Sunday, 16 July 2017

Ways To Self Love This Week

1. Read a book that feeds your soul

Whether its Harry Potter or a thriller or a self help book. Emerge yourself in something that excites you and makes you forget about the world whilst you read it. I have a few suggestions here.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

8 Books Every Sassy Twenty Something Should Read

I've accepted that unless its Harry Potter or really short story my attention span just doesn't suit reading Fiction books. But what I am a custom to is autobiographical/self-helpy-inspirational books by strong sassy females. Over the last 3 years I've read quite a few that have inspired me and guide me through my early to mid and now approaching late twenties.

These are just a few that have helped me survive my twenties.

1. Girlboss- Sophia Amourso

Inspiring, motivating and empowering. This book has been such an influence on my attitude towards life and work. It's about how Sophia went from a high school dropout to founder and Executive Chairman of one the fastest growing retailers in the world. Also now has an accompanying Netflix series which I reviewed here.

2. Yes Please- Amy Poehler

A memoir by one of my favourite comedians. Full of anecdotes about family, love, friendships and personal hardships. What really inspires me is Amy's positive upbeat attitude to nearly all situations which shows throughout this book. After reading this I wanted to change how I looked at myself and my relationships and have a little more humour about certain situations.

3.  The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k- Sarah Knight

1 of 2 of Sarah Knight's books in this list. This frank honest insight into life and how we should give less f**k's about the unimportant things and more about the important things. I created my own F*** budget as advised by this book which you can read here.

4. How to Be a Bad Bitch- Amber Rose

Amber is an activist, model, mother, actress, muva and self proclaimed 'bad bitch'. Filled with advice and anecdotes and covers everything from finance to self acceptance. I aspire to even have an ounce of Amber's confidence and self assurance.

5. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

Amy Schumer like myself is an introvert and I've never read anything more compelling than her chapter on that. It completely resonated with me that spending time with people can leave her feeling drained. Not that I don't love spending time with people, its just too much of a good thing can make me go a little crazy. There's a lot more to Amy that a funny gal who talks about her vagina too much and this book shows that. Although she does frequently talk about it throughout.

6. Get Your Sh*t Together- Sarah Knight

Kinda does what it says on the tin. The follow up book from 'The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F***'. Its a direct and honest account of the common mistakes and problems we all face in our lives. Comes with a few home truths that I think we all need to face up to. Again a great book from Sarah on how to live a better life.

7. Strong Looks Better Naked- Khloe Kardashian

Khloe was always my favourite Kardashian, way before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon. Straight talking and funny and always not giving an eff what anyone thinks. This books about discovering self love and owning up to your mistakes. 

Very self explanatory. A great little guide to help you kick bad habits, some you may not even have realised you have. A step by step guide on how to get through your twenties with honest and applicable advice. And a little humour along the way. 

What books would you recommend? 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Life Update: June 2017

My last little life update was back in March, which really isn't all that long ago. I went through another patch of not really posting due to mental health issues and then I got back into the swing of things with blogging. I felt inspired, I bought my own domain. Everything was ok. And then life happened as it often does. My grandad past away and things got really hard for me and my family and it kind of hit me that my current employment situation in life was not making me happy anymore. 

Though my Grampsy lived to a nice old age, it really hit me that life is very short. Around this time I also finished watching GirlBoss which really inspired me, I talked about it here and it inspired me to re-read GirlBoss the book. Whilst I was at home with the family I read this quote 'What I know now is that nothing is universally boring- whats boring to you could be totally engaging to someone else. If you're bored and hating it, its a big sign that you're most likely just in the wrong place' and from that I decided I was going to hand my notice in. 

I've worked in the hospitality industry in the same company for nearly 5 years and though I had small part time jobs before. All I've known from my adult career is being in hospitality. The company I worked for are incredible if you're going into the hospitality industry. You couldn't ask for anyone more supportive and helpful. But what I came to realise is, I didn't want to be in hospitality anymore. And although hospitality has taught me so much about life, how to be organised, how to be stronger, how to be more confident and how to carry three things at once (which is so handy around the house when you need to carry three plates to your bedroom for you to eat in bed), its a tough industry to be in. 

A recent study has shown that working in hospitality is more stressful than being a neurosurgeon, read that here. And thats no exaggeration. I feel everyone should have to waitress or bar tend for at least once a week in their lifetime because it makes you more sympathetic and kinder when you go to bars or restaurants. There's nothing more soul destroying than being spoken to like a piece of shit when you've been on a 14 hour shift with 5 hours sleep the night before.

