If you didn't already know, Farrah Storr is one of my idols. As an aspiring journalist, she really is quite a woman to look up to (Cosmo has been my favourite magazine for years). I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Cosmopolitan networking event a few years ago and that was when I realised that this woman was a woman. So, when she announced she was releasing a book I preordered it immediately and patiently waited for months - my god, it was worth it.
Disclaimer: This post includes an affiliate link. It won't cost you any extra, but I will receive a small amount of money.
'The Discomfort Zone' is a mixture between Farrah's personal experience, others' inspirational stories and advice/information about your own personal discomfort zone. I had a relatively stressful year in 2018 (to say the least) and I really wish this book had come out earlier because it would have motivated me to power through some hurdles much better than I did.
The book discusses how we cope with failure and obstacles, I've learned that I'm an 'obstacle magnifier' meaning I perceive things to be so much worse than they are. It also talks about 'hustling' and (I wish I could say it was purely a coincidence) after reading I decided to do some of my own, so I've been emailing plenty of companies to get involved with my blog - I've pushed myself out of my discomfort zone and so far it's worked pretty well.
As always, thank you for reading! What helps you get motivated to be successful?
As I mentioned in my birthday post, something I’ve realised in life is that you should always be open to learning things about yourself. Well, something I learned about myself in 2018 is that I’m one of those people who always has to be doing something. If I’m not at uni I’m doing work, if not working then I’m blogging and if not blogging then I’m reading – and what about all that time I get off in between semesters? Throw me a 30 hour week and I’ll do some waitressing. My brain literally can’t switch off.
Something I learned very recently is that because I’m always doing something, I’m often thinking about what to do next. This isn’t just small scale, either. Not “I’m revising right now and will cook then write a post”, oh I wish…no. It’s “I’m at university until 2021 then I need to do this, this and this and then do this to be able to do this”. My anxieties related to my future are slowly driving me to insanity. So, here’s a chirpsy little post on why the hell am I so worried about my future?!
I think one answer that isn’t so worrying is that I’m super excited about my future. Visiting New York over the summer and moving from an incredibly small town in the countryside to a capital city has made me ecstatic to see all the places I possibly can and experience them in my own way. If I could, I would pack my bags and move to New York in a heartbeat … imagine all the other places I can see and fall in love with along the way! And let’s talk about how exciting growing my blog and getting settled into a career is going to be – I literally cannot wait.
Another pretty similar answer is that I’m constantly setting goals. I like bettering myself and I think goal-setting is a very positive thing for me. So, when I’m always making goals I want to think about things further into the future, career-wise, blog-wise and personal-life wise (my personal life has literally no goals other than to travel and own at least one Chow Chow). I wouldn’t be my goal-getting, ambitious self if I wasn’t thinking about my future all the time.
Thank you for reading my little ramble, Soph’s babbling posts are definitely back! Do you find that you worry about your future a lot or are you more of a ‘live in the moment’ kind of person?
A blogger writing their New Years’ Resolutions as their last post of the year? Are you really that shocked?! I wrote a similar post last year (‘drink less alcohol’ was clearly me starting 2018 with a good joke) and I just think it’s nice to note my goals down…so without further ado, here are my aims for 2019.
2. Sleep more/better
I’m currently writing this at half past midnight when I’ve been up since 8am in an attempt to ‘create a sleeping routine’ … ask me how that’s going? I like to get up early to go to the gym and get a headstart at a more productive day – yes, I’m one of those people – but then my brain doesn’t switch off if I don’t get myself to sleep by 9:30ish. It’s like I have a little timer inside my head and once I’ve gone past that time, by brain decides to get shit done. I want to have a better sleep schedule this year and be much more strict with it, because it’s clearly not going so well at the moment.
3. Find a balance
I’m doing pretty well at the moment with my uni/social life/blog balance, but at some point I should probably factor a job into the equation (unless my job at home wants to pay me double, or someone wants to pay me £1,000 per post). I love working when I’m back home but I wouldn’t mind some extra cash while I’m at uni, which means I’m going to have to work out when I can slot some shifts in.
