Book Unhaul #1 | Sitting In The Clouds

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Welcome Back!!! The other week I was reorganising my bookshelf…because that’s what I like to do in my spare time when I’m not actually reading…call me weird but I know I’m not the only one. But when I was rearranging, I realised there were a lot of books on my bookshelf that I either have no interest in reading anymore or just don’t want anymore because I wasn’t that fussed on the book….meaning it’s time for my first ever Book UNhaul on my blog.


Disclaimer: I’m sorry if any of these are your favourite books but I’m giving these away to my local charity shops because I either have no interest in reading them anymore or I have read them and didn’t enjoy them much. 

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  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – I got this book the first summer I became an avid reader. I have tried to read it last year and I just couldn’t get into it and now I’ve lost interest and doubt I’ll ever read it.
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth – Such a controversial one but I pick this book up in a charity shop and I don’t even know why because I’ve never been interested in reading this series…shocker I know.
  • The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks – When I saw the trailer for this book last summer it made me really want to read the book because you know… book lovers read the books before seeing the film. However, when I read the book earlier this year, I only rated it about 3 stars and I doubt I will ever reread it.
  • I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella – Another book I tried to read but DNF’ed and don’t think I’ll ever pick up again.
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – I read this book in 2014 and I remember enjoying it but don’t think I’ll ever reread it or even pick up the sequel, The Rosie Effect.

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  • We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach – I read this book last summer for the BookTubeaThon and I enjoyed it but won’t ever reread it…are you seeing a pattern here?…haha!! I only really like to keep books on my shelf that I adored and there’s a high chance I’ll reread. My bookcase is just too small to keep every single book I’ve ever read. 
  • Thief by Malorie Blackman – This is a children’s book and I remember enjoying it but can’t actually really remember what this one is about. I brought it for one of the challenges for BookTubeaThon 2014.
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner – One of my favourite books and movies of all time, so why am I getting rid of it? Because I have another copy. I originally brought this book by itself and when I fell in love with it I decided to buy the boxset which meant getting another copy of the first book, The Maze Runner. I don’t see the need in owning two. 
  • Another Day by David Leviathan – I did that thing people suggest, go into a bookstore and pick up a book that just peaks your interest, only in my case I picked up a sequel. This book is the sequel to “Everyday” which I don’t owned and don’t think I’ll ever own so it just makes sense to get rid of the sequel.
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – This book came in a set of 3 with Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, one of my all time favourites and another book I’ve already unhauled and can’t remember the name of. I don’t think I will ever read this book so I’m getting rid of it.

I still haven’t actually got rid of any of them yet, they are just sat in a pile on my floor waiting for me to get rid of them. So, if any of these books are your favourites and you think I should keep them and give them a go, let me know in the comments. 

Thank you for reading and supporting my blog. The amount of love I got on yesterday’s post (here) was incredible and I’m so blessed to have such an amazing and lovely group of people following me. If you are new, be sure to hit that follow button so you are notified every time I upload. I upload every Monday, Friday and Sunday, with a few bonus posts thrown in. 

until next time, 

xoxo, rachel 

P.S. I’ve gone and got myself Pinterest. Just another social media platform to try and keep up to date and juggle. Anyway, if you would like to follow me, it would mean the world. Click here. I’m very new to all the pinning and what not so wish me luck…haha!! And if you have any tips, I would love to hear them. 


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Cute and Cosy | OOTD | Sitting In The Clouds

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Welcome Back!!! Yesterday I went out to meet my boyfriend when he was on his lunch break at work and also grab my first festive drink of the season. I imagined this really cute outfit to wear and when I actually put it together from the clothes I owned and looked in the mirror, I fell in love with it so I knew I had to share it with you guys.


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Top – Primark
Skirt – New Look
Jacket – Primark

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Shoes – New Look

My socks peeping through are my Harry Potter, Slytherin ones. I’m a Hufflepuff at heart though. 

