Lifestyle, Fashion and travel

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Magnetic Island

Oh dear Maggie, what a beautiful Island! 

I had the pleasure of snabbing the ferry from Townsville (home to the Power Puff Girls just FYI) over to the gorgeous Magnetic Island for a couple of blissful days in the sun between adventure filled, blissful days in the sun!


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Friday, 8 December 2017

November Favourites

IT'S DECEMBER!! TREE IS UP, TUNES ARE ON, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I'VE WATCHED ELF AT LEAST 3 TIMES NOW!

Honeys, the countdown is officially on!

And I thought I'd share a bit of a round-up of some of the bits I've been loving this November...


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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Reasons for Recovery...

Sometimes when things get hard it's very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I find sometimes that dealing with a mental illness is tough but that the scariest part is when the thought actually occurs to you that you won't get better, that you're stuck like this. And of course, that can be unbearable and that's when dark thoughts start to come in.

But I believe - easy to say when in a good mood, I know (but these are the times we need to hang onto to remember that bad days pass) - that everyone can recover. Fully recover. Everyone.

Good ways to help you stay on track is to make a list of the reasons why you want to recover;

Here are some of mine;

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Monday, 27 November 2017

Bars & Restaurants in Budapest

We most definitely went to a fair share of bars and restaurants while in Budapest and unfortunately I was too engrossed in the food/cocktail/lighting wasn't good in the evening that I didn't take that many photos. 

Luckily I did take a few snaps of some of our favourite spots!

Probably the top restaurant, for me, that we found was Rustico. It was such a lovely restaurant with lovely staff and gorgeous food.


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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Have I Changed Since Travelling?

Morning all, 

If, by some odd chance, you didn't already know - I've just been travelling in some of the best countries in the world (Australia & NZ, duh!) and have just returned from the most amazing 3 month holiday!


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Monday, 20 November 2017

Setting Sail for the Whitsunday Islands

Well Hello again to everyone!

After a very elongated leave of absence (I gave up attempting to blog when travelling in the end, far too busy and far too expensive to find decent wifi!) I've returned to the ol' Great Britain and FINALLY downloaded all the millions of photos and videos I've been taking over the last 3 months!

SO today's post is about the incredible sailing trip to the Whitsunday Islands off Airlie Beach in Queensland and why it needs to be high on your list of things to do in Australia!

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Friday, 29 September 2017

A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Getting Ready When You’re Running Late

Hello again, sorry to be so absent lately, been all go out here in Australia! And as I've been so distant and busy (+ lack of good wifi) I have another guest post by the brilliant Amy Goldsmith! 


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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Insider's Guide to Australia: Off the Beaten Track

Happy Hump Day to everyone out there! Again sorry for my elongated absence - it's true that Australian hostel wifi is really not the best, oh and I have been rather busy with all this backpacking malarkey! Hoping to get a few more posts up in the next few weeks though! (But don't hold me to that)
This post is - as you've by no doubt guessed - a guide to some of those not so obvious places in Australia that you really should add to your bucketlist. I'm happy to say I've ticked off a few and have now got some more great ideas for when I head a bit further down the coast. This post has been written by the lovely Amy from highstylife.com - a true Aussie and therefore I fully trust that she's got some good insider's tips!

Image 1 - Sydney - Featured image, Source
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Amazing Uncle Brian's Tour - Part 2

Woo! So I finally found a computer in which I could download some of my camera (better) photos to finally put together part 2 of my Uncle Brian's tour post! 

This one was the Cape Tribbbin trip which was a whole day (food included) and we went to;

Port Douglas

Cape Tribulation

Daintree Rainforest (oldest rainforest in the world just FYI)

Crocodile Tour


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Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Amazing Uncle Brian's Tour - Part 1

Hi again! I'm still here I promise, things just might be a bit slow as I'm pretty busy with the amazing-ness of Australia right now!

Little update, I've been alone and in Cairns for 3 days now! It's incredible, I'll just tell you now! I've been staying at Mad Monkeys which is a lovely hostel by the way - so clean and close to everything and the people working here are so friendly and helpful! (They also offer free breakfast, which is actually really nice and a free BBQ on Saturdays which was a godsend yesterday when I didn't have time to go out shopping!)

So far I've been on a lush hike up Mount Whitfield by the Botanic Gardens, a hilarious pub crawl round all the fab bars/clubs in Cairns, a trip to the lagoon and markets and a bike ride along the sea front plus a free BBQ! 

And yesterday, I went on my first tour which - although it's my first and I have nothing to compare it to - was incredible! I went off on a tour round the beautiful waterfalls of the Atherton Tablelands with Uncle Brian's tours and I 100% rate it! There was about 13 of us plus our awesome guide Sid (who was blooming hilarious), who went off on a mini-bus out to the Atherton tablelands playing all sorts of hilarious games and singing along to some great tunes along the way!


