[ad-pr | gifted items from L'Occitane]

Each year I get excited to see what the beauty brands will do for Christmas. From lavish gift sets to increasingly opulent advent calendars, it's always hugely exciting to see what they'll have on offer for the festive season. And L'Occitane is one of those brands I just adore... and that always pulls it out of the bag come Christmastime.

[ad-pr | gifted items from LUSH]

*Mariah Carey voice* It's tiiiiiiiiiiiime! Christmas is OFFICIALLY here and so are the wonderful annual offerings from LUSH. Every year I get SO excited when LUSH launch their Christmas collection... that sweet, sweet Snow Fairy scent to the array of seasonal bath bombs and bubble bars... ahhhhh, I just can't get enough.

[ad-pr | I was gifted complimentary tickets by Golden Tours // link is a tracker not affiliated]

Last Christmas – no I'm not going to burst out into song – I went on Golden Tours' Christmas Light Tour around London and had the best time. And this year I was invited for a trip around the city to experience it all over again, but on a different and even more Christmassy route. And boy oh boy was it incredible...

When I was at school I didn't get many compliments. Chubby and unpopular, I was made up when the "prettiest girl in school" - who literally looked like a model - told me that my hair "looked nice". And then in those silly Facebook "rate this, rate that" posts, when all of the girls in my year group rated my hair as my best feature, I just kind of ran with it. I got blonde highlights in high-school before dying it back brunette and sticking to this until my twenties. 

I had always wanted highlights though - but the cost of upkeep put me off. I fancied ombre hair when it was all the rage, and then balayage when that trend exploded on social media. It wasn't until I was 23 though that I took the plunge, paid the money, and got balayage hair done at a salon.

Pleased with the results, I loved my "honey bronde" locks and was excited to get it refreshed in a year or so. So I did, and back in the summer of this year I got my hair re-balayaged and was obsessed. But come the autumn, I wanted some warmer hues throughout. 

Heading back to the hairdressers after recovering from a bout of covid, I decided to get my balayage refreshed with the addition of some copper tones. Told it would fade, I was talked into going "a little darker" as it would last longer - so of course I said yes. So when I came back from the sink with bright red hair? It's safe to say I was a little stunned.

Getting a hair colour I never asked for was a shock to the system, but I thought it would definitely grow on me, so was happy to walk out of the salon with my new look. But when a week and a half had passed, I wasn't so sure. Having a complete mare before going out one morning, I cried and declared that I hated my hair - and that's when I knew it wasn't for me.

Don't get me wrong, the red colour was gorgeous and so pretty! Full of fire and sass, I really wanted to love it. So many people have red hair and totally rock it, but for me it just didn't feel right. 

I felt so far-removed from myself, like I wasn't the person I had spent building up and moulding for 25 years. A quarter of a decade being brunette to be transformed into a red head felt very odd and not right - and that's okay (although it wasn't at the time). 

Crying each day because I saw no way out, I was very tempted to get a box dye and just do it - but was told it would "turn green" because it had been previously bleached, so decided against it. I then called a different salon and booked in for a full head of permanent brown colour... and haven't looked back since. 

I had been considering going back to brunette for a few weeks, so this was definitely the Universe's way of of telling me brunette was the only way for me in this moment. 

As soon as I walked out of the salon with my freshly dyed brunette locks - which are now exactly like my natural hair colour, but maybe a slightly darker hue - I felt like me again. It made me realise that I felt lost with red hair, like I had lost my identity, like I wasn't who I was destined to be. 

My experience just proves that sometimes things might go wrong and leave you questioning everything, but in the end you'll arrive at where you should be... maybe where you should have always been. I don't know if I'll ever get bleach balayage again, but in this moment I know I'm a destined brunette - and I feel very happy about that.

It's official - the old Mollie can come to the phone, because she's come back from the dead.

Now you'll find me looking as sassy and classy as ever before, with my dark brown hair. I could be tempted by a full fringe, but I think I've had enough hair dramas for 2022.

