Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

7 Blogs I'm Loving Right Now

I've seen a lot of these positive posts going round the Blogging world at the moment, so I thought I would give it a go and spread a little bit of love. I've listed some of the blogs I keep going back to time and time again for my daily fix - some new discoveries and old - but hopefully you will be able to take something away from this!

Ok, I might be slightly bias here because Lily is a good friend of mine, but she's also a fantastic blogger and Youtuber. I met her back in April, and since then we have grown closer and closer. She looks like a model, and is only 18 if you can believe it, but her writing makes you want to know more. Expect lots of instragram-worthy travel destinations, legs to die for, and general updates of life as an up and coming blogger.

After going through a recent rebrand (previously Vivianna Does Makeup) Anna's blog is definitely up there with one of my favourites. I'll admit that I first found her through her Youtube channel (when her and Lily Pebbles used to do Beauty Chat) but since then, her gorgeous photography and relatable content have completely won me over. You'll find lots of beauty, fashion and travel tips and the occasional foodie post too! 

There's no way I could have done this post without a mention for this absolute mega-babe and one of the main reasons I got into blogging. Think hilarious lists, fashion for real girls, beauty tips that won't break the bank, food porn, and a healthy dose of her two cats and you'll be forever hooked. Always one I come back to, AND she even donated to my 10k run. What a girl! 

Ok another slightly bias one as Hannah is one of my best friends, but before she was, I used to read her blog all the time. Her fitness posts I find very inspirational, and she's recently been talking more about body positivity, exercising the mind and dealing with anxiety which is refreshing in a world full of Pinterest-perfect content that some other bloggers publish. She also won the Vuelio award for best Newcomer! 

A professional blogger, Youtuber, model and overall sweetheart. Liv's blog is beautiful on the inside and out, and her style is effortlessly cool (she has a pretty cute dog too, Maggie!) With content so glossy it looks like it belongs on the pages of Vogue, 'What Olivia Did' shows it pays to have a photographer boyfriend (and model good looks!)

I'm really lucky to have worked with Gabi in the past, and can confirm that she is as chic in real life as she is on her blog. Her style is affordable, yet she seems to make everything look incredible and straight off a runway! If you need inspiration of where to eat in Manchester as well, you've come to the right place... 

If you don't want to live the life of a London blogger before you visit Gemma's site, you definitely will afterwards - a mixture of blogging events, high-end beauty, travel and fashion all rolled into one. Definitely one to check out if you already live in the big smoke as there is a section dedicated to London itself, as well as fashion, beauty and travel. The choice is yours!

Let me know your favourite blogs in the comments! 
I'm always looking to discover new ones x

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Give Yourself A Break

This post comes as a result of yesterday's migraine, and my body's attempt to tell me to calm the f*** down and take a break...

I have suffered from migraines since I was 14 but they are very sporadic and have no real trigger; I can go a year without having one, or I can have 3 or 4 in a month. But this isn't a post about migraines... it's more of one to teach myself a lesson and stop getting so stressed about the little things.

With everything that's happened this year, it's fair to say that life has been more stressful than usual - these were things that were completely unexpected, life-changing and you guessed it, stressful to say the least. Stress is a funny thing because in all honesty you might not even know you are suffering, and then bam, you body flips out at you and encourages you to slow down. It's no real surprise then that I have been suffering from migraines a lot more in the last few months than the past couple of years.

Sometimes as an adult it's hard to take a break - we have limited days holidays, work 5 days out of 7, and so weekends feel wasted if we don't cram-pack all the things into them that we can't do Monday-Friday - that's my way of looking at it anyway - but we also need time to regroup, relax and wind-down.

As a person, I have a very reactive temperament, meaning that if I get something in my head, I usually have to do it or research it straight away. I guess in a way its a coping mechanism to keep myself busy with suffering from anxiety, but it's something I only really became aware of this year. Sometimes it can be apparent, but most of the time people won't even realise it, and it's something I've sort of self-diagnosed. To be quite honest, I'm not even sure if its a real thing, but understanding that side to my personality has helped me to become aware that sometimes I need to listen to my body.

You might be wondering how this links to being stressed, but in my eyes, if I didn't have such a reactive personality, I probably wouldn't wind myself up so much with unreachable, unattainable thoughts, therefore wouldn't get as stressed, and here comes the 360... probably wouldn't suffer from as many migraines.

It's completely understandable for us to strive to have a perfect life, perfect relationship, perfect job, etc. we are constantly striving to update everyone else with the foolproof, instragrammed, social media-ready life that we are pretending to live, when in reality life isn't perfect or beautifully filtered. But it's what we're used to.

Striving for perfection does not equal happiness. We need to cut ourselves some slack. Life is already hard enough as it is without getting worked up about things that you can't control, and sometimes it's ok to want to get away from it all - something we should never feel ashamed about.