5. Stop putting things off
I’m a constant worrier and overthinker. I don’t often talk about my mental health on here simply because it gets me down, but my anxiety towards general existence will slowly push me into a corner of my room if I’m not careful. I recently read The Discomfort Zone by Farrah Storr (a post is on its way but I’ll save you waiting and say BUY IT) and it made me realise how much I need to grab things by the balls and stop putting them off. I’m really hoping this year I can push myself out of my comfort zone a little bit more each month. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make a solo trip somewhere this year and say ‘screw you’ to my anxiety towards transport and travelling alone.
What are your resolutions for the new year? I haven't given myself too many this year in the hopes that the end result will be quality over quantity. 2018 really wasn't the best year for me in so many ways and I'm so glad to see the back of it, but at the same time I've really seen myself grow this year and, in an odd way, I'm very thankful for it. I'm hoping to make 2019 my best yet!
With Christmas right around the corner, I hope you're spending plenty of time curled up on the sofa in front of the TV (unlike those of us that work in hospitality). If you think you're all binge-watched out, then you've come to the right place, because I've rounded up the best shows that I'll never get sick of watching.
Did you expect to read the title of this post and not see The Office mentioned first?! As I said in my birthday blog post, I'm on my 7th round of the show and I don't think I'll ever get sick of it.
The mockumentary follows the incredible character Michael Scott, who regularly screws up at his job as regional manager of a paper company. I can guarantee you'll be in stitches at every episode, and those funny skits at the start of each ep definitely add to the comedy. It's possibly the funniest and most lighthearted show you could ever come across. I dare you to watch it and not become way too emotionally invested in the characters.
The Good Place
I'm not sure if I can actually put The Good Place in this post because I haven't even finished it yet, but seeing as this is my blog, I'm pretty sure I make the rules. The show follows Eleanor on her journey in the Good Place (heaven, but for the very best of the best)...except she's not meant to be there, and is actually a pretty shitty person.
I'm only on season two but I'm already wanting to start the series again. It's the perfect mixture of comedy and twists and it's wonderfully refreshing - not to mention the all-star cast.
Well, there are three shows that I can watch over and over (and over) again - ironically I'm watching The Office as I'm just finishing up this post. What are some shows you'll never get sick of? I'm always ready for a new binge.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Now that I've done my first semester, I feel like I can reflect upon my uni experience so far. Everyone (I mean everyone) talks about how great uni is; living with your friends, going out constantly, having freedom, being one long boozer - which it isn't, I hate to break it to you - but there are other things that definitely go unmentioned before you begin university. A few of these things are actually my favourite bits about uni, so come and have a peek:
1. The independence
Yes, I'm completely skint and most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing, but living independently is actually a heck of a lot of fun. It definitely helps that I like my own company, but choosing what to do with your spare time is really quite liberating and I love deciding what I want to do and eat each day. Let's not pretend I don't phone my mum almost daily, though!
3. The studying
Have I actually just said studying? Yes, why yes I have...hear me out.
You're studying something that you (hopefully) enjoy and you're surrounded by likeminded people who want to be there. I find my seminars, where we have big class discussions, to be the favourite parts of my uni week. It's so refreshing to talk about things that you actually want to learn about.
Fellow students, gather. Let’s talk about printing (cue all my readers groaning in unison). Paying £9k a year to then be charged an extra 10p per sheet?! Ludicrous – and don’t even get me started on if the document needs to be printed in colour.
My 19th birthday present? A printer. I couldn’t cope with the thought of spending a fortune on printing at uni when I could have a printer at home. I’m one of those people, lecture readings have to be printed out so that I can annotate and highlight relevant information. When my readings are up to 100 pages long, I’d rather run a marathon than pay for all that paper (and I hate cardio).
Of course, getting your own printer means you have to fork out on those ridiculous ink and toner costs – you may as well just pay a small fortune for the bloody uni paper, right? WRONG. I have found the answer to your prayers, all of your financial problems solved. Well, not all of them but you sure will save some money, and who doesn’t love saving money?!