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Eyes – Morphe 35T palette (first impressions here)
Lips – Revlon Colour Burst in 044 (Sunbaked Baigne)

This outfit defiantly represents my girly side and I’m in love with it. I love the use of colours in this outfit as I’m usually the basic girl of black, white and grey outfits but yesterday I loved the colour combo of maroon and a deep blue/green which both scream autumn to me. You could defiantly dress up this outfit with pairing a leather jacket and a nice pair of heeled booties. However, I went for the casual look and this outfit is actually super cosy and warm. I didn’t feel the chill once when I was out yesterday. I’m defiantly going to be wearing this outfit through-out the winter season now.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel

P.S. I love autumn and winter fashion so I’m hoping to get some more OOTD posts up for you over the next couple of months.


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Living With An Invisible Illness | Tea Talk #2 | Sitting In The Clouds

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 [tea talk – a new segment on my blog where I ramble about the goings on in my life while sometimes drinking my favourite drink…tea]

WARNING: This post isn’t my usual upbeat one.


Welcome Back!!! I knew this was going to happen but didn’t realise how quickly…yes, that’s right, I’m not drinking tea, I’m drinking water but at least I’m drinking something and to be honest tea is mainly water so I’m cheating too much. And as I now go to pick up cup and take a sip I realise there isn’t actually any water left…okay so now I’m cheating.

This is me….

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Now I know I just bombard you with a dozen+ selfies and pictures but don’t worry I know exactly where I’m going with this blog post…I think, kind of, umm well not really. These pictures just show a glimpse into my life and some of my best memories but sometimes pictures don’t capture everything. I’m saying this because out of my 19 years on this wonderful earth, I’ve spent 12 of them years living with an invisible illness. No, I’m not talking about a mental illness, although those illnesses are horrible as well, to be honest all illness, invisible or not are cruel, but I’ve personally been living with Chronic Kidney Disease.

October last year, my dad donated his kidney so I could live a better life and since that day, my life has never been better. However, if he hadn’t of been so selfless, my life could be so very different.

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I think my dad and I are the most bonkers in the family and I believe it’s because I now have one of his kidneys.

Let me know if I’m wrong but I bet about 90% of the people reading this blog post won’t have a clue what Chronic Kidney Disease is…and from now on I’m calling it CKD because the full name is too long to write. Now I had to look this up so I didn’t write it the long winded way round and confuse everyone but basically CKD is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time and if untreated could lead to death. And because it’s kidney related, it’s invisible to everyone unless you personally know me and I pluck up the courage to tell you…which I’m doing in this special #teatalk episode today. I’m not writing this blog post for sympathy, I’m doing it for awareness. All awareness for this illness is vital as in April last year 3,000 transplants took place but a further 5,000 were needed. I’d say the one plus side to CKD, and any kidney related illness, is the fact you can have living donations, meaning people who are alive, like my dad, can donate. Why? You ask….

Everyone has 2 kidneys but we can all survive with just one. Meaning everyone could donate a kidney and save thousands of lives. 300 people in need of a kidney die each year. That’s almost one a day! Now to me that’s crazy stats for something that is avoidable.

However, CKD is actually a lot more common than one may think. 1 in 10 people suffer with CKD in their lives. But, 1 in 50 young adults, that’s me, suffer with it. For a young adult, like myself, having CKD is not that common. I’m one of the lucky ones that was able to get a kidney from my dad, meaning I didn’t have to go on the donor waiting list or even have dialysis pre-transplant. What’s dialysis you ask?

Dialysis is, in simple terms, a machine that does what your kidneys are supposed to do but can’t. The machine filters your blood so it’s clear from toxins. Usually dialysis happens 3 times a week in hospital and it takes over your life.

I’m so grateful that my dad stepped up to donate his kidney because otherwise I’m not sure where I would be today. When I went for my transplant last October (2015) my kidney function was down to 5%. I was suffering from mostly all of the side effects, tiredness, and that’s not your “I’m so tired” when in fact it’s your own fault because you only got 3 hours of sleep because you stayed up watching Netflix, I was so tired I would sleep 12 hours at night and basically sleep all day, I was probably only awake for roughly 2-4 hours a day, I had no taste when eating, I suffered from itchy skin, major cramps and a lot more. My life wasn’t great. Now I could bore you with the history of how I came to get CKD but I don’t want this blog post to be hours long so I’ll make it short.