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Friday, 11 August 2017

Sunrise in Sydney


G'day mates! 

Yep that's right, the time has actually come that I'VE MADE IT TO AUSTRALIA!! 

And I know I've only been here 2 days but, so far it's everything I dreamed it would be!

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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Graduation and Blog decisions

Well. What a wirl-wind eh? Who'd have thought I'd actually come out with a degree?

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Monday, 31 July 2017

Summer Driving*

I hope you're all enjoying this lovely sun! 

Now that all schools/unis are broken up, I'm sure many of you have some lovely trips planned. Whether they be short mini breaks to the beach or the country or luxury holidays abroad, with hotter climates and sunny days it's worth knowing how it can affect our cars and our driving.

I had recently read a similar post by Sophia here, which I thought was so useful and taught me things I hadn't known, which I think are really good to keep in mind around this time of year. So I've done my own post in collaboration with a UK car tyre dealership network, where you can buy tyres online in a few easy steps at Point S, to remind you how to drive safe in the summer.


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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Current Fave Bloggers

Morning all! I'm so sorry I haven't been very active lately, there'll be a post up soon on that hopefully! But I've finally got round to posting and I thought it'd be lovely to do a little post sharing some of my inspiration lately in the form of some of my favourite bloggers! These gals never fail to make me smile and I always love each and every one of their posts, so here we go...


Mollie Bylett ~ Where's Mollie

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Last few days in York

I never thought I'd say it, but I'm genuinely really sad to be leaving York. It's probably one of the most beautiful and kind and lovely cities I've visited and I really mean it when I say it's been a pleasure to call this place my home for the past 3 years.


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Monday, 10 July 2017

First Glimpse of Budapest


Well, isn't Budapest just one of the most beautiful cities you've ever seen?


No doubt by now I'll have posted a hell of a lot of the gorgeous city photos I have on my 3 cameras but if by any chance you haven't seen them, here's a bunch! Oh and I thought I'd add in a few bits of our itinerary in case you're planning of heading out there!

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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Letter of Recovery

Dear my beautiful son/daughter, 

I want you to know just how much I love you. I want you to know how much I want you. I want you to know that I will get you. I promise.

I may not be ready or capable right now, but I'm trying. I know I need to try harder, but I'm trying to stay healthy for you. For the ability to carry you and keep you safe. 

One day I will be ready. I will have all the abilities to create you inside me, because I know that you will be the most incredible thing to ever happen to me. I know that whatever I feel and think about myself, that the ability to look after you is the most beautiful and courageous thing I could ever do.

You put things into perspective for me.

You remind me what life is about.

You give me a purpose.

And I can't wait for the day when I learn about you. When I feel you inside me. When I speak to you and you speak to me. For when I see you for the first time. When we meet and I realise it's all worth it. 

I owe you everything. You are the one that will get me through this. You are my motivation.

I get scared sometimes, that maybe I'll never meet you. That's it's too late and I've ruined it. But I can't afford to think like that. For you, I must stay strong and determined. 

And I will. 

I promise.

Goodnight my angel. I look forward to meeting you someday!


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Monday, 3 July 2017

Getting to Know New Bloggers

So I've been nominated by the wonderful Megan from Meganbethblogs for the Liebster Award which is basically a way for bloggers to interact a bit and get to know other bloggers! It involves the nominator asking 11 questions and the nominees then answer the questions in a blog post and then at the end of their blog post they ask 11 new questions of their own to 11 nominees of their choice.


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Monday, 26 June 2017

Bluebells

Summer is here, I've said it! It's summer, exams are over and the sun is out (most days anyway, thanks England!) I know bluebells are more of a Springy thing and yes these photos were taken back in April but I loved them anyway and I still think this outfit is great for summer too!

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Life is Too Short

I know a lot of people have published posts about the tragic event in Manchester just weeks ago, (edit: and now many of the other terrible events that have yet followed) and I wasn't quite sure whether or not to post this, but it's still a valid point that I was only reminded of due to the events. Although this will continue to haunt a great number of people, I and many others who weren't directly affected (of course we're all affected but what I mean by that is those who weren't there/knew anyone there), will now have moved on and continued with our everyday lives. This post is simply a little reminder that although life goes on and we must continue to work and live, this has just proved once again how short life can be and how important it is to live the life we enjoy and are proud of.