Picture this, being able to buy cheap ink and toner cartridges that are 100% compatible with your printer without having to spend a small fortune for the branded stuff that is "the only thing you should put in your printer".
Which Cartridge sells all the best ink and toner cartridges for a fraction of their branded price (think BeautyPie, but for printers). All you have to do is hop onto their website, put in which printer you own - get it, WHICH printer? - and the site shows you ink and toner cartridges for the best prices as well as branded cartridges, if you can afford to fork out; but, to be honest, why would you when there are so many drinks you can buy with that leftover money?
So, save yourself some pennies and grab your ink and toner cartridges on Which and you can thank me later over a drink(which you can afford with the money you’ve saved on printing).
Christmas is easily my favourite time of year. There's nothing I love more than having nothing else to do other than enjoy amazing food, drink allll the alcohol and watch heartwarming films (let's forget that I work non-stop over the Christmas period at a bar). One other thing I really love about the Christmas season is choosing and giving gifts to loved ones; there's really something magical about picking out something for your nearest and dearest.
This year I want to spread my love of gift giving with my lovely readers, so I'll be writing a (probably small) series of Christmas gift guides. An amazing brand named Zimpli Kids ever so kindly sent me a few of their bestsellers to try out, and I couldn't recommend them enough! If you're looking for something that the kids will love, creates virtually no mess and is wallet friendly,then these are the gifts for you.
You can't beat fake snow, there's no doubt about that. I've bought fake snow every year for the past three or four years now, it just really adds to the Christmas magic. It's only £4.99 for a pack of four bags which will make around 15 snowballs each, and instructions come inside. You can find these bad boys at your local The Entertainer. While these are great for the kids to play with fake snowballs in the garden, fake snow is also super cute to use as decoration (it does dissolve, though) and I'll definitely be putting mine outside the house come Christmas time. Why not use some leftover powder for Santa's footsteps?!
As I mentioned above, this fake snow will dissolve so it's relatively mess free - win, win! (Cute penguin decoration not included, but you can find him at Paperchase)
I can remember having Gelli Baff as a child, so I feel really nostalgic writing about it right now. As a child, I saw bath time as a time for creation and playing (thanks to my mum for faffing with bubbles, and my stepmum for playing every made up game I could think of) and Zimpli Kids' Gelli Baff and Slime Baff make it even more fun.
Slime has really taken the world by storm over the past year or so - I know my eight year old stepbrother likes to make a mess with it. Slime Baff allows for the kids to play with slime without getting it into the p*ssing carpet (as I've definitely said on multiple occasions). Not only is it super easy to create - just add the powder to your bath - but it can also be diluted with more water and drained away, no harm done; trust me, the drainage in my halls is shocking and the slime went down relatively easily. How much fun will this be for the kids?! You can even put some in a bowl, if you've got more patience than I do.
Gelli Baff is the exact same as Slime Baff, just with a chunkier, gel sort of texture instead of slime (if you hadn't already guessed!). The Gelli Baff can't be drained as easily as Slime Baff, thanks to its texture, but Zimpli Kids have already thought of this and have thrown in a dissolver which turns the gel back to water. Once again, no mess!
Bath time will get a whole lot more fun with these two products, or you can even make them in a big bowl for the kids to play with outside (if I can do it in a tupperware tub, you can too!). You can buy a single use of Gelli Baff or Slime Baff for £4.99 each, or you can buy two uses for £9.99 each. Both products come with instructions and the Gelli Baff comes with a dissolver for each use. Don't these just make the best stocking fillers?
Disclaimer: The products used in this post were gifted.
If you're a Bieber fan like me, you'll know November 13th is the date that the Purpose album released three years ago. Well, did you know it's also my birthday? I turn 19 today (which I'm finding very daunting, 19 is not a childhood age anymore) so I thought it would be nice to share with you 19 things that I've learned in my 19 years...should I say 19 again?