My entire life has been lived with the most incredible soundtrack running alongside it. From growing up, to falling in love (albeit from afar), to turning 22, knowing things all too well, and wanting karma - Taylor Swift and her lyricism has been one of the only constants throughout my teenage years and twenties. 

Having loved Taylor Swift since belting out Love Story when I was barely a teenager, I first became properly invested with her music 10 years ago in 2012 when her album Red came out. Falling in love with the entire album, every lyric, every song, every hidden message and the feelings that Taylor wrote and sung about - Red was something of an awakening for me. 

I was 15 when Red came out and ever since that age, I have been besotted with the idea of falling in love, getting my heartbroken and romanticising my life. It started with We Are Never Getting Back Together - a track I first heard when I was on a cruise with my nan. At the time I was weeks away from turning 15 and had the biggest most excruciatingly painful crush on this boy I kept seeing around the ship. I felt as though I had fallen head over heals in love for this boy I knew nothing about. Having never uttered a word to him, I felt like we were in some kind of relationship. Getting a waiter to pass him a note with my Facebook URL on it, my cheeks turned red (ironically) when I saw him open up the note that read "I think you're cute, add me on Facebook". A few days after that it was time to go home and I sat in anticipation while constantly refreshing my iPod touch. He did add me, but he was older than me and lived in Manchester and looking back, I was a bit of a pest. Suffice to say, he stopped messaging me and I thought as though I was going through my first ever breakup and We Are Never Getting Back Together was the soundtrack to my sassy recovery (but not before I cried myself to sleep listening to Teardrops On My Guitar and The Story of Us... yes, really). 

A few months after the cruise debacle, I was moving area and now the entire Red album was officially out All Too Well was the soundtrack to my next chapter. Leaving behind a boy I had crushed on for around three years, I was heartbroken and truly believed I felt like a crumpled up piece of paper lying there. But, thanks to Holy Ground and Change, I was able to listen to the self-titled Red track and imagine myself falling in love, for real, for the very first time. About to start a new school, I thought this would happen but it didn't and I was back to square one.

Fast-forward to my first year of collage and I was head over heals in love with a different boy, which lasted for a little over a year. With 1989 being released during this chapter, Blank Space helped me to imagine myself as this sassy serial-dater who could literally cast a spell on him and he'd ask me out. Wildest Dreams left me imagining what our romance would be like, while How You Get The Girl was the song I'd listen to when I wanted to be dramatic and imagine that the reason he wasn't messaging me was because we'd split up, when in actual fact it's because he never even had my number and probably didn't even know my name. 

A year later (yes, I've had an awful lot of crushes), I found myself listening to Sparks Fly because of this one boy in my new class. Falling for his smile, his laugh and his ways, I couldn't help but imagine how amazing we would be together. I'd Lie (an unreleased Taylor track for those who don't know) fast become the soundtrack to my 18th year.... "I don't let nobody see me wishing he was mine". I'd also listen to Last Kiss when I wanted to feel something other than mushy feelings, or when it felt like he'd never look at me the way I looked at him (spoiler: he never did... I think...). Suffice to say, the entirety of Speak Now and Red were the main albums I associate with this chapter, as well as Tim McGraw from debut - heady feelings, thinking love was everything, admiring from afar and feeling broken. This continued for two years (hence my own song Two Years).

I then went to university and Reputation came out. Perfectly timed if you ask me. Thinking that I was on the verge of something with somebody and almost ruining something else in the process, Getaway Car left me reeling, while New Years Day had me wanting to fall in love desperately and Delicate left me imagining something beautiful and sacred, despite having anxiety to even admit it, "Is it cool that I said all that? // Is it chill that you're in my head? //'Cause I know that it's delicate". Look What You Made Me Do then became the soundtrack for the beginning of 2018 when everything went down the pan. 

Recovering from the heartache of never having felt real love left me rediscovering Taylor's debut album, while listening to and healing with The Outside and A Perfectly Good Heart, as well as Change from Fearless. And then a year or so later, Lover came out, which left like a breath of fresh air - enabling me to love myself and look to the future. The title album track, Lover, left me wishing for a true love, while Cornelia Street left me yearning for it. Death By A Thousand Cuts made me contemplate past crushes and almost-romances, while Daylight helped me look to the future. Lover accompanied me as I moved to the capital city, which left me dreaming of my London Boy, and then the pandemic came and I thought it would be Nice To Have A Friend. 

