Friday, 23 June 2017

What's so Bad About Being a Stay-At-Home Mum?


So last week I published a lovely little post where I asked the question; "Where do you stand on feminism?". I had so much fun exploring the topic of feminism, and really airing my thoughts on the topic, particularly with reference to relationships (Yes, I've caught the Love Island bug)... and it was so exciting to see the post attract so much attention. It's ended up being one of my most-viewed posts in the last few months, and I'm so glad that it has.

But reading through the comments, I came across something that really made me question my beliefs with regards to the feminist movement. So I want to have a little chat with you today about this comment.


So first off, yes girl it is so so important to bring attention to the inequalities among men and women. As I said in last weeks post, guys do generally have better access to a better quality of living... and that needs to be discussed in order for it to be properly addressed and amended. That's not what I had the 'issue' with.

But is the fact that "We still do way more housework than men" really a problem?

The way I see it, is that the perception that housework is a womans job and responsibility, is a problem. Women doing housework, is not a problem. I believe that the difficulties faced by women trying to succeed in their career because they have 'obligations' in the household are problems. But I do not believe that it is a problem for women (or men) if they don't want to pursue a professional working life and would prefer to be stay-at-home parents who make the meals and clean the house from top to bottom every day.

"Feminism, at its core, advocates freedom of choice"


I don't want to step on anyone's toes, or sound like an 'angry, ranting feminist'... but #futureisfemale is the kind of saying that spurs on the Johnnys' of the world who think that feminism "believes in almost inequality". Can I just point out, that if you are an advocate for women-on-top then you are not a feminist; but a misandrist. So really, when Johnny Mitchell from Love Island said that 'real feminists' believe in preferential treatment of women at the expense of men, he was really just getting mixed up with feminists and misandrists. Fact.

Feminism is not discriminatory, and it doesn't advocate a slope towards any one gender. I really cannot stress enough that it is about equality for all. And a huge part of equality is choice. I am a strong believer that feminism, at its core, advocates freedom of choice for everyone... and that's why I had such an issue with the comment complaining that women do more housework than men.

My Dad works full time in the IT industry, and my Mum is currently a full time primary school assistant. But when my brother and I were younger, my Mum decided to be a stay-at-home Mum, and she looked after my brother and I. She did -and still does- most of the housework, looked after two children, and every now and then she would sell her own paintings online. 

Misogynists would argue that my Mum should never have got a job, and that she should have stayed where she belonged- in the house serving my Dad... and that when I should never have gone to university, and instead should have stayed at home and helped my Mum until I was lucky enough to find a man.

Misandrists would argue that my Dad treated my Mum so unfairly by forcing her to stay at home and be a slave to the house and family- and that instead my Mum should have broke free and become the high achieving woman that she was born to be. That she was better than this life, and better than my Dad.

But feminists would stay no, it's about choice. Who you choose to be, what kind of lifestyle you choose to leave- it's all down to you, regardless of your gender. I believe in a world where people have the freedom to pursue any path they choose- and that world is core in the feminist movement.

Adios, xo

Monday, 19 June 2017

Moving Out for the First Time



I really wanted to write an "announcement" post to broadcast the fact that I'm going to be moving out in two months, but I already told you guys back in the 5 Happy Things post that I published last month. So rather than unveiling my plans to move in to a flat with two uni friends this coming August, I'm going to give you a little insight into everything that's gone on since I last updated you about this crazy, exciting adventure! 

Doing anything for the first time is daunting. Not necessarily because what you're doing is scary, but sometimes just because you don't have the previous experience to know what to expect. That's how I feel about moving out. There's so much to organise; all the paperwork that needs to be filed away, signed and sorted; all the furniture that needs to be bought, refurbished and stored... not to mention the flatmates.

I've not even moved out yet, and I've already learned a lesson or two about moving out. One thing I've had to learn the hard way is that you need to be able to fully rely on your (future) flatmates. Because if you can't rely on them, how can you rely on them to pay rent? My flatshare is set up in a way that if one person fails to pay their full rent, then the other two flat members are liable for that money. So it's super important that I can trust the people I'm moving out with.

The people part of moving out has been the craziest.

I remember the first time I lay eyes on the flat. Myself and my two friends Lois and Maria fell in love with it instantly. That day, the three of us talked about how we all felt like we had this emotional attachment to the flat- and how perfect it seemed for us three. We were all so excited, that after months of looking for a flat we had finally found the one- and it was in our price range as well. Within days we had contacted the letting agency and put down the deposit. 

Everything was falling into place.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I was away in Northampton visiting childhood friends when I checked Facebook to see that one of the girls I was moving out with had sent a huge paragraph on our flatshare group chat...She wasn't moving out with us anymore. 

She had talked to her parents, and they had told her not to move out, because she was already in a position where she lived in a great location in the city center, and didn't have to pay rent because her parents owned her flat. 

Fair enough.

We knew someone who was looking for a flat, and managed to get in contact with her straight away. Within hours we got it all sorted out- no hard feelings, we had a new flatmate and everything was going great again... until the other original flatmate sent her own paragraph explaining how she couldn't move out just yet. How she wasn't ready, and how she'd miss her family too much.

Whew. Fair. Enough.

I flew into a state of frenzy, messaging everyone who was anyone. Putting up instagram and snapchat stories begging anyone who was still looking to move out to get in contact with me. And thankfully I got a good few responses, with about three people seriously considering it.