1. It can take you a while to find who you are and be true to yourself (a huge cliché, I know). I only realised last week that the place I became most myself was at my workplace back home, and I've stuck by that person through moving to uni in Cardiff (I may have held back on the intensity a bit to begin with). It's pretty nice to be able to say that, on the whole, I like the person that I am.
2. Finding time for yourself is super important. This can be self-care/mental health days or simply giving yourself a half hour or so to read a book - I've set myself the challenge of reading at least a chapter of my current book each day, so that I can switch off.
3. You don't need loads of friends, or to be the most popular. I love having a handful of close friends, and the phrase "quality over quantity" is definitely true when it comes to my friendships.
4. Animals will change your life. I cannot express enough how happy and soothed a cuddle with my dogs or cats makes me feel.
5. Sometimes, things don't go to plan. Your world can be thrown upside down, but you will feel better once you're out the end of it.
6. Exploring new places is one of the best things to do with your spare time. I urge you to travel and explore (even if it's just locally) as much as you can.
7. You should always try to be nice to people, you never know when you may be making someone's day!
8. I hate to sound like a teacher, but getting things done early will reduce stress massively.
9. It's important to understand when and where you're at your most productive.
10. You are always learning things about yourself, make sure you're open to this!
16. You're allowed to crave a Chinese every day of the week.
17. Effort is a two-way thing; it's important to recognise who is and isn't worth your time.
18. Not wearing makeup everyday can lead to a shit load of compliments when you go all out - but also, you should wear as much or as little as you like.
19. Simple home comforts are definitely under-appreciated before you move into halls, I've now learned that nothing can replace a nice hot bath (and that next year's student house must have one).
If you read my recent post, you'll know that I'm trying to dedicate more time to reading now that I don't have to constantly study books for A Level English. Not only am I try to read more but I'm also trying to learn about more things and 'expand my brain', so the next book I decided to pick up was God: A Human History of Religion by Reza Aslan...and oh my god (if you pardon the pun), it blew my mind.
The book revolved around Christianity a little too much for my liking, I would've liked to have seen more major religions included too. However, I can't stress enough how interesting God was and how much I've learned - I was texting people every 2 minutes with a new piece of information. If you're wanting to read something non-fiction and insanely interesting, I'd definitely recommend.
Do any of you read non-fiction - and if so, do you have any recommendations? Let me know if you'll give this book a read, I can guarantee you'll learn something! As always, thank you for reading.
You only have to ask a member of my family to find out that I'm a very messy person. I often have to tell people that while my personal spaces are often super cluttered, I have to be very organised in my mind. You may be thinking, what on earth does that mean? Well, here's a quick post on how I keep myself mentally organised, despite my surroundings (sometimes) being a tip.
Quick side note: I say I'm messy, but I really try and tidy up after myself! (This usually means I tidy my uni room about three times a day, though)
Another way I keep myself organised is to have a routine. I've really struggled with settling into a routine at uni and to be honest I'm not sure I've fully mastered it yet, but it does make a difference. Even though I feel like I'm constantly catching up on sleep, I set myself an alarm for the same time each day; it means that I can get more done in the hours I have and my body isn't being messed about (except for Friday nights!). I also try and set myself "study times", these differ from day to day based on when I'm in university but they really help with discipline, because sometimes I can procrastinate like my life depends on it.
This one may sound a little hypocritical, but a tidy and organised space really does help with an organised mind. I can say that I know where everything is in my room even when it looks like a bomb's exploded but, let's be honest, no one wants to wade through a pile of gym clothes to get to their notebook. Like I said earlier, I try and tidy up after myself as I go along but often I really am like a little tornado. To (sort of) combat this I give my room and bathroom a big clean every Friday, which is conveniently the day I finish the earliest. I do the whole shebang - pick up crap off the floor, organise and clean my desk and shelves, hoover, bleach and clean the bathroom and shower etc - and it makes me feel much better and more mentally organised. It would be nice to not have to do a military-operation clean up once a week but nobody's perfect!
