10 things | ...& moving out

10 things | ...& moving out

It has been nearly a whole 15 months since I made the big decision to fly the nest. To move out and get 'my own place'.  Last February was probably the most exciting month for me, ever. I expected to be extremely daunted by the whole prospect, but actually, I was just excited and so looking forward to the next chapter of my life! It had got to the point where I wanted to experience more independence. All my friends were living out of home at university, (and as much as I love you Mum & Dad), I just wanted my own little space.

Queue endless hours of looking for flats & flatmates on Rightmove and SpareRoom. 

I discuss in my letter to my 16 year old self (here), that moving out was probably the best thing I ever did at this point. And it definitely was. I feel like I've grown up so much since leaving home, it's enabled me to go out and meet so many new people, experience a lot of new places and things and I just can't comprehend how much I've learned.

So, here's 10 of the less serious things I've learned since moving out!

  1. Do not, I repeat, do not leave a bottle of softener on top of the washing machine while it is on a spin. It's just gonna fly off the top and go everywhere. The bright side is that the whole flat will smell just divine for days afterwards... the downside being it gets super sticky, is impossible to clean up, and well.. you're gonna need a new bottle of softener.
  2. While we're on the topic of washing, it's still okay to ring your mum to double check what colours to put your washing in with. (Don't judge me!) It's better to be safe than sorry, right? I like my clothes just the way they are!
  3. The price of cereal. In fact, just the price of everything. I don't know why but I never expected cereal to be so expensive! I love cereal. I don't think there's much I enjoy more than a hugeeeee bowl of cereal, either in the morning or just before bed. So when I saw how much some of the more popular ones are, it was rather quite a shock. Like, what do they even put in there?
  4. Okay, so I feel like you're gonna laugh at me for this one, but the heating is really hard to figure out. We're quite lucky in our flat because we're completely surrounded by other flats, and we're quite high up. So in the 15 months we've been here we've never once needed to whack the heating on. Good job really 'cause neither of us can figure out how to put it on! I think it's something to do with that strange looking dial on the wall...
  5. Hair gets everywhere. I'm guessing this applies more to girls, but oh my goodness. I never quite realised just how much my hair falls out until we moved into a place with wooden floors throughout! Like, seriously, how do I actually still have hair on my head?!
  6. So this one I technically learned from someone else and not by myself, but, put your bread in the fridge. When I first got told this I thought this person had gone completely bonkers, but trust me and try it! Especially if you shop just for one. Having your bread in the fridge stops it from going mouldy for so long, but keeps it that little bit more fresh as opposed to keeping it in the freezer! Winner.
  7. You CAN manage with Freeview. This one I was a bit sceptical of at first. At home we've always had Virgin Media TV and a choice of the hundreds of channels that they have to offer, or On Demand TV if all else fails. But actually, I've not missed it in the slightest! Especially with loads of stuff being available online now-a-days, I can definitely make do without!
  8. The shower needs more cleaning than you do. It's such an effort... especially if you only just reach 5ft like me. Those 7 years of gymnastics, particularly the balance beam have finally come in handy when having to stand on the bath to clean the top of the shower!
  9. Again, I feel like this may be more a girl thing, but the chances are, particularly if you're moving into a flat, there's not going to be as much space for your clothes. This has been such a dilemma. Which clothes do I take with me? Which do I leave at home? Do I rotate when it gets to summer? But c'mon, this is England, am I really gonna need to do that? What's going to happen when I buy more clothes? DECISIONS.
  10. IKEA will become your new favourite place. I don't think I need to explain this one. 


I don't drink.

I don't drink.

There. I said it.

For some reason, you only have to utter these three words when you're out and it feels like every person within a three mile radius turns around and looks at you like you've just magically grown three heads. With bells on. But personally, I've never had an issue with it, and it always makes me wonder what the big deal is.

Okay, okay, so I'm aware that at nearly 21, about to dive head first into what are to be 'the best years of my life' ( or so I'm told ), choosing not to drink alcohol must seem pretty weird to some, and I understand why people ask. I really do.  But it's this that kinda baffles me sometimes. I probably spent at least two or three years of my life, constantly trying to think of little excuses as to why I wasn't going to drink. I think I was always scared that people were going to judge me as 'boring' for being teetotal.