Months indoors left me romanticising everything and longing for true love and then Folklore came out. Supporting me through my darkest months, The 1 allowed me to accept my past crushes for what they were, while The Last Great American Dynasty enabled me to imagine something grand and different from romance. Months later Evermore came out and carried me through the winter like a warm scarf, with Gold Rush, Willow, 'Tis The Damn Season and Right Where You Left Me allowing me to envision love and heartbreak all over again.

And then Fearless TV and Red TV came out and I was thrown back to past almosts and crushes. The All Too Well 10 minute version has carried me through the past 12 months, which now brings us to Midnights. 

Midnights is a lyrical masterpiece - like so much of Taylor's work. Sweet Nothings leaves me wanting a love like what she and Joe Alwyn have, while Midnight Rain makes me want to be the one breaking someone else's heart for a change, and Lavender Haze makes me want to feel that kind of heady romance. Not to mention Paris making me feel like love would be the most incredible thing to experience, and the bonus track Hits Different drudging up memories of all of my almosts, crushes and nevers... still hoping that one of them might come to fruition one day.

Every Taylor Swift song in existence has allowed me to apply my own experiences to it, albeit not very exciting or real. But most of all, her songs have allowed me to experience emotions that I'd never have been exposed to. Being a chronically single 25-year-old who has never kissed anybody let alone got close to being in a relationship, means my exposure to romance or heartbreak have been limited - unless you count unrequited love or failed crushes. 

One day I'm sure I'll fall in love and experience the feelings of Ours, Sweet Nothings, Lover, Red and Mastermind, but for now I'll continue to live vicariously through those songs while crying to Labyrinth, All Too Well and Last Kiss as I apply my own measly experiences to them. 

Outfit details: 
Co-ord from Primark
Beret from Accessorize
Tights from M&S
Boots from Primark
Bag from Karl Lagerfeld

Tonight I looked in the mirror and I felt deep loss for the person I used to be. And it's true. I miss the old me. When I refer to her, I'm talking about the me I was before the pandemic - the girl in her early twenties, not mid

I feel as though I lived more unapologetically, more carefree and yet had it all planned out - but now I'm approaching my late twenties and... well, it just all feels a bit much. I can't even decide what colour to get my hair done next week and it feels as though I'm going through some kind of huge shift.

Pre-pandemic Mollie was 22, had just moved to London and had huge plans for a fresh start. I had work placements for glossy magazines lined up and I was completely convinced that I would fall in love with 'the one' within a matter of months. By now shouldn't I be in love and on-track to moving in with said beau? Shouldn't I have a firm five-year life plan?  

Happy, free, confused. and lonely in the best way - 22 was meant to be my most bright and beautiful year where I'd lay the foundations for my life, but instead it was filled with staying indoors like the rest of the world and resitting my final year of university due to poor mental health. 

I'm not too sure whether it's the pandemic's doing or if being in your mid-twenties generally feels like this, but it feels like I've lost out, missed out, and had a chunk of my twenties ripped away from me.

I'm now 25 and it feels like I'm running out of time to fall in love, make friends and have fun. Obviously this is stupid because I have SO much life ahead of me - but because everything seems to have happened so fast yet slow, it feels as though I'm ancient and falling behind.

Hell, I've never even kissed anyone. Nor have I been to a club. And I'm socially awkward for f*ck's sake. Half the people I know that are my age have three kids, or are engaged, or married, or own their own home - or have done all four and bought the t-shirt in the process.

But then I remember that I'm pretty successful, and the younger me would be so very proud of the lovely life she has made for herself - even though she might still be a total hopeless-romantic-verging-on-spinster.

Little me, teenage me and 22-year-old me would be so amazed at everything - and that's why I need to remind myself that I'm doing just fine. More than fine actually. I'm kind of bossing life.

