Christmas Wishlist with iDeal of Sweden

13 Dec 2018

Christmas is fast approaching. Very, very fast approaching and I'm in the minority who haven't yet done their chrsimas shopping. Major oops. But if you're in the same position as me, fear not because this handy gift guide which I've put together in collaboration with iDeal of Sweden which is a super exciting up and coming Scandinavian mobile technology brand. And let me just say they have some super cute things, so without further ado let's get into the list!

Pictured here is the Fashion Power Bank in Flower Meadow

1) A Snazzy Phone Case

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all phones need cases right? You always spend so long deciding which colour back you want on your new phone only to cover it up with a case. Especially since it's christmas and there will be new phones everywhere, why not treat yourself or a friend to a new phone case to match their new phone. Like this one from the new Debi FlΓΌgge collection.

2) A Portable Charger

If you're anything like me and you're constantly on the go or travelling, then this little charger is an absolute must. I have one already (pictured above) and I never leave the house without it. It takes the stress out of leaving the house all day and not being able to find a power outlet. It;'s especially useful when you're flying and you have your boarding pass on your phone but your battery is running low. It charges your phone super quickly and let's face it they're beautiful to look at!

3) A New Clutch Bag

After Christmas comes New Year and with that being prime party season you may want to invest in a new clutch bag. These aren't just any clutch bags though, they're actually phone cases which allows you to keep your phone, cards and money all together when you're on a night out and even look good doing it becasue they come in 3 different velvet shades. To make it even easier all the phone cases and clutches are complementary so they won't be slipping and sliding around

4) A Little Cuff Bracelet

To add a little bit of minimilistic scandinavian style into Christmas why not go for one of these simple cuff bracelets to add a little touch of scandi glamour to your christmas season

5) A QI charger

These wireless chargers are the future of charging, it's quick, it's convenient and look how cute they look!

6) For The Man In Your Life

Fear not men, iDeal have just launched their masculine collection which is full of styles that were designed with men in mind, their simple, classic and timeless and while they probably won't turn heads they're definitely a statement. Check out the whole Masculine collection here

That's just a brief insight into what iDeal of Sweden can offer you this Christmas but that's not all. They've been nice enough to give me a discount code for you so if you use the code ID20-JA611 at the checkout you'll get 20% off your order!

hepzibah: my delight is in her

11 Dec 2018

In this season of advent we think about the first coming of Christ and how it was foretold in the old testament which is especially evident in the book of Isaiah.

You shall no more be termed Forsakenand your land shall no more be termed Desolatebut you shall be called Hepzibah (My Delight Is In Her)and you land Beluah (Married)For the Lord delights in you and your land shall be married.
Isaiah 62:4

These are the words that God spoke to Isaiah for Zion. Now, while at the time Zion was a physical place it's also synonymous for anywhere the spirit of God is, and so it's also a promise for us. We are no longer called forsaken but now called 'The one in whom God delights'. This year for me has truly been the year of 'Not Forsaken'. This has been the truth that I've spoken over my life time and time again and this week I've been thinking even more about being no longer forsaken but the one in whom God delights and how incredible a truth that is that God says 'My delight is found in her'. This week I've prayerfully curated this playlist of songs for her (sorry boys) about how we can be confident as women in God that He has placed his delight in us. Below this playlist I've just done a little summary of the songs I selected, what they say and why I selected them. I hope that this blesses you in this advent season. (Also if you have any other songs that you think would fit perfectly in this collection please let me know!)

Take Courage (Kristene Di Marco)

And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep, Your promise to me
That I will rise, in Your victory

This for me truly is the anthem of advent, I used it in my advent blog last year and I'm using it again this year (sue me). It really reflects the spirit of waiting and waiting expectently for what God is going to do. As the song says, He is in the waiting so as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Him during the period of waiting, good things will come.

You Say (Lauren Daigle)

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours

I couldn't make this playlist and not include this song. We are who God says we are, not what the world has to say about us. The city of Zion and the people of Israel knew what it was like to be forsaken, but God had other things to say about them. No longer forsaken but Hepzibah. God's delight is in us because He says it is and that's a truth.

Peace Be Still (The Belonging Co Ft. Lauren Daigle)

Peace be still
You are here so it is well
Even when my eyes can't see
I will trust the voice that speaks
Peace, Peace over me

The God of the storm is the same God who is also God of the calm. When we're in turbulent seasons we can be so quick to think that God has left us but we don't have to deal with these seasons alone because He is right there speaking peace over and bringing the seas to still and if He can calm the raging seas just think about the wonders that He could do for your stress/anxieties/worries.