If I'm honest, there's still a feeling of having to justify why I don't drink. Simply, 'I just don't want to.' doesn't seem to cut it. And trying to explain this to someone, particularly if this person has already enjoyed a few cocktails themselves, can be a little bit tricky.  

No, I am not going to just 'try one', so please stop asking me to. 
No, I won't 'have' to have a drink if you buy it, so please don't waste your money either because I'm not going to drink it.
And no, it wouldn't be amusing to see if I would be able to tell the difference between a glass of vodka and a glass of water. I'm pretty sure even I'm not that daft!

The thing that gets me the most at times is that you wouldn't try and pressure someone into trying to smoke, or taking drugs. So why try and make someone drink if they don't want to? I guess it's the un-acceptance from others that baffles me sometimes.
( Disclaimer - when I say 'others' and 'people' I don't mean everyone. I have a lot of lovely people around me, especially now, that completely understand and have never questioned my choice, and I love you lot! )
There isn't any particular reason why I choose not to drink. It's not a religious thing, it's not a health thing, I just simply have never been curious to try it ( Although, I would love to see what kind of 'drunk' person I'd make. I'd like to think I'd be a happy drunk... ). I believe that you can go out and still have a bloody good time without it. Or the following mornings hangover.

At the same time I have no problem with people around me drinking. My friends and family all drink, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. People sometimes presume that because I don't drink, I would feel uncomfortable around any kind of alcohol. Come on folks, if you're sat next to me with a glass of red wine in your hand, I'm not going to suddenly combust on the spot. You don't have to ask me if it's okay for you to drink. It's completely and totally and utterly okay. It couldn't be less of a problem.

Someone once told me that me not drinking made them feel uncomfortable. Which then made me feel uncomfortable. And then there was just a whole load of unnecessary uncomfortableness going on...

The only difference between me and you going for drinks, ( aside from being able to convince you of the many fabulous but fabricated things that you did last night... well, I've got to have a bit of fun with this right? ) is that I can wake up feeling perfectly fresh and a bit more money to save for a rainy day. *ahem* Okay for shopping. But you get me.

Personally, I don't feel like I need a drink to have a good night out. Alcohol doesn't give me my friends, the laughs, or the ability to get up and dance. I'm perfectly capable of getting up on the dance floor and showing the world my inner Beyoncé by myself. The latter maybe not being so much of a good thing.. but everyone else is drunk so who cares?!

I guess there were a few reasons why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to just chat a little as to what it's like being the 'teetotal one', as people are often curious! But also, I'm guessing there's a lot of people who also don't fancy a drink, so I'm hoping that there's at least someone who can relate, and maybe show you that it's okay to go against the flow of everyone else if you don't want to every once in a while.
If you want to go out and have a drink, go out and have a drink. If you want to go out and not have a drink, go out and not have a drink! We can have just as good of a time, promise!

I love blogging.

I love blogging.

5 months ago tomorrow I started this blog. It's been the best 5 months ever.
In some ways it feels like I've been blogging for a lot longer, but probably because I can't imagine my life without it now. I can't imagine not having to constantly write things down when I get a bit of inspiration in the middle of the day. I can't imagine not spending most of my Sunday's in a coffee shop writing up blog posts from said inspirations.  I can't imagine not spending half of my life taking photographs, of sometimes rather random but pretty things I spot out and about that I wouldn't have ever noticed before, or running home from work in order to make the most of the good lighting while it's still around!
Mostly, I can't imagine my life without the many other amazing bloggers out there.
When you first start a blog, or the 'hmm, I might start a blog' thought first pops into your head, I think it's safe to say that you have NO idea what you're letting yourself in for. There's this whole other world that you haven't discovered yet. There is so much more to having a blog other than having to write a few posts every now and again. I'm not talking about all the photographs/advertising/admin/design/research/getting-super-confused-by-html-coding that comes with blogging, but the blogging community.
It was probably the one thing that I never expected. My twitter feed is now mostly full of bloggers. I love it. Creative, intelligent, (slightly bonkers) and amazingly supportive people that just make me smile all the time. It's crazy to think just how many people I talk to now that I didn't even know existed before November 18th 2014. A lot of them I've never met but it's weird to think that you can almost consider people to be your friends through the many twitter conversations or just getting to know someone via their blog.
When talking about my blog to other people, the most frequent question I get asked (aside from, 'What do you blog about?', when my answer is generally, 'umm, life?' because quite frankly, I have no idea what I blog about most of the time. Whatever pops into my head really... ) is 'What's the best thing about having a blog?' And I will always answer with 'the blogging community'.
Because it really is, and the support you get from fellow bloggers is always incredible.

