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21 May 2019

Anxiety: My Secret Battle

I'll never forget the first one - sat on my bed, dressed in my school uniform, feeling more apprehensive than normal about going to school -

"What was I going to be ridiculed for that day?"
"Who was I going to be sat by in my English lesson?"
"I know they'll be talking about me again"

These thoughts and more kept circulating in my head, more than usual. My breathing was quickening and I was shaking, I felt like I couldn't move. I thought I was just having a wobble, a moment if you will. However, these little "wobbles" become more frequent, and I'm not talking about my thighs. Little did I realise I was suffering from anxiety attacks.

16 May 2019

Is Reality TV Jeopardising People's Mental Health?

With the news coming through this week that a guest passed away a week after filming on the Jeremy Kyle Show and now that the shows has been axed for good, it has definitely raised some worrying concerns about how TV shows handle mental health.

Obviously there is a lot of speculation circling about the circumstances surrounding this person's death. It's incredibly sad and if it is due to this person's mental health, then a lot of people need to have a long hard look at themselves.

11 May 2019

Yes, There Is Such A Thing As A Mid Mid-Life Crisis!

Mid Mid-Life Crisis
Definition - a series of life changing events that occur around 25-30 years of age.

Before we start, IT'S MA BIRTHDAY! Happy Birthday to little old me!

I turned 25 last year and had a meltdown. I'm turning 26 today and I'm now feeling the same emotions as I did this time last year. Possibly even worse. It has also dawned on me that I'm closer to the age of 30 rather than 20. Dear God.

5 May 2019

Hiding Our Likes, A Good Idea?

"Let's see how well this photo I've posted has done today - WHY HAVEN'T YOU SHOWN MY PHOTO TO EVERYONE INSTAGRAM?! - YOU BASTARD!"

Ok, mini sweary rant over. Apart from Insta being a pain in the backside for not showing my new post to my followers AGAIN, they have caused a little bit of a debate as they have announced they are trialling a new update. This update is going to 'hide your likes'. Basically Instagram have said that this will help your followers enjoy your photos. Hmm, I've always thought that was the whole point of Instagram anyway, but hey, what do I know?!

InstaStyle by Tezza

28 April 2019

Blog Reads of April

I posted my first 'Blog Reads Of' post this time last year so happy birthday to this series of mine! Hopefully it can still continue to bring blogger's together and get others mentioned and highlighted like they deserve to be!

Here are my favourite posts from April (in no particular order!):

22 April 2019

My Travel Wanderlust List

I'm never really sure as to whether I like the phrase 'bucket list'. A bucket list sounds so much more final to me, I think it kind of stems from that phrase 'kicking the bucket'. I'd rather call it a 'wanderlust' list. It sounds more positive and more mystical to me.

I wrote a post about the destinations I'd love to visit in Europe a while back, but I'd thought I would kind of expand on that and write about the place I want to visit outside of Europe. With all the furore of Brexit, it might allow us to discover new places outside of Europe. Now, there are places on the previous list I've written that I would absolutely still love to visit and be a tourist in, these places are definite travel goals in my life!

Swimsuit // Figleaves

17 April 2019

The Castell Mynach, Pontyclun

*Ad - see disclaimer at the end of the post

When going out to eat, I'm always looking for places that aren't part of a big chain. I get fed up sometimes of having a cheeky Nando's or delving through the salad bar at the Harvester. I like going to the places that don't get tagged in people's Facebook statuses or Insta stories.

So when the Castell Mynach pub restaurant contacted me about going to their restaurant for lunch, it was a no brainer. Like I said, I'm always eager to try new places, it's good to give local businesses a chance rather than just keep going to the same big food chains all the time!

12 April 2019

Looking Young For My Age - An Advantage?

I can confirm that I will never look the age I'm meant to be. Youthful looks have meant I still get ID'd for alcohol or even for scratch cards, being ID'd for scratch cards I do find insulting. I know I look young, but I know I DO NOT look under 16.

Then at 15 - Now at 25

Even though it's a pain to look younger for my age at times, is there a way I can use it to my advantage? I mean, people say that "you'll be thankful for your younger looks later" and that is true, it's kind of like we've been given a 'gift'. Let's look at the pro's of looking younger for my age:

8 April 2019

Travelling with CF

Even packing away for just a two day weekend, I get myself into such a tizz in making sure I've packed everything.