It makes me think about the number of young children and people at different stages of their lives, not only through the recent attacks or the Grenfell Tower fire but through a whole number of other causes throughout the world who have lost their lives. And this is heart shuddering. I'm not saying I'm wasting my life and I'm not saying that we need to be happy or grateful every moment of every day, but just being thankful for living, is sometimes are very simple but necessary task.


To be thankful simply for the opportunity to experience today and likely tomorrow. To make the most of the time I have and to fulfill the life I would be proud of.

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Monday, 19 June 2017

My Australia Bucketlist

So it's not actually that long until I make the all exciting trip to Australia!! EEEEPP!! Good Golly I can't bloody wait!

I'm first heading out in August with my family for a mini holiday as I'm heading off and travelling all on my lonesome and I'm slightly absolutely terrified of it! Being a slightly social but highly anxious and sometimes proper introvert, I'm very much nervous about heading off with no plans living and travelling round a country I've never been to that's on the complete opposite side of the world!

But you know, that's what you've got to do when you're young right! Make the most whacky and perhaps stupid decisions you can and then regret them later - however I'm quite sure there's no possible way you can 'regret' a trip to Australia.

Firstly I'm going to say, I have no definitive plans. There's things I would like to see and experience but as of yet I have not booked anything! Not even a flight home! I haven't booked flights around the country, hotels or hostels, or transport or anything! It's kind of freaking me out...

I would very much appreciate any tips from anyone who's been travelling - to tell me if that's completely reckless and stupid or if I've got nothing to worry about and I can literally get these on the door kind of thing??

I've now got myself my working holiday visa and am all set up and ready to go! I'm planning on heading up to Cairns to begin with, because it's warmer up there and August is Australia's winter! Then I'm gonna hop on the Greyhound bus (quick question from past travellers - is it a good idea to buy my bus ticket before I go?) and head on all the way down to Melbourne, obviously stopping off along the way!


Anyway enough of the ramble, here are a couple of the bits on my itinerary;


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Monday, 12 June 2017

What You're Feeling is OK

Edit: I had other plans for today's post, but I came across this from last week and thought I'd share it.

So I'm sat here, home from my very last exam for my degree (it went shit, but I'm not bothered, it's finally over!!) and though I'm a little tipsy and pretty tired (after waking up at 6.30 and 5 glasses of Courtyard Pimm's) I'm not ecstatic. 

I'm lying in bed, eating cookies and banana bread my housemate baked, and anticipating tonight, and tomorrow. I'm thinking again about the fact that I should could have gone for a run yesterday, when it was nice weather and I had the chance. When I didn't have other plans/wasn't hungover. 

I'm thinking about the Pimm's I drunk today. The bacon and brie panini I had for lunch. The cookies and cake I'm currently eating. The Prosecco and alcohol I will drink tonight. The takeaway I'll probably have. The endless amount of carbs and sugar I will eat tomorrow, while lying in bed watching Netflix all day.

And what's on my mind isn't enjoyment or celebration. But bad calories. Fat. I'm feeling a bit lousy and squishy and unattractive and it's making me think that I won't enjoy myself tonight. And that's annoying, as it's the one and only time I'm ever going to finish a degree (believe me there's no chance I'm doing another one!) 


But the good thing, the thing that's different from how I used to be, is that these thoughts aren't controlling me. (In fact I'm continuing to eat more cookies)

These thoughts, though they're there, I can recognise as my ED, not me. It's not controlling me. I can rationalise, and not panic, like perhaps I used to.

I understand that these habits aren't 'healthy' if I do it all the time, but seriously a couple of days of celebration won't impact my body that much.

And what if it does? Putting on a few pounds doesn't make me a bad person. It doesn't mean I can't enjoy my night out and celebrations. And it doesn't make me any less beautiful!! 

So if you ever get these feelings, ED or not, just know that you're f****** gorgeous anyway! You are you, tall/short, big/small, big boobs/small boobs, blue eyes/brown eyes, you are beautiful.

So whether you're celebrating end of exams like I am, or celebrating anything, or even just celebrating another day done, do something tonight without worrying. Eat the cake and binge Netflix, Have another drink, another slice of pizza, whatever you want. Just enjoy it. 


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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Have Your Say

VOTE! BLOODY DO IT!

It's the day people! And this post is a final plea to get anyone who might read this to quickly take those 5/10 minutes out of their day to pop down to your local voting poll and fill out that form! Please! 

Now more than ever, we as a nation need to stand up and contribute to society! We are all responsible for this country and need to work together to pull it back together so that we can help the rest of the world!


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Monday, 5 June 2017

Shit When's Father's Day!?*

So Father's, men in general (in my family anyway) are THE WORST to buy for! They just don't want anything! So I've had to up the anty and go looking for something different this Father's Day. 