We've got it all sorted out now (for now) and hopefully will be able to start organising who's bringing what into the flat in the next two months. I'm still just as excited to move into the flat as I was when I first walked into the hallway; even though I won't be moving out with the people I thought I would. It's still going to be a massive, crazy adventure. 

I want to keep you guys updated on my whole experience of moving out for the first time, and share any useful posts that I've read- so you might find that over the next few months the main focus will be on home-y stuff. I hope that's alright!!

Adios xo

Where do you stand on Feminism?


"I could never go out with someone who's not a feminist"


I started watching Love Island for the first time last week... it's pretty much impossible to avoid. Everyone at work is talking about this sensational TV show that seems to have the nation hooked. There's so much anticipation over who'll couple up with who, and which couple will outlast everyone else... I love it!

I never really thought that Love Island would be something that I would genuinely get in to watching, and enjoy watching, but I sincerely have.

Despite everyone at work constantly chatting about who Chris has snogged/what happened at the recoupling etc, and Zoe Sugg saying she really enjoyed watching the show; what actually got me watching it in the first place was the clips all over Twitter of Camilla and Johnny's fall-out over feminism.

In the space of a four minute clip, I gained so much respect for a young woman who I knew virtually nothing about. All I knew was damn, that's a girl who'll stand up for what she believes even if it makes her vulnerable and puts her at a disadvantage. That's a girl I can look up to.

I can honestly say that I could never go out with someone who's not a feminist. I have before, and I never will again. There's nothing tricky or complicated about believing that men and women should have equal rights. It's not a 'difference of opinions'.

"If you are completely fine with the fact that guys have more opportunities and less harassment than girls, then you're not a feminist"


Guys -in general- have easier access to a better quality of life than girls do, because of generation after generation of stigmatism and inequality. That's the truth; what you do with that information defines whether you're a feminist or not. If you are completely fine with the fact that guys have more opportunities and less harassment than girls, then you're not a feminist. But if you're not okay with that, and you believe that men and women should have a level playing field, then you tick the box for 'feminist'. It's as simple as that.

So how could I, a self-respecting young woman, go out with a guy that believes he's entitled to a better life than me just because of the sexual organ he hides under his pants? It would be daft, and self-depreciating at the most shallow level.

I'm just going to leave it at that- I don't really have much else to say. 

Adios, xo

Monday, 12 June 2017

Life Last Week


This week has had its ups and downs- much like any other week. In many ways, this week is no different than any other... but there are some aspects of my life that have changed forever.

For starters, I voted for the first time ever. As an eighteen year old living in Scotland, I have had the opportunity to vote three times in total, but it has taken until last Thursday for me to exercise my right as a young person in the democratic country I live in.

And yeah, I voted for the SNP's.

I voted for free education, for healthcare for all (not just the rich), and for job security. I voted against division with regards to race and religion- be it European or Muslim; or both. I voted for a strong female leader who shows compassion, and who looks to the people when making a decision. And while I say 'each to their own', to me it's clear that the SNP party is the only party which delivers on all of these core ideals. So that's who I voted for.

This week I also got a very exciting message from Sophia Von Porat, who heads Swedish Vegan subscription box VegoBox, asking me about the prices I could offer should she order 130 of my vegan 'Scrub n' Kiss' lip scrubs. 

While we sadly weren't able to come to an agreement, it was so encouraging to know that people are actually interested in my lip scrubs... Being totally honest with you guys, I've slowly been giving up hope. What started as an exciting new venture, has slowly crept to the back of my mind. 

I hope that I will be able to build up my etsy store, and that the Scrub n' Kiss lip scrubs will kick off soon, but I understand that sometimes things don't go quite as planned. Still, I haven't given up just yet!

In other news, I found out that my friend is recording a few demos with his band in about a fortnight! I've never heard him play in his band- but I know just how talented he is, and I honestly couldn't be more excited to hear these demos as they begin to share their music with the world. You can bet that as soon as they get some stuff online that I'll be sharing like crazy.

I had a bit of down time on Sunday, as I had the day off to spend time with my Dad- who was back from Belgium for the weekend. The struggles of having a job in hospitality when my Dad's only back for a weekend once every fortnight means that I often don't get time off to spend with him- weekends are the busiest times for me in TGI Friday's! But it was really lovely to be able to hang out with my family for the first time in what feels like forever.

Getting to spend quality time with family will always trump anything else.

We went on a drive, played uno, my Mum and I watched Poldark (Can I just OH MY GOODNESS... anyone else who watched last nights episode will understand, damn it gets better every time!), and then we all headed up to bed for a nice early night. I've missed being able to just hang out.

Anyways, I'm going to love you and leave you for now. I hope you all had as good a week as I have- and that this week will be just as bright.

If you can, please support me by buying or sharing my vegan lip scrubs.
You can find my etsy page by following the link here.

Adios xo

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Why I'm going VEGAN with my MAKEUP


Eight months ago, my makeup collection primarily consisted of products from MAC, NYX, Bobbi Brown and Makeup Revolution; and to some extent it still does. Only eight months ago, I turned a blind eye to issues like animal cruelty in the beauty/makeup domain... until I talked to Lois Hanna.