Swimsuit // Figleaves

One episode of Friends in particular reminds me of this. The episode where they're all off to London to see Ross get married to Emily, Monica says "Check!" after she packs everything in her bag - that is exactly like me. Also along with that, I have a paper checklist, I tick it once I've packed an item I need and also literally open my suitcase to double check AGAIN to make sure I got the essential things I need for the next two days; that's just clothes and makeup, I'm even worse when medication gets involved!

5 April 2019

Five Feet Apart: A Film EVERYONE Needs To Watch


With all the hype surrounding the new film about CF, Five Feet Apart as a must see for me in the cinema last weekend. Last time I went to see a film was Fifty Shades Freed last year, two VERY contrasting films and romances. I obviously took the risk just in case there was someone with CF in the same screening as me. There wasn't many other people in the screening thankfully and we were all sat quite far away from each other - well, at least five feet apart.

30 March 2019

Blog Reads of March

I've loved reading so many blog posts this month, it was so hard to whittle down my choices to these beauties!

25 March 2019

I’m Stuck In-between a Rock and a Hard Place... terms of my career. I’m a qualified childcare worker and it’s been printed on my CV ever since I created one in college in the library (well, it’s been updated quite a lot since then) I always thought it was what I wanted to do. However, I think I’ve been completely blindsided by this and I feel I’ve missed out on the opportunities to go further in my career. Not that I want to become a teacher, there’s too much stress on teachers these days to get results and there’s too much paperwork, something I’m defo not marvellous at. All I know is that I’m stuck, I’m becoming stale.

20 March 2019

Happiness is my number one priority

I was in work the other day and the teacher asked me to play Pharrell Williams - Happy on YouTube for when the kids came in to class as they have a dance-athon on a Friday. This guys and gals is something I am all for. I click play on the video and I'm bopping along with the kids, probably more than they were and it really set me up for the morning ahead. They say it's the little things that make you happy - and that's how it should be.

Happiness should be everybody's number one priority. Whatever you consider to be your own personal happiness, you should always strive for, despite the circumstances. However, that is definitely easier said than done.

15 March 2019

"Yeah I'm fine, just tired"

This is usually my response when someone asks me if I'm ok or just look withdrawn. I can imagine that's our main response when we don't feel ourselves, given how busy our lives are, it's not surprising that we're feeling the strain of tiredness. Some days I need matchsticks to hold up my eyelids and about a quarter of a tube of concealer to cover my darkened eyes.

Nightshirt // Boux Avenue

I love sleep like the next person. Sometimes I'm an early riser, especially when I have to go to work, the 6am alarm is a killer. I feel like chucking my phone across the room when the alarm goes off! On the weekends however, I'm like a hedgehog and will sleep for as long as I can! I'm a complete lazy bugger on Saturday and Sunday, well, I've got to make the most of my sleeping time haven't I?!

CF has it's part to play with my tiredness, taking about 20 different medications, doing physiotherapy twice a day and exercising for an hour a day, wouldn't you be knackered as well?!

As it's World Sleep Day today, I thought it would be an ideal post to offer some tips on how to overcome the tiredness that creeps upon us everyday:

So apparently eating regularly can improve your sleep. Hmm, this one took me a little while to figure out why, but I kind of get it now. Rather than eating a huge meal less often throughout the day, if you eat regular meals along with healthy snacks every 3-4 hours, then it can give you lots of energy to get your through the day. Eating every 3-4 hours is always going to sound good though isn't it?!
Even though exercising will be the last thing on your mind when you are feeling absolutely shattered and you feel like you can sleep for 4 days, however, exercising can really boost your energy levels, making feel less tired over the day. I love exercising anyway and when I don't feel like sweating my tits off on the treadmill, sometimes a good workout can really wake me up and feel more motivated to do things!
Ok, don't give me that look, hear me out a minute. Getting enough sleep at night will (obviously) give you enough energy for the next day. A couple of ways to help get a good night's sleep at night is to have a bedtime routine and also winding down before going to bed. Maybe a Lush bath bomb bath and a good book should do the trick, well, it does for me anyway.

One fact I have learnt from going to about 547 hospital appointments in my lifetime (an estimated guess, I'm not keeping count I swear!) is keeping hydrated can have so many health benefits, one of which is to help tiredness. It's good to drink plenty of water after exercising, as you're replacing the energy cells that disappear after pounding on the treadmill or going on a several mile run.
What are your tips and advice on overcoming tiredness?
*This post contains affiliate links, to find out more about this, read my disclaimer.

