Sunday, 31 January 2016

(5) Lessons I've learnt from Halsey #2

Yesterday I uploaded a post explaining why I look up to Halsey as an inspiration, and the lessons that I've learnt from her. When I think of Halsey, wild, untameable, strong, and independent are some words that come to mind. I mean, she's so damn cool that her stage name is an anagram of her first name, Ashley. 

#1 "I am about empowering girls and I am about women wanting to build each other up"
There's something so fresh and inspiring about a woman like Halsey saying that she wants to contribute positively to the female community. There are so many artists and celebrities who just go along with the mainstream culture of slagging girls off behind their backs, or just being generally bitchy, but Halsey isn't having any of that!

#2 "Don't let your reputation affect your character"
It can be so easy to fit into the box of expectations that society has for you, but it's important that you stay true to yourself. Don't let peoples expectations stop you from being who you are, because no matter what people think, you are you, and that you that you are is wonderful, just as it is!

#3 "My responsibility is intention. I can't be held accountable for interpretation"
Just like Halsey, we can't take responsibility for the way that someone understands you. All you can control is the things that you say and the way that you live; that's your message to the world. Sometimes people are going to misinterpret who you are, because that's just part of life, and they might criticise you, but that's their problem, not yours.

#4 Who you are, is who you are under circumstance. So, the person that you are is the person that you are in an emergency, and the person you are is the person you are when someone insults you..."
You're not always going to behave the same way, and that's okay. It's okay to be a lover to one person, a daughter to another, and a friend to yet another. It's okay to be stressed under pressure, happy in the highs of life, and upset when it's tough. It's okay if you're not a monoperson. Nobody ever really is.

#5 Nothing! A! Woman! Does! Justifies! Unwanted! Sexual! Attention!"
I couldn't be able to tell you how many times I've been told that I shouldn't wear something in case it "Attracts the wrong attention" or "give the wrong idea". But the way I see it, I wear what I wear, you wear what you wear. I control my actions, and you control yours. I'm really glad that I've got the backing of someone like Halsey, who basically says that us girls should be able to live how we want without having to worry about the implications too much.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Lessons I've learnt from Halsey: Part 1


Omg where to start?

Halsey is a huge inspiration, and to be honest, I could take hours discussing why. Firstly she's a mixed raced bisexual girl with a bipolar disorder. So you have a POC, a member of the LGBTQ+ community and someone with a mental illness in the industry, and I think that's really important because she has a really dedicated fan base who will look up to her and listen to what she has to say.

Then you have the fact that she's a strong feminist who has the guts to confront some less educated people -like the people who do things like call her a slut for posting a picture in her underwear- and educate them so they can learn what is and what isn't okay, and I also think that's indispensable in this day and age. 

On top of all of that amazing stuff, there's the fact that she isn't afraid to be honest. Like, her instagram bio used to say "I write songs about sex and being sad. I will never be anything but honest" and I LOVE that. If you're not upfront and honest, then who are you? At the end of the day, how will people remember you, if all you are is deceptive?

Halsey's video for ghost has a female love interest, and the way that it is portrayed is so significant, because the relationship isn't sexualised like lesbian relationships usually are. It's really really well done and I just love her. I love all of her, as she is. The music video for ghost actually surprisingly got a lot of pretty negative feedback for being 'pornographic' but Halsey didn't just sit back and wait for it to blow over. In fact, in a video for The fader, she spoke out saying;


Written in collaboration with one of my best friends, love ya.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Becoming your own hero #3



It is becoming increasingly important in this day and age that we are able to be self-sustainable, and a huge part of that is being able to pull yourself through the rough patches of life. Becoming your own hero doesn't mean that you have to put on a magic superhero cape, it just means that you, as an ordinary human being, can save yourself from whatever's going on in your life.

I heard that you've been self medicating in the quiet of your room, your sweet suburban tomb. And if you need a friend, I'll help you stitch up your wounds. We don't have to live this way; we're the kings and the queens of the new broken scene and we're alright. Tear down these walls you built around yourself, and fall so in love with yourself and no-one else. 

Hold on tight, this ride is a wild one. Make no mistake the day will come when you can't cover up what you've done. Now don't lose your fight kid, it only takes a little push to pull on through. Hold on, don't look back, you know we're better than that. Carry on, let the good times roll. Sail along, let your path unfold. You know it's gonna get better. It won't be long, you know it's gonna get better. 

Sometimes it's a battle, sometimes it's a war. But you're never defenceless; sometimes we all lose stregnth, please don't lose your faith. Keep holding on, cos you know we'll make it through. Just stay strong, I'm here for you.

Grit your teeth, pull your hair, paint the walls black and scream "Fuck the world cos it's my life and I'm gonna take it back" and never for a second blame yourself. Carry on, outlast the ignorance. Moving on, survive the innocence. And after our time has passed, we're like light through stained glass, we go on and on and on, in the end we're never gone.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Becoming your own hero #2


It is becoming increasingly important in this day and age that we are able to be self-sustainable, and a huge part of that is being able to pull yourself through the rough patches of life. Becoming your own hero doesn't mean that you have to put on a magic superhero cape, it just means that you, as an ordinary human being, can save yourself from whatever's going on in your life.

Realisation 1: The stars can only shine in the dark
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is only revealed if they shine from within"
Some of the most amazing, inspirational stories come from the darkest of places, and realising that successful people didn't get to where they are easily is a crucial part of becoming your own hero. I struggled with a lot of things in 2014, from extreme exam stress, to chronic tension headaches and friendship tensions, to almost giving up on life completely. But here I am, after going through all that, and I have the ability to stand here today, and tell you that I am way, way, way stronger than I was because of it.