I Am No Victim (Kristene Di Marco)

I am who He says I am
He is who He says He is 
I’m defined by all His promises
Shaped by every word He says

We can so often feel like victims of the world but if we take refuge in who God has said we are we discover that we're not poor, we're not orphans and we're not lost. God's delight is in us and He's chosen us to be coheirs of His kingdom. We have a home with the King and the promises that He speaks over us are for good.

Who You Say I Am (Hillsong Worship)

I am chosen
Not forsaken

I am who You say I am

Chosen and not forsaken. This is the overarching theme here but it's a good theme. God has chosen us, Jesus died for us and we're never going to be forsaken and we never have been forsaken. We are who He says we are. No longer forsaken but chosen as children of God.

Pieces (Amanda Cook)

Your love not broken 
It's not insecure 

Your love's not selfish 
Your love is pure

This song is an anthem about God's love for us. He doesn't just love us a little bit but He loves us with an Agape, unconditional love. It's pure and it's reviving. It wasn't given out accidentally, He knows exactly what He's doing when He loves us unconditionally. It's a conscience choice. How great is His love for us!

Still God (Elevation Worship)

Before the world began, it wasn't spoken yet
You were still God, and You are still God
After Your final breath, it wasn't over yet
You were still God, and You are still God

He is still God! The same God that created the heavens and the earth is the same God that's alive today and lives within us. He's the same God that is still performing miracles. he hasn't stopped being God and He never will stop being God.

Not Today (Hillsong United)

Tell me did the enemy panic
As You took up that cross

Tell me did the darkness cry mercy
As You rolled back that rock

Death is defeated, the enemy is defeated. Fear and anxieties can hold us back but when we have Jesus on our side we have the authority through Him to tell the enemy No and we can believe that no is no because Jesus has full authority and His name is all powerful.

Sing My Way Back (Steffany Gretzinger)

When I lose direction
When I can’t see the stars
If we get disconnected

I’ll sing my way back to Your heart
I’ll sing my way back to Your arms

Part of God's love being unconditional means that even if we fail, stumble or find our way walking against Him or His plan for our lives, we can always come back and He'll always take us back. No matter what we've done it's not too much for God. As long as we repent wholeheartedly and realign our vision with His we can always find our way back to His heart.

Lament (Seacoast Worship)

So come close, I'm on the verge of breaking
Come close, I'm desperate for Your presence
Come close, the weight of pain is crushing
Come close

This one is a little bit different from the others. In this one there is a cry of 'Where are You now?'. Sometimes we feel like God is so distant and that we're in our troubles all alone but even amid the times when we feel like this we can still proclaim that He is Good. Maybe this season of hurt isn't going away, maybe this season of loneliness is just stretching on and on but our difficult seasons are such an important part of the route to breakthrough and although it might not always feel like it, God is always with us.

Cover The Earth (Kari Jobe)

Fear has no choice but to bow
Chains have no choice but to break
Shame has no choice but to leave
In Your presence

His Spirit has covered the entire earth and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. That means that there are no chains holding us back from all the God has in store for us. The chains have no choice but to break because He has declared freedom over us.

On My Side (Kim Walker-Smith)

In the front lines, You fight for me
Oh, Your kindness is my shield
When the armies rise and I am scared
My heart You will defend

God is fighting for us always, He's always on our side. He's not going to see us battling something and just say 'Nah they can deal with this one on their own'. He's going to be right there with us throughout the whole thing! 

Miracle (Mosaic MSC)

I see a miracle in an empty grave
The One we though was dead has come to life again
I see a miracle in every chain You break
The power of heaven roaring within me

The whole point of Christmas was so that Easter could happen so the miracle of Jesus coming as a baby was just the start of the bigegst miracle that was ever going to occur when He rose from the dead. But He's still performing miracles today and it's important that we never forget about the miracles that He has performed in us before He can perform mircales through us.

Defender (UPPERROOM)

And all I did was praise
And all I did was bow down
And all I did was stay still
And all I did was worship

God is our defender and things are always better His way but sometimes we try to take control of our own destinies but when we surrender fully to Him, and praise, bow down, stay still, worship. we'll see breakthrough. Be still and know that I am God.

Satisfaction in Singleness

24 Sept 2018

Let's talk about the 'S' word, not that one, the big one, Singleness. Ugh. Especially now that all of my friends are starting to get into relationships, getting engaged and even getting married, the singleness thing is starting to become more and more just a 'me' thing, Singleness is great and all that but sometimes you just get a yearning for someone to share life with and when you don't have that, it can suck a little bit.

You know that analogy where there's a big oak tree and it's all on its own in a field so that it's roots can go deep and spread wide without being blocked by anything else in its path of growth, I guess that is singleness right? It's important that you invest in yourself, that you're able to give as much to a relationship as you want to receive, as well as making sure you're right with God and your relationship with Him is in a good place before delving into a relationship with another person, because that's how healthy relationships are born.