Ok, not going to lie, I completely forgot about Father's Day - in my defense final year exams kind of took up most of my attention - until I got a lovely email from UncommonGoods telling me about their site. Upon checking it out I loved some of their ideas and thought some were perfect for those dads who are tough nuts to crack when it comes to finding the perfect gift! 


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Monday, 29 May 2017

How to Study?

So I'm sure I'm not the only one who still finds it bewildering that I can somehow remember the entire 10 seasons script to F.R.I.E.N.D.S, yet can I remember anything to do with Lysosomal Storage Disorders? - Absolutely not!

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Monday, 22 May 2017

3 Skincare Gems

Now I'm definitely not a beauty blogger! I know diddly squat about skin care and look a bit like I've been punched in the face any time I attempt to use eye shadow! But I have definitely been on the hunt over the last few years, trying many a different product, drinking loads of water etc etc to try and get rid of ma damn spots! Now I don't have acne as severe as many others - it's not a condition, I literally just think due to messing my poor hormones around over the last however many years, they're coming back kicking and screaming (oh and there's chocolate and alcohol which probably doesn't help) ... HOWEVER (ramble over) over the last few months I've been using these products below and I've noticed a mahooosive change! So much so that I haven't worn make-up - partly because I don't need to, partly because I care less - for over a month! And that may sound like nothing, I know an awful lot of lucky buggers who never wear makeup and get a spot perhaps every couple of months, but for me (and I'm sure I'm not alone) I usually had at least one - more likely a few - lovely white mountains somewhere quite clearly visible! And I was very conscious of them, so I'd wear a lot of foundation and powder to cover said lurkers up.



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Monday, 15 May 2017

Workaway: My first experience

Last summer me and my best friend took a 10 day trip to the south of France to undertake a holiday through the company Workaway. I basically found this business on, I think, a list of ways to travel on a budget - I wasn't asked/paid to go or to review it, I just think it's a great idea and don't know anyone else who knows about it, so thought I'd explain a bit...

How it works is basically you pay for membership for 2 years (either alone $29/~£23 or as a pair $38/~£30 for both of you) and as a 'workawayer' you can read hosts advertisements from all over the world. Hosts advertise work they need doing - could be anything from a bit of gardening, maybe some cooking or teaching a language to helping renovate and set up an organic farm or hostel - and in exchange for this work (usually around 3-5hrs per day) the hosts offer free accommodation (and sometimes food and transport) to the workawayer/s that offer to help.



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Thursday, 11 May 2017

4 Things I Try To Live My Life By

1. Do one good thing for someone else everyday

If we all did this, the world would be a much happier place! And I mean, is there anything better than that feeling of having helped make someone happy or made their day better? This kind of leads onto my next point but I think that being generous and willing to help others, makes us all much better people which makes us (as well as the person we helped) feel better! I also believe that if you do good things for others, they will do good things to you.


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Monday, 8 May 2017

An Experience of Anorexia Nervosa

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I was brainstorming ideas for posts that I could share to impart some wisdom. But I then came across a draft of a post I wrote a while ago and thought a better way to promote awareness and kick off Mental Health Awareness Week (8th-14th), rather than giving advice on such a broad subject I don't really know a lot about, was to share my story. Plain. Simple. Exposed. So here goes.


I remember the day I was diagnosed. I remember walking into the hospital with my mum and dad and hearing them tell me I was suffering from Anorexia Nervosa. It was in April 2010. It didn't shock my mum or dad. They knew. It shocked me. I had no idea what I was doing to myself. What these habits and these thoughts were making me do to myself and my body. I cried. I felt hopeless. Everything I knew and was confident about for a long time before that, was my exercise routine and eating (what I thought was) 'healthily'. Everything I was clinging onto for happiness was about to come crashing down around me. 

I was 15. I was a smart, logical and mature girl. I listened to the therapist and nutritionist and my parents and my family. All telling me what I was doing and how to recover. They told me minimum recovery time was usually around 2 years. I remember thinking I could beat those odds. That I wasn't like other 'anorexics' I wasn't really anorexic. I had everything under control. I'd just gone a bit too far, that's all. All I had to do was eat more food, and get to a healthy weight. Simple.


'It's a hard process. Moving out of a comfort zone you've pushed yourself to the very limit to achieve. Having to do things that go against everything your mind and your body is telling you to do. Because you've driven it into this state of starvation. It was torture. I'd try and tell myself it's for the best. Trust the adults. Trust your parents. Trust the professionals. 