Realisation 2: You have the right to endure
"You have the right to endure, and that is something struggle can never take away from you"
Ever been told not to give up? Well it can seem a bit phoney; here you are going through this really tough situation, and you're almost at the end of yourself, and all you get is a "Don't give up, it'll get better soon". You think I'd be finding life so tough if that was true?! Ugh. 
But it is true, and that is the amazing beauty of life. Sometimes there is a lot of pain in our journey, but there is also always a lot of beauty. We need to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when we're hurting, because we'll never know what is waiting for us around the bend until we go there.

Realisation 3: A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset
"When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy. The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you it will start feeling like one. Time spent appreciating is time worth living"
Life is so beautiful, and there is so much in the world to be happy about. A beautiful mindset begins with appreciating every single little detail, like the jar of nutella you bought on your way home from work, or the day you spend with your boyfriend snuggling in front of the TV, or the incredible memories you have from your childhood. The energy of a child as they run around the room, the smell of a cinnamon scented candle, the 5 new comments you got on your blog... there's so much in the world to be happy about, you just need to open your mind to the positivity. This is something I've really challenged myself to do, which you can read all about in my '5 happy thoughts' posts

Realisation 4: You are enough
"It's easy to feel uncared for when people aren't able to communicate and connect with you in the way you need. And it's hard not to internalize that silence as a reflection of your worth. But the truth is that the way other people operate is not about you. Most people are so caught up in their own responsibilities, struggles, and worries, that the thought of asking someone else how they are doing doesn't even cross their mind. They aren't inherently bad or uncaring- they're just busy and self-focused, and that's okay. It's not evidence of some fundamental failing on your behalf. It doesn't mean that you're unlovable or invisible, it just means those people aren't very good at looking beyond their own world. But the fact that you are- that despite the darkness you feel you have the ability to share your love and light with others is a strength. Your work isn't to change who you are; it's to find people who are able to give you the connection you need. Because despite what you feel, you are not too much. You are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. You are compassionate and kind. And with or without anyone's acknowledgement or affection, you are enough"

Realisation 5: You aren't ugly
"It doesn't make sense too call ourselves ugly, because we don't really see ourselves. We don't watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with our chest falling and rising with our own rhythm. We don't see ourselves reading a book; our eyes fluttering and glowing. You don't see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There's no mirror in your way when you're laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if someone showed you yourself in the moments where you truly are yourself" 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Becoming your own hero #1

It is becoming increasingly important in this day and age that we are able to be self-sustainable, and a huge part of that is being able to pull yourself through the rough patches of life. Becoming your own hero doesn't mean that you have to put on a magic superhero cape, it just means that you, as an ordinary human being, can save yourself from whatever's going on in your life.

Step 1: Have confidence in yourself
"Stand up and be your own person. Be proud of who you are and show your scars and laugh in the face of those who tell you there is anything you can't do"
In order to stand up for yourself in situations where people are against you, you need to believe that you are someone worth standing up for. That's where self-confidence kicks in; believing that you're worth something, and that your beauty is immeasurable is the starting point in being able to be your own hero.

Step 2: Recognise that self confidence isn't full time
As important as it is to have self confidence, there are some times where you just don't feel like you have the effort, and that's completely okay. It's totally fine to have days, weeks, or even months where you're happy with who you are, but it's also totally fine to have days, weeks, or even months where you're not so happy with yourself. It's okay. It's not really possible to have the whole self confidence thing completely worked out, so you need to leave space for down time without beating yourself up about it.

Step 3: Focus on the positives
"Take what comes your way as an opportunity, not a burden. There is always a plan, sometimes it just takes a little longer to understand the journey of life, but in the end everything is meant to be"
There are always going to be a lot of negatives in life, and it can be so easy to feel like the bad stuff is overwhelming, but that's what makes it so important that you focus on the positive things. Appreciating every single little thing that is good in your life can lead to increased feelings of self worth, higher motivation levels, and not surprisingly, overall happiness. Here's a post I wrote a while back on 100 things that make me feel good.

Step 4: Take your own advice
Have you ever given your friend a really good piece of advice, and thought to yourself 'Damn, I should follow my own advice'? Well, you should! You know yourself the best, and you know the situation you're facing better than anyone else, so why don't you try to give yourself advice? Pretend you're giving a friend advice, and make a list of 5 things you could try to minimise or erase the problem.

Step 5: Forgive yourself
I, like every other human being that ever existed, have made a heapload of colossal mistakes, and if I didn't forgive myself, I would have an extremely heavy burden to carry. Sometimes we make mistakes that are so big that we just feel like a failure, but mistakes aren't meant to make us feel worthless; they are meant to teach us lessons. So pick yourself up from the floor, forgive yourself, dust yourself off and move on. The world is full of amazing opportunities, and it would be so sad if you missed out because you were too busy giving yourself a hard time.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

12 Motivational Phone Wallpapers

I don't know about you, but I use my phone a hell of a lot, whether it's for keeping in touch with my friends, browsing through bloglovin', or updating my facebook status. And since I use my phone so much (as I'm sure you do too) I've decided it's time for me to update my wallpaper to something meaningful, that will brighten my day when I look at it. Since this fits in quite well with the January Positivity Project, I thought I would share some of my favourite finds with you all! Let me know if you use any in the comments...


1. Start where you are... - Cassandraann
2. To succeed in life... -Weheartit
3. Be so good... -Weheartit
4. You can do anything... -Cassandraann


5. A sunday well spent... -Onsuttonplace
6. Not all who wander... -Weheartit
7. Follow your dreams... Weheartit
8. Positive thoughts only... -Onsuttonplace

9. It's just a bad day... -Tumblr
10. Big things often... Weheartit
11. I'd rather be hated... -Tumblr
12. I choose to be happy... -Weheartit

How to use
If you want to have these cute little wallpapers as home or lockscreen, all you need to do is find one that you like, and follow the link that I have provided. Once you reach it, hold the image and save it to your phone's images, where you can then set it as your home or lockscreen... or both!