The town I used to live in diagnosed me wrong. When I was 3 my mum kept taking me to the GP with urine infections and the doctor kept giving me antibiotics and then sending me away, only for me to come back with another infection. The doctors didn’t pick up the reoccurring issue and only when we moved town and I got another urine infection, my mum taking me to the GP once again, did they realise that having this many infections wasn’t normal so they referred me to a specialistic. Eventually, I ended up in the care of the amazing team at Great Ormond Street Hospital until I was 18 (last June) so I moved hospitals and the hospital that I’m currently being treated at, was where I underwent my transplant.

At first, doctors said that I wouldn’t need a transplant until I was in my early twenties because although my kidney function was deteriorating, it was steady. However, at the end of 2014, beginning of 2015, my kidney function rapidly started to decrease, which is common in end stage kidney failure. That’s when both of my parents started undergoing tests to see if they were compatible. Luckily, my dad was.

So after months of tests and multiple transplant dates being set and moved and cancelled, the day of my transplant came. To  be honest, I was more nervous for my dad on the day. This transplant was something I had to undergo for my own health. My dad on the other hand was going through this major operation out of pure love and selflessness. He is truly a remarkable man.

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This picture was taken a few days after my transplant and after my side effects of the pain relief wore off, it was incredible how much of a difference I was feeling in myself already. Of course the pain was still there and I was still super tired because my body was busy healing but overall, I felt good and that’s something I hadn’t felt in a long time, without realising it. Some transplanted kidneys don’t work straight away and some don’t work at all. Luckily for me, my dads worked instantly and both mine and his recovery have been overall smooth. My dad has had some issues but he’s on the mend now and he says he wouldn’t change his decision for the world after seeing how much better I am.

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Above is a picture of my dad and I only a month after transplant. People would come to visit me at home after I was discharged, I was out of hospital in 6 days, and say “I thought you would be attached to tubes and machines”. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be home as quickly as I was but I was young and they transplanted me before my kidney function was properly failed so I was able to recover quicker than most patients. My dad was out in 3 days. Unless a serious issue occurs, most donors are out within 5 days and recipients are usually out within 7-10 days.

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It’s now been over a year since my transplant happened, which is something I still can’t fathom. This year has whizzed by and thanks to my dad, 2016 and truly been the best year of my life. With his kidney, a healthy, working, amazing kidney, I have been able to do and go on so many adventures with my partner in crime, Tom, who I met shortly after my transplant, in January. I will never have the words to thank him for changing my life and allowing me to become who I am today. But it wasn’t just my dad, my mum, who also put herself forward, but wasn’t able to donate because her kidney function wasn’t as high as the hospital wanted, was there each and everyday during my stay at hospital, helping me through and cheering me up. She took weeks of work to look after my dad and I after we were both home, becoming our rock in a time we needed her support the most. Without either of them, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I will never be able to show how much I love them both.

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My dad and I on Christmas Day last year, 2 months post transplant.

You may be thinking now that the worst in over and that a transplant saved me. In some ways it did but Chronic Kidney Disease didn’t get its name for fun. Chronic means an illness persisting over time and constantly reoccurring. *touch wood* but my dads kidney could fail at any moment causing my health to deteairoate and repeat the cycle all over again. However, the second time round to be a lot worse. Anyone who undergoes a transplant will hear the doctors repeatedly tell you that transplantation is a treatment and not a cure. I will never be cured on my illness and I will always suffer from CKD. I’m just in a time of my life where I’m healthy and happy. I know that my dads kidney probably won’t last my lifetime as I’m so young so the chances of me needing a kidney again is high. But I know what my life is like now but also what it could be some time down the line so I’m enjoying every minute and learning to appreciate the little things.