My friends and I were a few weeks into university, still getting to know each-other, when I suggested we all go to get our makeup done together at MAC in House of Frasers before we all went on our night out. Everyone seemed pretty keen, and we got into a frantically excited conversation about makeup. I told them of my extensive collection of MAC products, and how I would probably never wear anything other than my MAC Pro Longwear foundation on a night out. 

That's when Lois chimed in to tell us how she has not, does not, and will never buy any products from MAC. In my surprise I questioned her, curious to know why would anyone be so against such a brilliant high end cosmetic brand. Her response was a comment about how MAC carried a reputation of disgusting, inhumane treatment of animals.

Sure- their products are beautiful, long lasting, and highly pigmented... but at what cost?

The next day I went home to do a bit of my own research, and was shocked to find out that my favourite makeup brand had been caught up in scandal after scandal with regards to animal cruelty, testing, and use of animals in their actual products. MAC -as well as many other makeup tycoons- claimed to be 'cruelty free', but below the surface was a culture of paying third-party companies to carry out some horrific procedures on animals.

Every time you spend money on a product by a brand that endorses animal cruelty, you are essentially funding those experiments. It's kind of like the opposite of products where a percentage of the profits go to charity. 

Now, makeup is expensive as heck- and I don't exactly go for the cheaper, more 'affordable' brands when it comes to splashing cash on products that are going to end up on my face. So I can't promise you that I'm never going to wear makeup that doesn't submit cruel treatment on animals. I have a couple hundred pounds worth of makeup stored away, most of which I use every day.

I do, however, pledge to discontinue purchasing makeup products from brands which are unethical and immoral. In order to do this in a truly effective way, I've concluded that from now on, I'm going to be super picky about the products I spend my hard-earned cash on. 

For me, the only way I know for certain that the products I buy are completely ethical is by going vegan... but just with my makeup (for now).

Vegan makeup brands not only promise to abstain from animal cruelty, not using any animal products whatsoever, and being totally against animal testing; they often use recycled/recyclable materials for packaging... AND campaign for animal rights. If you're struggling to think of examples, just think of Lush.

I've listed a couple of vegan brands I've got my eye on in a draft post... I'm not sure if I'll post it or if I'll just keep it to myself just yet, but I'll let you know! For now, just remember that my 'Scrub n' Kiss' Lip Scrubs are 100% vegan... so do please pop over to my etsy and support me.

 I do hope this post encourages you to look into the brands you're supporting.

Adios xo

Sunday, 4 June 2017

My High Hopes for June


Happy June, friends! I hope you all had a great month full of fun and laughter! 

Summer is in full swing (even though the weather isn't always reflective of it) and I'm absolutely loving it. Winter is the hardest season for me- apart from always getting a bloody cold/flu, I also have to give myself an extra bit of TLC in order to take care of myself while my mental health takes a slump due to seasonal affective disorder. I've done really well this year, and I'm really proud of myself for how well I've coped- but I am certainly glad that that period is over and done with. 

Summer is all about spending time with your friends, having a laugh, and living life to the full. When someone mentions "summer" I think of holidays, beaches, and barbeques. I think about the times I spent holidaying in Poland with my family, going on shopping sprees, and late night outings to see the stars. 

This month, I have a lot to do and a lot to look forward to.

I hope to maintain my passion for life and my wide, wide smile. I am an all-round genuinely happy person... it's just kinda who I am; an integral part of what makes me, well, me. I want to leap into April with a grin on my face, and sprinkles of joy left behind in a trace wherever I go. 

I hope that people will say "that Sara lass, she a person with an abundance of positivity", and I hope that will reflect on the encounters I have with everyone I cross paths with this month. I not only want to be happy- I want to create happiness. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if I could bring a sprinkle of joy to at least one person a day? That would be 30 beautiful, joyous encounters this month alone. 

I also hope to work hard and put my all into every little detail. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Links for a Lovely Day


Let's start with a little music. One of the biggest perks of working in TGI Fridays is that the playlist is bomb. The amount of times I've been stressed out my nut, or felt as if I was about to burst into tears, just for an amazing Pick-Me-Up Anthem to come on. It's incredible. Leaving You Behind by Clean Cut Kid is one of those songs that comes on quite a lot, but I never found out who it was by until it came on when I was listening to the TRNSMT Festival Lineup Playlist on shuffle.

So I've never heard of her before (sorry) but apparently Lele Pons is something of an internet sensation. I was scrolling through instagram's 'suggested videos' yesterday when I came across one of Lele's insta-sketches. It made me laugh out loud... seriously. (I may or may not have insta-stalked her for the rest of the night)

I don't really have any of Hannah Gale's posts that I want to talk about in paticular, because let's face it that girl is an all-round queen. Every post she writes is uplifting, amazing and comedic. She brings every young woman's inner voice to light in the most colourful way, and I love it!

If you're anything like me then you'll have dozens of notebooks, and no idea what to fill them with. Last summer I went on a massive MASSIVE stationary rampage in the hopes of preparing myself for university. The result? I still have a box full of notebooks and binders and pens that haven't seen the light of day since they were stacked up on stationary shop shelves. Jordan Clark amazingly brings some solutions that even I had never thought of.

So about a year and a half ago I joined my local gym. I paid the entry fee, bought myself a new pair of trainers and sports leggings... and I can count the number of times I went in the past year and a half on my hands. I'm not even kidding. But now, because I'm moving out to Glasgow in August, I've decided to join PureGym with my friend Erin- and I'm actually going to go this time.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

5 Happy Things



I'm writing this a week in advance, because right now its 1:50am and I can't sleep, and for once I've actually got time on my hands. There's my number one... time.

