14 March 2018

I’M A TERRIBLE BLOGGER WITH A REALLY NICE RUG


At the start of the year I told myself I wanted to post on here once a week, every Sunday. Realistically that’s not that hard. It’s only spending a two or three hours out of the 168 hours we get in one week so it should be totally doable, right? Well it’s now been over a month since I last posted, so apparently not.

My issue is that I don’t want to post about mundane things like I used to just to get a post up for the sake of it. I want to write about things that matter, things that are of interest and things that will help people. The only problem is that, when you’re not in a good state yourself, it’s really hard to try and help others when all your energy is going into replying to just three emails a week and trudging downstairs to make your 6th coffee of the day.

Over the last two or three weeks I’ve really struggled with sleeping, taking hours to get to sleep and once I’ve finally drifted, waking up with unbelievable night sweats and am simultaneously freezing cold and soaking in sweat. It’s really fab. For someone who really needs her sleep, this has meant everyday I’ve felt like the walking dead, not focussing on anything important, eating crap because I can’t be assed to go to the shop and cook proper food, getting behind on work, emails, blogging and messages, and just feel like a huge poo emoji.


Despite it being a bit of an inconvenience, this is all fine if you’re someone who doesn’t work, doesn’t have jobs to complete, doesn’t have deadlines to meet, and basically has fuck all to do. But as I’m sure 90% of the population will agree, this is not me. In terms of blogging, I’d much rather not but I don’t mind taking a little break if needed, but when there are other people relying on you to publish content, that’s when it gets a bit more difficult and the pressure builds.

I’ll be totally honest with you now. I was sent a few bits from JD Williams in return for a post of some sort on my blog. I'm not a massive fan of those post that have been written purely about gifted products or with nothing else of real value, so I wanted to try and find a different route I could go down other than ‘I really like this cushion because it’s pretty’, or ‘how did I ever survive without this rug in my life’. This is for two reasons. A) it’s complete bullshit - of course I like the items, I picked them out and I like my own taste. Duh. And B) I guarantee you all couldn’t care less as to whether the new cushion has completed my life. You (and completely understandably) want pretty pictures accompanied by writing with value and meaning. And whilst I’m sure this post isn’t going to necessarily help anyone else, it’s meant that I can explain to you all why I’ve been away, it’s helps me as I now don’t have to keep thinking that there’s that post I need to write but I’m not in the right headspace to think of a different take on talking about homeware, and the company doesn’t have to keep emailing asking where the post is (sorry guys, please don't hate me!).

So whilst it’s been a little bit of a different post, I’m going to take it straight back to the main reason of me posting this and pretty much contradict myself - back to the homeware items. Rather than me rambling on anymore, I’ll just let you enjoy a few snaps of the gorgeous bedding set, rug and shade I got and see a little update of how my room is coming along.

 
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ITEMS PHOTOGRAPHED
Teal cushion*, JD Williams
Teal throw*, JD Williams
Rug*, JD Williams
Light shade*, JD Williams
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11 February 2018

WHY I LOVE BEING SINGLE AND YOU SHOULD TOO


This valentine’s, the day of love, relationships, sickly sweet messages and teddies stuffed within an inch of their lives, I’m going to be chatting about being single. And more importantly why I personally love it and how you can to if you should desire that.

Now, if you know me reasonably well you’ll know that I love love. I love being in love, having someone to love and being loved back just as much. I can’t deny that it’s a wonderful feeling and lord knows I’ve done some stupid ass things for love, but what I don’t understand is why there is so much stress put on finding love. There is the whole notion that females are pressured much more into finding someone to marry just so they can have a family and be ‘complete’, whereas males are encouraged to achieve so much more (cue Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s quote featured in Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’). But I’m not here today to relate this subject to feminism or how men and women act or are teated differently with regards to being single. I just want to talk about how single life isn’t actually the terrible demon it’s made out to be (especially around February the 14th where you’re seen as sad and pathetic if you don’t have a bae to share it with).

