I didn’t plan on writing this post this week – in fact, I was going to share a post on my top 5 destinations for a summer holiday, but I didn’t want everything to come across like it is fine and dandy in camp Eleanor Graceful when this month has been a bit of a roller-coaster.

You see, my mental health has taken a bit of a battering this month. I can’t pinpoint why, but my struggle with anxiety has been even more evident than I’ve felt in a long time.

For me, feeling anxious is a part of my daily routine – I’ve come to live with it, but for some reason this month I have felt so on edge and irritable more so than ever before. My panic attacks feel like they could bubble at any time and I’ve had to up my medication just to feel like I won’t break down.

One of the things that I feel might have contributed to it is moving house. Although that has been one of the biggest steps in my life, and I have loved every minute of owning my own home, the actual impact of the amount of change on my life has been colossal; and for someone who doesn’t deal with change that well normally, it was bound to shake me up this month.

I think as well, because money has been such an important entity this month, I’ve always had that in the back of my mind. I’m normally quite good with my money, because I’ve usually had some to fall back on; but now because I need to know where every penny is going, it is making me feel a bit trapped, which I’ve never really felt before.

Although April has been a really good month in some respects for me – I’ve been to Ibiza for one of my best friend’s hen do, I’ve seen old friends and made some amazing memories with new ones – but it’s still been hard to shake this feeling of unease.

I think in the blogging world there is a really good support network when it comes to mental health, and every time I’m feeling a bit low I know I have a really good group of people I can rely on. Saying that as well, my friends who don’t blog and maybe don’t suffer from as many prominent mental health issues are also amazing when I need them.

Talking about anxiety is a strange one because it brings the feelings to the surface and makes you face them head on, but it also gives you an outlet to get your thoughts in order and share them with people who may also be going through something similar.

It’s always a tenacious decision for me whether to share these kinds of posts on here, but this is my place to share my life on the internet, and this is a very real part of my life.

Maybe one day I will live my life anxiety free, but for now, I’ll keep chugging along this old train that we call life.

Always remember, it’s ok to not be ok.

xx

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I’m writing this post a little bit broken and worse for wear after a hen party in Ibiza which I only just got back from but hey ho, that’s life baby…

Last week was a blur with not knowing what day it was and also having to get 5 days work done in 4, and also having Monday and Tuesday off this week but here were all the things I was loving last week.

1. Easter Monday Catch Up

On Easter Monday, I met up with two of my favourite blogger girls Lily and Erin at Rosylee in Manchester. We hadn’t seen each other since Christmas so it was really lovely to catch up with them both and be able to talk about Instagram and follows and everything without someone rolling their eyes at you (and take pretty pictures of our food). I will always be so thankful for the amazing people that this blog has introduced me to, and being able to call them real friends. (Photo – Erin on Instagram)

2. Rosylee

As mentioned about 3cm higher, me and my gal pals (don’t worry, I want to punch myself for saying that too, but going with it…) went to Rosylee for out meet up because a) it is all the instagram goals, and we are bloggers at the end of the day (expect LOL I forget my camera and the phone pic is rubbish) and b) it was 50% off food with it being a Monday, and if there’s one thing I love more than actual food, it’s spending half the amount on it. The service wasn’t great in Rosylee, but the food (and gin fizzy cocktail thang) more than made up for it – we all went for fancy kebabs and fries which were delicious!

3. Richmond Tea Rooms

After lunch on Monday we had a bit of a blogger photo shoot around the graffitied walls of Manchester’s Northern Quarter before we felt like we needed a piece of cake. We decided to go to Richmond Tea Rooms up by Piccadilly train station as none of us had been before. When we walked up to it, it reminded me of some of the back streets in Bruges, and inside its Alice in Wonderland themed which was amazing. The cakes are in a glass cabinet when you walk in and were mostly three tiered amazing-ness (yep, I just made up a word). We all went for different cakes (I got a banana and chocolate one) and shared a teapot of berry tea – all very delicious. If you’re looking for something a bit different in Manchester, I would definitely recommend this place (they also do breakfast which looks amazing!) Website here.

4. New Shoes

I had to go to the Trafford Centre on Wednesday to pick up a parcel I had had delivered there (because this girl does not like paying for delivery!) and whilst I was in there, I decided to have a little mosey on into Primark. The one in the Trafford Centre is inside Selfridges and is quite small, but it makes it much better because you don’t get easily distracted and end up with a £100 bill. I’d been toying with the idea of a pair of black mules to wear with jeans for a while and Primark had exactly what I was looking for and for a quarter of the price of ASOS. Winner winner!

5. Ibiza

On Friday evening, me and 8 others flew to Ibiza for one of my best friend’s hen do’s. Its been in the diary since October, and I’ve been looking forward to getting away with everyone for ages. It was such a good holiday I’m actually lost for words on how to describe it… but it really was such a fun 3 days of making memories with some amazing people. I’m going to do a full blog post on it with some of my pictures in the upcoming weeks, so keep an eye out for that!