Time
 I am so thankful for all the time that I've got, to be able to do all the things that I do. For example, on Tuesday the 2nd of May, I will have gone to a flat viewing, met up with my friend from Northern Ireland and gone to work. Call me superwoman? I'm so happy that I have time to spend with the people I love.

Friends
Speaking of people I love, my friend Zoe finally gets back from her trip home to Northern Ireland this week! I'm so excited to see her, she's honestly like a little ray of sunshine... it's impossible not to smile when Zoe is around!!

Achievements
About two months ago or so, I opened up my etsy shop, where I now sell my scrub n' kiss lip scrubs (You can check them out here if you're interested!). And just last week I received my first ever order from outside the UK, (to NY) which was super exciting!!

Chocolate
My Mum and Brother recently came back from visiting my Dad who works in Belgium... and yes, while they did go without me (I was working) they brought me back this giant slab of chocolate. By giant, I mean it was probably about 50-by-30cm of pure white chocolate sprinkled with smarties. And if that's not heaven then I don't know what is.

A New Home
This is the biggest announcement of the day... Last week, I put down the deposit on my own first ever flat!!! I'm going to be moving in with two of my close friends from Uni mid-August before the new semester starts, and we'll be renting for a minimum of a year, which is super exciting! It's a gorgeous wee place with massive bedrooms, and a decent sized kitchen too, and I can't wait to move into it.

What's made you happy lately? 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Reaction: I'm not dressing to look thinner



You know that amazing moment when a really young child catches a glance of their reflection in a mirror? They giggle and squeal, and give themselves these huge, cheesy grins. They look in the mirror, at their own reflection, with amusement- and love.

When did we lose that? When did we start looking in the mirror and pointing out our flaws?

Last month, Hannah Gale (the actual legend of a human being) published a post to talk about her experience of uploading a picture of herself on instagram... and being called out on it because the 'angle and outfit' wasn't 'flattering'. I'm not even kidding, you can read her post about it here.

I find it so ridiculous that in this day an age (where every second post I see on instagram is something to do with appreciating our own and other peoples beauty) someone would be as arrogant and idiotic as to make someone feel insignificant and ugly by leaving such a nasty comment on their instagram account. To me, it's absolutely ludicrous.

Because lets face it- often when we catch a glance of our own reflection in a mirror, our response isn't to giggle and squeal, or to give ourselves these huge, cheesy grin. Our reaction -more often than not- is to mumble and moan, or notice these huge, non-existent slabs of fat on our body.We look in the mirror, at our own reflection, with disgust- and hate.

In the words of Hannah Gale herself, "You HAVE to accept your flaws and your lumps and you bumps and the things that make you YOU. You have got to be your own best friend and your own cheerleader"

So lately, I've been taking extra care to make sure I'm wearing clothes that make me feel good rather than 'look' good. Because even though the green wide fit trousers I bought in New Look make my legs look three sizes up from what they actually are when I look in the mirror... when I don't look in the mirror, I feel amazing, confident, and beautiful.

And on a quick side note, that's why I spend so much time getting ready in the morning. It's not to look good for the people around me. The people I pass in the street aren't going to notice the time I spent perfecting my winged liner and eye makeup with the shade chopper in the crease of my eye. But I notice it. And it makes me feel good, and it makes me happy.

So let's not dress to look a certain way. Instead, let's dress to feel good.

(Happy May-Day too, by the way)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

An A-Z List of My Favourite Blog Posts


Hey my lovelies, I hope you're all doing well! 

I've been dying to write this post for ages- ever since Erin wrote a very similar post on the A-Z list of Blog Post Ideas back in January, which you can read here. She did such a good job, and her post totally inspired me to write my own A-Z with a little 'Sara' twist on it. Enjoy!

A
A FEW ACTS OF SELF-LOVE THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE

B
BE LOVELY TO YOURSELF

C
CURRENTLY CRAVING: PALM PRINTS

D
DREAMING OF MYKONOS

E
EXPERIMENTING WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

F
FIVE THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME SMILE RECENTLY

G
GIFT GUIDE: LIFESTYLE

H
HAWAIIAN BURGERS

I
IMPENDING ADULTHOOD AND WORKPLACE REJECTION

J
JUST GET BACK UP WHEN IT KNOCKS YOU DOWN

K
KITCHEN CRUSH

L
LIFE LATELY

M
MARCH GOALS

N
NUDE MAKEUP FAVOURITES

O
ON MAINTAINING A HEALTHY ATTITUDE WHEN IT ALL GETS A BIT TOO MUCH

Post | Blog

P
PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BLOGGERS

Q
Q&A

R
REAL TALK: BEING LONELY

S
SPOILER: I'M NOT DRESSING TO LOOK THINNER

T
THE ART OF NOT CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

U
UNDER EYE ROUTINE

V
VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE BREADSTICKS

W
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO TAKE A BREAK

X
(9) X MY INTERIOR RULES

Y
YOUR WEIGHT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU

Z

Post | Blog


I tried my best to find a post beginning with Z, I really did... if you know any please let me know so I can add it in!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Best Measure of Self-Worth

*insert para about how I put a tonne of pressure on myself in school, etc, etc*

You've heard it all before. I'm not going to lie, I did pretty damn well in school... and thank goodness I did; I worked my ass off for those A's. I needed good grades at that point in my life to prove my self worth to myself, my parents, my teachers, my schoolmates, and whoever was going to determine whether I went to uni/got a 'good' job and what not. 