We live in a world now where everything is so immediate. We can get the news instantly, get a taxi whenever we want, get food delivered 24/7 (that one being the main priority) yet sometimes all we really need is right there in front of us. We need to stop punishing ourselves for not being the best, because quite frankly, that's not going to get us anywhere.

And in all honesty, we need to give ourselves a break. Whether its a night off, a weekend of country walks or a holiday. These little experiences help us to not completely lose our minds as twenty-somethings. Sometimes its good to step back, take some time, and remember that you are only human - needing to take a break from work life, social life or even just life in general does not make you weak - it helps you cope.


Thursday, 15 September 2016

12 Things That Happen If You Went To An All Girls School

1. Having no shame when it comes to pulling your tights up in public.

2. Not wanting to name your first born daughter after the Queen Bee - even if it is the name of your boyfriend's Grandma.

3. Being unable to look at a stick of concealer without remembering that makeup look.

4. Crying a little bit each morning that you actually have to get up and work instead of skipping first period for a lie in.

5. Wondering why everyone assumed you'd turn lesbian.

6. Not quite getting the sexual connotation with knee high socks.

7. Wishing you could still wear a uniform instead of having to think about your appearance.

8. Missing the days of only using a Max Factor compact and a pencil eyeliner.

9. Feeling a bit like a rebel that you were on report more than once.

10. Wanting nothing more than being able to see your bezzies every day.

11. Not feeling comfortable wearing a skirt that isn't rolled up to your belly button.

12. Wondering how you managed to eat the same thing for lunch for 5 years.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Travel | 13 Places I'd Love To Visit

I love going on holiday, I mean who doesn't right? But it's one of life's luxuries that I feel like I haven't been able to enjoy in the last few years since starting to be a bit more meticulous with money. Don't get me wrong, the longest I've been without a cheeky little city break is around the one year mark, which to most isn't a long time at all and to be honest, I'm really lucky in the fact that I've been to some amazing places in my life.

I would never class myself as a travel blogger - I'm far from it - but one thing I do love is a good wish-list post, something to help me gather my thoughts and plan out some great destinations to try and visit in the upcoming years. I thought about calling this post xx places to visit before I'm 30, but that gives me less than 4 years (a thought that will now haunt me daily) to do so... but if anyone wants to hook a girl up with some cheap flights as an early Christmas present, be my guest!

1. Florence, Italy

I am a massive fan of anything Italian, be it the food, the architecture, or the fashion - I would even go as far to say that it might be one of my favourite countries I have ever visited in the past. In the last 4 years I've had the pleasure of going to Rome, Milan and Venice, and was utterly captivated by how beautiful Italy is; it's literally just how you imagine. One of the places I have always wanted to go though is Florence from reading up on it, and seeing friend's pictures. To me it looks like the absolute carb-lovers dream, which is me all over.

2. Manhattan, New York

This is a trick one because I actually went to Manhattan on a school trip back in lower sixth, but I loved it. We were only there for about 5 days, and I have always wanted to go back (plus since then I have watched all series of Gossip Girl and pretty much need to see where Blair and Chuck got married, and go on the Sex and the City tour). There is something really exhilarating and intoxicating about New York, and it's something that a lot of bloggers have recounted from their trips. It's hard to explain unless you've been, but once you know, you know (how bloody cryptic of me!)

3. Sydney, Australia

I mean just look at that shot, who wouldn't want to go to Sydney? I have Australian blood in me (my Nan is from there) so I feel as though it's almost a right of passage that I make it to Australia in the next few years. I would like to do a bit of travelling if I ever got over there, as I know I have family spread all over the place, and as long as I don't get stranded in the outback, I'm sure I'll be ok... (but knowing me I'll probably get stranded in the outback...) Everyone who I have spoken to has loved it from relatives to friends; it's just the longgg flight that puts me off...

4. Prague, Czech Republic

Definitely on my list for Christmas time is the beautiful fairytale city of Prague. I have been blown away by the pictures of the markets and snow covered architecture, and personally, I could think of nowhere better to have a cheeky mug of mulled wine, wrapped up in a scarf. I have read amazing reviews of Prague, and people have raved to me about how cheap the alcohol is, which is always a bonus in my eyes. 

5. Berlin, Germany

Fun fact, I have never been to Germany... I would love to go one year for Oktoberfest, but also to all of the War museums and memorials (I'm a bit of a history geek!) and the nightlife I've heard so much about. I could even give my GSCE knowledge of German a whirl!

6. Copenhagen, Denmark

Quite a new addition to my travel wish list is the capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen. There are a lot of articles out at the moment about the Danish way of life, why they always finish work on time, why they have free healthcare and education, and the Hygge outlook on life (if you don't know what that is, don't worry I didn't until about 3 days ago!) I personally just love the multicoloured building and the fact that I could eat pastries for every meal!