6. Sabor Ibiza

I promised to do a special mention on here for the company that did our entertainment on the Saturday night that we were in Ibiza, Sabor Ibiza. They are a private catering company based on the island who specialise in party food and luckily for us, the apartment we were staying in had a roof terrace with an outside grill. They did a BBQ for us and we had a mixologist for 3 hours who made French martinis, mojitos and margaritas. The food was some of the best BBQ food I have ever ever had – a mixture of burgers, sausages, marinated chicken, fresh salads, coleslaw and probably some more than I have forgotten because I’m too busy salivating over here. It was such good value for money and was really nice to make the most of the apartment we were staying in and be waited on by two lovely guys (Gary and Steve) and an idea I would recommend, especially for something like a hen do. Find the website here.

xx

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The weather’s not on our side at the moment, and whether we like to admit it or not, for most of us, this has a negative effect on our mood. It’s also 4 months into the year, and I for one, am starting to feel as though I wanted to have achieved so much more by this point, leaving me to feel a bit deflated. (Don’t get me started on the state of the country as well…)

Sunshine is great, we all know it. You don’t have to worry about bringing a coat (except, LOL we live in England and better to be safe than sorry…) everyone seems to be a bit chirpier, you can eat your meals outside with a fruity cider and day drinking is always acceptable; but sometimes, we can still tend to feel a bit rubbish every now and again and I wanted to share some tips on how I try and get out of a slump.

1. Plan Plan Plan

Having something to look forward to instantly lifts my mood. This could be a mini-break, a week-long holiday, or even just a meal with your friends. I’m not one to wish away the days, but having plans in my diary makes the working week just seem that little bit better!

2. Buy Something Exciting For Dinner

Once you become an adult, there’s no one dictating what you eat day in and day out, which is the beauty of doing your own food shop. Seen as food is such a big part of my life, having something delicious to look forward to after a long day at work or a takeaway treat on the weekend seems to get a smile on my face!

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Open Up

Sometimes one of the worst things when we’re feeling down, is to keep it inside. I find that speaking to my close friends and my boyfriend allows me to open up about what is on my mind whether it’s relationships, work or my blog. Even if you only tell them that there’s something up and don’t delve too far into it, they will hopefully be able to take your mind off it.

4. Remember You’re Not Alone

For someone who suffers from mental health issues, it can sometimes feel like the loneliest place in the world. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know personally, there are always other options – your GP, a counsellor, a helpline. If that is what your brain is telling you it needs, then listen to it.

5. Don’t Leave All Your Plans To The Weekend

This is one I try to stick to every week, and honestly, it really lifts my mood. It’s easy to get bogged down in the 9-5 grind and look forward to the weekend, but there is no reason why you can’t do something fun in the week. Arrange to see your girlfriends, have a date night to a new restaurant, see you family for a meal, go for a drink with work colleagues – anything that gets you excited to finish the day!

6. Take Some Time For Yourself

Whether this is an hour or two or a whole evening, focusing on yourself, having a pamper and having some ‘me time’ will give you some breathing space and allow you to feel on top of the world come the next day. Tip – even better with wine!

I hope this post has given you a few pointers of what I like to do when I’m not feeling my best, and fingers crossed it’ll help you out, even just temporarily!

What else do you like to do when you’re feeling a bit rubbish?

xx

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Although the weather is back to its usual self of drizzle, wind and arctic temperatures (how British of me to start a post talking about the weather) most of the UK jumped for joy at the fact we’ve had a 4 day weekend!

When you’re at school, Easter weekend usually falls in your Easter break, so it’s somewhat overlooked; however, once you start living for the weekend, having 4 days off work without having to take a holiday is an absolute godsend!

Anyway, weekly loves… and yes, food does feature a lot in this post – so kill me!

1. Boots Order

I treated myself to a few new makeup treats last week, but only picked up the parcel at the start of the week. I find Boots and Superdrug two of those places that you just get sucked in by the offers, and before you know it, you’ve spend £60 and have no idea how it was so easy. As a slight makeup junkie, I always want to try new products so I opted for a Rimmel brow set which I’ve heard is a really good dupe for the Benefit Browzing which I currently use (and under half of the price) and a L’Oreal blusher, which apparently matches the pigments in your skin. The other products our favourites of mine that I had run out of. That’s another thing about being a girl; you have to fork out so much money when everything seems to run out at the same time!

2. Dua Lipa

On Wednesday night, my friend Sophie invited me to see Dua Lipa at the Ritz in Manchester. I hadn’t been to that venue in so long, and it reminded me of all the drunken nights as a student that I had spent there. I was really impressed with how good her voice was live, and the crowd was such a mix of people from kids to older adults. We had a really good dance and sang along all night and it was a great way to spend a Wednesday!

3. Oke Poke

I’d been invited to the launch of Oke Poke on Twitter the week before, and once I heard Hawaiian food, I was very intrigued. I brought Hannah with me (from Hannah Gets Hench, you’ll know her by now!) and we went to try some new cuisine. The restaurant is quite small, on Church Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, but a perfect size to just nip in and grab some lunch or a takeaway. Read my full review here.