So yeah I handed my notice in. And my employment were extremely supportive of my decision. I had no job lined up, which I know is a little reckless but I knew in my gut I'd be fine. Firstly I had enough money to get through like 2 months and I decided if I didn't get anything, I'd move home.

 I could have looked for jobs and then handed it in but I know how I work. I'd felt unsure about working in hospitality a few times and applied for jobs but then ultimately decided to stay because I was comfortable and I'd persuade myself it was easier. I know I work much better under pressure, so I gave myself the ultimate pressure. I got applying for jobs and the first day I did, I heard back about one and then within 3 days I had a new 9-5 job which I've kind of been dreaming about for 5 years.

I may not enjoy it. I may miss the chaos of hospitality but I knew I had to try something and do something new, so I am.
And I urge you, next time you're out in a restaurant and your foods overcooked or someone forgot your side order. Please be nice 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Ultimate Fathers Day Gift Guide

Just in case anyones forgotten Fathers day is fast approaching, Sunday 18th! You only have a few days to get something purchased online.
 Does anyone else really struggle of what to get their Dad every year for birthdays, Christmas and Father's day, or is it just me. The problem is, I don't really like getting people gifts they've asked for, which is a little odd. If they've asked for it then surely thats what they want. But I like the element of surprise and picking a gift I know they'll really like but they're not expecting. And thats how I like my gifts to be in return.

I trawled the internet today for ideas and finally settled on something which I hope he'll really love. And along the way I found a lot of other things that might help other guys and gals pick something special for their Dad's.

Good luck!

Under £10

Under £20

£20 and Over

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Watch You Talking About

So recently I decided I'm the sort of sophisticated gal who should wear a watch. I don't know what it is about a watch that just screams 'grown up' but when I see someone with a watch I think, ooh they've got their shit together. I had a rose gold Michael Kors (cringe) years ago but since then I haven't really owned anything. So recently I decided to go and purchase a watch in a little workwear haul I did. I was on ASOS and I saw this little beauty and saw it was on sale at only £13. 

Its classic, simplistic and chic and also real leather!

Buy yours here.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

How My iPad Pro Changed My Life

I've always had sights set on an iPad, just cause I liked the idea of having one but I never really felt the need because surely it's just a big iPhone or a small version of a mac book. Both of which I already own so I felt it would just be a waste of my money.
Then lately I've been carrying my MacBook everywhere to blog and it's so heavy, I end up having to take an extra bag to carry it and I just worry about it getting damaged. So I started looking into buying an iPad, as I know people from work who've got keyboards for theirs and get loads of work done on it and have nothing but great things to say. 

This is when I read about the iPad Pro and saw about the iPad pencil. I spent a good week researching and deciding if this was necessity I needed in my life and since owning it now for well over a month  can safely say its changed my life.
I use it for everything; as a journal,  reading, a calendar and organiser, to do lists, somewhere to relax with colouring books, watch a film or drawing. 
I decided not to put any social media on it. It's my safe haven away from social media.

I originally wanted the 12inch one but since buying the 9, I've realised that is plenty and the 9 is much more practical for transporting around, which was its intended purpose when I thought about purchasing.
My only regret is buying the keyboard as I don't really use it as much as I thought I would. The pencil however is revolutionary. I use it to draw and jot down notes and I no longer have to carry a diary and a note book with me.

It has so many more uses it has amazing apps for creative types like Paper or Procreate. I know its become a popular tool with graphic designers and artists and I can see why. I almost wish I was a better drawer so I could use it to its full potential.
Its obviously not the cheapest thing in the world but I'm so glad I bought mine as its become so integral to my everyday life.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Topshop Mesh Swimsuit

Its my sisters hen party next weekend and I was suddenly reminded that for one of the secret activities, I needed to buy and wear a bikini/swimsuit of which I didn't own as I haven't had a proper holiday in a thousand years. So I quickly headed down to town today dreading the idea of trying on a thousand things and worried about spending a fortune on something decent and one of the first ones I found was this little mesh beauty from Topshop and delighted it was only £22.

Unfortunately the black one is out of stock online but the fuller bust, khaki and orange are all still on sale.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Can an iPhone App be a contraceptive?