12 March 2019

Let's Talk Smear Tests

Let me ask you this, you're willing to go through the sheer pain of waxing your bikini line which, let's be honest, stings like a bitch, but you can't spare two minutes for a test that could potentially save your life? Hmm, let's get some waxed vag perspective here.

About two months ago, I had my first ever smear test. I won't lie to you, I'd been putting it off for God knows how long, I always came up with the same excuses "I'll be fine" or "It's too embarrassing, I don't want a nurse seeing my bits!"

Come on, admit it girls, you've all used one of these lame excuses one time or another. And yes, I did say lame, because it's true, they are feeble excuses.

However, when I had a diabetic review with the GP nurse, she noticed on my records that I hadn't booked myself in for a smear test (head down in shame moment) and I reluctantly agreed to book an appointment there and then with her to have it done in a few weeks time.

Test day finally arrived, as I walked into the germ-fest that is my doctor's surgery, I felt incredibly apprehensive and slightly embarrassed for two reasons:

1) I didn't want to show my vagina to someone who barely knew me!
2) I knew I should have made the appointment sooner.

Let me take you through my test for those who haven't had it done before.
I went into the examination room, sit down and I get asked if I'm pregnant (FYI to you readers - no I'm not!) she then tells me to go behind the curtain and strip from the waist down (obvs) and cover my lower end with a paper towel. So you can kind of relax at this point, your modesty is covered. 

Then it's ankles together, knees apart.
The nurse will use a speculum to open up your cervix (it's not as bad as it sounds) then she will take a sample from there using a small brush. Then voila - it's done. The nurse will remove the speculum from your vagina. It was now time to put my knees back together and put my underwear back on. I leave there feeling proud that I have ignored all the horror stories that I heard from others. The screening was just 2-3 minutes out of my day, that's barely 1%.
One way I could describe the smear test is uncomfortable. It is an uneasy feeling having a medical instrument shoved up your vagina. It can be more uncomfortable for others, which is ok, the nurse will be reassuring (like mine was) and will stop if you feel it's getting too much, something I almost did but I persevered.
So do one thing today girls, get your GP receptionist on the phone and book yourself in for a test, give yourself that peace of mind like I did. And please - do not listen to the horror stories that get spread around about smear tests, it's better to have that peace of mind than have a mind filled with regret. Also think of it this way, the nurse who is doing your smear has seen dozens of vagina's (I've used this word too many times now) before now doing other smear tests, this is nothing out of the ordinary for them and please don't use the embarrassment excuse to not book a cervical screening - JUST DO IT!

Do the #SmearForSmear selfie to raise awareness of why it's important for women to have the test done.

If you would like to know more information about cervical screenings and/or you have any worries or concerns, or even if you're trying to justify to yourself why you should have it done, follow this link for more info:
If you have experienced the smear test, please give any tips for anybody struggling to make their appointment or are scared of going to their test, you may be able to help someone.

8 March 2019

Women Who Inspire Me

"Who run the world?! - GIRLS"

I can imagine this Queen B song will be played across radios and quoted by a lot of women in their tweets today. It's International Women's Day and it's a day to celebrate women alike. I'm sure a few blogger's are going to be writing similar posts to this one today, but there are women who inspire me and they just need a shoutout! Here are the women that inspire me:


Without a doubt the most inspiring women in my life. What can I say, this woman is bloody incredible! She has brought me up with true values and principles which have carried me through my life so far. She taught me to find that inner strength I didn't realise I had, she's made me laugh through the tough times with her (sometimes crappy) jokes and is the one person I can count on for anything. It's also because of her that I support Liverpool Football Club. That's the biggest inspiration she could have ever have given me - and the best.  