We all know about the history of marriage and how it was more of a social duty as opposed to something done purely for love. Whether it was to protect a bloodline, exchange wealth or grant property rights, for centuries couples have wed for many a reason other than love. Even now in some countries, women are married off in exchange for some kind of payment. Although most couples in western countries are now marrying for love, it’s still common for people to settle despite not being 100% sure about or happy with their partner (supposedly 42% of marriages now end in divorce, so what does that tell ya?). Of course, biologically we are essentially just made to reproduce so the need to find someone makes sense with regards to churning out as many bubas as you can, but actually staying with one person goes against what is supposedly natural. If anything, it would make more sense to just sleep around and not settle down, but having multiple sex partners, especially if you’re female, is seen as such a shameful thing (to which I say ‘fuck that, do you you boo’).

"It takes a strong person to remain single in a world that is accustomed to setting with anything just to say that they have something”.

Anyway, you didn’t come here for a history lesson or to have stats thrown at you. I just wanted to remind you that you don’t need to have someone for the sake of having someone.  Why does it seem like the only thing in the world that we ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO is find love? And why is it that if you don’t find love then there’s definitely something wrong with you and not that you actually just enjoy your own company or time with friends and family more than with someone who doesn’t help you be a better version of yourself? So again, I say FUCK THAT. If you took love and relationships out of the equation, it gives you so much more time and effort to focus on other incredible things you can achieve!
What I’m trying to say is that, despite what many songs claim, the world does not revolve around love. In the wise words of Michel de Montaigne, a philosopher with a lovely moustache and a rather grand ruff that I discovered on a dodgy quote website, ‘the greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself’ and once you belong to yourself you can choose to let someone else in and share the wonder that is you, or alternatively can stay belonging to yourself, not answering to anyone and making decisions that always puts number one first. I’m in no way saying that no one should find love and that if you’re in a relationship that you need to get out before you become part of the 42%-divorce-rate-gang. If you’re happy then I’m happy for you. This post is just focussed at those who are single at the moment and are thinking of it as the worst thing in the world. You don’t tell yourself you’re a pathetic human who is failing at life for not having that particular jumper you want, so why put yourself down for not having that particular partner? People say ‘oh you’re so wonderful, I can’t believe you don’t have a boy/girlfriend’, but they wouldn’t say ‘oh you’re so wonderful, I can’t believe you don’t own a house’. Two different goals, but you’ve simply been conditioned to think that one thing is more important than another. Why not brush off what everyone else believes and decide for yourself what is the most important thing for you to grow and become the best person you can be? If you still believe that finding love is than, then I encourage that. But if, like me, you’re in the mind set that factors like health and work are what is going to be most productive for you at this time, then focus on that.
In the meantime I’ve made a little playlist of my favourite ‘fuck yeah I’m single’ songs that I highly encourage you to strip down into your underwear and dance in front of the mirror to. Trust me, you’ll feel absolutely fucking fabulous.

 
 
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OUTFIT
hat*, lotd
belt, primark
boots, new look

PHOTOGRAPHY
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28 January 2018

LIFE LESSONS - LOVE LIFE, HEALTH & MOVING HOME


For me, 2017 was one of the most important years of my life. I learnt how to fall in love with myself, rediscover happiness and realise how powerful and important solitude is. I may go further into those individual things a little more at a later date, but I wanted to share four of the smaller things I learnt that led me to those final outcomes.
ONE
SELF CARE DOESN’T HAVE TO TAKE HOURS

‘Self-care’ is a phrase that’s getting thrown about a lot at the moment but it seems to me as something that’s unfortunately not fully appreciated for what it can do. Although it can be something as simple as a face mask, it’s not just a case of smearing some strange product all over your face for 10 minutes and you’re instantly in a better mood. It’s about taking a moment out from the over thinking, over stressing and over worrying that occurs daily. It really doesn’t have to take hours either. Just a quick 10 minutes break spent relaxing, meditating and clearing your head will honestly do wonders for you. Last year, I often scheduled in a time for me to just stop as otherwise I would force myself to keep going until it was bad for me. A quick and easy option I’d suggest trying is something like a facial steamer as it takes only 6 minutes, allows you to zone out and meditate whilst the treatment is taking place, and leaves you feeling pampered and refreshed.
TWO
GOING BACKWARDS SOMETIMES MEANS GOING FORWARDS

