Thursday, 20 October 2016

Life's full of Uncertainty

I've got a lot of unpublished blog posts where I've tried to get into words my feelings from the past month without sounding incredibly depressed or just genuinely not making sense.

Nothing has really happened in particular, but I've been feeling extremely anxious. A lot of nights I've found myself crying myself to sleep or having to run to the loos because I suddenly burst out crying (to be fair I think 'that time of the month' may also be looming so that could have an impact).

I think moving back to university for my final year has forced me to face a lot of familiar feelings; of being alone, home sickness, a lot of work to juggle (that I've now realised Biology really isn't my thing), pressure of recovery but the critical voice in my head etc etc.

With this new sudden surge of anxiety that I've never really felt to this extent before I have experienced sudden huge panics that leave me feeling completely hopeless and to be honest that hasn't really gone away, I just choose to think about something else but I can still feel it lingering and I feel like I'm not really dealing with it.

One of the things that leads me to panic, is thinking of the future. As a third and final year student, (on the one hand thank god, but the other hand... oh shit) everyone I meet asks me what I want to do afterwards. I do mean everyone!! And every single time (sometimes I beat them to it before they actually finish the question just to get through the horrible awkward silence that comes after) I reply with 'to be honest, I've got no idea'.

And at first I would laugh and then leave it, but now it's playing in my mind. Especially with lecturers telling me to apply to graduate schemes now, it's leading me to panic. The sense of running out of time always sends me into a huge panic. (Hell I'm the one that starts getting ready to go out for the evening at around 4 - and it really doesn't take me long to get ready, I'll most probably have mentally picked out my outfit the night before and it's not like I'm skilled with makeup and hair or anything)

I guess what I'm trying to tell myself is that it's OK not to know right now. And I'm not running out of time. In fact the way I should look at it is that I've only got a year (well less than that) until I'll finally be let loose on the world (Australia I'm coming for you... and then the rest of the planet) and finally be free to really do whatever I want. And although I don't really know what I enjoy doing and what career path I want to go into, I need to have faith that it will all work out.

Please tell me I'm not the only one that feels like this sometimes?

Monday, 17 October 2016

Travel Wishlist*

Now I don't know about you, but after seeing a lot of amazing of fabulous bloggers and friends out in fancy places like New York (everyone seems to be going to NY at the moment??) and Bali - Amy Bell why you tease me so much?? - I'm getting some real travel envy and so this got me thinking about some places I plan on visiting when I get the chance, so thought I'd share...


I know I live in the UK, but I really don't go to London as often as I would like and I keep seeing beautiful sites or gorgeous cafes and food places there on social media and what not and I feel I should really make the most of my beautiful country! I also need to branch out and visit the rest of it but that can be on the next wishlist!!


Amsterdam is a new edition to my wishlist to be honest, but since some friends have been and had a wonderful time and shown some incredible views, I've now got to experience it for myself! I would love to rent a bike and cycle round the gorgeous streets and along the river Amstel. I'm so excited that some friends and I are looking into booking a trip there either in the Christmas break or next year after we finish!!

New York

I know, okay, I have been before - but OMG how incredible is this place, I can't get enough of it and everyone going back recently has made me miss it so much - and there's still loads I need to go and do! In fact I would recommend 


Isn't it just beautiful? I think Bali is on a lot of people's wishlists but I'm just dying to go and jump into the sea, surf, relax on the beach and bask in it's beauty! I'm also dying to experience the Nalu Acai bowls, swing on 'The Swing' and watch the sunset out in the ocean and swim in a waterfall!


The ultimate wishlist location for me this is! I will visit Australia (preferably next year and for a couple of months at least!), I WILL! Of course, I wish to do all the touristy bits and bobs, but I also want to just explore. I want to get out and really experience the stunning beaches, have adventures, meet other travellers, make friends, lie out and watch the sunset, ('ave a barby!) and just have fun!

I have stated on many a social media that I am a born and bred Marriott fan, but I'm afraid that luxury can only really come when I go away with my family (who like to use their timeshare). So, since I'm on the look out for new cool places to stay, I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by the wonderful Alexa and alerted to the brand CitizenM hotels (which actually have hotels in three of my above ideal locations!). 

After checking them out online, the rooms and hotels themselves look pretty awesome and the beds look INCREDIBLE! - I mean they're like 2 by 2 metres!! They're quite a cool, trendy hotel it seems, and include free wifi, free movies, (free bar snacks!) and 24hr food service - for those midnight feasts/the time difference is really bad kind of nights!

These are just the points that caught my eye and bits that I like the sound and look of, but head to their FAQ's page here and check them out if you're interested. Personally the ones in London and New York are probably a bit out of my price range, but Amsterdam rooms are around £70, which - albeit still a little much for me, while still a student, - I think is brilliant value for money since the look and service here sounds pretty awesome!

What are your bucket list places to visit? Anything planned for the near future? Any hotels you'd recommend?

*This post was in collaboration with CitizenM and as of yet I haven't visited a CitizenM hotel, but all thoughts and views are my own.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Listening to your body...