Most of these wallpapers are from various weheartit posters, and for those of you who don't know, weheartit is like a much simpler, more aesthetic version of pintrest. I love using weheartit to make aesthetic photo albums, find wallpapers for my phone (duh...), get outfit inspiration, and much, much more. 

What do you think of my festive wallpapers?
What's your favourite motivational quote?

Monday, 25 January 2016

10 things I'd tell my younger self


There have been times when, looking through the photographs, or just thinking about the past in general, I've wished that there was a magical time machine that would allow me to go back in time to mend the mistakes that my younger self has made. Sadly, such a machine doesn't exist, but that doesn't stop me from wishing. Anyways, here are the 10 things I would tell my younger self if I had the chance...

It doesn't matter if you don't have a huge group of friends
Ever heard the phrase 'quality not quantity'? Yeah, you might not have heaps of friends, but you have a select number of really, really damn good friends who are going to stick by your side all the way through primary school, and then all through high school too. Don't take them for granted, because they deserve to be appreciated.

Appreciate your parents
When you're faced with the possibility of moving away from home, it's a bit too late to realise how much your parents have done for you in the past 17 years of your life. They have given up so much of their life in order to make sure you have the most perfect childhood, even at their own expense. It's time you stop acting like a spoiled brat, and started realising how incredible your parents are.

Don't worry about not having a 'life plan'
It's okay not to know exactly what you want to do with your life. In fact, it's normal. Even though tons of your friends may seem to have their whole life planned out for themselves, most of these plans are probably going to go out the window after exams. Just chill and take it one step at a time.

Don't get highlights done right after you've dyed your hair
Just don't. It's a bad idea, and you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Anna might look good with her blonde streak, but you are going to look like a total idiot, because the hairdresser is only going to give you three chunky highlights. Now it looks like you've failed at life.

Don't bin the books you've already read
Seriously, this is going to cause you so much grief. Just keep the damn books! Store them in the garage or something, so that when the time comes that you want to re-read them, or lend them to a friend, you won't go home just to realise that you binned them. 

Avoid the blue eyeliner
This is not a good look. It's really not. I know all your friends are going for the thick blue eyeliner look, but you look like some kind of druggie from the '70s. Mum was right, you shouldn't have been allowed in public with makeup like that.

Get guitar lessons ASAP
So I know you're going to want to try out playing the flute, piano, violin, cornet, trumpet, viola, and drums, but the truth is none of these instruments are going to be much good, so you might as well save yourself the time and money, and jump straight into learning guitar. Trust me, it'll be so much better. Guitar rules over all.

Please learn how to shape and maintain your eyebrows
No comment.

Your problems aren't really that bad
I know it feels like the world is ending, but it's really not. Life is about to get a hell of a lot more tough, and you're going to have to juggle exams, stress, tension headaches, depression, and difficult friends soon. Consider yourself lucky, and prepare for the worst. 

You'll get over the guy who you're sure you're going to marry
So you know that guy you've been pining over for 4 years, that you're convinced you're going to marry? You know every single detail about him, from his birthday to his best friends pet hamsters name... it's just sad. Anyway, as soon as you get over him, he's going to ask you out, and you're going to reject him. But that's okay, cos you guys are going to end up being total bestos. Love him!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

lessons I learnt from the break up

So, it's coming up for 2 months since my ex called things off with me and ended our relationship. While it's been a tough and confusing time for me over these couple of months, I have actually learnt a lot from it, and I've started to notice things about the world that I didn't notice before; good things.

1. My friends are incredible
This was especially true in the first month after the break up, where to say I was a train wreck of emotions would be putting it lightly. Yet they carried through what was one of the hardest months of my life, without even one complaint. They bought me cake the day after we broke up, which we ate together, spoons in hand demolishing it until there was nothing left. They held me as I cried again and again and again. They responded to my 3am messages asking for help, with sincere love. My friends have always been there for me, but it has been in this period of time where I really grew to appreciate everything they do for me. They honestly deserve all the best things in life. 

2. I am strong
There's this quote that I've written down ages ago that says "As bad as it was, I learned something about myself; that I could go through something like that and survive", and you know what? It has never been so true as it is now. Being honest, it hurt. It hurt a heck of a lot, but I have endured. I'm not the same person as I was when I entered the relationship, but I have grown from it, and I have become stronger. I have endured, and I am still standing here, ready for the obstacles that life is inevitably going to throw at me. 

3. The relationships that don't last prepare you for the ones that do
"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, yet rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty". A lot of people are like that with love, too. Just as people will overlook what the butterfly was before it was cocooned, so too do they look past the trail of heartbreak and lost love that leads to a relationship in which two people truly love and appreciate each other. I loved him. I loved him, and I lost him, and I can stand here and say (or sit here and type...) that I am better for it. I will love again, wiser, happier, and infinitely grateful for the relationships I had before, because they are lighting the way to a relationship that ultimately, I hope will last as long as I -or they- live. 

4. Distance doesn't lie
As some may know, and some may not, he lived approximately 145 miles away from me, which is a 3 hour bus journey, plus travelling to and from the bus station. And I know for a fact that the distance put a bit of a strain on our relationship; a strain that probably wouldn't have been there if not for the miles that separated us. I'm sure I'm not the first one to say that long distance relationships are harder than most other relationships, but I actually want to say more than just that. See, maybe he and I would have lasted longer if he lived nearer, but at the end of the day, if it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't meant to be, and that's just something that I need to accept. Distance sometimes lets you know who's worth keeping and who's worth fighting for, and in this instance, it showed me who is better of as a friend, rather than a boyfriend. 