Yas, my besties are just fabulous. I don't know where I would be without them. From listening to my ever-growing problems to drinking cocktails until we can barely walk. My friends have given me the most amazing memories, some I will truly never forget. Whether I've known them just two years (my Scwelsh Sam and fellow Danny Ings fan-girl Katie), met them through college seven years ago (Gabby), met them through my illness (hiya Tash!) , went to Melwood with them (Saffron) , met them through my tiring childcare job (Lucy no.2) or they've been by my side for 22 LONG years (yes Woodruff, I mean you!) thank you for being my inspirations. You're my sweethearts and I love yas to bits.
I'm not sure if my old college friends would agree with me on this one, but hear me out. When I first started college, I thought that there was no way I could ever pass the two courses I took in my three years there. I'm not the brightest star in the sky and I think I literally have no common sense. However, the guidance that my college tutors gave me and inspiring me to keep going when I wanted to give up is something I'll always be grateful to them for. I've always said that college made me the person I am today; it's down to them.
I've said it once and I'll say it again, all my blogger friends are wonderful. They inspire me to keep writing when I just feel like my content is s**t and just want to stop writing altogether. One girl I want to mention in particular is Julia. What an absolute beaut of a girl she is! I never would have known that when we started responding to each other's tweets that we would become good friends a couple of years later, drinking rose overlooking Albert Dock (we're due a catch up soon, love!). She is doing such amazing things, from working full time alongside her new business, she is an inspiration to me.
This woman is just a fantastic role model for feminism. Plus she's married to Prince Harry. She's one lucky woman. I love how she has continued to fight for feminism whilst she's married in the Royal Family, it's just incredible. I need to say that the Queen is definitely another inspiration to us all, well, she's the most powerful woman in the world, how could she not be an inspiration to us?
Who are the women that inspire you?

4 March 2019

But how does my hair look?

I'm a real stickler when it comes to my hair, it's got to look absolutely banging before I leave the house. I remember the days in comp when our side fringes had to be VERY STRAIGHT, not just straight. If we wore our hair in a ponytail, it had to be slicked right back, not one single strand of hair had to be out of place. Maybe my obsession draws from my time in comp, watching girls obsess over their hair.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not super strict with my hair routine, it's always super scruffy when I go to the gym. It looks even worse by the time I leave the gym. I won't straighten my hair now unless it's absolutely necessary eg. if I'm going 'out-out' or going somewhere important. It's just damaging my hair if I straighten it everyday. Plus it's a waste of time when I'm just going to be slobbing out in my jogger's watching Jezza Kyle.

So how have I been looking after my hair lately? I'm glad you asked (ok, I asked myself that, but follow my lead will ya?)

Let's do a mini throwback, I won a Boux Avenue competition a while back (thank you for your congrats) , the prize included a (now spent) £100 Boux Avenue voucher - BOOM! Also it included a box of hair goodies from Grow Gorgeous. I'll admit, it's a brand I've never heard of before, but it's hair care products, I'm always willing to try anything new.

I've been using the shampoo and leave in conditioner for a while now and I must say - I AM IN TOTAL LOVE. The smell of the shampoo is just so heavenly, you do have to use a good decent blob of it however, but it lathers lovely in my hair and it smells gorgeous (did I mention that already?) . I do use another conditioner after that for my (endless) split ends. After I towel dry my hair, I grab the leave in conditioner, you pump out 2-5 times, depending on the length of the hair and smooth it through to the ends.

When I use the hairdryer afterwards, I can notice the shine immediately after I've full dried my hair.

Would I recommend this brand? Abso-bloody-lutely! Grow Gorgeous products have completely revamped my hair and it's given the much needed nourishment it's been crying out for for so long.

I've just started using the Thickening Hair and Scalp Mask and Hair Growth Serum. I'll let you know about the results of them another time. Maybe on my Insta Stories.

I may not be the best person at applying makeup or remembering to exfoliate every week, but when it comes to hair care, I like to be right at the top of my game!

Let me know if you use Grow Gorgeous products or let me know what you use on your hair!
*These products I won in a competition on Boux Avenue's Instagram page, I wasn't obliged in any way to write a post about Grow Gorgeous Haircare.

28 February 2019

Once Upon A Time, I Had A Frigging Fantastic February!

It's not very often I can say that I have had a fabulous February. Usually my birthday month of May is the best one (obvs!) but even my birthday month is going to have to be pretty damn special to beat February 2019.

I've seen a boost in my confidence which I lost a while ago. I'm feeling happier and more content with myself, I feel like I can conquer the world again, like I wrote in this post a little while back.

I just want to focus on all the things that make me feel positive and distance myself away from all the negative things.

I'm a strong believer in positive mindsets, I want to keep in that mindset for the rest of 2019. Hopefully it can stay that way.

So yes, what have I been up to this month that has made me think that it's been frigging amazing?!