But it's easier to say isn't it. It's easy to say eat this, you need it. All they think about is my weight and my physical health. But what about my mental health. What about my body. They don't care if I get fat and ugly. They don't care if I'm unhappy, just as long as I'm a healthy BMI. But I care though. I'm the one that has to live with it. I'm the one that has to look at my body everyday. I'm the one that would have to live alone forever, always being the other girl. The one you forgot the name of. The plain, ordinary, nothing special girl. I'm the one in photos that you're not jealous of. The one with the bucked teeth and a massive nose and a big, square, manly body. The one you don't quite take notice of. I couldn't be that person again. I just couldn't.'


'You see, for me, my eating disorder wasn't a cry for help. Not for anyone else's help anyway. It was an attempt to gain a sense of worth for myself. To prove to myself that I was someone. I was always overwhelmed at the thought of being such an insignificant person in this world who hasn't really got anything to offer. I tried so hard in everything I did and yet I still felt insignificant. I wasn't good at anything. Well that's a lie, I was. I was in the top sets at school, I always did well. I had the most wonderful friends and family. Sometimes I think I shouldn't be allowed to have an eating disorder. To have a mental illness, let alone talk about it or seem like I'm complaining. My life was amazing. Is amazing. There are people in this world who would do anything for what I had. For a loving family, parents happily married, all healthy and happy. To have the most amazing friends. To have financial security, food and clean water, a roof over our heads. Education. Healthcare. I could go on and on. Who am I to be suffering, when there are people who have had actual traumatic experiences resulting in their thoughts and worries. I've just brought this on myself. Stupid, unthankful girl. 

I think I felt insecure. I still do. We all do, I guess. I had (still do, love them all to bits) very high-flyer friends. So I was the quiet one. The 'other' one. I deemed myself the follower. The one that wasn't quite good enough to be in that group. I wasn't as funny. I wasn't as smart. I wasn't as confident. I wasn't as pretty. Maybe being thin and fit and attractive could be my thing. People seem to like attractive people. Maybe if I work hard enough, I could be like that. Maybe then I won't feel as worthless, I'll be more confident and I'll have something to offer.'



These are just some words that I'd written a while back on different occasions and edited slightly to put together. I want to stress that, while I still occasionally get old thoughts and urges and am not yet fully recovered, I'm definitely not in that place anymore and I'm in a much better mindset and physical state to keep getting healthier. And I'm much happier. My stage in recovery is down to a lot of hard work, tears, love and support from my friends and family (who I basically owe my life to, so thanks guys) - but it's happened. It's possible. Just now writing this, I can vividly remember several times over the last 7 years when I didn't think it would ever be possible (one only a few months ago in fact, but that's another story). And they'll still be times when I feel unworthy and insecure, because changing your thought process doesn't change overnight, but I'm getting better and with each day of thankfulness and happiness, it gets that much easier and the ana inside me gets that much smaller. Controlled by me now, not the other way around.

I know my experience is very different to a lot of others but here I am sharing mine, if you don't agree or relate or this post conjures up bad thoughts, please just don't read it and close the tab straight away. I know most/if not all the people who read my posts are lovely, kind and open-minded people and I love you all so much - but if you're reading this thinking of a not-so-nice comment to post, please don't - you don't realise how much damage it can do! I feel very self-conscious publishing this type of stuff, but hearing it help just one or two people encourages me to do it.

There are many reasons I'm sure for the development of this and other mental illnesses, and it's most definitely not anyone's fault. I do still feel judgement towards myself sometimes when I actually type out these kind of thoughts, but it's just one of those things that unfortunately affects 1 in 4 of us. And it sucks. And it's hard. But it's temporary. It's an illness. It's not us. 


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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Why I'm not Scared of Finishing University

Ok pinch me... the other day I had to register for my Graduation! *Draw drops, Eyes widen* Ho-ly S*** 

Being third year, fastly approaching the leap into real adulthood *Gulps*, I've definitely been subject to many a 'So have you got any plans?' comment or a 'Have you started applying for jobs/grad schemes?' and in answer to all those questions;

Nope.

A big fat Nope!

I've not applied for a single graduate scheme, or job. I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I have basically no prospects for after university. And I'll end up with no money in my bank account.

Well, that's not entirely true... I am planning on travelling in Australia in August for who knows how long (as long as my saved money/Working-Holiday Visa will last). But I've not got a whole load of money and although I'll give it my best shot, who knows if travelling for a living is the right path for me and I might come back and have spent all my savings!


But the absolutely great thing is... I'm not scared. I'm ready! I'm excited for this new chapter and this freedom to do whatever I want!

Everyone around me and everything society or university promotes is this feeling of dread and failure to leave university without a job or at least things put in place or an idea of where to go. And for a time I thought the same - hell one of the reasons I came to uni was to put off work for 3 years (definitely not a reason to be paying £9,000/yr let me just tell you, but moving swiftly on!) - but I've come to realise that there's no point in being scared or worried.