It just goes to show that some people who look normal and healthy from the outside, may be suffering on the inside. I now have a warrior wound (my scar) and it’s a part of who I am.  I wanted to write this blog post to increase awareness for not only CKD but all invisible illnesses out there. I was one of the lucky few to have such a smooth and great recovery, others may not be so fortunate. Please take care of one another and remind your loved ones how much they mean to you.

I realise this post wasn’t my usual happy post but I wanted to write it and tell my story to my readers. Just because you may have an illness, it doesn’t have to be become the only thing people know you for. Many people who know me personally, know my struggles and what I’ve been through but Chronic Kidney Disease isn’t the only thing their minds think of when my name is said. Don’t let your illness control who you are. Each and everyone one of us is unique and I’m proud of my scar and what I’ve been through and how strong I am now. I wish I didn’t have to go through what I did at such a young age but I did but it doesn’t define me. It’s part of who am I but it’s not the only thing I am.

Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comments. I will be happy to answer any relating to the topic I just discussed with you all. Please remember it is a sensitive topic, not just for me but for others reading so be kind with your words.

and until next time,

xoxo, rachel 

Empties #4 | October | Sitting In The Clouds

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Welcome Back!!! You don’t realise how many products you finish each month and how much of your money goes on replenishing your stock until you keep all your empty tubes to write an empties post. So without further ado…which products did I use up in October?

July Empties | September Empties


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Opsie, just realised that the tub of Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty featured in my September Empties. That’s what happens when you save your LUSH tubs so you get a free face mask. I was meant to pick up my empty pot of Ocean Salt to photograph for this blog post, which I love as it’s a great exfoliating face scrub. 

  • Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo: Don’t get me wrong this is a good dry shampoo but it’s not great. I feel like you have to use a lot of product to make your hair feel fresh again and to be honest I don’t love the scent. I will always be a Batiste girl as I just love their dry shampoos and I have yet to find one better than theirs.

Repurchase? No. Although it’s not a bad product, it’s just not as good as Batiste and I’d much rather spend my money on the Batiste dry shampoo. 

  • Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water: This is the only product I use to take off my makeup on a daily basis. It’s truly amazing and it’s no longer a chore to take off my makeup in the evenings because of this product. I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve repurchased this product. It’s an awesome product, it lasts for ages and is such good value for money.

Repurchase: Yes, without a doubt. I never allow myself to finish one without having a back up in my cupboard. 

  • Maybellines Baby Skin Face Primer: I really like this primer, it’s a great dupe I feel, for the Benefits Porefessional, which I have also recently finished. It smoothes out your skin and hides all your pores and makes my makeup last until the time in the evening when I take it off.

Repurchase? Yes, I really want to have this in my makeup bag again. I am now on a student budget so I won’t be able to get my hands on the Benefit Porefessional for a while and I really don’t mind using this one as a dupe as it performs great for me.

  • Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Exfoliating Wash: I truly do love this product and I’ve repurchased this product multiple times. If I wash my face with this in the morning it really reduces the oil in my skin which enables my makeup to stay on a lot longer without it looking shiny. I’ve defiantely seen a difference with my skin since I’ve used this product.

Repurchase: Yes I would. However, I’m really in the mood to switch things up with my skincare at the moment.


A bit of a varied bunch today, some products I love and can’t wait to repurchase and others not so much. Have you tried any of these products, what do you think of them? Leave them in the comments below. 

Thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog. If you’ve liked what you’ve read then don’t be afraid to hit that follow button so you are notified every time I upload. I post every Mondays, Fridays and Sundays, with a few bonus posts here and there. 

until next time, 

xoxo, rachel 


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October Favourites | 2016 | Sitting In The Clouds

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Welcome Back!!! October came and went and I’m bet you everything in the world that November will do the same meaning Christmas will be here in no time and I can not wait. 58 days and counting.


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Beauty: October didn’t really see my discover many new products but instead rediscover some old classics. 