I visited my happy place at the start of the month, this trip stood out for me in particular. I overcame some bad anxiety beforehand and made the trip up even though I wasn't feeling my best. As I walked along The Strand and Pier Head, I found myself beaming from ear to ear. The witnessing the picturesque skyline made my anxiety disappear within a flash.
From meeting friends over some banging food to shopping in town to completely slogging around in my hotel room eating prawn cocktail crisps and drinking rose, I'd say I had a pretty good weekend!

Ok, I know what you're all thinking - "Why the hell would a hospital appointment make it into your favourite moments in February?!" Well I'll tell ya, because it went so bloody well, that's why! Lung function was good, weight was good, the small cyst on my liver hasn't grown any bigger and I've miraculously grown a centimetre in height, how could I not be happy?

In between these two highlights, I had some bad news about my job, which I won't go into now as I want this post to be a happy one!

I went to my second blogging/networking event in Cardiff with House 21 again. I so much enjoyed the last event that I was eager to come to the next one. From drinking tea and eating avocado on toast (how very bloggery!) to listening to some inspirational ladies give talks on how they have become so successful and are working towards their aspirations, it really inspired for the following week ahead. Meeting like-minded people really gives me the confidence to strive for what I really want in life. Hmm, I wonder when the next event is?

Less than 24 hours after being in Cardiff, I was back in the capital city again going to BBC Wales to do a spot of filming for BBC Sesh. The video should be online within the next week or so. No, I am not going to tell you what I talked about! One thing I can say is that I hope I can help people who struggle with this certain problem. One of the highlights has got to be filming in the room where the Doctor Who props are kept. Yes, I couldn't resist having my photo taken with a Dalek and the Tardis. Literally had to fight the temptation to shout "EXTERMINATE" when I stood next to it.

So to the other months which lie ahead of me in 2019, you better step up and prove February wrong.

Let me know your favourite moments from February!


23 February 2019

Blog Reads of February

Posting this a little earlier than I normally would! But here are my favourite posts from February!

I seriously loving reading this lovely girl's posts, they're so straight to the point and positive. This post that Ellie wrote about blogging awards had me nodding in agreement all the way through. This industry is still mocked and laughed at, even though the progression of the blogging/influencer industry has grown so much in recent years. Ellie is right, we should celebrate and recognise blogger's who work their butt off all year round to create amazing content, blogging awards are the ONE. The Blogosphere Awards are currently open for nominations, get voting for your favourite bloggers NOW. (Sorry for the shouty capitals)
I've been single on V-Day for years now, yep, quite depressing to say out loud. I love how Abigail has put her spin on being a singleton on the international day of love. There are so many perks that Abigail has listed here that I'm pretty much glad I stayed single on Valentines! From not forking out god knows how much money on gifts, to eating and wearing whatever I well please. My favourite has to be cuddling up with your fur babies, which is exactly what I did. I ended up with a porky black and white cat by the name of Charlie curled up on my nap. Bliss for me. Thank you Abigail for making singletons see that there are always perks to being single on V-Day!

3) How To Overcome Blogger's Block | The Sunday Mode
A must read for a blogger struggling with this. That feeling when you can't think of anything to write as a blogger is one of the worst feelings. I've suffered from it and it's not nice, you feel your creative mind has turned to mush and you feel like you can't get your creativity back. I love this post that Julia has written about to overcome that blogger's block. I'm glad I'm not the only one who writes in a passive voice! When I do a grammar check on my posts before publishing, that's one of the error's that always crops up. One suggestion that Julia has mentioned is listening to podcasts. Podcasts has become a new found love for me, I definitely will listen to them more when I get a case of blogger's block.

Ok, this post may only have two sentences, but these absolutely beautiful and aesthetically pleasing photo's of flowers are definitely worth the look. I've followed Rebecca for a long time now and her photography is just stunning and inspirational to say the least. I love Spring, a time of year for blossoming flowers, Easter eggs, rabbits, luscious green grass and two weeks off work for the Easter Holidays. Hmm, Spring is definitely one of my favourite parts of the year.

5) Love or Loneliness? | Hello October
I've written about being single recently on Valentine's Day. I've mouthed the words "I'm going to be alone forever LOL" plenty of times in the past. Usually when I'm feeling down or someone I know is getting engaged or getting a puppy with their partner. One thing that Suzie has written is that V-Day is just a day, it's no different to any other day with your partner. You can celebrate as many relationships as you bloody well have, but the one thing that struck a chord with me is the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. Abso-bloody-lutely! And that's how it should be!
6) I Can't Be That Blogger Girl | Sinead Kathryn
I scroll through Instagram daily and I see all these bloggers posing in front of Peggy Porschen or outside a telephone box in London, it makes me realise that I cannot be that blogger girl, this is why I loved reading Sinead's post so much, I could completely relate to it. Like Sinead, I started blogging as a hobby, me barely knowing that I could make money from it. Also like Sinead, I compare my flatlay's and OOTD photos with other bloggers and I fully know that I can't even begin to imagine to take amazing photos like those bloggers do. However, I'm happy as I am right now, that's all that matters!
Let me know your favourite blog posts from this month below!