I've got a First-Class Honours Degree in Journalism and a PGCert in Digital Media, Culture and Society; I work for a national newspaper; I have written for the publications I once glued the mastheads of to my vision board; I live in the capital city; and all in all, I'm very blessed to have my life.

And the main thing? I'm happy – like really happy. Sure, I take antidepressants, am still socially awkward, a bit anxious sometimes and moody some of the time and overthink a bit too much - but honestly? My life is incredible and I am so grateful.

I honestly don't miss my 'old life' at all... so why do I miss the old me? 

Maybe it's time to bring a bit of the old Mollie's sass back... Oh, and is it time to channel Taylor Swift yet too? The old Mollie can't come to the phone because she's dead – and the new one is actually better. 

I think it's safe to say that the old me would be proud of herself now.

Are you in your twenties? Do you feel like you're going through an identity crisis? Like you've accidentally hit fast-forward on your life's remote control? Let me know in the comments section below.

It really has. I can't believe the last time I wrote on here was around the time of the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Since then so much has changed - nationally, globally, and personally too. In fact, I just realised I never documented my birthday on here - something I've done for years upon years. So yeah, I'm 25 now - a quarter of a century - and so so much has altered in my life. 

I was thinking the other day about how much I miss writing silly little blog posts for my silly little blog. I miss writing, rambling and talking endlessly about fashion, beauty and everything in between. And that's when I made a vow to myself to begin again.

An integral part of my life, blogging has been with me and a huge part of my identity since 2013 - meaning this website has existed for nine years this December. From my first blog post which was a literal sentence, to the essays I've written before branching out into my freelance career - this corner of the internet will forever remain my safe haven, and I want to make it yours too.

I'm hoping to make a bit of a blogging comeback if you will. I'm not going to vow to any silly schedule like I have done in the past, although once a week might be a good start. So hopefully I can stick to it. One blog post. Every week. 

Whether it's a hot take on something, a moan about the mercury retrograde or the moon (I have so much to say about the past month, but we move), a fangirl moment about Taylor Swift or a plus-size fashion styling guide (I'm hoping to be my fabulous fashionable self on here once again... the 'gram just isn't the same) - I'm coming back baby!

So, where have I been exactly?

Well, you (and I) need to remember that this blog started up in 2013 - when I was experiencing health issues and wasn't in school. Since then I've done my GCSEs at college, progressed onto university, graduated with a degree, went back and then studied for an MA certificate. And now I'm a fully fledged journalist with a over a year's worth of freelancing under my belt and a fixed term contract at a national newspaper. 

You could say life has been hectic, busy, and totally manic - but rest assured, so amazing too. 

Feeling blessed and humbled by life, I feel bringing back the blog at the start of autumn 2022 is a milestone moment and one I have to embrace.

All I have to say is brace yourself... and let's hope I can make the epic return to blogging I so want to. 

[ad-pr – dress and shoes were gifted]

The Jubilee bank holiday weekend was a very monumental four days for the United Kingdom. As a 24-year-old zillennial growing up in the UK, I'm not really supposed to be a fan of the Royal family – a large chunk of my generation despises them – but personally, I am a huge fan. 

I was invited along to Coppa Club in Putney [ad-pr invite] – yep, those uber chic restaurants in swanky locations with a ton of sleek igloos that you can cosy up inside and enjoy a secluded meal within.

[ad-pr gifts from LUSH]

LUSH have done it again – they've launched an incredible Easter Collection for 2022, that is full of sweet treats and incredibly bathing accompaniments. 

[ad-pr – this was gifted]

Mother's Day is here and I can't believe just how fast it's come around. With it being a matter of days away, if you're still stuck on what to get that special mother figure in your life – look no further. Affordable, accessible, and easy to order or pick up in store – the stunning Mum's Bathtime Favourites gift box from LUSH makes the perfect gift this Mother's Day. 


[Disclaimer – I was gifted the three items as part of a PR package]

I am completely enamoured by the LUSH CBD range. As somebody who experiences anxiety, depression and general aches and pains in my day-to-day life, when I was told about this range for the first time I was super intrigued and couldn't wait to try it out for myself.