Thank you for giving this little post a read, I really think it's important to have a clean and organised mind to ensure that you're on top of things. My next goal is to be less messy at home! What are your organisation tricks?
I've always loved reading; as a child my nose was always stuck in a book and at school my favourite subject was English Literature. Unfortunately my love for English Lit meant that my love for reading had to take a back seat as I studied it for my A Levels, and I can honestly say I don't think I read more than two books for fun during my entire time studying. Now that I've got some free time I've been reading much more and I thought it would be nice to share some books I've enjoyed every now and then. So enough of my rambling, here's a book I loved.
My mum recommended The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan to me after she read it during our trip to Bournemouth and she couldn't put it down. We both have a very similar taste in books so I took her word for it. To be honest, it took me a while to get into the book as I found the start a little slow and the chops and changes in the timeline are a little confusing but once I'd got into it, I really got into it.
The Keeper of Lost Things follows Laura on her task of fulfilling the last wishes of her employer, a writer. Laura must reunite the (incredibly random) lost items that her employer has collected over the years with their owners. Along the way Laura befriends a wonderful character named Sunshine who will honestly fill your heart with joy, and of course there's the love interest of Freddy, who Laura thinks she isn't 'enough' for and will make you want to rip your hair out.
I think my favourite part of the book was how easy it was to fall in love with the characters, especially Sunshine. I also liked how the ending gave you a very good amount of closure, something not all books do which can leave me struggling to read something new for a while. One thing I wasn't so keen on was (without spoilers) that the plot was a little unrealistic at times, but I understand that this was crucial to the story and it's definitely just my personal preference.
If you're looking for a lighthearted story that will have you a little bit teary (but in a good way) at the end, then The Keeper of Lost Things is right up your street. It's a lovely novel that will definitely warm your heart.
As always, thank you for reading. I'm hoping to write about books more often, now that I've actually got time to read them. What are some books you've enjoyed recently? Please drop me some recommendations!
I'm really not sure how to start or even write this post, so I'm apologising in advance for the inevitable bad writing. As those of you who have read my posts in the past will know, I started university and moved to Cardiff in September. After moving in, I managed to publish a pre-written post, but then I disappeared. So, where have I been?
I've been loving university and I've made some friends already, as well as bagging a job. I headed home this weekend for the first time since moving and it's given me a new lease of life and I'm definitely feeling ready to come back to my blog, so please let me know what you'd like to see. I was planning on doing Blogtober and Blogmas this year, but I'm not going to push myself too much!
Thank you so much for reading/coming back to my blog after my unexplained absence. This post may have seemed a little pointless and 'sulky', but I promise I've got some good stuff planned!
I rarely write about food or cooking on my blog, but that's because I don't do a whole lot of cooking at home. Now that I'm off to uni, I think I'd like to make a habit of writing about some recipes I've tried out and enjoyed. I came across this lamb kofta recipe online and really loved them, so why don't you give it a go yourself?
So there's the easy lamb koftas! They're so quick and straightforward to do, and if I can afford to I'll love making these at university. Let me know if you've tried them out, and please recommend some recipes to me as I'm dying to try new things.
I haven't written a post in my 'Happy Moments' since I fell in love with Washington Square Park over two months ago (!!). If you're new here, my Happy Moments series is where I write about things that have happened recently that have made me really happy. My third post is bittersweet, as the things that have made me happy are people who are all going their separate ways this year.
I sometimes refer to my job on my blog, but I never go into a whole lot of detail about it. Well, I've been working at a restaurant for just under two years and I've met some people who I'm now lucky enough to call my best friends. If you read my post about friendships earlier this year, you'll know I was pretty willing to cut a fair few people off - but none of these!
If you've read my 'Life Update' or 'A Level Results' posts, you'll know that I received my A Level grades and I'm off to uni. While I think these posts of mine may be a little repetitive, I want to touch on how I had to go through Clearing and how the entire process really impacted my mental health.