Can I just broadcast this to anyone still in school? It's really fucking important. Get me a megaphone or something cos there are millions of high-schoolers who need to know this;

DESPITE WHAT YOUR TEACHERS/PARENTS/SCHOOL MATES/ANYONE ELSE (INCLUDING YOU) SAYS, YOUR SELF WORTH IS NOT DETERMINED BY YOUR GRADES. 

(yes, even if you get amazing grades. That doesn't make you any better/more successful than the girl who sat next to you in the exam writing Taylor Swift lyrics because she couldn't be bothered with chemistry)

And that continues after school.

I am not boasting or bragging in any way shape or form at all. I wanna make that loud and clear, because what I'm about to say could very well easily be taken as obnoxious and big-headed. That is not where I'm coming from. But where I am coming from, is from a position where I have two really good, professional jobs, and I am currently studying for a degree in one of the top universities for my course in the UK, if not Europe. And yeah, I'm sure that sounds great. Impressive, maybe.

But at no point in time will it ever make me worth more than my good friend who is working full time in McDonalds. Just because someones starting point is the same as someone else's end-game, does not determine how much they are valued as a person. 

I recently posted a quote by Van Gogh on instagram. It said "What is done in love is done well"... and I guess that goes for all aspects of life. Because here's the secret; the undertone of this whole post; the best measure of self-worth is love. 

Not your grades, or your degree, or your university, or your job. Not your body, or your makeup, or your clothes. Not the amount of friends you have, or the amount of enemies you've made. 

None of that. Just plain ol' love. (God I'm starting to sound like a hippie)

What I mean by that is, when you go to judge your self-worth, make sure you do it out of a place of love. So that if you have 'crap' grades according to your teacher, but you got above 0, celebrate the questions you got right. And if you've got into one of the crappiest uni's ever, celebrate the fact that you got into uni. 

Ask the people who love you, how much they value you.

Because chances are, from an external perspective (i.e. anyone who's not you), you're worth more than your weight in gold.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

10 of the Loveliest Food Bloggers


One of my favourite things about blogging is how you're automatically accepted into this wider family of different people with different passions. Though my blog is primarily a lifestyle blog, I love reading blogs that focus more on food/drink, travel, or beauty. I get so much inspiration from reading other blogs, and just really enjoy sitting down to appreciate how awesome some of these bloggers are.

Lately, I've really loved following some great food bloggers. For the first time ever, I've recently had to start buying and preparing my own food- so I've taken a keen interest in the different ways you can prep and present food... here are a few of my favourite blogs!

1. Iowa Girl Eats | http://iowagirleats.com/

2. Budget Bytes | https://www.budgetbytes.com/

3. A Cosy Kitchen | http://www.acozykitchen.com/

4. Skinnytaste | http://www.skinnytaste.com/

5. Pinch of Yum | http://pinchofyum.com/

6. How Sweet it is | http://www.howsweeteats.com/

7. Green Kitchen Stories | http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/

8. Love and Lemons | https://www.loveandlemons.com/

9. Eat Yourself Skinny | http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/

10. The Pioneer Woman Cooks | http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/

Sunday, 2 April 2017

On maintaining a healthy attitude when it all gets a bit too much


Oh. My. Goodness.

I cannot stress enough how much of a whirlwind month I have had... it's been mental. I'm currently writing this post at work; I've got a half hour gap and I've decided to try to be productive. Tomorrow I  get up at 5am for a 7am start at my second job in Santander, and after that I go straight to the train down to Bedfordshire to see my boyfriend. Mental.

A lot of people ask me how I cope with it all, not believing that it's possible for me to actually keep on top of everything... but I do. At least, I do my best to. Keeping my diary updated is absolutely essential; I rely on it so much! I keep everything from my daily (and weekly) schedule, to my to-do list, to my blog schedule in there. 

Sometimes though, it all gets a bit too much. There have been countless times where I've felt like I never have any time for myself, as the one day a week I have off from work is often spent working on things for uni- if I don't have plans with my family and friends from home. It's just one of those things- it happens, and I have had to develop coping mechanisms that would help me maintain a happy, healthy attitude while still keeping on top of all of my responsibilities.

Number one on this list of coping strategies is breathing. And I don't mean the whole "breathe in, breathe out" thing- although if that works for you, that's great.

I've given breathing a new definition. Breathing: To be present, and to remember to put everything into perspective. To me, breathing is all about reminding myself that yeah, it's tough right now, but that's not going to last forever. Yeah, it's difficult trying to stay on top of all my assignments right now, but in a month or so I'll be finished completely with uni assignments for a whole six months. 

I guess it's a bit like the mindful lifestyle trend which was super hyped-up around 2015. Calm by Michael Acton Smith is an amazing book that really goes deep into incorporating mindfulness (or breathing) into every aspect of your life, and it's really helped me over the years. 10/10 would recommend. 

But of course, there are times when just breathing isn't enough. When I can't do it all, when no matter how hard I try, I just can't. And it's at times like those that I have to take a step back. And when it gets to that stage, I need to be kind to myself, because at the end of the day I am human and I do make mistakes, and I can't do everything- despite how hard I try.