Have you ever gone through a break up?
What lessons have you learnt from it?

Saturday, 23 January 2016

If you want the crown, you gotta take it


Yes 'gotta' not 'got to' and yes, I know it should have been 'you've' before 'gotta' but lets face it, this is clearly not about the English language. Its about the message behind the quote & surely, like me you can't deny that it just rolls off the tongue better.

The quote is the tagline for my blog (www.crownedego.com)



They're not my own words but I have edited them (if you call removing a word editing) and adopted this version to encompass my blog. 

Sean Anderson is actually the man who came up with the original version; you might know him better as, Big Sean? You know, the one who sings the 'I don't [insert f-bomb here] with you' song. So I guess now you're beginning to understand why I edited the quote? Of course being a musical artist and rapper, Big Sean's version was almost always going to be much more...lets say 'raw' than mine lol! Curious? Look up the lyrics to Big Sean's All Your Fault song (second to last line of the song).

So why take the crown? Well why not? Over the last couple of years there's been a few things that has happened in life where I have sat back, silently thought of all kinds of 'raw' words to say and questioned what kind of messed up world are we living in. 

Loss. Un-fulfillment. Tragedy. Not to hard to relate to is it? Sadly in today's world it can feel like something of that nature is never too far around the corner!

My mom used to always say that tomorrow isn't promised & I have never understood what she meant more than now. The last couple of years have highlighted to me that none of us know what life is going to throw at us at any given time.

Fact: Life is too short and unpredictable to ever sit around waiting for something that you want. Generally speaking, its not going to just happen; somebody isn't going to walk over and hand you your dreams or goals on a plate. You need to engineer it - if you want something, you really need to go out and get it. <----- crown="" div="" exactly="" f="" gotta="" is="" it="" me.="" means="" right="" sentence="" take="" that="" the="" there="" to="" want="" what="" you="">


Written by Steph Crown from crownedego.com - Fashion, Beauty, Food, Travel and just Life Blogger

|If you would like to know more about Steph Crown, visit her blog at (http://crownedego.com/who-is-she/)

Friday, 22 January 2016

Society (A guest post by Nadia)

I think that society has a massive impact on an individual. In our society there is a way that people are expected to be and when people don't fit that 'criteria' you become an outcast. We see in magazines the slim models with the perfect hair, face and body and that is what some of us feel like we should be. When in reality there is no perfect person, a perfect image to someone may not be the perfect image to someone else because we’re all different. Media puts a huge amount of pressure on teenagers because it shows a way that you should be and makes young teens both girls and boys, feel like they have to be that certain way. Society is one huge mould, it tries to mould everyone to be the same and when we don’t fit in that mould the problem starts. People get bullied all the time. There are lots of reasons why someone could get picked on, for example, if you’re different in any way from them… If you have a funky, outgoing dress sense that may seem weird to others but to you is what you feel comfortable with. Or they might be facing their own problems, which isn't an excuse to make someone else feel like crap but this doesn't stop them, they just find someone to lash out at.


Nowadays, being good at school and getting top grades makes you a nerd, struggling in a class and getting the lowest grade makes you the dumbest out of everyone, dressing respectively makes you a prude, wearing clothes like short skirts and crop tops makes you a slut, being quiet makes you seem awkward and a loner. The list is endless. Schools are based on popularity groups, the amount of friends you have and how you dress and what you have is what seems to be important. School shouldn't be this way. A school is meant to be a stable learning environment but sometimes people don’t reach their full potential because they are embarrassed in case they get the answer wrong or they don’t want to seem like a nerd. We are afraid of being judged. 


People will always judge you no matter what and you’ll judge people too… that’s okay. As long as you don’t say things that could or would hurt someone else. We are all are different, that’s the way we were made. We’re bound to have different opinions on each other and that’s cool, it’s how we express that opinion that can sometimes become the problem. You can never stop someone judging you, it just happens. But it shouldn't matter; no one else’s opinion apart from yours should matter to you. And I know it’s easy to say and sometimes it does hurt but you can never stop people saying mean things, its life. It sucks, I know but unfortunately that’s just how things go. We shouldn't let it affect us and personally I get it … it does hurt when you hear ugly, upsetting things being said to you. The only thing you can really do is ignore it, don’t give them the satisfaction and let them know you’re hurt. I know *eye roll* the ‘ignore it’ card but that’s all we can do … well we could throw a few punches but, let’s keep the peace. And it shouldn't hurt because if you are comfortable with your flaws then no one can make you feel bad about them. Every human being has flaws whether it’s small or big we all have them. But if you feel like for example, you’re overweight and know that maybe you need to lay off the junk then you do it. If you don’t like something about yourself then you have the power to change it. The important thing though is that you change yourself in a healthy way, if you’re trying to lose weight don’t starve yourself eat but maybe cut down on the portions? You can always get advice on these types of thing whether online or a real professional like your doctors.


At the end of the day, be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Don’t let anyone stop you from achieving what you want to do! This is YOUR life so … it’s up to you to make a change. Write your own history.