People who know me will know I get overwhelmed very easily and when I was told that I'd need to decide in two days about moving to somewhere I'd never even been I immediately went into 'freak out' mode. The next day, I'd done a complete U-turn and decided I was going to take a year out. I really enjoy my job and I was hoping I'd be able to get some work experience and travel slotted into the 12 months between now and September 2019. I really didn't want to 'waste' a year, but it honestly seemed like my only option.
En route to visit some family the day of my deadline, my mum and I took a detour to Cardiff so I could get a feel for the city and see if I wanted to defer and go there in 2019. I think sometimes you just know and I immediately really liked it. I was still anxious and unsure of what to do so I phoned up and asked if I could defer - to which they said no. Cue more stress, panic and a biiiig emotional meltdown.
Sorry if my uni related posts seem a bit samey but it's been nice for me to get the whole process out without having to shorten it to one post. The entire week after results really knocked my mental health and I'm glad to say now that I've got a uni place, accommodation and, of course, some freshers' tickets that I'm in a much better place, but that's not to say anyone is meant to take the same path. I guess this is just me saying that I did what I knew would be best for me in the long run and that I'm proud of myself for taking the bull by the horns.
How do you react when things don't go your way?
This past year has been beyond stressful and exhausting in every sense of the word. While I've actually managed to somewhat switch off over the few months between my last A Level exam and results day, all of this stress and exhaustion began to pile back up in the weeks coming up to the big day; I'm not going to sugar coat it, things got worse before they got better.
So, I got my results. I'm actually really pleased with them except for my English grade (which I'm getting remarked), but unfortunately, despite all of my hard work, I didn't get into my first choice university. If you've read my 'future plans' post, you'll know that I no longer wanted to go to my insurance uni so I had to go through the whole clearing process. I will write about the struggles after I got my results and how the whole clearing process went in a second post, however you'll know from my 'Life Update' that I have got a place to start at Cardiff University in September.
Anyway, thank you for reading this little ramble. I promise the second post will be more cohesive. How did you cope when you got your exam results? Let me know!
(PS a little update as this was meant to go up last week: my English grade was remarked and it went up!)
I rarely (read: never) write about my proper personal life on my blog, and I really think it prevents me from creating a true, raw bond with my readers. After having a pretty hectic time recently, I thought I'd write a little life update based around my previous 'future plans' post.
Well, there's a little life update for you! Are you going to uni this year? Or if you're already there, how did you find the beginning? Let me know!
With all of these beautiful, bikini clad Victoria's Secret models swarming my Instagram feed I can often find it hard to appreciate and love the body that I was born with. The phrase "body positivity" is thrown around too much for my liking and I think it now lacks depth, because what does "body positivity" actually mean?
People start their own blogs for all kinds of reasons and I think everyone has their own unique story and background for theirs. I love reading about why other people decided to go into blogging, so here are a few reasons why I wanted to start putting my thoughts onto the internet.
2. I love sharing my experiences with people. Whether it's places I've been, things I've tried or just stuff that's happened in my life or things I've learned about myself ... I just love writing it all down and sharing it with the world. I also really like looking back on past posts and seeing what I've been up to.
Okay, that last point may have been more so why I stick to blogging but even so, I honestly love doing this and I love getting positive feedback. Running a blog is so much fun and if it ever becomes difficult to do (which happened around my exams), I am reminded of how much I enjoy taking the time out of my busy days to sit down and write out my thoughts. As always, thank you for reading.
Please don't take this post personally, it is simply an observation I've made - and please note, I am speaking for myself in this post and use 'we' very lightly. This may also seem like a bit of waffle, because I really am just typing my thoughts.
With the rise of social media and seeing celebrities such as the Kardashians always having the next best thing, I think we've become a lot more aware of what we have in comparison to others - be it our lifestyle or our actual belongings. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford certain luxuries and I know many people save for a long time before treating themselves to a sought after item. My question is; why? Why do we care so much about owning products purely because of their label? I know I'm very guilty of it.