Sometimes I need to let people down, and even though that might annoy them or what not, sometimes I need to. That doesn't make me a bad person. And sometimes I get my days mixed up and end up in a tangle of confusion and stress. Hey, that's okay.

In order to maintain a healthy attitude, I need to know and accept that at times I can't do it all. It's like Tiffany Cooper said; "I am only one person, and I alone can't solve all the problems in my sphere of life".

Sure, I can do my best to do whatever I can, but nothing more.


Note: I wrote this post a month ago so the intro is a lil bit outa date, but the principle still counts...

Sunday, 19 March 2017

What I miss, Home and Away

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the things that I miss when I'm away from home. You know, the little home comforts and little luxuries like having my own space in my room, or knowing the perfect spot for good lighting for when I'm doing my makeup. 

Being in a long-distance relationship, having family dotted all over the country (and continent, and globe pretty much), as well as having a great love for travelling in general, all mean that I am often away from home. So I miss my home comforts quite regularly. 

However, the more I thought about it the more I realised that when I am at home, there are several things that I miss about being away as well. 

So here are some of the things I miss about my home when I'm away...

1. I've mentioned this one already, and it might be trivial to most people, but seriously- knowing exactly where in the house has perfect lighting for doing my makeup is 100% something I miss about home when I'm away. I'm always a bit para that I'll misjudge my makeup due to the lighting and end up going out looking like the White Witch from Narnia, or some kind of orange oompa-loompa

2. Just having my own system. My room certainly isn't the tidiest of places; but I know where everything is and goes, and I know how it works.

3. Lush baths. I have a little stash of bath bombs and melts from Lush, tucked away with my candles and bubble bath bottles which all come together with a bit of TV or youtube to create the perfect atmosphere for a lovely, relaxing night. I have baths around twice a week, and they're honestly so ingrained in my weekly routine- but I never really feel comfortable enough having baths in other peoples houses.

4. Being creative. When I'm away from home, I rarely take my laptop out with me unless I have work to do for uni. And I almost never take my pens or notepads... sometimes I bring my camera, but even then I don't often have the opportunity to use it. It's always when I'm at home in my own space that I feel the most creative.

5. My friends are such a huge part of my life at home, at work, and at university. And to be honest they really ought to be number one on this list because they are my priority- and the thing I miss the most about going away from home.


And here are some of the things I miss about being away when I'm home...

1. The excitement of being somewhere different. Regardless of whether I've been to the place a million times or it's the first time ever, the sole fact that it's different to my usual surroundings makes it immediately so much more beautiful and enticing. And sometimes when I'm at home, I just get sick of seeing the same things and going to the same places all the time.

2. Having a totally different routine. This one is kinda similar to the previous point, but it's slightly different. When I'm at home, I always end up going through the motions of waking up, going to uni, working, possibly meeting up with  friends, and repeat. And sometimes it's so refreshing just to go somewhere new where your everyday routine is completely disregarded and essentially thrown out the window.

3. Not having a plan. Which to some might sound completely backward, but I love not knowing exactly what I have planned. I always have such a laugh figuring it out along the way, making light of my mistakes- like that time I almost ended up taking the completely wrong train.

4. Talking to strangers- because why would I talk to strangers when I'm surrounded by people I know and love at home? But I really do love getting to know new people, and being in places away from home gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that.

5. The people. Because even though I am really lucky in that a lot of the people I love are near where I live, I still have a vast number of people close to my heart that are not so close to my home. That goes for my boyfriend who I see monthly, my family who I see once or twice a year, and my friends; some who I've not seen for up to five years- can you believe that?!

Monday, 13 March 2017

ASOS Shopping List

Who doesn't love spending their Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea, snuggled up in a blanket as you scroll through ASOS, lusting over item after item. 

The last time I "browsed" on ASOS I ended up ordering the biggest, most unnecessary haul ever, so this time I'm gonna be more careful, kind of, maybe... ANYways, here goes!

1. This pair of denim dungarees

2. This crew neck sweatshirt
3. This rose gold open stone ring

4. These chromatic pop on nails

5. This pair of grey sweatpants
 6. This pair of suede ankle boots
 7. This pair of mid heeled ankle boots

8. These slim mom jeans

9. This khaki jumpsuit

10. This lace up sweatshirt/sweatpants duo
Anyone wanna buy these things for me, please do feel free <3 i="">

Thursday, 9 March 2017

5 Happy Thoughts


Happy Sunday, friends! I'm currently at work writing this in advance, because that's the kind of crazy-hectic life that I lead right now... yeah... you can actually read more about that here, haha. 

I have to say though, despite my crazy-busy lifestyle, I've got a lot to be happy for- and I'm so, so grateful for. There have been times before where I have struggled to think of five things that have made me happy; but that isn't the case at all today. To be frank, I live a pretty damn awesome life. And I'm generally quite happy with life in all its fullness. Obviously my life isn't perfect, but it's good. 

I've been pretty productive
And I'm really proud of myself for that! I've had a lot of things to keep on top of, but regardless I could have easily left everything to the last minute. (Let's just say that yes, in the past I have had sleepless nights writing essays and reports due the next day. In the PAST) I've been really proactive lately though; I've set up my priorities list, and now every day the first thing I do when I wake up (after checking my phone) is making a daily list of things that need to be completed. If I get more than the bare minimum, that's a bonus- but I always make sure my daily to do list is easily achievable, otherwise I'd lose all motivation!