See these are things that I know, I know that seasons of singleness are super important for your development and that people can really flourish in singleness but sometimes the seasons can drag on and on and on and on and are like a never-ending expanse of desert, dry and devoid of affection, love and companionship, you can start to feel unlovable, unwanted and unappreciated. If I'm ready to be in a relationship, why is nobody ready to be in a relationship with me? This is something I do find myself asking more regularly than I'd like to admit but it all comes down to God's timing. God's timing is perfect and when we're going through seasons when our lives aren't turning out the way we always thought they would, we (me included) need to stop blaming God for it and start to trust in His timing. When we complain about our low seasons we're complaining about God's chosen route of breakthrough. Wouldn't you rather take a difficult journey to get to the best view rather than take the shortcut and not quite reach the summit?

For me, singleness has much more been a way of life rather than a season and if you're also feeling like that, that's okay! Also if you're feeling a little bit alone and unloved right now that's also okay we all need to mope around every now and then but just know that God has never left you alone, He's always there and He's always got your back! Give 'You Say' by Lauren Daigle and 'Here Again' by Elevation Worship a listen and I guarantee you'll feel so loved in seconds! 

Right now I'm happy enough to take my own Instagram pictures and big myself up for doing those things I do that are little mini-trials for me (like write this blog post *high fives self*), but still be able to trust in God's timing and believe that He's going to bring the right person at the right time and that I'm not in control, He is

Shirt: Zara, Shorts: Bershka, Backpack: Madlug

Navigating a Belfast summer with Madlug

13 Aug 2018

Summer in Northern Ireland is a funny old thing, some days it'll be sunny and everyone will be at the beach, running into the sea and then the next day the skies will be grey and it's cold and before you know it you're back into your knits and snuggled up into a blanket. This summer has been especially weird though because we actually had a heatwave, and not just any heatwave, a heatwave that lasted for three whole weeks, with not even a single drop of rain resulting in an illegal hosepipe ban. Only in Northern Ireland hey!

With Summer being holiday time seeing as I'm a student there's so much that I got up to this summer both at home and abroad. With the weather being so changeable it's important that you stay prepared for all situations. That's why I always carry my Madlug bag with me everywhere I go. 

Madlug is a Northern Ireland based social enterprise which I have been supporting since their launch in 2015 and have been fortunate enough to be involved with since May of this year. Madlug work with children in care, giving them value, worth, and dignity. there are over 90000 children in the care system in the UK and Ireland, with a new child get's taken into care every 15 minutes, and most of them don't even have a bag to carry their belongings in and are left to transfer all of their belongings in a bin bag. Madlug wants to change that! When you purchase a bag from Madlug a bag is donated to a child in care who doesn't have a bag! They have so many different styles and colours to choose from and the Classic range are all made in Belfast by another social enterprise company who employ people with learning difficulties allowing them to find work. check out all of their amazing work at

Sin No More

4 Jul 2018

Now that I've gotten home and gotten a good night's sleep in my own bed, now seemed like a good time to write up about some of the things I learned over the course of the weekend. 

I go to Summer Madness every year with certain expectations. These expectations do tend to vary each year. For example every year we expect the weather to be crap and ordinarily, it is but this year was an exception and we had sun the whole time which honestly was the absolute dream. When I was younger everyone always told me that Summer Madness would be the best week of my summer and sure enough the first year I went I grew so much in my faith and really gained a lot of confidence in Christ and obviously, it made such a big impact on me that I keep going back year after year. However, as I've gotten older these expectations have shifted ever so slightly in a more negative direction. I go to Summer Madness knowing that it's a youth festival, the talks are geared towards young people and I'm not a young person anymore. What could I possibly get out of this and just like with the weather, my expectations were succeeded.

This year the theme of the week was 'Truth to Dare' exploring the importance of truth in the Christian faith as we unpacked stories from the bible in how different characters encountered truth and how it transformed them. This included one of my favourite stories from the Bible, the story of the woman caught in adultery from John 8:1-11. 

It's a funny phrase 'Sin no More'. It's so often depicted as angry, the kind of thing you hear those intense street preachers yelling down their megaphones as they try to terrorise passersby to 'turn from their wicked ways before they burn in hell' or something to that effect. But how far is that from the real meaning of these words. In John 8:11 after the woman caught in adultery has all of her accusers walk away from her unable to condemn her Jesus says the words "Neither do I condemn you, now sin no more". Those words, Sin no more. Was Jesus angry? No, He was probably almost definitely disappointed but Jesus knows that we as humans are incapable of living a life free of sin. Jesus faced all the same temptations as we did because He was fully human but the seemingly contradictory fact that He was also fully God meant that he did not give into that temptation and He lived His life without sin. 