19 February 2019

How I Tripled My Monthly Unique Users On Pinterest

I love Pinterest, I get so much inspiration from it, as I’ve written in this post before. I’ve always gotten great use out of the app. Whether it's for blogging photo inspo or outfit ideas.

However, I’ve seen so many different bloggers ask about how best to capitalise on Pinterest and how to get the monthly unique users number to increase. I've seen so many bloggers say that they get the most traffic to their blog from Pinterest. I sit there with the most perplexed face staring at my phone screen, literally mouthing the words "What. The. F*ck?"

Recently, I've read this post about ways to master Pinterest by Vix so I'm going to treat her post like a Bible page to get my Pinterest up and running proper.

Let's get back to the title of this post, what I've found it's easier to increase your monthly unique users (you'll need a Pinterest business account to look at those stats). I have basically tripled mine through trial and error. My monthly unique users went down to 5,000 from 30,000 and I couldn’t understand why! I’d been pinning pictures, ok, maybe I had slacked quite a bit in the pinning department.

But a couple of weekends ago, I decided to organise my Pinterest boards, which were frankly in a bit of a mess. I didn’t like the fact that all my pictures and boards were in disarray. I’m a bit like Monica Gellar when it comes to organisation skills.

So after I deleted some boards which I looked at and thought “Why the hell did I save pins like this?!” They were pictures nobody was going to give a shit about so why keep them?

Then it was time to organise some boards into different sections. For example, all my dream rooms eg living rooms, kitchens etc got sent straight to a board called 'INTERIORS' , now all my dream kitchens, bathrooms and offices are stored all under one board.

A lot of people will read this and will turn their lazy mode on when they think of all the hard work and time this will take. I'll always be honest with you my lovelies, it doesn't take more than 5 MINUTES. I promise you, so turn off your lazy mode and get cracking!

I am in no way a Pinterest expert. I will never claim to be one, or claim to be an expert in anything for that matter. Maybe an expert in popping pills for my CF. I digressed then...ah yes, like I said, I'm no expert with Pinterest, more like a novice, but I've written this post based on my experience with the platform.

Let me know if you have any tips or advice about how to get the best out of Pinterest. You may be able to help others who read this post too (as well as me!)
 P.S - here's the link to my Pinterest

14 February 2019

Yes I'm Single - And Your Problem Is?

I've been single for a while now, I'm not ashamed to admit that. It's not like I'm going to cop off with the first man I see in the pub or meet every single man I like on Tinder (I don't have Tinder btw, not my cup of tea) the right man will come around eventually. I do believe in fate and that what is meant to be will happen. If it doesn't happen, it's not meant to be, a lesson which I have definitely learnt over the last couple of years.

T Shirt // New Look

However, I tell people that I'm not seeing anyone and they automatically give your this response -

"Ooh we'll have to set you up with someone!"
Yeah, probably they're weirdo friend who collects stamps as a hobby or their next door neighbour who owns a pet snake.
No I don't want to be set up thank you very much, I'd rather be alone than try and enforce a connection with someone who thinks he's got a chance of getting his leg over.
This is my point, I don't want to be set up with that weirdo friend or neighbour. Let me find my own man in my own time and way.

Some people (and I'm not including everyone in this statement) seem to have a problem if you're single in your mid-twenties. They think you should have about 3 kids, be married, have your own house and potter around the house with the Dyson. Well, not in that exact order, but you get what I mean. Yes, a few of my friends are already doing that, which makes me so happy because they deserve nothing but happiness. But I would never tell them before now that they should go out and meet someone and have lots of babies. That is kind of intrusive.
I'm a firm believer in letting nature take its course. When things happen, it'll happen because they're meant to happen. You can't force fate.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be single forever. I don't want to be the old lady who owns about 17 cats. I'll find the right man and it'll be better because I found and met him myself and not been set up to meet him.