I think it's also safe to say that you learn a lot of rather quite practical skills from starting a blog. 5 months ago I had no idea what CSS was and HTML stuff scared the living daylights out of me. I still only know the basics however, but now I at least kinda know how to navigate my way around it. You learn how to spot trends in when your posts get the most views, what people reading your blog clearly prefer to read and what not-so-much. You learn just how powerful social media can be in getting traffic over to your blog, how to communicate with brands, and how to balance your life and time, especially if you also work full time or have important uni/college/school deadlines and a lot of work to do too.
I've got a post planned coming up where I'm going to attempt to detail everything that I've learned from this blog, so I don't want to dwell on this bit toooooo much, but hopefully you get my drift... it's a lot!
I obviously still have a lot to learn, but I am so excited for whatever that may be, wherever I get to go and also whoever I have yet still to meet!
Blogging has also helped me a lot. The times when I don't feel great, I feel anxious about something or there's just a lot going on in my head, blogging has become a form of therapy and an escape. It might sound stupid but my life is so utterly and completely different now to what it was just 6 months ago, heck, its rather unrecognisable to 12 months ago.
But I am LOVING life at the minute, and it's mostly down to you lovely bunch!
Let's, Just Go With It.

Let's, Just Go With It.

Do you ever get that old feeling? Like the first time you were left home alone by your parents, being able to dance and sing around the house to your hearts content. Feeling dead happy (and secretly quite proud of yourself) that you'd been finally trusted to step up and be all by yourself for a few hours?

Or when you were getting ready for your first 'proper' night out. You tried on about 27 dresses, had gone through shed loads of hairspray and make up, and hadn't quite mastered the art of walking in 6 inch heels just yet. But to you, this felt great and you had no reservations about anything other than what an amazing time you were determined to have with your friends, feeling like the grown ups you were... obviously.

Or what about something completely different? Like think about Christmas. Whether it be remembering how magical it was when you were oh SO excited for Santa Claus to arrive, hoping for a white Christmas just for one year. Or maybe more recently, sat home with your family, by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and you get that little tingly feeling inside and you can't help but smile to yourself.

Yesterday had been a lovely day, I'd ventured to work without my coat for the first time this year, and the sun had been shining all afternoon. I'm very lucky to be able to live where I do. The docks are right on my doorstep and evenings like last were pretty perfect, I was able to get home and go sit out on the waterfront for a while (before the sun actually disappeared and I was then frozen. I can confirm it's still spring guys...), watching the sunset over the water. I had the sound of music playing through my headphones, and I just sat and watched. Sat and watched the sunset, watched other people, wondered what had brought them to this very place at this point in time. I found myself just smiling. I was happy.

It's the little things like this that I think matter. They're normally the things that we remember.

It could be some kind of wonderful thing of natural beauty that you spot, an act of kindness that you've seen or received, or simply reminiscing to back when you were 17 again, that could bring a smile to your face.

Whatever it is, write it down. Write it down so that those times when you're feeling particularly down and not quite feeling yourself, you can look back in this little book, and it might hopefully bring that smile back to you, even if it's just for a little while.

There are still going to be times when you feel completely clueless, when you're having a terrible day and everything just makes you think, well, that's just my luck, you feel utterly trapped by everything around you and you just don't know what to do or how you're going to pick yourself up again.

I've started to do this recently in the notebook that I bought myself from Paperchase after someone suggested it to me a while back, and do you know what, it actually helps.

Life is beautiful. Sometimes we just don't notice.


P.S How many movie titles did you spot in this post?

P.S I love you... all ;)

P.P.S No judging my film choices guys.

EDIT: Please click here for the full list of movies hidden within this post!
A bare faced post.

A bare faced post.

Makeup. It's a wonderful thing, and there are some truly wonderful things that can be done with it. It can transform anyone, from that ever-so-slightly dishevelled look when you first wake up, to looking flawless within minutes. It can hide our insecurities, both physical and emotional ones, that we may not be quite ready to share with the world just yet. 

It can fill a girl with confidence. Confidence that they wouldn't otherwise have, and can quite honestly enhance your life, and enable us to go and grab the world with both hands. It's amazing the power that a little lipstick can have.

