and how they appreciated what I did. It was such a humbling experience to be affirmed by strangers who knew my name, but I barely knew theirs. It was also really upsetting in a way, because I had created this image, this intimidating persona of a girl who had her shit together and was living a dream life, when she wasn’t! I found myself saying over and over, "No, trust me! I'm not always like that! I'm actually really down to earth... I'm not perfect at all!!". Don’t get me wrong, my life is a BEAUTIFUL and amazing thing, but it’s also a LIFE. My heart beats like everyone else’s, I struggle financially, I will internally squeal “F*ck!” if I bang my toe on the kitchen bench, I’ve never had a boyfriend, when I hail the bus driver and he doesn't stop I feel like I've been stabbed in the heart, I struggle to concentrate in my lectures at uni, I’m insecure about things, I haven’t got a job at the moment, etc.

I am not a perfect girl, and I just wanted to write this post to let people know that. Avenue Maria is something I’ve always been very proud of, because it’s an expression of my creative taste; it’s the closest I can come to creating a dream life. It’s an element of my huge personality. Lately though, I've been worried that's it's not giving people an accurate representation of me as a person. In real life, I am a dry-humoured, bubbly, (sometimes) well-dressed girl who loves The Seekers and Glen Campbell and eats frozen berries straight out of the packet. Just like everyone else, I have a personality, a big mental web filled with experiences, struggles, joyous days, mystery, daydreaming, political and religious views and sarcasm. I’m not always happy, I’m not always sad. I feel all the feels and that is perfectly normal. I wake up every morning and forget how miraculous it is that I’ve woken up, on another beautiful day in Australia, with my heart beating and the ability to walk, run, smile, cry, see, laugh, speak and listen. I am a normal girl who is learning how to live a life independently. My goal at the end of each day is to close my eyes and fall asleep knowing I’ve given my 100% best for the day, I’ve been kind and I’ve been grateful. I don’t think I’ve ever really struggled more with my personal identity than I have recently. I’m 18, yet I feel a lot older and wiser. Then, other times I feel a lot younger, like it’s a mistake that I’ve suddenly become a legal adult who is allowed to drive a car, order a drink at a club and vote in elections. It’s a scary thing sharing this on the Internet because people can either accept it, or they won’t and you have to be satisfied with the result. I'm just trying to better myself and live a life I want to look back on proudly. Saying "yes" is happening more than saying "no". Making an effort to talk to people and make friends even when I'm scared has become part of my everyday routine. Buying the sparkly shoes, because life is short and even though you probably could've spent that money on food, it was totally worth it. 

At the end of the day, “Avenue Maria” and I are still the same girl. There’s just more depth to the latter. She’s real, open, funny and not always well dressed and 100% equipped with a positive outlook (most of the time though, she is). It’s not that this blog is a lie; it’s just not entirely truthful about my personality and what lies beneath the flowery skirts, lipstick and “Anne of Green Gables” obsession in photos. Besides, now that I've grown up, I couldn't imagine having any other life than the one I'm living. As hard as it can be sometimes, it's MINE, it belongs to ME, and it's so exciting because there's still so much to happen!!!! How can you not be excited about the future?! It's so mysterious and exciting and unknown! Embrace it! 

The internet is super great at tricking you into believing something that isn't always completely true. Remember this post next time you're reading someone's blog and you're thinking, "Man, I wish I was them, their life is perfect". It's not, trust me! Have a great weekend. x

pansies, dancing & university // life update

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
 Basque top, CUE skirt, Forever New flats, belt and coat, Novo bag

As much as the house my roomies and I live in is a bit of a hovel (kinda wishing the rats would start paying rent...), the location definitely compensates for it. One of my favourite aspects would be the little bridges around the area. They remind me of Anne of Green Gables and also home a little bit, so it's always a pleasant and nostalgic experience walking along them and escaping reality for a little bit! 
Anyway, how have you all been? Uni life has started back up again and although I feel like I'm in a constant state of TIRED, it's still a lot of fun. On Saturday night, my friends and I went to a dance at the local hall, the theme was 1940s (I skipped an era and had a more '50s inspired get-up) and it was amazing. Swing dancing is definitely something that I'm glad has made a comeback in the 21st century... it's ridiculously fun and I couldn't think of a better way to spend the night than dancing around to Elvis songs with a circle skirt and petticoat. 
A few weeks ago I also got to meet one of my blogging friends, Harlow Darling, whom I've followed for a couple of years now. The amazing thing about making friends online through blogging is that you feel like you've known each other for so much longer than you have. Harlow is definitely a kindred spirit and even more beautiful in person! 

My roommate Beatrice took these photos (and Abigail took a few too) and it was such a hilarious experience. Beatrice has such an eye for photography and "perfect lighting" so look out for more photos in future! Tonight I think we're all going to have a quiet night in with Netflix and pizza because a) I was at uni at an ungodly hour this morning until an ungodly hour in the afternoon and b) it's been a while since I've caught up on The Vampire Diaries (kinda missing Damon Salvatore and dat jawline). 
Hope you have a lovely week!