4. Old Friends

Whilst we were out on Thursday night, I got a message from my old friend Abi, who now lives in Leeds, saying that she was back in Manchester for the evening and was I about. We met up in West Corner in the Northern Quarter, and went for some drinks to Turtle Bay and then on to Terrace. It was really lovely to catch up with her and her fiancee and hear all about her upcoming wedding and house plans. I decided it’s my turn to go to Leeds next time!

5. Greens

After our Thursday night out, I was feeling slightly worse for wear when I woke up on Friday morning (thank goodness for it being a bank holiday) but as I had organised to go out with my Nan into Didsbury, I knew I had to get my act together. We decided to go to Greens in West Didsbury, which is a vegetarian restaurant owned by Simon Rimmer. We’d been once before when I used to work close by, and I’d always wanted to go back. For a starter we all shared some flatbreads, humous, veggie black pudding and olives, and then for a main I had cheese and leek sausages, with mustard mash and a red wine gravy and it was delicious. It definitely opens your eyes about how much good food can be meat free!

6. Levenshulme Market

Even though we had eaten quite a big lunch on Friday, me and Jordan decided to take a drive to Levenshulme market, where they had an Easter night market on. I’d never been to Levenshulme market before, but I’d heard that it was amazing, and if it involves food, then I’m there. Typically it was chucking it down, but the market itself was quite busy and there were some amazing food stalls. I went for a grilled cheese sandwich with pastrami and sauerkraut and it was delicious. We also got some fudge and Nutella brownies, but obviously I ate them before I took a picture. Oops!

7. Saturday in Manchester

On Saturday it was one of my friend’s stag do’s at Haydock Races, so me and some of the girls decided to go for some lunch and to get our bridesmaids dresses altered. Unfortunately the place was closed for Easter where we getting them done so me and my friend Laura decided to make the most of our free day (and sort of passable beer garden weather) and headed into Manchester. We went to Bar and Grill’s outside terrace (where luckily they had the heaters on) and then on to the Oast House. Afterwards, we had a drink and some food at The Alchemist, which was lovely. I’m definitely a drinks in the day person, especially when you can almost sit outside without catching frostbite!

8. Easter Sunday

After a pretty chilled, chocolate-induced Easter Sunday, I went for dinner with some of my closest and oldest friends. We went to Sigiriya in Hale, which is a Sri Lankan restaurant that I’ve been to once before. I went for Chicken Ceylon, rice and a naan and the food was delicious. We went for a drink afterwards and had a really nice catch up, putting the worlds to right! A lovely way to top off a great weekend.

xx

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On Thursday evening, myself and Hannah went to the launch of Oké Poké in Manchester City Centre. I had been invited by one of the staff members on Twitter, and as soon as I heard Hawaiian food, I was massively intrigued.

Manchester’s food scene is becoming one of the best in the country in my opinion, and every time I go to the city, I hear of somewhere new to go – so Oké Poké is joining an ever-growing foodie vibe. With healthy eating becoming more and more desired in our busy schedules, I think that Oké Poké will fit in perfectly in this area.

The restaurant is on Church Street, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and is in a great location for those who just want something quick and healthy to eat, or a sit down lunch.

When we got there, I was surprised at how far back the restaurant went seen as it didn’t look that big from the outside, but it serves its purpose as being a takeaway joint. We were met by one of the staff members, who said to have one of the freshly squeezed juices; I went for orange, and Hannah went for grapefruit before moving on to the white wine (it was thirsty Thursday after all!) I noticed from the menu that they do all kinds of smoothies as well, which is good to bear in mind if you’re after a hangover cure!

I’ll admit that when I heard that the restaurant specialised in Poke, I wasn’t entirely sure what that was; but from speaking to the team, I learnt that it is traditional Hawaiian street food deemed as being more healthy than our western alternatives.

Poké itself translates to ‘chunk’ with the idea that the bowls are much like deconstructed sushi. With sushi being one of my favourite foods, I was keen to try it. We were offered the classic ahi (sushi rice, tuna, avocado, carrot, wakame, cucumber, spring onion, sesame seeds) another day in paradise (sushi rice, prawns, mixed leaves, cucumber, pineapple, red cabbage, tabiko, spring onion, tamarind sauce) and the teriyaki jack (black rice, free range chicken, radish, red cabbage, celery, edamame, coriander, spring onion, picked ginger, teriyaki sauce) all of which were delicious.

Although we only had samples of each of them, I did spot and Uber Eats driver come in and pick up one of the bowls which were stacked high full of fresh ingredients, which would set you back £7.95 – not the cheapest of lunches, but definitely worth it considering how much fresh produce was used – you also have the option of building your own bowl.

Unfortunately, because I don’t work in the city centre, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get there next, but it will definitely be on my list of places to go for a slightly healthier, alternative lunch when I’m in the city centre.

xx

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I was invited to the launch event as a guest. Thank you to Oke Poke for the food and drinks. All views are my own.