I don't want to take away anything of this in this post, this is not what I want this post to be about. 

BUTTTTT (you knew that was coming, right?) I want to talk about not wearing makeup for a change.

You may have noticed that I don't really blog/tweet/instagram post much that is beauty related. Mostly because I'm pretty rubbish at it, and at nearly 21 years of age, had to ask Emma what primer actually does the other week. I know... 
My morning routine (on the days that there actually is one) consists of concealer, eyeliner and a little bit of lipstick. My skin may be lucky enough to get the odd moisturise every once in a while too. But that's it. 

I've never been one to really wear makeup. I was never one of those girls to wear it at school, and in fact, I think it took me until about 4th year to discover concealer and eyeliner. I didn't feel the need for it. I simply didn't see the point. And that hasn't changed too much.

There are a lot of days when I just don't or can't be bothered to wear the stuff. So I don't. I feel I'm lucky and I'm comfortable enough in my own skin to venture outside of the flat without it. I'll go shopping, see friends, and sometimes even go to work without any on if I'm having a particularly bad morning, and I've never thought anything of it. 

Until recently. 

A comment was made on one of these particular days. Someone was mortified that I'd even considered showing the world what actually, is me. This threw me. And, I'm not going to lie, made me extremely self-conscious for the rest of the day. 

But then I got home, thought about it and spoke to a few people after considering to never do it again,  and thought, why should I? Why should I wear makeup if I don't want to?

It's become the social 'norm' to wear makeup, with Instagram becoming ever more-so popular, and mobile apps like Afterlight and VSCO Cam enabling us to edit our faces on the go, I feel like there's even more pressure for us girls to look perfect and to resemble our edited selves, all the time.

But that's just not us. That's not who we are, and why should we hide all of our beautiful faces beneath layers of makeup, every day? I wish we could all just go out as fresh faced lovelies and not feel like we're going to be judged.

Here's the other thing that kinda bugs me; if a girl wears too much makeup, she's told how she doesn't need 'all that' and to tone it down. But don't wear any, and you're given tips on how you could look that little bit better.

Don't get me wrong, on the days I do wear makeup, I love it. I mention in most of my 'About Me's' that I have a slight obsession with red lipstick. And this is still true. I feel that makeup has become something that we are required to wear, not taking into account which version of ourselves we are happiest and most comfortable with.

How am I most happy and comfortable? It depends on the day. Put me in front of a client for the first time and I'm obviously going to reach for my makeup bag in the morning. But just going for coffee or spending all day in the office... maybe not so much.

Where do you guys fall on the makeup front? Do you wear a little? A lot? Every day, or none at all?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


I made muffins!

I made muffins!

Okay, so if you follow me on Twitter you'll probably already know that I baked today! I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to learn to bake this year, and I added it to my list of resolutions. 

So, it being Easter Sunday, with all the shops being shut and there being not much else for me to do, (that's a complete lie, I have so much I need to do, but this was the perfect way to procrastinate..), I thought I'd get my Mary Berry on! 

I'd been reliably informed by Hazel (Hazel Jane) that muffins were the perfect place to start when baking, as they're quick and simple, and not much can go that wrong. So, after a quick google, I found a recipe and some instructions and went shopping last night because, well, how else am I going to spend my Saturday evening than in Asda..?

I decided to go with blueberry muffins. It's Easter, there's more chocolate around than ever so chocolate chip muffins weren't taking my fancy this weekend, although normally these would be my definite go-to. In fact, I bought chocolate chips anyway, they were just there on the baking aisle, so I well, I bought them...

Hazel was right, this recipe couldn't be simpler, and uses the following ingredients;

110g/4 oz plain flour
110g/4 oz butter
65g/2 1/2 oz caster sugar
2 free range eggs
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
125g/4 1/2 oz blueberries

According to this recipe there are only 3 steps to making muffins, one of which is to put the things in the oven. This can't be that hard, right?

The first thing to do is to simply mix the sugar and the butter together, then slowly add the eggs, mix for 3 minutes, and add the flour and baking powder, however, I kinda just mixed them all together at once and it seemed to work! I think.

I then left the cake mixture in the fridge for about an hour. (I have NO idea why you need to do this. The instructions told me to, so I just did...)

Then all you need to do is spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and fill the cases until they're just over half full, before adding a handful of blueberries to each one. 

(Please excuse all the sugar in this photo... there was a bit of an explosion. Whoops.)