Everything has a habit of working out - opportunities come along when and how they're meant to, doors close, doors open etc etc. As long as I'm happy and working hard in whatever I'm doing at the time, I'm content with the thought that in the time until this point of ''fear'', something - maybe a job, maybe a person, maybe a way of life - will come along and fit perfectly for me at that time.

 And I think this past term, and these past few years, has definitely pushed me and shown me that I can handle whatever life throws at me. That'll change - I know me too well - when the time comes that something feels even bigger or scarier or just different to anything I've faced before, but I'll still get through it.


I admit, my parents are amazing and will support anything I want to pursue, and fortunately they have to money to put up with me for another few (*cough* thirty *cough*) years when I go travelling and hopefully make a load of mistakes/job attempts until I find the one that's right.

But all soon to be degree-finishers - don't worry! This is our time to do WHATEVER we want to do with our lives. And if the job you get isn't what you thought it would be - just get a different one?



Anyone else in their final year? Anyone struggling? Or like me have you stopped caring!?



Image links from Pinterest here;
1. maisie-daydreams.tumblr.com
2. The Daily Quotes
3. theyallhateus.com




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Monday, 1 May 2017

Nassau, Bahamas

So what better way to escape all thought of dissertation and revision, than a spontaneous mini break to The Bahamas?

As I've mentioned before, I'm extremely fortunate to have an Air Hostess mother, who has taken my family and I to many destinations over the years! And since I'm unable to accompany her after I turn 24, I've made it my mission to go with her to as many places as I can pack in before then! So that was my reasoning for jetting off to the Bahamas for 3 days 3 weeks before my dissertation hand in!


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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Am I a Freak?

*Goes to any family gathering*

Family Friend/Member: 'So have you found yourself a boyfriend yet?'

Me: *shrugs and laughs it off* 'Oh no, not yet'


A big insecurity of mine has always been relationships. And this post is quite difficult for me to write and share on the internet for all to see, but I came across this draft from a while ago and thought maybe, just maybe, it's not just me feeling this way.

I think a lot of kids - teenagers - go through the 'boyfriend' phase - you know the one where you don't actually talk to each other, but you got your friend to ask them if they want to 'go out'/'go steady' with you and then you add their name with a heart on your MSN tag line and it's official! 

We all I think - or at least our peers at school - go through it. And it's around about year 7 which is also the step up to a new school - and I think it somehow got drawn into me that this was a measure of worth, of being desired, of being cool!



As the title suggests, this never happened to me. And it's not a huge issue - I haven't been totally consumed by this idea, because I've always been quite a smart and logical person, so I know now and I knew back then - that seeing this a measure of worth is total bollocks! 

And I can go into my sassy, girl-power mode and say 'You don't need a man to make you happy', 'having a boyfriend doesn't impact your self-worth' and yes I truly believe that and that's why this isn't a massive issue and I can live a long and happy life, succeeding as I have and will do in the future. 



And yet, it's been an insecurity of mine ever since then, and I won't deny that's it's knocked my confidence slightly in the past and no doubt will do in the future. And although I only really get down about it when I'm already in a bad mood or upset about something (and tend to fall into that lovely spiral we all love so much!) it keeps coming back to me. The idea that there's something wrong with me? Why am I 21 and never had a boyfriend? Does it make me weird/odd that I'm in my twenties and I've never had sex? 

Which spirals into a field of ongoing questions that my over-thinking, scientific brain likes to analyse like;
Am I disgusting? Am I ugly? Is there something wrong with my body?

Or worse; Is it me? Am I just unlovable? Am I the 'nice' person who no-one ever really has as their first choice? Am I too boring or uncool?



And luckily I'm in a good place right now that I can write this logically and know that everything's fine. I'm content with the faith that really, the person that's right for me is out there and to quote Mr Bublé, I just haven't met him yet. And at 21, I've got my whole life to go out and meet different people, all of them right for that time in my life. It's easy to get caught up in the superficial things like sex or the relationship label, but at the end of the day I'm the soppy one who just wants love and I can wait a lifetime for that!

I'd like to point out that this doesn't rule my life - I just realised that it was a recurring thought over the years and wondered whether anyone else had ever felt that sense of doubt?

Also a little reminder, that you're the main person who deserves your undivided attention and love and you're totally amazing no matter your relationship status!



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Monday, 24 April 2017

How I feel about Travelling Alone

So as my final year at university is creeping to an end (so close yet so far...) I'm starting to get pretty excited for my freedom and therefore plans to head off to the land down under and have a bit of fun!