I treated myself to a cheeseburger and fries today
It's the little things that count, right? Even if they make me less little, haha! Smack on the calories, right? Genuinely, though, I don't see the need for diets or 'calorie counting' at all. As long as you're happy- that's what really matters.

It's Spring!!!
And while my Mum might disagree (she gave me a telling off for wearing dungarees the other day because it's still the "middle of winter" in her books), I am certainly excited that this new season has commenced! Bring on the blue skies, new flower buds, sunshine, chirping birds, newborn lambs... and after all of this month, it'll be time to bring on the end of university for the next 5 months.

I have an awesome boyfriend
I knowwwwwww- I'm a cheesy fucker, amn't I. ;) But genuinely, even though the distance between us really, really, really sucks ass, I'm really happy. I'm so #blessed, so #grateful for my boyfriend, and I just want everyone to know how appreciative I am of him. And I really do mean it. Last weekend I saw him for a handful of days, and while I do so wish that I could have stayed for longer, I really loved getting to spend time with him, meet more of his friends, and see his family as well! We always have a great time together. 

I love my job (at rookie rockstars)
I am so, so lucky to be in a position where I get to work as a receptionist in one of the best places in the entire universe. I get to work in an environment where people who are passionate about music come together, to spread their passion on to people of all ages. I get to hear kids learn how to play the drums to some epic songs (The Killers, Foo Fighters, and Ed Sheehan have been played), and I've heard kids get vocal coaching and grow in confidence as they sing to some equally epic songs. Not to mention the keys and guitar... I could rave about the music school for ages. It's awesome. Seriously.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

I CANT Do It All- and Neither Can You


I love being busy. I really do.

"I'd always rather be busy than have nothing to do" is a phrase I've said countless times; and I'm pretty sure I've meant it every time as well. Even when I'm drowning in uni assignments and working 6 days a week... yeah, no wander this blog has had a bit of a downfall lately.

I'm one of those people who just want to do it all.

One of my friends from uni is like this as well. She plays sport regularly, work part time, and somehow always takes it upon herself to bear the crux of any group project she's involved in. She doesn't realise it, but she creates more for herself to do than what is necessary. Although I don't always spot this in myself, I'm often like that too.

I work 25 hours a week, as well as keeping on top of uni, as well as making sure I don't neglect any of my friends from within and outwith uni, as well as making sure I spend enough time with my family... and at the end of the week, the only time I've really had to myself is that glorious hour that I have every morning where I wake up and decide what I'm going to put on my face. The end product is that when it gets to the one day a week that I don't have uni or work, I end up making plans because I don't know how to stop until I crash. 

And let me tell you this- crashing is really not nice. There have been a few times in the past where I've pushed myself so hard, to the point where I have physically been sick because that's the only way my body can really force me to stop. 

"Sometimes being busy feels good, and sometimes keeping busy makes us feel important. But you are valuable because of who you were made to be, not because of the activities you do. Your worth does not depend on your busyness. You can do fewer things, even if the things on your calendar are all good things" ~Becoming Minimalist

You see, it's essential that I do stop... before my body has to go into shut-down mode. I need to remind myself that even though the things I do are important, that it's just as important to take time out for myself. Especially after a full on week of uni-work, uni-work, uni-work... you get the drill.

And while it's super important that I make sure my friends and family know that they are wanted and cherished by me, it's also important that I take time out to cherish myself. Even if that's just taking a couple of hours out of each day to go on a walk, read a book/blog, have a bath, or watch a movie.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

On learning Norwegian, setting up my first etsy, and NOT drinking coffee


So I'm pretty sure that's the longest title I've ever had for a blog post. I mean, like, ever. But I feel like it summarises this post pretty darn well. I've been pretty distant from the "blogosphere" lately, so you guys have missed out on quite a lot lately. I feel like I've got a lot of catching up to do. A lot has happened since the last time I wrote.

On a side note, hey!
Surprise! I'm alive, and 
back for good... I hope.

On another side note, I'm
completely off coffee. Like
100% never drinking coffee
ever again. I think it makes
my headaches worse, so I'm
sticking to the #TeaTeam 

SO! Let's start off with the insanely awesomely good news, yeah? I'M BACK WORKING FOR THE MUSIC SCHOOL AGAIN!!! 

For those of you who might not know, from September last year to around January this year I worked at Rookie Rockstars to liaise with new schools who might have an interest in the charity. In January, I had a small break as the manager looked for a new job for me to do part time- and now I am back as a receptionist for the music school!  I'm so happy to be back; I genuinely enjoy my time there so much. It's the kind of job you actually spend your day looking forward to, and leave glowing with positivity. 

During the evening shifts, I often have little breaks where I don't have anything to do; I've poured enough coffees to turn the sea brown, talked to the kids and parents, and I'm stuck at the desk with a computer in front of me. The possibilities of what I can do in these gaps are endless. 

On my last shift, I started to teach myself Norwegian.