All that's left after this is to whack them in the oven, pre-heated to 200°C, for 20 minutes, and watch them rise!

Now, I don't think I've baked anything since food technology classes in about Year 8, and to be quite honest, I wasn't entirely sure how well this was going to go. In fact, I even bought myself some ready made muffins just in case mine didn't turn out quite right. I still wanted some muffins at the end of it!

But, this was actually so simple! It really surprised me just how easy these were to make, and they actually ended up coming out okay! And do you know what, I actually had A LOT of fun making these. 

I'd also forgotten just how yummy cake mixture is! 

I think I'm definitely going to be googling some more recipe's soon. Unless you guys have any you would recommend?


Life lessons from songs from the 00's | Part 1

Life lessons from songs from the 00's | Part 1

Pop music while I was at school was amazing. I loved it. You know, like all the super cheesy songs that were terrible but that were so catchy you couldn't help but love? Yeah, those. 

I've been inspired this week, by someone who I'm rather privileged to call a friend, to go and get my guitar after watching them play. I was sat at home the other day umming-and-ahhing over whether to  go and pick it up, but then I started thinking about when I first started playing it.

I bought my guitar when I was about 15 for £30 from eBay after watching a girl on YouTube do some amazing acoustic covers, and I remember sitting there thinking, I wanna be able to do that! So I bought a guitar and vowed to myself that I'd teach myself to play it. It lasted about 6 months. I taught myself the 4 chords I needed to play practically any Taylor Swift song and I'm Yours by Jason Mraz... and this was perfectly fine by me! I loved doing this, and it was quite therapeutic so I decided to nip home last night and go and get it.

When I say 'nipped' home, I mean, I had all intentions of running in and out again, but then ended up with lots of cuddles from Jake (that's the dog by the way, just in case anyone's wondering...), and a lovely natter over a cup of tea and a doughnut with Mum & Dad. I love going home!

On my drive back to the flat I started thinking about what I would play, and that lead to me remembering all the songs I LOVED in my early teens, which then lead me to of course playing them all the way back through my Spotify. I think I smiled to myself the whole way home. These songs just instantly made me happy! Whether it was the songs themselves, or the songs reminding me of times at primary and high school that made me giggle, they did, and I couldn't help but notice how some of the words have actually quite good and uplifting messages behind them! 

So, I thought I'd share some of these absolutely fabulous songs with you guys!

Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield (2009)

Staring, at the blank page before you,
Open up the dirty window,
Let the sun illuminate the words that you can not find.

Reaching, for something in the distance,
So close you can almost taste it,
Release your inhibitions,
Feel the rain on your skin, no one else can feel it for you,
Only you can let it in,
No on else, no one else, can speak the words on your lips,
Drench yourself in words unspoken,
Live your life with arms wide open,
Today is, where your book begins,
The rest is still unwritten.

Okay, so this one. Us year 6 girls sang this at our primary school as part of the leavers assembly at the end of the year. Right before we were about to up sticks and start high school. We thought we were so cool!

But when you actually read the words of this song, I think they speak a lot of sense! You, and only you are in control of your life. So make it whatever you want. Say what you want to say, embrace everything that happens with an open mind and who knows what will happen tomorrow! But make it something worth remembering in a few years time!

I Don't Want To Be - Gavin DeGraw (2003)

I don't want to be 
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately,
All I have to do is think of me, 
And I have peace of mind.
I'm tired of looking 'round rooms,
Wondering what I've got to do, or who I'm supposed to be,
I don't want to be anything other than me.

Who remembers One Tree Hill?! *insert happy person raising one hand emoji*
I LOVED this show. I mean, who wouldn't want to be Hayley James, with a best friend in Lucas Scott and a husband in Nathan, and the most adorable and well behaved son in James. Like, really? How was this fair! 

This was the theme tune from that TV show and I think it's great. It's about finding and being happy with yourself which is SO important, but that a lot of us are guilty for not being so great at, including me. You need to be yourself, and I don't think we can be truly happy until we know who we are. But also don't let anyone change you from something they say or from social pressures around you.

Don't be anything other than you, 'cause you, my friend, are just great.



Okay, so, I realise I've only written 2 so far but this post has gone on a bit longer than I expected! So I think I'm going to stop here for now and then I can grace you all with some even more fabulous songs in a post next week. I'm excited already!

What songs did you love while you were at school?