  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: I tried this concealer way back when it first got released and I liked it but I got the wrong shade so never really grew to love it. However, when my go-to Collection Lasting Perfection concealer was out of stock, I decided to try this one out again and this time I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s such a gorgeous creamy consistency and blends out so nicely, leaving a beautiful high coverage. I tend to only use this under my eyes so I’m not sure how it performs on blemishes. This is actually my second tube since rediscovering it. 
  • LUSH Mint Julips Lip Scrub: This product is loved by the beauty community so I just had to try it. I didn’t really use it when I first purchased it but recently as I’ve been wearing lipstick, Macs Velvet Teddy to be more exact, I’ve fallen head over heels for this lip scrub. Because of all the natural ingredients you can’t help but lick your lips after using it, it tastes and smells divine.
  • Naked 1 Palette: If you saw my “go-to autumn make-up look” post you will know how loved this palette is. However with so many amazing and gorgeous eyeshadow palettes out there, I tend to have phases with different ones. This month I rediscovered my love for the Naked 1. Gorgeous shades which I think are perfect for the autumn months and amazing pigmentation. To be honest you don’t really need anything else in a eyeshadow palette.

Fashion:

  • Ripped Jeans: They just spice up my go-to outfit of jeans and graphic tee.
  • Bomber Jacket: The one above is from Primark. It just goes with everything and it’s easy just to throw on in the morning when my brain isn’t functioning yet. And for a Primark purchase it’s made so well and is actually really warm.

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Random Favourites: 

  • Green Tea: I’ve always been a lover of a good cup of tea but it’s usually the classic English Breakfast. However this month I started drinking green tea, don’t ask me why, I just felt like it. I started drinking it everyday and soon my go-to Tetley Green Tea ran out so I had to find a new one. That’s when I discovered my love for Cranberry Green Tea, it’s heavenly.
  • My Dad Wrote A Porno Podcast: Now don’t be discouraged by the title, this podcast is laugh out loud funny. Three friends sit around together reading aloud an erotic novel called Belinda Blinked that one of the guys dad has written, it’s too funny and I’ve been loving listening to this, this month.
  • Allie and Tylan: I’ve been a fan of the Gardiner Sisters for years now so when Allie Gardiner started a vlog channel with her husband Tylan, I was instantly a subscriber. These two beautiful humans are so funny, so kind and amazing. They show the world how couples are meant to treat each other and they are just awesome. My favourite videos of theirs are their NaNights which they upload on Saturdays night. It’s now my Sunday morning routine to make myself a cup of Cranberry Green Tea and watch NaNight. 

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Music Favourites: I’ve been loving a lot this month as commuting into London for uni is long and I need some entertainment…here are just a few I’ve been listening to the most. Although as I’m writing this I’m listening to Michael Buble’s new album and I’m really liking it. 

  • Fire In My Heart – Simple Plan
  • Grow Up – Olly Murs
  • I Ain’t Missing You – Aston Merrygold
  • Nobody But Me – Michael Buble
  • Shout Out To My Ex – Little Mix
  • Strip No More – Lukas Graham (Spotify Session Version)

TV Favourites:

  • Once Upon A Time – Say no more, it’s just an incredible show with an immensely complex yet awesome storyline and it’s so addicting. I’m currently on season 2 and I’m so excited to see where it’s heading. 
  • The Walking Dead – I couldn’t write this blog post without mentioning this show. That S7 Premiere was amazing, Andrew Lincoln deserves an Emmy. Some people didn’t like it and I understand why but if you’ve been watching The Walking Dead since the beginning, you clearly knew what they could do and what Negan would be like. It’s a TV show at the end of the day and I loved it.
  • The Big Bang Theory – Tom and I have started watching this from the beginning on Netflix and although I will always be a true FRIENDS fan, I’ve really enjoyed watching this in bed before sleeping snuggled next to Tom. It’s a great feel good show and a complete comparison to the other two I’ve been loving this month.

My beauty favourites may have been my smallest section this month but I’ve been loving so much other stuff that I just had to include them all. I really hope you enjoyed this blog post and let me know some of your favourites this month, I always love discovering new things.

until next time,

xoxo, rachel


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