We see sin as the ultimate act of freedom, that by living in the world and all of the temptations that we face that it'll give us more freedom and more satisfaction when in reality it's really doing the opposite, it's constricting us and acting as a stumbling block in us developing our relationship with Jesus. So yes a life without sin would be impossible for us to live but Jesus' call for us to Sin no more was a compassionate cry for help. Jesus see's the sins that tarnish us and it breaks His heart. God loves us just the way we are and He accepts us just the way we are but if He didn't teach us to grow and change the way we live He would have failed as a father. Krish Kandiah put it that God doesn't try and change us because He doesn't love us the way we are but because He loves us too much to leave us that way"

The part that really hit home to me the most, however, was on the final morning when everyone was tired and ready to go home, I didn't even have my notebook out to take notes it was at that stage. But the words resonated load and clear all the same, "Secondhand Christianity", or, living vicariously through other peoples faith encounters without ever really having your own faith encounters. I love hearing how other people are encountering God and what He's doing in their lives, it excites me so much to see young people encountering Jesus and how bright their futures are going to be without really thinking about myself and how God is going to work in me to bring transformation, clarity, and purpose. Just because God hasn't done something in your life yet doesn't mean that He's incapable of doing it. Other people's experiences with Jesus don't define your walk, only your experiences can do that and the only way for that to develop is just to continuously seek His face and put Him first in everything that you do. 

So once again Summer Madness you've snuck up on me with truths that I can take home and try my very hardest to live out but the most important truth of all is that we also have grace and that God's grace is so sufficient that it covers everything. He's removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. That's an immeasurable distance, if you walk north and keep walking north, eventually you're going to end up walking south, but if you keep on walking east you'll never stop walking east, and that is how far our transgressions have been removed from us, our transgressors, or the things leading us to sin cannot condemn us because Jesus hasn't condemned us, instead He has reached out His hand and invited us in truth and grace to sin no more. 

So I'm going to try. 

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Tan Review

1 Jun 2018

It's Summer, my dudes! I'm officially finished with University for the year and now the sun is shining brightly in Northern Ireland, so that means it's time to embrace the summer sun, especially since we've had such a run of insane weather lately (literally 20 degrees may not seem that warm to you but in Northern Ireland it's the equivalent to actually being on the sun) but maybe it's not quite time for the population of Northern Ireland to embrace my pasty white skin! Well, how great is it that there's a cure for that and it comes in the form of self-tanner (what a shock I know). I'm not a big fan of self-tanning but it's mainly just because I'm far too lazy to maintain it because I genuinely do love the self-love and appreciation that comes from looking just a little bit more bronzed and glowy than usual. So that's why I was super excited when Influenster sent me a whole load of self-tanning products from Rimmel London to try-out for free!

I'm blonde, and I'm so blonde that I'm almost ginger so I can't get away with a super dark tan without it looking really off. Here's a funny sorry about that: I was at work and a man I'd never met was trying to explain to someone who didn't speak English that my tan was fake so if that's not a punch in the gut about how pasty and white you're expected to be then I don't know what is! Anyway after that little tangent back to the main reason we're here, Self-tan and particularly the Sunshimmer Self Tan Mousse from Rimmel London. I haven't gotten round to using the other products yet (which are Sunshimmer Self Tan Lotion With Chia Oil and Sunshimmer Instant Tan Matte Water Resistant) but when I love the mousse so much why would I bother! I'm not a serial tanner by any means if and tan and I were a tv show we'd probably be Sherlock, only releasing episodes at special occasions every couple of years, but recently since receiving this tan I've become a little bit obsessed. In fairness the first time I applied it, it was a shoddy job, it definitely wasn't even and my hands were definitely darker than everywhere else on my body but that is no fault of the tan, that's purely me being lazy and not wanting to get a mitt. The second time was much better and I can base this review of that. 

I love the mousse the most because it comes out like a foam and when tanning is such a monotonous task who wouldn't want to inject a little bit of fun into it with foam am I right! It also goes on super smoothly and gives an even coverage (provided you apply it correctly that is oops), It has good colour payoff which s brown as supposed to orange so you're not at risk of looking too much like Donald Trump. It doesn't have the typical fake tan smell either so your noses will be safe as well. I think that just about covers it, I've attached some photos below of my failed first attempt so you can see that even if it doesn't exactly go to plan you won't look awful! Have fun being your best-tanned selves and I also promise to post more in the not so distant future because this has been an embarassingly long break!

Love, Alice