This is a guest post from Nadia, a fifteen year old blogger who runs the blog c0ffeessions. Nadia has many interests, some of which include writing, speaking, and helping others. Her posts vary from poems to her loved ones, to posts like this which explore deep subjects like the role of society. Her blog is definitely one to watch out for! 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

5 blogging tips I live by


Blogging is a very time consuming thing, and it takes a lot of dedication, as I'm sure most of you reading this post will already know. You need to be able to stick to a schedule for posting articles on your blog, while also juggling social media, and interacting with other bloggers. When I started blogging, being organised was one of the things I struggled with the most, but over time I reckon I've improved quite a bit. I'm no blogging expert, but here are a few of my top tips;

Schedule your blog posts
I always schedule my blog posts a few weeks in advance. This is such a great thing to do, as it means that if anything ever comes up that sets me back, I'll know that I have at least 2 weeks until I need to create new blog content. It also takes away a lot of the stress/pressure of blogging, and makes the experience much more chill.

Write posts in bulk
Much like scheduling your blog posts, writing posts in bulk means that if you're busy or if something comes up that stops you from writing a post that week, you'll have backup posts. It can sometimes be tough trying to write tons of posts at once, so take it easy, but maybe the next time you go to write one post, write two or three. Your future self will thank you for it!

Use a diary/blogging planner
I have two great planners; one for reminding myself when I've scheduled posts for, and another for all the little behind the scenes activities I need to do in order to keep my blog running to its full potential. I find that using a planner has been really helpful to me for keeping on top of things, and avoiding feeling overwhelmed.

Have a notebook dedicated to blog post ideas
It's really important that you keep track of all your ideas and initiatives, as they can be a great bank to fall back on when you're facing bloggers block. I have two notebooks dedicated to my blog; one containing all my ideas, and another containing my blogging to-do list. It's such a great help to keep organised and ready!

Have some generic images set aside (desk photos that can be used for any kind of post)
This is another really important tip, which I honestly swear by. Just like I write posts in bulk, I also take photos and edit them in bulk. Just last month my camera broke (some kind of problem with the lens...) so I am soo relieved that I have about 20 photos that can be used for any kind of post, which should do me until I either get my camera fixed, or find a replacement. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

20 uplifting quotes for hard times


When life gets me down, I like to read uplifting, motivational quotes that inspire me and give me hope that things are going to get better. I currently have one on my bathroom mirror and 3 framed on the walls in my bathroom and bedroom. Here are 20 of my favorite uplifting quotes to help you keep going when times get tough.

1. “Don’t you give up. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” ~Jeffrey R. Holland

2. “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

3. “Problems are not stop signs. They are guidelines.” ~Robert H. Schuller

4. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ~Robert F. Kennedy

5. “We women have a lot to learn about Simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.” ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley

6. “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference” ~Serenity Prayer, Reinbold Niebubr

7. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ~Dr. Seuss

8. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

9. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein

10. “So often we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to enjoy the journey.” ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

11. “How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then, let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!’ ” ~Neal A. Maxwell

12. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ~Nelson Mandela

13. “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.” ~Walt Disney

14. “Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. Accentuate the positive. Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life.” ~Gordon B. Hinckley

15. “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” ~Martha Washington

16. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie

17. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” ~Sara Blakely

18. “No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse.” ~Jeffrey R. Holland

19. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!” ~Dr. Seuss

20. “Forgiveness helps quiet our anger so it doesn’t spill over onto innocent lives.” ~Kevin Hinckley

See http://goodthingsrealized.com/20-uplifting-quotes-for-hard-times/ for the original post including all photo credits

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Dear friend, stay alive


"I know you're sad, so I won't tell you to have a good day. Instead, I advise you simply to have a day. Stay alive. Feed yourself well, wear comfortable clothes, and don't give up on yourself just yet. It will get better, but until then, have a day"

My friend, life is tough. It's so full of ups and downs, and a lot of the time it can seem like the higher the ups, the lower the downs. I get that. I understand what it's like to be cautious of the good times because you are so sure that something inevitably disastrous is waiting around the corner. Take this from me; I know how it feels. 

If you're in a really low place right now, my friend, that's okay. You're human, and it's okay to feel crappy for a while- it happens to the best of us I assure you. So cry it out, and wallow in your emotions for a while. Express yourself in whatever way you feel most effective for you. But don't stay there in your despair. You, as a strong, independant human being, have the ability to pick yourself up out of the muck, and keep walking on. The biggest lie the world can tell you, is that there is no way for you to help yourself. It's just not true.. you can help yourself; you just need to find out how.

At the end of every night, the sun rises, and everything starts again. When you go to sleep tonight, close your eyes and promise yourself a fresh start tomorrow- a clean slate in your mind. Promise yourself that when the sun rises you will try to help yourself have a day. Possibly even a good one. 

My friend, you are stronger than you realise. Do you want to know how I know? Because you are sitting or standing or lying down somewhere in the crazy, messed up, beautiful world, and you are breathing. You inhale, you exhale, and you read. Breath is the first sign of life. 

Please keep breathing; you've made it this far, gorgeous, you can keep going. You can do this.

My friend, please stay alive, for me.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Dear First love



Hello readers! My name is Ashley and I blog about a little bit of everything over at The Daily Hike. 

When Sara gave me the opportunity to guest blog for her, I was really excited! This post was featured on my blog last week and my readers really liked it, so I hope you guys like it just as much. Enjoy!


Dear first love,

I've imagined this letter in my head many times. Sometimes written with anger, sometimes written with a heavy heart of regret. I'm happy to say that now I'm in a place in my life where I am neither of those, but very thankful.

You were my first for many things. With that said, you will always hold a special spot in my heart. We had some really great times and some really awful times... I guess more awful times than great or else we'd still be together. But with the good and the bad, I learned a lot. 

I learned how to love - wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Through all of the petty fights that fifteen year olds could think of, we decided to make things work and stay together. Not only did I learn to love you, but I learned to love myself. Having someone love me back taught me that I was worth someone giving me their all. 