I think I started going on the pill at like 14. I wasn't even sexually active and I didn't need it to control periods or mood swings. I just started taking it because thats what everyone else was doing and I wanted to sound grown up and cool. I was put onto Microgynon and no other methods of contraception were really discussed with me. And that was it, I took it religiously until I was about 22 when I was 'moody' which I now realise was actually depression but I thought changing the pill may help. So they put me on another pill, which I can't even remember the name of. It gave me heavy periods and made me lose my sex drive. I tried that for a few months then went back onto Microgynon, but again no other methods were discussed with me, I was just given the pill or another pill. 

In my nearly 12 years on the pill. I probably stopped taking it a handful of times mostly when I was no longer with a partner and I no longer felt the need to be on it. And in these times, I noticed that I felt different and better. 
When I started taking my antidepressants last year I noticed when I took them alone I felt pretty good but combined with my pill I would get the worst skin and a whole load of other emotional side effects. 
This was around the time a lot of articles and campaigns were coming out to educate females that there is more than one contraceptive and that studies have shown high correlations between those who take the pill and depression. Do you remember that male contraceptive pill they were testing, and it was stopped because of the side effects that the males got including depression? 
So at my doctors advice, well actually the internet my doctor just agreed, I stopped taking the pill. 

Then I heard about an app that can be a contraceptive. I was highly dubious to this idea. Angry Birds and Tinder are apps, how is it possible that an app could stop me getting pregnant?
I'd heard from a friend that they had tried it and it had been successful so I thought I would research it a little more and give it a go. The app firstly is certified contraceptive app and it works in measuring your temperature daily and recording when your periods are so it can tell you when you're fertile and need to use protection and when you're not fertile and you can bang to your hearts content. There's a lot of science behind it and its probably easier to read there website than me go on about it. I'll put a link to it at the bottom of this post.

You can also use the app for the reverse reasons. If you are planning for a baby, it can help you discover when you are at your most fertile. 
They have three different plans, including a one month free trial and then a monthly and yearly plan. The yearly one comes with a free thermometer than you can measure your temperature with and the monthly one does not.
I chose the yearly and I've now been using it for 2 months and I religiously take my temperature every morning and I've found its been really effective for me. For the first month its still getting to know your base temperature and you will still need to use protection in this time anyway but once its more in sync with you it starts letting you know when is best to use protection and when you're ok.

Contraception is different for every woman so Natural Cycles might not be what works best for you but I urge you to question it and not choose something just because a friend has or thats the only thing you've been offered. If you don't feel ok do your research and consult your doctor.

Sign up to Natural Cycles yearly plan with thermometer included and 10% discount!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Gingham Sundress

Gingham seems to be absolutely every where right now. Its definitely Summer '17's go to print. Yes it kind of takes me back to those summer school dresses you had to where at school, but in hindsight weren't they super cute?
I bought this one from H&M a couple of weeks back but can't find it online anywhere so here is a link  to an identical one from ASOS. I teamed it up with a chunky belt I own from Topshop just to cinch the waist a little more and add a different texture to the outfit.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Things To Watch Right Now- May 2017

13 Reasons Why

I heard so much hype about this and Riverdale on social media when looking for a new show to binge watch. I read up on both and this just seem to be more up my street. Its about a girl, also called Hannah, who takes her own life and then leaves behind a series of cassette tapes about individuals in her life that helped her influence her reason to commit suicide. It is so good and so gripping. Literally from the first episode, I was hooked. Sometimes for me it can take a while to get into a series but instantly I was into it. It starts off quite light hearted and then gets super dark and gritty. I've heard a lot of criticisms regarding the show and whilst I don't think its portrayal of depression is completely accurate, the portrayal of feeling suicidal and like you have nothing or no one left spoke to me on so many levels. As I've mentioned, I lost someone to suicide so I really connected with this show and after watching Clay's tape, I curled into a ball and cried for about hour. Be kind always, because you never know what is going on in someone else's head.