If you're single, do you get hassled about it?
*This post contains affiliate links, see my disclaimer for more information.

10 February 2019

I Needed To Find My Confidence Again

I've just come back from a(nother) trip to Liverpool and as much as I thoroughly enjoyed meeting friends, strolling around and blowing my wages (oops), I travelled up for a little personal reason of my own - to gain my confidence back.

Near the end of last year, I kind of lost that little bit of 'oomph' , for want of a better word. I feel like my anxiety is creeping back into my life after I firmly slammed the door in it's face in 2016. I made a little pinky promise to myself that for 2019 all that was going to change.

I want to do a mini throwback to the 2nd February, pre Liverpool eve, I encountered something which I haven't had in a very long time - an anxiety episode. The morning started with me getting some news which would affect my plans in Liverpool, so that threw me in a spin, then trying to pack ready for the next day and also getting an upsetting email really wound me up into a state of upset, with some tears and panicky breathing thrown in for good measure. I literally found myself saying - "I don't want to go to Liverpool tomorrow". Also - "I can't do it, what if something bad happens?!" This WAS NOT like me in the slightest. Liverpool is my happy place, why the hell would I not want to go?! Anxiety is a powerful thing, sadly.  

Even before going to bed that night, I still didn't feel confident enough in going. But it's hella amazing how much a good nights sleep can change your frame of mind. The next morning, I felt eager to get my suitcase packed and I couldn't wait to book a taxi to the train station. 

Like I said at the beginning, I needed to go away to get that much needed confidence back that I have kind of lost over the last year or so.

I'm so happy that I fought back against my anxiety and braved the cold weather of the Royal Albert Dock and slogged out in my Premier Inn hotel room.

I never really talk about anxiety, I suffer from it terribly and because CF is the main focus in my life health-wise, anxiety comes a distant second to that. However, after two glasses of Echo Falls rose, I found myself pouring my heart out on my Instagram Stories talking about the day before where I was feeling so frantic and panicky. I'm not saying the alcohol influenced me to do that, but you know,  It felt very cathartic and therapeutic for me to do that, even though I haven't got thousands and upon thousands of Instagram followers.

Oh yes, I did have a lovely two days in Liverpool thank you! A much needed catch up with friends and a lengthy walk around my happy place really has made me feel fabulous and I feel I can conquer the world once again!

I look like I've given myself an emo haircut here


6 February 2019

Why Writing Less Posts Has Done Me Good

I made the decision to not stick to such an army style blogging schedule at the beginning of this year. I think near the end of 2018, I struggled with trying to keep up with things and I ended up being a little unhappy with how I was writing. I knew that needed to change in 2019.

I made a little pinky promise to myself, can you make pinky promises to yourself? Anyway, I said that I would never let myself feel unhappy about blogging again, so getting rid of the tight schedule I kept to for months was literally thrown out of the window.

We're in February now and I can honestly say that not keeping to a strict rota with the blog posts has done my writing and more importantly, my mental well-being the world of good.

I kind of feel more content, relaxed and mellow about my blog right now. I don't feel that pressure that I put myself under last year anymore.

My aim for this year in terms of blogging is to remember why I started in the first place - to write. To put my mark on the blogging world, to give my opinion on things I didn't usually discuss with my friends and family and to just fulfil my passion I've had since my primary school days. The days where writing pages and pages of random shit about dragons storming castles or writing Haiku poems about the seasons. Well, I'm not planning on introducing poetry or dragons to my blog, but you get my drift.

What I've found is that my blog views have increased with writing less posts. Ok, I know that doesn't make any sense, but hear me out. It means that my posts aren't getting snowed under and not being read properly by my audience. I was updating on a tri-weekly basis, which meant my posts weren't getting the best opportunity to be viewed, because literally a few days later, I was publishing a new post on my blog and that cycle started again.

I honestly prefer writing this way too, like I said, it's taking that pressure off me and I feel like I can relax more while I'm writing and posting. I can focus on writing more authentic, real posts rather than forced ones. Well, I never posted forced content last year, but you know what I mean.

Do you prefer writing lots or less?