Moving back into your parent’s home is seen as such an embarrassing thing as, once you’ve left home, gone to uni and lived on your own for a few years, why wouldn’t it seem like you’re going backwards? Well, I'mma tell you why. I moved back in with my parents last year and it’s one of the best things I’ve done to propel my life forwards. You can read more about it in a post I wrote here, but for a quick overview it has meant I see my best friend, my Mum, every single day; I don’t have to pay for bills or an extortionate amount of rent allowing me to pay off debt so much quicker and save for future adventures; I live each day with he security and freedom of knowing I have a base but am not tied down to anything at all; and possibly the most important of them all - I HAVE A FUR BABY AGAIN!
THREE
LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY AND IT WILL LOOK AFTER YOU

Unlike many others I know, my body and mind has an incredibly low tolerance for being treated badly through diet and exercise (or lack of). For example in my first year of uni, I ate so badly and moved about such a little that I put on two stone in a matter of months and come Easter, I had to leave uni and defer as my body was in such a mess, I wasn’t able to do normal activities like go to lectures or spend less than 30 minutes on the loo if you know what I’m sayin’.
I started using Gousto last year and it was incredible for teaching me to cook, learning about what foods I do and don’t like, and discovering how easy it is to eat healthily even with a busy schedule. I also worked out pretty consistently all year (I would go a few weeks sometimes doing absolutely nothing but that only made me remember why I started). Making little healthy changes really doesn’t have to take a long time either. After the gym the other day I made these pancakes which took only 10 minutes and on days I don’t do a full on work out, I just do a few sit ups, press ups, squats and runs up and down the stairs which again only takes about 10 minutes. Something is better than nothing and you always have time for a little something.
FOUR
LOVE IS NOT THE BE ALL AND END ALL

If you know me well enough, you’ll know my love life has been a bit of a rollercoaster to say the least but the main thing I learnt last year is the importance of being on my own. For my whole adult life, I’ve been with someone, whether it’s in a full blown relationship or just seeing someone. I realised that I rely heavily on justification from other people and I just wasn’t cool with that anymore. I decided to stay clear of any potential loves for a while, or at least until I feel completely full by myself. As my friends and I say, ‘you need to learn to be a whole ice cream sundae by yourself, yes someone can eventually be a cherry on top, but that’s just a nice extra that isn’t actually needed’ (side note - I absolutely hate glacĂ© cherries so kinda love this analogy even more because of that). I definitely have more to talk about on this subject as solitude is something I’ve become really passionate about so that’s another post coming in the future!

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OUTFIT
hat, old
trousers, gifted from India
boots, vintage
earrings*, lotd

PHOTOGRAPHY
DISCLAIMER
 This is a post in collboration with Panasonic
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15 January 2018

HEARTBREAKING REALITY CHECKS


Today’s post is a little different. The start of it was written a few weeks ago but wasn’t finished before something sad happened. It taught me that when you start to feel sad about something (or someone) silly, there is always something far more important to focus on. I’ll fill you in, but first here is the start of the previous post:

    ‘Today’s post was going to be about what happened after my suicide attempt last year but I’ve been feeling really poo today.

When I’ve come such a long way from feeling how I did this time last year to where I have been recently, it’s a wonderful, exhilarating feeling but it’s also a little terrifying. I’m scared that despite doing well, the tiniest thing will tip me over the edge and I’ll be back to that dark place again.