Of course, we'll ignore the crippling fear of no job, no prospects or any ideas of what to do with my life - that's for future Josie to worry about! For now, I'm going to totally let go, be wild and do whatever the fuck I want! Because I've earned it!


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Friday, 14 April 2017

Baking Easter Brownies

Happy Easter to all!

So I was procrasti-baking last week and thought I'd make them Easter themed, using an idea I got from a Facebook video and thought I'd share the idea with the internet if anyone fancies anything different to the standard Chocolate-Cornflake mini egg nests (although I'll admit this was my first thought when deciding to get baking)!



As I've been quite tight for time lately, I picked up a cheat version and got one of the brownie packets by BakedIn where you just add 3 eggs and 200g unsalted butter, cook for 40 minutes in the oven and hey presto, 12 deliciously tasty brownies!



The idea I got to make them Easter-themed, was to use white chocolate and orange food colouring to coat some strawberries and make them look like carrots! However, unfortunately, when mixing in the food colouring, the melted white chocolate seemed to congeal (apparently don't melt it in the microwave?) so plan B was to make some orange icing to coat the strawberries and I think I just about saved them (however my presentation isn't always immaculate so I'm sure you could do a much better job!)


Once cooled, I covered them in chocolate spread and sprinkled on crushed Cadbury flake to look a bit like soil and then added the orange strawberry 'carrots'. And for a couple I used mini eggs, because you can't very well bake Easter themed cakes without them!


And voila, double chocolate brownies perfect for Easter - if they last until then?!


Disclosure, this post isn't sponsored by BakedIn, it was just the one I picked up from Tesco!

 My brother and I are kicking off Easter Weekend by heading up to London tonight to watch Part Two of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and OH MY GOD It was so amazing last night I can't wait to see the rest!! How's everyone celebrating their Easter Weekend? 




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Friday, 7 April 2017

How University harms Mental Health

So after the term I've had and things I've experienced, as well as yet another piece of devastating news, I realised some of the serious dangers to mental health the university can cause and so I wanted to do a post to try and voice the issue.

When a lot of people experience mental health problems, a common feeling is loneliness and shame; feeling as though you're not allowed to feel weak and sad because everyone else is coping just fine.

However, I've noticed this year, that there have been a lot of issues with mental health, not just at my university but among family and friends too, and this has devastatingly resulted in suicides. It's extremely hard to attempt to help someone when they're in that place, however we can do our very best to try to prevent it getting to that stage.



University is hard, and it's different levels of hard for each individual depending on the subject, their work ethic, the way they deal with things and of course external and social influences. But it is hard. And yes it's meant to be hard so that it's worth more when you come out and yes I've definitely grown as a person and will be better equipped in the real world knowing I got through it. And don't get me wrong, I don't regret it - I've met some incredible people and am a stronger person because of it.

 But I came pretty low this last term - I mean very low, too low in fact for it to be worth a 'degree' (oh and life long debt), and I'm evidently not the only one. Just looking around at my friends - not to mention hearing about other students from mine as well as other universities in England - I can feel the stress, despair and worry (and not going to lie we're all pretty smart and hard working) and through meeting with a university counselor, they've been chocka-block all year with concerned students.

In my opinion, it's a little bit too far. In some ways I think it's good that young people can experience and learn to handle stress and a busy workload while they have the support easily accessible and 'free' (cough cough £9000 a year) so that they're more prepared for the future. However, there's a line. There's a line where a degree, £27,000, relationships, bullying, body confidence etc etc IS NOT WORTH IT!  And it seems that a lot of students either don't want to or don't know how to find the help they need and it all gets a bit much. And unfortunately crossing this line cannot be undone.


Universities have an obligation to their students to support them and unfortunately some of these support services are not well promoted or potentially not equipped enough to deal with the demand. Now I'm writing this post thinking, well there are plenty of support services at my uni, we've each got a subject supervisor who's with us all throughout university and a project supervisor who's meant to guide us through our dissertation project. But the thing is, being at a Russel Group University, everyone has their own research, i.e. they have their own work to do on top of, marking endless essays/exams, planning lectures, they're own life. Everyone is stretched so thin that I have felt that I can't go to these people when I need to, leaving me to deal with it on my own.

Mental Health and Mindfulness is becoming a new hot topic so I'm hoping that things will start to change and ideally become more relaxed and focused. Not only in universities but school as well, young people are so vulnerable and are learning new things everyday - we need the support of family and friends, who not everyone has support from making the support from the community/institution so much more important.

At the end of the day, a degree/exam is a piece of paper, it doesn't not signify your worth. Nowadays there are plenty of opportunities for everyone. Nothing is worth ending your life for. Nothing. 