Available to watch on Netflix

Beauty and The Beast 

Beauty and The Beast is my absolute favourite Disney film anyway. Growing up brunette, I was always Belle in any game where we pretended to be Disney princesses. Also it reminds of when in Disney Land Paris and and my sister forced me to listen to the audiobook every night we were there. She basically cannot go to sleep unless theres a film on, and all the films we could find were in French, so we found the audiobook on the tv and listened to that. I on the other hand cannot sleep whilst watching tv so I had to wait till she fell asleep to turn it off.
Anyway. The live action film was incredible. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Emma Watson is the perfect Belle. The live action film makes sense of some of the questions I had like why has no one noticed this big ass castle before

Available in cinema's


I always felt like Sophia Amourso is the coolest person ever from social media and from reading her book GirlBoss which is arguably one of my favourite reads and when I walked away from it I felt inspired and like starting my own business but then I realised I don't actually have any great business ideas and I would suck as my own boss. Netflix recently released a tv show under the same name inspired by that book and inspired by Sophia and it has only confirmed that Sophia is one of the coolest people ever. 
Watching the show gives you so much nostalgia referencing everything from eBay to The O.C. to Britneys umbrella incident. Sophia is portrayed as a twenty something who is deeply flawed and still figuring life out which is much more relatable than shows about twenty somethings who have the perfect apartment and the perfect relationships, with the perfect lives. I easily binge watched this show in three days, in between working and sleeping. The soundtrack is also incredible and downloaded straight onto my Spotify. A must watch.

Available on Netflix

Pretty Little Liars

PLL is back and 7 series down we still don't know who A is or shall I say A.D. who is the new bad guy/gal stalking the liars and making their lives hell. 
This series however promises to answer all the questions we've been so desperate to have answered for so many years. If you have never watched PLL I seriously urge you to. I always describe it as Desperate Housewives meets Gossip Girls and whilst I am pretty sure it's target audience is supposed to be teenagers so many of my friends are absolutely as addicted as I am. This series has already got me hooked with this new Jumanji style game A.D. has given the liars to play.

Available on Netflix

Monday, 24 April 2017

How To Get More Followers on Instagram

Instagram has been a hot topic in the bloggersphere this past week, for many reasons. But the biggie was Insta Bots. If you don't know what I'm talking about basically a lot of well known and some less known bloggers, even brands have been outed as buying followers and using bots to unfollow/follow users on Instagram. Which some have deemed cheating and fake. I'm not here to really speak about that but I do feel Hannah Gale and Vix Meldrew spoke about it eloquently in their posts.
There are bigger things in the world than followers, obviously but the more followers you have the more likely brands are likely to work with you. The more likely people will read your blog and frankly I like getting new followers and nice comments on my pictures. 
I don't have the biggest following. I dont have a blue tick or a K next to my numbers but I'm quite happy with what I've got currently and how its grown throughout the last few years. See my instagram here. And below are a couple of tips on how to genuinely gain more followers.

1. Quality Content

I always say you don't have to have a DSLR and photoshop to create a good looking Insta feed but the better quality the photos are the more likely people will want to look at the photos. And the more people want to look at your photos, the more people will be likely to follow you. 
I use my iPhone and VSCO cam to edit my photos. I have now 1900 photos and I've been on Instagram about 4 years. I have spent ages playing around with taking and editing photos so now I have a basic understanding.
Key things for a good photo include composition, lighting and background. For me nothing beats natural lighting and where possible I take photos in the daylight. Grainy night time photos are not cute. 

2. Layout/ Theme 

A theme is basically visual consistency in your Instagram feed. Usually this means colours and subject and how each picture is edited. I like my photos currently super light so I always play around with exposure and brightness and I like a mixture between photos that are bright in colour and then in dark. 
I also use an app called 'Planoly' which you can use to schedule photos, which I tend not to do but it is useful if you're on the go. Instead I use this to map out where photos will go and how they will look next to and on top of other photos. 

3. Engagement 

 I can't stress this enough. None of this follow for follow crap or like for like. Genuinely comment and like pictures because you like and want to interact. Sometimes I'll search a hashtag to discover new users like 'blogger' or 'fashion' depending on what I'm looking for. Or I'll go to discover and find people that way. You know that feeling when you post an outfit and someone likes it or compliments it or you post a new product and someone asks you a question. Give that to someone else. 

4. Posting Regularly 

Obviously this isn't the easiest thing to do but it can guarantee more followers. But equally don't post so much that you're the only thing on their feed. Unless they are super into you they will probably get annoyed by your spam and unfollow.

5. #Hashtag

Using a hashtag is one of the easiest ways for users to discover you. You don't have to use loads just a few relevant ones so others will find you.

My First Few Instagram Pictures VS

My Instagram now
Follow me on Instagram here.