I understand people have down days. It’s completely human. But it’s scary as fuck for someone like myself who doesn’t know how far this feeling will go. Will I be ok in a few hours or a couple of days? Was it just a funny turn in my hormones or chemicals in my brain that will sort themselves out? Or is it the start of last year all over again. As I’m sat typing this right now, the urge to cry is overwhelming. But I can’t do it. What if I start crying and can’t stop? If I cry, am I allowing these feelings to control me and will end up letting in more and more until I’m sat, shaking and howling, and thinking about wanting to end it all? I am genuinely terrified of feeling anything right now.

Perhaps it’s just that I need to start taking my usual higher dose of anti-depressants now. In summer I have either 5 or 10mg depending on my mental state, but in winter it’s always been 20mg no matter what. At one point I asked the doctor if I could have more, but they told me I was taking the most I could before it would start damaging my brain. But then I’m confused as these feelings haven’t been slowly building up, it’s been all of a sudden this week (come to think of it, I started feeling like crap since seeing a certain person who I shan’t name but I’m sure that will have had something to do with it). I’m just frustrated that, if it is that person that’s made me feel like this, then why the hell can’t I control my mind?! How can I let something like another person affect me so much?! I know, I know. It’s normal. People make you feel all kinds of things. But I’m just angry at myself for letting it control me so damn much. COME ON BRAIN, WE’VE GOT THROUGH SO MUCH WORSE THAT THIS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS FOR NOW!?’


After that, I stopped writing and was about to start getting ready for bed before the evening took a bit of a turn. My Step-Dad got a call from the hospital where my Grandad had just been taken to say he wasn’t well, it wasn’t looking good and that he and the family should come as soon as we are able. As I’m sure you could tell, I’d started to feel sad that day about a stupid fucking boy and by the end of the night I was having a panic attack, bawling my eyes out from a doctor telling me my Grandad didn’t make it. Only a few hours before I was terrified of letting my emotions out and crying over someone who doesn’t even deserve my tears, and now I was faced with the fact I’d never see my Grandad again. Needless to say, the thoughts from earlier were laughable in comparison and were pushed not only to the back of my head, but right out of my brain where they would never return.

Sometimes life throws things at you to shake you and wake you up to reality. This was a pretty huge shake and one I would have much preferred if I could have learnt the lesson in a less heart-breaking way, but alas.

Next time you start to feel sad or waste precious energy on silly things or people who shouldn’t have such an effect on you, just remember that there are other much more pressing things to be thinking about and until then happen, don’t let any weedy little thing upset you.

14 January 2018

HOW TO REALLY MOTIVATE YOURSELF - TEN WAYS THAT ACTUALLY WORK


Motivation is one of those things you either have in a day or you simply don't. But that's not to say if you wake up in a I-really-can't-be-fucked mood that you have no hope and should just try again tomorrow. I like to pride myself on being a pretty motivated person (when I'm not a depressed slump but yakno how it is). Whether it's a Monday or a Sunday, my alarm is set for 7am and I'll be up and active by 7.30/8 at the latest. I rarely have a day where I don't have some kind of plan or list in place and, whilst to some of you I'm sure that sounds like hell, I actually love it as being productive is one of my most favourite feelings.

So because of this, as well as a couple of friends saying recently that they're feeling a bit down and unmotivated recently, I wanted to share some of the best things you can do to start and stay motivated everyday, from little daily changes to improving your mindset all together.



ONE
Make a to-do list (no shit sherlock). But I mean a specific to-do list. Think of it more like a plan. It needs to be manageable and completable, not a ridiculous series of incredibly difficult tasks that no one could possibly achieve in one day. And on that note, I’d advise making a weekly list initially. When writing a list, most people tend to put down the same number of tasks whether it is to be completed on one day or over a whole week. If you make a weekly one, you automatically focus on the main priorities of that week, meaning once that is split up into 7 days, it’s a lot more achievable. Just think, if I were to write a combined list of everything I’d ideally like to get done in one day over one week, I’d have about 40 things to do and you can imagine how well that would go.