7. Mumbai, India

I couldn't give you a very good reason as to why this has made it into this blog, but I have always had an urge to go to India, and in particular, Mumbai - I just think it would be such a different culture to be immersed in. The street art, the food, the markets all look so incredible beautiful and I can only imagine what the food would be like.

8. Tokyo, Japan

I blame my employers for this one, who went to Tokyo and Kyoto on their honeymoon! Japan has always intrigued me, maybe because of all the Cat Cafes, but after hearing their stories of the kindness of the people and the overall way of life, I found myself with a sudden urge to get out there as soon as possible. (Oh and apparently the sushi is out of this world!)

9. Santorini, Greece

Here's another fun fact, I've never been to Greece either! Santorini is full of instagram-porn, and I'm sure if you follow any blogger on there you will see a cheeky snap of blue seas and skies, and maybe even an ice cream held in the air against a white-washed wall. But I can't blame them. Santorini is bloody beautiful, and with the way the UK summer's go, I wouldn't mind some real sunshine! 

10. Krakow, Poland

Having been to a Polish festival during the summer of 2013, I know just how beautiful the country is and ever since I've just wanted to go back. The weather is great, the people are so friendly, and the beer is about £1! Krakow has been recommended time and time again and I think it's about time I finally get round to going back to a country that holds some great memories for me! 

11. Paris, France

Another cheeky one because I have actually been here before, but I always vowed to go back as it was only for a day on a school trip. Paris is just one of those cities that screams beauty and romance. 

12. Seville, Spain

Growing up, I travelled to Spain a lot, but it is a country I haven't seen much of. I've been to Barcelona and Madrid in the last few years but I would love to see more of what Spanish cities have to offer, and I think Seville would be a great place to start. 

13. The Maldives

No explanation needed... 


Thursday, 1 September 2016

We Blog Too You Know?

Last night I attended a blogging event that was different to anything I had ever been to before, and it was the wave of inspiration that I really really need right now. You all know from reading my most recent posts that I am finding it hard to write at the moment, and I'll be the first to admit that I kind of feel like I'm stuck in a rut... but last night was a breath of fresh air (as cringey as may sound).

It wasn't the average blogging event that you go to and stick with the group of friends you know and have a glass of prosecco (although there was much of that!) some free nibbles (although we had them too, vegan treats included!) and get a goody bag at the end... it was so much more than that; it was so insightful and intriguing and could have gone on for hours with us all just chatting away (can I stop being cringey now...?)

The event was run by a group of girls who wanted to open up about their feelings towards blogging, working full time, freelancing, collaborating, having babies etc. and what to do when you're feeling uninspired. Everyone said they felt as though their blogs could do with a bit of TLC, but that they were feeling a bit lost amongst the blogging world and felt as though there was a lack of a community for smaller bloggers, especially in the North West.

For bloggers who live in Manchester, it can sometimes be a bit of a slap in the face when some of the best events, activations and product launches all happen in London. Don't get me wrong, London is great; I do love it, and maybe one day I will live and work there, but you know what, Manchester is great too! Maybe I am bias because I've lived here my whole life, but it can be quite uninspiring when we're not treated the same just because it's grim up North (side note, it's definitely not...)

Following on from the topics we touched on at the event, a lot of us mentioned how we find it hard to fit blogging in with a full time job. This is something I've touched on before, but it made me feel better knowing that there are other people in the same boat as me. Working full time takes up your life, which is both a good and bad thing. Obviously you have to work to earn money and you know, afford to live... but because you spend 5 days of your week there (+ 2 days recovering) and maybe want to see friends, or spend time with your boyfriend, or work-out, or maybe even just relax in the evenings when you get home, it's easy to forget and neglect your blog sometimes.

For most of us blogging is a hobby at the end of the day, and although it might bring in some extra cash or have a few little perks here and there, it's by no means sustainable for the majority. Don't get me wrong though, if someone told me that I could wake up tomorrow and be paid to write full time, I would be head over heels excited; but unfortunately thats not a reality for most, and to be honest... that's totally fine! For many of us, blogging is a passion; it's a hobby; it's something we go to when we're stressed, bored, inspired, need an outlet to vent. Whatever it is though that brings us back to our blogs, it's the one main thing we had in common last night - a passion for a creative outlet.

To some people, blogging may seem completely pointless. To some people, you might think that we're all wasting our time. Maybe we are? Maybe we could be out saving the world with all the hours we sit and type away on our laptops. Maybe one day I'll look back and laugh about all my thoughts on fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food, mental health etc. But in my head, blogging is a part of my life. It's a big part of my life. I've met amazing people through it, I've had some great opportunities and I hope there's many more to come. In the future maybe I will be blogging full time, you just never know what road it's going to take you. Writing is and will always be a passion of mine and it's nice to finally be in our own little community that can take over the world!

First stop, Manchester! xxx
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