Yeah, Norwegian. When I told my parents, their reaction was pretty much "Okay, cool, why?". I guess Norwegian isn't the first language that springs to mind when you think of cool languages to learn. But ever since watching the TV show SKAM -set in Oslo, Norway- I've wanted to go to Norway. It seems like such a beautiful, understated country. And if I'm gonna go visit at some point, I want to be able to get by speaking the native language. I guess it's my way of showing respect. I don't know, but I'm leaning Norwegian now, and its fucking AWESOME.

On the topic of new ventures, I've actually recently set my by very own business venture. As a part of the entrepreneurship course that I do at University, I am required to work in a group to create and sell a product to raise money for charity. My initial pitch was for lip scrubs, however that idea was quickly shot down as it's "technically a food" (wtf) so due to the university's procedures we couldn't continue with that idea, and so our group decided to sell Gift Boxes. They're really cute, you should check them out.


But I still wanted to pursue selling my lip scrubs. However, it was evident that I would have to set it up- on my own. Without any support or advise, and relying on my own knowledge of business and beauty, I decided that the best route would be to sell my lip scrubs on Etsy. And thus, Scrub n' Kiss lip scrubs were born. Now, you can order your very own lip scrub for only £2 right here. Every order brightens up my day, so please do make a purchase :) 


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

I Want To Write About Something Worth Reading

If you're not a blogger and you read blogs, I'm pretty sure you'll be absolutely sick to death of hearing about "bloggers blues" and "bloggers block". In fact, I'm sick to death of hearing about "bloggers blues" and "bloggers block".

This post isn't about those things.

I promise.

(Although I kinda have been lacking inspiration lately... note, I haven't been posting regularly in the last month. Oops?) 

Basically, what I want to say is this... I have a huge urge to do something meaningful. Something worthwhile. I want to write something that means something. I don't know about you, but I am constantly in awe of artists who write songs that make you think. You know, the kind of songs which make you go 'woah' when you listen to the lyrics. Those songs represent the kind of life (and blog) I want to have. 

I'm sick of writing posts that I know people will just glance at, or scroll through and forget about after about 10 minutes. I want to change someone's life. I want to make someone THINK!!! I've been inspired by so many people in my life, and I aspire to be like them. I aspire to inspire. That sounds pretty neat, right? 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Aiming for Perfection In Your Career


Apologies for the sporadic posts... I guess this blog is kinda starting to look a lot like my life; chaotic, unorganised, and kind of messily beautiful. But that's okay, because *newsflash* PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST and even striving for perfection is bullshit, because it's quite simply in-achievable. 

(Queue the crazy rant about how saying someone is perfect is being ignorant, because not acknowledging someone has flaws gives them crazily unrealistic standards to live up to- which they'll never be able to live up to. Damn it's hard not to spin off and write a whole post about how imperfection is the new perfection... I need to do that sometime

ANYWAY.

The whole thing about expecting perfection is kinda relevant to this post in a way I guess.

Because when it comes to career goals and aspirations, people are taught from a young age that their working lives are going to be perfect... and that if you don't have the perfect career, then you're failing at life. (Note: You're not failing at life) 

And it's not even just about telling kids that they should pursue a career in Law so that they can have lots of money and live happily ever after. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are thrilled with a "top" career like that, and I'm sure they lead fully satisfying lives. But are their lives perfect? No. Are their jobs perfect? NO. Are their careers perfect? NO!!! 

I'm also sure that these people who live (mostly) happy lives and have a (mostly) satisfying career, have days where they hate their job. Maybe they go in and have to work with someone so aggravating that they just. Can't. Take. It. It probably sucks, a lot. You know what society's conditioned response to that would be? GO QUIT YOUR JOB! GET A NEW JOB, YOU'LL BE HAPPIER! But what if you love your job, and you're just having a bad day, month, year... Why not go into work expecting less, and be surprised when you end up falling in love with your career all over again.

I expect that most of you will know that I used to work in McDonald's. Obviously, it wasn't the most 'glamorous' job in the world, and I absolutely hated working there for the first month or so, but you know what? I bloody loved that job, and I loved the people who worked there. I loved the conversations that I had with some of the customers- like the time a lady came through drive thru and showed me a bunch of newborn baby chicks that she was taking to a shelter. And a heck of a lot of people looked down on me for it.

I have this friend  that always seems to complain about not having a job, and how I've had so many jobs and job offers etc. etc. but when it comes down to it, the only thing that's stopping her from getting a job is that her standards are a little bit too high. I once suggested that I could pass her CV on to my manager, and put in a good word for her. Her response was to give me an adorably degrading smile, and say "Oh, I'm not that desperate yet". Obviously, we laughed it off, no big deal. 

But her problem was that she expected perfection. She thought that because she had good grades at school and was going to one of the top unis in Scotland (which ftw, so am I) that she could get any job she wanted. So she was applying for positions that she would never get because she had no experience. And now she's still unemployed, and I have two part time office jobs as well as uni. 

Please, please don't get me wrong- I'm not trying to brag at all. That's not what this is about.

What I want to do with this post is metaphorically lift up a megaphone and shout to everyone that "MAYBE SOMETIMES IN LIFE, LOWERING YOUR STANDARDS ISN'T A BAD THING" Because maybe in order to be happy with the life you lead, you need to realise how much you already have and how much more you can realistically achieve. 

So yeah, oops. I guess I did kinda go on a bit of a 'perfection' rant. I'm sure there'll be plenty more to come. But for now I think I'll just leave it at that, and let you mull over that for a while.



p.s. Happy New Year