If you're feeling down or stressed and feeling like you're not coping here's what to do. First, don't feel ashamed, we all (really, all of us!) go through it - I always thought university memes were a bit drastic, but nope we genuinely feel like that. Second, talk, it really does help, seek out what support your university/school provides (you should have a subject supervisor, of if you want more anonymity there may be counselors on site) and if they don't - make it happen! Third, if there's really no support, there's services like The Samaritans that provide free counselling. 



*Little disclaimer to point out that I didn't personally know the people who have recently passed very well, and therefore don't know the reasons for their actions. But simply based on their occurrence, mine and others experiences, I strongly feel that this is an issue that needs addressing urgently.
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Thinking of Sunnier Days*

Sup All!

I'm very sorry that posts have been rather rare recently, time seems to be flying by and all taken up by this dreaded dissertation project, as well as part time work and attempting the odd social occasion/night out... oh and some sleep if I'm lucky! 

Not to worry, when Easter comes along a huge weight will have been lifted (hopefully) and I'll have much more time to put back into blogging, but for now things might be a bit slow!

Nonetheless, I've been daydream-procrastinat-ing, thinking about - and very much longing for - Spring/Summer and the sunnier, brighter things that follow! I think it's suffice to say that the cold, dreary winter isn't quite as enjoyable when there's no Christmas round the corner!

So in my planning for Summer (and attempting to find cheap, fun holiday destinations for end of uni whilst still saving for Australia, paying for rent/food and the odd Salt and Pepper takeaway after a night in Society!) I've been planning a splendid Summer do for a End-Of-Degree/Very belated 21st Birthday/It's Summer and I just want to drink Pimm's and have fun Party! You know, a Classic!

I've very fortunate enough to have a rather large, extended and (now my parents have cleaned it all up and decorated) really nice back garden and it makes for a great space for a summer party! So I thought I'd share with you some fun ways I plan on decorating it and a few bits and bobs and some odd furniture, that I think would go absolutely fabulously!

Outdoor Bits:

Porto Lounge Set

Something that's always handy at a summer party is some great, comfy and stylish seating areas for those who want to sit and eat their BBQ or have a civilised chat with a drink in hand. Mum managed to snab a lovely ratten set like this one (although not quite as stylish) from Groupon but you can grab them from most furniture shops and garden centres. This one from Cox and Cox definitely grabbed my eye - and they're so good for summer (even if it's not for a party) - definitely gets us out in the sunshine a bit more!



Indoor/Outdoor Double Cushion

A fab idea for those without much outdoor seating however - or if you just have soo many friends - is this awesome looking cushion! We have a rather long garden and right down the back is a tiny little patio by the grass and several trees, bushes and flowers surrounding it and I can picture one or two of these outdoor cushions laid on the grass for a cute little chill area away from all the bustle, where you could sit and chit chat or have a cheeky sunbathe!



Four LED Lights

Now my parents have been on the hunt for some lovely outdoor lights that they like and, personally my fave are the fairy-light like ones that you can wrap round the trees and wind through the plants, but they're huge fans of the hanging tree lights. You can grab these from many places I believe, many garden centres, Clas Ohlson and these lovely ones here from Cox and Cox.



Gazebo

Of course, if you're planning for your ace summer party to go on until the late hours of the morning (since it'll get darker a lot later!) or of course you're hosting it in England, and you want to cover all weather scenarios, then a gazebo is essential and I've picked out a few goodens from Halfords that won't break the bank! Always a nice touch to decorate the inside with outdoor fairy lights too!




(our little not-so-elegant set up for my parent's wedding party - balloons and bunting are always a good decoration!)


Food and Drink:

Obviously if you're going to throw a banging party, you're going to need some delicious food to accompany the jugs of Pimm's and Strawberries and Cream, of course!

Just a little bit more decor from the party! Cake made and decorated by yours truly


For my parents wedding party, we hosted it in our back garden and we had one cracking good Hog Roast! Unfortunately I couldn't find any photos, but I remember the deliciousness of those pork baps! I believe we went with the Spitting Pig in Berkshire since it was near to home but I'd very much recommend if you've got a number of guests and want the food taken care of.

Similarly, Costco do wonderful ready made trays of wraps, sandwiches and sushi that a few family friends have bought for various birthday parties and they've always gone down a treat, if you're looking for more nibbly/cheaper bits!

Other wonderful ideas are of course, a classic barby in the garden accompanied with a classic array of different salads and canapes!




Anyone else seriously excited for Summer even though it's barely Spring!?

Anyone got any awesome plans to look forward to? Or any parties planned?



*This post was in collaboration with Cox and Cox but all views and opinions are my own! 
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