So I've just began my final year at uni and that's screaming alarm bells in my head. Third year = work load bigger than a mountain, not to mention the fact that I'm doing a dissertation project I have very little clue about and will have to plan and carry out my own lab project!! (This coming from a Biology student who pretty much hates labs!) 

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I came to uni - I've met some brilliant friends, had loads of laughs and experiences and I do genuinely love my course (even if it's just the theory I find interesting not as much the practice) - and I've definitely learnt a lot about myself over the past 2 years. The thing is, I think having been home for the 3 month summer, I've gotten used to the old ways and it's made me a bit nostalgic having to leave again. Not only that but I'm terrified of being put back into the working environment where I'm not capable and I'm scared of getting things wrong. I guess I'm remembering all the less fun, lonely, cold and scary times that I've had at uni (and now associate with it) over the past 2 years and I'm wondering whether I'm strong enough to cope another year. 

As well as this big, scary 'final year' I'm starting a new part time job that is completely out of my comfort zone and to be honest I'm not sure if I'm capable. It'll be great experience (as is anything) but I'll be working closely with people and I don't want to let them down. This is also going to be alongside a very busy and stressful academic year so I'm getting a bit anxious.

So, sorry about the ramble for a bit of context, the point I wanted to write about is, that over the past two weeks I've been feeling very run down and ill. I'm constantly tired, painful throat, sneezing every 5 sec - achuuu - onds and it often takes everything I can muster to not cry. At first I thought, oh it's just a cold. But since it's lasted for a while now (usually it'll last a week tops) and I'm still feeling really rough, I'm thinking it might be linked to my mental health.

I'm getting the feeling that even though this started out as a simple cold, I'm probably making it much worse and making myself ill by continuing to feed my unhealthy thoughts and worries. And it's probably working in a huge circle so that my health is making me feel bad, therefore feeding these anxious thoughts which are making me feel worse, making my health worse etc etc.

So I guess what I'm trying to put into words is that when we feel ill or get these anxious thoughts, there may be an underlying reason and when this comes out in forms of physical illness, it's your body talking to you. I think then, it's time to take a moment to reflect and try and sort it out. 

Here's a few suggestions that I'm giving a go at the moment;

Talking about it to someone. Obvious I know, but often with anxiety/depression, talking to someone - anyone - can give you some perspective and help ease the anxious thoughts.

Meditating/Mindfulness - This is something I've always wanted to do and since I'm about to form a somewhat busy and stressful routine I'm going to include a period of destressing every day and hopefully if I implement this routine addition early I might stick to it.

Yoga - One good thing about coming back to uni is that I can start going to the yoga classes again regularly and I have found in the past that this really helps me feel both relaxed, productive, and healthy.

How are you all feeling at the moment? Do you agree with this? Let me know in the comments;

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Kauai, Hawaii

At the end of summer this year me and my family took a trip to Kauai, one of the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands (so I've been told), and due to being very busy with third year and having other posts scheduled I've finally been able to download and edit and get this post up for you guys!

Due to flights we were travelling for a full few days, but managed to stop off in Honolulu, Oahu for a day and in this day we took a trek up Diamond Crater and had a cheeky walk down Waikiki Beach.

This walk was really nice actually - very enjoyable for myself, a little more strenuous for my less active family - and the view was incredible!

Waikiki ^:

We also went on a visit to Pearl Harbor which is the site and memorial for the Battle of Pear Harbor, 1941, which marked the entrance of America into the World War II.

In Kauai, we stayed at Marriott, Kauai Lagoons - gorgeous hotel, grounds and the loveliest people (as all Marriotts are to be honest).

The Amazing food at Duke's Kauai restaurant, with a beautiful view of Kalapaki Beach!

In Kauai we obviously had to go to a Luau! We chose The Smith's family Luau, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The food buffet was HUGE and had the most amazing pulled pork you'll ever taste, together with loads of delicious salads, vegetables and other meat dishes like spicy beef and chicken! The hula show was brilliant and very entertaining and we even got a chance to learn a few moves!

We were also incredibly lucky enough to have a helicopter ride round the island! How amazing! The views were nothing short of spectacular and due the somewhat wet-ness during the week, we got to see a lot of waterfalls! The people at Safari helicopters were also really lovely and chatty and the pilot told us a lot about the island as we went round, like how the Robinson family got to own most of the island, and why there are so many chickens running around on it?

The beautiful Napali coast was stunning to witness as well as the beautiful canyons and cliffs all over the island.

Of course we went for a cheeky little surf lesson too, would be rude not to really! I'm proud to announce that I did actually get up onto the board several times, and even made it all the way to the beach (really wasn't that far) - with a little more practice I'll be able to give those 8 year olds (who seemed to be much more talented than us) a run for their money!

If anyone's lucky enough to visit it incredible island, did you enjoy it as much as we did? What kind of things did you get up to there?

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Breaking down the Mental Health Stigma

I recently found and have been reading Nicole's blog Thrifty Vintage Fashion and her posts on mental health. One of her more recent posts was on Why people that share their experiences aren't doing it for attention and I was quite inspired by it and she raised some good points on the stigma of mental health and how it's hard for people to speak about it because of this. 