TWO
Still on the note of to-do lists, write the weeks to do list on a Sunday ready for the next week. On the Monday you will wake knowing the exact plan of action for that week and, if divvied up from Monday to Sunday, you will know which handful of tasks to complete on that day. And even better if you can, I like to tick off one of the tasks on the Sunday too as this starts me off already on the right track.



THREE
This one is painfully clichĂ© but I can’t pretend it doesn’t work for me. Find some kind of visual, whether it’s a stimulating image or an inspirational quote that really gets you going and set it as your phone background. Mine is currently a quote that reads:

“DO SOMETHING TODAY THAT YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU FOR”.

Everyday I will end up looking at that quote God knows how many times, and it reminds me to do something, whether it is big or little, that my future self will be grateful for. It also means that when I head to bed, put my phone on the side and I read it again, I think of the things I did to complete that task and feel glad knowing it wasn’t a wasted day.


FOUR
Work out (and write down if it helps) what your goal actually is. You need a motive to be motivated, so clearly think about what it is you want to achieve, what specific steps you can take to get started, and focus on that for a few minutes before you start. If it’s something you desperately long for, it will also get you excited about the prospect of achieving it and we all know excitement is something that fuels motivation.



FIVE
Look at other people achieving what you want, but don’t use it as a reason to feel sorry for yourself and that you should be ashamed because you’re not there yet. Look at them as an example. It’s proof that someone has been able to accomplish the goal you want for yourself, that it’s actually possible, and that there’s no reason it can’t be you too if you’re willing to put in the time and effort like they have. If the information is available, also make notes on ways they got to where they are and start looking into how you can do these too.


SIX
Bringing it back to daily tasks, do those little things that you know get you in a positive mood. For me, I know I will have a productive day if I get up early, make my bed, head to the gym, and have a healthy breakfast. Even if I then don’t do anything on my to-do list for a couple of hours, I know I’ve started the day in a good way (and have already done one thing my future self will thank me for, those squats were hard today but you’re welcome future peachy bum) and can easily pick up that motivation again at any point.



SEVEN
Similar to points three and five, look at anything that you take inspiration from. If you’re a creative person, type in your goal or related terms into Pinterest and feel inspired by that. If you’re a book worm, read your favourite quotes or a bit from the book that makes motivation flow through you like a lightening bolt. If you’re an exercise enthusiast, look through old pictures and at yourself now to see the amazing progress you’ve made and picture what you can achieve in even more time. If you’re a music lover, put on that playlist that gets you pumped and ready to get shit going no matter where you are or what you’re doing.


EIGHT
Spend five minutes clearing your space, both mental and physical. If you have things on your mind, dates to remember, people to reply to, tasks you mustn’t forget, spend a few minutes just writing them down on a piece of paper and clear them from your head. You can go back after you’ve completed your tasks to organise these thoughts into diaries, texts or to-do lists, but for now just get them out of your brain. Be sure to also do the same for your work space. Clear it of old mugs, stray pens, and piles of unseen-to paperwork and start fresh with a clean desk.



NINE
Stop procrastinating. Easier said than done, right? Actually no, not at all. Put simply, procrastinating is getting distracted therefore focus is the elimination of distraction. Whatever your distraction, whether it be your phone, computer, friend, pet, etc, put it somewhere out of sight. I don’t just mean on a table next to you. I mean put it in a box and put it under the sink (not advised for the friend or pet). Literally remove anything you can be distracted by and start. Go and sit on the damn bathroom floor if you need to.


TEN
Just fucking start. Like, literally just start. Starting can be the hardest thing of all so even if you only write one small paragraph of your essay then stop or you only roughly trace out the design you need to create then stop or you only make a list of three easy exercises you want to do then stop, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll finish, the sooner you achieve something.



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OUTFIT
hat, old
jumper*, lotd
trousers*, miss pap
boots and belt, primark
watch, fit bit

PHOTOGRAPHY
Olivia Madeley
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