I recently visited New York, and couldn't wait to show off the two new designer bags I'd bought while I was there, yet I failed to tell my followers and Snapchat friends that I'd bought both of the bags half price. The same with my purse and card holder, both designer - one was a gift and the other I bought for a bargain on Depop. Why do I want to show off my labelled items when I know that I haven't paid the full price for them? Does that make me a fraud?
Am I insane for being okay with having no idea what my (near) future holds?
I have always been a very indecisive person (ask anyone) and choices towards the outcome of my near future are no different. Don't get me wrong, I have clear goals in life - to become a journalist, travel to certain places, volunteer work etc - but there are different options in the steps I take to achieving those goals.
There are a few options I could take, and a few I've ruled out. I have applied to university and have luckily got into the best uni in the country for my course (journalism), but the required grades are very high. Of course, there's always the insurance choice, but my second choice changed the structure and content of their course recently and it no longer appeals to me so it will have to be clearing if I don't get my first choice's grades - cue more indecisiveness of where I finally want to go.
An option I totally ruled out was a journalism apprenticeship. I was lucky enough to get an interview with the BBC but I have to be honest and say I didn't think it went that great - which shows, as I didn't get in. After that, I could have applied to ITV, but I decided that I didn't want to dive straight into work just yet and I wanted to experience 'life' a little bit more.
As always, thank you for reading. Sorry if this was a bit rambly (like most of my posts recently) but I do enjoy getting my thoughts out in a somewhat cohesive way.
I love reading other people's blogs, and one of my favourite bloggers (rbekhaj.com) has a series appropriately named 'Small Happy Moments'. I love reading this series because it is so positive and uplifting, and it has reminded me to appreciate some of the smaller things in life. So, I thought I'd try my hand at writing some happy moments myself. Welcome to my first 'Happy Moments' post...I got a (pretty drastic) haircut!
I've never really known what to do with my hair as I'm really lazy with it, but recently a hairdresser friend of mine wanted a model to take with him to London to showcase his work. I had absolutely no say in what he did to my hair and I actually loved what he did - which I was glad about, as I was scared I'd hate it. I've always wanted my hair blonder and have never even considered going darker than my original colour, so it was a bit of a shock to me when I loved the darkish brown he'd dyed my hair (even if the sun has now tinted it lighter). He also put a fringe in and cut a fair bit off the length so my hair's now in a bob; I absolutely love the fringe - something I never thought I'd say - and I like the shape of my haircut, too; I'd like it a little longer just so I can tie it up.
Here are a few before and after pictures.
This haircut has given me such a confidence boost and it was definitely a change that I've been wanting for a while (that 'post breakup haircut'? A year overdue). The change to my appearance has given me a lot of happiness so I felt that it was worthy of my first 'happy moments' post. I hope you enjoyed reading!
Want to read more? Take a peek at my most recent post.
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Is it okay to 'outgrow' your friends?
I have been edging closer and closer to the end of my time studying my A Levels (something that has seemed like an eternity), I've become more and more aware of how many new people I have had the good fortune of meeting and it's also made me realise who are my sorts of "people", and who aren't. I have absolutely no idea where I'm going with this post, so I apologise if this just seems like word vomit.
I think what I'm trying to say is, it's okay to not want to be friends with people and to not want to give them your time and effort. I'm not saying be rude, I'm just saying that you shouldn't feel pressured to go out of your way to make an effort with people when, in reality, they're just not your sort of person. This can also mean old friends, you may begin to realise that these people that you were once inseparable with are no longer your "sort". This is completely fine, and I've realised that these friends may no longer be the sort of people I would choose to socialise with but they share very important memories with me and I still cherish them dearly. It's okay to prioritise yourself and your preferences.
I agree that it is a shame that we outgrow people, but you have to accept that every single person you know has a different life and no one will stay the same forever. Don't get me wrong, I still care about my old friends a lot and I will always want to check up on them and see them but I think it is important to accept that we all need to grow in our own ways and sometimes that unfortunately means leaving good friends behind to do their own growing.