I'll leave you to check out the whole post, but basically it inspired me to try and be more vocal about my experiences in the hope that maybe it might help someone or help remind people going through it that others are too and that they're not alone. I want to do this because I know reading other people's blogs on it has helped me in the past and still does today evidently and also that I think writing it down in the form of a blog post might help me with my recovery in the future. 

It's actually a lot harder than it seems. Several times now I've typed out my feelings and then deleted it all and then left it and then tried again and I can't seem to find the best way to put things. I don't want my blog to become all sad and filled with these ED/anxiety related posts but at the same time I want to be honest because otherwise it doesn't really help. (But don't worry I'll try and post these posts sparingly unless people actually do find them helpful).

I think I'm finding it so hard to get things down in appropriate words because basically I'm embarrassed and ashamed of my feelings toward my ED. I always have been which has made things difficult to express which I think is one of the reasons it's gone on so long. And even though things are changing a little bit now, I don't think they're changing for the better. 

I won't go into the whole story right now but I think I just wanted to get down some points that people should keep in mind before forming opinions or judging people;

  • As Nicole has rightly said in her post - 'it takes every ounce of courage to share personal thoughts on mental health on social media' - it's really not easy. People face a lot of judgement and criticism with blogging on any topic but I feel the stigma around mental health has made it a very taboo subject that people who haven't experienced it just don't understand and so feel scared.
  • We aren't proud of these feelings and quite often really lack confidence because we feel embarrassed of ourselves.
  • Having a "mental illness" doesn't make us crazy. We are normal people, some like talking about it, some don't. It shouldn't be a scary subject, it should be something that people empathise with and bring people closer together. 

What are your thoughts on the stigma and how to break it down?

Monday, 26 September 2016

Instagram Faves


I love this account and have been loving it for ages! I found Sarah's Instagram account when I moved to York for university, and wanted to find awesome places and cafes and the like to visit. So when I came across her photos I loved them! They're filled with coffee, amazing-looking breakfasts, and some gorgeous, old, traditional places, with a lovely theme and feel to the pictures!


I love reading Amy's blog and her instagram pictures definitely provide me with some fashion inspo and travel inspo because she has amazing fashion sense - and of course is absolutely stunning herself! 


Carrie's instagram account is so sweet and cosy and her dog is the cutest! She takes some really lovely photos and often has a very autumnal feel to her photos, which I love. She also encourages me to go on more lovely walks and enjoy the fresh air!!


This account is just so cool to look at. Since I never really take notice of these things, I love how the account is just filled with these awesome, different designs with the coolest patterns and vibrant colours. It seems like such a cool thing to look back on and I always like seeing the pictures on my feed.

These are just a couple of instagram accounts I've really been loving lately, although I have a lot that I love, these are just a handful. 

What Instagram accounts are your favourites??

If you're at all interested you can follow me on instagram here!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Being Busy in Belgium

One of my amazing trips away this summer was to visit my darling cousin out in Belgium.

After she had been living there for a couple of months I finally got the chance to go out there for a weekend and we visited the lovely towns of Gent and Brussels.


Me and one lovely Aperol Spritz!

Firstly I'll tell you about our day in Gent. Luckily it was a gorgeous day, with a blazing sun beaming down on us all day! And ... there was a festival on during the day which was brilliant. It meant that all we did all day was potter around and explore the town, stopping for drinks and food along the way and were pleasantly entertained by a variety of street performers. Some of them were actually really good (some not so good), such as the musicians - there was a girl band on a stage giving a free concert in the middle of the town who were awesome and varied their songs so that there were French and English ones! There was also a dance teacher teaching this cool street routine to a bunch of kids (and adults) watching or passing by!

We popped into a few shops and managed to find a little restaurant out by the river, which was surrounded by gorgeous flowers and bikes and looked cute.

Playsuit : Boohoo (No longer available)


On our first night a local friend of my cousins gave us some great tips for where to go in the evening. So we ventured out into the town to a little square called Delirium, where we went for a lovely meal (apparently meatballs are a common Belgian food - who knew?) and then out to this cocktail bar called Floris Bar, which was down this very bustling, local, side street and served - I'm not kidding - THE BEST cocktails I think I've ever had in my life!

All the ones I had were rum based and were simply divine! If you're ever in Brussels I urge you to go for some cheeky cocktails there, you won't ever want to leave!

Of course no trip to Belgium is complete without a Belgian waffle!! Mmmm! (And I of course brought home a few boxes of Belgian chocolates - we went into Leonidas for ours and they were beaut!)

Apparently the main tourist landmark for Brussels found deep in the town centre (Grand Place) is 'Le Manneken Pis' - yep it is indeed a tiny statue of a child peeing into a fountain! 

My cousin said that people usually dress him up in funny costumes but unfortunately he wasn't when we visited - so if you're ever there look out for some cool costumes!

Anyone ever visited Belgium? What did you think?