Thank you for giving me a second family, a safe haven to go to when I didn't want to be around my own. Your parents and siblings accepted me as one of their own and that taught me that family is not just about who you are biologically related to. Family are the people who treat you with unwavering love and accept you for who you are, flaws and all. 

You taught me how to compromise; that it wasn't okay for me to get my way every time. I needed to learn to take into consideration that my actions would affect others, not just myself. I'm sorry I wasn't very good at it during our relationship, but I have since learned the error in my ways.

If you learned anything about me during our time together, it was that I believed in the best of people. This is something that you kept chipping small pieces away from me. I trusted you to always tell me the truth and be honest, but you failed me many times. Even after all of those times, I gave you another chance... after chance... after chance. It's okay though, I forgive you. I now take things for face value and don't underestimate them.

You showed me all of the qualities that I don't want in a relationship and for this, I owe you the most gratitude. You are a wonderful person inside and out, but many of your qualities clashed too hard with mine. Because of our failed relationship, you sent me on the path of finding myself away from you because you were all I knew for so long. You showed me that I could be strong, that I didn't need a man by my side to be happy. I learned that I could be independent, that having friends that loved me was more than enough.

And most importantly of all... You showed me that I was strong enough to love again. To not only love again, but to find a man with everything I could ask for and more and not settle for anything less. You would like him, too. He takes care of me. He treats me with the utmost respect and looks at me with eyes so full of love and happiness. None of this would be possible without you. I wouldn't be the woman he deserves without learning the very important lessons you taught me.

I hope one day you find someone who loves you the way he loves me. Don't settle for anything less than you deserve.

I wish you the best of luck in life,

Me

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Dear friend, these are the things that help me


Dear friend, I have come across some amazing posts -yes, there are good bloggers other than myself out there- which have really encouraged me, and allowed me to grow. I believe that perhaps if you also read them, you could experience the same uplifting that I have. 

Dana Fox is a wonderful blogger, and in this post she gives clear guidance on how to set and achieve you goals. Dana discusses the importance of having  a clear vision, knowing the action steps of your goals, as well as how to embrace fear, and much, much more.

Although she talks about budgets being stretched around Christmas time, this post is still extremely relevant to the January aftermath. My pockets are completely empty, and I'm meant to be saving up money for my university fund (I start next September!!) so these money saving tips have been really helpful for me, especially because I travel so much!

I have always been a bit miffed at how I can waltz around being the most confident girl in the world in some situations, but then snap into being timid and shy in others. Some people, when I'm lacking confidence around them, have jumped to the conclusion that I think that I'm too good to talk to them, when really it's the complete opposite! In this post, Jemma opens up about the areas she feels she lacks confidence in, and how she's going to start a new chapter for herself to improve her confidence. 

I might only be 17 years old, but I can definetly resonate with wanting to escape the world of responsibilities and stresses. Having exams, and looking for a job is tough, so can you really blame me for falling head over heels for this post?! Be lists 10 ways to have a wee throwback to your childhood, without being a too immature (not that there ever was such a thing as being too immature...)

21 year old Katie was my winter hero; through this post she saved me from the terrors of dry, dark eyes, and infestation of spots (I blame my friends for buying me heaps of chocolate after the break up...). No, but seriously, this post is a miracle post. Apart from a few exceptions, I own -or have owned- pretty much all these products, and I can vouch for them being 100% worth the cash! #Brilliant

Which blog post has helped you, and why?

Saturday, 16 January 2016

the love yourself challenge

the love yourself challenge is a tumblr blog which is ran by siblings Scotty and Rae Smith. It is dedicated to creating a safe and calming place online for young adults and teenagers to go to. Through acknowledging mental illnesses in an open yet positive way, the blog provides a place full of love and acceptance, and provides young people with the means to be motivated through quotes and music videos.

Shoulders - For King and Country
"this blog is a place that strives to embrace and celebrate young people for who they are, where they are - with no strings attached. we try our best to foster a safe space where young people can feel respected and accepted in their own skin"

I found the love yourself challenge three years ago, when I was fighting my own personal battle, and at the time I had started collecting all my favourite quotes in a quotes book, to keep for when I felt down. At that point in time, the love yourself challenge was just a source of cool, relatable quotes, but over the years it has grown to be much more significant in my life.


I won't tell you what I struggled with, because I don't want to put myself in a box, nor do I want to trigger anyone or make you feel bad about yourself. So let's just say that I was unhappy with who I was. There we go, me in a nutshell.

But through constantly checking on the love yourself challenge, I exposed myself to motivation and inspiration to keep fighting. I didn't notice it at the time, but every time I wrote a new quote in my book, it sunk in. And then at a later time, when I would find myself alone at night I would remember that quote that I had written earlier in the day. It was things like this, that gave me the strength to keep pushing on, and not to relapse into the thing I was struggling with.
You see, the things  you are exposed to, they have an impact on your mentality whether you want them to or not. So by exposing myself to something positive instead of all these upsetting and triggering posts on weheartit and tumblr, I was opening myself up to something positive which grew to help me so much. Every step of the way, I had something to fall back on.


So during the sleepless nights, I would scroll through the pictures and listen to the music. During the times I was surrounded by people and felt invisible, instead of searching some triggering hashtags, I would go on to the love yourself challenge.When I just needed a break from everything and felt I needed to express myself, I would write a post based on the quotes I found on the site.
Now, though I still fight the same battles that I did all that time ago, I have found coping strategies. My mental oxygen tank. But ultimately, it's up to me and you to choose what we filter into our minds.

What do you think of the love yourself challenge?
What helps you keep a healthy mentality?

Dear Friend, You are Important in Ways Unimaginable.