Like I said earlier, I had no idea where this post was going and it may make no sense whatsoever, I think I'm just being a bit reflective on my own life and who the most important people in it are. I know I will always want to keep in touch with my old friends because I did a lot of growing up with them and I love them with all my heart, but at the same time I think we all need to accept that there are other people who may suit you better, and there is nothing wrong with prioritising these people.
As always, thank you so much for reading and I'm sorry if this post was a hot mess. I've just been feeling very reflective recently and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
Like a few of my recent 'Personal' posts, this isn't something I'd usually write about. I think it's gradually become more important to people that we eat well and take care of ourselves. I have actually lost a lot of weight since January and I'm really proud of it. Much like my recent 'Social Media' post, I'm in no way putting myself above others - I simply want to share my experience.
Last year, I absolutely hated my appearance. I really mean that. I would look at my body in the mirror and would struggle to find something I liked. I have an unhealthy relationship with the gym, where I will go from being there five days a week to not going for months. After a breakup last year, I lost a lot of weight. This wasn't intentional, but I struggled to eat and I was going to the gym for hours on end as a means of distraction. Once I was over the initial phase and was back to college, the weight piled back on. Fast forward to my 18th and Christmas-time where I'd go out and drink after every shift (virtually every night) and you've got me looking and, more importantly, feeling unhealthy.
Cue January, the health kick that we all get and me feeling literally repulsive. I had used Herbalife before, but not religiously thanks to the gruesome work hours and just not being able to get into the habit. I was desperate to look and feel amazing.
You're probably wondering what 'Herbalife' is. It's a life changer, in my opinion. It's basically a company that sends you everything you need for a healthy lifestyle, including a meal and workout plan. My most recent (third) order was at the start of March, which cost me £125 and I have some products leftover from my second order.
So, what did I get for all that money? It seems a lot when you look at it like that, but when I spend around £4 a day getting lunch at college and this order covers breakfast too, I think it's a great deal.
This order included two shake powders, I have a milkshake for breakfast and lunch everyday so I buy two different flavours to prevent myself from getting bored. They're surprisingly filling, too! I then bought thermal tablets which I ordered instead of a herbal tea this time, I have one in the morning and two in the afternoon. Mango aloe was also included in my second order, which I can put in my water or tea just for a metabolism boost. I have to be honest, I don't use this as much as I should purely because I forget to which is why I have so much leftover. The last products that come in this order are the vitamins I need for the day, which I take two of before each meal and I take one, specifically for women, at the same time.
On top of using these products, I've been exercising more and regularly. I must say that putting the right things into my body has really made a difference to how I feel on the inside and how I feel about myself. Of course, I have 'cheat days' and an unhealthy snack is no stranger to my diet but I believe it becomes less 'fun' when you're strict with what you eat. Exercise wise, I usually just go to gym classes. I much prefer being in a group and I go with my stepmum which is a big motivator. I also like that these classes have a variety, and are led by people who actually know what they're doing. I think my favourite class is "Circuits", which is an hour of intense (you guessed it!) circuits and it leaves me aching for the next few days - clear evidence that I have worked hard.
Here's a quick before and after. Me on 2nd January (because I was too hungover to move on the first) and me on 20th Feb. This blog post was actually meant to go up at the start of March, but obviously I took some time away from the blog. In the February pictures, I was actually recovering from the flu so had lost some muscle, but I still think the difference is insane.
I think the point of this post is to say that it doesn't take a lot to feel good about yourself. I now have a fairly healthy lifestyle and I can honestly say that eating good changes how you feel about yourself massively. I should probably mention that, since New Year's Eve, I've had three nights out where I've drunk alcohol, it hasn't been intentional to not go out but I believe it's made a difference. I've never felt better and I look healthy, too. I can imagine that I will be putting some weight back on when it comes to exam season because I won't have a lot of time to exercise and I'll probably be comfort eating like it's my religion, but for now I will enjoy the healthy lifestyle I lead.
As always, feel free to drop me a comment (what are your healthy treats? I'm always wanting ideas!) and thank you for reading.