31 January 2019

Blog Reads of January

My first Blog Reads post of 2019! Here are the posts that I have adored reading this month:

1) Feeling The January Blues | Bryony Baker
Bryony completely sums up January for all of us in this post. We're all struggling financially after spending like crazy at Christmas, the days feel longer and we're all waiting for the warmer weather to return. Bryony says this time of year is definitely where we all need to invest ourselves into self-care. She is right, as we're at the end of January now, I hope we have all made it through this month in one piece!
It wouldn't do us any harm if we all made the lifestyle changes like Emmie has suggested in this post. From getting up earlier (which unfortunately I've failed at, particularly on weekends) to drinking more water, one I definitely need to get better at this year. There are so many health benefits in doing that, so why aren't myself and many others doing the same? Also making your own meals is one lifestyle change I'm all for! I definitely need to make more meals from scratch rather than piercing the film lid several times on a ding meal.
I think that this is the first time I've included Beth on one of my 'Blog Reads Of' posts. I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. This post she's written sounds like me in a nutshell in regards to how I feel about my job. I'm hating getting up on the Monday mornings, as I know I'm not in a job I don't feel passionately about anymore. Beth says one thing that really stands out - you have to work to get what you want. I'm also like Beth in that I want to do about 5 different occupations, is it possible? Quite possibly, if I work hard enough and I've got the time to fit it all in.
This girl is just fashion goals and I love the direction Maria has decided to take her blog in this year. This post really caught my eye. Nobody doesn't seem to be making resolutions this new year. As Maria says, the infamous phrase 'New Year, New Me' hasn't been mouthed by anyone or been seen on social media. People are preferring to set themselves realistic goals rather than resolutions which they know they're not going to keep to.
I wrote a post about ditching the habits I've made for myself in 2019 a few weeks back. I love Nia has decided to put her own spin on resolutions this year. Instead of saying 'This year, I'm going to get fit' she's tweaked it by saying this instead - 'This year I'm going to go to a Pilates class every Wednesday' . Such a clever and insightful way of how we can make our resolutions. I think I will definitely make resolutions this way from now on.
Some of the things that Amie has suggested about what she hopes for in the Blogosphere this year are bang on. I think bloggers getting more opportunities which are not based on solely numbers is one I hope for all us blogger's in this next 12 months. All brands should assess a blogger by the quality not the quantity. Also I completely agree with Amie when she says she hopes the follow/unfollow game stops, as she says, that's a dream, but it's still good to hope for that to happen.
There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self. So reading this inspirational post from Chloe really touched me. Asking other blogger's, including myself, what they would tell their younger selves, is such a brilliant idea and concept for a blog post. I wish my younger self could read this post and take these points on board.

What have been your favourite blog posts this month? Let me know below!

27 January 2019

Insta Themes Are All Good, But...

...they're hard to keep up with, well that's my personal opinion anyway. I made the decision back in September to instil an Autumn theme on my grid. Something I don't regret doing, my engagement increased and people were taking more notice of my photography. Plus I love Autumn and everything surrounding it. I produced and posted some of my best photos during that themed Insta spell.

Then Christmas came around, I decided to do a festive theme for the month of December (obvs). However, my engagement didn't seem to be as strong as before, probably because I didn't put my heart and soul into it as I was so busy buying and wrapping presents and doing all the Christmas sha-bang.

As of the New Year, I decided to strip my Insta back to how it was pre-theme. I want to add a more personal touch to my photos again.

Something that I learnt whilst keeping my grid to a theme is that it's all very well and good, but after a while, I kept staring at it and I found it looked a little samey and uninspiring. Something I don't want my Instagram to be.

With Instagram giving us grief with the bloody 'A' word (algorithm for those who have been living under a rock) and Instagram showing our photo's on other people's feeds as and when it pleases them, it's hard to remember the reason why we were so eager to download the app when it became popular. This is speaking from a blogger's POV, but before I entered the world of blogging, the constant analysis of the amount of likes for my pictures and thinking I had to conform my feed into some sort of theme was something that never even entered my mind.

If you keep to an Instagram theme 365 days of the year, hats off to you, I struggled to keep it going for 3 months so I have great respect for those who spend so much of their time taking pictures that aesthetically fit their theme. I know I couldn't do it, unless I had more time on my hands - which I don't. I'm inhaling inhalers and popping pills every 5 minutes and trying to stop my cat from getting fat. Yep, I definitely don't have the time.

The point of this post is this, if you like to keep to a theme, then I have a lot of R.E.S.P.E.C.T (singing like Aretha Franklin, god rest her soul) for you. If you're like me and you don't attempt the themed side of Instagram, then I have a lot of R.E.S.P.E.C.T for you too. Fist pumps all round.

Do you keep to a theme on Instagram?
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