Dear friend, Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect?

I don’t fully get it either. But you’ve probably heard of it. If not, it’s theory about how when a butterfly flaps its wings in Connecticut, it eventually causes a tornado in Texas.

I don’t know the full details, but it’s basically this: it’s the scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever.

Woah. That’s big, right?

Now, let’s take another scientific fact. (Bare with me here – I promise there’s a point by the end of all this.) There is no such thing as a carbon copy of a human being. Everyone you meet, whether once and never again or many times, has never met and will never meet another person exactly like you ever again.

Double woah.

Put those two together and what do you get? Two words: YOU MATTER.You are so unbelievably important the world can’t function without you. I can’t even begin to explain how important you are. Think about it: what if you being late to class somehow saved a life? What if you helped stop a murder? What if you held the key to the world’s salvation?!

But that’s becoming a bit too grand scale. So let’s tone it down a bit. What if you weren't there for your best friend? What if she had met someone else? Things would be so much different from her. I mean, look how happy she is with you now. She’s never going to find what you have in another person ever again. You left your own unique fingerprint in her life. And what about that kid who sat next to you? What if you had never lent him that pencil, or that sharpener? You don’t even know it, but that could’ve made a huge difference in his life. What if he was failing, and that test was the only thing that could get him to pass? 

Or what about that person you smiled at that today? That waiter you gave a good tip to? That stranger who asked for the time?

You matter. And so does everything you do. Every single little thing you do affects the world. And it affects the world in a way only you can. Because there’s nobody else exactly like you. So yeah...you’re actually kind of REALLY important.

It may seem like a big thing. And it kind of is. Every action you make to a person, even if it's only a hello, adds to a person's timeline - uniquely affects their life. And with how many people you interact with in a day, you are actually very far from useless.

Joey here! Not a vampire. Or a necromancer. I don’t even have a fake ID. I’m just an ordinary kid who likes drinking Kool-Aid and listening to Oasis. I also blog over at Joey Rambles. I like making people laugh and inspiring them, so if you like both of those things, you should go check my blog out!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Dear friend, never give up


It's only been a few weeks since we were all drinking to our new years resolutions, but now you're feeling burnt out. You feel like you've failed in keeping your resolutions, and maybe you're failing at juggling everything that life is throwing at you right now. That's okay, we all feel that way sometimes. Just please, please promise me you won't give up.

My friend, your failures don't define you, and they never will. You are more that the times you messed up! Even the best athlete will lose races, and even the best footballer will miss the goals from time to time. Your failures don't define you; the way you handle yourself after you fail does. Please don't beat yourself up about the times you haven't gotten 100% at everything. Be gentle on yourself, and don't give up. Pick yourself up from the fall, and make a comeback as a stronger, better you, ready to achieve your goals and reach your dreams.

My friend, you are stronger than you think. I know you look in the mirror and see someone who will never achieve their dreams, but that is not the real you, and it's not the you that I see. One setback, not matter how small or huge, is never going to be enough to stop you from achieving your goals. Neither are 10, or ever 1,000. You are a warrior, so please recognise this, and don't give up. You have the strength to achieve great things, so please don't put it to waste. 

My friend, you might have opposition. You might have opposition, because you are such a strong-willed person, who always proves themselves. You were never known as someone who is weak and gives up, so please don't ever even consider giving up just because some people are too narrow-sighted to see the bigger picture of your destined success. Prove yourself to the world, and to yourself. Please never give up, because that is the only time that you will truly fail.

Finally, my beautiful, strong friend, I want to let you know that I am always here for you. I will be here to push you on and encourage you, to celebrate with you, and to hold you and support you. No matter what happens, I will always be by your side... even if you do give up.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

5 Happy Thoughts

Hello friends! How have you all been liking my January positivity/motivation project? Incase you hadn't noticed, I've been posting at least one post a day (sometimes 2!) that links in with motivation, success, and/or positivity. If you haven't been keeping up to date, you'll have plenty of new content to keep you hooked, including a fair number of guest posts! I'm excited with how this has kicked off herelectricocean's new year with a BOOM, and am interested to see how you guys benefit from a bit of positivity during the January blues...


I'm finally getting over him...
This blog has seen the rise and demise of a few of my relationships. Some have ended for the better, and some have totally and completely wrecked me. The end of this one was tough on me, but I have learned so much from the experience, and I wouldn't change anything that happened. But it has ended, and it's time for me to move on. Not necessarily with another guy anytime soon, but I am going to move on and stop holding on to broken pieces of what's left of our relationship.

I'm getting tickets to see Neck Deep next month...
And I've decided that today. Wow. Such last minute, much exciting. My friend literally texted me about 4 hours ago asking me if I wanted to go with her and her other two friends that I don't really know, and since the tickets are at silly cheap prices, I decided to go for it. Yolo, and all that. 

Speaking of concerts...
I'M GOING TO SEE ALL TIME LOW A MONTH TOMORROW OH MY DAYS MY FAVOURITE BAND COMING UP FOR 8 YEARS IN JUNE. HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?! THE BEST WAY TO SPEND THE DAY AFTER VALENTINES HAHA YES WHO NEEDS ROMANCE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE ALEX, ZACK, RIAN, AND JACK. HECK YEAH! Oh, and the absolute legends Against the current and Good Charlotte are the supports. The SUPPORTS.

Did I mention Valentines day?
Yeah, well me and my girlies are meeting up for a wee sleepover over the Valentines weekend, because we are cute as flip. Time to whip out the ice cream and 90's chick flicks, am I right ladies? Psh, like I need to wait for an answer- of course I'm right. Lets start with a total classic, Clueless. Gosh, I love that movie.

I had my first ever job interview yesterday
And I don't think I did anything to mess up! I've been applying around to get a job for uni, and McDonald's was my first port-of-call, so I was really pleased to hear back from them that I got an interview. Now all I need to do is wait to see if I get the job or not...

Throwback Thursday

Happy Thursday, friends! Well, that's my second week back at school since the holidays almost over, and I'm not gonna lie, I am tired as anything. Oh well, 7 and a half more teaching weeks to go until I GRADUATE!

I took this cute little picture on the way home from school before the Christmas Holidays, and I just thought it was the most perfect, appropriate picture to represent this post. On that day, as I walked home, I was ranting to my friend about all sorts of things -that day had been terrible- and as soon as I saw the rainbow, I took this picture to send it to him. Minutes later, the rain came down, but before it came on too strongly I got into the safety of my cosy, rain-free home.

Today I wanted to have a little took back at all the 'Thursday Thoughts' posts I've written in the past year, as it's always nice to look back and re-live all the lessons I've learnt. Hopefully you will also be able to learn from my mistakes and revelations. 

"When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure"
Reading this post took me a down memory lane, to a memory that to be quite frank I would have been quite alright with not remembering. That was my first real heartbreak; the first time I had cried over a boy who told me he loved him, knowing that there was nothing I could do to fix it. Looking back, the pain is still there, and we haven't been able to fully repair our relationship, however I have learnt so much from this experience, that has and will really open up my eyes to a lot of things.

When I was preparing this, I thought a bit about that, and one thing that kept popping up in my mind is that if we know how to look after our treasured possessions, how much better does God know how to look after us? Even when we're broken, even when it's tough, even when we're scared or angry or sad, because we belong to him. So if things get tough this week or this year, or just in life in general, the best thing we can do is turn to God and admit that we can't do this on our own and that we need to rely on him to take good care of us, his treasured children.

"The struggle you're in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow"
This one was quite a short post, but I do feel that it gets the message across quite clearly, without any anecdotes. Part of me was still referring to the heartbreak I had previously experienced, but another part of me was also talking about a much bigger story about the pain I have endured in my life. Every fall down has created an opportunity for me to come back fighting stronger than ever, and I fully believe there is purpose in the pain.

Learning to walk the tightrope...
Sometimes I just feel like I've been going from strength to strength, you know? And it's great; I'll have gone over 250 days clean, I'll have been happy; like really happy. I'll have got all this stuff in my life going for me, and it will feel good. It will feel good to breathe and just relax and feel healthy again. 

What's your favourite quote?
Are there any topics you would like to see me cover in the upcoming 2016 Thursday Thought posts?

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Be more thankful

Hello friends! How are we all doing this chilly January afternoon? 

Today's post is all about being thankful, or grateful... whatever you want to call it. Last year I read this amazing book, Calm by Michael Acton Smith, (Yes, I know, I'm mentioning it again... Check this post out if you want to know more) and on a few of the pages, it encouraged you to write down three things you're grateful for.

I kept this up for about a week. But the thought behind it is still relevant; in order to be more happy, or more calm, or whatever, we need to look at our attitudes; starting with being more thankful.

But what is there to be thankful for?

Plenty. What about that warm mug of chocolate you just had when you came in from work, or the warm blanket that drapes your body as you fall asleep surrounded by warmth, because your heating works and your house isn't as cold as the outside world. What about those amazing scented candles you bought last week, or even the money you bought them with. What about the wonderful time you had at Christmas last year? The internet you're using to read this post, the tablet, phone, or laptop that you're using to read it, or the place you're in right now reading it. There's so much to be grateful for, and all you really need to do is stop to take a few seconds to appreciate the things and people that you have all around you.


But how can I be more thankful?

Some people find it easy to adopt a grateful attitude, but some people -like me- will dive right into everything you can do to be more grateful, and then forget about it all and continue living life as previously.

Some people find it useful to keep a gratitude journal, where you record 3-5 things that you're thankful every day, whereas others may practice mindfulness, which is all about living life in the moment. I've heard of some people making a gratitude board, which I'm guessing is much like the motivation, dream, or disaster boards that you'll find dotted around social media. One of my favourite things to do is to surround myself with inspirational thoughts and motivational quotes. It's not hard to find quotes, with apps like pintrest, tumblr, and weheartit, so there's really no excuse... Personally, I find that I remember things more if I write them down, so I have a little book full of quotes (I'm at number 1164 right now woop woop!)

Now, it's all fine and dandy to do loads of stuff to make yourself more thankful, but in my experience, doing things only really helps in the short term. If you're truly interested in being more thankful, you need to turn your thinking around. That's part of what mindfulness is, really- you're required to be more mindful, to live in the moment. 

Turning your thinking around starts with you learning to control your thoughts. Plenty of people will feed you the lie that you have no control of your thoughts, but as I just said; it's a lie. If you find yourself repeating negative thoughts, stop. Stop comparing yourself to other people; you're your own person. Filter what you take in, too. If you're constantly around negative people, their attitude is going to rub off on you whether you like it or not, and the same can be said about the kind of blogs you read, or movies you watch. 

Helping others is another key way of turning your thinking around. You might be sitting there thinking hey, it's another thing to add on to my to-do list but honestly, it doesn't have to be. Sending someone a quote that inspired you this week can encourage and uplift other people. Helping your next door neighbour by inviting her over for a meal can make her feel loved and cared for. Baking (or buying) a packet of muffins for the new family on your block can make them feel wanted and welcome. And by helping others, and seeing the impact you have on other peoples lives, you'll start to see a positive change in the way you see the world, and your attitude overall. 

What are you thankful for?